Horror Movie, Really

image courtesy of Wikipedia

We NEVER went to the movies.  I don’t mean rarely.  I mean never.  Sadly, the night in question didn’t do much to change that, except to let me know that the inside of the theater was dark and smelled like popcorn, a fact that didn’t change my feeling much, since I didn’t get popcorn.

Oh, well.  On with the story.  Mother decided we were due a treat. One fine August night, we were going to see a movie!   She’d saved up her pennies, dropped Daddy off at work at three, and took us to the ten cent movie at the Spring Theatre in Springhill that night.  If they planned to recoup low attendance with popcorn and drink sales to us that night, it was a bad business plan.  Mother smuggled peanut butter sandwiches and a communal jug of water for us to share after leaving no doubt she wouldn’t be buying snacks.

Any, we trooped in like a line of big dumb ducks, clattering about three-quarters down the aisle where Mother thought we could see best.  It was quite a parade.  Mother directed us toward the center of the row, sending Phyllis and Connie to be seated first.  Phyllis was a good sister and could soothe the restless toddler as well as Mother.  I followed.  Mother and Marion, a baby in arms, and Billy were next.  Billy and I couldn’t be trusted to behave in church, so she always sat between us.  I don’t know why Mother thought I couldn’t behave in a movie.  It would have to be way better than church.

Back the, there was no multiple choice in small-town movie.  Movies were rotated out once a week.  You got what you got.  As soon as the cartoons went off,  that night’s feature rolled: “The Interns.

I could see right off there would be no cowboys, Wonder Horses, ghosts, or monsters.  I was disappointed, but still, I was “at the movies.”  Sure enough, in about ten minutes, my ears perked up.  The scene opened on an obstetrics ward.  I was very interested in finding out all I could about sex.  Mother had always reacted with outrage when anything came on TV about pregnancy or to raise questions she didn’t want to answer.  It didn’t matter if thousands of Indians were about to scalp Custer, any indication that a woman might be in dramatic labor jolted her into action.  I was delighted when I heard the line, …”and I better not catch any of you young interns messing with my young mothers!”  I snapped to attention!  There was no way Mother could turn the movie off.  I was finally going to find out what happened when “my pains were two minutes apart.”

Mother was incensed! She’d led us right into the belly of the beast. Not only had she brought us to a “dirty movie,” now she was going to have to put with with questions. She was mad! For someone who went around having babies Willy Nilly, she sure was touchy!

She grabbed Billy out of his seat and pushed him to the aisle, sputtering all the way. He was all set to see a movie and now Mother was dragging him out.of corse he protested. I slid into the aisle, right behind Mother. Phyllis, a “good Christian,” mirrored Mother’s attitude.  All us kids were disappointed.  We didn’t even get to go to the “bathroom of sin.”  Mother wasn’t rising any backward peeks.

I don’t remember my parents having a good car.  The model Mother was driving that night was at least ten-years-old. The kids piled furiously in the car, having been deprived of a wondrous treat.  Furious herself, Mother threatened.  She wasn’t putting up with any hateful backtalk.  Mother has always been a doofus of a driver and hates parallel parking and backing up. Simply said,  she couldn’t drive nail in a fat hog’s rear. See, I’m getting mad again just remembering!  She can’t get out of average spots, much less, tight spots.  She had parked as near as she could to the corner, really close to the high curb, so as not to have to reverse.   In fact, she was so close we all had to slide out on the passenger side.  Remember, she was scared of backing up.   Sadly, she’d miscalculated and left just enough room for a car to back in front of her, boxing her in.  She’d also failed to notice a power pole left back bumper.    She was hopelessly locked in till that car’s happy owner finished watching the move we’d just been dragged out of. We finished the peanut butter sandwiches and jug of water  in record time?  It was hotter than a cowboy’s whorehouse on payday as we waited that hot August night.  I only wish I’d known these phrases while we sat in the hot car.  A good beating for a filthy mouth would set the evening off to perfection.

