Sunday, March 25, 2012

Stage Door

Stage Door
Released Date: October 8, 1937
Director: Gregory La Cava
Actors: Katherine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Adolphe Menjou, Gail Patrick, Constance Collier, Andrea Leeds, Samuel S. Hinds, Lucille Ball, Jack Carson, Eve Arden, and Ann Miller

     What caught my attention, and the reason why I wanted to watch this movie in the first place was the amazing cast they brought together. Hepburn, Rogers, Collier, Ball, Arden and Miller!!! The other thing that caught my eye was the awesome line Hepburn delivers, the famous "The calla lilies are in bloom again!" Lucille Ball says that this is the movie that gave her her big break. And she is right. Everyone in this film gives a remarkable performance.

     The movie is about a group of women that are in desperate want of an acting career. Based in New York, the state that is full of TV shows and stage plays. All these women live under one roof together, so you can only imagine all the fighting that must go on in there. Terry Randall (Katherine Hepburn) comes into the scene and the movie then takes off. Jean Maitland (Ginger Rogers) is not a huge fan of Terry. For she is rich and has a very strange accent. Terry says everything perfect and can "speak English correctly." Terry is given a part that hurts one actress in the theatrical boarding house, and that upsets everyone. But watch as miss Hepburn gives a great performance, along with the other huge cast and see as Terry Randall turns into every ones favorite by the end of the movie.

     In this movie, Anne Miller is only 14 years old. Way to young to be in a movie. But she lied and gave an older age, which is unknown and also gave a birth certificate that was not hers. But miss Miller was very tall and very good at dancing (step) and she does tap dancing routines with Ginger Rogers that is very well done. They both looked amazing together. And by this time Ginger Rogers was already famous with Fred Astair. I absolutely love this movie and it might be one of my favorites. Please let me know what you think.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Rear Window

Rear Window
Released Date: January 14, 1955
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Actors: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, and Raymond Burr

     James Stewart and Cary Grant have two things in common. They are both in four Alfred Hitchcock movies. James Stewart had: Rear Window (this), Rope, Vertigo, and The Man Who Knew Too Much. Cary Grant had: North By Northwest, To Catch A Thief, Notorious, and Suspicion. I have always thought that was a pretty cool piece of information. The fact that a director and actors had a favorite to work with and you always knew who the director liked. I have known a lot of people say that their favorite movie by Alfred Hitchcock was Rear Window. I guess the cool thing about this movie is the suspense, Jimmy Stewart's facial expressions, Grace Kelly's presence in the film, and the comedic relief Thelma Ritter gives off and on during the movie.

     James Stewart's role is of a man, L. B. Jefferies or Jeff as he is called throughout. Jeff is a professional photographer and was hurt during one of his assignments dealing with cars. He broke his leg, one leg. He is stuck in his apartment and all he has is his beautiful neighbors to watch and keep him company. Jeff does however, have a friend that stops by, a Det. Lt. Doyle, played by Wendell Corey. His nurse comes by either once or twice a day, Stella, played by Thelma Ritter. And also his girlfriend, Lisa Carol Fremont, played by the beautiful Grace Kelly. His nurse, Stella is afraid that there will be trouble coming soon, and like the Stock Market Crash she predicted, she is correct at her feelings. Now it is up to Doyle, Lisa and Stella to figure out if Jeff's criminal neighbor is actually a criminal. This movie is fast, hot and completely suspenseful. It will keep you on your toes, unless your leg is broken too, but then it will keep you on the edge of you seat.

     Jimmy Stewart is a married man by this time in his personal life. His wife, naturally was afraid after he took this role. Grace Kelly was known for having affairs with her costars. Even if they were married. And it did not matter how old they were. But Stewart's wife had admitted later on that even though at first she was afraid, Stewart never gave her the actual fear of an affair. Grace Kelly even became rather close to Mrs. Stewart and they were friends till Kelly's death. This movie is really cool, because like I said earlier, Jimmy Stewart's entire roll is his expressions and you completely know what he is thinking. And you do end up sweating with him because this movie is based in the summer time and everyone is sweating in these very hot days. It is almost summer time now, and it is the perfect weather to watch this movie.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Sound Of Music

