Saturday, 9 February 2013

Why Watch Old Movies with Children?

There are always people who bring up the question why this and why that. Fortunately, the reasons to watch old movies with children are quite simple.

The first reason is that it is worth an effort to show them. If you do not, they may think that all movies are with sound, all movies are in colour, or worse, that all movies are animated. That blows a disservice and dishonour to the first twenty-five years of cinema and movies.

The second reason is that there is less need for parents' guidance in old movies. Just peek at the parent’s guide section for each title and you will know what I mean. There would be usually less than three instances of kissing, drinking, adultery or violence. In comparison, today's movies contain more foul language. And if you look at today’s offerings at the cinema, many movies have ratings like NC16 or M18 or R21 or at least PG-13 or PG. Let me give you an example. There is a known difference between the 2005 King Kong and the 1933 version. The 2005 version is rated PG-13. it is super-gory and a straight horror film without being an adventure flick. The 1933 version is rated PG, and with its rather unbelievable special effects, this version might actually be a better movie to watch for today’s generation. In addition, if the 1933 version did not exist, the 2005 or the Mia Farrow versions would not have existed too, nor would 1949’s Mighty Joe Young.

The third reason is that it is worth an effort to show classic treasures of cinema. Many of them are works of art that inspired other film makers and story tellers. If it is "The Sweet Smell of Success" (1957), you could say that the Singapore TV series Zero Hero swiped its title and parodied it as the "stinky smell of success". Or if it is W.C. Fields’ classic last film "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break" (1941), you could say Mel Brooks swiped the title as his tagline when he made the movie "Blazing Saddles".

Lastly, and equally importantly, we can learn so much about history from watching old movies.  Not just about historical events like World War I, World War II and the Great Depression, but also about how people think, speak and dress during those eras.

If you would like to know more about the history of the cinema, do check out my post here.

I hope I can inspire you to watch one of the old movies on my blog!


  1. Absolutely, all your explanations about why we should show ancient movies to our children are 100 % right. I do agree with you and that's also what I do. My grandchildren and I spend very pleasant moments together doing so !

  2. Thank you for your kind comment and for visiting my blog. My grandparents and I have a good time watching oldies together as well. We watch films of all kinds - including animation, comedies, etc. Sometimes they share life experiences with me as well.

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