Foreign Film Friday -Girl on a Bicycle (2013)

Although I admit my exposure to foreign films is miniscule, it is pretty much a guarantee that any film set in France, in particular Paris, is going to pique my interest.

FILM SUMMARY

Italian Paolo is content with his life. He lives with his German girlfriend Greta in Paris, has a steady job as a tour bus driver and a dependable if not so good advisor in English friend Derek. After finally proposing to Greta, he finds himself continually crossing paths with the lovely Cecile. Although he is in love with Greta, Paolo cannot helped but be intrigued by the girl riding the bicycle. One day, while in pursuit of her, he accidentally hits her with his bus, which throws his life completely off course.

At the hospital, he informs the nurse that Cecile is his wife so that he can get information on her condition, (a la While You Were Sleeping). When the nurse escorts him into Cecile’s room, her young children immediately greet him with hugs and cries of  “Papa!” You see, Cecile has always told her children that their father is off fighting dragons, but when he returns they will know him because he speaks English. Upon her release from the hospital, Paolo takes Cecile and the children to their home and finds himself in the predicament of caring for her and the children secretly while also trying to maintain his relationship with Greta, who begins to suspect that Paolo is hiding something important from her. Continue reading “Foreign Film Friday -Girl on a Bicycle (2013)”

Classic Film Review -Honky Tonk (1941)

FILM SUMMARY
In Honky Tonk grifter and con-man Candy Johnson is tired of being run out of every town he visits whenever the citizens discover who he is. So he and his partner hop on a train determined to find a small town which he can shape and control for even larger payouts such as graft. On the train, Candy’s eye is drawn by beautiful blonde Elizabeth Cotton who is traveling west to meet her father, a man she believes is an upstanding, honest judge. Elizabeth refuses to be tempted by Candy’s smooth line, resisting his obvious flirtation. Upon debarking in Yellow Creek, Candy recognizes Elizabeth’s father as a fellow con-artist, but keeps his secret for Elizabeth’s sake.
Candy soon begins his campaign to take over the town of Yellow Creek and Elizabeth’s affections. After winning a large stake in a gamble of Russian roulette, Candy builds his own saloon and donates money to build a town mission as a civic gesture. After a little light manhandling from Candy and a talk with the Reverend’s wife, Elizabeth admits her attraction to Candy and decides she will marry him with the mission to reform him. It’s not long before Candy is running the town and Elizabeth is running their home, but a wrench is thrown into this happy setup when the Judge grows a conscience for his daughter’s sake and decides to spill the beans on Candy’s real intentions.
Papa grows a conscience
MY THOUGHTS

Continue reading “Classic Film Review -Honky Tonk (1941)”

Five Stars Blogathon -My Five Favorite Film Stars

Today, I am excited to be participating in the Five Stars Blogathon which is being hosted by Classic FIlm TV Cafe.

Anyone who has been following my posts will know that I absolutely love movies. This being the case, asking me to pick five, and only five favorite stars was an almost impossible task! I mean really, it would be like asking me to choose my favorite book (another impossible task) or my favorite breath for that matter. But for the sake of following the rules, I have managed to narrow it down to the requested five. Just don’t get the idea that I don’t have other favorite film stars. And since this blogathon is in honor of National Classic Movie Day, I am sharing my favorite classic film stars.

CARY GRANT

Be still my beating heart!

Any one who knows me knows of my love for Cary Grant. His film Bringing Up Baby was my first introduction to him, to classic film and to screwball comedy, all of which remain favorites to this day. Cary Grant was a versatile actor who was equally at home in both comedies and dramas. His characters tended not to take themselves or life too seriously and yet also retained a darker edge about them which was highlighted more in his dramatic roles. And while I enjoy his later dramatic films, my preference will always be for his pre-war comedies. Who else could pull of playing men of sophistication and privilege who were able to laugh and make fun at their own expense? Continue reading “Five Stars Blogathon -My Five Favorite Film Stars”

Film Review -The Promise (2017)

 

The Promise is set in the last days of the Ottoman Empire, now Turkey, during the early years of World War I. Young Mikael Boghosian comes from a family of apothecaries, but his real dream is to leave his mountain village to attend medical school in Constantinople so that he can return to doctor his people. This dream has always been out of reach. That is until he betroths himself to a local girl in order to gain her dowry for the school fees. He plans to complete a three-year medical degree in two, and then return home to marry her. He believes he will learn to love her eventually.

