Every now and then you come across a movie that just warms your heart and leaves you feeling as cozy and full as a plate of apple pie. This is one such film for me.
I’d Climb the Highest Mountain is a color film shot in location in the northern hills of Georgia which follows a newly married minister and his city wife who are assigned to this rural location in 1910. It is based on a (semi- autobiographical) novel by Corra Harris.
When Reverend William Thompson bring his new wife home to their first assignment she is eager yet unprepared for living in such an isolated area. This is a woman who not only doesn’t know how to cook, but also has her own doubts about her husband’s God. Yet, she makes every effort to contribute to her community and support her husband’s work.
Bill Thompson is the kind of man that almost no one could find fault with. He is generous with his time and resources, patient with his wife and wayward members of his congregation and yet he is not so perfect as to be annoying. No, he occasionally loses his temper, meddles in his neighbor’s business and even bets and races horses (although the bet is only to bring a lost sheep into the fold.) In other words, he’s the kind of minister I think many can relate to because he is human, as is his wife who never tries to camouflage her own failings. Continue reading “Classic Film Review-I’d Climb the Highest Mountain (1951)”
I feel like I’m one of the few people on the planet who had not seen this Hitchcock classic. To be honest, even though I’m working my way through Hitch’s films, I had put this one off The Birds because I was afraid it might be too scary. I do not do horror films and I do not like to be scared.
Just in case you are not familiar with the plot, wealthy Melanie Daniels played by Tippi Hedren (Melanie Griffith’s mother and Dakota Johnson’s grandmother) has a meet cute in a San Francisco pet shop with attorney Mitch Brenner who is portrayed by Rod Taylor. He plays a little trick on her in order to repay her for a prank she perpetrated against one of his clients. Strangely enough, they are both in the shop looking for birds.
This encounter intrigues Melanie enough to track down his name and address, drive out of town to his family home to retaliate. If Melanie’s behavior doesn’t creep out you a little, then don’t worry, the birds that begin to congregate in Mitch’s small town will.
Once the story has both Melanie and Mitch in the same place it gets to the gist of the plot which is basically a bunch of birds terrorizing an entire town. I’m not kidding, that’s the entire story in a nutshell. Continue reading “Classic Film Review -The Birds (1963)”
When Charlie Lionheart burst into the hospital with a sick baby, nurse Ella Beckley is immediately drawn into the plight of this mysterious young man and his sick but precious charge. His presence instigates immediate changes in her safe, ordered life and lures her into the unfamiliar life of the circus.
Charlie is quickly drawn to the sweet but curious Ella, but the secrets he harbors make him hesitant to expose her to his life. As they jointly care for baby Holland, they each find their perceptions challenged and must find the love and courage to reveal their traumatic pasts.
The Lady and the Lionheart was probably my favorite read in the past year and will go on my list of all time favorite books. Continue reading “Book Review -The Lady and the Lionheart”
Mob mentality or its’ kinder term group think has always fascinated me. Maybe because we all grow up hearing the old reprimand, “If your friends jump off a cliff does that mean you have to?” at some point in our lives. Of course, the logical answer is no, and yet many times we find ourselves following the crowd or the trend without much thought. In it’s cruelest form mob mentality will find many normally decent people doing terrible things as part of a group that they would never consider doing by themselves. What makes us follow like sheep to the slaughter over the proverbial cliff?
Storm Warning is a black and white film from 1951 which touches on the reality of how mob mentality can corrupt even decent people.
Marsha Mitchell (played by Ginger Rogers) makes a brief stop in a small southern town to visit her sister Lucy Rice (played by Doris Day) and meet Lucy’s new husband. Before she even has a chance see her sister, she witness the murder of a journalist by a group of men in white robes. Continue reading “Classic Film Review -Storm Warning (1951)”
Thanks to fairy tales and Disney many little American girls grow up wanting to be a princess. We are shown this idealized, fantasy version of a woman who has everything she wants, is pursued by the man of her dreams and has nothing better to do than wear pretty dresses and sit around looking beautiful.
When I heard about the book Princesses Behaving Badly I knew I had to read it. I stumbled upon the PBS series Million Dollar Princesses, hosted by none other that Lady Cora Crawley of Downton Abbey herself. I enjoyed the look into the lives of American heiresses who wed into European nobility and when the book was referenced I immediately put it on my Amazon wish list.
Princesses Behaving Badly is a collection of stories written about women throughout history (including those of legend) and how their positions of wealth, title and power impacted their lives. The book covers the lives of thirty women dedicating an average of about five pages per person. It is further organized by categories such as Warriors, Schemers, Floozies. It does not give a comprehensive study on each woman, but merely a general “wikipedia style” summary of each life.
I found this to be an easy read, a book I could pick up at random times when I had a couple of minutes to spare. Continue reading “Book Review -Princesses Behaving Badly”
Many, many years ago I saw Love with the Proper Stranger on television. I’ve been wanting to see it again ever since. Sadly, it is rarely aired.
