Over the years, I’ve seen several movies starring Rock Hudson. The Douglas Sirk melodramas, comedies with Doris Day and the Texas epic Giant, among others. As much as I’ve enjoyed these films, it is always someone else’s performance which catches my eye. So when the opportunity arose to view Tarnished Angels I chose to watch it for Dorothy Malone. But then I got the surprise of my life – Rock Hudson can act!
Tarnished Angels is based on the novel Pylon by William Faulkner. According to Faulkner, it is the best film adaptation of all his works. Aside from perhaps Tennessee Williams, no one could write a Southern potboiler like this native author. As usual, certain plot points of the story were toned down for the screen due to the Code. The film reunited director Douglas Sirk with Rock Hudson, Robert Stack and Dorothy Malone two years after working together on Written on the Wind. Continue reading “Rock Hudson Blogathon -Tarnished Angels (1957)”
Last year I had the privilege of reviewing The Bridge, a debut novel by Jill Cox. Not only did I fall in love with the story and its’ characters, but it also turned out to be one of my favorite books of the year. I’ve been impatiently waiting since then for the continuation of Meredith and Pete’s story. Set to release October 16, The Long Walk is finally here! And it is worth the wait.
Meredith Sullivan has three new goals after Paris:
Hang out all summer with her new boyfriend. Convince her brother to dump his girlfriend, Kate. Walk into senior year at Highgate College like a boss.
But then an unexpected tragedy sends the Sullivans back to their Irish roots. And when a childhood dream bubbles up through the cracks in her life, Meredith can’t help but wonder if this new path was her true destiny all along.
From Ireland to Oregon, from Paris to Shanghai, follow Meredith into a future she never imagined. Because sometimes, the story is more important than the ending.
I should have known when the opening line was, “fairy tales are lies” that The Long Walk would be nothing like I expected. While The Bridge has its’ serious moments it is a much more light-hearted and humorous story. The Long Walk however, takes an unexpected turn. There is a shocking twist early on that significantly impacts the lives of all the characters, particularly Meredith and Pete. If these two books were dessert, The Bridge would be a crème brulee; sweet with a hard outer shell that reveals its’ form and substance, but easily digestible. The Long Walk is more of a chocolate torte; rich with unexpected depth, weighty with a touch of bitterness to balance out the sweetness.
I enjoy many of Grace Kelly’s films. However, I’ve always had a hard time connecting with her onscreen. The epitome of a Hitchcock blond, she always seemed serene, calm and distant both onscreen and off. Even while appreciating her films, I was never able to name her as one of my favorite actresses.
“Grace always had an air of mystery about her.” Frances Fuller, American Acadamy of Dramatic Arts chairperson (pg 18)
Don’t you love a good serendipitous moment? I wasn’t sure I would participate in this blogathon as much as I love the concept of it. The month of November is already pretty busy for me, and I wasn’t sure that I would have time to watch two films for one blogathon. But then I happened to watch a movie I wouldn’t have normally been interested in. I went into the viewing of She’s Working Her Way Through College knowing nothing at all about it, only to discover it is a loose musical remake of The Male Animal. Well, with the stars all aligned, I realized that now I HAD to participate in Phyllis of Phyllis Loves Classic MoviesThe Remade What? Blogathon!
The source of this story was a hit Broadway play written by James Thurber and Elliott Nugent titled The Male Animal. The basic premise of both films feature the trials of an underpaid and underappreciated English professor who teaches at a midwestern university. The university’s financial and spiritual reverence of the sports department is a thorn in the professor’s side. The professor believes some of the school’s resources should be shared with the education departments. He butts heads with the head of the school board over this. Continue reading “They Remade What?Blogathon: The Male Animal (1942) & She’s Working Her Way Through College (1952)”
I may have mentioned this once or twice or a thousand times, but when I find an author I love, I tend to buy/read every single one of their books. So, it isn’t often I end up with a backlist.
But sometimes I just get behind. Or I discover an author I’ve never read before and fall in love. Then I want to binge read through every book they have published as soon as possible. Such is the case with today’s list.
Well, October was another good month for watching the classics with twenty one new to me movies. Since Rita Hayworth was TCM’s featured star, I was able to see several of her films, some of which were better than others. Although Rita always shines.
