Classic of the Week: Holiday Inn (1942)

Holiday Inn is a 1942 American musical film starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, with Marjorie Reynolds, Virginia Davis, and Walter Abel. It was directed by Mark Sandrich with music by Irving Berlin. Berlin wrote twelve songs especially for the film, the best known one being “White Christmas.” The film hallmarks a reuse of the song “Easter Parade”, written by Berlin for the 1933 Broadway revue As Thousands Cheer and used as a title track for the 1948 film Easter Parade starring Astaire and Judy Garland. Holiday Inn‘s choreography was by Danny Dare. 

Him Hardy, Ted Hanover, and Lila Dixon have a popular New York City song and dance ac. On Christmas Eve Jim prepares for his last performance before retiring to be husband to Lila and life on a farm in Connecticut. Lila tells jim she has fallne in love with the infamous smooth talker Ted instead; heartbroken, Jim tells them goodbye. 

He tries to take a shot at working on the farm but ends up in a santitarium instead. The following Christmas Eve Jim is back in New York City with plans to turn his farm into “Holiday Inn,” an entertainment venue open only on holidays, to the interest of Ted and his agent Danny Reed. In a flower shop Danny is coaxed by sales girl and aspiring performer Linda Mason; he directs her to Holiday Inn and Ted’s club. Later that night Linda and Jim accidentally meet at a performance by Ted and Lila. Jim pretends to own a rival club. while Linda poses as a celebrity friend of Ted’s, only to leave when Ted and Lila near. 

On New Year’s Eve Holiday Inn opens to a packed house. Back in New York City Ted learns that Lila is leaving him for a Texas millionaire. Drinkig heavily, he arrives at Holiday Inn at midnight and bumps into Linda. They dance and, and the drunk dancer and innocent young woman recieve lots of applause from the audience who believe it was all a rehearsed act. Danny arrives and and is overjoyed that Ted has found a new partner, but in the morning Ted doesn’t remember Linda. Jim hides her, scared Ted will steal her away. 

On Lincoln’s birthday Ted and Danny look for Linda, but Jim convinces Linda to play the minstrel show number “Abraham” in blackface together to fool them. While applying makeup Jim asks her to stay with him between holidays, which she comprehends as a propsal. He declares it, but explains that only when he can afford to. Leaving empty-handed, Ted and Danny plan to return. 

Rehearsing for Valentine’s Day, Jim presents Linda with a new song, “Be Careful, It’s My Heart.” Ted arrives and goes into an unchoreographed dance with Linda. Recognizing her from New Year’s Eve, he demands that Jim prepare a number for them to perform in the next show. 

At Easter romance grows between Jim and Linda. They are met by Ted, who asks to remain in Jim’s shows to experience “the true happiness” they found. Linda is charmed, but Jim is suspicious. 

Thanksgiving finds the Inn closed and Jim filled with self-pity. As he prepares to mail off his new song his housekeeper Mamie coaxes him to fight to win Linda back. 

Bing Crosby’s singing, Fred Astaire’s footwork, Marjorie Reynolds’ and Virginia Dale’s dancing, and Irving Berlin’s songs, are the only thing great about this movie. You’d think with a great story, great soundtrack, and choreography, this has to be a fantastic movie, but it’s barely that. Entertaining yes, but it just jumps from one holiday song and dance number to the next with very little story in between. You do learn about Jim working on the farm and him turning the farm into the inn, and how both Jim and Ted are in love with the same ladies, but hardly anything else. You don’t see much rehearsing of the performances, which to me, would have made the story far more interesting. 

There is racism in the “Abraham” number where blackface is used, which is offensive nowadays and many television channels choose to omit the scene, but most DVD versions still have it. Yes, the scene should have never happened, but it did and times were different then, so you have to either watch it on regular TV, skip through it, or suck it up and watch it, which is really hard to do. 

The acting is really good, but not fantastic,  but the singing and dancing overshadows that. It does have the typical 1940’s romantic musical tone, so the storyline doesn’t feel very original. The part of the story of two guys trying to woo the same women, has been done to death, even before this movie came out. 

There are some great scenes like the “Be Careful, It’s My Heart” sequence where Ted and Linda dance to Jim’s song and at the end of the routine, they jump through at big paper heart prop. Also the Independance Day scene where Ted dances with firecrackers is fabulous. 

The movie treats every holiday that shown as just musical theater productions, though some of the numbers go into the history or what they think is the history of the holiday, they don’t celebrate the holidays they way they are meant to be like having a Thanksgiving meal with family friends, opening presents with family and friends on Christmas Day, going to church on Easter Sunday, etc., which conservative Christians may find blasphemous. 

