Monday, June 23, 2008

How Cultured Are You?

I watched the 1973 film “American Graffiti” again last night, this time as a mother. I was flabbergasted that no adult found it odd that all these teenagers were out cruising around town all night in 1963.

Then there were a couple of scenes where teenagers became marooned but managed to survive and meet up with their buddies without cell phones. That shocked my children.

We were watching "American Graffiti" as part of our quest to view as many film classics as possible this summer, inspired by an earlier English assignment for No. 2 son in which the teacher wrote:

I am often surprised by the number of important films people have NOT seen. Many of the films selected for this assignment have become a part of our culture and are classics in the same sense that many of the novels and plays you have read are classics in literature.”

So, in an effort to “get culture,” we’re watching classic movies borrowed from the local library like "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Dr. Strangelove. " It's surprising how many of the themes are still relevant today and repeated in current films, although not done nearly as well.

How many films on this list have you seen and loved? Can you name any movies that should be added to the list?


A Little Guitar said...

my total was pretty low so i'm not going to mention it. plus, i'm pretty certain i couldnt get our kids to watch any of those movies because none star adam sandler or jack black.

LizzyBeth said...

Love the old movies - since I have been getting Netflix, I have been enjoying movies like The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, Streetcar Named Desire, Love Story, The Way We Were and Midnight Cowboy just to name a few. The PG rating system back then would not fly today. I raised an eyebrow a few time when watching Midnight Cowboy!

Rosemary Harris said...

Second time trying to leave this comment, but this was such a fun post...I've seen every movie on your list except for Raise the Red Lantern..but thanks for reminding me about that one. It does stun me sometimes when I make a cultural reference that I think is pretty basic and someone I think should get it, doesn't it. Seriously, how can you trust someone who doesn't know who Bette Davis was?

My additions to your list..?
Bonnie & Clyde
12 Angry Men
It's a Wonderful Life
Now Voyager
The Women
Raging Bull
The Magnificent Seven
The Best Years of Our Lives
To Sir With Love
Inherit the Wind

..better stop now and give someone else a chance..