Foreign Film Friday -Mr. & Mrs. Murder (2013)

SUMMARY

Charlie and Nicola Buchanan are a happily married couple who also happen to work as crime scene cleaners. Their business allows them to feed their interest in solving crimes as amateur detectives. Aided by their niece Jess, they put their deductive reasoning and observations skills to good use as they work with local detective and friend Peter Vinetti to gather evidence that the police might not otherwise obtain. Continue reading “Foreign Film Friday -Mr. & Mrs. Murder (2013)”

It Takes a Thief Blogathon -Trouble in Paradise (1932)

Unlike in real life, in the cinematic world, thieves are usually lovable rogues thanks to their charm, intelligence and ingenuity. I blame Ernst Lubitsch. Long before we knew the names of John Robie, Thomas Crown or Danny Ocean, Lubitsch introduced us to the ideal image of a suave international thief in Trouble in Paradise.

SUMMARY

Our first introduction to Gaston Monescu (Herbert Marshall) comes just after a wealthy guest in a Venetian hotel has been robbed of 20,000 francs. Gaston, masquerading as a Baron, waits in a nearby hotel room for his dinner date, instructing a waiter on how to arrange the dinner. Before leaving to complete his instructions, the waiter picks a leaf off of Gaston’s dinner jacket. This is our first clue that Gaston is not all he seems.

Cue the arrival of Lily (Miriam Hopkins), a glamorous blonde claiming the title of Countess. She enters bemoaning the gossip of her peers, which will soon disclose her private dinner date with the Baron. But Lily is not what she appears to be either. Over dinner, the two confront each other over their real identities while also preening with pride over their skills as they reveal what they have stolen from each other. However, it’s not just wallets, watches and garters which are stolen this night, but hearts. It seems light fingers serve as an aphrodisiac. Gaston and Lily are instantly smitten. Continue reading “It Takes a Thief Blogathon -Trouble in Paradise (1932)”

Top Ten Tuesday -Favorite Films of My Childhood

Today’s Topic: Top Ten Books I Want My Future Children to Read (Or nieces and nephews, Godchildren, etc.)

Hosted by: The Broke and the Bookish

I’m deviating a bit from this week’s prompt. I have been an avid reader since I was about four years old, so I read plenty of books in my childhood. But when I think back, the stories that stick out the most in my memory are those from the films I watched. These are movies that I love to recommend not just to the children in my life but also adults. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Favorite Films of My Childhood”

Eve Arden Blogathon -The Voice of the Turtle (1947)

I’ve been on a bit of an Eleanor Parker kick this year. So I chose to watch The Voice of the Turtle for her sake. However, when Eve Arden came onscreen I finished it for hers. But then, who can blame me? Eve Arden has always been a scene stealer.

SUMMARY

Originally a popular Broadway play, The Voice of the Turtle (also titled One for the Book) was adapted for film in 1947 starring Parker, Arden and the pre-political Ronald Reagan. Parker is the innocently sweet Sally Middleton who has been disillusioned in love. She is the opposite of her good friend Olive (Arden) who has no problem dating up all the various soldiers who come through New York on their weekend furloughs. Continue reading “Eve Arden Blogathon -The Voice of the Turtle (1947)”

Book Review -The Girl Who Chased the Moon

The girl who chased the moon SUMMARY

After her mother’s death, Emily Benedict moves south to Mullaby, North Carolina to live with the grandfather she never knew she had. But soon upon her arrival she notices some oddities about the town, not the least of which is her literal giant of a grandfather. Perhaps the worst, is the way many in the town respond to her. Their responses seem tied to her mother’s history in Mullaby. They leave Emily with more questions than answers about her mother’s past.

While Emily has just arrived, her adult neighbor Julia, is counting down the days until she can leave. She returned to Mullaby upon her father’s death.  Emily has been managing his famous barbecue restaurant until she can earn enough to pay off the mortgage and sell the business. Julia’s dream is to open her own bakery, but she tells no one the reason why. Her last six months can’t pass quickly enough, especially when a man with whom she shares a tragic history starts pursuing her. Continue reading “Book Review -The Girl Who Chased the Moon”

Classic Film Review -Light in the Piazza

I have a shameful confession to make. Although I adore classic films, I’m a bit of a snob about it too.  As a general rule I prefer black and white pre-war (that’s WWII) pictures. I like them even better if they are comedies. Although I have found some movies which don’t meet my criteria, generally these types of films are my first choice. So, a movie such as Light in the Piazza, a drama set in Florence in the 1960’s in full color is just the type of film I put off watching. But after finally giving it a chance, I found out just how much personal prejudices can be wrong. And I’ve never been more glad.

