By BOB BILLETER
The Film "Noah" Disappointed Me
I've always been a big fan of movies. This is understandable because movies were in their infancy at the same time I was. My dad, mom and I lived in Clarksburg in the early 1930s when the talkies were starting to appear. Movies were inexpensive entertainment, as they are today, and my mother took me to matinees. So I got hooked at an early age.
In the period since—80 years or more—I have tried to see most of the great films. At different times I have seen lists that experts consider the top 50 or 100 films and I have discovered that I have seen most of them. Also I have tried to see the ones I missed.
I used to love the drive-in theaters and I am sad that they have almost become a thing of the past. I enjoyed going to a drive-in on Saturday night and seeing a movie with the family. I would look forward all week to these excursions.
When I was 22, that was back in 1948, I lived in New York City for a few months and I spent a considerable amount of time in the dozens of theaters there seeing some of the classic movies that I had missed. There were also theaters there that showed foreign films and I saw many of those. I miss going to the movies.
Now I only go to one or two films a year. So many films today seem to be aimed at young people and I am not a great fan of most of them.
However, a few days ago my wife and I did go to see "Noah." This, of course, is a film about the man in the Old Testament who built the ark when he learned that God was going to destroy the world with water.
I am sorry to say that I didn't enjoy "Noah" very much. There was so much noise in the film at times that I missed some of the dialogue. This was a real problem for me and it is one that I have had in several films I have gone to see in recent years. I don't quite understand why the noise level in today's films has to be that high. Of course the story of Noah is an interesting one but I already knew the plot. I'm sure this was a factor in my not enjoying the film more than I did.
Some of my favorite films are "Cabaret" and many of the old musicals, the Clark Gable version of "Mutiny on the Bounty", the Jeanette McDonald films, "West Side Story", "Casablanca." There have been so many great films.
I doubt if there has been an influence in American life in the past 75 years that has influenced the American people more than films. This fact scares me sometimes because I'm sure some of the films, especially the more violent ones, have influenced us in negative ways. I feel sure, for instance, that there have been films that have made heroes of gangsters and some young people have been influenced by them and have turned to crime.
But films have also been good influences on our society. In most films, the bad guys lose and the good guys win. In most films the guy with good character gets the beautiful girl who is also being romanced by a guy who has questionable character. "Gone with the Wind" was one of the great films, of course. Recently it was shown, on TCM I believe. I had seen it several times but there was little of much interest on TV that night so I somewhat reluctantly watched it again. I saw many interesting things in the film that I had missed in the previous viewings.
I hope that a new film technology will be developed one of these days in the future and that movies will make a dramatic comeback. That would be great, wouldn't it?