Thursday, December 5, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks-Adaptations

Major issues at work since my work amalgamated with the Toronto office. It's been crazy and now I can't seem to get to my blog and I hope the tech girl can make my personal Google chrome separate from work. I can't remember the password so problem #15. One reason I seemed to have dropped off plus Christmas decorating in the evening. Ok. So enough frustrations,  film adaptations is one huge theme that Wandering Through The Shelves chose and I went all 1930's here so let's see what I chose..


There are so many versions of this classic book that I wonder which version to use but I went with this great version and Katherine Hepburn as Jo is excellent. We know the story about a mom with 4 daughters who all try to live during the Civil War when their dad is gone to war. The neighbour helps out and so does their son, Laurie. Who decided to get a sex change operation because of his name....oops, sorry, wrong slant to the movie. Anyway poor guy stuck with this name loves Jo, Kate Hepburn, who wants more than just marriage and is an independent soul. Tge sisters all hope to find their own path even tragic Beth. One day I will try to watch all versions. 


I love this film which won Austrian actress Luise Rainer her second Oscar. She does a brilliant portrayal of this humble wife of a farmer played by Paul Muni  a huge actor of this era, and their life together. Now, it is a huge shame that Anna May Wong, a gifted Asian actress, could not play this role which would have been perfect for her. It is the sign of the times and the prejudice of the day but one should never bkast the actors who make the most out of this role. Luise gives an understated performance and you are drawn into her strength especially when she has a baby during the starving times and her panic when she is caught up in the mob looting a mansion. This is a film worth seeing.


I fell in love with Sir Larry Olivier as the tormented Heathcliffe who is an orphan living on the streets and is taken in by a kindly rich man. The man brings Heathcliffe home to meet his 2 kids, mean, nasty son and beautiful wild daughter. The daughter, Cathy, played by Merle Oberon, is a soul mate to Heathcliffe, and they galavant in the moors amongst the heather. One eve, they climb a tree to look into the stately mansion that is having a ball. Well, they are caught and Cathy is injured so is scared for by the son in this wealthy family. Poor gypsy Heathcliffe is tossed away and when Cathy decides to wed Edgar, Hesthcliffr sans her and takes off. The next time you see Heath, he is a wealthy but bitter man who takes over his former home and marries Edgar's sister Isabella. Of course Cathy is never far from his heart and vice versa. These 2 lovers are a poster for what not to do in a relationship and you do want to shake both of them. When I was a kid, I totally freaked out by the ending and my mom had to calm me down...yeah I don't know what was with me but this is true.

Sorry if there are issues with this post since I can't do all I want unless I can get on my blog from work. Anyway, what would be your 3...


  1. Sorry you haven't been able to get to your blog.
    Poster for what not to do - you nailed it.
    I'll have to go with the Lord of the Rings trilogy. One of the few times the movies were better than the books.

  2. Three good choices, but I would pick the Swedish versions of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. I think it popped into my head first because I am reading The Man who Played with Fire about Steig Larsen's investigation into the murder of Olof Palme, Sweden's PM in the 1980's. I also love The Lord of the Rings, but then I love the books and all of Tolkien's writings about Middle Earth.

  3. I've only seen later remakes of Little Women and Wurthering Heights but not these versions. I like the LW one with Winona Ryder just because that's what I grew up watch. I'm looking forward to the new one sans Emma Watson.

  4. Great choices!

    This version of Little Women wears on me a bit. Hepburn is good but a bit over emphatic (if I had to listen to her proclaim Christopher Columbus one more time I would have screamed!) But ultimately a decent take, I like both the Winona version and the Technicolor 40's one (though the 32 year old June Allyson as Jo is stretching it!) Did you know MGM had planned a musical version with Judy Garland as Jo and Deanna Durbin as Meg? I would have been a dream but it fell through when Universal wouldn't even consider loaning out their golden goose Deanna.

    I find The Good Earth frustrating and Paul Muni rather bad (I much prefer him in his modern dress roles but he loved the makeup) however the one bright shining light of the film is Luise Rainer. She didn't deserve her Oscar for the previous year's The Great Ziegfeld but absolutely does here. She's heartbreaking.

    LOVE this version of Wuthering Heights. Olivier is at the height of his masculine beauty and his intensity is a marvel. Merle is likewise gorgeous and this is her best onscreen work bar none. The entire film is sumptuous and impressive. I've never seen another version that is its equal.

    Such a huge pool of choices so I did a mini theme within the theme and chose three Steinbeck adaptations.

    The Moon is Down (1943)-During WWII a Norwegian mining town falls under Nazi domination because of its strategic location. The commandant attempts to bring the townspeople to his mindset through gentle persuasion, instead the citizenry form a clandestine underground to combat the enemy.

