Friday, May 21, 2010

The Seven Year Itch (1955)

I won't be seeing this movie again. I can say I've seen the famous blowing dress scene and move on.
Richard Sherman's wife and son, along with all the wives and children of the New York businessmen, have left the city for the summer. So what are all the husbands to do? "Drinking, smoking, picking up girls, playing chopsticks..."
Richard Sherman wastes no time in getting to all of this, but it's okay, because he's been married for seven years, and it is a well-known fact that men experience a seven year itch and need to branch out a bit. And anyways, he just spends most of his time thinking about cheating and running around being sneaky... So no worries. Despite Richard's assertion that "no pretty girl wants me. She wants Gregory Peck," he quickly picks up his new upstairs neighbor Marilyn Monroe, known as "The Girl." Does she even have a name? She's ditzy, she wears sexy dresses, and she's willing to kiss him just for fun, because he's married and she doesn't have to worry about him proposing or anything. Richard narrates the whole movie. We hear his every thought. And I don't find him likeable. So can I give the movie zero stars?

Yes, I would have preferred:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Nothing Sacred (1937)

Now I'm a fan of Carole Lombard. She's very funny. All the information that came along with this movie described it as a "screwball comedy," and it very much is, despite the fact that when we first meet Carole Lombard's character, Hazel Flagg, we think she is dying of radium poisoning.

Frederic March plays Wally Cook, a somewhat disgraced newspaper man who goes off to to redeem himself by finding the next big story... the story turns out to be bringing the ailing Hazel to New York City to show her the time of her life before she dies. New York loves Hazel...too bad she's not really sick.
We find out that Hazel isn't really sick pretty early on in the movie. When Wally comes to find her in her small Vermont hometown, Hazel has just learned from her doctor that he made a mistake with her diagnosis. Rather than being overjoyed at not being on her death bed, Hazel is disappointed to have to give up a trip to New York that she had been promised as a last wish. Then comes Wally offering her an amazing chance to be pampered in the city...

The Vermont scenes were a lot of fun. The townspeople do not appreciate a city newspaper man invading their space. He gets a lot of nasty looks, including a nasty look from the actress who played the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz. At one point, while Wally is walking down the street trying to find Hazel, a little boy runs out of his yard, bites Wally on the leg, and runs away again. Biting townspeople?

Just as much hilarity occurs in New York... of course Hazel and Wally fall for each other, and this leads Hazel to feel really guilty about pretending to be dying. So guilty she even tries to fake a suicide so she can remove herself from the situation. The only part of the "screwball comedy" I wasn't so fond of was the punching that went on between Wally and Hazel when Wally found out about the hoax. Don't punch people! Or spank people! "Give me your word of honor you won't try that again, or I'll spank your little..."
Two stars, but I would definitely see this again. Really, it was a very entertaining movie.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

Life is grand... Dorothy (Jane Russell) and Lorelei (Marilyn Monroe) are off to Paris, and who happens to be on their ocean liner? The US Olympic team! Dorothy gets to cavort with the Olympians (there is even a gymnastics dance), while Lorelei says goodbye to her trusting fiance who will be staying at home.
Hilarity ensues as Lorelei becomes rather friendly with a rich old owner of a diamond mine (he gives her his wife's prized diamond tiara!), and Dorothy becomes smitten with a private detective hired by the father of Lorelei's fiance to track her every move.
The women have to become very crafty in order to evade jealous fiances, angry wives, incriminating rolls of film, and French prison sentences. "I can be smart when it's important, but most people don't like it." Doesn't that sound just like a Marilyn Monroe line?

Such a fun movie.
"Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend"
So yay! Four stars! Would watch again!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Daisy, Daisy,
Give me your answer do!
I'm half crazy,
All for the love of you!
It won't be a stylish marriage,
I can't afford a carriage
But you'll look sweet upon the seat
Of a bicycle made for two.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Roberta (1935)

Irene Dunne, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers... of course I had to see this movie. Huck Haines (Astaire) travels with his band, The Wabash Indianians, and his friend John Kent (Randolph Scott) to Paris for a gig. Unfortunately, almost the second they step off the ocean liner, the owner of the club where they were supposed to play becomes horrified to learn that they are in fact Indianians and not Indians. The band tries to woo the club owner with a bizarre act in which they become a human piano...but to no avail.

With no more gig, John and Huck rush off to find John's aunt Roberta, who just happens to own a fashionable clothing store in Paris. Roberta is delighted to see her favorite nephew and says that she will try to help them find a new gig through her connections. It turns out that the band doesn't need Roberta's direct help, though, because out in the lobby they find the Comtesse Scharwenka (Ginger Rogers) complaining loudly and obnoxiously about a dress that has not come out quite right. The Comtesse is merely pretending to be Polish nobility to make her singing act more intriguing. Really she is from Indiana and happens to be the long lost close friend/next door neighbor of Huck. And she can get the band back into the very night club from which they were tossed for not being Indians. And I haven't even mentioned that Irene Dunne plays Stephanie, who works for Roberta. Stephanie and John fall in love at first sight, complications to follow. One of the largest complications seems to be that John is a "hick" with an attitude about fashion, and Stephanie is a Russian princess in exile. Hmmm.

The dancing was, as usual, exciting, especially a very cool tap dance pictured above and a dance to "I Won't Dance." And then there was the highly entertaining fashion show. My favorite quote from the fashion show is actually from my roommate Barbara: "Oh, a bird died." There were a lot of fur and feathers.
Other good fashion quotes from without the movie include:
"It's more stimulating to the imagination if clothes clothe." (John is VERY against skimpy dresses, and this fact leads to some of the plot twists of the movie.)
"[Women] can pack their own junk." (about a dress with pockets)

The movie also swung towards schmaltzy, though. Stephanie sings mournful songs, Roberta dies, everyone is tragically misunderstood. All except Huck and the Comtesse, that is. Two stars for my favorite dancers. Not sure I could watch again.

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

It seems (conversation with Amy) that a classic movie on this blog is a movie made before Amy and I were born. So...A thoroughly fun movie. Four stars, and I would probably watch this again, although it would probably be most fun if I wait forty years and forget who the murderer is. The chances of forgetting, though, are probably not so high, seeing as I (very smugly) guessed what was going on while watching this time (and no, I have not read the book).

Without giving anything away... Poirot is traveling on a train with a number of interesting characters... One fellow traveler confides to Poirot that he has been receiving death threats and wants Poirot to take on his case and protect him... Poirot refuses... A blizzard traps the train in the middle of nowhere... The man is found dead in his cabin... Who did it?

I loved the interrogation scenes and Poirot's helper who yelled, "He/she did it!" after ever interrogation. Murder aside, this movie also made me want to sit in a luxurious dining car and sip tea with my fellow travelers. Not sure about the sleeping cars.