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Millennials Don’t Care About Old Movies, Article Claims. Prove It Wrong, Says I.

Millennials Don't Care About Old Movies, Article Claims. Prove It Wrong, Says I.

If you’re under the age of 30 and you love movies, I need you to do me a favor.

Last weekend in The Los Angeles Times, Neal Gabler wrote a story blaming your generation, under-thirty-types dubbed “millennials,” for the incredibly short gap between remakes like “The Amazing Spider-Man” and their predecessors. Young people, Gabler says, have “little use” for anything older than they are. That includes movies:

“[Millennials] don’t seem to think of movies as art the way so many boomers did. They think of them as fashion, and like fashion, movies have to be new and cool to warrant attention. Living in a world of the here-and-now, obsessed with whatever is current, kids seem no more interested in seeing their parents’ movies than they are in wearing their parents’ clothes. Indeed, novelty may be the new narcissism. It obliterates the past in the fascination with the present.”

For the moment, let’s put aside the matter of whether Gabler is blaming the cart for a lazy horse and focus instead on his evidence. He makes passing mention of an MTV survey, and he quotes a few academics who claim their students aren’t particularly engaged by old movies. In other words, he’s got plenty of old people’s observations about young people, but none from young people themselves. 

That’s where you come in.

As a movie blogger and podcaster, I interact daily with young film lovers. Some of the folks I talk with on Twitter, over email, or in the comments section here at Criticwire are working or aspiring critics, or men and women with advanced degrees in film studies. But a lot of them are amateur cinephiles with no experience and no training other than a brief lifetime watching movies on DVD, Blu-ray, and Netflix, who read and write about cinema out of pure, compulsive passion. 

Gabler says he’s less concerned with the attitudes of “fanatics” than “rank-and-file millennials” — although if that’s true I’m not sure why he based an entire article on the observations of cinema studies professors. Regardless, my equally anecdotal contention is that the line between the “fanatics” and the “rank-and-file” is blurrier than ever — and that on the whole millennials are far more movie literate than their reputation suggests.

If you agree, here’s what I want you to do: speak up in the comments section below. Tell Neal Gabler — who has written some fantastic books, by the way, including a great biography of Walt Disney — that you respectfully disagree with him. Tell him that thanks to your historically unprecedented access to media — including classic films  — you’re quickly becoming far more movie literate than your parents. Tell him you love old movies.

What if I’m wrong? As Peter Venkman said, if I’m wrong, nothing happens (I look a little stupider for having written this article, but I’m used to that). “The Amazing Spider-Man” gets rebooted in three years as “The Spectacular Spider-Man” and life goes on. But if I’m right, and we can stop this thing — this thing being the perception that young people are all a bunch of drooling, babbling, cellphone-obsessed morons — then maybe there really is some hope for the future of movies. I believe that there is.

Read more “Perspective: Millennials Seem to Have Little Use For Old Movies.” And please — PLEASE — leave a comment below.

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I’m 14 and I love older films, especially comedies.

Ghostbusters is my favorite film of all time, and Ghostbusters II is my second (I just watched it last night, it is way too underrated!)

I like all early SNL influenced comedy, but my favorites are easily every Bill Murray/Harold Ramis/Ivan Reitman combo.

As for drama my favorite film is Bullitt, the cinematography, editing, story, and score are amazing to this day (same with Ghostbusters.)

I like Dr. Strangelove, but 2001 A Space Odyssey not so much. It was hard to sit through such drawn out special effects shots of spaceships.

That last sentence makes it sound like I dislike older effects, so I’ll clarify, I much prefer Practical Effects over CGI, and these modern CGI heavy movies are often unbearable (think Avengers 2.)

My favorite sitcom is Seinfeld, but I also really like Married… With Children, Scrubs, and Wings.

I think the best decade for music was the sixties, by far. I wish I could’ve been at Woodstock!

The Reboot Ghostbusters trailer looks like the film has great potential, but like most reboots it looks like it won’t live up to the originals. The effects look impressive, but again I prefer Practical over more computerized effects.

Have I mentioned how much I like Ghostbusters? I was compelled to comment just because of you quoting Venkman. "We’re the best, we’re the beautiful, we’re the only, Ghostbusters!"

Everything I have listed might be too new, so if so I apologize. Still, I have a feeling I represent a very small percent of Millennials, and the majority of us probably don’t appreciate old films/TV/music (I hope I’m wrong on this.)

I feel film has a much nicer look than digital, and hope that they shot the new Ghostbusters on 35mm, or 65mm like The Hateful Eight.

When Hollywood updates old standards, such as using 48fps, CGI, or even speeds up editing in films (I’ve heard of films from last year with a two second average shot length) it makes older films harder for new generations to appreciate, which I think is really unfortunate. Think about it like this, when was the last time you watched a Silent Black and White film? If the standards are updated, movies shot in 24fps on 35mm film will become the next Silents and Black and Whites.

For prosperity, "Ray, if someone asks you if you’re a god, you say yes!" "I’m terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought." "Ungrateful little yuppie larva. After everything we did for this city." and "Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!"

Hate old movies

They’re right about that. Everytime I search up a movie list looking for similar movies, I run into a crap ton of pre-2000s films – I don’t want to see that (90% of these lists are old movies shksjhkash). I just want current, modern, non-black and white films that have great graphics and such.

It’s like games. Retro games are cool, yea. But when looking for games similar to call of duty: black ops III, having people recommend Doom (1993) and such is annoying.


I know my comment is almost 4 years too late, but I am also a 23 year old Millennial who is completely the opposite of what that gentleman depicts. I will say, what he says accurately describes most of the people my age that I know), unfortunately. Give me Natalie Wood, Vivien Leigh, Cary Grant, Lucille Ball, Jack Lemmon, Jimmy Stewart, etc and all of those other talented actors of an era which I think will never happen again. Nothing can compare to films such as Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Rebel Without a Cause, Love Story, etc!


im 26 and love lots of older movies, north by northwest is one of my favs and is an absolute cinema masterpiece


It’s true. The people commenting here would have to be interested in movies to even comment or they wouldn’t be on here, and if they we’re old movie haters, they wouldnt care enough to even read this. I’ve seen this phenomenon with people in their mid thirties, both film and TV and they are pathetic. pathetic I admit, some old is dated and corny but still better than the garbage


I am 21, close to turning 22. I can see his point (not saying he is correct) because most of my friends could care less about anything "old". However, I am a HUGE fan of "old" and predominantly hate anything new. My favorite movies include Gone with the Wind (#1!!!!), Rebel without a Cause, and To Catch a Thief among many other great classics. I love I Love Lucy, makes me laugh hysterically. I love movies from the 30s-90s and some 00s and some 10s but mainly the 30s-90s. I've been told I have an "old soul" and I feel I am better with it! I personally feel actors of older eras had more depth and are more believable than todays actors.

Kallen Munsan

He's not so far off. A lot of old movies are pretty boring. And a lot of the acting is mediocre. Seriously. I rarely watch anything older than the mid-80s and of those I rarely enjoy them. There's too much focus on being dramatic, not enough subtlety in emotions. There's a few realistic actors and actresses in the olden times, but for the most part, they're so incredibly unbelievable, they're unwatchable. And I know that a lot of the A-list actors have been around for some time and "made their start" way back when, but guess what? They've had time to grow and develop. I mean, I'm thankful that old movies exist so we can have the modern ones we have now, but that alone isn't enough to make them worthwhile by today's standards.

Tom Smith

>Tell Neal Gabler — who has written some fantastic books, by the way, including a great biography of Walt Disney — that you respectfully disagree with him.

But he's right. While there are always a small group of people who are the exception, the vast majority of young Millennials hate old movies. You may wish that wasn't the case, but that's REALITY.

Sean Hagens

I am 20 and while yes sometimes it does feel that way, I don't think it's true. I grew up loving movies. Granted the farther I look back in film history the less I have seen but I have seen a lot from 70's to now. I am rectifying this however, I just watched the original The Blob yesterday and thought it was great. Almost all of my favorite movies came out before I was born. I grew up watching Star Wars (P.S. Han shot first), Back to the future trilogy, E.T., Jaws and in my tween and teenage years I watched A LOT of 70's and 80's movies like The Terminator, Ghostbusters, Die Hard, Carrie, Exorcist, Halloween, Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, First Blood, Hellraiser(yeah you can tell I am a horror fan), Predator, Alien, Aliens. Most of my favorite films are before my birth like Empire Strikes Back, Back to the Future, Halloween, E.T., Rocky, Ghostbusters, Star Wars etc., etc. I will say it does annoy me when my friends refuse to watch a movie cause it's old, I mean it's there choice but they are missing out. Some of my friends do like old movies. I will say that I don't find movies cause they are "old" boring. To me I don't care when a movie comes out, that's not important to if a movie is good or not.

Aaron Hammond

I've already posted on this before, but to me, I think part of the problem with why this stereotype exists, and by extension why some members of our generation do feel this way is because of a narrative that says "old movies are boring and lame." Well, change the narrative. If someone can watch "The Wages of Fear" and not feel like their heart is in their mouth by the end of it, or watch "Citizen Kane," perhaps the most electric and purely entertaining film ever created, and find it "boring," then they have no pulse and they're dead anyway. I remember watching "His Girl Friday" in a journalism class in college. A lot of people groaned about watching it, but by the end, everyone LOVED it. Older movies are a different flavor than what we get today, but they're still can be as thrilling as anything we get this decade.

Marley Cornfield

Neil Gabler has stated that this generation, thirty years and younger of age, simply does not appreciate old movies, yet only new movies of "fashion." I would strongly disagree with Gabler on this statement. Not only have I been interested in old time films my parents have watched, but we have studied that classical hollywood films in class and they are very enjoyable. I won't disagree that I love the new "in fashion" movies, just like the revisionist error that we viewed in class. Gabler just seems full of himself and thinks he can put down other generations that he is simply not a part of; grow up.

Collin Keating

It seems that Neil Gabler has a classic case of Kids-These-Days Syndrome. He likes to hate on the new generation because of a misconceived perception that his generation was somehow better when, in all reality, it was not. Neal seems to think that his generation appreciates the "classics" much more than the millenials, but it is his generation that is responsible for the ever growing "reality" TV shows such as Pawn Stars, Hardcore Pawn, Storage Wars, and a whole list of other shows that are just rehashes of each other. I myself being a millenial, do appreciate a lot of older movies, but I do tend to judge them based on 21st century standards for film. I have seen Citizen Kane and agree that it is a great movie, but it is a challenge to get through the whole film. I feel that I am not alone in this sense either, as 19-year-olds in the 40's probably felt the same way I do. They would probably much rather see an action-packed crime drama or a thriller than sit down for 2 hours to watch Citizen Kane. All generations are the same, nothing has changed, get over it.

Elaina White

I think that Neil Gabler is wrong by saying that all “millenial” film lovers are only interested in whatever film is new or revisionist. Although I was less familiar with many of the classical Hollywood films that we watched in the beginning of the course, I still appreciated and enjoyed many of them. Although I did like the movies later in the course more, this was not because I thought they were not “current” and “revisionist”. I enjoyed the later films more because I related to the more recent movies more. Although I really loved watching Citizen Kane, I was confused by some of the references because it is an older film.

Jake McGuffog

I can honestly say that I am offended that a person can label the entire group of Millennials as a bunch of kids that do not care about old movies. Classics actually happen to be my favorite types of movies and I for the most part that is all I watch. My father loves showing me all the different types of movies that he grew up with and every movie he shows me, I thoroughly enjoy. Recently I just took a class at the University of Maryland where I viewed seven classic movies and seven revisionist films. I would much rather have just viewed the classic movies even though the revisionist films are more relevant to my time period. I agree with Singer in the fact that I think Gabler is out of line in stating that the Millennials do not appreciate a good classic!


As many other 18 year old college students, I love revisionist films. However, I disagree with Gabler's claim. I am a movie connoisseur, owning and loving films starting with one of the very first films, The Great American Train Robbery. I believe that many "millennials" would agree with me in saying that if not for classical film, new, high-tech revisionist films would not be around to keep younger audiences entertained. Although I do come across many younger people who would be bored with a black and white film, it is ridiculous to assume that all "millennials" are only interested in newer films.


I am an 18 year old college student who loves alot of older and classic films. However do agree to some extent with Neil Gabler, I do not think that new movies serve as a social status, or a way to market social networking profiles the way Gabler suggests, however I do find that I am in the minority amongst my peers, in that few of my friends are fans of many movies before the year 2000, and even fewer of them will willingly watch one that they haven't seen before and deemed acceptable. Over the past semester I have watched a variety of classic and revisionist films, and I must admit not all of the classics kept me particularly entertained, however I can also say the same for the modern films as well. There is a certain appeal to the younger generation for fast paced, vulgar and violent films, which is why alot of the films now a days contain alot of these aspects. My father, who is 55 years old, refuses to go the the movie theaters any more, claiming that they aren't as good as they usedd to be. Now I admit, the features I described earlier do appeal to my, but that doesn't mean I am opposed to movie without them. I think that as a whole the millennials are moving on from olders films, but I think we are also being pushed by the lazyness of Hollywood. Instead of putting our creative films with decent plots, there are lot films now that were probably barely thrown together in 10minutes and to attract audiences the director added explosions and sex scenes. If Hollywood took the time to start making decent films without all the fast pacced and mature themes, I'm sure that there would still be a crowd of millenials wanting to see it.


