Crazy Knitter Reviews

The place where this crazy knitter reviews books, TV, movies and recipes

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

American Idol Semi Finals - Girls Week #2

Let's see if the girls can keep it up after the great performances last week.

1) Gina Glockson - a great start to the night. She was slightly pitchy at the end but all in all very good.
2) Alaina Alexander - it was awful. Very off key and a horrible song choice.
3) LaKisha Jones - this girl is amazing. It was wonderful.
4) Melinda Doolittle - as Randy would say this girl can blow! She was terrific.
5) Antonella Barba - it was sort of bland. I did not like the musical arrangement. On a superficial note that was one of the ugliest dresses I have ever seen.
6) Jordin Sparks - it stared off a little shaky but she came through in the end.
7) Stephanie Edwards - again it was a little pitchy in spots but very good overall.
8) Leslie Hunt - uh, not good. The scatting was terrible.
9) Haley Scarnato - it was ok. Not great but not horrible just ok.
10) Sabrina Sloan - I liked it at the beginning but towards the end she started screaming again and went off key.

I think it is between Alaina, Antonella and Haley to go home tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

American idol Semi Finals - Guys Week #2

Another week of the fellas. I hope they do better than they did last week!

1) Phil Stacey - he was slightly off key at the beginning but I thought he did well. He is my favorite guy in the competition so far.
2) Jared Cotter - #_#@clcsl;ldd oh sorry I had to wipe the drool off my keyboard! That was very hot!
3) A.J. Tabaldo - I liked it. I am really starting to like him.
4) Sanjaya Malakar - he is way to young for that song and he did not seem into it at all. I think he maybe vulnerable.
5) Chris Sligh - I really liked it. It was very sweet that he dedicated it to his wife.
6) Nick Pedro - it was kind of strange and I didn't like it. I think the only guys who should sing Fever are the ones in drag.
7) Blake Lewis - I think he picked a bad song. The beat boxing was coo though.
8) Brandon Rogers - I really like that he made the song his own. I really liked his performance.
9) Chris Richardson - I think someone needs to tell this guy he isn't Jason Mraz. Does anyone else find it creepy that he dedicated a song about getting a girl in bed to his grandma? He was so off key I can not believe they all liked it. best of the night my fanny!
0) Sundance Head - much better than last week but it reminded me of a singer in a bar band.

So my picks to go home are Sanjaya and maybe Nick. I wold love for Chris to go home but I have a felling he will be in the finals.


Picnic (1955)

An intriguing story of lust in a small Kansas town. Hal Carter (William Holden) comes to town on a train on a hot Labor Day morning. He is hoping to find his old college friend Alan Benson (Cliff Robertson). Alan's father is a very wealthy man in the town and he is hoping that Alan will be able to get him a job. Along the way he comes across the house of Helen Potts (Verna Felton). He asks Helen if she has any odd jobs he can do for her and she agrees to help him out. Helen lives across a small field from Flo Owens (Betty Field), a single mother of two young girls. Flo lives in her small house with her daughters Madge (Kim Novak) and Millie (Susan Strasberg) and her boarder Rosemary (Rosalind Russell), an old maid schoolteacher. Madge is 19, beautiful and dating Alan. Flo is excited because she believes if Madge marries Alan she will not have to struggle like she did. However, Madge is intrigued by Hal and vice versa. Everything comes to a head at the annual picnic where Madge must decide if she is going to follow her head or her heart.

This was an excellent film. I had seen a high school production of this play but the movie version is better. Holden and Novak had amazing chemistry as the wanna be lovers. Russel was also terrific as the schoolteacher who is afraid her dreams will not come true. There were two made for TV movie version of this play also made. One in 1986 with Gregory Harrison as Hal and Jennifer Jason Leigh as Madge. The second was made in 2000 with Josh Brolin and Gretchen Mol as the star crossed lovers. However, the original is more than worth checking out.


Monday, February 26, 2007

Queen Bee (1955)

An incredibly fun campy film. Jennifer Stewart (Lucy Marlowe) has traveled from Chicago to the south to stay with her cousin Eva Phillips (Joan Crawford). When she arrives she realizes that this is a very strange situation. She meets several people including Eva's husband Avery aka Beauty (Barry Sullivan) and his sister Carol (Betsy Palmer). Carol is in love with Judson Prentiss (John Ireland) but she does not want to let anyone know. Jud wants to get married but Carol is bound and determined to not let anyone know - especially Eva. The longer Jennifer stays at the house the more she realizes that Eva is not the nice person she portrays herself to be. She also finds herself falling in love with Beauty. However, she soon learns that Eva will stop at nothing to get what she wants and to hold onto what she has.

I really enjoyed this movie. Crawford was wonderful as the manipulative Eva. Marlow was also terrific as the sweet Jennifer who soon learns that her cousin maybe mentally unstable. Be on the lookout for Fay Wray in a very small role. All in all a great movie for a Saturday afternoon in.


