Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Teacher's Pet (1958)

{All Teacher's Pet graphics in this post were made by me. Not photos, only graphics. Feel free to use them, but I'd be grateful for a credit!}

I have recently been having a ball making GIFs on a this graphic maker site, and when I watched Teacher's Pet I had a complete field day making GIFs from it. As you can see, Clark Gable's double takes just had to be immortalized in GIF form. Forever. Full stop. {Ignore the man walking past who looks like he has been abducted by aliens, I am not an experience graphics maker.}

Gif Created on Make A Gif

So, yes - I just love this film! My goodness, everything about it is just beyond amazing. And I just watched It Happened One Night so I am still in a "Dear Mr. Gable" phase. But then I looked on wikipedia and found out he was 57 when he made this movie and Doris Day was in her thirties... But who cares. HE IS CLARK GABLE!!!

The film is about this tough, wisecracking newspaper editor, James Ganon (sound familiar? :-D) who hates education. He never even got to high school, but he takes it in his stride and promotes experience against education. One day, a journalism teacher writes him a letter requesting him to talk to her class. Needless to say he is furious and writes her a letter that includes phrases like, "When you are the editor of a major New York paper the job leaves you little time for such pleasantries as the canning of crab-apples, tours around Rockerfeller Centre and visits to journalism classes." But when he visits the class to apologise under the order of his superiors he sees the teacher, Erica Stone (or in other words, Doris Day).
Gif Created on Make A Gif

He pretends to be a wallpaper salesman and after submitting one great story in class (he should be writing them, he is a professional journalist!) he gets other bright sparks at his paper to write assignments for him.

Gif Created on Make A Gif

"He's a phsycologist!"

He realizes that the affections of Erica Stone are being taken by psychologist, Hugo Pine (Gig Young) so he tries to make her jealous by knowing more than him. They meet at a nightclub where Ganon's girlfriend is singing. Ganon and Hugo Pine end up spiking each other's drinks until finally Hugo collapses. I won't tell you any more for fear of ruining the end.

I can't believe this is such a little known film! It is so hilarious and clever. The script was written by director, Garson Kanin's brother and his wife, Micheal and Kay Kanin. It won the Academy Award it so rightfully deserved. You all know how I feel about Clark Gable and Doris Day, but the performance that always really stands out for me is Gig Young's performance as Hugo Pine.

Not many people know all that much about Gig Young, and I've only seen him in this and Young At Heart. I know he was married to Bewitched (which is the best TV show ever, do not try and deny it) star Elizabeth Montgomery. His comic timing is sheer genius. The scene in the club where he starts playing the bongo is one of the funniest things I've seen in my life.

Gif Created on Make A Gif

The other star performance is from Mamie Van Doren, the Marilyn Monroe wannabe. She turns a relatively small role as Clark Gable's girlfriend into one of the key parts of the scene.

I have practically grown up with this film, as it's a favourite of my parents.

Recently in my English class we have been doing gothic novels and watching lots of movies. The last one we watched was Kenneth Braghnah's Frankenstein *shudder*. What happened to real gothic films! Wuthering Heights (1939), Rebecca (1940), Jane Eyre (1944) and Great Expectations (1946)? Or just plain reading a book! The best ones we've seen so far though, have been an animation of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell Tale Heart" narrated by the spectacular James Mason:

And today we saw the beginning of The House On Haunted Hill (1959). Vincent Price officially freaks me out. It really depressed me that when the teacher put on the 1931, Boris Karloff + Basil Rathbone version of Frankenstein children in my class moaned and cried "But it's in black and white!" :-( One girl even hid under the table and I asked her what she was doing and she said "It's in black and white. I won't watch it." The teacher also thought it was made in the 50s... A little weird as they are all decked out in thirties outfits and the film quality really looks old... Rant over. Go watch this film now!

