This is a fun week since I love movies ( no kiddin') but, when I was young, we had to wait for a movie to come on TV or go to see a film in the theatre. It was a great time because old movies were always shown on TV. I grew up with "Movies for a Sunday Afternoon" and, the great Canadian, Elwy Yost who hosted "Saturday Night at the Movies". Elwy showed 2 movies on a Saturday night and in between he interviewed some very famous people in the industry...I miss him and that show. This is not about Saturday morning cartoons so no cartoons for me..um...animated films. Wandering Through The Shelves is a great blog to check out and who hosts this weekly event. I’m a really weird nut and chose Movies I watched first with my dad who loved movies. My dad would be 105 as of March 14th so this is for my dad who developed my love for film.
1. KING KONG-1933
This film started it all when it comes to a big hairy ape and I am not talking about Harvey Weinstein. Sorry for insulting Mr. Kong because this ape didn’t deserve to be taken back to the big apple. My dad had us all sit down on the couch on a Sunday at noon to watch King Kong since he was 20 when this movie came out and it must have blown his mind the way we were blown away with Jurassic Park. From that beginning, I was hooked on movies because it scared the hell out of me. We know the plot where a starving actress during the Great Depression is told she will be made a star by a director known for his exotic locale films. He takes her on board ship where she is considered bad luck by the crew but they venture to Skull Island. They find the natives who love the golden haired gal and decide to take her to be the new bride of Kong. Instead of eating her, Kong falls for her and takes her to his lair with the men in hot pursuit. I loved her outfit on the ship when she first screamed her heart out and Fay Wray became famous for her scream (Love the Winnipeg, Canadian native). I was enthralled by the fight between Kong and the dinosaur and was freaked out by the giant spider in the gorge. Funny, I remember that scene so well, yet I have read that this scene is considered lost. I remember feeling sad for Kong at the end.
My dad loved Jeannette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy films and, unbelievably, they were huge stars in their day and I can see why. I doubt most of you would ever want to see their films, which is a shame, because they were big in their day and this film is considered their best. She plays an old lady who tells a young girl about when she was young and fell in love. Due to ambition and loyalty, she leaves her true love and marries the jerk only to be reunited with her one true love on the Opera stage years later. As a very young girl, needing to escape my reality of my life of abuse and bullying (school, never home), these films made me forget and I loved them and still do. My dad and I would watch and he would answer all my questions about the stars. The music is great and, yes, it is opera/operetta but how I loved the costumes, the singing and the ending which made me sigh..and I am not into typical romance flicks. My dad was a true blue Lumberman but, only later, did it strike me that this tall, rough and tough man loved the sentimental/schmaltzy films.
3. IT STARTED WITH EVE-1941
I was quite sick, with a high fever, and hallucinating so my mom had a hard time calming me down. I thought people were watching me so my dad sat beside me, made sure I was under the blankets and turned on Saturday night at the Movies. There, on the screen, was this film starring Deanna Durbin, another Winnipeg Native with a fantastic operatic voice. A young man’s father lay dying but wants to meet his son’s fiancée before he dies. The young man’s fiancée is out of town so he asks the hat check girl to play his fiancée for an hour and she agrees. No one expects that the old man, played so well by Charles Laughton, would get better so now she must continue being the young man's fiancée. It’s a sweet, funny screwball comedy showing Deanna was more than just a singing voice. I calmed down while watching this movie asking the same questions I always asked my dad about the actors.
4. THE GOLD RUSH-1925
I believe I talked about this film before but I have to include it since speaking with my brother, who remembered our dad laughing with tears coming down his face during the very funny cabin scene. I was laughing right along with my dad. So Charlie Chaplin plays, of course, a tramp who heads to the Yukon Gold rush. He befriends a big man and they decide to work together to strike it rich. Throw in a cabin on the edge of a cliff, starvation(the shoe eating scene) and a gal the tramp falls for and you have a very funny comedy. Yes, it is silent but you could watch this movie with your own music and just laugh at the antics.
I had my dad for 23 years before he died of cancer and he has been gone for 30 years come April 30th but the length of time doesn't matter, only the quality. This blog post is for him and he would have loved to be part of this. Just think, my dad would have seen The Gold Rush in the movie house, as he used to call it, since he was 12 years old at that time.
