Growing Up with Movies: Introduction and Episode 1: Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

In a hopeless attempt to catch up on all the podcasts in my subscription feed, I recently listened to an episode of Maltin on Movies starring film critic Leonard Maltin and his guest, daughter Jessie Maltin. In that particular episode, the Maltins discussed the differences between growing up watching movies in Leonard’s era (late 1950s and early 60s) and in Jessie’s era (she’s 28). That episode caused me to reflect on some of the films that have stuck with me through the years and decades and why. So here is the first installment of a new series I’m calling Growing Up with Movies.

Although I have memories of many, many films I saw as a kid, I can immediately think of three movies that have had a lasting effect on me, three very different movies from three very different directors, the first of which I’ll discuss today. All the movies I plan on discussing were viewed either at The Town Theater in Forest, Mississippi (no longer standing), one of the theaters in nearby Jackson, MS, or on TV from about 1967 to roughly 1980. I’ll probably have more to say about the theaters themselves as we go, but for now the focus will be on the films and how they have affected me 30 or more years later. I’m not sure how many “episodes” I’ll have in this series, but I do hope you’ll enjoy them. (All of these discussions will contain spoilers.)

Bonnie and Clyde (1967) Arthur Penn, director

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Dial 1119 (1950) Gerald Mayer

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Dial 1119 (aka The Violent Hour) (1950)
Directed by Gerald Mayer
Produced by Richard Goldstone for MGM
Written by Hugh King, Don McGuire
Screenplay by John Monks, Jr.
Cinematography by Paul Vogel
Music by André Previn
Classic Film Noir Collection: Volume 5 DVD
(1:15)

Dial 1119 could be called a “social consciousness” film similar to other later noir films like The Sniper (1952) or The Phenix City Story (1955), movies that clearly contain noir elements, yet also present societal problems and how we handle(d) them. More on that in a bit.

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