Cinema’s Forgotten Legends Series: An Introduction

I’ve often wondered & thought to myself the definition behind the basis of my Cinema’s Forgotten Legends Series articles, so I thought that I would take this opportunity to share with classic film lovers everywhere an in-depth but genuinely insightful introduction to the series itself with particular interest to 2 words: forgotten & legends. By definition via an online thesaurus (which I love because it lists only synonyms of the actual word for sheer simplicity because I believe that life shouldn’t be complicated), the word forgotten literally means neglected & the singular version of the word legends (legend) meaning conqueror; more on the reason behind my choice of words later on. Of course I know that all of the classic film actors & actresses behind my countless tributes are in no way forgotten by any means; it’s just that in the classic film world they weren’t as fervently remembered today as say other contemporaries like Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, James Stewart, Joan Crawford, John Wayne, Clara Bow, Gary Cooper or James Cagney (just to give some idea of the famous artisans of the silver screen via The Golden Age of Hollywood)2

In my opinion, the multi-faceted artists that I’ve decided to be showcased in the cinematic limelight were equally gifted individuals who have graced the silver screen with an unparalleled amount of respect, appreciation, integrity, intelligence and adoration for their craft; if anything, these “forgotten legends” to this day remain treasured, cherished (which is the antonym of forgotten), beloved and fondly appreciated more than ever before especially with other classic film fans. I often think of my posted tributes as a way of remembrance in knowing the fact that for as long as I’ve been a classic film lover, I’ve always had an unequivocal love, zealous passion & profound appreciation for all great classic films & its stars behind as well as in front of the camera. I have even contemplated on a future CFLS post in which I’m paying tribute to those indelible lost/forgotten gems of classic films because to me the list should be just as diversified & unique as every classic film fan’s taste from a specific genre. There are a few quotes that I’ve deeply enjoyed looking at that gives a bit of enlightenment into my reason for the series: the stage/silver screen actress Minnie Fiske (December 19th, 1865-February 15th, 1932)

Minnie Maddern Fiske, seated, Zaida Ben-Yusuf, 1896
Three-quarter length portrait photograph of American actress Minnie Maddern Fiske, seated, facing front.

said: ” The great actors are the luminous ones; they are the great conductors of the stage” & of course the stage can refer to either the Broadway theater, in Shakespearean form or the silver screen stage where they perform via the movie theatre for all film goers. The Russian actor & theatre director Konstantin Stanislavisky (January 17th, 1863-August 7th, 1938)6

said: ” The main factor in any form of creativeness is the life of a human spirit, that of the actor and his part, their joint feelings and subconscious”. Their compelling performances, especially in regards to the veteran character actresses and actors, illuminated the silver screen with their masterful portrayals of their respective characters on film. Finally the iconic Swedish director, writer/ film producer of stage, screen & television Ingmar Bergman (July 14th, 1918-July 30th, 2007)7

culminates the final passage in my post with the following inspirational quote: ” Film as dream, film as music. No art form passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls”; all 3 of these quotes that I’ve selected reflect a meaningful, awe-inspiring & ingenious insight into why I’ve genuinely developed my lifelong passion and appreciation for the classics. The reason behind my choice of words is a simple one for me: I feel that all classic cinema, whether from films or the stars who work in front of & behind the camera, should always have a spotlight in our lives regardless, those unsung immensely talented individuals who were unable to gain that picturesque recognition. In more ways than one, those actors and actresses were profoundly underrated but never the less their very presence onscreen garnered a unique affection, passion & recollection to many who fondly appreciate their enduring legacies.4

The title seems to be a bit off key I know, and yet it was perfect because for me it really captured not only my attention but my heart as well; I’m very grateful & proud of the series that I’ve selflessly created because of the huge inspiration that was (and still is) felt by so many of my friends. I’ve wanted to explain the Cinema’s Forgotten Legends Series post from my own perspective…not only as a fellow classic movie lover who shares in the love and passion for classic films abundantly but also as a human being with real feelings & emotions…who knows that films will never grow old, legends will never die & life will remain as timeless, invaluable and priceless as long as classic television channels like Turner Classic Movies exists. I can also honestly state that I’ll never grow tired of TCM or anything classic; for me classic films will always remain a lasting cinematic tradition for generations of classic film lovers everywhere. Thank you for taking the time to read/comment on my post & I hope that I was able to answer any questions that you may have had regarding my articles….the silver screen legends of yesteryear (Hollywood’s Golden Age) may be gone but they are certainly not forgotten!3


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