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What Was The Hardest Film For You To See? (1 Viewer)

Sultanofcinema

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Joseph Barrett
During my movie lifetime. I always tried to see a film first day or several days after, knowing the movie might disappear. Risking my life in the 70's at the Plaza, Central and Fabian in Paterson, N.J. to see all of the blaxploitation and Kung Fu films, where could I see The Kremlin Letter, why is no one running Romeo Is Bleeding, seeking out the theaters that were running Hammer Horror in the 60's and haunting The Cinema Village, The Regency, The Thalia and The Film Forum for revivals of international films that barely reached our shores. Good or bad even De Palmas Body Double and Femme Fatale had very limited engagements. What lengths did you go to to find a theater running a film that you badly wanted to see?
 

John Sparks

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Having to sit thru I WANT TO LIVE just to see THE LOST MISSLE in 1958, For a 9 year old, I would have done almost anything to see that movie!
 

Angelo Colombus

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In 1989 me and my brother traveled 40 miles to Chicago to see Lawrence of Arabia at the McClurg Court theater which had a very big screen at that time.
 

Winston T. Boogie

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Well, I guess I will have to think on that. I've been to some odd showings. A sneak 1am in the morning show of Malick's The Thin Red Line. That was an odd one because on the drive home the sun was coming up. My wife, before she was my wife, went to that with me and she calls that the most memorable movie experience of her life.

The first thing that comes to mind was the last time I was turned away from a theater. It was for The Blair Witch, I went to the cinema expecting to be able to just buy a ticket and the picture was sold out...for the next 2 1/2 weeks! So, I bought a ticket for a show 2 1/2 weeks later. I ended up going to grab a bite to eat and as I walked past the theater again they had put up a sign saying the show was not sold out for the next 3 1/2 weeks. In the hour it took me to grab some food! I think it was sold out for 6 straight weeks in advance within a couple of days of when I bought my ticket.

Then I recall the night I saw the film, standing in this huge line with all the other people that bought advanced tickets. Everybody was so excited to see the picture, so much buzz in the air. Then theater employees began handing out vomit bags, like on an airplane, while we were waiting in line, while some person made an announcement to please utilize the vomit bags in the event of sickness and not to try to run to the restroom to vomit.

I was laughing, thinking it was a con and asked the guy handing me a bag if they were serious. He said "Oh yeah, you'll see." and I asked what I would see and he said "People vomit at every show. We are sick of cleaning it up. I can't wait until this movie is gone but it keeps selling out every show. I want to quit!"

I asked why they were vomiting, was it because it was so gory and he said "No, you'll see." and walked away. Sure enough, people vomited in the theater and sure enough people went running up the aisles toward the rest rooms. Probably one of the worst movie experiences of my life. I did not get sick but I also thought the film was crap.

Add to that the vomiting sounds and people running for a bathroom and I just could not wait for the thing to end. So, hard to see, yes! Hard to sit through, yes! Just awful really.
 

Walter Kittel

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If standing in line during the afternoon of the first day of Summer in Texas counts :) ...

A good friend and I went to the West side of Houston early in the afternoon on June 21st, 1980. We had anticipated waiting in line for a while and arrived about 1 hour or so before the next showing of The Empire Strikes Back. Well, we had to wait for the current showing to dismiss and the next showing. We basically got cooked for about 3 or 3 1/2 hours before being able to enter the theater. (Temperature was probably in the mid 90s and there were times when we had to wait in direct sunlight.) Stepping into the Air Conditioning was quite pleasant, even if the film had been disappointing. Anyway, we had a great time and it was most definitely worth the wait.

To contrast that experience, I was amazed in 1999 when I was able to walk right up to the ticket booth and purchase a late evening ticket for The Phantom Menace (although I didn't go until a few days after the premiere.)

- Walter.
 

