Agnes Moorehead Blogathon: Magnificent Obsession (1954)

For my contribution for the Agnes Moorehead Blogathon, I signed up to write about one of the best melodramas from the 1950s, Magnificent Obsession.

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Although Agnes Moorehead plays a supporting role in this film as Jane Wyman’s friend/ nurse, Nancy, her role is an important one- for without her Jane’s character Helen, would be totally lost and left to navigate on her own.

I have never seen a Douglas Sirk film before (or a Jane Wyman one,either) so I was very excited to do this blogathon! Personally, I was extremely keen to view this film in particular as the creator of the Australian television show A Place To Call Home took heavy inspiration from this movie for the show. Looking back, I feel the creator did a superb job taking both cinematic elements and dramatic elements and incorporating them into his melodramatic 1950s period drama. (Seriously check it out! Its a great TV show! If you love the 1950s and period pieces- go watch it!!! Non spoiler description here)

For those who may be unfamiliar, the 1954 version of Magnificent Obsession is a remake (I myself have yet to see the 1935 original version with Irene Dunne), yet it is has surpassed the original in terms of popularity. Its theme and feel are very similar to that of An Affair to Remember (1957; which itself is a remake of 1939’s Love Affair). With lush technicolor scenes, dramatic plot twists, and plenty of romantic moments, Magnificent Obsession provides exactly what the name suggests.

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The story is kind of a crazy one, You see, Rock Hudson’s character, Bob, gets into a speedboat accident- and then has to be resuscitated, but in a turn of events, the Doctor, Dr. Phillips, who saved him- dies. The Doctor’s widow, Helen then is left on her own, while Bob who is hated by everyone for causing Dr. Phillip’s death. In an effort to get to know Helen better, Bob tries to befriend her, but she rejects his advances. But- in another turn of events, by rejecting Bob, Helen then is run over and blinded by a passing car. Bob, then commits his life to medicine to become a doctor and by doing so, falls in love with Helen.

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The lovely Miss Moorehead comes into play as Nancy Ashford, who is Helen’s friend and Nurse. Because Helen is blind, Nancy sort of acts as her eyes doing simple things for Helen, such as writing letters, and keeping her company,and even being a travel companion.  I just thought Nancy was a wonderful friend- so patient and kind to Helen- the exact caretaker I would want in a bad situation.

The group of Hudson, Wyman, and Moorehead, and director Douglas Sirk was so successful that all of them reunited a year later to make All That Heaven Allows, with Hudson and Wyman again as love interests. (I have not yet seen it, so I’m not sure what role Moorehead plays).

In short, I can’t wait to add this movie to my collection once it becomes available on Blu-Ray (COME ON CRITERION!!!). Its just one of those feel good movies you can watch on a rainy (or snowy!) day. It transports you to another world and now, I wanna go out and buy these sunglasses!

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Source- The Criterion Collection

There’s certainly nothing quite like Magnificent Obsession– go out and watch it today!

*Available on DVD from the Criterion Collection

Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

Hello All! This is my entry for the one and only Cary Grant Blogathon Hosted by my good friend over at Phyllis Loves Classic Movies. Before I begin just a few things 1-Happy Noirvember! I hope you all are enjoying/ enjoyed it! (Best new watch for me was Detour 1945) 2- I want all of you to know that while I may not reply to all of your comments, I do read every single one, and I can’t thank you enough for them- seriously they mean a lot to me! 

With that done, without further ado, I now give you my entry! Only Angels Have Wings is one of those films from Hollywood’s Golden Year, 1939, and the second of three movies for Cary that year.

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For me, Only Angels was the second Cary Grant drama film I ever watched, with the first being Penny Serenade (1941). In fact, I did see a snippit of the this film even before I knew who Cary Grant was- it was when I was 13, at my Grandfather’s place- he had the TV on TCM, and I heard Cary’s character calling out over the radio- that was my first encounter with Cary Grant- too bad it took three more years for me to fully embrace his awesomeness!!!

Three years later, this film was one of the first of his that I saw, like I mentioned, but I will admit I didn’t really want to watch it at first- I was so enamored with Cary making me laugh, I didn’t know if I could handle him doing a full on drama (as Penny Serenade is technically a melodrama)- but boy was I wrong!!

One of the best things about Only Angels is that the picture is a different Cary Grant picture and in the best way possible. I don’t wanna say Cary isn’t the focus, but at the same time, I do. I think the picture really belongs to Jean Arthur, and even scene stealer Rita Hayworth.

