Saturday, March 25, 2023

Movies I Watched in February

I read a two volume WWII time traveling book by Connie Willis last month and now I’m reading and watching a lot of things on the London Blitz, which has led to me watching a few more British films. Then I got on a Charles Boyer kick. I'd been wanting to rewatch Love Affair for a long time and on Valentine's Day I discovered someone had put a clear copy on YouTube!

1. Polly of the Circus (1932) - Marion Davies & Clark Gable, C. Aubrey Smith
One doesn't think of a minister and Clark Gable at the same time but he was surprising effective in the role. I've only seen a couple Marion Davies films but I thought she was very good in this one and has nice chemistry with Gable (Cain and Mabel is another film of theirs I enjoyed). Trapeze scenes always make me hold my breath. 
2. The Garden of Allah (1936) - Marlene Dietrich & Charles Boyer, Basil Rathbone, C. Aubrey Smith
3. *History is Made at Night (1937) - Charles Boyer & Jean Arthur, Colin Clive
The only part of this movie I remembered was the Titanic/iceberg scene near the end, so it was like a new movie. Arthur and Boyer were very good together.  
4. *Love Affair (1939) - Irene Dunne & Charles Boyer, Maria Ouspenskaya, Lee Bowman
The only thing that puts this film second to An Affair to Remember is the soundtrack. 
5. When Tomorrow Comes (1939) - Charles Boyer & Irene Dunne
If you like the chemistry between Dunne and Boyer in Love Affair, make sure you watch this one too. 
6. Calling Dr. Kildare (1939) - Lew Ayers, Lionel Barrymore, Laraine Day, Lana Turner

7. *All This and Heaven Too (1940) - Bette Davis & Charles Boyer

8. Week-End for Three (1941) - Dennis O’Keefe & Jane Wyatt, Edward Everett Horton
You have to watch this just for Edward Everett Horton's delivery of the line of what he thinks about women lol. 
9. *Mrs. Miniver (1942) - Greer Garson & Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright, Dame May Whitty, Henry Travers, Richard Ney
This was my third viewing of this film and I think I liked it the best this time. I wish I didn't know that Garson and Ney married after this film though. It makes watching the movie a little awkward. And I've always thought Teresa Wright looks to "old" for Ney. She has one of those faces where you know exactly what she was going to look like in her 80s. I also purchased the original book by Jan Struther.
10. This Happy Breed (1944) - Celia Johnson, Robert Newton, John Mills

11. *Since You Went Away (1944) - Claudette Colbert, Joseph Cotten, Jennifer Jones & Robert Walker, Shirley Temple, Monty Wooley, Hattie McDaniel, Agnes Moorehead
I haven't watched this since I was a teen. I remember I didn't like it very well at the time. I still didn't love it, mainly because I don't think Colbert and Jones were "typical" enough for their roles. I'm also not a fan of Walker. The first movie I ever saw of his was Strangers on a Train so I always see the creepy side of him a little bit. 
11. Kiss the Blood Off My Hands (1948) - Burt Lancaster & Joan Fontaine, Robert Newton

12. The Magic Box (1951) - Robert Donat 

13. Thunderball (1965) - Sean Connery 
Really liked this one, even if the underwater battle was a little ridiculous 
14. A Bridge Too Far (1977) - Dirk Bogarde, Sean Connery, etc.

15. The Cat and the Canary (1978) - Honor Blackman, Michael Callan, Wendy Hiller, Olivia Hussey 
Been wanting to watch this one for a while for Michael Callan. A little to creepy for me but an interesting murder mystery. 
16. *Uncle Buck (1989) - John Candy, Macaulay Culkin

Least Favorite Film: The Garden of Allah was pretty boring.

Favorite Movie: Probably Thunderball.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Movies I Watched in January

Usually January is a heavy movie month (one year I watched over 40 movies!), but with my job it was a hectic month (a lot of insurance benefits change with the new year). I also got hit with a bad cold out of nowhere. Under each movie I've added a couple of my thoughts. * indicates a rewatch.

