Thursday, August 20, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks-Female Buddy Movies

 


Female Buddy movies are not as popular as male buddies but they are gaining in strength which is great. Now, I have a feeling Thelma and Louise will be popular this week but I am just not a fan of this flick( hmmm, I just had a lightbulb go off for another post). Wandering through the Shelves always comes through with some great themes so, without further adieu, here are my 3...

1. STAGE DOOR-1937


I finally watched this film a couple of years ago and enjoyed it which had a, primarily, all female cast. Katherine Hepburn plays a well to do, wanna be actress  who wants to be a star. She stays in this large boarding house filled with other actresses who don’t take kindly to Ms. Hepburn’s snooty airs and make it very well known. Ginger Rogers is her biggest critic along with others like the wonderful  Eve Arden (who often plays the friend of the star). Eve Arden is readily known with her unique voice and who gets the best quips. This is a really good film about a bunch of ladies all trying to make a living in the vicious world of the Theatre. You will see a young Lucille Ball in this film as well.

2. MILDRED PIERCE-1945


Joan Crawford, who could cut logs with those shoulders, stars as the ever forgiving, wonderful mom( hit the laughter button) to a truly evil, mean bitch of a daughter. It starts with a dying man's last words-  “Mildred” and cuts to the ever glamorous Crawford in a police station  being questioned by the cops. She goes back to when she was married with 2 daughters, one nice and the other, well, you know. Her marriage crumbles and Mildred must get a job and finds one in a restaurant. There her boss, and eventual friend, Eve Arden, meet and Ms. Pierce learns the ropes of the restaurant business. Mildred opens up her own restaurant and soon has a whole slew of them with her trusty friend beside her. Of course, her brat of a daughter feels she deserves everything  including her mom’s new husband. Eve Arden has one of the best lines when she says something like, “Crocodiles have the right idea, they eat their young.”

3. TEA FOR TWO-1950


Sorry Shady, this is a musical with the ever jubilant  Doris Day and Gordon MacCrea in the lead roles.  I haven’t seen this in years but from what I remember, Doris finds out her fiancée is being a no good for nuttin' two timer after she believes he will make her a star on Broadway. She gets the financial backing from her Uncle to do the show, but he won't give it to her unless she can say "no" to every question for the next 24 hours. When she meets the nice Gordon MacCrea, she is doing her best to say no. Eve Arden plays her friend who helps her  through the times. It’s fun and sweet with some old fashioned tunes.  Of course you can tell I decided to do a theme within a theme by choosing films where Eve Arden plays the best friend of the leads or semi lead. She is better know as Principal McGee from Grease and from the TV show, "Our Miss. Brooks", which I never did see. I think she always made any movie better because of her wit and style.

Maybe I stretched things a bit here because the films are not solely based on being buddies but I still think it works. So, which 3 would you choose?


The Wondrous Eve Arden

43 comments:

  1. My first thought was Thelma and Louise and I don't care for that movie either. Clever of you to use Eve Arden in all three choices. I have seen Mildred Pierce; not sure about the other two. Only other thought that comes to mind right now is The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005). Remember enjoying it.

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    1. I still have to see Sisterhood. I'm glad I am not the only one who doesn't care for Thelma and Louise. Eve Arden is great!

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  2. "Three doses of Eve"

    Hi, Birgit!

    Apology accepted! :) No, seriously, I will break down and watch a musical if I happen to like the players enough, and I adore Doris Day in all of her projects - musicals, dramas and comedies. Plus she gave us son Terry, a record producer and principal figure in the West Coast music scene of the 60s. While I haven't yet watched Tea For Two, I know I'd enjoy it because I also admire Eve Arden, having watched her as Our Miss Brooks and as Jimmy Stewart's legal assistant in Anatomy of a Murder. If you still haven't seen the latter, please do. It's terrific! I totally agree that Eve made every show better by being in it. I also like Billy De Wolfe from his television roles on The Doris Day Show, The Phyllis Diller Show and Good Morning World. Tommy Dorsey's version of "Tea For Two" was a major chart hit in 1958.

