Growing Up with Movies: The Things We Imitated

Through the years we’ve read and heard of some awful, tragic events that happened because someone was inspired to do something they saw in a movie. We’re all mimics at heart in one way or another, and although we see behaviors from movies imitated mostly by kids, none of us are immune. (We might not do it, but who hasn’t thought about yelling “You can’t handle the truth!” or another famous movie line at someone?) The instances from my own experience have thankfully not been tragic, but were at times just plain dumb. In some cases, I was able to observe these lapses in common sense from a somewhat safe distance.

Case in point: my friend Ben. Ben and I were beyond kids at the time, band directors (yes, young men in their 20s put in charge of a room – or a football field – full of young people with instruments in their hands) onboard a plane about to take off for a band convention in Chicago. It was Ben’s very first flight and he was excited. He was also a fan of the move Airplane! (1980)…

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The Twilight Zone: Season Two (1960-1961)

TZ Cover

The Twilight Zone: Season Two (1960-1961)
Image Blu-ray, (4 discs; 12 hours, 5 min.)

I could spend hours, days talking about The Twilight Zone, why I love it, why it has continued to be popular, and on and on. I’ve seen every episode at least once, many of them at least a dozen times, yet they still continue to amaze me. Countless numbers of people watch the episodes on TV marathons each year, but a few years ago, I saved up for the Blu-rays, which I have been dipping into here and there. I watched Season One a couple of years ago and just finished Season Two. I won’t go into details here; you’re either on board with TZ or you’re not. You either understand and accept the limitations of the special effects of the time or you don’t. Even more so, you either appreciate (mostly) well-written episodes or you’d rather watch something else. I’m only listing my favorites (which may not necessarily be the best episodes) from Season Two.

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The Damned Don’t Cry (1950) Vincent Sherman

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The Damned Don’t Cry (1950)
Directed by Vincent Sherman
Produced by Jerry Wald
Written by Harold Medford and Jerome Weidman, based on a story by Gertrude Walker
Cinematography by Ted McCord
Edited by Rudi Fehr
Costumes/Wardrobe by Sheila O’Brien (Joan Crawford, uncredited consultant)
Warner Brothers
Warner DVD (1:43)

I don’t think most people really understand what an absolute force Joan Crawford was. Watch just about any of her films (especially from the 1940s and early 50s) and you’ll see what I mean. No matter who’s directing the picture, Joan is in charge. She commands the screen and defies you to look away. You don’t even want to look away, even when some of her movies aren’t that good. But this one is.

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