Random thoughts slip through my head while driving, and whilst listening to some more Morricone scores on the way home tonight, it occured to me that nobody cares, now, if The Good the Bad and the Ugly or Once Upon a Time in the West were big hits at the box-office, or what critics thought of the films when they were first released. None of that matters. The films stand as iconic classics, two of the greatest Westerns ever made, returned to by fans many times over the years, and discovered by new viewers every year. Whilst many other films from 1966 or 1968 might have become long since forgotten, these two stand as fresh and impressive as ever- perhaps with an improved stature over the passing of time. And the scores are bloody great.
So while, naturally, the views of critics and box office success or failure are hugely important when a film comes out, as time passes it all becomes just distant noise and a film proves its true worth as time passes by. No-one watching Blade Runner today likely gives two hoots about its failure at the box office back in 1982 or all those critics that disparaged it- just the same way as with films like The Thing. Films belong to their studios and their creators initially but over time, well, it’s hard to say they ever belong to the fans or the public, but you know what I mean. The true classics get a life all their own, and the characters within them live on, forever frozen in time. It’s not always a case of ‘its only a movie’, as John Brosnan’s old column had it- sometimes it’s much, much more.