Thursday, January 7, 2016
Thursday Movie Picks-Upstairs/Downstairs films
A brand New Year...makes me think of 16 years ago when everyone was freaking out about the Y2K. Nothing like panic and bloodshed to ring in the new century. It is now 2016 and let's see what this year will bring. My hope is that some "stars" will actually name their new kid with a name that makes sense and all these kids named North, Saint, Apple etc.. will all change their names to something unique but still a name and then bitch slap their parents for giving them these names that suck.
A new year for Thursday Movie Picks hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. This week it is all about maids and butlers-the Downstairs crowd-the butlers and maids who keep the place humming. etc... I love Downton Abbey which is coming to an end much to my dismay. This is a brilliant piece of film-making even if it is on TV. OK...Here are my 3 picks that showcase a butler or maid (or plural) in some films I have seen.
1. MY MAN GODFREY (1936)
A madcap heiress, played by Carole Lombard, is trying to find a down on your luck bum, played by her ex-husband, William Powell, for her scavenger hunt. Now he is neither a bum or down on his luck but they don't know this and hire him as the butler. Don't think too hard about how gross it actually is for someone rich using another person for a game, just enjoy the screwball hilarity of the film. Lombard's performance is great as she does all she can to ensnare Powell as her husband. One does wonder, in this film, how the rich ever became rich since they are all a bunch of kooks. Powell and, to some degree, the father of the head of this household, are the only ones who seem to have some brains. It is a fun watch for sure.
2. HOW TO MURDER YOUR WIFE-1965
A wealthy happily single man (Jack Lemmon), who writes a comic for the newspaper, is ably supported by his valet played by the wonderful Terry-Thomas (I love this guy) who helps him with his enactments of his comic-a spy. At a drunken bachelor party, Lemmon's character becomes enamoured with the gal in the whipped cream bikini (like any man would) and ends up married to her much to his dismay and that of his valet. What is a man to do but continue to make lovey with his Italian speaking wife all the while figuring out a way to kill her. His valet ready, willing and able to help him. The comic decides to use his comic strip as way to showcase the murder. Despite the wish to kick just about every man in this film in their brains, you know, between their legs, I found this film to be quite funny and endearing...believe it or not. This is due to the wonderful acting of the 2 male leads. Credit also goes to Virna Lisi and Claire Trevor
3. THE HELP-2011
I really enjoyed this film despite mixed reviews. It takes place in the South during the late 50's early '60's (I believe) bringing you face to face with how the African American women were often mistreated by the people they worked for. It is a film that I found heart-warming, funny, anger-some and sad all at once. I love what the one maid did finally do to her employer-bless her for doing that-put a smile on my face.
One day I have to see the 1932 film, "Downstairs" starring John Gilbert...just saying:) What film would you pick?