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Do you remember YOUR first time?


Sepiatone
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Now, now!

 

Get your heads outa the gutter, I don't mean that "first time".

 

I thought about this last week while watching LILLIES OF THE FIELD  on some other channel (Decades or Movies, can't rightly recall).  I remember the first time I saw the movie....it was on a network presentation back when I was 13 or 14 (long before cable) .  I was walking through the living room on my way to my bedroom and my parents had it on.  I glanced at the TV and the opening credits were on and I saw it had SIDNEY POITIER in it, so I sat down to watch it because I knew I liked Sidney Poitier.

 

But, for the life of me, I can't remember HOW I came to like Poitier.  What the first movie I ever saw him in was, or at which point I knew I liked him.

 

And THIS is what this thread is about.

 

Let me give another example.--------

 

I remember while leaving a movie theater one day after the movie I went to see was over, there was a huge "stand-up" poster in the lobby touting the arrival of THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE.  The poster copy made a BIG DEAL out of the fact that---"Two Hollywood GIANTS finally together in ONE motion picture!"  Those "giants" being Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne.

 

I long knew John Wayne from old movies on Saturday TV movie matinees and more recently seeing him in RIO BRAVO a couple or so years earlier.

 

I also knew who JIMMY STEWART was too, but if my life depended on it, I couldn't for sure say HOW I knew!  Many of his earliest movies I NEVER saw until well into my 30's and '40's.  I really can't recall how I came to be familiar with and knew I too, liked Jimmy Stewart in 1962!

 

I recall feeling bad about hearing the news on the radio that Humphrey Bogart died, back in 1957.  It was SIX MONTHS before my 6th birthday, yet I KNEW who he was!  HOW?  WHAT MOVIES did I recall ever seeing him in by that age?  I couldn't say.  But, I KNEW who he was, and felt BAD about his dying.  At an age when you'd think a kid wouldn't even know OR care!

 

But, it's the same with a lot of the "big names" in moviedom with me.

 

I couldn't say when or how I became familiar with CLARK GABLE or when it was I decided I liked him.  Same with KIRK DOUGLAS, BURT LANCASTER,  HENRY FONDA, CARY GRANT, RONALD REAGAN, ERROLL FLYNN, ANTHONY QUINN or a few others.  I don't even recall the first MARLON BRANDO movie I ever saw.  Same for PAUL NEWMAN.  ROCK HUDSON too.

 

With some character actors it's different.  I KNOW I first became familiar with WALTER BRENNAN from "The Real McCoys".

 

I know I first became enthralled by CHARLES LANE from his recurring role as Homer Bedloe on "Petticoat Junction". 

 

I've rambled about this long enough.  The list CAN get much longer, but I think(hope) y'all get the drift by now.

 

 

Sepiatone

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You're correct that the list could get very long so I will only focus on a few.

 

My introduction to studio-era movies was with Bogie and The Big Sleep.   I moved back in with my mom and her boyfriend for 2 months between apartments and he was a fan of Bogie.  Since he controlled the remote I was held hostage to his choices.    I really enjoyed the film and decided to find about more about those 'old movies'.

 

When I had my own place anytime a Bogie movie was on I would try to watch it.   One day I saw Marked Women.   Bogie was OK in this film but what really hit me was Bette Davis.   So now I was hooked on Davis.

 

Watching more early Bogie films I discovered James Cagney.    This lead to me watching The Strawberry Blonde and I fell for Olivia De Havilland.

 

From there,,, well,,   it is still going on!

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I lived in a rather small town, and until I was 18, there were only two TV channels I could watch.  This limited the kind of movies I could see on television.  I remember staying up late on either New Years Day 1982 or the day before to rewatch Murder on the Orient Express which I had seen in prime time the year before.  I remember that Hatari! followed it but it was too late for me to see it.  And so I missed my first chance to watch a John Wayne movie.  I also remember that year I had a chance to watch The Treasure of Sierra Madre on tv, but I didn't bother after the first twenty mintues.

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I love the title of this thread, it definitely got my attention.

 

Anyway,

 

My knowledge of and collection of favorite films is always evolving. I'm always discovering new favorite performers and new favorite actors.  Anyway...

