Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks-Adopted/Foster families



Another week  has passed and I can't believe it! This week one gets to pick 3 films that are dealing with the topic of adoption/foster families. If you wish to see more, head over to Wandering Through The Shelves and see what everyone else has been choosing.

Last Saturday my hubby and I went out for a dinner and a movie-we had gift cards for both events so that was even better. We dined at the Keg and had steak and crab legs-it was delicious but we were there later than we thought we would be which meant we showed up later to the cinemas. Our first 2 choices were out due to being too packed(Black Mass) or it had already begun (A Walk in the Woods) so we went to see The Visit. You know the new M.Night Shayamalan film. Need I say more? Nope so let's get to 3 good/great movies.

1. PENNY SERENADE-1941


I knew Cary Grant from great films like Arsenic and Old Lace, The Philadelphia Story and Operation Petticoat, when I was a kid so when this film came on one night (Elwy Yost at the Movies every Saturday night-I miss this so much), I watched it expecting a typical comedy. I was surprised! It has comedy but also tears and boy I was weepy. It starts off where he meets the wonderful Irene Dunne, marries her but due to an accident(well, earthquake) she can't have any children so they decide to adopt. Their wish comes true in the form of a baby girl who captures their heart, especially Cary Grant's. It was sweet when they kept checking in on the baby to see if she was sleeping and...that is all I have to say as you have to see the film to find out more. Beautiful film that showcases Grant's acting.

2. THE SECRET GARDEN-1993


This film is simply enchanting! When I rented it, I didn't expect much but was so pleasantly surprised by how well acted the film was especially by its young star. She is a rich, haughty young thing living in India with her parents who care more about entertaining than their child. There is an earthquake (hmm another one with this  disaster) where her parents die so she is sent to England to live with an Uncle she never knew she had. The place feels cold and very unwelcoming and this girl just seems to upset the apple cart. She goes outside to play and comes across a walled up garden in total disarray. Since she feels like the garden, unwanted and unloved, she decides to bring this garden to life. It is a story of loss, love and redemption...and being gutsy. It also co-stars the wonderful Maggie Smith so this is a gem.

3. THE BOOK THIEF-2013


I do love this film and no, I have not read the book which is probably a good thing since the books are always (usually) better than the film. It is well acted and, since this is right at the beginning of the film, Death is the narrator. A young girl and her brother are sent to a German couple to live since their mom can no longer afford to keep them. Her brother dies enroute, but she makes it to the couple and sees, first hand, the problems her new parents face.  For once, they show Germans during war not all being fervent Nazis. I took to this film, not only for the strength of the characters but it reminded me of my mom who also kept books hidden. She was born and grew up near Wittenberg, Germany and survived the war, she was 17 when the war ended. She remembered how, at first, only porn books and other such things were censored but it didn't stop there. Soon more books were banned and she was sad to see many books being taken out of the schools and library to be burned so she hid some (my mom was/is amazing as some of you know). After the Russians marched in, they took all books and burned them including photo albums and mementos so she hid even  more books and other "treasures". Later, when she would hear about censorship in this country, she was opposed to it because she knew that it never ends. Once people taste that power, it never does stop, censorship will only increase.

Which movies have you seen about this topic? Have you seen any of these?

74 comments:

  1. The Secret Garden was really sweet. I liked it when they pulled the shutters off the boy's windows with a horse. (I believe it was a horse - it's been a few years.)
    The Visit wasn't good, huh? No surprise.

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    1. Yes it was a horse and such a gem. As for the Visit-Gack!

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  2. I love The Secret Garden. I have such a soft spot for that film. I haven't seen the other two.

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    1. It is a great gem to sit and be taken into that garden

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  3. Hi, dear Birgit! Once again I must admit that I have not seen any of your selections, but your reviews got me interested. I admire versatility in actors and Cary Grant had it. I love Maggie Smith, now famous as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, having first seen her in Neil Simon's California Suite. I appreciate the empowering metaphor that a well tended garden yields bounty.

    Happy Thursday, dear friend BB!

