“The Wizard of Oz” is my all-time favorite movie and has been since childhood.
How much do I love it?
Well, as a kid, it was an annual television event and the day after it aired, I would always act it out with my neighbor Vicky Stevens as Dorothy and me as the Scarecrow (insert your own joke here).
When it was rereleased to theaters in 1999 for its 60th anniversary, I took my then-2-year-old daughter Kaci to see it so it would be her first movie theater film. I still have the ticket stub.
When Rima Totah, a fellow board member of the Armijo Alumni Association, told me she hated the movie because the flying monkeys scared her to death as a kid, I forced her to take it back lest I unfriend her on Facebook and start a nasty rumor that she actually attended (gasp) cross-town rival Fairfield High.
Other local residents shared their favorite flicks:
Judy Leetham: In 1949, the movie “All the King’s Men” was filmed in Suisun City and Fairfield. Big movie stars in our midst – Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, Joanne Dru – that was amazing for our little part of the world! Lots of locals were in the movie and when it came to the theater, everyone was anxious to see so many local places and see themselves on the screen.
Linda Ueki Absher: The movie standing out for me is “When the Legends Die,” a small film released in 1972 about a young Ute Indian boy living traditionally in the forest who is left with white people after his family dies. The story centers on his struggles to fit into the white world. The movie really spoke to me since I had just arrived in the U.S. after living in Japan/Okinawa and was desperately trying to figure out American culture, with little success.
Tracy Vest: My favorite movie when I was a child was “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” Castles, a family living in a windmill, a flying car, toot sweets – what more could a kid want? As an adult, I toured Rothenburg, Germany, the town it was filmed in, and the magical castle in Garmisch, Germany, that was the one Disney based Sleeping Beauty’s castle on.
Albert Poole: “The Exorcist” came to the Americana Theater in 1974. I was 17 and took a 16-year-old girl and she almost drew blood from my arms with her fingernails. I had nightmares for days.
Robin McCoy: My favorite movie from childhood was “Grease.” I thought that was what high school was going to be like: The friends, the boys, the electricity and of course the music! When I got to high school and was so unsure of myself and never felt the thrill “Grease” gave me, I was disappointed. But to this day, every time “Grease” is on, I watch it and I still feel that magic from my youth.
Carl Lamera: Mr. Lederer showed us “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” during class. There was supposed to be learning about life in medieval times, but all I saw were people bringing out their dead, and if they weren’t dead, you clunked ‘em on the head for some extra coin.
The movie taught me to be very decisive, especially when crossing bridges guarded by crazy bridge men. I learned never to give up, even if you lose four limbs and a body. I also learned to stay away from rabbits. Most importantly, I learned migration patterns of African Swallows carrying coconuts.
Two weeks ago, my youngest son brought home a permission slip to watch “The Holy Grail” in class. I told him I’d sign it only if he could answer my question. As he changes his answer of his favorite color from red to blue, he went flying across the room from the catapult in our kitchen. Man, we love that movie in our house . . . .
Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at email@example.com.