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My Earliest Film Memories
by Tim Josephs

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A strange first flick, I know

A strange first flick, I know
I have a niece and nephew, age four and six respectively, who are always watching movies. Almost every kid-oriented film that comes out they go and see and their parents and grandparents seem to supply them with DVDs of everything else they may have missed, from old Disney cartoons to all the Harry Potter movies. This got me thinking about the kinds of movies I got to see when I was a kid.

The earliest movie I can remember seeing in a theater is NEVER CRY WOLF. I was five years old and went with my parents and brothers and sister. For some reason perhaps it was crowded we sat really close, probably in the fourth or fifth row. Looking back it seems like an odd film to bring four young kids to but I'm sure my parents wanted to see it and believed their children could sit still for two hours. They were wrong. I only vividly remember two things from that day: one is a scene in the movie where a guy is rolling around with some wolves in the snow. The other is my little sister two at the time screaming and having to be rushed out of the theater by my father.
I'm kind of sorry I saw this one

I'm kind of sorry I saw this one

Growing up I really liked the Smurfs. They were an important and much appreciated component of Saturday morning cartoon viewing. (BTW, what's happened to Saturday morning cartoons? Is it me or do they all really suck now? Never mind, that's a topic for another day). Anyway, I remember wanting very badly to see the Smurfs movie (THE SMURFS AND THE MAGIC FLUTE). I was with my two older brothers and uncle and, as I recall, no one but me wanted to see it. I specifically remember my uncle kind of angrily objecting. However, that's what we went to see. Why I was able to get my way I still have no idea. And even at that time I remember thinking the movie was kind of crappy.

I remember dying to see BACK TO THE FUTURE II and going with one brother and a different uncle after a Thanksgiving meal. All I really recall is that we were running late and I was very anxious to get there. We probably missed the first twenty minutes or so and I never knew what the hell was going on in an already confusing movie.

I remember pouting and sulking until my brothers finally relented
I love these guys

I love these guys
(I think my Mom got involved) and let me come along with some of their friends to see FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN. I'm sure it was pretty terrible, but being in that theater watching a horror movie I was probably way too young to be viewing, I had a great time.

(I've already written about seeing BATMAN on opening night and how it changed my life so I won't rehash that again.)

The first movie I remember seeing in a theater without any parental or older brother supervision is MILO AND OTIS. I went with my best friend Frank. I really liked the movie and to this day still do.

The first and I think only movie I ever saw at a drive-in was THE MUPPETS TAKE MANHATTAN. I remember giddily sitting in the way-back of our station wagon in my pajamas.

I'm sure I saw my fair share of Cinderellas and Pinocchios, and although I can recall characters and songs, I don't actually remember sitting down and seeing them. The earliest movie I can recollect watching at home is SPLASH. My parents rented it when I was five or six. I probably didn't
I remember it well

I remember it well
really understanding what was going on but I remember giggling hysterically at Daryl Hannah's naked butt when she stepped onto Liberty Island. I also remember being quite upset that my little sister got to stay up as late as me to watch it.

I remember my oldest brother taping SIXTEEN CANDLES off of cable and deciding in the middle of the day with his younger siblings around to pause it at the shower scene. I remember seeing that pair of breasts and probably not realizing exactly what they were, or at least not appreciating them, but my curiosity certainly being piqued. That was about the time my parents decided to cancel HBO.

There are a handful of others but those films stand out the most. Now that I look at them altogether, it's kind of a weird mix and I wouldn't be surprised if some of them warped me a little (particularly that Smurfs movie).

My niece and nephew are certainly lucky they get to see as many movies as they do and perhaps years from now they'll reminisce about the time I took them to see MADAGASCAR 9 and how much I complained about not wanting to see it.

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Mar 24, 2009 8:40 PM
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Nice - I was about to throw in Milo and Otis but I guess you got to that too! It was a childhood favorite of mine and Chris', and we recently bought it for his four-year-old brother. Watched it first, of course!

Mar 24, 2009 9:58 PM
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mine was Savannah Smiles.... a classic

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Movie Musings
Every other Tuesday

Thoughts, observations, conjectures, complaints about movies and mostly how they relate to me personally. If you're looking for something a little broader, try Ebert.

Other Columns
Other columns by Tim Josephs:

So Long 2013, and MatchFlickers!

The Season for Peace, Presents, & Puncture Wounds

Women are Once Again Kicking Ass

Chewing the Scenery

The Greatest President We Never Had

All Columns

Tim Josephs
Born to write (literally much to the displeasure of his mother, he emerged with a pencil clutched in one tiny fist), Tim spends most of his days crafting epic monosyllabic poems, new comical titles to his favorite Beatles' songs (Hey, Dude), and angry letters to local businesses that have wronged him in some way. He's really an okay guy once you get to know him.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Tim Josephs by clicking here.

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