Memory Lane: Movies That I Never Saw

Scudda-Hoo! Scudda-Hay! - Rotten Tomatoes

How can I remember movies that I never saw? No, it’s not past lives. It was the TV listings in the Star-Ledger. I wasn’t allowed to stay up past 8 o’clock, so all I had was the newspaper.  And for a lot of those late-night movies, the description was so minimal as to leave you without a hint as to what the movie was about.

Here are three whose titles tantalized me for years.

*Adventures of Tartu (1943): wartime skulduggery among the Rumanian oil fields. I never knew that until much, much later. Something about the title led me to anticipate a show with puppets instead of actors. Or maybe it was some kind of Flash Gordon thing. WWII movies were a dime a dozen back then… but this was the only one about “Tartu.”

*Scudda-Hoo! Scudda-Hay! (1948): You’d never guess from the posters, but this was a movie about mules. There must’ve been kissing in it, so parts of it would’ve been boring. But I’m sure I would’ve liked watching the mules, if it hadn’t always been on so late at night.

*Sandokan the Great (1963): If I’d only known it starred Steve Reeves as a Malaysian pirate battling the British, head-hunters, and man-eating tigers, I’d’ve surely found a way to see it! But no: I thought it was about a magician. “Italian: 1963” is a pretty sketchy description.

I guess this helps disprove the claim that all movies made before 1970, except musicals, were immortal works of art.

How about you? Were there any movies that you always wondered about but never saw? I’ll bet we can turn up some treasures, if we dig.



8 comments on “Memory Lane: Movies That I Never Saw

  1. When we look back at old movies or old music, we tend to remember the ones that were successful, and forget about the ones that were here today, and gone tomorrow. The songs of the ‘50s weren’t all great, but no one ever programmed a radio station to to play the biggest flops of the past. I’m sure that the same is true for movies.

    1. Wait a minute–you may be on to something here! A radio DJ show devoted to bombs and never-made-its of the past: I just might tune in to that.

    2. I once heard a special show sort of like that, but it was only a couple of hours, on a holiday weekend.

  2. I enjoyed reading about your childhood imagination to movies you never were able to see. I didn’t care much about movies in my early years, though our family did watch the nighttime TV shows.

    1. Well, they fascinated me because I was never allowed to stay up and see them. What could they possibly be about?

  3. I never heard of those three. Right now, the only ones I can think of are “Marry Poppins” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” Nevertheless, I can sing parts of a few of the songs from those movies such as:
    “It’s supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
    Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious
    If you say it loud enough you’ll always sound precocious
    However, Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman I had never watched until a few months ago. I had heard for so long, that it was a good movie, well, I didn’t like it, not one bit. I would give it a one-star rating, and that would be generous.

  4. I am not sure I could put the reasons into words. There was just something about it…well, that I didn’t like. There are other movies that Bogart was in that I liked, such as the “African Queen.”

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