Hollywood-induced nostalgia

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mr. Jelly Belly and I love old movies. He loves a good John Wayne movie and I’m a sucker for Cary Grant. We both adore Jimmy Stewart and giggle like little kids at Rock Hudson and Doris Day.

There is a civility and class to the characters in those old movies that you just don’t see today. In real life or in the movies. Everyone is polite to a fault and, even when engaged in a heated argument, the insults are clever, amusing, and have relevance to the topic under discussion. And these arguments can be had without even once dropping the “f” bomb. Huh. Imagine that.

I am especially enamored of the way they are always dressed. As if they have someplace important to go. The women in their stylish dresses and the men always in a suit and tie - even if they are at a ball game.

And the hats! I love the hats! I enjoy looking at the women’s hats, but the men! Ooh la la…there is something about a man in a non-sports-isignia-bearing hat that is so classy and – dare I say it? - hot. We really need to start a movement to bring those back. But never indoors. That would be uncivilized.

I like the way the men all stand when a woman enters the room and the oh-so-obedient children with the good sense to be seen but not heard.

Watching these old movies and television shows makes us both feel nostalgic for a time that was never really ours. We were born at the tail end of an age where manners, politeness and doing unto others as you would have them do unto you were the norm, rather than the exception.

Gone are the days when married women didn’t work outside the home and men could look forward to retiring with a pension after being with the same employer for 40 years.

We are old enough to remember at least parts of these times. A time when doors were never locked and the entire neighborhood got dressed up and went to church every Sunday. A time when parents could give their children a dollar and send them off, alone, to the movies on a Saturday afternoon.

Our children have no concept of small neighborhood stores where the Mom and Pop owners knew their customers and their customers knew them. Our grandchildren will never know the freedom we had of leaving the house early on a summer morning to meet up with the other kids in the neighborhood - and only racing back home when it was time to eat…or when the streetlights came on.

Paul Simon claims “everything looks worse in black and white,” but I would have to disagree.
I know life couldn't possibly be as perfect as it seemed in those old movies…but I kind of like the illusion.

I will leave you with a little more Cary Grant eye candy, if you are so inclined. Sadly, he's only wearing a hat in one picture. Still hot.


Cyndi said...

I know what you mean...I watched Roman Holiday last week. :) Don't forget that every woman had a teeny tiny waist in those snazzy dresses.

Mrs. Jelly Belly said...

Oh my yes. If you've ever seen White Christmas, the one woman's waist is so freakishly small we're always concerned that she might snap in half while dancing.

Pam said...

I love the old movies too and for the same reasons.

And Cary Grant is yummy. :)

Tanya said...

My gosh we would get along great irl. I love old movies. I love the young Paul Newman (sexiest guy ever!), Cary Grant is great too, and am enthralled with the beauty and elegance of the women of that era. I want to be them! I just can't get over how small the waists are either. What the heck is the secret?

Mrs. Jelly Belly said...

Well they can't possibly eat. I don't think there's any room in there for internal organs. :)