Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks

 I'm Baaaaaack:) I have been away except for reading other blogs mainly due to extreme pain. It sucks when I can't hold a pen but I am back to normal now...whatever that is and frankly I don't want to be normal, maybe Abby Normal:)

So I have been following, on the sidelines, this great film blog where you follow a certain theme each Thursday and people post their 3 favourite (or not so favourite) films they have seen. This was invented by Wandering Through the Shelves which I found via Drew at a Fistful of Films another great blog all about films. So this week it is "All In The Family Edition: Twins.  There are some films I still need to see like "Dark Mirror" with Olivia De Havilland so that is not on my list. Here is mine...


FREAKS (1932)

I love this movie! It would never be made today with all the politically correct crap out there but back in the day, when Freak Shows were alive and well, people made a living being gawked at. It is horrible but many of these great people would not have survived if not for these shows. Todd Browning, of Dracula fame, was the director and took a genuine interest  into the people's lives and created one macabre film. In this film, the "beautiful" people are the true freaks-mean and ugly whereas the "ugly" people are family oriented, caring and loyal. The main plot concerns a midget played by Harry Earles who is engaged to another little person played by his actual sister, Daisy Earles but he has the hots for the tight-rope walker played by Olga Baclanova who is up to no good. There are sub-plots where you get to know the various people who work in this show and one are the conjoined twins played by Daisy and Violet Hilton. They are one of my favourite. One is in love with this one man whereas the sister can't stand him. It is played quite well by these 2 ladies whom you know, nowadays, would have been successfully separated. This film was banned for almost 50 years due to the content.



DEAD RINGER (1964)

It is such an evil looking poster eh? Bette Davis in all her swaggering Davishood plays identical twins-one rich and nasty, the other poor and nice. The poor lass has a cop for a boyfriend played by Karl Malden which does not bode well for her plot. Peter Lawford drips in icky goo as the sleazy boyfriend of the rich one. You know that Bette Davis probably chewed up Lawford off the set. This film is actually directed by Paul Henreid of "Casablanca" fame (he played Ingrid Bergman's husband) and he co-starred with Davis in "Now Voyager" where cigarettes take on a whole new meaning.



START THE REVOLUTION WITHOUT ME (1970)

This is a great comedy!! If you have not seen it-go and see it! It is narrated by Orson Welles ("later that night...still 1789) and stars Gene Wilder and Donald Sutherland as 2 sets of twins where they were switched up at birth (see the movie) resulting in one pair growing up poor and stupid and the other being the Corsican Brothers-rich and stupid but also deadly. Hugh Griffiths plays the buffoonish King Louis XVI ("I thought this was a costume party") and Billie Whitelaw plays the nymphomaniac Marie Antoinette.  Of course it takes place just before the French Revolution where the peasants get mistaken for the Corsican Brothers and vice versa. Everyone is trying to kill, well, everyone especially at the ball and these chaps have no idea what is going on. I am not sure I do either but it is so wickedly funny that it is a hidden treasure. Suzie Mac from "The View from the top of the Ladder"  knows this film and now I know of one other person aside from my ex who knows this film.

OK there ya have it! My 3 picks. Glad to be back and hopefully I will compile a list of films I have seen while I was regenerating.

88 comments:

  1. Unfamiliar with any of these films. The last one sounds like a take off of The Man Who Would be King. My mother looked a bit like Bette Davis and could do the eyes somehow.

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    1. Hope you can see one of them. She had Betty Davis eyes? Very cool!

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  2. I've seen two of those. Freaks was amazing in that how many of those people he gathered for the film.

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    1. Freaks is a great film and so under-rated. The people who were part of the shows were happy to see others like them in this film

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  3. Apparently I have a lot of blindspots in my twins in movies knowledge. I haven't seen any of these. No wonder I had such a rough go of it this week.

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    1. It was hard to think them up but once one got going I was surprised at how many I could recall

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  4. I haven't seen any of those but now I have to. Love Gene Wilder.

