Monday, January 30, 2006


ABOUT SOME MOVIES


Often, when I am not doing anything else, I like to check out what Turner Classic Movies is showing, and not too long ago I tuned in towards the beginning of one of my all time favorite films: “Sullivan's Travels”—a wonderful Preston Sturges film (He was a great Writer-Director….for the uninitiated)--it’s just such a ‘thirty’s-forty's’ kind of a movie.It was released in 1941-2. Joel McRae & Veronica Lake, (her best film performance to my way of thinking…and McRae is gorgeous and delightful and besides that, great to look at, too...) are the stars, with many of those great great character actors of that period---one of the best parts of ‘the studio system’.


What makes this such a great film for me is that it starts out a slapstick comedy, set in Hollywood—witty and silly with fast clipped dialogue-- and ends up with a ‘message’ that makes me cry every time I see it. I often talk about it, and tell younger people who are unfamiliar with this film, that it’s a ‘must see’ because the ‘message’ is such a terrific one. I always felt and still do feel that the look of the ‘chain gang’ sequences had more of real feel to them than any other film I’ve seen to date, including those in ‘Cool Hand Luke’…! Maybe because “Sullivan’s” is in Black & White…I don’t know.


In this film, Joel McRae plays a Hollywood wriiter-director who is known for his smash hit comedy films but he longs to make a serious movie that shows the 'problems' of the Depression Time...because he wants to move and touch people and make them think.
And the name of this film he is dying to make is called "Oh, Brother Where Art Thou", and it is not just a coincidence that the very recent George Clooney film of the same name was taken straight out of "Sullivan's Travels". That is the kind of impact that this slapstick-comedy-with-serious-overtones made on many of the film comunnity who weren't even born when this film first came out, and still makes.


And there is such a look to the film...that special look that B & W films had at that time...lit so very carefully to get every bit of 'juice' out of it, so to speak. I urge you if you don’t know this film and want to have a great time, run out and rent it...or put it on your Netflix Queue! I so much want to tell the great ending and the ‘message’, but I won’t. Suffice it to say, it’s worth renting on many many levels, not the least of which is that it is a Preston Sturges film….
and while you are at the rental store or Netflix, be sure to get “The Lady Eve”, too….another very witty faced paced "screwball" comedy Sturges-written-directed picture with two of our greatest actors ever…Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck, both looking fabulous, I might add, plus more of those fantastic thirty’s and forty’s character actors—William Demerest, Eric Blore, (both in “Sullivans”, too) and Charles Coburn, to name just a

few...

A few weeks ago, when I couldn’t sleep early early in the morning, I was surfing around those other movie channels that have no interruptions, and saw the last fifteen minutes of “The Miracle Worker”….
another film that I just love!! Besides having two of the greatest performances ever committed to film, it has a gorgeous score by Laurence Rosenthal that can bring me to tears in a millisecond---in fact, this is another film that always brings me to tears—most especially at that moment of the discovery of 'the knowing', when the young Helen Keller makes the connection between ‘words’ and ‘objects or names’ that Annie Sullivan has been trying to teach her throughout the film....well, at that point in the film I am always a goner! Between, these two great actresses performances—(Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke)--and the direction of Arthur Penn coupled with that incredibly moving score---the tears always come—I mean sobbing tears---and I’ve probably seen this film 20 times.


I was lucky enough to have seen the original Broadway production with the same two actresses which was an incredible experience “live”—especially the dinner scene, if you are familiar with this play and film, you know the scene I mean---
and on top of that it’s so damned inspiring too, you know? And again…gorgeous black and white photography---Ernest Caparros—of whom I know nothing except that he was the cinematographer on this film!

I said in another post which practically no one ever saw because it was on my old blog and I was very new to blogging and had no readership, shall we say... I said, how the movies saved my life and ruined my life, too…and that is still true, today. Give me a terrific movie and I am a happy person….including all the movies that allow me to cry like a baby. Like “Finding Neverland”. Oh my….I was so grateful that I was able to see this in my own home, by myself.
It would have been deeply embarrassing to be in a movie theatre….because it is a-whole-box-of-Kleenex movie for me, you know?….I want Johnny Depp to adopt me…no, wrong….I just want Johnny Depp! Beautiful Beautiful film, in every way---another gorgeous score, and that extraordinarily wonderful little boy—Freddie Hysmore…in fact there wasn’t a false moment in that entire film. And for my money, this film should have won the Academy Award. I knew it wouldn’t, but I still think it should have….I don’t even remember what did win---“Lord Of The Rings”?? (I think).

