The odd things that stick

When I was writing yesterday’s post about Local Hero the memory of seeing Gregory’s Girl for the first time came back to me.

I’d been living in London for a few months; the place, the school, the accents in the film were fully resonant of the place I grew up and the school I went to.  On the evening of his date the girls walk Gregory around town, and one of them changes out of her school uniform into a tight lycra get up in the telephone box outside a chip shop; kids walk by, eating their pokes of chips.

When the film had finished I walked out into Leicester Square, really wanting a bag of chips wrapped in brown paper. I’d never noticed before that chip shops in London wrap in white paper, and it just wasn’t the same.  So now the first thing I think of if Gregory’s Girl is mentioned is that wanting to hold a wodge of hot greasy brown paper wrapped around a few chips in my hand.

Helensburgh from up the hill

So I’m back on the theme of the things we remember, and that they’re not always the most obvious things, nor indeed things that anyone else would have noticed.

You know those…. ‘It’s just like that thing in that film.’  Or do I have to accept that it’s only me?

So here we go on nothing more than a random selection of scenes that I’ve heard myself refer to, usually to the utter confusion of my interlocutor.

In Cool Hand Luke, I think most people predominantly remember the boiled egg eating, where for me I can easily eat an egg without that scene popping into my head; on the other hand I can’t walk past an American style parking meter without seeing an image of a giggling Paul Newman sawing the tops off them.

And in Now Voyager who can forget Paul Henreid lighting two cigarettes at once? ah.  ‘Don’t let’s ask for the moon, when we have the stars.’!

In the 1970s my sister and I were fans of The Rockford Files on television; utterly forgettable now if not for the fact that Jim Rockford was the first person we knew to have a telephone answering machine, and it used to start every episode ‘…… Leave a message’, and usually it was his long suffering Dad trying to track him down.  When some years later I acquired my own first answering machine, the temptation to pretend to be James Garner was hard to resist.

Now, that’s reminded me of ‘This is Carlton, your doorman’ in the comedy Rhoda, every time the door entry system in Rhoda’s apartment rang; there was no way of short cutting him delivering the same line in full every time.  And yes, you’ve guessed ,when I moved into a flat with a door entry system it had to be done, at least once.

Raised on a diet of Broadway musicals it was unfortunate when I had a Mrs McClusky as my English teacher at secondary school, as I couldn’t start a lesson without the lyrics from Guys and Dolls popping into my head:

There’s the stockroom behind McClusky’s bar,

But Mrs McClusky ain’tgood scout,

And tings being how dey are,

The back of the police station is out, 

Or what about Ice Cold in Alex? The long awaited cold beer in the bar for sure, but what about the fantastically patronising way Harry Andrews speaks to Sylvia Sims after the ambulance has rolled back down the sand dune and they have to push it all the way back up to the top again?

And who wouldn’t want a telephone in their shoe like Agent 99 in Get Smart?

Ever been caught remembering something that everyone else denies was even in that film?

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  1. Rowena,

    LOL, you’ve just listed a whole bunch of movies I should have seen, but didn’t. The ONLY one from your list I have seen is Gregory’s Girl, and I admit I only went to see that for possibly improper reasons–I mean, Gurls playin’ footie!:)

    “Ever been caught remembering something that everyone else denies was even in that film?”

    I don’t think that happens a lot with me, I tend to get _very_ involved with what’s on screen. If I watch at home it’s generally a solo occupation, watching blu-ray with headphones.

    You’ve just upped my Netflix queue. Gracious, I didn’t know there were so many cultural icon movies I had missed!


    • I wouldn’t necessarily call them iconic – but funny little bits just stuck in my mind….If you do try them, I hope you enjoy, but there’s no guarantee!!


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