Wherefore Art Thou, Walter Mitty?
from Jen AlLee
I love movies. When I was a little kid and my mom and I loved going to theater to see double features. For those of you too young to remember, double features were once the norm. For the price of a single admission (about $1.50 in the late '60s) you got to watch not one, but TWO movies. You see, back in the olden days, there was only one screen in a movie theater. That's right. Just one. No multi-plexes. No sixteen movies to choose from. Just that one screen with two movies that showed one right after the other.
I have so many great movie memories. There was the re-release of Fantasia, which charmed me with little dancing Chinese mushrooms, but sent me crawling under under my seat during the Night on Bald Mountain sequence. Seriously... look at this picture... who wouldn't that scare?
Every Easter we would walk across the street to the Pantages theater and watch King of Kings. The 1927, black and white, Cecil B. DeMille silent movie version. This movie impressed me for three reasons: (1) Mary Magdalene's bad-girl outfit was positively scandalous, (2) you had to read all the dialogue, and (2) after the resurrection of Jesus, the movie was colorized. It was a muted, pastel-ish kind of color, but it still amazed me. It was almost like The Wizard of Oz in reverse.
But one movie experience stands out above them all. It was at a park that had outdoor movies during the summer. We were supposed to see Flubber that night, but the movie was changed at the last minute. Instead, a park representative said, we would be watching something called The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I was a little worried... what kind of movie would it be? Since I'd gone with friends, I was trapped there. But then the movie began, and Danny Kaye came on the screen. To the best of my knowledge, this was the first time I'd ever seen Mr. Kaye, but I was immediately taken by this quick-tongued, rubber-bodied comedic master.