The Sound Of Music
Released Date: March 29, 1965
Directed by: Robert Wise
Actors: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker, Richard Haydn, Peggy Wood, Charmian Carr, Heather Menzies-Urich, Nicholas Hammond, Duane Chase, Angela Cartwright, Debbie Turner, Kym Karath, Anna Lee, Portia Nelson, Ben Wright, and Norma Varden

     I'm not a huge a fan of musicals. If you don't mind me saying, the fact that you can stand around and then all of a sudden you bust out in song scares me a bit. The people around you have never met you before but somehow they know what song you are singing and they also know how you want to dance and move. But there is one musical that I love. The Sound Of Music has absolutely been one of my favorite movies and I enjoy every minute of the movie. I sing along and wish that I could see the mountains that have come alive with music in this film. I have seen this movie a thousand times. And will most likely watch it a thousand times more.

     This beautiful movie is based on a true story. The film is set in Austria during the time that Hitler is climbing his way up the power ladder. A woman, named Maria is trying to become a nun and is not fit to be so, so she is then asked to become a governess for a family of seven children. She goes in hopes to find herself, and then when she is set will go back to the convent and become the nun she wanted all along. The children don't want a governess. Their mother has passed away, and their dad is a Captain in the Navy and is barely home, but they know that they can take care of themselves. When Maria shows us, the Captain shows her that his children wear Navy like clothes and are also called upon by a whistle. Maria opens the door to a whole new life for these children. She teaches them to have fun, they run around Austria in window curtains and laugh and most importantly sing. This is a fairy tale ending and a beautiful set. How do you solve a problem like Maria? Watch and you'll find out how she solves all her problems and how she fell in love with not only the children, but the Captain as well.

     To watch this movie, you will want to make sure that you have almost three hours to spare. This movie is very long, but very worth it. The real Maria Von Trapp is in the movie, you can see her in the beginning of the film. She is sitting on a bus with Julie Andrews. Maria Von Trapp also wrote a book about her tale. My great grandmother actually met her once when she was here in America. I remember watching this movie with my whole family, and we would sit and watch it, and everyone always commented on the scenery. We would all sing along and even yodel. This movie is a lot of fun. Definitely one of my favorites.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Strangers On A Train

Strangers On A Train
Release Date: June 30, 1951
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock
Actors: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman, Leo G. Carroll, and Patricia Hitchcock

     This movie is pretty neat for a lot reasons. But, one thing I really enjoy is that it is very near my own hometown, Washington D.C. When you see things you recognize, besides actors in a movie, it's pretty cool. This movie is also neat because of the incredible tennis game sequence. Something about sports in movies is pretty exciting. I love this movie, it is another one done by Alfred Hitchcock, which is of course my main reason for loving the movie. But his daughter is in this as well. She plays a daughter in this movie as well, and is pretty much the bartender for the family, which it is said that she also played bartender for guests when with her father, Mr. Hitchcock.

     Once again, if you don't mind me repeating myself, this movie is set in D.C., and is about a HUGE mistake, and the big lesson of the movie is to take threats seriously. Even if it seems absolutely insane and even if it seems impossible... It can be, and take it as such. But a young man, our hero of the movie, Guy (his name, played by the very good looking Farley Granger) is on a train to visit his ex wife. Guy is a profession tennis star and wants to be married to the senator's daughter, again we are in D.C. But he is on his way to visit his ex wife, and he runs into a stalker, or a fan, if you want to be nice. This man, Bruno, played by Robert Walker, knows everything there is to know about Guy. When I say everything, I mean everything. But Bruno has a question he wants to ask, and his question is, bottom line, "what do you think of my idea," Guy's response, "sure Bruno, they're all okay." Which, what does that sound like to you? It's a go, right? Well that is not what Guy was thinking.

     This movie was Robert Walker's second to last, movie. He passed away eight months after they had wrapped up filming. Robert Walker was survived by an ex wife, who he had just recently divorced too, and two sons. He had passed away due to a bad allergic reaction to some drug. Mr. Walker had always played good guys in his films, in Strangers on a Train was his first bad guy role and his last. He played a very scary villain and as a matter of fact, he played so well that he is ranked #86 on Premiere Magazine's 100 greatest Performances of All Time in 2006.