However Cary’s character, Geoff Carter, is important (as always), as without him, there is no development- he’s the guy who keeps everyone moving forward- he consoles Jean Arthur when  Joe is killed, catches Thomas Mitchell’s character’s, Kid, bad eyesight, and all in all is a great guy to have on hand (I mean he is Cary Grant!!!)

Another aspect that makes this film just wonderful is the direction of Howard Hawks- who literally could direct anything- film noir, musical, screwball comedy, adventure, drama, comedy, western- he seriously did it all , with them all being enjoyable. And while Cary Grant may have been the favorite of Mr. Alfred Hitchcock, Cary’s favorite director was said to be Hawks. If any other director would have been at the head of this project, I personally feel it would have turned out as wonderful as it did.

Image result for only angels have wings airplane scenesLastly, what makes this film is the aviation scenes and attitudes that are depicted. Flying in airplanes was the fascination for people in the 1920s and 30s- and yes so many films have depicted pilots, it this film is probably one of the best , if not THE best from the era. And- To those who watch today and say “that’s cheesy”- please just remember- this was without computer and green screen CGI- no animation whatsoever, yet it looks great!

On the whole, Only Angels Have Wings is a delightful picture, it’s a bit long, but that’s OK- I love Cary Grant and I love him with Jean Arthur (she’s soo underrated!). It’s just one of those movies that offers a real escape from everyday life- go out to the South American coast with Mr Cary Grant? SIGN. ME .UP.

To wrap up, I’m just gonna leave you with this really awesome picture of Cary and Jean- man I wish I was her! (For those who have seen the movie- I just adore the ending scene, and so did Ms. Arthur- for years later she recalled “I loved sinking my head into Cary Grant’s chest”. ) SIGGHHH! 




2nd Grace Kelly Blogathon

Character Costume Blogathon

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A lot of you who read my blog may know that I love Grace Kelly– as not only is she a princess and an old Hollywood actress, but she is also lovely, wonderful, classy, elegant, serene, and one of the most magnificent ladies ever to walk the earth. For every great lady, there is a designer for whom they act as a muse to. For Grace Kelly, that designer was none other than the talented and gifted Edith Head. So when it came time to do a Blogathon hosted by Christina (over at her awesome blog) about character costumes, I had to participate to write about Grace and Edith!!

Yes, Edith Head dressed practically everyone in Hollywood during her amazing and impressive career, but to me, Grace and Edith together is the definition of “designer and client.” They go together just like The Duchess of Cambridge and Alexander McQueen or Audrey Hepburn and Herbert de Givenchy.

Although Grace wore her most famous outfit (her wedding dress!) by the MGM designer Helen Rose no one knew how to dress Grace better than Edith.  Ms. Head designed the wardrobe for Grace in two of her Hitchcock films (which were her best performances!) as well as The Country Girl and The Bridges at Toko-Ri.

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In Rear Window, Grace’s character Lisa Carol Freemont wears this amazing black and white chiffon number- and even today, its stylish- the heels, the A-Line skirt, and the top and bottom design that is made to look like two separate pieces- it’s absolutely timeless.

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Another outfit I just adore to death is the Black dress in Rear Window– again timeless, and it may not be flashy but it doesn’t need to be! It’s simple, yet extremely stylish- its my definition of a little black dress.

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And finally my other favorite from Rear Window is the printed dress Grace wears while examining Thorwald’s apartment. It’s an unusual dress Edith designed as she normally chose not to use prints for fear of the print becoming aged as people looked back on it, but yet again, Edith proved her eye for style, for it hasn’t aged a day- it’s fabulous!!!

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In To Catch a Thief, Edith perfectly matched Grace’s (well Frances Stevens!) eyes in this wonderful blue gown. However, the real eye catching winner in my view was definitely the white ensemble (I do realize the gold ball gown is the favorite of many but I believe it’s this white one that does it for me!)

Aide from the movies, Edith also designed some wonderful personal outfits for Grace including her legendary teal Oscar dress, as well as her suit she wore when departing for her honeymoon.

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Once Grace left for Monaco, the two did stay close as evidenced by this picture below (thanks to Grace and family Tumblr, left and, right) Image result for edith head grace and family tumblr

Thanks for there is also this darling note from Grace to Edith!

Has there ever been a more charming friendship between an actress and designer? I think not!


The Lovely/ Sunshine Award

Reader and Bloggers, I’ve been given both the Lovely and Sunshine Awards! These are similar to the liebster, but different in name, so I’ll write up about them- But not again in the future- these awards are super cute and sweet, but also chain like, so I’ll accept them once. Thank You to Ginnie (one of my best blogger friends!) from The Wonderful World of Cinema for the Sunshine Award and to Nicole (who also runs a great blog!!) at An Ode to Dust for the Lovely Award.


