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Joan Fontaine, Deborah Kerr, Esther Williams, Paul Newman, Jane Russell, Mickey Rooney. These are just some of the legendary stars we lost in the last 7 years. With few classic film stars left, what will happen once they have all passed? For someone who is a huge fan of the golden era, this is a frightening thought.
Many people today have no idea about the glitz and glamour, the scandal and mystery of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Without it, we would not have many of the great stars, studios and films presently. Many actors would still most likely be under strict studio contracts, not having nearly as much freedom as they do now. Women would not have as big a voice as they do, and the red carpet would still be more film less fashion.
With only a handful of Hollywood greats left including Lauren Bacall, Luise Rainer, Maureen O’Hara, Olivia de Havilland, Kirk Douglas, Sidney Poitier and Doris Day to keep these eras alive, will they diminish after the passing of the stars? After there are no Hollywood legends left, what next? Will their films be submerged into the depths of Hollywood, only to be seen once in a while? What will become the new “classic Hollywood”? Surely the stars of today are no match for the stars of yesterday. Will Turner Classic Movies start airing films from twenty years ago rather than sixty?
The main concern of those of the Old Hollywood fandom is that these greats will be forgotten, a memory of what Hollywood used to be. The films from 1920-1969 are ones that have helped shaped the films of today, helped change the censors, what is allowed to be shown and said on screen, how films are made, how actors are treated. Without the past, studio executives would still own everything, and actors would not have a choice in their work, and would probably still be put on suspension. The Golden Globe and Academy Awards, two of the biggest nights in the business, would not even exist if it wasn’t for the past generations of actors, producers, directors and writers. Every single person who was a part of the past has made some sort of contribution to films today, whether it be through their work or their words.
One can only hope that these key players will remain immortal in our eyes, will never be forgotten. As it is said, whenever a writer, director or cameraman falls in love with you, you shall live forever.