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    1. Oh I think you will love that gene Wilder movie

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  5. Never heard of Start the Revolution... but it sounds AMAZING. Freaks is SO good "One of us, one of us..." I still get chills. Dead Ringer has been on my list for a while. LOVE Bette Davis in all of her Davishood!

    SO GLAD you played along for real this week!

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    1. Yes i finally took the dive:) I hope you get a chance to see Start the Revolution-it is a fun film

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  6. Start the revolution sounds great. Never seen that one or Freaks. Second I saw a long time ago.

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    1. I love The Gene Wilder film-it is so good and quite funny

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  7. I did miss you; I wondered if I missed a post that you were gone on vacation or somewhere fun; sorry it was a health related thing. I always love to read about the films you like/love, most of them I haven't seen or heard of. It would be neat if we lived closer and you could educate me on these, we would have fun watching them together I think :) (have I said that before, it seems like I did?)

    Freaks could be interesting to see I think.

    betty

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    1. I was in such a bad shape. Almost 2 weeks ago it hit and I could type responses but to think things up or write or create cards was too difficult with the amount of pain I was in. I missed work on the Monday (week 1/2 ago) because i could not function and i could not drive. I hate it when it happens so severe. I would love watching these films with you so now you have to try one of these and tell me what you think. Freaks is a great film to me that is. It is a horror film but different and the people who work on these shows are shown with compassion. Despite their handicap they can still function quite successfully

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  8. Oh, I remember watching Freaks, that old creepy film with circus guys, right? And yes I remember the Siamese Twins there. Kinda look creepy but that movie's good as I remember.

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    1. You have the right film! It includes the human torso, the pin heads and so many more. I love the scene when the bearded lady has a baby.

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  9. I really need to see the second 2 movies. Freaks is an amazing movie, way ahead of its time. Very happy to hear that you have made it through yet another horrible time. Chronic illnesses really suck!

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    1. Dead Ringers is a fun flick, not as good as baby Jane but still quite fun to watch and Start The Revolution is an outstanding comedy. Yes chronic illness does suck and really set me back

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  10. I really need to see the second 2 movies. Freaks is an amazing movie, way ahead of its time. Very happy to hear that you have made it through yet another horrible time. Chronic illnesses really suck!

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  11. Glad you've jumped back into the fray.

    Love, love, LOVE your choices!!!

    Freaks is unlike any other film and Tod Browning never would have been able to make it if Irving Thalberg hadn't believed in his ability and been willing to take a chance on him after Browning's directing success with all the Lon Chaney movies and Dracula. It didn't make a nickel on original release which isn't surprising, I can't imagine it was what Depression era audiences were clamoring for, but what a unique view it is.

    Start the Revolution is fun and goofy, haven't seen it in years but what a super niche pick.

    I considered Dead Ringer too. I was going to pair it with Bette's earlier foray into twin cinema, A Stolen Life which has higher production values but is just as daffy however since she didn't do a third twin movie, mores the pity, I went looking elsewhere. So glad you chose it though, it's considered part of her horror cycle but that's such a wrong classification for it. A fantastic description of her performances "in all her swaggering Davishood" so apt.

    Here's what I came up with for the week:

    Big Business (1988)-Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin play two sets of twins, one born into wealth the other to a poor farm family in a town the moneyed couple are passing through. Complications set in when one of each of the pairs are unknowingly switched at birth. Years later things come to a head when they all converge on the Plaza Hotel at the same time. Silly bit of fluff that rests almost entirely on the talents of its two leading ladies but they do a great job of making each twin a distinct personality.

    The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967)-French musical co-starring real life sisters Catherine Deneuve and Francoise Dorleac as twin sisters Delphine and Solange who live in the small town of Rochefort but dream about traveling to Paris and finding romance. A singing and dance duo, Gene Kelly and George Chakiris blow into town and they find they don't have to leave home to find love. Charming and light as the air. Sadly Francoise Dorleac was killed in a car crash before this opened.

    Among the Living (1941)-Sharp, hard to categorize film has noirish tendencies as well as elements of old style horror with Albert Dekker excellent in the dual roles of very different twin brothers. An insane young man breaks free and creates havoc in a small town for which his identical twin, who thinks he died years before, is being blamed and pursued. Also in the cast are Susan Hayward on her way up and the ill-fated Frances Farmer most definitely on the downward slide. This was her second to last picture before descending into a decades long hell of mental illness and involuntary confinement.

