The beginning of a new year.....let’s see what this year will bring. I hope more comedy from the orange man but I know he brings tragedy too. I hope all of us will be healthy, happy, have fun, watch movies, read, read..and read:) For a brand new list for the new year, head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves and see what everyone else has chosen for the first of 2018. On with the show....
1. ANNA KARENINA-1948
There are so many versions of this book by Tolstoy that we could talk about the differences of just these film adaptations. The most famous is the Garbo film done in 1935 and it’s good but I could never take her as the sensitive, fragile Anna because Garbo always came across as not giving a shit. Despite the weak performance of Kieron Moore as Vronsky, this is my favourite adaptation because of the luminous Vivien Leigh who is perfect as Anna. I am certain it helped that Vivien Leigh was fighting her own demons. Most films centre on the doomed affair between Anna and Vronsky with the upper crust never allowing an affair to become public. Of course, Vronsky does not receive the dismissive viatribe of the society but Anna does and she slowly loses all she holds dear. I read the book which is very...Russian...passionate, beautiful and one where I wanted to stick an ice pick in my eye out of frustration of the characters. It’s a great book but good grief, everyone is full of suicidal thoughts. Actually the story of Anna and Vronsky seems secondary to the life and love of Levin and Kitty who never seem to be at the forefront of any film.
2. JOHHNY BELINDA-1948
I love this film that takes place on Cape Breton Island, Canada, about a deaf mute girl, Belinda, who is believed to be dumb as well by her dad and her aunt. A kindly doctor comes around and finds that she is quite intelligent and teaches her sign language. Slowly the doctor educates her dad and her aunt as well and helps Belinda gain her confidence. When she is home alone, she is raped by a brute who has seen her at church and on the farm. She becomes pregnant as a result and has a boy...Johnny. What happens after creates some great scenes and Jane Wyman ( the first Mrs. Ronald Reagan) won an Oscar for this role.
3. PORTRAIT OF JENNIE-1948
I love this movie despite the blandness of Jennifer Jones who plays Jennie. A young artist meets a little girl in the park and over the course of a few weeks she grows up to be a beautiful young woman whom he, of course, falls in love with. He realizes that this is not the norm, her clothing seems to be from another era and her memories of from the past. His love provides him the ability to create his best portrait. I love the photography since the scenes seem to start off as a canvas only to merge into a film plus, due to David O’Selznick’s extravagant spending, they filmed on location ay the Met in NYC and The Cloisters ( a great museum in NYC). I kick myself that I did not buy the DVD when I saw it a few years ago.
Did you catch my theme within this theme?? What films would you choose?