Memories: A Life At The Movies…

“It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Memories: A Life At The Movies... a movie camera

I’ve always enjoyed going to the movies with family and friends. I love sitting in a large dark theater, full of anticipation, as the screen lights up and, after the perfunctory requests to turn off cell phones and be quiet, the scheduled film begins. I even enjoy watching the credits roll at the end; noting everyone from the main actors to the key grips. I remember watching The Sound of Music, probably my first, at the cinema and It’s a Wonderful Life ad nauseum on the telly. My parents liked showing movies during special holidays; particularly at Christmas. We would gather around the television to watch, share a snack, and make comments about the actors and the dialogue. Often, I would sit there and fantasize about life in whatever part of the world the movie came from… Do you remember the first film you saw in a theater?

Memories: A Life At The Movies... Our Man Flint... ;-)

But my earliest memorable recollection of being in a movie theater or going to the cinema as we called it back in the day, was an outing with an uncle, my siblings and a few friends to a hot, packed screening room in a private club with what looked like a ton of pre-teens screaming as the movie: Our Man Flint with James Coburn came on the screen. I remember it well because James Coburn was slick and handsome, talked fast, had gorgeous women on each arm as he tried to save the galaxy. In case you are wondering, yes, it was not an appropriate movie for our age group, we were kids not even pre-teens, but my uncle didn’t know any better and we had a blast retelling the juicy parts in the movie to our parents afterwards… Needless to say, they were flabbergasted and Uncle X was never allowed to take us to the movies again. What was the first memorable movie you saw?

“Life is uncharted territory. It reveals its story one moment at a time.” Leo F. Buscaglia

Memories: A Life At The Movies... most vibrant cinema areas in the world

Areas with over 10,000 titles (green), over 5,000 (yellow), over 1,000 (blue) Source: Wikipedia

Over the years, I was introduced to other movies and grew to love both Bollywood (India) and Nollywood (Nigeria) flicks. What attracted me to Bollywood films, at least from my earliest memories, was the fantastic music, coy love stories and dancing sequences. I remember Haathi Mere Saathi as one of my favorites and my interest simply grew from there. During my years in Nigeria, I got to enjoy loads of pre-Nollywood shows on TV and it was a natural segue to start watching the films like Living in Bondage when they were made.  Today I enjoy all kinds of movies, especially foreign films and documentaries,  I love anything by Pedro Almodovar, Akira Kurosawa, Ang Lee, Wim Wenders, Luis Bunuel, and more. I have to say though that the horror flick genre is my least favorite; The Exorcist gave me nightmares for weeks.  What kinds of movies do you enjoy?

In recent years, I’ve found that even though I still love to live vicariously through the world of movies, I don’t go to the movies every single week but I still go regularly. I saw Black Swan, Inside Job, The Social Network, The King’s Speech, and a bunch of other films and plan to see more when feasible. I must say that if I have to reflect on movies that touched me and that I have seen several times, I would probably include Slumdog Millionaire, Avatar, The GodFather, The Color Purple, Schindler’s List, The Seven Samurai, A Beautiful Mind, Million Dollar Baby, and many of the movies, including foreign flicks, listed in top movies of the 20th and the 21st century. I’ll always love the movies and will go anytime I can. Before I forget, you can take advantage of the offerings from free membership clubs that let you preview new movies when you join groups like The CinemaSource, FilmMetro, and Gofobo. What are your thoughts? When was the last time you saw a great movie and what was it? What kinds of movies do you enjoy most? Do you remember the first film you saw in a theater? Do share! Thank you. :-)

This post was inspired by a prompt from the Daily Post: What film have you seen more than any other?

Positive Motivation Tip: Our memories guide our path and movies both real and imagined contribute to the memories we hold dear. Choose them well…

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Photo of a movie camera,, Our Man Flint poster, and most vibrant world cinema via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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23 responses to “Memories: A Life At The Movies…

  1. To be honest, I am not much of a movie goer. I loved Soylent Green when I first saw it. I laughed until my jaws ached throughout American Beauty. The Australian cult file, The Castle, I cringed at and Puberty Blues, another Australian movie, was ………. interesting from a sociological perspective!

    There are movies I keep telling myself I should see: Rabbit Proof Fence for one.