Does this sound dirty?  I pulled this straight from Wikipedia.

The Interns is a 1962 American drama film that starred Michael Callan and Cliff Robertson.[2] This film is a medical melodrama that presages many similar TV programs to follow. It centers on the personal and professional conflicts of young medical interns under the tutelage of senior surgeons, Telly Savalas and Buddy Ebsen. The film was followed by a 1964 sequel, The New Interns, and a 1970–1971 television medical drama series, The Interns, that was based on the films. The Interns was directed by David Swift.[2]

The Interns
Poster of the movie The Interns.jpg

Directed by David Swift
Produced by Robert Cohn
Written by Walter Newman
Based on The Interns
1960 novel
by Richard Frede
Starring Michael Callan
Cliff Robertson
Music by Leith Stevens
Cinematography Russell Metty
Edited by Al Clark
Jerome Thoms
Robert Cohn Productions
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • August 8, 1962
Running time
120 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $9,230,769[1]



A class of interns arrives for their first year in training at a public city hospital, which serves patients from many different ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Close friends and classmates John Paul Otis (Robertson) and Lew Worship (James MacArthur) plan to become surgeons and open their own clinic together. They are less than thrilled about their assignment to obstetrics, feeling that delivering babies is not very difficult.

Lew becomes romantically involved with student nurse Gloria (Stefanie Powers), while John becomes infatuated with fashion model Lisa Cardigan (Suzy Parker). Lisa dislikes the idea of dating a relatively impoverished young doctor, and is pregnant out of wedlock by another man. Although John offers to solve her problem by marrying her, she pressures him to illegally obtain pills for her in hopes of ending the pregnancy. He finally does so, and is caught and reported by Lew, ending their friendship and John’s medical career.

Sid Lackland (Nick Adams) aspires to serve wealthy patients so he can make a lot of money. Then he becomes attached to Loara (Ellen Davalos), a girl from a poor village in Southeast Asia, who is one of his patients. She has a rare medical condition and is scheduled for a serious operation. Loara resists his friendly overtures because she is sure she will die in the hospital. Sid is heartbroken when Loara dies during her surgery.

Alec Considine (Callan) wants a residency under eminent psychiatrist Dr. Bonney, and secretly cheats on his wealthy fiancee Mildred (Anne Helm) with Dr. Bonney’s longtime nurse Vicky Flynn in hopes of being introduced to the doctor. To keep up his medical duties and spend time with both women, Alec takes Dexedrine to stay awake. Although he does meet Dr. Bonney, who offers him a residency, Mildred discovers his affair and leaves him.

Madolyn Bruckner (Haya Harareet) aspires to become a surgeon under abrasive Dr. Domenic Riccio (Savalas). Despite her skills as an intern, Riccio discourages her because he is prejudiced against female doctors, assuming they will abandon their medical careers to get married and have children. Riccio later finds out Madolyn has already been married and has a child, yet is still pursuing her medical career as a single working mother.

At the end of the year, Alec, Lew, and several other interns come under suspicion when a terminally ill, immobile patient who has been begging to die is found dead of a barbiturateoverdose. None of the involved interns can accept their residencies until the source of the drugs is found, creating a risk that the residency offers will be withdrawn. Alec, strung out on Dexedrine, has a nervous breakdown at the thought of losing his residency with Dr. Bonney. Lew and the other interns visit the patient’s wife and find out that she gave him the drugs after being worn down by his constant pleas that if she really loved him, she would help him die. As a result, the interns are no longer under suspicion and can accept their offers.

Lew, having developed an interest in obstetrics after delivering a baby, accepts a residency at the same hospital, and convinces Gloria, who had planned to travel and see the world, to marry him, instead. Sid gets an offer from a wealthy hospital, but inspired by Loara, he goes to practice in impoverished Southeast Asia, instead. Riccio hires Madolyn as his resident assistant. John, now engaged to Lisa, visits his former classmates and tells Lew he respects him for his sense of ethics. A new class of interns arrives and Lew shows them the way to their dormitory, just as a doctor did for him the previous year.


