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Glad You Saw It In A Theater FIRST


Tikisoo
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We often discuss 2001 A Space Odyssey here on the forums, since it's meaning eludes many. I was told to see it in a theater first so it would have a greater impact, which it did. Not everything, especially visual aspects, translates via a TV screen.

 

Many foreign or silent films are far better for me when "captive" in a theater situation, where there are fewer distractions

And many lightweight musicals, like Astaire/Rogers and Carmen Miranda films get a big response with an audience but can fall flat when watching at home by yourself.

 

This got me thinking about all the movies I've seen in a theater FIRST, then saw on TV, and how many of them may not have worked as well for me had I seen them on TV first. A few off the top of my head....

 

ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW- I'm so glad I saw this in 1976, before all the acting out. My friends & I were so thrilled to see a musical with good contemporary songs honoring our beloved Universal horror & sci-fi movies. The punk costumes and sexual revolution aspects didn't hurt either. 

 

WILD GUITAR- It was a closing movie after some horror feature I went to see. There were only 2 other people in the theater and the promoter urged me to stay-he had to show it anyway. I thought it was great fun but would have turned it off if watching by myself at home.

 

THE LION IN WINTER- was dragged to this on a date, had zero interest in a dark costume picture. SO GLAD I saw it, ended up loving it. Don't know if it would have had the same impact if viewed on TV for the first time.

 

I'm sure there's others....what about you?

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I'm going to mention two films that really look the same at home as at the theater. The atmosphere is what made my choice.

 

I am really glad I saw A HARD DAYS NIGHT and HELP! when they were first released. I was too young to go to concerts at that point and it was my only chance to touch Beatlemania outside of watching the Sullivan show. The excitement both in the theatres and on the street outside was extraordinary. We had vendors selling souvenirs right on the street outside the RKO Keith's in DC! I've never seen that for any other film. 

 

And, fortunately, the girls in the audiences only screamed during songs and not during dialogue. 

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Great topic.

I saw Barry Lyndon again in a theatre a few years ago.  Then watched it again on dvd at home about six months after that.

I thought it was a completely different film viewed on the big screen.

Alcott's photography is very much like large paintings of the time and I'm sure that seeing it projected enhanced the theme and look that Kubrick was going for.  A look that is somewhat lost on a television screen.  It simply didn't work as well and I found myself dwelling on the negatives of that film instead of being lost in its wonder.

I'm sure you could say that something is lost with every film when viewed on a small screen.  Let's not even talk about watching films on cellular phones!  

I agree that silent films do not translate that well to television.  Live music and those grand sets and hordes of extras on the big screen make those films come alive.  I often find myself dozing off when watching them on tv.

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In addition to all the first-run stuff I saw in the 60's, I actually first saw both CASABLANCA and NOW, VOYAGER on a 35mm double-bill in Miami in 1974..

 

Funny but at first I was thinking; hey, I'm not old enough to have seen any studio-era (production code) movies when they were first released but I did see Dead Reckoning and In a Lonely Place for the first time in a revival theater in Hollywood in the 80s (as well as other films but some I had already seen on T.V.).     Once I saw The Big Sleep on T.V. I was hooked and went to that theater about once a month.  

 

Nothing like seeing a movie as it was meant to be seen.  

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When I was a teenager,  there was a large performing arts center in my area and one summer on the two nights a week that there wasn't live performances they ran double-features of MGM musicals. That was 32 films. You name one and it was probably included. I saw ALL of them. That was what really sold me on musicals as a genre. To see all those great films in 35mm was a treasure.

 

 

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I can think of several.. the one that stands out the most (because it WAS the first time I ever saw it) is Lawrence of Arabia. (I have actually seen it twice on the big screen.. the second time after it was went through a restoration (sometime in the late 80's or very early 90's I think?) Whatever one might think of the story itself.. there's no denying how utterly spectacular it looks onscreen.

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Two things really impressed me when seeing a restored Bridge on the River Kwai at the BFI in London:

you could see puffs of smoke from the approaching train going through the jungle on the wide shots of the bridge during the climax with the demolition team.  And it followed the path along the river from the track where the first bridge had been built to the place of the new bridge.  This was a detail in a very wide shot that only a perfectionist would attempt.  

The second thing was seeing the blood dots on the back of Col. Nicholson's head when he bent down to pick up his cap.  The fatal wounds of course were the result of the mortar explosion but just about impossible to see on a television.  

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  • 3 months later...

I haven't seen this one in the theatre but I'm certain I would have enjoyed the film much more if I had.

