8. Mulan has been moving up in the rankings. That’s because Mulan goes to war disguised as a man and “I think she was really brave to do that.” Besides, “I like Asian movies and pagodas.”
|"Is he strong? Listen, bud - he's got radioactive blood!"|
Our interview concluded, I thanked her for her time and she graciously pronounced it “the best interview ever."
One must remember that In those pre-television days the movie experience wasn’t repeatable. Movies weren’t tangible, enduring cultural artifacts like Captain Marvel or Joe Palooka comic books, to be collected, re-viewed, analyzed, and ranked. Movies were ephemera, like our radio shows which instantly vanished into the ether. A movie came around to your neighborhood for a few days and went away, to be viewed once and presumably never again. I suppose one could go back the next day and see a movie again - or see it first-run on Broadway and again months later in your neighborhood - but we never did that. Mom and Dad would have considered it a needless extravagance. In those days the very phrase “old movies” was one of derision. Even a movie just a year or two or three years old was considered an old movie. In the early days of television, 1949-50, I remember hearing Mom and others speak with disdain of the “old movies” recycled to fill sparse broadcast schedules. (Among the scorned “old movies” I discovered in TV’s early days were Ernst Lubitsch’s To Be or Not to Be with Jack Benny and Carole Lombard, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life long, long before it became a cult favorite, Zoltan Korda’s The Four Feathers with Ralph Richardson, and lots of Laurel and Hardy.)
Don't forget that in the 1940s with every double feature came a newsreel. Thus, by the time I was six, I had seen graphic footage of the liberation of the concentration camps and the aftermath of Hiroshima. Everybody saw it. Of course our young souls were shaken by what we saw, but we were not irreparably traumatized by it. Nowadays a kid can reach voting age without knowing what real-life (as opposed to science fiction) dictatorship looks like, what real-life genocide looks like, what real-life (as opposed to computer-generated) nuclear devastation looks like.