In the previous post I talked about Hollywood's odd current string of ranty anti-war movies, which have all been summarily rejected by the larger audience. It occurs to me that finding a large audience for anything these days is increasingly problematic. We have so many more choices now than ever before. I can get to two large multiplexes with 15 screens apiece within 10 minutes of my house. I can see any number of different films, on any number of subjects. There are thousands of other films available on various DVDs at my local library, or the video store, or even from a box at McDonald's. I am part of a market niche that marketers can easily find. And they do.
While that's great, sometimes I wonder if finding a larger, broader audience is something anyone is really trying to do any more. In earlier years, the producers in Hollywood spent more time trying to find stories that would have more universal appeal. The ones that are especially well-done are a huge part of our cultural heritage. I would be willing to bet that nearly everyone who reads this blog has seen the movie that is pictured above. That movie, North by Northwest, is a grand entertainment from 1959. Nearly 50 years on, it still works beautifully. I showed it to my kids last year and they both loved it. While it's one of my all-time favorite movies, it's probably not even the best picture directed by Alfred Hitchcock. But it has all sorts of things that please audiences -- charismatic stars in Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason, taut, tense storytelling and some of the most famous set-pieces in movie history. It's just wonderful.
So here's a question for the audience of this blog. Actually, two questions.
1) What movies, meant for a larger audience, do you particularly enjoy? And,
2) Can you think of any movie made in the last decade that will be as beloved in fifty years as North by Northwest is now?
The floor is open.