Brief Encounter (1945)

A very sad and touching film. Laura Jesson (Celia Johnson) is a seemingly happily married woman. Every Thursday she takes the train into town
where she shops and sees a movie. One day while waiting to catch her train home she has some grit thrown in her eye from the express train. She is helped out by a handsome doctor, Alec Harvey (Trevor Howard). They meet a few more times and they slowly get to know each other. As the weeks pass they look forward to seeing each other. Soon they realize that they have fallen in love. However, they both know that they can not be together because of their family commitments. They just can not seem to give each other up though. They must decide what they are going to do about this love they just can not seem to let go of.

I found this movie incredibly sad and tragic. Johnson is able to convey so much emotion just by the look on her face. Howard was very reserved as the doctor who falls head over heels for another woman. There was a made for TV remake in 1974 starring Richard Burton and Sophia Loren. However, I feel that nothing can compare to this original masterpiece.

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Holiday (1938)

A wonderful romantic comedy. Johnny Case (Cary Grant) has returned to Manhattan from a ski trip in Lake Placid. He met a beautiful young woman, Julia Seton (Doris Nolan), and they have decided to get married. However, there are several things they do not know about each other. Johnny has decided that he wants to take an extended holiday while he is young to find out who he really is and what he wants from life. However, Julia's family may have other plans for him. Julia's father is a wealthy banker who has pushed his son into the family business. The other member of the Seton family who is on Johnny's side is Linda (Katharine Hepburn), Julia's sister. She is the black sheep of the family and loves the free side of Johnny. In fact, she has fallen in love with Johnny. Now she tries to convince Johnny and Julia that this extended holiday is what he needs to do no matter what as well as hide her own feelings from everyone.

This was Grant and Hepburn at their best. While this is not a traditional comedy it does have some pretty funny parts. Nolan was wonderful as the snobby Julia. This was a remake of a 1930 film starring Hedda Hopper and Mary Astor. However, this is a must see for all Grant and Hepburn fans.


Raffles (1939)

A cute little crime caper. London is under siege by a thief who calls himself the Amateur Cracksman. Scotland Yard is baffled and the papers are having a field day with it. However, they never would expect that A.J. Raffles (David Niven), a society man, is the thief. He has decided to reform his ways because he is in love with a beautiful young woman named Gwen Manders (Olivia de Havilland). Raffles, Gwen and some other people from high society are invited to the country home of Lord and Lady Melrose (Lionel Pape and Dame May Whitty) for the weekend. While there Raffles is informed by his friend Bunny Manders (Dudley Digges), Gwen's brother, that he is in trouble. It seems that he has a gambling problem and embezzled some money to cover his debts. He begs Raffles to help him so A.J. decides to pull off one last heist. He goes after a very expensive necklace Lady Melrose owns. However, a detective from Scotland Yard arrives and is on the Amateur Cracksman's trail.

I really enjoyed this short film. The performances were all wonderful. Niven downplayed his normal larger than life persona and that was nice. de Havilland was beautiful like she always was. There have been several versions of this story made. The first was filmed in 1905 and the latest was a made for TV version in 1975. However, this version is a very entertaining one to watch.


79th Annual Academy Awards

So I am not going to pick in every category because there are way to many. Plus I really do not care about a lot of the categories so I am reserving the right to pick the winners in only the ones I want to. As always my picks will be in italics and the winners will be in bold.

ETA: I was really bad at this one! I'm glad the Academy finally woke up and gave Scorsese an award.

Best Picture:
- Babel
- The Departed
- Letters From Iwo Jima
- Little Miss Sunshine
- The Queen

Best Actor:
- Leonardo DiCaprio for Blood Diamond
- Ryan Gosling for Half Nelson
- Peter O'Toole for Venus
- Will Smith for The Pursuit of Happyness
- Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland

Best Actress:
- Peneope Cruz for Volver
- Judi Dench for Notes on a Scandal
- Helen Mirren for The Queen
- Meryl Strep for The Devil Wears Prada
- Kate Winslet for Little Children

Best Supporting Actor:
- Alan Arkin for Little Miss Sunshine
- Jackie Earle Haley for Little Children
- Djimon Hounsou for Blood Diamond
- Eddie Murphy for Dreamgirls
- Mark Wahlberg for The Departed

Best Supporting Actress:
- Adriana Barraza for Babel
- Cate Blanchett for Notes on a Scandal
- Abigail Breslin for Little Miss Sunshine
- Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls
- Rinko Kikuchi for Babel

Best Director:
- Clint Eastwood for Letters From Iwo Jima
- Stephen Frears for The Queen
- Paul Greengrass for United 93
- Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Babel
- Martin Scorsese for The Departed

Best Original Screenplay:
- Babel
- Letters From Iwo Jima
- Little Miss Sunshine
- El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan's Labyrinth)
- The Queen

