Thursday, February 1, 2024

Movies I Watched in January

Kenneth More & Glynis Johns, No Highway in the Sky (1951)

I watched a lot of British films this month. Glynis Johns led to more Kenneth More and also Jack Hawkins. I discovered a "new" TV show, The Four Just Men starring Hawkins, Dan Dailey, Richard Conte, and Vittorio De Sica (they alternate episodes). There are several episodes on YouTube. 

* indicates a rewatch

    1. Beauty and the Barge (1937) - Jack Hawkins, Margaret Rutherford
    2. He Couldn't Say No (1938) - Frank McHugh, Jane Wyman, Diana Lewis
    3. Hold That Kiss (1938) - Maureen O'Sullivan & Dennis O'Keefe, Micky Rooney
    4. *Rebecca (1940) - Joan Fontaine & Laurence Olivier, Judith Anderson, Reginald Denny, George Sanders, C. Aubrey Smith, Gladys Cooper
    5. *I Know Where I'm Going (1945) - Wendy Hiller & Roger Livesey
    6. Black Narcissus (1947) - Deborah Kerr, David Farrar, Sabu, Jean Simmons
    7. *Miranda (1948) - Glynis Johns, Googie Withers, Griffith Jones, David Tomlinson, Margaret Rutherford
    8. No Highway in the Sky (1951) - James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, Jack Hawkins, Glynis Johns, Kenneth More
    9.  Appointment with Venus (1951) - David Niven, Glynis Johns, Kenneth More
    10. One Minute to Zero (1952) - Robert Mitchum & Ann Blyth, William Talman, Charles McGraw, Richard Egan
    11. Second Chance (1953) - Robert Mitchum & Linda Darnell, Jack Palance
    12. Genevieve (1953) - John Gregson & Dinah Sheridan, Kenneth More, Kay Kendall
    13. *Mad About Men (1954) - Glynis Johns, Margaret Rutherford
    14. Front Page Story (1954) - Jack Hawkins, Elizabeth Allan
    15. *The Enemy Below (1957) - Robert Mitchum, Curt Jergens
    16. The Two-Headed Spy (1958) - Jack Hawkins & Gia Scala
    17. *The Defiant Ones (1958) - Tony Curtis & Sidney Poitier, Lon Chaney Jr.
    18. The 39 Steps (1959) - Kenneth Moore & Taina Elg
    19. The Angry Hills (1959) - Robert Mitchum, Gia Scala, Sebastian Cabot
    20. How to Frame a Figg (1971) - Don Knotts, Yvonne Craig
    21. The Lady Vanishes (1979) - Cybill Shepherd, Elliott Gould, Angela Lansbury
    22. Dominick and Eugene (1988) - Tom Hulce, Ray Liotta, Jamie Lee Curtis
    23. Miss Austen Regrets (2007) - Olivia Williams, Hugh Bonneville
    Emma (2009-TV Mini Series) - Ramola Garai & Jonny Lee Miller
    Sidney (2022) - a must watch!
    The Power of Film (2024) - TCM Documentary series

    Least Favorite Film: I did not like Black Narcissus. If I could un-watch it I would. I don't like creepy eye close-ups. Also, if you watch The Two-Headed Spy, skip the torture scene. 

    Favorite Movie: I finally watched No Highway in the Sky after having on my watchlist for a long time. It was really good. I've always considered Emma my least favorite Austen heroine, but I really liked the 2009 mini series! I'm rereading the book to see if I like it better now than when I first read if probably 10+ years ago (I did not like the Paltrow movie either). 

    The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015) is one of my favorite movies from recent years so I'm excited for another collaboration between Henry Cavill and director Guy Ritchie. I wish Alicia Vikander was in it!

    Friday, January 19, 2024

    2023 Movie Stats

    In the year 2023 I watched 158 new-to-me movies and 55 movies that were rewatches for a total of 213.

