Thursday, December 2, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks: Oscar Edition-Best Foreign Film

 


December 1st and I am thinking Christmas is 4 months away not 3 weeks. I am decorating but taking it easy. If you read my previous post, you will know I got great news and I don't have cancer. I figured I didn't, but was glad to hear it none the less. Now, Wandering Through The Shelves has Best Foreign Film for the theme this week and I am wondering how many have seen some foreign films. Well...off we go.

1. 8 1/2-1963 (ITALY)


This is a true classic and worthy of its fame as a great film even if it is not one of my favourites. I get the reasons for its fame from the great acting to the cinematography but the Avant-Garde film needs several viewing from me to understand it. Frederico Fellini created this work based on his own life and he ended up loving this film he created.  I love Marcello Mastroianni and he is great here as a director having "director's block". He is making a film but can't seem to get it together and between the film people coming after him plus his wife and mistress, he can't seem to get it together. In between this, he sees his perfect female star in his head but then brought to life when he actually sees her. Anyway, I should see this film again and see if I like it better than the first time. 

2. CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN TIGER-2000(TAIWAN)


Taiwan got the Oscar but it was an International co-production between Taiwan, China, The U.S. and  Hong Kong. It was filmed all over China and the locales are stunning, even the desert locale. This film takes on a mystical role but it is also a love story between the 2 young loves who are passionate and the older couple who share a deep love but they prevent themselves from taking the passionate route for reasons you find out in the film. The stunt work was done by the actors and there was no CGI except to get rid of the wires holding the actors up (for example, when they fight in the trees). A warrior wishes to retire and he asks the woman he loves, also a warrior to bring his sword to their benefactor. When back at the benefatcor's place, she meets the young Jen who is unhappy in her life. The sword is stolen and off goes the female warrior to reclaim it. There is a lot more to this poetic film directed by Ang Lee. I am not giving the film justice from my written words so please have a look at the film and see if you are not transfixed.

3. THE LIVES OF OTHERS-2006 (GERMANY)


I came across this film one evening and was transfixed by how intelligently written and directed it was. It takes place in the 1980s, when there was still an East Germany run by the Communist regime. At that time, everyone was watching everyone else and fear of being sent to the Gulag was very real. The "hero" of the film is a famous writer who holds opposing views to the Communist regime. The Staazi (secret police) can't take him away as it would cause an international incident. They decide to bug his place and see if they can't get something concrete on him. The hero is having a relationship with a well known actress and the secret police listen to everything. The head of this police starts listening more and more and develops a close bond with this couple even though they have never met. It gets to the point where this police man wants to help them and not have them disappear. I hope you get to see this well acted film that truly brings out what it was like in East Germany when the Communists were in power. Just so you know, my great Aunt still lived in Wittenberg (a mile south of Berlin) and she had to request the government for a fridge. She had to prove that a 70+ year old lady with bad legs needed a fridge. It took 7 years of bureaucratic crap for her to finally be approved to have one. 

So...know any foreign films? Let me know. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

First of Advent was this past Sunday so....

 


I have very good news...no cancer! I saw my Dr. last Friday and I got that great news plus she said I am healing well. I am still happy it is out because, apparently, I had numerous cysts (small) on my ovaries and uterus as well as numerous fibroid tumours (also small) plus my uterus was a little inflamed..reason? Who knows, but this is all history now and I have reason to celebrate. I did put, what you see in the picture, up on Sunday but did it in stages and I could feel the pain, although not like it was, so I stopped. I make sure to stop for quite a while before continuing and I am not doing as much as I would do normally in a day.

I thank my mom for bringing Christmas to me, my brother and especially my dad, who said that many times. Her German traditions, carried through from her mom and her mom before her, etc.. just fills me with Gemutlichkeit (say that 10 times fast). I can't think of a good English word that fits because it would encompass more than just cosy, warm, family, heartfelt...all those words plus. In fact, many of my friends love coming to my home because they feel so Christmassy and that makes me happy. 

That being said, I am starting Christmas music, but slowly here and hope you enjoy it.

1. I BELIEVE IN FATHER CHRISTMAS BY EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER-1975


I first heard this just a few years ago on a rock station and immediately fell in love with it. I missed who did the song and heard it again making sure to mark it down. It is not so much a warm and fuzzy one because they were just upset by the commercialism that was taking hold during the holiday season (What about now!?). I just spoke to my friend V.J. who hates Christmas....I make sure to drag him into the Christmas store in Niagara On The Lake every time we go there. When I hear him talk, it is almost always about how commercial Christmas is and I can't argue with him how horrible it is. It used to be, here in Canada, that the Christmas ads and stuff would not show up until after Remembrance Day (Nov. 11th) but now Christmas competes with Halloween which is just disgusting. We even hear about this in the film "Miracle on 34th St" (the original and best version) and "Santa Claus is Coming To Town" (at the end of the show). Christmas is a state of mind and we have to avoid the malls and the negativity and enjoy what we can bring into our hearts. By the way, V.J. even loved my decorations and said I have done it very tastefully. He has bought a poinsettia too!

2. A CHRISTMAS SONG BY JETHRO TULL-1968


Yes, I do like some of Jethro Tull's songs and this is one of them. Once again, it is about what people forget..it's not about stuff or stuffing your faces but about helping people in need and remembering that it is not in what we get but in what we give. Gosh I sound so corny and just blecchy. Even I may want to throw up in my mouth a little...no, I don't want to do that as it brings back memories of my fun days from the 80s and 90s (a little less in the 90s).

3. IN THE QUIET OF CHRISTMAS MORNING BY THE MOODY BLUES-2003


I love the Moody Blues and yet, I had no idea they came out with a Christmas album but I was going through a separation that year so I will blame it on that. I want to thank Cathy over at her blog, Curious as a Cathy to have the album on her playlist. If you want to check it out, just head on over to her blog. I really love the way the Moody Blues took Bach's famous piece and made it their own in this Christmas song. Too bad that Ray Thomas had to leave the group due to illness but they still sound great. 

Here is a bonus...

4. BLUE CHRISTMAS SUNG BY PORKY PIG-1985


When I first heard this I fell over from laughing so hard. I found out it was done by Denny Baumlee who had to call this Seymour Swine and the Squeelers because of laws but we all know it is good ole Porky. It really does sound like it is done at some party. I hope you get a kick out of it. 

What Christmas songs come into your head, Rock N' Roll wise? 

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Girl's Week 2021

 


The final post for this adventure into Gals and the movies hosted by Dell on Movies. You can write about any gal whether she is/was an actress, director, producer, writer etc... I stuck with actresses and here is another great film by another great actress.

HEAVEN KNOWS, MR. ALLISON-1957 WITH DEBORAH KERR (SEPT. 30, 1921-OCT. 16, 2007)


I first saw this film when I was, maybe 10 years old, and loved it right from that time. I re-watched it only 2 years ago and I still love it. I love her in so many films that it was a close call between this one, "Black Narcissus", "The King and I " and "The Innocents" but I went for a sentimental favourite. The film takes place on a small island during the war when a marine and a nun are left stranded on the island. He is rough inside and outside the edges and she is pristine, ladylike, wary and, well, a nun. They are learning about each other when the Japanese land onto the island and they must hide out. During this time, they get closer and develop a fondness for one another until he gets drunk and states how much he loves her. Let's just say she lets him down by stating is married to God (ughh) and believes in this. When he frightens her making her run out into the rain, she becomes quite ill. Sober and repentant (he is a gentleman always, just so you know), he knows he must try to secure medicine to help her.  You can tell the stars got on famously with one another and have a great rapport from watching this film and the others they made together (4 if you count the TV movie, "Reunion At Fairborough"). Once again, Kerr can shine as a woman even behind the nun just like she did in "Black Narcissus". She can show a coolness with emotion, love even when she hates and strength even when afraid. It is an excellent film as I have said about all the movies I talked about this past week. She was nominated for an Oscar for this film-her 4th.

