Over the holidays, I watched Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas again. I’ve probably seen it at least once a year for maybe 35 years now, and as a kid I surely watched it more than once each season. The viewing made me wonder if, because of tradition, we’re more likely to have seen a favorite Christmas movie more than any other movie over the course of our lives. Maybe it’s not necessarily a Christmas movie, though. It could be anything we rewatch customarily whenever we’re with family. There was a period when anytime I was home for any reason, I’d end up watching Good Will Hunting with my mother. It was just our thing.
The older I get, the less I tend to watch movies again and again. In fact I rarely watch movies I’ve seen before if I can help it, because I’m getting to an age where I feel I’m going to run out of time to see all the world’s classics. I’m unlike many cinephiles in that regard, but I’m sure I still share something with most: the movies we’ve seen more than others tend to be those we saw a lot as kids. Comfort-food titles, the lot of them. Beloved family films, comedies that still make us laugh out loud, fantasy adventure stories that never get old. Stuff that’s fairly light and easy. Namely, for me, Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Time Bandits, The Goonies, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Duck Soup, North by Northwest.
Some other movies I have to include on the list of those I’ve seen a whole lot are titles I wrote about in school. When you’re doing a film-studies project, you typically have to see your topic titles over and over and over. I’ve probably watched Dancer in the Dark more than is healthy, especially since I replayed the ending even more than I rewatched the whole film. I also saw Frank Capra’s Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Jose Padilha’s Bus 174 and Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead enough to become an expert on each, for major assignments.
I can’t say with any certainty given that I’ve never kept tabs (I’m sure some of you have, at least from a certain age), but I’m going to say the champion as far as the movie I’ve consciously rewatched the most is Heathers (which kinda turns 25 this month). And the majority of that was during my teen years. It’s the one I’ve read the most, as in I have a copy of the original script, too.
Which movie have you seen the most times in your life?
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