About a year ago I decided to try and write down every movie I have ever watched in a movie theater. This project came about because of a desire to find the source of some very vivid images I had floating around in my head. I knew these images were from a movie I had seen in a theater when I was very young but I wasn’t sure what the movie was or when I saw it. I am blessed (or cursed sometimes) with a very detailed photographic memory and I rarely forget things even if I want to. This can be a great ability to have and a major pain in the ass. These images have popped up regularly over the years and it was time to investigate!
I sat down and tried to remember everything I could about this movie: I remembered two young kids in a crowded outdoor area pushing through a crowd and going up a flight of stairs. I remembered a girl making a wish for a horse and having her wish granted by a magical machine. I remembered a brightly colored room, a colorful glass ball, and the kids in a rocket ship that landed in back of a house in the country.
After pulling every possible detail out of my memory I headed for the internet to try and track down the source of these images. The machine that granted wishes was the key. It turns out the movie was a Ukrainian production made in 1967 called Automat na prání or The Wishing Machine. This movie was dubbed in English and released in the US in February of 1971 when I was three years and four months old. I remember sitting in the theater watching this with my brother Joel who is two years older than I am.
I find it funny that the first movie I remember seeing was made in the Ukraine but it does make sense, the movie theater near our childhood home used to play quite a few foreign children’s movies in the seventies.
Since the first movie I remember seeing is a fantasy movie I have to wonder if that somehow led to my extreme love of the genres I am most drawn to?
I found this movie on YouTube and I was surprised how much I remembered. Here are the images I remembered most vividly: