I was eleven when I fell in love with romance. Audrey Hepburn wasn’t the first actress who helped that happen. Probably. The order of movies and books is a bit confused in my memory. I already loved to read and had connected The Moonspinners movie with the book by Mary Stewart, but the movie was pretty meh compared to the book.
When I saw How To Steal a Million—dubbed an “elegant caper movie”—starring Audrey Hepburn and Petter O’Toole, the mix of humor, suspense and romance struck my eleven-year-old heart and mind like lightning. I didn’t just fall in love with the story. I fell in love WITH the mix of romance, action, suspense and humor. I fell in love with the way they used these elements to tell the story.
I think I saw the movie at the drive-in. I think we saw more movies in the summer because we were a small, unruly mob (four brothers, one sister). My mom would pop a large, grocery bag’s worth of popcorn and sometimes she made home-made root beer. Or mixed up some Kool-aid. We were expensive to entertain, even during days of 10 cent hot dogs.
We had to wait for the sun to set so we could see the movie. And back then, the speakers hung on a slightly rolled down window. That let in the mosquitoes. I think I spent my summers covered in bites and scabs (from biffing it on my bike).
We’d get a bit restless waiting for the cartoon to start. The screen faced West and the sun set very late. Some years later, they turned the screen’s back to the sun, but back then we waited. And waited.
And then we waited some more.
I don’t remember the cartoon.
I remember the movie.
I loved the movie.
I loved it so much the cramped quarters with annoying brothers didn’t matter. Or the bugs.
I don’t remember when the popcorn ran out. Or the root beer.
I would have seen it again, if I could have.
No VCRs or DVD or Blu-ray players back then. And a big family with a tight budget. Eventually I got my own copy. I can watch it when ever I want, but back then I had to carry it in my head. It’s only looking back that I realize how much I looked for those elements in my reading and how I eventually wove it into my own storytelling.
I also became a fan of Audrey Hepburn. While I haven’t loved every movie she made, I have a lot of respect for her. She was classy and kind and advocate for children. And no, technically this isn’t an ode.
So yeah, there won’t be singing, and no lyrical stuff on this blog. But there is gratitude to a wonderful actress who brightened my life while I was growing up and—I believe—helped me become a better writer.
So, what about you? Any movies and/or actors/actresses that brightened your life and/or nudged you into doing something wonderful? Because you know, comments are both welcome AND entered into my monthly drawing for AnaBanana gift basket (worth $25). Winner is announced the first blog post of the new month.
Pauline used to imagine she was the lead in her favorite movies, though she tended to “edit” the plots. Eventually she wrote her own stories, created her own characters, but their roots trail back to Pauline’s favorite movies and books. You can find out more about her books on her website. Or here on this blog. No matter where you look, don’t forget to sign up to hear about her new release newsletter. 🙂
“. . . . a remarkable new talent . . Pauline Baird Jones and her hilarious novel [The Spy Who Kissed Me] make their debut. Written in first person, this adventurous romp is a 14 karat gem, and I for one would love to see more from this vastly amusing author.” Romantic Times
Buy The Spy Who Kissed Me on Amazon in digital or audio.
Used print available. Prime members borrow for free. 🙂