It has been a very busy week and a fun weekend going to the zoo and seeing all the animals. The Toronto Zoo has actually helped many animals come back from the brink of extinction and they educate people about the animals. Sunday, I slept and didn’t move much and yesterday I went for my infusion and was stoned for most of the day but my pain is much better. I hope to show some pictures once I figure out how to send the pics from my phone to my email:). Anyway, this week it is all about actors giving the speech of their lives in films. Check out Wandering Through The Shelves to find out what the others have chosen. Here are my 3...
1. RUGGLES OF RED GAP-1935
I finally saw this film a couple of months ago and enjoyed it immensely. Charles Laughton plays an English Butler who is won in a bet by a man who lives in the rugged west. It is fun to see how this fish out of water tries to settle into the American way of life. The most famous part of this film is Charles Laughton’s rendition of Lincoln’s speech. The role is beautifully played by Laughton and his speech makes one love that famous speech all the more. I think it quite funny that the Englishman knows the speech while the locals have no clue....typical even for today. I chose a video where one just listens to Laughton reciting this speech..hope you give it a listen.
2. MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON-1939
How can I write about this topic and not choose a Jimmy Stewart film! James Stewart has many films where one can choose a speech but I chose one of his most famous which comes from this film about a young, naive and idealistic senator who is asked to come to Washington. He is to be a stooge for a crooked deal involving land but the old senators don’t realize who they are messing with. The last 20 or so minutes has the young senator holding the floor of the senate, never yielding, trying to showcase that the government should be for the people and not for corporate manipulations. Again, a wish for all of us.
3. THE GRAPES OF WRATH-1940
A great book written by John Steinbeck about the Great Depression, the dust bowl and the average Joe who had to leave their homes, after the banks foreclose, and travel to California. In this film, there are no snazzy costumes or musical interludes but the gritty, sad realism that was afflicting so many people in the mid west. Henry Fonda plays Tom Joad, recently released from prison who travels with his family to California only to be placed in camps and made to feel like slaves to the rich landowners who have no problem becoming richer on the hardships of the farmers who lost everything. Henry Fonda’s speech is also very famous but I love Jane Darwell’s speech about "We're the people". A great film worth seeing even once.
Which films would you choose?