A few days ago I took the train up to New York to see The Two Mrs. Carrolls on the big screen, as part of The Film Forum's Barbara Stanwyck festival. She's my favorite actress so I was beyond delighted to see how many of her lesser-known movies were being shown, and I had a pretty hard time deciding which ones to go see on my meager budget and busy schedule. I settled on The Two Mrs. Carrolls and Banjo on my Knee (which I'm seeing next week.)
The Two Mrs. Carrolls is an atmospheric, super creepy mystery that always gives me shivers whenever I watch it. Sadly I had the misfortune of sitting in an audience with moviegoers who couldn't appreciate the chilly charm of this classic thriller. Everyone kept laughing at things that were decidedly not funny. It happens so often whenever I venture into the world of classic film screenings and it breaks my heart every time. I can't tell if people intentionally go see old movies just to make fun of them, or if they're fans of modern action films and somehow mistakenly wandered into the wrong theater. You can't possibly be a classic movie fan and laugh at a mystery unless it's horribly bad (which this isn't.)
I've seen The Two Mrs. Carrolls countless times so this experience didn't color my opinion of the movie in the slightest, but unfortunately my brother was seeing it for the first time and said that he had a hard time concentrating on the film because he was so mad at our fellow moviegoers :( I'm going to lend him my dvd so he can have a proper watch at home on a dark stormy night. In the end I wonder if that's really the best way to view classic films, despite my constant desire to see them the way they were intended. It's difficult to enjoy a movie if you're surrounded by people who aren't. Or maybe I need to just limit myself to seeing comedies (but then I suppose I'll be upset if nobody laughs! ha!)
I'm going to the TCM Film Festival next year (yay!) and I'm hoping for a much better experience there since everyone attending will be a bona fide classic film fan. Maybe it'll make up for all the lousy theater experiences I've had over the last few years..
written by kate gabrielle