Barbara Stanywck is one of my top five favorite actresses. There was no role or genre she didn’t do well, from film noir, to comedy to historical dramas to weepies and more, she brought authenticity to all of her films.
AMONG THE BEST
Starting out in film she had a similar background to contemporary Joan Crawford. Like Crawford she often played working class girls . But unlike Crawford whose characters clawed their way into wealth and respectability, often through their relationship with men, Stanwyck’s characters achieved their goals through their own grit and independence, while also displaying vulnerability. Continue reading “Barbara Stanwyck Blogathon – Lady of Burlesque (1943)”
I have no memory of my first introduction to Natalie Wood. But for as long as I can remember, I have been enamored with the beautiful actress who grew up on screen.
Born in 1938, the child of Russian immigrants, Natalie made her first film appearance at the age of four. Whether she really wanted the life of an actress for herself or whether her mother pushed her into it, Natalie made the best of it. From a young age she helped support her family with her career. She also became one of the rare child actresses to successfully transition into adult roles. For forty years until her death she continued to grace the screen and develop her craft until her untimely and controversial death. Continue reading “Made in 1938 Blogathon – Tribute to Natalie Wood”
Alfred Kralik is the longest serving employee at Matuschek and Company in Budapest, Hungary. Personally taken under the wing of Mr. Matuschek, Kralik has worked his way up the ladder to become the store’s top sales clerk. He is joined by his four other fellow employees Vadas, Flora, Ilona, his good friend Pirovitch and the errand boy Pepi who have all formed a special camaraderie with each other. They aren’t just co-workers but a family of sorts.
But things begin to change and upset Kralik’s life of routine. First, Matuschek hires the beautiful but snippy young Klara Novak. Kralik and Klara do not get along. She constantly challenges his authority and he resents her rudeness to him. Then, Kralik’s formerly close relationship with his employer shows some fractures. He cannot fathom why Mr. Matuschek is suddenly treating him so coldly. The one bright spot in Kralik’s life is his growing closeness with his anonymous female pen pal. Though he has never met her, he begins to fall for her, recognizing her as a kindred spirit. Just when Kralik believes he is getting a raise, he is unexpectedly fired instead. On the same night, he goes to meet his pen pal and discovers Klara waiting in the same restaurant. Things look pretty bleak for him. But Christmas is a time when anything can happen.
For the full review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.
After fifteen years of marriage and two children, Sergey and Olga have grown apart emotionally. Their life has become a matter of routine and duty. When Olga finds her husband’s profile on a dating website, she decides to connect with her husband using a false identity. Sergey quickly becomes enamored with the mysterious woman named Emma.
Meanwhile, in their real life Olga is torn over her husband’s “infidelity” but believes their marriage is worth saving. The more she reaches out to her husband, the more distant he becomes. However, her virtual identity as Emma gives her new insight and understanding into her husband while also exposing the failures in their marriage. The more Olga pretends to be Emma, the more “Emma” impacts Olga’s life. But when Olga finally regains her sense of identity, will she still feel her marriage worth saving? Continue reading “Foreign Film Friday – I Love My Husband (2018) Russian Series”
December was a bit slower month for me. I watched a couple of Dick Powell films as well as a few with Robert Mitchum. I also viewed a few classic Christmas films I had yet to see. Aside from Mitchum’s His Kind of Woman, none of this month’s movies wowed me. I also had fun watching In Person in which Ginger Rogers plays ugly. In all, I saw sixteen new films this month. Continue reading “December 2018 Quickie Film Reviews”
So, this year was an extremely productive year for me when it came to watching films. I watched over 180 new to me classic films. Wait, what? That’s right almost 200 films. I honestly don’t even know how that is possible, especially considering I also read over 120 books while working as well. That number of course doesn’t include the new releases, documentaries, television series, Hallmark movies etc. which I didn’t bother to keep track of.
This year’s classic film binge included me filling in my filmography gaps for stars like Rita Hayworth, William Holden, Robert Mitchum, Elizabeth Taylor, George Brent, Ava Gardner, Marlon Brando and others. I watched my first Esther Williams films and finally found one I liked. And I finally discovered why Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni are considered a great pairing. Continue reading “2018 Film Year in Review”
The Man Who Invented Christmas gives a new and welcome spin to A Christmas Carol by telling its’ creation through the eyes of the author Charles Dickens. Despite his previous publishing success, Charles Dickens is in financial straits. With a growing family, an expensive new London townhome and a spendthrift father, funds are very limited. His most recently published books haven’t been as successful. For this reason his publishers are hesitant to back a new book. Not to mention Dickens is struggling with writer’s block. Dickens close friend and agent, John Forster, encourages and support him through his difficulties, until inspiration strikes. Despite the lack of demand for a holiday story, Charles Dickens insists it is a tale that needs to be told. As such, he decides to self-publish putting his family in even further financial peril.
As Dickens writes his story, he faces several challenges. There is the growing disconnect between himself and his neglected wife. Another battle he faces is with his main character, Scrooge, who challenges him more than he expects. A third is the fractured relationship with his father who unexpectedly arrives for a visit. This also forces Dickens to wrestle with the ghosts of his own past history. It creates an intriguing intertwinement of the author’s life with that of his character.
To read the full review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat.
Three wealthy but lonely older men invite strangers into dinner on Christmas Eve. Displaced Texan James Houston and Jean Lawrence, a teacher join not only George, Chad and Michael, but also their housekeeper, former Russian countess Madame Tanya for a surprisingly merry Christmas. The three older men form a strong bond with the young James and Jean and act as matchmakers for the new couple.
As months pass, those bonds grow tighter and transform not only the lives of the elderly men, but also Madame Tanya. They become a family of love if not blood. When the three men pass away, they continue to watch over Jean and James from the here after, determined to see them happy. But James rise to instant fame as a singer brings with it many temptations and challenges his relationship with Jean. Will the men’s supernatural guidance be enough to keep them together? Continue reading “Classic Film Review – Beyond Tomorrow (1940)”
I’ve always been a romantic at heart. However, not every romance has a happy ending. But that does not make them any less a love story. Such is the case with the film Waterloo Bridge, one of classic cinema’s great romantic tragedies.
Myra Lester, a woman with no family, is a dancer in a ballet company in WWI London. A chance meeting during an air raid introduces her to the aristocratic Captain Roy Cronin. Roy is immediately smitten. Myra, however, is a bit more realistic, even fatalistic, about their chances of happiness. In spite of it all, she is quickly swept off her feet by Roy’s optimistic gallantry and they are soon engaged. But their plans to marry are interrupted by Roy’s orders to return to the front.
With the help of friend and fellow dancer Kitty, Myra manages to endure the separation. But Myra’s and Kitty’s circumstances go from bad to worse, especially when Myra receives news that Roy is dead. Giving up on her happy ending Myra does what she must to survive. Then Roy miraculously reappears very much alive and still in love with Myra. She too still loves him, but questions whether her war time experiences have ruined her ability to marry him.
For my full review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.
Have you ever watched a movie that took you by surprise? Perhaps, it turned your expectations on end? Or maybe, you went in knowing nothing about the film and found yourself responding to it rather strongly? Such was the case for me with Nurse on Wheels, a British comedy starring Juliet Mills, daughter of John Mills and sister to Hayley.
I grew up with the Disney films of Hayley Mills and hold very fond memories of them. It was for this reason alone that I took a chance when I saw Nurse on Wheels show up in the TCM schedule recently. I had never seen Juliet Mills in a film before and knew absolutely nothing about Nurse on Wheels. I expected I might like it, but didn’t guess that it would be my favorite film discovery of the year.