I was born in the late 1950′s–a time when people were more trusting and generally easier to swindle.
If we read something in the newspaper, we believed it. If Walter Cronkite said it on the nightly news, it was true. If an authority figure told us something, we believed it. We were the human versions of Silly Putty.
Often, I hear lots of people in my generation refer to those days as “the good old days.” We remember our youths as simpler, less confusing times–as times when the future looked swell (if the Communists could be kept in line, which they practiced doing all the time).
The present was something we didn’t think too hard about, either, because we didn’t have to. All those authority figures did our thinking for us.
It wasn’t until we grew up and realized that maybe not everything we heard or read was exactly accurate.
Why am I even talking about this? Good question! I’m so glad I asked!
The other night, just for something different, Phil and I watched a 1956 Sci-Fi cult classic, Forbidden Planet. Maybe you’ve heard of it. I hadn’t. I’m not into Sci-Fi. Fi is fine; Sci, not so much.
This is the 1950′s poster advertising the movie.
Wow! This looks like a sinister movie. What is this evil space robot going to do with this obviously overcome and under-dressed blonde. There’s that mad-scientist looking dude off to the left with his shifty eyes and the obvious hero pointing a laser gun while holding his scared love interest. I mean, this movie has it all–it CINAMASCOPE COLOR!
Well, I don’t want to spoil the movie for you. It does a good enough job of doing that all on its own. But let me just show you a few still shots of the robot who isn’t quite the bad boy he is made out to be in this promo poster.
I can tell you without spoiling the movie that there is some kind of monster and lots of laser blasting. But the robot is more of a housekeeper, go-fer, handy-bot, and generally obedient pet than any malevolent pile of metal gone rogue.
So I learned a couple of lessons:
1. Even in “the good old days,” they weren’t being straight with us. Just to be perfectly clear, by “they” I mean “”them.” Come to think of it, they weren’t so forthright about all that racism and sexism that as going on back then, either…
2. Those old movies are really revealing–in the “socially significant” way, not the “wowza” way–to watch from the perspective I have today. They are fun to watch, too.
Have you watched any movies that have made you think any either silly or serious thoughts lately?