     Please see this amazing story/movie unfold. It is truly a fun movie. :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bringing Up Baby

Bringing Up Baby
Released Date: February 18, 1938
Directed by: Howard Hawks
Actors: Katharine Hepburn, and Cary Grant

     When you go to the movies, what is the first thing you ask yourself before you pick what you'll be sitting through for the next two hours? Usually it's something like "hmm so it's between comedy or action, scary or romance?" Right? Well, in this movie you can have almost all of it, besides scary. Unless you consider tigers scary? Both Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn could do anything, as far as acting was concerned. They had talent in every genera. Cary Grant could play a romantic killer, romantic fighter, romantic joker. Katharine Hepburn, being rather tomboy herself, in real life, could do all as well. She was tough and strong, a woman every woman strives to be. Just like Bette Davis too. You want to be in love, but you can definitely take care of yourself.

     Bringing Up Baby is a world wind comedy. Full of crazy adventures and funny situations that leave you bamboozled. Yes, I said it!!! BAMBOOZLED. Cary Grant, plays Palaeontologist David Huxley who happens to be engaged to another palaeontologist and is waiting for the last piece of the Brontosaurus (the Clavicle) to come in. You realize when you first meet David's fiancee, that they are not at all the perfect, happy couple. They may work together, but that is about all they have in common. David is looking for a big break and is to have a golf date with the man that will help him get that. His big break happens to be one million dollars to be able to complete his dinosaur. But when David runs into trouble, known as Susan (Katharine Hepburn), the chances of Alexander P Body giving David a break is doomed. Not only did Susan keep David from his golf game with APB, but makes a huge scene at the second chance dinner that Mr P Body arranged for David. Then when David doesn't show up for dinner, Susan says she knows Mr. P Body and will take David to his house. Which she then ends up throwing a rock at his head in the middle of the night. Now it's up to David to get on Mr. P Body's good side so that he can get his money. And then secondly, to get married. But Susan again gets the winning upper hand and proves to David that women are a lot more in control than men like to think.

     Despite the fact that Miss Hepburn does an amazing job at this comedy, this happens to be her first comedy movie. Her roles are usually more serious. But she is perfect in this movie, and gives a great performance. This film also has a very unusual actor, a Leopard. They actually used a real Leopard for the making of this movie too. And Cary Grant was afraid of it, and they actually used a double for every scene that Cary Grant was suppose to be in with it. I'm not sure if this is why, but it would have scared me, but one day Katharine Hepburn was with the Leopard and she turned around at one point and the Leopard jumped at her. Scary right? There is also something cool, that you'll noticed while watching, there is not a musical score at all, except for the beginning credits. Pretty neat, considering that you never really think about that while watching. Mainly because there is SO much going on. But check it out and let me know what you think :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hold That Ghost

Hold That Ghost
Released Date: August 8, 1941
Directed by: Arthur Lubin
Actors: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Richard Carlson, and Joan Davis

     I have always enjoyed watching Abbott and Costello movies. I grew up watching them. I loved all of there meets and this one was, and always will be my favorite A&C movie. There is a lot of humor, music and even moments of fear that will keep you laughing out loud.

     In this film, the Abbott and Costello boys are in for a big suprise, when a man that they help at their gas station is a man most fear. They end up being in the car with Moose (the feared man) when the "cops dim his lights." That means that according to his will, whoever is with him when he dies gets all of his money. However, the only thing that anyone ever heard was that he kept his money in his head. The famous Andrews Sisters sing a few songs in this movie, as well as a few other Abbott and Costello movies. The boys end up on a wild goose chase to get the money that is left to them. Hopefully the ghost stays away long enough for the boys to get their money from the Moose's head.

     This movie was actually done and wrapped up before they put the music in. The Andrew Sisters had recorded, or should I say, filmed their scenes after the movie wrapped. The Andrew Sisters are great in this movie and keep the crowd going with their music.

     I promise that watching an Abbott and Costello movie is like chips, once you start you can't stop. And I have seen almost all of their films. Because I leterally was unable to stop watching their movies.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I Love Lucy Season Four

I Love Lucy Season Four

11-29-1954 Ethel's Birthday: This episode is about nine episodes into the season, but sooner or later I'll see more of this season's episodes. In this episode Fred asked Lucy to buy Ethel's birthday gift, because every time he buys her a gift, he will never see the gift again. When Ethel laughs at the ridiculous gift, Lucy gets mad and they don't talk to each other nor work things out, but when they end up going to a play together they become the best of friends all over again.