There is lots of drinking and smoking throughout and several instances where a character is drunk. Despite the racism, blasphemy, and heavy uses of booze and tobacco, it is still a really entertaining movie. Though this is considered a Christmas film, it covers most of the major holidays celebrated in America, though not Hanukkah for some reason, so I don’t call this an Xmas movie, but more of a motion picture honoring many holidays. 12+ 3.5/5 

My Policeman (2022)

My Policeman is a British drama directed by Michael Grandage, based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Bethan Roberts. The film stars Harry Styles, Emma Corrin, Gina McKee, Linus Roache, David Dawson and Rupert Everett. 

Set in 1950s Brighton, a gay policeman, Tom Burgess, marries schoolteacher Marion Taylor while being in a relationshio with Patrick Hazelwood, a museum curator. The secret they share threatens to damage them all. 

Although this film is rather slow for the majority of it’s runtime, it is still very well done. Harry Styles has proven he is more than just a handsome talanted pop singer, and  although he’s not quite DiCaprio, he is also a rather talented actor as well. He takes his roles very seriously and it’s nice to see an ex boy band member do someething completely different. 

Tom is a Brighton policeman, who though homosexual, meets Marion, who falls in love with him and he claims to have fallen for her too. The two marry abd move to the Brighton countryside. In between the meeting of Marion, he meets Patrick a museum curator that is also gay and the two fall in love, but know they must keep their relationship secret, as homosexuality is frowned up. The two secretly meet up, first after Tom agrees to let Patrick draw him, they get drunk, and the two start to kiss, but Tom stops it, as he is married. Tom then realizes he has feelings for Patrick and they start meeting again more reguraly in private. 

Marion who is trying to find Tom, finds him in their barn makking out and such. Tom agrees to go on a trip to Italy with Patrick to help him find pieces for his museum. He goes as his paid assistant. The trip ends up being more of a homosexual vaction, than work or site seeing. Marion recieves a postcard from Tom from Venice and angerily, she burns it. 

The film flashes back and forth from the past to present day and shows Marion finding Patrick’s diary where he  has written about his love for Tom he calls “My Policeman.” Present day Tom is elderly and in poor health and Patrick is in a wheelchair and has to be looked after, after being beat up in prison after someone reported him at work for being a pervert. 

Marion sees Tom at the beach, his good looks and charm instantly catch her eye. They meet and he agrees to teach her how to swim. The pair fall in love until Tom meets the much older Patrick and just marries and uses Marion as a way to cover up his homosexuality and relationship with Patrick. 

This film is very slow for most part, but the acting is superb from all of the leading cast. There is a lot sex, particualy between Tom and Patrick, and one such scene is very long and rather explicit, so there is lots of nudity and not just in the love making scenes, but in scenes without sex, but all of the sex and nudity is done tastefully, though the both could have been used less. It’s like, “We get it, they’re in love and they enjoy making love.” 

This is definitely one of the better LGBTQ films I have seen, much better than Cannes Film Festival Winner Blue is the Warmest Color. I don’t understand why My Policeman has such mixed reviewes and such a low rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as I found it excellent. Maybe it’s the slowness of the film, too much sex, the homosexuality didn’t sit well with conservatives, or all the above. Conservatives needs to learn that homosexuality is real and natural and not a choice. 

This movie shows how in 50s and present day England how love shouldn’t be something  that has to be hidden, that you ahould be able to love who you want freely. Marion does realize that she was keeping Tom and Patrick apart and eventually lets them be together. 

This film has drama, romance, heart, and heartbreak. It maybe slow, and forget what most people say about this one, it is truly a great movie. 18+ 4/5 

Ticket to Paradise (2022)

Ticket to Paradise is a 2022 romantic comedy film directed by Ol Parker. The film stars George Clooney and Julia Roberts as a divorced couple who choose to destroy their daughter’s (Kaitlyn Dever) wedding. Billie Lourd, Maxime Bouttier, and Lucas Bravo also star. 

Two divorced parents, David and Georgia Cotton, travel to Bali after learning that their daughter, Lily, is planning to a man who is named Gede, whom she just met. They choose to work together to destroy the wedding to stop Lily from making the same mistake they made twenty-five years ago. 

This is definitely a chick-flick with all the cheesiness they ususally come with. Parts of this movie are laugh out funny, but most of the time, it is overly cheesy, awakward and predictable. You’d think with two award winning stars, this film would be really good, but it just wasn’t and makes me wonder if this is the kind of work they will being from now on. This one is really a disappointment. The story has been done to death. The best thing about this movie is the Bali scenery, the beautiful clothes, the few laugh out loud moments, and the romance. 