I finally got around to watching the TCM broadcast of Trapeze (1956) by Carol Reed.  In Ben Mankiewicz's wrap around he mentioned that Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis and Gina Lollabrigida did some of their own stunts in this film.  Even on television you could certainly see that this was the case. Burt, Tony and Gina were all up there on the trapeze for some portions of the film.  Very impressive I must say.

The film didn't really have much more to offer other than guessing which stunts the real actors were actually doing themselves.  Hence, why I would have liked to have seen this one on the big screen.

As an aside, is there an actresses' name that conjures up thoughts of sex more than Marilyn Monroe and Gina Lollabrigida? 

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I can think of several.. the one that stands out the most (because it WAS the first time I ever saw it) is Lawrence of Arabia. (I have actually seen it twice on the big screen.. the second time after it was went through a restoration (sometime in the late 80's or very early 90's I think?) Whatever one might think of the story itself.. there's no denying how utterly spectacular it looks onscreen.

 

 

Yes. I saw it on tv first, but I was able to see the restoration on the big screen in 70mm and it was magnificent. What an impact.

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"What's Up Doc?"(WUD)--(1972)--I saw it on first-run while a kid in CO--the audience was chattering & eating before the film began--& then Barbra Streisand started to sing Cole Porters'

"You're the Top " before the opening credits--& everybody in the theatre shut up--no talking, eating--he**, I wondered if anyone was Breathing--& the subsequent times in the film she sang (3, I think)--same reaction from the audience.  I credit WUD with instilling a love of film music & musicals. 

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Being old, and having gone to the movies a hell of a lot, I pretty much have seen all the widescreen films, either during their original releases, or a re-release, which happened, often, prior to network movie airings and home video.  So, I guess I'm glad I saw all the films that people say, should be seen on the big screen, on the big screen.  However, for me, a truly great film transcends venue.  But, it is true, that something like HELLO, DOLL! or TORA! TORA! TORA!, and other exclamation point films, certainly play better on the screen they were intended to be seen on, than on television.  Although, with the advent of Blu-ray and HDTVs, and wonderful home sound systems, this is far less an issue.

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I haven't seen this one in the theatre but I'm certain I would have enjoyed the film much more if I had.

I finally got around to watching the TCM broadcast of Trapeze (1956) by Carol Reed.  In Ben Mankiewicz's wrap around he mentioned that Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis and Gina Lollabrigida did some of their own stunts in this film.  Even on television you could certainly see that this was the case. Burt, Tony and Gina were all up there on the trapeze for some portions of the film.  Very impressive I must say.

The film didn't really have much more to offer other than guessing which stunts the real actors were actually doing themselves.  Hence, why I would have liked to have seen this one on the big screen.

As an aside, is there an actresses' name that conjures up thoughts of sex more than Marilyn Monroe and Gina Lollabrigida

 

No

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"What's Up Doc?"(WUD)--(1972)--I saw it on first-run while a kid in CO--the audience was chattering & eating before the film began--& then Barbra Streisand started to sing Cole Porters'

"You're the Top " before the opening credits--& everybody in the theatre shut up--no talking, eating--he**, I wondered if anyone was Breathing--& the subsequent times in the film she sang (3, I think)--same reaction from the audience.  I credit WUD with instilling a love of film music & musicals. 

 

Streisand's interpretation of "You're The Top" at the opening of WHAT'S UP DOC? is mindblowingly brilliant and seems so effortless.

 

When she sings "You are sublime." Wow!

That part always amazes me----they way she subverts the melody yet somehow stays true to it.

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I'm way too young to have seen many of my favorite films in the theater as new releases, but there are a ton that I saw for the first time in a theater and I'm happy that my first experience with the film was in the theater.

 

There's a theater in my hometown that plays a classic film every Wednesday night.  They alternate between showing silent films and "talkies." A block of silent films one week, a "talkie" the next.  The theater was originally built in 1926 and was a Warner Brothers theater until the 1950s (when the anti-trust laws made it illegal for studios to also own the theaters where their films were distributed).  After numerous owners, the theater fell into disrepair in the 1970s and stood vacant and was almost demolished by the city in the 1980s.  However a group stepped in and purchased the property to save it.  By the late 90s, the group had enough money to fund a full restoration of the property which was completed in the early 00s.  Anyway... sorry to be so verbose.  I've been able to see many wonderful classics for the first time in this beautiful Tudor Gothic style theater.  I'm able to achieve close to the same experience that patrons in the 1920s-1950s did when they saw first run films in this theater. 

