WASHINGTON, D.C., December 29, 2011 — As the year 2011 ends, so ends the tenth anniversary of the horrendous attacks of 2001. During the month of September, we repeatedly saw those beautiful twin towers crumble before our eyes. I was expecting those telecasts. Yet ten years later it still hurts to see it, and hope I never become inured to seeing videos and photos of that catastrophic attack on America.
What sometimes jolts me, however, is the unexpected appearance of those glorious towers. Over the holiday weekend, mixed in with three movie versions of “The Christmas Carol” and a showing of “Miracle on 34th Street,” was a showing of one of my guest’s favorite movies,
“Wall Street.” In that one motion picture, the Twin Towers can be seen no fewer than 10 times.
Often while watching a movie on television or DVD, suddenly there they are: those iconic Twin Towers, standing undefiled in all their glory. And this means that when this film was made, people were there, living people. People working, celebrating co-workers’ birthdays, bragging about their children, talking about their weekend plans, showing pictures of their recent wedding — all the things that people do at their workplaces.
These towers unexpectedly turn up just about anywhere, so the following can serve as a “spoiler caution” or as a preparatory notice as we look back at some memorable films that featured the Towers.
In the 1984 Woody Allen-Mia Farrow comedy “Broadway Danny Rose,” the pair are running from mobsters, and suddenly before us loom the beautiful towers in clear focus. The towers are seen also in the 1987 detective drama with Tom Berenger “Someone to Watch Over Me.”
Although they are seen ten times in Michael Douglas’ “Wall Street,” sadly, they cannot be seen in the 2011 sequel, for what are all too obvious reasons.
They show up in the perky and charming 1997 comedy, “Picture Perfect,” starring Jennifer Aniston. The next year they appear in the science fiction film, “Deep Impact,” (just three years before Sept.11, 2001) and are, incredibly, toppled in that film.
In Kevin Costner’s 1999 baseball film “For Love of the Game,” the towers serve as background for romance. Then, in 2000, as Sandra Bullock’s wends her way from her “28 Days” in rehab to begin a new way of life, the gleaming golden towers stand firm to welcome her home.
In the year 2001, a few releases reveal the towers: “Love Thy Neighbor” with Roy Scheider; “Vanilla Sky” starring Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz; and the first of the action series, “Fast & Furious.”
The very last feature film to show the Twin Towers is the Ben Affleck-Samuel L. Jackson drama “Changing Lanes.” (To see more clips from other films, view the video below.)
In filming the 2001 blockbuster “Spider-Man,” plans were in place to exploit the towers for dramatic effect. One scene, in fact, had already been shot and briefly appeared in the coming attractions. However, after the events of 9/11, editors removed that scene from the film itself. Yet, in the movie, for one nanosecond, the towers are reflected in the eyes of the superhero.
The Towers can be seen in sitcoms such as “Seinfeld,” “Becker,” and “Friends.” Also they appear in the opening credits of early episodes of “The Sopranos.”
Like a shooting star they appear. The Towers!…There they are!… Look!…Lovely!…Gone.
Vance Garnett’s writings have appeared in many newspapers and magazines. They have won the praise of such luminaries as Paul Harvey, William Safire, and Shirley Povich. Vance calls himself “a lover of all things Washington.”
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