Roberts and Clooney who are normally fantastic actors, should be ashamed theat they chose to be in this film. I mean I’m sure they had a blast filming it, but with the unoriginal plot and basic rom-com humor, it seems like their award winning is behind them. Julia Roberts, who normally wows in her acting, was almost as bad as Kaitlyn Dever. George Clooney performed the best and was far funnier than any of the other actors and actresses. 

I found myself slightly bored at times and other times, rolling my eyes at the cheesy scenes. Being a hopeless romantic, I was hoping for a lot more romance and the most lovey-dovey parts, came towards and at the end. Even watching this movie with a lover, wouldn’t have made it more entertaining, it was cute at best. 

Kaitlyn Dever’s (Lily) and Maxime Bouttier’s (Gede) characters were underwritten, which makes no sense, as the film is suppose to about them as well and instead it focused on Clooney’s and Robert’s characters more. It should have been written to focus equally on all four. Also, Wren (Billie Lourd), Lily’s best friend is ignored by her for the majority of the film and that’s unfair, especially after Wren goes back to the U.S. 

Paul (Lucas Bravo) is a short-lived character in the movie. He is a much younger airplane pilot, from France, who is dating Georgia for most of the runtime. Bravo is not a very good actor and his character is sweet, but mostly he is just eye candy. The banter between David and Georgia is rather hilarious, so that does make the movie a little more engaging. 

Wren, who like Lily, were just looking for a vacation after graduating college. Neither expected to find love and the moment Lily did, it was like Wren wasn’t there anymore and you end up feeling sorry for her who spends the majority of her vaction drinking and flirting, but never hooks up. Lily is a bad friend. The only good thing about Lily is she’s cute and smart, because her personality is blah. 

This movie isn’t exactly terrible, it’s cute and funny at times, but mostly just another lackluster romantic comedy, whith nothing new to give. The location and handsome men are pretty much the best thing about this one.  13+ 2/5

Blonde (2022)

Blonde is a 2022 American fictionalized biographical drama film written and directed by Andrew Dominik, based on the 2000 novel of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates. The film is a fictionalized take on the life and career of American actress Marilyn Monroe, played by Ana de Armas. The cast also includes Adrien Bordy, Bobby Connavale, Xavier Samuel and Julianne Nicholson. 

As a young girl, Norma Jeane Mortenson grows up raised by her mentally deranged mother Gladys. On her seventh birthday in 1933, she is given a framed picture of a man Gladys claims is her father. Later that night, a fire breaks out in the Hollywood Hills, and Gladys drives Norma Jean back up there, claiming that her father lives there, but is forced to go back home at the demand of the police. A fuming Gladys tries to drown Norma Jean in the bathtub when she asks about her father, but lets her go. Norma escapes naked and runs to a neighbor’s house, Miss Flynn, who promises she will be fine. A few days later, Norma Jean is sent to an orphanage while Gladys is admitted to a mental hospital, having been declared unfit to be a mother. 

In the 1940’s, Norma Jeane becomes a pin-up girl under the stage name “Marilyn Monroe,” appearing on magazine covers and calendars. While trying to break into the acting industry, she is raped by film sutido president Mr. Z. In 1951, she auditions for the role of Nell in Don’t Bother to Knock. The audition goes badly after she breaks down and leaves in tears, but she impresses the casting director enough to give her the part. As her acting career starts to take off, she meets Charles “Cass” Chaplin Jr. and Edward G. “Eddy” Robinson Jr., with whom she begins a polyamorous relationship. She lands her breakout role in 1953 with Niagra, but after she is seen in public with Cass and Eddy, she is told by her agent to limit her public displays with them. 

Norma Jeane becomes pregant with Cass’ child, much to her delight, but eventually decides to have an abortion out of fear that the child might inherit Gladys’ mental issues. Cass supports her decision. On the day of the appointment, she changes her mind, but it is too late. Following the abortion, she breaks things off with Cass and Eddy and. She later meets Joe DiMaggio, a retired baseball player. As she films Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, she recieves a letter from a man claiming to be her father. She feel disconnected to her onscreen performance at the film’s premiere, saying it wasn’t her. She goes back to her hotel room, having been told that someone is waiting for her. Expecting it to be her father, she insteads find Jow, who asks to marry her, which she accepts. 

Norma Jeane and Joe’s marriage gets bad when Cass and Eddy give Joe some nude pictures of her, which infuriates Joe so much, that he beats her demands that she refuse to do The Seven Year Itch out of principle. However, she still goes through with the filming, doing the famous scene with the white dress. When she gets home, a drunken Joe screams and gets physically violent with her. She divorces him soon after. 