As an 18 year old college student, I strongly disagree with Gabler's assertion. I have watched a variety of both classic and revisionist films, and I can safely say that myself and many other so-called "millennials" realize that it is likely that the films at which we have marveled at in recent years would have never been made if not for the guidance and originality of classic Hollywood films. While classic films may not necessarily contain the visual appeal and be as attention-grabbing as modern-day films, these films contain genre conventions and plot structures that revolutionized the film industry, and set a precedent for the blockbuster films that we enjoy today. Recent box office hits such as "Avatar" would not have been possible without the innovations reached by classical science fiction films such as "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Furthermore, if watching classical films with an eye for plot quality and stylistic elements, one would realize that these films are equivalent, if not superior in quality to modern-day spectacles. Ultimately, it is incorrect to believe that millennials are blinded to the quality of classical films by the popularity of newer Hollywood successes.


SUCH bullshit. I came here to comment, because the LAT didn't seem to allow it. I'm a millennial who lives for old movies, has even read Gabler's books, etc. etc.

Now, I may be an outlier, but more broadly, this is the fucking obnoxious hipster generation we're talking about: "kids these days" have access to everything, old and new, with a click or two, and are serious diggers. They listen to vinyl, fetishize the Criterion Collection, and so on. You're so far off, damn you NEAAAAAAAL! (shakes fist)


In my experience "kids these days" have such shorter attention spans that they just can't handle the old scenes. Could you imagine a youngster – who taps away on the iphone all day, going from app to app – sitting through Tokyo Story or Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? If something doesn't blow up or get undressed, then nothing might as well be happening (rolling eyes).

Ryan Jackson

I like older movies because the always fell more real to me, where as the movies the I see today that are loaded down with special effects (yes even Avengers which I love very Much) just seem fake to me. Thats not to say new movies are bad, they just lack the feel of this old movie. But my generation will not accept them because they're old and boring.

John Muck

I am 26, I broke up with a girl at the age of 20 because she refused to watch anything that was not made in 2000+. I told her about the wonders and briliance of classic movies, however she told me I was lame. I broke up with here then and there. She cried and I walked out with my chin held high.


sorry for the shitty punctuation


i am under 30 years old and i love old movies

and i love them, because the internet gave me a chance to find and explore them

but my friends do not share the same passion :)


I'm 18 and from a working class background. My dad ignores all things cinema, my mum likes 60s/70s crime thrillers and certain Hepburn Wilder/Wyler pictures. My school-friends have typically no interest whatsoever. Firsthand have I experienced their ambivalence, boredom and even tooth-gnashing contempt for old/foreign flicks (even the smuggest, most middlebrow arthouse farts with them will find surprisingly little applause). But I don't care. I'm fine with watching what I want to watch.

I am here, however, to chronicle my two most notable attempts:

(1) Film Socialisme: I tricked a friend who'd heard about Breathless / Vivre Sa Vie / Band of Outsiders via the hipstersphere to watch this one. Suffice to say, her reaction was less than favourable – but none-the-less hilarious.

(2) Christmas in July: Perhaps the most underrated (and my personal favourite) film of Preston Sturges, I showed this to a friend in the morning following a late-night soirée at my house, while the others snoozed away unawares. She absolutely adored it. I'm not surprised in some ways, it's such a lovely movie.


There'll always be hope. I'm starting University soon. The few other students on my course I've spoken to are morons. I'm holding out, though, for a true partner in crime to watch pre-code Raoul Walsh movies with me all day long. I'll keep y'all updated.


I'm 26 and thanks to my mother, fell in love with old movies. I actually watch more old movies than new, especially because there are so many movies and directors that I missed the first time they came around.

In fact, most of my favourite movies are old. All About Eve, His Girl Friday, Night of the Hunter, The Thin Man, Some Like it Hot, 12 Angry Men for example.

I will say that it can be tough finding others who love old movies but that's why I go to the net. We're everywhere!

As for Mr. Gabler, people have always been about the 'next big thing' so I don't know why he feels that this is something new. Also, his quote that 'kids seem no more interested in seeing their parents' movies than they are in wearing their parents' clothes' is just strange. Was he interested in watching the movies his parents watched when he was a young man? Probably not.

Geez Neal. Why not give us a chance before judging us? Also, do he really think it was young people responsible for the Spiderman reboot? I'm pretty sure it was a bunch of old guys (perhaps people Neal's age) giving the green light when it came to funding the film. He might argue that they only remade the film to get more money out of young people. Well I can't help it if people are catering to our generation. I'm sure the silent generation did much the same for when baby boomers were coming of age. Did they get on Neal's case about the movies he watched or the music he listened to? Why doesn't Neal get off our backs and focus on educating his own kids instead of worrying about everyone else's. Don't worry about me Neal, my mom's got this. I've actually seen movies in black and white, I've seen silent movies and foreign language films. I'm going to be fine. Just, stop freaking out about my generation and worry about your own.


I'm 15 years old and I love classic films. I love them because through the years they don't seem to lose their essence. They remain as beautiful and captivating as when they first came out. And I would have to disagree with the comment stating that most of the younger generations is unable to see cinema as art. Films like Network, Paper Moon, American Beauty, Breathless, Casablanca, and Chinatown (and so on) are undeniably pieces of art.


At age 27 and the number of movies I've seen are easily in the 5-digit area. If you ask me which of those have floored me/ scarred me/ exhilarated me- almost none of them are of the past 10 or 15 years (with some notable exceptions like the movies of Dav id Fincher). You wanna know which? The Third Man. The Red Shoes. The Best Years of Our Lives. All About Eve. The Seventh Seal. The Nights of Cabiria. Network. Double Indemnity. Sunset Boulevard. Sullivan's Travels. The Petrified Forest. Fanny and Alexander. And of course, Casablanca.

So there you have it.

Chris Collier

I am the Director of Special Programs for two art house theaters outside of Philadelphia. That means I get to put together our rep series. It is a fun job, which pays dividends watching the house fill up with eager audiences to watch classic films on the big screen. We have been offering our classics free to ages 18 and under for the past three years. We have seen growing numbers of kids and families coming to share in the theater experience and having a blast watching great, classic films.

I just wrote up a post on our blog sharing Gabler's article and your response with our audience, as well as adding my take to the whole thing. ( I hope that it draws more people to comment and continue to answer your call that there are us Millennials out there who love classic film and enjoy spreading that enthusiasm.


Hi ,i am a 20 yeas old movies lover and i have my oppinion about this i would like you to read it. There i go.
There is always gonna be good movies. If you are a pasionate of movies, that doesn't mean that you can only watch the great dictator or blade runner or casa Blanca. I love movies almost professionally… But I also love comics and I dont have any problem if the keep making spiderman movies every single year for the rest of my life, actually I hope they will… Everything depends on the choices of people… It hurts to turn on the radio and listen pitbul gaining millions and take a look at Hollywood calendar and seeing twilight like one of the most popular movies, because you finally believe that people is going crazy and you are the only one who kep a good taste, but that is not the truth. We have good stuff around coming to us and we should enjoy and at the same time respect the market, because I am a deep lover of classic movies and intelligent stories but I keep thinking spiderman is fucking awesome maybe just because I love the caracter and the comic books, so perhaps that girl that gets crazy with vampires and wolf wares also diserve her movies about that. We are not alone guys


I'm 20. I don't love old films. Why? It's because I love film, in general. Films are essentially a series of still images that are accompanied with sound. These images capture moments in time; they capture moments of other worlds and universes, and even sometimes our own world. It doesn't matter when a film came out, it's still a film. It's still the telling of a story. One of my favorite films of all-time is THE THIN MAN. I don't care, at all, that it came out in 1934. What I care about is it's a fantastic, witty script that's entertaining and gave the world a great duo of Myrna Loy and William Powell. Just the other night I caught MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE. Does it matter it came out in '48? Nope. What matters is it's a charming film with a fun performance from Cary Grant.

Bah, this conversation frustrates me. It frustrates me that we have "old" movies and it frustrates me that someone wrote a boneheaded article thinking young folk don't like "old" movies.

I'm 20, I like "old" movies and anyone who thinks young people don't is an idiot. Done.


This is so true, but maybe not with 21 and over. I'm 17 and most of the people I know like what everybody else likes. They think "Death Race" or "The Avengers" or "Thor" as some of their favorite movies. It is so easy to please my generation, but I'm not falling for third rate tactics used by many studios. Many now just pirate movies or netflix it. Yeah, I'm sure you can stream Iron Man anywhere, but can you stream "Citizen Kane", "The 400 Blows", "Psycho", or "Chinatown" anywhere? No, only part of select distribution deals. I know my generation settles for way less and will like anything because Hollywood has set the bar so low. But I know that if I look for people just a few years older, they will have an appreciation for film like I do.


I strongly disagree with Neal Gabler. I'm 23 fresh out of college and am working at an entry level position at a major Hollywood studio. However, although I technically work in this industry, no major summer blockbuster has interested me one bit. Quite honestly I'm sick of the super hero thing. I just sent my ten bucks toward the film foundation to help restore All That Jazz. I appreciate cinema as a whole, no matter what year a film came out. Whether it's 400 Blows, Taxi Driver, Citizen Kane, or great films of today, like Terri or Cyrus, films should be enjoyed by everyone regardless of age. Excuse spelling errors, this was done on my phone.


I completely disagree with Neal Gabler. Im 28 and my boyfriend is 25, one of the things we love most is watching and discussing films both new and old. Yes we have been very excited about seeing the new Batman but equally we have loved going through our (massive) collection of films watching a few classics. Often when we talk about new films it leads to us talker about older films we love, making comparisons and discussing how movie styles have changed, technology, discussing great actors etc and this isn't just us, majority of our friends who range in age are very much the same.

Corey Atad

Movies are good shit. New movies. Old movies. Whatever. It's not too crazy to say that newer generations are less likely to steep themselves films from previous generations. It's always been like that. But pretty much everyone I know watched Wizard of Oz as children and think The Godfather is a great film and were surprised to fall for To Kill a Mockingbird in school. People tend to go for what's new, but it doesn't mean this generation is lost or stupid, and plenty of us watch and love old movies.


I'm a rank-and-file millennial (although on the older side of the generation at 27) and I disagree with Mr. Gabler. My favourite movie experience was a showing of The General, complete with live orchestra accompaniment. Millennials were well represented in that audience and other similar audiences I have been a part of. I am also a student of history and find it frustrating to hear the refrain "kids today are the worst ever" repeated as if it is the first time it has ever been said. Mr. Gabler, they probably even said it about your generation once.

Titania Plant

I'm a 21 year old about to start my Masters at the University of Toronto, with a focus on Classical Hollywood Cinema. To say that my favorite films are classics (from approximatley 1920 to 1960) would be an oversimplification. I love old films and will be one of the first people in line to say that the films being released today can't hold a candle. Back in the studio era, the talent was remarkable with spectacular actors, directors, even costume and set designers. When we consider the sheer volume of films being made in the Studio Era in Hollywood, it's amazing that so many still stand out as classics. Unfortunately, many of the films released in the last decade are too focused on the sheer spectacle of film. Things like 3D and computer graphics have been used to compensate for lesser talents and, while they may provide a cheap escapist experience for two hours, they are forgettable by comparison.

I do not mean to sound as callous as I do in this comment, but I am simply appalled to hear that an older man – not from this under-30 generation – is so confident that we no longer care about over half a century worth of films; films without which the modern films he thinks we much prefer would not exist.

I know that most people my age would discover some films they would really like – if they had the right advice. I have made it a personal mission of mine to encourage my generation – the 30-and-under gen – to watch classic films that they might otherwise deem irrelevant, boring, slow, etc. I write a personal blog under the pseudonym "Classic Flick Chick" and recommend essential classic films that I think everyone should see, with a bit of context and a bit of trivia. Hopefully you’ll discover some gems you didn’t know existed, with a stamp of approval from someone like you.

It looks like many people in these comments are already fans of older films, but if you're interested please feel free to check out my website: or find me on Twitter @classicflikchik.

Andrew M

I'm 16 and have to disagree with Mr. Gabler. I love the films of Kubrick, Kurosawa, Wilder, Hitchcock, Godard, Truffaut, etc. Chaplin and Keaton are as funny today as they were when they were making films, and have a lot to say even if their films are silent. I'm hungry to watch more films, and the technology I have access to today allows me to do that. Not only do I have thousands of films available from Netflix to receive in the mail, but I also have access to movies instantly. All this, including other, more old fashion ways, means my hunger for cinema is being filled much easier than it would be a few generations ago.


29 years old. I love old movies. Three of my favorite directors are Hitchcock, Lang and Keaton. On my list of top 100 movies on Flickchart, 70% were made before I was born.


I might just be obsessed with my iPhone, yeah, like all modern teenagers are . But I absolutely love cinema with a deep passion, and that isn't relegated to superhero blockbusters (although I have lots of fun watching those too, naturally). Three of the "old" movies I've seen and loved recently – Douglas Fairbank's "The Iron Mask," which incidentally I though was as entertaining as anything done 83 years later; the terrifying "Nosferatu," the only horror film I've ever seen yet;  and  "The Invisible Man," which has one of the greatest use of visual effects incorporated in a timeless story ever. I've been wanting to see Buster Keaton's "The General" for a while now. I'm the only one in my family who appreciates black-and-white, silent movies the way I do. Is there hope for the future of movies? I really don't know. Yeah, I think movies will be fine. But either way, we'll always have the glorious films of old Hollywood to fall back on when we're not out slobbering over "The Dark Knight Rises."

