Over the years I have written four letters to The New York Times.Two of them were published which shows that my view points were taken into consideration.

Monday, April 03, 2006

FOLLOW THE FLAMES: A User's Guide to Old Movies



I enjoy seeing old movies, particularly on TCM, where there are no commercials. I confess I remember many of these 50s (and even 40s) flicks from their original runs. It adds to their interest to see which actors and situations are still compelling...and which are laughable. Often compelling and laughable somehow are combined. The flame I refer to in 30s, 40s and 50s movies is, of course, cigarette smoking. While everyone is familiar with stars like Bette Davis using cigarettes as tools of passion, neurosis, anxiety or camaraderie...my favorite use of cigarettes is as an immediate identifier of villainy or evil. And nobody smoked with greater evil than Nazis in l940s movies. Their specialty was holding the cigarette in some peculiar way.. very deliberate and threatening...not in the casual, off-hand manner of Robert Mitchum or the eccentric manner of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. Do you suppose Gestapo headquarters offered a course in Nazi-style smoking?

Herbert Zohn

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the smoking piece and
never thought of it like that. Movies are why I started smoking at 13,
I think.
Lizzy - California

1:34 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the smoking piece and
never thought of it like that. Movies are why I started smoking at 13,
I think. lizzy - California

1:39 PM

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home