Thursday, September 20, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks-Farm


"Green Acres is the place to be, farm living is the life for me"...oops sorry, whoever loves to get up at 4am, clean up shit, work until hands are raw from bailing hay, and send off cows to the butchers and chop chickens’ heads’off have no clue. I grew up on a sawmill but we were surrounded by farms and my friend was the next door neighbour, so I helped out with hay baling, catching chickens, cleaning up the barn plus picking fruit and veggies. They had a good free hand:). Did anyone else ever work on a farm or live on one? I wonder what everyone else will pick, so head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves and find out. Here are my 3...

1. THE EGG AND I-1947


I just re-watched this since I own the DVD and enjoyed it thoroughly. It’s based on a book about the exploits of a young newlywed couple who buy a farm, knowing likety-split about chicken farming. The movie became a smash (hahahaa..get it...smash..eggs..ok never mind) hit despite Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray being a bit too old as young newlyweds, but they were great in their roles.  The house looks just as bad as the chicken coops but she does her best to help make her husband’s dream come true. Enter a good looking woman who brings out the green in the new wifee and Ma and Pa Kettle who help out the newlyweds teach the ways of farming and you have a good entertaining movie. In fact, Ma and Pa Kettle were so popular in this movie that the studio used the actors, Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride, to make a whole bunch of movies based on their characters.

2. SO BIG-1953


I have not seen this film in decades but I really enjoyed this version and the 1932 film, with Barbara Stanwyck, but I remember the newer version better. Jane Wyman (the ex Mrs. Ronald Reagan) plays a teacher who helps a young man realize his dream of being a concert pianist. She ends up meeting a farmer, marries him and they have a son whom the nickname, So Big. Her husband dies and she is left to deal with the farm and her young son. She sees her son also has a gift in building and helps him to become an architect since her farm is now a success because of (blecch) asparagus, but he meets a wayward woman, the hussy. He loses his way and his mom becomes disappointed in him. She must overcome many hurdles especially being a woman in farming but her love for her son, for teaching and helping others see their potential keeps her going. It’s melodrama at its finest and Jane Wyman was the queen of melodramas in the 1950’s.

3. BABE-1995


I love this fairy tale movie that was a surprise sleeper hit and gave a huge career boost, not to mention an Oscar nod, to James Cromwell plus using an innovative way to have the animals talk and make it look believable. We meet Babe, a young pig who is bought by a farmer to grow up and become bacon. The young pig is brought to the barn and is scared and lonely but is taken in by the mom dog who is an excellent sheep herder along with her gruff partner who doesn’t care much for the pig. The pig is always polite to all the animals and just wants to be friends and the farmer takes a shine to the little pig. The farmer takes the little piggie into his home much to the cat’s chagrin and starts to teach the piggie how to rear..um, herd the sheep (no, the farmer is not Greek). I found the whole film enchanting, sweet and very clever. It must have been a challenge to act against all these animals. I loved the cottage and wished I could stay there myself. In fact, I had a dream where I asked the mice if i could sing with them. Apparently, I sang this song out loud and woke up my then current hubby. Yes, I have weird dreams.

Which 3 would you choose

51 comments:

  1. I think I've seen The Egg and I but it's been a long time.
    Chicken Run! Now that's a funny farm movie.

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  2. Hi, Birgit!

    When I was young I had two pairs of aunts and uncles that owned farms. They were nice places to visit, but I wouldn't have wanted to live there.

    The trailer for The Egg And I gives us another opportunity to listen to the perfect diction of the voice-over narrator. We also hear 20th century words and expressions that are no longer commonly used. For example, "starring Claudette Colbert... never so winsome." Of course, it was nice to see a younger Fred MacMurray years before he became famous to TV audiences as the dad on My Three Sons. I loved Fred's performance in Billy Wilder's The Apartment (1960). I saw several of the Ma and Pa Kettle features during my boyhood.

    On the trailer for So Big we again enjoy the announcer's refined voice as he reads the brilliantly written script that includes "emotional thrills So Big."

