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Classic Films in Focus: A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1938)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Dec 23, 2020

 I'm generally a fan of adaptations of Charles Dickens' holiday standard, even the loose and the weird ones, but the 1938 version of A Christmas Carol from MGM strikes me as a bowdlerized, lightweight entry into the category, pleasant enough but not really willing to get to the heart of the sto read more

Classic Films in Focus: BARBARELLA (1968)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Dec 16, 2020

I have frequently declared my affection for movies that are more entertaining than they are good, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that I enjoy the bizarre spectacle of Barbarella (1968) even if it makes no effort to make any sense. Produced by Dino De Laurentiis and directed by Roger Vadim, this ada read more

Classic Films in Focus: SABRINA (1954)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Nov 23, 2020

After her breakout success in Roman Holiday (1953), Audrey Hepburn cemented her image as a charming romantic heroine with Sabrina (1954), in which she plays a beautiful ingenue who pines for affection from a wealthy, older man. Along with its love story, Sabrina offers a very tame exploration of ups read more

Classic Films in Focus: THAT TOUCH OF MINK (1962)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Nov 21, 2020

 It's hard to imagine a more charming duo than Cary Grant and Doris Day, and That Touch of Mink (1962) is a perfectly entertaining example of their respective talents in the romantic comedy genre, even if both stars made more memorable outings in other pictures. Director Delbert Mann's comedy o read more

Classic Movies on CBS All Access

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Nov 18, 2020

We picked up CBS All Access to watch the new Star Trek shows, which are worth the price of the service by themselves, but I've been pleasantly surprised by the classic movie offerings in their library. Streaming services have not generally been interested in the classic film audience, and those that read more

Classic Films in Focus: HELLO, DOLLY! (1969)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Nov 16, 2020

Big, colorful musicals are my favorite antidote to troubled times. As much as I enjoy the black-and-white productions of the 30s, there's just something about a bright, splashy palette that makes everything else in a musical seem more cheerful. That's certainly the case with Hello, Dolly! (1969), wh read more

A LEGO Treat for Frankenstein Fans

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Oct 8, 2020

I'm always excited when my two obsessions - LEGO and classic movies - overlap, and when they do it's usually related to classic horror. This year LEGO has added something especially fun in time for Halloween, a new Brickheadz set for an official Universal Frankenstein! Fans are hoping that more lice read more

Classic Films in Focus: THEATER OF BLOOD (1973)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Oct 4, 2020

As gruesome as its murders are, Theater of Blood (1973) belongs much more to the genre of pitch black comedy than horror, given the gloriously ludicrous nature of the whole picture, but it's a dark comedy whose best jokes can only be appreciated by those with a knowledge of Shakespeare that goes wel read more

Classic Films in Focus: THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (1964)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Oct 3, 2020

 The Masque of the Red Death (1964) is another of Roger Corman's loose adaptations of the stories of Edgar Allan Poe with Vincent Price in the starring role, this time as the debauched and heartless Prince Prospero, a ruler who holds lavish parties while his people die of a horrific plague. Lik read more

Classic Films in Focus: MADAM SATAN (1930)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Jul 20, 2020

Cecil B. DeMille's 1930 musical extravaganza is hard to classify in terms of genre and even harder to describe in terms of sheer spectacular weirdness, but Madam Satan is one of those Pre-Code pictures you really need to see for yourself in order to appreciate the extent to which it revels in a "mor read more

Night of the Living (LEGO) Dead!

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Jul 15, 2020

We're still in the grip of this endless pandemic, so I've been spending a lot of my time with my massive LEGO collection, where my love for classic horror movies often provides inspiration. Here's a zombie horde that would make George A. Romero happy! The zombie cheerleader is one of my all-time fav read more

Classic Films in Focus: MARTY (1955)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Jun 30, 2020

Somehow I've managed to miss seeing Marty (1955) in my classic movie viewing up until this month, when I happened to find it hidden in the depths of the Prime streaming catalog on Amazon. I'm glad I finally discovered it, though, because this modest romantic drama is as sweet and compelling a pictur read more

CMBA Spring Blogathon: Classics for Comfort

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on May 19, 2020

The Classic Movie Blog Association is holding its Spring Blogathon this week, and the theme is Classics for Comfort, which we could all use right now! CMBA members are posting their "Top 5" comforting classics, which means we'll probably be picking a lot of comedies and musicals, but I'm excited to read more

Following Along with Film and Narrative

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Apr 29, 2020

I haven't posted a classic movie review here in several weeks because the pandemic means that my movie watching is more a group activity than my choice alone. Normally I have Monday nights to myself to watch old movies and weeks together when the spouse is away on work travel, but right now we're al read more

Classics for Coronavirus: Robinson Crusoe

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Mar 21, 2020

The world is staying home this spring as a pandemic spreads through our countries, leaving many people to cope with the unfamiliar experience of social isolation. Literature and film are suddenly lifelines to adventure, community, and knowledge, and some of them can really teach us a few things abou read more

Classic Films in Focus: OLD ACQUAINTANCE (1943)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Feb 7, 2020

Old Acquaintance (1943) is primarily famous today for a scene in which Bette Davis violently shakes her off screen nemesis Miriam Hopkins and then offers a very insincere "sorry" to her victim, but if you watch the entire film you'll be completely on Bette's side about Miriam needing to be shaken. D read more

Reasons to Keep a Movie Log

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Feb 4, 2020

A page from my movie log Do you keep a record of the movies you watch? Should you? A movie log is a great way to keep track of your viewing over time, and it can be a helpful memory jogger when you're trying to think about which Oscar contenders you saw as soon as they came out and what year you fi read more

Cozy Up with Acorn TV

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Jan 22, 2020

When I'm not watching movies, there's a 90% chance that I'm watching a cozy murder mystery. I'm obsessed with them; I read a lot of cozy mystery series and enjoy them, but I love seeing the characters and stories embodied in television series. For the most part, the murder mysteries that I like best read more

Classic Films in Focus: GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Jan 21, 2020

Marilyn Monroe became a true star thanks to Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), the Howard Hawks directed adaptation of the Broadway musical hit in which Carol Channing had originated the role of Lorelei Lee. Monroe's take on "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" remains one of her most memorable moments read more

Ida Lupino and THE TWILIGHT ZONE

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Jan 9, 2020

Ida Lupino is not as familiar today as screen icons like Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, but classic film fans know and love her work as both an actress and one of the few women directors working in Hollywood during the mid 20th century. If you're not familiar with Lupino in either capacity, you can read more
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