Best Adapted Screenplay:
- Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
- Children of Men
- The Departed
- Little Children
- Notes on a Scandal

Best Original Score:
- Babel
- The Good German
- Notes on a Scandal
- El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan's Labyrinth)
- The Queen

Best Original Song:
- I Need to Wake Up from An Inconvenient Truth
- Listen from Dreamgirls
- Love You I Do from Dreamgirls
- Our Town from Cars
- Patience from Dreamgirls

Best Visual Effects:
- Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- Poseidon
- Superman Returns

Best Animated Feature:
- Cars
- Happy Feet
- Monster House

Best Foreign Language Film:
- Efter brylluppet (Denmark)
- Indigenes (Algeria)
- El Laberinto del Fauno (Mexico)
- Das Laben der Anderen (Germany)
- Water (Canada)

Best Feature Documentary:
- Deliver Us From Evil
- An Inconvenient Truth
- Iraq in Fragments
- Jesus Camp
- My Country My Country


Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Bill of Divorcement (1932)

A wonderfully touching film. Meg Fairfield (Billie Burke) lives an affluent life. She is about to be married for the second time to Gray Meredith (Paul Cavanaugh), her lawyer and an old friend of the family. Meg's daughter Sydney (Katharine Hepburn) is also about to be married to Kit Humphries (David Manners). Everything seems to be going well until word comes that Meg's ex-husband Hilary (John Barrymore) is on his way back home. It seems that he has been in an institution for the past 15 years. Sydney has been told that the reason for his confinement was shock from his service in the war but the truth is that insanity runs in the Fairfield family. Hilary has come back to his senses but he has no idea that he and Meg are no longer married. Now Meg feels that she should not abandon him and is torn about what to do. Sydney is worried about what will happen if she and Kit have children. How will everyone keep themselves together.

This movie was a bit melodramatic at times but I still liked it. Hepburn was wonderful in her film debut. Barrymore and Burke are the two who are very over the top but it seems to work in their roles. This is the second of the three movie versions of this movie. The first was made in 1922 and the third in 1940. A wonderful and touching movie.


An American in Paris (1951)

The classic movie musical. Jerry Mulligan (Gene Kelly) is a former GI living in Paris in the few years after WWII. He is a struggling painter and lives in a very small apartment. Adam Cook (Oscar Levant) is a pianist who also lives in Jerry's building. They are friends and Adam introduces Jerry a friend of his, Henri Baure (Georges Guetary), a business man. Jerry goes out every day and attempts to sell his paintings. One day he meets Milo Roberts (Nina Foch) and she wants to buy a couple of his paintings. She invites him back to the swanky hotel she lives in. Milo informs Jerry that she wants to produce an exhibit for his work. Of course she is falling in love with Jerry but he is falling in love with someone else. He has met Lise Bouvier (Leslie Caron) but she is involved with another man - Henri. Now Jerry must fight for his work and his love.

This was a wonderful film. The only part I did not enjoy was the 18 minute dance scene at the end. I felt that it was just thrown into the movie as a filler and did not really mean anything. However, the performances were all wonderful. A must see for all musical fans.


Paris - When It Sizzles (1964)

A cute little romance. Richard Benson (William Holden) is a screenwriter who is slightly past his prime. He has been hired by producer Alexander Meyerheimer to write his next movie. Meyerheimer thinks that Benson has been holed up in a Paris hotel room working hard on the screenplay. In reality he has been living the high life in the City of Lights. Now he only has three days to write his next hit. When Richard realizes that he is in trouble he decides he needs help. He hires a typist to write while he talks. The secretarial service sends over Gabrielle Simpson (Audrey Hepburn). As they start working on the screenplay they begin to fall in love. Now they need to work against time and their feelings to get the screenplay done in time.

I liked this little film. Holden and Hepburn had wonderful chemistry. The scenery was wonderful also. The movie in a movie can be confusing at times but if you pay attention it is easy to follow. This movie was a remake of a 1952 French film titles La Fete a Henriette. There was also a remake of this movie called Alex and Emma in 2003 starring Luke Wilson and Kate Hudson. However, this film is a must see for all classic film buffs.


Die! Die! My Darling! (1965)

A very fun campy movie. Pat Carroll (Stephanie Powers) is a beautiful young woman. She is about to be married but while on vacation in the English countryside she has some unfinished business to attend to. She had been engaged to Stephen Trefoile but he died before they were married. She is going to visit his mother (Tallulah Bankhead) and tell her of her plans to be married. When she arrives at the estate she realizes that Mrs Trefoile is a religious zealot who believes that for Stephen to remain in heaven Pat must remain chaste for the rest of her life. Pat attempts to leave but Mrs Trefoile is not about to let that happen. She holds Pat prisoner in her attic and tries to show her the error of her ways. Will Pat be able to escape before Mrs Trefoile takes it to far?

