Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How The West Was Won

The only time I ever recall dad and mom taking the family to a walk in movie theater was back in 1962. Now I was born in 1958, and that outing places me as a little rascal. I don't know if Dad ever took us to see a movie before that date - frankly I am surprised that my memory reaches that far back. Dad and mom and all the Finlayson kids (Florrie wasn't born yet) to the Ritz in Alabama City to see this movie. There is a scene in the movie that I never will forget. Every time I see this scene in the movie - I recall what happened that fateful night. There's this scene in How The West Was Won when this guy is drinking water from a stream and he gets it in the back with a tomahawk. He falls over dead and then there's blood in the water. I guess it was pretty gory stuff for back then. Dad got up on his crutches and told his kids that we were leaving. That's right, we didn't get to see what happened next. I remember the car was parked on the street - at the side of the theater. I remember everybody being loaded back into the car that night. That was the last time I recall Dad ever going to the theater - at least as a family. It was the only movie I ever recall seeing at The Ritz.

I've seen the movie many times down through the years. It sure seems like a pretty tame western. Then again - as I grew up I was exposed to the likes of Sergio Leone and Sam Pechenpah. Westerns got pretty gory as the sixties played out.
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