L'amour, toujour. .. love can be tragic, just ask Princess Margaret and Pete Townsend who loved each other but were not allowed to marry (times would be different now). This is one romance theme that I can think of quite a few and I wonder which film will be the big hit this week. Head on over to Wandering through the Shelves to find out. Here are my 3..
1. THE STUDENT PRINCE-1954
I haven't seen this film in ages and would love to see it again. Sorry Shady, it is a musical but it doesn't have the typical good ending which is rare for a musical. This stars Ann Blyth as a bar maid who knows how to handle herself with a bunch of exuberant young university men who love to party. Enter the prince, played by Edmund Purdom, who quickly falls for the bar maid. Heidelberg never looked lovelier through their eyes as they sing their love not thinking that she is just a barmaid. It is well acted by Ann and I recall Edmund not being too bad even though he was not the first choice. That was Mario Lanza who had a great voice, great appetite and a great ego. He ended up being let go but they kept his voice recordings which Edmund mouthed to. I have to learn more about Mario who died too young from a heart attack but there are rumours he was killed by the mafia. I think there is something to this rumour.
2. ROMEO & JULIET- 1968
This film is considered the best version of this classic Shakespearean tale of doomed young lovers from different houses whose families refuse to let their children be together. The young actors were actually young ( not like oldies, Leslie Howard and Norma Shearer who were 43 and 34 respectively) and had a great gift for good acting! There have been various versions done or inspired by the plot, but this one is excellent plus the music is so good.
3. BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN-2005
I can see this be popular this week and with good reason. When I saw this in the theater, I was, at first, giggly in nervous laughter when the 2 men first get together( I hate admitting this but it's true). Later, I was so wanting them to get back together hoping the ending would be a happy one. I cried at the end partly out of frustration because of how we, as bigoted people, refuse to let same sex partners just be together. Heath Ledger played his role so well as the tortured soul who just loves his partner so much but doesn't want to commit to the lifestyle. Let's face it, look how many have been beaten and killed because they are true to being homosexual. It is beautiful, tense, sad, loving and heartbreaking and worth seeing.
Which 3 would you choose?
I have seen films #2 and #3. Turning to #1, I admire Golden Ager Ann Blyth. She has a great singing voice, a winning smile and has been blessed with a long life. Ann will turn 93 a few months from now.
The future Mrs. Shady #1 dragged me to see Romeo & Juliet in 1968 when it was released to theaters. I think the flick could have been improved with a few car stunts. Can you tell that Shakespearean classics don't interest me much more than musicals?
I enjoyed Brokeback Mountain. Jake and his sister Maggie Gyllenhaal are two of the best actors in the business and two of my favorites. I also like co-stars Randy Quaid and Michelle Willians. Yessum, Brokeback was hard to watch, but an important film that surely changed at least a few minds and hearts. As Wiki puts it, the film is: "lauded as a landmark in LGBT cinema and credited for influencing several films and television shows featuring LGBT themes and characters."
Thanks, dear friend BB! Have a nice Thursday!
Yes, Ann Blyth is 93 and I hope she is doing well. She has a great voice and was a really good actress. Shakespeare is not one of my favourites either and I feel like people will gasp in judgement for saying this. This one film does show the play the way it is meant to be. Brokeback is a tough film and so well acted.Delete
I have seen several adaptation of Romeo and Juliet and wasn't crazy about any of them. Maybe I should check out this one.ReplyDelete
This one is the best, in my humble opinion even though I am not a Shakespeare fan.Delete
I wouldn't have thought of Brokeback Mountain but that is a great pick. I don't know the Student Prince but the 68 version of Romeo and Juliet is a good one! Have a great end of your week!ReplyDelete
Glad you,like my choices.Delete
Brokeback is very popular today, I picked it myself too. I don't think I've seen the 60's version of Romeo and Juliet. We watched the really old one in school.ReplyDelete
I had a feeling Brokeback would be popular and with good reason. You must have seen the R & J version with Norma and Leslie who were too old for the parts.Delete
I want to see The Student Prince. The plot sounds similar to The Prince & Me with Julia Stiles. That movie, and the 3 sequels, were Mama's favorites. She watched The Prince & Me nearly every week for a long stretch, alternating it with The Sound of Music.ReplyDelete
I have not seen The Prince & Me and might give that one a shot. Your Mama sounds so sweet to want to see this film so oftenDelete
Of your picks I've only seen Romeo and Juliet. First I saw it in the theater when it came out so I could get extra credit in my high school English class. Then my wife and I watched it sometime within the past 10 years.ReplyDelete
I've certainly seen several other films that would fit this theme, but again memory mostly fails. So I'll go back to one of my favorites, The Greatest Showman where P T Barnum marries his love from childhood which doesn't go well at all for her parents.