Teo Bugbee

The first movie I ever saw was The Adventures Of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn and Olivia De Havilland. On my wall in my bedroom at home there are collages I made as a middle schooler of Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Vivien Leigh, Judy Garland, Paul Newman, Cary Grant, both of the Hepburns and other classic film stars I was obsessed with at the time. I'm 18 years old and I'm studying to be a filmmaker. We were shown around 40 feature films from all over the world and from all around the timeline of film history this year in my film classes at college and I had seen about 75% of them prior to taking classes. There's nothing wrong with loving movies that are recent. There's nothing wrong with having seen more movies from your own lifetime than from earlier generations. There's nothing wrong with loving films from this time period. That's pretty natural. Those films are easy to access and they are designed to appeal to people in this day and age. But that doesn't mean that millennials like myself don't place value in older movies too. This is selective blindness on the part of the older generations. It's easier to believe that the youth of the world is crumbling than it is to actually go out and engage with the youth of the world.


I'm not really sure how thats different to other generations. At least us folks who grew up after the baby boomers. Certainly my anecdotal experience is that the majority much prefer whatever thing is currently in the metroplex or what they grew up on as kids than watch old b&w or silent or other older films.

I guess it in part it explains why its better to remake old films rather than just show them now remastered into some kind of pristine glory.


I'm 23 and I studied film theory. I love old movies – I'm joining my local cinematheque this week!


Having grown up in a small town with a limited selection of video cassettes my interest in film was guided not by the latest movies but older movies. Now that I live in LA I still make time to see all kinds of movies. I make good use of the Criterion Collection on Hulu which has plenty of old movies.


First off, a big welcome to any visitors! If I knew ya I’d buy you a shot. I don’t plan on having many of you so here I’m just gonna head right into it!

This first post was inspired by an article from Matt Singer of that he wrote in response to an article from Neal Gabler of The LA Times which is linked after this paragraph.  This isn’t typical of what I plan to post, but it could be! Either way I hope you enjoy.

I’m 23 years old and I got the movie bug a little later than most. It’s not like I wasn’t allowed to watch movies as a kid but there wasn’t really anyone in my family that loved them the way I do now to influence me and a 5 dollar allowance only gets you so far. My senior year however, I was in homeschool for my last several months of high school and, as a result of boredom, subscribed to Blockbuster’s subscription program. And I’ve never looked back.

I’m now an aspiring screenwriter who has made the move to LA and is constantly reading, writing, watching, or thinking about Cinema as an art form and its place in society. It’s something that IS who I am as person. It truly defines me. So I think it’s fair to say that I’m more in the “fanatics” category than “rank-and-file” so maybe my opinion isn’t exactly valid in this. But I will say a vast majority of my friends fit into the latter category. And I’m consistently surprised at the film questions and recommendations I get from them. Netflix is a huge part of this. It allows the average person to catch films they most likely never would and I think Neal would be extremely surprised at some of the titles a lot of “millennials” have actually seen.

The other side of the technological coin is that things like Twitter (which is used more frequently as a stream-of-consciousness rather than developed thoughts by people under 30) makes the views of those people (people who haven’t created fully formed ideas about the world surrounding them) known. Imagine growing up in a world where your every thought is deemed important because you can post it for the world to see and be “liked.” As if navigating youth wasn’t difficult enough. If the “boomers” had these tools at their disposal growing up I think a majority would look back embarassingly.

It really comes down to something Matt alluded to: the fact that studios just aren’t putting out the same quality of movies that they used to. If you grew up watching Attack Of The Clones instead of Empire Strikes Back, I think we can all agree your opinion on what is quality filmmaking would be slightly askew. I’m not saying George Lucas is to blame (although I could be on to something with that) nor am I saying that everything that came out in that era was gold. There is however, really no question that the quality of storytelling in mainstream movies has been on a steady decline.

The real problem is that movies will never go away. No matter what happens (outside of the Apocolypse) there will forever be a market for high-budget filmmaking. We yearn to be entertained and will forever seek it out where we can. Which allows for studios to be lazy with their storytelling (which is not to say their work is lazy, as a matter of fact it only makes business sense to crank movies out). This yearn however, is especially apparent when you’re young. There are only so many places you can go out to and movie theaters are at the top of a very short list.

My point is although kids go to certain movies, this doesn’t necessarily translate to them liking them or thinking they are well-made or interesting. It’s only something to do with your friends on a Friday night. But it will sure look like it as the numbers come in. How in the hell else can you explain the success (and they are financial successes) of movies like Disaster Movie? Sure there will always be fans of any movie. I know my personal “Top Movies List” looks nothing like it did in high school. But this isn’t that. This is bad work being rewarded because we simply have nothing better to do, which is a scary thought in-of-itself.

We live in a “plugged-in” society that is almost ALWAYS looking for ways to be entertained. More so than any other generation has because they can. And this scares me as a movie fan. Simply put: the supply of good movies really can’t catch up with the desire for them. But studios will try, they have to. But this leads to sloppy storytelling and unsatisfying films (and reality TV, but that’s a whole other article).

So in conclusion, I guess I kind of agree with Neal a bit. I just don’t place the blame where he does.


So, I am 34, so I am a smidge past the age he's referring to; however, I am a film dork and have been a film dork since the age of 13. I realize that we film dorks are a select breed, and probably don't represent what the "rank and file" think, but I would argue that the "rank and file" 30-somethings, 40-somethings, and 50-somethings aren't that much different. My partner is 43, and I usually have to do some convincing to make him watch something that isn't a new release, much less an older foreign film or an older documentary. He's usually pleased with it once he has watched, but it takes a little finesse to make it happen. Same with most of my friends who are in their 4s and 50s. My two close friends that are also in their 30s are the ones I can get to join me for film festivals or will be interested in discussion about film.

I think Gabler's premise is severely flawed, but most of the comments I've read pertain to 20-somethings who do seek out these films, but not much to acknowledge that the elder generations are just as guilty.


Not sure if I am in the minority or majority but I went to college to study film and video production. I am only 24 and I can really say that I have grown to appreciate, if not love, some of the films of the 'old.' I do not know what he considers as old but I can say some of my favorite movies come from the 80s and even 70s. One of my all time favorite movies is Alien (1979), but yet right behind it is movies from the 90s and 00s. I think that "millennials" can find a balance in both and can appreciate both the films of old and of the present because without our "parent's films" we wouldn't have the films we have today.


Maybe I'm out of place here at age 60, but I'm quite optimistic about the millennial generation and their enthusiasm for film. When I was a teen the only way I could see an old movie was late Saturday night on channel 11. Now there are multiple ways to access great films past and I see lots of people doing it. I think anyone who delves into film to a certain level eventually wants to look into the history of the medium.

I never saw a feature length silent film until I was in college. Anyone with any knowledge of filmmaking is quickly blown away by the work of Chaplin, Keaton, Eisenstein and others. With a good century of movies around, cable TV, digital media and the web I see a great future for young old movie buffs.


As a 21-year-old looking at a career in the film industry, I'm sorely disappointed in the reputation my generation has gained as a collection of young people that treat culture as disposable. That being said, a blanket statement of us all being ignorant of old cinema is just as regrettable. While some of my favorite films and directors do come from this new millennium, much of the best work is much older; I don't think I'd have the love and respect I hold toward cinema without films like Chinatown, Network, Annie Hall, Psycho, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Singin' in the Rain, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Airplane!, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Ran, Enter the Dragon, and the like.

While the films of today certainly wow me with their visual effects and eye-popping technology, the films of yesterday hold more weight, more gravitas, and seem to, at the end, mean so much more. I'm so happy and so excited knowing that there are still decades worth of film left for me to explore throughout my life; contrary to Mr. Gabler's statements, I find myself looking backwards into cinema's past as much as I find myself looking forward toward its future.


I'm 25, and I'm already sick of reboots. It makes me sigh every time they announce a new one. I for one would much rather see Hollywood come up with some original ideas, and I think most people of all generations would agree with that.

I also like old movies – I haven't seen as much as I should, but I'm trying to gradually acquaint myself with Hollywood's rich history. "Chinatown" and "Casablanca" are probably my favourite films. Personally, what I'd really like is if more cinemas devoted a screen or two to showing old films, to bring them to new audiences and for the benefit of those of us who didn't get to see them on the big screen first time around. Watching a film on DVD, however great it is, just isn't quite the same experience.


21 years old. Fell in love with movies about four years ago, when I watched many canonized classics like Ikiru, Taxi Driver, and Citizen Kane. Currently I am obsessed with classical Hollywood cinema (special emphasis on the 50s) and French cinema of all stripes. My favorite films include Lubitsch's The Shop Around the Corner/Heaven Can Wait, Dovzhenko's Earth, Ford's The Sun Shines Bright/My Darling Clementine, Antonioni's L'Eclisse, McCarey's Make Way for Tomorrow, Anthony Mann's Man of the West, Rivette's La Belle Noiseuse/Celine and Julie, Godard's Week End/Histoire(s) du cinéma, and just about everything directed by Bresson. This love of movies would be impossible without the Internet, and the proliferation of cinephile websites that have sprung up over the years. Sometimes I'm as worried as Gabler about the popularity of old movies and the collective cultural memory of 'millennials', but I feel that these things have always been concerns to an extent. What is unprecedented is the ease with which young people who truly have an interest in cinema can pursue that interest, largely thanks to digital media.


24 years old. Not a film student, nor do I claim to know anything about the film industry, greatest directors of all time, or anything like that. But if you're looking for a "general public" type of person, I will say that I have a diary from when I was eight years old and in that diary, I talk about my celebrity crush at the time, Jimmy Stewart. When I was 13, I had an Alfred Hitchcock themed birthday party. In my room now, hangs a 'Casablanca' and a 'Sabrina' poster. Just actually watched an Alfred Hitchcock today. I was inspired to watch it because I had a conversation with an 18-year old recently who told me his favorite movie was Alfred Hitchcock's 'Rope'

Although we may be in the woodwork, we're still out here.


From a young age movies were simply little attractions to me. I would watch them to pass the time and think little of their importance in terms of artistic merit or value to culture. But then something changed 4 years ago. One summer Saturday morning I awoke and our family TV had a new station, Turner Classic Movies. I was intrigued. I had oft heard my mother, father, and especially my grandfather, wax poetic on certain films. Speaking highly of the skills of actors and the fantastical worlds movies could take you to they would speak to me and I would remember the movies names, placing them in a file within my brain. When I turned to this channel and saw the crisp and contrasting glow of a Some Like It Hot in beautiful quality on TV I was enraptured. But most important of all that file of movie titles burst open. The films of yester-year my aging parents and parents parents would ramble on about as I sat listening now became available. I can without a doubt say that classic cinema is the reason movies, movie culture, are essential to my life. Now 20 and entering my third year as a student studying films I'm can still remember days in the summer when I would spend hours indoors gorging myself on the films of Zanuck, Chaplin, Ford, Keaton, Fellini, Antonioni, Visconti, Godard, Truffaut, Kurosawa, Lang and so many more visionary directors, producers, and astounding performances by actors. Classic cinema and old movies are as essential to me as the films released today because I love movies. That includes all of the them from the early Lumiere's and Melie's, up to Malick and Winding Refn's most recent offerings. Movies are my life.


When you look at the 'best films of all time' lists of would-be younger critics, it's downright pathetic. They list movies like 'Pulp Fiction', 'Tree of Life', and worse. Yes, there are lots of young film geeks around, but they're a bunch of hipsters without the patience, fortitude, depth, and insight of past critics like Sarris, Kauffmann, Rosenbaum, etc.

Matthew Hall

27 year old filmmaker and fellow cinephile here from Southern California… Gabler's biography of Walt sits on my shelf alongside other biographies of DeMille, Harryhausen, Lucas, Spielberg, Kubrick, Hitchcock, etc. It saddens me to say that Gabler thinks that the younger generation doesn't buy in to our predecessor's work. If parents and teachers took the time to screen classics like 'North by Northwest' or 'Singin' in the Rain' to their children (like mine did), things might be a lot different today. My great grand uncle was Charlie Chaplin's art director on 'Modern Times', 'The Gold Rush' and 'City Lights'… They don't make them like that anymore, and if kids were given the chance to see those, they might agree. Films today play out like glorified television commercials, promoting the latest products and relying on visual effects to tell the story (what little there may be of it). I say push for film education as a general ed in schools, right alongside Literature and History where it belongs.

Christian Gregory

This pisses me off since I am currently reading Gabler's Walt Disney biography. Well, my favorite movie of all time is from 2010 that is true… But the rest of the ones (and yes I have made a list) consist of two other movies from my lifetime and seven from before I was born.
My favorite actors are almost all dead and most were even dead before I was born. 24 years old, and the only thing I can currently imagine loving more than film? Myrna Loy IN film!


21 one year old here. Look, I'm not going to deny that my love for movies comes from more contemporaneous sources. The reason I fell in love with movies was seeing Fellowship of the Ring on the big screen at age 11. But that doesn't mean I ONLY like new films. Instead, loving the new has instilled a hunger to learn about the past and find the influences and sources that modern filmmakers, writers, artists and thinkers draw on when creating their own works.

So it was BECAUSE I love modern cinema that I hunted down for the older films by guys like Jackson, Raimi, Nolan and del Toro. And from there I looked for the films that had inspired them, ranging from Romero to Lean to Harryhausen to Fellini to Kurosawa and all the rest. And then I dug even further to explore as much as possible. Silent comedies, German expressionism, Neorealism, the surrealistic works of Bunuel, etc.

It's not about MODERN movies versus OLD movies, or about this generation versus that one. It's about the love of movies, the love of knowledge, the love of having more to learn, the love of, well, love, essentially. So long as people possess curious minds and seek to understand the things they are passionate about, there will always be an audience for the old, the strange and the little-seen. In movie and in anything in life.

Brandon Isaacson


I'm 21 years old. I definitely have a bias towards newer films, but that has more to do with seeing things in theaters vs. at home. Unless you live in a major city, it's very difficult to see old films in a theater. I go to school in Boston so I do have this opportunity. One of my most memorable moments in my 3 years at school was seeing Bicycle Thieves at the Brattle Theater.

