Tag Archives: James Thurber

Walter Mitty is almost here!

mountain road

The road to meaningful experiences. Do you dare take it? Image courtesy of veggiegretz, Morguefile.

Last year, I wrote a post about a short story by humorist James Thurber called The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. At that time, they were already at work filming it and now it’s getting ready to come to the big screen this December.

From the trailers I’ve been seeing, it looks pretty good so I’m hoping that the movie adaptation of this story works well. Ben Stiller’s Walter Mitty is a dreamer who constantly escapes from his ordinary life into a fantasy world through vivid daydreams. And with the capabilities of today’s CGI effects, it should be fun.

The original movie adaptation of this James Thurber story was made in 1947 featuring Danny Kaye, another favorite actor of mine. I remember that this version had some hilariously funny musical numbers so that the moviemakers could take advantage of Kaye’s fantastic singing voice as well as his acting ability. Kaye’s Walter Mitty, as I recall, was a typical Thurber hero — meek and henpecked but rises to the occasion when it’s necessary.

It looks like this version of the movie is going to go a step further in the development of Walter Mitty, since it’s more about Walter Mitty seeking to live a meaningful life full of great experiences from all over the world.

I can relate to that. I have been fortunate enough to make some solo journeys through New England, the South, the eastern part of Canada and Luxembourg. Before I went, I was nervous about traveling alone but the deep-seated need to see these places outweighed the nerves. (Having a map, a guidebook and a plan didn’t hurt, either.) I had some fantastic experiences which I wouldn’t trade away for anything. And through the pictures I took while I was in those places and the stories I tell on my blog or in real life, I can relive those experiences over and over.

I’m of the opinion that everyone should make solo journeys like mine or Walter’s at least once in their lives. I hope you do. But if you don’t, at least you can enjoy Walter’s trip vicariously through the magic of film.

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