1. *The 39 Steps (193) - Robert Donat & Madeleine Carroll 

I mean, it’s Robert Donat ;) I watched this with my brother. His first Donat and first British Hitchcock! 


2. Smilin’ Through (1941) - Jeanette MacDonald, Brian Aherne, Gene Raymond, Ian Hunter 
I was really impressed with Raymond's acting at the end of the movie - that's something I never thought I would say! This version was good, but I prefer the Norma Shearer one. 
3. The Spider Woman (1943) - Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Gale Sondergaard 
4. *Vacation from Marriage (1945) - Robert Donat & Deborah Kerr, Glynis Johns 
I love this movie so much. I want to be Glynis Johns when I grow up lol. 
5. The Spider Woman Strikes Back (1946) - Gale Sondergaard  
A "sequel" in name only to the Holmes movie.  
6. The Falcon’s Alibi (1946) - Tom Conway, Rita Corday, Jane Greer, Elisha Cook Jr.
Conway looked like he could be Errol Flynn's brother in this movie. I've never noticed it before.  
7. Beauty and the Beast (1946-French) - Josette Day & Jean Marais
Good, but the eyes creeped me out. IYKYK 
8. Gold Raiders (1951) - George O’Brien, Three Stooges  
The scenes with the Three Stooges were funny of course, but the rest of the movie was very predictable. I didn't realize until days later that George O'Brien was the same actor in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Fort Apache! While watching it I felt like I should know who he was. 
9. Ride, Vaquero! (1953) - Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, Howard Keel, Anthony Quinn, Jack Elam 
Normally I don't like Howard Keel, but I liked him in this movie. Usually his character is obnoxious and full of himself. 
10. *Roman Holiday (1953) - Gregory Peck & Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert
Saw this on the big screen!!! I teared up when the credits started. 
11. Thunder Road (1958) - Robert Mitchum, James Mitchum, Keely Smith
Loved seeing Mitchum's son play his brother. They look so much alike! 
12. Twenty Plus Two (1961) - David Janssen, Jeanne Crain, Dina Merrill, Agnes Moorehead
Really enjoyed this one! Was fun to see Robert Osborne in it for a few seconds as an obnoxious sailor. I thought Dina Merrill did a good job in this film. I watched a couple episodes of The Fugitive last year with Kurt Russell in them. I would like to watch the entire series one day. 
13. *Cactus Flower (1969) - Walter Matthau, Ingrid Bergman, Goldie Hawn  
This movie is so good. Most dancing scenes in 60s movies are cringe but this one is just hilarious.
14. Nickelodeon (1976) - Ryan O’Neal, Burt Reynolds, Tatum O’Neal, Brian Keith, Stella Stevens, Harry Carey Jr. 
A zany comedy about the early days of filmmaking (they played clips of it in the Carl Laemmle doc). It was hilarious!! You can watch it free on Tubi right now. 
15. Private Benjamin (1980) - Goldie Hawn 
16. 84 Charing Cross Road (1987) - Ann Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins, Judi Dench 
Read the book by Helene Hanff after watching this. I would like to watch more Bancroft films. I teared up when they played God Save the Queen during the Coronation viewing party scene.
17. Breathe (2017) - Andrew Garfield & Claire Foy, Hugh Bonneville 
I saw a clip of Andrew Garfield while scrolling through instagram and suddenly realized he reminded me of Robert Donat. I wanted to then watch one of his movies and since I like Claire Foy I watched this one. It was very good, except for the end when he *spoiler?* chooses to end his life with a doctor's assistance. 
Carl Laemmle (2019) - great doc about a great filmmaker and Universal Studios

Least Favorite Film: Gold Raiders felt like it lasted forever lol. 

Favorite Movie: Well, my four rewatches were all pretty solid ;) My favorite new-to-me movie was Nickelodeon.

