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Top 4 Lazy Evening Films on Netflix

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

So you feel like doing nothing tonight, just want a film to make you smile? Here are four movies now on Netflix that I dare you to watch without grinning. 4. Bowfinger (1999) Steve Martin, a conniving producer/con man down on his luck, forces paranoid action megastar Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy) into h read more

Remaking Hitchcock

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Apr 23, 2016

This week I’ve been lucky enough to convince author Michael Gutierrez into guest posting. Check out his wonderful book, The Trench Angel (which deserves cinematic treatment of its own). Back in the early 90s, during a time when there were a spate of remakes of classic films, my grandfather posited: read more

Surreal Reproduction: When Bette Met Mae (2014)

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Apr 17, 2016

On November 13, 1973 Wes Wheadon was the bartender for a party that joined  superstars Mae West (Victoria Mills) and Bette Davis (Karen Teliha) for the first time. He captured their encounter on audio tape, and then reenacted the event with lip-syncing actors, producing it more than 40 years later. read more

1946’s The Razor’s Edge: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Apr 13, 2016

This is my contribution to the Classic Movie Blog Association‘s Words! Words! Words! blogathon. Some of the entries have been collected into an eBook, which is free on Smashwords or .99 on Amazon, with all proceeds going to the National Film Preservation Fund. I hope you’ll get the book read more

Hitchcock Didn’t Get Jamaica Inn; Vince Gilligan Would

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

**Warning: Some spoilers (though I don’t reveal the mastermind in the novel; Hitchcock alters the story enough for it still to be a mystery). I just finished watching Breaking Bad, and was struck by the thematic similarities between it and Jamaica Inn, one of my favorite novels as a teen. Bot read more

Creepy Antihero: He Walked by Night (1948)

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Apr 2, 2016

**Minor spoilers only** There’s much to appreciate about the police procedural noir, He Walked by Night, in which a crafty thief (Richard Basehart) kills an LA cop and then eludes the force aligned against him, altering his targets and appearance to outwit his pursuers. The focus moves back read more

Schoolboy Fantasies: The Mannequin in Film

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

One Touch of Venus (1948) is a combination of myth and the classic Pygmalion tale: What if a window dresser kissed a statue of the love goddess, and instead of getting institutionalized, became an object of the suddenly warm-bodied immortal’s affection? The execution of the film is as silly read more

Kate Beckinsale: A Lousy Ava Gardner

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

Thanks to the stunning turns of Leonard DiCaprio, Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, and Alan Alda, The Aviator (2004) was nominated for a SAG award, Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Unfortunately, this meant Razzie-nominated Kate Beckinsale was included in the honor for portraying read more

Which Will Rogers Clip Should Poli Sci Fans See?

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

I keep thinking of one of Will Rogers’ famous lines as I observe the loopholes the GOP leadership is exploring to oust Trump: “If stupidity got us into this mess, why can’t it get us out?” (Don’t you think Lindsey Graham, with his recent political zingers, and clear fu read more

Mae West’s Klondike Rebellion

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

There’s something terribly wrong and terribly right about Klondike Annie’s (1936) odd musical tribute to Asian sensuality. It’s one of the few moments of the film when Mae West seems somewhat genuine. Elsewhere, she can’t sell the censored treatment of her material, so she d read more

SHOCKER: The Oscar Ceremony Was Good

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Feb 29, 2016

For the first time in at least a decade, I actually thought the Oscars were entertaining and even well planned. That there were some smart tweaks–the order change (with more exciting awards earlier), the ticker-tape names at the bottom so that the speeches were less listy and long winded. And read more

5 Ways for the Oscars Not to Suck

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Feb 27, 2016

While I have my favorites among this year’s nominees, my most fervent wish is for the ceremony itself. I don’t expect anything so lavish as entertainment. I just really, really hope that for once the ceremony doesn’t vie with a tractor pull for most boring event of the year. I can& read more

To Kill a Mockingbird–the Film that Spread the Word

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Feb 20, 2016

“In surveys asking what one book every civilized person should read, Mockingbird routinely finishes second to the Bible, and in one (if I may go a bit Maycomb on you here) it up and finished first.”  —Charles Leerhsen, Smithsonian I don’t know how to put into words how thank read more

Big Fish: A Kettle of Oscar Snubs

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Feb 13, 2016

Director Tim Burton’s beautiful Big Fish was shut out of all Oscar nominations in 2004 but for original score (which it didn’t win). The director’s work is often dismissed as creative, but too weird, or lovely, but lacking in feeling. The same critiques, by the way, the Coen brothers and Wes Anders read more

Canada Lee: Blacklisted Actor, Civil Rights Activist, Benefactor

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

In 1940, a white kid shows up at actor Canada Lee’s door in Harlem. Lee knows him, met the lonely teenager backstage while starring in Broadway’s Native Son. The kid asks to stay; Lee says yes, lets him remain a year. Introduces the kid to the lights of the Harlem Renaissance, loans him read more

Mae West Quote of the Week: Religion vs. Jewels

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

“You know it was a toss-up whether I go in for diamonds or sing in the choir. The choir lost.” The line would be funny regardless, but West does so much with it: She pauses in between the sentences for emphasis. She follows up the words with an arch look at her love interest of the hour read more

Joel McCrea: Stalling Director Preston Sturges

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Jan 23, 2016

This essay is part of Cinema Maven’s Symbiotic Collaborations blogathon, featuring wonderful director/star pairings. Click here for all the great entries. When I was a kid, my sisters and I used to play with the record player. We loved to speed it up to make it sound like Mickey Mouse. I ment read more

A Classic Christmas Romance for Any Day

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

How do you create a Christmas film that is sentimental, without dripping it in eggnog? Especially when you’ve agreed to make it a romance between a shoplifter and her prosecutor, and set it in *gulp* Indiana, which is  peppered with cornpone clichés in every cinematic portrayal? Miraculously, read more

Turning My Sister into a Classic Movie Fan, Bout 2: Abject Failure

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

For anyone who is interested, a long while ago, I made a bet with my sister: I would watch Breaking Bad, and she would watch ten classics. When I reminded her that she hadn’t honored our bet while I’d made it through four seasons, she said, “Yeah, but Breaking Bad is good. And you read more

Mae West: Making an Impression

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Dec 26, 2015

Mae West always gets her guys (emphasis on the plural). And once she gets them, they stay. In her classic She Done Him Wrong, Lou (West) is en route to visit an ex in prison. Her companion on the visit questions whether her ex will listen to her, given that he’s probably “sore” at read more
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