The parents in our building would give their children a dollar and send us on our way. A dollar would get us a ticket, a small popcorn, and a drink. About twenty of us kids would troop over, and we would all sit in the very front row. Then we would discuss the movie on the quick walk home, and continue our discussions on the bus to school the next morning.
In the summer, when we didn't have school, I would often go to the movies by myself. My parents thought nothing of it. Most of the time they didn't even know what was showing, and neither did I. I just checked out the poster to make sure that it wasn't too scary looking. One of these nights, the movie Young Frankenstein was being screened. It was rated PG, but the guy at the ticket office didn't even bat an eye when I purchased a ticket. I suppose that I looked big for a nine year old.
I was familiar with Frankenstein, so I was expecting a horror movie. Boy, was I surprised! I enjoyed the film, even though I didn't understand most of what was happening. I loved Marty Feldman's facial expressions and Peter Boyle's singing. Much of the script flew over my head, however. There were a great many double entendres, you see. I had no idea what a double entendre happened to be. For instance, when Gene Wilder is helping Terri Garr out of the wagon and he comments "What knockers!", I had no idea they were talking about breasts. I thought they were talking about the actual door knockers. Terri Garr singing about rolling in the hay? I thought she was singing about playing in the hay, not [air quotes]playing[air quotes] in the hay. My mom, on the other hand, quickly asked me to stop singing "Roll, Roll, Roll in the hay!" as I dressed for school the next day.
I was suddenly popular, because kids my age weren't supposed to see PG movies without a parent. There might have been things in that movie that could have stunted my emotional growth, after all. (Jaws was rated PG when it first came out, for those who need context.) I may not have understood most of the movie, but I was perfectly willing to bask in the brief glow of fleeting fourth grade fame.
Many years later, with the invention of the BetaMax, my parents purchased a copy of Young Frankenstein. I watched it again and again, as a sixteen year old, and this time I actually got the jokes. All of them. I've been a Mel Brooks fan ever since.
1.) A movie you loved as a child.