Thursday, March 15, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks #192: Childhood favorites

This being Thursday, it's time for another edition of "Thursday Movie Picks", the blogathon run by Wandering Through the Shelves. This week, the theme is childhood favorites, which is easy enough except for the fact that I'm getting old and childhood was a long time ago. (OK, not that long ago. My dad is still alive at 80.) I'm picking three older movies, as well as a shout-out to Dad at the end:

King Kong (1933). I was a kid when the Jessica Lange remake of King Kong was released in 1976. The local library's children's program organized a showing of the 1933 original, so I would have been about four years old when I saw this, I think. The showing I saw might not have been in conjunction with the remake; my memories of that young an age are of course a bit hazy as are most people's memories from when they were just four. And the library is no longer in the same building. The old library was across from the old post office, which had already been torn down by that time, with a Jack-in-the-Box fast food joint in the location. That hasn't been there for decades, with a series of restaurants being in the location. The library wound up near Grandma's house; within walking distance when we were warehoused there while Mom and Dad were out for a day or something.

Rabbit of Seville (1950). When I was a kid, the networks still ran cartoons on Saturday mornings, and not that E/I scam designed to put programming on air that the nannies in Washington think is good for the children. (I know I've seen reruns of Saved by the Bell with the E/I bug on one of the digital sub-channels.) Anyhow, one of the channels ran the old Looney Tunes shorts, and we all watched them not realizing that these old shorts had been shown in the theaters when our parents were children. Woody Woodpecker, Tom and Jerry, Popeye, and the Pink Panther were among those shown syndicated, from what I recall. As for Rabbit of Seville, it's the short with Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd in a barber shop, set against Rossini's overture to The Barber of Seville. They have the race in the barber chairs, and Bugs stands on Elmer's scalp, massaging it with his feet.

Yours, Mine, and Ours (1968). I saw this one as an older child, again on TV -- I think this was what is now the local Fox affiliate, before there was a Fox network. Hollywood made quite a few movies in the late 60s dealing with the generation gap, putting older stars in movies trying to make them appeal to the teen audience by including young stars. The ones I've seen are uniformly terrible, like I'll Take Sweden and Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows. As I blogged about near the beginning of this blog, Yours, Mine, and Ours took a different tack and made a movie that probably would have seemed square to the young people of the day, but which stands the test of time and is much better than all the generation gap stuff. Lucille Ball plays a navy nurse who is a widow with eight children. Henry Fonda plays a naval officer who is a widower with ten children. You know the two are going to be right for each other in the end. Also stars Van Johnson and Tom Bosley.

My dad's abiding childhood memory, or at least the one we always heard about, wasn't of a favorite. He has mentioned seeing some of the Bowery Boys movies, but he always mentioned how, having gone to a Catholic elementary school, the nuns dragged the students out to see The Bells of St. Mary's when it came out in 1945. He's hated the movie to this day. Of course, it's a follow-up to the treacly and mawkish Going My Way, so there's a built-in excuse for anybody who hates it. My sister bought Dad a VHS tape of The Bells of St. Mary's as a gag gift one Christmas, that's how much we all know the story of Dad's hatred for the movie.


Brittani Burnham said...

I somehow got roped into seeing the terrible remake of Yours, Mine, and Ours. I haven't seen any of your picks, but I've seen clips of that King Kong.

Sonia Cerca said...

I haven't seen any of these.

Birgit said...

We match with King Kong! I am amazed that someone matches with me. I love bugs and the gang and hated it when they censored big parts from these cartoons (Rabbit season, Duck Season). I love this one with Bugs and Elmer Fudd. The music is great and when Elmer is so happy to see hair only for flowers to sprout makes me laugh to this day. They have so many great-2 others featuring classical music is the Wagner one with Elmer and his magic helmet and with bugs teaching the opera singer a thing or 2 when Bugs impersonates Leopold Stakowski. love Yours, Mine and Ours even though Lucille Ball looks a bit too old to have a young child. I refuse to see the remake. Nuns can make you hate just about anything since they loved slapping down the ruler... they could be quite sadistic. I actually love Going My Way and love Frank McHugh. Rise Stevens saying "Budapest" in that dream like way, made me want to see that city...and I did when I was 18 and it was still behind the iron curtain. Nothing says Communist country like having a rifle pointed at you in no man's land

Katie Hogan said...

I saw King Kong last year but I missed the last 15 minutes as I had to get to the next film. Gutted I missed this. Been trying to find a way to see the rest.

Wanderer said...

I have seen Yours, Mine, and Ours. I like it more than the remake.