Growing up, we had a visitor every Saturday Night. He was a jolly fellow who arrived after dinner and brought his friends along. His name was Elwy Yost and he hosted a local program on TVOntario called Saturday Night at the Movies. The show, which featured two classic movies, opened with a surprisingly interesting and enthusiastic intro.
The two films were separated by an intermission that, over time, grew to include interviews with actors and directors as the show became more popular.
My mom would curl up in her La-Z-Boy. Dad and I would sit on the sofa. There would often be peanuts; my dad had a passion for Spanish peanuts from Picard’s Peanuts. It was from Elwy Yost that I learned about all sorts of classic films, actors and directors, and to love black and white movies. I became a particular fan of Powell & Pressburger films, my two favorites being A Matter of Life & Death (known in the US as Stairway to Heaven) and I Know Where I’m Going.
As I got older, and found myself babysitting in a Saturday Night, I often found myself watching movies with Elwy on my own. I remember one night, during a David Lean marathon, the parents came home 20 minutes before the end of Lawrence of Arabia, It was a few years before I got to see the end.
In these days of DVD, Blu-Ray and on demand, we can watch whatever we want, whenever we want. I sort of miss the day when Elwy Yost came to visit.