Old film clips from the 50s and 60s

August 21, 2008

I do love watching old film clips, and not only for the beautiful songs and the often superb lyrics in many of the Youtube videos. The styles, the fashions of yesterday are fascinating! How much I enjoy looking at the beehive hairdos and the fish-like kohl extensions at the edge of the heroine’s eyes! It’s interesting to see how north Indian clothes are slowly accepted, and also, “western” apparel makes it slow but steady appearance, and the styles of jewellery also change. Watches appear on actress’ wrists, and then, from the dainty ladies’ watches, they become the “with-it” (then) square watches! Ribbons are a frequently used fashion accessories; bindis are NOT a must; Women wear high heels (but the buxomness of the women does not change..indeed, with some established actresses, increased girth seems to be the measure of their stardom.

Men’s clothes…no tees, the word “jeans” was unknown….they used to wear what was known as “bush shirts” (presumably as worn in the bush areas of the forest…and slowly, synthetic fabrics such as “dacron” become fashionable. Shoes become ridiculously pointed….but “floaters” don’t exist.

Children’s dresses are also not of a great variety; of course, little girls wear those stiff,frilly frocks. It is refreshing to see old movies like “Pather Panchali” where young ones wear just the dhoti or the saree, but one wonders if the clothes hindered the children’s play…

And I must say, especially in Tamizh movies, I am highly tickled to watch what I call the “pencil sharpener” breasts, that seem to jut out straight from the collar-bone…and watching 50-someting adipose actors pretend to be college students adds a dose of laughter to the most tragic scene!

Here’s a trailer of an old Tamizh movie, “pAlum pazhamum” (Milk and Fruit– the bride usually approaches the groom on her wedding night with a tray containing milk and fruit)….

you can see just how fat heroes were, how buxom the women; how the villains declaimed, how the heroes shouted, with their (yes) kohl-lined eyes sparkling with passion; the melodrama underscored by the really beautiful music and lyrics, which was the reason many of us went to see those movies!

Just imagine…halfway down the last century….that IS long ago….