Saturday, October 31, 2015

And in the end I give Thanks!

It's the 31st which means our journey through old movies is done, at least for the moment.  It also means that it is Halloween and perhaps I should offer something scary but anyone who knows me knows I don't do scary. Besides I really do want to take this chance to thank all of you who have read along and commented over the last month.

Hopefully I introduced you a few new (old) movies.  I certainly had fun brainstorming what some of my favorites are.  Did I miss any of yours?

While I am looking forward to not having to try and get a post up everyday; I am also headed into November with a lot of gratitude for all of you.


Friday, October 30, 2015

Day 30: The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

I'm actually going to quote for this movie, cause this is one cool, complex 1956 movie starring Gregory Peck and Jennifer Jones as a married couple making peace with the past and planning for their family's future.

"Tom Rath lives in Connecticut and commutes to work every day in Manhattan. He's happily married and has a loving wife and three children. Money is a bit tight and when the opportunity arises, he applies for a public relations job with a major television network. During his long commute to work everyday, Tom reminisces about the war. Although 10 years have gone by, he is still haunted by the violence and the men he killed. He also thinks of Maria, an Italian girl with whom he had an affair while stationed in Rome. At his new job, the head of the network Ralph Hopkins takes an immediate liking to him. Tom soon realizes that he will have to choose between becoming a wholly dedicated company man or maintaining a healthy work-life balance."

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Day 29: The Thin Man

There are actually six movies in the series; personally I think the first two The Thin Man (1934) and After The Thin Man (1936) are the best but they all have their charm as former detective Nick Charles solves the mystery du jour. William Powell's comic delivery is as dry as the martini's he enjoys and Myrna Loy as his wife Nora Charles is the perfect counterpoint in her naivete but willingness to follow along.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Day 28: Indiscreet

   Another light and lovely one for you dear readers. In Indiscreet (1958)  Ingrid Bergman plays an actress living in London tired of life who meets an American economist, when thinking she was away her brother-in-law and his guest make use of her apartment to change for an evening engagement. The economist played by Cary Grant decides to take a job with NATO in Paris and so begins a delightful romance which is charming and very funny by turns.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Day 27: Maureen O'Hara

   We loss one of the great ladies of film this weekend when Maureen O'Hara died at age 95. Likely the first movie of her's I loved was The Parent Trap (1961) though as a kid I was more focused on Haley Mills performance. As an adult I came to appreciate her amazing talent especially when paired with John Wayne.  Earlier this month I posted about the third movie in a John Wayne/John Ford trilogy; Rio Grande (1950) is the second and features Wayne and O'Hara as a married couple separated since the Civil War trying again on the frontier.  The other Wayne/O'Hara movie not to be missed is The Quiet Man (1952) where Wayne moves to Ireland to retire his boxing career and the course of true love runs hilariously amiss.

This of course is only a small offering of the many wonderful movies by this amazing actress.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Day 26: Love Story

   Happy Monday! Anyone still following along? For this last Modern Monday I thought I would share Love Story. Based on the Erich Segal book; Love Story (1970) tells the story of two students from Harvard and Radcliffe (as girls were not yet allowed to attend Harvard officially) who despite being from very different backgrounds fell in love and even at the cost of being disowned by his family decide to marry and pay their own way through law school.  Being a girl from Cranston myself this movie has always held a place in my heart.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Day 25: Ben Hur

When it comes to Charlton Heston and  Old Testament Movies people are either Ten Commandment (1956) fans or Ben Hur (1959). Well put me in the Ben Hur camp! This is a big movie (and long) but the journey both in distance and in faith that Judah Ben Hur makes is so very impressive.  Heston plays a Jewish prince who is first thrilled that a long-time friend has returned to Jerusalem from Rome but the cultural divide proves too big and after a tragic accident this becomes an amazing tale of revenge, forgiveness and redemption.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Day 24: Please Don't Eat the Daisies

How about something light and fun for a Saturday afternoon? Based on the memoir of Jean Kerr Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960) is about Kate and Larry McKay, and their four boys and what happens when he gets a big promotion and she decides they should move to the country. This is Doris Day at her loveliness and David Niven's at his wittiness; add a good supporting cast and cute kids this film is a delight.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Day 23: Strategic Air Command

Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson did three movies together and they are all wonderful in their own way; this is my favorite.  Strategic Air Command (1955 ) tells the story of Dutch Holland a St Louis ballplayer who had stayed in the reserves after the end of WWII and is called back to serve in the nearly formed Air Force.  This movie is a fascinating look at the beginning of the Cold War when our commanders were discerning what a 'not at war but high alert' status would look like; as well as the move from big bombers to smaller jets.  This movie also looks at the strain and uncertainty this high alert mentality asks of family members.

