Big Boss will never understand me. Why, he queried, do I watch Gone with the Wind every time stinkin’ time it’s on TV?!!! I have no answer other than it’s an issue of loyalty to Margaret Mitchell and Clark Gable? I can’t help myself. And I still tear up when Bonnie goes off that stupid pony and I always laugh when Mamie goes into her “It ain’t fittin. It just ain’t fittin.” soliloquies.
Today TCM is running all of the classics that used to be aired at 4:00 each afternoon on Command Presentation, the NBC affiliate in my hometown…Little Women, The Yearling, The Secret Garden, Cheaper by the Dozen…and the Grand Tearjerker of all, Lassie Come Home. I will NEVER forget the first time I watched it and was sobbing when Mother came in and wanted to know what in the world was wrong with me. All I could choke out was, “Why do they make these sad movies?!!!” I just couldn’t understand that movies would intentionally try to make you sad. Now I get that a movie isn’t doing its job if it doesn’t raise at least a little emotion in the viewer. In my case, it’s usually a lot.
I remember years ago a friend had seen Out of Africa and told me I MUST go see it. But, she added, take a whole box of Kleenex. Big Boss asked my why in the world would you want to go see something that would make you cry. I had no explanation. “Just take me?!” And he did. And I bawled like a baby, no matter that the heroine was committing adultery and both her marital and extra-marital relationships were woefully lacking in stability and commitment. When Merle reads that poem at Redford’s grave, I just lose it. Every single durned time. I know it’s coming. I prepare. I brace myself. And I lose. Every time.
All of this brings me to anticipation of The Hobbit. The release is so close now. After waiting for this for 2 years, it doesn’t seem possible that soon, I can go watch Bilbo be a burglar and see Gandalf work his magic and be there when Thorin fights to regain his kingdom and witness the dwarves’ gluttony (which is very reminiscent of my dinner table when the three boys were little!). I’m trying to imagine actually seeing The Arkenstone and the terrible Smaug…and all the while wonder what Mr. Tolkien would think about it all. And what he might think about The Lord of the Rings hoopla!
Bear with me, friends, as I await all this Hobbity goodness, along with millions of other Tolkien/Jackson fans. My mother has told me about the days before Gone With the Wind premiered. Even though her world was the West Texas Depression Dust Bowl, she wondered what all the fuss was about. Then…she saw Mr. Gable and the rest is history. The day he died, she cried. And I wonder where I get all this teary-eyed stuff…