 

When I was probably about 9-10 (circa 1993-1994), AMC used to show Laurel & Hardy shorts Saturday mornings.  Every Saturday morning, my dad and I (and to some extent my mom and sister) would watch these hilarious Laurel & Hardy shorts.  I remember on New Years Eve, they used to have Marx Brothers marathons.  I believe New Years Day they would show Three Stooges.  Anyway, I have been familiar with the extreme slapstick comedies for sometime. 

 

Around 1995-ish, when I started middle school, I stumbled upon Nick at Nite while channel surfing.  At the time, I Love Lucy was the first show that kicked off the Nick at Nite programming at 8pm.  The episode of I Love Lucy that I saw was "Lucy's Italian Movie," which is the classic episode where Lucy stomps grapes in an effort to learn about the wine industry.  I thought this episode was hilarious.  From then on, I made a point to watch I Love Lucy every evening because I wanted to see more of Lucy's antics.

 

From then on, I was a huge fan of Lucille Ball.  Being naturally very curious and possessing an insatiable desire to learn, I read everything about Lucille Ball that I could find.  I checked out every book about Lucy and Desi from the library.  In the 8th grade, I even did a book report about a Lucy and Desi biography that I had read (I also did one about the "Last Days of Marilyn Monroe" book I read).  I read every encyclopedia and almanac entry I could find.  I even read old newspaper articles on the microfiche machines at the library.  In my reading, I learned that Lucille Ball made movies prior to being on I Love Lucy.  

 

I discovered that in addition to AMC, we had another movie channel on our TV Guide, the fairly new TCM.  I used to peruse the TCM listings in the TV Guide and made a note to watch/record on VHS every Lucy movie that was aired.

 

My love of Lucy sent me into this TCM wormhole that from then, I've never been able to escape, and frankly, who'd want to?  Though there was a period of about ten or so years when I didn't have TCM.  It left the expanded basic cable lineup and became part of a higher tier package that my parents didn't want to pay for.  I only got TCM again in 2007 when I had my own place and was responsible for my own cable bill.  I told my now husband that I didn't care what money he spent on games or comics as long as I had my TCM.

 

One of the first Lucille Ball movies I saw was my forever favorite, The Long Long Trailer.  I've probably seen this movie 100 times (not exaggerating) and I love it.  I never tire of watching this movie.  I had a copy of this film on VHS that I wore out.  Lucy and Desi will forever be my favorite.

 

Anyway, I also remember watching the annual viewing of The Wizard of Oz.  I loved Judy Garland in that movie and with my newly discovered access to TCM, I started out seeking more Judy Garland movies in addition to Lucy.  One of the earliest Garland movies that I saw was The Pirate co-starring Gene Kelly.  I absolutely fell in love with Gene Kelly in this film and started out looking for more Gene Kelly films in addition to Lucy and Judy.  When Gene Kelly died in early 1996, I was so sad.  I may have been one of the few 11 year olds who were saddened by the death of 83 year old Gene Kelly. 

 

Fast forward to 2013, when I saw The Adventures of Robin Hood for the first time on the big screen in a newly restored 1926 movie theater.  There was Errol Flynn, up on the screen, so gorgeous and so mesmerizing.  Believe it or not, this was my first exposure to Flynn.  While I had heard of him, I had never seen him.  Prior to then, I don't know if I could have even picked Flynn out of a lineup.  "Boy, why I had I been depriving myself of this man for the last 29 years?" I thought to myself.  From then, my love of Flynn grew and grew, probably to the point of my obsession with Lucille Ball.  I made a point of recording every Flynn film off TCM that aired.  I even got Flynn films through Netflix in the mail.  I read Flynn's autobiography from the library.  I own all the Flynn boxed sets and many of his other films that I bought via Warner Archives.  Like Lucy, I never tire of Errol.  

 

From my Errol Flynn obsession, I discovered two of my other new favorite performers: Olivia de Havilland and Eleanor Parker.  I'm still in the process of seeing more of their films.  

 

I love reading autobiographies and many of them I read as a result of seeing the actor first on TV somewhere, usually TCM.  From reading these books and seeing these films, I'm constantly learning about a world that I can only be a part of when watching these movies and being taken in by the story. 

