Because I need a trip Out of Arizona

by Jennifer on June 18, 2008

Two nights ago, at much too late an hour, I caught the first half of Out of Africa before falling asleep. And a few days before that, I turned it on somewhere in the middle. So, in my own backwards way, I managed to watch the whole movie in the last week, along with bits and pieces of it at other times over several days. (I know, I should just rent it, right? Heck, I should buy it.) Over the years, I must have watched it more than 20 times. Still counting.

I’m sure I’m in good company when I say that I love that movie beyond reason. It’s three hours of yearning and passion and hardship and loss. My kind of film.

And I love watching Robert Redford in it. (I’ve made no secret of how I feel about him.)

Ladies, was there ever a better case made for lather, rinse, repeat?

Also, I wish I could dress like Karen Blixen. Maybe not all the time, but often. Except I should maybe live somewhere where it’s not 110 degrees every damn day in the summer. And I should probably find a way for Ralph Lauren to design and manage my wardrobe. (And get the girls from Work Out to manage the size of my ass.)

Could I also live in that house? Maybe there will be a replica of it at Women’s Colony. I call dibs on it, right here, right now. I might share, if you’re nice to me. And I’ll let you visit on Thursdays if you look like Robert Redford. Or are Robert Redford.

In one of my favorite scenes, Denys asks Karen for a story. She asks him to provide the first line, and he does. From there and on the spot, she invents a story, captivating the two men in her company as the tale unspools. Whenever I watch that scene, I wish for her ease and confidence in her gift for stories. (I also wish for Robert Redford to look at me, just once, like that.) I’ve always thought that Denys fell in love with Karen that night. And how could he not?

Out of Africa is a different movie to me now than it was when I watched it for the first time over 20 years ago. In this scene, now, I identify more with Denys than with Karen. In my 20s, I would have come down resolutely on her side of the argument. She makes some good points, though, and I do love the line, “I have learned a thing that you haven’t. There are things in life worth having, but they come at a price. I want to be one of them.”

Back when I was deciding what to do with my life, it’s a good thing I decided to become a famous, gifted actress. Otherwise, I would have missed out on this:

Fine. Don’t believe me.

All photos from Google images

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Attila the Mom June 19, 2008 at 12:58 am

I was just thinking the other day when I saw this was on that I’d never seen it.

Thanks for the reminder that I gotta put it on my netflix list!

Attila the Moms last blog post..A Revolting Development

Reply

Mrs. G. June 19, 2008 at 2:58 am

You can totally have that house. At the Colony, all dreams come true. However, sadly, Robert will only be allowed on Sundays and Thursdays.

Mrs. G.s last blog post..Slow Cook Thursday

Reply

Mrs. Chili June 19, 2008 at 3:35 am

It’s been SO long since I’ve seen this film, but I remember, with amazing clarity, the scene where Karen beats the lioness off with the whip. Her servant, who disapproved of her actions, is tending her cuts later, and he says something like “The lioness is hungry; SHE does not have this ox. The cart is heavy. WE do not have this ox. God is great, Sabu; he plays with us.”

For reasons I can’t quite describe, that line was the central point of the film for me.

Mrs. Chilis last blog post..Blind Date

Reply

D / Momma June 19, 2008 at 5:17 am

I remember the first time I saw that scene. I thought, “Yeah, I want to be one of those things in life that comes at a price.” What woman doesn’t? We want to know that our great love would give up anything for us, especially his freedom.

Thanks for the video. I need to watch this again Suddenly Netflix is going to have “very long wait” next to this title in the queue! 🙂

Peace – D

D / Mommas last blog post..Type A or Not Type A?

Reply

HRH June 19, 2008 at 5:29 am

OOOOOOOO. I could live that way. The house, the clothes, the kiss….

PS–it totally looks like you.

HRHs last blog post..The one (and only) time Holly was a fierce camper…

Reply

Ann June 19, 2008 at 7:10 am

I own this movie. I’ve seen it probably 30+ times. I have countless favorite scenes. When her hand shakes over his grave, and she simply cannot drop the dirt upon it? Slays me.

You and Redford make a smashing couple.

Anns last blog post..My Presidential Pardons

Reply

brenda June 19, 2008 at 7:34 am

Get ready to gasp. I have never seen this movie. Are you horrified? I read the book. (Now that I think of it, if I can get through that book, why can’t I get though Portrait of a Lady? I’ve thought about watching the movie because my husband and I love to watch movies. But he has seen this one, and perfect man that he is, he hates it. Maybe when the girls are older it can be a weekend thing for us?

And of course I believe it’s you with Robert Redford! Why wouldn’t it be?!

Reply

Jan June 19, 2008 at 7:41 am

I need to watch this movie again. And yes, that is you.

Reply

Tina June 19, 2008 at 7:55 am

Robert Redford was cute when he was little, wasn’t he? Not so much now, but then I’ve aged too.

Tinas last blog post..I’m thinking Arby’s

Reply

melissa June 19, 2008 at 8:19 am

He is a handsome man. And her wardrobe? I also coveted it. But totally impractical.

melissas last blog post..Screw Iowa!

Reply

Dharmamama June 19, 2008 at 8:20 am

I humbly submit the hair-washing scene from the English Patient as, not a *better* case for lather, rinse, repeat, but a different case. I love me some Redford, but Naveen Andrews with that lo-o-o-o-ng hair? My, my.

May watch both movies this weekend.

