When is a movie old enough that you can discuss it in-depth without it being considered “spoilers?” 5 years, 10 years, 75 years?
I belong to a classic Hollywood movie group and someone was discussing the film The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. It’s 75 years old. A person commented that both leads die in the end and several – not one or two, but several – people got all upset and were chastising the person for spoiling the movie. No spoilers! But good grief, it’s a 75-year-old film! What about Romeo and Juliet? People know how that one turned out. Is it a spoiler to discuss it?
A friend of mine had a fight with her boyfriend because she “ruined” Titanic. Yeah, the one with Leonardo DiCaprio… by simply saying, “it’s sad when the ship sinks in the end.” Apparently, he didn’t know the ship sank at the end. And didn’t take the news well, either. In my opinion, for movies based on history, or true stories, can you really spoil them? I hate to tell you, but Bonnie and Clyde die at the end. That airplane filled with Uruguay’s Rugby team crashes in the Andes mountains, and they start eating each other to survive. I’m sorry, did I ruin the movie? Well, it was all over the news for weeks in 1993. Not to mention, it’s a piece of history.
Let’s say it wasn’t a movie of any historical significance, then how long do you wait? Whether we like it or not, I think for newer blockbuster movies, you have about a month after the movie premieres before it will be all over social media. And that goes for t.v. shows as well. For example, the AMC’s the Walking Dead. Fantastic show from what I hear. But if you happen to miss an episode, don’t even think about logging onto Facebook or Instagram the next morning. Hell, don’t even check the news. Some of the deaths of some of the major characters were listed right on the front of Yahoo News with clickbait titles like, “Walking Dead kills off another original cast member.” I’ve never watched the show but can tell you some major plot points just because it’s impossible to avoid. Game of Thrones was another one that was spoiler heavy, and yet another show I know a lot about simply from seeing unsolicited posts online.
But yeah, back on the topic of having a short window before movie spoilers run rampant. Are you into Marvel movies? Star Wars? Hell, people were yelling out spoilers while in line to watch some of the latest movies. That’s going a bit far, if you ask me. What can I say? People are assholes. But if you still haven’t seen that popular Marvel movie that premiered a month or two ago, and you log onto social media, that’s sort of asking for spoilers.
Personal conversations are different. People should keep endings and major plot twists to themselves when talking to someone who might not have seen a movie yet. Unless you’re the type of person who likes spoilers, I never spill the beans on newer movies because ruining someone else’s enjoyment is just a jerk thing to do. But there should be a time limit to these things. I mean, once you hit a certain age, if you haven’t seen at least a few of the classics, that’s on you, not me. Most of my banter is pulled from old movies and books and sometimes spoilers just slip out. I can’t help it if you don’t know the bad witch dies in The Wizard of Oz or that Clarence gets his wings.
And in the case of The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, the person who discussed it in a classic movie group should be forgiven for thinking that the group’s members would have seen – or at least heard of – this 75 year old flick.
“People are assholes.” THERE’s a spoiler for you!
Deep inside me there’s a 2nd grader that remembers when Sister Mary Cosmos told him that EVERYONE was a Child of God! (Boy, were my parents surprised, they thought that they had… Well, never mind.) Everyone is a sinner and can be forgiven and has a spark of goodness at their core! Now, after all of this time you want to tell me it’s not true? SPOILERS!!
Just as an aside, anytime I hear spoilers!! it makes me think of River Song. And don’t even get me started on Sister Mary Cosmos.
I saw this flash by on my phone notices and I thought you said “River Tam” and I was thinking of the scene near the end of the movie and I had a completely new appreciation for your hatred of spoilers!
Sister Mary Cosmos no doubt meant well, but given her actions, I’ll forgive her about the same time I forgive certain politicians, i.e., shortly after the heat death of the universe.
I feel if you haven’t seen a movie like Titanic or The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. If you know perfectly well how old the movie is and you haven’t seen it. Then tell others you haven’t seen it.
And certainly don’t come to a classic movies group expecting it to be spoiler free for movies that are 50 or 75 years old.
there must be some sort of ‘expiration date’ for the no- spoiler rule. I’m going to guess that 75 years is in that range –
I’m with you there.
Ah yes. One of the (precious few) advantages of aging…
Go ahead. Tell me a spoiler. If and when I see the film, I won’t remember it 😕
I usually have a vague enough memory of movies I’ve seen years ago that I can watch them again and enjoy them like new, if not a bit deja-vu ish. 😀
Imagine you never heard of that movie before – like me until just now – and it sounds like it could be interesting and something you’d watch. But then someone -like you just now- spoils the ending.
People forget that not everyone has heard of everything. I adore Marilyn Monroe and have seen many of her films – not all, but many – and I think I know all the ones she’s done, but if there was one that slipped under my MM radar and someone mentions it, I’m probably going to want to check out that movie, but if you spoil it then I might still watch it because Marilyn Monroe, but it’s certainly not going to be as enjoyable for me.
So it does not matter how old the movie is. Or the show. Or the play. Or the book. Someone, somewhere has not seen or read it yet and talking about the ending at all spoils it. So unless you are in a readers/watchers club where you KNOW details are going to be spoken about then the spoiler warning is already there. Any other setting, you should say spoiler warning.