Cinderella in Reverse

Me in my stylish saddle oxfords.  I rememer those socks.  They were pink and green circumferential stripes.  I think they were boy socks.  That dress was red and white checked.  Mother must have let me pick my outfit that day.  I was not quite three here.


Saddle Oxfords ruined my life.  The whole time I was growing up, my mother’s fashion sense was stuck in the forties.  In the picture above, you see me modeling a scuffed and dirty pair.  I absolutely despised those shoes.  Almost as soon as they came out of the box, they looked horrible.  I was then, and still am, incapable of keeping my clothes and shoes nice.  I ought to wear  brogans and a burlap bag for all the good dressing up does.  Now I wear nothing but dark jeans with cotton prInts,  plaids, stripes , checks, or florals.to confuse people and look presentable longer.    I can reach in my closet and pull out any pair of jeans and any shirt and it will do.  It is the same for shoes.  I have brown, black, and navy shoes that go with anything.  Five minutes and I am dressed.  Of course, life does occasionally demand a dress, but I have a few in classic styles that get me through anything.  No thinking required.

I was stuck with saddle shoes because Mother liked them in high school.  She somehow didn’t notice styles had changed by the time I came along.  After I started school, Mother just took a paper where she’d marked around our feet to the shoe store and brought shoes home to us.  We were stuck with her choice.  Length was the first concern.  We were going to be wearing those shoes awhile so she got them big.  Sometimes it looked like we were wearing skis.    Durability was a major issue.  With five kids, she had to get something that lasted.  Those damned oxfords lasted.  I’ll bet roaches will be wearing them long after the apocalypse.  Oh, and Mother thought the were “cute.” so that covered style.

On “shoe day” I’d beg Mother for strap shoes.  Mother was a tyrant on dressings us.  We wore what she bought and learned she wasn’t taking any backtalk.  Patent leather would have thrilled me.  That wasn’t going to happen.  I always got the same story.  “When patent leather gets wet, it cracks,”  I didn’t care.  I still coveted it.  The next best would have been red leather shoes.  Mother was a tyrant.  We wore what she bought.  Our opinion didn’t factor in on trying to dress seven people on a pitiful budget.  “No, I can’t get red  shoe polish.  They’ll look awful,”  I always hoped for a miracle, but no patent leather shoes,  velveteenshoes, or cowboy boots ever came home with her.  I guess she never got a look at those dirty oxfords I clumped around in.  In theory, the saddle oxfords could be polished nicely.  I was so rough on mine, they still looked liked thunder after polishing.  The scuffs were more gray than white.  Mother was not particularly good at polishing, anyway.  After Connie and Marilyn came along, she had me polishing my own and I found out what a crappy job really looked like.  I smeared white all over the edge of the black.  Did you ever see chicken poop?  It’s mostly black with a little white saddle on top.  That was my shoes in reverse, mostly white with a dollop of black.  The white was generously slopped on the black.  We always had that pathetic white  liquid shoe polish that  didn’t cover worth diddly.  It was only good for making the black look worse.  Not only that, I was supposed to polish my shoes the night before.  I’d get up the next morning and realize  I’d already been threatened to polish my shoes a couple of times, and slap on a messy coat of white.   It didn’t usually have time to let it dry, much less buff, so I looked a mess.  Better yet, if I’d waited too late, I got polish on my legs as I walked around.  See, it was all Mother’s fault I wasn’t a fashion icon.  I guess there are just some kids destined to wear saddle oxfords while others get patent leather.  Life isn’t fair!

The third child on the hay is my sister Connie Swain Miller.  You see here she got a good dose of those ugly shoes.  They look even worse without socks.  The other two children were family friends.  Notice all the diapers on the line.  My younger  sister Marilyn was seventeen months younger than Connie.  She may have escaped the Saddle Oxford Curse.  You notice they have sneakers, or tennies, as they were called then.