Here’s a fun adventure/comedy about a proofreader at a publishing company in New York named Walter Mitty (Danny Kaye). Walter is always daydreaming throughout the day about being the hero in his own stories. His mother who he lives with is frustrated that he is so busy daydreaming he can’t pay attention to her daily shopping list she’s telling him much less the road he’s driving on. But one day in particular Walter meets a lady on the train who is nervous and forcing him to play along with an act she’s doing in order to fend off a stalker. Walter plays along, wondering what’s going on. Her name is Rosalind (Virginia Mayo) and she explains to him that she must get to a pier quickly without being seen because her stalker is after a black book and with him by her side she will be safe.On his lunch break they run into each other on the sidewalk and he is pulled into her taxi. Walter stammers that he can’t go but Rosalind insists that he does because her uncle wants to explain why he witnessed a man get murdered that afternoon.
As it turns out, Walter’s life is in lethal hands if he doesn’t help Rosalind track down the black book. Nobody can know about this mission that Walter is participating in. Not his confused mother, his boss who is impatient with his tardiness and clumsiness or his fiance who he can’t ever seem to focus on. The mission to track down the black book turns out to be a huge adventure full of sneaking in fashion shows,jumping taxis and running all over 1940s New York City dodging men who lurk in the corners ready to attack Walter and Rosalind. But when things go out of hand and the two run into the men what will happen?
This is a movie that I loved every minute of as the shy and fearful Walter must help his new friend. I like this because I love to write stories myself but even if you’re not into writing your own stories you will enjoy it anyway because of the cast. I’ve never seen any Danny Kaye before and what a way to be introduced to his films! Virginia Mayo I remember from The Best Years of Our Lives, so it was fun to see her in a comedy this time. This is by far one of the funniest movies I’ve gotten to see in awhile Give it a try if you’re not familiar with Mayo and Kaye’s work.
Here’s a romantic comedy about a playboy in Paris whose life is changed after discovering a baby (Baby LeRoy) has been left on the backseat of his car while returning home from a trip from Africa. Rene (Maurice Chevalier) is very wealthy and is used to dining out with his fiance Louise among other women. But when he discovers the baby he is confused and decides to call the police. Yet when his butler and friend Victor (Edward Everett Horton) brings in the policeman Rene struggles letting go of the baby and tells the policeman there is a mistake. Rene knows nothing about children though and realizes that he is going to need some help. But Victor is just as clueless as he is. Rene decides to call a nurse to take care of the baby the next morning. A few of Rene’s lady friends come by, ringing the bell and making the two men think it’s the nurse and let her in each time. This causes lots of fighting as the ladies realize that they aren’t Rene’s “one and only”. Finally a woman comes who is petite but very kind to the baby and unlike Rene and Victor, she is able to calm the baby when he cries. Just when the two think it’s all over, the doorbell rings again and it’s an older lady who says she is the nurse. Rene is confused and hurries to the room to ask the other woman who she is if she isn’t a nurse.
The woman introduces herself as Sally (Helen Twelvetrees) and replies that she was there when he called for a nurse that morning and though she isn’t trained in nursing, she wanted to take the risk of coming over because she felt certain she’d do a good job. Rene sees that Sally is earnest and might be leaving out some bigger parts of the story so he sends the real nurse away. As the morning goes on, Rene gets to know Sally and sees how different she is from all the women he’s ever met. So he gives Sally the job to care for the baby. Over dinner Rene tells Sally that he wants to tell his fiance Louise about the baby soon because he knows that she will love him as much as he does. So a few nights later Rene shows up late at the party and stuns more of his wealthy friends by a new attitude about everything in his life. But what will they say when they see why Rene is so happy? And can Louise really love Robin like one of her own?
This is a sweet story about a man whose life changes overnight that’s got a nice cast performing some funny situations that will make you have a laugh. It’s the perfect bedtime story where happiness, love and all other small things that cannot be bought end up counting much more than eating out and living luxuriously.
