Friday, April 30, 2010

"Understand this: I was only playing with you and you, poor sap, fell for it!"

Quote of the week!

"Understand this: I was only playing with you, and you, poor sap, fell for it!"

Bonus points if you remember the following line as well as the movie title!

You're easy to dance with

The complete list of my favorite dancing ladies! Click on the link to read each individual entry.

1. Cyd Charisse
Favorite dances: "Frankie and Johnny" from Meet Me In Las Vegas, "Broadway Melody (The Hoofer and the Vixen)" from Singin' in the Rain, "Dancing in the Dark" from The Band Wagon, and "All of You (Reprise)" from Silk Stockings

2. Ginger Rogers
Favorite dances: "Let Yourself Go" from Follow the Fleet, "Pick Yourself Up" from Swing Time, "Hard To Handle" from Roberta, "The Carioca" from Flying Down to Rio, and "Night and Day" from The Gay Divorcee

3. Ann Miller
Favorite dances: "Too Darn Hot" from Kiss Me Kate, "Why Can't You Behave?" from Kiss Me Kate, "Prehistoric Man" from On the Town, and "Shakin' the Blues Away" from Easter Parade

4. Vera-Ellen
Favorite dance: "Minstrel Number" from White Christmas

5. Jane Powell
Favorite dance: "How Could You Believe Me" from Royal Wedding

6. Rita Moreno
Favorite dance: "America" from West Side Story

7. Julie Andrews
Favorite dance: "Elevator Dance" from Thoroughly Modern Millie

8. Mary Tyler Moore
Favorite dance: "Elevator Dance" from Thoroughly Modern Millie

9. Shirley Temple
Favorite dance: "On Account-a I Love You" from Baby, Take A Bow

10. Leslie Caron
Favorite dance: "An American in Paris Ballet" from An American in Paris

11. Ruby Keeler
Favorite dance: "42nd Street" from 42nd Street

12. Carol Haney

Favorite dance: "Steam Heat" from Pajama Game

13. Rita Hayworth
Favorite dance: tap duet from You'll Never Get Rich

14. June Allyson
Favorite dance: "The Young Man With A Horn" from Two Girls and a Sailor

15. Gwen Verdon
Favorite dance: "Who's Got The Pain?" from Damn Yankees

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Is everybody fine? That's fine.

Today's segment is about Old Hollywood and New Hollywood. But I've actually decided to temporarily change it a wee bit, if you don't mind. I think it's fascinating that there seems to be a whole musical sub-genre: the musical remake. Musical remakes made a surge in the 50s and 60s and I find it very odd. Sometimes the musical remakes were better than the originals because music and dancing have a unique power and sometimes the original was, in fact, much better than the remake. I wanted to give the Old Hollywood/New Hollywood segment a break, but rather than do away with it entirely, I'm going to discuss musical remakes vs originals for a little while and see how that goes. Let me know what you think!

So, to start off, I want to discuss one of my favorite movies ever: The Philadelphia Story (1940) which starred Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and James Stewart. The musical remake, High Society (1956) starred Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, and Frank Sinatra.

Tracy Lord
Katharine Hepburn vs. Grace Kelly

I think Katharine Hepburn is great in the movie. She's strong, willful, and beautiful. However, I have an easier time believing a bunch of men would fight over marrying Grace Kelly. She's so gorgeous. Sorry, Katharine.

C.K. Dexter Haven
Cary Grant vs. Bing Crosby

Okay, I have a few thoughts on this one. First off, I don't particularly care for Bing Crosby (he's okay) so I would definitely go for Cary Grant. I think alcoholism was a very good flaw for Grant's Dexter to have. I mean, that really can be a major issue and Cary Grant, as gorgeous and amazing as he is, would be an unappealing husband if he were an alcoholic one. But jazz? Really? Jazz as a flaw? I can imagine Tracy being scornful over her husband's obsession but I think divorcing him over such a thing is a little crazy. Then again, I wouldn't want to marry Bing Crosby in the first place - jazz or no jazz. He doesn't have the suavity of Cary Grant (who does?). In competing for the most divorce-worthy flaw, I'd definitely go with alcoholism over jazz and in competing for the most fight-worthy husband, I'd definitely go with Cary Grant.

