It might not show from the movies I blog, but I consider myself to be mainly a lover of older cinema - black-and-white comedies from the 30s and 40s in particular, especially slapstick, screwball and musicals. I don't watch as many these because, basically, I watched all the good ones.
Joking of course. During the classic years between sound cinema and the break up of the studios, they made thousands of movies - about 10x as many per year as they do these days. I'll never run out of classics. And as for quality, well, they don't really have to be that good.
For example, Detective Kitty O'Day (1944). Snoopy secretary with slow boyfriend, boss gets murdered, suspected by the police (complete with dopey lieutenant), tries to solve mystery, keeps finding more bodies, lots of laughs. Over in 61 minutes. Strictly Poverty Row. Has very little going for it except star Jean Parker, who is easy on the eyes and fast with the patter. There is an attempt at an Old Dark House episode and a pretty decent skyscraper ledge chase. Otherwise massively forgettable - I don't think we'll bother with the sequel, The Adventures of Kitty O'Day.
Update - I forgot to mention that Kitty O'Day was directed by William "One-Shot" Beaudine (Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter)!
Or let's go the other way from Poverty Row, to Paramount Studios for 1950's Let's Dance with Fred Astaire and Betty Hutton. It starts with Betty and Fred as partners in a USO show in WWII, with a totally goofy Betty Hutton number. Betty splits up the act to marry a pilot.
Then, some years go by. Betty is now a war widow, living in a mansion with a son and a battle-axe wealthy mother-in-law. So she absconds with her son to try to make it in show biz in New York. There, we find Astaire hoofing in a cafe, but what he really wants is to be a financial advisor. The movie condemns him for wanting to give up a steady career in show business to become a fly-by-night banker.
So, will Fred and Betty get married, and will Betty be able to keep her boy out of the hands of the rich in-laws? More importantly, what kinds of musical numbers will we get in the meantime?
Sadly, not the best. The big set piece has them both dressed as cowboys, complaining that society folk on TV were taking over cowboy culture - or something. A song doesn't have to have a coherent premise, of course, but this is just a mess.
Finally, take The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown (1957), starring Jane Russell. She plays a stuck-up actress whose movie The Kidnapped Bride is just premiering when she is kidnapped for real by Ralpher Meeker (Kiss Me Deadly) and Keenan Wynn. They take her to a Malibu Beach hideout and entertain her - along with Meeker's parole officer, Fred Clark. Of course, she vamps them and falls in love, and they with her (although only Meeker gets the girl; Wynn is just a mug). There are a couple of nice touches from Adolphe Menjou as her producer and Una Merkel as her maid and confidante.
My main complaint is that Russell did not look very good at all in this movie, and not just in a fuzzy pink nightgown. Her face had a haggard look of glamour applied with a trowel. Meeker was less than charismatic as well, although Wynn was as lovable as ever. Ms. Spenser liked this a lot, at least.
So, three old movies, none of them classics. I had planned to make this another complaint about Netflix streaming - Sure, they have a lot of old movies, but they're all junk. But now that I'm at the end of the post, I've changed my mind. I'm glad that Netflix puts these out there. I'll probably keep watching them, possibly keep complaining about them, and maybe find one or two gems.
If you have any favorites, let me know.