    I have seen Stage Door (watched it in 2007 during my year of binging on old films) but did so mainly to get a glimpse of Eve and Lucy Ball early in their respective careers.

    Just listen to the narrator on that trailer for Mildred Pierce. That's what I'm talkin' about! I love Mommie Dearest's line: "You make me feel... oh I don't know... warm." Where are the censors when you need them? I also admire Ann Blyth and Jack Carson. Therefore, I have concluded that I should watch Mildred Pierce.

    The first female buddy movie that comes to my mind is Russ Meyer's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls: Three young women — Kelly MacNamara, Casey Anderson, and Petronella "Pet" Danforth — perform in a rock band. Follow their spicy adventures as they travel to LA in search of fame and fortune.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend BB!

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    1. The fact that I have watched Beyond the Valley of the Dolls 463 times should serve as proof that I am indeed willing to sit through a musical now and then.

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    2. I have not seen Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and will see it one day as I heard is it very campy which I like. I am glad to hear you will see certain musicals. This one is frothy and that one line Eve Arden gives just tells you you want to see more of her. I also love the trailer where the great Gordon MacCrea and Doris sing for the film trailer. I wish more people would know about Gordon MacCrea. I love the dramatic trailer of Mildred especially how she leaves men wanting more. Stage Door is a great female ensemble and I can watch that film more than once.

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    3. I don't think anybody mentioned this one but it would seem to fit the category: A League of Their Own. Remember, BB, there's no crying in baseball!

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    4. hahahaa-There is no crying!

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  3. Yeah, Themla and Louise came to mind first. Or Charlie's Angels. Show was good, movie not so much. I don't believe I've seen any of your picks.

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    1. I would have been shocked if you saw any of my picks:) Charlie's Angels is a good pick and love the campy show with Farrah on her skateboard

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  4. I really love Mildred Pierce. I just watched Crawford's version for the few time a month ago. I haven't seen your other two picks. (Or Thelma and Louise, so I didn't use that one. I'm expecting to see a lot of Book Smart this week)

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    1. Mildred is so good and Ann Blyth in a role she rarely did which was playing a real meanie. She is known for her soprano voice.

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  5. Birgit,

    I love vintage films but I also have to be in the mood to enjoy them. Strange, I know. Anywho, these are all new-to-me movies. I'm anxious to see if I might find any for streaming. Thanks for sharing and introducing these to me. Would "Hot Pursuit" with Reece Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara qualify as a fit? This is the first thing to pop in my head. I was surprised that we liked this flick. I wouldn't say it's a 5-star film but it was a lot of fun to watch. :) Stay safe and be well, dear friend!

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    1. Hot Pursuit does fit but it is not a favourite of mine although I like both actresses

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  6. ADORE your theme within the theme!!!! Eve Arden was one of the very best maybe THE best "best friends" cinema ever had. Perfection in every film. She's one of the actresses whose filmography I've been attempting to complete. Problem with Eve (as it has been with Claire Trevor) is that she worked all over the place so some of her older titles are hellishly difficult to locate, I have about half a dozen left. Fingers crossed in time I'll find them.

    On to your picks. LOVE them all!

    Crawford's Mildred Pierce is a gold standard noir in both production and performance. Eve is divine, Jack Carson and Ann Blyth are perfect and I love the actress who plays Kay. Her role is small but she nails it.

    Tea for Two is a bright piece of cotton candy and I'm a huge Gordon MacRae fan. So handsome with a glorious voice. Too bad he was at the wrong studio to fully utilize his gifts. MGM was where he belong and then just as he hit his stride with Oklahoma! and Carousel musicals went out of fashion.

    We match! Stage Door was the first thing I thought of. Wonderful movie though having read the stage play its based on I can see why George Kaufmann quipped it should have been renamed Screen Door.