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    1. Thanks! I am glad to see you here as I always love your choices also. I had forgotten about Big Business-I remember when it came out but I have not seen it. Love Young Girls-it is a great film and it is so very sad that Francoise lost her life so young. I have not heard of the last one! Aghast!! I must rectify this but quick since it is an old film. I thought for sure you would have picked The Dark Mirror. I have to see that film still

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    2. The Dark Mirror was the other film I was considering when I had planned to do the two Bette's, Dead Ringer and A Stolen Life, because of the tie-in with Hush..Hush, Sweet Charlotte but then I remembered Among the Living as well as the other two I used and liked the idea of having one each from different genres so Bette & Olivia were put aside.

      The Dark Mirror is good, if dated and Olivia does well enough but I think that perhaps Barbara Stanwyck or Ida Lupino both of whom were offered it first and turned it down for one reason or another were more temperamentally suited to the project then Livvie. It's worth catching up with though.

      Among the Living might be hard to track down, I found it on YouTube but I'm not sure it's still there. You know how it is with that site, its there one day and gone the next. It is an interesting little number, and Farmer made so few films that a chance to observe her at all is rare-even if her role is small, Hayward's (a huge personal favorite!) is the spotlight female role, so hope you can find it.

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  12. I love that you're doing this now!!! Thanks for the link, and I love your first pic. Freaks is a great film. I haven't seen the other two :-O

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    1. Thanks! I have been thinking about it for quite some time already. I hope you get a chance to see Stop The Revolution... because it is such a funny film

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  13. Haven't seen any of these, but glad to 'see' you back.

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  14. I don't know any of those. Freaks reminds me a bit of the HBO series Carnivale. You might enjoy it.

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    1. I have heard of Carnivale but I don't get HBO nor do i have netflix

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  15. glad you are feeling better Birgit ,pain is so wearing.....now you have given me 3films to search out and watch as I hang heard of any of them....I will report back...xxxxxx

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    1. Yes it is tiring and I hope you will see these films and yes I want to know your thoughts!

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  16. I am so sorry you weren't feeling well. That's no fun.
    I haven't seen the films:(

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    1. Oh pick one of them like Start The Revolution... No I was not well but better now

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  17. Wow, I've seen all these movies. Birgit, if we lived close together, we could be flick buddies, ha ha.

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    1. Yippee! Glad you have seen these films and we could be flick buddies:)

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  18. Bette Davis was wicked in that film. Great film, but once was enough for me. Too intense. Freaks sounds like an interesting movie. Be interesting to see what a director like the one on Birdman would do with it.

    Hope your pain is decreasing, Birgit. Is it your whole body? I'm going to call for a MD appointment after I finish writing to you for the pain in my knee. It's being silly and I don't want to stop going out with Tilda-Hilda.

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    1. Yes that film with Davis is quite the downer. Freaks is a great film and hope you see it and I know you love the Wilder film:) My pain is going back to normal pain which I have daily but it is manageable-down to a dull toothache. The pain I have is in every single joint of my body. From my toes to my fingers and even my jaw. I had a hard time talking because my jaw was so sore. Eating was not fun. I am glad you are seeing the MD for your knee. I hope it is nothing major and maybe biking is a good thing for you and your knee

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    2. BUMMER, Birgit! I feel for you. You're very strong to endure it. Have you or the doctor figured what caused the flare up? I won't see the doctor till next Friday. I'm going to try biking tomorrow or Sunday.

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  19. I remember Bette Davis, and she was evil.

    Went to Urgent care yesterday for a UTI. Are we all falling apart? Hope you are making improvements!

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    1. She was evil. Ughh UTI's are horrible so I hope you have the right meds and drink cranberry juice! It can't have sugar in it though.

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  20. Sorry about your pain and I am glad you are back. When you participate in this movie event, what source do you use to see the movie. I assume you are streaming it but who has all these old movies?

