Thursday, October 4, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks: Halloween Edition - Home Invasion


October is here and we Canucks are celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend. We don’t go nuts the way the States does for this holiday, because Christmas is more important....oh yeah, I went there..hahahaaa. I’m thankful that I have a 3 day weekend. Oh wait, no, I’m thankful for family, friends..blah, blah but hey! A 3 day weekend!! Ok, I’m a bad girl so now on to the movies this week and it is Halloween month but I am not choosing scary movies this week. It will be fun to see what everyone else has chosen, so head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves and see what spooky films they have picked, here are my 3...

1. ARSENIC AND OLD LACE-1944


Oh yes, this is a home invasion and one of the funniest, zaniest comedies starring Cary Grant, Pricilla Lane, Raymond Massey and Peter Lorre. Cary plays Mortimer Brewster, a writer about how marriage is wrong. He is getting married to the girl next door, Ms. Lane and they go back home to collect their suitcases to go on their honeymoon except their is one problem, his sweet darling aunts kill elderly men with their homemade elderberry wine. The daffy old aunts believe they are helping the old men and enlist their brother, who believes he is Teddy Roosevelt, to bury the “yellow fever victim” in the basement. Poor Mortimer now must deal with this so he contacts the rest home so they will take in his beloved aunts and uncle but he didn’t count on his long gone brother to enter into the mix. The brother and his doctor hold everyone hostage which makes things difficult for Mortimer especially since his brother brought a dead body of his own.  Zany, fun with an over the top, slightly manic ("I'm the son of a sea cook!") performance by Cary Grant, a fun performance by Raymond Massey and The kindly old aunts who steal the show, played beautifully by Josephine Hull and Jean Adair. Love it!

2. SUDDENLY-1954


I just saw this film a few months back and, of course, enjoyed it. Sterling Hayden, in his wooden style, plays a cop from the small town called Suddenly who has the hots for Nancy Gates, the sweet gal who lives atop a hill with a great view of the town. Enter small time hoods headed by Frank Sinatra who take over the gal’s house because they want to assassinate the president who is coming on the train. They didn’t expect Sterling to come by, which he does since he wants the gal to be his wife and become the dutiful 50's wife. She hates guns and anyone dealing with guns and Frankie is a psycho hell bent on killing. I found it tense, well-acted and quite the nail biter.

3. WAIT UNTIL DARK-1967


This film stars Audrey Hepburn as a blind married lady whose husband  is given a doll, that is loaded with heroin, by a young lady. Hubby doesn't think much about it and brings it home only to get a call about another job. He has no idea that the call comes from the goons wanting the doll. Soon, someone comes knocking befriending Hepburn but he is just trying to retrieve the doll. This does not go fast enough for the ring leader played, menacingly, by Alan Arkin. She soon realizes she is in danger and it becomes a cat and mouse game. This was frightening because it feels so real and Audrey Hepburn does an excellent job as the very frightened but resourceful victim. Alan Arkin steals the show as the unstable but intelligent, ruthless crook. An excellent film worth seeing.

What film(s) would you choose?

50 comments:

  1. I'm not a fan of home invasion movies. Unless they are funny. In which case, I pick The Ref with Denis Leary.

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    1. I haven't seen The Ref but I think you would like Arsenic & Old Lace

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  2. Hi, Birgit!

    Happy Thanksgiving, dear friend! Looking ahead I also hope you have a pleasant Groundhog Day. :)

    The moment I saw Edward Everett Horton's name in the credits of Arsenic and Old Lace I remembered him as the narrator of "Fractured Fairy Tales," one of the regular features of the animated TV series Rocky and His Friends aka The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Although I never watched the comedy film A&OL, I am familiar with Priscilla Lane because I watched the four films of The Lane Sisters series: Four Daughters (1938), Daughters Courageous (1939), Four Wives (1939) and Four Mothers. I am used to seeing Cary Grant in dramatic roles. I need to fix that and have a look at his earlier roles in zany screwball comedies.

    I vaguely recall having watched the 1954 film Suddenly because I like Nancy Gates. I am eager to see the 2013 remake starring tough guys Dominic Purcell (of Prison Break, The Flash & Legends of Tomorrow) and Ray Liotta (of Goodfellas and Shades of Blue).

    Wait Until Dark is one of my favorite suspense films. I took my girlfriend (the future Mrs. Shady #1) to see it in 1968 shortly after we met. Audrey Hepburn was brilliant and so were Alan Arkin, Dick Crenna and Jack Weston as the heavies.

    Thank you for the reviews, dear friend BB!

