A Film Buff's Background

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I Love Silents - Silent Movies

1. I always have a great day when I can watch movies ALL day long (and I love marathons, whether it be all day of Laurel and Hardy, or even a whole day of Twilight Zone episodes.)

2. Around 1977, 1978 (when I was just sixteen to seventeen and a senior in high school) I first started to become seriously interested in old movies. I remember seeing That's Entertainment with my dad and asking him "who's that?, who's that?" etc. for all the actors in the clips. I watched all the great musical numbers and decided I wanted to see these movies for myself.

3. During my summer and winter breaks when I was in college I really would sometimes watch movies all day long - six, eight movies a day (gee, I wish I had the time to do that now). There were SO many movies that I was seeing for the first time then - so fun. I used to tape old movies (which mainly at that time were shown in the middle of the night, heavily cut and disrupted by *numerous* and lengthy Cal Worthington used car lot commericals) on our brand new Betamax that my dad got about 1979. I would tape each night - then watch the next day. Sometimes I would stay up for something I wanted to save, and cut out the commericials with the pause button while I drowsily tried to stay awake.

4. About 1980 or so, when our local PBS station showed the Kevin Brownlow documentary about the silent era - Hollywood - that really started to get me interested in silents. Seeing all the clips from all those great silent films, with the music by Carl Davis, made all the movies look so good - I wanted to see them all.

5. The first silent film I ever saw (aside from very scratchy old Chaplin films and other shorts they used to show at Shakey's Pizza Parlour years ago) was Harold Lloyd in The Kid Brother - a cut-up version screened on my local PBS November 17, 1979. (How do I remember the date you may ask: 'cause I actually marked it down in my now dog-earred copy of Our Gang: The Life and Times of the Little Rascals, next to the photo of Jackie Condon with Harold Lloyd taken during the filming of the movie.) I was eighteen years old.

6. When I was in my 20s I used to stay up reading in bed with a stack of my movie books next to me on the bed, switching between books 'til 3 in the morning.

7. In the old days, my dad used to tell his friends that "If there was a fire or earthquake and we had to make a quick escape, my daughter would save her collection of movie tapes first, then if there was still time she would save the cat." Ha - NOT true - I would never not rescue a kitty!

8. I once stayed awake for a whole two-plus day Buster Keaton marathon that was on TV, so I could tape all the movies and shorts - which involved switching tapes when full, and stopping each tape between movies so as to not have "extra" stuff filling my tape. I became so sleepy I started drowsing during movies trying to wake myself up when the tape needed to be changed. I got the flu a few days later.

9. I have used the Harold Lloyd movie Safety Last as a "first silent" for several different boyfriends in the past - in an attempt to convert them into "liking" silent movies. I figure this: it's a really funny movie so who wouldn't like it - plus, everyone has seen the picture of Harold hanging from the clock, so they maybe won't be "scared" to see the movie. It never really worked so far as making a new fan - BUT everyone I have screened the movie for has liked it.

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