Sighing. I am literally sighing right now as I type this. This is what I always do whenever I think about a groundbreaking movie that for no good reason at all, has been fobbed off as “overrated.” The Godfather is one of those films. Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is another.
Tag: classic movies
Every time people talk about The French Connection (1971), they talk about one scene–the car chase that takes place under an elevated subway line. But you know what? I couldn’t care less about that scene. Bullitt (1968) did it first–and better.
What I do care about is the delightful scene in which Doyle (Gene Hackman) tails and tries to catch the perp, Frog One, as he boards a NYC subway train. I don’t know why this part of the film never achieved the beloved status of the car chase scene, but it should. Not only is the timing impeccable, there’s a certain charm to it because it’s very reminiscent of something you’d see in a Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton movie.
Recently, for some reason I don’t understand, Vertigo was suddenly declared the best movie of all time. Although I’m relieved that the title was taken away from Citizen Kane, I found this new choice just as troublesome.
Everyone has this fear as they get older that somehow, new junk is going to supplant the classics in status. Anyone over the age of 40 and maybe even 35 knows what I’m talking about. We’ve all had that queasy moment when we’ve come across internet comments raving that Batman Begins is ten times the movie that 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Godfather were.
As much of a problem as this can be, it’s the least of any aging person’s worries. Why? Because sometimes it’s not “new junk” that supplants the classics, but old junk as well.