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WHAT A WAY TO GO! [Oh, It’s Tuesday]

Yesterday, a former, much younger work acquaintance took to Twitter, having decided to give more classic movies a chance after seeing CHARADE. He asked his followers for their suggestions. I immediately came back with WHAT A WAY TO GO!

There are many more well-known films from this era, but none that I have like more than this one. Basically the premise is that a small town girl (played by a young Shirley MacClaine) is wooed by two small town boys, one a general store scion (played by Dean Martin) and one a poor-but-noble Thoreau lover (played by Dick Van Dyke). She chooses the Thoreau lover, only to have him go and get rich on her, eventually dying and leaving her a wealthy widow. She goes on to purposefully marry another poor man (Paul Newman) and the exact same thing happens, over and over again until an unexpected twist conclusion.

This movie would never get made in Hollywood today. The idea of choosing the extremely poor, thoughtful guy over the rich guy has gone the way of the wooly mammoth it seems. And in a day and age when women are constantly worrying about their retirement plans, neither the bohemian nor the pastoral lifestyle seem as romantic anymore.

But this is a great gem of a film, with a perfect all-star cast, a clever premise, and perfect story construction for those of us with short attention spans.

Still, I’d like to offer more suggestions to my young friend. So if you have a favorite film from the 60s, 50s, or 40s, let us know in the comments.