Thursday, October 25, 2012

Memorable films as a kid

My favorite film as a child was "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." My mom actually went
out and bought the LP soundtrack after we saw that together, one of the few
albums we had in the house and played over and over, the only thing we ever danced to together. I still remember every song from the movie, even the at-the-time complete-bottom-of-the-totem-pole boring stuff for a kid like Truly Scrumptious's "Oh What a Lovely, Lonely Man" and the Grampa's "Posh, Posh, Traveling Life."

The other film I remember most clearly from my childhood is "Wizard of Oz," which was shown/watched in a yearly summer event on network TV---CBS, I think. (My most intense memories from "Oz": The scary flying monkeys and their evil basso profundo chanting, and the wicked spinster-lady-on-a-bike at the beginning stealing little Toto! And the whole tornado fear---very real to me, living in rural Texas!)

Childhood films that I saw at the theater were few, but the '66 "Batman" was
one, which was a big thrill for me, because I loooooved the TV show so. I lived
on many Air Force bases as a child, and they were always re-running
several-years-old films as matinees; the "H.R. Pufnstuf" movie was another that
I must've seen 3 or 4 times---how weird was THAT one? :)

One time I walked by myself (back when 8-year-olds could still walk to and
attend movies by themselves) to what I thought was going to be yet another
Saturday morning showing of "H.R. Pufnstuf"... Once I paid my $1 or whatever and
sat down, the movie on the screen turned out to be "Shenandoah," the serious and, to me, disturbingly intense, Jimmy Stewart Civil War movie, instead. That, and the '71 "Mary Queen of Scots" with Vanessa Redgrave/Glenda Jackson, were two adult movies that I accidentally saw while only around 7 or 8 (the latter because a visiting older cousin from Germany wanted to take me to it; historical, sure, which was her intention, but...good lord, the stabbing going on! And King James's festering face! And the close-ups of Mary's face as she suffered. And of Elizabeth's face as she tortured from afar...)



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