In 1955, Norma Jeane auditions for the Broadway play Magda, written by renowned playwright Arthur Miller. During a read-through, her performance inpresses everyone but Arthur. He eventually warms up to her when she gives him inspirational character analysis. They marry and move to Maine, where she lives a happy life with him and become pregnant. However, ehen walking on the beach one day with a platter of food, she trips and miscarries. Devastated, she returns to acting soon after. 

While filming Some Like It Hot, Norma Jean becomes more uncontrollavle and mentally unstable. She is overwhelmed by the constant press attention, feels that she is becoming a joke, has frequent outbursts on set, especially toward director Billy Wilder, and grows more and more distant from Arthur. To cope with her stress she begins taking pills. 

By 1962, she has become dependant on drugs and alcohol. Secret Service agents pick up intoxicated Norma Jeane and take her to a hotel to meet the president, who forces her to fellate him, before raping her. 

Most of this story is fictionalized, so it should not be taken as all facts. Historical events seemed to be changed up for entertainment a lot from Quintin Taratino’s take on the Manson Murders in Once Upon Time in Hollywood, to the Tony award winning musical Hamilton, to this movie and the book it is based off of.  It is both a good and bad thing, good, for entertaimnet, bad, because you aren’t learning the real story. 

The real story of Marilyn Monroe does start with her growing up with her single mentally ill and abusive mother and Norma getting sent to an orphanage and her mother a mental hospital. But Marilyn never had such a relationship with Charlie Chaplin Jr. or Edward G. Robinson Jr. Joe DiMaggio was an alcoholic and abusive to Norma and she did have an abortion and miscarriages. Norma pursued Arthur Miller, not the other way. But there is no concrete evidence that Monroe and JFK had an affair like most think. 

The film is really slow at times and some scenes like the one where Norma has a threesome with Chaplin Jr. and Robinson Jr. are far too drawn out. That scene in particular, with it being drawn out makes it seem like a 1950’s pornography film. The acting, costumes and scenery is superb. 

The casting of Ana de Armas was both good and bad. Good, beging that she got accent and mannersims down, but bad, because she is Cuban and more olive skinned than really fair like Marilyn, also bad, because her bra size is smaller than Monroe’s was and you see de Aramas topless a lot in this movie, so that isn’t true to the real icon. 

Adrien Brody is fantastic as Arthur Miller, looking, sounding and acting nearly Identical to him. Bobby Connavale is great as Joe DiMaggio. Xavier Samuel is good as Cass Chaplin. Evan Williams is also good as Eddy Robinson Jr. and Julianne Nicholson is outstanding as Gladys. 

Had this been an actual biographical film, they hadn’t cast someone controversial to play Monroe and it hadn’t been so long and drawn out, it would have been more enjoyable. But overall, I found myself rather bored at times and fairly surprised at other moments. The acting and costumes and makeup were really the best thing about this film. –  Adults only. 2.5/5

Greatest Summertime Movies of All Time

  1. The Seven Year itch – 1955
  2. Vicky Christina Barcelona – 2008
  3. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants – 2005
  4. Mamma Mia! – 2008
  5. Stand by Me – 1986
  6. Little Miss Sunshine – 2006
  7. The Notebook – 2004
  8. Crooklyn – 1994
  9. Real Women Have Curves – 2002
  10. Caddyshack – 1980
  11. National Lampoon’s Vacation – 1983
  12. Grease – 1978
  13. The Graduate – 1967
  14. Jaws – 1975
  15. Beaches – 1988
  16. Do the Right Thing – 1989
  17. The River Wild – 1994
  18. The Parent Trap – 1961
  19. The Parent Trap – 1998
  20. The Bridges of Madison County – 1995
  21. Summertime – 1955
  22. Summer Stock – 1950
  23. 500 Days of Summer – 2009
  24. Speed – 1994
  25. Thelma & Louise – 1991
  26. E.T. – 1982
  27. Clueless – 1995
  28. Dirty Dancing – 1987
  29. Point Break – 1991
  30. American Graffiti – 1973
  31. The Goonies – 1985
  32. What About Bob? – 1991
  33. Dazed and Confused – 1993
  34. The Endless Summer – 1966
  35. The Sandlot – 1993
  36. In the Heights – 2021
  37. Palm Springs – 2020
  38. King Richard – 2021
  39. The Talented Mr. Ripley – 1999
  40. Dope – 2015
  41. Lilo & Stitch – 2002
  42. Adventureland – 2009
  43. Sylvie’s Love – 2020
  44. Tomboy – 2011
  45. Moonrise Kingdom – 2012
  46. Everybody Wants Some! – 2016
  47. Luca – 2021
  48. Crazy Rich Asians – 2018
  49. Something’s Gotta Give – 2003
  50. Mystic Pizza – 1988
  51. Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar – 2021
  52. The Way Way Back – 2013
  53. Summer of ’42 – 1971
  54. Pauline at the Beach – 1983
  55. Breaking Away – 1979
  56. Moana – 2016
  57. Soul Surfer – 2011
  58. Muppet Treasure Island – 1996
  59. Finding Nemo – 2003
  60. Charlotte’s Web – 1973
  61. Say Anything… – 1989
  62. The Kings of Summer – 2013
  63. Miss Juneteenth – 2020
  64. From Here to Eternity – 1953
  65. Shirkers – 2019
  66. Before Sunrise – 1995
  67. Weekend at Bernie’s – 1989
  68. Monsoon Wedding – 2001
  69. My Summer of Love – 2004
  70. In the Good Old Summertime – 1949
  71. Porgy and Bess – 1959
  72. Beach Rats – 2017
  73. The Florida Project – 2017
  74. Kiss Me Kate – 1953
  75. The Little Mermaid – 1989
  76. Anything Goes – 1956
  77. Damn Yankees – 1958
  78. The Music Man – 1962
  79. Carousel – 1956
  80. An Affair to Remember – 1957
  81. King Creole – 1958
  82. The Long Hot Summer – 1958
  83. Suddenly Last Summer – 1959
  84. A Summer Place – 1959
  85. Gidget – 1959
  86. The Whales of August – 1987
  87. A League of Their Own – 1992
  88. Howard’s End – 1992
  89. Cha Cha Real Smooth – 2022
  90. Dog Day Afternoon – 1975
  91. Roman Holiday – 1953
  92. Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte – 1964
  93. On Golden Pond – 1981
  94. Summer With Monika – 1953
  95. Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday – 1953
  96. Smiles of a Summer Night – 1955
  97. The Talk of the Town – 1942
  98. Early Summer – 1951
  99. Almost Famous – 2000
  100. Summer Interlude – 1951

Classic of the Week: Summer Stock (1950)

Summer Stock is a 1950 American Technicolor musical film directed by Charles Walters and stars Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Eddie Bracken, Gloria DeHaven, Marjorie Main and Phil Silvers. Judy struggled with many personal problems during filming and Summer Stock proved to be her final film with MGM, as well as her last onscreen paring with Kelly. By mutual agreement MGM terminated her contract by September 1950, something the head of studio, L.B. Mayer said he later regretted doing. 

Jane Falbury (Garland) is a farm owner whose actress sister, Abigail (DeHaven), arrives at the family farm with her theater troupe. They need a place to rehearse, and Jane and her housekeeper Esme (Main), hesitantly agree to let them use their barn. The actors and actresses, including the director, Joe Ross (Kelly), pay back her hospitality by doing chores around the farm. Although Joe is engaged to Abigail, he begins to fall in love with Jane after Abigail leaves him in a rage. Likewise, even though Jane is enaged to Orville (Bracken), she falls in love with Joe. 

Although this is not Garland’s or Kelly’s best work, it is still a really fun film, filled with laughter, fun songs, dancing and romance, their best is perhaps 1942’s For Me and My Gal. But Summer Stock is still worth seeing for the songs, choreography and romance. Some of the songs are a bit cheesy like so many classic musicals and Gene Kelly is a typecast again as the romantic song and dance man, but he does a great job regardless. Judy Garland is fantastic in her role, and though she was a tiny 4’11,” she seems much taller with her wide voice range and her excellent dancing skills. 

This film will have you singing and dancing and it will warm your heart. Warning, there is a scene that might make you tear up. There are many great songs throughout this musical such as “Wonderful You,” “If You Feel Like Singing, Sing” and “Get Happy” (One of Judy’s signature songs). The choreography by Nicholas Castle Sr. is so much fun, it’ll have you either tapping your foot, or dancing right along. 

There is no foul language, drinking or smoking shown and there is only one scene where Jane is shown showering and putting on clothes, but she is shown from shoulders up, so this is a very family friendly film. This is a feel good movie, one that can brighten you right up if you’re feeling sad or angry. Just the “Get Happy” scene alone will have you smiling ear to ear. Yes, this musical is a bit cheesy, but not as cheesy as Oklahoma! or Easter Parade, and many others from back in the day. That still does not make this one bad.

This is definitely not as a good as Singin’ in Rain or An American in Paris, but it’s not terrible. It is wildly entertaining from begining to end, though the plot is very simple. Would I have paid to see this on the big screen or on stage? Probably not, but if I found it on TV or streaming, I may or may not watch it. Having seen this film already, I can say, this is not one I could watch over and over again like Singin’ in the Rain. It’s a cute movie, very enjoyable, but the over the top cheesiness could have been dialed back a lot. Overall, this a very good, not great movie, though it is a joyous watch. 9+ 3.5/5

Classic of the Week: Arthur (1981)

Arthur is a 1981 American romantic comedy film written and directed by Steve Gordon. It stars Dudley Moore as Arthur Bach, a drunken New York City millionaire who is close to an arranged marriage to a wealthy heiress, but ends up falling in love with a common working-class girl from queens, played by Liza Minelli. 

Arthur Bach is a spolied alcoholic from New York City, who likes to be chauffeured around in his Rolls Royce Silver Wraith limousine through Central Park. Arthur is heir to a portion of his family’s fortune, but only marries upper class Susan Johnson, the business aquaintance of his father. He does not love Susan, but his family feels that she will finally make him grow up. On a shopping trip with his valet Hobson, he sees a young lady, Linda Marolla, shoplifting a necktie. He negotiates with the security guard on her behalf and later asks her out. Despite his feelings for Linda, Arthur remains burdened by his family to marry Susan. 

While visiting his grandmother, Martha, Arthur shares his feelings for Linda, but is warned that he will be disowned if he doesn’t marry Susan. Hobson, who has been more like a father to Arthur than his real father, realizes that he is starting grow up and secretly invites Linda to Arthur’s engagement party. Hobson tells her that he can sense Arthur’s love for her. Linda crashes the party, held at the estate of Arthur’s father, and she and Arthur get to spend time alone, which is traced by both families. Hobson is later hospitalized and Arthur runs to be by his side. Hobson dies and Arthur, who has been sober, goes on a drinking binge. At the diner where Linda works, Arthur proposes to her. 

This film is equal parts funny, sweet and romantic. Dudley Moore is fantastic as the rich, spoiled Arthur Bach, who eventually learns wealth status is really not important in order to be happy. Liza Minelli, who we are so used to as a musical star, is great as Linda Marolla, the working-class girl that doesn’t need a lavish lifestyle to be content. 

Arthur, although rich, realizes money and expensive things don’t make a person happy, as he is still lonely and has never been married. His family thinks that forcing him to marry a wealthy lady will help him grow up and be happy, but it does the complete opposite after he meets Linda. This movie shows how lavishness does not equal satisfaction,and  that oftentimes, less is more. 

Much of the humor and lines in this movie are cheesy, but not over the top. The plot of this film is very simple, but it is still entertaining and at times, laugh out loud funny and heartwarming. There is a good amount of time spent on Arthur’s booze binge after Hobson’s death, which doe make this movie a lttle less enjoyable, but at the same time, you can understand it. 

Anyone who has never experienced love, or love in a long time can sympathize Arthur, also anyone with deep depression can too. Without the character of Linda Marolla, this would have been a dud a film. She is the breath of fresh air it needed to be really good, because I would have turned this movie off after about 20 or so minutes as it would have been nothing more than a story about a lonely, depressed, spoiled man wanting love. Although this film starts out that way, it does get a lot better when she is introduced. 

Overall, this a good, not great movie. The acting is outstanding and the story is cute, but perhaps this is too simple of a motion picture, not enough action and drama, so it lacks in entertainment value. But it’s still not terrible, just not something I can watch all the time. It is rather slow and little on the cheesy side, but that may just be because of Dudley Moore, who was known for his campy characters and humor, but at the same time, I can’t imagine anyone else in the main role. This is one of the more serious, yet, still humorous roles that Liza has played and she is not campy or annoying like Dudley’s character, although they are perfect together. 

What this film lacks in entertainment, it does make up for in being inspirational, charming and funny. 10+ 3.5/5

Classic of the Week: Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Bringing Up Baby is a 1938 American screwball comedy film directed by Howard Hawks, and starring Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant. The film tells the story of a paleontologist in numerous quandries involving an absentminded heiress and a leopard named Baby. 

David Huxley (Cary Grant) is a benevolent paleontologist. For the past few years, he has been trying to assemble the skeleton of a Brontosaurus but is missing a bone. Adding to his stress, is his approaching marriage to the morose Alice Swallow (Virginia Walker) and the need to impress Elizabeth Random (Mary Robson), who is considering a million-dollar donation to his museum. 

