February 10, 2011

Dishin' DVDs: Teacher's Pet

As I'm sure you can tell from the titles of my books, I love old movies. Not all old movies. There are as many lousy old movies as there are lousy new movies. But some old movies are pure gold, and I made it a point to share those golden oldies with my kids as they grew up. My family is bit on roots, so there's not much that makes me sadder than to see people who have no real knowledge of the world in which their parents and grandparents lived.

Before she died, my grandmother talked for hours to my children about things they'll never experience for themselves: the first time my grandmother ever saw a car, for example. I've talked to them about the world before integration and women's rights. And I've also shared the cultural past with them, in books, movies, music, and anything else I can find.

One of my favorite old movies is Teacher's Pet, starring Clark Gable and Doris Day. Gable plays a hard-nosed newspaperman who believes in learning from the school of hard knocks. For reasons I can't remember at the moment, he is forced to take a journalism class from Day's character--the daughter of an award-winning reporter who believes in the value of education.

Gable has no use for education when it comes to writing a good story, but he is interested in his teacher. He assumes a false identity so she won't figure out that he's the grumpy old editor she despises.

It's a lot of fun, although I'm sure it also contains some pretty dated references. But, hey! if you can overlook crude humor and foul language to get through a movie produced today, surely you can overlook a little old-fashioned humor to enjoy a great comedy romp with two of Hollywood's greats.

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