This was not the best movie but it was fun. Bankhead was terrific as the zealot who worries for her son's eternal soul. Look for a young Donald Sutherland as the mentally challenged farm hand. If you like campy fun movies you will really enjoy this one.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

An excellent court room drama that takes place entirely in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Paul Biegler (Jimmy Stewart) is a lawyer in a small town. When he returns from a fishing trip he learns from his drunken mentor Parnell McCarthy (Arthur O'Connell) that he has been requested to represent a man in a nearby town. Frederick Manion (Ben Gazzara) is a lieutenant stationed at the local army base. He has been accused of murdering a man. He walked into the local tavern and shot the owner, Quill. It seems that Quill raped Manion's wife Laura (Lee Remick) and Manion went insane. Now Paul must prove that Frederick could not control himself. He finds an Army psychiatrist from Detroit who will testify that Manion had an "irresistible urge" to kill Quill. However, the prosecution is pulling out the big guns and bring in Assistant Attorney General Dancer (George C.Scott) up from Lansing to help win the case. Now Biegler must overcome another obstacle. The fact that his rape victim flirts with every man she sees.

I really enjoyed this film. Stewart was wonderful as the lawyer who is convinced his client was insane. Remick was also terrific as the wife who may not be as innocent as she seems. All in all a wonderful classic film that everyone should see.

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The Corpse Came COD (1947)

An average B movie mystery. Mona Harrison (Adele Jergens) is an actress in Hollywood. One day she receives a carton (COD of course) from the studio that is supposed to contain fabric samples. However, in the carton with the samples is the body of the studio costume designer. It seems that he and Mona have had a fight so it now looks like she has killed him. She calls Joe Medford (George Brent) a reporter to ask for his help. He comes over and she begs him not to call the police. She knows how it will look since she had an argument with the deceased just the day before. However, once the story becomes public Joe has some competition for the story. Another reporter, Rosemary Durant (Joan Blondell), hears of the murder and also wants to crack the case wide open. Now the two reporters have to find the real killer before he strikes again.

This movie was ok. A lot of these mysteries from the 30s and 40s start to blend together after a while. The idea of the corpse being sent to the actress COD was pretty original though. The only performance worth noting is Joan Blondell, who was wonderful in everything she did. Worth checking out if you have nothing better to do.


Designing Woman (1957)

A very cute romantic comedy. While on vacation in California Mike Hagen (Gregory Peck), a sportswriter, meets Marilla Brown (Lauren Bacall), a fashion designer. They have a whirlwind romance and are married. When they return to New York to begin their life as husband and wife they learn that they really do not know each other very well. Mike is struggling on his reporters salary while Marilla lives in an affluent apartment. They live in completely different worlds. They try to make a go of it but it seems that everything is against them. The trouble starts when Marilla believes that Mike is cheating on her. He was not completely honest about his former relationship with actress Lori Shannon (Dolores Gray) and Marilla becomes suspicious. Now they need to bring their opposite worlds together to save their marriage.

This movie is not the best I have ever seen but it was entertaining. At times Peck seemed very uncomfortable in the comedic element but once you get past that his performance is pretty good. Bacall was wonderful in the film that was made when her husband, Humphrey Bogart, was dying from cancer. All in all it is not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.


Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

The quintessential Audrey Hepburn classic. Holly Golightly (Hepburn) is a young woman living in New York City. Although her profession is never openly discussed it it obvious she is a high priced call girl. She lives in her little Manhattan apartment with an orange cat named Cat. One day a handsome young man moves into the building. His name is Paul Varjak (George Peppard) and he is a writer. Holly likes to call him Fred because he reminds her of her brother Fred. Paul's muse has left him and he is having a hard time writing. He has taken up with Mrs Failenson, an older wealthy woman. As time progresses Holly and "Fred" begin to fall in love. This idea scares Holly to death. She does not like the idea of being caged by anyone. That is when she decides to marry Jose Periera, a man she met at a party. He is a wealthy man from Brazil so she will be moving there. Now "Fred" tries to convince her that love means more than money and that they need to be together.

I love this movie. Many people think Audrey Hepburn was to sweet and innocent to play Holly but I think those qualities are what makes the character so like able. The only part I do not like is Mickey Rooney as Mr Yunioshi because it is incredibly annoying. Peppard was wonderful as the writer who tries to win Holly's love. A wonderful romance that makes me cry every time I see it.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

American Idol Semi FInals - Girls Week #1

So tonight it is the ladies turn. Here we go ....

