Billie Silvey
Movies by Decades
Movies Go to Church
October 2006
An eclectic website about Women, Christianity, History, Culture  
and the Arts--and anything else that comes to mind.
The Movie Lover
Movies have an impact on all our lives.  When I was a
child living in a small Texas town, they helped open the
world, showing me places and times in history that I
never could have experienced on my own.

As I grew older, they helped me learn about kinds of
people and ways of looking at life that were very
different from those I had known in a somewhat
sheltered life.

Now that entertainment opportunities have multiplied, a
few big movies each year give us a common cultural
experience, a shared topic of discussion--a rare thing in
this era of specialization and personalization.

Here in Los Angeles, movies help drive the economy,
especially since the collapse of the aerospace industry.  
This is an industry town, and that industry is making

The first movie I remember watching was
Stars in My
My mother’s parents were ill the last third
of their lives, and we had taken her to a nearby town to
stay with them.  On our way back home, Daddy and I
passed the movie theater.  The name on the marquee
recalled a hymn we’d sung in church, and I asked if
we could go.  To my surprise, he agreed.  This was the
first and only time that just the two of us saw a film
together in a theater.

In junior high, I recall sitting with school friends in a
darkened theater, breathless with foreboding during
Creature from the Black Lagoon.
What a
disappointment to finally get a good look at the creature,
who was all too obviously a man in a rubber suit.

By the time I reached high school, the movie theater in
our little town had closed.  That was the beginning of
out-of-town movie dates.  The first I recall was
Adventures of a Young Man, based on Hemingwayâ
€™s Nick Adams stories.  I became a serious
Hemingway fan that night.

My husband Frank and I went to several movies while
we were in college in Abilene--
Cleopatra, Zeffirelliâ
Romeo and Juliet, Becket. I would sit in the dark,
swept by strong feelings of love and sorrow.  When the
lights would come on, I’d be embarrassed to be
seen, red-eyed and runny-nosed, by other movie-goers
who didn’t seem to have been as moved as I was.  
Frank would lead me out, and I’d have my head
down, embarrassed to have been crying over a movie!

Now we live in the historic “Heart of Screenland,â
€� half a block from the old MGM Studios, which
currently are owned by Sony.  Our son Robert, who
manages a video store, brings us new releases on a
regular basis.  And our  family returns from time to time
to sit together in a darkened theater to watch worlds and
peoples we might otherwise never know, then talk for
hours after about the shared experience.

In this month's website I've listed my
favorite movies
from each decade of my life, put down some thoughts
about using
movies in church, and shared an interview
with our son Robert, the
movie lover.

I’d love to hear what movies mean to you.  Donâ
€™t hesitate to send me an email at