P.S. I'm so grateful to all the bloggers who are tagging me from their Stylish Blog Award posts! At the moment I have counted three tags, and the last one I read was from Meredith at Forever Classics, so there is your link, Meredith! You have a great blog :-)

Monday, 28 March 2011

Photo Of The Day

Frank Sinatra and fan club ;-D 

P.S. I heard that I was also awarded the stylish blogger award by The Lady Eve... Sorry I didn't see that! So I'll link back to you too :)

Friday, 25 March 2011

My VERY FIRST Blogger Award

I was delighted to see that the awesomely funny Sophie of Waitin' On A Sunny Day awarded me with the Stylish Blogger Award! Thank you so much, your blog is unbelievably stylish and fantasmagorical and also you are a fellow young British classic movie blogger (who are actually seriously hard to find!) so if I could I would award this award to you too, except it seems somehow pointless as you just gave it to me. So according to the rules I have to link back to the blogger who gave me the award... check! And then I have to tell y'all seven supposedly un-classic-movie-related facts about myself. Here goes...

1.  I play four instruments not including singing. I have played the piano since I was six and then expanded to learning the flute too. I have recently taught myself the ukulele and the guitar. I love them all. One of my favourite things to do is play my guitar and sing along to my favourite tunes :).
2. I go single handed dinghy sailing. This is also known as grabbing a plastic tub with a sail attached, pushing it into the water and then jumping in and hoping for the best. No - in fact there is quite a lot of knowledge needed. And it is a definite that you will end up swimming more than once.
3. Ever since I played one of the leads in my school production when I was 10 I have been hooked on acting. My mum and her entire family are show biz peoples and I have inevitably been bitten by the bug. Whether I end up in that profession or not, I adore it.
4. I live in a wee country village surrounded by cottages with thatched roofs and fields. Therefore I go to a not-quite-so-little secondary school in the neighboring village and have a border collie named Snoopy :D.
5. When I was little I wanted to be an intrepid explorer. I used to watch this TV show about mice and there was this little mouse who went on about climbing mountains and discovering countries and called himself "A real intrepid explorer", and it sounded so cool (except when he got stuck up a mountain with this old mouse because he thought he was an experienced explorer). My career path has changed since but it was fantasmagorical while the whole explorer thing lasted.
6. I am running Race for Life in aid of Cancer Research this summer. It's a big five kilometer (I think) jog/run but it's worth it and I'm doing it with my wee-country-village amigo so that should be fun!
7. I was so in love with The Sound Of Music at four that I got my beyond amazing family friend who happens to be a set/costume designer and classic movie lover to make me a pair of curtain overalls. No joke. They still hang in my lil' sister's (who is seriously snazzy) wardrobe.

So with that done I have to give the award to seven other stylish bloggers. Seven is obviously the number of the stylishness. Oh yes. I love all you bloggers out there, but these are just ones I have perhaps not mentioned before. I realize some may already have been awarded this, but they will just have to cope with being complimented again :).

  1. Super creative and nice Libby @ Catching The Stars
  2. The person who agrees with me about Breakfast At Tiffany's and therefore is an awesome blogger (she is also really good at movie reviews) who is called Audrey @ Fedoras And High Heels
  3. I think she has already been awarded a few times but she has to be awarded again, the super fashionable Kate @ Scathingly Brilliant. Kate, your necessary and unnecessary mustache posts will live forever.
  4. The most crazy and hilarious blogger I read, Millie @ ClassicForever
  5. One of the best reviewers I read, Sarah @ And... Scene!
  6. I will also award this to JavaBeanRush who is nameless, DUN DUN DUUUUN!!!!! But is a really cool blogger @ Java's Journey
  7. And finally, I give the award to new blogger and friend Luna @ Humming Birds, Honeysuckle and Hearts.
So there. Thank you Stylish Blogger Award people! Since this has been a pretty un-classic movie related post: here is another piece of news. You may have taken on board that I have been trying to decide my extra GCSE (school exams when you are 16 for you non UK readers) options and I have finally handed in the slip. Unless I hear otherwise, I will be taking (outside core maths + statistics and english literature + language): Music, Drama, Spanish, History, Latin and triple science which includes biology, chemistry and physics. Please read those blogs I listed, they were listed for a reason!


Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Goodbye Elizabeth Taylor

Dame Elizabeth Taylor, 1932-2011
I was so upset to hear that one of my all time favourite actresses passed away this morning. She was an amazing actress and an amazingly generous person, too. Even after her movie career dried up, she started a charity in aid of HIV. It was so sad to think that only a short while ago I wrote a "Happy 79th Birthday" post about her. If you want to read some more about her you can read my other posts about  her here, here and here.
Elizabeth Taylor in a car with Walter Pidgeon, Greer Garson and someone else who I don't recognise.
For ages she was known as the most beautiful woman in Hollywood


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Some Like It Hot (1959)

Ok, so the other day I actually taught myself the ukulele. I had been meaning to for ages, and now that I can play pretty much all necessary chords on my acoustic guitar I decided it was time to teach myself the Ukulele as well. After I learned on my sister's little red soprano ukulele my Mum got me a nice wooden concert ukulele (slightly lower than a soprano) and I named it Sugar after Marilyn Monroe's character in Some Like It Hot. I can now proudly quote her and say 'I play the ukulele and I sing too!". Which leads me on to another thing, blogging. I haven't posted in ages (apart from the Japan Blogathon), and this has been partly due to my many instrument playing. I have had a busy schedule this past few weeks, as I had my grade three flute exam yesterday. That may not seem a lot, but when you are choosing your GSCE options  + keeping up grade 6 piano + grade 5 music theory + singing with guitar accompaniment + going to drama club + homework the work piles up. So yeah. That's my excuse. Here's the review of Some Like It Hot.

Some Like It Hot, Directed and co-written by Billy Wilder

Pair of struggling musicians Joe and Jerry are working happily in an illegal bar in Chicago while prohibition was on. One night they are found out by the police. They make a run for it, only just escaping. Now broke and homeless, they go to their agency asking if there are any jobs available. They hear about a job in Florida in a band but realize they have been tricked by Joe's ex girlfriend and the job is for girls. They manage to pick up a spot of work in another city, much to their joy. While they are filling the car with petrol they witness the Valentines Day massacre of 1929 led by 'Spats' Colombo. Again, they make a run for it, hoping not to be spotted by the gangsters. They dress as girls and take the job in Florida.
When they get on the train with the other girls they both fall for the ukulele player/singer, Sugar. Once in Florida, both Jerry and Joe (now renamed Daphne and Josephine respectively) get up to crazy things. Jerry is pursued by old millionaire Osgood Feilding III who is constantly ending sentences with "ZOWIE!!" Joe dresses as a millionaire with a Cary Grant accent to get Sugar. Both ending in hilarious situations.
This is seriously one of the best films ever made. It is so hilarious I laugh out loud whenever I see it. my family received a great picture book with interviews and the whole script in it from family friends for Christmas, so maybe some posts about that later!

Billy Wilder is genius. Both Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are fantastic as the two cross-dressing musicians. Marilyn Monroe is also amazing. The script is just so hilariously funny. Every line is like a quote. I just adore this film! Again, if you haven't seen it, GO WATCH IT NOW!!!!


Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Japanese Cinema Blogathon: Ponyo (2008)

I was told about this blogathon held by Cinema Fanatic and Japan Cinema by The Lady Eve this morning and I had to participate. As you know, there have been tragic natural disasters in Japan over the past few days. First an earthquake measuring an astounding 8.9 on the Richter scale hit the island, followed only hours later by a huge tsunami. Since then, nuclear power plants have been blowing up left, right and center. They really need help over there right now, so the point of this blogathon is to get people to donate. If you would like to make a donation, you can make one here.

Ponyo (Studio Ghibli, directed by Hayao Miyazaki)

I have to make confession, I have never watched a Japanese film that wasn't a Studio Ghibli animation dubbed into English before. I have adored them since forever and it makes me really depressed to see that all animations being churned out by Walt Disney are now "animated" films made to look like "real things" rather than illustrations - no matter how great they are. Ok, so this isn't a classic film, but it is just so cute!

