When I’m in the middle of writing a book I rarely read. I save up all that lovely reading time for when the book is done and off with my editor and the reading for pleasure is my reward. I do, however, watch movies. Somehow, watching movies helps my muse and keeps my creativity ticking over. And my favourite movies to watch are old classics from the halcyon days of Hollywood. While working on my current wip I’ve watched some fabulous old films – like The Two Mrs Carroll’s with Barbara Stanwyck and an eerily creepy Humphrey Bogart; One of my favourite's, Rebecca with Joan Fontaine and the mesmerizing Lawrence Olivier. Yesterday I watched Laura – one of my all time favourites – was there ever a more beautiful woman than Gene Tierney. The women in these movies ooze class and style and most of them have gumption by the bucketload - even in the case of poor Ms Stanwyck who's husband is tyrying to make her crazy. She never loses her spirit even as she comes perilously close to losing her mind.
There’s something dark and alluring about these old thrillers. There’s very little violence, only the occasional gun shot and never anything gruesome. But to me, there is a sense of menace that doesn’t seem to need the gratuitous violence of modern day films – the stories are told through the characters, through a turn of a head, (channelling Lauren Bacall) through a line of dialogue, through the music and clever camera angles, or a well placed scream from a heroine in peril. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I would much rather watch an old Hitchcock thriller than Wolf Creek.