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When my brothers and I were growing up in West Virginia,  almost the only old films we saw were the "old timey movies," run on children's shows where something like the Keystone Cops was speeded up to make us laugh. Then there was "Badge and Bullets," showing nothing but old westerns on Saturday.  My older brothers would sit mesmerized while I fumed.  I had no one to play with while they watched "the hats." 

 

It was in those westerns that we first saw Barbara Stanwyck.  We hated her.  She was playing "western woman," in the same way that Joan Crawford and all the other forties actresses played women ranchers.  Long stomping strides in cowboy boots, speeches made with one foot up on a tree stump and hands hooked in belt.  The directors must have thought that looked authentic.  To us she was cringingly unfeminine.

 

All grown up, I was living in England watching old movies on ITV every afternoon.  There was Barbara Stanwyck, heart breaking in "Stella Dallas,", hilarious in, "All About Eve,"  deliciously evil in, "Double Indemnity."  I fell in love with Barbara and old movies at the same time.  I hope she can forgive me for the past. 

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Now, now!

 

Get your heads outa the gutter, I don't mean that "first time".

 

 

Oh shucks!

 

I saw TARZAN THE APE MAN (MGM's version) the same year as KING KONG at age 5 and immediately fell in love with black and white jungles. Tarzan was seen at a library on a projector, the other on TV during Thanksgiving.

 

The first movie I saw in a theater was LADY AND THE TRAMP (reissue) and this was likely when my mother was pregnant with my sister and she viewed me as a dog who didn't understand what babies were.

 

Looking back, the 1970s before the VCR was not that bad of a decade. We saw lots of 16mm versions of movies in school and TV still showed a lot of black and white material. After TCM got started in the '90s, AMC and PBS (among others) pretty much stopped airing anything "old" and not in color. Yet there lots of UHF channels before the age of cable that kept so much Our Gang and Three Stooges in active circulation... and also vintage newsreels.

 

I think SESAME STREET introduced me to silent movies. There was a hilarious segment repeated over and over during the "Nixon era" of that show's run with children watching a movie heroine trying to find the EXIT in a burning building.

 

 

 

The Keystone Kops and Charlie Chaplin material would occasionally pop up, again on various UHF networks pre-cable, and were as fun to watch as the cartoons.

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First time doing what?

Glad you asked.  Nobody else seems to have caught on.

 

My intention was to discover when was the first time(if you can recall) anybody here became aware of just who these "golden era" stars were. 

 

Like in my little story of seeing "Lillies of The Field"  WASN'T  about  when I first saw that movie.

 

It was leading into wondering about an awareness of SIDNEY POITIER.  Like, if y'all read the story, you'd have noticed I stopped to watch the movie because I noticed SIDNEY POITIER was IN it, and I knew at that time that I liked Sidney Poitier..

 

But also, the thread isn't ABOUT Sidney Poitier, but my wondering how I knew I liked him, as I really can't recall the first time I saw him in anything, or what that "anything" could have been.  AND it's the same for the MAJORITY of those "golden era" stars( like Jimmy Stewart, if you also read that other story) that I've come to know and love.  And I was asking if you knew WHEN, and in WHAT did you first become aware of some long favored, widely heralded "classic" movie "star"?  Or is it the same for you, too?

 

I really couldn't care less as to when was the first time any of you saw some movie.  UNLESS of course, IF my query was when DID you first see some particular movie.

 

 

Sepiatone

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Glad you asked.  Nobody else seems to have caught on.

 

My intention was to discover when was the first time(if you can recall) anybody here became aware of just who these "golden era" stars were. 

 

Like in my little story of seeing "Lillies of The Field"  WASN'T  about  when I first saw that movie.

 

It was leading into wondering about an awareness of SIDNEY POITIER.  Like, if y'all read the story, you'd have noticed I stopped to watch the movie because I noticed SIDNEY POITIER was IN it, and I knew at that time that I liked Sidney Poitier..

 

But also, the thread isn't ABOUT Sidney Poitier, but my wondering how I knew I liked him, as I really can't recall the first time I saw him in anything, or what that "anything" could have been.  AND it's the same for the MAJORITY of those "golden era" stars( like Jimmy Stewart, if you also read that other story) that I've come to know and love.  And I was asking if you knew WHEN, and in WHAT did you first become aware of some long favored, widely heralded "classic" movie "star"?  Or is it the same for you, too?

