Sarah Morgan

Healthcare Geek.
Professional Communicator.


Sunday Roundup: My Life in Films

The Empire Strikes Back. My first movie. I think it was a drive-in, but I was two, so really, who knows.

Kids, drive-ins were great big fields where you could bring your whole car in to watch the movie!

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ET. It scared the life out of me, and I’m still one of the few people who doesn’t like it.

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The Wizard of Oz. NBC showed this in March every year when I was little, and my parents told me it was for my birthday. I believed them.

Kids, it was a big deal when a TV station aired a movie once a year, because it was the only time you could see it. This was before VCRs and cable and Netflix and iTunes and… well, before everything.

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Miracle on 34th Street. Everybody has favorite Christmas movies, and this is one of mine. My mother told me about Santa when I was so small that I don’t remember believing. I always wished I did.

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Flight of the Navigator and SpaceCamp. These were the movies I always, always asked for at the video store.

This was before Blockbuster, kids. Wee local “video stores” like the one in Clerks really did exist.

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Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. I came home from a birthday party at the movies and wrote in my diary about how cute Ted was. Twenty years later, I still have a crush on Keanu Reeves. Wooden delivery and all.

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The Birds, Poltergeist, and The Shining. My first scary movies: it was a springtime triple-feature one weekend on Channel 11. This is why I’m still scared of hotel hallways and creepy voices. Also madmen with axes. Just looking up these links gave me chills.

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Bird on a Wire. Our first “group date” in middle school.

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Disclosure. My first date. And yes, a truly awful choice for such an event.

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Empire Records. I saw just about every movie in the second half of the 90s because everyone I knew either worked at the theater or was there hanging out. But when were weren’t there, we were watching Empire Records. (The awesome @mia started an #EmpireRecords quotefest on Twitter the other day and I was amazed that other people knew it too.)

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The Princess Bride. Just simply one of the best movies ever made.

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Saving Private Ryan. I saw this with guy friends, and they were appalled when the lights came up and they found me curled into a weeping little ball. Them being so completely at a loss was the only thing that could make me laugh after that.

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The Matrix. We saw this in a ginormous theater in Brussels, double-dubbed in Flemish and French, but what really blew our minds was that the popcorn was sugared, not salted. We must have demoralized the professors who were trying so hard to cram us full of EU culture by dodging off to watch this. But I adored it (see also: Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure) and I remember listening to the soundtrack full blast on the Eurostar on the way back. I remember exactly how mad I was at a certain guy at the time (hence the loud angry music), but I don’t remember why. Isn’t that always the way?

Kids, we used to buy music on “CDs”! In “record stores”! And listen to them on “CD players”!

* * *

Pride and Prejudice. I made fun of my friends for watching this miniseries one afternoon in England, and went off to watch Terminator 2 with the boys. But the girls got the last laugh when I gave the book a chance years later. It’s one of my favorites. (Although T2 is a classic. And Crispin Bonham-Carter was a dork.)

The number of footnotes required to explain the Dark Ages technology of my formative years saddens me.

* * *

I can never decide on one favorite movie of all time, but my latest is Slumdog Millionaire. And the all-time short list has to include Pride & Prejudice (Kiera not Colin), The Bourne Identity (just the first one), Jurassic Park (ditto), The Thomas Crown Affair (remake not original), Love Actually (my other Christmas favorite) and Across the Universe.

And now that you’ve gone and read all these, you must have your own too. Give!


Sarah Morgan

@Karen At least your first date was a good movie, I guess? ๐Ÿ™‚

@Robert You’re exactly right – too much of a good thing.

@Erin My Favorite Muffin, I completely forgot about that! And as for Titanic, I just remember going to the restroom afterward and walking in on scores of weeping women. It was a total cliche!

@Neil YES – that moment in Love Actually breaks my heart. Emma Thompson is amazing. And you’re right, I forgot about Amelie, too!

Neil Crump

I would happily watch all of your top favs. I really love Love Actually. The cast are brilliant and I really like Emma Thomspson. I went out and bought the Joni Mitchell Both Sides Now CD after watching the film – the bit where Emma opens the gift thinking it will be the necklace and then she fights back her tears – I love this album (and the movie) a lot.

My favourite film is Amelie – it just rocks.

My favourite laugh out loud funny film of all time is Best in Show – neurotic dog owners and spoilt dogs – brilliant


I think I loved this post because we share the same formative years and spent weeks at the same movie theatre — scarfing free popcorn or
my favorite muffin.

I hated ET. It scared me. I still don’t understand the attraction, but I did like what he did to popularize Reese’s Pieces.

I have to add Titanic. Not because I loved it but because it was the only time in my life I dated around. I saw it 5 times when it came out with 5 different guys. Thinking about it.. I never went on a second date with any of them, but I felt like a babe for all those first dates.


Wizard of Oz – waited every year to see this movie. Always made sure we were watching TV to see the commercials that told us when it would be on. Now that we have it on video, we never watch it, even when it’s on TV. Too much of a good thing really spoils it.

North Shore and Back to the Beach – my favorite “get ready for the summer” movies. I watch them in the spring when I think of how cool the summer is. Note to self: Hit rewind.

Blue Crush – contemporary version of above.

ET and Grease – (how do they get categorized together?) Never understood either until I got much older. I guess it’s why I like so-called children’s movies. You have to be an adult to get the subtle humor.

Care Bears – First movie ever in a theater. My aunt took me. The film broke.
Addams Family – First movie I can remember my mom taking me to in a theater.
(Kids – going to a movie theater was a little more special back then. So was taking a commercial flight.)

The Last Starfighter – really enjoyed watching this in school as a kid. I had a fleeting thought about it one day in the not too distant past, and the next Saturday I walked into TaeKwonDo, all the instructors were perched around the TV watching it. What a cool moment.


Something like this of mine deserves it’s own post on my blog. But to comment on yours:

ET – my dad took my sister and I to see this. We were so happy at the end of it when he went home that we cried. My dad was COMPLETELY BAFFLED by this. He did not know what to do with two little girls crying at a happy ending ๐Ÿ™‚

First date movie? Jurassic Park. He brought a friend who also wanted to see the movie who sat elsewhere in the theater. In retrospect it’s no wonder both the guy and the friend turned out to be gay (tho not involved with each other as far as I know).

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