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    1. Maggie Smith is great in Downton Abbey especially with Penelope Wilton. She was wonderful in California Suite. I hope you get to see these films or at least one of them

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  4. I only vaguely remember The Secret Garden, but I have good memories of it. I haven't seen The Book Thief. I think it would horrify me the same as your mother's story horrifies me. Think of all the wonderful information and stories that have been lost through such vandals, the library at Alexandria stands out as a beacon for me. Nowadays we have ISIS destroying ancient artifacts and books as well no doubt.

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    1. It is disgusting what ISIS is doing to great art and the culture. It sickens me also

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  5. Ya know, I used to think that books were ALWAYS better than the movie. But, I learned this is not necessarily the case. I just read "The Searchers" because I liked the movie of the same name.
    Surprisingly, the movie was MUCH better than the book.
    This was a bit of an epiphany for me.
    And not a "Three Wise Men Visiting the Little Baby Jesus" kind of epiphany, either.

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    1. Oh The Searchers is one of my favourite films of all time! I love that film!!

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    2. I think it was one of John Wayne's best.

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  6. I haven't watched the secret garden in years, but I enjoyed it. The book thief was a good one too. Never seen the first or even heard of it before.

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    1. Both are great but I hope one day you will see Penny Serenade-very touching

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  7. Wonderful picks! Like you I went into Penny Serenade not knowing much and was surprised by the somber tone but despite moments of mawkishness I did enjoy it.

    Love this version of Secret Garden it's such a timeless story and so well directed. I like the earlier version as well with Margaret O'Brien and Herbert Marshall.

    I haven't seen The Book Thief. I'd heard good things and meant to see it but it slipped my mind, thanks for putting it back on my radar.

    One of mine also stars Cary Grant this week, I had planned to stick to the required three but I stumbled across my extra during the last few days and even though it's a slight stretch of the theme it's such a bizarre thing I just had to squeeze it in.

    Loggerheads (2005)-Three separate vignettes look at an adoption story from different angles. Feeling unsure and unsettled Grace (Bonnie Hunt) returns home to visit her mother and search for the child she gave up for adoption years before. Young drifter Mark (Kip Pardue) begins a relationship with a handyman while trying to help endangered loggerhead turtles survive. Elizabeth (Tess Harper) struggles with defying her pious minister husband to seek out her estranged adopted son. On a Mother's Day weekend in North Carolina their three stories converge.

    Baby Boom (1987)-Hard driving executive J.C. Wyatt, not affectionately called The Tiger Lady, is on the cusp of being made a partner in her advertising firm when she is named guardian for a baby when a distant relative and his wife are killed in an accident. Unexpectedly taking to the little girl she decides to adopt and raise her which throws her life into tumult and takes her in a direction she never expected. Charming comedy is a perfect fit for Diane Keaton.

    Room for One More (1952)-Cary Grant and Betsy Blair, married in real life when this was made, play a couple with three children who also have been foster parents to many over the years. They take two deeply troubled children into their home who prove to be almost more than they can handle. The film follows the difficult adjustments they all face when they decide to adopt rather than foster them.

    Dishonorable Mention: Happy Mother’s Day, Love George aka Run Stranger Run (1973)-What starts out as a quiet drama about a young man, adopted at four days old, returning to the Nova Scotia coast of his birth to search for his roots takes an extreme wrong turn about 3/4 of the way through and becomes a slasher flick for no discernible reason. Up until then it's not a bad little film, with a very strong performance by Cloris Leachman, in a terrible black wig, as a sad, beaten down woman but that severe shift in tone scuttles the movie completely. How this ever attracted a cast of such quality, aside from Cloris there are two other Oscar winners-Patricia Neal-chewing scenery like crazy, (one of her real life daughters with Roald Dahl, Tessa, plays her daughter here...the physical resemblance is uncanny unfortunately her immense acting talent was NOT handed down) and a brunette Ron Howard as well as Bobby Darin in his last role (as a fry cook!) is a mystery. There are some beautiful shots of the Nova Scotia area but this is a strange mishmash of a movie.

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    1. Penny Serenade is sentimental but it opened my eyes to Cary Grant. I have not heard of the first film you picked-sounds intriguing. Baby Boom is excellent and I really enjoyed more than I thought I would. I have not seen Room for One More but another gem to discover. Your last film sounds like they need to change the ending part-shame they went into slasher territory

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  8. The Book Thief sounds fascinating; must put it on my ever growing list of books to read. I did like Secret Garden; I was enchanted with it and it was one of the kids' movies I could watch again and again and again. I like Angels in the Outfield when at the end of the movie the 2 kids get adopted by Danny Glover. Makes a lump in my throat every time.

