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Showing posts from 2010

The Hills Are Alive... Again

Okay, my girlish fandom is coming through as tomorrow the entire cast of The Sound of Music will be on Oprah.  I loved this movie growing up and is just a classic for me, it's one of my favorite things.   Anyway,  I am just super excited since it's the first time in 45 years the cast has been reunited since climbing up the mountain, and lets just face it, it's awesomeness!  

On a side note, my love for Christopher Plummer accelerates my excitement as he was so cute in the film, and he has the greatest voice.  In high school my mom and I would watch the cartoon Madeline because he narrated it.  And no, I am not obsessed...

The Bad Seed (1956)

I will never look at little girls with pigtails the same way again.  

Rhoda Penmark is an eight year old who if doesn't get her way goes far beyond a childhood tantrum but resorts to cold-blooded murder, in this case, to obtain a penmenship medal she feels was wrongly awarded to another classmate.

Patty McCormack is chilling as the eight year old murderess leaving me with goosebumps across my skin.  Her facial expressions posed behind her mother's back are grotesque, raising eyebrows at Rhoda's determination and smarmy demeanor.  claiming she has the sweetest mother and offering a basket of hugs for a basket of kisses in return.  

Nancy Kelly plays the part of a worried mother very well and expertly passes the different stages of feeling to suspicion to derangement, in the end acting on what she feels is best for herself and child.

As much as I enjoyed this movie, The Bad Seed is extremely campy.  Even though the acting was good it is very dramatic and over the top which I t…

I may have them take my ashes and spread them all over Las Vegas

Tony Curtis
June 3, 1925 – September 29, 2010

RIP Billie May Richards

I'm a week late but being a child from the 80s just had to pay tribute.  Billie May Richards beloved voice of the 1964 Rudolph and Care Bears Tenderheart  passed away at the age of 88.  Even now in my 20s I still watch the 60s claymation Christmas movies on ABC Family.   Therefore in memory, RIP Billie May Richards.

The Letter (1940)

The 1940's film, The Letter is the original Fatal Attraction.  The film opens in Malaya when Leslie Crosbie, played by Bette Davis shoots a gentleman caller, identified as Geoff Hammond a family friend.   After having her husband summoned and a police officer arrives she confesses to killing Mr. Hammond after he tries to make love to her grasping for the revolver to protect her honor.  Leslie is immediately brought into custody with little protest as though she was going to a day at the beach.  Each time Leslie is questioned her story never changes and is repeated word for word that, neither  herself or her husband had seen Geoff for many months until he appeared on her doorstep.  This is until a incriminating letter surfaces, written in Leslie's hand to Geoff Hammond on the day of the murder asking him to come to her home.  Of course this changes everything, following lies and deceit with a confession that can only be compared to Glen Close.
Two words could compl…

It`s a great responsibility to win the award twice...

While Olivia De Havilland's third may not have been an Oscar the French Legion of Honor, is nothing to poo poo about.  Because of my love for Olivia De Havilland and adoration of the most beloved Gone with the Wind I just had to recognize this.

Instead of summarizing the article on the event (and unnecessary scrolling) publication of the ceremony can be found here

If you do that one more time, I'll punch you all the way out into the middle of Lake Superior!

I've been incommunicado as of late, but with good reason, I was on vacation.  We traveled all the way up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, around the area where Anatomy of a Murder was shot.

As a quick recap of the film,   James Stewart plays Paul Biegler a former district attorney in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Biegler is contacted by Laura Manion, (Lee Remick) wife of  Frederick "Manny" Manion (Ben Gazzara) a U.S. Army Lieutenant who has been arrested for first degree murder of Barney Quill after seeing his wife being raped.  Paul Beigler is assigned to the case and to make matters worse, his client does not deny the killing.

My aunt and uncle watch this film on a monthly bases and visited all the "hot spots"  Some scenes were actually filmed in the Thunder Bay Inn in Big Bay, Michigan, one block from the Lumberjack Tavern, the site of a 1952 murder witch inspired the film. One such example is the court room in the movie. On the court room floor th…

Wuthering Heights (1939)

Wuthering Heights is the love story of Cathy and Heathcliff who meet as young children and  as they grow up fall in love, but due to circumstance are not meant to be.  Cathy, who has grown materialistic over the years marries Edgar Linton who can provide her everything she may desire.  I always was so pissed at this because Edgar who is unconditionally devoted to her when she was such a self-centered witch.  Anyway, upon this union Heathcliff leaves for America to make something of himself and returns a wealthy man but still little can change in the lovers circumstances.

This 1939 film was amazingly directed by William Wyler. I thought Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon were very good as the doomed lovers Cathy and Heathcliff.  Although both seemed a little too nice for the part, not as self-absorbed as I had wished.  Through out the film I kept thinking how perfect Orson Welles  would have been in the role of Heathcliff since he tends to have a very aloof nature.  (sor…

Rebecca (1940)

You had me at Hitchcock.  And if that wasn't enough you can also throw in the great Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine.  These three mainstays of Golden Hollywood are all involved with the mysterious Rebecca.

Rebecca is the story of an unnamed girl who marries the wealthy Maxim de Winter who was ruined after the death of his first wife Rebecca.  Upon entering the estate of Manderly the second Mrs. de Winter is constantly being compared to the first wife of that name and is petrified by her maid and still devotee of Rebecca, Mrs. Danvers.

Rebecca was filmed in an eerie light making the most mundane things creepy, such as the opening of a window, a portrait in the hall or an embroidered pillow case, goosebumps were sent up my spine.

 I've seen this movie many times and still manages to catch me off guard.  I think this is because there are gaps of questioning left in the conclusion, leaving this storyline as unfinished or unsolved, as somethings must stay unearthed.

