Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wings in the Dark (1935)

Favorite actor... favorite actress... yet another movie I had a hard time paying attention to without rolling my eyes.

Myrna Loy plays a stunt pilot.  Cary Grant plays a daring pilot who wants to be one of the first pilots to fly blind (the first?  I can't remember!)  Of course Loy has long admired Grant before she even gets to meet him.  And of course Grant is blinded by a freak accident with a stove.    What will become of Grant's budding relationship with Loy?  What will become of his ambitious plan to... fly blind?

Devastated Grant secludes himself in a cabin in the woods until Loy and a helper sneak up on him and make him accept a seeing eye dog into his life.  Before the dog he has to wander around with his arms outstretched.  More touching scenes and tragedy ensue.
One star for the seeing eye dog.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Graduate (1967)

The Graduate.  How many times have I seen this movie?  When I graduated high school, my dad counseled me to tell people that I was interested in plastics.  But had I seen the movie yet?  The first time I remember watching it was the night before classes started my freshman year at Swarthmore College.  Most of the freshman class and a whole lot of excited upperclassmen packed LPAC and cheered at lines such as:

Mr. Braddock: Would you mind telling me then what those four years of college were for? What was the point of all that hard work?
Benjamin: You got me.

Ahh, tradition.  The Swarthmore tradition of playing The Graduate to the incoming freshman has got me hooked, and I've been watching it at home every fall since.  Although now I watch it right before the first graders swarm.

So, now I'm finding that I don't really have anything to say about the movie.  Every line is a perfect line, every shot a perfect shot.
Some of the lines have become a part of my everyday vocabulary.  "He's a good walker."
Four stars of course, at least.  This is a perfect movie.

A Stolen Life (1946)

This summer the Brattle Theater in Harvard Square had a Bette Davis movie festival. Sadly I only made it to one movie. But this description, courtesy of the Brattle made it very important that I see this movie, if no other:

"A Stolen Life
(1946) dir Curtis Bernhardt w/Bette Davis, Glenn Ford, Dane Clark, Walter Brennan [109 min]
Kate (Davis) and her twin sister Patricia (also played by Davis) both fall for the charming Bill Emerson (Ford) while on a boat trip home to New England. Patricia steals Bill away from her sister, sending Kate into a deep depression. While Bill is away on a trip, Kate and Patricia are involved in a sailing accident. Patricia is drowned, but Kate washes ashore alive. She is mistaken for Patricia, which allows her to steal back the man of her dreams.
Not available on DVD"

What do you say? Bette Davis pretends to be her twin sister, Bette Davis, and steals a man from her? And one of the Bette Davises is involved in a fatal accident? And I can't get this from Netflix???

So, most of the movie was fun. Silly, but fun. Oh, but the ending. Eek. I went with Barbara, and as it was a few months ago now, I can't remember exactly what we said to each other when the movie finally ended, but I'm sure it involved eye rolling and laughter, and maybe some "What?!?"s.

One star for the wonderful special effects of having two Bette Davises lounging on the bed together talking men. So that makes...one star. I would recommend seeing it once, but not more than once!

Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid (1948)

What a silly movie.  Mr. Peabody (William Powell) hears, goes searching for, and then fishes from the sea (dare I say kidnaps?) a young mermaid.  The mermaid is of course completely content to swim around in Mr. Peabody's fancy goldfish pond, just as long as he will kiss her every once in a while.  Did I mention there is a somewhat suspecting but also confused by the particulars Mrs. Peabody?

There is water-spitting, lying, swimming, a psychiatrist... 

One star for the moment in the film when a woman who desperately wants to win Mr. Peabody's attention goes swimming in the fish pond and has an underwater fight with the mermaid.  But that's all.  Go rent I Married a Witch.