Ginnie’s Questions

1-Except for the USA… which country do you think makes the most interesting and worthy movies? A- Britain, hands down! Lots of great productions!

2. If your life had to be like a movie, which movie would you choose? A- Not sure- maybe The Thin Man (1934)- I’d be married to a cheeky, and good looking detective and have fun solving murder mysteries. 

3. Which movie star inspires you the most? It doesn’t necessarily have to be your favourite. A- Jean Arthur- I think she was great because she was shy but you would never know.

4. What is your favourite catastrophe movie of the 70s (the golden decade of catastrophe movies)? A: I haven’t seen any, I can’t answer fairly. 

5. To you, who is the most iconic actress of all times and the most iconic actor of all times? A: John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe I think are the most iconic. 

6. Is there a book you would like to see a movie adaptation of? Who would star in it? A-The Impersonator by Mary Miley (go read this book!!). I don’t have a specific lead actress in mind or a lead actor, but I wanna see this be adapted. 

7. You think Audrey Hepburn made her best movies with Billy Wilder, William Wyler or Stanley Donen? I chose the movie directors with whom she made more that just one film. A- Man!! This one’s hard- I love Charade but I love Roman Holiday and also Sabrina. I’m just gonna go with Wilder. 

8. If you had the chance to own all the costumes of one movie, which one would it be? A-Rear Window. 

9. What do you think was the prettiest Oscar dress? A- Grace Kelly!

10. The ugliest? A-Toss up Loretta Young and Halle Berry

11. If you could go back in time, what would you change from the movie history? But you can choose only ONE thing (it can be a movie ending you didn’t like, prevent the premature death of one of your favourite actors, choose another actress for Scarlett O’Hara, anything!) I know, hard choice. A: Ginnie! Ahh Too hard! But I have to go with preventing the premature death of my favorite, Carole Lombard- she was taken so young and so tragically, all in the line of helping sell war bonds. 

1- Although I knew of Anne of Green Gables since childhood, I just now discovered how awesome the story is, as in how powerful and inspiring it is. I’m appreciating for the first time how lovable the writing, plot, and characters are. For the record- MEGAN FOLLOWS and JONATHAN CROMBIE (RIP) ARE THE DEFINITIVE ANNE AND GILBERT- any others and all remakes of the novel are inferior.

2- It has its flaws (aka season 2), but Reign (2013) is one of my favorite TV shows.

3- I basically only watch costume drama TV shows- the only one (s) I watch that isn’t is Full/ Fuller House.

4- I’m a scrapbooker. I collect articles and put them in binders- my on going collection is for Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.

5- I still don’t have a clear idea on what I am to pursue in my life- I only know what I don’t want.

6- Some of my favorite historical people- Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth I, King Henry VIII, Queen Catherine de Medici, Mary Queen of Scots

7- Some Favorite fictional people- Nick and Nora Charles, The Hon. Miss Phryne Fisher, DI Jack Robinson, Dr. Lucien Blake, Dorothy Gale, Anne Shirley, The Dowager Countess of Grantham.

Thanks again! and I hope you learned something new about me!


The Dallas Blogathon: Ian McShane

Hi readers! this is my entry for the lovely Realweegiemidget’s first blogathon (congrats on the success!) about her favorite program Dallas (1978)

I have never seen or heard of this program but wanted to participate in the blogathon because its host is quite wonderful!

So I decided to write up about Ian McShane’s (Don Lockwood) role in the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011).

McShane plays the role of Blackbeard a new rival of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). Together with Blackbeard’s daughter Angelica (Penelope Cruz) and Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), they embark on finding the Fountain of Youth.

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I just really love all of the Pirates movies- (CAN’T WAIT FOR #5 – did you hear Orlando Bloom is back as Will Turner?????)  and McShane is great as Blackbeard- even though he probably will not continue the role (spoiler- as his character dies at the end!) I just adored the humor as well as mystique he brought to his portrayal of such a  legendary figure. AND OF COURSE who wouldn’t want to have the cool powers of controlling The Queen Anne’s Revenge with just a swish of your sword- seriously cool!

Take a look at McShane’s super cool entrance!

I am just glad Disney decided to do this movie, as it is a bit of a difference from the other three- but it’s still great, for the performances of the new characters are just splendid. 

I can’t speak for myself, as I have never seen Dallas, but I’m sure seeing Ian McShane as a ruthless pirate must be a very different departure from his character of Don Lockwood. However, I must say he plays an awesome pirate! !!!

Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead men tell no tales will be out May 27 2017 (in the US) 


The Searchers: Meeting Lana Wood

Hello readers! This is a very special post as on September 15 2016 at the Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge IL. I met Lana Wood at a 60th anniversary screening of The Searchers. My lovely Father escorted me for the night- as he was so generous to take a day off work so I could go! Thanks again, Daddy! (also thanks for the pictures!)

It was surely a night to remember, and I’m so glad to share my experience with all of you!

But before I go any further, I’d like to dedicate this post to the man who introduced me to John Wayne and his movies when I was 9, my late grandfather, Mr. Joseph Kasper. Although he couldn’t accompany me to the screening last night, I just know how thrilled he would have been for me and how excited he would have been to see John Wayne on the big screen. The Duke was my Grandfather’s favorite movie star and he always used to say, “I like John Wayne because he reminds me of me”. I know my Grandfather was with me in spirit last night, and for that I couldn’t be happier.

Photo by Emily Graziano

The screening of The Searchers took place at the glorious art deco Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge IL. It was built in 1928 and in 1975 was officially declared a historic building. Its name “Pickwick” was chosen by the then Park Ridge Mayor, William Malone, for the character of Samuel Pickwick from Charles Dickens’ novel The Pickwick Papers.

The night kicked of with pre- show at 6:30 with music by Jay Warren. Ms. Lana Wood arrived shortly after signing autographs before and after the screening.

Autographs were $20, however all proceeds were to help homeless dogs and cats at no kill shelters! A generous donation on Ms. Wood’s behalf.

I was lucky enough to get Lana’s autograph before the screening and get a picture with her as well!

When I got to the front there were about ten pictures to choose from (ranging from Searchers stills to Diamonds are Forever Plenty O’Toole candids). I asked the man sitting next to Lana which one would be best and he suggested the picture of Lana and Natalie together, as it was a studio picture taken to promote the movie. Ms. Wood then chimed in exclaiming, “Oh yes this one! Its the two Debbies together!”. With that, I took their advice.

Photo By Emily Graziano

Lana also graciously signed the inside of my Searchers’ blu-ray sleeve, to which the man beside her said was a “good idea” that I brought it.

I also had the pleasure to tell Lana how wonderful it was for me to meet her and that this was my first time viewing The Searchers. I explained I never had met a celebrity before and I told her how honored I was to meet a real movie star. Ms. Wood was ever so generous saying she was “glad” I came out. I also asked her of how she liked Chicago, with her response being “Oh, I love it!”

But the coolest part was when we took this picture together (which my Dad took for me!) I stood next her her and she exclaimed “Finally! someone I’m taller than!” It felt so surreal- but it was so amazing- I felt like I was dreaming!


At seven o’clock she began her Q and A session. She talked of her memories of Sean Connery and being the bond girl, John Wayne, her sister Natalie, and of course her recollection of making The Searchers.

She recalled the dust storms and how, when she would take a bath the storms made the water come out orange at first. She talked about Patrick Wayne and how both she and Natalie just “adored” him. Ms Wood furthermore revealed her favorite film of Natalie’s: Splendor in the Grass because Natalie was brave enough to take off her cuff that hid her protruding wrist bone. Lana explained Natalie wanted to “bare it all” for this film.

I myself got to ask Lana a question which was “What was your favorite role of your career?” She happily remarked it was a “lesser known mini series {QB VII} with Anthony Hopkins“. She even “parted ways” with her agent as they believed she was too good for the small role and if she took the role, they didn’t want to represent her. But she said the most important part was the character and in the end she was even nominated for an Emmy.

Lana talked for about 40-ish minutes before the film played, with it starting at about 7:40.

I was just in awe of the movie, especially on the big screen- seeing John Wayne in his signature role in a cinema setting was just too cool. It was certainly something I’ll never forget and all other viewings of The Searchers from here on out will never amount to the glory it was last night.

I hope in the future I will be able to go to more events such as this! It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m just thankful I didn’t pass it up. I’ll always remember the magical evening and I no longer wonder why The Searchers is considered the best, for it 100% is the best of the best.


Hollywood Friendship: Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman

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For the Second Wonderful Ingrid Bergman Blogathon hosted by my friend Ginnie at the Wonderful World of Cinema, I decided to write about the legendary friendship between the two lovely stars of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. (Sadly I haven’t seen too many of Bergman’s movies- but I want to change that!)

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Cary and Ingrid may have only made to movies together: Hitchcock’s Notorious (1946) and Stanley Donen’s 1958 work Indiscreet- but the friendship they had was certainly amazing.

