In celebration of last night's Academy Awards, I thought I'd share a few of my very own "Movie Firsts."
FIRST MOVIE I EVER SAW
Song of the South
Controversial, polarizing, insensitive...all words that have been used to describe this Disney classic. But to a 5 year old, it was opening the door to a whole new world.
FIRST CLASSIC FILM I SAW IN THE THEATER (NON DISNEY CATEGORY)
Gone With The Wind
My parents took me to a rerelease when I was 6 or 7. I remember asking at intermission if it was over. I never fell as in love with it as some people have, but it holds a special place in my heart.
FIRST MOVIE I SAW BY MYSELF
I don't remember the circumstances that led me to being dropped off to see this cute puppy movie. What I do know is that I was having a grand old time until the mean kidnappers kicked Benji's little girlfriend & I lost it. Everything turned out OK in the end, but it was the first time (but not the last) I got sucker punched by a kid's movie.
FIRST MOVIE I TOOK MYSELF TOO (JUST GOT MY DRIVER'S LICENSE CATEGORY)
When I turned 16 & realized that I didn't have to rely on other people to get me to the theater, I was as happy as a pig in mud. Technically, I might have seen the Bond flick "A View To A Kill" before "Fletch", but since "A View To A Kill" sucked & "Fletch" was awesome, I'm declaring "Fletch" the winner.
FIRST MOVIE I TOOK A DATE TO (DIDN'T SEE THE WHOLE MOVIE CATEGORY)
The summer of Fletch was also the summer that a girl started talking to me of her on volition at the mall one day. We hit it off & met that weekend to see "Cocoon." PG rated shenanigans ensued. Thank you Steve Guttenberg.
FIRST MOVIE THAT DOOMED A RELATIONSHIP
Spring break, senior year of high school. I took a lovely young lady to see this Coen Brothers classic. I spent the whole two hours laughing my fool head off. She spent it looking at me like I was a fool for laughing. Discussions ensued. I picked the Coen Brothers over her. I regret nothing.
FIRST MOVIE I SAW WITH SAINTED GIRLFRIEND WHO BECAME SAINTED WIFE
Married To The Mob
Technically on our second date, I still don't think this was a great movie but the company was so good we've been together over 20 years. So, thanks Dean Stockwell, Michelle Pfeiffer, Matthew Modine and a very young, very thin Alec Baldwin.
And just for kicks & giggles...not so much firsts as interesting facts....
TWO MOVIES I GOT TO SEE BECAUSE WHAT I WENT TO SEE WAS SOLD OUT
A) I got to see Star Wars the first time because Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo was sold out. The Force is strong, but apparently not stronger than Don Knotts.
B) My dad & I went to see Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Once again, sold out. So we saw Steven Speilberg's 1941 instead. I still think it's underrated.
BEST DATE MOVIE OF MY MISSPENT YOUTH
I saw the Tom Cruise as naval aviator epic four times with three different girls the summer it came out. What can I say...I had the need, the need for speed.
ONLY MOVIE I'VE EVER SAT ON THE FLOOR TO SEE
Yes, that "Iron Eagle." The one that Lou Gossett, Jr. should be forced to return his Oscar for appearing in. The theater was packed, so I sat on the floor. In my defense, there was a girl involved.
BEST TRIPLE FEATURE (HANGING OUT WITH DANIEL AT VANDY EDITION)
Full Metal Jacket
Good Morning Vietnam
My friend Daniel & I would work a simple scam our Freshman year of college. A new theater opened up that had midnight shows on Friday & Saturday nights. We would go to the 9pm show, pick a movie on the same side of the theater and attend the midnight show for free. Since we were broke college students & a lot of the movies we saw free sucked (Loose Cannons with Gene Hackman & Dan Aykroyd ring any bells), we were untroubled by our ethical lapses.
ANNNNYWAY....For my birthday that year, we ran the gauntlet & saw Kubrick's Vietnam epic on campus at Vanderbilt (I still maintain that Full Metal Jacket is half a masterpiece. The half devoted to training the recruits is miles better than the "find the sniper" second half), went to Fountain Square to see Moonstruck because (a) I had faked a review of it for my campus paper & actually wanted to see it (there was a girl involved) and (b) needed a little lighter fare and then wrapped up the day with more Vietnam highjinks.
So there are a few of my movie memories. Hope you enjoyed them.