Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Back to the movies. And the longest post EVER.

Believe it or not, there's a reason why my page looks like your granny's formal dining room. When we (we meaning Will) designed the page I had one major contribution. I held up my box set of Cary Grant movies (best Christmas present EVER from my beloved, thankyouverymuch) and I said, "I want it to look like a movie poster from the 1930s."

So we messed around (with the design, of course...what were you thinking, pervert?) and came up with the wallpaperish background and the art deco lettering and the picture of Claudette Colbert and some guy looking at my children in horror. Yes...I know it doesn't look hippity hoppity or bootilicious or whatever the kiddies are saying these days. I like old movies. And this looks like me. So if you're picturing me as one of the Golden Girls running this little blog, das cool wit' me. If I have to choose which Golden Girl, I'd pick Betty White. Just not the slut one...old ladies + sluttiness = scary ladyparts-doctor visits.

How the phrase 'scary ladyparts-doctor visits' ended up in my blog, I'll never know.

So we're back to my own version of movie recommendations. Descending from the 70s (I didn't think anyone would stomach my killer reviews of Working Girl and Urban Cowboy so I skipped the 80s), we have arrived at the 50s. You'd think that a puritanical prude like myself would find all sorts of great 50s films to recommend....shockingly, this is not the case.

When it came down to writing down a list of great movies from this decade I was at a loss. There's two main reasons: 1. I don't get into Hitchcock movies, and b. not a big fan of epic spectacles either. So this eliminates all the major films of the decade: The Ten Commandments, The Greatest Show on Earth, Spartacus, Psycho, North by Northwest...etceterah, etceterah. Oh yeah, and The King and I. So no one who is a serious movie crazy person would take my list seriously. (Like there's some critic out there hanging on my every word....I get a little delusional sometimes).

If you're still reading by this point, here's my list:

Singin' in the Rain - The best musical of all time. I've seen them all...this is the best. Gene do I put this? You know how most male dancers look like male dancers? Gene Kelly looks like a guy who really likes girls, who's also dancing. And not just dancing but leaping and the most heterosexual way imaginable. You have to see it to believe it. Gene Kelly aside, Singin' in the Rain is very clever, very funny and very well-done. And my kids thought it was hi-larious.

The Searchers (I bet no one saw a western coming...just wait- there's more) - This is one the film critics love. I loved it, too. Don't expect fun hijinks with The Searchers. John Wayne is a racist cowboy looking for his niece who has been kidnapped by some bad Injuns. The complexity of racism is what makes this movie so compelling. We watch it today and feel uncomfortable after a lifetime of white guys= bad guys, Native Americans = good guys. But buried deep back in our history are recorded incidences of white women and children being kidnapped and tortured by some of the more aggressive Indian tribes. And the people who originally watched The Searchers might have heard those stories or had within their own memories encounters that fostered racism. That being said, yes, this a racist movie. But a good one. Not good because it's racist but....crap. You know what I mean.

Desk Set - Do you know the Hepburn/Tracy story? I don't have space to tell it here...but it's the stuff of legend. I'm starting to sound like a voiceover on an A & E biography. Let's cut to the chase: Katharine's character is named 'Bunny' and she's damn smart. Spencer's character is installing a computer the size of a Starbucks franchise in her workplace. Clever banter ensues. And the clothes are very pretty, too.

High Noon - Another western I liked. Everything about this movie is simple but effective. I wouldn't be surprised if it has less dialogue than any other movie of the decade (except the Tom and Jerry's...but they don't count). So the good guy sheriff has to face a bad guy and no one's got his back. I told you it was simple. But effective.

Streetcar Named Desire/On the Waterfront I lumped these together because I couldn't choose between them. Marlon Brando is bloody brilliant in both. Streetcar was a play and you can tell it was a play because the dialogue sounds so play-ish. But Brando is so freakin' mesmerizing in this part you have to forgive the silly dialogue and weak New Awlins accents. Yeah...ok Streetcar is my favorite. Everyone remembers the Stella yell...but do you remember what happens when Stella comes down? Watch it, my friend. All I gots to say is ha cha cha cha.

This is my longest post EVER! Ever? Yeah, ever. So I'll skip the Honorable Mentions and honorably mention that I also like All about Eve and Giant and Easter Parade as well. And if you made it to the end of this post, I salute you.


Blogger The Flip Flop Mamma! said...

I don't think I've ever seen any of those movies! I used to watch Hitchcock movie with my dad all the time when i was little!! But, Pshycho? I always thought that movie was soooo boring! I don't care if you update it a little and put Anne whatsherface in it....b.o.r.i.n.g!

and I never thought anything bad about your wallpaper...I like it, don't let those italk2much people make you all insecure!!

9/14/2006 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

It is indeed hard to choose between Waterfront and Streetcar .. I think I would go with Waterfront just by a nose, if only for that contender line .. but theyre both magnificent

9/14/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger Angel said...

I love you...and not in a slutty homo way...

Your writing cracks me the hell up. It's like I'm talking to you... you write like you talk, I'm guessing. Just like I do.

Now I'm wanting to get a bunch of old movies, send my family away and just pig out and watch the black and whites all day.. all weekend!!!

9/15/2006 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

I like your blog design. It's different and fun.

I think you will end up with a lot of funny google hits with that phrase "scary lady pants...". LOL

9/15/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

I love old movies too. All About Eve is my favorite, but I also loved Laura, His Girl Friday, A Place in the Sun, and Sergeant York, to name a few.

9/15/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger allrileyedup said...

Ooooooh, Giant. I wish you had given Giant a write-up. I love that movie so so much. But not as much as I love A Streetcar Named Desire. I'm torn between wanting to finish my comment and just go watch it right now.
It's so wonderful and proof that Marlon Brando was indeed very sexy at one point.

A few comments on this one--

1. did you ever see the Simpsons stage performance of said play?

2. Fyi, in New Orleans, they host a Tennessee Williams festival every year in Spring that includes a "Stella" screaming contest

3. Do you think that Vivien Leigh would have gotten such kudos for her portrayal of the faded belle if she hadn't already been so well known as the penultimate belle?
I thought she was great, but I always felt her credit for the Blanche performance would never have been as highly praised if not for her having already been Scarlett.

9/15/2006 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

a. Giant is's a little long and slow for me...but then there's James Dean and you totally want him to make out with Elizabeth Taylor...

b. Yeah...Vivian Leigh is the downfall of Streetcar. Kinda like Julia Roberts in (gag) Steel Magnolias..."Pank is mah signachah culuh..." I hate bad southern accents. But then Brando...yeah. I need to get that movie, too.

9/15/2006 10:29:00 PM  

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