1) Stephanie Edwards - a great way to start the night. I like that she put her own spin on the song.
2) Amy Krebs - they really need to retire I Can't Make You Love Me from this show. Every year someone sings this song. She is a good singer but it was boring.
3) Leslie Hunt - that was pretty good. It is never easy to sing an Aretha song but it was good.
4) Sabrina Sloan - people singing does not mean screaming! I hated this performance. On a totally superficial note is it just me or does her face look like a man in drag?
5) Antonella Barba - I like that she put her own twist on the song. She was really nervous though and it showed.
6) Jordin Sparks - it started a little shaky but she ended up doing a great job. She is way to confident for a 17 year old!
7) Nicole Tranquillo - she way over sang that song and was very sharp in spots. It was not that good.
8) Hayley Scarnato - I liked it. It wasn't great but I think she has potential.
9) Melinda Doolittle - FINALLY someone who is can sing an Aretha song! I loved her performance it was so fun.
10) Alaina Alexander - she actually made me like a song I hate! She was off key in areas but I did like it.
11) Gina Glockson - even though she was off key sometimes it was pretty good overall.
12) LaKisha Jones - she was one of my favorites in the auditions (go Flint!) and I still love her. I have to I saw Dream Girls and that was even better than Jennifer Hudson's version!

So my picks to go home are between Amy, Antonella and Nicole. We will see tomorrow.


Dream Wife (1953)

I really enjoyed this movie. Clemson Reade (Cary Grant) is in the Arab country of Bukistan on business. There he meets with the Khan (Eduard Franz) and his daughter Tarji (Betta St John). While he is with them Clemson learns that Tarji has been taught her entire life how to be the perfect wife. When he returns to America he meets with his fiance Effie (Deborah Kerr), a diplomat. After seeing how Tarji treats men he realizes what he is missing with Effie. He tries to work past his feelings but when Effie says she is going to postpone their wedding to work on an oil pact with Bukistan he has had enough. He dumps her and writes to Tarji asking her hand in marriage. She agrees and heads for New York with her bodyguard. However, to protect the precarious oil agreement the state department decides to appoint a diplomat to make sure protocol is followed. The only problem is that they appoint Effie!

This was a cute little film. The sexist attitudes in the movie are definitely out of date but it was still enjoyable to watch. Kerr and Grant had wonderful chemistry together. All in all a great movie for all classic movie fans.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

American Idol Semi Finals - Guys Week #1

WOOO HOOOO!!! American Idol is back (yea I know it's been back fro a month but it is hard to do anything with the audition shows). Here we go!

1) Rudy Cardenas - uh not good at all. He was very off key in spots. Not the best start to the new season.
2) Brandon Rogers - much better than the first guy. Although I think he still has some of the background singer mentality going on.
3) Sundance Head - not good either. So far I am not impressed!
4) Paul Kim - I really like this guy. His falsetto was off key but I liked the rest of the song.
5) Chris Richardson - he was so promising in his audition but this was awful. Of course the fact that I hate that song doesn't help. He's really cute though!
6) Nick Pedro - wow that was the best so far for me. I can't believe I agreed with Simon.
7) Blake Lewis - it started pretty well but towards the end he fell apart. Not the best but certainly not the worst.
8) Sanjaya Malakar - I don't care what Randy says I liked it.
9) Chris Slide - he was on of my favorites in the auditions and he is still wonderful. The best of the night!
10) Jared Cotter - not bad. He was a little off key in places though. However, he is HOT HOT HOT!
11) A.J. Tabaldo - well persistance pays off. He was terrific!
12) Phil Stacey - it started shaky but was wonderful. I loved it!

So if I have to pick the two to go home I would have to pick Rudy and Sundance. Tomorow the girls are up.


Poet's Pub (1949)

An interesting little movie. Saturday Keith (Derek Bond) is an aspiring poet and accomplished rower. After an argument with a critic named Benbow (James Roberston Justice) he goes out to the country and stops for food and lodging at a local inn. There he is treated very poorly by the manager and his wife the cook. He befriends Lady Mercy Cotton (Fabia Drake), and her son Quentin (Peter Croft) who are also seated in the dining room. It seems that Lady Cotton's deceased husband bought the hotel for her and she wants Saturday to take over as the manager of the place. They clean the hotel up very nicely and open up for business. One of the first guests through the door is none other than Professor Benbow and his daughter Joanna (Rona Anderson). Of course Saturday and Joanna fall madly in love much to her father's dismay. Now the only thing that stands in their way, besides Joanna's father, is a ring that someone in the hotel wants and is willing to kidnap for.

Not the greatest movie but it was pretty cute. The plot was not very well developed but that was common for B movies of that era. The acting also leaves something to be desired but this is watchable. It is a good one to watch when it comes on TV and you have nothing better to do.


