Thursday, January 3, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks-Place in Title

I hope everyone had a good Christmas & New Year's as so many I know from my circle of family and friends did not which is sad but it all depends on how one looks at things. Despite still feeling quite ill, I had a nice Christmas and was blessed with gifts and, more importantly, family and friends and all of you who wished me well. A new year and a new weekly start to the movies from Wandering Through The Shelves. We start off with a place in the title and i hope someone picks Casablanca which is one of my all time favourite films but i had already spoken about this film once before. I went with a theme within a theme and hope you like them....


This won the best picture that I don't believe should have won (I would have gone with The African Queen or Strangers on a Train) but it is still an excellent film and musical from the Arthur Freed unit. It is about..guess...yup, an American in Paris who decided to stay in Paris after the war and try his hand at art. He becomes the gigalo to a wealthy woman who knows how to ensnare her men. Gene Kelly plays the artist who meets a young french girl, Leslie Caron, in her film debut, who is the paramour of a famous entertainer. Kelly's best friend is played, with sarcastic fun, by the devilish Oscar Levant as an aspiring pianist who agreed to do this film because he was a close friend of George Gershwin. The dancing is beyond superb, the Costumes, Cinematography and Art Direction is simply stunning. If you love art, musicals and a great story line, you will love this film especially the last 20 minutes which is pure dance done to backgrounds inspired by the famous impressionists of the previous century.


I am not a romance gal nor a fan of Van Johnson but, for some reason I don't mind this movie. It stars icky Van Johnson (Whom I think was the true inspiration of Troy McClure from The Simpsons), a G.I. and aspiring writer in Paris rejoicing that the war is won who is kissed by the beautiful but fickle Elizabeth Taylor. He quickly meets another gal who falls for him and invites him to a party. He goes with her and finds Ms. Taylor who happens to be the other gal's sister. So, as you guess, Van and Liz fall in love and marry and have a kid while her sister marries someone else and the sister's dad still decides to party away. This is an OK film that I always seem to watch when it comes on TV. The one thing I would change is that horrible painting that is shown in the film of Taylor. It's supposed to show her beauty and devil may care ways, but all I want to do is burn it.


This film was made in 1962 but did not come out until the year I was born. It more fizzles than sizzles because of the wacky script and William Holden having to go to a sanitarium to dry out because of his alcoholism which is why Tony Curtis appears in the movie. Despite the silliness-a writer has 3 days to come up with a script and becomes inspired by his most recent temp-Audrey Hepburn, I actually enjoy this silly farce. It has some fun moments and some bad moments(Holden as the vampire/devil is pretty dreck) but it is something to enjoy on a rainy afternoon when you would rather be in Paris having a glass of wine watching the world go by. Besides, Audrey is always enchanting...

What are your 3???


  1. Sorry you were ill during Christmas.
    You have a love for Paris. I would pick LA Confidential, but I don't think I can ever watch a Kevin Spacey film again. So I'll go with another big favorite - Big Trouble in Little China!

  2. Paris is such a gorgeous city, it's a shame I haven't seen any of these picks. But I've been there, does that count? lol

  3. Paris is my favorite city to visit. I've seen all three movies but would not say any are favorites. I would go with Midnight in Paris which I really do like. And I have the DVD so maybe I'll watch it today. Hope you are all better soon. Took me two months to get over my cough and now I think it is coming back.

  4. Hi, Birgit!

    Happy new year to you, dear friend!

    Like you, I got sick around Christmas and, truth be told, I am still "poorly" as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, would put it.

    As you might guess, I am not a big fan of movies with the word "Paris" in the title. :) Hey, I don't mind musicals as long as they don't put a lot of singing and dancing in them. :) Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I have not seen the three films in your post.

    As I watched the trailer for An American in Paris, I remembered Oscar Levant as a frequent guest on the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. I still remember the night when Johnny asked the chain-smoking pianist what he does for exercise. Levant replied, "I stumble and fall into a coma." Johnny rolled off his chair.