Some other old movies and auteurs I love (since Gabler mentioned movies older than we are, I'll do anything 30+ years old): Cabaret, The Shining and earlier Kubrick, Shock Corridor, Safety Last!, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Repulsion, Twelve Angry Men, early Tarkovsky, original Scarface, Annie Hall, Bergman, 400 Blows, La Jetee


As much as I would like to say "yeah totally" to this piece (like I almost did BEFORE I actually read it), I think it's flawed. Case in point this year was the 3rd year in a row getting to go to the TCM Film Festival. Now mine you there were obviously a huge majority of older attendees, but this year I noticed that I wasn't the youngest person there. This year I was meeting kids who were 18/19 years old freaking out about seeing Robert Evans in person and rushing to see Thief of Baghdad w/ a live orchestra. One of this year's major guests was Kim Novak, and I remember 2 girls around 14/15 years old giggly beyond repair because they got their poster of Vertigo signed by her. That alone made my weekend.

Samantha Klein

I am a 26 year old female living in NYC and could not disagree more with Neil Gabler's article. Tell Neil Gabler to buy a copy of Simon Reynolds' book 'Retromania' and tell me what he thinks when he finishes.


I'm a 25 year old male living in Kansas. My favorite film is Felini's "8 1/2." There are many older films that I've yet to watch, but I'll list out twenty that I've enjoyed within the past five years: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Cool Hand Luke, Breathless, Band of Outsiders, The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus, Strangers on a Train, Rebel Without a Cause, Chinatown, Silkwood, Paper Moon, Annie Hall, Days of Heaven, Taxi Driver, Dog Day Afternoon, Rebecca, Rosemary's Baby, Don't Look Now, and Badlands.


Twenty years old, majoring in Cinema Studies. I have been a fan of films from all eras and nations from the time I was twelve. I love silents, films from the American studio era, and Russian cinema. At the same time, I am very open to new movies, including reboots or updates. It's all art!

Oliver Lyttelton

Firstly, lovely piece/call-to-arms, Mr. Singer. Secondly, I'm 26, and I've been making a living writing about movies (old films as much as new, to my immense pleasure) for a couple of years now. But long before that, I was learning Marx Brothers routines off by heart at 11, or falling in love with North By Northwest at 14, or seeing Apocalypse Now at midnight on the big screen at 17, or taking a girl to Casablanca on Valentine's Day at 21 (it totally worked…). I suspect I'm in the minority for my age group, although the heartening comments make me feel I'm not. But in a way, I suspect I always would have been; the same complaints Gabler makes could likely have applied to at least the last few generations before mine. And I think you're absolutely right to say that the greater our access to media, the more likely we are to delve into older stuff. And that doesn't just involve streaming services. Here in London, there's the Secret Cinema brand, which sold nearly a million pound's worth of tickets to The Third Man over the course of a month. Or the open air screenings at Somerset House, which sell out ever year, and this year, are showing things like The Bicycle Thieves and Paris Texas. A proportion of that audience are cinephiles, sure, but a big chunk aren't. You're never going to have forty million people watching The Wizard Of Oz together on TV or anything, but the idea that an entire generation, layman or not, are rejecting older films is pretty ridiculous.

Ryan Michaels

Personally, I'm 15 years old and have written about films for the last five years, contributing both to many local newspapers in the Michigan area, and to my website, (Perhaps you saw Kevin Smith's Twitter pimping out my positive 'Red State' review a year ago? Totally self-promoting here.) It may just be because of the fairly left-wing college-town I live in, but film has always been a fairly significant part of both my peers' lives and my own. If millennials didn't give a shit about movies, we certainly wouldn't spend some Saturday nights bickering between Truffaut vs. Malle, Aronofsky vs. Nolan, et cetera et cetera. As I said, it may just be my area, but I think the widespread availability of just about any film imaginable has amplified our generational curiosity about the form. Just my two cents.


I'm 31 and thus slightly out of this study, but agree with much of what is being said here. Remakes are not new to this generation (see Gaslight being remade in 1944, four years after the original). James Bond has been rebooted every decade or so. Five different actors played Philip Marlowe in the 1940s. Kids these days.


19. The seeds of my cinephilia were sown at a young age through watching films like "The Adventures of Robin Hood," "Captain Blood," "The Wizard of Oz," and countless John Wayne movies. Today, I count 1960's "The Apartment" as my favorite film. My dad and I always bond over our mutual appreciation of classic film noir. I will add the caveat that I am currently majoring in English and Cinema Studies, so my interests aren't likely to coincide with the "Average" 19 year old.

In terms of the debate of "appreciation", I would say it is only fair to take younger generations to task for their short term memory only if one also makes an effort to do away with the "they-don't-make-'em-like-they-used-to" fallacy. Statements like this always irk me, cinema as a whole is always in some sort of golden age; the audience member's role is to do a little leg work to ferret out the best work and sites like Indiewire and others make that relatively painless.


Hi, my name is Josh, I'm 18, and my favorite movie is Seven Samurai. I know that perhaps I'm in the minority in my age group, but that doesn't mean that I — and others like me — don't exist. I think that services like Netflix and Youtube have really opened the door for young people to experience older films. Also helpful? The Criterion Collection. I probably would've never seen Bicycle Thieves without it, but now it rests comfortably on my shelf. Right next to Batman Begins.


I think people are already like that, and have been for years and years. If not, then why didn't people in 1977 realize just how much Star Wars stole from Flash Gordon (people are always shocked when I show them the opening scrolls moving away from camera in the old Flash Gordon serials) or why everyone thinks Tarantino is such a genius when all he does is steal from older films like "The Killing", "Deliverance", spaghetti Westerns, or literally hundreds of other movies. I know 30 somethings that are employed in the film business that couldn't pick Humphrey Bogart out of a line-up of Bogey, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable or Ester Williams.

This is not a new trend and I wonder why the LA Times is actually wasting time and print on it. That said, I think it depends on the film. My 13 year old nephew LOVES the original Star Wars films (the first of which is 35 years old).

Batman Begins was only 8 years after the last Batman movie, and it started this whole new trend on retooling franchises. It's a trend to restart a franchise as if the previous films didn't exist, and the LA Times should know better. The fact that Sony is retooling Spiderman has more to do with having to make a film to retain the rights (there was a clicking clock on it) than anything else. You can get the film before the cameras faster if 60 to 80% of your story is just rehashing what has already been done.


I teach a class at our local high school called Art of Film. About 30 to 50% of the senior class signs up for the class knowing that it is challenging and a study of old films and directors they haven't heard of. I sleep well at night knowing each year I introduce 100s of students to our American film heritage. Rosebud. 'nuff said.

Pablo L.

21. Apart from enjoying the gift that is TCM, ever since I was thirteen I've been buying cheap DVDs in order to satisfy my love of film. This was probably jump-started by "The Great Dictator", which led to young me buying "Young Frankenstein" and "Duck Soup" (SO MUCH WIN). Just for starters. Now my dvd collection goes from Buster Keaton's The General to Nolan's The Dark Knight. The great thing about this has not only been looking for classics (Casablanca), but also finding movies I hadn't heard much of at the time (Paths of Glory, I knew so little about you when we met), and hunting for a particular film (it took time, but Once upon I time in the west, I caught you).

Also, I the article doesn't seem to take into acount how many of this millennials grew up with reruns just like all the other generations (that had a TV). Apart from the constant exposure to 80's action movies you get out of being born in the nineties, you had films like Jaws, Star Wars, E.T., Raiders, Die Hard,… And because of VHS and DVDs, most of this millennials have seen and/loved the most famous Disney films (Snow White, Bambi, Pinocchio, Dumbo, etc.). And I already said Jaws, but, I have probably seen that movie for each summer of my life (not literally).


Neal Gabler, I respectfully disagree with you. I'm 25, neither work in the film industry nor have a degree in film studies, and I regularly watch films made long before I was born. (The Philadelphia Story is my favorite film of all time.) I usually go to the theater once or twice a month, and watch a DVD or two a week, so I'm by no means a huge cinephile. Sure, I love watching newer films too, but it has less to do with their cultural cachet or keeping up with the Joneses, and more to do with following directors and stories I'm passionate about.

Thankfully, Netflix, streaming video, the Criterion Collection, film websites, Twitter recommendations from friends and critics, and other amazing innovations have made it easier than ever for me to watch older films, and for that, I'm grateful. Now if only my town would get a decent repertory theater!


Some of my favorite movies from when I was 12 (I'm 32 now) to, well, the present day: A Clockwork Orange. The Lion in Winter (w/Katherine Hepburn and Peter O'Toole). Double Indemnity. Touch of Evil. Every Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes ever. The original Italian Job and the original Psycho, neither of which should have been remade because they were fine as they were. The Sting was and remains one of my favorites. Metropolis holds a place of honor on my DVD shelf. So does The Aristocats, which was one of my favorite Disney movies as a child. And it would be hard to deny that people of all ages, including millennials, appreciate the value of the Indiana Jones series or the Star Wars trilogy, or even the classic Star Trek films. Never underestimate the power of genre fiction fans! The sweeping generalization is just that, a generalization, and it frankly sounds like the kind of nostalgic complaining stereotypical of anyone old enough to whip out the phrase "before your time."

Nicholas Kelly

I'm 20 years old, and yes, my favorite movie is a fairly recent one ("The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"), but I would say it's almost tied with Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai" and Richard Lester's "A Hard Day's Night" in my favorite movies list. Kurosawa happens to be my favorite director. The first movie I can remember watching is David Lean's "The Bridge on the River Kwai," and I can also remember watching "The Wizard of Oz" and "The Searchers" at a very young age. I did my high school senior thesis on American Cinema from 1967 to 1980, and of course I loved writing about "Star Wars," "Jaws" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," but I also loved the fact that I could write a school paper on "Nashville," "The Wild Bunch," "Mean Streets," "Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull" and "The Godfather." And just like this article suggests, modern media has made it even easier for me to see old movies. Through Netflix, I was able to see "The General," "M" and "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari." Hell, I just watched Murnau's "Sunrise" on Youtube! And who could forget good old TCM?
Yes, there are many new movies that I love, too. My list of favorite directors includes Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro, Wes Anderson and Christopher Nolan. I am one of the millions of people who can't wait to see "The Dark Knight Rises" this weekend. But guess what? My dad told me that he has never been as excited to see a movie as much as "The Dark Knight Rises" and he is well over 30. And of course, he is the one who introduced me to old movies, who showed me "The Bridge on the River Kwai" and "The Searchers" when I was probably way too young to have seen them, who taught me about letterboxing and made sure that I knew the names of the directors and not just the stars. The thing is that I love movies. I don't care when or where they were made just as long as they absorb me in the stories that they tell. Of course, as a lover of film, I have an affinity for certain film periods, and interestingly enough, they tend to skew older. My favorite era of American cinema is (you guessed it) 1967-1980. I love the way movies from that era look and feel. But above everything, I love black and white. If I had to choose between watching movies only in black-and-white or only in color, I wouldn't hesitate for a second in choosing black-and-white.


the flaw in asking your question here, Matt, (aside from the fact that most young people are generally navel-gazing twits anyway, be they from the age of Shakespeare, colonial America, or the social network) is that the proletariat "millenial" texter-in-the-theatre is that they're not reading indieWire, they're reading Twitter. if you're a millenial reading the question here, you're already inured to the way filmmakers uphold the work of masters from past eras by your desire to know what else is playing in theatres besides The Avengers. ask your question there via a proletariat account, like @LATimes or @KimKardashian, and you'll get a better mix of answers.


I'm 27 years old and I love movies. I almost got a degree in film, and only changed during the home stretch because the politics of my particular program were sucking the joy from what was otherwise an enriching education.

I've been fortunate to catch theatrical screenings (sometimes in their original 35 or 70mm formats) of a number of terrific movies, including 2001: A Space Odyssey (twice), the African Queen, and my favorite movie, full stop: Taxi Driver. I am not privileged to live in an area where such screenings occur regularly. I have to seek them out, and often travel far out of my area.

I did see the new Spider-Man, and I did enjoy it. I'm far from convinced that the American public's voracious appetite for superhero stories can be explained by a lack of appreciation for what has come before. Remember that these characters have been around for a very long time, and much of the satisfaction with seeing those stories retold on the big screen is seeing how the telling evolves and how it remains faithful to the platonic ideal of these characters that reside in our collective consciousness.

I've heard a lot of talk that it's too soon to do another take on Spider-Man, but really… when these movies are old enough to be considered in hindsight, is that even going to matter to anybody?


Hi, I'm Jenny, I'm under the age of 30, and I love movies! Fritz Lang's M, The Third Man, Rashomon, Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, 12 Angry Men, Peeping Tom, and Psycho are all pre-70's movies that rest securely in my top 20. :)

I do have to roll my eyes at the "kids these days" sentiment which has been ubiquitous since the beginning of recorded history. Also, it being attached to the Spider-Man reboot which by-the-by ended up being better than the "old" ones anyway. Regardless of the state of modern blockbusters, if you're really having a hard time finding a good movie to watch amidst the throngs of decent, sometimes lesser-known offerings every year, you aren't paying attention.


