Chuck Jaffee: A great alternative to the couch |

Chuck Jaffee: A great alternative to the couch

[Note: A portion of the proceeds from the classic film series will benefit Friends of Nevada County Libraries for book and materials purchases.]

Don’t couch your dreams. Find middle ground between staying home watching the boob tube and actually facing the real world. Get out of the house to see grand old films in a grand old setting. Whether or not you saw “Gone With the Wind,” “Casablanca,” or “The Wizard of Oz” at the Del Oro’s ongoing classic movies series, five opportunities remain.

March 15, 16: “Roman Holiday” (1953) drew 10 Oscar nominations but rates a notch below the select feeling of the others in this series. That said, Audrey Hepburn earned an Oscar playing a princess. Since this is effectively her movie introduction to the world, it is a romantic outing of the classic kind.

March 22, 23: “Some Like It Hot” (1959) is the only flat-out comedy in this series. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon play musicians pretending to be women, so they can hide from gangsters. They join an all-women band (including Marilyn Monroe). This broadest of screwball comedies is routinely regarded among the top few comedies of all time.

March 29, 30: “Magnificent Seven” (1960) lacks comparative Oscar credentials but may be the most entertaining movie in the series. This western transcends John Wayne and precedes such modernizations as “Butch Cassidy” or “Unforgiven.” One of cinema’s great, enlivening, musical taglines pumps up a varied set of gunslingers to coalesce against the odds and save a poor farming village.

April 5, 6: “On the Waterfront (1954) whips violent corruption in the most heavyweight drama of this series. One could hardly get serious in a more iconic way than feeling a brooding Marlon Brando embody a standard that galvanized actors for decades. The cast and mood lifts a working class story to world class reckoning.

April 12, 13: “Doctor Zhivago” (1965) expands seriousness to epic proportions as only director David Lean knows how. The heaviness pushed by the war and deprivation of the Russian Revolution milks populist poetry from the romance between Julie Christie’s Lara and Omar Sharif’s Zhivago.

The dent in the couch will still be there when you get home from seeing classic films the way they were meant to be seen.

Chuck Jaffee of Nevada City likes to plug people into the spirit of alternative film distribution. Find his other articles for The Union at

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