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!
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 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 :)
The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1937) - Roland Young
Espionage Agent (1939) - Joel McCrea & Brenda Marshall, Jeffrey Lynn
The Spy in Black (1939) - Conrad Veidt
The Man in the Iron Mask (1939) - Louis Hayworth & Joan Bennett, Warren William, Alan Hale
The Great McGinty (1940) - Brian Donlevy
The Nurse’s Secret (1941) - Lee Patrick & Regis Tommey
The Spanish Main (1945) - Paul Henreid & Maureen O’Hard, Walter Slezak
The Cockeyed Miracle (1946) - Frank Morgan, Keenyn Wynn, Cecil Kellaway, Audrey Totter
Heaven Only Knows (1947) - Robert Cummings, Brian Donlevy
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:
The Old Dark House (1932) - Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton, Raymond Massey, Gloria Stuart
The Ghost Goes West (1936) - Robert Donat
Make Way for a Lady (1936) - Anne Shirley, Herbert Marshall
*Theodora Goes Wild (1936) - Irene Dunne & Melvyn Douglas
*The Ex-Mrs. Bradford (1936) - William Powell & Jean Arthur
*Double Wedding (1937) - William Powell & Myrna Loy
*Third Finger, Left Hand (1940) - Melvyn Douglas & Myrna Loy, Lee Bowman
Night Train to Munich (1940) - Margaret Lockwood, Rex Harrison, Paul Henried
*Love Crazy (1941) - William Powell & Myrna Loy, Jack Carson
Tish (1942) - Marjorie Main, Susan Peters, Lee Bowman, Zasu Pitts
*The More the Merrier (1943) - Jean Arthur & Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn
Always Together (1948) - Cecil Kellaway, Dennis Morgan & Jack Carson (cameos)
Born to Be Bad (1950) - Joan Fontaine & Robert Ryan, Zachary Scott & Joan Leslie, Mel Ferrer
*The Lemon-Drop Kid (1951) - Bob Hope & Marilyn Maxwell, Jane Darwell
*Three Coins in the Fountain (1954) - Louis Jourdan & Maggie McNamara, Clifton Webb & Dorothy McGuire, Jean Peters & Rossano Brazzi
Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) - Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan
*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.
It's no secret (at least I hope not) that Jean Simmons is one of my favorite actresses. I first saw her in Until They Sail (1957) and since then I've watched every film of hers I could get my hands on. So when Virginie of The Wonderful World of Cinema asked if I would like to co-host a blogathon in Simmon's honor, I jumped at the chance!
First of all, if you don't like Jean Simmons (what's wrong with you?? ;), this blogathon is not for you. We want to honor Simmons, not criticize her.
Make sure you subscribe first. Don't expect us to add you to the roster after the blogathon has started.
The blogathon will run from January 29-31, 2019, coinciding with Simmons' birthday.
We will allow up to two duplicates in order to cover as many films/topics as possible. Also, we will allow up to two entries per person so that everyone has a chance to write about what they want. Please make sure it is new content.
Don't have a blog but want to participate? No problem! Contact me or Virginie and we will be happy to share your post on one of our blogs!
When you decided on your topic, leave a comment WITH A LINK TO YOUR BLOG and your topic of choice.
Lastly, add one of these breathtakingly banners that Virginie made to your blog to help advertise!
Topics already chosen twice:
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Murder, She Wrote Guys & Dolls Elmer Gantry Footsteps in the Fog The Happy Ending
I’m back on Long Island visiting my aunt and after spending the morning recovering from my train ride - unfortunately I didn’t meet a Cary Grant (and thankfully not a Bruno Antony) - we went for a walk at Jones Beach. I went in July to watch the sunset and I knew there was a movie that was set there but hadn’t seen it. TCM showed it in August as part of Virginia Mayo’s day for Summer Under the Stars and I made sure to watch it. The only thing I recognized was the tower.
I took screenshots of the other Jones Beach shots for later use. So I was very happy when my aunt took me back on the first day of my visit and parked in Lot 6, right nearby the East Bathhouse! Everything looked the same, though I highly doubt the actors actually went there to film. It looks like a little rear projection was involved and probably a studio replica set. But it was neat just the same. Here are the shots in the movie and my photos. Hope you enjoy!
I was not amused by Eddie Braken's character who kept telling his girlfriend he was going to commit suicide then would wait for her to come and stop him in the nick of time.
In the letter above he says he will be near the East Bathhouse. The camera actually shows the WEST Bathhouse first.
The West Bathhouse in 1948.
The West Bathhouse today!
The camera then pans to show more of the beach. Below you see the boardwalk curving away from the front of the West Bathhouse.
The little round building is an umbrella and beach chair stand! There was nothing in it when I peeked inside but they could still use it in the summer.
East Bathhouse in background.
Finally, here is the East Bathhouse. Braken spots Virginia Mayo through the binoculars.
I kind of doubt she's actually there...
Note how the sign says Circa 1929
If you go up the stairs there's an area to sit out of the wind and sun!
Mayo enters a woman's locker. I'm not sure if this is a real building that exists at Jones Beach or not. I didn't have access to my screenshots so I wasn't on the lookout for it. And even if there is one I don't know if this is it or a set.
UPDATE: This is the front of the East Bathhouse facing the highway. The building in the film looks to be a modified set based on the actual building (unless the building itself was modified shortly after this film was made but I doubt it). My photos didn't turn out very well as the sun was coming up right over it. Some of them are a little crooked too because I couldn't see the screen on my phone lol.
The trash cans are very similar...
There's a nighttime shot of a playground that is still there. I didn't take a picture of it though.
There was a little museum display next to the gift shop (closed when I went).
Hope you enjoyed this little look at historic Jones Beach!