Monday, January 31, 2011

The Eyes Have It!

I watched How to Steal a Million this weekend with Audrey Hepburn and a very young, very disarming Peter O'Toole. It is one of the few of Audrey's movies that I hadn't ever seen. I am not a big 60's cinema fan, so I tend to be a little hesitant of anything made during that period. Just chalk it up to ignorance. We all tend to be a little wary of things we aren't associated with... for me its films made after 1959. I am trying to get better.

I love that mask.. and I WANT those earrings!
How to Steal a Million is a movie about a girl trying to save her phony art creating father from ruin by stealing a counterfeit statue from the museum before it can be tested for authenticity. She gets a very handsome, witty, adorable, impish Peter O'Toole (masquerading as a thief) to help her. The two fall in love through the course of the film. I must say... Audrey had the best wardrobe in actress history... her clothes in this film are no exception (minus the frumpy floor scrubbing get-up) My favorite were her black tights and mask. She is always so put together and stylish! I want to die and be reborn Audrey Hepburn!

I've never watched a Peter O'Toole film knowingly. I have seen movies with him in them, but never with the intent of watching him. I was pleasantly surprised! He was extremly watchable, incredibly handsome and his chemistry with Audrey was unmistakable. His opening scene introduces him to the audience via his eyes peering over the frame of a painting... and I have to say... they are gorgeous... Him and Audrey's time huddled in the closet is incredibly entertaining... who wouldn't start kissing stuck in a closet together all night?

How can you not LOVE those leg huggers??
My favorite part is while they are "Casing the Joint". The two of them are walking through the museum and surrounding Paris grounds while O'Toole is forming a plan for how they will steal the statue. The two of them banter back and forth while sharing quick little jabs. O'Toole is staring at the statue and makes the observation that the statue and Audrey share a resemblence. Audrey remarks that she never dressed like that (the statue is nude) and O'Toole gives the statue and Audrey the once over. He does so in a very classy sophisticated way ;)

This movie has quickly dropped into my favorites list! It is funny without being cheesy, impractical but not annoyingly so, romantic buy not syrupy, its just flat out entertaining.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mental Health Movie Day

Tommy Rall is at the Far Left
This past weekend I decided that I needed a mental health movie day.... a day where I could just relax, curl up in a blanket and allow myself a little mental recuperation. I watched a couple of old favorites and a couple new ones that I hadn't had the time to watch yet... First up was Seven Brides for Seven Brothers... I first watched this movie in high school in my Geography class.... Yup, that's right... Geography. The teacher was a hilariously hick football coach whom pretended to be male-chauvinist. (If you ever met his wife... you would know it was a complete and total act) The football boys groaned when he put on the movie, "Really coach? A musical!" Coach just replied "This will teach you the right way to get a woman." It made me laugh... Not sure what his point was... You get a woman by throwing a blanket over the girl's head and kidnapping her away to your cabin in the woods? Anyway... it always endeared that particular Coach to me. My favorite of the 7 brothers has always been hot-head Frankincense (played by actor Tommy Rall). I can be a bit touchy about my name too... totally feel his pain... I like Tommy in Kiss Me Kate too. I have only one problem with 7B47B.... and her name is Dorkis.... she annoys me to no end... and her name is Dorkis... I rest my case.

Next I watched Get Hep to Love with Gloria Jean, Donald O'Connor and Peggy Ryan. I love Jean and O'Connor's little B Musicals. They are sweet and the two of them are pretty adorable together. Get Hep to Love is about an overworked child music prodigy who runs away from her over-bearing, money hungry aunt to a small town. She is taken in by a super nice couple and starts attending the local high school. O'Connor is as charming as ever and Jean quickly falls for him, too bad he has his eyes for the popular girl in school, a snooty "cuddle bunny". Ryan plays Jean's friend and that's about it, which is too bad... Ryan is great with her witty wisecracks and has great timing. I think her talent was really over looked in a lot of these Paramount films. Jean gets O'Connor in the end and gets to stay with the nice couple in the small town. Ever since I saw Mr. Big, I have been trying to track down more of these musicals... I recently got this one and another called It Comes Up Love (with Jean and O'Connor) I like it too... but it doesn't have feisty Ryan in it and I missed her. She really peps up the films she's in.

Finally I watched one that has just been gathering dust on my shelf.. Can-Can. Its a musical with Shirley MacLaine, Frank Sinatra and Louis Jourdan. I was a little skeptical about this film, but for no real good reason. A Cole Porter score, Sinatra and its in technicolor... why the hesitation? I am glad I finally took the time to watch it. Nobody sings Cole Porter quite like Sinatra. Porter's songs always mean so much more when there is a visual to go with them. It's All Right With Me was probably my favorite. The movie doesn't get much love on IMDB. I didn't think it was bad, I mean, it isn't the best I have ever seen, but by no means was it a failure.