    New to me: 158 (118 pre-1970, 40 post-1970)
    Rewatches: 55 (31 pre-1970, 24 post-1970)
    Total: 213 (149 pre-1970, 64 post-1970)

    Where I watched them: 

    TCM: 76 (11 rewatches)
    Library (DVD & Apps): 8 (3 rewatches)
    Personal DVD: 20 (13 rewatches)
    YouTube & OK: 32 (6 rewatches)
    Paid Streaming Services: 32 (15 rewatches) 
    TV & Free Streaming Services: 44 (6 rewatches)
    Theater: (1 rewatch)

    Here are my top ten movie discoveries:

    Q Planes (1939) - Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, Valerie Hobson

    Good Sam (1948) - Gary Cooper & Ann Sheridan

    The Mating of Millie (1948) - Glenn Ford & Evelyn Keyes

    A Woman of Distinction (1950) - Ray Milland & Rosalind Russell, Edmund Gwenn

    The Whistle at Eaton Falls (1951) - Lloyd Bridges, Carlton Carpenter, Ernest Borgnine

    Heaven Knows Mr. Allison (1957) - Robert Mitchum & Deborah Kerr

    The Admirable Crichton (1957) - Kenneth Moore, Sally Ann Howe

    Advance to the Rear (1964) - Glenn Ford & Stella Stevens, Joan Blondell, Melvyn Douglas

    Nickelodeon (1976) - Ryan O'Neal, Burt Reynolds, Tatum O'Neal, Brian Keith, Stella Stevens

    The Cheap Detective (1976) - Peter Falk, Madeline Kahn, Ann-Margaret

    Classics I finally watched: 

    A Christmas Carol (1938) - Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart

    Gilda (1946) - Glenn Ford & Rita Hayworth

    Tokyo Story (1953-Japanese) - Setsuko Hara

    The Big Heat (1953) - Glenn Ford & Gloria Graham, Lee Marvin

    Creature from the Black Lagoon (1957) - Julie Adams, Richard Carlson

    The Italian Job (1969) - Michael Caine

    Airport (1970) - Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, Van Heflin

    Field of Dreams (1989) - Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta


    Number of movies per decade:

    1910s: 0 
    1920s: 2 
    1930s: 20 (9 rewatches)
    1940s: 47 (9 rewatches)
    1950s: 62 (10 rewatches)
    1960s: 17 (3 rewatches)
    1970s: 14 
    1980s: 9 (4 rewatches)
    1990s: 16 (4 rewatches)
    2000s: 14 (7 rewatches)
    2010s: 10 (8 rewatches)
    2020s: 2 (1 rewatch)

    Number of movies per month:

    January: 17 (4 rewatches)
    February: 17 (6 rewatches)
    March: 9 (2 rewatches)
    April: 13 (10 rewatches)
    May: 18 (4 rewatches)
    June: 19 (5 rewatches)
    July: 15 (6 rewatches)
    August: 30 (6 rewatches) 
    September: 19 (2 rewatches)
    October: 15 (1 rewatch)
    November: 22 (4 rewatches)
    December: 19 (5 rewatches)

    Number of Foreign Language Films: 3 (1 rewatch)

    Number of Documentaries: 6

    Most Watched (Leading) Movie Stars: 

    Glenn Ford - 19 films

    Ray Liotta - 10 films

    Alan Ladd - 9 films

    Lloyd Bridges (+ season 1 of Sea Hunt), Orlando Bloom (LOTR, Hobbit, & Pirates) - 8 films 

    Charles Boyer, Ronald Colman, Dennis O'Keefe, George Kennedy, Jane Wyatt (+ Father Knows Best) - 5 films

    Sean Connery, Joan Fontaine, Rita Hayworth, Deborah Kerr, Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum, Viggo Mortenson (LOTR), Kurt Russell, Robert Ryan, Barbara Stanwyck - 4 films

    Stars I discovered/grew to love/crushed on: Lloyd Bridges, Glenn Ford, Ray Liotta

    *To see last year's stats, click here.

    Did you keep track of the movies you watched in 2023? Was there a star or movie you discovered that you can't live without now? Let me know in the comments!

    Wednesday, January 10, 2024

    Double Feature: Two Hitchcock Remakes

    I recently discovered British actor Kenneth More in The Admirable Crichton (1956) and, by searching Tubi to see what other films of his were available, that he had starred in a 1959 remake of Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps (1935), which is a great favorite of mine. This led me to also discover that there was a 1979 remake of The Lady Vanishes starring Cybill Shepherd, Elliott Gould, and Angela Lansbury. I ended up watching them back-to-back and decided to jot down a quick post with my thoughts.

    While enjoyable, The 39 Steps, directed by Ralph Thomas, had none of the suspense of the original. More acted as if he were simply on holiday and there was never any real feeling that his life was in danger. The women in the film - the lady who was murdered in his flat, the wife at the house he took refuge in, and finally Miss Fisher (Madeline Carroll's role) - weren't quite right either. The first was too matter of fact, the second a "fortune teller," and Miss Fisher not nearly annoyed enough. All of the tenseness of the original scenes simply wasn't present. The impromptu political speech Hannay gives in the original is replaced with a botany lecture at a girl's school that isn't nearly as tense or funny and the final scene fell a little flat. It's still worth a watch and the color scenery was lovely, though not as harsh and dramatic as in black and white. It helped lend to the more "holiday" feeling.

    The Lady Vanishes, directed by Anthony Page, faired better. I've only seen the original once (as opposed to I think four times for The 39 Steps plus the book by John Buchan). Cybill Shepherd plays the heroine differently than Margaret Lockwood (I do wish Sheperd didn't talk so loud the entire time) but it was a fun film. Again, not as tense as the original but that film also had more of Hitchcock's humor. I would say the remake had a slight screwball element to it as well with Sheperd's portrayal as a seemingly flighty heiress with multiple marriages and on her way to another.  It was set in 1939 and had a stronger N*zi presence - our introduction to Shepherd's character is her doing a H*tler impression. There was on-location shooting in Austria, so this film had lovely scenery as well. 

    Have you seen any remakes of Hitchcock films (aside from the one's he remade himself)? What did you think of them? Did you like them better than the original?

    Tuesday, January 2, 2024

    Movies I Watched in December

    Didn't watch as many Christmas movies this month as in past Decembers. I'm still watching Father Knows Best and started Frasier - I've been wanting to rewatch it for a while. Was very excited to receive Allison Macor's book, Making The Best Years of Our Lives, for Christmas! I also got the Wizard of Oz "Horse of a Different Color" Hallmark ornament (unfortunately the batteries it came with were already corroded and I haven't bought any new ones yet so I haven't actually seen it light up).

    1. A Christmas Carol (1938) - Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart, Ann Rutherford
    2. Q Planes/Clouds Over Europe (1939) - Ralph Richardson, Laurence Olivier, Valerie Hobson
    3. 49th Parallel (1941) - Laurence Olivier, Leslie Howard, Glynis Johns
    4. A Stranger in Town (1943) - Frank Morgan, Richard Carlson
    5. Black Angel (1946) - Dan Duryea & June Vincent, Peter Lorre, Broderick Crawford
    6. Gilda (1946) - Rita Hayworth & Glenn Ford
    7. Fun on a Weekend (1947) - Eddie Bracken & Priscilla Lane, Tom Conway, Allen Jenkins
    8. I Wouldn't Be in Your Shoes (1948) - Don Castle & Elyse Knox, Regis Toomey
    9. Good Sam (1948) - Gary Cooper & Ann Sheridan
    10. *On Dangerous Ground (1951) - Robert Ryan & Ida Lupino, Ward Bond
    11. All I Desire (1953) - Barbara Stanwyck, Richard Carlson, Maureen O'Sullivan, Billy Gray
    12. *White Christmas (1954) - Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera Ellen, Rosemary Clooney, Dean Jagger, Mary Wickes
    13. The Admirable Crichton (1957) - Kenneth More, Sally Anne Howes
    14. A Night to Remember (1958) - Kenneth More, Honor Blackman, David McCallum, Laurence Naismith
    15. *Sail a Crooked Ship (1961) - Robert Wagner & Dolores Hart, Ernie Kovacs, Carolyn Jones
    16. Experiment in Terror (1962) - Glenn Ford, Lee Remick, Stephanie Powers
    17. Prescription: Murder (1968) - Peter Falk, Gene Barry, Nina Foch
    18. *Elf (2003) - Will Farrall & Zoey Deschanel, Bob Newhart, James Caan, Ed Asner
    19. *The Holiday (2007) - Kate Winslet & Jack Black, Eli Wallach, Cameron Diaz & Jude Law
    Least Favorite Film: I only watched the noir I Wouldn't Be in Your Shoes because it was a "rarely seen film." I definitely expected to see some dancing though and there wasn't any. Also have no idea how they were going to condemn him to the electric chair literally on circumstantial evidence!

