Fiddling with Facade again kept it fresh in my mind this morning as I sipped my coffee, checked my e-mail on the laptop, and glanced every now and then at a movie on the television. Dreamboat, a 1952 movie starring Clifton Webb and Ginger Rogers (she for whom I was named when she played in some movie as a character named "Susu"), about a college English Lit professor and his very straight-laced daughter who finds out that her dad was once leading man in the old silent movies, one of which was Dreamboat.
Giggling at the presentations of the silent films–reenacted to flaunt their overdramatic, primitive filming methods, I realized that there is always a first attempt that wows mankind with its innovation that is later looked upon as rather crude and insubstantial compared to current media productions.
While I still hold the belief that some of these old films had more story than most of what Hollywood is putting out today–and that was their intent, not merely depending on flash and crash adventure but real story–I confirm also my enthusiasm with the attempts made in new directions such as that of Facade.
There’s no telling where this exploration will lead, and some day we’ll be giggling over today’s work and efforts and this is how it should be. But it also tells me that there is something enduring about the early movies otherwise they wouldn’t still be showing up on the tv screens.
I believe that element is story.
Ref: Dreamboat (1952) 67 AMC: Wednesday, August 31 7:00 AM
1952, NR, ***, 01:23, B & W, English, United States,
A professor (Clifton Webb) who used to be a screen swashbuckler sues his former leading lady (Ginger Rogers) for putting their films on TV.