Movie Nights

Not too long ago, I decided it would be a good night to watch ‘The Beastmaster’, the 1982 fantasy film starring Marc Singer and Rip Torn.  I was in the mood for action, adventure, spray painted tigers, and a healthy dose of Tanya Roberts.  I can’t tell you how many times I have seen Beastmaster but it has been more than I could possibly attach an over exaggerated analogy to.  I first saw Beastmaster as a kid.  Wide eyed, amazed, and totally enthralled by the campiness, humor, and attempts to be serious, so-so sword fights and how an eagle was able to carry a child through the air.

As I made my intentions to watch Beastmaster known to the world of social media, one of my friends, @AlanKercinik, came up with an excellent idea.  Why not write about the movies from our childhood that we want to share with our kids?  Every day we are subjected to the droll of movies and television impacting our kids’ lives. It’s time we make our kids aware of the movies from our childhood that made lasting impressions on our lives (it might also help them understand why I constantly say ‘we’re gonna need a bigger boat’ every time we pack the car for vacation).

I have already introduced my kids to some of the movies I loved as a kid.  My kids have seen Gremlins, Ghostbusters, Goonies, Rocky, and Raiders of the Lost Ark just to name a few.  Some of the things I have tried to show my kids have been met with vigorous resistance while some of it has been greeted with open arms.

Since birth, I have meticulously planted seeds of Star Wars all around them (and for a second thought I was going to be able to sneak ‘Organa’ on my daughter’s birth certificate…damn my meddling wife).  I have gone off on long rants about ‘Empire’ being the best of the original three and been sure to deny the existence of the other movies I shall not name.  I have ‘shushed’ them during key sequences during the movies and have spent far too much money on Star Wars merchandise for each of them.   But Star Wars was as much a part of my life as anything else I had growing up (and full disclosure: still is).  Not only did the movie leave a lasting impression on my life but it did the same for our society and culture.

When I was a kid my parents shared similar things with me (probably because history may never have produced a more brutal remote control dictator than my father).  But I also know that my parents thought it was important I know of something else outside of my small parameter of influence.  So I listened to their music; I watched their television shows and the movies they liked so much.

I’m thankful for it.  Because of it, I have a sense of history, an appreciation for what came before, and consider myself better-rounded because of it (like why my high school Calculus teacher told me it was important I learn what a ‘cosine’ was).  I may not know every lyric to songs or every director, actor, or artist, but I know an awful lot of them and I can recognize and appreciate the people, places, and things that came before me and their effect on our culture.

I want the same for my kids. I share so many important lessons and “things” with my kids, why not share with them something as simple as a movie?  Why not let them in on the films I loved so much when I was their ages?  They should know, if only briefly, who and what came before Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel and Pixar.  Not that there is anything wrong with what they are being influenced by now but because I want them to be well-rounded too and one day I hope they’ll be doing the same thing with their kids.  So, like my parents shared with me, I am sharing with my kids.  I want them to know who Peter Venkman is, what is meant when someone says ‘By Crom!’, first you wax on then you wax off left circle then right circle, you could start Thermo-Nuclear war without having the Internet, that there was a time when it wasn’t safe to go in to the water, 88 mph was a key to time travel, being an archaeologist was the coolest job ever, Johnny 5 was definitely alive, you never feed a Magwai after midnight, sometimes an arcade game can be your initiation to becoming the last inter-galactic fighter pilot, and a long time ago, there was a galaxy far far away.


Have you thought about a movie you would share with your kids?  Have you already shared one?  We would love to know which one and why?  How did it impact you and how do you hope it impacts your kids?



The Beginning
About jetts31

Husband, father to two girls, dog walker, living with male pattern baldness. In addition to writing on his own site, Jimmy contributes to DadsRT,, and the Southern Berks News. He is the world record holder in his house for 'Best Hiding Spot' during Hide and Go Seek.


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  1. Oddly enough, the first movie from my youth that I watched with my oldest (5) was just yesterday, and it was the ACTUAL best of the three Star Wars movies, A New Hope.  Hide and jettison plans to destroy the Death Star in an R2 droid, rescue Princess who got captured because of this, escape trash compactor and accompanying monster, successfully deliver said plans to rebels, and THEN destroy Death Star without the aid of on-board X-wing computer?  All in one movie?  Not even a contest.
    Anyways, it was definitely an awesome feeling for him to be asking about light sabers and the force and Vader, but to be completely honest and with the luxury of hindsight, he was probably a tad too young.  The blowing up of a planet and the killing of Obi-Wan is probably a bit too heady for a 5yo.  All the laser shooting wasn’t horrible because there is no blood, and it’s almost like they are just falling down, plus Cars 2 ruined the innocence of shoot ’em up movies for my boy, but an entire planet being destroyed and Obi-Wan getting “chopped” were definitely on his mind well after this PG movie ended.  
    I was able to play up the Han Solo returning to help his friends angle and how Luke always kept fighting and trusted his instincts in the end with success, but yeah, a tad too young.
    With regards to me and my parents – there is no other reason in the world that I like Super Tramp other than my Mom blasting it around the house while she cleaned.  #GiveALittleBit

    • You couldn’t ask for a better movie to show your son…unless it was Empire (my favorite of the Star Wars movies).

  2. JamesHudyma says:

    I’ve watched Star Wars so many times with my daughter that when we recently watched Toy Story 2 (scene with Buzz and Zurg) she said, “Daddy!  This is just like Luke and his father, Darth Vader.”  I was so proud. 
    I worked at our local movie theatre for 6 years.  There are a lot of movies on my list.

