Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I hereby declare my independence: Tony Hunter, 1776. Bless you.

So, let's start the ball rolling with my list of top 100 movies:

#3 The Band Wagon (1953)

I've had the good fortune this semester to take an Independent Study on Film History. Because it's an Independent Study, I've picked the movies I wanted to focus on, picked the text book, picked the way I wanted to talk about everything - which is all very liberating but also very intimidating. I do wish I could have talked more about some of my favorite movies. I'm showing Two Girls and a Sailor (1944) and Born Yesterday (1950) tomorrow night in a double feature and talking about how the films reflected their times and everything, which is really cool. It basically came down to Born Yesterday and The Band Wagon. In a way, I wish I'd gone ahead and done The Band Wagon as it is one of my favorite movies and illustrates my point beautifully. However, my professor voted for the non-musical as I was already showing one musical so I complied. As you all know, I like that movie anyway so it was no real heartbreak. Anyway, it's nice to be able to talk a little bit about The Band Wagon now. It's one of my favorite films. Every time I see it I remember how much I love it.

I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone for voting in the poll this week. Right now, the poll stands at 5 votes for The Philadelphia Story and 2 votes for Bringing Up Baby. There are still a few hours left so if you really love Holiday or Bringing Up Baby and want to pull them to the top then please feel free to do so. At this point, however, I think it's safe to say that The Philadelphia Story wins (my personal favorite of the three, as I think you already know). Thanks again for voting! I think I like the idea of having the poll be a reflection of the movie of the week, so I'll continue that theme today:

There is a pretty distinct difference between Fred Astaire of the 1930's musical

and Fred Astaire of the 1950's musical.

Now, one must take into account that 1930s musicals were practically pure escapism, so the plots were fluffier, the drama was lighter, and sets were more dazzling (sorry I can't continue the parallel structure there: dazzlinger?). Whereas the 1950s musicals were an effort to bring back the popularity of films in the face of the rising popularity of televisions. Back to the glory days, as it were. They were often steeped in nostalgia and the plots are a little heavier. Thus, 30s Fred Astaire (to my mind) is lighter, sillier, wackier, while the 50s Fred Astaire has a little more frustration, wisdom, maturity. What do you think? 1930s Fred or 1950s Fred? I'll post the poll tonight.

Oh, and one final note before I head out: Thank you to all of my wonderful, wonderful followers! I now have 10 of you! I had made that my goal, to reach 10 by Thanksgiving and I reached it! Hooray!! So thank you. I truly appreciate it!


  1. Fred Astaire of the 1930's for sure!!! More innocent and guileless. And the iconic F.A. is the one with the Top Hat and Tails. I LOVE following you!

  2. Proud to be a follower, my dear! And, although I love his sexy Girl Hunt ballet (maybe one of my favorites!) I think he is so much funnier in the 30s. Gene Kelly didn't seem to get more serious as he aged, did he? Great post!

    P.S. I nominated you for a Beautiful Blogger award! iamemmamusic.blogspot.com

  3. I feel like the worst friend in the world for not asking about your independent study and for that I sincerely apologize. I'm glad the movie night went well!


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