“Um…you have problems” was the response I got from my niece not long ago as I remarked favorably to a newspaper montage in an old movie, “that is just outstanding.” Staring at me as if I had several heads she reminded me, “that was a newspaper!” “No,” I replied, “that wasn’t just a newspaper. Newspapers were used in all manner of ways in classic film, as carefully crafted narrative tools…” But it was too late. Not only had I lost her, she was convinced I was out of my mind – or am, actually. I attempted to pick up our conversation, but couldn’t remember what we were talking about before the montage came on, a conversation that had nothing to do with the movie, which was simply on as background noise. Oh well.
So…perhaps I do have problems with newspapers in the movies, visceral reactions I have no control over. I just love them – as props, as livelihood, as script and story enhancers – whatever! You just can’t beat ’em. And those newspaper people! You know the ones – they spit out snappy dialogue and get to the heart of whatever matter’s at hand with style. I’m sure the entire world, excepting my niece, agrees with me so I’ve nothing to apologize for, but perhaps I do need to get them out of my system. Hence this post. Since I couldn’t find clips of newspaper montages here’s a wall dedicated to the newspaper in classic film, cartoons and television. That’s all. Just for fun and/or until I find a therapist.