Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Summer of cinema: Destry Rides Again

It's strange the memories that take hold in the mind, isn't it?  Not just which events, but what aspects of it stick.  When I was a kid, my best friend and I would go with our parents to the Paramount Theater, for what I think was a season of family-friendly stage shows.  After that we would go for dinner across the street.  I have some vague memories of sitting in the theater (of course, I remember it as being much bigger than it actually is) and eating dinner (I want to say there was soft serve ice cream), but most of all I remember the drive home.  I'm not sure why the clearest mental snapshot I have is of us all in the car, just after exiting the highway and turning off the frontage road.  I suppose it's a lot like buying a young child a fancy new toy and having them play with the box.

But still, every time I pass the Paramount, I think of those times and smile.  And this summer, I plan on indulging often in nostalgia, both personal and cinematic, because I've bought a Flix Tix pass for their Summer Classic Film series, good for ten admissions over the course of the next few months.  And that means it's good for at least ten blog posts about the movies I go to see.

Last week, I bought my booklet of tickets and used the first one to see a classic I hadn't seen before, and hadn't actually heard much about: 'Destry Rides Again'.

I've always been a bigger fan of Western comedies than Western dramas, and this one stars James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich to boot.  Pun absolutely intended.  I'll pretty much give any movie with Jimmy a try, and this doesn't disappoint.  If only there were more cowboys like him roaming around Austin, drinking milk and whittling napkin rings.

The movie is also apparently a heavy influencer of 'Blazing Saddles', a Mel Brooks movie that I've been watching since way before it was age-appropriate, so it was kind of cool to see the seeds of that here.  Especially noticing how spot-on Madeline Kahn's version of Marlene Dietrich's version of a saloon showgirl.

This is one of those easy-to-watch classics that I think everyone can enjoy, whether you come into it with a crush on Jimmy Stewart or having no idea who Marlene Dietrich is.  A great start to my cinematic summer!

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