Monday, February 19, 2007

The Women (1939)

A wonderful look at the life of society women. Mary Haines (Norma Shearer) is a seemingly happily married woman. However, her friend Sylvia (Rosalind Russell) learns that Mary's husband Stephen is having an affair. It seems that when he was out buying Mary a gift he met and began a relationship with the perfume salesgirl Crystal Allen (Joan Crawford). When Mary learns of Stephen's affair she decides to go to Reno and get a quick divorce. She is joined by her friend Peggy (Joan Fontaine) who also wants a divorce. On their way they meet Flora (Mary Boland) who is a countess. She has had several husbands and she soon falls in love with and marries a ranch hand. While in Reno they also meet Miriam (Paulette Goddard) who is having an affair with Sylvia's husband. When Sylvia arrives all heck breaks loose and she has a falling out with Mary. Sometime later Crystal and Stephen are marries. However, her interest soon wanes and she begins an affair. When Mary learns this she decides to fight to get the man she still loves back.

I loved this movie. Norma Shearer had a classic elegance in this film. Joan Crawford was the classic bitch that we all loved. The interesting thing is that there are no male characters in this film. Even though we hear all about husbands and lovers we never see them. There is a remake of this film in the works. The rumored cast includes Anne Hathaway, Candace Bergen, Lisa Kudrow and Meg Ryan. However, nothing can top this must see classic.


Kiss Me, Stupid (1964)

A cute little movie. Dino (Dean Martin - big stretch on the name!) is a famous singer (another big stretch!). He is driving from Las Vegas to LA and stops for gas in the small town of Climax, Nevada. There he meets the gas station attendant Barney (Cliff Osmond). It seems that Barney is an aspiring songwriter. He writes his music with Orville Spooner (Ray Walston), a piano teacher who lives next door to the gas station. When Barney realizes that Dino is in town he decides to tell him that there is something is wrong with his car so he has to stay. This way he can hear their music and they can make it big. Barney tells Orville that Dino has to stay at his house but there is one big problem. Orville's wife Zelda (Felicia Farr) loves Dino and Orville is an incredibly jealous man. Knowing Dino's skirt chasing reputation Orville and Barney decide that Orville needs to start a fight with Felicia so she will go to her mother's house. Barney decides to get Polly the Pistol (Kim Novak), a local hooker, to stand in as Mrs Spooner. However, when Polly starts to fall in love with Orville their plan is in danger.

This was a pretty cute movie. Ray Walston was hilarious as the incredibly jealous Orville. Kim Novak was beautiful as the hooker with a heart of gold. This movie was a semi-remake of a 1952 Italian film - Moglie per una notte (Wife For a Night) starring Gina Lollobrigida. However, this movie was a cute way to spend a Saturday night.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Marrying Kind (1952)

A very cute comedy-drama. The movie begins in a courtroom during the divorce proceedings of Chet (Aldo Ray) and Florrie (Judy Holliday) Keefer. When the testimony ends for the day the judge (Madge Kennedy) asks the Keefer's to stay and talk with her for a while. She thinks that there is a chance to save this marriage so she asks Chet and Florrie to recount the events that led them to divorce court. Through flashbacks the story of their marriage is told. They always seem to have money troubles because Chet has a hard time with his job. He is also jealous of the rich man Florrie's sister married. Things run along well and they have two children - a son and a daughter. One day Chet has a wonderful idea for ball bearing shoes that are like roller skates but the couple is never able to get the idea off the ground and someone else sweeps in and patents the shoes. However, what really breaks their marriage is a personal tragedy that most people fear happening to them. Will telling the story of their life convince them to give their marriage another chance?

I enjoyed this little known film. Holliday and Ray were both excellent as the couple who really love each other but allow their problems to get in the way. It was interesting how they shot this in flashback sequences. I usually do not like films that are shot that way but I enjoyed this one. A very nice movie worth checking out.


Portrait of Jennie (1948)

A wonderful romance. Eben Adams (Joseph Cotton) is a struggling artist in New York. As he is walking through Central Park one day he meets a young girl named Jennie Appleton (Jennifer Jones). They begin to talk and it becomes clear that Jennie has a school girl crush on Eben. She asks him to wait for her until she is older. She disappears a quickly as she arrived but Eben is haunted by this beautiful young girl. Eben sees Jennie several more times and each she she arrives she has aged significantly. This is when Eben realizes that something is not quite right when it comes to Jennie. Eventually she becomes an adult and they begin to fall in love. However, when Eben does some research he learns that she has been dead for several years. Now Eben must try to change the course of history to keep his love with him in the present.

I really enjoyed this movie. It reminded me of Somewhere in Time with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. Cotton and Jones were wonderful as the two lovers who are from different times. If you are a sucker for a good romance like I am then you will love this film.


Between Two Worlds (1944)

A very interesting movie based upon the play Outward Bound. It begins in London during World War II. Several people are at the docks waiting to get out of town before the next air raid. A man named Henry Bergner (Paul Henreid) is arguing with the man at the ticket counter. It seems that he does not have the proper paperwork to sail but he is desperate to leave. We learn that he is a musician and he can not play anymore. He runs home once the air raid begins and turns the gas on. When his wife Ann (Eleanor Parker) comes home they both are overcome by the fumes. When they wake up they are on a ship with all of the people Henry saw down on the docks waiting for the last boat. Ann and Henry learn from the bartender that they are all dead and the ship is delivering them to the place where they will learn their fate. He tells the couple that they can not tell the others because they do not know what has happened to them yet. Now they try to keep up the facade without letting the other passengers in on the secret.