Macaulay Connor
James Stewart vs. Frank Sinatra

This one is a little tougher because I love Frank Sinatra and I love Jimmy Stewart. I have to say, though, that I really think James Stewart was incredible as Mike (as evidenced, I suppose, by his Oscar). I love the scene when he comes to call on Dexter. I think it's one of my favorite movie scenes ever.

The Music
Cole Porter was brilliant. One of my very favorite songwriters. There are some great songs in this one too: "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" "Well, Did You Evah?" Sometimes music can really do something that dialogue can't. For instance, you can see Dexter and Tracy's relationship when he's singing "True Love" to her. However, as much as I love Cole Porter and I adore his music, I think the dialogue and plot of this movie work so seamlessly, that the music isn't really necessary to drive the plot or the characters along.
But, I do love this song:

My decision? The Philadelphia Story. This probably doesn't come as much of a surprise as I did preface this post with, "this is one my favorite movies blahblahblah." But I do think High Society is a wonderful movie. When not comparing it to the original, it's fantastic. In comparison to the original, I'd take the original.

Thoughts? Do you agree? Disagree? I'm going to post a poll so that you can vote over which one you prefer and we can compare notes.

I really hope I didn't come off as mean or anything in this post. I'm always afraid that if I state a strong opinion I'll come off as pushy or nasty or something.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

She was such a lady

I'm afraid I neglected my blog yesterday. My schedule has been a little irregular. Last night I got home late and I had to get up early this morning so I couldn't write a post. It was very sad. So, the 100 movies count-up will continue next week. In the meantime, without further ado.....

1. Cyd Charisse

I'm not even going to bother with solos because I can't think of many that she did and I just love so many of her dances, I'll just list my favorites in no particular order:

"Frankie and Johnny" from Meet Me in Las Vegas

I can't get enough of this song. It's so fun and funny and it makes me wish my legs would go that high. Sadly, they don't. One of the reasons Cyd Charisse is my favorite is because she was athletic without losing her femininity. She was graceful and sexy at the same time. She was most famous for being a sultry femme fatale in various jazz ballets but she could just easily dance her way into sweet, romantic, fun-loving roles.

"Broadway Melody (The Hoofer and the Vixen)" from Singin' in the Rain
This song is just classic. I love it. It's so sexy and amazing. The part where he grabs her and the music swells... gets me every time. I remember watching this movie with my grandparents. I had seen the movie tons of times before and loved this part. When this segment came up, my grandma said, "I don't remember this part of the movie. I guess I was young and innocent..." which I always thought was an odd thing to say. Anyway, whether or not I'm young and innocent, I love this part. It's one of my favorite scenes in the entire movie. I remember hearing that Cyd Charisse's favorite dance with Gene Kelly was "Heather on the Hills" from Brigadoon and I remember being rather aghast that she didn't say this one. Ah well.

"Dancing in the Dark" from The Band Wagon

I love this number. When people think of Cyd Charisse, they often think of her jazz ballets in Singin' in the Rain and The Band Wagon and her roles as vixens. If you Google Image her, most of the pictures you'll find will probably be from those two scenes. I love her dual roles in the "Girl Hunt Ballet" but I love this little number more. It's sweet, exciting, romantic, and sexy - all at the same time. I love it!

"All of You (Reprise)" from Silk Stockings

I'm planning to start writing posts on musical remakes one of these days and, when I do, this movie will be on the list. In the meantime, I just want to discuss this little number. It drives me crazy that it isn't on YouTube because it's fantastic. It's so fun. She looks so happy and free, obviously in contrast to her sternness at the beginning. This is the advantage musicals have over straight films. I found it hard to see the character shift in Ninotchka but with a musical, her character can (and does) grow through dance. And through dance we can see how great that change has been. I love this little number. Now that I finally have it up, I may talk more about it in the future. My favorite part is when he picks her up and she kicks. I don't know why, but I love it!

