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3 Characters I’d Like to Celebrate St. Patrick’s with

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Mar 12, 2015

The Hero of The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) While watching Errol Flynn play Robin Hood, you get the feeling he knows how ridiculous he looks in those green tights. But instead of embarrassing, his outfit energizes him. You can almost hear him thinking, “Well, the manliness contest is lost. Let’ read more

The Artist at Play: Man with a Movie Camera (1929)

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Mar 9, 2015

This post is part of the blogathon hosted by Movies Silently and sponsored by Flicker Alley. Thanks to both for such a great event! Click here to see the wonderful entries of the other participants: Wizardry. It’s the word that jumps at you while viewing Man with a Movie Camera, the celebrated docu read more

4 Movies Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary Would Watch

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Mar 1, 2015

It’s 1924 at Downton Abbey. We’ve just seen Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) canoodling with one guy in a London theater (Charles Blake) to ward off another (Lord Gillingham) who had mistaken intimacy for love. Mary barely protested when forced to leave Beau Brummel early to disenchant Gillingham. But read more

A Plea to the Academy: Consider East Coast Bed Times

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Feb 24, 2015

I have read a number of suggestions for improving the Oscars broadcast, but one solution I rarely hear would increase your viewership instantly: Move the ceremony at least an hour and a half earlier. I realize that this is a Hollywood event, that it’s meant to be at night. But after all, the broadc read more

The Debt Actresses Owe William Somerset Maugham: from Gloria Swanson to Annette Bening

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Feb 19, 2015

I’ve read many glowing tributes to the stars of The Letter, Being Julia, Of Human Bondage, and Sadie Thompson over the years. While I’ve never questioned the talents of these actresses, I have always credited much of their brilliance in these parts to William Somerset Maugham. Their strengths are read more

Unexpectedly Romantic: The Mistress Giving the Wife Advice in The Smiling Lieutenant

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Feb 12, 2015

There’s something both charming and shocking about the song between Franzi (Claudette Colbert) and Princess Anna (Miriam Hopkins) in The Smiling Lieutenant. The two are unexpected friends in this moment, after all; the film begins with Franzi’s passionate love affair with Niki (Maurice Cheval read more

Worth Watching Before the Oscars or Not? Quick Reviews of Six Nominees

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Feb 4, 2015

With little more than two weeks left before the Oscars, is it worth it to view all eight? Even for those of us who think this was a great year for movies, eight by Feb. 22nd may be pushing it. To help you decide, I’m including short reviews for the nominees I’ve seen so far (two left to go). The read more

Fabulous Fights: Ginger Rogers & Gail Patrick in Stage Door (1937)

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Jan 31, 2015

This post is part of Backlots’ 4th Annual Dueling Divas Blogathon. Check out the other entries! If you haven’t seen Jean (Ginger Rogers) squabble with Linda (Gail Patrick) in Stage Door, I envy you. It’s just such a pleasure. Three minutes into the movie, they are already at it: Jean thinks Linda read more

Five Surprising Lessons I’ve Learned from Blogging

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Jan 27, 2015

Sixty posts after my first, I’d like to reflect on the unexpected—and sometimes bizarre—lessons I’ve learned in my first year blogging: 1. Quality/Effort/Originality Does Not Equal a Popular Post; the Word ‘Sex’ in the Title Does Of course, in theory I knew that words such as “sex” read more

The Oscar Snub No One Is Talking about: Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Jan 22, 2015

I know everyone is busy discussing the Selma Oscar snubs and Jennifer Aniston’s supposed one. The former film I haven’t seen yet, and Cake I won’t. Only when I scrolled through long lists of snubs would I find Ralph Fiennes, as if the omission of his name were insignificant, perhaps expected. read more

Some Like It Hot: Only for Men?

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Jan 18, 2015

I know that the field of comedy has always been dominated by men. It’s no surprise that when humorous films are ranked, those most amusing to men lead the pack. But I still find it disturbing that the film the AFI considers the funniest of all time is one that gives me just a few laughs in its two read more

The Depression Satire, Gold Diggers of 1933

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Jan 11, 2015

What does the term gold digger really mean, in the context of the Depression? Today we think of Kanye’s gold digger; buying gold and liposuction, maybe holding a lap dog and wearing furs; not a showgirl escaping destitution. For a musical, Gold Diggers of 1933 is surprisingly earnest, managing to read more

A Showcase for Garfield, Neal, and Hernandez: The Breaking Point (1950)

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Jan 7, 2015

The Breaking Point is tense from its first scene, with fishing boat captain Harry (John Garfield) arriving on dock to find that his credit is no longer good enough for the gas he needs for his next trip. Money troubles mean he can’t feed his wife and kids, can’t pay his partner, Wesley (Juano Herna read more

Turning My Sister into a Classic Movie Fan, Bout 1: Rachel 1, Me 0

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Dec 28, 2014

Christmas night I made my sister watch Body and Soul (1947), her first viewing in fulfillment of our bet (if she watches 10 classic films, I will watch Breaking Bad). During the movie, she alternately complained about the music, stared blankly, and dozed off. Afterward, she said, “Well the acting read more

The Moment I Fell for Eve Arden

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Dec 18, 2014

In the early eighties, all the girls I knew pined for large hoop earrings, curly hair, and tight pants just like the changed Sandy in Grease. We piped “You’re the One that I Want,” with its requisite “oooh, oooh, ooohs,” imagining we could lure Danny into the sky with us. Grease had a staying read more

A Film Celebrating Bad Cooks: Christmas in Connecticut

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Dec 13, 2014

I come from a long line of bad cooks. My mother was way ahead of her peers with the natural foods craze, but, like a new vegan, she never learned to substitute anything for the bacon grease she’d been raised with; everything she made was bland. When we visited my maternal grandmother’s, all of our read more

Please Keep the Hair: Keri Russell, Rita Hayworth, and Veronica Lake

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Dec 7, 2014

All the wig-switching in the KGB thriller The Americans has me thinking about hair. Of course, my musings must be rooted in the show’s star, Keri Russell, she of the infamous haircut that made Felicity stars everywhere wish her beautician Sweeney Todd. But Russell was not the only star blamed for read more

Is Something Rotten in Mayberry?: Andy Griffith, Bill Cosby, and Our Instinct to Idolize

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Nov 29, 2014

I’d heard that Andy Griffith’s performance in A Face in the Crowd (1957) was something to see. But years of believing him the representative of small-town wholesomeness made his first appearance in the film as the target of the law rather than the enforcer of it instantly off-putting. My first insti read more

Actors Too Pretty for Their Parts

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Nov 21, 2014

I would like to say that an actor’s performance always trumps any preconceptions of mine about a character from a book I’ve read, that I can set aside my firm conviction that a character was blonde or tall or curvy. But the truth is, sometimes my assumptions ruin a performance for me, no matter read more

Disney’s Tangled: Better as a Silent Film?

Cary Grant Won't Eat You Posted by Judy on Nov 11, 2014

This post is part of the The Fairy Tale Blogathon hosted by Movies Silently. Check out the other entries! I was hesitant to give Tangled a chance. I’ve always been bored by Rapunzel, who had little to recommend her but strong hair. Sure, she had beauty—yawn—and a pretty voice (What heroine doesn’t read more
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