 

I really couldn't care less as to when was the first time any of you saw some movie.  UNLESS of course, IF my query was when DID you first see some particular movie.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

Nobody?     But if nobody got what you were getting at,  isn't that one you and your rambling initial post?

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Nobody?     But if nobody got what you were getting at,  isn't that one you and your rambling initial post?

 

My and my rambling intitial post what?

 

Sure, I knew my OP( which stands for "original post" and is what most forum members use instead of "initial post"  )    ;)

 

did ramble a bit, but I did think I made it more than clear.  but apparently, many forumites simply scan for "keywords" and mistakenly think the topic is about something other than intended.  It's the only explanation for this phenomenon I  can think of.  I've seen it happen in a lot of other threads as well. 

 

Sepiatone

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I believe that my first time was at around two years old. I can still remember this one scene in a movie that I saw at home, where a man was jumping off a bridge and in my visual memory I think that the setting looked like somewhere European. There seemed to be some kind of robbery that had been committed and he was trying to escape. To this day I always think that someday I may see this movie again and will actually be able to recognize this scene when it appears. My mother when questioned, since I actually remember also in what room the tv was and against what wall, says that I would have had to be about two or younger since the tv was moved soon after to our great room.

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Glad you asked.  Nobody else seems to have caught on.

 

My intention was to discover when was the first time(if you can recall) anybody here became aware of just who these "golden era" stars were. 

 

Like in my little story of seeing "Lillies of The Field"  WASN'T  about  when I first saw that movie.

 

It was leading into wondering about an awareness of SIDNEY POITIER.  Like, if y'all read the story, you'd have noticed I stopped to watch the movie because I noticed SIDNEY POITIER was IN it, and I knew at that time that I liked Sidney Poitier..

 

But also, the thread isn't ABOUT Sidney Poitier, but my wondering how I knew I liked him, as I really can't recall the first time I saw him in anything, or what that "anything" could have been.  AND it's the same for the MAJORITY of those "golden era" stars( like Jimmy Stewart, if you also read that other story) that I've come to know and love.  And I was asking if you knew WHEN, and in WHAT did you first become aware of some long favored, widely heralded "classic" movie "star"?  Or is it the same for you, too?

 

I really couldn't care less as to when was the first time any of you saw some movie.  UNLESS of course, IF my query was when DID you first see some particular movie.

 

 

Sepiatone

Well, that's exactly what I did, told about how I first became aware of  Barbara Stanwyck.   I guess it came under the "couldn't care less," category.

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Well, that's exactly what I did, told about how I first became aware of  Barbara Stanwyck.   I guess it came under the "couldn't care less," category.

 

Same here.  I felt I explained how I came to like some of my favorite actors and that this was the topic but it appears I was mistaken.

 

Looks like everyone falls under the 'couldn't care less' category since nobody got it.

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I really couldn't care less as to when was the first time any of you saw some movie.  UNLESS of course, IF my query was when DID you first see some particular movie.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

Oh yes you do.. and we all CARE to tell you regardless if you "care" or not.

 

This is where you may have a problem with some of our responses.

 

Some of us came into the Magic of Hollywood with a fascination in STARS, while others through specific MOVIE TITLES... and the characters actors played in The Storyline.

 

I liked Tarzan played by Johnny Weissmuller and Gordon Scott best, but I didn't know their real actor names well enough until I was at least 8 or 9. Likewise, there was just Dorothy in the WIZARD OF OZ, not Judy Garland... until I saw her in other films like MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS. Shirley Temple, a child star close enough in age (if in black and white) was one star who was recognizable to kids... along with Jackie Cooper in the Our Gang comedies (with the Mrs. Crabtree titles having the most impact on me at age 6-7).

 

In regards to your Bogart reference. Of course I remember some deaths that were significant... I was particularly baffled by Elvis Presley's since I had seen him in enough movies and knew he was a popular entertainer touring the country. I wasn't as upset by it as I was over Anissa Jones a year earlier since I had seen every rerun of FAMILY AFFAIR by then and still viewed her as a little girl rather than a troubled teenager. Granted, she was still too young.