    I have not seen the first two farm films, but I did see Babe when it was released in theaters. The little pig's confusing chat with the ewe reminds me of the "Who's On First" sketch made famous by Abbott and Costello. James Cromwell, who starred as the farmer, delivered a chilling performance as Nazi war criminal Dr. Arthur Arden in Asylum - season 2 of American Horror Story.

    Thank you for the rural reviews, dear friend BB!

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    1. Wasn’t the narration great back in the day and the language of a bygone era? I thought the same thing with the Ewe sketch. Thanks for always visiting Shady and happy trails

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  3. The only one I've seen is Babe which I absolutely hated. I remember begging my mom to let me leave the theater when we went and she wouldn't let me. Excruciating. lol

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    1. OMG! You poor thing...that’s like me having to sit through the Social Network or Black Swan...utter crap...hahahaa

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  4. We match once again!

    The Egg and I is a lot of fun even though Claudette and Fred are slightly long in the tooth to be young marrieds. But they made many films together and always had an easy chemistry which is more important to the story.

    I LOVE Edna Ferber and films based on her work. That said So Big is one of my lesser faves since the boy grows into rather a jackass. I liked both version but preferred this one slightly more because Jane was closer to the right age to be believable throughout.

    I put off seeing Babe for years since it looked stupid but I was charmed when I finally did. Though that once was enough for me.

    Aside from our match Judy returns this week and I picked one of the trio of farm films that had a sudden surge in the 80's.

    Summer Stock (1950)-Jane Falbury (Judy Garland) and her faithful housekeeper Esme (Marjorie Main) are struggling to keep the family farm afloat. One day Jane’s errant sister Abigail (Gloria De Haven) shows up with the news that she’s has been cast as the lead in a new musical. Oh and by the way she’s brought the entire troupe including her fiancée, the show’s director Joe Ross (Gene Kelly) with her to rehearse in the barn! After some persuasion Jane lets them proceed with the proviso that they trade chores for room and board. Everything goes bumpily along until Abigail departs in a snit and Jane is convinced to step into the lead. She’s reluctant but since she’s Judy Garland at the peak of her powers it goes well. Breezy if minor musical contains several iconic numbers, Judy & Gene’s challenge dance, Gene solo dance with a newspaper and most of all Judy’s infamous Get Happy number (filmed two months after the rest of the film with a 20 pounds lighter Garland). For something so light it was a nightmare to make taking six months to complete rather than the expected six weeks because Judy was coming apart at the seams (watch her weight fluctuate noticeably from scene to scene and entire backdrops change abruptly from scenes pieced together). For all the turmoil it’s a very pleasant film, Judy’s last at MGM.

    The Egg and I (1947)-City slickers Betty & Bob MacDonald (Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray) head to the country to fulfill Bob’s dream of being a chicken farmer. Comic complications ensure with many rude shocks when they discover the farm is more or less a shack and the chicks are far more demanding than expected. Bob catches the eye of the rich neighbor farmer lady and Betty seeks solace and consul from their other neighbors, Ma & Pa Kettle (Marjorie Main & Percy Kilbride-who spun off into a successful series of B movies). Based on a bestseller by the real Betty MacDonald.

    Places in the Heart (1984)-Suddenly widowed in Depression era Texas Edna Spalding (Sally Field) decides to make her small farm pay by bringing the first bale of cotton to market with the help of drifter Moze (Danny Glover), her blind boarder Mr. Will (John Malkovich) and her two young children. Facing many, many obstacles Edna perseveres against daunting odds. Sally won the Best Actress Oscar giving her famous “You like me! You really like me!!” acceptance speech.

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    1. Ack! I'm sure you realize this is me but just in case, I had to use a different computer this morning and didn't think about the ID.

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    2. I knew it was you:) I’m glad we match with The Egg and I and, yes, they are a bit long in the tooth but it doesn’t matter. I almost chose Summer Stock, I was really debating but I thought I might be able to save it for another time. I always laugh at poor Judy sitting on a tractor singing away. I actually love many of the dancing scenes even though I was keeping track of her up and down weight scenes. I have never seen Places in the Heart and never felt like it. It I might one day since I really, really like Sally:)

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    3. The Howdy, Neighbor! number with Judy on that tractor is the major scene I was referring to when I mentioned the background changing abruptly. She had an incredibly hard time completing the sequence. It was supposed to take three days to shoot and instead took over three weeks of starts and stops when she was just too fragile to work and ultimately it was pieced together from usable footage. Considering that it's quite breezy though not nearly on par with Friendly Star (my personal favorite of her numbers in the film) or Get Happy.

