HELLO AMERICA!—Millions of cinema lovers are hungry for stories and characters that inspire them; ones which kept theatre audiences in tears, laughter and even inspired.
There are very few films that represent hope or a better life like: Mrs. Miniver, “Gone With the Wind,” “Singing in the Rain,” “American in Paris,” “Red Shoes,” “Ziegfield Follies,” “The Corn is Green,” “Dancing in the Dark,” “Imitation of Life,” “Pinky,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “The Al Jolson Story,” “The French Line,” “A Star is Born,” “Jezebel,” “All About Eve,” “Summer Stock,” “Quo Vadis,” and so many of the musicals which allowed you to believe that you, too, could reach the heights of the main star who attained his or her goals as an actor, musician, teacher or even a science of significance.
Judy Garland, Kate Hepburn, Mario Lanza, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Gene Kelly, Humphrey Bogart, Red Skelton, Groucho Marx, George Burns and Gracie, Vincent Minnelli, Alfred Hitchcock, Cecil B. DeMille, Richard Zanuck Jr, Joe Pasternak, to name a few, all made a difference in how we felt and thought about ourselves and the hopes and dreams of a world recovering from one war or another or some survival challenge which needed the support and input from all of us.
I am concentrating on old Hollywood because the films produced by the major studios served a tremendous purpose in giving so much hope to so many people who needed to believe there was a reason why they existed. Stories of those like themselves on the screen involving characters who struggled to make life better for themselves; searching for an open door or connect with someone powerful enough to help in realizing their dream as bonafide, significant artist. Judy Garland, Jane Withers, Mickey Rooney, Gene Nelson, Jane Powell and so many others. Of course, Garland proved to be outstanding musically as well as an actress. This is why she was quickly nominated for an Oscar for her moving performance in “A Star is Born” and why other actresses jumped at the chance for the remakes i.e., Barbra Streisand and now, Lady Gaga.
Sadly, many of the films marketed today are shallow stories, featuring boring actors who represent very little for an audience to be inspired with. Many of the current young screenwriters are deeply involved with so-called shock scenes with a character being filmed sitting on the toilet or doing something else which previously was so-called “X” rated.
Unfortunately, many of the filmmakers have very little concept of the history of this industry, nor do they have any genuine experience with life itself, when dealing with the hopes and dreams of a nation that is deep in emotional derangement when it comes to comedy, race, music or how far we have come as a nation in making it mean something.
Intellectually, we are suffering terribly, especially people of color. The so-called comedians are still pictured as buffoons, circus clowns or characters with very little class or intelligence. Even with the projected cable series highlighting black characters or stories are so stereotypical one is forced to have a drink in order to suffer through the crap being projected on the screen. Unfortunately, those involved as far as creating and then producing this trash believed this is the only way in getting the project noticed at the networks generally.
Therefore, young black actors genuinely believe if they don’t audition with a certain ghetto attitude or have a tint of the so-called look or sound when being considered for a job in a TV show or film, they won’t get a call-back. Unfortunately, they are right. YES, PEOPLE WE STILL HAVE A HELLUVA LONG WAY TO GO!