Based on a short story by Ernest Hemingway by the same name, The Snows of Kilminjaro (1952) is a film starring Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward and Ava Gardner. Harry Street (Peck) is a writer who has been on several adventures in various countries, including Spain and the current place he is in-Africa. However, Street has an infected wound on his leg and is certain that he is on the road to a slow and painful death. His delirium causes him to think back to what he has experienced in his life so far…specifically a past love who he now finds back in his thoughts. Her name was Cynthia (Gardner) and the memory of her is all he can think of, much to his current love’s Helen (Hayward) dislike.
Cynthia and Harry met in Paris and fell in love quickly. He told her he spent his time trying to write and she said that she spent her time trying to be happy. Together they lived in a small apartment where Harry could write his first novel. After recieving the check he earned for having it published both had different ideas on how to spend the money. Cynthia thought they’d buy a bigger apartment while Harry thought that this was the perfect time to go to Africa. Cynthia followed Harry to Africa where they hunted rhinos and explored the country. But when Harry wanted to go to several other countries, Cynthia felt disappointed as she realized that who she thought Harry would be didn’t match up to what he was really like. Eager for adventure and traveling, Cynthia wanted to stay in Paris and raise a family. Harry recounts the highs and lows of the relationship, but also the loss of Cynthia that happened just as quick as he met her.
The loss of Cynthia led to several other events happening to him..from gaining recognition as published author and writing other novels to meeting other women, one in particular who he was about to marry until he decided to write to Cynthia hoping to find her again. Instead of wanting to travel and see the world, Harry now feels like a failure as a man. Helen argues with Harry that he could never really love her as much as she loved him because he couldn’t quite forgive her or any other of the women he met prior for not being Cynthia. Throughout the rest of the evening and into the dark hours of the night Helen helps Harry throughout his pain and attempts to change his thinking about his life. This is a great film starring some very well known film stars of the time about losing somebody you love and never forgetting them but the understanding to move foward in the present.
Today’s post is on “A Place in the Sun”, (based on the book An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser) a beautiful film of love and loss starring Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift. Clift plays George Eastman, a young man who moves to the town that is home to the factory his uncle is in charge of. The Eastmans are well to do but George’s behavior is what separates him from the rest of his family. Unlike his uncle and his family, George’s family aren’t very rich at all and his only surviving parent, his mother, spends her time caring for homeless people at a mission. Determined to build a life where he can be more secure and make something of himself, George takes up the offer that his uncle has proposed of working at the factory. On the night of meeting his uncle at his home, George enters shyly as his cousins stare at him and his aunt asks awkward questions about his family. This is mostly because his aunt doesn’t feel the same way about religion and missions as George’s mother, it is never flat out said but you’ll get that vibe from the way the conversation is held. This is the night he also gets a glimpse of his cousin’s girlfriend, Angela Vickers (Taylor). Vickers is from another well to do family and she is a socialite in the young adult community particularly.
Since George isn’t experienced in a lot of office work, he is placed on the floor where the assembly line of packaging swimsuits is performed. There he meets a girl named Alice Tripp (Shelley Winters), an assembly line worker, and the two form an intimate relationship quickly. Yet George is getting to know Angela during family gatherings and soon begins to fall harder for her…and she’s falling for him too. Everything is kept quiet until Alice has news to break to George and the news she says could prevent him from eventually going with Angela exclusively. Alice’s suspicions of her losing George begin to weigh heavily on her mind, growing more and more each day. One night while the two are alone in a boat on the lake, she reveals to George what she knows and tension between George and Alice can be felt as she tries to make him come out with what he is holding back from her. The boat tips over and Alice drowns.
Desperate to make his way back to Angela, the haunt of what happened at the lake is impossible for him to escape. His thoughts and dreams drive him insane as he is certain that Angela will stop loving him if she knew what happened. Will George and Angela get to be together? And while people in the town form their opinions on who’s fault Alice died, think about it and decide for yourself who’s really at fault for the incident at the lake. This is a movie that will keep you in suspense as a story of a man who finds himself proving more to the town that he is not only worthy of being a hard worker and success…but also worthy of mercy.
