The Umpteenth Blogathon – It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)

FILM SYNOPSIS

When a group of strangers hear the confession of a dying man who leaves a mysterious clue about the whereabouts of a large sum of cash, they aren’t convinced he’s on the level. Yet, when they suspect each other of going after the money, they pause to discuss how to locate it and also how to split it when it’s found. Talks quickly break down and it becomes, “every man (and woman) for himself!”

Next thing you know, five different groups of people are racing to be the first one to find the dough, unaware that they are being tracked by the cops who have long wished to recover the money from a robbery case. Their attempts to beat each other out lead to the involvement of other strangers and motorists as well as crazy situations that quickly become destructive. Continue reading “The Umpteenth Blogathon – It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)”

Thirty-Six Overlooked Films of Classic Movie Stars

It’s rather easy to rattle off the most well-known films of famous silver screen stars. And I’m rather glad those movies are still bringing attention to faces who are no long with us, but who contributed greatly to the popularity of moving pictures.

However, it would be a shame not to dig deeper into the filmography of these stars as there is much of their work that is just as deserving of attention. Some, because of the quality of the production and others simply for great entertainment value.

I made my own list of classic films that I feel are overlooked and worth highlighting. Obviously, it’s rather subjective and definitely not comprehensive. So if I’ve left out one of your favorites or you disagree with my choices, I’d love to hear from you! Continue reading “Thirty-Six Overlooked Films of Classic Movie Stars”

Silent Film Review – The Scarlet Letter (1926) – The Silent Movie Day Blogathon

I confess to having little appreciation for the classics of literature. I often find the stories to be long-winded, moralistic and rather dreary. However, thanks to my high school English class (I won’t mention how many years ago) I was exposed to some of these revered tomes.

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s famous tale of adultery, The Scarlet Letter is one I had a very strong reaction to. To this day, I clearly remember how angry I felt reading about Hester Prynne and the price she pays for having a daughter out of wedlock. I couldn’t understand why she would spare the father of her child by keeping silent. Nor could I forgive the minister for allowing her to bear the shame and scorn of their Puritanical community alone. It gave me a great disgust of human nature and the level of hypocrisy it can sink to.

Needless to say, it’s not a story I have desired to revisit. However, as so often happens with me, a case of serendipity had me willing to watch what is considered the best of the film adaptations of Hawthorne’s novel.  I’ve been intentionally delving more into the world of silent film. Recently I’ve read a handful of biographies of silent film stars which keep referring to Lillian Gish as one of the great actresses of that era. As it so happens, I also just recently watched Captain Salvation which starred Lars Hanson. When TCM decided to air The Scarlet Letter, which co-stars both Gish and Hanson in their first film together, well…I took it as a sign. Continue reading “Silent Film Review – The Scarlet Letter (1926) – The Silent Movie Day Blogathon”

Book Review – Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood by Cari Beauchamp

I blame Melanie Benjamin. It was my discovery of her fictionalized portrayal of the friendship between Mary Pickford and Frances Marion in The Girls in the Picture, that sparked my interest in Marion. In a serendipitous moment, I also just happened to watch the Marion directed, Pickford starring silent film The Love Light around the same time. Recently, I happened across Cari Beauchamp’s biography of Marion and that spark has now grown into a flame. Continue reading “Book Review – Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood by Cari Beauchamp”

Book Review – George Cukor: A Double Life by Patrick McGilligan

The Philadelphia Story, Camille, My Fair Lady, The Women, It Should Happen to You, it surprised me to learn how many of the films I love shared the same director. When I realized how many of George Cukor’s films were favorites of mine, I actively started seeking out his pictures and have now seen the majority of them. But still, I didn’t know much about this film legend who is often known as the “women’s director.” I recently happened across a copy of Patrick McGilligan’s biography George Cukor: A Double Life and took it as a sign that it was time for me to learn more.

All drama, Cukor thought, ought to be tinged with comedy. That was how he viewed life. pg. 145

Continue reading “Book Review – George Cukor: A Double Life by Patrick McGilligan”