    Of Mice and Men (1939)-Two migrant workers, the clever George (Burgess Meredith) and the strong but feeble minded Lenny (an exceptional Lon Chaney, Jr.) drift through Depression era California relying on each other’s friendship to get them by until a turn of events leads to tragedy.

    The Wayward Bus (1957)-In a remote California backwater a collection of downtrodden people-chief among them hard luck bubble dancer Camille (Jayne Mansfield), traveling salesman Ernest (Dan Dailey), bus driver Johnny Chicoy (Rick Jason) and his insecure alcoholic wife Alice (Joan Collins) embark what starts as a routine bus trip but ends up being a journey of discovery both good and bad.

  5. Hi Birgit - I hope you can get blogland sorted out and start functioning easily again - mergers of any sort are difficult. What I like about you posts - they always attract other equally knowledgeable film buffs - just love knowing what I've missed ... definitely ones to catch up with sometime ... cheers Hilary

  6. Wuthering Heights is the only I'm familiar with but I only read the novel.

  7. I've never seen any of these, but have heard of two of them. I'm not much for love stories, but I enjoyed reading your synopses.

    I feel for you and your work situation. I've been caught in one of those, too. Not much fun. It's hard when a new company comes in with their people who have ideas very different from your own company's ideas and beliefs.

  8. Ah, the joys of technology. So many things that can go wrong...

    Did you hear they're doing a new Little Women? It's coming out in a week or two. I believe I've read all these books, but I haven't seen the adaptations.

  9. Little Women sure has been remade a 100 times over. That and War of the Worlds seem to be ones they go to and go to. Mergers are sure a pain in the butt too.

  10. That sure is an old version of Little Women

  11. I haven't seen any of these but the Little Women film from the 1990's is a favorite. Good luck with the decorating and the passwords. Hugs-Erika

  12. Oh, now let's see...

    Stand by Me, of course
    LOTR - though I disagree with Alex, the books are better; Jackson's mistake with the Hobbit movies was straying too far from the source material
    Philadelphia Story (plays count, right?)
    Brief Encounter
    12 Angry Men
    Wizard of Oz

  13. I have yet to see the last 2 movies. As for Little Women, I've seen them all, unless there's a silent version. Have you seen the 1950s version with June Allyson as Jo and Peter Lawford as Laurie? I even like that version.

  14. BIRGIT ~
    Good film topic!

    My top two choices both happen to be adaptations of JOHN STEINBECK novels:

    1) 'EAST OF EDEN' - Primarily because James Dean gave the greatest performance I have ever seen recorded on film. His inventiveness was simply "completely-off-the-charts!!!" However, one needs to have a thorough understanding of what sorts of things get written into a screenplay, and what sorts of things the actor / actress adds to the character, in order to fully understand what amazing things James Dean brought to the character of 'Cal Trask'.

    2) 'TORTILLA FLAT' - Like 'East Of Eden', the movie is actually BETTER than the famous Steinbeck novels they were based upon. One of my Top 10 favorite movies of all time! When Spencer Tracy gives the "weakest" performance in the movie, how *GREAT* is the movie?!?!

    The amazing character actor, Frank Morgan, is even more amazing than usual. And this movie has it all: fantastic performances of unforgettable characters; pathos and laugh-out-loud humor, and a collection of wonderful dogs with wonderful names. ...No! Correction: Not one of my 'Top 10' favorite movies! DEFINITELY 'Top 5'.

    3) 'THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING' - Adapted from an 1888 Rudyard Kipling story, this is one of the very greatest Adventure movies ever made, starring Michael Caine and Sean Connery. I'm not even a fan of the 'Adventure' genre, generally, but I own this movie (first saw it when it was playing in the theatres in 1975) and I'll bet I've watched it at least 15 times, and maybe even 20! The very definition of 'EPIC!' & 'FANTASTIC'!!

    ~ Stephen
    DogGtor of Alcohology &
    King of Inebriation Nation

  15. Not to mention the movie Adaptation.

  16. Hi sis, I have not seen any of the three films you identified but the following three do come to mind for me... The Godfather. I remember reading the book when I was about 12 years old. I could not put it down and the movie is equally hard to tear yourself away from. Second is Apocalypse Now which is loosely adapted from (or inspired by) Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. And the third would be Disney's The Jungle Book, adapted from the classic Rudyard Kipling book. This is still my all-time favourite Disney movie.

  17. Hope your computer problems are sorted. I never saw any of these films, Little Women was a book I could never get into - maybe I should try again now I am older - The Good Earth I read and I saw a more modern Wuthering Heights and didn't much like that either. I agree with Alex's comments about Lord of the Rings.

  18. I do hope that work gets sorted for you soon! It's no fun at all, feeling unorganized. As usual, I have not seen any of these movies. I know where to go when I need a suggestion though - so keep 'em coming!
    Have a great rest of your week,