When making this film, Robert Mitchum believed what Deborah Kerr showed on screen-High-bred and patrician, but that was proven wrong. When John Huston (the director) kept telling her to row faster, she broke the oar in half and yelled back to him, "Is that F&$%# fast enough for you?" Mitchum, who was wading in the water, took in a lot of water from laughing so much. From that moment on, they became great friends.

She has, also, never won an Oscar even though she was nominated 6 times which is a bloody shame since she is a much better actress than Meryl ( Oooh, she picked her nose, let's give her an Oscar) Streep. Kerr did receive an Honorary Oscar and got the longest standing ovation that anyone got when they received that specific award.

She was born in Glasgow, Scotland and is known for her delicate beauty with green eyes and red hair plus her fine way of diction and walking (courtesy of her Aunt who helped her get into film). This belied a steely strength that she brought to many film roles. 

She did start with Ballet training and was wanting to go professional but was drawn to acting and made it big pretty quickly in Britain. 

She had a younger brother, Ted Trimmer, who died in 2004 at 78, because of road rage! Apparently, he went out to mail a letter and where he parked his car, the defendant got out of his car and punched him out. When Ted fell to the ground he hit his head which caused his death. The man was found and sentenced. It could have been about Ted's car slightly clipping the defendant's car or taking the parking spot the defendant thought he should have had. 

She worked with Marni Nixon, on 2 occasions, most famously on "The King & I". Marni Nixon was the singing "non-star" to the stars and is only recently becoming known for her contribution to film. Anyway, they became friends while working on the above stated film and enjoyed their rapport with one another. 

She was married twice. The first husband couldn't take her stardom and financial success. The second lasted until she died, from Parkinson's and he died 5 weeks later, from cancer. 

She had affairs with Michael Powell (famous for his pairing with Emeric Pressburger who were producers, directors and writers for their films), Stewart Granger and Burt Lancaster. Powell and Granger stated they had an affair with her in their autobiographies but it seemed well known that she did carry on an affair with Burt Lancaster while they made "From Here To Eternity". 

She was the patron of the National Society of Clean Air and Environmental Protection on Britain from 1992 until her death. 

Other Films:

MAJOR BARBARA (1941)

THE DAY WILL DAWN (1942)

THE LIFE & DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (1943)

BLACK NARCISSUS (1947)

THE HUCKSTERS (1947)

EDWARD, MY SON (1949)-her first Oscar Nomination

KING SOLOMON'S MINES (1950)

QUO VADIS (1951)

FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953)- The famous scene where she and Burt Lancaster make out on the beach comes from this film. Often parodied. 2nd Nomination.

THE PROUD AND THE PROFANE (1956)

THE KING & I (1956)- 3rd Nomination

TEA & SYMPATHY (1956)

AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER (1957)-remake of "Love Affair" and remade, again, as "Sleepless in Seattle"

SEPARATE TABLES (1958)- 5th Nomination

THE SUNDOWNERS (1960)- 6th nomination

THE GRASS IS GREENER (1960)

THE INNOCENTS (1961)

THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA (1964)

PRUDENCE & THE PILL (1968)



Saturday, November 27, 2021

Girl's Week 2021

 


Whew, I have not posted this much in eons, maybe when dinosaurs roamed the earth before they perished by smoking cigarettes (Don't believe me? Look up the Gary Larson Far side Cartoon). Anyway, Dell on Movies has a great week, almost ending which features gals on, in or behind film. So, without further adieu, here is my next film with a stellar gal.

PENNY SERENADE-1941 WITH IRENE DUNNE (DEC. 20, 1898-SEPT. 4, 1990


Irene Dunne is looking around her home knowing her marriage has ended with Cary Grant. She looks at the turntable and decides to play some records that remind her of happier times. We flash back to when they first met, marry and find out she is pregnant(when they are living in Japan) before an earthquake hits leading to a miscarriage and her inability to have kids (really, is that such a loss?? I know mothers out there hate me). A little while later, she considers adoption which Cary is not happy about but is soon convinced when they meet the little girl who captures his heart. They are awarded the baby but have no clue how to even change a diaper (quite a funny scene). You wonder how did this amazing family break apart? I am usually not one for melodrama hi-jinks or romance like what is on the Women's Network (It's Christmas romances over there) but this film is raised way above the bar by the acting chops of Grant and Irene Dunne. Both excelled in drama and comedy and it shows in this film that left me with a few tears. I find this film seems to have more maturity than others from the time period but I also believe it was due to showcasing Dunne in one of her best roles. Once again, I have to see more pictures from this amazing lady.

Irene Dunne was a triple threat-excellent in drama, comedy and musicals because of her great operatic soprano voice (even though the Met didn't hire her due to her youth and what they felt was a thin voice). Ms. Dunne was known as the First Lady of Hollywood and, I think much better than Meryl (scratches her ass so give her an Oscar) Streep. Irene Dunne was nominated 5 times but never won an Oscar nor did she ever get an Honorary Oscar..stumps me.

She was known for her poise and graciousness, always friendly and approachable to everyone on the set. She was also known for her stylish and well-dressed manner often dressed by Jean-Louis.

She met her husband, a dentist, and they married in 1927 and stayed happily married until he passed away in 1965. The tabloids and Gossip Columnists of the day (Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons) would try and dig up something but to no avail. 

When she was making "A Guy Named Joe", Spencer Tracy tried every way to have his way with Miss. Dunne who would have none of that. Yeah, he was already involved with Katherine Hepburn and, no, he never divorced his wife.

She was an avid Republican who campaigned for Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan. She did state she  never liked "Extremism in any case" which is why she disliked Goldwater. "The extreme Rights do as much harm as the extreme Lefts."

She always strove for submissive women to become more independent and to have their own voice (yeas, even in the 1950s).

She became a board member for Technicolour in 1965-the first woman ever elected to the board of directors.

Her last film was in 1952 and, afterwards, she did TV spots until 1962 but she was very active in many charities. She donated $10,000 in 1976 to restore the town fountain of Madison, Indiana where she grew up. She donated her time, money and efforts to the Sister Kenny Foundation, American Cancer Foundation, American Red Cross, She established the African-American school in Los Angeles and  gave much to St. John's Hospital where they presented a bust of Irene Dunne for all she did for them. She also helped UNICEF & the World Health Organisation. 

Eisenhower made her a delegate to the United nations where she advocated for World Peace as well as refugee-relief programs. She asked the delegation for 21 million to help the Palestinian refugees.

Other Films

CIMARRON (1931)-First Oscar Nomination

BACK STREET (1932)

SHOWBOAT (1935)

THEODORA GOES WILD (1936)-2nd Nomination

THE AWFUL TRUTH (1937)- 3rd Nomination

LOVE AFFAIR (1939)- 4th Nomination remade twice-An Affair to Remember & Sleepless in Seattle

MY FAVOURITE WIFE (1940)

A GUY NAMED JOE (1943)

THE WHITE CLIFF OF DOVER (1944)

ANNA & THE KING OF SIAM (1946)- remade as The King & I

LIFE WITH FATHER (1947)

I REMEMBER MAMA (1948)- 5th Nomination


Friday, November 26, 2021

Girl Week 2021

 


This whole, full week (ends Sunday) is all about the gals who were important in film whether they are actresses, directors, writers, etc... Dell on Movies is the originator and host of this blogfest and I hope you check out more who are participating. Here is my next entry...

