Saturday, December 19, 2009

Winter weather watching

What better way to spend the "blizzard of '09" then watching some movies I'd taped off TCM.

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.)