Yes, I love Christmas. I have been known to celebrate it in July. But I don’t want to be predictable. I want to keep you guessing and keep things interesting, so instead of talking about my favorite holiday, we’ll be sharing a Halloween movie.
Although I didn’t see this movie as a child, I do remember my Mother quoting Young Frankenstein, “It’s Frunkensteen!” followed by hysterical laughter. I enjoy the premise of this movie: Frankenstein’s grandson inherits his grandfather’s castle and tests his grandfather’s experiment. If you’ve never seen black and white films from the 1940’s, then you’ll miss the humor of the production. This is a satirical film poking fun at the early horror movies. Transitions from that time,which were no longer being used when Young Frankenstein was filmed, were added for comedic effect. The set used to bring the monster to life is the same set used in the original Frankenstein movie.
I hate it when I don’t have good news. I really do. I did not enjoy saying that His Girl Friday was not worth watching. I don’t enjoy saying the same thing about The Maltese Falcon.
The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett. I read that the movie is scene by scene exactly the same as the novel. Maybe that’s why it’s so confusing. Maybe the characters thoughts, which can’t be heard on film, explain the action. I tried to borrow the book from the library to see if my theory was correct, but they didn’t have a copy.
Because my husband is a Magnum PI aficionado, he recognized this guy:
He’s Ice Pick!
Of course, the French version of the poster is the best.
I’ve already shared my feelings for It’s A Wonderful Life in my 30 Days, 30 Movies series, but you can’t share Christmas movies without sharing something about this film.
This movie has a very clever opening. After the credits roll, there are eight distinct voices asking God to help George Bailey: Gower, Martini, George’s mother, Ernie, Bert, Mary, Janie, and Zu Zu. We haven’t seen any of these people, but it speaks volumes about them and George’s character. We know that George has helped people and has made an impact in their lives and we know that he is in major trouble. We know all of this from overhearing the prayers of the people.
The most redeeming part of the movie for me is that those prayers were answered. George’s friends and family prayed for God to help him, and God did help him. As I’m sure you know, George does not kill himself and the town pitches in to raise the money Potter stole. I love that this movie shows God’s hand in the life of a person.
One of my favorite scenes:
Please, tell me you’ve seen An Affair to Remember (or at the very least have heard of it). Have you heard of Sleepless in Seattle? It was inspired by An Affair to Remember.
Cary Grant plays Nickie Ferrante, a womanizing playboy who has just been engaged to an American heiress. While on a cruise to visit his grandmother abroad, he meets Terry McKay, played by Deborah Kerr. She’s engaged to a wealthy businessman. Although they are not trying to be anything more than friends, they fall in love on their voyage. Cary Grant’s character asks for six months to learn how to make a living so he will prove himself worthy to have Terry as his wife. They agree to meet up in six months on the top floor of the Empire State Building.
The most poignant scene, to me, that does not give away the plot, is when they leave the boat. Nickie and his heiress pose for paparazzi and Terry gets between them saying she has “an important meeting to get to.” Terry finds her fiance and hugs him. Nickie walks by with his heiress. He stops and watches the embrace, glaring jealously. Terry motions him to keep going. Before he does, he kisses his fingers and taps them on Terry’s glove. She pulls away from the embrace, immediately brushing her glove against her lips.
I love this movie poster. The French title is translated, “She and Him,” which I think fits the film. If anyone is still wondering what they should get me for Christmas… Here you go.
I love While You Were Sleeping. It is the first Sandra Bullock movie I ever saw. I immediately fell in love with the story and the characters. Especially Sandra Bullock’s character, Lucy, a lonely train ticket person without a family on Christmas. How many lonely cat ladies can you name that have charmed the world? I can only name one. Lucy is such a lovable character. She’s pining over Peter, a guy who doesn’t know her name. She’s nice to Joe Jr. even though he lies about her. When Joe Jr. is upset about Phyllis from the third floor dumping him, she lets him try on her shoes (I know that sounds weird, but he likes trying on her shoes. It’s a sweet gesture). When she’s invited to spend Christmas with Peter’s family, she’s given a gift. We never know what the gift is because she doesn’t open it. She just sits there and enjoys the company of his family.
The best part of the movie is her relationship with Jack, Peter’s brother. She tells Peter that she’s never met someone she can laugh with, which is part of the reason why she is single. Jack and Lucy laugh together through much of the film. When they aren’t laughing together, they are trying to hide the fact that they like each other. One of the most gut wrenching scenes for me to watch is when Jack stops by Lucy’s apartment before she marries Peter. As he’s leaving, Lucy asks him if there is any reason she shouldn’t marry Peter. Jack, looking conflicted, pauses before saying no. The disappointment on both their faces is too much! But that only heightens the excitement of Jack proposing later on.
(On a side note, I’d like to say Happy Anniversary to one of my favorite couples! God bless you and your marriage.)
I prepared myself to have a similar reaction to Mary Poppins as I had with Bedknobs and Broomsticks. The last time I saw this movie, I was a child. The last time I heard the music from this movie, I was watching home movies of my family. My brothers and I were singing “Stepping Time” on my grandparents’ porch. It’s adorable.
I had a much different experience watching Mary Poppins this time. I didn’t like her. I felt like she was aloof, snobbish, and kind of mean. It was very easy for her to point out everyone’s faults, especially since her special tape measure claims she’s “practically perfect in every way.” She seemed to be especially hard on Bert. How could you be so mean to someone who likes you so much? As a child, I didn’t notice it.
According to my research, Mary Poppins is supposed to be mean. She is supposed to be a harsh character. P.L. Travers, the author of the book, ran out of the theater crying after she saw the movie. She didn’t think Mary Poppins was mean enough. She also didn’t like that the mother gave up being a suffragette to spend time with her family.
Something else came to mind when I watched this as an adult. Is Bert supposed to be homeless? He’s a one man band, a street performer/artist, and a chimney sweep. It doesn’t seem like he has a place to go at night. Poor Bert. He encourages and helps the families Mary Poppins looks after, and she doesn’t care for him. It’s a one sided relationship. She just wants to be friends.
Are there any movies you loved as a child that when watching now you see differently or don’t like at all?
Favorite Line: A thing of beauty is a joy forever
Favorite Character: Bert
Favorite Scene: When they have a party on the rooftops of London with the Chimney Sweeps