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    1. I never stream because I don't know how. I have seen the films in the past on TV and i have many of them in my DVD collection. I love my collection because I am one of those weird people who love all the extras and watch them including the commentaries. I also have old movie channel on cable

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  21. I haven't seen any of these films. There are so many good ones out there that I'm sure I'll enjoy some day.

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    1. I hope you can check a couple of these out

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  22. BIRGIT ~
    Although I've heard OF these 3 movies, the only one I've seen is 'FREAKS'. That was quite an unusual movie. And you're right, it would never get made today. Or if it did, it would be an unrecognizable violent extravaganza with all the "freaks" being Kung Fu and Mixed Martial Arts experts.

    Yes, that's where American cinema is today.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Oh Gosh you are so right or they would make the "freaks" evil and would show all the gore and other things that are so unnecessary. Today I picture Freaks like you mentioned. Start The Revolution would not be a farce but a stupid comedy with mindless jokes starring Jim Carrey and they would never think of having Bette Davis in the role because she would be deemed too old plus she actually looks her age as her face is not stretched and she has no fish lips

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  23. I've heard of Freaks. It's described as a classic. I've never seen it and haven't seen the other two, but I just might watch these some fine day. Don't you get sick and tired of people who don't understand how pain can control a person's life?

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Oh if you like a good farce and need a laugh "Start The Revolution..." is a great way to start. I also love Freaks but it may not be for everyone. Oh I do get sick of people not realizing how pain can really undermine ones' ability to function plus that so many people AND doctors look at me and think I am being a whiner because I don't swell. I look perfectly fine but my pain is the same as rheumatoid arthritis. Unfortunately there is no medicine that controls my pain. I see a naturalpath that has helped but the pain is the worst plus the dislocations

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  24. I've heard of Freaks and Dead Ringer, but not seen either. Much better than The Parent Trap, I expect.

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    1. Oh I think it is-all 3! In fact, Start The Revolution..." is my favourite of the 3

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  25. A lot of love for Dead Ringers this week. I still need to see it, though. Also need to see Freaks. I've been meaning to for years. Great picks!

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    1. Thanks! Yes I have seen Dead Ringers on more sites-Davis has a lot of love

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  26. Welcome back! Sorry to hear you have been in such pain, but glad you are in less pain now.

    I am sure it is no surprise to you that I haven't seen any of these. Thanks to your blog alone (and your A-Z Challenge posts) my TBW listed is getting almost as long as my TBR list. All of these look like good ones. Thanks for the introductions. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Thanks you:0 Oh I hope you get a chance to watch some of these and let me know what you think:)

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  27. Glad you're back. Coincidentaly, I saw Now, Voyager on TV this week - the first time I'd seen it. Great film and Bette Davis is wonderful.

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    1. It is a great film-I love this one with her and how she transforms from dowdy to chic

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  28. Our cable took out Turner Network and I truly miss the old movies!

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    1. Oh I wish I could get Turner Classic films

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  29. Not heard of these except Dead Ringer, and I've not seen it. Woefully ignorant! Only twin film I can think of is the one with Hayley Mills which is possibly The Parent Trap as mentioned above (did it get remade with Lindsay Lohan, or was that another Hayley film? She was in the first film I ever saw, Pollyanna. I was 2 or 3 but still remember being carried out screaming when she fell out of the tree). Glad to hear you are feeling a bit better.

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    1. Yup It is The Parent Trap! I like the original much better than the remake. Thank you!

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  30. There was something just innately creepy about Bette Davis, wasn't there?!

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    1. Oh Bette loved to swagger and cause some trouble

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  31. These sounds absolutely wonderful! I adore the movies from the 30s and 40s. Weird that the freak one was banned. I guess it was too "bizarre" for people from before, and probably too "exploitative" for people now. Bette Davis was one creepy lady! Gene Wilder is So funny! I adore Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles! Thanks for the fun post and have a great week!

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    1. Freaks is still controversial today because of all the political correctness going on but I feel they really miss the point. Bette Davis is always ready for a fight and she could really give it to one. You will love Start The Revolution if you love Gene Wilder and love those 2 films

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  32. Hi, dear Birgit!

