Tuesday, April 30

Gorgeous: Fleming & Dahl

We've been lingering a bit in my favorite decade, the 50s, and let's continue here with two more dazzling women who marked their territory then.  I call them gorgeous and anyone who is aware of them would surely agree.  They had some things in common besides faces that brightened the earth.  They were both redheads, they were multi-married, they were mainly dramatic actresses who could sing and dance a little and perhaps most interesting is that neither became part of the Hollywood super-structure.  And I've always wondered why that is.  Both were good actresses.  Could no one else see beyond the beauty?   Were they not all that interested in making it really big?  Who could they be?

Tuesday, April 23

The Directors: John Ford

He was as wily and irascible as Hollywood directors came.  A few others may get honorable mention, but Ford was the daddy of them all.  He was also one of the most talented and the most honored of all movie directors.  The only director still to have won four Oscars, he is chiefly known as a director of westerns and yet oddly none of his Oscars were for that genre.  He was a legend in his own time and he knew it and cultivated it.

Friday, April 19

Dancing Girls II

Leslie Caron and Cyd Charisse are two of the reasons why MGM musicals were so popular in the 1950s.  Both come from balletic backgrounds.  They are two of only six women to dance with both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly (Judy Garland, Rita Hayworth, Vera-Ellen and Debbie Reynolds are the others).  Caron danced with each in just one film while Charisse partnered with Astaire and Kelly in three each.

Tuesday, April 16

Fifties Femmes

We know my romance with the movies started in the 1950s.  Remember that... it could be a quiz question one day.  I suspect I went to a movie at least every Saturday for the entire decade.  I would go to matinees and see double features.  Who remembers that?  In my one-horse town, we even had drive-in theaters that showed three movies for one price.

Saturday, April 13

REVIEW: The Place Beyond the Pines

Directed by Derek Cianfrance
2013 Drama
2 hours 20 minutes
From Focus Features

Ryan Gosling
Bradley Cooper
Dane DeHaan
Emory Cohen
Eva Mendes
Rose Byrne
Ben Mendlesohn
Mahershala Ali
Ray Liotta
Harris Yulin
Bruce Greenwood

Friday, April 12


Directed by Brian Helgeland
2013 Biographical Drama
2 hours 8 minutes
From Legendary Pictures and
Warner Brothers

Chadwicke Boseman
Harrison Ford
Nicole Beharie
Andre Holland
Christopher Meloni
Lucas Black
Ryan Merriman
T. R. Knight
Alan Tudyk
Hamish Linklater

Tuesday, April 9

The Directors: Delmer Daves

While I had seen his films before 1959, it was that year that I really became aware of Delmer Daves in a big way.  As a teenager I was rather gaga over the young actors from Warner Brothers, Troy Donahue chief among them.  And all in a row Daves directed the four best films Donahue ever made... A Summer Place (part of my 50 Favorite Films), Parrish, Susan Slade and Rome Adventure.   Daves was rather well-known as a director who got out of the way of his actors and let them do their thing, which may have something to do with why Donahue wasn't a better actor.

Friday, April 5

Titanic: Favorite Movie #13

1997 Historical Drama
From 20th Century Fox
and Paramount Pictures
Directed by James Cameron

Leonardo DiCaprio
Kate Winslet
Billy Zane
Bill Paxton
David Warner
Gloria Stuart
Frances Fisher
Kathy Bates
Victor Garber
Suzy Amis
Danny Nucci
Bernard Hill
Ioan Gruffudd

Tuesday, April 2

4 Recommended Soap Operas

When soap opera movies are good, I lap them up.  I make no apologies either.  They are, after all, about little more than tangled interpersonal relationships with great brushes of drama and sentimentality.  Sounds a lot like real life, doesn't it?  I like movies about real life.  Bring on the drama and sentimentality.  Get a tear or two out of me, serve me a big dollop of love... oh I am so there.  And here are four films that I find to be among the best in soap opera: