Thursday, September 5, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks-Hostages

Sorry for not visiting too much. I am dealing with dizziness and exhaustion and need to go for an ultrasound so I hope the drs will figure it out. I have had a tough time to read right now..I am doing the wine o clock😁. At Wandering Through The Shelves it’s all about are my 3...

1. THE 39 STEPS-1935

I love Robert Donat, who died early from severe asthma, as he was such a great actor and I have the hots for him. He was so good in this Hitchcock film as a Canadian in London who becomes embroiled in espionage but must run from the police to clear his name, a common Hitchcock theme. He travels to Scotland, by train ( another oft used Hitchcock theme(ughh can't think up the right word) and meets up with the beautiful Madeleine Carroll who becomes his hostage literally attached to him with handcuffs, as they traipse through the countryside, trying to find out what the McGuffin is(look that up:)) This is a very entertaining and quite a fun film that I can watch any time.

2. KEY LARGO-1948

Bogie and Bacall in a thriller noir as a man who comes to a Florida hotel run by Bacall and her invalid dad, Lionel Barrymore, who really was in a wheelchair due to severe rheumatoid arthritis. In comes nasty Edward G. Robinson with his alcoholic moll, Claire Trevor( who won an Oscar for her role), and his goons, who are all holed up here as a hurricane passes through. The last team up of Bogie and Bacall as well as Bogie and Robinson that delivers a great gangster/noirish film. It always made me wince to see Lionel Barrymore in this film since he demanded to do his own stunts, so when he falls, i feel his pain.


I could have chosen Argo but that film took the American route of what they did to help the 6 Americans hiding at the Canadian Embassy in Tehran but I went with the better film, even though it is Canadian and a TV movie because this was more accurate. In fact, when Argo came out, the former  Americans hiding out for months were not happy with how imbalanced Argo was(I do like Argo by the way). Argo did show what the CIA man did, with help from some Hollywood stiffs, to create a fake movie called Argo to help get these men and women out but it failed to show how big the Canadians helped and without us, these people would not have been saved. Ken Taylor, the Canadian Ambassador at this time, took in the hostages along with  John Sheardown which was at great risk to their own lives. Taylor got the 6 people to go out, on occasion, to pretend to be Canadian so everything would look the norm. He got Joe Clark, our PM at the time and Flora MacDonald (Secretary of State for External Affairs), to create Canadian passports and Visas for the 6 and made sure they would get safe passage. When the American came in with the fake movie crew, Ken Taylor helped the 6 become part of this fake film crew and was the main reason for them to get on that airplane. I was so in awe of this man and I was so pleased to have seen him at my high school when he came to talk about what had happened and I was privileged to have shaken his hand.

What are your 3...


  1. Saw the first two but it sounds like I need to find that Canadian film.
    Feel better!!!

  2. Sorry to hear of your health troubles Birgit, feel better soon!

    While its nowhere near my favorite Hitchcock The 39 Steps is a good one and both Donat and Madeleine Carroll put the suspense over very well.

    Again Key Largo isn't my favorite pairing of Bogie & Bacall (that would be Dark Passage) but you certainly can't beat that cast. EGR and Claire Trevor get the lion's share of scene stealing but the whole cast is terrific and its tightly directed.

    I'm unfamiliar with your last pick but I'm intrigued.

    Hostage dramas have always been popular which made it easy to pick three that span nearly 70 years between the first and last.

    Hostages (1943)-A large group of Czechoslovakians are held hostages by the Gestapo until the supposed killer of a Nazi officer-actually a suicide-is turned in. Among the group is the leader of the resistance movement (William Bendix), working undercover as an apparently ignorant washroom attendant in the nightclub where the victim was last seen alive. Meanwhile a group of resistance fighters, led by Maria (Katina Paxinou), try to contact Bendix to establish the time to blow up a German ammunition supply and devise a plan to rescue the prisoners. This was double Oscar winner Luise Rainer’s last film for 54 years.

    The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)-Four men Misters Blue, Green, Grey and Brown board a New York subway train and take the 18 passengers hostage demanding one million dollars in an hour’s time or they will start killing the hostages, one a minute until their demands are met. Under the direction of laconic but sharp transit cop Zach Garber (Walter Matthau) the city tries to meet the deadline and negotiate the lives of the hostages. Slam bang adventure with a cast full of familiar faces really captures the pulsing feel of New York City in the 70’s. An attempted remake in 2009 with Denzel Washington lost most of the flavor of the original.

