Yes, it's true, I have just spent the afternoon sitting in my armchair and at the end a tear or three rolled down my cheeks. Much blowing of nose and clearing of throat was required. The reason? Bloody Hollywood, of course!
I had better explain. This afternoon BBC2 showed that great compilation movie of Hollywood musicals, That's Entertainment. Has there ever in the history of the world been a greater collection of brilliant talents as there was at the MGM studios from the '30s to the '60s? I don't just mean the great names who starred in all those musicals but also the thousands who supported those terrific endeavours - writers, designers, camera operators, lighting experts, choreographers, song-writers and all the 'hoofers' who filled those enormous stages.
Of course, they touched on all those truly great musicals but, right at the end, they played a short extract from one of the greatest movies ever made, Gigi, directed by that Hollywood genius, Vincent Minnelli. They ran that shot towards the end of the film when the hero played by the late Louis Jourdan (who only died last February) is standing in profile silhouetted against the Parisian fountains at night wearing his top hat and tails with his hat tipped forward over his head and his cane over his shoulder as he comes to the realisation that he loves Gigi. That, my friends, is one of the greatest images Hollywood ever produced and it was at that point I had a quiet cry.
I know, I know, pathetic but whilst I don't expect everyone to share my tastes I do have an eye and an ear for great art and artistry and at their very best those MGM musicals reach the heights of classical art. If you have never seen That's Entertainment then go buy a DVD - like NOW!