You Can’t Take it With You (1938)

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(Note- Earlier I was working on this and I accidentally hit “publish” instead of “Save”- sorry to my email followers!)

Based of the hit Broadway play and directed by Frank Capra, You Can’t Take it With You (1938) is one of the best from the best. And because this is for the Barrymore blogathon, the star at the center of this film is Lionel Barrymore.

You Can’t Take it with You is a story about two people who just get engaged, Anthony “Tony” Kirby (James Stewart) and Alice Sycamore (Jean Arthur) but they come from two different worlds- Tony is from a rich, slightly stuffy family, while Alice comes from a poorer, slightly eccentric, but loving family. Alice fears she will not be accepted by Tony’s family, and Tony fears his stuffy family will not approve of his choice. The film then plays out to see whether or not the two families can get along for the sake of Alice and Tony.

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Personally I just think this film is charming- as not only does it teach us to accept differences, its just a cute story in general. So many good moments and one liners (really don’t wanna spoil them!). I LOVE Jean Arthur- I probably relate to her more than any other actress- and James Stewart is just great. All the players were well cast right down to the supporting players. But it is Barrymore’s portrayal of Grandpa Martin Vanderhof that keeps everyone together- and is the conscience of the film. He’s just the type of guy you want as your own grandfather.

Sadly by the time of this picture’s production, Barrymore was suffering from health problems and the character was altered to accommodate his medical needs. The crutches, Grandpa Vanderhof uses served to help Barrymore stand, and it was explained in the movie as his character having a sprained ankle from sliding down the banister (because why else?? :-)) ) .

I say one of my favorite scenes has to be when Alice and Tony are sitting together at dinner and their dance together ! Its too cute!😉

But in this film there is also a great irony, as in this movie, Barrymore plays the moral compass of the film, bringing everyone in and advocating for Tony and Alice’s union, but in Frank Capra’s other classic, It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), he plays the meanest of the mean, the banker Mr Potter. Just goes to show the versatility in Barrymore’s ability and that he can make audiences both adore, and (love to) hate him.

CREDIT GOES TO: Classic Movie Hub

IN the end, I do not call Capra’s films “CapraCorn” and even if they are- so what! They are all adorable and at the heart of all of them, contain a sweet love story. If you haven’t seen this Capra work, put it on your list- its just splendid!

Other picture credits- Wikipedia

 

 

The Alfred Hitchcock Blog Tag

So Yes- this is a day late- but for Mr Hitchcock- I’ll do almost anything! Eva at Coffee, Classics, and Craziness– you’re a genius for this idea!

What was the first Hitchcock film you ever watched?

Credit- filmsite.org

Rear Window! Summer of 2013 when I was bored, I took an interest to Grace Kelly and thought it looked interesting. My life then got better because Hitchcock was in it.

What’s your favorite Hitchcock film?

Again I say… Rear Window. The 39 Steps is also my favorite.  Rebecca, Suspicion, and To Catch a Thief are not to far behind.

What’s your least favorite Hitchcock film?

All of Hitch’s are good in their own way, but I’ve gotta say Jamaica Inn– Although I adore Maureen O’Hara.

What’s your favorite Hitchcock cameo?

Credit- The Hitchcock Zone

LOVE the cameo in Dial M for Murder, so clever! But the one in Mr and Mrs Smith– gotta love that one because Carole Lombard directed it, GO Carole!

Who’s your favorite Hitchcock villain?

Almost everyone is saying Uncle Charlie in Shadow of a Doubt– but I haven’t seen that one- yet. I’m gonna have to say Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson) from Rebecca- amazing performance! 

Hero?

TOUGH- Cary Grant in North by Northwest– he has several bar tenders dependent on him! AND he wears a really nice, well cut suit. (HeeHee😉 )

Heroine?

Credit- The Hitchcock Zone

Again what makes this so hard? Ingrid Bergman in Notorious– who doesn’t root for her!?

What’s your favorite Hitchcock quote?

This one- “The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them” I wish I did that!

And, finally, how many Hitchcock films have you watched?

15.. and counting…

Laura (1944)

This is my entry for the film noir blogathon– Quiggy Thanks for Hosting!

