Thursday, April 13, 2017

A To Z Challenge-Letter K & Thursday Movie Picks-Rivalry

The A to Z Challenge which I am combining with my other fun Challenge...

Thursday Movie Picks which you can see over at Wandering Through the Shelves. At the A to Z, one can discuss about any topic that begins with that letter for that day and today is the letter K. TMP is all about Rivalry and I think my first pick works for both...

1. KISS ME KATE-1953

DIRECTOR:George Sydney
STARS: Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson, Ann Miller, Keenan Wynn
OSCAR NOMS: Best Musical Score
PLOT: It's the Taming of the Shrew done to music. Talk about rivalry, one-upmanship and great dancing!
LOVE: The "From This Moment On" dance sequence especially the sexy dance between Bob Fosse and Carol Haney
TRIVIA: This movie was filmed in 3D so there are a lot of things hurled at the camera from cups, dishes, fabric from dresses to Kathryn Grayson's DD bazoomas.

HOWARD KEEL-April 12, 1919-November 7, 2004

OCCUPATION: Acot, Singer
ANECDOTE: He was actually a self taught singer who was once a singing bus boy.  Since he was 6' 4" tall and quite robust most of his leading ladies, like 5' 2" Kathryn Grayson had to stand on boxes when doing a scene. Most people know this man from Dallas and here's a great point-He was well liked!

2.  EAST OF EDEN-1955

This is one smack down powerful performance by James Dean as Cal, the black sheep brother to golden boy Aron who is the favourite of his Dad, Raymond Massey (of Massey Hall fame-related). Aron has a girlfriend who seems to have eyes for Cal because she can see so much more in Cal than either his father or brother give him credit for. When Cal goes into business to make his dad proud only to backfire, Cal decides to show Aron some truths that lay hidden in another town. It is beautifully acted and your heart goes out to Cal. Your heart aches for this young man but also wonder why the father is the way he is. Based on the great book by John Steinbeck, it is a a great film even though it only takes one part of the book.


Yes, this movie stars Will Ferrell whom many either like or hate (or can just stomach him in Elf)..yes, it is a very stupid movie but..I LOVE it! When I first saw this film, My hubby, my brother in law and myself were laughing til tears rolled down but my sister in law walked out-hahahaaaaa. It takes place in the world of figure skating (Hey, I could have used it for the sports theme a few weeks back) when manly-man figure skater (insert laugh), Will Farrell and flowery glove guy, Jon Hader duke it out on the ice and promptly get permanently expelled from male single figure skating. A few years later, they are reluctantly teamed up for the pairs figure skating by a coach who needs help himself. They are not happy at first but soon find out they work well together. The favourites going into the championship, a brother/sister team will do all they can to destroy the male team from winning. To see Will Farrell lift and then hold up Jon Hader had me laughing so hard I almost didn't make it to the loo. I even laughed at this movie trailer..I am depraved:)


  1. Hi, Birgit!

    I admired vintage film actresses Kathryn Grayson and Ann Miller but, as you know, song and dance musicals aren't my favorite genre. However, knowing that Kathryn's DD bazoomas are hurled at the camera at some point makes this 3-D movie a Shady "must see." :)

    A Hollywood actor (Howard Keel) was a nice person and well liked? Are you sure you have your facts straight? :)

    The other two films are more to my liking. I have seen East of Eden and always admired James Dean's intense method acting. It was interesting in the trailer when the announcer got to the Julie Harris character and noted that she is "the most outspoken girl you've ever known." Clearly, during that time period, 1917-1918, it was a man's world, and girls were meant to be seen and not heard. Most women I know today would have been called "outspoken" back then.

    I know about the comedy farce Blades of Glory but I don't remember seeing it. Buddy/slob movies with crude humor are my kind of thing, and I will immediately add Blades to my watch list (right below the one with Kathryn Grayson :).

    Thank you, dear friend BB!

  2. I never saw Kiss Me Kate - that I can remember - but I did see Grayson when she toured with Camelot and if I am not mistaken - memory issue again - she appeared with Howard Keel. I've seen parts of the other two you mention.

  3. Birgit,

    Your first movie is probably good but I'm not always in a mewsical mood when it comes to films. Actually I'm rarely in a mood to see a mewsical these days. I shall keep this one in mind should it appear on Netflix.

    I've heard of "East of Eden" but have not seen it. After viewing the trailer I think this is flick right up on my alley.

    I am not a fan of Will Farrell. I do recall "Blades of Glory" but it never appealed to me because (A) the trailer looked stupid and (b) it features Farrell. I can't think of any movie he is in that I actually like.

    Please come by for Art Sketching Through the Alphabet with Curious as a Cathy when you have a sec! Have a good day & happy a2zjing!

  4. Funnily enough, watch Kiss Me Kate on TV just the other night. It is one of my favourites but then I always liked Howard Keel. Didn't see the other two.

