A few months ago I wrote about watching Casablanca in the movie theatre, and what a sublime event that was. Select theatres showed the classic because this year is the 70th anniversary of it’s release. Another great classic, Singin’ in the Rain is celebrating an anniversary, as well, it’s 60th.
It was brought back to select theatres for the viewing pleasure of those of us happy to be taken back to another place in time, or those who just want to see a movie much talked about and treasured through the years. It is widely considered the greatest musical in movie history. I would say it’s hard to argue with that sentiment. I’m a lover of musicals, they are fun and vibrant, and can make the gloomiest of days brighten and bloom. Singin’ in the Rain definitely does all these things. It makes me feel happy. It causes a tremor in my feet that makes them want to move across the floor. It brings a smile to my face and makes me want to burst out in song.
The first moment I saw/heard of The Artist, I had an overwhelming desire to see it. As a lover of silent films and classic movies, it was a no-brainer. I have written before, encouraging the viewing of silent films, for them to be given a chance in our age of technology, computer generated special effects, and, quite honestly, too many overproduced, mediocre movies.
With a flip of her hair, Rita Hayworth could drive scores of males wild. She was the “love goddess,” a pinup for military soldiers, and she was a presence on-screen that demanded attention.
I may get a lot of complaints, but there aren’t movie stars like her anymore. On screen she was almost always glamorous, to the point of it being unrealistic, but isn’t that what movies are about? Older movies are my favorites for a lot of different reasons, but one is because you know you’re watching a movie, it is an escape from reality, it is entertainment. In real life, Rita Hayworth was still gorgeous, but from what has been told she was very humble and shy, and not always decked out in elegant gowns and glamorous make up. It seems today, it’s the opposite with stars. In their movies they all play worn out characters, wear prosthetic noses or “ugliness,” and try and “nail reality,” but in real life they always look like an unattainable perfection. Personally, I prefer the way it was in Rita Hayworth’s time.
I want someone to surprise me in the kitchen with Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home To Me.” I want to silently move with someone to “And I Love You So” by Perry Como. I want Fred Astaire to serenade me with “Cheek to Cheek” while I sway with someone. I want to dance. More to the point, I want to slow dance.
If you’ve ever seen the movie Catch Me If You Can, you might recall the scene where Frank’s parents dance in the living room to Judy Garland singing “Embraceable You.” That is what I’m talking about.
The only partner dancing I’ve been privleged to partake in.
The best dancing I have done was with a little man. It was a tradition we had carried on for three-and-a-half years. He would run up to me on tip toes, arms stretched up, saying, “Boompa, Kimmie, boompa!” Boompa is what he called “our” song, “Papa Loves Mambo” by Perry Como. And you know, he’s the only man I’ve ever found who would dance with me to Perry Como. Hmph. He may have been a little man, but he was light years ahead of most grown men.
Outside of a spontaneous moment at home, I want to attend a dance. That may sound a bit juvenile, as if I’m waiting for Homecoming or the Prom, but I’m referring to those dances held in the community. Ones with a real band, not a DJ. Ones with tables to sit at having a drink and chatting with friends. A place where the songs range from those get-in-close songs to the pick-it-up-with-a-little-swing songs. These would be varying dances, the 1950s-60s to big bands, think Glenn Miller (Yes, you read that right, I said Glenn Miller!).