    I loved Avatar, I thought it was wonderful. I loved the social messages too.

    I am not one for seeing movies multiple times, although like most people I have seen The Sound of Music, the classic asylum seeker movie, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, several times. It comes on TV and someone else in the house wants to watch it, so one does!
    What was the first movie I saw? I have no idea! None whatsoever. I did notice Bollywood was very popular in Nollywood territory!

    • Yep and that was my introduction to both Bolly and Nolly… I love movies and catch them in the theater, through the movie clubs I’ve joined, and via Netflix. I don’t go every single week but I do catch up. If you have a moment, come check out the Our Man Flint poster I added. It will help explain how, although a fun and well made movie, it was simply inappropriate for a bunch of kids. It remains memorable to me and a hilarious one at that. :-)

  2. Oh, the typos in the first paragraph!

  3. I can’t remember the first movie I saw in a theater but I remember going to the drive-in movie theater. My uncle was dating a girl he was very serious about and every time he took her to the drive-in my grandmother would make him take me, too. Just to keep him ‘honest’ so to speak. ;)
    So of course he chose horror movies because they terrified me and insured that I would be in the back seat covering my eyes throughout!
    There’s more than one way… as the saying goes.

    • Oh those uncles of ours were crazy funny… I understand your, just like one of mine thought Our Man Flint was appropriate for 8-9 year olds! :-) I’ve never taken to horror flicks and don’t understand why anyone would pay money to have their skin crawl or hair scared off of them.

  4. Going to the movies is a part of so many people’s cherished memories. Even with Netflix, DirectTV cinema and DVDs, it’s great that people still like the “experience” of the big screen.
    Some of my movie memories include: going to every Disney movie in the late 60′s & 70′s with my family (5 kids!). at 14, watching Jaws with my best friend in the theater–we were terrified! Hosting a “Gone with the Wind” party for a group of girlfirends, complete wth mint juleps and a southern dish luncheon before watching the whole film in my home. Taking our son to his first movie (Dinsy’s Dinosaur) and having to leave the theater because it was too loud for him. (He was 3 He refused to go to the movies again until he was 9–no kidding–I think we accidently traumatized him!) My mom introduced me to musicals at a young age–and I still love them today! Who can’t love South Pacific, Singin in the Rain, The Sound of Music, 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, Grease….great post Eliz!

    • It is a common denominator for many people and I believe we all have some fun memories around watching movies. I ‘m sorry your son was scared by his first movie… :-(
      Oh Grease, yeah, I watched that many times too… It was truly entertaining. Loved Olivia in it too. :-)

  5. Haathi Mere Saathi? If you are interested in bollywood movies, then there are a lot of better movies.
    I love bollywood movies from that era. Then there are movies in other Indian languages and I would watch any well made Hollywood movie, especially those with a good storyline…

    • Hi Sunil,
      Long time no hear… Good to see you here. How are you doing? Start blogging again will ya…. Love to hear your point of view. Yeah, HMS was probably my earliest memories but I did go on to watch tons of others.
      I am always open to recommendations on Bollywood films as there is so much to choose from now and hard to tell. I still love the choreographed dance scenes and then I’m game for anything else. Do share your recommendations!. Anything current I should see? :-)

  6. nice, that you mention the German film director Wim Wenders. I loved his document movie “The soul of a man” about the history of American blues music. Actually I went three times into his 3D film about the dance theater choreographer Pina Bausch, made a wordpress article.

    • I do love foreign films in general because they tend to tackle serious subjects and have very strong story lines… I don’t mind subtitles in movies so it doesn’t bother me at all. I love WW’s body of work; even that avant garde stuff he made. :-)

  7. That poster from Our Man Flint is so funny and I can’t believe your uncle saw it as a movie for kids to attend. How old were you when you saw it?
    I remember watching a lot of Christmas and holiday movies and being so bored with them.
    I enjoyed this post. ;-)
    B

    • LOL! :-) When I saw the poster on Wikipedia, I had a good laugh and was glad that my childhood memory had not failed me. It really was your classic, response to a James Bond movie and I remember the scenes so well because it was so out of my realm of understanding… It has stayed with me. Maybe I’ll rent it and watch again… It’s been a while. :-) We were about 8-9 year olds at the time :-)

  8. I like going to the movies, many I hope to see, it seems they eventually come to our TV screens, which is good for me. The last time I went to a movie cinema- I saw Sex In the City-#1- It was really good, I’ve heard #2 was not as good as #1. Love movies, but it nice to just relax at home and watch them on the TV screen. “Officer and a Gentleman” another one of my favorites. Legends of the Fall- as I have many.!!!

