I love the old black and white movies, but not just for the great stories, I love the gowns and lavish furnishings displayed throughout these classics. This is what makes watching a movie over again exciting, you always seem to find something the second, third and fourth time around that you missed during previous viewings. So what are you looking for?
There is nothing better than a rainy day on the couch with my favorite comforter wrapped around me and a classic movie on the TV. I almost look forward to getting a cold so I would have an excuse to do this. You do not need to be sick to take a break from it all and spend an afternoon with all your old favorites. I enjoy a melancholy mood and becoming absorbed into a different era. I know of only one way to do this and that is to immerse myself into what TCM has to offer for the day. There is so much more than a great story line that we get from the black and white classic movies.
I love to imagine myself in the movie. Not acting or even being noticed, I would love to be there just to touch all the great old things that are on the shelves and tables in the background. If there is such a thing as past lives, then I know one of mine was in the 20's, 30's, and 40's. The strength of my infatuation tells me so. The ensembles the women wore during this day and age have never been matched by any other fashion era. The elaborate over stuffed beds shining with their silken covers are just becoming to me. I can just imagine this luxury to come home to every day.
Flowing, all the dresses were flowing. The amount of material used in one of these babies, could probably carpet my whole house. I always had a hard time imagining the color the dress might be. Black and white movies depicted clothing in various shades of gray. Norma Sheerer had the most eloquent gown I have ever seen in "My Cardboard Lover". I was not as interested in the evening gowns as I was in the lounging gowns, the ones worn around the house like hers in this classic movie. Even their errand running day dresses were works of art.
I long to be able to experience a week in one of those big wonderful penthouses that were plush with fur rugs and floral sofas. I would enjoy the luxury conveyed by the women who were home all day with maids and butlers doing the mundane chores of living. Just a week of having nothing to do but pick out one of those beautiful gowns after a hour long bath to get ready for evening cocktails as the husband comes through the door would be luxury at it's best.
Joan Fontain in "Rebbecca" did not know how good she had it with a house or should I say a castle to roam around in all day. I always wanted to live in a house that had a name. Why, I don't know, it just sounds so intriguing. Joan Crawford worked her way up to riches in "Mildred Pierce", but she never stopped long enough to enjoy it. Mildred Pierce was one of the few women of that day in a movie that was not presented as a kept and sheltered ornament. Women were mostly displayed on the screen as delicate beautiful beings that cried at the drop of a hat.
My Top Ten Rainy Afternoon Movies Are:
1. "Topper," you can get lost in that beautiful furnished mansion on the cliffs overlooking the ocean.
2. "Bringing Up Baby," the country "cottage" has the most beautiful country home furnishings
3. "The Philadelphia Story" - The house with it's rambling country rooms.
4. "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" - the country setting in Connecticut, breathtaking.
5. "Suspension" - Another Huge Cottage on the cliffs
( OK, I sense a Cary Grant theme going here, but really folks, it is the background I love)
6. "Her Cardboard Lover" - the gowns (night gowns) that Norma Sheerer wears steal the scenes.
7. "The Divorce"- clothes and a luxurious apartment.
8. "Mildred Pearce" -home furnishings.
9. Father of the Bride - (the original) the house and furnishings
10. "Holiday Inn"- the New England winter scenery is the best.
A little known fact about "Holiday Inn": This is the movie that Bing Cosby sang "White Christmas" in. He did not sing it in the movie, "White Christmas". This makes a good trivia question.
I watch these movies because of the beautiful homes, furnishings, and scenery they offer. I also love the eloquent clothes. I enjoy the stories and the acting, but I get so much more out of these old black and white offerings that are found around the set. I watch them over and over and scout the scenes for something I haven't seen before. In the movie "Edward, My Son", there is a desk that I would love to get my hands on. Next time you watch one of these golden oldies, take notice of what is displayed in the background or the detail of the bead work of one of those gowns.