Favorite Movies from Childhood

By Jeff Salter

Yeah, I’m interpreting this week’s topic to be the movies I most enjoyed as a kid … many of which I still enjoy as an adult.

The largest category (which actually spills over into the other categories) is what I’ll call heroic adventures. I loved all the Tarzan films (especially those with Johnny Weismuller and Maureen O’Sullivan) and loved the Disney-fied Davy Crockett movies with Fess Parker.

In terms of genre, the films I liked best were westerns and war movies — both of which featured heroic adventures in one way or another.

Among westerns, I really liked many of the films of Gary Cooper and John Wayne (among others)… and I was also a big fan of Dale Robertson (who had at least one feature film in addition to his TV series, “Wells Fargo”). One particular favorite ensemble film was “The Magnificent Seven”.  There were probably scores of other westerns which I really liked from that era.

Among war movies, I really liked “The Great Escape”, “Imitation General”, and “Hell is for Heroes.” And countless others that I simply can’t recall at the moment.

Another big favorite category was the swashbucklers. Errol Flynn was great in several, as was Burt Lancaster.

And, as is probably no surprise, I really enjoyed the early offerings of Disney.  In live action, some of my favorites were “Parent Trap,” “Old Yeller,” “Thomasina,” and “That Darn Cat.”
Among the animated features, I really enjoyed “Bambi,” “Lady and the Tramp,” and “Peter Pan.”

If we’d had VHS or DVD or PPV or DVR back when I was a kid, I fear I never would have left the house!  Loved movies back then … and still do.

Which movies were among YOUR favorites when you were a kid?

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About jeff7salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Twelve completed novels and five completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015, "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015, "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015, "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014, "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014, "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014, "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014, "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013, "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013, "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013, "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012, "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012. Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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26 Responses to Favorite Movies from Childhood

  1. pjharjo says:

    I enjoyed your post, Jeff. In answer to your question, I would have to agree the cowboy movies were my favorites. (still a cowgirl at heart) My mind just immediately went to animated when I thought of childhood movies for my Tuesday post. I did think of all the superhero movies that are out nowadays, though, but again did not think of them as “kids” movies, so didn’t write about them. The theaters are usually filled with adults when we go; we see as many of those as we can, too. 🙂 Those supers who are on the screen today are hunky. 😉 I’m sure that’s not why my bf likes them, though. LOL!

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  2. How could we ever have conceived of having movies at our fingertips when we were kids, huh,Jeff? I would have swooned over the thought!
    Actually,I had asked for the ones we enjoy now, but your post brought back a lot of memories; you and my brother would have been fast friends as kids! You would have been at our house, as the boys all gathered there for my mother’s baked goods and homemade french fries.
    The Magnificent Seven is still one of my all-tie favorite movies…right up in the very top few.
    I have a few words to say about a few others you mentioned tomorrow,

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    • jeff7salter says:

      as always, I’m looking forward to your column, Tonette.
      One of the highlights of Mag Seven is the stunning music!

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  3. I am so grateful that the Mag 7 was made back in the times when Standards and Practices were in effect.It makes for a much better movie and takes more talent on the part of the writers, director and actors to put the drama across subtly.

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  4. jbrayweber says:

    Raiders of the Lost Arc.

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  5. It doesn’t surprise me that you loved the old westerns! Seems right up your alley! 😉

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  6. Iris B says:

    Bwahahahahaha … the thought of you playing “Me, Tarzan, you, Jane” …. great!
    I like your interpretation of the theme this week and why am I not surprised to read about western. As previously mentioned, it’s not my kind of movies.
    I do like Bambi, although only on a very good day … always in need of a tissue box 😉
    We watched “The Crimson Pirate” last week and I wondered whether that’d be a movie you’d like.

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    • jeff7salter says:

      yes, the Crimson Pirate with Burt Lancaster was one of my childhood favs. Also Burt in “The Flame and the Arrow”.

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      • Iris B says:

        I’ve gotta find out the German title for that one, but I’m sure I’ve seen it as well. We watched heaps of his movies when I was a kid …. I liked him 🙂

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  7. Theresa says:

    I loved the annual showings of The Wizard of Oz and the live action Cinderella. Other favorites were Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. One of the neighbors and I often played Sound of Music together. I insisted on being Liesl, the oldest, and she was equally insistent on being Gretel, the youngest. Worked out well for us! The music I chose to walk down the aisle as a bride when I married was the wedding theme from Sound of Music, so I guess we have a winner! I did also enjoy the live action and animated Disney movies, although like Tonette, I’m a huge wimp and I never cared for those that were sad. Fantasia was, and still is, amazing.

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    • jeff7salter says:

      I have not yet seen the entire movie Fantasia … but have always wanted to.
      Was not a big fan of Wiz of Oz… though it did make a big impression on me. For years, I was frightened by flying monkeys.

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      • Theresa says:

        Considering what a scaredy cat I am about the movies I watch, it surprises me that I enjoyed TWOO as much as I did. Witches, flying monkeys (and those things were scary!) talking trees — still can’t believe I liked it!

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      • pjharjo says:

        I love all things Fantastic! (probably why I write the way I do) 🙂

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      • jeff7salter says:

        I’m glad I never saw it in color (as a kid) because the witch’s green face would have terrified me. Throughout my childhood, I thought she was grey.

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  8. Carol Todd says:

    I’m kind of with you on most of the ones you like, Jeff. I was a big Tarzan fan, and I have always loved westerns (the old ones). I also remember seeing “The Robe” and “Ben-Hur” and loving those. And as a high-schooler, James Bond was right up there, too. Overall, though, Tarzan and the westerns were on the top of my list. Have to admit, I didn’t care much for most of the musicals. I did enjoy some of the Disney flicks, like “Lady and the Tramp” and “Bambi” (tissues at the ready).Of course, Davy Crockett (Fess Parker) – the Disney productions – were also among my favorite films War movies – not me! Maybe one or two, but most just upset me.

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    • jeff7salter says:

      some of the modern day war movies are so gritty and rely so much on the shock value of the gore … that they can be quite intense to watch. Those older films (from the 40s & 50s and even 60s) still tend to gloss over the gore and focus on action and characters.
      Full Metal Jacket and Platoon, both from the early 80s, were among the first to capitalized on the gore and brutal carnage.

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    • pjharjo says:

      I agree, Carol. The life and death issues of Bambi et al didn’t upset me, but I must say I’ve never liked war movies and their upset value has gotten worse to this day.

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