In Constantinople, Mikael boards with a wealthy relative. Then he meets Ana  a fellow Armenian raised in Paris who has returned to her home country with her American reporter boyfriend Chris Myers. Although an immediate attraction between Mikael and Ana stirs…

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

Introducing Vivien Leigh

PERSONAL BIO

Young Vivian Hartley

Vivian Hartley was born in 1913 in India where she was raised by her parents for the first six years of her life. Her mother eventually sent her to a girls convent school in England where she met friend and fellow actress Maureen O’Sullivan. Later on as she traveled with her parents she attended various schools in Europe and became fluent in French and Italian.

Vivian married at the young age of 18 to barrister Leigh Holman, a man many years older than she. By the age of 19 she had given birth to her only child, a daughter.

While pursuing her passion for acting in the theater, she met fellow actor  Laurence Olivier with whom she began an affair. Although they were both married to others and had young children, they fell in love and eventually obtained divorces which enabled them to marry.  They remained married for over twenty years and were linked together forever in the public mind since they appeared in numerous films and plays together. Continue reading “Introducing Vivien Leigh”

Foreign Film Friday -Departures (2008)

SUMMARY

Japanese film Departures tells the story of Daigo a professional cellist who loses his dream job with a Tokyo orchestra. In debt, and with no other options, Daigo makes the decision to move with his wife Miko, back to his hometown to live in the house he inherited from his mother.

While job hunting, Daigo finds an ad for a job assisting in departures which promises good pay with no experience required. Upon arriving at the business which he thinks is a travel agency, he discovers from the owner that the ad is a misprint. The position available is actually as an assistant to help with “departures”, more commonly known as an undertaker.

The owner hires him on the spot despite Daigo’s hesitancy to work with the dead. Being unsure that he will keep the job and embarrassed by it, he does not inform his wife about the details of his new position. Continue reading “Foreign Film Friday -Departures (2008)”

Classic Film Review – Midnight (1939)

“Don’t forget, every Cinderella has her midnight.”

This quote perfectly sums up the title of the screwball comedy, Midnight.

SUMMARY

In the opening scene, a train arrives in Paris with a glamorously dressed woman sleeping on a bench in one of the cars. Upon awakening, she arises, grabs her evening bag and steps off of the train into the rain with no luggage. Eve  Peabody quickly explains to the porter that she left her belongings in a pawn shop in Monte Carlo.

As she leaves the train station, she is accosted by taxi drivers offering her a ride which she can’t afford. One in particular seems sympathetic to her plight, so she arranges a deal with him to drive her around town to look for a job. Once she secures one, she will pay him double the rate she owes.

Love at first sight

After Tibor Czerny agrees and spends part of his evening helping her she is no closer to securing a job and the taxi meter is climbing higher. But Eve is in luck, because Tibor is kind and has fallen in love with her at first sight, even though she admits that her long-term plan is to marry wealth. She’s a charming and honest gold-digger. Continue reading “Classic Film Review – Midnight (1939)”

Classic Films and their Modern Remake Counterparts

I am passionate about classic film and introducing it to a new generation of viewers. Many people are under the mistaken impression that classic films are boring or dated. That may be true for some films, as culture and mores change and grow. But there are still many classics which are enjoyable and still relevant. This may be why Hollywood occasionally dips into its’ archives to retell a story that has already been told.

In order to pique your curiosity and interest, I am sharing this list of enjoyable classic films and their more modern counterparts…

To see the list, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.