    Sounds like a fun night you and hubby had! I

    betty

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    1. I need to read The Book Thief also but I loved the film. Angels in the Outfield is fun to watch

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  9. I love the Secret Garden. I believe there have been a few film adaptations but I also love the book and have a beautiful copy of it.

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    1. I have not read the book yet but it's on my list to read for sure

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  10. I love any version of the Secret Garden. The book was a class text when I was in "third year juniors" i.e. about 9. We took turns reading aloud and it always annoyed me that the teacher monopolised the Yorkshire parts. She obviously fancied herself at doing accents but we all wanted a go! I haven't seen the other films though I'd like to see The Book Thief (and read the book).
    Anabel's Travel Blog

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    1. The teacher fancied herself a Laurence Olivier in female form:) Love the Book Thief and I want to read the book also

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  11. I haven't seen any of these. Thanks for giving me some movies to find.

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    1. Aha! Hope you get a chance to see them

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  12. I LOVE The Secret Garden and that version is my favorite. Last night I was actually thinking about it and yearned to watch it. What a coincidence! Several months ago I checked out The Book Thief from my local library. A couple of weeks later I found it in a $5 bin at Wal-Mart and bought it. It's a very deep and touching story.

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    1. I just found The Secret Garden a great fairy tale without the wicked witch etc... You are lucky to have found the book for $5. I still want to read that book

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  13. I have The Book Thief already recorded on my DVR and just waiting to be watched. This post may inspire me to get to it sooner rather than later!

    One of my favorite movies on this topic is White Oleander. I also love the book. I'm glad I watched the movie first, though. Because, of course, the books is better. BUT, I think the film is pretty great, too.

    If you haven't seen it, here's the trailer:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6T4yyxDWmE

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    1. White Oleander is a great book. The movie is okay, but doesn't stand up to the book.

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    2. The books are almost always better so I like to see the movie first so I am not as disappointed. I will check out White Oleander-I remember when it came out so thanks for reminding me

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  14. Wah wah wah wah Penny Serenae wah wah wah wah. I can't tell you one of the reasons it makes me cry. It's a name. Wah wah wah. I love that movie. The Secret Garden and The Book Thief are great. I read the book of The Book Thief. It's so good. I never read The Secret Garden, but my daughter did when she was in elementary school. She loved it. Penny Serenade wah wah wah.

    Love wah,
    Janie wah wah

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    1. Oh yes-Penny Serenade does bring on a tear or 2. I want to read both books of the films versions I picked

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  15. I've seen the Book Thief and recommend it highly.

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  16. Hurrah for your mom! I've seen all three movies and liked them all. Do you remember seeing a Debbie Reynolds movie from the 1960s in which she ends up adopting 4 or 5 siblings? I'd also choose Pollyanna, the one with Hayley Mills.

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    1. I remember that movie, it was called My Six Loves! Fun, sweet film with a great cast besides Debbie, David Janssen, Eileen Heckart, Cliff Robertson, Alice Ghostley and on and on. I'm kicking myself for not thinking of it.

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    2. Good for you that you saw all 3 and now I must place My Six Loves on the list! This sounds like a real gem!!

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  17. Your mom was very courageous. Kudos to her.

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  18. A Secret Garden is the only one I've seen. The scene I've always carried with me is the cook rolling dough as she sings "Greensleeves." Sadly, I can't think of any of my own. Books, certainly - Anne of Green Gables is delightful.

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    1. Oh that is a sweet scene-I remember that and so well done. There are so many scenes I love in that film

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  19. I've seen The Secret Garden and I think I've seen Penny Serenade, but it's been a while. Lots of good suggestions in the comments. But the topic made me think of Journey for Margaret (which I couldn't recall the title to, but Google found it for me with the right clues).

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    1. There are great suggestions which makes my list even bigger! I have to look up Journey for Margaret

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  20. Thank you for reminding me that I have to see Penny Serenade!

    LOVE this version of The Secret Garden. I've used it for previous weeks but still didn't think of it for this. Excellent pick!

