Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

TMT: Vision Versus Bifocals

This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. Since I am in the midst of my own little ‘Western Week’, I’ll tie another of these to my Versus AFI: 10 Top 10 arc and its look at that same genre.

“Who are those guys?”


The California Theatre:

Images c/o Cinema Treasures site



October 1969: as I’ve mentioned before, it was my mother who instilled in me a love of reading and the power of books. Yet, it was her siblings who helped manifest a fascination for the art of moving pictures in her son. It worked like this: at around age four, I was raised in my mother’s mother’s house. Most of mi abuelita‘s children, my aunts and their lone brother, always flitted back there. For years. Whether to visit, drop kids off for babysitting, or Sunday dinner, Everybody Comes to Rick’s.

What did they talk about when there, mostly? Movies. In the midst of it all, absorbing it like a sponge, there sat I. It happened almost like clockwork. The subject invariably came around to what they’d seen in a movie theater and who was in it. As the clear majority of this family were women, and it was the 60s, there was always one movie star who got more than a passing remark in these conversations. Paul Newman.

Once, I asked my mom why, when her sisters spoke about him or his movies, did they fan themselves with their hands. I think she just smiled and said she’d explain when I got older. I’d watch some of his movies on TV, but still didn’t understand the appeal. When Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid debuted this year, my aunts’ talk only grew. Everybody then was talking about the pairing of the old pro (Newman) and the up-and-comer (Robert Redford). My youngest aunt actually did a two-hand fan.

That same month, I was barely a first-year sophomore in high school. Since the film was a Western, I decided to plunk down my own lawn-mowing money at a box office and witness what the fuss was about. I reckon’d I’d at least get to see a good shoot ’em up out of the visit. So, off to Huntington Park again I went, and another visit to the California Theatre, to take in the flick. It was the first time I ever bought a movie ticket just to see “King Cool” on the big screen. It wouldn’t be the last.

The entire series can be found here. If you’re interested how it’s put together, click here.

6 Responses to “TMT: Vision Versus Bifocals”

  1. ruth

    I knew you’d be talking about this movie on TMT from your comment at Eric’s blog 🙂

    Yay, I have seen this one and I did love it! Ahah, I’d be fanning myself too when talking about Newman, he’s what you’d call ‘drop dead gorgeous!’ Those eyes, oh my! So yeah, definitely tons of eye candy for the girls w/ Newman/Redford combo, and Katharine Ross for the boys of course 😉


    • le0pard13

      Glad to hear you’re a fan, Ruth. Yes, this film has a lot going for it. If you come back tomorrow, they’ll be more on this ;-). Thanks.


  2. Novroz

    I haven;t seen this movie yet…so no comment there. But I am interested with the story how you can’t find the appeal of Paul Newman…there are always that moment in a movie lover life, where we can’t find the appeal of an actor while other seem to love him so much. In my case, it’s toward Brad Pitt.


    • le0pard13

      Well, back then, for the his early films that were on TV I just couldn’t. Plus, I was young. However, when I did catch this particular movie all of that changed. I became a big fan then. Thanks, Novroz.



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