2019 Film Year in Review

This year I decided to keep track of my viewing stats a little differently. In the past, I only kept track of the new to me classic films in  my tally. But for 2019 I chose to also include re-watches, newer films and television series. I continued to leave out television films from my total count. All told, I watched about 300 films and series which is quite a lot.

NEW CLASSIC FILMS – 143 Total 

I continued on from last year in watching the films of Marlon Brando, Robert Mitchum and George Brent. I also actively sought out the films of Shirley Temple, Margaret O’Brien, Kay Francis, Greta Garbo, Jane Powell, Marion Davies and John Garfield. 2019 will also go down as the year I watched my first Elvis film.

Kay Francis & George Brent

Some of the more popular classics I finally made time for were Murder My Sweet, The Stranger, I Know Where I’m Going, Angel and the Badman, Ryan’s Daughter and Becket. Cleopatra was as much of a slog as I expected. However, I was happily surprised by great experiences with The Picture of Dorian Gray and Cat People. I had also put off watching the famous silent film The Big Parade but it completely wowed me! Continue reading “2019 Film Year in Review”

December 2019 Quickie Film Reviews

December was a month for indulging myself. Just over a third of my entertainment choices this month were re-watches, mostly of my favorite Christmas films. And still, I didn’t get to see all the holiday films I wanted to.

I also spoiled myself by going to the theater four times this month. I can’t remember the last time there were that many new releases I actually wanted to see. In fact, I think these four may account for a third of my total new release viewings for the whole year.

decemBER 2019 BREAKDOWN
  • 30 Films/Series Total
  • 12 Christmas movies (including While You Were Sleeping)
  • 11 Re-watches
  • 6 New Classics
  • 5 TV Series
  • 4 Theater Releases
  • 1 Documentary

Biggest Disappointment: Stand Up and Cheer – Shirley Temple’s brief presence was not enough to save this one.

Favorite Discovery: Virgin River & Little Women  –  Both of these surprised me in a great way. Continue reading “December 2019 Quickie Film Reviews”

Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers Blogathon – Forever Female (1953)

It’s easy to write-off Ginger Rogers as the second half of a famous partnership with Fred Astaire. After all it is the ten films they made together which has helped cement her place in film history.

But she’s not just your typical classic movie star. No, she was a real working actress with talent. One who was equally at home in musicals, comedies and dramas. She held her own against respected actresses like Janet Gaynor and Katharine Hepburn and co-starred with in demand actors such as William Powell, Cary Grant & James Stewart.

Without intentionally planning it, I have seen a large majority of Roger’s films and was on the lookout for a new one to review for this blogathon. Forever Female perfectly fit the bill. It is one of her less discussed films, which is unfortunate given Rogers gives an excellent performance. It also boasts William Holden and Paul Douglas as cast members and talented screenwriting brothers Julius (who won and Oscar for Casablanca) & Phillip Epstein. Continue reading “Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers Blogathon – Forever Female (1953)”

#PayClassicsForward Christmas Challenge 2019

Once again Aurora over at Once Upon a Screen is challenging everyone to pay it forward this Christmas by choosing classic film recommendations utilizing the Twelve Days of Christmas theme.

I’ve decided to stick as close to that theme as possible by creatively interpreting the lyrics of the song. I didn’t have as much time as I would like to elaborate on all the films and actors who are named in this post. But hopefully, they will pique your interest enough to discover them for yourself. Continue reading “#PayClassicsForward Christmas Challenge 2019”

November 2019 Quickie Film Reviews

I had a very busy November, which means I didn’t have as much time as I usually do to sit in front of my TV. But what I did get to watch was an eclectic blend of mostly interesting movies and series.  And there was that weekend I binge-watched seven Hallmark Christmas movies with my family, which is not included in this month’s tally.

novemBER 2019 BREAKDOWN
  • 26 Films/Series Total
  • 8 New Classics
  • 5 Re-watches
  • 3 TV Series
  • 2 Foreign/International
  • 2 Documentaries
  • 2 Christmas movies
  • 3 Bette Davis and 2 John Gilbert films

Biggest DisappointmentJohn Ford: The Man Who Invented America – My expectations were high and it just wasn’t quite what I anticipated

The Big Parade with John Gilbert

Favorite Discovery Mum, The Big Parade & Instant Family. I couldn’t choose just one so I chose one classic, one contemporary and one series. Continue reading “November 2019 Quickie Film Reviews”

The Happy Holiday Blogathon – My Ten Favorite Christmas Films

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I have always been a Christmas fanatic. Christmas albums comprise my largest collection of music which I listen to year round. I start my countdown in October. I buy beautiful holiday wrapping paper despite my hatred of wrapping gifts. I put my tree up before Thanksgiving. AND I adore Christmas movies, which is why I wanted to share a list of my favorites for this blogathon.

