Some credit for the way that I am

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Firstly I want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart who have commented, emailed, messaged, even called to say an encouraging word and offer a shoulder of support. I am truly humbled that you took the time out of your day to do so.

Now! On to happier, more pleasurably angsty things, specifically today's Friday Flashback. We were asked: "What was the first movie you ever saw? What was your first notable movie memory? And what effect did it have on you?"

Sweet jeebus, there are so many. I remember when I saw "E.T." in the theater and thought that E.T. was gross and ew but yet, aw, how sad that he wound up in a ravine bleating "Elliooot." I remember that the idyllic situation of the subdivision was very appealing. I remember first seeing "Labyrinth" and thinking that David Bowie was a strange, but fascinating man.

Then there is "Rocky Horror Picture Show," which my cantankerous, beer-loving, fallen Catholic uncle picked up at the video store for the kids while the family was vacationing on a house boat in the Ozarks. I was all "Mom, what's a transvestite?" To this day no one can crack me up like that particular cranky ol' uncle.

There's also "Poltergeist," which so impacted my life that to this day I am still weirded out by closets, mirrors, charismatics, and Quaker hats. One evening we grandkids were all spending the night at our grandparents on Thanksgiving night and my aunt thought it would be a nice little scary move, "like Casper." Sweet Christmas. I was never more terrified in my life as I was when I saw that film. After "Poltergeist 3" came out I removed all the mirrors from my bedroom. I'm not kidding. They stayed out of my room until I left home. Come to think of it, why the cost of the film's rental doesn't come with a therapist is beyond me. Steven Spielberg turned all of the fun, neat things about childhood: toys, clowns, trees, innocence, into instruments of terror.

My family seems so irresponsible, don't they?

I think perhaps one of my favorite films of all-time, a film that contributed so much to my warped humor, my fascination with my own neighbors and urban legends, spying on - and a general appreciation for my street is, "The 'Burbs." I saw this film in the theater with my mom and aunt when I was in elementary school. I've never laughed so hard in my life. It saddens me that it's so under-appreciated. I can identify with every character, even the Klopecs's outcast aesthetic. One of my favorite characters is played by the brilliant Bruce Dern. "I spent 18 months n the bush, sonny. I can snap your neck like a twig!" I found a compilation of his different moments from the film here:

Another scene from the movie here:

What movie impacted you the most? Share it in the comments. It's an interesting topic; I'm always curious to hear what people say.

The other divine Flashback Friday participants:
Oh the Joys
Mrs. Flinger

(We're also still working on piecing the site back together. I'm still manually inputting hundreds of archives - though we may have some hope left for the server; Ill update if we do.)


I think E.T. was the first movie I saw in a theater. It's definitely one of the earliest memories I have of being in a theater watching a movie. Gremlins is also significant, if only because I had just gotten my first pair of glasses that afternoon my friend and I went to see it, and I was too vain to wear them. I spent two hours squinting at what I assumed were a bunch of demented possums.

Love the Burbs as well, " Ricky Butler says, they're nocturnal feeders. Oh, well, Ricky Butler Says!" I am a sucker for old Courtney Gains films (Children of the Corn, Can't Buy Me Love).

Stand By Me, is one of my all time fav's. Something about the innocence of the times and the sad ending (and juvenile cursing). We all had friends that at 12 we thought we could not live without, but if/when I see them now, I avoid, because, what would we talk about?

I'm pretty sure E.T. was the first movie I went to in the theater. That, or Annie. I don't remember either experience, but I do remember that I had a calendar when I was really, really little that had both of those events written on it in my mom's handwriting.

The first scary movie I saw (and one that I still will not watch) was Gremlins. Ugh, Gremlins. I used to think they lived in our basement.

I remember seeing animated Disney movies when I was younger, and I remember going to see Star Wars when it came out. That was some pretty cool shiznit to a 9 year old.

As for movies that impacted me, I'd say Top Gun. Stop laughing - after it came out I wanted to join the Navy and fly. I was a senior when it came out so we had military recruiters come to our school occasionally. He told me women couldn't be fighter pilots. Huh? I can go fight for my country but I can't fly? It made me aware that even in the 80s, equality was still not equal. It really helped cement my feeling that just because I had boobs didn't mean I couldn't do what men do.

PS - forgive any spelling errors, your BlogHer Ad sidebar is covering part of your comments section.

I am sooo with you on the Poltergeist movie. Creepers! That movie freaks me out to this day. I too played. Have a great weekend!!

Instead of "Poltergeist," my aunt decided to make my sister and I (who was a mere six years old) watch "Child's Play" when she was babysitting us. Holy crap. I remember literally hiding behind the couch during the movie - it's pretty obvious that my aunt didn't have kids and had no idea the impact the movie would have. I hysterically made my parents take away all my dolls and I don't think I played with any for about a year. One of my cousins got a "Chuckie" doll that totally creeped me out years later.

