Sunday, October 25, 2015

Time to say goodbye?

R.I.P. Maureen O'Hara (source)
It's happened once again: one of the few remaining actresses of the Golden Age of Hollywood has passed away and put the classic era of film one step further into the past. Maureen O'Hara has now joined a long list of actors who do not longer remain among us. Now, some will think something along the line of "How old was she? 95? But that´s a great age. She had a long life. And everyone has to die, so why are you sad?" 

To many people who admire classic actresses and love old films, that is not the point. We all know that nobody is immortal (though we would love to pretend some of those actors were - I don´t even want to think of Olivia De Havilland, because I am scared I might jinx the whole thing and she will leave us, too). The point why everyone is so sad about Maureen's death (besides her not being here anymore) is that a lot fear that this particular era of film that is so important, will start collecting dust and will be lost in oblivion. And that fear is real.

Unless you really are interested in film or in Classic Film in particular, you never ever hear of actresses like Myrna Loy, Ginger Rogers or Norma Shearer. A lof of young people nowadays are ignorant enough to believe that movies like all those comic adaptations are the best thing that has ever happened to film and think that anything that is older than 20 years and is black & white is unwatchable. That this notion is completely wrong is something we know. They don´t know what those stars went through, they don´t know the stories of those films, the plots, the issues they dealt with, that women played an especially important part in the early 1930s but apparently became too "dangerous" and that the Hays Code was inaugurated by a bunch of men because of that. The Hays Code did not stop movies from being as amazing as they were. Movie makers just became more subtle and more intelligent in bringing across their story. A lot of issues old movies dealt with back then are just as important to us now (of course, others have changed completely). There are so many aspects of old film people should be aware of, they could learn so much. But they simply don´t and with every star from that period who dies, those wonderful people and the films they made are one step further away. Gone with the wind, so to speak.

I don´t know how we can solve this problem and make more people aware of all this, we can just keep on trying, but the fact that it´s moving further into the past (and for a lot into oblivion) is just a very sad and depressing thought. All we can do is to try and keep that period alive and remind people of how great it was/ is, and infect them with the passion for it (please don´t be negative about it, don´t spread hate and jealousy but love, it's much more fun that way). And we need to do this because I cannot imagine a world without the beauty of Old Hollywood. So, a big thumbs up to all the movies and tv series that are making references to Old Hollywood - like The X-Files, Gilmore Girls or also Pretty Little Liars. Keep it alive, keep this era in the minds of people. Thank you!

PS: If you need any more reason to start spreading the Old Hollywood love instead of hate, just think of that list that "haunted" Tumblr a year ago or so. Look at the list and think of who you can strike out now. It´s quite a depressing outcome. I just copied a list (it´s not complete). As I said, the list is one year old and I didn´t change the age of the stars. I just struck out the ones who are not longer remaining among us:

Yes, I think the oldest is Olivia de Havilland which I’m all nervous about because she’s a doll and she just turned 98 this year and I think she’s the last of the 1930s stars now that Betty is gone :( There’s also: ·
  • Kim Novak (81) · 
  • Maureen O’Hara (93) · 
  • For some reason Kirk Douglas is still alive (97) · 
  • Queen Betty White (92) · 
  • My love Rita Moreno (82) · 
  • Christopher Lee is still making movies! (92) · 
  • One that never gets any Tumblr love is Glynis Johns, she’s fab and 90! · 
  • Eternal Eva Marie Saint is still in demand (90) · 
  • Doris Day (90) · 
  • Angela Lansbury (88) ·
  •  Dick Van Dike (88) · 
  • Jerry Lewis (88) · 
  • Director Mel Brooks (88) · 
  • Stud Sidney Poitier (87) - under strict instructions not to die · 
  • Sean Connery (83) · 
  • Harry Belafonte (87) · 
  • Roger Moore (86) · 
  • Christopher Plummer (84) · 
  • Tippi Hedren (84) · 
  • Gene Hackman (84) · 
  • Marni Nixon (84) · 
  • Joanne Woodward (84) · 
  • Clint Eastwood (84) · 
  • James Earl Jones (83) · 
  • Robert Duvall (83) · 
  • Leonard Nimoy (83) · 
  • Olympia Dukakis (83) · 
  • Leslie Caron (83) · 
  • Angie Dickinson (83) · 
  • Anita Ekberg (82) · 
  • Piper Laurie (82) · 
  • Debbie Reynolds (82) · 
  • Omar Sharif (82) 
  • There’s a lot in their 70s like Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Albert Finney etc who are also not allowed to die. This post made me feel better. ETA: I just realized that Betty was in the 40s not 30s. Too early not enough coffee 
  • Also Louis Jourdan (94) and William Shatner (83) John Gavin is also still kicking at 83. 
  • Luise Rainer is 104! 
  • Shirley Temple (85)
  • (HRH) Julie Andrews (80)
  • Maggie Smith (80)
  • Baby Peggy (96)
  • Ann Blyth (86)
  • Rod Taylor (85)
  • Sophia Loren (80)

Source: Tumblr

But now a quick word about our Irish lass: Thank you, Maureen, that we were lucky enough to know you and to be around when you were, thanks for your strength and your movies. You will be missed. Tell all the other great people up there that they are (almost all) greatly missed (you don´t have to tell this Clark Gable and John Barrymore though).


  1. Sadly, Mel Brooks isn't with us anymore either. His name needs to be crossed out too /:

    1. Really? I googled him and there it said he is still alive. :/