Robert Osborne and Dina Merrill :)

Saturday, January 21, 2023

2022 Movie Stats

In the year 2022 I watched 181 new-to-me movies and 52 movies that were rewatches for a total of 233. That's just over 100 LESS than last year :/

New to me: 181 (105 pre-1970, 76 post-1970)
Rewatches: 52 (38 pre-1970, 14 post-1970)
Total: 233 (143 pre-1970, 90 post-1970)

Where I watched them: 

TCM: 87 (20 rewatches)
Library (DVD & Apps): 19 (1 rewatch)
Personal DVD: 30 (19 rewatches)
YouTube & OK: 32 (6 rewatches)
Paid Streaming Services: 40 (3 rewatches) 
TV & Free Streaming Services: 21 (2 rewatches)
Theater: 2

          Other: 2 (1 rewatch)

Here are my top five movie discoveries:

Brief Encounter (1945) - Celia Johnson & 

Mr. Soft Touch (1949) - Glenn Ford & Evelyn Keyes

Shane (1953) - Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin

Tough Guys (1986) - Burt Lancaster & Kirk Douglas, Eli Wallach, Alexis Smith

The Lost Husband (2020) - Leslie Bibb & Josh Duhamel

Classics I finally watched: 

          Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) - Clark Gable, Charles Laughton, Franchot Tone

          The Good Earth (1937) - Paul Muni & Luise Rainer

          The Lady Vanishes (1938) - Margaret Lockwood & Michael Redgrave, Dame May Whitty

          Brief Encounter (1945) - Celia Johnson & Trevor Howard
Shane (1953) - Alan Ladd, Van Heflin & Jean Arthur
Judgement at Nuremberg (1961) - Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Montgomery Clift
Bullitt (1968) - Steve McQueen
          Westworld (1973) - Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin
The Fugitive (1993) - Harrison Ford
Little Woman (1994) - Wynona Ryder, Susan Sarandan, Christian Bale, Mary Wickes


Number of movies per decade:

1910s: 0 (0 rewatches)
1920s: 1 (0 rewatches)
1930s: 26 (4 rewatches)
1940s: 44 (8 rewatches)
1950s: 45 (18 rewatches)
1960s: 27 (8 rewatches)
1970s: 16 (0 rewatches)
1980s: 25 (4 rewatches)
1990s: 19 (4 rewatches)
2000s: 6 (1 rewatch)
2010s: 17 (4 rewatches)
2020s: 7 (1 rewatch)

Number of movies per month:

January: 36 (6 rewatches)
February: 25 (8 rewatches)
March: 24 (1 rewatch)
April: 20 (6 rewatches)
May: 20 (6 rewatches)
June: 10 (2 rewatches)
July: 26 (6 rewatches)
August: 20 (5 rewatches) 
September: 11 (3 rewatch)
October: 9 (1 rewatch)
November: 13 (3 rewatches)
December: 19 (5 rewatches)

Number of Foreign Language Films: 1 (French)

Number of Documentaries: 18 

Most Watched (Leading) Movie Stars: (I do this very scientifically, I think of names and search my word document lol)

Kurt Russell - 37 films (plus multiple TV episodes)

Josh Duhamel - 11 films

Elvis Presley - 7 films (5 were rewatches)

Kirk Douglas - 6 films

Glenn Ford, Robert Taylor, Robert Mitchum, Robert Young, Goldie Hawn - 5 films

Clark Gable, William Holden, Dana Andrews, Brian Keith, Gilbert Roland, John Mills - 4 films

Stars I discovered/grew to love/admire: Kurt Russell, Josh Duhamel


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

Did you keep track of the movies you watched in 2022? Was there a star or movie you discovered that you can't live without now? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, January 2, 2023

Movies I Watched in December

Glenn Ford dresses up as St. Nick in Mr. Soft Touch (1949)

This month had the usual Christmas movies as well as some unusual ones. 

