To quote the John Lennon song that’s been on the radio for more than a month:
Another year over
A new one just begun
And so it is with us at the annual New Year’s Eve party at my brother’s place. Since we’re all getting just a little wiser as we get older (despite our best efforts to the contrary), we’ve eased up – yet again – on the food being served. (Alas, the days of Mountain Dew, mini hot dogs, meat-balls, chocolate eclairs, and just about every other food known to man designed to kill without mercy have faded into the distant past…)
On to the movies!
The first feature to help us “ring in the new” was Welcome Stranger (1947).
This film reunites Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald in a sort of non-priestly reprisal of their roles in the highly popular and acclaimed Goin’ My Way (1944) – just to determine whether lightning could strike twice.
Did it strike twice?
But that’s ok, because this was a pleasant – even charming – start to the New Year’s Eve film viewing.
From here it was off to the pool room to shoot some pool while my brother fixed the traditional Reuben sandwiches.
“The Ol’ Scotty-Man” won!
(And the sandwiches, per usual, were perfect…)
City Slickers (1991) was one of those magical films of my early 30s. It just tugged all the right heart-strings and was incredibly entertaining to boot.
In this evening’s revisiting, it didn’t have the impact that the first viewing did more than 20 years ago. (Geez, was it that long ago?)
The story involves Billy Crystal and his buddies, each 40-ish, and each having their own version of a mid-life crisis. One of the group suggests that they go on a two-week cattle drive.
As I mentioned earlier, the film didn’t have the same impact that it did when I first saw it.
The one thing it did retain, however, was the message – and it turns out to be a perfect message for staring into the eyes of a brand new year.
The messenger is none other than the menacing Jack Palance (as “Curly”), who has seen numerous “city slickers” over the years coming out to herd cattle, hoping they’ll lose their problems in the wilderness. He teaches Billy Crystal that the secret of life is finding that One Thing (click here).
Admittedly, not a very encouraging bit of advice on the surface; however, isn’t a big part of life involved in trying to filter out all the extraneous crap to find what’s truly important? If we’re lucky (or perhaps, diligent), we’ll find it.
And this movie was a very happy reminder of what to look for!
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Well, it’s a little after 2:00 am and I’m tired… May each of you succeed in finding your own One Thing this year – and may it fill you with the warm glow of happiness for years to come. Happy new year!