Have you ever thought of just leaving your present life and creating a whole new identity? I have to admit, in my younger years, I felt like escaping but this was when times were quite tough. I longed for something fresh but I would have told my immediate family so I guess that is not the same thing plus I love my name too much. Others have actually done this like William Desmond Taylor-Silent film director, lothario, and still unsolved murder victim and Olivia Newton John's one-time a-hole fiance. Who do you think killed Mr. Taylor, Joel? This would make a great film (unless one was already done and not in ABC TV movie style starring Charlene Tilton). There are plenty of films that have used this ploy and I will be interested what Wandering Through The Stars will choose, plus her other followers, so, without further adieu, here are my 3...
1. BEGGARS OF LIFE-1928
I would love to see this late silent film version again(came out the year of my mom's birth) starring the beguiling Louise Brooks (she had led quite the life and anyone who loves a good biography should read Barry Paris's book on her plus her own book called "Lulu in Hollywood". She was very intelligent, rebellious and an accomplished writer). She plays a hapless girl who accidentally, kills her abusive step dad before a vagabond, played by Richard Arlen, happens upon the scene. To help her out, she dresses as a boy and they go off together hopping freight trains. They meet one of the kings of the vagabonds, Wallace Beery and become friends. All hell breaks loose when her fake identity is uncovered and some baddies want more from her plus the police have not given up on the chase. This is one of her best films certainly from Hollywood and the train scene is excellent.
2. THE LADY EVE-1941
Henry Fonda plays a young man who was studying snakes in the Amazon for a year who also happens to be the heir of a brewery company. He is on a ship and so is Eve with her father and his partner. They are con artists who bilk many men out of their millions before taking off for their next mark. What she doesn't expect is to fall in love with the hapless oaf only to be spurned when he realizes the truth. Now she is pissed...er bothered...no, pissed is better, that he left her so she decides to get even and shows up at the oaf's family home as someone completely different although she wears no disguise. At first he is appalled that no one believes him but he finally just thinks it is a strange coincidence. Oh how I love a screwball comedy and Fonda never looked more handsome and Stanwyck never more stunning. A great Preston Sturges comedy.
3. THE MAJOR & THE MINOR-1942
I used this film before, I know, but, considering all the hoopla over what is right and not right, I thought this would be a perfect film that was even considered a bit ewwwww even in its day. I enjoy this Billy Wilder film( he loved to bend the rules) and find it very funny even with the underlying ickiness. Ginger Rogers is a full bodied woman who needs to get back home but when the train fare is too expensive, she devises a way to get on the train.... play a 12 yr old and get on for half fare. She does just this but when the conductor catches her smoking she dashing into a booth of one good looking teacher/soldier, Ray Milland. He thinks she is only 12 and she ends up at his dad's military academy where she is the toast of the town with all the horned up boys. The only one she can't fool is Milland's fiance's sister who is also 12 and knows she is not a youngin'. Of course it is a farce and we know that he will end up with Ginger but how will it all work. This film is very funny and Ginger Rogers plays it to the hilt as the kid. It's an excellent farce. Her mother in the film is also Ginger Roger's mother in real life and the 2 were inseparable.
So, which 3 would you choose?