There has been an ongoing survey on Facebook where friends who are tagged are asked to pick five movies that have long stayed with them.
Reading through people’s lists, one can easily tell how romantic, thrill-seeking, or even eclectic their friends’ tastes are. Alas, one could also tell how old someone is from the list!
And so, over Sunday dinner, my family and I bantered about our most memorable movies.
For all of us, the no. 1 spot goes to the inimitable classic The Sound of Music, the Julie Andrews-starrer whose every lyric and melody we all know in minds and hearts. The picture-perfect Austrian landscape featured in this film made us all yearn to visit Vienna and Salzburg for years.
The next four movies come in no particular order. Another favorite musical classic is Singing in the Rain, and the unforgettable scene where Gene Kelly gracefully tap dances and splashes around in his signature Oxfords. There is also West Side Story with its perfectly choreographed dance numbers. Then, there is there is that not-so-popular movie called Slipper and the Rose, a Cinderella-inspired film featuring Richard Chamberlain singing and waltzing in Victorian costume.
Being such hopeless romantics, my family and I will always cherish such movies as An Affair to Remember—the one movie that always leaves me in tears. Who could ever get over that last scene where the affable Cary Grant walks into the room and figures out that Deborah Kerr is the wheelchair-bound patron who bought his portrait?
So too will we always fancy Nicholas Spark’s The Notebook, a perfect narrative of how couples can commit to love “till death do us part.” We also love The American President, where Michael Douglas and Annette Benning portray love and romance in the White House; Notting Hill and Hugh Grant (need I say more); and The Promise a love story with Stephen Collins and Kathleen Quinlan acting as young lovers torn apart by tragic circumstances then reconciled by fate. All these romantic movies depicted true love in the best and simplest ways.
But of course, there are movies too that brought to life our adventure and sci-fi fantasies. Thanks to George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, we will forever be haunted by the great white shark in Jaws (the one movie that made us all afraid to swim in open waters); sleepless at the thought of being alone in a house because of Poltergeist; amazed at Indiana Jones and Harrison Ford’s dauntless adventures; and star-struck by Star Wars. In the early ‘80s, these movies made our fantasies and fears seem so real and possible.
Yet, not to be outdone, our Filipino films also left an indelible mark in our lives. Back in high school, Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion in Dear Heart left us all giddy. From the first scene with Sharon riding a horse, we became part of the life of the poor little rich girl named April, the character that young girls all dreamt of being back then.
We also grew up watching the old Filipino black and white films of which Dance-o-Rama was the best-loved one. Summer after summer, we would spend afternoons pouring over kundiman films with Rogelio dela Rosa, Juancho Magalona, Gloria Romero, Susan Roces, and so many other veteran actors.
For certain, each generation will have its own list of movies that stay, a list so unique to a time and era. Yet, we will all agree that far from merely entertaining us movies that stay with us are those that tug at our heartstrings the most.