This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Youth--Movies About Being Young / Coming of Age

Cropped screenshot of Judy Garland from the tr...
Cropped screenshot of Judy Garland from the trailer for the film The Wizard of Oz. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The films that I'll be listing in my April postings may not necessarily be films that I'd call my favorite films, but they will be favorites in the genres I'll be naming.   The A to Z genres are very specific micro genres as opposed to the broader genres like action, romance, or comedy.

        This category is huge.  In fact it probably could cover more than one category, but being for the letter 'Y' I'll just say this micro-genre will be about being young--anything from childhood to teens.

         Some of my favorites may be yours too, but if I missed one of your favorites tell us about it in the comments:

Heidi (1937)--There are so many Shirley Temple films that I could put on this list, but I'll pick just one.  They used to show this on television every year when I was a kid and I never missed a showing.

The Wizard of Oz (1939) --Judy Garland was a teenager when she made the film that would become one of the most beloved of all time.  It's the story of a young Kansas girl who gets carried away by a tornado to the Magical Land of Oz where she meets a truly memorable array of characters.

The Exorcist (1973)--Innocent young girl becomes possessed by devil and priest is brought in to perform exorcism.  One of the scariest films ever.  This was a huge box-office hit and has continued to make money with releases and spin-offs.  Not for the kids or the highly sensitive.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)--One of best science fiction-fantasy stories about kids.  This film by Steven Spielberg is ideal family viewing.

The Goonies (1985)--The ultimate adventure with kids searching for a stash of pirate treasure.  A great film with an excellent cast.

 Stand By Me (1986)--Based on a Stephen King story, the film tells about a group of boys who trek along a railroad track to find the body of a missing boy who was struck by a train.  Funny and sad--one of the best coming of age stories.

Cinema Paradiso (1988)--Boy befriends projectionist in local theater and learns to love movies.

Home Alone (1990)--Kid accidentally gets left behind when the family goes on vacation leaving him to fend off bumbling burglars.  Funny film that spawned a series of sequels.

My Girl (1991)-- A sweet film about a girl who lives in a funeral parlor with her single father who is the mortician.  A story of death and first love.

Almost Famous (2000)-- Inspired by the real life story of rock journalist Cameron Crowe, this film tells the story of a 15 year old hired by Rolling Stone magazine to tour with a popular rock group  and write an article about it.

Juno (2007)-- Sixteen year old becomes pregnant and has to decide what to do about it.

        What other films about youth can you name?   Which on my list are your favorites?   Is there a youth movie that you particularly relate to in your life?

          Are you ready for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge Reflections Post?   Starts Friday May 3rd with the list open for a week.   For more information go to the A to Z Blog.

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  1. Hi Lee - I loved Cinema Paradiso ... and have seen few of the others .. Home Alone gets on tv rather too often! I must have seen The Wizard of Oz too ..

    Cheers Hilary

  2. A lot of movies could fall into this category - LOTR, Star Wars, Titanic, Harry Potter...

  3. great call on The Exorcist, i would have never thought to include that... once you think about it's a great choice. my first thought... the Blind Side, Rudy... Good Will Hunting... Bicentennial Man and Heartbeeps.

  4. My favorite is Cinema Paradiso, especially the music.
    I cry every time I see ET. The last time I watched it with my grandkids, that was a few months ago. It was the first time they had seen it. We laughed, and wondered and cried together.

  5. I loved The Wizard of Oz, Home alone and ET out of your selection. thanks for selecting them wonderful films.


  6. My son got me to watch so many childhood/youth movies that on my own I might not had done so - most notable are studio Gibli's - Spirited Away, Castle in the sky, Grave of the Fireflies.

  7. Love The Goonies...and it was even more fun watching my grandkids watching The Goones.

  8. So many favorites on this list, Arlee. Saving them on VCR and DVD to watch with my GrandKids has been more fun and enjoyable than seeing them for the first time. They love the Goonies and too!

