Crude Not

Monday, July 11, 2022

I’ve a lifetime fascination with movies. Hollywood produced many musicals that I loved and still do. The studios didn’t produce many non-musicals that particularly interested me. It were foreign offerings that taught me to see, feel, and understand films. They usually appeared in “art theaters” and still today might represent cinema-making’s most creative years.

Enough of that now, because comparing filming styles and artistic technique is a huge discussion. It’s not possible to speak with justice of artistic styles within a quick blog. Today’s technology lets us discover. We can stream old movies and be transported back in time.

The Criterion Channel and other venues are reminding me of films maybe worth watching again. While not a huge fan of Hollywood productions, there are titles emerging that deserve attention and accolades. I remember one from 1973, entitled “Oklahoma Crude,” directed by Stanley Kramer, written by Marc Norman, and acted superbly by Faye Dunaway, George C. Scott, Jack Palance, and John Mills.

I didn’t watch “Oklahoma Crude” when it was new but years later saw it televised. I remember being struck by the fine directing and acting, and the excellent, memorable script. The film’s spoken ending consists of a single word, spoken by Dunaway’s character. The word is astonishingly clever, summarizing the story’s action and firing up imagining the possibilities ahead.

I won’t reveal the word. It’s most valuable being heard in context.

Dear Friends: There’s likely value to be found by re-exploring old Hollywood. Diana

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