This will not be an article about how I watched Page Miss Glory, it will be an article about how I did not watch Page Miss Glory. Despite my efforts, I simply could not get my hands on a copy in time for the deadline, and to my great surprise I couldn’t even find an illegal copy streaming. Now, it’s partly my own fault because I chose the movie all the way back in January and didn’t even bother trying to to start writing until this month – I don’t like to write my YOTM articles too far ahead of time, because I’m always developing and tinkering with ideas and I might end up having some brilliant insight or discovery that renders the older article moot. But I chose this one because I wanted to watch some perfectly ordinary film from 1935 which had no higher expectations than, say, Ford v Ferrari did in 2019. As I’ve said before, Year Of The Month is generally a chance to force myself out of my comfort zone, and I liked the idea of diving not into a classic that I would most likely enjoy because it had a fundamental widespread appeal but into a movie that had no higher ambitions than entertaining its current day audience and making its budget back. What expectations would it have? Would these match up with Current Year expectations? Would there be deeper implications hidden in the work?
I also kinda took for granted that it wouldn’t be that hard to track down. There’s this bizarre situation when it comes to movies older than the 1990’s; all the big iconic classics are available for easy access, if not on the major streaming platforms then at least for relatively easy purchase, and a hell of a lot of the workaday obscurities are, paradoxically, extraordinarily easy to find due to nobody alive caring enough to maintain copyright – I’ve had a lot of fun burning through noirs and scifi B movies put up for free on Youtube, and there are also quite a few video nasties, indie obscurities, and other cheapo films right up to the Nineties on there. Page Miss Glory apparently falls in the group that are too important to allow breach of copyright but not important enough to, you know, sell. For once, in this respect we can say that Disney made a responsible cultural decision in how they have almost their entire filmography and tvography available on Disney+, giving us mountains of works to study and explore regardless of how Important it is or how well it will sell*.
One thing that frustrates me is people who have to be convinced that movies are important even if they don’t personally enjoy many individual ones, because one thing that fascinates me is how many of my favourite Great works came out of people who obsessively studied Trash – HP Lovecraft was an obsessive fan of weird tale pulp magazines, James Ellroy is a massive fan of pulp crime paperbacks, Quentin Tarantino goes without saying. It’s where the responsibilities of cultural guardianship rub up against the short-term needs of living in a society based upon capital. It’s very unlikely that Page Miss Glory would have blown my tiny mind, and even less likely that my essay on it would have had anything mindblowing to say, and ludicrously unlikely that my essay would have spread far and wide even if it had been brilliant. But we’re not going to know now because I don’t have access to the movie.
*With the exception of Song Of The South.