You and your dad must have had some wonderful times together. I am glad that you got to spend quality time with him and enjoy the same movies he did.ReplyDelete
I have seen King Kong. I've seen the remake. I hated the remake, but loved the original (yes, I saw it on TV). I've never even heard of the others, though. So glad you reviewed them and so glad you honored your father who is surely looking down on you now, proud as ever that you were influenced by him and his love of movies.
I have very fond memories of watching movies with my dad and asking tons of questions about the stars. I actually loved the remake by Peter Jackson but my heart belong to the first filmDelete
Sounds like the two of you enjoyed a lot of movies together.ReplyDelete
Favorite movie from when I was a kid - pick a Godzilla movie. Godzilla versus the Smog Monster, etc. When I was a teen, Raiders of the Lost Ark would qualify.
Godzilla vs Rodan and what about Mothra! Love Godzilla and I just was ok with Raiders:)Delete
"Oh, no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast."ReplyDelete
Of course I have seen the original King Kong several times along with, I think, every sequel (plus Mighty Joe Young). I never tire of the awesome screen spectacle and the tale of a giant ape, the proud, powerful, fierce king of his domain, plucked from his island home, stripped of his dignity and forced into a life of servitude in the big city - that along with his obsession with actress Ann Darrow.
Thank you for sharing how you came to love films via your film buff father (who was the same age as my dad) and used them as a means of escaping the abuse and bullying you endured at school. I also appreciated your anecdote about your first exposure to Canada's singing sweetheart Deanna Durbin in the film It Started With Eve. I first got interested in Deanna a decade ago, binge watched most of her films in a single year, and was inspired to post a tribute on SDMM:
I have not seen Maytime or Gold Rush. Thanks for the introductions. Have a great day, dear friend BB!
Considering you are not one for musicals, I’m surprised you have seen so many of her films...she was a great talent and I enjoyed the post you wrote about her. She is one gal who truly turned her back on Hollywood and never looked backDelete
Screwball comedies sound like a good cure for sickness. :) I've never seen these, though I've seen plenty of clips from King Kong.ReplyDelete
I thought for sure you would have seen King Kong....maybe you need to add this to your blind spot series...just saying:)Delete
I grew up watching Bill Kennedy on CKLW from Windsor. I saw so many old movies on that channel. As a youngster we went to the drive-in and I still remember being scared out of my mind watching 'Them'. 'Pinocchio' also scared me, lol. My folks took me to a real theatre to see a re-release of Gone with the Wind. That theatre would become my home on Saturdays in the 1950's where I could watch two movies, previews and cartoons for fifty cents.ReplyDelete
I still have yet to see Pinocchio. Them scared me too and I hated that sound. I saw GWTW on the big screen once as well.Delete
Dad laughing until he was nearly crying while watching The Gold Rush... that is my most memorable movie moment with him. He also loved all WWII movies given the fact he fought in that conflict. Oh, and was also a huge John Wayne fan.ReplyDelete
Thanks for commenting here and it was so much fun to know we share that same memory. Daddy had quite the wonderful laughDelete
My dads favourite was Jeanette MacDonald too...when they were courting my Mum and Dad went to the pictures to see The Firefly...so impressed they bought the music sheet to “little donkey”.....and learned all the words and would sing it to each other...we played it at both their funerals....such a romantic time for films that era...Sunday afternoons in our house when I was little was spent on the sofa...wrapped in my mums fur coat watching films with them both...singing all the songs...such happy memories...keeps them with us doesn’t it Birgit.... xxxxReplyDelete
Oh...that is so nice to read. What a beautiful memory about your parents and that song of theirs. This is so beautiful as it makes me think of a romantic movie. Your parents sound loving and so, so sweet. What lovely memories we haveDelete
The Gold Rush is the only I've seen and it's pure gold.ReplyDelete
I never sat through King Kong. (Creature feature. I don't do creature features. There was that ant one as a kid--no more.) I do enjoy Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy (yes, I am familiar). And I did see It Started with Eve. I had my classic movie phase.ReplyDelete
I actually have three favorite childhood movies that immediately pop up. And they're a bit weird. Oh Heavenly Dog. Heaven Can Wait (yes, the Warren Beatty one. I didn't know it was a remake). And First Monday in October.