GASLIGHT-1944 WITH INGRID BERGMAN (AUG. 29, 1915- AUG. 29, 1982)



Ingrid Bergman won the Oscar for this role as a woman who feels she is losing her sanity. Her husband, The "man with the bedroom eyes", Charles Boyer is becoming less and less patient with her when she describes the gaslit lamps in the home grow dim at a certain time in the evening and that she hears someone in the attic even though it has been boarded up for years. She meets a young man, played by Joseph Cotton, who seems genuinely interested in her but is he real? The young maid, played to slut like quality by Angela Lansbury just adds to Ingrid's horrible life. We find out that she was swept up off her feet by the charming and dashing Boyer (never trust charm as we must purposely use it. It is not inwardly innate...think of all the sales people out there) becoming husband and wife and moving into her late Aunt's home but soon things started to change for her. Ingrid could play the quivering, fearful woman and a young, naive but sure of herself gal all in one film. I am unsure who else could have played this character as I could never see Betty Davis, Katherine Hepburn or Joan Crawford in the role as they would have eaten Boyer for breakfast and then dug out the remains with a toothpick from their teeth. Bergman brings it and more, to me anyway. Bergman actually went to a mental institution and studied one woman, in particular,  taking her mannerisms for her role. Gaslighting is now meant as a form of abuse which many people have experienced or seen others go through this abusive treatment. I bet it happens more than we think.

Ingrid Bergman lost both her parents by the time she was 13 years old. Her mom, who was German, died when Ingrid was about 2 1/2 yrs old and her beloved father when she was 13. She was sent to live with an Aunt and Uncle and would live in Sweden but summer in Germany. The loss of both parents might be why she often fell head of heels in love with many of her co-stars.

She was first married to Petter Lindstrom and had a daughter, Pia but, while married had many affairs like Spencer Tracy, Gregory Peck (Hell, I'd be tempted!..tempted!), Gary Cooper and Robert Capa who was a famous Life Photographer and landed on D-Day with the troops risking his life to take some very famous pictures. Actually, Hitchcock, who also was smitten with her (many male stars were) used her Affair with Capa as the romantic basis for "Rear Window."

When she came over from Sweden to star in the Hollywood version of "Intermezzo", the studio and David O'Selznick wanted to change her hair, her eyebrows and cap her teeth. She told them where to go and would be on the next boat home but, thankfully, they relented. At that time many actresses dyed their hair, plucked all their brows into arched ones and the teeth would all get done (just like now). They could do nothing about her height which was 5' 10" so most of her male co-stars had to stand on boxes and she had to wear flats or go barefoot. One she was happy that she did not have to do this with was Gary Cooper. 

She won 3 Oscars and is matched by Frances McDormand and Meryl (raise and eyebrow and win an Oscar) Streep and surpassed by Katherine Hepburn who won 4. Ingrid also won a Tony and 2 Emmy's.

Ingrid spoke 5 languages fluently-Swedish, German, English, French and Italian. When films were dubbed, she did her own. She always wanted to be an actress which her father indulged her in often taking many photos of her. She is beloved around the world and often chosen as one of the best actresses ever (I found out there is a German magazine that ranked her #1 and Sean Connery #1 for men. The name..."Funk Uhr"..hahahaaa Say that 10 times fast.).

When she started out in films, she got a contract to make 4 German films. Not taking the political climate seriously, naive/dumb, whatever you want to call it, she made 1 film, "The Four Companions" but while filming she realized the true climate and that you had to be a member of the Nazi Party if you wanted to get ahead. She left and did not return feeling guilty all her life for not taking the political climate more seriously. 

By the late 40s, after appearing as a nun in one film and Joan of Arc in another, with her wholesome looks, most Americans thought of her as almost saintly. Ingrid saw the film "Rome, Open City" directed by Roberto Rossellini, she was so moved by the film that she wrote a fan letter to the director who wrote back inviting her to Italy. Whoops! They started an affair resulting in a pregnancy which spread like wildfire all over the world. Her native country of Sweden denounced her and the States were so revolted by her indecency that she was denounced in the Senate, by an idiot, as a "powerful influence for evil." She did not return to the states, being in self-exile, until 1956 when she won her 2nd Oscar for "Anastasia." Unfortunately, her husband would not allow her to see her daughter Pia even though Ingrid would often be gone for film shoots and other occasions. Pia never blamed her mother and helped her in later years when she became ill with cancer. 

Ingrid had her son(named after daddy) with Roberto and twin daughters, Isotta and Isabella Rossellini who is, herself, an accomplished actress and former model.

There are a few things named after Ingrid Bergman including a Ferrari, a rose and a song, written by Woody Guthrie who was a big fan. If you want to listen to it, here it is



Other Films:

Intermezzo (1936)-Swedish film that made her famous

En Kvinnas Ansikte (1938)- "A Woman's Face" remade in 1941 with Joan Crawford.

Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939) - Brought her here to Hollywood

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1941)

Casablanca (1942)

For Whom The Bell Tolls (1943)

Spellbound (1945)

The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)

Notorious (1946)

Arch of Triumph (1948)

Joan of Arc (1948)

Stromboli (1950)

Anastasia (1956)

Indiscreet (1958)

Cactus Flower (1969)- Goldie Hawn won an Oscar in this film

Murder on The Orient Express (1974)- won her 3rd Oscar

Autumn Sonata (1978)

A Woman Called Golda (1982)-TV movie. Won Emmy posthumously. Excellent movie about Golda Meir which I wish to watch again through adult eyes.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Girl's Week 2021

 


Dell on Movies has a great blog adventure going on this week. It is all about women and film and can be actresses, directors, costumers etc... It is a lot of fun learning about films out there with women as the main focus. Here is my next film...

HIGH SIERRA-1941 CO-STARRING IDA LUPINO (FEB. 4, 1918-AUG. 3, 1995)


This is a landmark film for Humphrey Bogart and John Huston who co-wrote the screenplay because Bogart usually played the heavy in most films or a second lead and Huston was finally able to direct a picture (turned out to be The Maltese Falcon). Not to be outdone is Ida Lupino who was riding high from her previous picture so was billed above Bogart (much to Bogie's chagrin). Bogart is asked by his former "boss' to do a final robbery which goes bad and sends him on the lam with the police and media in hot pursuit. He meets Marie (Lupino) and hooks up with her but shucks her aside because he doesn't want her to get hurt. He meets another gal, who has a club foot, and pays for her surgery, only to be discarded by this lass. Marie is true blue to the end with Roy Earle (Bogie) finally learning this. Bogart became a huge star with this film because he made the criminal sympathetic and Ida Lupino is strong and almost steals the scenes from Bogie (again, much to his chagrin) because she can convey so much with the time she has on the big screen. This is a classic film and one I will see again. To be honest, I wish I have seen more films with Ida Lupino because she always grabbed my attention. She did not get on well with Bogart who was often sarcastic with her on set and she refused to work with him again. 

Ida is not only known for her acting, in film and TV but she was a leading director, writer and producer. She directed many films in the late 40s and early 50s that were social causes especially about women dealing with such taboo subjects as rape and bigomy. Later, she directed many TV shows including one of my favourite episodes from "The Twilight Zone" called "The Masks"


This episode takes place during Mardi Gras where the selfish family of an elderly man come to see him hoping the old man will die so they can get a hold of his wealth. I recall seeing this when I was young and being enthralled with  the story. I watched it last year, again, and still had the same feeling. It is well acted but also well directed by Ida Lupino and this episode is considered one of Twilight Zone's best.

Ida Lupino comes from a Theatre/acting dynasty well known in England where she was born and raised. Her mom, Connie O'Shea, was an actress and famous tap dancer and her dad was Stanley Lupino, a major music hall sensation. Her uncle was famous and many other in the Lupino clan from the past were very famous. Many famous people from George Bernard Shaw to Noel Coward would frequent their home. Their home was always open to guests even when they served cocktails at 3 in the morning.

Ida contracted polio in 1934 but fully recovered. She made sure to always donate money to polio research. The film, "Never Fear" (1949) is loosely based on her life with polio. During the time she was convalescing, she wrote short stories, children's books and composed music. One of them, "Aladdin's Suite" was performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. She credits getting polio for having her find the impetus for intellectual pursuits rather than relying on her physical beauty. 

