You Know You’re a Film Fanatic When–This is Your Gym Tee!

Spellbound by Movie's Beth Ann Gallagher in Rock Rebel's Universal Monsters Collage Tee

I can’t resist showing my movie love when at my new gym. Since I’m only a beginner, its circuit training sessions are grueling, but I keep myself peppy by wearing film-related tees. Today’s reflected my lifelong enjoyment of the Universal Monsters series.

Starting as a tot, I’d tune in to local station WLVI for The Creature Double Feature every Saturday. The show didn’t have the typical costumed horror host, but the announcer was enthusiastic, and he never talked down about the material. The program’s introductory sequences built anticipation of what was to come by containing horror clips, sometimes altered in psychedelic ways, accompanied by electronic music and vocal effects.

I credit The Creature Double Feature as one of the influences that turned me into a film fanatic. It was pure cinema of entertainment until commercials temporarily interrupted whatever was onscreen. Besides Universal, the program showcased Toho Studio‘s giant monster movies, American International Pictures‘ fifties films, Hammer Studios, and Roger Corman‘s sixties horror flicks.

Mention The Creature Double feature to anyone who grew up watching it, and you’ll get a smile from someone eager to chat. The name acts like a secret handshake. If you search the web, you’ll find fan pages and a message board run by people nostalgic for the show. I even found a list of every movie it ever played. That’s a great help because I know I’ve watched Hammer movies, but sometimes I can’t remember which ones. I enjoyed them, but the melancholy monsters of Universal Studios stuck with me.

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Accents & Sally’s Diction Lessons from Radio Days (1987)

My husband told me he heard a young actress being interviewed who pronounces her Gs the same why I do. More specifically, she uses a hard G when saying words ending in -ing. That means walking would be pronounced as walk-ing-guh. The last syllable is more of a half-syllable and softer in the throat than that looks in print. I was disappointed he could not remember which actress. I wonder if she’s simply using a more theatrical pronunciation so her G isn’t lost like some people used to assume I did?

My pronunciation is a remnant of my former regional/ethnic accent that was mostly smoothed out by my childhood speech therapist. She helped me erase more than my lisp. Now when people hear I’m from Massachusetts, they remark I don’t sound like I’m from there, but they’re thinking of the Boston accent, not the Southeastern Massachusetts one I had. Massachusetts has regional and micro-regional accents. Mine pops out when I’m very tired or sometimes when speaking with my parents.

This all makes me think of scenes from one of my favorite movies, Woody Allen‘s Radio Days. In this love letter to Old Time Radio, Mia Farrow plays Sally White, a cigarette girl aiming for radio stardom, but first she must rid herself of her Bronx accent.

Farrow is winningly adorable as Sally. She makes us laugh at Sally’s efforts without losing our sympathy. Sally is the kind of role Judy Holliday excelled at and got typecast in–the cute cookie determined to improve herself or her lot in life. Farrow is a worthy successor in playing this type when playing against her type, and she masters two accents not normally her own–the Bronx and the Hollywood Patrician.

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