Foreign Film Friday -Morocco: Love in Times of War

MORROCO: LOVE IN TIMES OF WAR

It is the early 1920’s and Spain is at war with local tribes in a Northern African area known as the Rif.  The Spanish Queen wants to boost morale and to create positive public relations for the Spanish monarch and government. So she give her good friend, the Duchess, a task. She must establish a Red Cross hospital in the Spanish occupied city of Melilla.

Several newly trained nurses, daughters of privilege, join the Duchess in travelling to Morocco to begin this endeavor. Among them are Pilar, a young widow and the Duchess’ right hand. Magdalena is a somewhat flighty but effervescent young woman who leaves her fiancé behind in Spain. Then there is Julia. Julia has not yet had time to complete nurse’s training. But she is determined to use her job as a way to search for her missing brother and fiancé who are soldiers.

Upon their arrival, the Duchess faces some opposition from the army’s director of health and sanitation, Victor Ruiz-Marquez. He does not wish to give control over hospital decisions to the Duchess. But she is able to arrange for several army doctors to be attached to her new hospital, including Dr. Fidel Calderon, Dr.Luis Garcés and Dr. Guillermo. Together, along with field nurse Verónica and ambulance driver Larbi Al Hamza, these men and women accomplish the impossible in difficult circumstances. They also see their professional and personal lives intertwine while war takes its’ toll.

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

Doris Day Blogathon -The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)

DORIS DAY COMEDIES

As I’ve mentioned many times on this site, screwball comedy is my favorite film genre. So, it wouldn’t be hard to guess that the Doris Day comedies of the late 1950’s and 1960’s also rank among some of my favorite comedies. Though, they aren’t labeled screwball, they do have many of the same elements.

Day’s comedies weren’t ground-breaking and were often silly. But, they were always quality pictures with great dialogue, costumes and talent. They featured Day along side popular leading men like Cary Grant, David Niven, James Garner, Jack Lemmon, Rock Hudson and Rod Taylor.  Day’s comedies also gave her the opportunity to showcase the talent for which she first became a star -her voice. And while I am particular about musical films, her singing never becomes the focal point of the story, which is something I can appreciate.

Doris Day is probably best known for her three comedies opposite actor and friend Rock Hudson, with good reason. They had fabulous rapport onscreen. But as much as I love this pairing, there is another one which just edges them out in my mind. That is why today, I am focusing on one of her films with Rod Taylor, The Glass Bottom Boat. Continue reading “Doris Day Blogathon -The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)”

Book Review -The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

SUMMARY

World War II is over. Juliet’s war time series has been turned into a book with great success. Her editor and close friend Sydney is pushing her for new content to publish. But Juliet is lacking inspiration. Her imagination is as worn and grey as her flat in London.

Unexpectedly, she receives a letter from Dawsey, a stranger from the Isle of Guernsey. He is in possession of one of her old books by a favorite author. Her margin notes in the book inspired him to write her with questions. In their correspondence he mentions the island’s book club oddly named The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Before she knows it, Juliet is corresponding with several other members of the society.  Their letters spark an idea for a new book using the group’s story of their resistance of the German occupation during the war.

Soon letters are not enough and Juliet heads to the island to continue her research. Only, she quickly finds her life entwining with those of her lettered friends. Not to mention, Juliet finds herself intrigued by Elizabeth central figure they all speak of with love. Continue reading “Book Review -The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”

Classic Film Review -The Awful Truth

SUMMARY

Jerry and Lucy Warriner are a happily married society couple. Or so they think.  A misunderstanding causes an argument which leads Lucy to file for divorce. The judge grants them a divorce decree, but it is ninety days until it is final. While in court, the only point of contention which arises is who will receive custody of their beloved dog, Mr. Smith. The judge awards custody to Lucy but gives Jerry visitation rights. This provides Jerry and Lucy many instances to find themselves in each other’s company.

Urged by her aunt to move on, Lucy begins dating Daniel Leeson, a wealthy rancher from Oklahoma. Jerry’s jealousy rears its’ ugly head (again). He uses his visitation rights with Mr. Smith to disrupt Lucy’s new relationship, planting doubts in both her and Daniel’s mind.