    My Letter'Y'...Confessions of A YarnAholic
    Sue CollectInTexasGal
    AtoZ LoneStar Quilting Bee

  9. Stand by me is one of my favorites!

  10. I'd say Legend is a coming of age story, because Jack and Lily learn there really is evil and darkness in the world.

  11. A good one that comes to my mind is "13 going on 30"

  12. I was thinking of Reese Witherspoon's debut performance, "Man in the Moon." 1991 - Wonderful movie!

  13. Hilary -- I must watch Cinema Paradiso again. It's been a long time.

    Alex - This is a huge category that could be easily broken down into subcategories.

    Jeremy -- I think one of the big shocks and controversies of The Exorcist is that it deals with a girl so young and Linda Blair was a young actress when she made the film.

    Lyndagrace --I wonder if my granddaughter has seen E.T. yet? I'll have to check.

    Yvonne -- Films about youth can be such fun.

    Alternative -- I loved Spirited Away. Many animated films can fit in the youth genre.

    Em-- It was always a joy for me to take my kids to movies that were magical and see their reactions. Now I can do the same with my grandchildren.

    Sue - Kids movie are more fun to watch with kids!

    Betty -- I've watched Stand By Me so many times, starting with when it first came out in the theater.

    L.Diane -- I would agree. Many films with that theme.

    Ghadeer -- I can't recall if I've seen that one. I remember when it came out.

    Rocky -- I saw Man in the Moon but don't remember much of it.


  14. You posted about some really super movies. The Exorcist, however, was a hard one for me. I had nightmares for weeks after that one.

  15. All of these are pretty good Lee but Stand By Me beats the bunch, an absolutely awesome film from the start of it to the end of it, absolutely love it and it's one of the few films that I can easily say that I've watched multiple times and not once got any more sick of it.

  16. Hi Lee, I have seen a few of these movies. You have posted some wonderful movies.

  17. Wizard of Oz and Home Alone most definitely. One more day!!

  18. I can't believe Heidi came out that long ago. I used to love that movie as a kid.

  19. I've see all but Juno and liked them all, some more than others. I think of Romeo and Juliette as a youth movie, but only the Franco Zeffirelli version as he used real "young" people to play the parts. Teenagers are so dramatic and this is one that truly shows how far they can go...

  20. I think my favorite coming of age film is Breaking Away, a film that launched the careers of Dennia Quaid, Dennis Christopher, Daniel Stern and Jackie Earle Haley, along with great performances by Paul Dooley and Barbara Barrie.

  21. C.Lee-- Yes, The Exorcist gave a lot of folks the squeamies.

    Yeamie --It's a masterpiece of the genre. Touches on so many issues of youth and how we are affected in later years.

    Rachna - They are all good for differing reasons.

    Sheena-- One more day of A to Z and then the Reflections Post. Hope everyone will join us for that.

    Matthew -- It's actually amazing that we now talk about films (silent of course) that are over 100 years old!

    Lisa-- Zefrelli's version of R & J was in the theater when I was a senior in high school. We got extra credit in English class if we went to see it. This version was very well done, but I thought the updated version in the 90's was also very innovative.

    Larry -- You got me again. I'm not sure I saw Breaking Away. I don't remember it. I'll have to check it out to see what it was.


  22. Good list, Lee. I shall add "Billy Elliot".

    I'm looking forward to your reflections post. A mirror image of mine, perhaps.

    Happy penultimate alphabeting, my friend.


  23. Wizard of Oz the best! Wonderful list of great movies!
    KaTy Did at: Life's Ride As I See It

  24. I loved BIG, one of my favourite films, but guess its kind of the other way round to what your post is about?

  25. Oh, you picked some great ones. I'll add Little Women. I loved most of the versions but the Katherine Hepburn one is my favorite.