She also suffered with alopecia, this is a condition where all your hair falls out....everywhere. She felt it was due to dying her hair (not everywhere, she wasn't Jean Harlow) and using the old ways to style her hair that made it fall out. This occurred in the late 1930s so, afterwards, she had to rely on wigs (obviously).

She often fought with Warner Bros (she had to stand in line) for better roles since she kept getting roles that Bette Davis turned down. She called herself "the poor man's Bette Davis." She was often placed on suspension by the studio (many were)

With her second husband, Collier Young, they started a production company and she started to direct films and write or co-write them as well. 

The film called "Not Wanted" is directed by Ida even though you see Elmer Clifton as the director. Just before filming was to start, he suffered a heart attack so she stepped in and directed the picture. She asked for no screen credit so as not to take it away from Clifton but she was not part of the Directors Guild of America which also may have played a part. 

She began an affair with Howard Duff (an actor) before divorcing Young and her daughter, Bridget, was born 6 months later. As my dad used to say, "The first baby comes any time, the second one takes 9 months." This union lasted until 1984 when they officially divorced but they were well known for their legendary fights. Many reporters (before Paparazzi was coined-thank you Fellini) would follow them around to get juicy bits. One time, Ida Lupino and David Niven, came to, I think The Coconut Grove, for dinner. About 15 min. later Howard Duff was escorting David Niven's wife into the restaurant. When they saw each other, Duff bellowed to Niven to stand up and come to him. Niven did and after looking at each other, they gave each other a kiss on the lips and started dancing together! The reporters were quite disappointed but the Duffs and Nivens had a ball and proceeded to dine together. 

Later in life, Howard Duff left Ida in the early 70s and her only child, Bridget, would not speak with her (no idea why). She did act in tv shows but no longer directed. She became reclusive and an alcoholic. Thankfully, she did meet someone who helped her get her bills sorted out as well as her mansion and her daughter came back near the end of Ida's life. 

I have to see more of her films one day both as an actress and as a director.

Films she acted in:

Peter Ibbetson (1935)

The Adventures of Shelock Holmes (1939)

They Drive By Night (1940)- her break-out role

The Sea Wolf (1941)

Out Of The Fog (1941)

The Hard Way (1943)

Beware, My Lovely (1952)

The Bigamist (1953)-She directed this one too.

Women's Prison (1955)

As Director:

Not Wanted (1949) not credited as director. Co-wrote screenplay. Producer

Never Fear (1950) - wrote the screenplay too. Also Producer

Outrage (1950) - wrote screenplay

Hard, Fast & Beautiful (1951)

The Hitch-Hiker (1953) - wrote screen play. This is a must see for me-First woman director to film a Noir picture

The Bigamist (1953) - She also starred in this.

I also love that she directed 3 Gilligan Island episodes (I think she was not fond of this type of directing) with 2 as my favourites-"Wrongway Feldman" starring Hans Conried as a famous but lost pilot who keeps going the wrong way. The other is "The Producer" starring Phil Silvers as an egomaniac film director giving the castaways the need to put on a musical Hamlet. 

Thursday Movie Picks: TV Edition- Mysteries

 


Every day is a bit better and Friday I see my Doctor to get my results from the biopsy and to see how I am doing. You can look at my next post which is all about Girl's Week too...if you want :) Wandering Through The Shelves picked a biggie this week because it's all about TV mystery shows and I narrowed it down to not choosing cop or PI shows. I know my mom loved all of these shows. I hope she brings this back next year. Also, are you just as gob-smacked (Love that word) as me that it is the end of November!? OK, here are my 4 picks because, I lied and chose one cop show.

1. QUINCY, M. E. -1976-1983


Jack Klugman stars as a Forensic Pathologist (medical examiner) who must look at all the dead bodies brought into his lab. He talks to the cops, often at odds with him, that it is not an accident or suicide but possible murder. The inept cops bellow as Quincy goes to crime scenes, talks to suspects etc.. you know, doing their job and he is not doing his but all is ok because he has trusty Kato..oops...I mean, Sam Fujiyama (played by the wonderful Robert Ito), to hold down the fort as he goes looking for more clues. This is actually a fun show well acted by the cast and is a precursor to all the CSI shows that came on much, much later. 

2. MURDER, SHE WROTE-1984-1996


Tell me, if you saw Angela Lansbury coming towards you would you run in the other direction? She played Jessica Fletcher for 12 seasons (and a few TV movies afterwards) as a mystery writer for a penchant in solving real crimes. That little town of Cabot Cove is the murder capital of the world since anywhere Jessica goes a murder is sure to follow. She could always deduce who the killer was by finding the right details and having an excellent memory. Many detectives and cops would, initially, be bothered by her meddling ways (no relation to Scooby-Doo) but they would always ask her for help near the end or, at least, be willing to listen. This was such an excellent show that it was still in top form when it got abruptly cancelled angering Angela Lansbury, quite rightly, for the network wanting to go more youthful. Actually, Angela Lansbury helped many old actors and actresses by giving them parts on her show when they could not find work including many people who worked behind the scenes. James Coburn, after he got Rheumatoid Arthritis and could not find work, after he "got better" (he went totally naturalpathic and stated it helped more than any drugs the doctors gave him). Angela gave him a part in one of her shows and this revitalized his career where he won an Oscar later on. He never forgot what she did for him as well as many others. Angela is still working at 96 years old.

3. MATLOCK-1986-1995


My mom loved this show because she loved courtroom dramas. I actually think this show was somewhat based on the short-lived, but acclaimed, Jimmy Stewart TV Show called Hawkins. Andy Griffith, without an Opie anywhere, plays Ben Matlock an expensive defence attorney who loves hot dogs and wears the same old suit. He is ably supported by his daughter (in the first season) and a PI who works for Matlock. He is hired, sometimes he gets the money, often he works for pro-bono or a much less rate, for a person falsely accused of murder. He sets about getting the evidence needed to help find reasonable doubt with the jury. It usually ends up that he secures the real killer while he is cross examining the culprit. If only it would be this easy. This is an enjoyable show with Griffith clearly the star shining as the folksy country lawyer. Later on, Don Knotts shows up and becomes a semi regular which is fun because those 2 worked so well together from the Andy Griffth Show to this one.

OK...Here I broke my rule and am showcasing a cop show that I love...

4. UNFORGOTTEN-2015-PRESENT


This is an amazing British TV show starring Nicola Walker as the head detective who gets called in for "bodies" that get turned up. Her right hand man is played by Sanjeev Bhaskar, a wonderful actor who knows, instinctively, what his boss needs. Her team start investigating by first trying to find out who the person was. We also meet the 3 or 4 suspects as they go about their daily lives. There are only about 6 episodes, per season, which sucks because I always want more! You find out the lives of each suspect and they are well rounded people with lives but are haunted by their past and all are, somehow, connected. You also learn about the head detective, her son and her dad plus the growing strain the job has on her. Let me tell you, it leaves you riveted and the third season still gives me chills.

Which TV mystery come to your mind? 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Girl Week 2021

 


I have a double whammy today with this post and my music post but this happens few and far between. Dell on Movies has a great blog week showcasing women and film. You can choose an actress, director, producer, writer etc... who have been great with a film. Here is my next choice...


THE THIN MAN-1934 WITH MYRNA LOY (AUG. 2, 1905-DEC. 14, 1993)

The Thin Man was almost the start ( They made one film prior to this one)of a beautiful relationship (on screen) with William Powell. They made 14 pictures together and 5 as Nick and Nora Charles, the sleuthing married couple where he married a gal with money and she married a man who is an expert sleuth and she is no slouch either. He also loves his drinks and she can match him even if she ends up on the floor. To make everything perfect, they own a great dog, named Asta (actually, Skippy was his real name), who often stole many scenes and became a star himself.

