Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2018 Movie Stats


This year I watched 230 new-to-me movies and 44 movies that were rewatches.
New to me: 230 (215 pre-1970, 15 post-1970)
Rewatches: 44 (34 pre-1970, 10 post-1970)
Total: 274 (249 pre-1970, 25 post-1970)

Where I watched them:
TCM: 207 (10 rewatches)
Library: 21 (5 rewatches)
Personal DVD: 33 + 3 VHS (27 rewatches)
YouTube: 3
Netflix or Amazon Prime: 4 (all post-1970)
Other (TV, website, Redbox): 3
Theater: 0

Here are my top ten movie discoveries:

 

2/4: Roughly Speaking (1945) - Rosalind Russell & Jack Carson
2/7: Battleground (1949) - Van Johnson, Ricardo Montalban, etc.
2/20: Mystery Street (1950) - Ricardo Montalban, Elsa Lanchester
3/1: Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) - Robert Donat & Greer Garson
4/23: The Smallest Show on Earth (1957) - Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers, Peter Sellers, Margaret Rutherford
5/10: Sabotage Agent (1943) - Robert Donat & Valerie Hobson, Glynis Johns (Originally The Adventures of Tartu)
9/17: Summertime (1955) - Katharine Hepburn & Rossano Brazzi
10/29: The Ghost Goes West (1936) - Robert Donat
12/3: The Divorce of Lady X (1938) - Merle Oberon & Laurence Olivier
12/6: His Kind of Woman (1951) - Robert Mitchum & Jane Russell, Raymond Burr

Last year I should have included Act of Violence (1949) and Period of Adjustment (1962) in my top ten, both of which I had watched near the end of the year. I guess I couldn't kick anything off of my list.

 

Classics I finally watched:
The Most Dangerous Game (1932) - Joel McCrea & Fay Wray
Wuthering Heights (1939) - Laurence Olivier & Merle Oberon, David Niven, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Flora Robson
    Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) - Robert Donat & Greer Garson
    Mildred Pierce (1945) - Joan Crawford, Anne Blyth, Jack Carson, Eve Arden

    The Red Shoes (1948) - Moira Shearer, Anton Walbrook

    From Here to Eternity (1953) - Montgomery Clift & Donna Reed, Burt Lancaster & Deborah Kerr, Frank Sinatra

    Mon Oncle (1958 - French) - Jacques Tati 

    South Pacific (1958) - Rossano Brazzi & Mitzi Gaynor, John Kerr, Juanita Hall

    Oceans 11 (1960) - Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop, Angie Dickinson 

    Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - Harrison Ford & Karen Allen

    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) - Harrison Ford
Number of movies per decade:

1920s: 1 + Shorts
1930s: 62 (6 rewatches)
1940s: 94 (12 rewatches)
1950s: 67 (12 rewatches)
1960s: 24 (4 rewatches)
1970s: 0 (0 rewatches)
1980s: 7 (3 rewatches)
1990s: 6 (3 rewatches)
2000s: 4 (4 rewatches)
2010s: 8 (0 rewatches)


Number of movies per month:

January: 40 (4 rewatches)
February: 29 (3 rewatches)
March: 33 (3 rewatch)
April: 16 (4 rewatch)
May: 20 (2 rewatches)
June: 16 (0 rewatches)
July: 18 (0 rewatches)
August: 24 (2 rewatches)
September: 17 (3 rewatches)
October: 17 (9 rewatches)
November: 19 (5 rewatches)
December: 25 (9 rewatches)


Most Watched (Leading) Movie Stars:

Robert Ryan - 16 films
Deborah Kerr - 8 films
Clark Gable - 8 films
Charles Boyer - 8 films
Joan Crawford - 7 films
Joel McCrea - 7 films

Robert Donat, Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Esther Williams, Jack Carson - 6 films

Rossano Brazzi, Jean Simmons, Eve Arden, Myrna Loy, Ingrid Bergman, Ginger Rogers, Van Johnson, Marsha Hunt, Frank Morgan - 5 films


Stars I discovered/grew to love/admire:

Robert Donat
Deborah Kerr
Glynis Johns
Rossano Brazzi
 
Really discovered these three at the end of last year (had seen Kerr and Johns in other movies previously). Don't really know why I left Johns off of last years list.
 
Had seen Brazzi in several movies before but was unimpressed until this year
when I watched South Pacific which started a major (ongoing) crush.

