Ten things I rather like about old movies (without taking into consideration anything as superfluous as good acting, writing or cinematography):
1. Screaming newspapers headlines and screaming newsboys screaming the newspaper headlines.
2. Calendar pages that drop off like autumn leaves to show the passage of time. I watch my calendar on the wall, but this never happens. Except one time, when the thumbtack was loose and the entire year crashed to the floor at once. It was quite unnerving.
3. A song or music theme running all through the movie until you are sick of it.
4. Bell boys. I think it’s the uniform.
5. “Buy War Bonds At This Theater” at the end of a film. One wonders had we been relentlessly pestered to buy U.S. Savings bonds these last several years if our government deficit would have decreased a bit and our personal savings increased a bit.
6. Crashing waves, fireworks, or a quick fade to black to suggest sexual desire or consummation. During the years of the Production Code we needed some kind of subversive clue. To this day, I cannot watch fireworks without chuckling.
7. Candlestick telephones on the office desk.
8. Character actors, most of whom had a lot more experience than the biggest stars.
9. No matter how many times the private detective gets beat up, he always goes back for more. I would have chucked it in for a nice cozy job at the McDonald’s drive-through window the first time somebody beat me senseless and stepped all over my Fedora.