Have you heard the story of how Meryl Streep had a bug crawling in her clothes in one scene? Can’t remember which one right now, but she totally kept a straight face and kept in character until they were done filming, then she screamed and jumped around. Steel.

Dharmamamas last blog post..I’m Being Gentle With Myself

Reply

Daryl June 19, 2008 at 10:07 am

I am likely the only one who hasnt seen Out of Africa AND who adored The English Patient …. a quick funny ..

The English Patient is ending and there’s a plane crash … Husband turns to me and says WTF? How did he get on that plane ….?

I said he got on it at the very beginning of the movie

He says to me: THAT was like 4 days ago who remembers!

Actually we watched it one afternoon with several bathroom breaks

Daryls last blog post..more venice

Reply

flutter June 19, 2008 at 11:42 am

I am so mad that you didn’t invite me to travel!~

flutters last blog post..

Reply

Akelamalu June 19, 2008 at 11:43 am

I loved that film too!

Akelamalus last blog post..Where’s me camera?……

Reply

Gone Back South June 19, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Now you’re talkin’ my language!!! I’ve got that hair-washing photo on my blog because it’s so romantic and wonderful … I LOVE that movie. And it makes me cry every time …

Gone Back Souths last blog post..Relentless

Reply

JCK June 19, 2008 at 2:09 pm

I adore that movie as well. And the shampooing scene…one of the SEXIEST in cinema.

JCKs last blog post..My Interview on Derfwad Manor

Reply

david mcmahon June 19, 2008 at 3:40 pm

You always make me smile, Jennifer. I’m sure Mr H looks better than Robert Redford – who is (as we Aussies say) is “fairly easy on the eye”.

Reply

tysdaddy June 19, 2008 at 5:28 pm

I’ve never seen this movie. Never really been a Robert Redford fan. Though I did like The Natural. But since you like it so much . . .

[surfing over to add this to my Blockbuster queue]

tysdaddys last blog post..Bored?

Reply

Kellan June 19, 2008 at 6:27 pm

I told my girls (the twins) that they need to watch this movie – one of the best movies of ALL TIME – this summer. They love when I suggest moives and often they fall in love with the movie too. They are going to love this movie!! I haven’t seen it in a while.

Thanks for your support today – you are a good friend. Kellan

Kellans last blog post..Thank You!

Reply

andi June 19, 2008 at 6:29 pm

Who says I don’t believe you? 😉

andis last blog post..That’s Queen Dumbass to You

Reply

Julie Pippert June 19, 2008 at 7:30 pm

I totally don’t want to live on the savannah (the subtropics are a big enough adventure; the last thing I need are elephants) but I will ABSOLUTELY take the wardrobe and the Robert Redford circa Denys. With hair washing.

I’ve got a hottie but he’s not big on the washing my hair or massaging my feet. This will be in my profile for my next husband. 😉 Or I’ll just hire a masseuse LOL.

Julie Pipperts last blog post..I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more: The Hump Day Hmm for June 18, 2008

Reply

the mama bird diaries June 19, 2008 at 8:48 pm

You and Redford would be divine together.

I have movies that I’ve watch a billion times too… but alas they are a bit less sophisticated. Umm… “Picture Perfect” with Jennifer Aniston. Yeah, told you.

the mama bird diariess last blog post..is my kid weird?

Reply

cce June 20, 2008 at 5:33 am

That’s a great scene…great dialog. I love her strength even though she’s dying inside. You’ve inspired me to rent this one again. BTW, have you read West with the Night by Beryl Markham? I think I’m going to read it again and soon.

Reply

San June 20, 2008 at 11:12 am

I need to rent Out of Africa and see it again. Yes, our reactions to movies change as we grow older. At least our reactions to BIG, excellent movies like this. Maybe that’s a litmus test of a movie’s greatness.

Robert Redford. An acquaintance of mine ran face-to-face with him while walking on the Plaza in Santa Fe. One of those life-changing moments.

Sans last blog post..A Brief but LARGE Life

Reply

Jeff B June 20, 2008 at 6:09 pm

Here via David.

I’ll have to put this on the “To watch” list. Sound like a winner.

Reply

Cindy March 31, 2009 at 11:11 am

I’ve fallen totally in love with this movie and with the characters – I’ve been reading the Baroness’s own book, Out of Africa, which is LOADED with so much more than the movie had in it (always the case). The book revolves around the life on the farm – there is no mention of she and her husband’s romance – or not romance – or of the romance between Mr. Finch-Hatton – so watch the movie and then read the book – she was an absolutely remarkable woman – to have lived in Africa so far removed from civilization at that time – incredible. She probably would have made a great U.S. President – so unlucky in love, but so wise in life – her relationships with her native servants and the local tribes people are so rich and colorful – makes you want to throw all caution to the wind and buy a farm in Africa! Of course as Robert Redford says in the film “it won’t be the same”. All of the people portrayed in the film were just bigger than life in real life. Interestingly, the “Felicity” character played in the movie was supposedly Beryl Markham – who had an affair with Denys Finch Hatton towards the end of the winding down of the affair between he and Karen.

We led such ho hum lives, don’t we?

Reply

Georgie June 18, 2009 at 1:53 pm

One may appear to lead a “ho-hum” life,but it would seem that the Karen Blixen story and stories has struck a chord with many. What part of ourselves prevents us from creating for ourselves, the fantasy of words. Except for the fantasy of words, the knowledge of Karen Blixen would have been denied to us all.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: