Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Great Films Not on DVD: May

So, it’s dead week and I’m officially dead. The funny thing is, I’m not even worried about my finals. My main concern is getting everything done for this week. Not to mention I have to skip all of my classes on Friday because my older brother is getting married. I’m not saying I’m mad that I have to go to the wedding; it’s just that this is the worst possible time for him to get married. I’m leaving Thursday and getting back Sunday and you can bet I won’t be doing any studying during that time. Although I should be working on homework right now, I’m going to take a little time to bring you my list of Great Films Not on DVD for May!

Bullfighter and the Lady (1951)
Starring Robert Stack, Joy Page, and Gilbert Roland
Airs May 2 on TCM

A reckless young American (Stack) travels to Mexico and falls in love with a local beauty (Page). To catch her eye, he decides to pursue bullfighting under the mentorship of a respected veteran (Roland). The film is jam-packed with real bullfighting scenes and one stuntman actually died during filming. It’s pretty hardcore.

Remember the Night (1940)
Starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray
Airs May 14 on TCM

During the Christmas shopping season, shoplifter Lee Leander (Stanwyck) is caught and put on trial. However, the trial is postponed so she doesn’t have to spend Christmas in jail. Instead, she ends up driving home to Indiana with the district attorney (MacMurray) who is prosecuting her. Sparks fly both literally and figuratively.

I watched this for the first time this past Christmas and it has quickly become one of my favorite holiday movies.

Tom, Dick, and Harry (1941)
Starring Ginger Rogers, George Murphy, and Burgess Meredith
Airs May 31 on TCM

How could I possibly resist having a Ginger Rogers movie on the list?

Telephone operator Janie (Rogers) has trouble deciding between three men who are vying for her affection. To help her decide, she dreams about what her life would be like with each of the guys. Which one will she choose? Tom, Dick, or Harry? It may be one of Rogers’ lighter films but its quite fun to watch.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sidekick: Elsa Lanchester

I’m sorry it’s been awhile since I last posted. Life has been extremely hectic for me. Classes are winding down which means all those giant papers I learned about at the beginning of the semester will be due soon. Being the procrastinator that I am, I’ve barely even started any of them. I’ve pretty much been doing homework from the time I get out of class until I go to bed. This means I have absolutely no time to work on my little blog here which makes me sad. I’m sick of homework so I’m taking a little bit of a study break to write this. It might be quite a while before I can get another post out.

Anyways, I’ve been kind of neglecting my sidekick series so I thought it was time for a new sidekick to spotlight. A really long time ago, I had a poll which was won by Ralph Bellamy. Second place went to Elsa Lanchester so I think she deserves a post as well. If you have any suggestions please let me know!

Elsa Lanchester

The daughter of James Sullivan and Edith Lanchester, Elsa Sullivan Lanchester was born on October 28, 1902 in London, England. Her parents were rather unconventional and refused to give in to societal expectations that said they should get married. Because of this, her mother was placed in an asylum for a while.

At the age of ten, she began studying dance under the famous Isadora Duncan, but left after a few years to become a dance teacher. After World War I, she founded the Children’s Theater and began dabbling in acting. While performing in a play, she met another actor by the name of Charles Laughton, who she married a few years later.

Around the time that she met her husband, she began working in films. One of her best known early performances was as Anne of Cleves in The Private Life of Henry VIII which starred her husband Laughton. However, in 1935 she starred in The Bride of Frankenstein, which has become her best remembered film. Although she played the title role in the film, she was denied top billing.

The remainder of Lanchester’s career was spent in small supporting roles or in her own words, her career consisted of “large parts in lousy pictures and small parts in big pictures”. With large, expressive eyes and a lilting voice, she could play a myriad of characters, from a simple maid to a ditzy witch and everything in between.

As the 1960’s rolled in, her film roles decreased so she worked mostly in television. On December 26, 1986, Lanchester died of pneumonia and her ashes were scattered at sea.

Recommended Films:
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
The Spiral Staircase (1945)
The Bishop's Wife (1947)
The Secret Garden (1949)
Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
Bell, Book, and Candle (1958)
That Darn Cat! (1965)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Magic of Re-Cutting

You know that realization I came to last week about only having five weeks of school left? Well, I ran straight into that realization like a brick wall. It wasn’t just a nice, easy stop in front of the wall so that I could admire its magnitude. Nope, I crashed directly into that wall and fell flat on my back. Now, what does this little wall metaphor mean for this blog, you may ask? It means I don’t have time for an entire post this week.

For those of you who have also run into a brick wall lately, I have decided to post a few of my favorite youtube videos. They are all trailers for well-known movies, except that they have been completely chopped up so that the movies are not what they seem. I hope they bring a smile to your face like they did to mine and I promise to try to get a full post out as soon as I can!

Mary Poppins

The Shining


There are so many other of these funny trailers on youtube, but these are my personal favorites : )