*To see last years stats click here.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Movies I Watched in December


Lots of the usual Christmas rewatches (*) this month and a few new ones. Also FINALLY watched The Most Dangerous Game. I put it on my list every time TCM shows it but never actually watch it.
  1. Private Lives (1931) - Robert Montgomery & Norma Shearer, Reginald Denny, Una Merkel
  2. Penguin Pool Murder (1932) - Edna May Oliver & James Gleason
  3. The Most Dangerous Game (1932) - Joel McCrea & Fay Wray
  4. In Person (1935) - Ginger Rogers & George Brent
  5. Page Miss Glory (1935) - Marion Davies, Patsy Kelly, Pat O'Brien, Dick Powell, Mary Astor, Frank McHugh
  6. Three Godfathers (1936) - Lewis Stone, Chester Morris, Walter Brennan 
  7. The Divorce of Lady X (1938) - Merle Oberon & Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson & Binnie Barnes
  8. Woman Against Woman (1938) - Herbert Marshall, Mary Astor, Virginia Bruce
  9. *Hard to Get (1938) - Dick Powell & Olivia de Havilland, Charles Winniger, Bonita Granville
  10. *Remember the Night (1940) - Fred MacMurray & Barbara Stanwyck, Beulah Bondi
  11. *Christmas in Connecticut (1945) - Barbara Stanwyck & Dennis Morgan, S.Z. Sakall
  12. *It's a Wonderful Life (1946) - James Stewart & Donna Reed, Thomas Mitchell, Lionel Barrymore, Ward Bond, Beulah Bondi
  13. *Miracle on 34th Street (1947) - Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara & John Payne, Natalie Wood, Thelma Ritter
  14. His Kind of Woman (1951) - Robert Mitchum & Jane Russell, Vincent Price, Raymond Burr
  15. You Never Can Tell (1951) - Dick Powell, Peggy Dow, Joyce Holden, Charles Drake
  16. O. Henry's Full House (1952) - Charles Laughton, Anne Baxter, Jean Peters, Jeanne Crain & Farley Granger
  17. *White Christmas (1954) - Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, Dean Jagger, Mary Wickes
  18. The Cobweb (1955) - Richard Widmark, Lauren Bacall, John Kerr, Gloria Graham
  19. Signpost to Murder (1965) - Joanne Woodward & Stuart Whitman
  20. Lady L (1966) - Sophia Loren & Paul Newman, David Niven - dir. Peter Ustinov 
  21. *Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983) - Alan Young
  22. *Home Alone (1990) - Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Catherine O'Hara, John Candy
  23. Almost Heroes (1998) - Chris Farley & Matthew Perry
  24. *Elf (2003) - Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Ed Asner
Least Favorite Film: Almost Heroes had the potential to be a hilarious movie but missed the mark.

Favorite Film: Olivier was absolutely hilarious in The Divorce of Lady X. I had only seen him in serious roles (Wuthering Heights, Fire Over England, Rebecca, and Pride and Prejudice). Three Godfathers was heartbreaking but beautiful. You Never Can Tell was a delightful film! And His Kind of Woman was sizzling!


Look for my End-of-Year Stats tomorrow!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

ANNOUNCING the First Annual Valentine’s Day “Meet-Cute” Blogathon!


One of my favorite feel-good modern romantic comedies is The Holiday (2006). I initially watched it for Jude Law but came away from the film loving the story between Iris (Kate Winslet) and Arthur (played by the adorable Eli Wallach). There is a scene in the movie where Iris meets Arthur for the first time and he explains what a "meet-cute" is. Watch the sweet scene below:


I always wondered whether the film he describes existed and so was very excited when TCM aired a film called Blackbeard's Eighth Wife (1938) in which two people meet while purchasing pajamas (It's switched in the movie though - Cooper buys the top and Colbert the bottom). Unfortunately the scene is only on YouTube in Spanish.


I even liked Jack Black in this movie!

Anyway, this film gave me the idea for this blogathon and I thought, what better day to host this than on Valentine's Day! And, since there are unlimited films to choose from, I have decided to make it an annual event (hopefully lots of you will sign up). Films from any era will be allowed (and I guess if you really want to do a TV show that would be okay too) but since there are so many films featuring "meet-cutes" I ask that there be no duplicates. Please comment with your film choice and LINK TO YOUR BLOG and grab one of the banners below to advertise!! Looking forward to seeing what everyone picks!




ROSTER:

Phyllis Loves Classic Movies: Summertime (1955)

Caftan Woman: Support Your Local Sheriff (1969)


Cinematic ScribblingsMarriage Italian Style (1964)

The Midnite Drive-In: Urban Cowboy (1980)

The Story Enthusiast: Top Five Meet-Cutes

It Came From the Man Cave: The Big Sick (2017)

Realweegiemidget Reviews: Favorite Meet-Cute Moments

Musings of a Classic Film Addict: The Big Sleep (1946)

Critica Retro: Sunday in New York (1963)

Overture Books and Films: They All Laughed (1980)


If you have trouble commenting you can DM me on twitter (@solidmoonlight) or send me an email (solidmoonlight@gmail.com).

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Sea Wife (1957)


I started this post nearly two years ago, typing the beginning here and writing the rest on paper as I watched the film. But I never polished it up and posted it so when Realweedgiemidget Reviews announced the Regaling about Richard Burton Blogathon I thought it would be the perfect time to get the posted! Unfortunately I couldn't find my notes until I did some serious cleaning today which is why this post is a day late. Sorry Gill!

The other day (3-8-17) I watched Sea Wife (1957), which aired on TCM the night after Robert Osborne passed away to join the countless stars he loved and admired so much. After tearfully watching a message from Ben Mankiewicz before the film started, and the TCM Remembers video, the opening credits of Sea Wife began.

The opening song, "I'll Find You" sung by David Whitfield over a background of sparkling water, reminded me very much of a 1960s live-action Disney film. You can listen to the song below.


Starring Richard Burton (TCM's Star of the Month in March 2017) and Joan Collins, the film is based on the book Sea-Wyf and Biscuit by J. M. Scott. We meet Biscuit (Burton) en route to ?? by ship. He is contemplative (as only Burton can be) and after starring off into the distance for a few moments, he makes his way to telegraph office where he places an ad in the personal columns. He continues this upon his arrival at every major newspaper. All of them are addressed simply to "Sea Wife."

 

He finally receives a reply, from a patient in a rest home. Upon his arrival at the grand house and grounds he is met, not by the person he was expecting, but a wheelchair bound older man. They begin to talk and the old man becomes excited about some past event. We fade in time to a crowded boat in Singapore. The year, 1942.


It is the first night at sea. The boat, carrying well beyond it's weight limit of men, women, and children, is torpedoed by a Japanese sub. Panic ensues with people screaming and a fire raging in the engine room. A young girl clings to a nun in a black habit (Joan Collins) who, in order for the child to stay in the lifeboat, tosses off her habit to reveal a simple white shift. There is a bit of a "Titanic" moment as there aren't enough lifeboats to go around, one of them capsizing, spilling its' load into the sea. Some inflatable rafts are launched and the nun and a wounded Biscuit, who was also a passenger, climb onto an empty raft. Together they rescue and older man from the water - the same man we met at the rest home - and watch as their ship erupts in flames. As they are paddling away from the turbulence another passenger climbs aboard, a black man who (in an unfortunate stereotype found in many films) gazes a little too long at the nun who looks very appealing despite her short wet hair and oversized white gown (it helps when your eye shadow and false eyelashes make it through the ordeal).


The four drifters, rather than reveal their true identities, come up with nicknames for one another. The older man is called Bulldog, the black man becomes No. 4 as he was the fourth passenger, and the aforementioned Biscuit who is in charge of the rations: biscuits. They take turns watching, with Bulldog and the nun having a conversation about God when he catches her praying.

It is No. 4 who gives the nun her nickname  - he was the only one to see her onboard in her habit. As the three men watch her swimming No. 4 calls her "Sea Wife," another name for a mermaid.


After only two days adrift they are already halfway through their rations.  Bulldog begins talking about drinking blood to quench their thirst, causing tempers to flare. Their argument is cut short when Sea Wife hears something in the fog. They paddle toward the sound and come upon a submarine! Unfortunately it's Japanese. They want to know if there are any other American warships at sea. When the drifters declare they know nothing, the Japs refuse to give them food or water. They won't even take them aboard as prisoners, preferring to let them die at sea. Sea Wife begs for mercy however and they are given some provisions before the submarine slips back into the dark waters.

The next night, Biscuit gets poetic (What did you expect? It's Burton!). He is interrupted when their little raft is almost upset by a passing sub, knocking their provisions into the water! In the dark they are unable to retrieve it. The following morning they paddle along dejectedly. Some pelicans appear overhead and, when one lands in the water, the men kill it, upsetting Sea Wife who knows that the sight of the pelican means land is nearby.

Later a rainstorm comes up, at first quenching their thirst but then turning into a strong gale that tossed the raft about in the crashing waves. The sun finally comes back out however with everyone alive and land in sight. They paddle eagerly toward the shore but are carried toward some rocks, ripping their raft in the process.