Oh yes! Creature Feature!! I watched that every Sunday afternoon (I didn’t have much of a life) Them was frightening to me. I’m glad you saw the films I mentioned. I love your picks and saw the first 2 in the theatre but I don’t know your 3rd one.Delete
Walter Matthau. Jill Clayburg. As Supreme Court justices. Arguing law. Not something you think would fascinate an 11-year-old, but it did.Delete
I haven't seen any of those. Well, parts of King Kong, but not the whole thing.ReplyDelete
Star Wars IV
Bambi Meets Godzilla
I still feel good tha5 I never saw Rocky. SW4 is..not good but I love Bambi Meets GodzillaDelete
I think the only King Kong movie I've seen was the Peter jackson oneReplyDelete
That’s a great movie but my heart belongs to the originalDelete
I saw parts of the original King Kong, but that's it this time. Sounds like you two enjoyed movies together indeed.ReplyDelete
We did! I thought everyone saw the original KongDelete
I loved watching TV with the Daddy. He pretty much let me choose the program, as long as he saw his favorites when they came on, such as Hogan's Heroes, Wonder Woman, Friday night wrestling, Lawrence Welk, Red Skelton, and Bonanza. I was 28 when his spirit soared into the universe. Quality was our relationship, too. :-)ReplyDelete
They are wonderful memories aren’t they? I watched all those programs too with my dad and my momDelete
Wow, just the thought of being able to see any of the Chaplin silent films when they first hit the theaters...!ReplyDelete
Nice tribute to your dad. My own father (who died when I was not quite 12) worked nights, so the only night he and I really got to spend "quality time" together was Saturday. (No work for him that night, and no school for me on Sunday.) We'd watch movies until the local channels signed off, roughly at 3-4 a.m. Of course, he always picked what we'd watch.
I think any version of King Kong would make one feel sorry for Kong. I've seen all versions. The original is my favorite, but one has to watch it considering the limitations of the era's special effects. The 2005 version had good SFX, and a shockingly high (albeit realistic) death count. I tend to like Jack Black and Adrian Brody in anything they're in, too.
You lost your dad way too young. It is always sad when I find out that someone lost their parent when they were a kid,...not fair, when I was a teen, I had insomnia so I watched movies late into the night to early morning.Delete
I watched a lot of late night TV, cuz after the age of eleven or so, I had NO bedtime if it wan't a school night. When I was 12-16, we lived high on a hill in Massachusetts, and if the weather was clear, we could get New York channels after the New England ones signed off! New York had all-night TV, which the Boston area channels slowly instituted, starting in 1972 or so.Delete
King Kong makes me sad. I wish they would have just left him alone. (Reminder to self: it's only a movie.)ReplyDelete
I'm glad you have such wonderful memories of your dad.
Yes, only a movie but I still cry at the Peter Jackson part when she is on the ice with Kong. I also cry at the last scenes of the 1933 version when he is on top of the building.Delete
Treasure those memories of your father.ReplyDelete
I do..very muchDelete
We didn't have an evening host but on one of the UHF channels there was an afternoon program which showed classics everyday with a terrific guy named Bernie Herman who always gave facts about the film.ReplyDelete
I appreciate King Kong's legacy but have never been a huge fan. Which is about where I am with The Gold Rush. Good films but I don't watch them often.
I prefer Jeannette MacDonald separate from that block of wood Nelson Eddy (though he had a decent voice). I usually find their films together rather gooey.
However I ADORE both Deanna Durbin and It Started with Eve!!! I finally was able to track down Deanna's last film that I hadn't seen-That Certain Age-about two weeks ago. It was very pleasant and a typical Deanna vehicle with the added bonus of Herbert Marshall (love him) but having now seen them all I know It Started with Eve is my favorite of her films and I think the best one she made (she felt her best was Christmas Holiday) Such a charmer and she and Laughton (they were great friends off screen until his death) working so well together. I also respect her mightily personally for having the courage of her convictions and walking away from fame because she didn't enjoy it and never being tempted to return. She was done and that was that.
I decided to go all the way back too when I was a wee one and pick three that the family would watch when they showed, though I saw Mary Poppins in the theatre (twice!)
Papa’s Delicate Condition (1963)-Based on silent film star Corinne Griffith’s memoir of her small town childhood with her brash, tippling father (Jackie Gleason) and aggrieved mother (Glynis Johns) who while frustrated with her feckless husband and the troubles he causes when he’s in his cups still loves him very much. Homey and sweet film introduced the song “Call Me Irresponsible” which won the Oscar.
