Friday, 18 January 2013

Five films I loved as a kid...

I've decided to start a new movie based feature since I watch so many of them, and more movie chat has been requested a couple of times.  I'm not sure if it's something I'll do every week but Friday seems as good a day as any to start - after all the cinema week starts on a Friday because of the release schedule, so Friday Films it is!  This week is a dedication to all those video tapes I wore out as a kid - not including the Disney ones, because they were certainly watched lots but remain popular now, whereas these ones are maybe slightly more...nostalgic?
My mum's cousin taped this for my brother and I along with Mac and Me (creepy ET knockoff, which I actually preferred...good thing my taste has improved...) and we watched it over and over.  I can still hear the songs in my head, and that scene where they were in the barrels about to go over the waterfall - it still seems scary to me!
Based (rather loosely) on a true story of a girl who dived horses in the 1920s as part of a fairground act.  After an accident she lost her sight, but being a Disney film I'm sure you can guess whether or not she overcame the odds to dive again... ;)  The book was republished a few years ago and makes fascinating reading, find it here if you're interested.  I was so excited to find it back in print after years of searching, and it's good to read about how the story behind the movie actually went down.
I distinctly remember this being on TV at night a few times in the early nineties and my parents watching it while I loitered in the living room doorway, pretending I needed something but really just trying to watch as much as I could.  (I also tried that trick with 'IT' but Mother put a stop to that pretty quickly!)  This kid has three fun dads who rescue her when her mother moves to England to marry a mean, typical 'movie' Englishman (snooty accent, owns a mansion, tries to pack Mary off to boarding school almost as soon as they arrive...villainous).
A sweet coming-of-age type movie set in the 70s - so obviously expect fabby costumes and retro interiors.  Vada is a slightly bratty type kid with an excellent name, Thomas Jay is her loyal companion, who just happens to have some life threatening allergies...  I think this was one my gran also liked - she introduced me to most of my favourite movies and let us stay up late to watch random stuff on late night weekend TV, like The Breakfast Club, Single White Female and Fatal Attraction (I still think of her whenever the infamous 'rabbit scene' is mentioned!).  Also my wee cousin is almost twelve and looks exactly like Anna Chlumsky in this movie, so it's always fun to rewatch.
I saw this for the first time at an old cinema in Blackpool, complete with velvet screen curtains and everything.  It's no coincidence that I eat up costume dramas and love visiting old houses - in my head I'm still playing at being Mary Lennox, orphaned and alone and hiding among the overgrowth in a secret garden.  This is still one of my favourites.  In fact I read the book only about two years ago and was rather disgruntled that Mary's parents actually die of some disease - the earthquake death was way better!

On the UK cinema release schedule this week -
Django Unchained, Monsters Inc 3D, Everyday, The Sessions, V/H/S and The Wee Man

What were your childhood favourites?  Did you share any of mine?



  1. Wow how old does Pippi look there, I always thought she was a little kid! I loved Three Men and a Little Lady! The little red car! The lusty boarding school matron (whatever they're called)! And My Girl! SOB! I've actually read that book about 10 times and only seen it once or twice and I cry my eyes out every time - "He can't see without his glasses!" :'(

  2. My sister and I watched Mary Poppins until the video tape snapped. I don't even remember watching anything else, although I'm sure we did...

  3. my girl. i didn't see that movie until i was 19. i watched it with a friend in my first year of college. i cried and cried and cried and cried--two hours after the movie was over, i was still crying. "WHY IS LIFE SO SAD WHY DO PEOPLE DIE I LOVED HIM" type thing.

    then i went out and a guy friend saw me and pulled me aside and asked, concerned, if i'd been crying and what was wrong and i totally melted down again. which freaked him out considerably.

    it must have been an off day for me or something.


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