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    4. I always thought she must have hated that number because she looks pretty dowdy the way they fixed her up. Poor thing

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  5. Birgit,

    "The Egg and I" sounds like a delightful movie. It makes me think of the TV series, "Green Acres". I wonder if it was the inspiration for the late 60s sitcom. The only flick you mentioned that I've seen is "Babe" and that's a delightful, sweet film. I missed playing along this week and I don't think I'll get a chance to pull together a quick post today, so I may wait until next week to jump in. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I’m not sure if it was based on this..maybe...I’ll have to investigate this. Babe is sweet and looking forward to you joining next week

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    2. Birgit,

      I have my TMP portion done ahead for next week so I won't miss out. I won't be in Blogosphere because I'm having a colonoscopy. I'm 3-years behind (no pun intend) on getting this one done. lol Have a good weekend!

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  6. Only one I knew there was Babe and I really loved that movie. That'll do pig.

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  7. I've managed to miss all of these. Blush. Babe looks awfully sweet:)

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    1. Babe is sweet and one I bet, you’ll love

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  8. Hi Birgit - I've not seen any of these ... even Babe. I'm on a farm now ... but the highway separates me from the working bit ... so I don't do much. Farmers are passionate and that is such a good thing about their lives and surroundings ... cheers Hilary

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    1. You have to love it to do that tough job. I would love to live in the country. You should see Babe

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  9. Only one of the bunch I saw was Babe. I too thought it was a cute movie :)

    betty

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  10. OK, for farm life, I'll go with a huge favorite of mine: 'SONG OF THE SOUTH', Walt Disney's wrongly maligned classic, combining animation and live action.

    Does a "ranch" count as a form of farm? If so, then you can also put me down for 'MURPHY'S ROMANCE' -- a charming sleeper with James Garner and Sally Field.

    And if I can also use a made-for-TV movie, then I'll take 'THE HOMECOMING' -- which served as a pilot for the TV series 'The Waltons'. I watch it almost every December.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'

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    1. I want to see Song of the South which hasn’t been on my radar for a while. I think Murphy’s Romance works and it is a great movie with, one of my favs, James Garner. The homecoming is a good movie with the great Patricia Neal but I just never got into the Waltons.

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  11. I remember Green Acres from its original run. Once -- Lord knows why -- I started singing the theme song at work, when there were no customers in the office, only my female co-worker, twenty-five years my junior. She picked up the Eva Gabor section and we did the whole thing as a duet!

    I have the boxed set of all the Ma and Pa Kettle films, including The Egg and I. Saw most of them on TV as a kid. Ever see Loose Shoes? It's similar to Kentucky Fried Movie, The Groove Tube, Amazon Women on the Moon, and the like. It contains a skit featuring an actor and actress who do spot-on imitations of Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride.

    Ah, yes, So Big. Saw it on TV as a teenager (never saw the Stanwyck version) and enjoyed it... although, I thought (and still think) that "So Big" is a stupid effin' nickname for a kid!

    And tying Green Acres to Babe (which I enjoyed), kinda/sorta: Remember Gordy, the less popular pig film that came out right around the same time as Babe? Well, I learned several years ago (but am including a quote I grabbed from Wikipedia just today) that Gordy "was originally conceived in the early 1970s by Green Acres creator Jay Sommers and writer Dick Chevillat as a vehicle for the Arnold Ziffel character. Small world, innit?

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    1. “Darling, I love you, but give me park avenue.” Love that song. You have the boxed set? That’s great because, I did see some of their films but not all of them. I know Kentucky Fried Movie etc... but not the other where they pay “homage” to Main and Kilbride. Yes, So Big is dumb and I thought the same as you. I had no idea about he other film but I love the connection to Green Acres.

