For every 1 classic film I watch, my mother watches 3. She's just the consumate consumer of old movies and she gave up Mexican telenovelas permanently to catch flicks on Turner Classic Movies. We both approach classic films in different ways. My mother watches, enjoys, discards and moves on to the next film. I, however, pore over minute details, do research and try to stretch out the film experience as much as I can. I think we both get different things out of classic films but bond over our mutual love for them.
So on Saturday I took my mom to Harvard Square, where we had a quick lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant and picked up coffee and macaroons at a new coffee joint. We headed over to the theater to pick up our tickets.
I directed my mom up to my favorite seats in the theater (balcony, last row, far right corner) and we did some pre-show bonding as she snacked on some popcorn.
When the lights dimmed, we were in for a treat. The Killers (1946) is an engrossing and suspenseful film noir. Burt Lancaster plays Swede, a former boxer and con artist who is killed by two hit men. Insurance investigator James Riordan (Edmond O'Brien) traces the complex trail of clues to piece together the events that led up to Swede's murder. Swede had been caught up with femme fatale Kitty Collins (Ava Gardner) and various other con artists in a heist that went terribly wrong, in the way that heists do in film noirs. I highly recommend this film to anyone who hasn't seen it yet.
Mom's reaction to the movie in her own words: It was good. Very suspenseful. It was interesting that they start with the murder and worked backwards.
After the film, we headed back to my car which required a subway trip outbound (parking in Harvard Square is a nightmare!). Funny enough, I saw my favorite T guy at the station. I introduced him to my mom and he was gracious enough to let us through for free! Come to find out, he's a big film fan and watches old movies on AMC and TCM! Us classic film fans are everywhere I guess.
If you live in the Boston area, make sure you check out The Brattle Theater if you haven't already done so. Here are some upcoming showings that film noir enthusiasts will want to see.
The Killers (1946) - 4 showings today Sunday April 18th
Criss Cross (1949) - 2 showings Tuesday April 21st
Phantom Lady (1944) - 2 showings Tuesday April 21st
The File on Thelma Jordan (1950) - 3 showings Thursday April 23rd