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Old 06-09-2003, 07:11 AM   #16
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A classic to me is an old, boring, black and white movie.

Nah, Really I agree with almost exactly what Rhett said but I would say pre 1960 would be considered classic. I've always considered the classic forum to be all about the older movies, 40-50 years old.
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Old 07-20-2003, 07:56 AM   #17
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A 1966 Ford Mustang!
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Old 07-23-2003, 04:59 PM   #18
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Old 10-01-2003, 10:41 PM   #19
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I just watched PEEPING TOM last nite for the 1st time and, while I can just imagine it was outrageous in its day, time has not been kind to this classic, especially after you've seen something brutally modern like IRREVERSIBLE...if I NEVER watch that one again, it will be too soon...
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Old 11-19-2003, 10:27 PM   #20
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I'd say that a film to be a classic, it needs to stand the test of time.
I'd say give 'em 10-20 years at least.
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Old 01-08-2004, 03:02 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Rock
I just watched PEEPING TOM last nite for the 1st time and, while I can just imagine it was outrageous in its day, time has not been kind to this classic, especially after you've seen something brutally modern like IRREVERSIBLE...if I NEVER watch that one again, it will be too soon...
If you like Peeping Tom, try The Naked Kiss.
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Old 06-25-2004, 04:24 AM   #22
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Classics aren´t made; they escape.
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Old 07-15-2004, 08:12 PM   #23
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Reading the posts in this thread make me wonder if movies could be considered classics if they have certain actors in them. For example, things with Lon Chaney Snr in will almost certainly be classics due to the age of them, whereas some of Peter Cushing's later films (apart from a few of them being awful) may not appear as they did not come out until the '80's (although I don't think anyone would doubt that his seminal Hammer films are classics). Again, because Christopher Lee's career covers such a huge timespan, I wouldn't necessarily put his later stuff in, but those of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff would be naturals.

I do think that most of Hammer's '60's offerings (i.e. Brides of Dracula to Taste the Blood of Dracula) should be considered classics, judging on the criteria of age, production values and influence, but I wouldn't put something like Dracula AD 1972 (as much as I love the film in a perverse way) down as a classic.
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Old 11-13-2004, 11:22 AM   #24
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There seems to be conflicting definitions here in terms of what is a classic.

I'll define it as a movie that remains effective and emotionally absorbing over the decades. As I see it, the best horror films (or movies of any genre) are those that are character studies. It's vitally important that
the audience empathizes with the people in the story so that when terrifying things happen to them, they feel as if it's happening to them too. Thus, classics with timeless impact are films like "Psycho", "Night of the Living Dead", "The Exorcist" and "Carrie" since a great deal of the screen time was spent developing the characterizations. The shocks and gore scenes came out of the narrative and were not put in for mere effect.

Films that have not withstood the test of time artistically are pictures like "Friday the 13th". The reason is that they went solely for the shock effect of the moment which might have been fun in the eighties but seems rather tame now. Since characterization is scant or non-existent in these type of horror films, they lose their effectiveness and I don't consider them classics.

I don't agree that a classic is a picture that has a cultural impact. That, in itself, is of interest historically but is one of the factors that
tends to date movies for the long run. For example, you could say that
movies like "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" has tremendous cultural impact at the time but now seems very pretentious and 'much ado about nothing' now since attitudes have changed. In the horror genre, films like "Mark of the Devil" were considered shocking decades ago but today have special effects that are not that impressive and the story and chracterization are of no interest.

I'm not suggesting that the typical or formulaic slasher or gore film from the past is not worth a look and cannot be enjoyed as an 'antique' genre film but the term 'classic' should not be applied providing you agree that the word implies a film that falls into the category of cinematic art.

As I've stated in my two books, one of the problems I have will all post-1970 films is the poor color cinematography. Prior to the seventies, the use of color was an integral part of the narrative. You cannot discuss movies like "Vertigo" or "Bonnie and Clyde" without noting their unique color cinematography and thier impact on the story. In the seventies, the use of color tended to be functional. Today, I find most movies aesthetically ugly to watch with de-saturated color and fleshtones. It's certainly difficult to compare a movie like "Minority Report" with "2001: A Space Odyssey" and not note the quality difference in both the style of lighting and use of color. The latter is a work of art and the former looks like a murky dupe. The overall preponderance of de-saturated/bluish cinematography is so many current films makes me wonder if the cameramen are color blind.
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Old 01-21-2005, 09:59 PM   #25
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i prefer classics that are made by great film masters.

those classics that build up slowly to teh watcher, untill like a huge wave they crash on you.
Or in this case the viewer has a cold wave of shock wash down on them at teh prime grabbing point in it.

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Old 01-25-2005, 03:13 PM   #26
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To me it's:

A: Significant historical importance.......Birth of a Nation, Jazz Singer,

B: Changes Audience perception and film progression........Star Wars, Blood Feast, Frankenstein.
Torture...Torture...It pleasures me...
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Old 01-29-2005, 12:18 AM   #27
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Re-Penetrator is destined to be a classic....
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Old 09-07-2005, 10:31 PM   #28
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Simplicity in plot and some cinematographical (is that how you psell it) talent.
Its all about the spirit...Look at The Fog or Evil Dead....these movies have got the spirit in the setting and the vibe you get from the way its acted out. This is why I can come back to watching these movies many many times.
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Old 09-09-2005, 03:19 AM   #29
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I got to thinking about this question yesterday, to have a more personal definition of what makes a classic film.

I realized that all the films I consider classics are made up of distinct qualities. When I think of a classic I immediately think of those special qualities that make it great. Like everything that makes Dawn of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead and not just some zombie movie. You know a classic when you see one because it should go beyond being just another genre movie and stand alone in being great.

It's not the cultural impact that MAKES the classic. This just helps to establish the classic's STATUS. It's not the age that MAKES them either. There's always been mediocre films, it's just that most classic films have survived time because of what makes them great and we forget all the rehash. If the film is good because of it's distinctive qualities it will stand the test of time and be remembered.

A while back, a friend on the cultstitch.com message board asked why there is such a lack of possible classics nowdays and this is the exact reason. You can't make a classic or even a very good film when your just giving people the same tired ideas or this years hash.
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Old 09-09-2005, 06:32 AM   #30
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I think a film needs to stand the test of time to truly be considered a classic.''Classic" is a word tossed around lightly these days.People run out giggling after a movie with a big grin on their faces talking about how "that ones a classic !" Well......O.k.,you enjoyed it,thats great,but lets give it a little time.See it again.I've known people to drop a movie from "classic" status to "crap" in less than a month,sometimes in a week ,upon a second viewing !

If you can sit down and watch a film for the 10 or 20th time and still enjoy it just as much(if not more) than you did the first time,thats a good sign.If you remember it vividly,if your eyes light up at the mention of its' title a decade after you saw it.Thats a good sign.If it has elements that lesser pics break their necks scrambling to imitate,thats a very good sign.If it's original,you can bet your ass someones gonna try and steal from it !
Remember,this years hot ticket could be almost forgotten in two years,sometimes a film is very "of the moment" but looks badly dated soon after.The best of them,the true classics,cast a spell that lasts a lifetime.Box office isn't the sole measure of success,shelf life is longer lasting .
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