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Loving Asta, the Canine Film Star

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Feb 9, 2017

I’ve been dogsitting this week, which has me thinking about my favorite canine of classic film. I have to admit, I’m not an original at all: I love Skippy, of Asta fame. It doesn’t matter that I’m not a wire-haired terrier fan, or actually a terrier fan period. That dog runs read more

The Little Foxes (1941): the Melodrama for Our Political Moment

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Jan 28, 2017

I found it eerie watching Regina (Bette Davis) plotting with her brothers in a story described by a contemporary reviewer as a “grim and malignant melodrama.” Certain themes kept surfacing that read like today’s headlines: mistreatment of minorities, disregard for others’ he read more

Gut Reactions to the Oscar Noms: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Jan 24, 2017

Oscar nominations are out, and as usual, my first reaction is outrage. But there are some good choices in the supporting category, so I’ll tone down some initial snark, and try to give credit where it’s due. So far, I’ve seen only four of the nominated films, so I’ll wait til read more

Interview on CMBA Site

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Jan 15, 2017

One of my favorite bloggers interviewed me for the Classic Movie Blog Association‘s profile. Check it out here. Such an honor. I feel like this: For fantastic reading, view the author’s site, Silver Screenings. Her support, and that of other awesome veteran bloggers (such as Caftan Woma read more

Fred and Ginger Fans, Watch La La Land

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Jan 12, 2017

Sometimes when I’m watching Gene Kelly, I’ve had to resist my urge to reach through the screen and push him into one of the puddles he’s leaping around.  I want to enjoy his joyful movements, his talent, but for me, the acting just kills it. His characters seem so smug, so sentimen read more

The Odd Stew of Designing Woman

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Dec 16, 2016

It’ surprising the screenplay for Designing Woman (1957) won George Wells an Oscar, given its strange stew of marital conflict, mob threats, brain damage, fashion, and acrobatic fight moves. But there is a cleverness to it, and some insights about marriage one doesn’t usually get in a c read more

Goin’ to Town: Feel-Good Classic

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Dec 10, 2016

How do you explain the joy of Mae West after a long hiatus? I’ve saved Goin’ to Town for a rough day, and it had the hoped-for effect. I may not get everything in my life right, but I have an instinct for good medicine: Mae had me grinning within seconds. Cleo (West) first appears in an read more

Defeat Future Trumps: Teach Humor

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Nov 16, 2016

“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” —Mark Twain When Trump clinched the nomination in Indiana, I felt betrayed not by my fellow citizens, but by my art. I teach humor, write humor, believe in humor. And I couldn’t deny it: Trump’s skill with a joke was exactly read more

The Lure of the Selfish Genius

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Oct 19, 2016

The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) presents that classic question: what are you willing to put up with, to be under the direction of a genius? Whiplash (2014) did the same just a couple years ago, conductor Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) compelling his protégé drummer to dangerous extremes for his art. The read more

Meg Ryan’s Fate Foretold in Joe Versus the Volcano

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Oct 1, 2016

Meg Ryan has had a peculiar career: America’s darling after When Harry Met Sally (1989), she has struggled to avoid typecasting as the perky cute girl ever since, and largely failed, settling for a saccharine portrayal in Sleepless in Seattle (1993), and veering into downright parody of her p read more

In Defense of Netflix: Jessica Jones & OITNB

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Aug 18, 2016

I’ve been flirting with dumping Netflix for some time: That terrible customer service debacle a few years back. The fact that despite their extensive classic movie DVD library, their classic movie streaming choices are tired, and frequently movie-of-the-week bad. The prices I have to pay to wa read more

Mae West’s Lessons for Groundbreakers

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Aug 7, 2016

A woman approaches a building, greets men outside, enters. A common occurrence. But when that walk is Mae West’s, the arrival of Maudie into Night after Night is transgressive. West’s entrance into film guaranteed the influence she’d already build on the stage would reverberate far beyond the read more

The Good Stuff: What’s to Love about Fights in Film

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Jul 8, 2016

Talented poet and screenwriter, martial artist, and classics enthusiast Brian Wilkins agreed to guest post for me as part of The Sword and Sandal blogathon, hosted by Moon in Gemini. Check out his wonderful tribute to fight scenes below. Sometime in 1998, I sit on the floor in my living room watchi read more

Sympathetic Liars: The Book of Mormon & Beat the Devil

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Jun 26, 2016

Kooky. Bizarre. Silly. Odd. Original. It’s difficult to sum up the strange charm of Beat the Devil (1953), that Truman Capote-penned film* that fits no genre and makes no sense. You have the feeling as you watch that Capote must have been tripping, but his quirky personality, not to mention t read more

The Dark Humor of High Noon (1952)

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Jun 12, 2016

**Contains spoilers** When I watched High Noon many years ago, I was struck by its pacing, its intensity, its seriousness. This time, I kept laughing. There’s something comic about watching Marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper) aimlessly tread around the town, waiting for someone, anyone to assist read more

The Klutziest Bonnie & Clyde Ever: Gun Crazy (1950)

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Jun 6, 2016

**Only very minor, preliminary spoilers here** Gun Crazy begins with a boy getting caught for stealing a gun because he trips. The kid, Barton Tare, has a mysterious attraction to guns he can neither explain nor control. Others try to defend him, given that he has no desire to harm and isn’t read more

Mae West’s Theme Show: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on May 30, 2016

Sexually adventurous, unapologetic, averse to marriage, in control, attractive to all men–and in her 40s. Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis) is the kind of character feminists have despaired of seeing onscreen, and yet there she is, captivating her Australian viewers, and now American ones, who have read more

Happy Films: You Were Never Lovelier (1942)

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on May 22, 2016

When asked to pick a film that I’d equate with ice cream for a sweet-inspired blogathon, I recalled the Rita Hayworth-Fred Astaire confection, You Were Never Lovelier. The plot is so silly: a sexist father, Eduardo Acuña (Adolphe Menjou), creates an imaginary secret admirer for his daughter, read more

Gary Cole’s Brilliant Lumbergh

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on May 15, 2016

It says something about me–the fact that I have a red Swingline stapler. I was a proselytizer where Office Space (1999) was concerned: My rec of the film was one of the ways I earned credibility with roommates and dates (the stapler itself was a parting gift from a convert). I even held viewin read more

New TV Show on Bette Davis and Joan Crawford!!

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on May 6, 2016

FX is bringing classic movie buffs’ favorite sparring partners, Bette and Joan, to the screen. And the leads for the pair? Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange. How lucky are we? The show, aptly titled Feud, will also feature some amazing costars. The only downside? We have to wait until 2017. Jo read more
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