Editorial: Three things I learned from classic movies

Entertainment media can be very influential, especially on young people.

This is probably why so many recent children’s films seem to have an overarching theme of individual empowerment and “finding yourself.”

I didn’t have movies like “Moana” or “Brave” when I was growing up. Being the youngest of three siblings meant that by the time I was six or seven, I was watching movies like “Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter.”

Also, having parents who were on the older end of the spectrum for children my age meant that we didn’t just watch modern movies. Mom and Dad loved watching the classics and introduced us to many that have highlighted some valuable lessons to live by.

“Kelly’s Heroes”

In what is perhaps best described as a pirate movie based in WWII, it doesn’t seem like there would be many positive messages. On the surface, “Kelly’s Heroes” is an all-around, good-fun, kind of movie. And who doesn’t love American troops sticking it to the Nazis?

However, one of the most influential values I have ever learned came from Sgt. Oddball: “Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?”

This, I believe, ties into the whole idea that “if you don’t have something nice to say, say nothing.” There is already so much negativity in the world that I don’t need to go about spouting more. Rather, I like to stay on the positive side of the spectrum, which, yeah, may seem naive to some, but it gives me hope.

“The Godfather”

“Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud.”

Not something that sounds like it comes from a mafia don, right?

Nevertheless, Don Corleone did say it in “The Godfather,” a movie that may seem a little weird in a list about values.

Yet, this is a very profound statement. It has shaped me in more ways than I have ever consciously thought. I have always been confident in my abilities, in my passions, yet I also know that they aren’t something to brag about. Confidence turns too quickly into cockiness, which in turn is a form of insecurity.

“Singing in the Rain”

OK, this one isn’t so subtle. It is literally in the title of the movie, the main phrase of the song and the only part than anyone these days remembers.

“I’m singing in the rain, just singing in the rain; What a wonderful feeling, I’m happy again.”

This ties back to the idea of staying positive. Again, positivity is often belittled as naivete, but sometimes all we have is positivity. The sun will shine again, so it doesn’t make sense to stay sad or upset.

In the face of everything that is going wrong in the world, or everything that could go wrong at every moment, what matters is how we get through it.

No matter how cloudy the day is, always keep singing in the rain.