 

Likewise, my mother listened to Baby Snooks on the radio and was VERY upset about her death (when she was in the fourth grade or so), then was surprised to learn in a newspaper a day or two later that Fanny Brice was not NEARLY as young as Snooks.

 

One of my grandfathers was 11-12 when THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA came out and thought it was a pretty good movie, if not terrifying. Another, who was only 6 or so, was so upset by it that he didn't attend the flickers for a few weeks. Both remembered hearing about Lon Chaney's death on the radio in 1930, because most average American households had their first radio by that year... just as most had their first TV by 1953 or so (since everybody remembered watching Elizabeth's coronation regardless if they were home or at a bar TV).

 

Likewise, all of my grandparents remembered Rudolph Valentino's death and he was probably the silent star I saw the most on TV as a child because I was constantly reminded of how young he was to the generation who loved him a.k.a. James Dean and Marilyn Monroe style. In fact, many of the silent stars were ones I pretty much assumed "passed on", but I was always happy that Lillian Gish was still around and hosting silent films on PBS or whatever station. It was fun watching her talk about her performances "back then" as your grandmother/great grandmother "type" and seeing her as a teenager in black and white.

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sepiatone--my apologies if this is off-topic, but you haven't said anything about Hearing the stars first, then finding out you like them.  Example--my parents had a stack of Original Broadway & Movie Soundtrack records; Like "My Fair Lady" (1956), "Camelot" (1960) (Broadway, & Julie Andrews starred in both).  For movies, one soundtrack they had was "Oklahoma!" (1955), which starred Shirley Jones, & Gordon MacRae.   I asked if they had done any/any more movies, my parents answered yes, & I looked for other movies/records to listen to and watch.  Then "That's Entertainment!" (1974) was released, & I was a confirmed classic film lover for life--my favorite genre, the musical. :)

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sepiatone--my apologies if this is off-topic, but you haven't said anything about Hearing the stars first, then finding out you like them.  Example--my parents had a stack of Original Broadway & Movie Soundtrack records; Like "My Fair Lady" (1956), "Camelot" (1960) (Broadway, & Julie Andrews starred in both).  For movies, one soundtrack they had was "Oklahoma!" (1955), which starred Shirley Jones, & Gordon MacRae.   I asked if they had done any/any more movies, my parents answered yes, & I looked for other movies/records to listen to and watch.  Then "That's Entertainment!" (1974) was released, & I was a confirmed classic film lover for life--my favorite genre, the musical. :)

 

Interesting way to discover 'classic' (studio-era) films.    While my first encounters with studio-era films and stars wasn't based on songs,  as I learned more and more jazz standards I explored the movies these songs were originally released in.    e.g.  I learned to play Tangerine and I Remember You.    Later I discovered these songs were from the film The Fleet is In so I watched that film and became a fan of Dorothy Lamour and Betty Hutton (who was such a riot in this film).     William Holden didn't make much of an impression on me (hey I'm a guy!),  so it wasn't until I saw Sunset Boulevard that I started to seek out films he was in.

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Fine.  Y'all wish to turn this into an "off topic" free for all, I guess that's what y'all can only manage to do.

 

But all I ask is for youse to at least address the OP and intended topic.  THEN go where you wish( and I might join THAT, too!)

 

I'll try AGAIN to put it as simply as possible....

 

It calls for a repeat of earlier statements, only abridged and put another way.

 

OK----so, I'm going to the show to see maybe some Jerry Lewis movie or something.( I AM talking about when I was much younger), and the theater has new posters up advertising upcoming movies. 

 

I notice one of them stars (for discussion sake) JIMMY STEWART.  I think to myself, "I'll have to come SEE this one.  I LIKE Jimmy Stewart".  And there's the marrow....

 

HOW do KNOW I like Jimmy Stewart?  I couldn't for the life of me pinpoint the exact moment in my life when I saw Jimmy Stewart in some movie and decided, "Hey.  I LIKE this guy". 

 

The FIRST time I saw him in a movie, or what the movie could have been, or what.  THAT'S what I'm talking about.  And NOT just Stewart, but it's the same for a LOT of "golden era" stars and so......

