Videocassettes

Films on Friday

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Now that the world has plunged into the second Friday of December, it's time to accept that it's no longer practical to keep the grill out.  Instead, maybe we should all concede that it's time to order pizza and cuddle on the sofa and watch a movie.  Movies are a big part of the American Treasure Tour - we have posters throughout the Music Room.  We even have a modest collection of videocassettes on display in the Toy Box.  One of the videos represented is the classic 1961 courtroom drama Judgement at Nuremberg starring Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, and a who's who of the cinematic world of the time. The film is a fictionalized telling of some of the 1947 trials of Germans who did horrible things to civilians during World War II.  Now, we're not pretending this is a light-hearted family film - it's most definitely not.  But it is an important film, such that it was added to the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." 

So, if you're looking for lighthearted, we might recommend other Spencer Tracy films, maybe 1949's Adam's Rib opposite Katherine Hepburn, or Father of the Bride from 1950. But if you're looking for important, challenging and thought provoking, Judgement at Nuremberg is definitely worth the time - all three hours of it.

Films on Friday

Once Upon A Time Ago, before the Millennials were born, there were only two ways people could watch movies.  The first was to go out to something called a theater and watch movies on the big screen.  There were no recliners in the theaters at that time, but people didn't mind.  They didn't know any better.  The second was to sit in front of a television and watch a movie on a commercial station.  That means the movie would be interrupted regularly with things called commercials - advertisements for things, services and restaurants you didn't realize you needed to experience prior to seeing the ad for them.  It was a strange time before cable, satellite, or home computers existed, and before there was a way to rent - or buy - movies.  Don't worry, kids. This was over forty years ago.  Since then, lots and lots of changes have happened.

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In fact, 1976 was the year VHS videocassettes were first introduced - those are generally black plastic rectangles with lots and lots of shiny stuff inside called tape.  If you wanted to ruin someone's day, you could pull the tape out of the cassette to see just how much there was.  Your mom and dad probably owned a bunch of videocassettes when they were your age.  We have a bunch of these "tapes" as they were more popularly called back in the day, here at the American Treasure Tour, but only a small sampling on display.  They're kind of in the background.  If you want to see them, look for the small green alien with the sign for Grovers Mill.  They're next to that guy.  VHS was the cheapest way to get movies until DVD's were introduced, but there were other formats in there, too.