Deep thoughts for Friday
Do you have plans for the weekend?
I will probably watch more episodes of The Rockford Files because I cannot get enough, it seems, of watching ol’ James Garner struggle in and out of that Firebird.
He tries gamely to make his aging athlete’s body do what he wants it to do, but the camera frequently catches him limping after some bad guy or another.
Well, I guess I can relate to the aging PI.
Anyway, I thought I would choose a movie with an aging hero in it for my Friday movie pick, but it’s not so easy to think of one! If you google “Movies about old people” or some variation on that theme, you get a list of terrible movies like On Golden Pond (1981)–the worst!
So here are a few suggestions of movies I like that feature an aging hero/heroine(s)–but no wimps or sentimental stereotypes:
Grumpy Old Men (1993) with Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon–a classic.
Gran Torino (2008) with Clint Eastwood as a snarling old badass. Darn good.
The Grey Fox (1982) with Richard Farnsworth in his first starring role at age 62–but good luck getting your hands on this one! I don’t think it has ever been released on DVD. Actually any movie with Richard Farnsworth would work in this category.
Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) with Jessica Tandy as the amazing Ninny Threadgoode.
Another along this line is Elizabeth Patterson as Miss Eunice Habersham in Intruder in the Dust (1949)–but then no one was better at writing old ladies than William Faulkner.
True Grit (1969) with John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn or Rooster Cogburn (1975) with both Wayne and Katharine Hepburn–both playing aging badasses.
Tom Horn (1980) with Steve McQueen in his last movie. This is a pretty sad one, because Steve was dying in real life and you can kind of tell. But it’s a good one, for sure.
Can you think of any others?
All of these oldsters make the forty-something Jim Rockford seem pretty young and with it in comparison. And me too.
Of course, if you prefer a more highbrow pursuit, you can read what Ralph Waldo Emerson had to say about Old Age here.
Have a good weekend!