After bathing in the fresh water and eating some fruit, Biscuit and Bulldog set out to do a little exploring and try, unsuccessfully, to build a structure. While Sea Wife and Biscuit are trying to catch fish, he finally asks her what her real name is. She evades the question, saying, "I'm not a real person here. None of us are. I think it's better if we keep the names we have."


Tempers flare again when No. 4 finds a machete and refuses to let anyone else touch it. He also privately questions why Sea Wife hasn't revealed her true identity to the other men, especially Biscuit who clearly has feelings for her.

They begin to work on a bamboo raft, as Biscuit thinks he has spotted land some 15 miles away. Once completed, they wait for the proper time to set sail. Biscuit accuses Sea Wife of running away from life and professes his love for her. Rather than reveal that she is a nun she simply says that she is promised to someone else.


Bulldog hides No. 4's machete and, while he's looking for it, tricks the others onto the raft and pushed it out to sea, leaving No. 4 behind. He knocks Biscuit out and reveals that he has the knife on board. No. 4 tries to swim out to the raft but is attacked and killed by a shark. Bulldog isn't even sorry, saying they couldn't have a knife, a girl, and a negro all on the same raft. They can have two, but not three (this is the part where I wish Sea Wife would push his racist you-know-what overboard but, being a nun she doesn't).

Biscuit is unconscious all that night and into the next day, when Sea Wife spots a ship. As dramatic music swells in the background we are suddenly back at the rest home where Biscuit is told the shocking news that Sea Wife died aboard the ship. But, as he walks away from the rest home, he passes two nuns. After he has passed, one of them turns around. She is Sea Wife. "No one looks at the face of a nun," she remarks to her companion, and they continue on their way.


This post is part of the Regaling about Richard Burton Blogathon hosted by Realweegiemidget Reviews. Check out everyone else's contributions by clicking the links below!


Saturday, December 1, 2018

Movies I Watched in November


This month was pretty good movie-wise. I caught some really interesting ones that aren't well known. I also finally got to see Journey to Italy. TCM showed it another time but it was dubbed in Italian with English subtitles and it was too hard to watch Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders not speaking in their distinctive voices. I also introduced the family to The Trouble with Harry. It was a hit :)
  1. The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1937) - Roland Young 
  2. Espionage Agent (1939) - Joel McCrea & Brenda Marshall, Jeffrey Lynn
  3. The Spy in Black (1939) - Conrad Veidt
  4. The Man in the Iron Mask (1939) - Louis Hayworth & Joan Bennett, Warren William, Alan Hale
  5. The Great McGinty (1940) - Brian Donlevy
  6. The Nurse’s Secret (1941) - Lee Patrick & Regis Tommey 
  7. The Spanish Main (1945) - Paul Henreid & Maureen O’Hard, Walter Slezak
  8. The Cockeyed Miracle (1946) - Frank Morgan, Keenyn Wynn, Cecil Kellaway, Audrey Totter
  9. Heaven Only Knows (1947) - Robert Cummings, Brian Donlevy 
  10. High Wall (1948) - Robert Taylor & Audrey Totter 
  11. Rancho Notorious (1952) - Arthur Kennedy & Marlene Dietrich, Mel Ferrer
  12. *The Trouble with Harry (1955) - Shirley MacLaine & John Forsyth, Edmund Green & Mildred Natwick, Jerry Mathers
  13. Journey to Italy (1955) - Ingrid Bergman & George Sanders
  14. *Light in the Piazza (1961) - Olivia de Havilland, Yvette Mimieux, Rossano Brazzi, George Hamilton
  15. Fail Safe (1964) - Henry Fonda, Dan O'Hurlihy, Larry Hagman
  16. *The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964) - Shirley MacLaine, George C. Scott, Alain Delon, Ingrid Bergman & Omar Shariff (I skipped the first third with Rex Harrison)
  17. Evil Under the Sun (1982) - Peter Ustinov, James Mason, Maggie Smith, Diana Rigg
  18. *Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) - Steve Martin, John Candy
  19. *Casino Royale (2006) - Daniel Craig & Eva Green, Judi Dench 
Least Favorite Movie: Didn't have any.