    Favorite Movie: A very good month. I highly recommend The Admirable Crichton - think Downton Abbey meets Gilligan's IslandGood Sam was unusual but very funny. I also really enjoyed Q Planes. And of course 49th Parallel, being a Powell and Pressburger film, was beautifully shot. 

    Favorite Line: "Less enthusiasm, please! This is Britain!" ~ newspaper editor in Q Planes.

    Keep an eye out for my end-of-year movie stats post!

    Sunday, December 3, 2023

    Movies I Watched in November

    I guess Alfred from Miracle on 34th Street still has a complex that 
    compels him to play Santa Claus. Seen here with Thelma Ritter (who 
    was also in Miracle on 34th Street!) in The Proud and Profane (1958).

    It was a good Noirvember. I've never watched this many noirs in one month! After I watched Abandoned on Noir Alley I looked up more Dennis O'Keefe movies on Tubi. Cover Up is a good noir to transition from Noirvember to Christmas :) I also watched watched several Glenn Ford noirs. How many noirs did you watch? 

    * indicates a rewatch

    1. Thieves Fall Out (1941) - Eddie Albert & Joan Leslie, Jane Darwell, Alan Hale
    2. *The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) - Fredric March & Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews & Teresa Wright, Harold Russell & Cathy O’Donnell, Virginia Mayo, Hoagy Carmichael 
    3. The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) - Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas, Judith Anderson
    4. *Miracle on 34th Street (1947) - Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara & John Payne, Natalie Wood
    5. T-Men (1947) - Dennis O'Keefe, Wallace Ford, Charles McGraw
    6. Framed (1947) - Glenn Ford
    7. The Dark Past (1948) - William Holden, Lee J. Cobb, Nina Foch
    8. Walk a Crooked Mile (1948) - Dennis O'Keefe, Raymond Burr
    9. Cover Up (1949) - Dennis O'Keefe & Barbara Britton, William Bendix
    10. Abandoned (1949) - Dennis O'Keefe & Gale Storm, Raymond Burr
    11. Affair in Trinidad (1952) - Glenn Ford & Rita Hayworth
    12. The Big Heat (1953) - Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Lee Marvin
    13. Human Desire (1954) - Glenn Ford & Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford
    14. Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) - Richard Carlson & Julie Adams
    15. Storm Fear (1955) - Cornel Wilde
    16. The Proud and Profane (1956) - Deborah Kerr & William Holden, Thelma Ritter
    17. The Black Bird (1975) - George Segal ("sequel" to The Maltese Falcon)
    18. The Cheap Detective (1978) - Peter Falk
    19. The Concorde... Airport ‘79 (1979) - Alain Delon, George Kennedy, Eddie Albert
    20. *Moonstruck (1987) - Cher, Nicholas Cage
    21. JFK (1991) - Kevin Costner
    22. *You’ve Got Mail (1998) - Meg Ryan & Tom Hanks
    Least Favorite Film: I did not like The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. I had started watching it once and stopped it when Judith Anderson killed the cat. My brother told me it was good so I gave it another shot. I just didn't like it.

    Favorite Movie: If you like spoofs than The Cheap Detective is a must watch. It spoofs The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca, with a little bit of To Have and Have Not. It was so funny. 

    Can you tell who this is a sketch of? From The Proud and Profane (1956).

