The new old movies

McMurphy from Cuckoo's Nest
That Jaquandor fellow did this exercise: “For me, when I think of an ‘old movie’, my brain always defaults to Casablanca, which by the time of my awareness of its existence, had become a venerable classic movie. Now, when I was born, Casablanca was 29 years old. So here is a list of films that, as of this year, are as old as my brain’s canonical ‘old movie’.”

My problem is that my default ‘old’ movie was The African Queen (1951), only two years before I was born, because I saw it long afterwards. So the list generated would be too recent. I thought of 1939, but I’ve seen The Wizard of Oz so often, not to mention variations on it, it’s still new. So I finally decided on Birth of a Nation (1915); now that’s an old film.

1953-1915=38. 2013-38=1975

These are the movies of 1975, as old today as Birth of a Nation was when I was born:

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Tommy
Nashville
Love and Death
The Stepford Wives
Shampoo
Jaws
Dog Day Afternoon

Lots more, of course, but these jumped out at me as films that either reflected the era, or are timeless classics. And the latter two I’ve never seen.