Mary Poppins. Totally fell in love with movies after that. How could you not??

Oh my God. The 'Burbs!!! Lord, I think my best friend and I must have watched that movie a hundred times and laughed hysterically every single time. I still laugh when I watch it.

"I've never seen that. I've never seen anybody drive their garbage down to the street and bang the hell out of it with a stick. I've never seen that."

First movie I remember seeing in the theater was Star Trek..not much of an impact. Next big one was Raiders of the Lost Ark, and I remember being terrified that the floor of the theater was covered in snakes. So much so that I wouldn't let them dangle and didn't want to leave the theater until the lights went up and I could see where I was walking. To this day, I'm still terrified of snakes (although, who in their right mind isn't?)

The thing I remember about growing up was that my parents were very restrictive about what I could see. I was a film buff from early on and felt that it was unfair that I couldn't see the movies I wanted to see. My workaround was to get the movie tie-in/novelization. I still have the majority of my collection and it's funny to think that there are "books" of Lethal Weapon, 48 Hours, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, etc. I even used to rent out the books in elementary school for $1 to kids who wanted to do a book report without reading. For an extra fee, I'd tell them what was different in the book.

The result of all this was that I learned to really like reading and I eventually proved that I could handle the content, so I ended up getting to see a lot of those movies that were previously restricted. Our family would go to the movies together, but the kids went to one movie while the parents went to another. Too often, I'd join the discussion on the parents movie because I'd already read the they just relented and let me start seeing what I wanted to see, within reason.

The other memory I have is that our parents chose Beta over VHS, so our movie rental choices were limited, so instead of growing up on Disney movies (which I still loathe), we watched Blues Brothers, Animal House and Terminator over and over and over again. Somehow, we grew up just fine.

Hey Dana,
I Really want to fling some stuff, but I'll play by the rules. Here's a story related to poltergeist: my husband and I went on a road trip with some close friends (sans kids). When we got to the hotel, the guys found the bar and "hunkered" down like a tsunami was comming. I decided to go to the room and shower. When I stepped out of the shower, I looked into the mirror and CARRIE ANN was written into the steam on the mirror! Sweet Jesus! I grabbed the robe on the back of the door and busted into that bar like I owned it. After setteling down, and getting dressed, I went back down to the bar. Let's just say I stayed a while..........

I still, to this day, cannot watch Michael Jackson's Thriller video. My older cousin Jimmy used to force me to watch it when I was itty bitty and scared to death. The same cousin Jimmy who used to make me play hide-and-seek without any lights on, in the basement with deer heads mounted to the wall. I'm still traumatized.

You know I love the Burbs (or do you). Brilliant film. I know the darn movie from start to end, nearly line for line.

The movie is so quotable, I can't think of the best to place here...

"Hans? A fine Christian name! Hans Christian Andersen!"



Wow, I've never been much of a film buff. My mom took me to a lot of movies when I was a kid because she loves going to the movies and my dad doesn't. I think I'd have to choose Gone with the Wind because mom and I watch that on TV everytime it's on. I really think it helped drive home the point that life is what you make of it and no matter how pretty the girl she can survive anything.

I "think" the first movie I saw at the theater was Close Encounters of the Third Kind. My first rated R movie was The Island.

My experience closely follows Kim's. The animated Disney movies downtown in those beautiful theaters. I miss those!

Then the original Star Wars had a big impact. I went with a group from my church and LOVED the movie. I thought it was so good that I figured everyone would love it. I convinced my parents to go...and they HATED it.

I couldn't understand!

While certainly not the first movie I saw, Heathers made a huge impact. We spent most of jr. and sr. quoting it. I still crack up anytime I meet someone named Heather.

I remember seeing Grease at the drive-in when I was about 9. It was the best! We later got the 8-track for it and danced like fools for years until we finally wore it out. Oh the good old days!

The first movie I remember seeing at the theatre was the original Star Wars movie. I loved it so much I saw it multiple times. My family went to the drive-in one night and it was playing on the other screen. My brother and I watched the whole movie with no sound. I can't remember what movie we were actually there to see.

Poltergeist still creeps me out. I'm such a chicken about supernatural movies like that.

What about clowns? Poltergeist totally ruined clowns for me!

I remember when I was in 3rd grade we got to watch the first Elm Street movie as a Halloween treat. 22 years later and I still get a little freaked out in the basement.

