How I Came to Love the Classics
by Patricia Goldberg, age 48
February 20, 2000
My name is Patricia Goldberg. I am 48 years old and I live in Israel on a
kibbutz. I am French but I have been living here for 19 years now .
I grew up in France. I was eight years old when television came to our
home. This was in 1959. At the beginning there was only news and a few game
shows, but slowly French television started to show American movies – and
especially old ones. So me and my siblings grew up with American movies, and
watching them was the thing I liked best. I can say today that I still
enjoy seeing them again and again.
The greatest punishment for me was not to be allowed to see a movie on TV.
The films I liked then and the films I like now are very different. Then, and
until the age of 14, I liked the movies actors that everyone liked for their
good looks. Now, of course, I know better. Believe it or not, I never noticed Teresa
Wright in my youth. I discovered her only when I saw "Shadow
of a Doubt" again after many years.
Do not forget that on the French television and in the cinemas they
translate all the movies into French. So imagine Teresa
Wright, Gene Tierney
(whose voice is very special), Jean
Arthur, James Stewart or even James
Dean speaking French!!!! It’s too terrible. Here in Israel all the films
shown are in their original language.
Also do not forget that there were no video tapes until the '80s, so you
could not see these films whenever you wanted – you had to wait until they
came on TV or in the theatres in town.
The classic actors I like best now are: Montgomery
Clift, James Stewart, Marlon
Brando, Teresa Wright, Dana
Andrews, Gene Tierney, Vivien
Leigh, Spencer Tracy and Bette
My favorite directors are Elia
Kazan, William Wyler, Billy
Wilder, Ernst Lubitsh,
I could see "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir," "Casablanca,"
"The Best Years of Our Lives,"
"West Side Story,"
"Singin' In The Rain," "All
About Eve," "The Apartment," "Ben-Hur,"
and "Waterloo Bridge" a hundred times. I’ll never get tired of them.
I am jealous of the people that have never seen these film and still have the opportunity
to discover them for the first time. There are many other films I love,
especially David Lean and Noel
Coward's films together.
In Israel the classics are not as popular as they are in France because
television came here very late (in the late '60s!), and people here did not have
much money in the fifties to go to the movies as much as they wanted. Israel is
a new country, so I do not have much opportunity to speak of the old films with
people of my age or younger. Fortunately I have my family in France and
we exchange our views on films each time we speak.
(Please send your comments about this article to its author,
Patricia Goldberg, at email@example.com.
© 2000 Patricia Goldberg
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