This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. As I’ve said before, “There are movies that you know instantly are great as you watch them…” Richard, who I’ve spotlighted some weeks ago for his Bond poster article over at Kirkham A Movie A Day, is now a regular contributor over at another fave site of mine, Fogs’ Movie Reviews. This week, he offered up a wonderful testament to what I just said of a 1983 film that fit that, care of his entry in the Movies I Want Everyone to See series.
“Had the movie been a bigger financial success, I’m sure it would have mopped up at awards time. The lack of box office tainted the film a bit so that it is critical success that defines it today rather than awards. Those of you who have read my material before know that “The Adventures of Robin Hood” and “Jaws” are my two favorite films. This would probably make my top ten list most days. More important however is the fact that this is the favorite film of my spouse of 33 years. Had I not made this recommendation I would have to answer to her.”
October 15, 1983: Movie previews…gotta love ‘em. Today it seems absconding an invite to a pre-release screening means you’re in a particular age bracket. That Hollywood target audience those minions the studios task to fill such a movie house with for a particular feature. The same ones they wish to market it. Like Rich over at The Cinematic Katzenjammer, I don’t qualify these days to be singled out by those spotters hanging out at the megaplexes here at my L.A. hometown. Planted there to offer ticket buyers a chance to see ‘the next big thing’.
Century City, the commercial and residential district, having come into existence because of one notorious 20th Century film and its disastrous failure at the box office which caused the studio to sell off part of its lot to recover financially.
All for free…as long as you complete a questionnaire and/or agree to provide feedback as a test subject. They look right passed me these days. Sad. Wasn’t always like that, though. As in previous years, I had chances to these. And all via reading an ad blurb joined to a movie listing in a newspaper’s entertainment section. Ah, the good ol’ days. A decent part of the time, I ended up at Century City’s Plaza Cinema. The venue was close by to where she-whose-name-is-not-to-be-uttered and I were living (in sin as my mother may have added). She, though, again was working an evening shift that Saturday.
Of course, I was not deterred then by this. Had gone to many a movie as a single. Hell, I was young. It’d take years before someone to utter, “Look at that old guy sitting all by himself at the movies. Kinda sad, really.” Yeah, you just wait. Still, I was intrigued to see the adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s 1979 tome of the Project Gemini astronauts, The Right Stuff. A book I’d heard of, but had not read to that point. The hall, one of the twins, was fairly full that night, I recall. And I could not have cared less as I watched a movie that enthralled me to no end. A film I knew to be great, and seen before the many who would go on to ignore it when released.