Film noir is one of my favorite genres of film- for sure in the top 3- and one of my all time favorite films noir, hands down,  is Laura (1944)

Many of you may already know I love Dana Andrews when I confessed my reel infatuation for him as Mark McPherson, but he’s not the only star of this film, as we all know its Laura herself Ms. Gene Tierney!

To me Laura is a unique film noir. It has all of the classic film noir elements, yet it still feels different than say a “textbook” film noir of The Maltese Falcon, or The Big Sleep. 

Laura has a very melodramatic feel to it- but- at the same time its still very tense like the true atmosphere of a noir. Its also very different due to the fact that Laura isn’t really the femme fetale of a ‘dangerous woman ‘- she’s not corrupting nor is she manipulative. She does draw men into her complex web of confusion, and has a very mysterious manner to her- but we never see her put anyone directly in the line of fire. Branching off, I must mention too, that Laura is almost two different types of film, from the beginning to the part of Mark falling asleep under the picture, its a mystery. But from that point on (spoiler: When Laura appears)  its almost as if the film turns into a melodramatic crime drama.

For me personally, part of the allure of Laura is the subtle romance- Dana and Gene have great chemistry- and I totally believe it when Dana Andrews falls for this beautiful, charming, but seemingly dead woman in the picture. However- these two characters barely have much screen time together, (Spoiler: McPherson and Laura only share one kiss) .

EDIT- A lot of you mentioned in the comments how much Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb) steals the show and I completely agree. Webb is the one character that pushes all of the action forward and without him, there is no mystique- he’s just as mysterious as Laura herself. Webb as much a star as Andrews and Tierney and I wanted to mention him!

When Laura first came out in 1944, no one really knew what kind of reception it was going to have- and in the trailer, the studio publicized Laura as an extremely aloof woman, whom of which every man wants to know and every woman wants to be. And to this day- the pitch is still accurate, and still very effective.

I first saw Laura during the 2014 Summer of Darkness on TCM- it was featured as a daily dose clip, and it then aired on the channel soon after. Much like the studio pitch to audiences back in the day, I can’t tell you what it is about Laura that made me want to watch it. I just thought- “Oh that looks interesting, I should give it a try.”

So maybe I can’t quite put my finger on it, as the real reason as to why I love Laura so much, but the one thing for sure is that I have a heck of a time trying to figure out why, and every time I see the film, I adore the film even more!

Why I love The 39 Steps (1935)

            Madeleine Carroll in 1937.jpg                                 
       Madeleine Carroll-Lovely as ever              Robert Donat- *sighs* (robert-donat.com)
For starters, I love the characters. Mr. Memory (Wylie Watson), an amazing fact file that puts Google to shame! Mr. Richard Hannay played by the ever so suave (but not as suave as Nathan Page:-) ) Robert Donat. Hannay has a perfect mustache and I love it how he just has to go with the flow- every twist and turn- no matter what happens to him he stays as cool as a cucumber. Of course, he has his frantic moments- the train scene– but who can blame him- (NOT ME!). And naturally I must mention the lovely Madeleine Carroll, the first Hitchcock blonde.  I love the feisty personality, and her ability to match Hannay word for word- their banter is just perfect.
Hannay: Now let’s make ourselves as comfortable as possible. What about that skirt of yours? It’s still pretty damp, you know. I don’t want to be tied to a pneumonia case on top of everything else. Take it off. I don’t mind.
Pamela: I’ll leave it on, thank you…My shoes and stockings are soaked so I think I’ll take them off.
Hannay: That’s the first sensible thing I’ve heard you say.

As much as I do adore North By Northwest, I do feel this film is somewhat superior. It just has something about it that makes it intriguing. Maybe it just has so many “moments” that make me say both “Awww” and “Ahhh!” at the same time or maybe it’s the fact it’s a British… Hitchcock… Film. Or maybe it’s this scene…

(dvdtalk.com)

Maybe this one????

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The Famous Train Scene!   (The 1000 Frames of The 39 Steps Hitchcock Project )
OR perhaps I love this film so much because it’s this film introduces the world to the most famous Hitchcockian element, “The MacGuffin”. WHAT IS The 39 Steps? Who are they? What do they need? And what makes them so dangerous???? Well.. I’ll tell you, you see they are {gets knocked off computer and falls down}…. Good Luck, Mr. Page- and Break a leg. 