Then there is West Side Story, but that is essentially a revamp of Romeo and Juliet. Another I haven't seen in a long while is The Lover (1992) which deals with an affair between an underage French girl in Viet Nam and a wealthy Chinese man in 1929. As I recall it was a pretty touching story.
There are plenty of others I've seen, but those will have to filter back into my memory I guess. For now I've got nothing else.
Tossing It Out
Yes, this version of R & J is, I think, the best but West Side Story is a good retelling. I haven’t seen Lover or know about it but the Greatest Showman is such a good film.Delete
My very first thought was The Crimson Kimono 1959. I was only 13 when I saw it and did not understand the taboo of an American - Japanese romance.ReplyDelete
I don’t know this film..I have to look it up.Delete
Well what a coincidence! TCM showed The Student Prince yesterday!! Ha! It's not a favorite musical of mine but I did watch for a few minutes. Ann was lovely and Edmund Purdom very attractive (though I've heard his ego was almost as big as Lanza's) but as soon as Mario's voice started coming out of his mouth I stopped watching. Not that he wasn't convincing and probably for those who aren't as familiar with Lanza's voice as I it wouldn't be a problem but I found it very distracting. It's a sumptuous piece of cotton candy but not an essential.ReplyDelete
This is probably the best version, certainly the closest to Shakespeare's original intent, of Romeo & Juliet. The play's not a particular favorite of mine but this is a good take on it.
I'm sure Brokeback will be this week's title deservedly. Beautifully made, very sad and disturbing film.
Brokeback was also my first thought (along with three versions of R&J) but I guessed they would be well represented this week so I did a deeper dive looking for others that would fit. I came up with these three.
Broken Blossoms (1919)-Chinese immigrant Cheng Huan’s (Richard Barthelmess) dream of spreading Buddhism to London has dissipated and he has sunken into aimless opium addiction until he finds young English waif Lucy Burrows (Lillian Gish) battered on his doorstep. Renewed by their emotional connection he cares for her as she recovers, but their forbidden love across ethnic boundaries is riven when they are discovered by Lucy’s abusive father (Donald Crisp).
Death Takes a Holiday (1934)-Unable to comprehend why people cling so tenaciously to life Death (Fredric March) assumes human form as Prince Sirki at Duke Lambert’s Italian villa. Mixing with his guests in an attempt to gain insight he meets the beautiful Grazia (Evelyn Venable). Instantly attracted to each other Sirki and she wrestle with the impossibility and the forbidden nature of their love.
Dirty Dancing (1987)-Teenager Baby (Jennifer Grey) is vacationing with her family at a Catskills resort in the 60’s when she meets dance instructor Johnny (Patrick Swayze). Through a series of events they become involved but the lovers face several obstacles including the dual facts that Johnny is forbidden to fraternize with the guests and Baby is likewise forbidden from seeing the older Johnny by her father (Jerry Orbach).