    I like Van Johnson and Liz Taylor, and their film The Last Time I Saw Paris, would be the first of the three I'd watch for that reason alone. Next I would watch Paris When It Sizzles because I enjoy wacky, silly, farcical entertainment.

    I hope you are feeling much better by now, dear friend BB. That would make one of us. :) Enjoy the rest of your week!

  5. It sucks to be sick during the holidays! Here's hoping you're feeling a lot better now, Birgit. You have a wonderful, positive attitude. So obviously, Paris is your theme within a theme.I went there once, way back in 1966 and would love to go back one day. It was disconcerting to see the riots going on there, recently! Although not a fan of musicals, generally, I enjoy the Gene Kelly ones, including An American in Paris. The Last Time I Saw Paris was good, too. The third one I'm not familiar with, but it sounds like fun. Have a good weekend!

  6. I hope you're feeling better now :)

    I love Paris, though I've never been, so of course I love your theme! I haven't seen any of your picks but An American in Paris has been on my list for quite some time. Maybe 2019 will be the year I finally watch it.

  7. Escape from New York popped in. A Paris them is a win, sure gets quite the showing in movies.

  8. I adore Paris but I can't say the same for these three movies. I don't know if you remember but I used An American in Paris during Dell's Against the Crowd blogathon as a film I hate that others love. It's well made but I found it endless and just wanted to smack that smile right off of Gene Kelly's face.

    Paris When it Sizzles really is a fizzle. But I don't mind The Last Time I Saw Paris too much. I'm not much of a fan of Van Johnson either but Liz is ravishing and it has Walter Pidgeon, Donna Reed and Eva Gabor so not all bad.

    I was tempted to do movies with the word Place in the title (A Place in the Sun, Another Time, Another Place & Places in the Heart to be exact) but decided to go another way with a different theme within a theme although it's a city I've yet to visit.

    Shanghai Express (1932)- In Peking, China, during a civil war, British Capt. Donald Harvey (Clive Brook) meets his old flame Magdalen (Marlene Dietrich) and learns with dismay that she has become a prostitute known as Shanghai Lily. Both are traveling to Shanghai via train, and while they grow reacquainted, they remain unaware that they are traveling with spy and rebel army leader Henry Chang (Warner Oland). On Chang's orders, his forces attack the train, terrorize the passengers and hold Donald hostage. Full of atmospheric cinematography and amazing costumes with both Dietrich and Anna May Wong extraordinary.

    The Shanghai Gesture (1941)-Weird hothouse drama about gambling house/brothel boss Mother Gin Sling (Ona Munson)-originally Mother Goddamn in the stage play this was based on-who out of spite degrades her British ex-lover's (Walter Huston) daughter (Gene Tierney). Last completed American film of famously difficult and exorbitant director Erich Von Stroheim.

    The Shanghai Story (1954)-When a police raid in search of a Communist spy strands all westerners within a hotel in post-WW2 Shanghai disillusioned American Dr. Dan Maynard (Edmond O'Brien) initially clashes the Tangier-born Rita King (Ruth Roman). But they are drawn together as Rita attempts to use her connection to new police chief, Colonel Zorek (Marvin Miller) to outwit their interrogators and armed guards to help their group flee to safety. Standard adventure is boosted by the strength of the performances of its two lead performers.

    Hope your feeling better!

  9. I'm glad you had a good Christmas, but sure wish you were feeling better.

  10. So many people got sick this Christmas. Including me. I hope you're feeling better.

    I have not seen The Last Time I Saw Paris, but I have seen the other two. Yes, the last one is silly, but fun. I can't sit through the long dance sequence in American in Paris. I know, sacrilege.

  11. Not seen these, though I have seen Casablanca several times. The Audrey Hepburn I’d pick would be Roman Holiday, though that’s Roman rather than Rome so maybe doesn’t count.

  12. I haven't seen Paris when it Sizzles, but that title seems so tempting. I will have to check it out. I just rewatched Casablanca a couple of weeks ago and it never gets old. Happy New Year! I'm looking forward to a year of films. Hugs-Erika

  13. I hope you are feeling much better now. As usual, I have seen NONE of these, but I would love to see American in Paris for the dancing. Hope 2019 is a good year for you.