I'm an old codger. Most of the respondents weren't around when I was thirty so my comments are not about the so-called "millennials" movie preferences but rather about sweeping generalizations about the viewing preferences of groups. You know, comments like "Men don't go to chick flicks," "Women don't like action movies," "People over forty don't go to the movies," or "millennials don't like movies that are older than themselves." Nonsense. A good story is a good story and crosses gender and age lines precisely because it resonates with viewers. An action movie without a great story isn't going to be appreciated by any group no matter how robust the marketing hype behind the film. "John Carter" anyone? Likewise, a chick flick with cliched and unsympathetic characters isn't going to resonate with men or women. Yet, chick flicks like "The Help," and "Mamma Mia!" appealed to male audiences because the stories weren't cliched, the characters were sympathetic and the stories transcended gender and age lines. I suspect, that "millennials" like all of us, respond to movies that are relevant to them and to the times. If a movie doesn't resonate with viewers, don't blame the audience, blame the filmmaker or blame the marketer that hypes and doesn't deliver, but don't blame the audience because they don't like the Castor Oil that's being offered instead of the Champagne that was advertised.

Rathan Krueger

I'm 26 and I run the Stanley Kubrick section on Reddit ( Methinks that's all I need to say.

Thomas Itpick

I love old movies. I watch them all the time. Just watched Carmen Jones recently OnDemand with the always beautiful Dorothy Dandridge. Not sure how much help I am in that I'm right on the cusp of being 30. I turn 29 at the end of September. I think what it really is, is that making movies has become a business. a very profitable business. The ones calling the shots are far older than 30. I think with Spider-Man, the real problem was that the movies had gone so far off track from what the source material dictated, and the 3rd one (while admittedly having some of the best fight scenes I've seen) was pretty abysmal story wise, to make a 4th film in the same continuity might have been a patch job and delivered a substandard product. And as I recall, if Sony hadn't cashed in on Spider-Man, the rights would have reverted back to Marvel. The point I'm trying to make is that Spider-Man isn't the best evidence in Gabler's case. My generation, the under 30 crowd, are fine with old movies. One of my favorites is Butch Cassiday and the Sundance Kid. The chemistry between Newman and Redford is dynamite. The gaps between reboots is less about the audience than it is about the suits making decisions. Amazing Spider-Man pulled in about $140M in it's first 6 days which is probably on track for what a 4th in the series would have produced after Spider-Man 3. That says to me that people turned out to see spider-man do stuff. Avengers was a work of art in that the story was spread out over 5 movies before climaxing in the big 6th film. People were invested in where all this was going and it showed at the box office with $200M weekend. People are willing to pay the money for good work, but the suits have to be willing to give us something to pay for. And they have to drop the cash to market the movie correctly (I'm looking at you John Carter).

Camille Bert

I am 23 and my favorite film is The Night of The Hunter, 1955, before my parents were born.
The beautiful thing is that we have access to many more 1960s films today than Neil Gabler ever could get to as a young cinephile and student in that same decade.
Let's take advantage of it


YOU ARE TOO WRONG, NEAL GABLER. From ages 16-18, when I really discovered how much I enjoy film, I dedicated my movie-watching life solely to old movies, in fear that I would become too caught up in newer, more superficial movies. The public library/netflix had it all; everything from Metropolis to Casablanca to Woody Allen to Raging Bull. The newest movies I had seen were Almodóvar's later ones and Inglourious Basterds. Also, I wear many of my mother's clothes. Cheaper to take them from her closet than a vintage store.


It is not that at all. It is in fact that money minded hollywood is cashing in on nostalgia. They know you will go and see Ghosbusters 3 etc to relive your youth or share with you children or nieces and nephews. I personally as well as ten of my friends have vowed not to go and see the new Spiderman because they 'Do not see the point' and ' The Toby McGuire one felt like it was only out 5 minutes ago'. The guy is talking drivel. There are very little risk takers in blockbusters so they will continue to regurgitate the same things so what else is left to feed on.

Jess Hicks

I'm 25, and I must emphatically but politely disagree with Neal Gabler. This is the same debate that literally every generation has: the young kids these days don't respect the golden art of yore. In the early 1900s, elders criticized the young for enjoying the novelty of cinema instead of embracing the tradition of print novels. The fact of the matter is that more artistic films still have their popular place; the Almodovars and Von Triers of this world aren't going anywhere. Their work may be overshadowed by the pop culture-driven box office, but that's the doing of more than just people under 30. We're all responsible for box office numbers.

Certainly, there are some people who refuse to see older films, but let's cut these kids some slack. As time moves forward, there's always a greater distance between the next generation of viewers and the so-called "Classics". The Netflixization of America makes us all amateur cinephiles, and our cinematic viewing histories are more varied than ever. We watch and consume more than ever, which may be the reason why remakes are more frequent. More importantly, legal rights for certain characters will change hands if the likeness is not used frequently enough. If there hadn't been a new Spiderman film, the rights may have defaulted back to Marvel. Obviously, the issue is quite complicated, so let's not be lazy and blame those young whippersnappers.

Ryan Clark

I'm 24 years old and I've ALWAYS loved old movies. Most of my favorite movies are from the 70s and 80s. I think Gabler is mostly right – the majority of young people DON'T care about old movies – but he's overlooked the fact that many older people don't even like the movies from their generation anymore. We live in a very youth-obsessed society, and the older people are caught up in it, too. They don't want anything old because it reminds them of their age. This is nothing new, of course, but it's becoming more apparent as cinema grows older. There are always exceptions, but, unfortunately, we students of film are in the minority.


Neal, I'm 29. Recently, I met another twenty-something who had a tattoo of Harpo Marx. I recognized it as the same tattoo Harpo Marx had of himself in the film Duck Soup. The girl and I had a moment. I nearly started crying. We exist.

Scott Nye

According to his short bio at the end and the newspaper in which this appeared, Mr. Gabler obviously lives in Los Angeles, and I would suggest he take a trip to the New Beverly or Cinefamily on any given weekend. Doesn't matter what's showing – young people will be there, and more often than not, will be the majority of the audience.


I'm actually 32 so I don't qualify. I do, however, come to offer proof that a lot of millenials DO have an appreciation for older films. Check out these links to youtube vlogs:

That's just scratching the surface. There's actually a vibrant amateur youtube movie reviewing/amateur film critic community and they value being film-literate. And many of them are under 30.


I mostly agree with Gabler. You can't prove him wrong by showing there are youngsters who care for classics. Of course they do exist. I am one of them at 26 years of age.

In my experience, he's mostly right. The majority does not care for older films and with most of them it takes quite an effort to get them to watch it and if they do, it takes quite some exposure for them to appreciate the old films as much as they do recent films.

However, the point Gabler is trying to make is that the fact that young people seeing films as fashion is the cause for the short gap between remakes. Well, most theater audiences go there to see the latest release, not to see an old film. But I don't see how this relates to the small gap between remakes.

Chris Ward

As it happens, I'm currently trying to compile a list of every film I've ever seen (don't ask what prompted it). This has involved trudging my way through the yearly listings of the IMDb ( in chronological order and taking notes as I go. I haven't counted shorts under around 10 minutes (so no Looney Tunes, Disney shorts, really early Lumiere brothers, etc.), but more or less everything else is fair game. As it stands, having reached 1962, I have 289 films on the list. I turned 26 in May. That means I still have another 24 years' worth of films to list before I even reach the year I was born. I have no formal qualification in either film-making or film criticism. Please, Mr Gabler – don't patronise me.

Cody MacDougall

I'm 20, and I just had the time of my life watching The Red Shoes on the big screen.


I'm a spry 27 years old and am usually hanging out with my peers. I'm an avid consumer of movies ever since I worked my way though the AFI Top 100 in my youth when it was first released (believe it or not), I attended a university program that taught me about the old studio system where stars were paramount (sometimes at Paramount) and writers churned out films. I watched to educate myself before I watched to entertain myself and that only lead to welcome surprises. I think this argument is being taken from the completely wrong perspective. We're a generation capable of absorbing more, full stop. We've been raised with it, we've adapted to it and we're learning how to use it for our benefit. Believe me, I had the exact same questions for the producers about why Amazing Spider-Man exists, but they did it because we have money they want: Same as it ever was. I acknowledge that we are by far the worst American Generation currently crawling the planet (at least the small vocal sect of us self-identifying as Millennials before someone yells at us for something), but maybe you, Mr. Gabler, missed the point of Amazing Spider-Man. If you want to trash remix culture for not creating new art, start with music and work your way up.

John Sutton

The first movie I watched, as a 24 year old, when I got Netfilx streaming was the 1948 film The Bicycle Theif, my favorite movie of all time is Shawshank Redemption which I first saw at the age of 13, and my 22 year old girlfriend has a worn down VHS of Some Like it Hot that we have watched no less than 3 times.

Madison L.

My son is 18. He's been coming up to me for well over two years, hey, Mom, did you know this movie, or do you know this actor? Latest was DeNiro in Cape Fear. Because of Netflix, instant watch and DVDs, he's been exploring old films on his own and with friends. He's become quite the film lover and at times quite astute critic. Because the under 30 are doing it quietly at home or college, not making a lot of noise about it, it doesn't mean it's not happening. I find the same has been happening with music from the 6os and 70s because of family iTunes libraries.

Danny Baldwin

Matt- As one who firmly qualifies as a Millennial, I think Gabler is right. I didn't go to film school, but I took every elective I had at USC in the film department, and a solid majority of the film students there had no interest in anything made before their birthdate unless it was directed by Lucas or Spielberg.

There was a class which surveyed the entire body of work of a renowned director–Scorsese and Hitchcock, for instance–in which they got to see almost every movie by said director projected on archival prints… An opportunity that most cinephile-types would salivate over, but all I would hear was complaining about how long and tedious sitting through it was.

Undoubtedly, there are many Millennials interested in this stuff–just look at the comments here–but a disproportionate number of them are visiting sites like this one.

Rebecca N

I'm 30 and grew up loving American Movie Classics (before they had commercials) and wandered over to TCM later on. Don't forget the REAL oldies – the silent films. If you're aware of Kino DVD's, then maybe you're all set.



I strongly disagree with your comments about millenials wanting the newest fad in movies and demanding remakes within just a couple years. I've read previous comments and found them to be almost exactly like mine. I love new blockbusters (and even some recent remakes) but I also have a love for movies created in the last 40 to 50 years. Heck, I know more about movies from the 1960s to 1990s than my 60 year-old parents do, and they are huge movie buffs.

In my opinion, the studios are the ones to blame for the parade of remakes. I was 13/14 when the first Spiderman came out with Tobey Maguire and now I am 24. Did you ever think studios were wanting to target the next generation and see if it can still be a viable franchise? Regardless, I enjoy all types of movies and am often sometimes so disappointed with a new movie that I've seen that I resort back to my old favorites made over the last several decades. Give me Fight Club, Grease, Pulp Fiction, Godfather Part II, and many others any day of the week!

John Lichman

i've seen a chinese propaganda film from 1915 in a theater. your entire argument is invalid, old man.


Guess as a 32 yr old I dont count but I felt the need to comment. So friends and I have been distance watching (thank you Twitter!) movies together just about every weekend since the beginning of the year. I decided to keep track of just how many movies, including these distance watched films, I see for this whole year. That list ranges from movie made (so far) as far back as 1939 thru this year. Our calender for what we watch next includes a lot more older movies as well. A good movie is a good movie, doesn't matter how old it is. If those that own the rights to older films decided to market them or even have special screenings, you'd probably be surprised how many millenials and others show up!

Eric Kohn

Gabler’s complain reflects a familiar mistake. Millennials generally engage with moving images in new ways that make it difficult for anyone who learned to appreciate the medium in a more singular fashion to see it. The proliferation of screens allow viewers to appreciate the art form through methods that are largely an extension of — rather than an attack on — the appreciation for cinema experienced by earlier. Young people (and I will count myself among them as long as I possibly can) naturally engage with media by way of the possibilities surrounding them, which in this case means that they are likely to discover movies in accordance with the same fragmented methods we discover everything else — largely at home, online, through blogs, etc.

But that's only a starting point. It leads people to retrospectives, to festivals, to tracking down rare DVDs and so forth. It wasn't Gabler's starting point, but there's no question that countless young people are watching old movies with the same levels of excitement (or maybe even more excitement because they have more access) that boomers did.

Are there some people who still don’t care for movies that preceded their birthdays? Of course. There are also still people who don’t vote. Ignorance of valuable objects, ideas and behaviors have been with us since some caveman neglected to join his brethren and paint on the wall. His loss.


I grew up watching old musicals, and now (I'm 29) watch a huge variety of movies. In the past month my fiance and I have watched The Third Man, Being John Malkovich, Kind Hearts and Coronets, and Rampart, among others. The idea that millenials don't see movies as art, and don't know their movie history, is so unfairly broad (and gives all kinds of undeserved kudos to boomers – do you really think most boomers are "reverential" of movies?) to those of us who love exploring the rich history of cinema, up through and including the bigger, faster, louder movies of today.

James Kang

You're both wrong. I disagree with you, Matt, that a flood of young people contradicting Neal Gabler's article will prove that young people like old movies. Dozens of commenters may disagree, but that doesn't account for most people. I've talked with a bunch of people my age (27) or younger about movies and none of them seem to share my passion for old movies. Young cinephiles are out there, obviously, but they're a small fraction of the population, probably 6%.

And I disagree with Gabler because his thesis singles out young people. Most people of any age, young or old, are not interested in movies that are older than they are. If a person in their 50s is passionate about New Hollywood directors like Scorsese and Coppola, it's because those movies were new while they were young. That person does not care about older masters like Hawks, Murnau or Ford. Maybe Hitchcock. Maybe.

People are nostalgists about the kinds of movies they like. If someone likes old movies, it's probably because that person remembers a time when they used to be new.

Katey Rich

I'm 28 years old. I run a film website that's devoted to new films (that's what most Internet film writing is, for better or for worse) but take immense pleasure in revisiting old ones. I think there's pretty much nothing on earth better than The Apartment, The Best Years Of Our Lives, The General or the chance to discover a film from a time you didn't live through that tells you something so clearly, from all those years back.

