Thursday, December 8, 2022

Thursday Movie Picks: Retro Chic


I found this theme a tough one. Ro find a modern type of film that looks retro was not easy so I will be very interested to see what everyone else chooses. Head on over to Wandering through the Shelves to find out. Here are my 3...


I really love this movie because, even though it was filmed in modern times( yes, I know it's 49 yrs old but it's still modern to me), it has that 1940s/ early 50s feel. Philip Marlowe is a PI who drives a 1940s car and smokes like a chimney where everyone else no longer smokes and they drive the latest cars. His friend asks him to drive him to Mexico and he does since he has nothing better to do. When he returns, his friend's wife is murdered and he is arrested but is let go soon after. He then finds out his friend committed suicide and Marlowe doesn't believe the crap he is fed. Elliott Gould is great as Marlowe, a more slovenly, debauched Marlowe than Bogie but fun to watch. It's quite stylistic with some subtle nuances that give this film a retro feel. Robert Altmann was great in directing this film and watch for baseball great, Jim Bouton, as the friend. 


I love the whole look of this Fantasy film that is quite unique in the story and excellent cinematography. A young teen always watches this old 50s Ozzie & Harriet type show and wishes he could be in that show...literally due to Don Knotts giving him a magical remote, he can use but he didn't plan on his wild sister to join him. Everyone is black and white, happy and cheerful but soon things begin to change and colour comes into play to make life more than just...cheerful.

3. DOWN WITH LOVE- 2003 not my favourite as I am not a big Zellweger fan plus I feel like the actor's know what they are all feels forced and I feel somewhat manipulated. It is supposed to be a homage to the great 50s sex/non-sex comedies of Doris Day and Rock Hudson with some Douglas Sirk feel to it with the look of it. Zellweger plays a successful woman who doesn't need a man, enter Ewan McGregor as a devil may care playboy who gets under the skin of Zellweger. The best is David Hyde Pierce in the Tony Randall role( who makes an appearance) as the friend of Ewan. Meh, maybe I should tryvthis again but I have to see Zellweger.

Can you think of any film that fits this theme?


  1. Hi, Birgit!

    This theme is indeed a toughie, dear friend, but I like your picks.

    i need to plan a double feature movie day and watch Bogie & Bacall in The Big Sleep (1946) followed by The Long Goodbye.
    I see that the cast of the remake film includes Henry Gibson who rose to fame on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In and had a memorable recurring role as a quirky, insecure, conservative judge who routinely locks horns with Alan Shore on 24 episodes of Boston Legal.

    As a child of the 50s who grew up watching Ozzie And Harriet, Father Knows Best and Leave It To Beaver, all in black & white, I love everything about Pleasantville. The cast boasts some of my favorite actors including William H. Macy (see Fargo and ER), Jeff Daniels (see Gettysburg and The Newsroom) and Reese Witherspoon, who is fantastic in everything she's done.

    I hear what you are saying about Down With Love, but nevertheless it sounds like a movie I'd enjoy, because I am a big fan of the Rock Hudson - Doris Day film series. David Hyde Pierce seems perfectly cast in the Tony Randall role. Lately, I shudder whenever I see Renee Zellweger on the screen in earlier projects, because my mind immediately jumps ahead to her recent role as the evil, despicable "Pam."

    I would say David Lynch's Mulholland Dr fits this theme:

    Thanks for the morning movie entertainment and info, dear friend BB. Please give my good buddy Harley the smoochin' of his life and enjoy the rest of your week!

  2. Pleasantville! Now that was a good pick.

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  4. I love Pleasantville! It has all those retro vibes but uses them to add many layers to the story. Great acting from the cast, Don Knotts is priceless, and a beautiful look.

    I liked but didn't love The Long Goodbye. Elliott Gould is a terrific choice for the somewhat schlubby Marlowe and the film has a shambling feel that's true to noir. But with all that ultimately it felt like it was trying a little too hard to capture the essence of the genre without quite making the cut. Enjoyable but I've never felt the pull to watch it again when I can turn to any number of real noirs.

    I'm with you on Down with Love. Talk about trying too hard!! A great look but you could practically see the flop sweat as they strained to capture a carefree vibe. David Hyde Pierce understood what was needed but no one else did though Tony Randall was wonderful in his short bit.

    This is a tough one and I misunderstood it at first thinking it was period pictures rather than modern day films with vintage elements. I’m afraid anything I come up with is going to be a reach but here goes. The Last King of Scotland because of Forest Whitaker’s fondness for all things Scottish no matter the period. The Velvet Goldmine is all about glam 70’s rock and those outfits often hark back to different periods and in a similar vein the uber depressing Sid & Nancy about the sick relationship between Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen that resulted in her death. I’m thinking it works because punk pulled style from other times into a mishmash of looks.

  5. Good choices. I haven't seen the first one. When I finally watched Pleasantville, it was on TV, and I was sick. I slept through half of it. I'll need to see it again as what I did not sleep through was colored by feeling miserable.

    I really wanted to like Down with Love more than I did. I liked the premise, but the other movie that came out about that time I thought did a better job of capturing that retro vibe.

  6. I don't think I 've seen any of these. My only thought is Chinatown, one of my favorite movies.

  7. BIRGIT ~

    I'd never even heard of 'Down With Love'. Doesn't exactly sound like my mugga beer.

    I've never watched 'The Long Goodbye' just because I have trouble watching Elliot Gould. Something about him (everything) rubs me the wrong way.

    But 'Pleasantville' I'd heard of but didn't really know what it was all about, and your description of it has me intrigued enough to see if I can find it on one of my cable channels.

    Just quickly going off the top of my head, I immediatley thought of 'DEAD AGAIN' and 'CHINATOWN'. (I think these would count.) For a third choice I don't know. 'RADIO DAYS' maybe?

    Perhaps I'm just confusing a "period movie" with "Retro Chic", because the word "chic" isn't even in my vocabulary.

    ~ D-FensDogG

  8. Haven't seen your last choice, but the first two were good ones. I especially liked Pleasantville for this theme.

    Nothing else specific comes to my mind for me, but this week I'm thinking about other things. It's a busy time.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  9. I haven't seen Down with Love, but I thought the movie was set in the past. This week's theme is actually meant for movies that are set in the present day (not simply filmed recently) but has a look from decades past.

  10. I haven't seen any of these. The Long Goodbye sounds good. Have a lovely weekend, filled with good movies and even better popcorn.

  11. Pleasantville is one of my favorites!

  12. Ohhhh I haven't seen Pleasentville in ages - I really liked that film