WORTHINGTON - Just when I thought I was ready to retire from writing, I had an unexpected urge to express some thoughts on a new subject.
I'll bet you can never guess what's on my mind.
I watch a lot of television, especially movies - sometimes I view two movies a day. I have begun to realize that every movie I have been viewing has a staircase.
Everyone remembers the staircase in "Gone with the Wind" where Rhett Butler is talking with Scarlett O'Hara. And, of course, in "Titanic," many important scenes happen on that staircase with Rose and Jack.
No matter how ordinary or grand the movie script is, there is bound to be a staircase. Even in westerns, there's a staircase on the backside of the building for someone to jump down onto their house. On an inside staircase, someone gets shot on the balcony and/or tumbles down the staircase.
Hitchcock movies often used staircases to create tension and drama, as we all remember in "Vertigo" with Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak. Murder mysteries often lead us down a staircase to a victim who is trapped or worse.
Does anyone remember Carol Burnett's version of Scarlett with the drapery dress and the drapery rod sticking way out past her shoulders that made Harvey Korman lose it on the set? Those two were something.
In yet another film, Margaret O'Brien and her sister are watching a dance in the living room. The two girls were supposed to be in bed, but sneaked down the stairs to watch the adults.
Lots of us remember the staircases in our childhood homes. Certainly I do. Living in Ortonville, a city on a hill with our house on a hillside, there was an outdoor stairway that I fell down. That wasn't so bad in itself, but having my head hit a piece of local granite was not fun! Perhaps staircases were built for us to fall down. Certainly comedians utilize them, and many stunt actors specialize in falling.
My son-in-law and daughter had to take training in falling down as actors, and of course not get hurt to be able to do it over and over again in rehearsals and then in the performances. When I was a teenager, I went "bumpty bumpty bump" all the way down the movie theater stairs forward on my stomach. I was totally embarrassed.
The great Ziegfeld Follies always had spectacular staircases filled with beautiful costumes and women. A legend.
Staircases are a great cinematic device guiding us from one scene to the next, one adventure or mystery to the next and one character to the next. And so I hope to meet you at the next staircase. Hang on tight.