It really is a tough call between Cyd Charisse and Ginger Rogers. I like tap dancing more than I like ballet, generally speaking, which gives Ginger the advantage. However, as I said in my last post, it drives me crazy that I've only gotten to see Ginger with one partner. Cyd Charisse has that advantage. She's a different dancer, somehow, when she's dancing with Fred Astaire than when she's dancing with Ricardo Montalban. And with Gene Kelly she's a little different than when she's with Joe Brascia. We get to see more of her in her array of musicals. They really are extremely close and my favorites are in constant flux (I've been wanting to reorganize my Favorite Actresses list for months now!). But currently, this is how things stand for me. Do you agree? Disagree? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you again for following in my daily posts. I truly appreciate it! I'm very excited about next month's set-up. I'll post a full list of lady dancers soon.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Does she dance very beautifully, the girl you're in love with?

A small bit of business to take care of before going on with the list. Let's all give SassyGinger and emma wallace a big, hearty pat on the back (each) for correctly the naming the movie of last week's quote of the week. It was from Summer Stock. Hooray!!!

Now, for #2!

2. Ginger Rogers

Favorite solo: "Let Yourself Go" from Follow the Fleet. Yet again, we come into that frustrating conundrum of few solos for female dancers. Eleanor Powell was one of the few who got multiple memorable ones. And Ginger Rogers, one of the most famous dancers ever, got so few - I honestly can't remember any others. Despite the slim pickings, however, I must say, I like her solo a great deal. I wish she'd done more of them. She has so much personality and class.

Favorite duet: "Pick Yourself Up" from Swing Time. I love this song. I can never get enough of it! And I especially love Ginger in this one. I love how we follow her surprised reaction all the way to the end of the number where it's evident she's thoroughly enjoying herself. She is, apparently, having a blast and she's taking us along for the ride. It's wonderful!

Other favorites: "Hard to Handle" from Roberta, "The Carioca" from Flying Down to Rio, "Night and Day" from The Gay Divorcee. Okay there are tons and tons more. That's for a later post, though, I think. In the meantime, enjoy these marvelous Ginger numbers. Which one is your favorite?

I think one of the most difficult things about Ginger Rogers is that most of the dancing she did was in the form of a duet. And her main dancing partner, almost exclusively, was Fred Astaire. This being the case, we, sadly, don't get to see much of Ginger dancing in anything beyond the Fred-and-Ginger format. She was marvelous with Fred Astaire, of course - his best partner (in my opinion) but how neat would it have been to see her with Gene Kelly? What would it have been like if she'd danced with Danny Kaye? Ricardo Montalban? I've heard that Jimmy Stewart was a wonderful ballroom dancer (according to Ginger) - I wonder what they were like together? It saddens me that she did so few musicals without Fred Astaire. But we can't forget that she was one major half of a major dance team and that is enough to make her tops in my book!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I hope you don't mind my legs...

As April draws to a close, I approach the end of my list of dancing ladies. We are now going to look at my top 3 favorites. As a warning, this may (will) result in more photos, videos, and gushing.

3. Ann Miller

Favorite solo: "Too Darn Hot" from Kiss Me Kate, which is probably my favorite dance from her ever. Unfortunately, this number is not available on YouTube. It's a fantastic number, though.

Favorite duet: "Why Can't You Behave?" from Kiss Me Kate

"Prehistoric Man" from On The Town is a definite contender for favorite dance - it's so fun to watch. I love this song. The lyrics are so witty and wacky and Ann Miller sells the silliness - and the sexiness - wonderfully.

Because I was unable to find you my favorite solo, I'm going to post my second favorite below so that you can see her all by herself, being awesome. This one is "Shakin' the Blues Away" from Easter Parade.

I've loved Ann Miller for years. I called her my role model before I really knew what a role model was. Basically, I wanted to be her - I wanted to tap faster than secretaries could type, I wanted to be tall and athletic and beautiful. So, I told people she was my role model and wished fervently I could tap dancing lessons. I really haven't read up on Ann Miller at all, but I'd like to. Amanda Cooper has mentioned how much fun Ann Miller seems to be, and I quite agree. I'd love to know what sort of a person she was. Oftentimes, her persona on film was the spunky secondary character - the brunette bombshell who could potentially lead the leading man astray. I haven't seen very many of her starring roles but I know that in at least one, Eve Knew Her Apples, Ann Miller proved she was more than the sexy side story - she could be tender and genuine. I wish she'd had a chance to do play more leading ladies.