Gabler's argument is narrow-minded, reactionary, and stupid. Millenials aren't all great– no generation is– but we're doing pretty OK.

Jennifer H

Hey Neal – I've loved old movies since I was a little girl. One of the first comedy movies I remember watching was Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and that was in 1986. Some other favorites in our household were It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, His Girl Friday, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Sound of Music, The Gods Must be Crazy, and The Ten Commandments. As a 32-year-old with a toddler, we are constantly seeking the oldies-but-goodies to show our daughter. In our DVR right now: E.T. I'm not sure which millennials you've encountered, but most of the millenials I know would agree with me – newer is not necessarily better. Very often, it's crap.


26 and I every day I think about going back to school for film history and film preservation. I had always enjoyed watching old films on TCM as a kid and watching independent and foreign films on IFC as I got older.

Because of Netflix, TCM, DVD (Criterion, Kino, Flicker Alley), Warner Archive (and other MOD services), The Internet Archive and illegal uploads of movies on youtube (It's how I saw To Each His Own finally) I have been able to watch movies that I never would have been able to access before. I know and love films from the 1900's – now. Olivia de Havilland is my absolute favourite actress. Buster Keaton was a genius and an amazing performer. And not to mention actors that are all but forgotten today. Phyllis Haver was amazing in the 1927 Chicago (which was based on a play based on a true story and was later remade in 1942 then became a musical and then a musical film, lots of remakes and adaptations).

Back in the silent, early sound and studio eras films were remade constantly. New technologies can give people a reason to go back to a story that was just told (whether the new Spider Man succeeded with it's 3-d is another discussion). So I think "blaming" anyone for Spider Man is silly. And suggesting that people under 30 only like new and shiny things is just annoying.

Brantley Palmer

I completely disagree with the claim about millenials. In fact I think he has it backwards. Due to our incredible access to older films through DVD, streaming, Blu-Ray, etc we have a far greater ability to watch and enjoy the films of past generations. That's far more than previous generations who literally were only able to watch films of their generation in the theater unless a film was rereleased back into the theater for them to view. So therefore his assertion doesn't really have any merit since Millenials have much more access to films of other generations.

Now with that said, here's a list of some of my favorite films of all time:
– The Steel Helmet
– It Happened One Night
– The Apartment
– One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
– Some Like it Hot
– Raging Bull (1980 I know, but still half a decade before I was born)
– The Graduate
– Midnight Cowboy
– Psycho

Really the list could go on and on. I'm honestly getting pretty sick of some in the older generations taking the worst aspects of our current generation and generalizing all of us with it. I'm 26 years old and love film (I got my BA in Film Prpduction and Critical Studies), but if it isnt bad enough that we get criticized for not being old enough to know anything about film (Armon White's assertion that no one under 30 should be allowed to review films), then we're now getting criticized for not watching or liking older films.

Nicole B

I'm 22 years old and a lover of films. You can't go wrong with a classic black and white film or any film that you're grandmother would watch. I appreciate the art of what makes a film. Acting, cinematography, storyline, etc. To say millennials don't appreciate films older than themselves is wrong. I know people within the same age group as myself that not only love old films, but also love music way before their time. I love that I grew up exposed to different genres and decades of music and film. Without it, I'd be a completely different person. So the millennials that really appreciate film are out there. You just don't know it.


I respectfully disagree. I'm a 21 year old who loves films. Now, even before I became a true lover of cinema in my teens I still loved old films, even though I didn't see too many (my favorite film was Superbad lol). Few that come to mind include Dog Day Afternoon, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, 12 Angry Men. However, when I went to college (for a degree in business, not film so I'm not a cinephile) I started watching more old stuff particularly of Kubrick and Hitchcock because I had seen some of their work and loved it. Now, whenever there's an old film playing in a theatre nearby or one on TV I'm suddenly more interested because I sincerely feel the best era of filmmaking is gone (the late 50s, 70s). Films that end up being popular nowadays consist of superhero films or cartoons (although I do get a kick out of them when they're made well) not real people in real situations. I do understand where Neal coming from but I feel that he is neglecting a large proportion of "millenials" who just love GREAT FILMS! Whether it is made a year ago or fifty!! And this is the same with most of my friends or people I know around my age. So I, like many people who have commented below, respectfully disagree Mr. Gabler.


I'm 28 (and a bit), and found this piece fascinating. To be honest, I think the original point made has some foundation to it – after all, I too am an avid Twitter user, and the past few weeks my Feed has been filled with THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN comments.

Opinion is, of course, subjective, so if we leave comments saying "we're young and we like old movies", it is too simplistic, representative only of readers of this website, rather than the masses – who of course, these re-booted Spider-Man franchises are aimed at.

The fact is, today I watched two vintage Lubitsch films – CLUNY BROWN and NINOTCHKA. But I am not who the studios are targeting. I have no intention of watching this utterly pointless and cynical new Spider-Man film, yet it continues to make big money.

True, not all of us young folk are "drooling, babbling…morons" – but the figures speak for themselves. A lot are!

Amy Day

I'm 16 years old. A writer, aspiring director- a future filmmaker. When I hear of things like this, I have to try my hardest not to become angry and lash out at everybody around me. Want to know why? Because the degradation of youth these days have gotten way out of hand. Just because we're young and like action-packed movies with explosions and sex and relationships, doesn't mean we can't appreciate and love the classics.

For example; my love for A Clockwork Orange, Citizen Kane, Grease, Annie Hall, and many others is endless. I can sit around and watch the old-time films all day long and never bore of the cinematography or plots or characters.

Sure, film has progressed immensely over the last couple of decades, but that's what it's supposed to do. It can't stay in one time period for very long because then people /will/ start to tire of the endless ramblings of certain themes. Now, in my opinion, we shouldn't be worried about /what/ films teenagers and young adults like. They're appreciating the art of motion picture. Isn't that enough? Isn't it enough to know what people are immersing themselves in something bigger than all of us? If you say no, then you're sorely, sorely mistaken. And your ego is probably the size of the Great Wall of China.

With that said, age plays absolutely no key role in a film-lover's life. We can enjoy the modern movies, but still be in love with classics. I can't reiterate it enough, because I, myself, have been degraded when it came to this sort of thing. This "Neal Gabler" really needs to check himself before he comes out and speaks for the youth population in this world. He is one-hundred-and-fifty percent wrong, and I hope he chokes on his words.

-Amy Day (Oregon, USA)

Toomaj Rashtitalab

I strongly disagree with Neal Gabler. I love movies, and I don't care about how old they are, or which country they're from… I watch all of them with great interest… My list of favorite films includes many classic titles… older generations always blame the young for being ignorant, philistine, rude and some other adjectives in the same line… That's not gonna change I think…
Anyway, I cherish and respect all movies, and I find arguments like Gabler's – with all due respects, of course – preposterous…
And I'm 21…


I'm sixteen years old, and I am obsessed with movies. I don't care what year it came out in, if it's good, it's good, period. My favorite film to watch is 'It's A Wonderful Life' it's so moving and powerful. I know other people around my age who feel the same way, if a movie is good no one is going to care when it came out. And movies are so much more accessible to people with things like Netflix and such.

Dor Dotson

As much as I'd love to say this guy is wrong, any evidence I'd give to the contrary would be anecdotal.

It's not surprising, in an article on a (great) indie film site, that there would be comments full of "but that doesn't apply to me, or my friends." Of course it doesn't, and thank goodness. But, we're not representative of the general audience – the millions of people responsible for making a Twilight movie the third highest grossing film of 2011.

It's the same thing that happens after elections. Don't you remember thinking "how in hell could Bush have won – every single person I know voted for Kerry?!"

Some kind of quantitative / survey data here would be interesting, but anything beyond this qualitative/convenience sample approach won't be representative of the under 30 set.

James Boyd

#CinemaDecadence – A new fest dedicated to movies from 1894-1970. Doing what I can to bring the classics to the yutes. Free tweetup screenings, and cool giveaways coming soon.

Baby Sara

This kind of generational debate will always exist. I'm sure one day Millennials will claim that their children don't appreciate the use of video chat (or whatever itch they have to scratch to feel superior) I'm 26, a lover and debater of film. If I had to list my top ten favorite films, it would fill up quickly with titles that are older than me. I am genuinely interested in discovering great movies (doesn't matter the age) In any kind of artform, I feel it's best to know how far things have come (or not). Cinema is a young art, so let's not give up on it and it's viewers just yet.

The Almost Film Critic

I'm 26 and an amateur film blogger. My wife and I enjoy watching the older movies whenever we remember to send back our Netflix discs. We were at a housewarming/engagement/pool party last weekend and, just like every conversation I have, we talked about movies. My wife and I tried to convince them to see Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom". They were having none of it. When I went Anderson's filmography, there were smatterings of "That sucked." or "That was boring." In the end, these friends, who have nice, education-required jobs, are not really that interested in older movies or even modern-day movies that are slightly outside the mainstream. Also, my wife and I (26 & 24) are usually the youngest people in the theater unless we see "The Hunger Games". So, I, unfortunately, have to agree with Mr. Gabler. Of course, it could just be Pittsburgh, the major city with the worst movie market.

Jonathan M

The people Neal Gabler wrote about are out there, but they aren't reading

Any self-described, and self-selected, film fans who do appreciate classic films & announce that here, aren't representative of their demographic.


Any real movie lover should be open to films from any time, just as music lovers are open to all sorts of music. I'm 29, and I know the world doesn't begin and end with me.


I decided I wanted to be filmmaker back in 2006 after watching Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" for the first time, which back then was a 38-year-old film; I was 18. The fact that I am now a film student precludes me from qualifying as "rank-and-file", but I am 24 and therefore very much a millennial. The great majority of my friends are millennials as well, some as much as five years younger than me, and pretty much all of us just love movies, *good* movies, regardless of whether they were made a month ago ("The Avengers") or almost a century ago ("The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari").

PS: Sorry to double post. The first comment was involuntarily sent unfinished.


I am probably expected to wright things to defend myself like "I'm not like those people he describes" and so on. However I won't do this, there is no need for me to defend my taste in movies or media in general. I watch what I want in my free time and so does everyone else. However blaming people's tastes for something that you don't like is just pathetic and incredibly arrogant. So the bottom line is: I watch what I want and this guy can go suck it.

Ily Goyanes

I respectfully disagree. It is not that millenials don't appreciate older films, it is that they are usually not exposed to them. This applies for music as well. I am a culture critic for the Miami New Times and I have two millenials living at home (16 and 18). They both love Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton films, as well as films by John Hughes and Woody Allen, plus they LOVE older Scorsese films. We take turns choosing titles for our family movie nights, and I make it a point to select 'must-see' films for them (which they usually end up adding to their list of favorites). It is a parent's job to expose their children to culture — who else is going to do it?

Aren Bergstrom

I'm of two minds on this subject. While I'm 21 years old and an ardent lover of movies from the past, many of my contemporary cinephiles lack that appetite for old movies. Most conversations regarding film have to do with the current landscape of cinema and an old movie is considered a film from the 80s. I don't know if it's entirely that movies are merely fashion, as Gabler suggests, but more that many young people find the concerns of past movies too antiquated, the techniques too old pat, the storylines too classic. The number one thing young filmlovers freak out about is "originality," betraying the fact that they are still starting their cinematic journey and have yet to realize that very few stories are original and what a film is about matters far less than how a film is about it.

I think they're wrong, but their opinion persists. Basically anything black-and-white is off limits and too old, and even New Hollywood films are hardly mentioned. I'm flabbergasted by the idea that a supposed film lover could have zero interest in movies made before JAWS and STAR WARS invented the blockbuster, but there are many young people like this, and I know them. They're my friends and rivals.

It's fair to criticize the current generation for our lack of attention span, because it's a side-effect of our age of instant gratification in all parts of life, but to think that we merely like new movies because they allow us to showcase them like articles of clothing is going too far. Even if that is the case and I'm warped in my perception of my own generation, there'll still always remains individuals like me, who get excited by a new Criterion release of a Powell/Pressburger film, who think that Hitchcock is still underappreciated by modern critics, that F.W. Murnau's THE LAST LAUGH proves that sound was not essential to cinema, and that anything Kurosawa made was practically perfect.

Brandon Rohwer

I'm 28, and sure, I love recent blockbusters like THE DARK KNIGHT, FAST FIVE, and THE AVENGERS. But I hold films like THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY, THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, and DR. STRANGELOVE in even higher reverence.

Kate Kulzick

I can't speak for my generation, but I love classic film. Many of by favorite films of all time are the old classics and Chaplin, Hitchcock, Wilder, Ford, Capra, and so many others, are among my favorite directors of all time. I've never had as visceral and emotional a response to any film as I did to Gone with the Wind and often if I'm down, I'll watch the "Pick Yourself Up" sequence from Swingtime. There are plenty of young movie fans who adore classic film. Articles like these tend to come across to me as, "Kids these days…" rants more than anything else; elders fearing change and the judgement of the young, rather than any more significant cultural problem.


Spent an hour talking about this with my best movie loving friend yesterday. DISAGREE!

Rebecca Z.

Neil, I'm 22. A few days ago I went to a screening of one of my all time favorite films, Singin' in the Rain, and the packed theatre was filled with movie lovers of all ages. That isn't to say that everyone of my generation goes out of their way to find and watch older films, but the experience was optimistic and I believe that if a person is shown at young age, as I was, that just because a movie is black and white doesn't mean it'll be boring, they can absolutely have an appreciation for movies of any era.


Oh, how wrong he is. I'm 24. I might be considered a 'fanatic' considering there were a few years where I watching nothing but Turner Classic Movies, but I'm also writing this comment during my Law School Ethics class, so I'm no professional. I get to see any movie I want all the time thanks to Netflix, Hulu, VOD, and illegal sites that my legal training has taught me not to talk about.

