Sunday, December 28, 2008
Old Western Movies and TV Shows
Year’s End is traditionally a time of looking back, assessing not only the past year but the years of one’s life in general.
One of my favorite observations is that “Age doesn’t necessarily bring wisdom, but it does provide perspective.” The more years an individual has seen, the better viewpoint is available. Well, I perhaps have a few more years on me than most current bloggers. Okay, maybe a few more DECADES. I kind of enjoy it.
Old friend and coworker Robert Powell passed along a flash movie file called Those Old Westerns which provides a fascinating look back along the happy trails of my youth. Watch it now, or read my scribbling and THEN take a look. Do yourself a favor and spend the few minutes to watch the entire presentation. And make sure your volume is set to hear the accompanying music.
Western movies were a BIG deal when I was a kid. I was just a touch too young to recall the first-run days of the Saturday afternoon matinees founded on the rush-produced two-reelers. Most of those, I saw on a series of old, snowy, black-and-white television screens. Oh, I saw my share of Saturday flicks, too, and was enthralled by them. In the ensuing few years, there were literally dozens of western-themed television series advancing the cowboy culture ideal over the then-new medium. But TV did NOT replace the western on the movie screen, but rather was a valuable adjunct.
I believe one of the main meanings behind the site linked above is the reminder of the core values of that simpler, happier era. It’s hard to say if those films were primarily responsible for instilling the basic principles of the age in my malleable mind. I think not entirely. I learned much -- often without being aware of it -- from my family. Rather, I think the movies provided a backdrop, a visual aid, illustrating how strength, self-reliance, honesty, and loyalty would see us through in the face of adversity. Those western guys INSPIRED us, as did the all-too-few staunch, strong-willed female stars alongside ’em.
Anyhow, without going TOO far into this hip-pocket philosophizing, I submit the presentation. It was a valuable reminder of the kinder, gentler days of yesteryear. I enjoyed the look at the names of the heroes and villains. Some of them are as well remembered and timeless as John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart. Others evoke a striking, “Oh yeah! I remember HIM.” And all too many were not recalled at all, simply providing a backdrop against which my favorites would perform.
Year-end nostalgia. Wallow in it. I did, and enjoyed every minute of it.