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    1. Wait Until Dark was a film on my radar for so long and I finally saw it last year and it is excellent. I love Edward from his time on the Astaire/Rogers films to so many other and I did love those fairy tales. Someone just talked about those tales recently and I enjoyed watching them. I haven't seen the newer film version of Suddenly but I am not a big Ray Liotta fan

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  3. Three great picks which I have seen. A friend of mine was at the theatre watching WUD, holding her popcorn, and during the scene where they bad guys come up behind Audrey she screamed and threw her popcorn into the air. Such fun, lol.

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    1. I love that with the popcorn and did the same thing when I went to watch The Thing. The poor guy behind me got covered in popcorn

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  4. I had a feeling you'd go with Wait Until Dark this week. I haven't seen any of these myself, though I've read the play of Arsenic and Old Lace.

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    1. Yes...excellent film and hope you see Arsenic one day on your blindspot series

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  5. I haven't heard of any of these, but I'll definitely check out the first as I loved Capra's It's a Wonderful Life. The Sinatra flick also looks pretty interesting.

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    1. I love Arsenic and I hope you will too. It is so funny

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  6. Birgit,

    "Arsenic and Old Lace" I haven't seen in years. I remembered liking it as a kid and would love to see it again. The other two films are new-to-me, both look like great picks, especially "Wait Until Dark" which looks most intriguing. I will see if I can find it for streaming. Thanks for sharing. Now, I'm off to see if I can find these last two. :)

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    1. Glad you saw Arsenic. The other 2 are good and i think you would really enjoy WUD

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    2. Netflix doesn't have either of the two films I haven't seen but at least I can rent WUD from AmazonPrime if I want for 99 cents. :)

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  7. Love these choices! Arsenic and Old Lace has such a sweet edge for something so ghoulish. The whole cast is tremendous, I love Priscilla Lane and she plays her role well but hers is the least demanding of all the parts.

    Wait Until Dark is terrifically tense and both Audrey and Alan Arkin very strong. While Audrey was excellent I still think its a shame that she replaced Lee Remick who had such a success with it on Broadway. With her big liquid blue eyes and enormous talent I'm sure she would have been equally riveting.

    I considered Suddenly for this and wondered if you would use it. I decided to go with something I liked a little more, Sterling Hayden is always a drag on a film for me. Still its a decent suspenser.

    This isn't my particular favorite type of film so I struggle slightly for picks but did manage three I admire.

    He Ran All the Way (1951)-After a failed stickup during which he kills a cop Nick Robey (John Garfield) ducks into a local public pool house where he strikes up an acquaintance with Peg Dobbs (Shelley Winters). Upon leaving he offers her a cab ride to her home and she invites him in. Discovering he’s pursued he takes Peg and her family hostage leading to a tense standoff holding the police at bay while terrorizing the family. This was the great Garfield’s final film before the stress of being blacklisted lead to his fatal heart attack at only 39.

    The Desperate Hours (1955)-On the run after a prison break Glenn Griffin (Humphrey Bogart), his brother Hal (Dewey Martin) and Sam Kobish (Robert Middleton) break into the suburban Indianapolis home of businessman Dan Hilliard (Fredric March) and his family and take them hostage while they wait for Griffin’s moll to show up with loot for a getaway. What is supposed to be only a few hours stretches into nerve jangling days as the woman doesn’t show. William Wyler directed thriller is a tense suspenser. Badly remade in the 80’s.

    Cul-de-sac (1966)-George (Donald Pleasance) and his much younger French wife Teresa (Françoise Dorléac) live in an isolated castle on a remote tidal island. American gangster Dickey (Lionel Stander) fleeing a botched robbery with his wounded sidekick Albie (Jack MacGowran) cross the causeway at low tide and take over the castle but then the tables turn. Roman Polanski directed this strange thriller with both dramatic and comic overtones. Leading lady Dorléac was Catherine Deneuve’s sister and a rising international star before she was killed in a car crash the year after this was made.

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    1. Glad you like my choices and i so agree with you on Sterling Hayden. I know about all 3 but haven't seen any of these yet. I have come across The Desperate Hours but didn't want to watch it half way into the film. John Garfield is a tragic example of that horrible blacklist. I have always wanted to see Cul-De-Sac but it has evaded me but I love Donald Pleasance. Poor Francoise was too young to have died and it left Catherine Deneuve shattered at that time.

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  8. Needless to say, once again, I knew nothing about any of these films. I love how you depict all of them, though, and that is what keeps me coming back each and every week!

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    1. I am so glad that you do come back to have a look and read. That makes me happy that you enjoy my little written pieces. Every once in a while you have seen a film:)

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  9. Hmmm....

