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Thread: Night at the Movies

  1. #1
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    Night at the Movies

    Night at the Movies


    One night Andromeda and David were discussing possible movies to see together but had reached an impasse. David wanted something new and Andromeda something old.

    “I’d like to see Transformers, or the latest Twilight film, or something as Disney as possible like the latest pirate movie with Johnny Depp,” said David.

    “The first one was good, Pirates of the Caribbean, but for me at least, the newer ones have lost the thread. They’re too caught up with Bruckheimer’s special effects.”

    “Well, he has plenty of money to spend.”

    “All the money and special effects in the world don’t’ make up for a lack of story. If I wanted to see a pirate movie, I’d look where they were playing Captain Blood or the Seahawk. Sabatini knew pirates better than anyone else and Flynn knew how to swashbuckle with the best of them. In fact, he owned the patent on swashbuckling; though I’m convinced Douglas Fairbanks invented it."

    David shuffled the newspaper and looked at the retro-theater listings, and was pleased to announce,

    “There’s nothing like that showing tonight.”

    Andromeda gazed up at the heavens and whispered, “Sorry Errol, maybe next time.”

    Then she became quizmistress and asked, “You know why they called Johnny Depp’s character Captain Jack Sparrow, don’t you?”

    “No, Honey, why?”

    “Because Errol Flynn, a man’s man who towered over six feet tall, was the Seahawk. Johnny, and don’t get me wrong, I love Johnny...especially in ‘What’s eating Gilbert Grape’, and I love Leonardo too, but Johnny is short. Seahawk---Sparrow, get it?”

    There was a certain look of distain on David’s mug. He didn’t care for her logic, or Johnny-bashing, either one, and had never seen the grape movie.

    “Yeah, I get it.”

    Then a look of triumph took its place when he replied, “But, Honey, there’s not anything like that on now,” while thinking, ‘Praise be to God and thank heaven for that.’

    “What’s showing at the El Capitan Theatre? They show classic films all the time.”

    “Here it is. It’s an oldie called Duel in the Sun.”

    “I think I’ve heard of it, with Gregory Peck?”

    “That’s it, with Peck and Jennifer Jones, Lionel Barrymore, Walter Huston, Lillian Gish, Joseph Cotton, and Herbert Marshall. It’s a love-story and a western.”

    "A western, huh? The one truly American film genre. And a love story? You know I adore love stories, they remind me of us.”

    She placed her hand warmly over his, and moved closer so he could notice her perfume and continued her sell.

    “And probably in magnificent Technicolor. We should see it.”

    David knew he was in trouble the minute she used the words Technicolor and genre and breathtaking and love-story. Next she’d be mentioning Lillian Gish’s silent career, Huston being in Treasure of Sierra Madre, giving him the entire history of the Barrymores from John to Ethel to Lionel down to Drew. Then she’d skip to how John and Flynn used to pal around and get drunk, and from there go back to Peck and Jones’s respective careers and how Cotton was in Citizen Kane.

    David understood that to uphold his position on modern films spiked with digital effects was a last stand. Or was it simply an exercise in futility, a less than useless endeavor in a vain attempt of a Digital Davy Crockett in a modern-day electric Alamo, to put up a fight with nothing but digital ammunition?

    He found himself surrounded by the Warner Brothers, crazy Howard's RKO, United Artists and Metro Goldwin Mayer on their home territory of the old studio system. In other words...he was doomed.

    Even a maveric like Martin Scorsese would have given up, and in that fact he took a Quantum of Solace. Just thinking of Marty made him want to hit the Mean Streets and find a Taxi Driver.

    “OK, Honey, what have we got to lose? Let’s go. But I pay for the popcorn...this time."

    Our couple made the movie right on time, found good seats, ate kettle popcorn, drank all-American Coca Cola, and viewed every advertisement. David thought Andromeda would want to sit in the last row, hiding in the darkness, and expected her to throw a few hearts his way, but the most she gave out were two kisses. When he wanted to comment on something she played Hush hush sweet Charlotte by pressing two fingertips over his lips and saved her comments for later. When they left they decided to walk on the way home and held hands.

    “Well, David, how did you like it?”

    “It was a western and a melodrama for sure. I liked the performances, every one of them was top-drawer, and the locations shots were authentic. They spent some money on this one.”

    “I think that Selznick was trying to copy his success in Gone with the Wind. What did you think of Huston’s as the preacher ministering to Pearl? The bit about purity and remaining chaste being harder for a beautiful woman?”

    “I agree with that totally.”

    “Me too, men just can’t leave them alone. Beauty always comes at a price.”

    Andromeda knew what she was talking about; she’d been living the part for years. David continued,

    “As a western it was fine, but as a melodrama it wasn’t mellow enough for me.”

    “You mean the end?”

    “That’s it, I mean…” David began speaking like a practical man,”…how many lovers kill each other?”

    “Not too many, it’s usually only one or the other.”

    “Usually the male does the killing, and if the woman does, she usually uses poison. Poison is traditionally a woman’s weapon.”

    It had been misting while they were in the theater. Wet streets reflected the street light, changed from green to yellow to red, and dancing neon signs and car headlights shined in shimmering bars across the pavement in their direction wherever the couple walked. The smell was fresh new rain displacing old summer dust.

    “Unless she’s an Army graduate-schooled in Afghanistan or Iraq kinda girl,” David laughed.

    “Or an Amazon,” she said with a wink.

    David laughed even harder. Sometimes Andromeda was so funny it hurt.

    “It’s usually over infidelity,” he said, “You know, when one finds the other one lying and cheating.”

    Andromeda hesitated a moment and grew serious.

    “You’d never lie or cheat on me, would you David? I’ll never have to worry about that, will I?”

    He looked straight into her eyes and smiled in a strange condescending manner.

    “Not me, Babycakes. Not in one million and one years.”

    Andromeda took his hand again and continued walking, but every step she took seemed more unsure than the last, and into her mind popped a quote from her English class, although it had been years ago. Was this a bold-faced lie she’d just heard, or a lie of omission? Either way….

    They stopped in front of a bakery that was still open and went inside for a treat.

    “What would you like?” asked David.

    “I’d like a cream Danish,” she replied, and began searching through her purse.

    “It’s OK, Honey, it’s on me,” he smiled again, the same sort of kiss-your-*ss smile and she was sure of it now.

    Again, in popped Shakespeare, and reverberated in her brain like Hamlet.

    ‘O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain!...That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain—
    At least I am sure it may be so in Denmark.’


    ©Steven Hunley 2012 Duel in the Sun

  2. #2
    Registered User tailor STATELY's Avatar
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