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What film got you started?


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The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon.     I had to move back in with my Mom and her boyfriend for a few months in my early 20s.   He was into Bogie and he had control of the remote.

 

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When I was little, when AMC still showed old movies, every Saturday morning we used to watch Laurel and Hardy.  I seem to recall Marx Brothers marathons and some Three Stooges sprinkled in there.  Then I would see old movies here and there like the annual viewing of The Wizard of Oz, and I remember renting Psycho and The Birds.  We also used to rent movies and eat take-and-bake pizza every Friday night (video store was next door to the pizza shop).  I rented every single Hayley Mills movie. 

But honestly, what really got the ball rolling for me was I Love Lucy.  I discovered I Love Lucy on Nick-at-Nite in the mid-90s (at 11-12 years old or so) and loved Lucille Ball. Which led to me borrowing books about her from the library.  Which then led to me learning that she had a movie career prior to I Love Lucy.  This led me to the AV department of the library, where I was able to borrow many Lucille Ball movies on VHS from the library.  I clearly remember borrowing Too Many Girls, Sorrowful Jones, The Long, Long Trailer, Du Barry Was a Lady, and Stage Door.   I remember seeing Gene Kelly in Du Barry Was a Lady, and then hearing that he'd died shortly thereafter.  I then borrowed Gene Kelly movies like Singin in the Rain to learn about him.  My trend of learning about other actors continued as I watched more and more films.  But I can trace it all back to I Love Lucy.

Then in high school, I had a period where I felt like I was weird for liking old movies and old television shows.  While I still watched Nick-at-Nite, I kind of kept my love of these things on the downlow.  Then when Nick at Nite went to pot and I Love Lucy was no longer airing, I kind of stopped watching it for awhile (!).  Then, one day, as a 20-something adult, I had an epiphany and was like "why am I denying myself things that I truly love and enjoy?"  So back to old movies and television it was and I haven't looked back.  In the last 15 years or so, once I had TCM again, I've really gotten back into it and increased my knowledge of old movies and television tenfold. 

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Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) is the first Universal horror movie that I saw. But, in general, it was whatever was airing on WGN on Sunday afternoons with lousy weather during baseball's off season: 3 movies with the first movie being either a Sherlock Holmes or a Charlie Chan movie and the third being Family Classics hosted by Frazier Thomas.

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I wish I could remember.  I remember seeing a few movies in the theater when I was a mean widdle kid.  STAR WARS, THE VILLAIN, ARTHUR, HARDLY WORKING . . . but God Knows what movie or movies actually got me in to being a big movie fan.  I also remember two TVM's in particular I saw circa 1983 that have stayed with me.  CRIME CLUB (the one with Victor Buono) and especially JARRETT (1973-Tvm), a busted pilot starring Glenn Ford.  He's an insurance investigator hired to track down some missing Biblical scrolls.  Does cultured Anthony Quayle have them?  Ford is going to find out!     

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Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948).  I loved it so much I bought the 8mm abridged silent version with my pocket money then set about making my own Super 8mm. Dracula, Wolfman and Frankenstein films when I was 12.  One of them ended up on television!

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Either Singin' in the Rain or Giant for me.  This goes back before there were cable networks, when local stations would show films late at night or on weekend afternoons.   One of our PBS stations also showed films on Saturday evenings.   Of course, these movies were only 15 or 20 years old at the time.  

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My parents used to take my two older sisters and I to an independent movie house which was mostly only open on weekends (circa 1974-1980.)  It was owned and run by a couple who had a love for classic films. Their names were Pat and Vivian Moore.

One or the other of  them would come  to the front of the screen between double features and tell the best stories of classic Hollywood . They would also show WB Looney Tunes Cartoons before the films!

We saw many films there, but SINGIN' IN THE RAIN was really the first one I saw that captivated me. After that, I loved all musicals that contained dancing, and an appreciation for all other genres developed over time.

Here is a short write-up about them:

http://abidesh.blogspot.com/2012/05/vitaphone.html

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On 2/14/2020 at 2:12 AM, Bogie56 said:

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948).  I loved it so much I bought the 8mm abridged silent version with my pocket money then set about making my own Super 8mm. Dracula, Wolfman and Frankenstein films when I was 12.  One of them ended up on television!

Yup, same film here. I remember first watching A & C Meet Frankenstein as I sat on my Dad's lap and covering up my eyes every time I heard the Wolf Man theme music start to play. Of course, I also peeked between my fingers. I have been hooked on old movies ever since.

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Laurel and Hardy. No one particular film. But that lead to the Marx Brothers. It branched into other comedies. Ultimately a teenaged time viewing of It's A Wonderful Life set me on a long journey of all kinds of films. 

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