Why I like old movies

There are a lot of reasons, of course--nostalgia for a simpler, more virtuous time, quality stories, moral uprightness, wonderful actors.

But watching the original "Father of the Bride" with Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor last night for Friday Night Family Night, I was struck again with one of the very significant changes that has taken place in children and their relationship to their parents in our culture.

Throughout the movie, "Kay" was respectful and loving to her parents, trying to submit to their wisdom and keep the peace, quick to forgive and not hold a grudge, very connected relationally to them, especially her father.  No sassy talk or backtalk, no rebellious overtones in everything, no implications that her parents were the get-a-life dummies to be tolerated.  Even the young fiance showed the same basic respect and honor for his elders.

I've seen this in so many other old movies.  Two wonderful kid movies that come to mind are "Flicka" with Roddy McDowell (and it's sequel, "Thunderhead, Son of Flicka") and "Misty" with David Ladd.  Let me tell you, it's almost a shock to see their "Yes, sirs" and submissive hearts to their parents and grandparents.  Not to mention, deeply refreshing!

I could almost cry for the loss of this fundamental--and Godly--virtue in our society's family structure today.  It shows up in cocky independence that hides only thinly behind a veneer of niceness if it's demanded at home, school, on the job, or wherever.  The fruit is that we carry a basic suspicion about people.  We don't trust them, believing they really have a hidden agenda or attitude of scorn or mocking.  If you compare the old movies with the fare produced today, you see what has amply fed this downward spiral.

This whole idea makes a case for selective viewing, doesn't it?  I pray that these 'voices from the past' will continue to speak a better way to this generation.

That's my Saturday Soapbox!


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