My last post told a story about how the movie On the Waterfront affected a woman’s choice of career. Powerful movies such as this often have unexpected consequences on viewers, although not all of them are so deep and meaningful. Here’s another story from a class participant about the same movie:
“Diane” remembered going to see On the Waterfront when she was a teenager in the fifties. “I was pretty excited,” she wrote. “Not because I wanted to see the movie but because it was my very first date with this cute boy I’d had a crush on for a long time. I was so happy when he finally asked me out.
“He was a Brando fan, and was amazed when I said I had never seen any of Brando’s movies. He looked at me with pity and told me he would educate me on what good film was all about. I was young, and he was cute, so this patronizing remark didn’t offend me at the time.
“But his choice of movie turned out to be a mistake, because I was overwhelmed by how beautiful and powerful Marlon Brando was. I couldn’t take my eyes off him, and suddenly my date didn’t seem quite as cute. In fact, he seemed downright boring compared with Brando, and my crush died a swift and complete death.
“It’s a good thing, too. Some years later I ran into my old date, and he wasn’t cute in any way – paunchy and balding – but he was still downright boring. I’ll always be grateful to Marlon Brando for breaking us up.”