To begin, I saw two fabulous old films. Both were recommendations from Netflix, so I think their computer-generated understanding of my viewing preferences is improving. Score one for the profilers.
First, I saw Wait Until Dark, a great thriller with perfect performances from all its leads. With the majority of the action taking place in an apartment, the movie makes excellent use of such a confined space. (I thought only Hitchcock could manage such a feat.) The plot builds perfectly towards its climax while we watch our blind protagonist realize more and more of the truth regarding her situation. The final few minutes of the film were sure to have a great impact on its initial audiences. If only I had seen this movie in a theater.
As I continued to see more and more classic movies, I knew it was only a matter of time before I saw The Heiress, and know why it won four Oscars. I now completely understand why Olivia de Havilland and Montgomery Cliff had such success. Everything in this movie worked for me despite that fact I didn't like a single character (as irrelevant as my personal viewpoint is). I was mesmerized by the perfect facial expressions on Miss Sloper as she is transformed from an ignorant, naive, and shy girl into a cold, cruel, and calculating woman.
Movies from the 40s, 50s, and 60s open up new worlds of thought for those who pay attention. I am always looking for another great movie to expand my understanding.