When I was a kid going to the movie theater was a real treat. The theaters were in the downtown district and there were about 3 of them. The Capitol, Paramount, and Loew’s-Poli. Each theater showed just one movie along with a cartoon, or you could get a double-feature depending on the day you went. You bought your ticket at the kiosk out front, walked to the main entrance door and handed your ticket over to the uniformed guy who tore the ticket in half and gave you your proof of purchase. All 3 had wall-to-wall carpeting at a time when it was unheard of in private residences and all the lobbies were lit by hanging chandeliers.
The minute you walked in the door you were hit with the aroma of hot buttered popcorn and steamed hot dogs. The standard movie-going fare of milk duds and jujubes was there, too.
So in January of 1959, having been 9-years old for one month, Mom and I took the bus downtown to see the Disney animated movie “Sleeping Beauty”. I can’t say I remember everything from that one viewing other than to say I liked the movie so much that Mom bought me a souvenir of it in the lobby on the way out. A kid-sized necklace or bracelet that I could wear to school. That kind of thing is now given away with kids meals at a fastfood restaurant, but back then it was special.
Fast forward to last week and I’m watching the movie “Maleficent” on a DVD from Netflix. I remember back in ’59 thinking she was a witch but according to her movie, she was really a fairy. A very powerful fairy, but a fairy nonetheless. Having seen her back story I must say I feel she was justified in placing that curse on Baby Aurora as a way of getting back at Aurora’s father for his betrayal. But like what happens with a lot of females, no sooner are the words out of the mouth when regret moves in.
In “Sleeping Beauty” Maleficent has her minions searching for the place where Aurora’s been taken to live until she gets beyond the 16 years of age in the curse and can come home. They report that they spent 16 years looking for a baby with no luck at all. If that’s not a facepalm moment, i don’t know what is. In “Maleficent” she keeps her eye on Aurora herself with Aurora spotting her from time to time and believing she’s her Fairy Godmother.
Now that the two of them are out in the open and developing a friendship, the time has come for the curse to get real. Aurora finds the one spinning wheel in her father’s entire castle, pricks her finger on the spindle and falls into a coma-like sleep. Maleficent does everything she can think of to reverse the curse but that pesky phrase “no power on Earth can change it” kind of puts the kibosh on a reversal. So, it’s off to find Phillip, the boy she’s seen with Aurora and hope he wakes the sleeping beauty with True Love’s First Kiss.
Watching Aurora and Phillip from outside the chamber Maleficent sees that Phillip’s kiss has done nothing and waits for him to leave so she can stand over Aurora and tell her “I will not ask your forgiveness because what I have done to you is unforgivable. I was so lost in hatred and revenge. Sweet Aurora, you stole what was left of my heart. And now I have lost you forever. I swear, no harm will come to you as long as I live. And not a day shall pass that I don’t miss your smile.” It’s at this point that Maleficent kisses Aurora on the forehead and Aurora wakes up.
To think all this pain and anguish began because an old King wanted to expand his kingdom by taking the land of another kingdom by force or any means necessary. Well, the two kingdoms are now combined but not in the way Aurora’s grandfather wanted.
Thanks for reading Musings From the Bench 2/9 Edition. Until next time.
Tiny URL for this post: