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from the Forsyth Independent-Enterprise, August 22, 1990 ~ by Cherie Heser

I would like to compliment the Roxy Theatre on their choice of great classic films to celebrate their anniversary. What fun and what memories!

My kids and I sat spellbound as Moses parted the Red Sea and later received the Ten Commandments on the mountain. Joshua especially loved seeing the hero he is named after.

I first saw that movie when I was their age. It was just as exciting and inspiring last week as the first time.

My other favorite was "Casablanca," which I have longed to see for years. It is an intriguing story with marvelous acting, by anyone's standards.

Several things struck me about these movies. There must be some explanation for their all time appeal, and I think at least part of the answer lies in the standards of average people like us.

"The Ten Commandments" is spectacular, with lots of action, large scale drama and special effects. My son, the Indiana Jones fan, even commented that he liked the action and thought it was less gimmicky and mechanical than modern movies.

This movie is also about our heritage and beliefs as a Judeo-Christian people. It amazes me that modern Hollywood is so anti-religious when they have proof that people flock to see movies about the Bible and people's beliefs.

"The Ten Commandments" also has violence. The difference between this violence and modern violence is that this is shown with some discretion, used only when necessary, and treated as wrong.

The prince who is really admired and followed is the one who is compassionate and understanding of the people, even slaves who were considered less than cattle. We can come out of such a movie with a feeling of being lifted up, of witnessing something bigger than ourselves.

We also can understand our own culture and values a little better.

"Casablanca," too, was on a grand scale with plenty of intrigue and political and historical meaning. The people and the times are woven together for an interesting picture of World War II.

But, most of all, it's a love story one that's hard to forget. The characters are portrayed as infatuated, desiring and haunted by love. What's refreshing is that this love story leaves both people with their dignity, their honor, and their clothing.

The look in Bogart's eyes and the tears in Ingrid Bergman's are more expressive than a dozen bedroom scenes. And we can be entertained without being degraded.

Don't get me wrong -- I certainly don't think all modern movies are bad. I thrill to the action of Indiana Jones and get teary over the human relationships in "Driving Miss Daisy," "Dad," and "Steel Magnolias."

And, yes, Tom Cruise can make my heart flutter, even if I don't like his language.

But I can't wait to get my popcorn and settle down to savor every minute of "Gone with the Wind." Rhett Butler - now there's a man worth looking at for four hours -- and he only needs one four letter word!