This week, for some unknown reason, I did a little thinking about and remembering of films I have gone to see with friends of mine. I have these odd strengths and weaknesses in my recall. I struggle a lot to pull up names on the spot, it’s a real embarrassment to me, but I can easily remember when and where I saw a film and who I saw it with.
Here’s a random few. I saw lots of movies with many of these people but I’ve just chosen a random one (or two) that sprang to mind when I thought about them. There could have been many many more.
I can’t see how it’s of very much value or interest to anyone for me to write these down but it’s a place where my mind went to this week and that’s what makes a blog post in this village. Perhaps, someday, I will be forced to forget everything, either by time or by rogue chemicals in my brain. Then I’ll have this to look back on, won’t I? Maybe that will help.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs/Darby O’Gill and the Little People – Mum and Dad
The two films I remember being taken to by my parents as a small boy. Both terrified me a little but Darby O’Gill won that prize by a long chalk. Seeing it again in recent years, I don’t believe it was the banshee or the deathly carriage that haunted me the most. It was the upholstery inside the carriage when Darby climbed in to be taken away.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – Granny
Granny and I went through a phase of going to the Saturday matinees to see movies. I would have been six. We loved Butch Cassidy, Granny and me, although one slightly naughty scene might have made us both squirm a bit.
Diamonds Are Forever – The Lads
My first matinee excursion without Granny was with the Lads, my pals from the street. Mum and Dad had been to see it in the week before Saturday came and they predicted I would love it. I had been primed by the James Bond publicity machine which included Sean Connery advertising milk from the set of the ‘Lunar Test’ scene.
The Man with the Golden Gun – George Henderson
The first time I was allowed to set off from the house by myself (no lads) to see an evening show. I met George at the door of the Savoy. I had read the Fleming novel to prepare myself. I was eleven.
Fist of Fury – The Lads
The Lads and me all went to see Fist of Fury. The film was over eighteens but Padraig got us in somehow. I would guess there was a general acknowledgement that Bruce Lee had become so beloved of kids of my age that we just had to be let in.
Enter the Dragon - Martin
I think I saw Enter the Dragon more times than any other film. It was a regular at the Savoy matinees and we rarely missed it, loving the live action iconography on the screen.
Death Weekend – The Lads
This marked the end of my blatant ‘over eighteen’ movie-going career for a while. My parents strolled past the cinema where the posters, foyer cards, and tagline left little to the imagination. I was thirteen at that stage.
The Spy Who Loved Me – Shane
Me and Shane went to lots of movies. I remember this one because I thought I knew what the much heralded ski stunt was going to be but I didn’t and it kind of knocked me out. When I got home my parents were watching ‘Avanti’ on the telly but I wasn’t allowed to come in the room because it was too grown up.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind – Sean
As I recall, we chatted quite a bit through this one. An unforgivable sin but it was a bit slow in places. Sorry. I got Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds album on the same day I saw this and I went home and listened to side one before bed.
Rocky 3 – Alan
We went to the Late Show in the Gaiety in Sligo. They played the song several times before the curtains opened. It was very loud and there was a pervading sweaty and overtired atmosphere in the place. It was great fun.
The Shining – Brian
Saw this on a Saturday night in Sligo. By nine the next morning I had left home for the very first time for college in Dublin. Brian and me kept suggesting that something terrifying was about to emerge from the shadows of the Overlook Hotel and, eventually, something did.
Poltergeist – Damian
Adelphi One in Dublin. In a packed first weekend showing, Damian reached forward and scared the person in the row in front of him with his hand. We could have been killed.
Southern Comfort – Greg
The only movie I ever saw with Greg, who was a friend from college. He wanted to see it for the Ry Cooder soundtrack and that was all right with me.
Once Upon a Time in America – Damian
Deserves a mention because I a received news on the afternoon that a good friend’s Dad had just died back home. This added a real life elegiac layer to a film which already had so much of that.
Ghostbusters – The London Crew
After moving to London, I went to the movies a lot. I loved to go to Leicester Square and see them all as soon and as big and as expensive as possible. I bought something like ten tickets (as I often did) for the first night that Ghostbusters was on and a bunch of us went. It was the level of anticipation that holds it firmly in my memory.
The Hustler – MC
I liked the small retro cinemas too. The Hustler was showing in a lovely wide black and white print. I remember Jackie Gleason, how poised and mannered he was. A real ‘cinema’ night out.
Into the Night – Cormac
Cormac wasn’t at too many movies but I remember a few. He was always engaging company for a movie. I remember him at this one because he liked it quite a lot. I think the B B King music helped with that.
Fright Night – Tim
I saw lots of movies with Tim and pals between Dublin and London. I choose Fright Night as a memory because Tim is a big strong lad, who had looked out for me once or twice, but this seemed to scare the shit out of him.
A Room with a View - Amy
Curzon Mayfair, a Saturday evening, a packed house loving the film. Who could forget that?
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – Nuala
It wasn’t my best Saturday ever, to put it mildly, but Ferris and his crew somehow made me smile. I think that’s why I remember it with fondness.
Jude – Una
Patricia’s Sister and me caught a few Sunday afternoon shows when Patricia was pregnant and not in the mood for cinema seats (she was glad to be rid of us for a few hours, I think). We saw Jude, which was shockingly miserable and I remember it because Una took her sister’s blood pressure before we left and predicted that matters of first child birth might soon get under way. As was so often the case, she was not wrong.
War of The Roses – John
Patricia’s brother loves his movies as I do and it was fun and a privilege to see this one with him in Boulder Colorado.
Dances with Wolves – Patricia
Patricia, my Wife and also my Best Friend for over thirty years, has been to see many, many films with me. I could write a list of times and places that would stretch all around the entire world and back again and it would run for thousands of words all by itself. This particular film was not a firm favourite or anything but it comes to mind because it was an extended cut on a Sunday afternoon in Haymarket and the feeling that I had over four hours to sit with this lady and not be concerned with anything else – well, that was a feeling I like to hold on to.
Toy Story 2 – John
I brought my eldest son on our first excursion together to see this. He was three. He was quite nervous about going in but we got as far as the usher’s chair in the back and sat there together for the first part. Eventually, entranced, we moved further in. At the end credits, the girl who came in to clean up the popcorn stood beside our seats and recited along to Mrs. Potato Head’s entire speech. She was very good.
The Amazing Spider Man – Sam
Sam, my second son, is a great guy to go see a movie with and we often go together. I remember this one because he felt a bit sick half way through and we had to go home but we came back the next week to see the second half.
Sitting here, I find I could go on and on and on but I think I’ll stop now. Maybe I’ll do more some other time. Thanks to all my friends and family, some far away, some long gone, who made my movie days and nights such a warm and integral part of my life and memory.