  3. IbecameMyDad says:

    I was half a generation before you, Jimmy, and many of the movies I grew up with were, well, let’s just give Earthquake and Airport ’75 as examples. But there was also Charlie and the Chocolate factory, Blazing Saddles and my favorite, Young Frankenstein. Then there’s TV. We just recently rented all the old Get Smart episodes and watched them with our son (the old Batman, too). Of course, my son is a huge Scooby Doo fan and regularly points out a “new” DVD filled with episodes I watched at his age.
    I don’t know about the rest of you, but my son finds the pace of older movies–even the first few Star Wars films–too slow for his modern-media-induced short attention span. Too much plot development, back story and character establishment for his overstimulated kidbrain. I wish that weren’t the case, they really don’t make them like they–hey, wait a minute…I sound like my dad–Noooooooooo….

    • @IbecameMyDad My son was definitely bored at the beginning of A New Hope.  He got a taste of space right off the bat and wanted more, but was then squirmy and annoying the whole time Luke was futzing around Tatooine.  And no, they really don’t make them like they…. dammit.

    • Love Airport ’75. Let my kids watch the Towering Inferno too. They love Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Blazing Saddles might be my favorite comedy of all time. I was lucky growing up because my parents encouraged watching what they did (that and I had no choice because I wasn’t allowed to change the channel).

      I think my kids feel the same way. Plus the effects too. Even for TV, the effects are so much better (I know that might be debatable) than when you and I were kids.

  4. I’m with you on this. Thankfully, my youngest has VERY similar likes and dislikes, so I even get the pleasure of seeing her enjoy the Three Stooges, many of the cartoons I watched when I was a kid, and many of the movies.
    The problem with mine is the little oddities. For instance, she LOVES E.T., but is scared absolutely to death of him—kind of bittersweet. 
    Do I get a gold star for not having to think about any of the movies you referenced? :)

    • Gold star to you good sir.
      My kids weren’t in to ET. I tried but it was a no go.

  5. CandiDavis says:

    My husband and I are always watching and sharing movies, tv shows and even music with our kids. Everything from musicals, John Wayne, and b horror films. One of my daughters was amazed to find out one of her friends had not seen the original Adams Family, or even I Love Lucy. And books, well you get the picture! It’s more than sharing just the shows, it’s the memories.

    • @CandiDavis I Love Lucy is a classic! Every kids should watch it. That, and several other shows and movies that are in black and white. We always try to watch the old classic Christmas movies—White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life…
      One of my oldest daughter’s favorite people is Audrey Hepburn. She loves her.

    • I can not wait until my kids are old enough to handle some of the horror movies I loved as a kid. I’m going to start them on Halloween then move to Friday the 13th, then maybe to Evil Dead.

  6. ManvDadhood says:

    With my wife working in the evenings, we often have movie nights watching new movies that come out on video. However, I have been slowly indoctrinating my kids with my love of comic books. With the help of such kid-friendly shows as the Super Hero Squad, my daughter can recognize Loki, Thor, Iron Man Cap, and the rest when we watched The Avengers at a friend’s house. My son is starting to pic out the characters as well. More than anything, I will share this love with them. My daughter’s favorite character is Hulk, just like me. 😉

    • My youngest is a big Spidey fan. My oldest likes Wonder Woman. I’m always showing them characters from comics. My 7yo actually is starting to read my old comics too. Love it!

  7. buzzbishop says:

    @SaskaDad popped cloudy with chance meatballs last week. GREAT flick. Animation was fab, fresh storyline. #DadsRT

    • SaskaDad says:

      @buzzbishop thanks for sharing. My kids love that one too which is somewhat funny because they don’t really like eating.

      • buzzbishop says:

        @SaskaDad my kids don’t like eating either. Must be nice to live off air.

    • I love Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Favorite line: “Can you keep a secret?” “No.”

  8. DaddysinCharge says:

    @SaskaDad we love the Back to the Future.

    • readbradthedad says:

      @daddysincharge @SaskaDad That might be next for us. Wonder if enough action to hold kid’s interest or too much Under the Sea dance? #DadsRT

      • DaddysinCharge says:

        @readbradthedad @saskadad my kids loved it. They also loved Indiana Jones, Goonies

      • goodtimesdad says:

        @readbradthedad @daddysincharge @saskadad I love Back to the Future. My kids love the original 3 Star Wars movies.

        • DaddysinCharge says:

          @goodtimesdad @readbradthedad @saskadad Star Wars was over at my house about two years ago. They liked Harry Potter too.

        • readbradthedad says:

          @goodtimesdad @DaddysinCharge @SaskaDad Goonies is top 10 movie for me. Freakin love it. Might have to bump that up to next. #DadsRT

          • @goodtimesdad @DaddysinCharge @SaskaDad My kid enjoyed Goonies. Weren’t real fond of Gremlins. Not because of being scared either. I just don’t think they liked it. Ghostbusters is still a top 10 movie for my kids. They love it. And Jaws. I let my oldest watch it. She watches it all the time. May not have been the best parenting decision on my part now that I think about it 😉

        • goodtimesdad says:

          @DaddysinCharge @readbradthedad @saskadad How old are your kids?

        • DaddysinCharge says:

          @goodtimesdad @readbradthedad @saskadad 8 and 5. Lots of things are over the little guys head but he likes bad guys.

        • SaskaDad says:

          @goodtimesdad @DaddysinCharge @readbradthedad mine are 5 and 2.5

    • SaskaDad says:

      @DaddysinCharge me too. Can’t wait till my kids are old enough to watch those.

    • I forgot about that one. I need to show that to my kids.

This is what I think...