classic movies

Mapping a life in movie memories

How and why do some movies affect our lives for years? This one was just funny. And it turned into a love story/morality tale: money doesn’t make you happy, people do.

By Teri Michaud

We were flying home from Ireland, spread all over the plane. We were settling in, minding our own business(es), when they announced the on-board movie, Overboard. Our four heads popped up all over the plane looking for each other. Psyched! This was one of our favorite family movies of all time. Goldie Hawn, that nut-job, was perfect as the rich yachting woman who wore thong bikinis and stupid red sunglasses and insulted all of her employees, the hick town in which they were stuck, and even her doting husband. Kurt Russell, who I’ve had a slight crush on since he was about ten years old and starring in some chimp movie, had grown up! Uh-huh, dimples, muscles, hair. He was the adorable but simple carpenter called in to fix her closet while stuck in port. Our heads strained over our seats as we mouthed the next lines to each other, laughing collectively, and annoying our seat neighbors. How and why do some movies affect our lives for years? This one was just funny. And it turned into a love story/morality tale: money doesn’t make you happy, people do.  

Ashley bought this DVD for us one year and Gary and I watch it every summer at the lake. I still laugh every June! What other movies have affected me this way….move me/teach me/ make me laugh or cry or envision my response when a hero/lover/stunt woman is needed?

The first movie I remember seeing on t.v. was King Kong. It was scary, and I crawled up on the back of the “divan”. We were at my Uncle Walt and Aunt Annamae’s new “recreation room”, with a bunch of siblings and cousins sitting on a linoleum floor. The parents were drinking at the pressed-board bar.

A little later on, the only option was watching black and white classics with my mom, Saturday nights at 9:00. She would get so pissed when we laughed at the cheesy dialog or boring love songs, and she would swat at us to leave the room. What?! And give up the half can of soda I got to share with Kitty? Or, if I were lucky, I could beat Kevin to the couch and catch The Big Three Theater at noon on Saturday. I got my first glimpse of Beach Blanket Bingo then. I didn’t know they covered Annette Funicello up because she was old and pregnant.

Oh, I could also watch any junk I wanted if I stayed home sick. But that was too scary, because I’d be home alone, so I’d haul myself off to school. No t.v. was allowed during the week. Ever.

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We grew up in Elmwood. One movie theater was in walking distance, and nobody drove us around then. If we wanted to go to West Hartford Center, good luck. I saw The Sound of Music. We sneaked in the back door and let other kids in, crept up into the balcony, under the velvet rope, kicked the seats, threw popcorn, and bummed Jujubees. I could give a crap about Maria or Leisel or Rolf. I had no idea that they were escaping Nazis. That damn movie played for two years! But up next was Billy Jack, that peace-loving badass, and The CowboysGo, Cimarron, you Hispanic hottie! Once we got driving, we went to—get this! East Hartford—to see Jesus Christ, Superstar, or (sob, snot, sob!) Ryan and Ali McGraw in Love Story. Rip out my heart! Oh my God, don’t ever let me forget Butterflies Are Free… Wait a minute! Didn’t Goldie Hawn star in that?