Mary Poppins (1964)-Practically perfect in every way nanny appears on the doorstep of the staid but colorful Banks residence one day and nothing is ever the same again. Julie Andrews IS perfect as Miss Poppins, the songs are wonderful as is the rest of the cast including Dick Van Dyke (terrible Cockney accent and all), a delightfully addled Glynis Johns again and Oscar winner Jane Darwell in her last film appearance as the Bird Woman.
Angel in My Pocket (1969)-Minister Sam Whitehead (Andy Griffith) arrives at his new post in the small town of Wood Falls, Kansas with his wife Mary Elizabeth (Lee Meriwether), kids, mother-in-law Racine (Kay Medford) and trouble making brother-in-law Bubba (Jerry Van Dyke) hoping to lead his flock in a peaceful fashion. Instead he finds himself smack dab in the middle of a feud between the families of Mayor Will Sinclair (Henry Jones) and his rival Axel Gresham (Edgar Buchanan). While he tries to deal with that unbeknownst to all Bubba (Jerry Van Dyke) turns the church boiler into an alcohol still leading to another set of problems. As things come to a head and Sam fears he is losing his faith something happens that leads to a happy conclusion. Homespun and comfy movie with Griffith adding just the right blend of warmth and gravity to the lead.
Poor Nelson Eddy knew he was a block of wood and often made fun of his films when he was touring. They are gooey...great word that’s why I always smile in disbelief tha my dad loved these films. Maybe your favourite Kong movie is King Kong vs Godzilla:) I agree with everything you sad about Deanna who had a great voice and could have been an Opera Diva. I think I saw the first movie but it has been so long ago I have to see it again. Mary Poppins is such a great movie and I loved everyone in that film. Love the song Let’s Go Fly a Kite. I haven’t seen your last film so..on my list!Delete
Gosh, the only one of these I know is King Kong. I've only watched this one in bits & pieces, either the oldie or the remake. You always pick some interesting selections, and if it's the 'genre' that I like (not the scary ones!) I'll look for it on Turner Classic Movies. Hope all is well. Take care, have a good weekend. TFSReplyDelete
King Kong is a great movie but so are the others and I think you would really like themDelete
I saw King Kong on TV too, one Christmas Day evening many years ago in the UK. Deanna Durban was my very favourite, I was so sorry she wasn't around longer.ReplyDelete
Do you have my email address Birgit? If so would like to talk to you about your mom and my husband.
Deanna Furbin was a great talent and a strong person to turn away from Hollywood. I’m glad we connected Jo..always here!Delete
Hi Birgit - these films I really should see - just to appreciate the various aspects of their times ... the Charlie Chaplin one I'm sure I've seen - but thanks for highlighting - cheer HilaryReplyDelete
The Chaplin film is famous for the shoe eating scene. Johnny Depp parodied it...or paid homage to it in a film from a few years back.Delete
My mum is a big fan of Jeanette Macdonald and Nelson Eddy and, particularly, Deanna Durban, so I have seen lots of their films. But not for many years!ReplyDelete
Yeah! Someone else like the McDonald/Eddy musicals. They are not well known in this day and age.Delete
I have seen King Kong- but the rest are new to me. I do remember how the movies were a big deal when I was growing up. The only way to see movies was to catch one on tv or go to the theater. When the VCR became popular my family got one and that was also exciting. :)ReplyDelete
I love the special tribute to your dad. :)
I’m Glad you like my tribute. Yes, I was soooo excited to see The Sound Of Music when it made its debut on TV. I couldn’t wait and loved it. I also remembered Gone With The Wind debuting ..it was a great deal. Now we hardly have to wait for anything.Delete
Good Sunday, Birgit.ReplyDelete
I never saw Maytime. It sounds like a classic. I'm sorry you had such a rough time in school. Kids can be cruel, sometimes instructors too.
It was rough...very rough but I like to think it made me stronger. If you like musicals, operetta style and schmaltzy romance done to wonderful perfection, see their films! :)Delete
As you know, I have never seen King Kong ;). Love the tribute to your Dad. Although I never met him, I always picture the great photo of he and your Mom, smiling and having so much fun, such a beautiful couple 💕💕💕ReplyDelete
He was a great man Marni. Thank you sooooooo much for commenting, it means a lot.Delete
Sorry for your loss, Birgit. He sounds like a wonderful man.ReplyDelete
My childhood favourites were very John Hughes: loved Ferris Bueller's Day Off; The Breakfast Club; and Some Kind of Wonderful. I've watched them hundreds of times.
Not heard of It Started With Eve but I do love the classic Chaplin - and King Kong.ReplyDelete