We all used to rent videos. One, three sometimes five at a time. When I worked at Blockbuster Video, I would just take out movies and bring them home, watch them and bring them back right away because I just wanted to consume as many movies as possible. And because of that love for film, I had to buy the movies I loved most so I could watch them over and over. Before you bought movies back in the day, you would tape them off of HBO or wherever else you could get a film you loved. And you had to know when they were playing, so the TV Guide was essential. So I had plenty of tapes with 3 movies on them, but that’s an article for another day.
So flash forward to 2018 and I’m a physical media lover. I’ve seen some tweets and articles fighting about what kind of film fan are you if you don’t buy them physically and vice versa, that you’re living in the old days if you don’t just stream everything. News flash, I do both. Right now as I write this, I’m watching Amazon Prime on my TV but also looking some movies up on some boutique sites that I want to pre-order. It’s an endless cycle to me as a kid who would look through his mom’s TV Guide and just write down when certain films were playing, going to the movies whenever he could and just re-watching movies over and over to the point that there are at least 30 films (possibly more) that I’ve memorized from constant watching. Wayne’s World, I’m looking at you. Schwing!
But this article is about the first film I ever bought with my own money. it was a big deal because I had $30 to spend and I went to the video store across the street from me, Video Reflections (appropriate), and they sometimes had a select few videos that they were selling. So I went through all the horror stuff, the action stuff, the comedies and it took me awhile but I finally signaled to my dad which one I wanted to buy.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes! I love this movie so much! It’s awesome!”
And the movie is still one of my favorite films to this day. That video was The Princess Bride. No joke, that was the first film I ever bought with my own cash. It was $20, so it was actually cheaper than some of the other ones. But I knew I loved it then and that I would want to watch it in the future in a better capacity than a TV broadcast of it. Something about the film just resonated with me at a young age, so much so that I also bought the William Goldman book as well. I just love the story of Westley and Buttercup and all the amazing and beautiful characters that are within. I was also a wrestling fan, so to see the Eighth Wonder of the World Andre the Giant play one of the sweetest gentlest giants still brings a tear to my eye to this day. It’s a film I love so much, I made sure to go out of my way to see the 25th anniversary of it at Lincoln Center with the majority of the cast and that was a beautiful moment in time that I will always cherish.
So how about all of you? What was the first film you ever bought for yourself? For the younger readers, it can be a DVD or for the really young ones, a Blu-ray. I just love to see what films connected with people to the point that they had to own it so it could always be close to them when they wanted to watch it at any moment.
Until next time, I’ll be popping in my favorite storybook story.