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Showing posts from August, 2010

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…