Sultanofcinema

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Winston,
I still have my vomit bag for the first movie rated V for violence! Mark Of The Devil! Distributed by Hallmark Releasing! As far as the sun coming up, I went to a dusk to dawn drive in show (Anthony Wayne Wayne N.J.) with my brothers to see Tales From The Crypt, The House That Dripped Blood, Night Of The Living Dead and one of the Don't films. House That Dripped Blood ran last and all of my brothers fell asleep during the beginning. As the end credits were rolling on the screen, the sun came up right behind the screen. Never will forget this. Wonderful memory.
 

Sultanofcinema

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Walter,
This happened to my girlfriend, now my wife and I Thanksgiving week with Looking For Mr. Goodbar at Totowa Cinema on Rt 46. It was snowing and we had to wait for the next show. She was very brave. I loved the film and she hated it.
 

Winston T. Boogie

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Winston,
I still have my vomit bag for the first movie rated V for violence! Mark Of The Devil! Distributed by Hallmark Releasing! As far as the sun coming up, I went to a dusk to dawn drive in show (Anthony Wayne Wayne N.J.) with my brothers to see Tales From The Crypt, The House That Dripped Blood, Night Of The Living Dead and one of the Don't films. House That Dripped Blood ran last and all of my brothers fell asleep during the beginning. As the end credits were rolling on the screen, the sun came up right behind the screen. Never will forget this. Wonderful memory.

It would have been cool as a keepsake if the vomit bag had the film logo on it or some sort of art related to the picture. It was just a plain white vomit bag like the ones you would find on a plane. The theater did not begin handing them out until after they had shown the film several times. At which point they discovered that the handheld camera work by the amateur actors caused motion sickness. So, more frightening than the film was on the first several showings the theater ended up being a vomit fest. Plus there was the problem that many people vomit at the sight or sound or smell of someone else vomiting. When I was watching the film sitting in the theater and the vomiting began, I was uncomfortable thinking someone close to me, I was there alone, was going to start throwing up. It honestly was the most gruesome cinema experience I ever had. Plus the show was sold out, so people were struggling to get from their seats to the aisle, while trying to vomit into a bag. It was awful. I really wanted to leave but it seemed so ridiculous getting tickets to the film I stayed and stuck it out. I could not wait to get out of there though.

When I was leaving, I said to a woman working at the theater, "I feel so sorry for you having to deal with this!" and she said "This is going to go down as the worst job I have ever had. I thought I would be taking tickets and instead I am cleaning up puke!"

I flashed back to this during Triangle of Sadness during the big dinner scene. The only difference was that I could not really see the people vomiting, I could hear it, and could see them staggering about. Lots of people asked me about seeing Blair Witch after I saw it because you had to book tickets weeks out. This was in part because it began with limited engagements before I think they expanded it. People treated it like the new Exorcist. I told everyone that asked not to go, that the movie looked like a bad student film and people were vomiting due to the amateur camera work causing motion sickness.

I was glad I could not get tickets for the first 2 1/2 weeks because it took them about a week and a half before they started to give out the vomit bags. Before that, people threw-up all over the cinema.
 

Matt Hough

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I got my uncle to agree to a summer trip to NYC so I could see That's Entertainment! since it wasn't coming to my city until much later in the summer. We usually went to NYC once or twice a year anyway to shop and see Broadway shows, but he had decided in 1974 to go at Christmas and not the summer, and I convinced him otherwise. I felt a little guilty at first, but not when he told me as we came back home that That's Entertainment! was the best movie he'd ever seen and better than any of the Broadway plays we attended that summer (A Little Night Music, The Women revival, The Sunshine Boys).
 

Sultanofcinema

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Joseph Barrett
Hey Matt,
I took my girlfriend, now my wife to see That's Entertainment first run at Cinema 46 the day it opened. It was glorious. We went to see it when it "saturated" again four weeks later and the print was missing about 17 minutes! Entire sequences were gone. They used to do this with films (Patton, A Bridge Too Far, It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World). The idea was to run more shows per day.
 