    Aside from our match I went for two other films from the Golden Age.

    Stage Door (1937)-A group of aspiring actresses (including Lucille Ball, Eve Arden, Ann Miller and Gail Patrick) all live in a theatrical boarding house off Broadway as they pursue their dreams of success. When rich girl Terry Randall (Katharine Hepburn) arrives she at first doesn’t fit in and butts heads strongly with her roommate Jean Maitland (Ginger Rogers) but as time passes the women all pull together to support each other through their shared struggles, particularly those of sensitive and troubled Kay (Andrea Leeds who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress).

    How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)-Three models-pragmatic Schatze Page (Lauren Bacall) , ditzy Loco Dempsey (Betty Grable) and extremely myopic Pola Debevoise (Marilyn Monroe)-lease a luxury apartment with a mission in mind. They want to snag millionaire husbands! They scheme, plot and hock the contents of the apartment to achieve their goals all the while dressing fabulously and for the most part being there for each other.

    The Opposite Sex (1956)-Musicalized version of the classic ’39 film The Women looks at a circle of high society women friends (and some fremenies) as one of their number, Kay Hilliard’s (June Allyson) marriage hits the rocks when a gold digging showgirl Crystal Allen (Joan Collins) sets her sights on Kay’s husband Steven (Leslie Nielsen). Main differences from the first, the songs, color and men appear in this version.

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  7. I love that you love my extra theme and am agog that you have seen most of Eve Arden's films. Which ones have you not seen? Now I have to check out all her films but I know I have not seen most of them and would love to. I want to revisit Tea For Two because it does not come on TV that often. I agree with you about Joel MacCrea and when I first saw him in Oklahoma, I got a major crush. He did deserve the MGM musicals. I love that you chose How To Marry a Millionaire and always giggle at Lauren Bacall's name because Schatze is a German word you use for affection. All 3 are great even if the plot is predictable. I have to admit that Monroe was quite funny in this. I still have to see The Opposite Sex which is one I would love to see.

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    1. The Eve films that I still have to track down are in order of release:

      Oh, Doctor, Big Town Czar, The Forgotten Woman, San Antonio Rose, Last of the Duanes, Sing for Your Supper and Pan-Americana.

      The great news is that TCM is finally going to show Pan-Americana in a couple of weeks!!!! So excited!

      My top 10 of her films as far as her participation goes runs this way:

      Mildred Pierce (of course it's #1)
      The Doughgirls
      My Dream is Yours
      Goodbye, My Fancy
      The Voice of the Turtle
      Ziegfeld Girl
      The Dark at the Top of the Stairs
      Stage Door
      Curtain Call at Cactus Creek
      The Unfaithful

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    2. Wow! You are doing great and I wish I could get TCM but I am afraid I would never leave the couch! I am glad you saw so many of her films even if she was not the star of them she always shone through.

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  8. Haven't seen any of these films Birgit, but they look interesting
    . I hope you are well and keeping safe, Kate x x

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    1. They are good especially Mildred Pierce. I am doing well and wearing my mask:)

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  9. I haven't seen Thelma and Louise since it was in the theaters. Don't remember much about it, but it was the first "Female Buddy" picture that came to my mind.

    Of your picks, I've only seen Mildred Pierce and that was not too long ago. That's a good film and that brought to my mind the tearjerker Imitation of Life--primarily the fifties remake. The bond between the white and black mother is so beautiful. The end of that film is so heart-wrenching that it moves me every time I watch it (which has been several).

    A couple female themed films that I don't recall having ever seen, but I think might fit this concept of "buddy" films is The Women (1939) & The Group (1966). Maybe not so much good buddies as maybe something else, but I guess they were all friends to some extent.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Imitation of Life is an excellent film both the original and the remake. I think they work well for this week and so does The Women. Mildred is such a good film and what a nasty daughter!

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  10. That's a beautiful picture of Eve Arden.
    I didn't see any of these, but if you like them, I like them:)
    Be safe. Be healthy.