This film, that started it all, has Nick and Nora trying to figure out what happened to Nick's old client from his P.I. days. Soon bodies start piling up just like the drinks and who can blame them because a good stiff drink is often what is needed. Woody, "One Take" S. Dyke was the director who felt the first take was often the best so the actors had to keep on their toes with him and this helped the speed of this film. This film finally broke Myrna out of her typecast roles as some Oriental or Eurasion vamp. Myrna and William bantered back and forth just like a regular couple and they played their roles to the hilt. Myrna was excellent as an heiress who can match any man while wearing something beautiful. This film is worth a look for sure.

She was voted the Queen of Hollywood alongside Clark Gable who was voted The King. 

She was often cast as vampish Orientals or Eurasian natives because of her eyes and high cheekbones but her ancestry is English, Scottish and Swedish.

She was later always considered the quintessential lady/wife in her films(post Vamp) matched 14 times with William Powell, 5 of them were Thin Man films.

She was married 4 times and rumoured to have had an affair with Spencer Tracy (who didn't?) in the mid 30s. Poor gal didn't have much luck with men..one of her husbands was the founder of Hertz rent-a-car. 

Gangster John Dillinger, a big fan of Myrna Loy, came out of hiding to see "Manhattan Melodrama" (1934) and was shot to death outside the theatre in Chicago by the police.

She modeled for the figure "Inspiration" for the Fountain of Education at Venice High School in Los Angeles. Over the years, the elements and much vandalism resulted in a fence being erected and the actual sculpture being removed and a duplicate bronze one installed. I don't know what they did with the original.

She served tirelessly for the Red Cross during World War 2 and was a member at large for the U. S. Commission  to UNESCO. She openly spoke against Hitler (this was frowned upon by the studio as they never wanted their stars to be political for fear of losing money) which resulted in her films being banned from Germany and ended up on Hitler's black list. I bet she considered that an honour. She was an avid democrat speaking for FDR and, later, JFK and was an open spokesperson for Civil Rights. She really hated how African Americans were treated and shown in the cinemas. "Why does every black person in the movies have to play a servant? How about a black person walking up the steps of a courthouse carrying a briefcase?"

Other notable films..

THE MASK OF FU MANCHU (1932)- played a really nasty vamp who gets her sexual thrills from torturing poor men.

WIFE VS. SECRETARY (1936)

LIBELLED LADY (1936)

THE GREAT ZIEGFELD (1936)- She played Billie Burke who played Glinda in "The Wizard of Oz."

AFTER THE THIN MAN (1936)

THE RAINS CAME (1939)

THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946) - This was her favourite film

MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOME (1948)

CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN (1950)

THE END (1978)

SUMMER SOLSTICE (1978)- Her last film role with Henry Fonda, also his last, even though it is a TV film.

Let's be Musical

 


Here is my cutie, Wallace, sleeping away with his tongue out. I had to post this because he always seems to diss my brother. My brother has tried, all these years, to have Wallace come to him but...nope, my mentally challenged dog still has a roadblock when it comes to my brother. Why am I mentioning my brother? Well, he is a dynamo when it comes to most music and has an extensive record, yes, record collection. He  has a true love of blues but also classic Rock, Jazz etc... He is not into Classical and Broadway/Musical pieces like me but he has an appreciation for them.  I asked him which 3 songs truly resonated with him when he was a teen and he gave me his 3...

1. STILL RAINING, STILL DREAMING BY JIMI HENDRIX-1968


Back, many moons ago, when my brother got his driver's license, I could ride with him to our high school (which I hated-that school was horrible for all the bullying). He would drive, I think it was his 1976 Astre (which I later inherited) to Welland, pick up his friend, before we headed to that school. All this ABBA loving gal remembered was listening to Jimi Hendrix whether it be Foxy Lady, Joe or his version of the National Anthem. I tried to think up songs from musicals, ABBA, ELO or classical but Jimi drowned it out. I have to say, I now have a deep appreciation for Hendrix and his music and enjoy listening to some of his songs. My brother said this is a song that deeply resonated with him. 

2. IN THE HALL OF THE CRIMSON KING BY KING CRIMSON-1969


This is one song and album that I loved listening to from the get go because you can hear the influence of classical plus it sounds dream like, not unlike the Moody Blues..to me that is. My brother mentioned this song first to me which was surprising because I thought it would be Jimi. I remember him showing the album cover to my parents and my mom giving the shocked "Aghh" sound. He also showed the album to our Uncle Harry and Tante Marlene who were snobs, living in the Ann Arbor Hills and only loving Classical. I just recall my Aunt looking at the album giving  "Mmms" alot but don't recall much else. I wondered why he showed this to them since I knew they would not like it at all, shock value I am guessing. Their loss.

3. HOW COULD SHE LEAVE ME BY THE SON SEALS BLUES BAND-1973


I never heard of this song but my brother did, of course, and early making quite a mark on him. Now the words and music resonate even more since we all have lived a lifetime. 


I hope my brother reads this and can add to what I have written because i know he can add so much more. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Girl Week 2021

 


The whole week, I will be discussing movies where gals hold the fort in one form or another. Dell on Movies is hosting this blogfest and I am going to enjoy this plus it is getting me up and sitting at the actual computer which is good to do. I promise when I feel the burn, I will have a rest. Who will I showcase today and which film?

NOTHING SACRED-1937 STARRING CAROLE LOMBARD (OCT. 6, 1908-JAN. 16. 1942)


The great Carole Lombard starred in her only technicolour film as a woman who thinks she is dying from Radium poisoning. She is given money etc, from the townsfolk but she finds out the doctor made a boo-boo and she is perfectly healthy. She just wants to go to New York City so bad and the money would get her there. Enter Frederic March as a reporter trying to recoup his name by taking her to the Big Apple for free. She willingly obliges..um...not telling him that she is perfectly healthy. Let's just say things get out of hand and we can go from there. Lombard played this part of a not so nice person with a charm that makes you root for her. This is not an easy feat since she is ripping off many people, maybe not of their cash but of their empathy. It is a gem of a film and one of the first dark comedies, to be honest, but an excellent one.

Carole Lombard may not be that well known today but she was a huge star, married to the King of Hollywood, Clark Gable before she died, tragically, in a plane crash. She was selling War Bonds and her mom was with her when Carole wanted to get home faster so she could see her husband. Her mom and Gable's press agent were fearful of flying so they flipped a coin..and Lombard won. If not for the coin toss, they may have taken that train. Gable was beyond devastated and men had to hold him back from going up the mountain to see her. He quickly joined the war(after one more film) and was a gunner in 5 combat missions. I do believe he truly never recovered from her death but he did keep on living.

Carole was married once before to William Powell, another major star, divorcing just shy of 2 years. The nice thing is they remained friends for the rest of her life. Carole was known to be a great friend, not just with actors, but with everyone on set from the cameramen to the grips. She was involved and was going to marry Russ Columbo when he died(accidental shooting) in 1934. His siblings and Carole decided to keep the news from his mom who was in the hospital recovering from a serious heart attack. Writing letters, as if he were on the road and replaying old radio bits of him, they kept this up until the mom died in 1944, 2 years after Carole died. 

In the late 20s, her boyfriend at the time, was driving his car when he lost control and she was badly injured. The windshield shattered and scarred her face requiring more than one surgery. Later, knowing lighting and how to wear make up well, she could hide the scar. She could dress to the nines but go out hunting with the boys later. A well rounded dame! 

Carole was known to have a foul mouth (I knew I loved her) and could swear like a sailor often surprising her co-stars but, as Jimmy Stewart would say, she did it with such nonchalance that it seemed perfectly normal and she was still a lady (I am paraphrasing).