That is a coincidence! I would seriously never leave the couch if I had TCM but I am so envious of others who do have it. I heard Purdom had some ego which makes me ask...why? He never made it huge and didn’t have the talent of Lanza. I love the song “Drink, drink”. I think the version I picked of R&J is the best and I knew Brokeback would be popular but I felt like I had to talk about it. I thought of the Macdonald/Eddy musicals since so many were tragic. I love your first 2 choices! The poor waif, Lillian Gish couldn’t even smile without making her smile with her fingers. Poor opium addled Barthlemess adores her and the cue cards used just shows how far we have come (Chinky is just not the way talk to The Chinese immigrants) but I do love this film. Donald Cook was truly terrifying as her abusive dad. I love Death Takes A Holiday and fell for Frédéric March when I first saw this film. This is much better to the remake with Brad Pitt. Dirty Dancing is just one movie I can’t get into. I like Patrick Swayze and Jerry Orbach but I wanted Patrick to throw Jennifer Grey into that lake. And just walk far, far away from her. Even her name is irritating...who the hell wants to be called baby.Delete
Our class was taken to see Romeo and Juliet around the time it came out. Olivia Hussey was just stunningly beautiful. I remember seeing an interview with her and Leonard Whiting in which they smoked all the way through! Seems unbelievable now. Broke back Mountain was 2005! Where has the time gone? As for Princess Margaret, she could have married Peter Townsend if she’d been willing to give up her royal status.ReplyDelete
Yes, Margaret could have but that is a lot to give up and not see her mom and family but money is always a factor too. Yeah, I couldn’t believe Brokeback is 16 years old and I still feel so sad about Heath Ledger. Olivia is truly very pretty and I would like to see that interview. She suffered from severe agoraphobia and, one time, didn’t leave her home for something like 2 years.Delete
I have never seen the first. I actually saw the second one in class. I showed it to a class that was reading the play. I thought it was a good version.ReplyDelete
I saw this version on tv a couple of times and thought it was quite good. Glad you show this in class.Delete
I've seen your second and third choices. My daughter loved Brokeback Mountain and its (as she described it) "smokin' hot cowboy sex." My choices: 1. The Sound of Music--a nun becomes a governess and falls in love with the children's father. 2. Damage--a man has an affair with his son's fiancee 3. The Children's Hour--two female teachers, one ends up hanging herselfReplyDelete
Hi Janie - jumping in to say good picks and that I saw a stage production of The Children's Hour with Keira Knightley as one of the teachers. It was very good from what I remember.Delete
BrokeBack is so good and they are nice on the eyes. I have not seen Damage nor The Children's Hour with Shirley MacLaine and Audrey Hepburn but I did see These Three based on The Children's Hour but it has a happy ending.Delete
Pretty cool that you saw Keira Knightley in the role on stage Ms. Cinema.
The only one I can think of is Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever," about an interracial affair.ReplyDelete
I have to see that film. There are so many to see.Delete
Nice post, Birgit. The Student Prince is new to me but I know the other two. As I've written elsewhere on someone else's post, it baffles and angers me that same-sex marriage is still illegal in some countries.ReplyDelete
I agree with you about same sex marriage. There are many that love each other and are truer to each other than many marriages between the opposite sex.Delete
Interesting choices but I've only seen Romeo and Juliet. Olivia Hussey was lovely. I would pick Dirty Dancing, The Graduate and West Side Story.ReplyDelete
I am not one for Dirty Dancing but do like your other 2 and West Side Story is basically Romeo and Juliet.Delete
Hi Birgit, my goodness for once I've seen all three films. Many years ago for the Student Prince and mainly because my Father loved Mario Lanza. I was a teenager when Romeo and Juliet came out and I had poster all over my bedroom of the actors, I absolutely loved Olivia Hussy and I have a passion for Shakespeare, and I love the fact that the film had the original prose.ReplyDelete
Brokeback Mountain was a brilliantly made film, but really sad, Kate x
Yeah for you!! Mario was so big back in the 50s and now he is almost forgotten which is a shame. I love the fact that you had Romeo & Juliet posters and the actors posted all over your bedroom just like a teenager. I put up Christopher Reeve. Brokeback is very sad and so good.Delete
Loved Romeo and Juliet. I think Brokeback Mountain would be too sad for me.ReplyDelete
YOU have a lovely, pain-free weekend.
Pain was present sadly but still did a little. Brokeback is very sad. Makes me cryDelete
Believe it or not, I saw that version of Romeo and Juliet in my 6th grade class, uncut. That would never happen today. I haven't seen it since, so I can't really say how I feel about it. I can say how I feel about Brokeback Mountain. I'm not a fan, found it boring. I know I'm alone, so I'll leave it at that.ReplyDelete
Uncut..glad they showed it that way which is how it is meant to be. Brokeback is more a character study of 2 men and their relationship. It doesn't move up or down just laterally and I can see where people would find it boring. Thankfully, I love it.Delete
Wow Birgit, it's ONLY Sunday and I'm finally getting around to visiting you. Yes, I'm that far behind!! I have to confess, I've never seen ANY of these, but always wanted to see Brokeback Mountain. It's sad how homosexuals are still treated in this day and age. I'm glad you shone a spotlight on this seemingly never changing problem. BTW, we have a new Transportation Secretary who is a confirmed gay. Maybe the world IS changing, after all.ReplyDelete
Don't worry, I am very behind too. There are many people who are closed minded which is a shame but I feel this is beginning to crack which is a good thing.Delete
Romeo and Juliet - I picked this one too and I do like the music as well.ReplyDelete
Brokeback Mountain is one I want to watch but have yet to.
We match with Brokeback Mountain!ReplyDelete
Somehow I have never seen that version of Romeo and Juliet but I really want to.