Classic But Boring Movies
In the comments section of a recent post about Andrew Sullivan’s movie reviews, I noted that
“2001 [A Space Odyssey]— is one of several movies—“Shane,” “Gone With the Wind,” and “High Noon” come immediately to mind—that are widely considered classics and yet I either disliked or found rather underwhelming even though I typically like films in those genres.
Having recently enjoyed “Casino Royale” in the theater, my wife and I watched the original James Bond flick, “Dr. No,” on DVD last night and were bored to tears. She’d never seen it and it had been perhaps twenty-five years since I had. Sean Connery was superb, of course, but the plot was so devoid of action that I could barely stay awake. And I was one of perhaps seven people who found the Timothy Dalton era films enjoyable.
Similarly, I’m a huge fan of the post-Singing Sandy John Wayne movies and yet don’t see what the fuss was about “Stagecoach,” widely considered one of the classic movies of all time. It’s not that it’s a bad movie; it just lacked the drama and character development of the ones he would make even four or five years later.
It’s not purely a function of era, either, as there are plenty of movies from the 1940s and especially 1950s that I find very enjoyable. Still, there is an amateurism and dullness to many so-called “classic” movies the critics assure us have stood the test of time.