Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

James Garner, one for the ages

James Garner as Jim Rockford (www.movieactors.com)

BENNINGTON -- The movie ended but I wanted to see another.

The marquee atop an adjoining theatre read THE NOTEBOOK and I thought, What the hell, why not? So I stumbled in and found a seat. It was early in the movie. It hooked me in an instant. One of the most beautiful love stories ever captured on film under the auspice of old age, memories, and Alzheimer's.

The ending scene with James Garner and Gina Rowlands going to sleep, forever, hand in hand and arm in arm, slayed me. Slayed everyone. When those blue herons flapped their wings and the screen faded to black, the theatre was pitch quiet except for the sounds of sniffling and muffled crying. My eyes were drowning in tears. I'm a sucker for that mush.

The other thing about James Garner, who has died at the age of 86, is that he starred in one of the great '70s TV shows, The Rockford Files. My dad watched it religiously, I watched it with him. It was one of our bonds.