Golden Age of Hollywood Book Club discussion

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Hob Nob > Who was your first?

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message 1: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
Name the first movie you can remember seeing, like..yeah...your first ever! (hopefully it was a classic)

If the first movie you ever saw wasn't a classic, you should still mention it anyway. Every film counts towards one's childhood. (But you really oughta go back and confront your parents about this oversight. How could they?)

Anyway time to fess up and spill th' beans. Don't be bashful. Speak up because you're among friends.

But we're really secretly really hoping the first film you was..was a classic.


message 2: by Mollie (new)

Mollie Harrison Pennock | 91 comments Even as a child I was fascinated with movies from the 1930s and 1940s. We didn't go to movies in the theater. When I was a child, there were only three television channels available, and they went off the air around midnight. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, one channel would air Charlie Chan movies. Since my dad was usually working outside then and not using the TV, I watched as many of them as I could. In the early 1970s, I began staying up late by myself and remember watching The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956) with Judy Holliday. It must have been one of the first non-Charlie Chan movies I saw as it has stuck in my mind all these years. I was fascinated with the fashion and upscale lifestyle. Since we had a black and white TV, the last scene in color was lost on me.


message 3: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
Bravo. Me, too.

I don't know how, but it was immediately detectable to me that the older b&w flicks airing late at night were much more coherent than teenage coming-of-age sex/comedy flicks. You know the kind I mean. I used to stay up long into the wee small hours. Learning so much.

Scorcese speaks often about this quality of old Hollywood, he points out just the marvelous efficiency of the camera angles. The way the shots are right up on the actor's faces. Adult emotions, shot-by-shot, far more adult than the childish films of today.

My first film? Sadly, I can't quite recall. I believe I saw quite a few old-school Disney flicks. Not sure which was the actual first.

But then, on the tv screen at home, (same circa) I clearly remember being enthralled by Christopher Lee in 'The Face of Fu Manchu'. There was something mesmerizing about the way the evil doctor was on death-row in Hong Kong, yet he escapes because he hypnotized his cellmate to stand in for him under the hangman's noose. I've never forgotten it.


message 4: by Mollie (new)

Mollie Harrison Pennock | 91 comments As a youngster, I, too, recall seeing (and liking) horror movies on TV starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. And Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes. At that time, mysteries from that era aired on TV more frequently than other genres.


message 5: by Jamie (new)

Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 88 comments Mod
Gidget and the Wizard of Oz. I grew up on old movies and shows but these are the first I remember. Also, all the Disney movies.


message 6: by Doubledf99.99 (new)

Doubledf99.99 | 248 comments Remember vividly Mom and Dad taking us kids to see Bambi, and The Bridge of the River Kwai, where the music of Col Bogeys march was forever etched in my memory.


message 7: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
'Wizard of Oz' certainly, but only on TV.

Similarly vivid, but I know I was too young for it--it also had to be TV--James Mason and Kirk Douglas in '20000 Leagues Under the Sea'.

Particularly the scene where the Nautilus--attacking the frigate ship on the sea at night--plunges beneath the waves and uses its jagged bow-fin to rip open the wooden hull of the three-master. Shot from below, cameras pointing upward from below the attack. Just astounding.

And aw I dearly admire James Mason. What a guy.


message 8: by Doubledf99.99 (new)

Doubledf99.99 | 248 comments James Mason was good.
I was in kindergarten when we first watched Wizard of Oz, fricken scary back then. Think back then it played every year think around or just after christmas. Us kids were pretty fortunate to have parents that enjoyed movies, and reading. We moved to town when I was in fourth grade, and lived a few blocks from the library, and a few blocks further was the movie theatre, Parents gave us free reign to go to the movies pretty near every Sat afternoon to the matinee.


message 9: by Jamie (new)

Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 88 comments Mod
Feliks wrote: "'Wizard of Oz' certainly, but only on TV.

Similarly vivid, but I know I was too young for it--it also had to be TV--James Mason and Kirk Douglas in '20000 Leagues Under the Sea'.

Particularly th..."


Yes, how could I forget 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea! And The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.


message 10: by W (new)

W The Searchers


message 11: by Phair (new)

Phair (sphair) | 1 comments I don’t recall if it was my absolute first but the most memorable was when we went to a Drive In to see The Ten Commandments (I was around 10). Just at the point where God was coming down in a fog to smite the firstborn an actual heavy fog developed over the theater area to the point where they had to halt the film - we could no longer see the screen- and issue rain checks. I was never so terrified in my life.


message 12: by Anthony (new)

Anthony McGill (anthonym) | 62 comments Phair wrote: "I don’t recall if it was my absolute first but the most memorable was when we went to a Drive In to see The Ten Commandments (I was around 10). Just at the point where God was coming down in a fog ..."

Great recall and thanks for sharing. That must have been some moment and obviously one never to be forgotten.


message 13: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I think Bambi was the first movie I saw in a movie theater, but I remember watching old black and white movies with my uncle even before that. Tarzan, King Kong, Seven Samurai, oldies but goodies like that.


message 14: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 1823 comments I'm not sure, but I think my first was 'High Noon'. I went to see it when I was quite young; that I do remember.


message 15: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
I'm also interested in the first film you encountered a particular star in.

For example, I first saw Paul Newman playing opposite Ann Blyth(?) in 'The Helen Morgan Story' --playing her abusive, manipulative agent ---so I always have a lingering, irrational, impression that he's somewhat of a cur, in all his roles. Even when he plays good guys, he was first 'imprinted' on my subconscious, as a baddie.


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