Carole also loved to laugh and loved practical jokes. When making this film, "Nothing Sacred", she knew what a huge womanizer Frederic March was (he would be out on his ear today) even though he was married (never stops these boys). He was trying to get to second base with Carole who was quite prepared to stop him in his tracks and did because when he felt the dildo she strapped on, he freaked out and ran out of the room and never bothered her again. Another instance, which I talked about in a previous post, was when she overheard Hitchcock saying that actors are like cattle. When he came to the set the next day he was greeted with cows! 

A great lady who left us too soon.

Other movies she made:

No Man Of Her Own (1932)-only film she starred in with Clark Gable

Bolero (1934)

Twentieth Century (1934)

My Man Godfrey (1936)- stars with ex William Powell

Made For Each Other (1939)

To Be Or Not To Be (1942)

Monday, November 22, 2021

Girl Week 2021

 


I am going to attempt to write each day for a full week about Ladies... films that starred women, directed, written, anything where women were prominent in the making of the film. This Girl Week is hosted by Dell On Movies, another mad movie nut whom you should take a look at because he has seen some fun films especially the bad ass gals from the 60s and 70s like Pamela Grier.  Here is my first  entry...

WAY DOWN EAST-1920-STARRING LILLIAN GISH(OCT. 14, 1893-FEB. 27, 1993)


The great Lillian Gish stars in a melodrama, directed by D.W. Griffith, about an innocent, naive woman who is duped by an a-hole into believing they get married. He knocks her up before revealing it was all a sham and leaving her to deal with the townsfolk and her family. She has the baby but, the baby dies and, disgraced, she leaves town and ends up at the steps of a lovely family with a very nice young man, played by Richard Barthelmess. The climatic scene took place in a real blizzard where the cameraman, Billy Bitzer, made a small fire under his camera so it would not freeze. Lillian's face was frozen from the winds and, when she ended up on the ice flow, she decided to have her hair and hand in the frigid waters. Afterward, part of her hair literally broke off and her hand suffered nerve damage and gave her pain for the rest of her life. 

Lillian was one of the first actresses to be known by name (the first was Florence Lawrence) starting in 1912. She became a stock actress with D. W. Griffith working in his films for many years and spoke highly of him until her dying day. She believed the Silent Cinema was the best form since everyone around the world could enjoy the films and not be hindered by the language barrier. She was also  strong in her belief to not enter World War 2 since she saw the horrors of World War 1 first hand.  

Lillian and her sister, Dorothy, opened their home to young actresses who came to Hollywood hoping for a career, and made sure they were taken care of. The home is now an exclusive hotel (I think the hotel built on from pictures I looked at). Lillian fell out of favour in the mid to late 20s, so she returned to the stage and received many accolades before returning to film in the mid 40s. 

She looked quite waif-like but was made of sturdy stock surviving the flu from 1918 (50 million died), going above and beyond in her films, if she thought it would give a greater effect. She learned French, German and Italian when she lived, for a time, in Europe. Showed John Huston and Burt Lancaster up, who were going to teach her how to shoot, when she shot more accurately and faster then them because she was taught how to shoot by the western outlaw Al J. Jennings. 

In 1976, the Bowling Green State University named their Theatre and Film Department after Lillian and Dorothy Gish(she was an actress as well) and Lillian attended. Over the years, they received memorabilia and photos to be displayed plus they received donations from her friends and associates to enlarge it. Unfortunately, in 2019, the Black Student Union called to have her name taken off because of her involvement in the horrible film, "The Birth Of A Nation." Her name was taken off of it which is a shame. Over 50 famous people from Helen Mirren, James Earl Jones to Martin Scorsese signed a petition to have her name reinstated. I would have signed this as well. Gish's other worthy films of notes:

Broken Blossoms-1919 (also quite racist but take it for the times)

Orphans Of The Storm-1921 (stars her sister, Dorothy, as well)

The White Sister-1923

The Scarlet Letter-1926

La Boheme-1926

The Wind-1928

Duel In The Sun-1946

The Night Of The Hunter-1955

The Whales of August-1987

I abhor that film (The Birth Of A Nation) from the moment I saw it and do believe her reverence for Griffith is rose coloured to say the least, but her acting and what she gave to the world should never be diminished. The memorabilia did show pictures from this film but I think it should still be shown, but have it put in place by African American scholars, film makers etc who can shed the horrors of what this film did to resurrect the evil and vile KKK. I love this actress but I don't agree with everything she stated and I hate censorship. One must learn from history so it has a tougher time to repeat itself. Just a thought...

By the way, the early times of Cinema up until the later 1920s, had a huge amount of women in front and behind the camera. Check out Alice Guy, a director (great documentary I watched called "Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blanche" narrated by Jodie Foster. Lois Weber(starred, directed and wrote her films), Lotte Reiniger an animator who developed the multi-planed camera that Disney took and further developed it for his works. Writers were plenty like Anita Loos, Frances Marion, June Mathis and even a producer, African-American, named Maria P. Williams-an amazing lady!

Sorry for the lengthy post:)


 


Thursday, November 18, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks- Book Adaptations

 


Wandering Through The Shelves has chosen book adaptations as the theme this week and it is another big one because Hollywood loves to make movies from books. Almost every time, the book is better and people are disappointed when they see the film. I always say, watch the movie first then you won’t be as disappointed:). Anyhoo, here are my 3...

1. THE GRAPES OF WRATH- 1940


If you haven’t seen the film you probably have seen the clip of Henry Fonda saying “He’ll be there” and is considered one of his finest performances where James Stewart, who won the Oscar that year, voted for his best friend rather than himself. The book is written by John Steinbeck about the Great Depression and how many farmers had to leave their home to look for work because of the Depression and the Dust Bowl that hit many states. We follow this family with the heart of it ruled by Ma, played by Jane Darwell. Her eldest, Henry Fonda, just got out of prison, and helps his family get to California and works for a pittance on the fruit farms. This movie is actually quite good as is the book but neither are uplifting but one should see this at least once.

2. DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE-1941

There are many versions of this story with even the fun flick, “Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde” being part of this, but this film, that stars Spencer Tracy in the lead, is not considered a great rendition. The more famous one is the earlier version starring Frederic March, back in 1932,  but I still have to see this version. This story, written byRobert Louis Stevenson, never had a “barmaid”( think  prostitute) or a fiancé  but it doesn’t distract one from the  film version and I always had a soft spot for this film. Ingrid Bergman and Lana Turner switched roles because Bergman was getting sick of  playing goody two shoes so she got the slutty barmaid and Turner was the wholesome( HA!)  fiancé. I thought Tracy was ok if a bit hammy but I really liked Bergman who still played the slut in a wholesome way.

3. GREEN MANSIONS- 1959

Audrey Hepburn played the lead role of Rima the forest girl in the jungles of the Amazon who heals a young man, played, sadly, by Anthony Perkins, from a snakebite. He learns  how a tribe wants to kill her but she is gentle, naive and one with nature. The film has its flaws, like Perkins and it does not compare to the book, written by William Henry Hudson, which has a fairy tale allure that is very hard to show in a film. You may have seen pics of Hepburn with a fawn in her home because the fawn was used in the movie and her director/husband wanted the animal to be comfortable with her. See the movie first, then read the book otherwise you will be disappointed like I was.


Which films would you pick?

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Some Songs...What Should I Choose

 


Yesterday, I went out with my hubby to a a couple of stores, the bank and the drug store..yeah, I did too much but I was happy to get out. I plan to not do that much today except a little dusting...fast dusting. My German ancestry would not be happy with that😀.  I am late writing this (no kidding) but I hope you like my picks since I am going hippie. I do have quite the eclectic taste in music and love classic rock, old style rock and roll, I do truly like. Some heavier metal stuff like AC/DC and even some Judas Priest but just don’t make me have to listen to really heavy stuff with the lead singer sounding like he got his voice from Mephistopheles. I don’t like Rap or Hip Hop or most popular music today. Now there are always some exceptions but most are a big NO.