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  12. I loved Babe when it came out in the 90s

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  13. Babe is a fun one. Haven't even heard of the other two before this post that I recall. Grew up on a farm, sorta, so yep, know all about the farm living. It isn't the life for me. I get allergic smelling hay. Give me Park Avenue lol

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    1. Hahahaaaa! I’m With you ‘Cos it’s a lot of work. The Egg and I is a fun movie to see.

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  14. I read the book So Big. High school. I can't remember if I picked it off a list provided by the teacher or if she made us all read it. (I probably picked it off a list.) (My high school English teacher was a big old movie buff. It's where I first discovered classic movies.)

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    1. Amazing how one person can leave such an indelible mark. Glad he he gave you the love of movies

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  15. I've not seen any of these, although I HAVE heard of Babe. Not so the others, I liked your take on Green Acres. I had a friend who lived on the outskirts of town when I was in high school. One day her dad killed 50 chickens by snapping their necks and my friend and I plucked feathers till it was time for me to go home. And people wonder why I'm a vegetarian. Squishing a tomato isn't anything like snapping a chicken's neck. I can still see the horror of it all. Dexter would be proud, though!

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    1. Well, I’m a sick puppy because the neighbours would call me when it came time to kill the chickens and I would boot over, help catch them and then see when he cut their necks off with an axe. If the geese were getting done, I really loved it since I was chased by them. I also helped with taking the feathers off and the mom showed me trick she to get them off faster. Yeah..I was a sick puppy.

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  16. The only one I remember of these is Babe, which I just loved. The other 2 films looks pretty good. I have a fantasy bout living on a farm and how much I would enjoy it, but then I think about about never being able to travel as you have animals to care for (the dogs are hard enough) and all the work that goes with it. Thanks for sharing these films. I think maybe it's time to rewatch Babe to start with. Happy almost the weekend. Hugs-Erika

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    1. Babe is wonderful and it shows a sweet way to enjoy a farm. I would never want to own one because it is back breaking work.

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  17. I haven't seen the first too but I LOVED Babe! So, so cute. We still say "that'll do, Pig" and "everyone knows sheep are stupid" just because LOL. I think after reading this I'll have to watch it again.

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    1. Yes, I will use that saying also. I loved this movie and found it enchanting.

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  18. I've often fantasized about living on a farm--not doing much of the hard work, but living in that environment.

    I've seen plenty of farm movies so let me think. One of the first that comes to mind is a favorite--Places in the Heart. And how about Wizard of Oz since it all starts on a farm and the story characters are based on those on the farm. Another I might mention is The Yearling. I haven't seen that since I was a kid, but didn't that family live on what might be considered a farm? They grew stuff--I remember that.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Wizard of Oz works for sure! I love that you chose The Yearling which is such a nice film plus it has Gregory Peck. I could have chosen Holiday Inn because Bing’s character decides to quit show business and own a farm. After working day in and out, gett8ng up at 4a.m, he ends up needing a rest.

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  19. Babe surprised me too. I saw it several years after it came out. Wowza, I melted with all that sweetness. I want to know if Jane Wyman's character meets up with the pianist and lives happily after with her. Off to Wikipedia I go.

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    1. Babe is wonderful. Oh...no, that would be a bad teacher /student faux pas.

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  20. I've never even heard of The Egg and I, but man is it popular this week.

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    1. It is! I’m surprised considering it’s an older film.

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  21. Oh I've loved ALL 3 of these! Watched many, many times (and I have the book, Egg & I, but don't think I've got the movie). Wonderful choices this week and each of these movies is well worth re-watching from time to time. Good clean movies, good acting, and #1 is so humorous. TFS & Have a great week. Hugs

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    1. Oh songreat you saw all 3 and they are great to watch and The Egg and I is funny.

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  22. As mentioned before I didn't see these but I do remember Ma and Pa Kettle:) Or maybe I did see Egg and just remember Ma and Pa Kettle:)
    YOU have a wonderful, productive and fun week.

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  23. Oh! I don't remember seeing any of these.

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  24. All new to me! I do remember hearing of Babe- but never saw it. All the rest I have never heard of- so thanks for the introduction. :)
    ~Jess

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