I must admit, I didn't root for Sinatra's character, I thought Jourdan was just the sweetest guy. I felt bad for him when he just couldn't seem to win MacLaine over. Crazy girl. Charming, romantic, handsome, rich French guy wants to marry her and she goes for the louse. Jourdan was great in this. Almost makes me want to re watch Gigi (not one of my favorites, but maybe its time I gave it another chance..hmmm) I did a little reading and found out that Jourdan worked for the underground French Resistance during WWII. I thought that was just totally awesome, I want to see if I can track down some of his foreign films. Over all... I didn't think Can-Can was that bad.

Operation Mental Recuperation was a success and I think it needs to start being a regular break each month...   Dr.'s orders!

Oh! And the next time you watch Seven Brides for Seven Brothers... take a moment to look at the hills and trees... it will be your Geography lesson for the day!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lovin' that Red Dust!

So... I was so excited to get my TCM Now Playing Guide in the mail earlier this month, not because of the Lord of the Rings Cover (what the heck?!) but because on the back where it previews coming attractions, it showed Jean Harlow as the Star of the Month for March!

To celebrate, I put in my favorite Harlow film the other night, Red Dust. I love this movie! It is steamy, exciting and has a clean shaved Clark Gable (my favorite Gable is a mustache-less one) Him and Harlow made such a great team, their chemistry sparked lightening bolts and the setting for this movie only added heat to the already raging fire. Put Gable into manly hunting clothes, Harlow into barely there thin dresses and plop the two down into a steaming jungle... Yes please!

Gable's character runs a rubber plantation out in the middle of a jungle, but longs for better things in his life. Harlow (a down and out easy-girl) stumbles into his home and stays while the ship was on is getting repaired. The two have an affair, its love for Harlow, but only sex for Gable. About the time Harlow is slated to leave back on the boat, Gable's newest hire shows up... with his young wife, Mary Astor. Because Gable has been and always will be a irresistible hunk of male, him and Astor begin an affair. Harlow has come back to the house, convenient boat mishap, and is disappointed to find that Gable has moved other interests.... I don't want to ruin the rest of the story... I tend to hate spoilers... lets just say there are gun shots, lots of kissing and a tiger... You know you want to watch it!!

The film is very pre-code. It is full of sex and violence, dirty word play and suggestive situations. My favorite scene is when Gable and Harlow get into a tussle, throwing each other around and end up with Gable on top kissing Harlow. Poor Ms. Astor has quite a shock when she hears the noise and come to investigate!

So... Start clearing out those DVRs, I know I am, because when Harlow month comes along.. I want all the room I can get!

Harlow Gems to look out for:
Libeled Lady (Harlow and William Powell)
Personal Property (Harlow and Robert Taylor)
Wife vs. Secretary (Harlow and Jimmy Stewart!!)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Friday

Because who doesn't need a fun photo blog opportunity??

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Goldfish Named George...

We all have those movies... the ones we can watch over and over again without ever tiring of them. They may be films from when we were children or ones that bring back certain memories. Sometimes they are silly, poorly made or not the best films ever stuck on celluloid, but for us, they wear like an old pair of blue jeans... comfortable, warm and we know them inside and out.

For me... one of those films is Sabrina. I have watched it a hundred times, and will continue to until my DVD copy finally dies a premature death. (My old VHS copy was finally laid to rest a few years ago) Is it Audrey Hepburn's best film?... no... is the plot anything magnificent? it the most romantic story? but all the same... It is a film near and dear to my heart.

I was maybe 13 when I first saw it. I remember renting a VHS copy from the store and being completely mesmerized from the moment pressed play. I watched it three times in a row that night alone. Hepburn in that gorgeous white dress, the song "Isn't it Romantic", and learning that cracking an egg is all in the wrist, I was in love.

I have a good friend who doesn't much like the movie... She can't get over the age difference between Hepburn and Bogart. It grosses her out. Maybe its because I adore Bogie, no matter his age, or because he looks so goofy in his college sweater.... who knows... maybe I just have a thing
for older men ;) But I find their romance sweet and think its something more genuine than what she had with Holden's character. I think this is something that my friend and I will always disagree on... but regardless... I still love it.

It would be hard to pick just one scene as my favorite... William Holden laying in a hammock with his bottom sticking out of a hole, "Bounce please, ladies", Bogart and Hepburn dancing on the tennis court, "We have no bananas today!"

Sabrina is one of those movies that I know backwards and forwards, inside and out, I can quote it in my sleep, watch it from start to finish with my eyes closed. There is just something about it that I find
enchanting each and every time I watch it.

"And if theres one thing I believe in, its love thy neighbor!"

Friday, January 7, 2011

A New Year

I apologize for the accidental hiatus. It wasn't planned out, but the holidays (and Dr. Who marathons :) occupied my time more than I would have thought possible. Anyway... January is the month for New Year's Resolutions... so I thought... why not set some film resolutions for myself?

So... Here it goes... This year I will:

1. Nurture my growing appreciation for Ray Milland (any movie suggestions??)

2. Rediscover old favorites

3. Blog more regularly... I am a bit sporadic in my blogging habits!

There they are... Let's see how this year goes!