Indy Guy

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Tony Baxter
For me it was Empire Strikes Back...
a 5 am showing at The Egyptian in Hollywood. Everyone in our group was loading up on coffee and donuts to keep awake in the queue. When the 2:30 am show let out, a ton of young kids came running out squealing with delight.
It blew me away that their parents were fine with them getting to go to a 2:30 am show!
After seeing the film, we emerged into the morning sun completely stunned. Daylight brought the sad reality that a regular workday was about to begin...
The roadshow of Paint Your Wagon premiered at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. The reviews were not great, so we figured it would be easy to get walk-up tickets...wrong! After driving an hour to get there, we had to hustle over to Beverly Hills to see another roadshow that had opened that same month. It also had mixed reviews and sounded boring to a bunch of young college guys. Still we couldn't come all this way without seeing an event film, so we reluctantly bought tickets to a "consolation movie". The film was Goodbye Mr Chips, and we ended up loving it!
It would be a month before ticket demand for PYW died down enough to make the trek back up to Hollywood. When we finally got to see it, we thought it was terrific. You can't over exaggerate the difference between seeing a film in a great roadshow presentation vs a "now at regular prices" screening without intermission or surround sound. We even found the "singing" by Peter O'Toole in Chips, and Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood in PYW to be more than acceptable when viewed on a massive screen accompanied by lush choral work and stereo sound.
 

Sultanofcinema

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Joseph Barrett
Hey Indy Guy!
I'm so glad someone else enjoyed the remake of Goodbye, Mr. Chips!. Saw it when it opened and loved it as well as Peter O' Toole "talk singing" his way thru.
 

Sultanofcinema

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Joseph Barrett
For me it was Empire Strikes Back...
a 5 am showing at The Egyptian in Hollywood. Everyone in our group was loading up on coffee and donuts to keep awake in the queue. When the 2:30 am show let out, a ton of young kids came running out squealing with delight.
It blew me away that their parents were fine with them getting to go to a 2:30 am show!
After seeing the film, we emerged into the morning sun completely stunned. Daylight brought the sad reality that a regular workday was about to begin...
The roadshow of Paint Your Wagon premiered at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. The reviews were not great, so we figured it would be easy to get walk-up tickets...wrong! After driving an hour to get there, we had to hustle over to Beverly Hills to see another roadshow that had opened that same month. It also had mixed reviews and sounded boring to a bunch of young college guys. Still we couldn't come all this way without seeing an event film, so we reluctantly bought tickets to a "consolation movie". The film was Goodbye Mr Chips, and we ended up loving it!
It would be a month before ticket demand for PYW died down enough to make the trek back up to Hollywood. When we finally got to see it, we thought it was terrific. You can't over exaggerate the difference between seeing a film in a great roadshow presentation vs a "now at regular prices" screening without intermission or surround sound. We even found the "singing" by Peter O'Toole in Chips, and Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood in PYW to be more than acceptable when viewed on a massive screen accompanied by lush choral work and stereo sound.
I just want to let you know in response to your above post, the description and I know there is a lot of feeling underneath, what you describe about your Empire Strikes Back viewing, with all you saw and felt, the sun coming up, your "daylight brought the sad reality of a regular work day about to begin" happened to me many times and that's why when someone looked at my boxes of movie stubs from the 60's,70's and 80's one day and asked me "don't you wish you had all of the money you spent on those films?". I said "no" right away because there are too many memories, like you describe exactly associated with the screening of a film.
 

TJPC

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I have one from childhood. We wanted to see Disney's "The Shaggy Dog", but when my mom got us to the Palace theatre in downtown Windsor Ontario, there was a line up wrapping around the building. We had to wait in line through two showings to finally get in. It was one of my first and most memorable experiences, and we loved the movie.
 

roxy1927

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vincent parisi
I seemed to always want to see films nobody else wanted to see. You always walked up to he box office with just enough time to hit the men's room before the film started. Just very old films or nobody ever heard of them but me.
 

Sultanofcinema

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Joseph Barrett
I seemed to always want to see films nobody else wanted to see. You always walked up to he box office with just enough time to hit the men's room before the film started. Just very old films or nobody ever heard of them but me.
Roxy, what would be some of those titles, because I was always told I went to see movies no one wanted to see.
 

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