After an embarrassing scene in which Jerry thinks he will catch Lucy with the man he suspected her of having an affair with, Jerry finally learns the truth of his wife’s faithfulness. Hat in hand, he realizes his error and apologizes, just as Lucy realizes she still loves her husband. But when he finds the man hiding in her bedroom, his suspicions are re-confirmed and he finally decides to move on.However, Lucy will not allow Jerry to be rid of her that easily. The tables turn and it becomes her turn to meddle in her soon to be ex’s promising new relationship. Will Jerry and Lucy reconcile before their ninety days are up?

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

Classic Film Review -The Sheik (1921)

SUMMARY

In The Sheik, Lady Diana Mayo is an aristocratic orphan visiting the African town of Biskra.  With only her brother to guide her, she has become wild, independent and naively fearless. Diana plans an extended tour of the desert with no one other than a local guide to protect her. Her local fellow British aristocrats warn Diana about the dangers to a local single woman travelling alone, but they she ignores them.

The night before her departure, Diana visits a local casino. To her dismay, she is denied entrance because of a private party for a young sheik. In defiance, Diana disguises herself and sneaks into the casino. It is not long until she is discovered by the Sheik, Ahmed Ben Hassan. Though he expels her, she has also caught his eye. Diana finds him equally fascinating.

Not long after she heads into the desert, Diana and her guide are surrounded by what appear to be Bedouin warriors. But, as she soon discovers, it is Ahmed. He quickly abducts her, whisking her away to his desert camp. Ahmed has his own plans for Diana, but she refuses him at every turn. It is a battle of the wills and wits. The sheik is accustomed to immediate obedience but Diana is not about to surrender her independence.

Though, she attempts to escape, eventually Diana accepts her gilded prison. But she still refuses to yield her heart to Ahmed. Just when she finally comes to terms with her emotions towards the Sheik, she is kidnapped once again by a bandit with nefarious purposes in mind. This forces both Ahmed and Diana to face the truth about their relationship. Will the Sheik recapture both Diana and her heart?

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

 

Book Review -Push Not the River

SUMMARY

Based on the diaries of a real life person, Push Not the River tells the story of Lady Anna Maria Berezowska. Anna’s tale is one of coming of age in a tumultuous time in Polish history.

When the young Anna is orphaned, she is sent to live with her Aunt Stella, Uncle Leo and cousin Zofia until she is old enough to claim her inheritance. While there, she meets their neighbor Lord Jan Stelnicki and they quickly fall in love. But Zofia has already set her sights on Jan. Her jealous interference leads to devastating consequences for both Anna and her Aunt Stella.

The events of Anna’s life occur against the larger events happening in Poland. Concerned about the events of the concurrent French Revolution inspiring the peasants to do the same to the Polish aristocracy, a new constitution is passed. This gives the peasants more rights and benefits. But some of the greedy aristocracy are not happy with the concessions, fearing an eventual loss of their own power and wealth. At the same time, Poland is being threatened by it’s three powerful military neighbors, Austria, Russia and Prussia. These nations see Poland as ripe for the plucking and are eager to claim Polish land for themselves. Continue reading “Book Review -Push Not the River”

Top Ten Tuesday -Favorite Movie Quotes

Today’s Topic: Favorite Book Quotes

Hosted by: That Artsy Reader Girl

I’m tweaking today’s topic a bit and sharing my favorite movie quotes instead. As much as I love to read, for some reason, I’ve never had a great memory for book quotes. Movies, on the other hand, are a different story. I can carry on almost a whole conversation with things I’ve heard in films. I liberally pepper my conversation with them, even though it often leaves others wondering what in the heck I’m talking about. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Favorite Movie Quotes”

Book Review -Death Wears a Mask

SUMMARY

Following a tenuous reconciliation, Amory Ames and her husband Milo arrive in London. An old family friend invites them to dinner with the hopes that Amory can solve the mystery of some missing jewelry.

However, the night they put their plan into action at a masked ball, her friend’s nephew is found dead with pieces of the missing jewelry in his pocket. Unwittingly, Amory finds herself right in the middle of another murder investigation. But that isn’t the only surprise.  When the police investigator comes to interview her, she meets a familiar face from her first murder case.

In the meantime, Amory and Milo are still finding their footing in their newly restored marriage. But past hurts and doubts arise when an incriminating photo of Milo is published in the newspaper. Amory once again finds herself questioning whether she can trust the man she loves. At the same time she is pursued by another charming, wealthy man while also trying to solve two linked crimes. Continue reading “Book Review -Death Wears a Mask”