 

One of my favorite films that I saw for the first time in this theater was The Adventures of Robin Hood.  What a gorgeous film (and leading man) to see on the big screen.  The bright colors, the wonderful score, the fun story, everything was enhanced and made even better on the big screen.  No matter how many times I see this film, it never gets old. 

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I prefer seeing.ANY movie on the big screen. As a kid in the 70s, besides the kids films, some that made an impression at the movies included all the blockbusters, THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, THE EXORCIST, JAWS, EARTHQUAKE, STAR WARS, SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, etc. Another a bit later, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, had that amazing first scene with that huge round boulder triggered by Indy taking the gold Inca idol.

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When I was a child, I went to the movies a lot, so I got to see a lot good movies in a theater first: The French Connection, Fiddler on the Roof, The Godfather, Cabaret, Deliverance. Why they let me in to see The Exorcist the year it opened I'll never know. Even foreign films, like The Pizza Triangle, La Grande Bouffe, Day for Night.  I was there.

There was a movie theater that had Film Festivals for a couple of weeks, and I had the chance to see a lot of old movies. That's how I saw The Greatest Show on Earth, Around the World in 80 Days, Ben Hur, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, and many others.

Years later, in college, I saw a lot of classic movies for the first time on the big screen.

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My very first movie experience was seeing Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs back in 1953 and I know it first came out  in 1938 but this was perhaps another re-release.  The immense screen to my small eyes had a great impact.  The wicked queen, the terrible hunter and the scary witch made me cringe with fear in my seat.  As I got older somehow I was allowed in to see Anatomy of a Murder on a screen so huge at The All Weather Drive In on L.I. N.Y. I was drawn into the drama.  Then there was those "trip" movies of the 60's that you had to see "stoned" so to speak.  From the 70's onward I made sure to see as many of the Oscar nominee pictures I could and I enjoyed the experience of seeing things now in IMAX 3D.  Popcorn and soda a must each time I ago.  I love also going to the releases of classics I never seen on the big screen like GWTW and Singing in the Rain.

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My very first movie experience was seeing Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs back in 1953 and I know it first came out  in 1938 but this was perhaps another re-release.  The immense screen to my small eyes had a great impact.  The wicked queen, the terrible hunter and the scary witch made me cringe with fear in my seat.  As I got older somehow I was allowed in to see Anatomy of a Murder on a screen so huge at The All Weather Drive In on L.I. N.Y. I was drawn into the drama.  Then there was those "trip" movies of the 60's that you had to see "stoned" so to speak.  From the 70's onward I made sure to see as many of the Oscar nominee pictures I could and I enjoyed the experience of seeing things now in IMAX 3D.  Popcorn and soda a must each time I ago.  I love also going to the releases of classics I never seen on the big screen like GWTW and Singing in the Rain.

Great.story. I too love seeing classics on the big screen. This evening, I plan to see DOUBLE INDEMNITY, although I have see it on the big screen before.

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Great.story. I too love seeing classics on the big screen. This evening, I plan to see DOUBLE INDEMNITY, although I have see it on the big screen before.

 

ArTORo, my friend and I are seeing DI on the big screen tomorrow night. I've also seen it in a movie theater once before, a few years ago.  It took me multiple viewings of this film to really appreciate it, and then when I saw it on the big screen I REALLY loved it (especially the cinematography.  Noirs are incredible when seen on a big screen.)  Looking forward to tomorrow!

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While I've seen the movie before, last night I saw Double Indemnity for the first time in the theater.  This was a different movie experience for me, as I went to the movie alone--everyone who normally goes to movies with me was busy.  No worries, you're not supposed to talk during a movie anyway, so seeing it alone was no big deal.  I had a coupon for free popcorn, so that was cool.  It was so much fun seeing the movie.  I love this movie so much--especially Fred MacMurray's dialogue.  It was such a great experience and I'm happy that these events have been successful enough for TCM to have so many of them.

 

Next month is the Grease sing-a-long.  As much as I enjoy Grease, I cannot subject myself to the trauma that is listening to people sing along to the music while trying to watch a movie, so I will pass.  September is bringing us Psycho, so I may try and go see that, even though I've seen it in the theater before.  In November, they're showing Roman Holiday which I enjoy, so I'll want to go see that film.  December is Miracle on 34th Street, which for whatever reason, I've only seen part of it.  I could be persuaded to go to that one as well.  Lol. 

 

I'm looking forward to what TCM/Fathom has in store for 2016!

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