  So, I am going Woodstock as in the famous concert from 1969, that my brother still wishes he would have been old enough to be there. I love the documentary that was made that shows all the big acts. I had no clue that Sha Na Na was there..very strange to me til this day. So here are my 3 songs that I love...


1. WHITE RABBIT BY JEFFERSON AIRPLANE-1967

I love Grace Slicks’s  voice and this song just fully displays how strong her voice was. I always thought this was such a unique song. It’s a shame that she got so, so heavy into drugs, like many did back then. 

2. SEE ME, FEEL ME BY THE WHO-1969

The Who gave a great performance at the concert with Pete Townsend destroying, yet another guitar. Drug induced with very tight pants, they gave great performances and my brother was lucky enough to see them back in 1979, I think. Mind you, he saw them 2 weeks after the disaster in Cincinnati where many people died due to selling too many tickets. The kids rushed a door to get in and people were crushed with 11 dying and many injured. Anyway, my brother left the concert early because the people were pushing to the front just like what happened 2 weeks prior. He did not want to be a casualty. Thankfully, nothing happened and that type of selling was stopped. 

3. WOODSTOCK SUNG BY CROSBY, STILL, NASH & YOUNG-1970

Our Canadian, Joni Mitchell, penned this song and was made famous by this great group. I always loved this song which seemed to sum up what Woodstock was and is.


Any songs you love from this famous concert?


Thursday, November 11, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks- Dream Sequences

 


So, as I said, I am slowly on the mend...ever so slowly, but at least I am watching a lot of movies. I am sleeping like my old self again which means plenty of wonky dreams and I have truly wonky dreams that can be movies. This is the theme this week...all about dreams, a fun one which Wandering Through The Shelves came up with so here are my 3...

1.  SPELLBOUND-1945


This film is almost a given for this week’s theme because of the famous dream sequence created by the artist, Salvador Dali. Alfred Hitchcock directed this film that stars Gregory Peck as an amnesiac patient and the doctor, played by Ingrid Bergman, who wants to help him and, hopefully, make sure he is not a killer. It’s not my favourite Hitchcock film but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good and this dream sequence, when Pecks character is under hypnosis, is totally Dali and quite excellent.

2. THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY-1947


Yes, there is a remake and, yes, watch the original with the great tongue twister Danny Kaye who could sing a song  with a bunch of twists and turns that make you wonder how he could sing it with such precision. Good old Walter is teased and henpecked by everyone from his mom, the people at work to his girlfriend and  his best friend..so-called. What is the guy to do but daydream that he is a great man of adventure full of courage and charm. In his dreams is a ravishing blonde, played by Virginia Mayo, his oft screen partner,  who ends up to be more real than he realized when he runs into her. She gives him something for safekeeping and he is now on a real adventure. It is funny, charming as only these 2 leads can do and it's worth a look.

3.  DREAMSCAPE-1984


I saw this in the theatre when it first came out and really enjoyed it. I saw it years later and, even though the special effects don’t measure up as they used to, it is still a good movie that stars Dennis Quaid as a psychic who used to be part of an experiment that he no longer wanted to be part of. He is brought back in by his old mentor, played by Max Von Sydow to help a child who is having horrible nightmares but also to help the President of the United States who is also dealing with bad nightmares. Soon, he finds out there is a conspiracy to kill the president using dreams to do just that. I enjoy the originality of this movie that also co-stars Kate Campsaw and Christopher Plummer. Remember when the film was made when you think of the special effects since no CGI existed then and you will really enjoy this romp into nightmare land. Besides, I think the effects are not that bad to be honest. Oh, and don’t worry, it is not a horror movie.

Which films would you choose and do you have wild dreams?



Wednesday, November 10, 2021

I’m AOK and fun with Music

 


So, I was going to write earlier, a separate post, but time got away from me-I’m a bad, bad girl. I ended up not going to the emergency( Kill me later) because that night, I bled less and I have been bleeding less and less so the scare I had that past Saturday must have been my body adjusting. I am still weak but I am walking, not far, but I am walking. I am watching movies galore plus all the extras on the DVDs because I am a movie geek. I will call my dr. On the 16th to just make sure all is ok but I think I am on the road.


Now, this week, for music fun, I decided to go back to my teen years and chose 3 songs that were big in my day and ones that made an impression on me and here they are...

1. STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN BY LED ZEPPELIN-1971


I do like Led Zeppelin, believe it or not, as they are one of the best bands ever with great music and intelligence behind their songs contrary to the popular songs of today. This particular song was the ending to every school dance to the point that I was sick of it. I was never asked to dance so I would watch the fellow kids and teens slow dance to this song but, as the song got closer to the end, the tempo picked up and these kids had no clue what to do. It always made me laugh out loud as some tried to continue to dance slow while others tried to dance fast and had no clue how to. It still makes me laugh.

2. PARADISE BY THE DASHBOARD LIGHT BY MEATLOAF-1977


I have the CD, “Bat Out Of Hell” and aside from the title song, the rest are famous and great to listen to. I was a very naive 13 yr old country girl living on a sawmill dancing to this song, not at all knowing what the true meaning was. All these songs are just so suggestive sung by an overweight, sweaty guy who makes me go..”Ick” but that’s ok because these songs are priceless and I just love this one.

3. ROCK LOBSTER BY THE B52’S-1978


The B52’s are a wacko band that truly seem to have taken one too many LSD hits, but I love them and when this song came out, it was a huge hit. When I was a teenager, very innocent and timid, I met a girl named Tracy, who went to another school, and she brought me out of my timid ways and helped me to dance like no one was looking and no one cares. In the city I now live in, There was a disco called Charlie Chan’s in the basement of a restaurant in a plaza. Never mind that it was probably a fire trap, Sunday’s were all for us underage people who wanted to dance, have fun and dance while drinking Coca Cola. This song was played every time and boy would we all dance to this song when the part came up where the singer says "Down, down, down” we would all slowly drop down onto the floor before we ended up on our backs kicking our hands and legs up in the air like dying flies. Abruptly, we would get up and continued dancing...such fun.


Which songs were played always during your teen years?

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks: Oscar Edition-Best Animated Film

 


Well, today I am off to the emergency because I am bleeding more than I should be according to my GP. My surgeon is off on holidays until the 16th so this visit is to just make sure everything is normal and not Abby-normal😁. It sucks but better to be safe than sorry.

Now, it is another Oscar round over at Wandering Through The Shelves  it is all about animated films. Snow White win a special Oscar back in 1937, well, one regular Oscar and 7 small ones, but animated films were not recognized until Beauty Adn The Beast when that film was up for Best Picture. This finally woke up the Oscar people to recognize the people who create animated films. Here are my 3...

1. SHREK-2001


I love this first animated feature the best because of the unique way all the fairy tales were brought to life. I laughed so hard at the evil way they dealt with the 3 bears. Poor Mama Bear is taken away by that Lord Farquaad only later to see her as a bear rug. I was shocked and laughed so hard..maybe I am evil. Anyway, all the magical creatures are to be taken away but the talking donkey escapes and ends up at the bad ogre’s place-Shrek which means “Terror” in German. Somehow, Shrek and donkey must fight a misunderstood dragon to save the beautiful princess in the tower. It is very funny and touching even. Worth looking up.

2. THE INCREDIBLES-2004


I have to see this one again since it’s been a long time since I saw it in the theatre. Basically, people with superpowers have given up fighting evil and have regular jobs because regular folk are not happy with them. Hubby works in some pencil pushing drab place and dreams of  fighting evil. He has super s5rength while his wife is very elastic. They have 2 kids with their own powers and all of them somehow end up at an evil man’s lair and mat fight him to save mankind. Something like that. It’s quite witty and I love the lady who makes their outfits which seems to be a cross between Coco Chanel, Anna Wintour and Edith Head which turns out to be my favourite character.