The plot is basically a re-telling of The Little Mermaid with goldfish that have faces. Little fish Ponyo is the daughter of human-fish, Fujimoto and Granmammare, a huge sea god.
When on an outing on her father's submarine she decides she wants to see more of the world, so she jumps on a jellyfish's back and floats to the surface (as you do). She is rescued by young boy, Soske,  and he promises to take care of her. 
But Ponyo's father makes some giant blue fish who come and take her away. Soske is heartbroken, and when his sailor father tells his mother he can't make it home from his current sea voyage, his mother is furious {cue cute scene with Morse coding with big lights from shore to the sea}. Meanwhile, Ponyo breaks out of her bubble and uses her magic to turn into a human. She could do this because she licked some human blood from Soske's cut finger. She makes a tidal wave/tsunami to find Soske. The world is mixed up and the senior center where Soske's mother works is very wet. Ponyo finds Soske and his family and they wake up to find a whole load of prehistoric fish swimming outside their house in the sea that has risen to the height of their cliff :O.

Ponyo saved everyone from a tsunami in this movie. Japan really needs a Ponyo at the moment.

I won't say anymore, but this film is so sweet! All the actors have dubbed it so well. Especially the part of Ponyo's mother, voiced by Cate Blanchett. I really like Cate Blanchett, and she does a bit of an Ingrid Bergman accent here. Double awesome!

I was apprehensive about the voicing of the two main roles. Both are the younger siblings of teen senations. Ponyo is voiced by Noah Cyrus, sister of Miley Cyrus, and Soske is played by Frankie Jonas, younger brother of the Jonas Brothers. But... They did really well! Noah Cyrus' high pitched squeels are perfect for Ponyo and she sounds so sweet when Soske's mother asks her what her father is like and she says "He HATES humans! HE KEEPS ME IN A BUBBLE!!! So I swam away from home." Bearing in mind she is a human girl at this point.

It really is a beautiful animation. The undersea world is just a-m-a-z-i-n-g. This is just an awesome film if you haven't seen it already, go watch it!


Sunday, 6 March 2011

What's The Use If You Can't Take It With You?

I watched You Can't Take It With You (1938) yesterday and I saw it was James Stewart, Jean Arthur and Lionel Barrymore I was so exited! I also was really looking forward to another Frank Capra movie after the last one I watched, Mr. Deeds Goes To Town, disappointed me a little. This one was far from a disappointment.  By the way, I did have one comment after I asked about your preference of review layout, and they said they preferred it this way. Anyhow, here's the review.

You Can't Take It With You

The Sycamore/Vanderhof household is a family of eccentrics who do what they like to do and are loved by all the people in their neighborhood. The only nearly normal person in the family is one of the two daughters, Alice. She is a stenographer and she falls in love with her boss, Tony Kirby. They want to get married but Tony's parents are concerned about the class difference. Little do any of them know, that Tony's father is trying to make Grandpa Vanderhof sell their precious house to make a factory. Everyone in Alice's family is ecstatic about the proposed marriage, and Tony and Alice have a great evening out together (which has such a funny scene in it).

But when Tony brings over his family to Alice's house on the wrong day deliberately, Alice is furious that she couldn't at least try to make a good impression.
On top of everything, they get arrested by the police as part of a plan to scare them away from their house. While they are all (including Mr. and Mrs. Kirby) in a cell, Mr. Kirby and Grandpa Vanderhof discover their connection when Kirby's real estate agent visits the cell, and Grandpa gives Kirby a real lecture on life values.

The Vanderhof/Sycamores are fined $100 but all of the many the friends who have come to support them in court pay it off for them in small change (a bit like It's A Wonderful Life). Alice flees the town after she breaks up with Tony in the courtroom while being quoted by newspapers. In the end though, they all sort it out and eat dinner together as a double-family. Yay!
It's true this film follows the 1940s Frank Capra pattern, the good will always win and all that jazz, and I just adore it. It has really good messages, especially since we are in the economical situation we are. Everyone in this film is good, but it's really Lionel Barrymore that steals the show. He's just amazing and his prayer scenes before they all eat are great. He and Jean Arthur have some great scenes together, and they work very well together. James Stewart and Jean Arthur are always good together, and Frank Capra directed them, and the whole film superbly. He really is a great director. Look out for a 15 year-old, dancing Ann Miller!