Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cinderella's Towering Poseidon Camelot

I was talking with someone the other day about what was the first movie you remember seeing in a movie theater. For me, in a movie theater, it was Disney's Cinderella. You see, back in the old days children, before the "inter-net", Disney only put its movies in the theaters every 7 years. So it was pretty special when they released one of their movies. My memory mostly consists of being in the dark theater, sitting in-between my parents.

After that, the next one I remember is Star Wars. That of course, was a pretty big memory.

But what other movies do I remember from before that? Not too many. We didn't get a chance to go out to movies a lot, but that's okay, I think that made them have a bigger impact when you did see them.

So what movies helped shape little Leah into who she is?

My parents took me to a drive-in to see "The Towering Inferno". I wasn't too interested in it at the time, it was a little OLD for me don't you think Mom and Dad, and I distinctly recall laying in the backseat coloring in my huge Pinocchio coloring book for most of the movie. Nevertheless, the disaster genre began its seepage into my brain. I still think of Towering Inferno whenever I come across Gremlins 2 or Poltergeist 3 since they happened in huge apartment/office/shopping/you-never-have-to-leave-buildings. I don't remember much of it, just that it was a fabulous 70s cheese-fest with horrible drapes and furniture and clothes to make you ill, and that hair, yikes! I saw it a few years ago, and that's still all that's stayed with me.

The next movie I remember from that time is "The Poseidon Adventure". It's hard for me to say when I first saw it, it's been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Take the Towering Inferno, add a dash of Titanic, and sprinkle some Love Boat on top. Voila! Upside-down 70s cheesiness for all. DO NOT bother with the re-make from a couple years ago, watch the real thing, it's so worth it.

Finally, the last movie I remember from my early childhood is "Camelot". I saw it while we were on vacation somewhere in the woods at some people's house. I know that sounds horrible, I wish I had a steel-trap memory like some people I know, but c'est la vie, this is me. What I remember about that house is that they had a pot-bellied stove (cool!) and an annoying little girl (boo!). And I watched Camelot on tv there and loved it. I didn't see it again until I was in my late teens. It's hard for me to describe how I felt when I saw Richard Harris loping around the woods with his eye-shadow acting as if he was supposed to be naive and teenaged when he most clearly was not. I had not had much exposure to the theatre so it took me a while to take him seriously. Once I got over myself, I loved it. My mom had the LP soundtrack, so I had listened to that all my life. I'm afraid the whole prancing eye-shadow incident did make me put Richard lower on my list of favorite British Shakespearean trained act-tors (1. Peter O'Toole, 2. Richard Burton, 3. Richard Harris, and for good measure David Bowie. Shut up, it's my list and if I want David Bowie on it, he can be on it).

So what's all this mean? How have these movies imprinted me? Other than the permanent sense of impending doom when near fireplaces and bodies of water, and the uncontrollable fear of best friends and mice stealing my boyfriend while singing, I think I'm doing pretty well, thanks!


  1. I remember going to see E.T. at the drive in on the beach in Biloxi (what was I? 3? 4?). My parents put the seat down in the back of the station wagon and loaded us up with blankets, pillows and food. I remembered being terrified when the scientist entered the house. We had a clock in our playroom (off of the kitchen) that had a big round mirror in the center.... after that movie, I couldn't go in (or by for that matter) that room if it was dark. I thought the "spacemen" were in there. I remember as late as high school being a little freaked out by that clock. Thanks, Mom & Dad!

    Love your writings! ; ) You're on my google reader.

  2. The place in the woods you were referring to was when we visited our friends from Miami, the Moores. They had a new house in Tennessee and we drove down to see them during Christmas week of 1976. How's that for a steel trap? ;-{)

  3. What can I say...we wanted to see the Towering Inferno!!!! lol

  4. I honestly can't remember what my first movie in a theater was. The first one I actually remember (I'm sure there were movies before it though) was seeing Star Wars in a theater in NYC with my Aunt and my parents. That started my love affair with the movie and everything else George Lucas and ILM. I cried last year when Stan Winston died!

    I also remember seeing E.T. in theaters. Yes, plural. My mom took us on a weekend that my Dad didn't have us. I thought it was such a good movie that when my Dad's weekend came up, and he asked what movie I wanted to go see, I said, "E.T.!!". He was pissed when he found out that I'd already seen it, 'cause to him, that was a "waste of good money". After that, he always checked with my mom before he took me to the movies! LOL