“Sullivan’s Travels” didn’t win anything and wasn’t even nominated for anything. Neither did “The Lady Eve”. “Finding Neverland” won one major Award and that was for the music, but on the other hand, both Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke won Academy Awards back in 1962 for their stunning performances in “The Miracle Worker”.


‘…..Sometimes There's God So Quickly….’ !

(In the interest of 'truth in publishing', this post was on my old blog that hardly anyone ever saw and before I knew how to do "photographs", so I edited it and reworked it and added the photo's, which make a big difference...)








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34 Comments:
had this to say:

You have two of my all time favourite movies listed right in this post.
The Miracle Worker and Finding Neverland.
Of course I was named after the James Barrie character so any "Pan" movie I tend to be biased towards.
I saw the Miracle Worker again not long ago on cable here. Some movies are just classics pure and simple.
Now off to laundryland not Neverland for me :)
( thanks for stopping by the auditions feel free to pop back anytime today even though you are already blogrolled lol)

Monday, January 30, 2006 at 10:41:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I just saw a movie with Veronica Lake the other day (I Married a Witch which the TV show Bewitched was based on). She was quite lovely and I finally understood why my father always called me Veronica Lake when my long hair would fall into my eyes...lol!

The Miracle Worker and Finding Neverland were both wonderful movies. Finding Neverland was a major tearjerker, but a beautiful beautiful movie. I think Johnny Depp has to be one of this generation's best actors - so very versatile.

Monday, January 30, 2006 at 12:23:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Finding Neverland is probably one of my all time favorite movies. Like you I went through a box of kleenex. I was glad to watch it in the comfort of my home.

I was flipping through channels today, and Turner Classics was showing "Boys Town" with Mickey Rooney and Spencer Tracy. What a wonderful movie...another one that I hadn't seen in ages but can watch over and over again!

Monday, January 30, 2006 at 12:51:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

You can re-post anything you like Naomi; it will always be interesting to read - photos or not - although they do make it better. I have not seen this movie, but I will try to rent it, as I know if you recommend it - it must be good. Michele sent me today!

Monday, January 30, 2006 at 1:06:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I had SUCH a crush on Veronica Lake as a teenager... [swoon]

Monday, January 30, 2006 at 1:07:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I dropped by for a spot of tea.

Wendy sent me. ;)

Interesting stuff about O Brother where art thou ... I would have never known!

Your post pretty much talks to me, its the whole Donna Reed,life back then was much purer, richer.

Anyway, I also loved Finding Neverland. That's for hosting me!

See you again soon!
A

Monday, January 30, 2006 at 1:40:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

The Lady Eve (oh, how I love Ms. Stanwyck) and Sullivan's Travels are two of my very favorite movies ever. You have great taste!

Monday, January 30, 2006 at 2:29:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Ok, Sullivan's Travels. I'll see if I can get my husband to find it for me. With a glowing recommendation like this, I've got to see it! :-)

3T

Monday, January 30, 2006 at 4:35:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I wish I had the time and patience for movies. When I was 18, I worked at one of the first mega-plexes in the Bay Area. It had a whopping 6 (small) screens. We were competing with one of the few drive-ins left located a couple miles away. The apex of my very short lived career in the movie business was the release of The Empire Strikes Back (I know, I'm dating myself).

Anyway, I sure like the oldies. They don't makem like that anymore!

~Mike

Monday, January 30, 2006 at 4:37:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I thorougly enjoyed reading this post. I have not seen any of the movies that you described, but surely should. Thank you for bringing your former post back for all to enjoy.

Cheers!

Monday, January 30, 2006 at 5:54:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

You mentioned the movie "Oh, Brother Where Art Thou" it is one of my son's favorite movies! He loves the music from the movie! It is a good movie...and George Clooney is hilarious in it!

Wendy directed me your way this time!

Monday, January 30, 2006 at 6:18:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I'll have to check out Sullivan's Travels. It sounds good. I ADORE Miracle Worker. I actually bought it on DVD last year when my daughter was doing a report on Helen Keller. The ending scene at the water pump makes me bawl every time! Here via Michele's blogroll game today!