The day before his wedding, David meets Susan Vance (Katherine Hepburn) by chance on a golf course when she hits his ball. She is a scatterbrained, eccentric young lady. These qualities soon entangle Davis in sever agonizing incidents. 

Susan’s brother Mark has sent her a leopard named Baby from Brazil. Its tameness is helped by the song “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.” Susan thinks Davis is a zoologists and manipulates David into helping her take baby to her farm in Connecticut. Troubles arise when Susan falls in love with him and tries to keep him at her house as long as possible. 

David’s bone arrives, but Susan’s aunt’s dog George takes it and buries it somewhere. Davis founds out that the aunt is donor Elizabeth Random and that the leopard is for her, as she always wanted one. Baby and George run off and the zoo is called to help capture Baby. Susan and David run to find Baby before the zoo, mistaking a dangerous leopard from a nearby circus for Baby, they let it out of the cage. After being jailed let go after comfirming their idenities, they get Baby back to the safety of the farm. 

This a funny, cute movie that both animal and romance lovers would enjoy. It’s plot is simple enough that both older children and adults can enjoy it too. It’s equal parts, funny and romantic and has a little bit of intensity. There is some adult humor that will go over kids’ heads, but it is very mild and not to be really concerned about, unlike the fairly intense scenes involving Baby, especially the scene where Baby and George fight violently. Just because there is no blood seen, it still may frighten young children. 

This film was a commercial flop upon relaease and only made a small profit after its re-release in the 1940s. It fact, it was panned by both audiences and critics. Today it is celebrated as one of the greatest not just comedy film, but greatest films of all time. It has quite a bit of adult humor. Like a scene where Susan takes all of David’s clothes and he has nothing to wear but her negligee and her aunt walks in and sees him and asks why he is wearing it and he replies: “I just went gay all of the sudden!” Not only does this play on the two meanings of the word gay, it was the first time that gay was ever used to refer to homosexuality, even if it was being masked by the other meaning of the word. 

There are many other scenes where the literal and figurative meaning of words are used, like in the dinner with David, Mr. Applegate, Susan and Mrs. Random, Mr. Applegate is trying to get David to open up about himself, but he won’t and Mr. Applegate says: “Well at least I got a rise out of him.” Mr. Applegate was trying to get a rise out of david using the figuative meaning, but David rose out of his seat and left, using the literal meaning. This kind of play on words in the dialogue is so fast, you may miss it if you don’t pay attention, but enjoy it so much if you do. 

While this kind of writing has been around for centuries, this tounge-in-cheek kind of dialouge had limitations put on screenwriters when it came out in 1930 with the Motion Picture Production Code, which limited references to anything sexual, either audilbly, or visually in script. All of the talented writers in Hollywood had to create their dialogue to exclude sexual innuendos. Consequently, the screwball comedy was born, also known as “sex comedy without sex,” full of innuendos to cheat the code limitations and make the audience happy. Much of the punny script in this film will only appeal to adults, as young kids will not understand it. 

The acting is superb in this movie from all of the main cast, including Nissa who played Baby the leopard. It makes no sense why this film was originally panned, as it great and very entertaining from begining to end. Maybe audiences and critics were hoping for something more action packed and/or romantic. Well, to me it is the right amount of both. 

Animal lovers will likely love this movie, if they just put aside the animal abuse that ocurred. Whips and chains were used as the American Humane Association wasn’t enforced to monitor the use of animals in movies until several years later. Katherine Hepburn was pretty much fearless around the leopard, except for one time when the animal made a lunge for her and the trainer had to use a whip to calm it down. Cary Grant was less warm to the big cat and a double was used where his character and the leopard had to come in contact. 

This is not your typical rom-com, it’s not mushy gushy and laugh out loud funny throughout, which make it much more entertaining if you ask me. Had this movie been just stomach hurting funny and schmaltzy, it would have been very unenjoyable and I very likely would have turned it off or walked out of the theater had I been alive (and old enough) in 1938. 

Despite the few negatives associated with this film, it is still proably the greatest not just screwball comedies, not just comedies, but greatest movies of all time. This story feels like the screenwriter wasn’t happy with the original plot and threw it in a blender, turned it on, and decided to go with the end result, which is this chaotic masterpiece, that shouldn’t dare be remade. Sorry Peter Bagdanovich, but What’s Up Doc? is no Bringing Up Baby. 10+ 4.5/5 

Classic of the Week: The Children’s Hour (1961)

The Children’s Hour is a 1961 American drama film directed by William Wyler, based on the 1934 play of the same name by Lillian Hellman. The film stars Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, James Garner and Fay Bainter. 

