Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE —
There has been lots of reporting lately about how long movies are becoming. Some near the three-hour mark. I don’t think I could sit still that long, but then movies are not what they once were either.
It stimulated a discussion about the first movie we can remember. I recall that several of the older girls in our neighborhood in Stockton, Ill., took me by the hand and took me to ask Mom if it would be OK if I went to the movies with them. I couldn’t believe my good fortune when Mom said, “Yes.” I felt as if I had suddenly become a grown-up.
We went to see a cowboy star named “Buck Jones” in a film called “Hello Trouble.” I remember nothing else about it.
My Best Friend claims to remember the name of Buck Jones’ horse. He says it was “Tony” and it may have been. I can only recall that the Lone Ranger rode a horse named “Silver” and Tonto, the Ranger’s “faithful Indian companion,” was mounted on a horse named “Scout.”
I know all this memory stuff dates me, but my BF remembers his first movie experience as being “Sonny Boy” with Al Jolson and Jackie Cooper. He remembers a tear-jerker ending after Sonny Boy was hit by a car — or was it a truck? — and the final frame had the little kid’s dad lying there in the street.
I remember becoming a life-long fan of Katherine Hepburn when Mom took me and Ed to the second movie I remember. Hepburn played the role of Jo in “Little Women” and I remember being amused when she backed up too close to the fireplace and claimed to have set her bustle on fire. I had an off-beat sense of humor even then.
I once followed movies and movie stars closely. I was a big fan of the so-called “screwball comedies” of the ’40s. Hepburn and Cary Grant were favorites. Later I came to accept Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, but only as second best.
But to sit still for three hours? Only for “Gone With the Wind.”
Liz Ciancone is a retired Tribune-Star reporter. Send e-mail to email@example.com.