'The best year in American cinema' sparks moviegoers' memories

Published: Monday, February 10, 2014 at 05:10 PM.

"I was 13 years old in 1939 and I saw a lot of those movies," Kemp said. "I went to Saturday afternoon matinees. "

Kemp said her favorite film of the year was also "Gone With the Wind," but "Young Mr. Lincoln," No. 9 on DeBolt's list, generated a special memory.

Her mother, who disapproved of movies, gave Kemp money to see the Henry Fonda film about Lincoln's early career as an Illinois attorney.

"She thought it was educational and she was all for that. It was the only time I ever lied to my mother," Kemp said. "I walked to another (cinema) and saw 'One Million B.C.' I went home and made up a story about seeing the Lincoln movie."

The Rev. Harry Tipton, a retired Air Force and prison chaplain, also had fond memories of the epic Civil War classic that topped historians' lists.

"The first movie I ever saw was 'Gone With the Wind,'" he said. "I saw it when I was a small child in Knoxville, Tenn."

DeBolt's "behind the scenes" stories about the films made the presentation intriguing, Kemp and Tipton said.  

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