In the early 1960s, former college classmates Martha Dobie and Karen Wright open a private boarding school for girls. After being egaged to doctor Joe Cardin for two years, Karen finally agrees to a wedding date. Joe is related to the well known Amelia Tilford, whose granddaughter Mary is a student at the school. Mary is a spoiled, manipulative child that bullies her classmates. 

While Mary is being punished for telling a lie, one of her roommates overhears an argument between Martha and her Auny Lily. Lily accuses Martha of being jealous and having an unnatural relationship with Karen. When hearing this, Mary tells her grandmaother and Amelia spreads it around to the parents of the school. 

Karen learns of this and aproaches Amelia about Mary accusing Martha and Karen of being lovers. Mary is hindered at convincing others that she personally saw the interactions between Martha and Karen. Knowing that her roommate Rosalie has stolen items from several people, Mary forces Rosalie to back up her story. 

The two women file a suit of libel and slander against Mrs. Tilford. A few months later Martha and Karen are alone at the school, having lost all of the students and ruined their reputation after the lawsuit. Karen calls off her engagement to Joe when he asks if what was said Martha was true. When she finds out, Martha points out that other female couples have survived after being found out, because of the strength of their love, then admits that she has been in love with Karen for years. Karen says that Martha is just confused about her feelings, but Martha insists it really is love, breaking down in tears. 

When this story first came out in 1934, it was on Broadway and was controversial for its lesbian content and when the play started touring the U.S., some theater owners refused to allow it to be performed. The same thing happened when the film version came out in 1961, some movie theaters refused to show it. Despite this, both the play and film versions were critically acclaimed. 

The film deals with themes of sexuality, romance, theft, lying, spreading rumors and discipline. Lesbianism is the speculative “evil” that pervades the movie sailing between a lie and the heartbreaking truth deep within the lie. When the miserable and tortured teacher Martha Dobie (MacLaine) yells out, “I have loved you the way most people say I have!,” finally confessing her love to heterosexual Karen Wright (Hepburn), it is heartbreaking and painful to watch. She has to endure torture from the spreading of the gossip from Mary and Amelia Tilford. 

The movie draws Martha Dobie as a mistake of nature. She is talked about as being unnatural and unhealthy and sinful. She has had to pretend to be heterosexual to save herself from misery, until one student eavesdrops one night and catches an earful of a  private conversation between Martha and her Aunt Lily and the girl tells her friend and grandmother. Rather than be accepting of Matha as she really is, the parents of the students are so closed minded, religious and conservative that they believe same-sex relationships are a sin and withdraw their daughters from the school, prompting Martha and Karen to have to close down the school. 

Martha never gets to be her true self until the end of the film, but the mystery leading up to that answer is extremely well done and when you finally find out, you are schocked. This film is very dark, despite not being scary. Karen is pretty good-natured, but stern at times, Martha is hardworking and almost too nice at times. Doctor Joe Cardin is romantic and can be sweet, but can also be tough. Mary Tilford is a spoiled brat, bully and liar. She makes you want to jump into the movie and lay her across your lap and spank, whether you believe in spanking or not. She is such a bad child. She ruins the reputations of Martha, Karen and the school. She also puts both teachers out of work. 

There is nothing happy about this film, the entire picture is dark, depressing and very slow. I found myself quite bored many times throughout the movie. If I weren’t such a big fan of Shirley MacLaine and Audrey Hepburn, I would’ve turned it off. The film centers more on Martha’s secret and Mary and Amelia spreading the rumor, than Karen and her relationships with Doctor Cardin and Martha. This movie should’ve been called either Mary Spreads Gossip or Mary and Martha, as very little time is spent on the other characters. 

The acting is outstanding from the lead cast, but that didon’t make the film that much more entertaining, in fact, I found this one to be quite uninteresting and being a big Shirley and Hepburn fan like I said, I was expecting more. This is the most boring movie of them I have ever seen. But I guess there’s only so mcuh you can do with a story like this. 

The theme of same-sex love will turn religious conservatives off and may confuse younger children. Also the character Mary may freighten and/or teach children to lie, steal and bully. There’s really no violence other than a scene where Doctor Cardin spanks Mary, which was a common disciplining method back then and frequently seen in movies and on television, but it may make some people uncomfortable. There’s no foul language, drinking, smoking, or sex. There are a few kisses in the film, but they are brief. There is also a suicide scene and though it is not shown on screen, it is implied and will either confuse or distress kids. Movies don’t get much darker, duller or disheartening than this one. 11+ 2/5