    Argo (2012)-1979 Tehran, militants storm the U.S. embassy taking 66 American hostages. During the siege six manage to slip away and find refuge with the Canadian ambassador. Knowing that it's just a matter of time before the refugees are found and likely executed, the U.S. government calls on extractor Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) to rescue them. Mendez's plan is to pose as a Hollywood producer scouting locations in Iran and train the refugees to act as his "film" crew. Affleck does well in blending all the intricacies of the plot into a cohesive taut whole.

  3. Hope they get to the root of your not feeling well and soon! I heard of Key Largo but haven't seen that or any of the others.


  4. I hope they figure out what is wrong and that they feel better. I'm 0 for 3 with your picks this week.

  5. Sorry you've not feeling good! Hope they figure it out.
    I'm going with The Ref with Denis Leary. Funny movie.

  6. I wish you were feeling better, dear. I am out the door in ~ five minutes, but will be back as soon as I get home later today. Just checking in to see how you are feeling.

  7. There are a lot of good films to choose from in this category. Too bad I can't remember many at the moment. I seem to recall a Jodie Foster film related to this topic. I've also seen some pretty good films like Room where kidnapping has occurred and the victims are kept imprisoned, but I don't think that is exactly the same as being held hostage. Similar though.

    Hope you figure out the dizziness. Some times when I was having problems with dizziness it was related to either ear problems or my heart. Fortunately it always went away. Other times it was certain excesses in lifestyle choices. That's another story.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  8. I have never seen The Notorious Blonde but you have really piqued my interest.
    Hope your day has been full of fun and pain free.

  9. Hope the dizziness etc gets sorted soon. Take care x

  10. Hopefully they figure it out, never hold my breath with them though.

    I think I've seen the Canadian Caper on TV. Figures America would leave it more one-sided in Argo though.

  11. Hopefully you're feeling better soon - best of luck with your doctors.


  12. As promised, I'm back. I've heard of Argo and wanted to see the film, but it was gone before I could see it. The Canadian Caper sounds even better, and more true to the story. Good that you got to meet Taylor, too.

    Sadly, I've seen NONE of these films, but enjoyed your reviews, even though you have been so sick. I hope the Drs find what is causing your dizziness soon. I promise to NOT make a joke out of this condition!

  13. Sorry you're feeling dizzy. I hope they figure out why soon.

    I have not seen any of yours. I thought it was pretty clear in Argo that the Canadian Ambassador did all that at great peril to himself and his family. But what do I know?

    Were you thinking of trope? That's the only word I can come up with at the moment.

  14. Does Being John Malkovich count as a hostage movie?

  15. I liked argo but I would like to read this book with the Canadian view. It would be a nice view to compare it to what the movie showed. Happy weekend. Hugs-Erika

  16. I hope you feel better soon, Birgit! Your assessment of Argo is spot on. I did enjoy the movie, but was annoyed at the slant they took and also preferred the Canadian film. How wonderful that you met a true hero like Ken Taylor!

  17. Big hugs, Birgit. May you find relief soon.

  18. The 39 Steps is one of my favorite early Hitchcock films. Hitchcock made the MacGuffin famous. Good choice. I hope you get to feeling better soon.

  19. I sure hope the doctor(s) can diagnose the problem quickly and that you're feeling better soon, BIRGIT.

    The first movie that came to my mind was also one that you chose - 'KEY LARGO'. That's on my list of favorite Film Noirs.

    And another one I thought of was 'STALAG 17', with one of my favorite actors, William Holden. I think prisoners of war should count as "hostages".

    ~ D-FensDogG

  20. I haven't seen any of these but I want to see the one with Bogart.

  21. I don't know any of these. Thanks for sharing!

    Hope you feel better soon.

  22. I've been a huge fan of The Negotiator since I saw it in college.

  23. Key Largo was a classic as was Bogie and Bacall. I did not know Barrymore did his own stunts. Courageous man:)
    I hope you are feeling okay, today. Keep me posted on how you're doing.

  24. Escape from Iran might sound exciting but Ken Taylor took risks by the sounds of it taking in 6 Americans in Tehran of all places. If memory serves bad guys murder over there for kicks probably still do. At least he got them out, Taylor and the phony film crew but hey what a false front. It must have taken nerves of steel to pull that one off!

  25. Hi Birgit - I hope you feel easier soon ... I haven't seen these ... but one day I'll catch up. Take care - cheers Hilary

  26. I've seen Argo, of course, and loved it, but had no idea about the Canadian Caper.I need to see this. All involved in the rescue were true heroes. It's such a wonderful breath of fresh after the blowhards we have today.

  27. The only one I've seen is 39 Steps, but I had rented a very bad edition, not a remastered one, so it looked and sounded terrible thus could not enjoy it.