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Life With Father

content discovered on Monday, August 03, 2015 in classic cinema, comedy, filmmaking techniques, friends, philosophy and religion

Life With FatherTCM viewingThere's a saying that there are no atheists in foxholes. It means that when the stakes are life and death, people are more likely to turn to God for comfort. That might have been true once, back when humans knew little about the world and their place in it, but times have changed, and besides, not everybody worships God in the same way - or at all.William Powell's character in Life With Father isn't an atheist, but he might be the closest thing to one I've ever seen in a studio...

Ain't no cure for the summertime links

content discovered on Saturday, August 01, 2015 in animation, books, martial arts, movie industry, pop culture, television, visual art, writing

The second half of The One Year Switch has gotten off to a slower start than anticipated; there's been a bit of a drop-off in pageviews over the past few weeks, but I'm betting that'll turn around this month. I've got three more blogathon posts, plus a return to the #TCMparty. If you look at the sidebar, you'll see that the film I've decided on is the Marx Brothers' Monkey Business, which airs August 14. I don't think I've seen this one, but it is the Marx Brothers, so I imagine one knows what to expect....

New release roundup for July '15

content discovered on Thursday, July 30, 2015 in drama, suspense

Mr. Holmes. I've never been a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, but how can one resist seeing Ian McKellen in the part, especially as a much-older version of the character? It's 1947, and the 93-year old former detective has retired to the country. He's kinda irritated that the stories Dr. Watson wrote about him are exaggerated, and he wants to set the record straight about at least one case - his last - before he dies, but his memory is failing him. McKellen reunites with his Gods and Monsters director, Bill Co...

Thelma Ritter

content discovered on Monday, July 27, 2015 in acting, live theater, movie stars, oscars

Oh, boy, how I've been looking forward to writing about Thelma Ritter! You know how there's always that one actor you see over and over again in movies and/or TV that you like, but can never remember their name? This was more of a thing in the pre-Internet days, when information about a given movie or star was not always at one's fingertips. Anyway, Thelma was the embodiment of this trope for me back in my video store days. I'd see her in something - always as a supporting character, never as a lead - an...

Joel McCrea

content discovered on Thursday, July 23, 2015 in jobs, movie stars, television, western

For a long time, I underestimated Joel McCrea. I never disliked him, but I never saw him as anyone particularly special, at least not compared to more dynamic actors like Jack Lemmon or William Holden or Burt Lancaster. McCrea always struck me as kinda vanilla by comparison.At first, there were his films with writer-director Preston Sturges, Sullivan's Travels and The Palm Beach Story. At the time I watched them, I remember knowing more about Sturges than McCrea, so it's possible that I was more caught u...

The Sheik/The Son of the Sheik

content discovered on Monday, July 20, 2015 in action adventure, books, classic cinema, gender, movie stars, outdoor venues, romance, silent films, strangers

The SheikYouTube viewingThe Son of the Sheikseen @ Celebrate Brooklyn, Prospect Park, Brooklyn NYSo what was the big deal about Rudolph Valentino? It's hard to imagine how big he was during his brief life as a silent film star, because apparently he was HUGE - like Brad Pitt in his prime, Justin Bieber, Beatles-in-'64 huge. And it's not even like he was that great an actor. Acting was kinda beside the point for someone like him.In her book Silent Stars, Jeanine Basinger attempts to justify the Valentino ...

Books: Five Came Back

content discovered on Friday, July 17, 2015 in blog a thons, books, movie makers, world events

The 2015 Summer Reading Classic Film Book Challenge is an event in which the goal is to read and write about a variety of books related to classic film, hosted by Out of the Past. For a complete list of the rules,visit the website.As much as World War 2 continues to be discussed and studied and analyzed today, it's hard for modern generations who never lived through it to fully understand the everyday reality of it, whether as a civilian or a serviceman, which is a big reason why we have it recorded on f...

The Given Word

content discovered on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 in classic cinema, foreign cinema, friends, philosophy and religion

The Given Word (O Pagador de Promessas)YouTube viewingLast month I wrote about the movie Black Orpheus, a popular and beloved movie known around the world. I think it's terrific. It's superbly filmed, with a fine cast featuring people of color in a remarkable reinterpretation of the Orpheus myth that showcases the beauty of Rio de Janeiro, and I would happily recommend it to anyone.But it never occurred to me how actual Brazilians regard it.You've seen me write about Le for quite awhile; for one so young...

T-Men

content discovered on Monday, July 13, 2015 in blog a thons, books, crime drama, finance and economy, jobs, movie makers

The 1947 Blogathon is exactly what it says on the tin, hosted by Speakeasy and Shadows Satin. For a complete list of participating bloggers, visit the link at SS.T-MenYouTube viewingT-Men continues my foray into the film career of director Anthony Mann. You may remember my post earlier this year on Raw Dealand, much earlier, Bend of the River. I think what I like about Mann's movies is the direct approach he took with his stories. He didn't fool around with too much in the way of subplots or characteriz...

Books: Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise

content discovered on Friday, July 10, 2015 in blog a thons, books, movie makers

The 2015 Summer Reading Classic Film Book Challenge is an event in which the goal is to read and write about a variety of books related to classic film, hosted by Out of the Past. For a complete list of the rules,visit the website.I had learned about the work of director Ernst Lubitsch almost exclusively through the work of Billy Wilder. I knew that the former was a major influence on the latter, and thus my perception of Lubitsch was filtered through Wilder. To me, Lubitsch was this earlier filmmaker wh...


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