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Movies & More reviewer John Gillispie shares his thoughts on discovering an older movie for the first time.

I fell in love with movies at an early age.

Back then, though, most of the movies I saw were on TV. Some of those movies were theatrical films being broadcast on television, and others were movies made to air on TV.

I made a goal to watch as many movies as possible and was making progress until I ran into Alfred Hitchcock’s “Lifeboat.” My memories of the film include the lifeboat being so weighed down that the people in it must decide who can stay and who must be set adrift at sea. I remember the life-and-death choices in the movie making me feel sick to my stomach.

Although I was probably too young to watch “Lifeboat” at that time, now I know good movies make you feel something — happy, sad, sentimental, excited, angry or amused or a combination of those emotions.

Recently, I have enjoyed watching some classic films on the TCM network. I can still be amazed to find out about a major star being in a movie that I have not heard of before or that I have never seen.

Over the past weekend, I came across two very different Joan Crawford performances. One was in a movie called “Sadie McKee.” Although I started watching probably past the halfway mark, it only took a few moments to draw me into this film in which Crawford’s character is married to a wealthy man. She loves another man, but works to help her husband overcome his serious problem. I don’t want to give away the end of the movie, but Crawford gives a good performance, and the characters involved behave in a surprisingly mature fashion.

Contrast that role with the one Crawford has in “I Saw What You Did,” a film featured on “Svengoolie” on MeTV. Late in her acting career, Crawford appeared in this film, in which prank phone calls by three young girls lead to serious consequences. My complaint is that Crawford’s character seems too glamorous for the film and too eager to run away with her neighbor. In other words, this character stands in a big contrast to the one played in “Sadie McKee.”

Yet, I don’t remember ever seeing either of these movies before. It’s always great to add another film to my ever-growing list of movies seen.

John Gillispie is the public relations director for the Huntington Museum of Art.

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