Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Movie Double Features

The double feature at a movie house has disappeared along with a reasonably sized box of popcorn and a travelogue featuring Lowell Thomas, however I still miss them and am always pleased to attend with the local film organization stages one of its special double feature nights.

Instead of the one first-run film with a second-run or "B" movie like I grew up on they will show two different versions of the same film. For example once I saw the 1954 classic (everything in 1954 is a classic since I was born that year) "Sabrina" followed by the 1995 version. Another evening featured the 1935 Clark Gable and Charles Lawton version of "Mutiny on the Bounty" followed by the revisionist 1984 "The Bounty" starring Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins. My favorite was a long evening that featured Kurosawa's 1954 classic (See what I mean?)
"Seven Sumarai" with John Sturges 1960's highly westernized "The Magnificent Seven."

It's been my experience that these evenings generate a lot of discussion about the films. Normally this hasn't resulted in simple declarations of which movie was better, but instead seeing the movies this way provokes thought and comparisons that bring out aspects of the film one might have missed if you had watched the movies separately.

You may wonder what brought this to my mind. I recently saw and reviewed "The Messenger," the 1999 film version of the story of Joan of Arc and found myself wanting to see the Victor Fleming's 1949 version of "Joan of Arc" that starred Ingrid Bergman. Unfortunately I don't have a copy available, but I've add it to my movie list and would love to do a double screening. I suggest you put together a list of your own makes and remakes and spend a nice evening with your favorite movie partner and watch them both. If you think of any pairs of movies you'd like to share, post a comment. I'd love to hear your ideas.

Who knows maybe you can even scare up a Road Runner Cartoon. Enjoy!

Take care and say "excuse me all the way."
-The Rapidly Aging Baby Boomer