  9. I really enjoyed the TV show and never missed an episode. I enjoyed the first SITC movie very much but not so the second one… Movies are a great way to relax and I love that we now have all kinds of options, like Freedom mentioned in her comment above. :-)

  10. I don’t recall the first movie I saw in a movie theater–but it would have to have been in Japan. (We never went to the movies in Hawaii–we were always had too many outdoor activities.) The movies were usually already shown back in the states. Dapper and I go to the flicks quite often. Our Netflix queue is loaded with foreign-, documentary- and old films. We are avid movie fanatics! I do love the music of Bollywood. Hey, you are probably younger, but back in the day moviegoers would sit through the same movie back to back!!

    • I love Netflix too and use it to catch up on foreign films that I missed. Oh probably most of the movies I saw in my childhood were well after they had come out in the US or elsewhere; sometimes years later, like the Our Man Flint movie. I wonder what the movie theater owners did if people refused to leave! :-)

  11. Wonderful post, E! I’ve never seen Our Man Flint. I should. James Coburn was quite a guy. ;)

    We went to the Drive In movies as kids ~ usually a double feature with tubs of popcorn and a cooler of drinks brought from home. My parents put us in our PJ’s in the back of the station wagon so that when we fell asleep they could just carry us to bed.

    One memorable movie ~ The Ugly Dachshund (Walt Disney) about a Great Dane living with dachsies. After we saw it, we got our first of three Great Danes. :)

    I’ve seen Black Swan, Inside Job, The Social Network, and The King’s Speech recently . . . but all on NetFlix.

    I rarely go to the movies any more. I prefer to watch at home so that I can pause for snacks and bathroom breaks and I don’t have to listen to people chittering in the theatre.

    • I never had the wonderful experience of a Drive-In movie; I remember watching American movies and wishing I could get the chance but by the time I came to the US, they were no longer around. I can imagine the fun. I don’t think I saw that dachshund movie.
      I still go the movies but the price of popcorn and drinks have gone through the roof… I still love the big screen.. But like you, I also enjoy watching stuff at home and occasionally will do a movie watching marathon to catch up. :-)
      E

  12. Oh Elizabeth! I long for the days of the movie theater but I think you know why I don’t go! Your taste in movies is much more cerebral than mine! I love a good comedy but my favorite movie is exactly the opposite of that – Philadelphia with Tom Hanks. I love most of the lawyer movies and A Few Good Men with Tom Cruise – also a favorite because I love Jack Nicholson’s line “Son, you can’t handle the truth!” My hubs and I often joke using that line to each other!

    I too hate horror movies and yeah- The Exorcist was ugh- so bad!! I was scared so bad I couldn’t sleep for a long time after that one!! No thanks!!

  13. InsideJourneys

    Can’t remember my first movie, actually we called them film then, I saw but I remember where. It was at the Doric, a small movie house in the community where I grew up. The first movie I remember seeing was Enter the Dragon with Bruce Lee.
    When I lived in Canada, I belonged to a film club and we had a small art house rep theater within walking distance from my house. That introduced me to Kurosawa, Bunuel, Carlos Saura, Fassbinder, Fellini, Bertolucci, and many others.
    I still belong to 2 movie groups. We watch mostly or art house movies together and discuss them over dinner. And catch as many of the film festivals that happen here, at the Lincoln Center, BAM’s African Film Festival, etc.
    Sitting in the dark waiting for the film to start still gives me goose bumps. The opening scene to The Lover is etched into my mind forever. It was such a visually appealing moment, I bought the DVD so I could recapture it. It wasn’t the same. Some things are best left a memory.
    Thanks,
    Marcia

  14. The first movie that had an impact on me was Annie. My mom and I saw it in the theater, and we watched it again and again…and again. I loved it! And I still watch it when I see it on HBO. Among the newer films, I would have to say that A Beautiful Mind is a favorite. I’ve watched that movie numerous times, too. It never fails to move me!

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