As a movie fanatic, I really enjoy the ones that take me back to my childhood. The films that make me reminisce about the simpler times when being responsible was something I wasn’t obligated to do. Then there are the films that take me back to watching them for the first time with my mother, who is also a movie fanatic. As a child, it was hard to explain why these particular films left a huge impact on me. Now, I take this opportunity to share with you the ten films that either bring me joy or leave such an impression on my soul. These are ten films that will make all of us miss our childhood.
Cooley High created the blueprint for movies like Boyz N Da Hood. When I watched this, my young spirit was touched by the grittiness and the realness expressed throughout this film. I realized growing up in the inner city in the 70s was no different from growing up in my generation. I wanted “Cochise” to make it out the hood so bad. When the unthinkable happened, my little heart was crushed. The ending of the movie serenades us during the last tear-jerking scene with “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye” by G.C. Cameron then transitions into an inspiring “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” by the Four Tops. That scene puts a lump in my throat every time.
I thought these white people were cool as hell! Watching this, my naive butt couldn’t wait to go to high school because Grease made it look “fun”. I wanted to be a pink lady & I wanted my man to be a Tbird! I wanted to throw slumber parties and attend the school dance! I wanted to be the dull bunny turned into a hot fox in front of all my friends!…and I don’t think anyone knows all the lines word from word like I do.
Crooklyn was released in 1994 but the setting took place in the 70s. Loosely based on Spike Lee’s life, I got a taste of what it would have been like being raised with a bunch of boys. A lot of what was in the movie I remember hearing about from our parents’ generation. The soundtrack to this coming-of-age film is refeshing to listen to. It was also refreshing to see a portrayal of real family life displayed on the silver screen with both mommy and daddy and no violence involved.
I thought I would never see a black version of The Wizard of Oz and even wondered if there would ever be one. When I discovered The Wiz, it was a big deal not only to me, but black folks were excited! Especially when we learned of the all-star cast who would play the legendary characters. My lil heart skipped three beats when I saw Michael Jackson as the scarecrow. By the end of the movie, I was ready for a brand new day!
I don’t remember much about Car Wash other than watching it with my mom. However, I can recall being impressed with how all the scenes were captured, giving us the illusion that it was filmed all in one day. The movie had a “the day in the life” appeal to it. Each character had unique personalities ranging from quirkiness to socially conscious.
Krush Groove is one of the most impressive films of my generation. We were in awe of all the stars in one film. From Kurtis Blow to Sheila E. to Run DMC to LL Cool J, this film set the foundation for other movies to feature musicians as actors.
Reeces Pieces made a lot of coins when E.T. was released. Why? Because the popular candy was the trail that led E.T. into his earthly home with “Elliott”. E.T. was a phenomina and the biggest grossing film in 1982. The big-blue-eyed alien was adorned by many fans, young and old…including Michael Jackson (remember the picture?) The E.T. franchise included games, dolls, apparel, and so much more. To this day, the endng when he returns home still makes me cry. You know the scene when the symphonic music plays while the spaceship’s door closes in around his beating heart?…yeah…that one. “sigh”.
Breakin’ impressed me so much, I wanted to form a break dancing group but couldn’t break dance if my life depended on it. I think everyone’s favorite character was “Turbo” thanks to the famous illusion scene with the broom.
Uptown Saturday Night
As a child, I couldn’t follow what was going on in the R Rated movie’s plot. However, I remember seeing a young Bill Cosby and a young Sydney Poitier and thought how cool they were. I was delighted to see Mr. Poitier in a film where he wasn’t playing a “serious” and dramatic role.
I remember seeing ALL of Purple Rain in the movies at the tender age of nine…LOL. Aside from my mom who tried to cover my eyes during the “nekkid parts”, my young self was mesmerized by this man’s sensuality. Prince became a hit in my little world since I left the theater that night. I will still rock out with the soundtrack today, because it’s one of the best soundtracks in movie history, in my opinion! I love the story about a the struggling musician who also struggles with a dysfunctional family while trying to “make it”. It gave my little soul so much inspiration, showing me that you can do anything, no matter your circumstances. He won the hearts of the fans and the girl at the end. Success and love…#Winning.