I hope everyone had a good Christmas & New Year's as so many I know from my circle of family and friends did not which is sad but it all depends on how one looks at things. Despite still feeling quite ill, I had a nice Christmas and was blessed with gifts and, more importantly, family and friends and all of you who wished me well. A new year and a new weekly start to the movies from Wandering Through The Shelves. We start off with a place in the title and i hope someone picks Casablanca which is one of my all time favourite films but i had already spoken about this film once before. I went with a theme within a theme and hope you like them....
1. AN AMERICAN IN PARIS-1951
This won the best picture that I don't believe should have won (I would have gone with The African Queen or Strangers on a Train) but it is still an excellent film and musical from the Arthur Freed unit. It is about..guess...yup, an American in Paris who decided to stay in Paris after the war and try his hand at art. He becomes the gigalo to a wealthy woman who knows how to ensnare her men. Gene Kelly plays the artist who meets a young french girl, Leslie Caron, in her film debut, who is the paramour of a famous entertainer. Kelly's best friend is played, with sarcastic fun, by the devilish Oscar Levant as an aspiring pianist who agreed to do this film because he was a close friend of George Gershwin. The dancing is beyond superb, the Costumes, Cinematography and Art Direction is simply stunning. If you love art, musicals and a great story line, you will love this film especially the last 20 minutes which is pure dance done to backgrounds inspired by the famous impressionists of the previous century.
2. THE LAST TIME I SAW PARIS-1954
I am not a romance gal nor a fan of Van Johnson but, for some reason I don't mind this movie. It stars icky Van Johnson (Whom I think was the true inspiration of Troy McClure from The Simpsons), a G.I. and aspiring writer in Paris rejoicing that the war is won who is kissed by the beautiful but fickle Elizabeth Taylor. He quickly meets another gal who falls for him and invites him to a party. He goes with her and finds Ms. Taylor who happens to be the other gal's sister. So, as you guess, Van and Liz fall in love and marry and have a kid while her sister marries someone else and the sister's dad still decides to party away. This is an OK film that I always seem to watch when it comes on TV. The one thing I would change is that horrible painting that is shown in the film of Taylor. It's supposed to show her beauty and devil may care ways, but all I want to do is burn it.
3. PARIS WHEN IT SIZZLES-1964
This film was made in 1962 but did not come out until the year I was born. It more fizzles than sizzles because of the wacky script and William Holden having to go to a sanitarium to dry out because of his alcoholism which is why Tony Curtis appears in the movie. Despite the silliness-a writer has 3 days to come up with a script and becomes inspired by his most recent temp-Audrey Hepburn, I actually enjoy this silly farce. It has some fun moments and some bad moments(Holden as the vampire/devil is pretty dreck) but it is something to enjoy on a rainy afternoon when you would rather be in Paris having a glass of wine watching the world go by. Besides, Audrey is always enchanting...
What are your 3???