When work began on Notorious both stars were somewhat uneasy- David O Selznick wanted Cary replaced with Joseph Cotten, and Cary himself was unsure of how the movie would turn out as his previous Hitchcock film Suspicion (1941) had him cast against type. Ingrid was also a bit uneasy with working for Hitchcock again, as her previous film with him, Spellbound (1945) also was an unpleasant experience.

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However as filming began, both stars were able to let go of their past feelings and found comfort in each other. Their easiness around each other is evident in one of the most famous kisses in screen history. As it is widely known most of the dialogue between the pair was improvised, as Hitch advised them to speak “as lovers would”. Although both stars found the scene somewhat uncomfortable to shoot, what resulted was just fabulous!

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It would be 12 years before the pair were teamed again, but they always found room for each other! As we all know- Cary was one of the few people in Hollywood not to shut Ingrid out due to her romance with Roberto Rosselini, and even accepted for her 1957 Best Actress Oscar for Anastasia. That’s real friendship!

Then the next year, 1958 the two were reunited in Indiscreet. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, and I’ve only watched it once, (same with Notorious I’m gonna have to watch both again) but I can say that the plot is really wonderful.I love the use of the split screen in the beginning and of course there is Cary’s dance scene. Ingrid gets some great lines, “How dare he make love to me and not be a married man!”

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One of the last public appearances the duo had was at the AFI tribute to Alfred Hitchcock. Naturally both stars were there, and when Ingrid got up to reflect on Hitch, she surprised everyone by presenting the famous key from Notorious. After filming wrapped on Notorious, Cary kept it, then soon passed it on to Ingrid saying it could bring her luck, as it did him. At the presentation, Ingrid then gave it to Hitch!

After Ingrid died, Cary would often say he had four favorite leading ladies: Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Deborah Kerr, and Ingrid Bergman. He also was known to favor the two movies he made with her. Today, we may not know much about the two stars private friendship, but it still endures on screens to be treasured forever!

Photo Credit- Pintrest, Wikipedia.

20 film fun facts

Hello readers! Today since 8/27, it’s my Birthday, I thought it would be fun for you guys to learn a little bit about me!

But, instead of just naming 20 films I love, which is in my view is unfair to the would be 21st title on the list, I’m going to name 20 film fun facts about me- hopefully you will find them interesting! Here we go!

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1- I specifically got a blu ray player to watch the 1953 classic Niagara (as its now very very expensive on DVD).

2-Henry Fonda was the first “leading man” I ever saw on screen in Yours Mine and Ours (1968). I was 9 years old when I first watched the movie in 2005.

3- The first Hitchcock I saw was Rear Window (1954), all because of Grace Kelly

4- The first Cary Grant movie I saw was Charade (1963)

5- In my life I have taken four (counting TCM’s slapstick class) formal film classes

6- The first William Holden movie I watched was Sabrina (1954), but I didn’t fall in love with / admire him until I saw Born Yesterday (1950)

7- A good friend of mine (you know who you are!)  got me into watching and admiring Billy Wilder films. :-) Image result

8- I’m not a big Joan Crawford fan, however I do like Daisy Kenyon (1947)

9- I’m not a big Barbara Stanwyck fan, but I can’t help but like her because she saved Bill Holden’s career.

10- Gentlemen Prefer Blondes  (1953) got me to like Marilyn Monroe.

11- On average, there are only about three films a year I’m actually interested in seeing at the cinema- I do watch a lot of movies but they are usually on TCM!

12- My favorite Fred and Ginger movie is Swing Time (1936)


13- An under rated film noir, in my opinion, is Road House (1948)

14- When I was 6, I had an opportunity to do a stage production of The Wizard of Oz (1939), but I said no- I now regret that!

15- One of my favorite chick flicks is Easy A (2010)

16- I sadly didn’t see Titanic (1997) fully through until April 2012- my Mom and I saw the re-release for the 100th anniversary of the sinking/ 15th anniversary of the movie.

17- The only film, so far, that I have seen opening weekend is 17 Again (2009)

18- I like many genres, execpt Horror and sci-fi

19- As a kid, I saw Monsters Inc (2001)  5 times at the cinema; And Finding Nemo (2003) 3 times.

20- My Grandfather was a big John Wayne fan, and I am too because of him. Whenever I watch a John Wayne movie- I always think of my Grandfather. I’ve been told The Cowboys (1972) and Hondo (1953) were two of his favorites, but I never specifically asked him for myself.

And that’s that! Thanks to all my readers-regular and casual- for following! I am so grateful for all of your support!😉 –Emily (The Flapper Dame) 

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