Sunday, October 19, 2008

Show & Tell: My celluloid guilty pleasure

This is going to totally date me, & I realize I sound like my own grandmother in this first paragraph...) I spent three years in the mid to late 1960s, kindergarten through the end of Grade 2, living in a small town in northern Saskatchewan. Back then, my sister & I got 50 cents a week in allowance money. We would often spend it at the local movie theatre, at the Saturday matinee. Admission was 35 cents and a bag of popcorn was 10 cents. We would often walk there & back by ourselves (as did all of our friends -- it was a different time & place…). We saw just about every Disney movie made during that time (animated & non), umpteen Elvis movies (such as "Speedway" with Nancy Sinatra and "Change of Habit" with Mary Tyler Moore), and…

...just about all of the Beach Party movies, with Frankie Avalon & Annette Funicello.

I watched the original "Beach Party" a few Sunday afternoons ago, for the umpteenth time, which got me thinking about this post. Viewed today, I realize the movies are low-budget, formulaic, dated and sexist, with inspid jokes and silly songs.

And yet -- I still love them (much to dh's bemusement) -- perhaps because they remind me of those more innocent childhood days. Eric Von Zipper, the Brando wannabe & his inept gang of sidekicks… Annette's well-covered belly button… Frankie & Deedee (Annette), fighting and making up and fighting and making up again… dear dumb Deadhead, falling in love with a mermaid in "Beach Blanket Bingo"... Frankie not only playing Frankie, but the dual role of British pop star "The Potato Bug" (!!) in "Bikini Beach" (around the time the Beatles were hitting the bigtime)... Linda Evans, pre-"Dynasty," as the vapid pop singer Sugar Kane (!!)... music by Dick Dale & The DelTones, and a very young Stevie Wonder... and of course, go-go dancer Candy Johnston, shaking her groove thang, in bare feet and a fringed dress, over the closing credits. What's not to remember fondly?

I asked for -- and got -- a boxed set of all the Frankie & Annette movies for Christmas last year.

What is your own guilty screen pleasure(s)?
For a list of other bloggers taking part in Show & Tell this week, click here.

P.S. Bathroom reno pics still to come... would you believe the towel bar pulled out the wall before I could take the "after" photos? StepBIL has promised to come over to fix it this week...


  1. I'm a Little House on the Prairie girl myself.

    Oh to be transported to better times via the "screen"....

    Thanks for sharing.


  2. I'm still reeling from 35 cents for a movie. And 10 cents for popcorn. I love that image of walking to the theater and seeing the film and coming home. And I bet the theater had character too.

  3. LOL! I used to love staying home sick from school and watching the afternoon movies - they showed Frankie and Annette at least once a month! I use to watch "Gidget" all the time.

    You're right - looked at in today's context, all you can do is roll your eyes, but they are still fun. :0)

    Happy watching!

  4. OMG I haven't seen that for AGES!

    My guilty pleasure movie? Hmm...Grosse Point Blank, Moulin Rouge and Beaches.

  5. I've seen some other Frankie and Annette movies, but not Beach Blanket Bingo, so I haven't seen Linda Evans as Sugar Kane. But, there is only one Sugar Kane to me -- Marilyn in Some Like It Hot.

    That's a legitimately good movie though. As for guilty pleasures, When Purple Rain comes on TV, I will watch it every time.

  6. I don't know if I really have a guilty pleasure movie. Wait, yes I do. I love Dirty Dancing.

  7. I just can't believe a movie was ever 35 cents and popcorn 10 cents! We went to see Fireproof a few weeks ago and it cost us $20 for tickets and $16 for popcorn and drinks! What a rip-off!

  8. I'm a Dirty Dancing fan too. I must have seen it 1000 times. Oooo and The Breakfast Club. I may have seen that one MORE times just because it's on non-cable channels on the weekends so much. ;)

  9. What? You got 50 cents a week? I am a little younger than you are but I am pretty sure that I was getting an american dime a week at that age, and that was in the early 70s. My first allowance was a penny. My dad used to apply the actual inflation rate to our allowances, but only if we complained vehemently.

    And I am a Little House on the Prairie girl too. But it was the books. No TV allowed at my dad's house. At my mom's I used to watch the Carol Burnett show. And I can still remember my first few movies at the theatre - Fantasia, Clarence, the Cross-eyed Lion, and Charlotte's Web - omg I sobbed through that one!

    Movies I have seen a million times over, but cannot seem to tear myself away from when they are on:
    My Cousin Vinny - love it - yeah, like you blend.
    Dirty Dancing - saw in the theatre with my grandmother!

    My real guilty pleasure: getting old concert DVDs.

    And Dexter. And Weeds.

  10. I was trying to explain to my intern the other day about "penny candy." She had NO idea what I was talking about. "You mean those little candies by the register that are 25 cents?"

  11. Oh for the days when Mom dropped us off at the Cardinal Theater with $5 and we spent the day there while she ran errands.

    Guilty pleasure...dancing around the house singing to 80's tunes.

    And I tagged you for a little something....

  12. Need to jog my memory but immediate guilty screen pleasures: MTM and the original Bob Newhart Show for starters...and in the film category anything with Laurence Olivier in a period piece or Clark Gable period. I had such big crushes on both as a pre-teen in the days when we only had three U.S. channels and the CBC signal from Windsor. Sheesh, now I sound like my grandmother!

    Will be fun to see your remodel photos. As someone in the middle of it, it will be good to know there's an "end" in my future!

  13. Umm...good to read about that....My guilty pleasures include Gone With the Wind (I can't not forget Vivien Leigh's chutzpah), Pretty Woman, The Mask and so many others my mind is sprinting towards!