One thing that I've always found interesting is the customary costumes for different dancing ladies. For example, Vera-Ellen often had a dress where the skirt detached so the audience could see her legs. Cyd Charisse wore flowy, fluid skirts that rippled when she moved. Ann Miller wore long skirts, but then she pulled them open as soon as the dancing commenced. There are exceptions, of course. But I think this photo, is pretty typical of an Ann Miller dancing costume. I love it.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Maybe it isn't only the music

4. Vera-Ellen

Favorite dance: "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing" from White Christmas

However, I realize I've talked about that particular number quite extensively. I have several runners-up in this category: "Minstrel Number" from White Christmas, "Abraham" from White Christmas, and "Come On, Papa" from Three Little Words. So, I'm going to embed the "Minstrel Number" - the "Mandy" part - because that parts always delightful to watch. I love this dance. I love the way dancers can make something sexy with apparently little effort, and Vera-Ellen in particular. For instance, the part where she has her arm above her head and she sees her dancing partner (Joe Brascia) with his arms down by his chest and she mirrors his posture - I don't know, there's something about her look and movement that is simply cool. I can't describe it. I just like it.

I wish Vera-Ellen appeared in more films. She was in a handful of major movies and then played in a good amount of B movies, which are harder to track down. She was a very talented dancer and I wish I could see more of her. Ah well. I hope you enjoy her in this clip, because she's awesome!

Friday, April 23, 2010

"They've got me picking eggs! Eggs! E-G-Z!"

Quote of the week! Name the movie it's from so we can all be in awe of you.

"They've got me picking eggs! Eggs! E-G-Z!"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Just look around until you've found someone who has a blue-gray fedora

I realize I just discussed Royal Wedding yesterday, but I've been wanting to talk about these costumes, so I figured I might as well bring it up while we're on the subject.

Today's spotlight on a costume is actually a spotlight on several costumes. The number "I Left My Hat In Haiti," is delightful to watch, despite the fact that the performers are decidedly not Haitian. And the girls are outfitted with some fabulous get-ups. I've been wanting to rack up the nerve to try this style out, but I haven't yet found the courage. The combination is relatively simple: ballet flats or tennis shoes, peasant skirt, a brightly colored top, a scarf tied around the waist, a scarf tied around the head, and a fedora on top. What makes it even easier is that the pieces don't have to match - in fact, it seems as if they're not supposed to. The girls in this scene pull the ensemble off so wonderfully! I really want to try this outfit, and I even have all the pieces necessary, but I just can't get up the nerve. ugh. Well, anyway, it's wonderful. Here's the complete scene:

*** So, shortly after I wrote this post, I decided to be daring and try the outfit out. I didn't put together all of the pieces because, frankly, it didn't look or feel right. The scarf around my head kept getting all weird (I really need a better scarf) so I just took it off and used the fedora. I really liked the look a lot. I just wanted to share this bit of news with you so you'd know that I was daring in the end! Hooray!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My head is starting to get fuzzy...

It took me a long time to get through, but I think it's finished! I am not asthmatic, but I hope you'll forgive me for that. I'm kind of ridiculously excited that I get to participate in this. I wasn't really involved when the last surveys went around. I actually found a lot of my favorite blogs by sorting through the results.

1. Which actors do you always (or did you always) mix-up?
I don't really mix actors up by face... at least, I don't think I do. But I definitely get confused over names. I'm constantly having to remind myself as to which one is Eleanor Powell and which one is Jane Powell. And I'm always mixing up the Barrymore brothers. And I often say "Dick Powell" when I mean "William Powell" and I say "William Powell" when I mean "William Holden." It's a mess.

2. Gidget or Beach Party?

Well, I've really only seen Beach Party, so I'll go with that. Does it help that I really want to see Gidget?

3. Favorite Movie Outfit?
I really have dozens of favorite movie outfits. Cyd Charisse's dress in Singin' in the Rain, for instance. But one dress that I absolutely adore and feel protective over is the peeled eel dress in Roberta.