I liked this movie. I liked that it did not have a typical depiction of heaven and hell. The "punishments" the people who deserved them received were interesting also. The acting was a little over the top - especially Parker as Ann - but that is very typical of the time period. This was a remake of a 1930 film Outward Bound starring Leslie Howard and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. There was also a made for TV version of this play made in 1972 called Haunts of the Very Rich starring Lloyd Bridges and Cloris Leachman. None of these are out on video but this one is worth watching the next time it comes on TCM.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Witness to Murder (1954)

This was an excellent movie thriller. Early one morning - around 4am - Cheryl Draper (Barbara Stanwyck) wakes up. She gets out of bed and looks out of her window. That is when she sees the man across the street, Albert Richter (George Sanders), strangle a woman. She calls the police but when they question Richter he convinces them that nothing has happened. The police are all to willing to dismiss what Cheryl saw as a dream. She begins to believe them until she sees him carry a large trunk out of his apartment and place it in his car. Cheryl begins to investigate Richter she becomes certain that what she saw was not a dream. She tries to convince the police that she is correct but only Lieutenant Matthews (Gary Merrill) believes her. Once Richter learns she is on the case he sets out to show everyone that she is insane. Now Cheryl and her police office love must prove that she is not crazy and Richter is a real killer.

I really enjoyed this movie. Even though the ending was somewhat predictable it was an interesting thriller. Stanwyck shines as the woman who is fighting to prove her sanity. Merrill is wonderful as the police lieutenant who is falling in love and hoping Cheryl is not insane. All in all if you love a good mystery you will like this one.


Adventures of Kitty O'Day (1945)

The amateur detective is back. This time Kitty O'Day (Jean Parker) is working in a swanky hotel as a switchboard operator. Her boyfriend Johnny Jones (Peter Cookson) also works in the hotel as a host. Kitty has a bad habit of listening in to people's conversations after she connects a call. That is how she gets in trouble in this film. She connects a call to her bosses room and hears two gun shorts. She sends Johnny and the porter up to the room and they find the manager dead. However, once the police arrive - their old friend Inspector Clancy and his new protege Officer Mike - the body is missing. Once again the Inspector is convinced that Johnny and Kitty have something to do with the murder. They have to set out and solve the case before they end up in jail.

This one was not as good as the first Kitty O'Day movie but it was still entertaining. I wish they would of had more of Tim Ryan as Inspector Clancy because his performance made the first movie for me. This one is worth seeing if you like the first one.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Detective Kitty O'Day (1944)

A cute little movie. Kitty O'Day (Jean Parker) is a secretary for the Oliver Wentworth Company. Her boyfriend Johnny Jones (Peter Cookson) also works for Mr. Wentworth (Edward Earle). One day Johnny brings several thousands of dollars in bonds to the office. Mr. Wentworth seems very uptight and tells the couple that he is leaving for Boston that night and needs Kitty to come over and type some letters for him. Johnny is very upset because he and Kitty have a date for that evening and Kitty's cab driver overhears Johnny say that he wants to kill Wentworth. Once Kitty and the cabbie arrive at the Wentworth mansion they realize that all the lights are out. Charles the butler informs her that the power just went out, Mr. Wentwoth is in the shower and she is to go upstairs to the study to start on the letters. She hears footsteps out in the hall but Charles was downstairs and Mr. Wentwoth is still in the shower. Kitty knocks on the bathroom door but there is no answer. When she opens the door she sees that Mr. Wentworth is dead and it looks like he hung himself. However, she is not so sure. Once the police - Inspector Clancy (Tim Ryan) and his bumbling underling Mike (Edward Gargan) - arrive they realize that he was murdered and it was made to look like suicide. Now Kitty has to find out who killed Wentworth because the Inspector has a suspect - Johnny!

This was a cute little movie. Parker was very amusing as the amateur detective Kitty. Ryan and Gargan were also wonderful as the police officers who were not that great at their jobs. An amusing way to spend a lazy afternoon in.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Gold Diggers in Paris (1938)

The final film in the Gold Digger series. Terry Moore (Rudy Vallee) and Dukie Dennis (Allen Jenkins) run the most popular club in New York, Club Balle. What they do not know is that for every customer that comes in the door they lose money. They are about to go bankrupt when what seems to be a great opportunity comes right into their office. Maurice Giraud (Hugh Herbert) has come to America from Paris to find the American Ballet Company to invite them to the Paris Exposition. When he gets in his cab the driver thinks he want the Balle so he takes him to the popular club. He invites Terry and Dukie and tells them that they will receive a nice sum for coming to the exposition and if they win they will receive $1 million franks. This is an opportunity they can not give up. They recruit Pierre LeBrec (Melville Cooper), a ballet instructor, to come with the group to Paris and to teach the girls ballet on the boat. However, the real American Ballet Company learns of Terry and Dukie's con and set off to set things right.

I really liked this movie. To me this was the best movie since the first Gold Digger film. It was nice to hear Rudy Vallee sing. Herbert and Jenkins were wonderful as the comic relief. The last dance sequence was wonderful. This series is well worth seeing.


Gold Diggers of 1937 (1936)

Rossi Peck (Dick Powell) is an insurance salesman. He is still waiting for his big break when a golden opportunity falls in his lap. JJ Hobart is getting ready to put on another Broadway show. What he does not know is that his partners have gambled away all his money and he is flat broke. Since he is a hypchondriac the partners decide to convince him to buy a $1 million life insurance policy from Rossi. They figure he will not live because of his condition and they will have enough money to produce the show. However, Rossi wants to protect his client because the longer he lives the more commission Rossi makes. Rossi enlists his girlfriend, Norma (Glenda Farrell) to help keep Hobart alive. However, Norma's friend Gen (Joan Blondell) is hoping to nab Hobart so she can have her sugar daddy. Now what will happen when JJ realizes that his partners have robbed him and that he is broke?

This was not the best in the Gold Digger series but it was not bad. Dick Powell was wonderful as always and his musical numbers were very nice to watch. Blondell and Farrell were also good as the two show girls trying to nab their men. All in all a good movie for fans of the earlier films.


Friday, February 09, 2007

She Done Him Wrong (1933)

A very good pre-code film. It is the Gay Nineties (that's the 1890's) and there is a very popular club in New York City. The reason it is so popular is because of the feature performer - a woman named Lady Lou (Mae West). Lou is a woman of loose morals. She uses men to get her favorite thing in the world - diamonds! She is currently using the owner of the bar, Gus Jordan. One day she goes to visit her former lover, Chick Clark, in jail. She promised that she would wait for him but he has heard rumors from his friends who visit. After she leaves Chick escapes to come find her. Now she has Gus, Chick and another man she is hoping to land. That man is Captain Cummings (Cary Grant) who runs the mission next door. This is the man she gives the famous "Why don't you come up sometime and see me?" line to. However, the mission is about to be kicked out of their building, Chick wants to kill her and she does not know what to do.

This was a delightful movie. It was full of one liners and double meanings like all Mae West films were. This was also the movie that was Cary Grant's big break. However, he always hated Mae's claim that she discovered him. If you like movies from the era before censors got a hold of them than this one is for you.


Penelope (1966)

A very cute little movie. It begins on the opening day of a new bank in New York city. As the festivities get underway, an old lady walks up to one of the tellers. As they are talking the old lady pulls out a gun and informs the teller that she is robbing the bank. After she takes the money the old lady disappears in the bathroom and the teller screams. As the police run to the ladies room a beautiful young woman comes out saying that the old lady is in there and waved the gun at her. As the police are preoccupied the young woman slips away with the money from the bank. We soon learn that the bank robber is Penelope Elcott (Natalie Wood),the wife of James Elcott (Ian Bannen), the head of the bank that was robbed. As the movie goes on Penelope confesses to her psychiatrist, Dr Mannix (Dick Shawn), that she has been a kleptomaniac since college. She also discovers that she robbed her husband's bank because he has been ignoring her ever since the idea of the bank came to him. Now she needs to make sure that the officer investigating the robbery, Lt. Bixbee (Peter Falk), does not realize she is the actual thief.

This was not the greatest movie but it was pretty good. The acting is slightly over the top but watchable. Natalie Wood was extremely beautiful and fashionable in this film. Watch for Jonathan Winters in a small role as Penelope's college professor. This one is worth catching the next time it comes on TV.


Monday, February 05, 2007

Don't Worry, We'll Think of a Title (1966)

Yeah, so this one is interesting to say the least. Charlie (Morey Amsterdam), Annie (Rose Marie) and Magda (January Jones) work together at a local dive diner. They constantly come up with corny jokes and one liners. One day a lawyer comes to let Magda know that her uncle passed away and left her his bookstore near the college a few towns over. After Charlie and Annie are fired from the diner they go to help Magda with the bookstore. What they are unaware of is that there are spies and under cover agents all over the place. It seems that an astronaut from a Soviet-like nation has disappeared along with the data from his 98 orbital trips. The government of the communist nation believes that Charlie is their missing man and will stop at nothing to get him and the data back.

This movie was like Austin Powers only not as funny. The jokes are very corny and not all that funny. It seems that this was supposed to be a crossover from the Dick Van Dyke Show so maybe that is why I did not get some of the jokes. Not horrible but not worth seeking out either.