I am old enough to remember life before videos or even cable television when the concept of pay TV was confounding to my young mind. Was there actually a coin slot somewhere on the TV that I didn’t know about? How was that supposed to work, I wondered when a teacher asked the class to debate the pros and cons.
So, before cable or videos, when I was growing up there was something called Million Dollar Movie on WOR Channel 9 in New York. Whatever the movie was for that week played several times a day for an entire week. And as long as it was a movie you wanted to see, it was pure heaven.
Every year during the week that was around July 4th, they would play Yankee Doodle Dandy, an Academy Award-winning movie that starred Jimmy Cagney. We watched it as many times as we could before our mother would insist we go outside to play. Killjoy. We knew almost every line of dialog by heart and could sing every song from the score.
Although Million Dollar Movie is long gone (it actually survived for three decades), my love affair with the comfort of re-watching favorite movies has not dimmed. Here are some of my favorites.
(Yes, Sam, yes! Please play it again and again!)
Bringing Up Baby
(Perhaps the funniest movie ever made. Baby is the leopard.)
(“Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”)
(“Get busy living, or get busy dying.”)
These, and so many more!