This was my choice and who knew it would come at a time when all this crap has hit the news from Weinstein to Spacey. What is happening, especially in Hollywood, is not new because this has been going on since the movies began. You better believe that Darryl F. Zanuck and Jack Warner make Weinstein and Spacey look like freshman in the sexual abuse arena. Marilyn Monroe was famous for saying, when she finally hit it big, “thank God, this is the last cock I’ll ever have to suck.” Sorry for the brutal language but it shows what women...and men, had to endure and still do. Anyway, I know there are many films that one can choose that features strong women and I chose women who are strong but not insane. Check out Wandering Through The Shelves to see what everyone else has chosen. Here are my 3....
1. HIS GIRL FRIDAY-1940
How can I not choose this film! It stars Cary Grant as a newspaper editor who was married to his star reporter played beautifully by Rosalind Russell. They are now divorced and she is ready to marry a nice, boring insurance agent played by Ralph Bellamy (many jokes about poor Ralph in the film. He is also known as one of the old brothers from Trading Places) but not if Cary has anything to say about it. Hildy (Rosalind Russell) finds herself in the middle of a great news story and her true love for the business overrides any want to be a housewife. Sharp direction by Howard Hawks with quick talking often over each other makes this a fast paced, funny film with a great cast and a woman in a position often held only by men.
2. ADAM`S RIB-1949
How can I not have a Katherine Hepburn film in this week`s theme. This is one of the best films of Tracy and Hepburn and, once again, a woman in a typically male dominated career. They play married lawyers who have a wonderful marriage until she takes the case of defending a woman who tried to kill her horrible excuse for a husband. The lawyer prosecuting the the woman is Spencer Tracy-the film husband of Hepburn. We see the antics in the court room and how Hepburn`s character, Amanda, plays every trick in the book to win the case even at the expense of her husband. Well written by Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon who were good friends of Tracy and Hepburn and knew how to bring out the best in each actor. It is also the Hollywood debut of the great Judy Holliday who died too young from cancer.
3. THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER-1955
This is a great film that could be considered a horror film, thriller or a fairy tale but no matter what one may call it, it is an excellent film that was unappreciated in its day to the point that the director, film star Charles Laughton, never directed another film. The Coen brothers, Spike Lee and many others have sited how they were influenced by this film which starts Robert Mitchum as an evil preacher after money he knew was hidden somewhere in a house with a widow and 2 small children. he cons the town and the widow whom he marries and murders trying to find the money. The 2 small children run for their lives as he tries to capture them. The children come to a small home with an elderly lady who stands up to this evil man and defends the children seeing right through the so-called preacher. Such great acting from Robert Mitchum who has LOVE tattooed on one hand and HATE on the other (Have you ever seen people with this on their fingers-it comes from this film) to Lillian Gish, she started in films almost when movies began and is considered one of the best actresses.
4. ERIN BROCKOVICH-2000
I had to go with a modern film and I chose this one because I felt Julia Roberts nailed it as the brassy,, in your face real woman-Erin Brockovich. She is hired as a legal assistant whom most in the office, can`t stand and she starts to investigate why a number of people are becoming very ill with cancer, tumours and other medical issues in the small town. When she brings the information to her boss, he sees the big problem and becomes a lawyer to the townsfolk. Through the unrelenting support and hound dog investigation of Erin, the lawyer brings the corruption and poisoning of the water supply of the big company to the foreground. Everyone soon realizes not to mess with Ms. Brockovich. Julia won an Oscar for her role and she delivers a great performance in a well acted film.
Which films would you chooseÉ