Daisy Kenyon- Joan Crawford Blogathon

 

No Man of Her Own (1932)

MY 4th Liebster- Retirement of the Award

Hello all! First I am so sorry I have neglected to see that Little Bits of Classics has given me my 4th Liebster award- THANKS SO MUCH. And I have an announcement to make- I will be retiring the Liebster award from this blog– I know some people say by 5- But I’m going to be unique.

Alas, even though I have retired this award, I will answer the questions one last time– I will not be giving any out. In future, if I do receive any noms, I will humbly take them, but will politely tell the nominator that I have retired the award from this blog. 

Without further ado, I give you The Flapper Dame’s Liebster Swan Song!

  1. Which five actors do you wish had played together in a movie once (it’s not a problem if they didn’t live at the same time)? Grace Kelly, Henry Fonda along with Audrey Hepburn in a love triangle- that would be cool. And James Stewart in the mix- make it a love square- with Claude Rains overseeing everyone as a cupid/ land lord/ boss like figure. 
  2. Which movie do you think should never have made it into AFI’s top 100 listStalag 17-Easy! EDIT- A film that I think should not be on- Um.. How did West Side Story (1961) make it on?
  3. Whose life would you like to see a biographical movie on? Ohh- Good one- I’d like to see Cary Grant’s- but no one could play Cary because he’s Cary
  4. Which completed TV series do you wish had another season? House of Elliot (1991-1993)- IT NEEDS A PROPER FINISH
  5. How early do you start writing an entry for a blogathon? Depends on how much school work I have- it comes first! 
  6. Which movie star would you have liked to visit at his or her home? Carole Lombard (and Clark Gable’s) because why not! I love them!
  7. What is the favourite movie of your parents? Mommy- The Crow (1994) And Daddy- Full Metal Jacket (1987)
  8. During which movie’s shooting would you have liked to be a fly on the wall? The Quiet Man (1952)
  9. Is there an actor or an actress who you’ve seen in every single movie they’ve ever appeared in? So close for Grace Kelly- Just need to see Fourteen Hours (1951)
  10. Whose Oscar ceremony speech is your favourite? Audrey Hepburn’s- so genuine
  11. Who did you receive your latest Liebster Award from? Little Bits of Classics (Obviously) but before that- The Cinematic Frontier

AND with that, my fellow cinema bloggers, this concludes my run with the Libester Award– its been fun and I’ve answered some cool thought provoking questions. 

Thank YOU all for the 4 nominations! And I look forward to writing up my next post which will hopefully be soon!!!! See you all at the next blogathon event! 

The Seven Year Itch- The Second Annual “SEX” Blogathon

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This entry is for Movie Movie Blog Blog’s second annual Sex! (and now that I have your attention) Blogathon. May I say this is a great idea- and that films back then were indeed sexier than junk that is made today (dare I say the “Stoop Scene” from the 1943 (1943!!!!) movie The More The Merrier is the sexiest scene I’ve ever seen on film- the actors are fully clothed, sitting on a front porch, and all action takes place above the neckline- take that- 21st century screenwriters- take that!!)

And now that I have your attention, I want you to time travel with me back to 1955- Yes good ol’ 1955. The middle of the nifty fifties- no internet, no WiFi, no Netflix- nothing like that. But 1955 did have one thing- nay- person- that we today don’t have- Miss Norma Jean Mortenson, aka Miss Marilyn Monroe. And in 1955 Monroe starred in one of her most iconic (and yes- one of her sexiest) films- The Seven Year Itch- directed by Billy Wilder.

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The Seven Year Itch is the film that pushed the boundaries. It’s plot may be simple, but soon creates complications- Richard Sherman sends away his wife (Evelyn Keyes) and child for the summer, but soon faces temptation with his neighbor- The Girl.  Today we might not think the film to be so racy, but- back in the day it was super risque (so much so it was banned in Ireland). To experience the movie like those did back during the initial release, I had to place myself in 1955- and convert my mindset. And trust me- it worked like a charm- all it took was some imagination and a little help from the Hayes office (well sort of!)

