Classic Film Review – Operation Mad Ball (1957)

Don’t you love it when you take a chance on a movie you’ve never heard of and end up loving it? Such is the case for me with Operation Mad Ball.

SUMMARY

WWII may be over, but there is a group of men still stationed at an American medical base in France. Among these are Captain Lock (Ernie Kovacs) and his nemesis Private Hogan (Jack Lemmon). Lock is a by the book sort of Captain who is unpopular with the other enlisted men. Pvt. Hogan, however, is a man with a glib tongue and quick mind. He is well-liked by his fellow soldiers, especially for his attempts to make life more fun on the base.

Also stationed on base is a group of female nurses, many of whom are officers. When a fellow private falls for a nurse, Hogan uses it as an excuse to play Cupid, by planning a ball. However, this is easier said than done. The machinations the men go through to secretly secure the site and the resources rivals a legitimate complex military mission. This is complicated when the base’s commanding officer Colonel Rousch (Arthur O’Connell) starts planning his own party for the same night. Hogan also needs to continually keep one step of Lock who is determined to finally catch him breaking Army regulations. Continue reading “Classic Film Review – Operation Mad Ball (1957)”

Top Ten Tuesday -Books On My Spring 2019 TBR

Today’s Topic: Books On My Spring 2019 TBR

Hosted by: That Artsy Reader Girl

I love the host of new books which get released each spring. There are so many great new titles this time of year that my TBR pile just gets bigger. Some of these on this week’s list are new releases which I haven’t read just yet. Others will be releasing later this spring. Either way, I’m very excited about the books on this list. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Books On My Spring 2019 TBR”

Series Review – Vanity Fair (2018)

Vanity Fair is arguably the crowning achievement of British author William Makepeace Thackeray. In it, he created perhaps the greatest anti-heroine in English literature, Becky Sharp. The name of the novel is an allusion to a place found in Pilgrim’s Progress where travelers’ find themselves lured in by a fascination of material things. It can also be read as a satire on English society of that time. Thackeray’s masterpiece has been adapted for both the big and small screen many times. But despite having seen two film versions, it is iTV’s recent adaptation which finally introduced me to the brilliance of Vanity Fair.

SYNOPSIS

Vanity Fair follows the journey of two young ladies from their friendship at school, through  a decade of their lives.

Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley cannot be more different. Becky is orphaned and without fortune, but uses her education, charm and beauty to make the most of her paltry connections. Above all she desires financial security and the influence of social position. She has no conscience about how she achieves these things. In her ruthless betterment of self, Becky manipulates various members of the Crawley family, Amelia’s brother Jos and eventually the Marquis de Steyne. Though she eventually obtains her objectives, it comes at a higher price than she expects.

In contrast, Amelia is sweet-natured but passive and completely naïve to the true natures of those she loves best. Unlike Becky, her only real wish is to settle down with her fiancé George Osborn to a life of happy domesticity. William Dobbin an army captain and friend to George secretly assists her in gaining her heart’s desire. Like Becky, Amelia eventually realizes her dream, but it also comes at a high cost.

As these women navigate ambition, romance, war and disappointment they must eventually face the truth and consequences of their choices. They must also decide if they are willing to change.

For the full review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.

 

 

February 2019 Quickie Film Reviews

February didn’t prove to be a very productive month for me in watching films and series. Of course it is a short month and I was busier than usual, so I’m cutting myself some slack.

I finished fourteen films and two series in February, that includes a mix of classic and contemporary entertainment. I revisited some old favorites (Gone With the Wind, My Fair Lady and The Quiet Man), and watched some creative Shakespeare adaptations.

Cheers For Miss Bishop Photo Source: TCM.com

My favorite discoveries this month are the sweet classic Cheers for Miss Bishop and the extremely cute Netflix film To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Continue reading “February 2019 Quickie Film Reviews”

Top Ten Tuesday – Book Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With

Today’s Topic: Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With

Hosted by: That Artsy Reader Girl

What a fun prompt this is. It has really made me think differently about familiar and well-loved books. The great thing about a good book is that it takes you out of your own life and allows you to live vicariously through the lives of its’ characters.

