I like old movies, many of which are labeled as “classic”. I even like many, which do not merit that arbitrary label.
Last night, I watched Love Is A Many Splendored Thing, which took place in Hong Kong between the end of World War 2 and the communist takeover of China. I’m not sure the title fits to the story, but that does not detract from the film. The theme song is one of the great ones.
My romantic side informs me that I would have liked to live in Hong Kong after the war...with money, of course, and not as one of the millions of refugees from China. Scenes in the movie of the colony contrast starkly with the same areas I saw on my recent visit. Times might not have been kinder or gentler, but one can imagine an interesting life. Screenwriters did a good job of portraying British arrogance (duh!) and eliciting sympathy for the American and Eurasian, if not the Chinese. Consumerism had yet to invade the streets, and one could still find secluded beaches.
I would have maintained a foothold in each of the very different worlds. I would have tolerated the British and even enjoyed high tea and the occasional gin and tonic in some club. But, I also would have had sympathy for the immigrants and would have mingled with the local population and tried my hand at their language, unlike denizens of English clubs and houses on the higher elevations.
The good thing about imagining life in former times, is that one must not suffer from lack of air-conditioning or dodgy sanitation. Personal comfort is a key feature of daydreams. Which makes them so pleasant....
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.