    BIRGIT, the first one that came to my mind was 'Home Alone', but I never saw it.

    Then I thought of 'Dog Day Afternoon', but I didn't care for it.

    I've seen 'Arsenic And Old Lace' twice, but don't really care for it and won't be seeing it again.

    I guess the only movie I can think of which kind of matches the theme and which I DO like is 'KEY LARGO'. It's more of a "Hotel Invasion" than a "Home Invasion", but it's the best I could come up with off the top of my noggin.

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

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    1. Home Alone is a perfect example but I can't stand that kid. I did like Dog Day and sad you don't like Arsenic. I almost chose key Largo but I know I picked it before. I always felt bad for Lionel Barrymore who was so crippled with rheumatoid arthritis

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  10. Happy Thanksgiving. I bow to Canada as the superior nation on our continent. (I like our Thanksgiving, especially as we get a whole week off, but with idiots in government...)

    I have not seen Suddenly. Arsenic and Old Lace is an old favorite. I think I saw Wait Until Dark. My mother recommended it highly, but I don't recall if I sat through the whole thing.

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    1. Thank you for the bow...i feel bad you have such a moron for a president. Arsenic is excellent. You should give WUD another try

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  11. I have seen Arsenic and Old Lace, but not the others. It’s a hoot. Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Glad you like Arsenic and my Thanksgiving was ok...the dinner ead great.

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  12. You're Next is awesome! It turns this genre on its head--love it so much. Talk about an incredible heroine.

    The Strangers and Knock Knock were good too, but highly disturbing. I don't think I could watch either of them again.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. I haven't seen these but will chexk them out

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  13. Wait until Dark I've seen. A good one indeed. The only home invasion ones I can think of are The Ref, Home Alone(kinda), and Panic Room. Sure there are more. The Purge I suppose.

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    1. Haven't seen The Ref but love Panic Room. Home Alone is ok but i never cared for that kid

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  14. I've seen bits of Wait Until Dark, while clicking the remote but never stayed long enough to figure what's going on. Now I want to see it. I love that version of Arsenic & Old Lace.

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    1. Its a good movie and Arsenic is great

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  15. 1. Love this one! I am forever searching for a copy of the 1969 TV-movie version with Lillian Gish, Helen Hayes, Bob Crane, Fred Gwynne, David Wayne, Billy De Wolfe, Richard Deacon, Jack Gilford, and Sue Lyon! My first exposure to the story. Excellent updating ("Honey, I'm a bastard!") Back in the 1980s or early 1990s, I saw a theatrical version advertised with Jonathan Frid (Barnabas Collins of Dark Shadows) as Jonathan Brewster!

    2.Great flick. Fun seeing famed voiceover artist Paul Frees in an onscreen role.

    3. I often get this one confused with See No Evil, the 1971 thriller with Mia Farrow.

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    1. Id love to see that tv version which sounds great

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    2. It was.

      By the way, Birgit, I have a little surprise I'd like to send to you, if you have a mailing address you're willing to give out. If you don't want to post it here, you can send it to my blog's email address, davidzrantz@gmail.com. Thanks!

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  16. Hi Birgit - I'd have to say Wait Until Dark ... but I haven't seen any of them ... they all sound rather good ones to see - cheers Hilary

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  17. Arsenic and Old Lace looks like fun :) For home invasion movies, I'd pick Home Alone and Home Alone 2. When I watched them as a child, I thought that I, too, could outsmart burglars should they ever choose to rob my house.

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    1. Hahahaa....yes it might be that most kids could outsmart dumb asa crooks

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  18. Wait Until Dark sounds awesome. Arsenic and Old Lace sounds very familiar, though I'm sure I've never seen it. I suspect it's inspired many similar movies through the years, which is what I'm thinking of.

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    1. These movies are great but for a fun laugh see Arsenic

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  19. Arsenic and Old Lace is a classic isn't it;)
    Hope you're having a great weekend.

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  20. Yes, they sound wonderful movies.

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  21. Absolutely love Arsenic and Old Lace. In fact, I love anything with Cary Grant in. Wait Until Dark was great too. I don't think I've seen Suddenly but I'm going to see if I can find it now.
    That's Purrfect

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    1. Cary is excellent and love that movie. I hope you find the movie

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  22. Hi Birgit,
    The old movies are the best. Nothing like them anymore. Arsenic and Old Lace is a great movie. I agree--anything with Cary Grant in it.

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  24. Somehow I missed this one. I have heard of all 3 but the only one I have seen is Arsenic and Old Lace which is a great movie. I like a good suspenseful movie, so now I am going to hop forward and check out today's films. Hugs-Erika

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