It should have been the Jungle Book. (My X-certificate first cinema visit.)

This is the nearest I could get to an image combining both Clint Eastwood and a Jungle local.

At GrannyMar‘s prompting, I submitted this story to See You At The Pictures, a documentary about film-going in Ireland. Er… Sorry Dad.

The first film I saw in a cinema should have been the Jungle Book. My Dad took me to the cinema in Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, one bright summer afternoon.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. But it wasn’t car chases, gunfire and a naked lady.

We settled into the plush red seats – the only ones in the cinema as I remember. But the trailer that came on before the film, turned out to be a full feature – Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, certificate X (. Not ideal for a seven or eight-year-old.

The two of us sat on through the opening – and indeed the whole film.

It was very long, confusing and had two guys in a car, one of whom died mysteriously. The main part that stuck in my mind was the naked woman parading for the benefit of a gardener.

Eventually that film ended and the Jungle Book began. So we watched that. Two films for the price of one.

I’m sure it was just an accident of timing of the part of my Dad. Funnily enough, as far as I know, neither of us mentioned it to my Mum when we got home. I received no instruction to hush it up. Somehow I just knew.

I suppose it could be seen as bad parenting, but I remember it as a shared time when when son and father faced an unexpected situation together. Stoical solidarity.

When my own children sing along to Jungle Book songs now*, it’s not Mowgli and Baloo  who come to my mind, but Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.**

Luanne Roberts - looking presentable.

And, ahem, a lady called Luanne Roberts.

Any cinematic or movie-going memories you’d like to share here?

* To be honest their Jungle Bok singalong days are past. Top Girl sings the charts. Top Boy does not sing. (Well, hardly ever.)

** Thunderbolt and Lightfoot – having seen it again decades a little while later is well worth watching.



Filed under family history, Film

26 responses to “It should have been the Jungle Book. (My X-certificate first cinema visit.)

  1. Brill. It is not up on the site yet, but they will make contact with you before they add it. It can take over a week.

  2. Shared silence with your dad about an accidental adventure that shouldn’t have happened — but did. That’s a fantastic memory!

  3. aah memories; life has changed so

  4. 10 bottle caps from milk gallon jugs got a free admission. Father took me to see The Alamo, John Wayne, 1960. I learned that Americans must revere the men that died in our valiant effort to steal part of another country.

    • blackwatertown

      Being able to return caps and bottles seemed a very sensible reusing/recycling system. Shame it has bitten the dust.
      I visited the Alamo once. Seemed much smaller than I expected. Dwarfed perhaps by modern San Antonio.

  5. The one time I knew not to tell it was about a trip with a grandmother, an uncle and aunt. They told my parents about the lorry filled with guns and balaclava wearing men, but I never did! They eventually cracked about 12 years later ‘We know!’

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  7. Evidently the naked lady made quite an impact on your innocent young mind! lol 😉

  8. My earliest movie memories are the Carry On films, which shows how my childish boy’s mind worked. Or maybe not, since it was the camp characters who particularly fascinated me. Except for one occasion with my mum, I think I usually went on my own. My father never came with me, not sure why as he definitely appreciated the humour. I also remember The Railway Children and the lovely Jenny Agutter. I’m told her bottom is almost as widely fetishised as Pippa Middleton’s….

    • blackwatertown

      Ah plucky Jenny Agutter from The Eagle Has Landed. Surely a cut above – a big cut above – Pippa Middleton.

  9. Nigel

    I have had the immense pleasure of meeting the delightful JA by chance one quiet Monday morning in a beech wood near here. That certainly made my day. Almost as much pleasure as bumping into Blackwatertown.

    • blackwatertown

      Ooh I am intrigued. Can I book a stroll with you soon?

      • Nigel

        Stroll on! But yes, as long as it is in the direction of a public house. As to Miss Agutter, if people really want to know what she looks like “all over”- or did in 1969- they simply need to watch the film “Walkabout”. She no longer frequents that wood of which I wrote.

  10. 29

    Any Which Way But Loose, I saw it during a break in skiing in Aviemore and just loved the bit where he ran his semi over the hells angels bikes. Re small seaside cinemas, they had so much more charm than the present multiples. I recall specially one in a small town in Normandy where I saw a ?30s version of Les Miserables with a real Jean Valjean in it, so superior to the modern versions.

    • blackwatertown

      Yes good film.
      I liked the version of Les Miserables with Jean Paul Belmondo smoulder back and forth from revolutionary times to post-World War Two France.

  11. Years ago we had a zealous, rather shallow Curate, called Clive, at the local church- he was, to be fair, good with the young teenage group, and asked if my sitting room could be used for these youngsters to watch a video. I happily agreed, and prepared the room ready for the twenty or so youngsters, curious as to whether it would be incredibly boring, with everyone being sickly polite and stuffy. It did all start that way, with Clive being very self conscious and doing his best in such artificial circumstances. But when the film started, we both realised too late that it was hopelessly unsuitable, because as well as being extremely funny, it was ‘borderline’ smut right from the start- Clive must have felt he had no choice but to continue, so we all sat there embarassed, gradually developing into in hysterics laughing- the film was Airport, and we were all three times amused because of the agonised looks on his face, and the thoughts he must have been having about News of the World headlines, bishop comments, career change etc- it was the talk of the teenagers for years, and must have been an interesting, though much funnier introduction to officially organised ‘adult’ entertainment than your naked lady, Paul. Similarly, everyone kept quiet about it, so scandal was avoided.

  12. So much depends on the age one sees a film too. At 18 I went to see Married to the Mob starring Michelle Pfeiffer & Matthew somebody in a little cinema on Baker Street in London. I went with my fellow convent living pals (it’s true- we roomed in a convent!). Dould not breathe for laughing- thought it was the most hilarious film EVER. Saw it a decade later with Loverboy- had built it up so much too- but turned it off halfway through. Just so not funny. I like to think my humour had matured rather than having lost it completely!

    • blackwatertown

      Roomed in a convent. Heaven help us.
      Nuns in the morning. Nuns in the evening. Thankfully you’ve now paid your debt to society and you need never go back.

  13. Years ago I lived in San Antonio and was surprised at how small the Alamo is; in the movies it is made to seem larger than life.
    Blessings – Maxi

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