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Million Dollar Movie

Double Features. Remember them? They’ve practically disappeared from the cultural landscape, just like double-headers. I used to go see double features at the old Regency Theater which was on 67th street and Broadway. It was a revival house that played old Hollywood movies. Had a balcony and everything.

Saw twin bills of Marilyn (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch) and Bogart (High Sierra, The Roaring Twenties) and Buster Keaton (Sherlock Jr, Seven Chances) and and the Marx Brothers (Duck Soup, Animal Crackers) there.

When I was 12, I visited my mother’s family in Belgium for the summer. My uncle and his girlfriend took me to the seaside for a few days and I’ll never forget seeing the movie posters for Mad Max II (which was renamed The Road Warrior over here). Raiders was out too but Mad Max II looked like something different altogether, something menacing and sinister.

I eventually saw both Mad Max and The Road Warrior many times on videotape and then on cable. Both movies still scare the bejesus out of me in that way you get scared as a kid, ‘specially if I see them late at night. They are corny in a fantastic way but also filmed in such a tense and seemingly credible manner that I get the willies every time.


1 matt b   ~  May 25, 2010 12:56 pm

I recall catching a double feature of The Bad News Bears and The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training. I also recall around the same time having my parents tell me I was too young to go see a double feature of Jaws and Jaws 2.

2 cult of basebaal   ~  May 25, 2010 1:24 pm

Two days ago, I saw a vehicle that'd pull that tanker. You want to get out of here, you talk to me.

Like Mad Max, LOVE The Road Warrior

3 Cliff Corcoran   ~  May 25, 2010 1:34 pm

The Film Forum includes many double features in their repertory retrospectives. When I worked a couple of blocks away, I'd catch them with regularity.

My local theater did on on Halloween years ago: the original universal Dracula and Frankenstein. A great time was had by all.

4 Alex Belth   ~  May 25, 2010 1:44 pm

The Film Forum has got to be respected because it's one of the last true revival houses in New York and because they show restored prints of old movies and run ecclectic series'. That said, I can't bear to go there because the screens are so small. They are really screening rooms not movie theaters. But beggers can't be choosers...

5 rbj   ~  May 25, 2010 1:50 pm

Long, long ago my folks took us kids to a drive-in for a double feature of Oliver Twist (IIRC) and Krakatoa: East of Java.

6 Alex Belth   ~  May 25, 2010 1:53 pm

Was it the David Lean "Oliver Twist"? That's a good one.

7 Alex Belth   ~  May 25, 2010 2:04 pm

2) I made a mix tape in college and used that line and then segued into "Stray Cat Blues" by the Stones...

8 rbj   ~  May 25, 2010 3:01 pm

[6] I don't think so. This was somewhere around 1969 - 72. It was a musical, and I remember it being in color, though IMDB doesn't have an Oliver Twist from the 1960s or 70s.

I may be conflating it with another movie, we went to that drive in a number of times. Big old station wagon, in our pyjamas. Saw Disney's Pinocchio there -- not really a light-hearted tale, that one.

9 rbj   ~  May 25, 2010 3:04 pm

Ah, it was the musical Oliver!

Funny that a search for Oliver Twist didn't bring up Oliver! at first.

10 Alex Belth   ~  May 25, 2010 3:10 pm

Right the musical. Won Best Picture I think.

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