ICE CASTLES Being Rebuilt


I was flipping through a People magazine recently when I saw a blurb that Ice Castles is being remade. Remember that movie with Robby Benson and Lynn-Holly Johnson as the blind ice skater? It is cheesier than a log of Velveeta but boy, did it make me cry when I first saw it in 1978.

I was in 7th grade when I walked to the nearby movie theater after school by myself to see this movie. When the Johnson character, Alexis Winston, had the accident and lost her sight, I was crushed, CRUSHED. What would happen to her dreams of becoming a world champion figure skater?! But wait, along came a cute boy named Nick (Benson) who helped her realize she could still triumph in a skating competition and in life, blindness be damned. By the time that theme song played over the end credits, I was sobbing into my bucket of corn.

But it didn’t end there. I went out and bought the sheet music for said theme song, “Looking Through the Eyes of Love” by Melissa Manchester, and spent weeks plinking it out on our yard-sale piano, singing in my most angsty voice, “Please don’t let this feeling end, it’s everything I aaam…,” wondering when someone would come along to look through my eyes of love. Oy. Did I mention I was a very young girl?

This memory is funny to me because nowadays, I am allergic to sap. I roll my eyes violently at the slightest hint of melodrama. But when this remake airs on TV, I’ll probably tune in. It’s interesting that the original director, Donald Wrye, is also doing the remake. How many times has that happened? (Off the top of my head, I can only think of Alfred Hitchcock and The Man Who Knew Too Much.) This version has real-life figure skater Taylor Firth in the lead role, with Rob Mayes (American Mall) as Nick. Michelle Kwan will also cameo.

But the real reason I’ll probably watch is to see whether 30 years of intervening life experience will allow me to react to the movie in the same way. Though I’m highly skeptical, there’s a part of me that hopes the answer will be yes.

Any other closet Ice Castles fans out there? See if the video below brings back memories. If not, which sappy movie do you think is ripe for a remake and why? Leave me a comment and I promise I won’t judge (unless you say Beaches).


14 responses to “ICE CASTLES Being Rebuilt

  1. Oh, reading your memories of Ice Castles felt like reading my old diary, PCN! Yes, I bawled my eyes out, and I also learned Through the Eyes of Love. And I recall putting on my white roller skates and pretending I was her, though I was sensible enough not to attempt to recreate her accident! I could only do basic laps of the carport, not figure skating, but I did love that movie! I can’t imagine a remake. I think I’ll just keep my memory of the corny-but-sweet original intact πŸ™‚ .

    • Oh, ShelleyP, you’re sensible and talented! I wish I could skate well enough, on rollers or blades, to do laps of the carport. I’m a menace to society with skates on because the only way I can stop is to throw myself at a wall or other people. This lack of talent effectively killed my dreams of being a professional figure skater, which I entertained briefly after seeing this movie.

  2. OMG…I found out about this movie a couple months ago and, like yourself, was kinda thrilled! I know little boys weren’t supposed to cry at this type of thing, but my brother and I sat on the couch with my stepmom watching this movie and weeping our asses off!!

    I know Rob from AMERICAN MALL and have seen some of the behind-the-scenes pics from the set and what I have seen makes me even more excited. This movie is gonna rock!!

    Oh, and the only other director I can think of who remade his own movie is Cecil B. DeMille who made both a silent and talkie version of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. Also, Robert Rodriquez kinda ripped off EL MARIACHI a lot in DESPERADO…not a literal remake, but pretty damn close! πŸ™‚

    • Haha! My mental picture of you weeping your ass off makes me laugh! And you’ve already seen pics from the remake? Dude, send them over! Isn’t it interesting how a guy named Rob was cast to replace Robby? Did he at least cut his hair?

      Good call on The Ten Commandments. And I never saw El Mariachi but will take your word that Rodriguez ripped himself off.

  3. I recall this film, know the plot, but never saw it in the theaters. Since I’m a guy, I do not cry at the movies. And if say you saw me doing just that while taking in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, I’ll deny it ;-).

    You can to that director list, Michael Haneke. He did the 1997 original (and unpleasant IMO) Funny Games and it’s 2007 U.S. remake.

    Keep ’em comin’, PCN.

    • le0pard13, didn’t I see you weeping at a showing of Steel Magnolias back in ’89? No? How ’bout Brian’s Song? You know you love it!

      Oh, gosh, Funny Games (2007) was VERY unpleasant! Couldn’t get through it. Didn’t even know there was a previous version. This is all very informative and interesting. YOU keep ’em coming!

      • Don’t get me started with Brian’s Song. I was a junior in high school when that TV movie came out. Afterwards, all of the guys that I knew talked about how good that movie was–but nobody admitted to anything else. Different era and attitudes then, but it was an open secret that there was nary a dry eye.

  4. I love the movie as well. I felt almost the same way as you did, but I actually fell in love with the girl πŸ˜€ I became nothing but sympathetic to the case of visually impaired people from that moment on.

    And I won’t deny it: I did cry when she got blind. I’m a proud sobber and I like it. I even cried with Big Fish and I won’t hide it!

    I don’t know if a remake might work. Ice Castles has its special 1970’s cheesiness which is what makes the movie great, and I see it difficult to replay. But we’ll have to see, won’t we?

    • I’m so happy to see other Ice Castles fans here, both men and women! I didn’t cry at Big Fish, Poncho, but I’ve heard from male friends who did. Must be a guy thing. I have huge reservations about the Castles remake, too, but will tune in to see how they update it.

      I don’t cry easily at movies but when I do, I cry HARD, with snot coming out like Viola Davis in Doubt . The hardest: Terms of Endearment (little Huckleberry Fox’s face at her bedside was too much), The Deer Hunter (when Christopher Walken’s character did that foolhardy thing), House of Sand of Fog (when Ben Kingsley kept repeating “I want my son, I want only my son”), and The Killing Fields (pretty much throughout, but especially when “Imagine” played over the reunion scene). Also, a little-known TV movie with Kristy McNichol and Bruce Davison called Summer of My German Soldier. Anyone seen that?

  5. Ice Castles never did it for me. It was a movie called Death Be Not Proud. Looking at this trailer though, I wonder how they will remake the film and achieve just the right balance of cheese and current day. Are we that innocent anymore?

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