In speaking of this holiday, I must admit, I’m a bit of a traditionalist. No trendy flocked tree for me this year, I’m sticking with my favorite red and gold. I love the aspect of the holiday which celebrates family over busyness, thoughtfulness over commercialism. And I still believe that the real reason for the season is the birth of Jesus. Continue reading “The Happy Holiday Blogathon – My Ten Favorite Christmas Films”

Mini Series Review – Charles II: The Power and the Passion (2003)

ABOUT KING CHARLES II

England’s King Charles II occupied the throne during a fascinating time in the nation’s history. During the English Civil War and Oliver Cromwell’s rule his father was beheaded and he was exiled. After Cromwell’s death Charles II returned to England as its’ king. Charles II reversed many of the rules implemented by Cromwell’s government. He also continued his father’s battle with the English Parliament. The years of his reign are known as The Restoration. Charles II: The Power and the Passion presents a portrait of this multi-faceted historical figure.

REVIEW

Charles II: The Power and the Passion is an apt title for this mini-series which splits its focus between Charles personal affairs and political battles. The first half of the series threatens to become mired down with a soap opera style approach to Charles relationships with his many mistresses. Barbara Villers is the most important and depraved of these, a woman who tries to leverage her influence of the king into political power. Helen McCrory gives a deliciously wicked and clever performance of Barbara. But I quickly grew tired of watching the king’s multiple sexual escapades.

Fortunately, the series eventually allows the king’s political battles to take center stage. This makes for a much more compelling and fascinating dramatic narrative.

For my full review of this surprisingly interesting mini-series starring Rufus Sewell, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.

 

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) – A Musical That is Pure Fun Entertainment

In my opinion, no one made better color musicals than MGM in the Fifties. It was during this decade that the studio released classics like Singin’ in the Rain, An American in Paris, Gigi, A Star is Born and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. But one of my personal favorites is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

ABOUT SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS

Millie is a young woman used to hard work. But she dreams of the day that she can invest all of her energy into loving a man and building a life together.

Adam Pontipee arrives in town after months in the mountains with his six brothers, Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank and Gideon. He is determined to find a wife to take back with him. After all, the Pontipee brothers need a woman to look after them and their needs. He is impressed with Millie’s backbone and willingness to work. Before she knows it Millie is swept off her feet, married and headed to her new life with her stranger husband.

But Millie and Adam have very different ideas about what their marriage should be. Not to mention, Millie’s presence in the Pontipee home prompts the other brothers to begin thinking of marriage themselves.

These  “seven slumachy back woodsmen” may think they have found a woman to cook and clean for them. But little do they know Millie is about to reform them all.

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

 

 

October 2019 Quickie Film Reviews

Well, this month was a slow start. It took me a while to find some films/series that were memorable. But I ended the October with a bang, at least when it came to classic titles.

OCTOBER 2019 BREAKDOWN
  • 31 Films/Series Total
  • 18 New Classics
  • 6 TV Series
  • 5 Re-watches
  • 4 Foreign/International
The Picture of Dorian Grey
Photo Source: IMDb

Biggest Disappointment The Talented Mr. Ripley

Favorite Discovery – It’s a toss-up between The Million Pound Note & The Picture of Dorian Gray Continue reading “October 2019 Quickie Film Reviews”

Series Review – The Indian Doctor (2010-2013)

I adore British historical series and am always on the lookout for ones I’ve not yet seen. So, it was by happy accident that I recently discovered The Indian Doctor streaming on Prime and Acorn TV.

SUMMARY

Still recovering from a personal tragedy, Dr. Prem Sharma and wife Kamani decide to leave their home in India. Kamani encourages Prem to apply for a post in London. Instead they find themselves assigned to a small mining village in Wales.

The culture shock is immediate, both for the Sharmas and the villagers who are not expecting a foreign doctor. Nor do they expect the Sharmas to be so cultured and highly educated. Prem is content to stay in his new position. But the wealthy and well-connected Kamani has no desire to stay in a back-water town which has no appreciation for the finer things. Continue reading “Series Review – The Indian Doctor (2010-2013)”