    Thursday, November 2, 2023

    Movies I Watched in October

    What does Gene Tierney always see in Vincent Price? Lol

    Checked off some movies I've been wanting to watch for a while this month. I’ve also been binging Father Knows Best (spotted a couple recycles-see one at the bottom of the post) and started reading Tony Curtis' memoir, American Prince, which I got for a quarter at the library book nook. A little TMI but still an interesting read.

    * indicates a rewatch

    1. Here Comes Happiness (1941) - Mildred Coles, Edward Norris
    2. The War Against Mrs. Hadley (1942) - Fay Bainter, Edward Arnold, Richard Ney, Van Johnson, Spring Byington
    3. Shadow of a Woman (1946) - Helmut Dantine & Andrea King
    4. Dragonwyck (1946) - Gene Tierney & Vincent Price, Spring Byington, Anne Revere, Walter Huston
    5. A Woman of Distinction (1950) - Rosalind Russell & Ray Milland, Edmund Gwenn
    6. Boots Malone (1952) - William Holden
    7. Bad for Each Other (1953) - Charlton Heston & Lizabeth Scott
    8. Storm Center (1956) - Bette Davis 
    9. *Operation Petticoat (1959) - Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, Dina Merrill
    10. Jason and the Argonauts (1963) - Todd Armstrong, Honor Blackman, Nancy Kovack, Laurence Naismith
    11. Mirage (1965) - Gregory Peck & Diane Baker, Walter Matthau, George Kennedy
    12. Who’s Minding the Mint? (1967) - Jim Hutton, Dorothy Provine, Walter Brennan, Milton Berle, Joey Bishop
    13. No Escape (1994) - Ray Liotta
    14. Corrina, Corrina (1994) - Whoopi Goldberg, Tina Majorino, Ray Liotta, Don Ameche (final film)
    15. A Perfect Murder (1998) - Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, Viggo Mortenson
    Least Favorite Film: Storm Center, while not a bad movie, isn't a movie anyone's going to watch more than once. For a book lover, it was tough watching the library burn. 

    Favorite MovieA Woman of Distinction was funny, though I don't really see anyone falling that quick for older Ray Milland. Sadly, it's not on dvd. I watched it on tubi before it was removed, but I'm sure it will show up on there again. There's a fair copy on youtube. I finally got to watch Who’s Minding the Mint?, which I've been wanting to see for a while. It was very funny and a little stressful. My favorite moment was when Dorothy Provine was tiptoeing in her ballet slippers. Mirage felt similar to a Hitchcock film but without any of Hitchcock's signature humor. 

    Leaf print couch in the Anderson's den on Father Knows Best...

    ...the same couch in Storm Center (1956)!! Both were filmed at Columbia Studios.

    Friday, October 27, 2023

    Missed My Blog Anniversary...

    That face you make when you realize you've missed your blog anniversary... again. 

    October 8th marked nine years since I began this blog. In 2019 I shared a list with my favorite film from each year starting with 1928 and the following year I filled in a few blanks from years I had skipped because I either hadn’t seen any from that year or the ones I had seen I didn’t really care for. Here are a few more “blanks” I've filled in: 

    1929 - The Love Parade 

    1970 - (I need some recommendations for this year lol. The only 1970 film I've seen is Airport)
    1971 - Fools' Parade - James Stewart, Kurt Russell
    1974 - The Towering Inferno (could change)

    CHANGE 1984 from Protocol (Goldie Hawn) to - Swing Shift - Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell
    CHANGE 1986 from The Three Amigos! to - Tough Guys - Burt Lancaster & Kirk Douglas, Eli Wallach

    1991 - Oscar - Sylvester Stallone

    2013 - Safe Haven - Jullianne Hough & Josh Duhamel
    CHANGE 2018 from Like Father to - Destination Wedding - Keanu Reeves & Wynona Rider

    2020 - The Lost Husband - Josh Duhamel
    2021 - Jungle Cruise - Dwayne Johnson & Emily Blunt
    2022 - Downton Abbey: A New Era
    2023 - haven't seen any yet

    One day I hope to start my different series up again and get back into hosting blogathons. Thank you to those who keep sticking around this barren landscape lol :/