12-13-1954 Getting Ready: The Ricardo's and the Mertzes are getting ready to go to California, and Fred ends up bringing home the oldest car in the lot, everyone ends up making him go to return the car.

1-3-1955 Lucy Learns to Drive: This episode is exactly the title, Lucy learns to drive. Which is the scariest thing New York has had to endure EVER. But when Lucy ends up taking a U-Turn in the Holland Tunnel, Ricky is scared to have her drive again. She is determined to learn, and ends up running into the old car Fred bought and the cars end up stuck together.

1-10-1955 California, Here we Come!: Everyone is all set to leave, and when Lucy's mother writes Lucy and tells her that she was coming right along, everyone decided that they were not going too. Then Lucy's mom, after hearing how long the trip would take (two weeks), she decides to take little Ricky with her on an airplane.

1-31-1955 Ethel's Home Town: The group stops off at Ethel's home town and everyone is shocked when everyone there leaks that Ethel made it sound like she was the actor to be. You do however get to hear actress Vivian Vance's beautiful singing voice.

2-7-1955 L.A. At Last: Because Ricky had a dinner with his boss, Lucy, Ethel, and Fred go to the Brown Derby to go star-hunting. William Holden sits at the booth right next to Lucy, who ended up getting Spaghetti all over Mr. Holden.

4-25-1955 In Palm Springs: When the two couples decide that they need a break from each other due to their annoying habits, the girls end up going to Palm Springs and the boys stay in L.A. That's when Rock Hudson comes in to tell a story about a woman that lost her husband due to an annoying habit.

5-2-1955 The Dancing Star: Lucy has a friend that is coming in from New York, which Lucy ended up writing her, and told her about all the movie stars she has met. Lucy ends up doing a dance gig with Van Johnson and looks absolutely beautiful.

5-9-1955 Harpo Marx: Still trying to convince her friend from New York about all the actors she has met, Lucy decides to steal the woman's glasses, which she says she cannot see two feet in front of her without. So Lucy ends up buying a whole bunch of face masks to show her friend everyone she has "met." But when she comes in as Harpo Marx, after Harpo himself made an entrance, things become more interesting.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Birds

The Birds
Released Date: May 30th, 1963
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Actors: Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette, Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy, and Veronica Cartwright

     I was very excited when I heard that, about three years ago, Tippi Hedren was going to be at this area near my house where they teach acting. Tippi Hedren was going to show and talk about the Birds and I was going. When I got there, I only bought tickets to see the movie, I wasn't suppose to meet her. Because the amount of that ticket was a lot more expensive then just seeing the movie. And Tippi was still going to talk in front of the audience. I was standing near the stairs and I saw her walk in. She was a very tiny woman, a lot older, and beautiful. She had Dolly Parton type of nails and I was in awe of standing near not only a woman who I have watched for years, at least twice maybe three times a year because of the Birds, but this woman has worked with Alfred Hitchcock. I'm not sure if the people that worked there felt bad for me because I looked so excited and didn't buy a ticket, but they let me in anyway. I went up to her and we started talking about cats. We talked so long the woman that was standing with her told me to leave because I was holding up the line. Tippi just laughed and said that it was nice talking with me and that she hoped I enjoyed the movie.

     This movie is about a young woman, Melanie Daniels played by Tippi Hedren, who walks into a pet store one day. To buy herself a bird. She ends up acting like she worked there when a really good looking man walked in, Mitch Brenner played by Rod Taylor, and he is there to buy his sister love birds. They don't have any and after he left she ends up ordering the birds and has to take them to him since he left the area to go to his sister's birthday party. His sister's name is Cathy Brenner played by Veronica Cartwright. When Melanie gets to him, weird things start happening to all the birds in the area. They start attacking everyone and run into doors of homes. They go buck wild and nobody knows why. Watch as the entire Brenner family work to survive. Mitch's mother is played by a very famous woman, Jessica Tandy and the sister's teacher is played by Suzanne Pleshette. This movie is very neat but also very creepy.

     During Tippi's discussion before and after the movie, she discusses what it was like to work with Alfred Hitchcock. He apparently had a huge crush on her and wanted to have her and when she said no, he threw real birds at her. She did not like the experience and thought he was rude. She also mentioned that everyone thought she had named her own daughter after the role in the movie. It was very neat hearing her talk and meeting her. I hope you enjoy the movie as much as I have.