Favorite Movie: Of course I enjoyed Caftan Woman's recommendation of Heaven Only Knows. I wasn't expecting it to make me cry though!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Movies I Watched in October

Can you guess why I revisited this one? ;)

Well, I have TCM again (signed in with my Aunt's account). I went to visit my aunt on Long Island for an entire month and, as you can see from all the * I've mostly been watching movies I've already seen with her. A couple she remembered vaguely having seen before but I was able to introduce her to some "new" films. Her favorite seemed to be Theodora Goes Wild ;)

While on Long Island I got to visit a couple movie locations. I've already posted about visiting Jones Beach, the setting for The Girl From Jones Beach (1948), but I've updated it so be sure to check it out again! I also got to go to Old Westbury Gardens. The house there was used as James Mason's mansion at the beginning of North By Northwest (1959). That post will be coming shortly (after my blogathon).

Now to the films I watched:
  1. The Old Dark House (1932) - Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton, Raymond Massey, Gloria Stuart
  2. The Ghost Goes West (1936) - Robert Donat
  3. Make Way for a Lady (1936) - Anne Shirley, Herbert Marshall 
  4. *Theodora Goes Wild (1936) - Irene Dunne & Melvyn Douglas
  5. *The Ex-Mrs. Bradford (1936) - William Powell & Jean Arthur
  6. *Double Wedding (1937) - William Powell & Myrna Loy 
  7. *Third Finger, Left Hand (1940) - Melvyn Douglas & Myrna Loy, Lee Bowman
  8. Night Train to Munich (1940) - Margaret Lockwood, Rex Harrison, Paul Henried 
  9. *Love Crazy (1941) - William Powell & Myrna Loy, Jack Carson
  10. Tish (1942) - Marjorie Main, Susan Peters, Lee Bowman, Zasu Pitts
  11. *The More the Merrier (1943) - Jean Arthur & Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn
  12. Always Together (1948) - Cecil Kellaway, Dennis Morgan & Jack Carson (cameos)
  13. Born to Be Bad (1950) - Joan Fontaine & Robert Ryan, Zachary Scott & Joan Leslie, Mel Ferrer
  14. *The Lemon-Drop Kid (1951) - Bob Hope & Marilyn Maxwell, Jane Darwell
  15. *Three Coins in the Fountain (1954) - Louis Jourdan & Maggie McNamara, Clifton Webb & Dorothy McGuire, Jean Peters & Rossano Brazzi
  16. Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) - Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan
  17. *North by Northwest (1959) - Cary Grant & Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
Least Favorite Movie: Almost all the films I watched were old favorites. Out of the new-to-me movies I watched the only one I didn't "love" was Always Together, mainly because I can't stand storylines where the wife divorces the husband without letting him explain what really happened, causing herself to look foolish when she finally learns the truth. Tish had a similar non-communication problem, though I enjoyed it more.


Favorite Movie: Again, all favorites but I greatly enjoyed The Ghost Goes West with Donat in a double role as well as Night Train to Munich. Also, why wasn't Harry Belafonte in more movies??? I watched Odds Against Tomorrow for Robert Ryan but found myself focusing on Belafonte (whose Calypso record was incidentally a favorite of my brother's and I growing up in the 90s). You can find the entire film (in two parts) on YouTube.

We listened and danced to this all. the. time.

Friday, November 9, 2018

The Remake of the "They Remade What?!" Blogathon has Arrived!!


Today is the day! The Remake of the "They Remade What?!" Blogathon has finally arrived!!


The Story Enthusiast kicks off the day with The Male Animal (1942) and She's Working Her Way Through College (1952).


The Midnite Drive-In takes things in a heavenly direction with Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) and Heaven Can Wait (1978).


Caftan Woman sees ladies everywhere in the two star-packed versions of When Ladies Meet (1933 & 1941).


Critica Retro issues a warning for watching both versions of Magnificent Obsession (1935 & 1954) back-to-back.

 
The Flapper Dame does some fast talking about The Front Page (1931) and His Girl Friday (1940).


Pale Writer tackles The Big Sleep (1946 & 1978) in The Big Remake Part I and The Big Remake Part II.


Realweegiemidget Reviews takes a look at when a classic film-star-riddled TV show is remade with TV...A Dynastic Disaster or Delight.?

The code clearly didn't apply to poster art lol
 
Top 10 Film Lists shows us how the code effected remakes with a look at Red Dust (1932) and Mogambo (1953).


Movies Meet Their Match takes on the challenge of comparing The Shop Around the Corner (1940) with it's subsequent remakes (plural!).


Back to Golden Days takes us back to the heavens and closes the blogathon with A Guy Names Joe (1943) and Always (1989).

A huge thank you to all who participated!! I hope to bring this blogathon back in a couple years. Now to read these!