I remember loving Love with the Proper Stranger although I couldn’t tell you much about it. I recalled the basic story line and of course am slightly in love with both Natalie Wood and Steve McQueen who play the main characters. Who wouldn’t like a movie with Natalie and Steve in it? They are both beautiful and talented and even if there was no story in the film I could stare at them all day. Continue reading “Classic Film Review -Love with the Proper Stranger (1963)”
Confession time: Don’t let this blonde hair fool you, I am a geek at heart. I love to learn, am fascinated by history and can usually be found with my nose in a book. All of this may contribute to my thorough captivation with museums. When I was younger and travelling with my family, my dad and I would always prefer visiting museums over my sisters’ choice of the closest shopping malls. And if we got our way, we would then have to be dragged out of said museums after hours of poring over each exhibit and their placards. I have visited museums all over the States and Europe, from the big and famous like the Getty, Smithsonian, Uffizi and Rijksmuseum, to the lesser known and smaller ones like The Titanic museum in Branson (a personal favorite by the way).
Although, I appreciate the plethora and diversity available at the larger museums, I have found I almost prefer the smaller, more focused ones because often times the experience feels more personal than viewing art and artifacts in the more massive spaces of the larger collections.
It’s been over a year since I visited the Morgan Library & Museum with my sister and yet the memory has stayed with me. It is housed in what was once J.P. Morgan’s private library and study, which was separate from his home. Continue reading “Morgan Library & Museum -New York”
When Charity Baxter’s grandfather dies, she inherits his estate on a small island in Florida, but she loses the one person who loved her unconditionally. Charity moves in to the massive mansion on the coast which holds her best memories but also one which traumatized her and has haunted her for years. Soon, this self-described socially awkward potter finds herself developing a friendship with her equally troubled and grieving neighbor and sharing her home with a runaway teen and her great-uncle whose secrets just may answer some questions about the memories which continue to torment her. Add-in the friendly island residents whose requests for unique pottery pieces with her grandfather’s special ingredient draw Charity out of her shell and into a mystery, a couple of visits from her narcissistic mother and Charity’s own love-hate relationship with the magical weeping willow tree in her backyard and you have one compelling and unique story. Continue reading “Book Review -In the Light of the Garden”
Being the only classic film lover in my household I am on a quest to prove that the classics are equal to and even better than our modern movie offerings. So I am always delighted when I introduce one that the whole family ends up enjoying (thereby proving me right!)
Never Say Goodbye is just such a film. A romantic comedy which reminded me a bit of The Parent Trap, it tells the story of exes Phil and Ellen Gayley and their young daughter Flip’s (short for Phillipa, named after her father of course) efforts to see them reunited. Phil is a famous artist constantly in the company of beautiful women, but still in love with his wife. Ellen is still in love with him too, but understandably has some trust issues and encouraged by her wealthy uptight mother keeps Phil at arms length.
Flip is not happy with the arrangement in which she spends half the year with one parent and half with the other and is in collusion with her father to bring her mother around to their way of thinking. Continue reading “Classic Film Review -Never Say Goodbye (1946)”
Today I’m linking up for the first time with The Broke and the Bookish to share my Ten Underrated/ Hidden Gem Authors. The prompt was actually for underrated books, but I tweaked it slightly just because.
- Sibella Giorello -I’m addicted to her Raleigh Harmon mystery series about a slightly prickly female forensic geologist with trust and family issues. The first book of the series The Stones Cry Out, is free for Kindle readers.
- Brandy Vallance -fell in love with her debut historical romance release in 2014 and had to wait (impatiently, I might add) two years until her next. She tells unique stories.
- Joyce DiPastena Medieval stories are my favorite and she certainly knows how to transport a reader to the Middle Ages.
- Amanda DeWees -writes what I would call gothic-lite historical suspense with a slight hint of the paranormal and great heroes.
- Amy Leigh Simpson -a fairly new voice in the romantic suspense genre, but one that keeps me on the edge of my seat and swooning at the same time.
- Nichole Van -love, love, love her light and airy time-travel romances with endearing, quirky characters.
- Becky Doughty discovered her this past year and have devoured almost all of her contemporary YA and women’s fiction novels about flawed, imperfect, yet brave women. Her first YA story All the Way to Heaven which has the feel of Under the Tuscan Sun, is free for Kindle readers.
- Heather Burch -another contemporary fiction author whose stories I have consumed. She writes broken characters so well and then redeems them in a believable way. One Lavender Ribbon is available for free Kindle download for Amazon Prime members.
- Chana Keefer -adore her Night with a Rock Star books. She takes a potentially cliche story and gives it surprising depth.
- Catherine West – another amazing women’s fiction author whose stories center around family and redemption.
- Mary Jane Hathaway -I have enjoyed both the Cane River Valley series (with the same setting as Steel Magnolias) and her Jane Austen Takes the South series as well as her stand-alone novels. She also writes historical fiction under the name Virginia Carmichael. Pepper in the Gumbo, her first book in the Cane River Series is currently free for Kindle.
- Julianne Donaldson -author of Blackmoore and Edenbrooke. The first is very Bronte-esque and the second is lighter, yet equally engaging, but more in the style of Jane Austen. I’ve been anxiously waiting for a new release for a couple of years now and continually revisiting these two excellent stories.
Okay, I know the prompt was only for ten, but math has never been my forte. Plus, I’ve never been very good at limiting myself. Who would you say is an underrated author?