  5. Haven't seen Blades of Glory but I adore your other two! Kiss Me Kate is so much rambunctious fun with as you say amazing dancing and a fun attitude. MGM tried to lure Deanna Durbin out of retirement to do it but as with everything else she refused. Kathryn Grayson is excellent in the film, one of her best performances actually, but it would have been great to see Deanna tackle the part.

    East of Eden is my favorite book, it was written by John Steinbeck not F. Scott Fitzgerald by the way, and this is a great adaptation of the second half of the book with Dean's best performance. I still love the Jane Seymour mini from the 80's that portrayed the whole story and where Jane was astonishing as Cathy/Kate.

    I didn't reach as far back as usual this week since choices are so plentiful for this particular theme.

    The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)-Lavish version of the Dumas story of rivalry over a woman, one friend’s betrayal of another leading to an island imprisonment and the revenge extracted upon escape by the Count of Monte Cristo. Excitingly directed with beautiful production design and two robust lead performances by Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce. A just starting out Henry Cavill has a prominent role in the latter half of the film.

    Happy Gilmore (1996)-Temperamental and frustrated hockey player Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler) discovers he needs to find some way to save his grandmother’s house. As he’s mocking someone for liking golf he finds he has a powerful swing and on a lark enters the PGA tour where he quickly incurs the enmity of a star of the circuit, Shooter McGavin (Christopher MacDonald). They become rivals for the prize with Shooter resorting to ever more drastic measures. Not a classic but from the period when Sandler was at least trying to make an effort to turn out entertaining films.

    The War of the Roses (1989)-Oliver and Barbara Rose (Michael Douglas & Kathleen Turner) were once a happily married couple and through the years have acquired a couple of kids, a comfortable life and a beautiful home. But those days are over and while the two freely admit they want out of their commitment to each other what neither wants is out of their house. So begins a fierce combative rivalry for sole ownership with the lengths each will go to escalating to fearsome heights to emerge the victor as their divorce attorney D’Amato (Danny DeVito) takes it all in from the sidelines.

    1. Thank you for correcting me! I wrote this fast and should have double checked. I have no care for Happy Gilmore but love War of the Roses which is brutal. I've wanted to see The Count of Monte Cristo and will one day

  6. All popular movies. I blush to admit I haven't seen any of them.
    Not a Will Ferrell fan:(

  7. Yaassss Blades of Glory! lol. I also chose a Will Ferrell movie for this week.

  8. I haven't seen any of these but I'll consider watching Blades of Glory when I am in the mood for a stupid movie. Thanks!

  9. I remember 'Kiss Me Kate' and also Howard Keel, as a fan of 'Dallas'. He was a good looking man with a great voice. East of Eden was another favourite. Will Ferrell is definitely not my taste, so I haven't seen 'Blades of Glory', other than a few snippets, when it was on TV. Happy Long weekend! The A to Z continues, though. ☺

  10. I'm one who can only stand him in Elf and maybe Old School. He's just a big man-child that acts the same all the time, hurts my head lol

  11. I read Howard Keel's autobiography. It was quite a fun read.

  12. I'm a Will Ferrell apologist and even I admit that Blades of Glory was his last good movie. But it was really, really good. :-P

    K is for Kanata, the origin of the name "Canada" (probably)

  13. Looks like I've missed a LOT on your blog so far this month. F through K in fact. I'll be back later today to see those.

    For now, I want to tell you I feel like such a fool (AGAIN) that I have never seen any of these movies, but I've always wanted to see East of Eden after I saw a recent James Dean biography on TV.

    From the description, it sounds like you picked some appropriate ones to fit the theme.

  14. Those sound like nice ones to see. "Kiss Me Kate" is accessible.

  15. I haven't seen Blades of Glory, but the others are certainly worth watching.

  16. Annie Get Your Gun and Calamity Jane are what I remember Howard Keel for - I don't think I've seen Kiss Me Kate. I never liked Dallas! So glad to hear Howard was a good 'un.

  17. Shakespeare meets Cole Porter and the result is magic. And Ann Miller was a remarkable dancer, wasn't she?

  18. I did like Kiss Me Kate. Haven't seen the other two.

  19. Perfect movie choices for the rivalry theme, Birgit. You can go from singing to feeling teary to laughing crazily. I want to see Kiss Me Kate again.

  20. I don't think I ever saw Kiss Me Kate. I like the dance number and old musicals in general. Musicals today are not nearly as polished.

  21. I haven't seen Kiss Me Kate either. But I love East of Eden.
    Eva - Mail Adventures

  22. LOVE LOVE LOVE Kiss Me Kate (got to see it 3D earlier this year and... WOW. Totally shocked at how good it was), but Blades of Glory is one of those movies where Will Ferrell just rubs me the wrong way. Every promo piece I saw for that made me want to vomit.

  23. So many dislike Will Ferrell...oh well:) glad you like the Musicl and That many know Howard Keel.

  24. I don't think I've seen any of these. Maybe I have, but don't remember.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out: It's About Time