Thursday, May 4, 2023

Thursday Movie Films


I hope Wandering Through The Shelves doesn't mind me still using her logo since she went to bi-weekly...she is my inspiration to keep doing this weekly.  I was thinking of a theme and I thought of history, which I love. I looked up, " What happened in May," and found this quick history site about key events and birthdays and chose my 3 films and here they are...

1. CAREFREE-1938

This is a Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers musical ( sorry Shady) with tunes from the great Irving Berlin who was born on May 11, 1888 and lived to be 101 yrs old. The songs may not be as famous as some of his others but I love the dance, "The Yam" and always dreamed of being swept off my feet like Ginger in this number. Now,, because it would end up.more like “The Yuck.” Anyhoo, Ginger ends up going to a psychiatrist, played by Astaire and falls for him. This is not a good idea so he hypnotizes her to dislike him and it works out too well. This is the movie where Astaire finally kisses Rogers and it was done in slo-mo much to Astaire's dislike ( he thought it all too icky) but the public were dying to see them finally kiss. This film did not do as well and seems to break the spell of their golden partnership. I actually find this film quite funny and it really showcases Rogers ability at comedy. It's better than I thought it would be since I had always read it wasn’t as good as their other outings.


This is a classic amidst a number of classics because it is 1939 and books have been written about the amount of great films that came out that year. Jimmy Stewart plays a young senator who comes to Washington all innocent and virtuous hoping to prove he is worthy as a senator. ( my, how times have changed) Jean Arthur is his secretary who knows all too well that his starry-eyed look at the world of Washington is just not going to cut it. When Stewart wants to create a park for boys to go to to get away from it all, he has no idea that his hero, senator Paine  played beautifully by the great Claude Rains, is up to dung wanting the same land for a business man who wants to make it rich. Stewart finds out all too quick that he was a stooge but when he visits the Lincoln Memorial, he weeps, but finds the strength to fight. It is so well acted that Jimmy should have won the Oscar( well, many deserved it that year). The character actors are great like Thomas Mitchell and Eugene Pallette and the director is top notch, Frank Capra, who was born on May 18, 1897. The main reason I chose this film? The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated on May 30, 1922. Truly, I thought that was built long before. 


I find so many people hate this film today and I just don't get it...maybe it's a generation gap thing. I found both Colin Firth as the reluctant future King with a stutter and Geoffrey Rush as his tutor superlative. This film is all about this gentle, future king who stutters and has seen all sorts of people who are supposed to cure him but don't. You meet his wife, the Queen mum, and their 2 daughters as well as his snotty brother King Edward and Wallas who has him under her thumb. You see how a friendship is born and how he must be prepared to become King when his brother abdicates. I love this film, the acting and the cinematography. King George VI became King on May 12th, 1937. Hmm, close to when Charles is to wear the crown in only a few days. 

So, dust off some history and what movies can you think of  where the events happened in May? Or someone born in May? This shall be interesting.


  1. Hi, Birgit!

    Happy Thankful Thursday and movie review day, dear friend!

    Yessum, light years before "The Mashed Potato," there was "The Yam," the dance depicted in the 1938 Fred & Ginger musical Carefree. If this film broke the spell of their partnership, then perhaps Fred's instincts about the slo-mo kiss were accurate. In spite of what audiences think or say they want, once the tension is broken and the guy gets the girl, the chemistry changes, the thrill of the chase is gone and they tend to lose interest. I read that after Carefree, which drew mostly mixed reviews, the pair starred in one last film in this RKO series, The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939) and were reunited one last time in The Barkleys of Broadway (1949) for MGM.

    Yessum, 1939 seems to be an especially big year for the release of films that went on to become classics. You know how much I admired Jimmy Stewart, and he was perfect in the role of the idealistic young senator who was jolted to encounter greed and corruption when he went to Washington. Call me old fashioned, call me a prude, but I think Jimmy's steamy love scene with Stormy Daniels should have been left on the cutting room floor.

    Mrs. Shady twisted my arm to watch The King's Speech with her and we both loved it, but then again we love all things British, even Benny Hill, even Mr. Bean and even Austin Powers. Seriously, The King's Speech is indeed a fine film with marvelous performances.

    I can think of Seven Days In May, the 1964 political thriller produced from a screenplay written by Rod Serling and starring Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas and Ava Gardner. Also, whenever the month of May rolls around, I remember that the infamous Kent State Shootings took place on May 4, 1970. Several films have been based upon or have referenced the massacre including Oliver Stone's Nixon (1995), The Trial Of Billy Jack (1974), The Year That Trembled (2002), Thank You For Smoking (2005), Watchmen (2009) and The '70s (2000), described on Wiki as: "a mini-series depicting four Kent State students affected by the shootings as they move through the decade."

    Have a safe and happy weekend, dear friend BB!