Fun bit of trivia about the film at one point, Dutch refers to his old aircraft as a B-24, not B-29, as mentioned earlier in the film. A perfectly understandable mistake, since Jimmy Steward commanded a B-24 Liberator during WW II, flying 29 combat missions.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Day 22: Gentleman's Agreement

Today's movie Gentleman's Agreement (1947) was an amazing look at anti-semitism and is alleged to be part of why it's director Eli Kazan and other performs were asked to testify before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee  ~ it also won 3 Oscars. Gregory Peck's Phil Green seeking to do an expose on anti-semitism pretends to be Jewish for several weeks. Further complicating his new romance with Dorothy McGuire.  John Garfield and Celeste Holms and Anne Revere as his mother also star.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Day 21: Now Voyager

Today's selection is another Bette Davis film; Now Voyager (1942) stares Davis as a Boston spinster dominated by her mother who on the recommendation of a her sister-in-law attends a sanatorium and later goes on vacation in South America where she meets Paul Henreid.  Bette Davis's performance and transformation is truly amazing and I really appreciate the honesty of this film that life may ask you to make tough choices but there can be great peace and happiness in those choices.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Day 20: Woman of the Year

Having posted yesterday their last film together I thought today I would feature Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy's first film Woman of the Year (1942 ). They play reporters on the same paper who after a whirlwind courtship marry; however they have very different ideas of what their lives together should look like.  It's pretty standard high-brow Hepburn but Tracy plays the perfect subtle straight man and result is not to be missed.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Day 19: Guess Who is Coming to Dinner

This Monday I'm featuring another Sydney Poitier film, Guess Who is Coming to Dinner (1967). This is a wonderful movie about how parents played by Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy react to their daughter's sudden engagement to a black man.  The amazing cast also includes Beah Richards , Isabel Sanford and Cecil Kellaway. The performances are all amazing and the knowledge that this was to be Hepburn's and Tracy's last film together (he passed away 2 weeks after filming finished) adds an amazing poinancy to his speech at the end of the movie.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Day 18: Lilies of the Field

This Sunday I'm talking about Lilies of the Field (1963) starring Sydney Poitier as an unemployed handyman traveling to CA who stops to get water for his overheating car and ends up helping build a church with a group of East European nuns in the desert. I love how Poitier's character and the Mother Superior played by Lilia Skala learn from each other and come to appreciate each
other but remain as formal with each other as when they first met.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Day 17: Santa Fe Trail

Today I'm featuring another western.  Santa Fe Trail (1940) stars Errol Flynn as Jeb Stuart and  Ronald Reagan as George Custer  as they first encounter John Brown out west in the late 1850's before war was thought inevitable.  The scene that always almost brings me to tears is when a bunch of officers meet with a medicine woman who in telling their futures tells them that they will all come to be great generals but they will be fighting each other. Fast forward a few years and these men who had studied together at West Point and fought together in the West were taking up commands in the Army of the Potomac (Union) and the Army of the Confederacy. Olivia de Havilland plays the love interest of Flynn with her usual grace and style.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Quick Takes #194: Musicals Edition

Sharing some of my favorite musicals ~ seven of them actually.

  1. Sound of Music (1965) While I'm glad we own the DVD and I can watch it whenever I want, I will also always cherish the childhood memories of excitement when this movie came on once a year and bedtime was suspended this one night. 
  2. Gigi: (1958) When I introduced Charlie to Gigi he couldn't believe we watched it as kids but truly all the sexual inferences went over our heads and the music is wonderful!
  3. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: (1954) Still remember the first time I saw this movie and fell in love with Jane Powell and how she rides herd on Howard Keel and his six brothers
  4. Mary Poppins (1964) Another childhood favorite that I'm now having some much fun introducing my kids to. This was the first Beta (!!!) tape we owned and my sister's and I probably had it memorized at some point. 
  5. Bed-knobs and Broomsticks (1971) Perhaps not technically a musical but definitely an old movie I love to watch with wonderful songs to sing and enjoy.
  6. The King and I:(1956)  Definitely a darker movie than the others on the list and my introduction to the idea that not every movie has a happen ending. The chemistry between Yul Brenner and Deborah Kerr is subtle and substantial and the music beautiful!
  7. Bride and Prejudice (2004) ~ while not an old movie it was my husband's answer when I asked his favorite and since this Bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice is a lot of fun and the musical numbers are wonderful it made the cut.
Please head over to Kelly's for more Quick Takes!!
Link-oberfest question of the week: Favorite blogger discovered thru Quick Takes: really hard for me to remember back but I believe I discovered both Martin Family Moments and House Unseen from Quick Takes.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Day 15: The Grass is Greener

The Grass is Greener (1960) stars Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr as a married couple living in one the stately homes of England who to make ends meet opens their house a couple weeks a year to the general public and one of those tourist catches the eye of her Ladyship. Robert Mitchum and Jean Simmons co-star as well as Moray Watson as the requisite butler who gets to second both participants when dueling ensues.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Five faves of Clark Gable

Today I'm linking up with Jenna and sharing my five favorite Clark Gable movies. 

