In the late 50s and early sixties there were a couple of movie programs on basic broadcast TV. There was the Late Movie and there was also a Saturday Matinee.
They aired 30 year old movies, most of which were about 30 years old. The three I remember watching with him were 'King Kong', 'White Heat' and 'The Public Enemy'.
Over time the movies reran and the second time Dad and I watched 'King Kong' together was a real treat. I'll talk about that one later.
We watched "The Public Enemy' together one Saturday afternoon and thought it was pretty cool. Dad told me that he actually liked seeing it for the first time as an adult because it has come out when he was about ten and opined that he woulldn't have appreciated it as much as a kid.
Mom's family had weathered the depression a little easier and when Dad mentioned that many of the movies he saw on TV were first-run to him, Mom grew quiet and reflected on the times. I think she was thinking about how lucky she had been.
I enjoyed doing just about anything with dad because he made things fun. He would sometimes mimic one of the actors and I would roll on the floor laughing.
The following Saturday the family had a sit-down breakfast together and in addition to the usual bacon and eggs, Mom and dad split a grapefruit.
Dad picked up his half and mimed rubbing it in Mom's face. It was several inches away. The turned to me with his face bunched up ala Cagney and grinned.
I broke out laughing and my mother looked perplexed a minute. It took Mom a minute to pick up on it and finally she understood. "You think I am that woman in the Jimmy Cagney movie or something?" she asked. She wasn't too upset, she just shook her head a little confused.
"No, you're prettier than she is," replied Dad and Mom smiled.
'White Heat' was another one we watched together, Actually we saw it twice. Once then and the second time a year or so later. The second time was actually more fun than the first time because Dad would ad lib some of the lines. He could be hilarious.
I remember the second time so well because he had come upstairs and whispered asking me if I was asleep. I wasn't and was up like a cat. We sneaked down together and saw it again on the Late Show. The two of us laughing in the next room almost woke up my mother! Afterwards I ran upstairs and went to sleep and woke up tired but toughed it out because I knew if I didn't he'd never grab me for the Late Show again.
Until he died, we'd sometimes look at each other and quietly grin and say, "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!" I still say that every so often at certain times. Generally when I am being foolish about something or another.
The first time we watched King Kong together we were fairly quiet and raptly watched the movie. Dad commented that Kong looked pretty real considering when the movie was made. Afterwards he grinned and commented that a P-51 Mustang would have made short work of Kong at the end.
'King Kong' apparently got pretty good ratings that night because the network started showing it annually and the next year we re-watched it as a family. Mom had actually not seen it before and was rapt. Dad, my brother and I had.
Mom kept telling my dad to be quiet because he kept mimicking Faye Wray's screaming and a few other things during the movie. My brother and I laughed ourselves silly because he was a pretty good mimic. His facial inflection was hilarious, too.
The be-all and the end-all was at the end where Kong gets shot off of the Empire State Building. Dad got into an imaginary cockpit and started making airplane sounds and mimed flying the plane with an imaginary stick in his hands.
When he got in close, he'd open up on poor old Kong. "Bap bap bap bap bap!" he'd say, imitating machine guns.
He was so good my mother stopped watching the movie and started watching him and told him he was worse than the kids.
We all laughed and smirked when Mom just looked at us and shook her head. She was amused but tried not to show it.
Oh, yeah. We watched "Yankee Doodle Dandy" together once.
A few months earlier there had been a product called 'Turkey Noodle Dandy' that had been marketed with the words to "Yankee Doodle Dandy" changed.
When Cagney sang it the whole family all sang along but sang the Turkey Noodle Dandy jingle. I remember the first part of it it well.
I love Turkey Noodle Dandy
Turkey Noodle do or die.
You can serve my nephew or my Uncle Sam
Creamed turkey or turkey pie....
I miss my dad.
To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY