Sunday, January 8, 2017

The body, the Goobers, the Movie

In 1967 my brother-in-law, Tommy, said 
   "Jerry, let's take the kids to a movie".  I said 
   "OK, what movie?" He said 
   "Fantastic Voyage".  

I was not familiar with that film at that time, so I asked 
   "Is this a kiddie movie?" He said 
   "Well, I know they will enjoy it." 

At the time my oldest child, Jerry III, was 7 and Tommy's oldest, Theresa, was 7. I then asked 
   "What makes you think they'll enjoy it?  I don't want to have to leave in the middle because the kids are getting restless and bored."  He said    "Believe me, they will enjoy it."

So I decided to trust my brother-in-law's judgement.  He had seen that movie before, but wanted me to see it now. We loaded the kids in the car and headed to the Dalton Theater, which at that time was located on N. Acadian just south of Winbourne Av. We parked and while walking to the ticket booth, Tommy pulled me aside and said in a low tone that the kids could not hear: 
   "I really want you to see this fine chick who is in this film.

Then I said 
   "So this is NOT a kiddie movie?" He said 
   "I never say it was." I said: 
   "This had better not be a porno." He said 
   "Jerry, you know I would never bring kids to a porno."  

We got to the box office, got our tickets and while entering the theater Tommy said 
   "You're going to go nuts when you see this chick." 

Needless to say I was getting more and more curious about this "fantastic chick" who was the leading lady in FANTASTIC VOYAGE.

At the concession stand we all loaded up on snacks.  My 5 year old daughter, Felicia, wanted a box of Goobers (chocolate-coated peanuts), My oldest child Jerry got some kind of gummies, others (myself included) got popcorn.  Not with us at the time were my 2 youngest kids, Mike and Darrell.  Mike was about 3 1/2 and Darrell was two ... both too young to enjoy a grown-up movie. 

We settled into our seats.  Felicia wanted to sit next to her daddy (me) and the others sat between Tommy and Felicia.

The film began and I immediately saw the "chick".  I knew right away who Tommy was referring to.  Until seeing this film I had never before seen Raquel Welsh. Tommy was seated 4 seats to my left.  I looked in his direction and he looked my way thrusting a thumbs-up.  I nodded and we both continued watching the movie. I would later compliment Thommy's taste.  Raquel was indeed a gorgeous and sexy woman, though no where near my wife, Gloria. 

At one point Felicia decided to give me some Goobers.  A little later she gave me some more. I was concerned that maybe this batch of Goobers was perhaps a little tainted. They tasted somewhat old and stale. Just as I turned in her direction, she cupped her hand under her mouth, spit out about 8 Goobers that she had sucked the chocolate off of and said 
   "Here's some more, Daddy."  

How sweet.  I thanked her and said 
   "Daddy has had plenty, Sweetheart. Thank you, though." She said   "I didn't want the peanuts, just the chocolate."  So she gives me the  saliva-soaked  "chocolate-free" peanuts.  She meant well knowing how much I loved peanuts.

I changed my mind about complaining to the concession stand about the "stale Goobers".  

But I certainly didn't complain about the movie.  With an A-list cast including Stephen Boyd, Edmond O'Brien, Donald Pleasance, Arthur Kennedy and new-comer Raquel Welsh this film was probably the most masterfully executed production in Cinematic Science Fiction history, winning numerous awards for special effects and art direction.  It was truly a gripping production garnering an IMDB rating of 6.8 out of 10 with nearly 14000 votes.... truly worth seeing.

And the kids enjoyed it too.  


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