3. TOY STORY 3- 2010


I still have to see the latest Toy Story but this one is quite a good movie in this franchise. We now know all the characters since this is the 3 movie, but it is well written and a heartfelt one. Basically, the kid has grown up and is off to college. He decides to give his toys away but, at the last minute, decides against this but the box of toys are mistakenly taken away to a daycare centre. They meet other toys but soon realize it is run by an embittered teddy bear who has his own minions. Woody and the rest decide to escape but that is easier said than done. It’s quite a nice story and worth a look.


Which 3 films would you choose?

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

My Own Weekly Music Theme

 


My Wallace has nothing to do with music but, after having to go through an operation earlier this year, he had to wear the satellite dish. He reminded me of a doggie trying to get some music tuned in to rest his weary soul, so I thought this was a good picture. Jingle, Jangle, Jungle is on hiatus with her Weekly Music Challenge but I thought I would do my own thing for November and December.

I decided to showcase Ennio Morricone who is one the greatest composers to grace the movies. He finally won an Oscar for his score on "The Hateful Eight" but he should have won many times before, especially for his famous music on the spaghetti westerns. Since I have been laying around, I have watched  a couple of the Westerns again and just love the music so here are my 3 picks that I just love.

1. THE ECSTASY OF GOLD FROM THE GOOD, THE BAD &. THE UGLY-1966


Actually every piece of Music from this film is excellent and I have the  album for this film. The main theme is very famous but there are so many other pieces in this film that are just as great as the main theme including this one I chose. This piece of music is when, “The Ugly” is searching for the grave that will hold the gold. It is brilliant.

2.  THE FINAL DUEL FROM FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE- 1965


This film is the second film in the “trilogy” starring Clint Eastwood. This film pairs Eastwood with Lee Van Cleef as bounty hunters after a very, very bad bandits but for different reasons. There is a running musical theme throughout this film that is both sad and quite beautiful. This theme is in the final duel which is a great listen but this theme is used throughout the film and Ennio makes it unique each time.

3. ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST MAIN THEME -1968


Do you know that the director of these films, Sergio Leone worked his films around Ennio Morricone’s Music because Leone felt the music was most important which is one reason why scenes are long but never, ever boring. Once again, there are so many musical pieces in this film that are just brilliant but I chose the main theme because it is, again, just great.

Which musical piece from Morricone do you love/like?

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks: TV Edition-Horror

 


Wandering through the Shelves is ending the spooky month with TV Horror and, let’s face it there is a lot of horror on tv from all the fish lips on the Housewives of who cares to the T & A of the Bachelor crap. Oh...not that type of horror...ok, well, there are quite a few series out there but I have not seen them. I am finding many of these seem to be so negative and without much hope which I just don’t like, never mind if it has a lot of gore.  Well, I was able to choose 3 and here they are...

1. THE HILARIOUS  HOUSE OF FRIGHTENSTEIN-1971


I grew up watching this with the zany Billy Van playing many roles including the star which was Dracula who loved pizza more than blood.  There was Igor and the Wolfman who played some great songs often dancing to some psychedelic background. You had a vet talking about pets  and a Mad scientist who was an actual professor who studied under Albert Einstein. The biggest coup for this humble Hamilton, Ontario station was getting Vincent Price to introduce the show because he loved kids and thought it was unique. Apparently, Price was a true gentleman who bought beer for the cast and crew and got pictures done with everyone involved and wrote a special message for each person. 

2. FOREVER KNIGHT-1992-1996

This is another Canadian TV Show about a vampire from the 12th century who decides to change his bloody ways and becomes a cop, befriending the morgue doctor who provides him with animal blood plus tries to change him back to a human. She is the only one who knows who he is and also has feelings for him as he does her. The cop also has a female vampire friend who runs a Local nightclub and a frenemy who tries to bring him back to the dark side of his nature. The  current case he is working on, with his goofy partner, brings back memories of years or centuries earlier and the philosophical similarities it has with him today. It is well done and more intelligent than  regular vampire shows.

3. THE DEAD ZONE-2002-2007

Ha! Thought I was going the vampire route but nope, I went the Canadian route because this is a U.S show but it was filmed in Vancouver and the last season was done in Montreal. This is based on a Stephen King novel and earlier film( done in Niagara On The Lake) about a man who was in a car crash and was in a coma for 5 years. When he awakes, life has certainly changed. His mom has died, his fiancée has married and he finds out he has a son. He also can see what will happen when he touches a person and warns them about what he sees. His caretaker is one who knows about his gift and often helps him.  Anthony Michael Hall( the nerdy kid from the 80s John Hughes films). Is really quite good in the lead role and David Ogden Stiers brings panache as a somewhat diabolical character that was his mom’s new husband. I have not yet seen all the episodes but I am getting through them. 


Which 3 would you choose? Oh and a Bugs Bunny Bonus.



Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Weekly Song Challenge

 



I an sorry for not visiting as much but I have been so tired that I have been sleeping a lot during the day. I’m Even sleeping through Bonanza that is playing on our retro channel. I am feeling a bit better and the pain is a bit better now. 

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle has another slew of themes, well 3, this week and she is taking a hiatus until the new year but I am going to try and keep this going just for me but just have one theme with 3 picks. We shall see. Here are her 3 themes

A SONG WITH A BOY'S NAME IN THE TITLE
A SONG WITH AN ANIMAL IN THE TITLE
A SOBG THAT MENTIONS YOUR FAVOURITE COLOUR


1. DANNY BOY SUNG BY JOHN MCDERMOTT-1992

I always loved this song and posted one with Maureen O'Hara singing this ditty...yes the famous actress. I love John McDermott who is a Canadian legend, sings this song beautifully. I had the pleasure taking my mom and in-laws, with my ex ( we were married at the time) to see him perform and we got pictures too. My mom loved him because he shows great respect to the soldiers. This song was written by Frédéric Weatherly in 1913 set to the traditional Irish melody of Londonderry Air. 

2. A KERRY COW SÙNG BY MAUREEN O'HARA-1961


I wanted to see if Maureen O'Hara sang a song about an animal and she did! This is a cute Irish diddy  which is from Irish folktales. I just think it's fun to listen to. 

3. CARIBBEAN BLUE SUNG BY ENYA- 1991

I decided to do a theme and went the Irish way since I love Celtic and Enya is just a perfect ending. She wrote this and I think it's so pretty besides, I'd live to be in the Caribbean right now ready to swim in its warm waters.

What can you think up?

Friday, October 22, 2021

Recovering

 


I thought I was smiling here but...nope...hahaaa. This is my spot on the couch resting....and resting. First of all, all went well and I am recovering slowly due to my connective Tissue disorder ( Ehlers-Danlos) so it takes me more time and the pain is there but not as bad as last week. I am walking around and, happily, I can use the stairs to get to the bathroom. Today I finally took a full shower so the houseplants, animals and hubby are all reviving.

I am catching up on stuff I taped and have watched some movies. I have had friends visit which was so nice and hubby us wonderful to me.

Hubby is doing well with his operations as he heals much quicker than the average person but he is behaving. Since hubby got 3 different sets of percasets, once when diagnosed with kidney stones, the next when he left the hospital with the stint in and the 3rd when he had the hernia done, I had a few for the night so I could sleep since my surgeon didn't think I needed it at all. WTF? I am not  drug pusher but I get nadda and hubby gets a slew! I have only taken 1 at a time and that's enough. 

If I hear nothing from the surgeon by the end 9f next week, that will mean the best...the biopsy will be normal. I will see her at the end of Nov to see how I am getting along  but, for now, resting.

Thank you so, so very much for all you prayers, well wishes and concerns over these past 2 months. I can't express how much this has meant to me. It has truly touched my heart.