Did you see Steven Spielberg’s version of West Side Story this year? It was cool.

So was the song COOL in the movie… the one below is from the original 1961 screenplay…

Yup, finger-snapping cool.

I really really wanted to be cool in the 1960’s. Movies were Cool School.

Saturday 50ยข cent matinees at the Palace or Capitol Theatre in Hamilton, Ontario were MY Cool School.

The 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde enthralled me. Best opening credits ever and an explosive, emotional killer of a final scene.

I wanted to grow up to be Clyde Barrow… or Bonnie Parker… didn’t matter that she was a woman, she was young and sexy and fun. She made lipstick seem sensuous and pornographic.

They were both cool.

Actually, I think I really wanted to be Warren Beatty playing Clyde because he was just as young as Faye Dunaway (Bonnie) but even more sexy and more fun, plus he chopped some toes off in prison just so he didn’t have to do chain gang duty… is anything more sexy or fun than chopping off your toes to get a week off work? So much more cool than COVID.

And, have you ever seen Beatty’s smile? Who wouldn’t want to be him?

He was cool.

And if I couldn’t be Warren Beatty playing Clyde or Faye Dunaway playing Bonnie, then I’d have settled for Steve McQueen as a detective in Bullitt.

McQueen was so stoic and unemotional (in the movie and in real life). Stoic is cool.

More importantly, he drove a screaming fast 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback that could fly over San Francisco hills like it was a jet setting off into California’s skies before landing with a big crash-bang on the asphalt. (He drove that Mustang like he rode the motorcycle in The Great Escape).

He was so cool.

Wait? Maybe it was actually Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy or Robert Redford as the Sundance Kid that I wanted to be… they both had blue eyes and deadly smiles.

Butch could kick other big guys in the balls and Sundance could 6-shooter 10 men dead in 5 seconds like a Tesla hits 60 miles per hour in 5 seconds.

Oh man, they were cool.

Interior of Hamilton’s Capitol Theatre where I spent many childhood matinee hours

Flash forward 50 years…

In today’s 10 screen Multiplex movie world, I’d suppose I’d gobble my popcorn and dream of being sexily sardonic Ryan Reynolds playing Deadpool… he is today’s COOL. Hi Blake Honey, I’m home. Good Twitter comeback at me today!

Alas, my dreams of being cool like all these actors… or for that matter, my other dream of becoming a rock star like Elton John never happened. If I ever had any chances… well… they slipped through my fingers like sand in an egg-timer.

Here I sit at this point in life – broken-hearted and broken-bodied *Boo-Hoo*– and I’ve accepted my Cool School dreams will never be actualized. Dreams CAN be enough.

But isn’t West Side Story’s Tony (Ansel Elgort) pretty cool?