During this month of old movies I of course wanted to feature Gone with the Wind but also wonder if that is all people my age and younger know him for and that would be a pity.
  1. It happened One Night (1934) in which our hero helps a runaway heiress in the hopes of getting a good story for his paper ~ and ends up with a whole lot more.
  2. Wife vs the Secretary(1936) in which Myrna Loy allows jealousy to get the best of her and nearly does in her marriage. Jean Harlow plays the secretary and Jimmy Stewart in one of his first films her beau.
  3. Gone with the Wind (1939) Love this movie or hate it please acknowledge that Clark Gable's Rhett Butler alternates between irreverent and tender masterfully!
  4. Test Pilot (1938)  Gable and Spencer Tracy are pilots in those early days when records were broken and limits were tested regularly. He and Myrna Loy try and find out if that kind of life and marriage mixes.
  5. The Tall Men (1955) One from later in his career where he is driving cattle and romancing Jane Russell.

Any favorites of yours that I missed?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Day 13: Destination Tokyo ~ Operation Petticoat

Featuring two 'war' movies today to compare and contrast not just comedy and drama but how we portray the conflict during and later.

Destination Tokyo (1943) released during WWII features a submarine crew headed for Tokyo bay and the problems they encounter getting in and getting out. The views expressed about the Japanese people seem excessive to me but perhaps a apt accounting of how people felt at the time.  Cary Grant plays Captain Cassidy in cast that also includes John Garfield and Allan Hale and John Forsythe.

Operation Petticoat (1959) again finds Cary Grant as a submarine commander with a perhaps a bit less spit-spot crew. Though in their defense they are trying to save their ship and the war does send rather bizarre challenges their way. Tony Curtis is a less than fully committed Lt. JG Nicholas Holden, also watch for a young Gavin MacLeod and Marion Ross.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Day 12: Butterflies Are Free

Another more modern pick on a Monday morning. Butterflies are Free (1972) is a quirky fun movie centered around a blind young man renting his first apartment and the free-spirited young woman who lives in the next apartment. Originally a play 90% of the movie happens in the two apartments. Goldie Hawn is fantastic and Edward Albert plays the perfect counter point to her zaniness.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Day 11: Magnificent Obsession

While this movie is not overtly religious there is a very strong message of redemption and that anyone who is willing to give of their talents unreservedly can find forgiveness and even peace.

Magnificent Obsession (1954 ) is a beautiful love story with so many fits and starts that it is only because of the wonderful performances by Jane Wyman (for which she was nominated for an Oscar) and Rock Hudson in his first leading role, that it is worth hanging in there for the pay-off.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Day 10: She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

John Wayne and John Ford made many a western together and this is my favorite.

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) has us for the third time spending time with Captain Nathan Brittle, this time at the end of his career. This movie is funnier than previous Wayne/Ford westerns but still with plenty of action and danger; and that deep undercurrent of honoring the day to day work of a calvary soldier. One of my favorite scenes is when quiet but profound respect is paid to a former Brigadier General of the Confederacy who chose to continue serving his country even though it meant being demoted and known as Trooper John Smith.

What are some of your favorite westerns?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Quick Takes #193 ~ Link-oberfest Fun!

  1. Celebrating along with Kelli and Jen the anniversary of Quick Takes. I started posting Quick Takes January of 2009. Almost 200 posts later I continue to be so grateful for the format and community.
  2. The week has been a treat with Dr Daddy gone for much of it and the kids schedule filling with dentist appointments, book fairs, and school carnivals. "Sufficient onto the day'' was my largely successful mantra.
  3. Went apple picking last weekend with friends and it was wonderful. A bit chilly but the kids all had fun picking, Charlie found this favorite kind of apple for pie and we all got together for dinner Sunday and had a dessert buffet featuring apple raisin cookies, apple cake, a tart and a pie. Delish!! 
  4. If you would like to follow along I'm posting some of my favorite old movies all month this month.
  5. Prayers for the victims of the shootings and the flooding!
  6. Charlie and I are presenting at Pre-Cana this weekend. Would appreciate prayers that we are articulate and that the couples are interested and receptive. Thanks!!
  7. And answering the Link-toberfest question of the week; this is my 193 Quick Take post!
 Please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Day 8: Come Live with Me

In Come Live with Me (1941) Johnny Jones played by Hedy Lamarr is a refugee from Vienna whose visa is about to expire and so in return for supporting him while he finishes his novel Jimmy Stewart's Bill Smith marries her. The beginning of this movie is charming but when she tries to end the marriage and he takes her home to meet his grandmother, arguing that it is okay to marry a stranger but you need to really know someone before you divorce, this movie moves to a whole new level of fun and sweetness.

