When Rebecca was little, every Friday evening we went to a movie at the Little Theater at my college. These Friday films were always very good, were usually old, and were appropriate for all ages. There was another movie series on Tuesdays. Those movies were usually good, sometimes old, sometimes not so old, but seldom appropriate for most ages. Rebecca stayed home with her daddy for the Tuesday films. One Tuesday evening, they showed Repulsion – beyond a doubt the scariest movie I have ever seen. In fact, about 15 minutes into the film, I couldn’t stand it, and told the two I had come with that I had to leave. It was just too awful. They said Okay, and that they would come along later. I left the theater, and when I came out in the hall, two other friends – the ones in charge of the series – were standing by their makeshift box office (a card table) chatting. I was so jangled by the movie, and so startled by them, that I screamed. They were very pleased, and felt that the movie was a success if it had such an effect. I might add, that at the point at which I left, absolutely nothing violent had happened. Roman Polanski is such a genius, and had created such a menacing atmosphere – all in the disintegrating psyche of the Catherine Deneuve character. It was much more effective than the usual blood and gore of most scary movies. I chatted with them for a bit, and after a few minutes, one of my companions emerged, trembling. She couldn’t stand it either. Later, the third of our party, a fellow who was visiting Dennis, came home and told us he had left also. A tale of three wimps.
Our movie last evening, however, was the polar opposite of Repulsion, and was Friday evening family fare to the core. After watching David Copperfield, Ana and I were inspired to watch more Freddie Bartholomew. I remembered Captains Courageous from the Friday evening series. I didn’t remember much about it, except that I liked it very much and that it was a real tear jerker. We got the movie from the library, and it was indeed wonderful. And indeed, it required at least three hankies. It was, in fact, the best movie I have seen in a long while. It had a young Spencer Tracy, old Lionel Barrymore, and teen-aged Mickey Rooney (not one of my favorites, I must confess.) Loosely based on the Rudyard Kipling novel, there was much of The Secret Garden about it. Freddie plays an obnoxious, spoiled rich kid, who, on an ocean voyage with his father, is swept overboard and picked up by Portuguese fisherman Spencer Tracy. Aboard the fishing schooner, he learns to be a mensch. More, I won’t say. I will let you watch it and find out for yourself. It was really, really wonderful.