  2. Not sure if I have seen the Rogers-Astaire movie, but I have seen the other two. I would have to sit down and google before I could think of a movie to fit your theme. Something with May in the title, but that is almost like cheating, lol.

  3. Hi Birgit…sorry to hear you have been poorly and hope you are feeling much better…loved the kings speech…haven’t seen the other 2 films ….take care xxx


  4. I agree that Carefree does give Ginger a nice spotlight for her comic ability. The dancing is impeccable of course and while it’s no Swing Time it is a fine pairing for the couple. I had read that it didn't make as much as some of their other films, but they were costly to make so even if they made a good deal of cash, they could still miss the mark. Then again, though Fred would work on the dances for their next film in between each picture Ginger would make at least one film during the break which would invariably be a cash cow for RKO balancing the books I suppose.

    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a great film with a tremendous James Stewart. Although I would have voted for Clark Gable to win for GWTW I wouldn’t have been disappointed if Jimmy had emerged victorious, especially since that would have kept him from the makeup Oscar, he won the next year when Henry Fonda or Chaplin should have won (though if JS had been competing for Shop Around the Corner, I’d be less salty about his prize). Aside from Jimmy, Mr. Smith is packed back to front with great work by all.

    Love The King’s Speech even if my choice for Best Picture that year was the unnominated Shutter Island. Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush make a great team and I LOVE Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth.

    Fun theme and I like the way you went with it, but I took a more linear path picking films with May in the title.

    Frustratingly my first thought was what I thought the ideally named Very Warm for May which was the final Kern/Hammerstein Broadway collaboration (where it was directed by Vincente Minnelli and starred Eve Arden, Vera-Ellen and June Allyson) but though MGM bought it as a perspective vehicle for Judy Garland it never happened and they dumped it into the B pile turning it out as Broadway Rhythm starring George Murphy and Ginny Simms (love her singing but she never registered strongly on screen).

    So I turned to two other musicals with very similar names and a much more intense drama.

    First would be the Jeanette MacDonald/Nelson Eddy triller “Maytime” (1937) which was a heavily rewritten version of the Romberg operetta.

    The next is a British musical which I didn’t have high hopes for but turned out to be a nice surprise. “Maytime in Mayfair” (1949) which paired the popular team of Anna Neagle and Michael Wilding who made a series of films in Britain during the 40’s. It’s all about Wilding unexpectedly inheriting a fashion house and falling for the manageress (Miss Neagle). Very colorful and sweet.

    Switching gears entirely my last is the tense political drama “Seven Days in May” (1964) starring Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas and Ava Gardner. Even if it’s a little overlong it’s a solidly entertaining film with a great cast.

  5. Good for you for finding some specific May films. I've only seen the second one.

  6. I've seen your picks but don't recall much about them. I did enjoy The King's Speech but it wouldn't rank amongst my all time favorite films.

    The first film that came to my mind was Seven Days in May. Then I thought of the song "Strolling through the Park One Day" which occurs in the merry month of May. I knew I'd heard it in a movie at some time, but I had to look it up. It's been used in a ton of movies and I've seen many of those. Like Strike Up the Band or Yankee Doodle Dandy to name two that I've seen.

    But that's about it for me. Don't want to deep dive into too much research and my memory doesn't come up with much else.


  7. I’ve seen The King’s Speech. I do tend to like Colin Firth in anything! Can’t seem to shake off my Mr Darcy hang up.

  8. "The King's Speech" was one of my favorites. The scene where he's delivering the speech over the radio, with the coach in the room, is just amazing.

  9. I've seen all the Astaire/Rogers films. I went through a phase in my 20s. I liked Carefree. I liked them all, truly. I haven't seen Mr. Smith, but I did enjoy The King's Speech. Great film. Nice picks. (I'll have to tell my dad he shares a birthday with Frank Capra.)

  10. I've heard of the last two, but have never seen any of these. I'd definitely LOVE to, though.

  11. I really would like to see the King's Speech. Colin Firth is a talented guy and the subject matter looks fascinating.

  12. The Yam Dance, hey. I hadn't heard of this one. Glad you are feeling a bit better. Sandra

  13. I've seen both The Kings Speech and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and both were excellent movies. The Yam Dance was new to me and I loved that choreography. Rogers and Astaire looked so happy during that dance. As far as "May" movies, how about Seven Days in May, another movie I've never seen but have heard of?

  14. Hi everyone...I have been dizzy, weak and shaky so I have had a tough time reading things but I do love all you have wrote here. 7 Days In May is a popular choice. I'm do glad, Joel, thst you chose Maytime a favourite of mine. Boy these 2 have really fallen out of favour which is a shame. I'm glad most of you like The King's Speech like I do and that many of you have seen Mr. Smith. I would have divided the Oscar and given it to Clark Gable and Stewart for their roles. I hope to respond to the comments. My apologies as always.

    1. I'm thinking about you, dear BB. Please get well soon.