I also managed to watch four silents which I rather enjoyed. I was mesmerized by Alain Delon in the French film Purple Noon. But I think my favorite discovery was Nurse on Wheels which utterly charmed me. Too bad I can’t find it on DVD! Continue reading “October Classic Film Quickie Reviews”
In the last several decades of the fifteenth century, a Byzantine princess is sent to Moscow to marry its’ Grand Prince Ivan III. Rome hopes that with her influence, the people of Russia will turn from their Orthodox faith to Catholicism. Instead the Princess Zoe changes her name to Sophia, and adopts the Russian language, faith and culture as her own.
As the wife of the man who history will name Ivan the Great, she is not entirely trusted by her adopted homeland. Those in power fear her foreign origins and influence over her husband. She becomes a point of conflict in the Russian court and the focus of court distrust and intrigues.
While Ivan and Sophia deal with these internal conflicts, there are also external ones which demand Ivan’s attention. Among these are issues of diplomacy and war among rival nations. The most dangerous of these is war against the Golden Horde led by the Grand Khan. Closer to home is the conflict with the Russian Republic of Novrogod who resist Ivan’s attempts to unify the various Russian principalities under the throne of Moscow. Continue reading “Foreign Film Friday -Sophia (2016) Russian Television Series”
As a former member of a popular girl-band, Paisley Sutton knows what it means to be in the spotlight. So after she takes on an event- planning gig for the new Sugar Creek Renaissance faire, she’s counting on a smooth opening night. But when one of the cast is murdered, Paisley knows her event has gone lethally off-script.
When her old flame Beau is named the prime suspect, Paisley enlists the help of her trigger-happy ex-CIA grandmother and aunt. As she tries to keep the faire alive and fights off her matchmaking family, she uncovers secrets that might just get her killed. Can Paisley shine a light on the killer in time, or will the faire be her final curtain call?Continue reading “Book Review -Royally in Trouble”
I’m a romantic at heart. Over the years I’ve read many romances which I’ve loved. But every now and then I run across a book which isn’t just a romance but also thoroughly romantic. Have you ever read a novel(la) which is a love story with a city? My first experience with this was Rachel McMillan’s Love in Three-Quarter Time. It achieved the impossible, supplanting my long held love for all things Paris with a new one for Vienna -a city I’ve never even seen. That love affair grows and expands with McMillan’s second Vienna novella, Rose in Three Quarter Time.
Rose MacNeil is a gifted, but undiscovered violinist when Oliver Thorne first meets her after a performance. Oliver, once a talented cellist, is now a famous conductor for the Ranier Quartet in Vienna after an accident ruined his ability to play. Rose dazzles Oliver both personally and professionally. He encourages her to stick around Vienna until a spot in his orchestra opens up. In the meantime the two strike up a friendship, bumping into each other and wandering around the beautiful, historic city.
Rose finally gets her chance and is offered the position of first chair. However, her visa is denied. Oliver, desperate not to lose her, and Rose, desperate to hold onto her big break, enter into a marriage of convenience. But Oliver’s contract has a strict morals clause which prohibits relationships with members of the Quartet, so they must keep their new relationship a secret.
This isn’t the only challenge Oliver and Rose face. Oliver tries to keep to his self-imposed vow to love Rose from a safe emotional distance and respect her wish for friendship only. Rose finds herself falling for her friend as they live together and she sees the real man behind the fame and position. Add in a hauntingly gorgeous city and the romance of their mutual love of music and these two may just find themselves breaking all their own rules.
As a classic film aficionado, I’m not generally a fan of remakes. There are a few exceptions to that rule, but generally I avoid them. This is why I had no plans to watch the latest reincarnation of A Star Is Born. I’ve seen three of the previous films, including the Constance Bennett vehicle What Price Hollywood?, and excluding the version featuring Barbara Streisand. I had no desire to see yet another interpretation. But then the reviews started rolling in from fellow classic film lovers and they were all positive. So, I decided I had to watch it to decide for myself.
Each version of this film revolves around the same story. An established and famous male star, discovers a new talent. He then acts as mentor and eventually lover to this woman while guiding her through the process and pitfalls of fame. However, as her star rises, his declines thanks to his increasingly bad public behavior while battling his demons in the form of toxic addictions. There are differences among all five versions of this film. However, they are not significant as to change the main story line and character arcs. In the latest version of A Star is Born the names of the main characters are changed from Esther Blodgett and Norman Maine to Ally and Jackson Maine. Also, unlike the first three films, Ally and Jackson are singers and not actors. Continue reading “Film Review – A Star Is Born (2018)”