Tag Archives: Classic movies


Jillian here. I’ve been indulging myself in reading some books this summer as well as watching a lot of older movies on TCM. I confess, I’ve let my writing fall a bit to the wayside. I did start a new story last week and am about 3500 words in- which is slow for me- but I’m okay with that since I am at least writing something after being in a slump.

I read a book this week which was a totally fictionalized account of the Dr. Crippen murder. This was a case in 1910 in London where the culprit and his companion took off on an ocean liner and were caught by a Scotland Yard detective by the first use of the Marconi telegraph machine when the captain thought he recognized Crippen.  The detective boarded a ship at Liverpool and chased the first liner across the ocean to get his man. The retelling was interesting in that the author (John Boyne) explored a different theory of the case. I liked the tale even though it wasn’t very likely to be the truth.

I also recently read The Silent Governess; Runaway; Orphan, Monster, Spy; and This House is Haunted. They were all very different, but I liked them all. Historical, contemporary thriller, 1940’s Germany and a spooky Gothic. I like lots of different genres – both to write and to read. No wonder I can’t seem to build a brand- I’m all over the place.  LOL

Some of the movies I watched this past week are North by Northwest; Jane Eyre; The Woman in Green; LauraThe Tattooed Stranger; and Treasure Island.

Oh well, I like who I am and so that’s that. I can’t change my eclectic nature now, can I?

Have a great July!!  How about an office cat pic to give you a smile?  This is Camo. Short for Camouflage- she blends in with the grass when it dies in the fall and winter. 🙂 She’s a great helper with the closed files destined for storage. IMG_4944 (2)

THE GREATS by Valerie J. Patterson

I turned on the television over the weekend, scanned through the channels at a pretty fair pace, and paused abruptly as my eyes caught hold of a wonderful sight.  Singing in the Rain with Gene Kelly.  This film was made in 1952…well before my time, but it holds a very special place in my heart.  I’m sure you’re sitting there asking how an old musical could be special to a person.  Or perhaps you know exactly what I’m talking about.

The very first time I saw Singing in the Rain, I was perhaps 12 years old.  It was a Saturday—a rare one where my dad had to work.  So after the chores were done—yes, I said chores.  Back in those days, kids had chores to do before anything else on a Saturday morning.  I digress.  After the chores were done, Mom fixed lunch, which we all ate in the living room amidst laughter, giggles, and strange noises—most of which were actually coming from my mother, not us girls as one would expect.  She turned on the television, and we watched this fantastic musical.

My mom loves musicals.  So did my father.  It’s no wonder then, that I love them too.  My parents introduced me to a whole new world outside of cartoons and comedies.  Dad with his love of the music by Glen Miller, big bands, and orchestras.  Mom with her love of classic movies, Fred Astaire-type dancing, and music from her generation.  They shared their favorites with me, and in turn gave me an appreciation for all of the aforementioned things, and so much more.

Gene Kelly ranks right up there with Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Danny Kaye, Bob Hope, Doris Day, Cary Grant, Rosemary Clooney, and so many others that it would take me all day to mention.

The first time I saw My Fair Lady, my mother was scanning the channels late at night much as I had done last evening.  It was after midnight, and the news had gone off.  She saw the movie coming on, and encouraged me to stay up with her and watch it.  Well past two o’clock, we were still riveted to the screen, and I fell in love with another old musical.

Another old movie I hold dear to my heart is To Sir, With Love.  I was probably 13 years old when I went for a weekend stay with Grandma—my dad’s mom.  After a busy morning at her grocery store, we went home and ate lunch.  Then we sat down together and watched this magnificent classic.  I learned right away from talking to Grandma just who Dad got his list of favorites from.

To date, I own a vast collection of the classics.  All of which I’ve seen a dozen times or more.  Each viewing is as fresh and alive as the first time I ever saw it.  Each one has a ‘first time’ story attached to it, too, because of the wonderful people in my childhood.

Holiday Inn and White Christmas are staples at my house during the holidays.  I was with my mom and dad both the first time I watched these movies back-to-back while only a mere 4th-grader.  And, let’s not forget North by Northwest or Arsenic and Old Lace or the numerous faces of Lon Chaney.  And who can forget such funnies as Abbott and Costello?  Or Danny Kaye in just about anything he’d ever done?  Remember Ma and Pa KettleAn American in ParisThree Coins in a Fountain?  Clifton Webb and Cheaper By the Dozen?  Oh, the list can go on and on.

And it was safe to have a child view the greats.  These are good, clean fun!  The sex is hinted at in a way that the adults only know about, and the filthy language is limited to lines like, “Why I otta…” and it goes unfinished.  He knows what he otta do, and you know what he otta do, but no one says it in such a way you need to cover the ears of the young and impressionable.

As far as these grand old movies have taken me, there are, of course, movies I watched for the first time with Steve that will become what we share with our children—along with the classics my parents and family shared with me.

Have you got any classics in your movie closet?  I’ll bet you do.  Tell me about them.  Why not even tell me why they’re memorable?

Until next time, stay well and happy viewing of the greats!    Valerie


*Author’s Note:  I’m sincerely sorry this post did not appear this morning as I scheduled it to appear.  Somehow I inserted the incorrect military time and thus nothing appeared this morning as it should have. ~Valerie