ten movies that remind me of growing up

Last week for #throwbackthursday, I presented a list of nine books that (pretty much) shaped my childhood. While I do have more such lists in the works (I do love books, you know), I wanted to do something a bit different for this week.

This list of films is not definitive, but there are plenty of movies in here that will either make you go Wow, I remember when that came out! or You watched that as a child? or even, you know, Wait, she’s young enough to consider Lord of the Rings movies from her childhood? Ack!

(I was nine when Fellowship of the Ring was released, so–yes. Yes, I am that young.)

Youthfulness aside, I present to you: ten movies that remind me of growing up–and that I’ve seen more times than I can count. In chronological order by release date, because that’s how I roll.

1. The Music Man (1962)

Music Man DVD


The minute your son leaves the house, does he re-buckle his knickerbockers below the knee? Is there a nicotine stain on his index finger? A dime-novel hidden in the corncrib? Is he starting to memorize jokes from Captain Billy’s Whiz-Bang? Are certain words creeping into his conversation? Words like “swell” and “so’s your old man”? If so my friends, ya got trouble!


If you’ve never seen this movie, I am sorry for your loss. The songs are absolutely hysterical (see above lyric for example). Plus,  you know, I have a penchant for redemptive character arcs and con movies.


2. Mary Poppins (1964)


 In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and SNAP! the job’s a game!


One of my grandmothers used to tell me we’d get to the grocery store (or home, or church, or wherever we were going when I asked “How much longer?!”) by the time I could say  supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I couldn’t even get past the first syllable.


Then we got the soundtrack to Mary Poppins and, suddenly, I could say the word at least fifty times before we got anywhere at all! Other favorite lines that were quoted at us as we grew up: “Enough is as good as a feast.”

3. The Sound of Music (1965)

sound of music

You are the twelfth in a long line of governesses who have come here to look after my children since their mother died. I trust you will be an improvement on the last one. She stayed only two hours.


I don’t even know what to add to this one, except perhaps that this became even more of a favorite movie of mine after I assistant stage managed a production of it during high school. An excellent story, full of ridiculously catch songs.


I mean, come on, you all know My Favorite Things. I know you do. Everyone does.

4. The Love Bug (1968)

love bug

Carole Bennett: Mr. Douglas, if there is anything wrong with the car, would you be good enough to tell me what it is?

Jim Douglas: Well, there’s nothing essentially wrong with the car. It’s just that it wants to go one way and I’d like to go the other.


You might not think a movie about a rather lively car is for you. You’d be wrong.


Also surprisingly worth checking out: the sequels.

5. What’s Up, Doc? (1972)


Judy: Love means never having to say you’re sorry.

Howard: That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard.


Once upon a time when I was in fifth grade or so, one of my friends had a movie marathon birthday slumber party. Everyone brought a movie, and then we figured out which ones we would actually watch. My friend’s younger sister had us watch this one, and I’ve been in love with it ever since. I’ve mentioned my penchant for con movies. This is sort of like a con movie, but it’s more of a… well, it’s a screwball comedy. We’ll leave it at that, except that it starts with a bunch of matching suitcases.


You can only imagine the shenanigans that ensue once they get switched about (until you watch this movie, and then you can enjoy them as much as I do). 

6. Star Wars (Episodes IV, V, and VI, 1977-1983)


A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…


As if the movie wasn’t good enough, the score is by John Williams–and remains one of the most recognizable themes of all time. 


Side effects may include the desire to run around making lightsaber noises and pretending to battle any one in sight.

7. The Princess Bride (1987)

The Princess Bride (1987) 3

Is this a kissing book?




Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.


Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.


Mawwiage. Mawwaige is what bwings us togevah today. Mawwiage, dat bwessed awwangement. Dat dweam wivvin a dweam.


As you wish.


(Need I go on? Because I can do this all. day.)

8. The Sandlot (1993)


If you haven’t seen it, I only have one thing to say to you:


You’re killing me, Smalls.

9. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)


You seek a great fortune, you three who are now in chains. You shall see things, wonderful to tell. You shall see a… a cow… on the roof of a cotton house, ha! And, oh, so many startlements.


Probably the best adaptation of The Odyssey you’re ever going to see. Ever. Stop trying the others. This one takes the cake.


Plus, you know, the soundtrack really can’t be beat.

10. The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)


It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.


Those were the stories that stayed with you.


I can’t even really write about this; I’d start spiraling out of control and be here all night. Suffice to say: The Lord of the Rings is one of the best stories I’ve ever read, watched, or heard (we listened to The Two Towers on audiobook during one particularly lengthy journey South). Definitely the sort of story that stays with you.


That’s all for this week. Yes, I realize there is no Mean Girls. I realize there is no Disney animated feature or Pixar movie or even Classic Hollywood, which I adore. I am sure, however, that such lists will come your way eventually, so feel free to let me know if you’d be interested in a particular subcategory of film/literature/etc. to be explored in a #throwbackthursday post–I am definitely open to suggestions!


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