For those that own the Blu ray (like myself), maybe you’ll be familiar with the special feature of the Hayes Code pop up meter. It was very interesting and it helped me confirm what I thought the double innuendos to be. Its very funny when the meter pops up and you see the arrow go all the way to a ten (and it happened a lot!). Like the commentators said, the people in the Hayes office must have been very dumb not to recognize the “improper” material that was presented to them.seven yr.JPG

For instance, there’s the montage scene where Richard (Tom Ewell) has passionate kissing scenes with other women (and how he was able to stop affairs from happening) like in the hospital, or on the beach, even at work- but because they were all “made up”- as in taking place in his mind- the scenes got past censors. Yet, the scenes are sexy when you as the viewer view them- a perfect example of getting past the code.

the scene

And let’s talk about the famous scene – (for those who are unfamiliar this is the film that contains the famous Marilyn scene parodied by many) – which earns a 7 on the Hayes innuendo meter. It’s peculiar it does earn a seven- and its not higher because we only ever see Marilyn’s lower legs. Posters and media images may have shown all the way up the leg, but never in the film do we see that.

We never see THIS in the film

Its also funny to mention Ewell was selected not only because he originated the role on Broadway, but also because he’s not “overly” handsome. By him having average Joe looks, and his character being seduced by Marilyn, it was the perfect combination for creating for every man’s ultimate fantasy.

I personally believe The Seven Year Itch will forever remain iconic and sexy. It may seem dated, but isn’t that that half the fun? With Marilyn, Wilder and the ultimate temptation- you can’t go wrong!

Reel Infatuation Blogathon- Three Sexy Detectives

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When it was announced there was going to be a blogathon to gush about your on screen crushes, I was super excited- I have absolutely no shortage of them- the only problem was I had a hard time choosing who to write about. So many characters, so many actors who portray them. Initially, I wanted to write about my first on screen crush- (Uncle) Jesse Katsopolis (John Stamos) but I really wanted to focus on film crushes. So please note I could have written about lots of screen crushes and this is just a snippit of them.

After a deliberation, I decided to write about my on screen crushes for three very handsome, very sexy detectives! Mr. Nick Charles from The Thin Man films (played by William Powell) Mr. Mark McPherson from Laura (Dana Andrews) and Detective Inspector Jack Robinson from the TV series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (the amazing and devilishly handsome Mr. Nathan Page).

The first detective I have a crush on is Nick Charles. I first saw The Thin Man in 2014 and instantly fell in love with the film series! Nick Charles is a married and self proclaimed retired detective who loves three things- his dog Asta, martinis, and of course his loving wife, Nora. While Mr. Charles may be married it doesn’t stop me (and I’m sure a bunch of you) from having a crush on him. I mean lets be real- Nick Charles is husband material! He’s funny and has a great sense of humor, is playful with Nora, he’s a dog lover, can hold his alcohol like a gentlemen, has awesome Christmas parties (and dinner parties) AND he can solve murder mysteries– what gal doesn’t love all that! Plus- he’s stylish and suave!  And don’t even mention the way he dances —– SWOON!!!!

                         

Up next- we have Mr. Mark McPherson, played by the super handsome Dana Andrews. (First viewing of Laura during TCM’s Summer of Darkness in 2015) For the record, let it be know that I could write up a whole post about Dana, as that’s how much I adore him. Dana Andrews is the perfect choice to play this character- and I just want to say that his face is perfectly sculpted by God to wear a fedora. Many can pull it off- and many actors from the golden age do- but few can actually *own it* like he does. What I love most about Mark McPherson is his willingness to protect Miss Laura Hunt- even when he thinks shes dead, even when he thinks she might be guilty- he stands by her and does everything in his power to clear her name- devotion at its finest. On the outside its clear Mark is a tough cop but when you look deeper hes really a softie- and isn’t that the best type? Too bad he only has one screen kiss in the film!