You'll never look at lightening bugs the same way again!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Day 7: Mrs Miniver

Mrs Miniver (1942) is set in England in the early days of World War II including the Battle of Britain and the evacuation at Dunkirk.  Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon are wonderful as they individually and together shift from focusing on the day to day cares of life to coming to understand the dangers and sacrifice of war for them and their children.  Filmed and released during the war the tone is clearly to keep up morale but the excellent performances give the film a substance that stands the test of time.

Downton Abbey fans watch for the plot line that perhaps Julian Fellows knowingly recycled in Season 1.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Day 6: All about Eve

All about Eve (1950) is a tough film for me and one I'm apt to fast forward through parts of if I'm watching alone as self-destructive angst can be annoying at times. The performances are wonderful from Bette Davis to Anne Baxter, both nominated for Best Actress, to Celeste Holm, to George Sanders as the conniving play critic (he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor) so it is understandable why the movie overall won Best Picture.  Plus you get to see Marilyn Monroe in one of her first film roles.  I'm confident that by the end Margo Channing has learned a few important life lessons but I always wonder about Eve Harrington.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Day 5: Barefoot in the Park

In honor of Monday how about something a bit more modern and in color. Barefoot in the Park (1967) is a fun romantic comedy about newlyweds moving into the first apartment and those first weeks of marriage. Starring Jane Fonda as the free-spirit, adventurous wife and Robert Redford as the quieter, steadier husband. Add an eccentric neighbor and a the requisite mother-in-law and you have a fun little film!!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Day 4: Keys to the Kingdom

As we journey through old movies this month I thought on Sundays I would share movies with  religious themes.

This first Sunday I want to highlight a wonderful little film called Keys to the Kingdom (1944). A young priest, Father Chisholm played by Gregory Peck is sent to China to establish a Catholic parish among the non-Christian Chinese. While his boyhood friend (played by Vincent Price), also a priest, flourishes in his calling as a priest in a more Christian area of the world, Father Chisholm struggles. He encounters hostility, isolation, disease, poverty and a war, but these make him more determined than ever to succeed. Over the span of many years he gains acceptance and a growing congregation among the Chinese, through his quiet determination, understanding and patience.  Truly a lovely little movie!!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Day 3: Little Women

Knew this one had to be near the top of my hit parade. Little Women (1933) was my introduction to the story, Hepburn and old movies. It has been a long, happy love on my part.

This version holds fair to the book and the performances are wonderful from the four girls (Hepburn plays Jo) to Marmee, to the Grandfather, to Prof. Bhaer.  It is sweet, kind, funny and very touching ~ just like the story it is depicting.  All of the actresses have to mature their characters but Joan Bennett has the biggest challenge and does a wonderful job maturing Amy from a vain young girl to a mature young woman.

What was your first favorite old movie?
Was it also a book made to movie?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Day 2: Roman Holiday

Roman Holiday (1953)
If my favorite actress of that bygone era is Katharine Hepburn, a close second is Audrey Hepburn.  And in her first film role she is just amazing; perfectly capturing the innocence of a very shelter princess who escapes her handlers for a day and explores Rome. The handsome Gregory Peck playing a down on his luck reporter is her tour guide aided by the funny Eddie Albert.

Their romance is lovely and definitely more sweet than bitter but not such much so as to give you much of either a tooth or heart ache. The transition from girlhood to womanhood is often bumpy but in the case of this movie such fun to watch.  BTW the 'mouth of truth' scene is a wonderful example of Peck's expertise paired with Hepburn's freshness.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

31 Days ~ An Exploration of Old Movies

   I have over the past few years joined in the adventure of 31 posts in October usually by following the writing prompts of others. Have enjoyed this I thought this year I would take it up a notch and try my own theme. I have for years enjoyed old movies purely as a fan ~ I never studied film or wanted to be in the movie industry.  So I'm going to share some of my favorites here over the next month starting with my favorite of favorites:

   The Philadelphia Story (1940) staring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart.  Hepburn plays Tracy Lord a blue blood from Main Line Philadelphia about to remarry, Grant her ex-husband and Stewart the reporter sent to cover the wedding in return for not writing a nasty story about her father.

   It is amazing watching these three greats at the top of their game! Plus a wonderful supporting cast and you have an amazing story; funny and poignant and heartfelt all at the same time!

Please follow along this month and share some of your favorites!