I'm sitting here, trying to remember the first movie I saw in the theater...filing through 33 years of movie memories has left me a little addled! However, I believe that the first movie I ever saw in the theater was 101 Dalmations. I do remember the first movie I saw on VHS was the Dark Crystal. ;o) Loved it! BUT! My all time favorite movie is Empire Records. I'm drawn to all those crazy, neurotic characters with tons of issues. It just screams "LIFE" to me, and not only that, I laugh my ass off watching it! I heart it! My daughter has grown up watching it with me, and to this day, she still calls it "The Lucas Movie." ;o)

I think it was "Annie", but jeez I'm old, I can hardly remember what movies I watched last year.

I do remember my step-mom taking me to see "Revenge of the Nerds" when I was a pre-teen and neither one us knew the actual content. There were a few awkward moments for us. LOL

She never said anything about it and neither did I. HAHA

Ohmigod! I LOOOVE THE 'BURBS! That was one of my favorites when I was a kid too, and, to this day.
I still giggle over the "goddamn brownies" and "getting some goddamn sleep".

The fact that other members of your family chose those movies for you made me laugh out loud.


Still laughing.

As for movies... What did you think of Raising Arizona? That's the hubby's equivalant to "the Burbs".

Gosh as for first movie I ever saw in a theater? It was something Disney at a really old, run-down one a million years ago. (Ok. Maybe more like 30 years ago.) Can't even remember what it was but do remember the whole experience and how cool it seemed.

I just can't leave this one alone. Ever since you wrote about Burbs I've been thinking about all the movies that have shaped the characters of my children. I know, I know. Sounds awfully shallow, but we didn't watch much, if any, commercial television during the 18 years of their lives. We loved movies tho. I might as well go ahead and date myself by saying that the first theater movie I ever saw was Disney's Lady and the Tramp. I was 7, I was captivated and a goner for movies ever since. As for the list of great ones in our lives, we're from Italian decent, Moonstruck justified why we are like we are. Uncle Buck & Funny Farm gave us some great come smartallek come-backs. Sleepless in Seattle, there's one you can hardly go any length of time without quoting lines from. And for the all time winner of some of the greatest one liners in all of creation, Steel Magnolias. Trains, Planes & Automobiles... oh my!
When we lost John Candy, we truly lost a member of our family.
I think the last great one we saw in the theater was the original Matrix. (I still wish I could just be plugged into the mainframe and learn how to play piano & guitar and fly a helicopter!) Some movies you have to see on the big screen in order to fully appreciate their magnificence. Most, today, I can wait til they come out on DVD.
I'm sure there's more, but I'll leave that up to my kids to say, "Mom! You forgot...."

Dana I am so glad to hear you say Labyrinth! I thought I was the only kid who saw it. Now my daughter loves that movie as well.

ET is the first movie I remember seeing in a theater. However I will always remember the first movie I was allowed to see with my friends alone. I grew up in a small town, no movie theater so being dropped off at the movies was a BIG DEAL! We saw "She's Out of Control" with Tony Danza & a young Matthew Perry. Every once in a while when I see that on TV I still drop everything to watch. Other than that the most memorable movie from my youth would have to be Adventures in Babysitting! We were all in love with the College guy Elizabeth Shue met at the random party.

I think the movie I can most remember having an impact on me at a very young age was Jaws. Once I saw it, I spent 2 full summers sitting on the nice, sandy, DRY beach, nope, no swimming for me, thanks!! I was so scared that I sat on the steps in the hotel pool, convinced that Jaws could come up through that square vent in the bottom of the pool. And even though it is now some 30+ years later (hey, how's that for aging me,)don't think that I don't have a twinge every now and again about it when at the beach or in the pool. I will agree about Poltergeist, that whole pool thing at the end creeped me out!!! And I love the 'Burbs, a classic!! I was a disco queen, and won movie tickets in a dance contest. I forced my dad, (what a guy!!)to take me to see Sgt Pepper, (the Peter Frampton/Bee Gees version.)

I have never seen The Burb's and am not sure how I missed it. I mean, it has one of The Corey's in it!!! I loved them. I've added it to our Netflix Queue-Thanks!

I think the first movie I must have seen at the theater had to be Annie, because I remember she became my idol at about 5 years old. I wanted to be her. My Mom and Grandma even permed my hair to make me look more like her ( now, I think that was silly; then, I was in heaven) I have a HUGE passion for orphans and those who are taken advantage of and I think maybe the story of Annie and others like it helped shape that in me. I also loved the Goonies, Lady and the Tramp, Labyrinth was a fave of mine and some friends, Flight of the Navigator- I LOVED that one, and E.T is an all time fave as well.

I think the ones I actually remember seeing at the Theater are Rocky and Gremlins. Oh, and there was that one my dad wanted to see and the guy sold our whole family tickets without informing us of the content. My brothers and I freaked when that dude got his head cut off, never could remember the name of that movie.

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