26 July 2019

Movies 1960-1963


Movies 1960-1963
by
O'Neil De Noux

My father, an army CID Agent, was stationed at Camp Passalaqua, SETAF, Verona, Italy, from 1960 to 1963. We lived off base in the city of Verona –  one of the great experiences of my life. I was 10 when we arrived in Italy and was immediately disappointed there was no American television. No TV for three years. It wound up being one of the best things that happened to me because I read and read and read – children's books, adult fiction, non-fiction. Fell in love with the school library and the post library. I attended Verona American School, Borgo Milano, Verona, and spoke fluent Italian by the time we returned to the states.

I also fell in love with movies. The post theater changed movies every other day and we saw nearly every movie released between mid-1960 and mid-1963. I still think of them as Verona movies. There was no motion picture codes back then - no PG and PG13 ratings. Parents figured out what we could watch, which meant I was not allowed to watch any Alfred Hitchcock movie (Psycho came out in 1960) and any James Bond movie because of the naked women. My father came back from seeing Dr. No and said we could have gone with him, assuring my mother there were no naked women in the film. Just a woman in a bikini. I did get to see some movies with mature themes.

Verona movies. Viewed now, some were good, some bad but we kids loved seeing them all.

I remember ...

This great adventure –




Young, hot Jane Fonda –



Another great war story. Jane Fonda? No. Great beauty Dana Wynter. Smart. Sharp. Kenneth More was dynamite in a subdued role. The scene in the claustrophobic room when they learned HMS HOOD had blown up was riveting –



OK. I was 11 years old and loved this one –



I thought this was the best movie ever made when I saw it as a kid. Still think it's great –



I looked for Sidney Poitier in all subsequent movies. Saw A RAISIN IN THE SUN in 1961 too –



Wow. Great flick. Lee Marvin was such a great bad guy –



Didn't realize I liked musicals until I saw this one –



Scariest werewolf movie I've ever seen. This werewolf was awesome –



Fun. Fun. Fun. Even had Fabian –



The song sold me but hard to take my eyes off Capucine. What? Fabian again?



Did not realize the genius of David Lean yet. The panoramas. Peter O'Toole was fantastic. Omar Sharif was the coolest –



Still don't know what all the fuss was about with this one. Never thought Ann-Margaret was the "young Marilyn Monroe." Wasn't bad but ... I mean the hero was Bobby Rydell –




My parents did not realize the content of this one. It was about our home town. A movie about a "stylish New Orleans brothel" may have been a bit much for kids. Capucine and young Jane Fonda together in this one –



When you're a kid there was JERRY LEWIS. We also saw CINDERFELLA  –



Another mature movie. Natalie Wood was wonderful. Wasn't crazy about pretty boy Warren Beatty –



They kept this one around a while –



Several Elvis movies came around, this was the best. We also had GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! and BLUE HAWAII –



Glad I saw this when I was a kid. It left a big impression on me –



OK. Had a crush on Hayley Mills after this one –



Love this movie. Great songs. James Dean was the smoothest and got a crush on Deborah Walley.



So many other good movies came to the theater. Others I remember – THE LAST VOYAGE, THE LOST WORD (the one with Claude Rains), WHERE THE BOYS ARE, THE WACKIEST SHIP IN THE ARMY, THE MIRACLE WORKER, THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS, THE HORIZONTAL LIEUTENANT, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (Marlon Brando version), THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Herbert Lom version), IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD, ZOTZ!

That's all for now.
http://www.oneildenoux.com

10 comments:

Paul D. Marks said...

O'Neil, when I think of great eras of movie making I don't usually think of the early 60s. But your Verona Movies make a great list and some really good ones in there. I guess I'll have to rethink that.

Janice Law said...

Travel is an education in itself.

I had a completely different early experience with movies, our small town having one movie house and not a big selection.
Even so, I managed to disgrace myself with howls of protest over a couple of violent scenes in what was supposed to be a children's movie and was the only child in my Sunday school group that couldn't handle a flick on the stoning of St. Stephen.
Odd we both began to write mystery stories!

Eve Fisher said...

My favorite story of going to the movies with my father in the 60s was that we both loved sci-fi movies, while my mother liked horror films. So my father and I went to see - wait for it - Barbarella. Jane Fonda. The opening scene, she's doing a strip tease in the airlock. My father leans towards me (I'm eating popcorn) and says, "We won't tell your mother about this one." I nod. We watch the whole thing. Very educational movie. ;)

R.T. Lawton said...

You listed some great movies and brought back some good memories.

O'Neil De Noux said...

Thanks for the comments

Leigh Lundin said...

I'm dismayed how many of those I haven't seen. I didn't even know the plot of Bye, Bye, Birdie until I looked it up. See, our small county theatre awarded movie ticket to anyone making the honor roll, but my strict parents allowed me to use only a few.

But… the one film from that period that stands out in my mind was Irma la Deuce. Making a strong impression, it gave me a lot to ponder. I would encounter other novels by its author, Joseph Kessel, many years later.

The surprising thing is I was taken to see Irma la Deuce by one of my teachers which, judging from an earlier article, would amount to a serious offense these days. Then in innocence and earnestness, teacher and student afterwards discussed the ramifications, but who these days would believe?

John Floyd said...

I love this kind of thing, O'Neil. There were some great movies in those days.

Lawrence Maddox said...

Great bunch of movies, O’Neil! Liberty Valance is pretty brutal. There’s no better villain than Lee Marvin’s Liberty. I love the scene where Wayne tells him to pick up his steak. I’ll bet that flick gave you nightmares back then.

Leigh Lundin said...

Aargh. I just realized I mispoke above.

The movie I was thinking of was Belle du Jour, not Irma la Deuce!

Jeff Baker said...

I've seen most of these, but "Mad, Mad World" is the only one I saw back between '60 and '63 (It turned 3 in '63!) A couple of families in the neighborhood (including mine!) used to go to the drive-ins as a group back then! I DO remember seeing "Around the World in 80 Days" back then! Didn't see "Zotz!" or a lot of the others until they showed up on TV, years later. (And, O'Neil, I hadn't heard of a few of the movies you listed! I'll have to look them up!)