Last but by certainly no means least- I’m going to rant about my latest crush (crushing on him since May 2 2015) Detective Inspector Jack Robinson (Mr. Nathan Page) the leading man on the TV show Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries (Australian TV show that airs on the ABC in Australia. US viewers- Acorn TV or Netflix). I have a major crush on both the actor and the character but I will try to keep to the character for this post. However, I must write this- Jack’s potrayer Nathan Page is a wonderful actor, gentlemen and human being, and I have a lot of respect for him. He walked away from the professional world of cycling at age 19- one of his main reasons being he wanted to stay away from the drug culture associated with the sport (if he had kept going he wouldn’t have been able to do so)

   

Mr Nathan Page as Jack Robinson

Detective Inspector Jack Robinson is a middle class working man from Richmond, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, (Australia) He fought in WWI in France and was a newlywed when he went to war. Jack has an extremely high moral compass and never lets his personal feelings interfere with his work. Joining the police force young he had a head start and trained under his father in law George Sanderson. When Jack returned from war he was of course a changed man and as a result, separated from his wife soon after. He formally divorced Rosie Sanderson in late 1928, after 16 years of marriage (most of them in name only). What I love most about Jack Robinson (besides his looks) is that hes a complex man- someone who you really have to spend time with in order to get to know thoroughly. Hes devoted to his job and even though he feels he failed at his marriage- you would never guess it. He’s also able to suppress any feelings he has for the Hon. Miss Phryne Fisher – a hard thing for any man to do- but he does it perfectly.

With the woman who stole his heart.. Miss Phryne Fisher

In short Jack is a great character to get to know, and even after 34 episodes there’s still so much to learn about him. I speak for every Miss Fisher fan around the world when I say “I love Jack Robinson” and I hope he returns to all of our screens very soon.

And with that everyone, I thank you for reading this sampling of my screen crushes. So many more like Hal Carter (William Holden) in Picnic, or John Robie (Cary Grant) from To Catch a Thief, Killian Jones “Captain Hook” (Colin O’Donoghue) on Once Upon a Time, Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens)  and Tom Branson (Allen Leech) from Downton Abbey–  and don’t even get me started on girl crushes (the character of Miss Fisher herself, Dorothy Shaw (Jane Russell) in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Lisa Carol Freemont (Grace Kelly) in Rear Window the list goes on- but safe to say these three detectives are pretty high up on the list!

Disorder in the Court (1936)- Three Stooges

Order in the Court Adams Rib banner

Hello All! Fresh off my own wonderfully successful blogathon, I’m back for more- this time as a participant for the Order in the Court Blogathon hosted by CineMaven’s Essays From The Couch and Second Sight Cinema.

Because I was a little bit late to the Jury, I decided to do something a bit different, and write about a Three Stooges short- called Disorder in the Court (1936) (one of my favorites- but my all time favorite short is Mutts To You).

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Growing up I probably saw this episode multiple times, as The Three Stooges are my Dad’s favorite (I’m talkin’ all time favorite) and my sister and I would watch with him. So before I go any further, this post is for you Daddy! 

Starring Moe, Larry, and Curly Disorder in the Court (1936) is the 15th short the Stooges made together under the brand of “The Three Stooges”. Moe, Larry, and Shemp had made previous shorts together as “Ted Healy’s Stooges”, but the classic shorts we all know and love didn’t begin until 1934 with the short Woman’s Haters.

In the short, the boys find themselves in a serious situation- having to defend their friend, a dancer, Gail Temptest as she is suspected of killing a man called Kirk Robin. Up first to the stand is Curly, but in true Curly fashion, he’s playing both Jacks and Tick Tack Toe in the hallway with Moe and Larry.

The Court is, of course growing impatient, but when they are told Gail’s life hangs in the balance, they rush back- as my Dad always says “those funny men- always looking for a girlfriend!”

With the boys back in the court room, the crazy antics then set in. Music and Dance numbers, mistaken toupee-for-tarantella incidents, a parrot flying out of its cage, and an out of control fire hose are just some of the events happening in the court room (remember this short is only 15 minutes!)

I personally have always enjoyed the music and dance number- gotta love it any time Larry plays the violin! Gail really gets to show off some great moves. The number does lead to Moe getting annoyed- but would a Stooge episode be without Curly being on the receiving some of Moe’s frustrations?

In the end, the boys DO find out who is guilty but not without causing some chaos- still-all’s well that ends well!

TO FIND OUT THE VERDICT OF THIS CASE CLICK HERE TO WATCH!  (its only 15 min of your time!!)

*Pictures from Wikipedia

And with that this Court is Adjourned! Cinemaven- thanks so much for inviting me- I had fun and am looking forward to reading more cases!