Intern Jacob put James Bond up against Jason Bourne in his blog earlier today. Which secret agent is cooler?
This started us on a conversation where he touted the newest Bond movie (which I’d had no desire to see until our conversation). Jacob says there’s a an aerial dogfight scene in the Bond movie. He was impressed.
I wasn’t having any of his late-to-the-party airplane talk so I opened Youtube and found the crop duster scene from Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest.” This is one of the finest action movies ever made… except this frenetic scene seems so tame by today’s standards. Youtube posted a 9:00 clip. The first five minutes was a yawner. The actual swooping crop duster wasn’t much better. I’m not sure it’s even up to the standards of 21st Century episodic TV.
This is so frustrating. Another “good old days” favorite knocked off by modern cinematic technique. Crap–it’s true. This seminal scene from “North by Northwest” is only astounding if you judge it by 1959 standards.
I remember hearing my parents talk about radio theater when I was growing up. I smiled and let them have their say knowing radio was never as good as what we then had. When they were listening in the 30s and 40s they couldn’t compare it to things that didn’t yet exist. By the time TV had come along they’d forgotten the specifics of the radio shows and only remembered how good they were in the abstract.
I had a similar conversation with my secretive friend in the San Fernando Valley this weekend. A new “Little Rascals” retrospective has been issued. Every movie Spankie and Alfalfa ever made on DVD in their original gritty black and white.
“Boring,” he said. “We watched it because that’s all that was on.”
Between my friend’s read on the Rascals and this crushing viewing of “North by Northwest,” I have become my parents. I hate when that happens.