While all 3 main stars don’t disappoint, this is probably not something that I’d watch frequently because of the mood that seems dark nor is it my personaly favorite of either star but it’s still something I recommend because of the performances (I personally really like the pairing of Taylor and Clift) and camera work that I feel really make this film breathtaking to watch. My favorite scene? The scene where they are dancing at the party and though they aren’t talking to each other throughout the whole scene, look at the way the way they look at each other and hold each other. You can feel everything without having to hear words (if that makes sense.)
The first classic film I saw was called Swing Time (1936). This was also the first Fred and Ginger movie that I ever saw (a little over 6 yrs ago) . The story to the film goes something like this, Fred Astaire plays John Garnett (aka Lucky) who is late for his own wedding. In fact he is so late that all the guests leave and the bride’s father says he doesn’t even want to see John again. John shows up at the house and ends up convincing the bride’s father that he is going to New York City to earn some money and should he make 25,000 dollars then the family will see that he is successful after all. The bride’s dad says once that happens then he can marry his daughter, Margaret. At the train station, John’s dancers are upset that he is leaving and take away his money so he can’t get a train ticket. But that doesn’t stop John because he jumps the train, with his Pop (Victor Moore) chasing after him to tag along, eager to have an adventure in New York as well. In the city John meets Penny Carrol (Ginger Rogers) while crossing the street where she accuses John of a thief when Pop is to blame. In attempt to set the record straight John follows her into her job, a dance school and asks for a free lesson with her. Penny thinks John is wasting her time and hopeless because he cannot dance and makes them both fall to the floor several times. She loses her temper and is cut from her job until John saves it by performing a tap sequence that surprises Penny and her boss. From that point on the two perform for people at the finest club, The Silver Sandal, in the finest clothing (in my opinion!)
However, Penny develops feelings for her new friend despite the music conductor, Ricardo trying to get Penny’s attention.And John is contemplating whether or not he wants to go back and wed Margret. But when a few good deeds that John has done to help him and Penny end up backfiring due to trickery and Margret shows up in his dressing room, everything the two dancers built together is shaken. Will it be a “fine romance”?
This movie is why I began to love old films. First off, the sets are gorgeous, the gowns that Ginger wears are amazing, and the music will have you entranced in a magical world as Astaire and Rogers dance to it. This film has songs including A Fine Romance,Astaire singing The Way You Look Tonight (which won Oscar Award for Best Song in 1936), Pick Yourself Up and Never Gonna Dance. My favorite dance in this film is the one performed to the song Never Gonna Dance but Waltz to Swing Time is another I loved. The performance is breathtaking and the music is beautiful! My favorite song is The Way You Look Tonight. I haven’t seen this film in a few years (as I barely got Astaire and Rogers Vol 1 boxset and haven’t had time to watch all yet) but I have never forgotten the dance to Never Gonna Dance. I love Ginger’s gown and the sparkling walls in the background of the club, the glossy floors and the music! Fred also performs a solo dance called Bojangles of Harlem which is amazing and if you haven’t ever seen him perform then by the end of the performance you will see why he is one of the most legendary performers in dance and film history. Helen Broderick is also in this film starring as Ginger’s friend, Mabel. You might recognize Broderick from Top Hat or from other films because she has played the sarcastic and supporting best friend in other comedies. I personally remember her as Carole Lombard’s best friend in True Confessions. The dialogue that Mabel has with Pop is hilarious too! If you’ve never seen a Ginger/Fred movie then see this one. Or if you haven’t seen it in a while, watch it now! It’s a real gem that’s glowing with fantastic music and dancing that is sure to change the way you look tonight by adding a smile to face and wanting to retrace the steps and dance like Astaire and Rogers.