 

GABLE, CAGNEY, DOUGLAS, LANCASTER, GRANT, BOGART,  COOPER(Gary), FLYNN,  BEERY, ALL of those dudes.  I CAN'T  honestly recall WHEN was the first time I saw them in a movie(OR the movie) in which I then decided, "HEY!  I LIKE this guy!"

 

Since I started watching what we here call "classic" movies since I can remember being able to sit up well enough to sit and gawk at what was playing on that big thing in the living room, the ONLY movies on WERE "old" movies, which at that time, weren't so very old.  Just "old" in relation to MY age, which would have been about four or five.  And, as I was born in 1951, we're talking '55-'56.  NO station out of the THREE available were showing any movies except the local affiliates who got ahold of syndicate packages, and nothing newer than probably 1950 until the very early '60's.

 

I hope this helps.  Outside of breaking out the big box of Crayolas, I don't know HOW I can make it ANY simpler.

 

 

Sepiatone

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Fine.  Y'all wish to turn this into an "off topic" free for all, I guess that's what y'all can only manage to do.

 

But all I ask is for youse to at least address the OP and intended topic.  THEN go where you wish( and I might join THAT, too!)

 

I'll try AGAIN to put it as simply as possible....

 

It calls for a repeat of earlier statements, only abridged and put another way.

 

OK----so, I'm going to the show to see maybe some Jerry Lewis movie or something.( I AM talking about when I was much younger), and the theater has new posters up advertising upcoming movies. 

 

I notice one of them stars (for discussion sake) JIMMY STEWART.  I think to myself, "I'll have to come SEE this one.  I LIKE Jimmy Stewart".  And there's the marrow....

 

HOW do KNOW I like Jimmy Stewart?  I couldn't for the life of me pinpoint the exact moment in my life when I saw Jimmy Stewart in some movie and decided, "Hey.  I LIKE this guy". 

 

The FIRST time I saw him in a movie, or what the movie could have been, or what.  THAT'S what I'm talking about.  And NOT just Stewart, but it's the same for a LOT of "golden era" stars and so......

 

GABLE, CAGNEY, DOUGLAS, LANCASTER, GRANT, BOGART,  COOPER(Gary), FLYNN,  BEERY, ALL of those dudes.  I CAN'T  honestly recall WHEN was the first time I saw them in a movie(OR the movie) in which I then decided, "HEY!  I LIKE this guy!"

 

Since I started watching what we here call "classic" movies since I can remember being able to sit up well enough to sit and gawk at what was playing on that big thing in the living room, the ONLY movies on WERE "old" movies, which at that time, weren't so very old.  Just "old" in relation to MY age, which would have been about four or five.  And, as I was born in 1951, we're talking '55-'56.  NO station out of the THREE available were showing any movies except the local affiliates who got ahold of syndicate packages, and nothing newer than probably 1950 until the very early '60's.

 

I hope this helps.  Outside of breaking out the big box of Crayolas, I don't know HOW I can make it ANY simpler.

 

 

 

 

I'm bolded part of your post for emphasis.

 

So you're saying you can't remember the first time you saw/knew you liked  Stewart, Gable, Cagney . . . and are asking if others similarly can't remember when the first saw/knew they liked their favorites?  

 

What if someone does remember?

 

I guess I don't remember the first time I heard the CHARLES IN CHARGE theme.

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I don't recall any eureka moments when I can pinpoint when I was "aware" I liked an actor. When I was young and first watching movies and more or less took them in. I may have really liked someone in it but perhaps did not take particular note at that time. I only realized it later.

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Sepiatone--I'll repeat HoldenIsHere's question; What if one DOES remember?

 

That's OK.  I'll probably be a bit envious. 

 

I can recall the first time I saw SOME actors and/actresses and had that "Eureka" moment.  But regrettably, they're more recently heralded actors, and relatively newer movies than we mostly discuss in here.

 

And now, that I have many of your eyes in attention:

 

I'd like to apologize for the snarky and bitchy demeanor in which I responded to many replies in this thread.  But if any of you have ever tried to start a thread about a particular subject and saw it get quickly and senslessly derailed, you might understand how such an attitude might be incited.

 

And, to quote a line from MY favorite version of a long respected Christmas movie:

 

"At this time of the rolling year"---I think more civil and reasonable exchanges on these boards are called for.  ;)

 

 

Sepiatone

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