26 Jun 2017
Television and movies were a huge part of my childhood. They framed my life, exposed me to a bigger world and simply captivated me. From Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and Audrey to Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne, and – of course – Natalie Wood, Doris Day and Rock Hudson. I loved them all. In black and white, in color. On the big screen or the small. There are simply too many movies to recount, but the ones that come instantly to mind: The Philadelphia Story, His Girl Friday, All About Eve, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Laura, It Happened One Night. Jimmy Stewart in Hitchcock’s Rear Window, even Bye Bye Birdie had me hooked. The range was wide. The list long. My infatuation ran deep.
Amongst the many I watched – one, two, even three or four times – was actually one that should have been forgettable. But I haven’t forgotten the story of Isadora Duncan, a celebrated dancer in the early 1900s who led a glamorous but very tragic life, losing two young children and then dying herself in a bizarre incident. She was a passenger in a convertible sports car when the long flowing scarf she was wearing became entangled in the wheels of the car; she died of strangulation. The story was told in a 1968 film starring Vanessa Redgrave. (In the movie version, per my recollection, the scarf somehow wraps around the steering wheel instead of the wheels of the car, but is equally deadly.) While writing this, I went on to YouTube and watched the trailer for the movie and was a bit confounded by my youthful obsession with it, especially with all the wonderful movies of the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.
Still, there was nothing like a rainy Sunday for settling in to an old favorite. Some worthy of remembering, others not so much.[Were you a fan of the old time stars and movies? What were/are your favorites?]