But most of my friends are 'rank-and-file' and they are just fine with watching older movies. I own A LOT of movies, many of which were made before I was born. And being that my friends and I are young and poor, many of my friends borrow these movies due to their lack of cable. The age of a movie has never seemed to turn anyone away from a film. Just the other day my defeated looking neighbor knocked on my door and asked for 'something sweet.' I handed her The Apartment. Without even questioning it, she took it and left.

Finally, for a perfect example, I use 'Lawn Movies.' Every week, my friend takes a projector that he claims he didn't steal, hooks it up to his laptop and some speakers that he also claims he didn't steal. We drape a sheet over across the porch and we watch a movie while sitting on the lawn. Every night there are at least 10 people. The movies this summer: Slap Shot, Ghostbusters, Jaws, Used Cars, Independence Day, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Only one of those movies were made during my lifetime, and it was July 3rd so of course we had to watch Independence Day and sync it so that Bill Pullaman's speech came exactly at midnight.

We have to watch older movies because its so easy to get a hold of movies now, if we only watched new ones we'd run out of good movies to watch within a year. They made another Spiderman movie because our generation is open to reinterpretation of stories and characters, thanks to the internet. And to make a whole bunch of money, of course.


21-year-old here. Not an aspiring film maker.

I've been going to art and foreign movies my whole life (at least since middle school) and have always been the youngest person in the theater, with a few exceptions, of course. Also, I'm a big cinephile who has no issue watching an older movie.

I obviously cannot speak on behalf of everyone my age or generation, but I don't believe the issue millennials have with old movies explicitly has to do with them being old; instead, I think it comes from just how appealing something shiny and new can be, and about how greatness is mimicked.

Special effects, most obviously, make newer action and sci-fi movies more appealing to young folk, but films of other genres also are seen differently from the eyes of someone in 2012. No example of this sticks out to me more so than Pulp Fiction. We've all heard of film makers since Tarantino's Pulp Fiction that have tried to be Tarantino rip offs, but what if you saw a rip off, or two, or three, or ten, before you saw Pulp Fiction? It can be difficult to appreciate the original.

However, Pulp Fiction only came out in the 90's. Imagine a costume drama from some time in the 20th century (seriously, pick any). Has the story been retold more recently? Has it been recorded or exhibited in a picture quality that is considered standard by today's viewers? Is the exquisite costuming THAT much more exquisite than the well-received period pieces made today?

Now, here's a very important point that has to be made: if a millennial doesn't care for deep analysis a 2012 film, they definitely won't care for it from an older film (the "definitely" comes from the aforementioned reasons). Anyone who completed high school English could likely pick up basic elements like symbolism in a movie; that's something transferable from literature to film. But if they don't want to do it, they won't. Nothing can be done about it. Some millennials are shitheads. However, shitheads aren't unique to the millennial generation.

Obviously, not everyone is going to be open to watching old movies, just like how plenty of middle-aged housewives I know don't watch anything much older than them and how many adults don't watch silent films. It doesn't come from a generation's resistance to old arts and culture (nearly every kid nowadays still goes through a classic rock phase and appreciates The Beatles), but with movies, there's a large sense of "why bother?" "What can this older movie with its unimpressive sound and visuals do for me that a new movie couldn't?" To call this problem unique to millennials is to be nothing short of ignorant.

So, to quickly wrap things up: great films of years past can be seen as overdone by today's standard, which can be unappealing to millennials. However, not all millennials are shitheads, and not all shitheads are millennials.


I decided I wanted to be filmmaker back in 2006 after watching Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" for the first time, which back then was a 38-year-old film; I was 18. The fact that I am now a film student precludes me from qualifying as "rank-and-file", but I am 24 AND THERE


I respectfully disagree, Gabler. While it is true that a lot of people under 30 today don't have much interest in films prior to even 2000, saying that all people under 30 have no interest or ache for them is simply a foolish statement. I am 16 years old and already I have learned the wonders of incredible director's like Kurosawa, Jodorowsky, Lynch, Kubrick and so on. I was lucky enough to be born in the age where this new "internet" thing was rising. Now that I am a teenager and the internet is a stamp of pop culture, it gives me an outlet to find out about films, directors and cinema history I knew absolutely nothing about. In fact that's how I find out about most of my movies. Living in this generation has its faults, a lot of faults actually, but theres also enough good there to even it out. Like for example my previous point of the internet is a great outlet to discovering cinema you never knew existed before. I've never been one to think highly of myself but I can appreciate a classic and re watch multiple times for a greater meaning. Like I said before, there are a lot of dumb people under 30 today. The people seeing the new Spider Man and all revved up on energy drinks and reality TV but that is not always the case. The comments here have proven that a large majority of us are passionate about cinema and it's fascinating history. We don't just see it as an outlet to kill time, we see it as something much greater that the average person would not comprehend. That is my final point, good day.


I suppose "under 30s" went back and checked their Ozu in the 70s, 80s, and 90s? Doubtful. If anything, I would say that my generation (I'm 28) has a lot more fans of some of this older stuff because so much of it is at our fingertips.

Studios may just be more precise in releasing their tentpole movies. It took 70 or so years to get to Jaws and Star Wars…now they are wringing every cent possible the summer movie model. Just because theyve learned to draw in more casual moviegoers doesnt mean their are any less cinephiles.


I'm 24. Ozu, Feuillade, Dreyer, Murnau, Ophuls, Hawks, Whale, Mizoguchi, Sternberg, Lubitsch, Wellman, Renoir, Tourneur, Epstein, Stroheim, Borzage, Ford, N. Ray, Minnelli, A. Mann, Naruse, Mamoulian, Ghatak, Dovzhenko, Tashlin, Hitchcock, Olmi, SAM FULLER, and your MOM.

They're all pretty old but I'd salivate over them in a dark room regardless.

Kristy Puchko

I'm an under 30 movie blogger, so my appreciation of movies old and new might be seen as a given. Still, I'd like to offer that some of the most impassioned arguments I've read about various film issues (from texting in theaters, to the film stock becoming obsolete) are often from so-called Millennials who take to Twitter, Facebook and similar platforms to express their passion for movies and for keeping movies important.

On top of that, I've been attending revivals screenings of older movies for more than 10 years, and frequently find many younger people in the crowd, totally eager to see Metropolis, Gone With The Wind, or Rear Window on the big screen. Just last week I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey again with a group of friends salivating over the chance to see it in 70mm, and the audience we joined was diverse in age, gender, and race.

As to which old movies I like best, many of my favorites are older than me, including (but not limited to) Singin' In The Rain, All About Eve, The Apartment, and Jaws.

Asif Khan

Well i am 20 and a Medical Student. I have been watching Old or Art movies from a very young age, i LIVE watching Old classic movie and i don't even care much for the new ones. The one and only problem with me is that i am a non-USA resident, can't get my hands on many of the best movies out there but i still watch as much as i can. I am so passionate about becoming a Film Critic one day that i can leave my every thing behind for that. So with all due respect Mr Neal, you are so wrong about this.

Jeremy Sollie

Neal, I'm 17. I hated The Amazing Spider-Man and think it is stupid that it was remade (and so soon). Just last night I had a double feature of The Thing and The Shining. Here are some movies on my DVR right now: Gremlins, The Birds, Blade Runner (Final Cut), Psycho, Vertigo, Boogie Nights, Gambit, Terminator 2, Casino, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Jackie Brown, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, North by Northwest, Heat, The Godfather Part II, and The Untouchables. I've seen most of these and loved them. Here are some movies I own: Alien, Aliens, Goodfellas, Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Miller's Crossing, Fargo, Raging Bull, The Thing, The Shining, and Cool Hand Luke. I've seen most of these and loved them. My favorite film of last year was Hugo. The best part of that movie was the history lesson of cinema's past. I currently write for a website about animated films, and recently wrote a review series where I highlighted movies from the past someone might have missed. If I was "living in a world of here-and-now," why would I prefer to look to the past? I don't look at a movie theater as some place I can go and text for two hours. I look at a movie theater as a place I go to experience something I can't experience anyplace else. And something tells me that's no different than why you go.

Shannon B.

Neil, I'm 29. Thanks to Netflix, TCM, and the Criterion Collection, I have seen the following movies in the past two years.
Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Sanjuro, High and Low, Throne of Blood, The Seventh Seal, The Virgin Spring, The Third Man, Citizen Cane, Touch of Evil, The Wild Bunch, Modern Times, Tokyo Drifter, Bad Day At Black Rock, Annie Hall, Crumb, Eyes Without a Face, and Godzilla.


I'm 28 years old and I love movies, new and old. There are days when I think cinema as a whole hasn't lived up to the potential that Buster Keaton's SHERLOCK JR promised in 1924. Kurosawa's IKIRU is in contention for being my favorite film. I just bought Kieslowski's THREE COLORS trilogy without ever having seen any of those films (or any Kieslowski films) but knowing it's probably a good risk to take. I think Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League is nothing less than a hero for his recent letter to the National Association of Theater Owners about why allowing texting in theaters is a terrible idea. I think Edgar Wright is a lesser god walking amongst us. And yes, I have a real hard time getting excited about seeing Spider-Man's origin story again. (I have yet to check out AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.)

As for being more film literate than my parents, I probably passed them by in high school. It's not even close now.

Christopher Bowes

I think part of the problem might be the word "millenials". I'm twenty-eight, and I think it's telling that everyone who has commented so far is in his late twenties. Like them, I have a passion for current, classic, and forgotten films; I watch them, write about them, and teach them.

But the students I teach, who are ten to fifteen years younger than me, exhibit the exact behavior Gabler writes about. The examples he gave–especially the bit about having seen "parts" of movies on YouTube–rang very true. The term "millenial" technically includes both me and someone born in the '90s, but there's a huge difference between people who learned to live in a world without the Internet (the people commenting) and a kid in high school right now. My childhood had more in common with my grandma's than with a seventeen-year-old's, and that has created the gap Gabler is writing about.


I am 21 years old and Turner Classic Movies is my favorite channel. Through these classic pieces of cinema one learns more about the power of the medium than by tuning into a lot of the crap put out today. Would much rather watch my Lawrence of Arabia DVD then go and see Battleship. I am a fan of classic films and it these from these films that so many of today's acclaimed films and filmmakers can claim as a source of inspiration.

Sebastian Nebel

I'm a few months away from 30. In thee past, my father used to call me up to say that "Metropolis," "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" or "The Wages of Fear" were on TV. Now, I call him to tell him "Battleship Potemkin," "Duck Soup" or "One, Two, Three" are on Netflix. You're right, Matt, we live in an age where it is just as easy to watch Kurt Neumann's "The Fly" than it is to watch Cronenberg's. And while not all of my friends are as avid cinephiles as I am, I am not alone in appreciating the history of film and actively watching important classics of the genre. Just recently had friends over to watch the restored "Metropolis," "Citizen Kane" is next on the agenda. (Of course I invite friends to watch contemporary movies, too, just last night we saw the wonderful Argentinian gem "Medianeras.")


I'm 19. Old movies help me put new movies in perspective. And often times they are much better.

I love "The Gold Rush" and "Modern Times" – Chaplin is a far better silent comedian than Jean Dujardin.
"High Noon" might be my favorite movie ever. Westerns need to refer back to this a whole lot more.
"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" still floors me.
And I'd rather spend my money on an anniversary showing of "Singing in the Rain" than I would on "The Avengers."

Tanner Kundrat

I am 20 years old, and while I try not to judge films based on when they were made, most of my favorite films are from the 1970s and before. That's not to say I don't love contemporary films, which I get excited over and try to see as many in the theatre as possible, but I occasionally feel an irrational guilt when I haven't watched a movie from before my lifetime in a couple days. Mr. Gabler's idea do not apply to this millenial. However, I do see this trend among others my age. Even many fellow film students, who keep up with all the current Indies, rarely care to venture into any films before the blockbusters of the 1980s.


I'm 28, and after getting over the initial shock that I'm apparently considered part of this "millennial" generation *sigh*, felt that I'd be doing a disservice to not chime in.

I love movies. I have lots of friends who love movies, and I have lots who don't. Sure, I know people under 30 who would find watching "It Happened One Night" to be laughable (and not in the right way), and think that "Proper acting" was invented in the 70's. But I also know plenty of people over 50 who feel the exact same way.

Personally, I enjoy watching films in the cultural contexts in which they were made, and get just as much enjoyment watching "Metropolis", "Brief Encounter", or "Cinema Paradiso" as I do watching things like "Fight Club", "Memento" or "Black Swan". These contexts often make the films more enjoyable to watch, and certainly to think about and discuss afterwards.

The decision to reboot a film franchise quickly doesn't make it any less artistic. The execution decides that. The Departed is probably the best example of this. Infernal affairs did not need a remake. But the result, most would consider to be a fine film indeed.

John Keefer

I'm 29 so if you'll allow me to slide in right under the cutoff I'll disagree with Mr. Gabler's "You damn kids with your MTVs" assessment. But not entirely. The idea that the new value of new movies is connected to virtual social interaction is interesting, seeming as it does that Hollywood fully supports this model thanks to the great Satan of marketing. But I will also say that reading Ebert's Great Movies as a teen I was frustrated, because I couldn't get access to the movies. I had to wait to see Le Samourai and when I finally did I was blown away, as I was with Le Cercle Rouge and Army of Shadows and with the cinema of Renoir, who is a God, and Powell and Pressburger, who are Gods, and Kenji Mizoguchi, who is a God. This assessment seems to suffer from the very thing it complains about: a lack of patience. Wait until these obviously movie-obsessed kids get a bit older, get beaten up by life, and get sick of cotton candy. Wait to see them look to older films when the aesthetics get old or when someone they know who is super cool is like, "Hey I watched this Band of Outsiders movie last night and they were dancing and the sound cut out and it was cool." Christ old man just let the kids grow up a little. Maybe they'll drink from the endless font of Love that is cinema or maybe they won't. Who cares? You can't force them. But I will say that I became movie obsessed because I wanted to and currently make movies, so I figured I should do my homework so I didn't look like an ass. And as long as kids don't want to look like asses, the movies will be okay…or they won't, who gives a damn. Wait…is that from a movie?