Lips red as the rose. Hair black as ebony. Skin white as snow....Snow White

Whatever your age movies are very impressionable.  Whether the flying monkeys scared you or the ending scene of Dirty Dancing puts a smile on your face, films leave an impact.   When I was younger that was Disney.

The first movie I saw in the theater was a re-release of Lady and the Tramp, I remember nothing about it but look very happy in the picture. This is were my introduction to Disney began.

Then when I was three or four I discovered Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Walt had me hook, line and sinker.  My bedroom became a living shrine to the movie, or an overdone advertisement, feel free to take your pick.  I could entertain myself for hours on end after learning how to work the VCR, just looping Snow and her seven friends again and again. In my Snow White costume of course.

I have always held a special place in my heart for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  I still get nervous when the dwarfs encounter Snow White in their beds after their hard day in the mines. I still tell …

The Scarlet Pimpernel! (1939)

In the year 1792, Sir Percy and Lady Marguerite Blakeney are the darlings of British society—he is known as one of the wealthiest men in England and a dimwit;she is French, a stunning former actress, and “the cleverest woman in Europe”—and they find themselves at the center of a deadly political intrigue. The Reign of Terror controls France, and every day aristocratsin Paris fall victim to Madame la Guillotine. Only one man can rescue them—the Scarlet Pimpernel—a master of disguises who leaves a calling card bearing only a signature red flower. As the fascinating connection between the Blakeneys and this mysterious hero is revealed, they are forced to choose between love and loyalty in order to avoid the French agent Chauvelin, who relentlessly hunts the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Ah, I love the 1934 version of The Scarlet Pimpernel staring Leslie Howard, who I absolutely adore and Merle Oberon, who I am beginning to love in period pieces.  Leslie Howard has just the right amount of flamboya…

Jane Eyre (1943)

Orson Welles stars as Edward Rochester, the brooding employer of governess Jane Eyre in this adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's Gothic novel. An orphan with a tragic story herself, young Jane, played by Joan Fontaine slowly frees Edward from his self-imposed prison, but his troubled past stands in the way of their burgeoning love.

First, I must say that there was a disclaimer before the beginning of the film, not because of its content but because the film was so old and the distributors did as best they could to put the footage together. Although, if they had not proclaimed that ahead of time I wouldn't have been the wiser.

Both Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine did a superb job in the acting department, and could actually see him as a fantastic Heathcliff as well, {sorry Laurence}. Joan in a way revised her role in Rebecca, once again playing the quite plain sweet and innocent heroine that you just have too love. This 1940s production of Jane Eyre is a fantastic gothic cl…

Jamaica Inn (1939)

Jamaica Inn is another Daphne Du Maurier novel that was directed by Hitchcock, this was also the first of said author's novels adapted to the big screen as Rebecca was produced in '40 rather than Jamaica's '39.  Anyway, like Rebecca this was a film I didn't know Hitch had directed.

Considering I have not read the book, I found the storyline very original and well acted too.  I loved Charles Laughton as Sir Humphrey Pengallan.  He was the perfect villain/double agent because I disliked him to no other but was still willing to give him a second chance (and don't ask me why).

My only complaint about this classic was the quality of the film, mostly with the sound.  The octave went up and down like a merry-go-round.  Although this could have something to do with the fact that it was on Instant Netflix.  Despite this small complaint, Jamaica Inn was a very enjoyable film.

La Belle et la Bête (1946)

Children believe what we tell them.  They have complete faith in us.  They believe that a rose plucked from a garden can plunge a family into conflict.  They believe that the hands of a human beast will smoke when he slays a victim and this will cause the beast shame, when a young maiden takes up residence in his home.  They believe a thousand other simple things.  I ask of you a little of this childlike simplicity, and, to bring us luck, let me speak four magic little words, childhood's "open sesame".  "Once upon a time..." ~ Jean Cocteau  This film is just exquisite.   Because of the small budget after WWII the "special effects" were very minimal but still leave a fascinating impact.  One example of the lack of budget is a scene filled with sheets hanging out to dry.  These hundreds of sheets were "donated" by surrounding communities for this one shot. An example of the fantasy aspect of the film, the candlesticks on the walls are held…

No Bonnie...

I first watched Gone with the Wind when I was ten, so a good fifteen years ago.  My family was visiting my grandmother who had taped several old movies off of t.v.  two being Gone with the Wind and The African Queen.  I chose the first, and popped it in the VCR residing the remainder of the day to watching a civilization gone with the wind {with limited commercial interruptions}.  I had almost three hours invested into the movie, reaching Bonnie's horse jumping scene, I see Bonnie ride sidesaddle for the first time and see her start to jump, and then... the tape dyed.  There was shocked silence, I was dumbfounded that not only had I spent my day enthralled by the film but to have it cut short at such a crucial moment.   I was devastated.  Later I learned that I was not alone in being jiped  as my uncle was unable to complete watching The African Queen.  I'm not sure if I will ever be able to forgive TBS.

I Detest Cheap Sentiment: An Introduction

I debated doing an introduction because they can be dull and forced almost like a paper written in high school, it's something you have to do. Yet I'm doing one anyway, maybe for extra credit.

As cliché as it may seem, I have loved films ever since I can remember. The first movie I saw in the theater was Lady and the Tramp and soon after that I was introduced to the original (and best) Disney Princess Snow White, I not only became obsessed with her, learning how to work the VCR at three (yes I'm old enough to know what a VCR is) and I believe that is where my love of film began.  As I grew older my viewing of other genres expanded beyond Disney to musicals, classics, dramas, epics etc etc..

My all time favorite film is All About Eve,  I really love anything starring Bette Davis, with another favorite film being Now Voyage.  This brings me to the title of my blog, "We Have The Stars" is quoted at the end of  Now, Voyager "Don't let's ask for the moon…