Kathy's Movie Of The Month

Kathy's Movie Of The Month

By Kathy O'Connell

I inherited my love of movies from my Dad. Thanks to him, I discovered Marx Brothers movies and old musicals. My mother mostly took us to the movies in the summer because we didn't have air conditioning and the movie theatres did. I went to a lot of movies that were inappropriate and boring for kids. While The Manchurian Candidate is a fine movie for grownups, no little kid should have to sit through it like I did.

There are movies for kids that might bore grownups (The Rugrats Movie) and movies for adults that kids won't enjoy (All About Eve). They're fine movies, but the whole family may not enjoy watching them together. If your family hasn't discovered The Wizard of Oz, ET, classic Disney movies (like Lady and the Tramp), The Princess Bride and Star Wars, stop reading now and go watch them together as a family.

Each month I am going to select a movie that I think you and your family should watch. You'll have a month to do it - and then, during the following month, call and tell me what you thought of the movie. It's my Movie of the Month on Kids Corner!

My June Movie Selection

POLLYANNA
(1960)

One summer night my family went to the Shore Theater in Huntington, NY to see a brand new Disney movie. It was “Pollyanna.” Since I read the book, I knew what to expect. I did not expect to discover someone who would impact my movie-loving childhood.

Her name was Hayley Mills, and she played Pollyanna. As often happens in Disney movies, Pollyanna was an orphan who went to live with an unhappy relative (Aunt Polly) who was mostly unhappy about Pollyanna. Even though the movie was set in old-fashioned America, nobody mentioned that Pollyanna spoke with an English accent. After awhile, I didn’t notice either. I was mesmerized by this young woman on the screen.

From the movie “Pollyanna,” I learned the science of prisms. I learned The Glad Game, a way of positive thinking that I still use today. Try it: when you are feeling unhappy, try to find something to be glad about. It sounds simple, but it takes practice. I can recommend several Hayley Mills movies, and I’ll bet someone you love will love to share memories of watching this remarkable presence on the screen. In times of social distancing, start a family movie club! You can watch movies together while you’re still apart! Or celebrate your eventual reunion with films. I’ll give you several Hayley Mills suggestions to get you started.

My favorite Hayley Mills movie is “The Parent Trap,” about a pair of twins separated when their parents divorced. This movie has been remade very successfully for new generations. You can introduce someone who loves the original film to the newer version! Another favorite is “The Trouble with Angels.” It’s about a couple of friends in a Catholic boarding school. It was directed by a famous actress of the 1930’s (Ida Lupino), and watching it as a family could encourage old people to share happy memories. Like I have here.

There may be an actor or movie series your family wants to share with you. Perhaps your Dad has been waiting to enjoy watching “Star Wars” with you and tell you stories of seeing it with his Dad. Your grandmother may have her own memories of being a kid watching Hayley Mills on a big movie screen. Some communities are experimenting with the old fashioned idea of drive-in movies. Listen to stories of a past where drive-in movies were common! I remember the 110 Drive-In even had rides for kids! Sharing movie and media memories is a wonderful way of connecting generations. I hope you’ll enjoy reconnecting with loved ones with movies this summer!!