4. If you could be ANY character in ANY movie...who would you choose?
Probably Dale Tremont in Top Hat. She's wealthy and the only job she seems to have is wearing designer clothes. She flies around to London and Italy, rides horses, sleeps in the coolest bed in the entire world, and wears lovely clothes. Not bad, I'd say.

5. If you could marry ANY character in ANY movie...who would you choose?
Nick Charles in The Thin Man and After The Thin Man. I'm pretty sure he's the best husband ever, at least in those two films. I don't always like the way he locks Nora up when he leaves, but I think I'd get over that.

6. If you could live in ANY movie...which would you choose?
A Fred and Ginger film, almost any of them (with a few exceptions).

7. Black & White movies you wish were in Technicolor, or vice-versa?
I would like to see The Thin Man in color. I'm dying to know the real colors of some of Nora's outfits. I'd like to see some Fred and Ginger films for the same reason. I'd quickly revert back to Black & White though, because the color palette suits the movies.

8. Favorite Movie Soundtrack?
Way too difficult! If you're talking about musicals, then it's a long-way tie. If you're talking about non-musicals, I'll have to go with a contemporary soundtrack: Easy Virtue. It's filled with wonderful 1930's music and Ben Barnes singing (yum). Here's a small sample:

9. Favorite Movie Dance Sequence?
You guys are killing me!!! Way too many. This is impossible to answer. This is almost as bad as asking me for my favorite movie. For the sake of sparing you a long list of ties for first, I'll go with "I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket" from Follow the Fleet. Not necessarily my favorite, but this dance always makes me smile.

10. Coolest Movie Star? (Cough, cough, BOBBY DARIN, cough, cough -Millie)
Sorry, Millie. I think I'm going to go with Cary Grant on this one. Not many people could pull this scene off:

11. Sophia or Gina (Oh, how Kate enjoys replaying Gina's sad defeat OVER AND OVER! -Millie)

12. "Isn't It Romantic" in most Billy Wilder films, or "Red River Valley" in most John Ford films?
"Isn't It Romantic." I think? I don't quite understand the question...

13. If you could re-cast ANY role in ANY movie, what would it be?
This is a tough one mostly because I don't generally think of this. I kind of take it for granted that an actor has been cast in a role and I generally don't ever think of recasting it. One does come to mind, however. I've read that Fred Astaire fervently requested that Ruby Keeler replace Joan Fontaine in Damsel in Distress. Since Fontaine was my least favorite part of the movie, I think I would second his request. I'm not 100% sure I'd put Ruby Keeler in the part but I also think Fred Astaire would know better than I.

14. Favorite movie character with your first name?
There aren't many Sarahs in films (that's my real name, by the way), at least not many likeable ones. There's Sergeant Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls but I don't like her. I'm going to go with a contemporary film reference here. Sarah in Easy Virtue is one of the best characters in the film. Yay!

15.One movie that should NEVER be remade? (under THE THREAT OF A SLOW, PAINFUL DEATH!)
The Thin Man. Please don't let them try to remake Nick and Nora. It's bad enough that they used their names for a movie title.

16. Actor or Actress who you would love to be best friends with?
Ginger Rogers, Julie Andrews, Myrna Loy, and Olivia de Havilland. They all seem so neat, fun, and down-to-earth. I also think Danny Kaye and Donald O'Connor would be remarkably fun to be with.

17. Are you an Oscar or a Felix?
Felix probably. I get stressed out when my room isn't tidy and I tend to over-analyze things.

18. Actor/Actress you originally hated and now love?
Clark Gable is growing on me. Still not a favorite, but growing on me. I also hated Jean Harlow and I dislike her less after seeing her in Wife vs. Secretary.

19.Actor/Actress you originally loved and now don't like?
None that I hate, really. But there are some performers that I like a little less than I used to, namely: Katherine Hepburn, Judy Garland, and Bing Crosby. Bing Crosby in particular. I used to take comfort in his homey personality, but now I just think he's mopey.

20. Favorite performance that was looked over by Oscar? (Not to be confused with the aforementioned Oscar of Felix fame.)
Errol Flynn in Captain Blood. I know, this is a real shocker coming from me. But seriously, he gave a very powerful performance, in my opinion.

21. Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie?
I Dream of Jeannie, probably.

22. Hannibal Heyes or Kid Curry?
Those hints were completely unhelpful so I refuse to answer the question. Ha!

23. Favorite Style Icon: Fred Astaire or Cary Grant?
Jeepers. This one is difficult. Honestly, I could go either way on this one. Right now, though, I'm going to go with Fred Astaire. Yes, he wore tuxedos a lot, which isn't terribly thrilling. But I've always really liked his casual looks - the fedoras, the belts, the ties. I also think that he segued very gracefully from the 30's to the 40's and then to the 50's. In those transitions, he never lost his cool, never lost his identity (as it were), and remained a popular and iconic figure. No small feat, to my mind.

24. Single most favorite movie scene EVER?
Good grief! Seriously? Well, I think I'll answer similarly to my answer about the favorite musical number, because there honestly too many. For the sake of here and now, though, I'll go with the scene from The Philadelphia Story where Mike goes to visit Dexter. This scene is filled with so many witty one-liners and so much clever dialogue. I couldn't find the whole scene on YouTube but here's one of my favorite lines:

25. Movie you really "should" see, but have subconsciously avoiding for who knows what reason?
How to Steal A Million! No, but seriously, I've avoided North by Northwest and Dodge City - I'm not sure why. I'd also like to get through To Catch A Thief and Dinner at Eight. I don't know why I've avoided To Catch A Thief because I'm sure I'd like it. There's just something that keeps me from watching it. Who knows?

26. Movie quote you find yourself most often repeating in real life?
"Shoot. I mean, what's on your mind." I say this all the time. I've said it so often that people who know me really well, come to expect it, and pause after I've said "shoot."
Also, my sister and I have had a long-running routine of quoting Kiss Me Kate. Every now and again, I won't hear her properly or won't be paying attention, so I'll respond to something she's said with, "what?" To which she'll reply, "You heard me. And here's a little something that isn't in the script." And then I always say, "What are you trying to do, kill me?" And then we go on with the scene in no particular order, usually ending with, "Suntan number 2." There is, I hate to confess, an alternative version to this scenario. Sometimes I say, "You can hear what you want to hear!" and she'll say, "No, I didn't really!" (from Bringing Up Baby) and we often throw in "'s'in the box?" just because it's fun to say.

27. 50's Westerns or 60's Spies? (I can't even answer this myself...but you have to! MWAHAHAHA! - Millie)
60's Spies. They're pretty cool. Although, to be honest, I don't really watch spy movies or westerns. I don't really care for cowboys much, unless they're the singing and dancing variety (such as Oklahoma).

28. Favorite splashy, colorful, obnoxious 50's musical?
I think I'll go with The Bandwagon. I have this weird belief that there's an unspoken rivarly between The Bandwagon and Singin' in the Rain. It's ridiculous, of course, because there is no rivarly (except, perhaps, in my head). I'm always going back and forth over which one I love more. Currently, this one is tops. But this is subject to change.

29. Favorite film setting (example: Rome, Paris, Seattle, Siberia, Chile, Sahara Desert, etc)
Italy. Italy is always beautiful and Italians always seem so nice. The movies that take place there often seem to be romantic and pretty too.

I actually don't care for this movie but it's the most iconic Italian setting, I think.

30. If you could own the entire wardrobe of any film, which would it be?
This one is tough because I went through my dvd collection and started naming off contenders and there were about 8. But for the sake of giving an answer other than "Fred and Ginger" or "The Thin Man" I think I'll go with Funny Face. I really am a fan of the skinny black pant look and Audrey Hepburn gets to wear some really lovely dresses, so I think this one is the winner.

31. Carol Burnette or Lucille Ball?
Lucille Ball.

32. Favorite Voice. Ever. Period?
This one's tough, mostly because I don't really think about it. Since voice goes under the talking and singing category, I think I'll have to go with an actor who sings, so as to cover both possibilities. In this case, I guess I'll go with Fred Astaire. I do really like his voice, both when singing and talking.

33. Favorite movie that takes place in your home-state?
White Christmas. No, I don't live in Vermont, but I do live in Florida and they are in that state for a small portion of the film.