Daniel Bergamini

Since elementary school, I've been obsessed with film. I am now 21, and trying to become a filmmaker. To say that young people do not care about older film is ignorant generalization. It also ignores all of the people over 30 who do not care about older film.

Ironically, the title of Mr. Gabler's article is "Perspective: Millennials seem to have little use for old movies", and it seems perspective is exactly what Gabler is missing. It is easy to look at the younger generation now and say they do not appreciate film as art, however it takes a bit more perspective to look back and realize 20-years ago it was most likely the same.

The majority of people will always want film to be entertainment, and as unfortunate as that is, it will never change. However, that is not true for all people. Just like some people over 30, there are those who are part of the "millenials", who love film. I am one of those, and I have loved all kinds of film since I was barely able to read.

From E.T. to THE RED SHOES, it does not matter how old a film is, nor how old the viewer is. Film lovers come in all ages, but maybe Gabler thought that was a less interesting article.


I'm 30 and I was exposed to some older movies that really stuck with me in my film class in college. Some find it unexpected or weird that I can sit home and watch 400 Blows, Bicycle Thief or the Seven Samurai. In most cases, older movies (released before I was born) are not necessarily ones I can own or watch all the time, but when they are on I generally commit a good amount of time to viewing them.


I am 26. I'm probably not "rank & file" (I have a MA in Cinema Studies), but I've loved old films – classic and not-so-classic – since I was little. In addition to the expected 80s/90s fare, I grew up watching the Universal horror films of the 30s & 40s, as well as Three Stooges shorts and classic Disney movies. Some of the first DVDs I ever owned were CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, COMA, and CAPRICORN ONE. I was watching Hitchcock before I graduated high school, and some of my favorite memories of my freshman year in college were seeing CASABLANCA, CHINATOWN, THE EXORCIST, and TOUCH OF EVIL on a big screen. The advent of social networking, etc has, I think, made it easier for young people to discover films they might otherwise never see, and in my case it has allowed me to connect with people all over the country who share my appreciation of classic film.


27. Adore all film. Who gives a damn when it was made? It's like me making the assumption that anyone over 35 thinks the internet is a fad.

Carlos L.

I went over to the LA Times to read the full piece Neal wrote and, while he makes some valid points, I think he's missing the industry side of the story: movie studios can hardly make money these days from old movies even if they released 'Casablanca' for a theatrical run again, the market is pretty much tapped out on that movie… and NOBODY wants to see a remake.

I'm 24 and have enjoyed movies for most of my life but really became a cinephile about 6 years ago. Since then, I've been able to enjoy some of the great classics of film history and value them over most of the modern popcorn entertainment: my favorite romantic comedy is Chaplin's 'City Lights', closely followed by 'Annie Hall'; my favorite Sci-Fi movie is 'Blade Runner', one of my favorite directors of all time is Billy Wilder and Sidney Lumet's dialogue and narrative in '12 angry men' is without equal.

I DON'T appreciate the avalanche of remakes and reboots we've been inundated with and while some stories are worth revisiting (see Chris Nolan's Batman), I wince at the thought of the day when a true classic (i.e. not 'Total Recall') will be remade because it's the only way studios can squeeze profit out of moviegoers these days.

So no, I don't think young people are at fault for this failure of the system and I will now go and watch 'Les 400 coups' for the 7th time.

Aaron Hammond

This article infuriates me. I'm 23 years old, and I've been watching old movies for a large chunk of my life. It really started when I was in 8th grade, and I saw "12 Angry Men" for the first time. I was absolutely blown away by the fact that a 50-year-old movie could still have such enormous power. They weren't just relics, all generations of film still have some vitality today. I've seen every Charlie Chaplin movie and I spent an entire summer catching up on Alfred Hitchcock. The last movie I got through Netflix was Melville's "Army of Shadows." This is a great time to be a movie fan because just about any movie we could ever hope to see from any era. We don't have to go to specialty movie stores hoping they'll have a beaten up VHS copy of what we're looking for. I think the key to getting the younger generation to increase their interest in older movies is to help them find the movies that contemporary films are inspired by. If you love "Drive," check out "Le Samourai." If you love "Inception," try wading through an even more complex dreamscape: "Last Year at Marienbad." There is nothing worse than using a sweeping generalization to condemn an entire generation's cinematic prowess.

Evan F

I'm 24. I love old movies…or rather, I love movies that happen to be old.

Alfred Hitchcock comes to mind first. I remember watching Rear Window and The Birds with my mom and loving them. I remember watching Psycho for the first time with a friend at a sleepover and going to bed thinking Norman Bates was going to come get me.

To me, Dog Day Afternoon, Taxi Driver and The Godfather are unmatched in modern cinema. And I'm a James Bond fanatic, and I can thank Goldfinger for that; it was the first one I saw.

I love films of all kinds and eras. I know there are many produced in decades past that I need to see, my own Pile of Shame. (I just recently watched Apocalypse Now for the first time.) Netflix, whether on disc or streaming, provides all of these films for me, and I feel lucky to be living in such an age. And thanks to that service, I can't wait to discover more.

Sean Dailey

For me personally, I could not disagree more with Gabler. I'm 29 and one of my all-time favorite movies is Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn, released a year before I was born. I also absolutely ADORE Vertigo and tons of other films from "before my time."

On the other hand, I heard my friend's younger, more hipster-y roommate say he hasn't seen Back to the Future. His reasoning: "Why would I care about a movie that was made before I was born?" I almost slapped him.


Neal: I'm 27. Last night I went to see one of my all-time favorite movies on the big screen, ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT. It makes many modern war movies look just plain silly.


I love old movies, but not so much remakes. They just imitate the original, so they’re pointless.


I know this is late, but I am 15 years old and I love old movies with a passion. Some of my favorite movies include Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Singin’ In The Rain, My Fair Lady, Rear Window, and many more. I am saddened not only by this statistic (which I would like to disprove) but also by the fact that many young parents are not exposing their children to classics. For example, I recently participated in a concert and was alarmed to find that apparently most children don’t recognize songs such as Do-Re-Mi from the Sound of Music. I grew up on the Wizard of Oz as well as Disney classics such as Mary Poppins and Cinderella, and yet many kids now cock their heads at the mention of these movies. To be quite honest, I am frightened for the future, because I am afraid these classics will no longer be appreciated and recognized as they should be.

Taylor T

I’m nearly 26 years old and I watched & loved alot of original, pre-2010 movies like “The Godfather”, “The Sound of Music”, “The Crow”, Star Wars original & prequel trilogies, “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Tobey Maguire’s Spidey trilogy, “Dances With Wolves”, “Nosferatu” (1922) and “Finding Neverland”. I had no problem with watching any movie from the 20th Century and the first decade of 21st and I could go on watching more of them. There are more older movies I need to watch so I can’t complain. Secondly, my favorite films of all time are “The Dark Knight”, “Walk the Line” and “The Punisher” (2004).

Besides, two of my biggest problems I am going to explain:
1. This 8th gaming generation (Remasterstation 4 and Xbox One era) is that we have so many pre-2010 movies are about to get remade because, in my point of view, young people (from age of 5 to 27) nowadays have never watched a lot of old movies that were released before their lifetime and that’s the problem why Hollywood have been remaking/rebooting/reimagining old movies for them.
2. People nowadays suffering nostalgia and they want nostalgia wrapped up with modern technology and this means nostalgic people want to see/watch something familiar to the originals. It sounds idiotic, isn’t it?

Just like remastered Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 games for current generation consoles that I’ve already owned & played on the last generation consoles, as well as Nintendo games. I have no desire to watch remakes/reboots in the last years and it have been really annoying and frustrating when it comes to the announce of remakes/reboots in the development. There are some of the good remakes/reboots that were made before 2007 like”Scarface”, Christian Bale’s Batman trilogy, Peter Jackson’s version of “King Kong” and “Ben-Hur” and that’s okay because those were great films. After both of “Halloween” and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” remakes/reboots came in 2006/2007, every remake/reboot/reimagine went to crap with bad acting, bad directing, bad screenplay and bad editing since, with an exception of Andy Serkis’ monkeys films. Many of remakes/reboots in the last 5 years flopped at box office number and still continue to flop when people, including me, are not interested in watching them and that’s why we need more new intellectual properties than remakes/reboots, as well as stop turning movies into television shows. Enough is enough!

If Hollywood decides to remakes/reboots/reimagine “Game of Thrones”, “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Godfather” within a decade, I WILL RIOT!!!

Mrs McShane

I clicked on this page hoping “not to feel weird”,but most of what you guys consider old movies are like from the 80s.I’m 26 and love anything with Charlton Heston.I too am also a fan of the “Sound of Music”.My favorite old movies would have to be old Christmas movies such as “White Christmas”,”Holiday Inn”,”Christmas in Connecticut”,”It’s a Wonderful Life”,the original “Miracle on 34th Street”and the 1938 “A Christmas Carol”.

    Mrs McShane

    Failed to mention that my 28 year old husband likes Star Wars and Charlie Chaplin movies.Yes,we are quite “weird”. :)

Logan C.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I love movies from almost every time period. I still like new movies but I sometimes have a hard time with them because a lot of them aren’t original ideas, there’ve been a lot of remakes and book to film adaptations recently. The only movies that I haven’t had much exposure to are silent films. My mother always watched the TCM channel when I was a kid. I partially grew up with Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Doris Day, Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy, and Humphrey Bogart etc. films. I enjoy classic films because they bring me closer to my parents. Movies from the 60s-80s are what my parents grew up watching and I love finding out what they used to love. Films from the 30s-50s are interesting to me because one of my favorite genres is the crime noir films. There’s just something about detective/femme fatale movies in WW2 that excite me. Give me a Lauren Bacall and Bogie movie any day. I think it could be that I love watching them because despite the dramatization it gives me a window into the past and helps me understand how life might’ve been back then. More recently I’ve been trying to watch films with unique themes like Whatever Happened To Baby Jane and two Gene Tierny movies Laura & Leave Her To Heaven. Next on my list is One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

    Logan C.

    I forgot like some others to mention my age, I’m 19.


Millennial here – 27 years old (born in 1989). This is a stereotype to be sure in line with all the others dumped on my poor generation by self-serving media pundits but one with a grain of truth (or in this case, a lump of it) lacking context. Most of my peers who watch movies and claim to be movie buffs certainly aren’t aware of older film classics beyond a few select titles. And by film classics, I’m not just referring to old Hollywood hits like Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, Double Indemnity and the like but also classic works by great auteurs like Jean-Luc Godard, Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Robert Bresson, Francois Truffaut, Luis Bunuel, Ingmar Bergman, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders, Alain Resnais, Nagisa Oshima, Jacques Demy, Kenji Mizoguchi, Akira Kurosawa, David Lean, John Ford and so many others. Even though they often digest and worship films that were deeply influenced by these greats like Pulp Fiction (like all Tarantino films deeply influenced by Godard), Star Wars (Kurosawa), La La Land (Jacques Demy), Memento (Fritz Lang and other noir filmmakers) and work by David O. Russell (influenced by Bunuel, among others). However this trope needs qualification. Its not just true of millennials per se. Even folks of the previous generations (Generation X and Baby Boomers) don’t seem as well versed in film classics and film theory the way they or their peers may have been in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. I think this has to do less with generations and more to do with how culture in general has changed over the last 25 years. With the rise of the neoliberal capitalist economy and the changes that brought to the film and broader pop culture industries, films, music and television now tend to pander according to a very primitive popularity model. Whatever can appeal to the broadest number of people and rake in the largest amount of money disproportionately over the budget to make it is considered marketable and is promoted by the media, theaters and the industry as a whole without any attention to the cinematic antecedents that influenced it or without any concern for educating audiences about film antecedents in general. The economy of pop culture is such that new is always privileged over anything else, particularly in the realm of film. Hence why more people are pulled to a blockbuster like Star Wars or an MCU film or a dumb comedy with stars like Seth Rogen, Ben Stiller or Adam Sandler than to really exploring older films beyond a few that constantly get referenced like Casablanca, Dr. Strangelove or The Godfather. A prominent journalist was once asked about his favorite films by a culture editor for The Guardian (no millennial outlet that) and he mentioned some stuff by Bunuel, among others. The editor asked “I’m sorry who is that?” and the journalist repeated it in disbelief only for the editor to continue not to know who that was. This was an editor for The Guardian of all places! I highly doubt she was a millennial. Yet for the culture editor for such a highly regarded newspaper not to know who Bunuel was beyond shocking. It shows you how far and how deep the ignorance goes. Furthermore, it also depends on who the person is and what they do regarding film. The average joe who works in some other job or studies another field may certainly not know much about older film beyond the mass-produced shit that came out since the 80’s onwards. But someone who studied film in college and/or watches older movies on cinephile-tailored channels like TCM or via the Criterion Collection of DVDs/Bluerays will probably be much more familiar with those types of movies and have a better appreciation for them. Rather than scapegoating millennials as is the fashion of condescending media pundits and self-righteous older jerks, it would be better to analyze the changes in culture and economy that privilege newer entertainment tailored to the lowest common denominator among audiences and how that has served to inculcate ignorance about cinema and cinematic history.

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