Classic Film Recommendations for May

As usual, I am sharing my recommendations for classic films airing on the TCM channel in May. TCM just happens to be focusing on the films of actor Clark Gable this month, so if you have only seen him in Gone with the Wind, this is a good chance to see some of his other many lovable films.  All times are Central Standard Time

Gilda (1946) -This is the film that made Rita Hayworth a big star. It’s a moody drama about the love/hate relationship between Hayworth and co-star Glenn-Ford. It’s also a fine example of film noir.  Showing May 1 at 8:30 AM

It Happened One Night (1934) -Gable won an Oscar for this film about a newspaper man who chases a flighty heiress around the country. One of the early examples of screwball comedy, it’s still considered a masterpiece. Showing May 2 at 7:00 PM

A Free Soul (1931) -Another Gable film with Lionel Barrymore (yes, one of those Barrymores) and Norma Shearer, one-time queen of MGM. If you think classic films are boring and sedate, this pre-code title will prove you wrong. It’s pretty darn sexy. Showing May 3 at 2:00 AM

Spartacus (1960) -If you haven’t seen this famous film starring Kirk Douglas about a slave who leads a revolt against Rome, you really should. Showing May 6 at 3:30 PM

The Children’s Hour (1961) -If you think of Audrey Hepburn as sweet and dainty, then her role in this film will come as a surprise. She co-stars with Shirley MacLaine and James Garner in this story about how gossip and rumor can ruin lives. Showing May 7 at 5:00 PM

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) -The last of Katharine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy’s many films together. It was one of the first to tackle the subject of interracial marriage. Also starring Sidney Poitier. Showing May 12 at 11 PM

You Were Never Lovelier (1942) -People always link Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers together thanks to their multiple film pairings. However Rita Hayworth, like Fred  Astaire was brought up as a dancer and their pairing in this film shows their natural grace and chemistry together. Showing May 20 at 9:15 PM

Boys Night Out (1962) – I love a young James Garner and this is a fun little comedy about a young woman who shares and apartment with four men so that she can use them as research in a psychology study. Showing May 21 at 5:00 PM

Pride and Prejudice (1940) -If you’ve never seen the original film version of Jane Austen’s story, don’t miss this one. It has its’ faults, but is still fun and stars Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson. Showing May 22 at 8:15 AM

Fury (1936) -Starring Spencer Tracy, this is a film that will really stick with you.  Tracy is an innocent man who is mistaken for a criminal. It shows the scary results of mob rule/violence. Showing May 23 at 8:15 AM

Gone With The Wind (1939) -Seriously, if you haven’t already seen this book and film classic then you need to watch it. It is still one of the highest grossing films of all time and part of our cultural history. Showing May 23 at 7:00 PM

Test Pilot (1938) -One of my favorite Clark Gable films, it also stars Myrna Loy and Spencer Tracy. Gable is, what else, a test pilot, with Loy acting as his supportive wife and Tracy rounds out their trio as the best friend. This is just a fun film. Showing May 24 at 1:15 AM

Bringing Up Baby (1938) -My very first introduction to classic film, this screwball comedy stars my favorite actors Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn in a story about an heiress who shanghais a nerdy professor into helping her deliver a pet leopard to her grandmother. Yes, it is as crazy as it sound and also makes me laugh every time! Showing May 30 at 6:45 AM.

If you only watch one film, it has to be Gone with the Wind. If you have already seen that, then I recommend Bringing Up Baby.

 

Film Review-BBC’s North and South (2004)

With the popularity of BBC films and series more and more people are being exposed to quality historical dramas.  I’m just going to give my recommendation right off the bat. If you are a BBC fanatic, if you love their Jane Austen film adaptations, then this four part series is a must see.

Taken from Elizabeth Gaskill’s novel of the same name, North & South addresses social issues of the time as seen through the eyes of its’ female protagonist, Margaret Hale. Margaret is forced to leave her beloved, sunny, southern England to transplant with her parents to cold, harsh, industrial Milton in the north of England. While acclimating to her new environment she meets proud and reserved mill owner, John Thornton. These two clash, both in personality and outlook as Margaret begins to befriend and encourage a few of the poverty stricken mill workers. Through her friendship with them and also her hesitant yet growing relationship with John Thornton and his mother, she is exposed to ideas and conflicts on both sides of the working relationship between mill owners and unions during the Industrial Revolution.

Margaret’s opinion of the cotton mills.

This really is an interesting look at the attitudes and beliefs of employers and employees during a time of great social change. The story is told with both points of views and with honesty without trying to sway the viewer’s sympathy for either side. You see the pros and cons of the argument from both perspectives. Continue reading “Film Review-BBC’s North and South (2004)”