34. Which actors would you want for relatives? (Mother, Father, Grandma, Crazy Aunt, annoying cousin, older brother, etc...)
Grandpa - Lionel Barrymore (in You Can't Take It With You)
Crazy Aunt - Irene Dunne, Helen Broderick
Older Brother - Donald O'Connor (despite the fact that he'd always overshadow me, he'd be fun)
Cool Uncle - Cary Grant, Danny Kaye, David Niven.

You see, if you think nice things, all doors open to you.

5. Jane Powell

click on photo for source

Favorite dance: "How Could You Believe Me" from Royal Wedding

I realize that Jane Powell is a little more well known for her singing than for her dancing but, frankly, I prefer watching her dance to hearing her sing. This scene has long been one of my favorites, but I'm often forgetting Royal Wedding. I seem to have this strange, lingering memory that it was a boring movie so I never think to watch it, despite the fact that all of the musical numbers are fantastic (even the dance following the ballad is funny). I like her fiery temper in this scene, and, ironically, how cool she is (I used to try and imitate her all the time when I was a kid), and how much fun she seems to have when dancing. I've heard that when Fred would dance, he'd sometimes mutter, "Now you're dancing!" to his partner. It could well be that it's in the script or something, but when he shouts, "Hey!" during this dance, I like to imagine that we're finally getting to witness that enthusiasm. It's so exciting! I suppose there are many dances of which I wish I could learn the choreography, but this is definitely one of them. It looks so fun. I also love her dress, but that's for another day..

By the way, I discovered this photo in my search. How cute is she?
click on photo for source

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What is it with men and The Godfather?

Today, I'm going to do something brave and daring. In continuing my list of 100 wonderful movies, I'm going to discuss a contemporary film. Yes, my friends, I like movies made post-1960's. In fact, I like many such films. I promise not to beleaguer this list with modern titles as I don't want to alienate classic film lovers - this is, after all, a classic film blog. However, I think that good movies continue to be made and I want to honor that by discussing them. And to make these posts more classic-film-lover-friendly, I'll do my best to explain why I like this movie. With titles like The Philadelphia Story and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, you guys are more inclined to forgive me for justifying my love for a movie by "I just love it. It's great." However, I feel that I'll need to earn you trust a bit more with titles that you might be less inclined to watch, so I'll try to give a good, sound argument as to why I like it. We'll see how this goes...

25. You've Got Mail (1998)

This is one of my all-time favorite movies. Every time I watch it, I smile, I laugh. I've already discussed this one at relatively great length in a post comparing it to its predecessor, The Shop Around the Corner. The reasons I love this movie are:
  • the dialogue. I think many classic film lovers would agree that one of their favorite things about classic movies is the witty dialogue, the clever banter, the funny one-liners. Well, this movie, has some of my favorite lines. For instance:
    Joe: Well, I put you out of business, so you're entitled to hate me.
    Kathleen: I don't hate you.
    Joe: But you'll never forgive me... just like Elizabeth.
    Kathleen: Who?
    Joe: Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. She was too proud!
    Kathleen: I thought you hated Pride and Prejudice.
    Joe: Or was she too prejudiced and Mr. Darcy was too proud? Well, I can't remember.
  • the charm. Kathleen Kelly is one of the most adorable characters ever, in my humble opinion. I love the way she stops and stares at butterflies and likes the smell of Scotch tape. And while Joe Fox does some truly frustrating things, he's also an incredibly charming man and suitor - he brings her daisies! (sigh)
  • the humor. Many contemporary comedies have rather questionable humor but this one, I think, keeps it pretty classy.
  • the romance. This is one of the more famous romantic comedies but even people who don't like romantic comedies, like this movie. The romance is real but not cloyingly sweet.

I wish I could link to some of my favorite scenes, but, alas, it cannot be. Instead, I shall link you to the trailer and hope that it will entice you to check this one out if you haven't already done so. It really is a delightful film. By the way, before you get concerned, the rest of my posts: the lists, the spotlight segments, the quotes, will all continue to focus on older movies. And do tell me what you think of this change!

Click on photos for source.