THROUGH NEW EYES: Each generation has memories of childhood movies. During the holidays, I spent some time looking at movies that I thought affected me in different ways. Well, I found out that when you see them again, some of the resulting opinions can be shocking.
Starting from the "Dumbo-Bambi" group, we get the message that your mother is going to die and you are going to be alone and crying in a cage.
If you saw "A Summer Place," starring Troy Donahue and Sandra Dee, at age 11, you learned you'd better not kiss a boy or you'll get pregnant and your family will hate you.
Those movies I didn't need to see again to recall what I "learned." I still am against the Disney formula of "killing mother," and am sorry that their animated movies, for the most part, still follow that formula.
CAT ON THE HOT TIN ROOF---As a young girl, I really didn't understand what it was about. I just saw Paul Newman's eyes and Elizabeth Taylor's black hair against the creamy skin and white chiffon dress. All I heard was yelling. It bored me. So, I saw it again yesterday for the first time in decades. The yelling of my youthful perception has now become whiny, over-acted performances that do not hold up. With 2016 eyes, Burl Ives gives the best performance of all. It's truly authentic. Paul Newman tries to tone it down, but I can just imagine the director constantly yelling at him, "Bigger! Bigger!" As for Elizabeth, she has moments of , but it was just Elizabeth Taylor, the movie star, doing a southern accent and acting superficially with her eyes, hair and waistline.
|Dolores and George|
WHERE THE BOYS ARE-- I'm sure you remember Dolores Hart, Yvette Mimieux, Paula Prentiss, and Connie Francis as they experience their first spring break vacation in Fort Lauderdale. Like most "teen" pictures, this one is primarily cast with beautiful people. When I first saw it, as a young teen, they all looked older than the college kids they play. To hit you on the head, they start out with a sex education class in college, and then head south. Sex is on everyone's mind--good girl/bad girl--all girls are boy crazy and brainless. No wonder that generation of young teen viewers didn't understand sex at all. Yvette Mimieux is the "fast girl," dumb and innocent as well, who sleeps around. In the end she gets raped. I was so young when I saw it I didn't understand that. I knew that the swells of scary music over her face meant something...now I'm sure. The word rape is never used. She's bruised; goes to the hospital and is going to be fine. Dolores Hart takes her back to school. No wonder Dolores became a nun. P S. And poor Connie Francis, who's not the pretty one, gets stuck with the weirdo with the thick glasses because "that's all she deserves."
HIGH SOCIETY--I've seen this movie consistently through the years. I wanted to live with the Lords. I still do. At one of my numerous viewings, abut ten years ago, I took particular note at the decor of the house. Then I looked around at my house. I was shocked to see that every decor choice I had made, right down to colors, wall paper and china, was exactly like the movie. I had no idea when I was decorating that the choices in my brain were put there by a childhood movie.
THE GRADUATE--I loved this movie. My takeaway when I was younger was that it had nothing to do with an affair or what one does after college. I only retained that someone who is in love with you will follow you and scream until you are his. Well..............
GIGI--What a beautiful musical.....pretty pictures, pretty clothes......and a story about hookers. Whew got that as a child? What a choice it presented to young girls. Do you want to be a hooker or a wife? Nice......
THINK ABOUT THE MOVIES YOU SAW IN YOUR IMPRESSIONABLE YEARS.