I am going to the movies. No, in this time of Pandemic I do not mean I am off to the local multi-screen cinema. Fortunately for me, CBS has made it so I don't have to. The "major television network" has revived the old Sunday Night Movies. For those who don't know what a Sunday Night movie is, back in the last century previously released films aired as part of an anthology show that aired on Sunday nights. And I am planning on joining several thousands, or perhaps I mean hundreds of thousands of other “movie goers” for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade this Sunday night.
Yes, I do own the movie and watch it regularly, alone, snuggled up to enjoy like one enjoys comfort food. So, why am I willing to watch it on network TV complete with commercials you ask? The answer is simple – for the shared experience. Some how there's something very compelling about watching movies simultaneously with others. And the more the better. How else can you explain the success of theaters (until recently) continuing past the event of DVDs, and large HD plasma screen televisions? The answer is the cultural camaraderie.
And the Last Crusade is a film with a definite impact. Harrison Ford and Sean Connery (two of my favorite actors) in a film by two of my favorite storytellers; Spielberg and Lucas. This production has everything I expect of an adventure movie: escape and entertainment, excitement and laughs. Of course, I know the film well enough to speak my favorite lines aloud, which is an action better done at home than in the theater.
While there is still so much to be said about the shared experience of the big screen in a major movie house. I can at least garner a small bit of that collective feeling by knowing that I am not alone, and that I am not the only one saying, “Fly, yes. Land, no.” I will not chuckle alone when Henry Jones (Connery) says, “Son. I'm sorry. They got us.” I will not be the only one thrilled as Connery comes back up the beach pumping his umbrella open and closed creating a cloud of seagulls that take down a German plane. There are so many scenes where I will feel the shared glee, the excitement, the triumph that the actors as well as the John Williams music score evoke.
Old enough to be a classic, the movie is good enough to garner a whole new generation of fans who might be seeing it for the first time. Though I find it hard to imagine there's a movie lover who has not seen it. For now the small wall mounted screen opposite my recliner will do. The presentation will be crowded with all those other folk in their recliners, on their couches, tucked up in bed, and sprawled on the floor nodding fondly as Harrison Ford says, “Happens to me all the time.”
I intend to fix popcorn with lots of butter and pour a diet Coke. Or maybe I will have some Camembert and crackers and a glass of wine. (Being at home does have its advantages.) Either scenario will be the perfect scenario for experiencing a nation-wide collective intake of breath as Indiana Jones takes that leap of faith. Right now a nation - wide leap of faith is exactly what is needed.