  1. A Night of Adventure (1944) - Tom Conway & Audrey Long 
  2. Christmas Holiday (1944) - Deanna Durbin & Gene Kelly, Gale Sondergaard
  3. Mr. Soft Touch (1949) - Glenn Ford & Evelyn Keyes, Percy Kilbride
  4. Young Man with Ideas (1952) - Glenn Ford, Ruth Roman, Nina Foch, Denise Darcel 
  5. *White Christmas (1954) - Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye & Vera-Ellen, Dean Jagger, Mary Wickes
  6. Bridge to the Sun (1961) - James Shigeta & Carroll Baker
  7. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) - George Lazenby & Diana Rigg
  8. Witness for the Prosecution (1982) - Ralph Richardson, Deborah Kerr, Diana Rigg, Wendy Hiller
  9. *Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983) - Alan Young
  10. The Jewel of the Nile (1985) - Kathleen Turner & Michael Douglas, Danny DeVito
  11. *Home Alone (1990) - Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O’Hara, John Candy
  12. *Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) - Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Tim Curry, Eddie Bracken, Catherine O’Hara
  13. Forget Paris (1995) - Billy Crystal & Debra Winger
  14. Escape From L.A. (1996) - Kurt Russell, Cliff Robertson 
  15. Fathers’ Day (1997) - Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
  16. *Elf (2003) - Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Bob Newhart, Ed Asner, Mary Steenburgen
  17. Charlie St. Cloud (2010) - Zac Efron 
  18. New Year’s Eve (2011) - star-studded cast (including Josh Duhamel)
  19. A Castle for Christmas (2021) - Brooke Shields & Cary Elwes
Least Favorite Film: It wasn’t bad but Escape from L.A. was just ok. It wasn’t as visually freaky as Escape from New York but it was too similar. It was my last Kurt Russell movie for the year. 

Favorite Movie: I really liked Mr. Soft Touch. Eddie Muller gave a great intro (Noir Alley on TCM). Last year I watched Spectre on Christmas Day (to refresh my memory before watching No Time to Die) and this year I watched On Her Majesty’s Secret Service so I guess that’s a new tradition? Lol. Anyway, I can’t stop listening to this song <3

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Who Will Be My Most Watched Star For 2022??

Who will be my most watched movie star of 2022 and how many movies will I have watched? Leave your guess in the comments. Hint: it DOESN’T start with Robert ;)

Here’s who had the top spot for the past few years (I didn’t track who had the most in 2016 & 2015 when I started my stats, but for 2016 it was probably Olivia de Havilland). 

2021 - Robert Young with 16 (Elvis Presley in second with 15)
2020 - Robert Taylor with 20 (Elvis Presley in second with 13)
2019 - Eleanor Parker with 11
2018 - Robert Ryan with 16
2017 - Clark Gable & Chris Pine tying with 14 each

What movie star did YOU watch the most movies of this past year? 

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Movies I Watched in November

I’ll Be Seeing You (1944)

This month was a pretty good month. Aside from these movies, I also watched season 5 of The Crown (only episode I really objected to was ep. 6). My brother bought the new Planes, Trains and Automobiles release with a disc of never-before-seen deleted and extended scenes that were recently discovered among John Hughes things - some adult/crude humor but very funny. I also started watching season 3 of Leave it to Beaver. I’ve probably seen most of them but so far I’ve only watched the first two seasons in order (you may remember this post of June’s season 1 dresses. I’ve spotted a few of them in season 3 too).

  1. Lady of the Tropics (1939) - Robert Taylor & Hedy Lamarr
  2. I’ll Be Seeing You (1944) - Ginger Rogers & Joseph Cotten
  3. *Miracle on 34th Street (1947) - Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara & John Payne, Natalie Wood
  4. On Our Merry Way (1948) - Burgess Meredith, Paulette Goddard, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Dorothy Lamour, Fred MacMurrey, William Demerest
  5. *Battle Cry (1955) - Tab Hunter, Aldo Ray & Nancy Olson
  6. Fate is the Hunter (1964) - Glenn Ford, Suzanne Pleshette, Rod Taylor, Nancy Kwan, Dorothy Malone, Jane Russell
  7. Freebie and the Bean (1974) - James Caan, Alan Arkin, Valerie Harper, Loretta Swit 
  8. Silkwood (1983) - Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, Cher
  9. Suspect (1987) - Cher, Dennis Quaid, Liam Neeson, John Mahoney
  10. *Funny Farm (1988) - Chevy Chase
  11. Rush Hour (1998) - Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker
  12. The Christmas Chronicles (2018) - Kurt Russell, Darby
  13. The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two (2020) - Kurt Russell & Goldie Hawn
Least Favorite Film: Definitely The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two. It had none of the charm, humor, and originality of the first one. I wish the elves had been like the ones in Elf, instead of gremlin-like. There were some parts of Freebie and the Bean that I didn’t care for, though I liked the buddy chemistry between Caan and Arkin. They could have had a good buddy cop tv show. 

