Saturday, December 19, 2009
The Painted Veil - I thought this one would be an automic win, what with Garbo and all, but I'm rather lukewarm about it. I'm so attached to the Somerset Maugham novel that this adaptation disappointed me. I understand they need to make Garbo the heroine, but I think that could have been done without straying so very far from the novel. In its place I would recommend the 2006 version with Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, and Liev Schrieber.
Her Cardboard Lover - This movie gets a bad rap, and is often cited as the reason Norma Shearer retired from movies, but I loved it. Granted, she does go over the top a bit with all the "darling Tony!" stuff, but I kind of expect that from her. Robert Taylor was abolutely delightful with the silly bits and one liners. And who better to play the cad than George Sanders? Character actor bonus: Frank McHugh (whose character was named Chappie Champagne, how can you not love that?).
I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang - I'd taped this months ago, when Alec Baldwin was guest hosting The Essentials. (Suggestion to Robert Osbourne: maybe next time let the guest host get a few words in edgewise?) Finally got around to watching it, and promptly went and bought the DVD from Amazon when the movie was over. EGAD. Paul Muni is brilliant, and Alec Baldwin was so right to advise the viewer to make sure and stay for the final scene (which happened the way it does by accident; I love those kind of stories). The plot is very like "The Roaring Twenties," one of my favorite Cagney movies.
Next Up: Bedlam (Karloff runs the infamous insane asylum!), Never Say Goodbye, 84 Charing Cross Road, and Girl 27 (you can read that [horrifying and true] story here.)
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
- Objective, Burma!
- Destination Tokyo
- Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
- They Were Expendable
- Blood On The Sun
- 13 Rue Madeleine
- Mister Roberts
- Run Silent, Run Deep
- The Gallant Hours
- Europa, Europa
- Der Untergang (The Downfall)
- Sophie Scholl - Die Letzten Tage (The Final Days)
- The Fighting 69th
- Captains of the Clouds
- The Dawn Patrol
- Dive Bomber
- You, John Jones! (one reel short)
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
- Fred Astaire
- Lauren Bacall
- Brigitte Bardot
- John Belushi (toga! toga! toga!)
- Ingmar Bergman
- Ingrid Bergman
- Humphrey Bogart
- Marlon Brando
- Richard Burton
- James Cagney (I was just thinking, he must be in the top 10)
I'm surprised. I never would have expected Belushi to be in the top 10. I assumed they'd start with all the "classic" stars first. I wonder how they came up with the "pecking order" in the first place.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
My all time favorite Crawford poster. I thought the movie was blah. Look at that hair! And I like the script at the top.
I love the look of her face, although not the skin tone.
I love the poster and the movie in this case. Ann Sheridan is just beautiful.
A little over the top, but still gorgeous.
I just like the yellow, and the heads of the cast members.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I worked my way through my Flynn Westerns box set this weekend, also viewing Montana, Rocky Mountain, and Virginia City. Flynn's sidekick in two of these films was S.Z. "Cuddles" Sakall, and I'm of two minds about that. On the one hand, "Cuddles" is absolutely adorable in everything he does, which usually includes a lot of bumbling (and how awesome is it that he always had his nickname in the credits?). On the other hand, there's few things more out of place in a Western than a chubby guy with a thick Hungarian accent. Alan Hale is my preferred Flynn buddy, but Sakall turned out to be an acceptable, if somewhat unsuitable, substitute. My all time favorite Flynn western, though, is Dodge City.
I also polished off the last of my Warners Gangsters Vol. 4 set with Invisible Stripes, and Kid Galahad. We'll talk about those next time.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
They are, of course, a completely unrealistic picture of family life -- even more so now than when they were made. And yet, I love them, and watching them is so relaxing. For one thing, you always know what to expect -- Andy falls for girl, gets in some kind of (totally harmless) trouble, has man-to-man talk with Dad -- and yet the details of the story are different each time, so there's a combination of old and new which keeps my interest.
Even as the feminist in me kind of recoils from Mother Hardy's obvious belief that she's just a mere woman who can't even balance her checkbook, there is something comforting in watching her fuss over the children or bustle around in the kitchen -- and what dinners she makes! And the men always come to the table in coats and ties! It's hard to believe that people actually lived that way, although my dad tells stories of the days when men walked the boardwalk at the Jersey shores in coats and ties and hats, the women in dresses and pantyhose and gloves. There is a style about it (and classic films in general, from the manners to the decor) that seems so quaint today, but it's a style I enjoy.
My current box set dream is an Andy Hardy box set...and my birthday is next month, Ted Turner! Hear my cries! For your benefit, here's a list of the films (and in checking IMDB to create the list, I notice Mickey Rooney currently has 323 movies to his name...wow!):
- A Family Affair (Lionel Barrymore was the original Judge Hardy, but I like Lewis Stone much better)
- You're Only Young Once
- Judge Hardy's Children
- Love Finds Andy Hardy
- Out West with the Hardys
- The Hardys Ride High
- Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever
- Judge Hardy and Son
- Andy Hardy Meets Debutante
- Andy Hardy's Private Secretary
- Life Begins for Andy Hardy
- The Courtship of Andy Hardy
- Andy Hardy's Double Life
- Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble
- Love Laughs at Andy Hardy
- Andy Hardy Comes Home
Hmm. Maybe I haven't seen most of them after all.