Regular readers know that I adore historical fiction. However, when it came time to make this week’s list, there’s something I realized. As much as I enjoy reading about history, I don’t know that I would want to live it. That is why many of the ladies I chose for this list come from contemporary stories. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday – Book Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With”

Fay Wray and Robert Riskin Blogathon – Platinum Blonde (1931)

ABOUT ROBERT RISKIN

Hollywood isn’t often noted for its’ successful marriages. However, writer Robert Riskin and actress Fay Wray were one of the exceptions. The two were married for thirteen years until his death parted them.

Their daughter is publishing the book  Fay Wray and Robert Riskin: A Hollywood Affair.  I am participating in The Fay Wray and Robert Riskin Blogathon honoring these two Hollywood stars and the book hosted by Aurora of Once Upon a Screen and AnnMarie at Classic Movie Hub.

One of the things I am always bemoaning about our modern films is the lackluster, disappointing dialogue. Classic films were full of snappy one liners, rapid fire conversations full of double entendres and attraction disguised as insults. They were witty and smart, but could also be cutting and sharp. It is rare to run across this verbal brilliance in new releases. Which is why I wanted to focus on Robert Riskin for the sake of this blogathon. Continue reading “Fay Wray and Robert Riskin Blogathon – Platinum Blonde (1931)”

Film Review – Penelope (2006)

Don’t you love a good fairy tale? I certainly do. But you can only watch so many versions of Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast. Sometimes a fairy tale with a new story and fresh perspective is needed. And that’s just what Penelope offers.

PENELOPE SYNOPSIS

A long time ago, a witched cursed the Wilherns. The first daughter born into this wealthy family would be born with the face of a pig. The only way to break this curse is for her to be accepted by one of her own kind – a blueblood. After many generations of sons, Penelope becomes the unfortunate bearer of this cruel curse.

Ashamed of her daughter, Jessica Wilhern has hidden her away in the family home for most of Penelope’s life. But in recent years, she has been working with a professional matchmaker to find an aristocratic man willing to marry Penelope and break the curse. Edward Vanderman, the most recent man to reject the sweet natured “pig-girl” has teamed up with Lemon, a journalist holding a long-standing grudge towards Jessica. They hire Max Campion, a gambler they believe to be a fallen blue-blood. Max agrees to secretly snap a picture of Penelope for a pay-off thousands of dollars.

But Penelope is gun-shy and doesn’t show herself to Max right away. Instead he is forced to make multiple visits to the Wilhern mansion. With a one-way mirror between them, Max and Penelope develop a friendship through many conversations. However, the individual plans of Jessica Wilhern, Edward, Lemon and Max all go awry when Penelope finally decides to run away from everyone’s plans for her. What will happen to a girl who has lived in seclusion all her life, when she finally discovers the world? Can the curse truly be broken or will Penelope find another way?

To read the full review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.

 

Book Review – A Fallen Lady

SYNOPSIS

Six years ago, to the outrage of her family and the delight of London gossips, Lady Helen Dehaven refused to marry the man to whom she was betrothed. Even more shockingly, her refusal came on the heels of her scandalous behavior: she and her betrothed were caught in a most compromising position. Leaving her reputation in tatters and her motivations a mystery, Helen withdrew to a simple life in a little village among friends, where her secrets remained hers alone.

For reasons of his own, Stephen Hampton, Lord Summerdale, is determined to learn the truth behind the tangled tale of Helen’s ruin. There is nothing he abhors so much as scandal – nothing he prizes so well as discretion – and so he is shocked to find, when he tracks Helen down, that he cannot help but admire her. Against all expectations, he finds himself forgiving her scandalous history in favor of only being near her.

But the bitter past will not relinquish Helen’s heart so easily. How can she trust a man so steeped in the culture of high society, who conceals so much? And how can he, so devoted to the appearance of propriety, ever love a fallen lady? Continue reading “Book Review – A Fallen Lady”

Top Ten Tuesday – Places Mentioned in Books That I’d Like to Visit

Today’s Topic: Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like to Visit

Hosted by: That Artsy Reader Girl

Travel is one of my passions. I love going someplace new and experiencing the culture and sights of that place. However, time and money limits the amount of travel I’m able to do.

That is one of the reason I enjoy reading. It’s armchair travel at it’s best. As soon as I crack open the pages, I’m instantly transported and experiencing that place vicariously through the characters. And of course, it also allows me to time travel, which is sadly still impossible in real life. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday – Places Mentioned in Books That I’d Like to Visit”