    As you might have gathered, I needed to take a one week break from blogging in order to entertain house guests from out of state. The nest is finally empty again and I wanted to get over here to see you. I want to thank you, dear Birgit, for the extraordinary comment you left on JJ's guest post. She and I greatly appreciate your participation in the discussion of that important topic.

    Regrettably, Freaks is the only one of these three movies I have seen so far and it is one of my favorites, too. I watched it two or three times in 2007, the year I decided to expand my knowledge of movies released before 1960. When I laid eyes on Leila Hyams in Spite Marriage (1929) I was smitten and decided to become a Leila completist. That quest soon led me to Freaks. The movie is not easy to watch but I believe it is essential viewing for any serious student of film history. I am a fan of Karl Malden, Peter Lawford and Donald Sutherland (just saw him yesterday in The Dirty Dozen) and will add your other two film picks to my wish list.

    Thank you again for continuing to support SDMM in my absence, dear friend Birgit!

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    1. It sounds like you had a wonderful time off entertaining friends! JJ deserves all I said and more! I have not seen "Spite Marriage" but Leila Hyams is a treasure and I love this film. I don't even think of it as a horror film but more of a thriller and one of family. When you think about, who are the true freaks of this film...it certainly are not the people with the "disabilities". I hope you get to see Start the Revolution"-I love that film!

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  33. So sorry you've been dealing with pain but I'm glad it's better now. I hope that continues!
    I haven't seen any of these but Bette Davis totally rocks and I love that poster.

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    1. I am better thank you-just the normal pain but that is ..um...normal:) It's funny because that poster makes one believe it is a horror film when it isn't. Hope you get to see these films...any of them:)

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  34. Yikes. That Dead Ringer poster looks evil.

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  35. Sorry you've been experiencing so much pain, Birgit. :( Glad to know it's better now.
    This looks like a fun movie theme. I've seen the last two, but not the first one. You're so right about the political correctness crap.

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    1. 2 out of 3! That is great and yes-hate political correctness

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  36. I've never seen any of these movies, but they all sound like good films. I'm about to spring for a smart tv so we can get Netflicks. I'm hoping some of these will be available on there.

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    1. I hope some are but it seems like Netflix caters to the recent films

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  37. Hope you're feeling better, Birgit. Glad to see you writing again. I haven't seen Freaks but have heard so much about it. Your review has just made it that much more urgent! :) Feel better soon, my friend.
    hugsAsha

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    1. Thank you Asha. I hope you are ok considering you have lost 2 fur babies. I hope you can see Freaks

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  38. Welcome back! And glad to hear you're feeling better. I saw Freaks a few years ago out of curiosity, and enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. The other two I have not seen. Would definitely be curious to see Start the Revolution Without Me. I love Gene Wilder.

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    1. I have a feeling you will live the gene Wilder movie

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  39. I haven't seen any or these movies, but should I have the chance I will do so.

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    1. I hope you do and thanks for visiting:)

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  40. I haven't seen any of these but they intrigue me. Thanks for sharing.

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  41. What an interesting fun meme! I may have to check out the later film with Gene Wilder and Donald Sutherland. I haven't heard of it before now, but I liked everything Wilder did in the 80s, though and this may be another good one judging your little snippet. Anyhoo, so glad to see you back amongst the blogsters and certainly appreciate your visits. Here's hoping the pain stays away! ;)

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    1. Pain is never away but can be less. I hope you get to see The Wilder film-it is so funny!

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  42. I must see Start the Revolution Without Me. Two of my fav actors AND Orson Wells' voice? I'm making note of all these. You've gotten me interested in each one.

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    1. Oh I have a feeling you will love it especially Hugh Griffiths as King Louis

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  43. Glad to see you on board with the Thursday thing! Love it. I know nothing of these picks, but I have an ever growing list to add them to, so thanks!

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  44. I remember seeing Dead Ringer years ago. I always loved Bette Davis.

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  45. Ahh older films, I haven't seen a lot of them so I have not seen any of yours. I have at least heard of the first two.

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