An anonymous (aren’t they all?) Netizen inquires as to The Breakfast Club and related observational methodology.
Dear Sir or Madam:
I’m not sure when this Breakfast Club came out, but I’m fairly sure that your local theatre holds the answer. While I may be what some consider “out of the loop” as to today’s technology, I can assure you that there is no finer place to be than a darkened movie theater, preferably watching something in black and white.
Like most of us growing up during the latter stages of the Great Depression, we often found ourselves hoarding pennies and nickels and sneaking off to the matinée to watch men in bad hairpieces pursue women with bad accents. Often an evil German or Asian was involved, but sometimes it was just the white hats versus the black hats in a battle royale over water rights or conjugal visitation.
The movie theater was the greatest place on earth in those days. The screens measured nearly 125 feet across and stood 40 feet tall. Unlike these cracker jack multiplexes, our theater only showed one movie at a time, often for years in a row. My younger brother and I watched Alan Ladd in “Shane” no fewer than 334 times over the course of three years.
We got to the point where not only had we memorized the dialog, but we could pick out each continuity error, like the early scene where Ladd’s shot glass switched from hand to hand no fewer than four times. Or a pivotal later scene that is marred by four seconds of Shane (Ladd) dressed head-to-toe in white, completely subverting the mythology of the character.
This doesn’t even mention the regrettable error in the final scene, where the climax is undercut by Van Heflin’s accent, which goes from Western American to Scottish to Klingon in a three-minute span. And let’s not even bring up the sudden appearance of a laser pistol in a baddie’s hand during the barroom brawl.
I’ve headed far away from my point and most likely taken away a great deal of your precious time. My answer is: with your eyes, at your local theater. If they’re anything like I remember them, Breakfast Club should still be playing.
Clifton L. Tanager