  14. BIRGIT ~
    I sure hope you are feeling well again very soon.

    Of your three, the only one I've seen is 'An American In Paris'.

    'Casablanca' is fabulous! It's my all-time #2 favorite Film Noir, after 'Sunset Boulevard'. (Yes, contrary to what a lot of people say - people who SHOULD know better - 'Casablanca' is absolutely an example of Film Noir!!) And... 'Sunset Boulevard' - now there's another great movie with a place in the title.

    My absolute favorite movie with a place in the title is one I've mentioned many times in your blog's comment sections, and that is 'TORTILLA FLAT', starring Spencer Tracy, John Garfield, and Hedy Lamarr. That is a flat-out classic that everyone should see. And one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. I just watched it again for the godzillionth time last Monday. Took it over to my neighbor's house and turned him onto it. ('Tortilla Flat' is a small residential area in California, just above Monterey.)

    How about 'TOMBSTONE'? A movie completely and utterly stolen by a single actor: Val Kilmer. (I've been in Tombstone, Airheadzona, many times. Heck, I've been in Tortilla Flat, too.)

    Another one I want to mention, just because it's so criminally unknown and yet fantastically funny, is 'HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE'. It was Robert Townsend's first movie, and also included Keenen Ivory Wayans. The 'Sneaking In The Movies' segment ranks very high on my list of funniest scenes ever filmed.

    There are so many other wonderful movies with places in their titles that I could name, but this will do for now, I think.

    ~ D-FensDogG @ STMcC Presents 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'

  15. I haven't seen any of your picks, neither have I been to Paris! I suppose technically I have because I've been to Disneyland Paris...but I didn't get out to see the city which I would really like to do some time.

  16. Paris is by far my favorite city to visit. I'm looking forward to watching your picks!

  17. I'm so glad you had a nice holiday but sorry you are still feeling sick. I hope you are getting better by now.
    I love American in Paris! I just love Gene Kelly, his dancing is so mesmerizing. I haven't seen the other two but now I'm curious just because I love Paris so much.

  18. I don't think I've seen any of these:(
    So glad you are feeling better!
    Hope today is filled with energy and no pain.

  19. Birgit,

    I'm glad you enjoyed your holiday season despite being sick. Are you doing better at long last? I hope so. I enjoyed the introduction of these three films. I'd love to see the last one as I love Audrey Hepburn,too.

    Other than the classic you mentioned, Casablanca, which is a great oldie, there are several that come to mind: Chicago, Sleepless in Seattle, When In Rome, The Italian Job, From Russia With Love, National Lampoon: Vegas Vacation, & What Happens in Vegas. We've seen all of these and I'm not sure which I'd say is my favorite amongst these but it might be the James Bond flick.

    Have a pAwesome week & take care, dear friend!

  20. Audrey Hepburn: classic and classy.
    Hope you are kicking back and having a relaxing evening.

  21. My choice of a Paris movie is "April in Paris" with Doris Day and Ray Bolger. I love the loosely-gaited way that Bolger dances. Yeah, I think Van is icky, too.

  22. To everyone...thank you for your well wishes and I am feeling better. All of your suggestions work including Roman Holiday. I love Tombstone and Val slays it as Doc. Joel...we kind of match in that we had a theme but mine was Paris and yours was Shanghai of which I have not seen any! This is sacrilege and I need to correct this. I love all of your picks and yes, Su I love Raul’s way of dancing. Shady...I hope you get to see the last flick and you might enjoy it.

  23. Have you been to Paris? I never have.

    1. I have and it is a wonderful city and worth going to at least once

  24. Hmm...

    The Philadelphia Story is one of our family favorites.
    LA Story
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

  25. Hope you're feeling better, Birgit. As for Christmas, this was one of the all-time worst. Anything that could go wrong did, but I survived. Just glad it's over! about My Winnipeg, as a tribute to the ol' homestead? Bet no one else picks that one!

    Also Amityville Horror and Out of Africa.