The Films My Dad Showed Me

I've been dreading writing, and more importantly, posting this. Because when I do, and if you're reading this now, my father, Francis King, has passed away.

One of the biggest influences he had on my life was introducing me to the films that he and my mom loved. When they were dating in Taiwan, they went to the movies a lot. And they saw a ton of American films.

I somehow think their love of going to the movies rubbed off on me and my love for cinema.

I want to share with you now the films my parents showed me -- and how I love them so much. Both my parents and the films.

REAR WINDOW (1954) - quite possibly THE FIRST Hitchcock film I ever saw. Still one of my all-time favorites to this day. As a kid, I experienced so much genuine terror and delight with its unique storyline and visual style. Watching it now, it still holds up and is an example of a master at work. It's a perfect film.

SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959) - As a kid, I never realized how "adult" the humor was in the film. I just enjoyed the slapstick and screwball antics. It was only until later did I come to appreciate its daring, bawdy, sexy side. The performances and directing are a true delight. The dialogue is a dream. This one gets better with every viewing.

NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) - Action. Suspense. Romance. Great score. Cary Grant. What else could you ask for?

THE MUSIC MAN (1962) - I love the songs. They're ingrained in my head. I probably saw this film at least once a week. I had a mad crush on Shirley Jones. "Marian the Librarian" is simply one of my favorite numbers I've ever seen (I couldn't find an online clip of the entire number or else I would've posted it). But this is also a great clip showing how much complexity there actually is to the songs.

THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963) - an epic adventure with an all-star cast. This was another film I probably watched at least once a month. Every time a favorite character of mine had an upcoming death scene, I secretly wished that for once -- just this time -- that they'd get away. And this was the film that introduced me to Steve McQueen. Enough said.

MY FAIR LADY (1964)  - another musical where I still think of the songs to this day. My dad used to hum the tunes all the time. That's probably one of my best memories. And I definitely had a crush on Eliza Doolittle.

WAIT UNTIL DARK (1967) - this is the film (along with REAR WINDOW) that made me love the "single location thriller". I realized a good story didn't need tons of locations. And it's another film starring Audrey Hepburn. I think my parents must've loved her (who didn't?).

Spoilers in the clip below.