Kurt Russell sings an Elvis Christmas song in the first film. 
He still has the moves from when he played Elvis in the 1979 TV movie!

Favorite Movie: Aside from Silkwood (which I shouldn’t have watched before bed) and my least favorite movie listed above, I really enjoyed all of them! I’ve been wanting to see I’ll be Seeing You for a long time based on the image below. It wasn’t what I expected but I really enjoyed it. I’m not always a fan of how Ginger Roger acts but she was very good in this one and Joseph Cotten was excellent (sadly he doesn’t mention the film in his autobiography). On Our Merry Way can only be described as quirky. If you ever get a chance to watch it, do. Suspect was really good (except for the first 7 minutes with a suicide, murder, and upsetting robbery/assault). I’ve seen parts of the Rush Hour movies so I knew I’d enjoy it. They don’t make funny movies like that anymore..

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Movies I Watched in October

I finished watching all of M*A*S*H. I had stopped after Winchester replaced Frank but my brother told me to give him a chance and I'm glad I did. They are definitely more drama than comedy as opposed to the first five seasons, but I was sad when I got to the end. As you can see, the result is I didn't watch a ton of movies. 

A sad thing that happened this month is that the WatchTCM app is no longer supported on my 2016 iPad. Now if I want to take a screenshot of a costume I'll have to do so on my laptop, which is a lot more time consuming than just pressing two buttons at the same time :( However, there are only 4 movies showing on TCM in November that I want to watch so I will probably watch more old movies on YouTube and Tubi.

  1. Good Girls Go to Paris (1939) - Joan Blondell & Melvyn Douglas 
  2. So Ends Our Night (1941) - Fredric March, Glenn Ford, Margaret Sullivan, Frances Dee
  3. Twice Blessed (1945) - Lyn & Lee Wilde, Preston Foster, Gail Patrick, Marshall Thompson
  4. Sylvia and the Phantom/Sylvie et le Fantรดm(1946 - French) - Jacques Tati, Odette Joyeux
  5. The Company She Keeps (1951) - Lizabeth Scott, Jane Greer, Dennis O’Keefe 
  6. The Tall Men (1955) - Clark Gable & Jane Russell, Robert Ryan
  7. Cowboy (1958) - Glenn Ford, Jack Lemmon, Brian Donlevy, Dick York
  8. *Clambake (1967) - Elvis Presley & Shelley Fabares, Bill Bixby, Gary Merrill 
  9. Deepwater Horizon (2016) - Mark Wahlburg, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, John Malkovich
Irving Thalburg: The Prince of Hollywood (2005) 

Least Favorite Film: Cowboy had some cruel scenes and was a little more down than I thought it would be. Still a good movie though. Twice Blessed was a movie I’ve been wanting to see for a long time with its “Parent Trap” storyline. I’m not a fan of Preston Foster though so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I'd hoped. 

Favorite Movie: Sylvia and the Phantom was a nice non-scary ghost movie for October. The score was lovely. It was fun seeing famous femme fatale's Scott and Greer in a The Company She Keeps together. There aren't enough old movies with two women leads that aren't "women's pictures." I really liked Glenn Ford's performance in So Ends Our Night

Fun fact: I was watching The Tall Men (which has a score by Victor Young) and at the 25:45 mark (on YT) I suddenly recognized about 15 seconds of part of the Shane soundtrack (also Young)!