  26. Of those you mentioned ET is my favorite. It captures the innocence of childhood and for a moment lets the adults feel that too.

    Another favorite of mine would be A Christmas Story...we quote it around here on a pretty regular basis!

  27. I loved Juno and Stand by Me.

    What about Clueless?

  28. Love your list, Lee. Stand By Me is one of my favorite movies. I really want to see Almost Famous. I have a friend who LOVES that movie. My Girl always makes me cry. The Wizard of Oz is the ultimate Coming of Age story.

  29. I loved Stand By Me and Goonies! I also loved Beaches for the friendship (I was only 7 when I saw it in the movie theater and I cried because I could image me and my best friend growing up).
    Kids Math Teacher

  30. A couple Mary and I like: "Holes," which Mary says is like "Stand By Me" with holes; and "The Sandlot," one of my favorites, where the new kid in the neighborhood gets to know the other kids and his stepfather by playing baseball.

  31. Never saw the film of Heidi, but they read the books to us in school many, many years ago. I loved the stories. Saw both the Wizard of Oz and ET. The latter was a great movie in my book. I think West Side Story could fit into this category again but as you say, there are so many other movies which could.


  32. Gary -- Will yours be a Reflections post or a reflective post?

    Katy -- Wizard of Oz holds many fine memories for me.

    Rowena-- How would we classify big? He is a kid grown big.

    LD -- I honestly don't think I've ever watched Little Women, but it would fit the genre.

    Joyce -- I used Christmas Story on my "School Movies" list, but it's a great choice here too.

    Johanna -- Clueless was about high school wasn't it? I think it would fit but since I can't remember it I guess I'm clueless.

    Robin --Almost Famous is a wonderful film.

    Lucy -- Oh gosh, I think I saw Beaches years ago but now I can't remember.

    Typing--Yes, The Sandlot was a good film. I took my kids to see it when it first came out.


  33. Jo-- Heidi is a film I saw many times on TV when I was a child, but I don't think they show it much anymore.


  34. Some of these are up there with my favorite movies! By the way, I love that you included The Exorcist on the list. That's so funny to think of it as a movie based on youth. LOL

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog:

  35. Those are some great movies. We've watched them all except Heidi.


    Well, it's damned near impossible to top the (aforementioned) 'A CHRISTMAS STORY' and 'THE WIZARD OF OZ'. Is there really ANY American who doesn't love those two movies?

    But DiscConnected's mention of 'BREAKING AWAY' should be noted. That is also one of my all-time Top Ten Sports Movies.

    I'm sure I could come up with a ton more if I took ten minutes to think about it, but off the top of my mind, I will also mention 'THE SANDLOT' and (although it deals with child abuse and is somewhat sad) 'RADIO FLYER'.

    Uhm... wait a second! I almost forgot 'BIRDY' with Nicholas Cage and Matthew Modine. I LOVE 'BIRDY'! That would definitely - without a doubt - make my Top Ten list of 'Youth/Coming Of Age' movies!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  37. Kristen -- Well, it was a young girl who was possessed. Must have changed her life in some way.

    Susan G/K-- Heidi is a good one. Shirley Temple had to have some inclusion in this list.

    StMc -- No sure I've seen Birdy but with Nicholas Cage in it you'd think I would seen it.


  38. I agree that the Wizard of Oz is a classic. Stand By Me was also a timeless coming of age movie about friendship. The new movie Mud has been compared to it. I'm really looking forward to your Z post Lee!


  39. Good list! I wrote a piece for a local news station last year about good movies to watch around Halloween time. And I got in trouble for recommending The Exorcist since it offended many people.

  40. My all-time favorite movie--The Wizard of Oz. I remember watching it every year as a kid and, of course, being scared to death of the Witch and her Flying Monkeys.

    Thanks for the reminder. I won't likely sleep tonight. ;)

    "I'll get you, my little pretty!!!!"

    Coral Levang
    Beyond Life's Challenges


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