Monday, January 30, 2006 at 6:24:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Yes...let's adopt Johnny Depp, please! hahaha! Wendy directed me to you!! :-)

Monday, January 30, 2006 at 6:33:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

great films' there's a few I haven't seen. will have to look into those.
this time Wendy sent me.

Monday, January 30, 2006 at 9:07:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

The Miracle Worker was one of the first movies I ever saw in school that acutally made me want to research more into the story...and yes, many tears were shed here also.

Monday, January 30, 2006 at 9:17:00 PM PST 

Anonymous mar
had this to say:

Haven't seen the movies you mentioned, but if I am lucky I can rent them here in Spain. Stopping by to say hello! and to read your amusing writing.

Monday, January 30, 2006 at 11:54:00 PM PST 

Anonymous mar
had this to say:

I am back, this time Wendy directed me your way!! nobody can't beat your audition...

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 2:09:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I will definitely check out Sullivan's Travels, especially since I love O Brother Where Art Thou and I also sobbed at Finding Neverland, so we must have similar tastes in movies. Thanks for the recommendation!

Here via Michele's today. Gosh, this is the 2nd time I've been to L.A. this morning! ;-)

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 3:26:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I've never seen Sullivan's Travels, I'll definitely have to put that on my queue. I've seen Finding Neverland and Miracle Worker and loved them both. I'm a big fan of older movies because they seem to have richer, more complex stories. My favorite oldies are It's a Wonderful Life, Portrait of Jenny, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, and Brigadoon.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 6:10:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I did love The Miracle Worker. Saw it as a kid and it had a big effect. I love how movies can be like medicine or maybe church sometimes!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 6:29:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

The only one I have seen that you mentioned is the Miracle Worker, which was great! I'll have to check out the others!

The old movies are great. I'm afraid that I haven't really seen that many of them. I'll have to start checking out some of the older ones they show on TV. We have one channel that shows those older movies all the time.

Great post as usual Naomi!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 8:14:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

ah thanks so much for stopping by my little place.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 10:43:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

What great information about some classic movies - I really enjoye that. Glad I found you - thanks to Wendy who sent me :-)

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 1:00:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Back again. Wendy sent me. ;)

Hope you're having a good day today.

Cheers!
A

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 2:41:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I love the movie Finding Neverland too! What a wonderful film! That little boy broke my heart. What a doll. Those crocodile tears of his melted me.

Turner Classic Movies is one of my fav channels.
I often stroll over the upcoming films and set the DVR to tape them, so I can watch them whenever I have a notion for a good, old flick.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 3:16:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I guess I have to watch more on TCM to see the classics.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 3:21:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Ahh...new "old" things to watch! Thanks for the recommendations! Oh Brother Where Art Though has got to be one of my favorite all time movies.. We saw the "Down From the Mountain Tour" here in D.C. too..Fabulous!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 4:30:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

oops..forgot to say Wendy Wings directed me here ;0)

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 4:33:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Thanks for auditioning, the winner is up :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 11:01:00 PM PST 

Blogger dan
had this to say:

Speaking of TCM, is it just me or has AMC lost some contact with what's a classic movie, and what's not?

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 at 12:21:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I so love the old movies and the old movie stars, too. One of my heart throbs when I was growing up was Rex Harrison. Do you know anything about him. I think he passed away about 15 or 16 years ago but when I think of a real man he always comes to my mind, ha, ha!
I wish they still made actors like him today.
I also loved Gene Tierney. I really liked the movie that my two favorites came together in; the movie Ghost and Mrs. Muir! I really liked Edward Mulhare too, when he acted in the citcom for the Ghost and Mrs. Muir movie with he and Hope Lang. He was a good copy for Rex Harrison, I thought. He did a very good job living up to Rex Harrison rendition of the ghost, Daniel in the original movie.
I also liked Gene Tierney in Portrait of Jenny, with William Holden. But I loved anything these two acted in. I have a lot of their movies. After reading your post, I think I will watch some of them today!

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 at 7:22:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I love the Miracle Worker. It's been way too long since I've seen it. Thanks for nudging my memory.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 at 1:57:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Prodigious blog. Loved it so much I went to it
again! Just go online and search for blogs that are
worth the value as yours.
Where you been? You have got to look at my wa washington house cleaning blog!

Tuesday, February 7, 2006 at 9:06:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

You felt as I did about TMW, but I was 5. LOL Would you believe I haven't seen it since. Now, I must. Am loving my calendar.

Monday, February 8, 2010 at 10:27:00 PM PST 

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