SUMMARY

Mother and daughter, Meg and Clara Johnson, are newly arrived in Florence from North Carolina. They are there to see the historical sights. But unbeknownst to Clara, this open ended vacation is all for her benefit. Because of an accident when she was young Clara has the mental capabilities of a ten year old but the body of a grown woman. She attracts men, but her innocent exuberance towards them leaves her vulnerable. After an incident with the grocery man, her mother whisks her away as a means of escape.

While in Florence the Johnson women meet a handsome young Italian man by the name of Fabrizio Naccarelli who is instantly smitten with the pretty blonde Clara. The attraction is mutual, but Clara’s naivety concerns Meg who does everything she can to keep the two apart.  She becomes even more worried when Fabrizio’s father encourages the relationship. Able to see that Clara and Fabrizio truly love each other she decides to separate them. Meg drags Clara with her to Rome where she has arranged for her husband to meet them. But after a conversation with her husband and witnessing Clara’s despair, Meg is left with a very important choice to make.

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

 

Top Ten Tuesday -Women Who Lead

Today’s Topic: Ten Characters Who Would Make Great Leaders (Leaders of what? That’s your decision. Who could lead a country, an army, a book club, a classroom, etc. Or maybe characters that would be trendsetters?)

Hosted by: The Broke and the Bookish

I’ll admit today’s topic had me stumped for a bit. But then I decided to have fun with it and just play off the word lead. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Women Who Lead”

Classic Film Review -The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)

SUMMARY

Recently widowed, Lucy Muir demands her independence from her deceased husband’s overbearing family. With a small inheritance from his estate, Mrs. Muir is able to rent a small seaside cottage for her daughter, maid and herself.

Though the rental agent warns her that Gull Cottage is haunted by its’ former owner, a sea captain, Mrs. Muir insists on renting the property. It isn’t too long before the ghost of Captain Daniel Gregg attempts to frighten her away. You see, he has plans for his house and doesn’t intend to share it. But Lucia (Lu-CHEE -A) as the Captain calls her, makes for a formidable opponent. Lucia wins Daniel’s respect and they agree to share the house.

Slowly, and despite their extreme personality differences, they form a warm friendship. When Lucy is in danger of losing Gull Cottage, Daniel devises a way for her to buy the house outright. Eventually, they each develop deeper feelings for each other.  But when Lucia becomes torn between the living and the dead Daniel must make a painful decision.

To see my full review on The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.

Television Series Review -The Good Karma Hospital (2017)

SUMMARY

Doctor Ruby Walker is fed up with the impersonal and challenging demands of working in a London city hospital. When her long-time boyfriend breaks up with her, Ruby decides she needs a drastic life change.

So, she picks up and moves to India to begin working in a public hospital for the poor. On top of the challenges of working in an under staffed and under funded hospital Ruby also must adjust to some difficult co-workers.

Through her experiences in treating patients and her interactions with her co-workers, Ruby learns to appreciate her new life and to see her career in a new way. Continue reading “Television Series Review -The Good Karma Hospital (2017)”

Book Review -Phantom of the Opera

Having recently written reviews for both Andrew Lloyd Webber’s film version of The Phantom of the Opera as well as a sequel novel, I decided it was high time I actually read Gaston Leroux’s original novel.  As I’ve written in an earlier post, I don’t usually enjoy classic literature. I generally find it long-winded and with dour hidden message about the evils of life.  But when writing about film adaptations and book sequels, reading the source material is a must.

SUMMARY

For those unfamiliar with the story it is somewhat of a Beauty and the Beast type tale. The orphaned Christine Daae works as a dancer at the Paris Opera House, but has secretly been taking lessons from a figure she knows as the Angel of Music.  At the same time the opera’s new managers are under the impression that the stories of the Opera’s ghost are just an elaborate practical joke perpetrated by the former owners. Rumors and tragic events which have occurred are all linked to this mysterious ghost.

Meanwhile, a young Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny returns to Paris and notices his old playmate Christine. Initially Christine ignores him and then sends him mixed signals which drives the immature but lovelorn Raoul to distraction. He is never quite assured of Christine’s affection, but eventually they play at an engagement. Christine finally confesses her love, knowing it is for naught since she is bound to her music tutor.

Everything comes to a head when Christine disappears from the stage in the middle of a performance. Continue reading “Book Review -Phantom of the Opera”