Saturday Matinee

I remember when I was younger, that we kids would always look forward to the Saturday afternoon matinée at the local movie theatre.  Especially in the summer time. There was just something fun and special about going from the bright hot sunlight of a summer day, into the cool darkness of the theatre.

You would buy your box of popcorn, which didn’t require a loan and two references, and a box of your favorite candy, and a soda the size of which would have sent Mayor Bloomberg into cardiac arrest.

Back then the theatres actually had balconies, and of course as a kid you wanted to sit as high up and a far back as you could, so you would race up the steps to get what you perceived as the perfect seat. Hoping that your nose wouldn’t bleed from the heights.

Of course there were all kinds of movies shown at a Saturday afternoon matinée, but the westerns were always the best. Imagine seeing those sprawling cinematic vistas projected upon a screen the size of the side of a barn. Back then movie makers would actually film scenes in which the camera would take long panning shots of the beauty of the landscape, this was before the MTV style of quick pasted together shots dominated the industry.

One of my best memories, is of going to one of these afternoon matinée in 1969 I believe it was, to see John Wayne in the movie, “True Grit”  . This would end up being John Wayne’s only Oscar win for best actor. It was the story of a broke down, drunken U.S. Marshal named Rooster Cogburn, who was hired by a teenage girl seeking the killer of her father,  this role was played by Kim Darby. The two were joined in this hunt by  young Texas Ranger La Boeuf, played by of all people Glen Campbell, who rounded out this little three person posse.

I watched as they tracked down the killer of Mattie Ross’ father, Tom Chaney, who was riding with the gang of Ned Pepper, played by a young Robert Duvall. Pepper was really why both Cogburn and La Boeuf were interested in Mattie’s mission at all, since Pepper had a healthy reward on his head, though each had differing ideas of how to settle this.

It was a story of stirring emotions as the three, at first had a union of convenience, but evolved into a friendship which they ended up depending upon, to not only fulfill their goals, but to save each others lives.

It was a story of a man who, though he had his own personal demons, also had great  personal integrity, and as the title implies, had a great deal of true grit.

These types of people, let alone these types of movies are a rare commodity these days. The days of going to a Saturday afternoon matinée to see a good western with posses and lawmen are gone. The movies today are filled now with loud modern music, even the westerns are often scored with hard rock music. The story lines are no longer about integrity and honor, but about romance and relationships, even the western has been turned into a chick-flick.

So since I can’t find that long ago western of posses and gunmen at a matinée movie theatre, I guess I could just go over to Georgetown.

5 Comments on "Saturday Matinee"

  1. kavips says:

    There are these things called DVD’s and something called Netflix…. Those films aren’t all gone yet… 🙂

  2. Laffter says:

    Frank- while Mattie Ross and Rooster Cogburn had qualities like HONOR and INTEGRITY and COURAGE
    I don’t think you will find any of those qualities in Georgetown today.

    I’m with Kavips – rent a copy or order one from Amazon…..pop some popcorn and watch it- those movies are not gone and neither are those qualities. You will still find them, hell, you have a few 🙂

  3. Laffter says:

    Those values still exist, just not in Georgetown.

  4. Frank Knotts says:

    Kavips, I am a member of Netflix and I can quote that and other classics by heart. I have even taken the time to watch the remake of “True Grit”, and while it was fairly true to the original, it somehow rings hollow as if it were simply paying lip service to the original. If you get my message.
    Laffter, thank you.

  5. Laffter says:


    Welcome- I don’t agree with you on many things, but detente is ok too

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