Just as Hollywood’s leading man, John Wayne, exacerbated my seaweed phobia as recently shared, another of Cinema’s leading men from the 40’s changed my attitude towards play and life in general.
I must have been very impressionable as a child, although at no time did I pick up any of my mother’s genteel interests such as lacework, tapestry or sewing. I remember being gifted an old Singer sewing machine when I was twelve. Eventually it made a half decent decoration in the garden.
Back to this particular leading man, another tall chap with swagger.
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex was released in 1939 and starred Bette Davis as Queen Elizabeth 1, a simpering Olivia de Havilland, and Errol Flynn as the Earl of Essex. The circumstances don’t matter much for this exercise. What countered was the fact that a dashing Earl of Essex, lost his head. Literally. Chop, chop, chop, it fell into the basket beside the chopping block.
It must have been a few years before the dreaded giant squid episode – Go here – and I remember being devastated and screaming like a banshee. Poor Captain Blood. Oh, my precious Robin Hood.
It’s okay. I did recover my sensibilities. Of a sort.
I took to decapitating the heads of the few dolls possessed by other family members. The original Wednesday Adams. Headless Barbie’s were de rigour in my home.
My mother was aghast. My father bought me a cap gun and an Indian teepee for the back garden. Too much TV, he said.
Have any movies shaped your life? Please share……..
NB Apologies for the lack of Literary references. Having one of those spells when every book you pick up is just……dreadful. Thank goodness for the charity book sale this weekend!