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    1. They are good. Eve Arden was quite the beauty and intelligent. You do the same!

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  11. Yeah, like Lee said, I also thought of 'THE WOMEN', and that's the *ONLY* one I could think of. Well, 'Thelma & Louise', of course, except I thought that was a dumb movie.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

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    1. The Women work and I so agree with you about Thelma and Louise

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  12. I must have seen Tea For Two as I watched lots of Doris Day films when I was a kid. But can't say I recognize any of these.But then my movie knowledge is really limited. Hope all is well!

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    1. I bet you did see this film because they were on more often when I was young.

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  13. I like your theme within a theme. I think I would pick Thelma Ritter, though. She was less a best friend and more a maid most of the time, but she was the greatest supporting character to help out the lead. (I haven't seen the old Mildred Pierce--I saw a remake, but I've seen the other two. Great films.)

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    1. I was thinking about Thelma Ritter and All About Eve came into my mind and Pillow Talk. It's funny but she also played a lot of maids

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  14. You're right - Thelma and Louise came to mind, right away. ☺ It's a movie I've watched 3 or 4 times and always enjoyed (except for the ending, but it does seem fitting). Love your sub-theme, using Eve Arden! She had this wry demeanour that I always liked. The first two movies are among my favourite classics, but, the last one, not so much. The only musicals I really like are Gene Kelly's, because they had a bit of an edge. As for female buddy movies, how about The Banger Sisters? Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon play a couple of retired rock groupies whose lives took opposite turns. Also featuring Geoffrey Rush and some killer tunes. Or, A League of Their Own, starring Geena Davis and Tom Hanks? Another good one!

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    1. I love Eve Arden and wish she was more well known but, I guess, she is at least remembered for her role in Grease. Gene Kelly did have an edge to him for sure...check out Covergirl. You picked 2 great movies that I totally forgot about. The Banger Sisters was a fun film that I just watched a couple of months ago. A League of Their Own is another great one where the women stuck together and I loved the camaraderie between Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell

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  15. I jhaven’t seen these yet but like I do believe the I love Lucy Show so not a movie but ran with Lucille Ball who later sold her interest in her studio to Paramount so they had full control of Star Trek. Beverly Hills Cop was. Great buddy movie as was Men in Black. It’s all in the attitude and that trick of the gun which turned subjects into zombies 🧟‍♀️ we’ll only for sec cos like their mind was gone in a flash. I thought that was a neat trick. 😆

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    1. Love Lucille Ball who greenlighted Star Trek

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  16. I have Mildred Pierce in my collection but haven’t watched it yet. Now I have a better idea of what to expect.

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  17. I sure failed this week. never seen any of those.

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    1. That is rare but I know you have seen some that fit this theme

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  18. Hmm...

    Waiting to Exhale
    Clueless
    Fried Green Tomatoes (though in the book, they're more than buddies)
    Boys on the Side, though that also crosses the line into romantic love, doesn't it?
    Kissing Jessica Stein - no, I'm really following a different theme here, aren't I?

    There are also sister and family movies that come to mind but don't quite qualify as "buddy" movies:

    Beloved
    Mystic Pizza
    Steel Magnolias

    You know what I think part of the problem is? Too many female characters are pitted as rivals rather than friends. Or the female friend of the female lead is more sidekick than true buddy.

    Perhaps the real problem: most screenwriters are men and they're not good at writing nuanced female characters. They certainly don't have any sense of what female friendships are truly like, and how they're different from male friendships.

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    1. I do love your picks and you are right about trying to find female buddies. Too many men write about women

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  19. Not only am I two days late, I'm also clueless since I've never seen any of these (although I HAVE seen Clueless). LOVED how you described Joan Crawford. It was hilarious about her shoulders. Hope your weekend is pain free.

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  20. I loved the way Eve Arden delivered her lines. Witty, sometimes sarcastic. She always seemed sincere to me.

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