    Never saw The Book Thief but I tried the book and found it very difficult to get into. Maybe it's just slow to start. Given all the praise it's gotten I should probably try it again.

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    1. Oh hope you see penny Serenade. I have not read the book but love the film The Book Thief so hope you give it a try

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  21. I've watched the first two. Serenade is such a touching tale and yes I bawled my eyes out. The Secret Garden... so magical. Superb acting too. I purposely gave the Book Thief a miss because I've read the book and and LOVED it. And I didn't want anything to spoil it. Was I wrong to do so?
    hugs Asha

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    1. i haven't read the book so i can't say Asha. I can say that often people are disappointed in the film versions so I like to see the film versions first and then feel happily surprised by the book

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  22. I adore the innocence of the classic movies. What beautiful actresses they had then and amazing clothes! I read the Secret Garden, but don't remember too much. The Book Thief sounds too serious for me, but what your mother did was courageous. She sounds like a tough, smart lady. Thanks for sharing all these great films! :)

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    1. The Secret Garden is such a wonderful film that makes one want to read the book. The Book Thief is serious but done through the eyes of the young girl so there is hope in the film also. Yes, my mom was brave and disliked being told what to do-she is a true fighter

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  23. Great picks this week, but a lot of sadness!!

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    1. Yes there is sadness but also hope and survival:)

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  24. The only one I've seen is Secret Garden. That was a beautiful film. I've mentioned some of your suggestions to my wife, who has seen a ton of old movies, and she told me that you have good taste.
    R

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    1. Oooh I will take that as a great compliment:) Tell her thank you:) Hope you get a chance to see the other 2

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  25. BIRGIT ~
    I think this is the first time you've put together a list where I haven't seen ANY of the movies on it.

    I just posted my own version of 'FAVORITE MALE MOVIE / TV CHARACTERS', as promised.

    Also, at the end, I request people to send me a list of their 25 FAVORITE MOVIES OF ALL TIME. I hope and absolutely expect to receive a list from YOU, my friend. But you have plenty of time to think it over.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Oh wow-none? I think that is a first. I hope you see them and yes I will be making my list for sure!!

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  26. I saw The Secret Garden so, so long ago that I don't even remember it. So I'd pretty much say I haven't seen any of these. And book burning/censorship is a scary thought. We really take for granted the rights we have here to just print whatever the hell we want via book.

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    1. Book Burning is, to me, beyond reason and just a power trip. I know part of my history went up in smoke when the Russians moved in and burnt my family's photos and memory books...what a shame and yes, we do take it for granted.

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  27. One of these days I'm going to rent Book Thief and Secret Garden.
    Enjoy the remains of your Sunday:)

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  28. Again, movies I haven't seen. But, man, some steak and crab sounds good even at 0800! Yummy!!

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  29. Finally I have seen one of these! The Secret Garden- though it was years ago- I do remember enjoying it. I read The Book Thief, but still haven't seen the movie. Thanks for the reminder to see it!
    ~Jess

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    1. I hope you enjoy the movie as much as the book

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  30. Happy Monday, Birgit.
    I think Cary Grant was one of the sexiest men ever.

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  31. Okay. So I'm way behind on movie watching. I must see these and now that you've posted about them, I will. Thanks for the wonderful write ups. I'm off to add them to my list.

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    1. Oh good and hope to hear your thoughts

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  33. I've missed something by not watching these movies. Cary Grant had the voice and demonstrated real panache in the age of golden movies that much I do know. People knew how to act in those days ranging from method to stage etc but now we rely on speed, explosions, lens flares etc enhanced by 3D cgi to get our kicks. Its a whole different ball game, LOL.

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    1. That is so true! I am actually sick of cgi and the blow em up stuff. Give me the great old films any day

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  34. I've heard only good things about the Book Thief. I work in foster care and adoptions, so I've seen several related movies, but none of the above. Have you seen White Oleander? Very powerful. Also there's Second Best, which is very good.

    Be well, BB.

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    1. I have not seen either but will put them on the list for sure!

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  35. I thought Operation Petticoat was a hoot.

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  36. Oh I definitely thought about The Secret Garden for this theme as well! But I think I've used it as a pick probably twice already for other weeks.

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