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50 Years of Marriage and Movies
by Jon Schuller

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Chris and I celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary in December with family and friends some from as far away as England and California. A close friend arranged everything for the party and the theme for it was movies. Chris and I first met in November, 1967 and we both loved movies. At the party we had memorable movie posters on the walls and the tables, movie tickets with everyone's name on them at the party and I just put all of the small posters up on a wall in our home. Movies are an integral part of our lives and after writing this column for almost 9 years, I know they're a part of everyone's lives.

After we were married in London, we went to see a revival of Gone with the Wind. There have been literally 100s of films we've seen together, some of them leaving deep and lasting impressions on both of us. I can remember having to leave the theatre where we went to see Rosemary's Baby because it was too scary. We went to many revivals of classic pictures in New York like On the Waterfront and Casablanca at the 8th Street Cinema in Greenwich Village. Trying to
get in to see another film while Jaws, when it premiered in 1975, was sold out; we noticed people bringing young kids to Jaws. Being in Jersey City's Journal Square (in 1970) to watch Kelly's Heroes when Carroll O'Connor (as the General) asks a soldier, "Where are you from?" and he answers "Jersey City." The entire theatre erupted with cheers. Being in the Mayfair Theatre (my childhood movie palace in West New York, N.J.) to see a Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore movie, and hearing people in the front laughing as Chris and I are too; discovering my parents were there and we didn't know it. I remember lying in Chris' hospital bed, watching A Christmas Carol (1951), while Chris was feeding Karen, our new daughter. Waiting for what seemed like forever to get in to see The Godfather on Broadway. Laughing at Spaceballs; crying at Schindler's List. The first picture we went to see after Karen was born was Rocky.

We associate so many events and people with movies. They're an integral part of our lives. They inform and entertain us; they make us think and laugh, sometimes
simultaneously. For example, the classic To Kill A Mockingbird, is unforgettable and we've watched it many times as our daughters, Karen and Leigh, watched with us, learning and appreciating it. We went to the theatre for Life Is Beautiful and being profoundly affected by its sensitivity and humor. Robert Redford teaming with Paul Newman twice The Sting and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as we sat enthralled at their perfect timing and great supporting casts. Even though It's A Wonderful Life was made in 1946, we treasure it every year of our 50 years together.

We've travelled a lot in 50 years and movies were a part of that too. While on vacation in San Francisco I suggested to Chris that we create our own Vertigo tour and visit some of that famous film's locations. We went to the Presidio where Kim Novak jumps into the bay and James Stewart rescues her; the scary house her character lived in; the cemetary at the Mission Delores where her character goes to pray. While watching films on television we try to identify where they take place and specific streets,
especially those shot in New York.

At our celebration in December the guests' tables each had a movie poster and our friends and family each had a custom-made movie "ticket." One wall of the banquet room was decorated with movie posters which now adorn a room in our home. Each poster represents a year for us together.

We are like so many of our family and friends. We enjoy our special moments together, even when they're small and may happen unplanned, unexpected. Last night we went to see the tribute movie, Queen, about Freddie Mercury and his famous band. It's memorable, with such great music and a realistic look at his life on- and off-stage. So many pictures can be watched at home these days but the experience of a real theatre with real popcorn and candy is still thrilling for both of us.

I started writing about the movies nearly 9 years ago but my love for them goes back to my earliest childhood. Sharing this love for films with Chris is an on-going joy and an unforgettable experience every year. I hope you, too, have favorites and never tire of watching them.

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Cinema Savant
Every other Thursday

My views on an eclectic mix of films and personalties, past and present; emotional interpretations; some laughs, some cries.

Other Columns
Other columns by Jon Schuller:

Have You Been Spying On Me Lately? For How Long?

But Can She Act? That's What I Want to Know

They're Not the Same People They Used To Be

Time Does Fly When We Watch Movies

Before Minimum or Maximum, There Was Only Prison

All Columns

Jon Schuller
I am a former New Jersey native, living in Charlotte, N.C. for almost 30 years. I am a lifelong movie lover with lots of movie trivia knowledge and soundtracks in my CD collection. I enjoy sharing my love of films with everyone and have so many fond memories growing up in darkened movie theaters. I have been married 50 years (as of December 22, 2018) and we both share a passion for film (and each other of course).

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

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