Archive for the Category »1940′s Movies «

The Great Villain Blogathon – Orson Welles as Harry Lime

Spoilers Ahead: Although I don’t go very deep into the plot of the movie The Third Man (1949), some of my comments may reveal key plot twists and bits of dialogue that could detract from your enjoyment of the movie if you have yet to see it.

This post is part of the Great Villian Blogathon hosted by Ruth of Silver ScreeningsKaren of Shadows & Satin, and Kristina of Speakeasy. Please visit any of those wonderful sites to read more posts about great movie villains.

Sometimes an actor or actress will appear in a movie for just a short amount of time but will still make an enormous impact that is felt for a long time afterward. There may be no better example of this than the appearance of Orson Welles in The Third Man (1949).

Orson Welles as Harry Lime in The Third Man

Although he doesn’t appear until a little over an hour into the film and only appears in a few key scenes, his character of Harry Lime is considered by many to be one of the most fascinating and mysterious movie villains of all time. And I know I’m not alone in thinking his first appearance in the film was one of the most “electrifying” in movie history.

One look at the expression on his face may be all you need to see to understand just how devious yet charismatic Harry Lime was. In his review of the movie, Roger Ebert described the entrance this way, “The sequence is unforgettable: the meow of the cat in the doorway, the big shoes, the defiant challenge by Holly, the light in the window, and then the shot, pushing in, on Lime’s face, enigmatic and teasing, as if two college chums had been caught playing a naughty prank.” Continue reading »

CMBA Blogathon: Film Passion 101: The Philadelphia Story

FilmPassionBlogathon2

This post is part of the Film Passion 101 Blogathon, hosted by the Classic Movie Blog Association. Be sure to head over there and read all the other great posts!

I have a bad habit of saying I don’t like things when I haven’t even given them a try. I’m sure that habit has caused me to miss out on some great things in life, and I really should learn to break it. Well, except maybe when it comes to beets it would have been wiser to stick to the stubborn “I don’t like them even though I’ve never tried them” declaration that I made for so long. Beets really are gross! :-)

_Theater for Twitter

On a serious note, that habit did almost cause me to miss out on something that I now love dearly and that has had a profound impact on my life, watching classic or “old” movies. For the longest time I insisted that I didn’t like old black and white movies when I had never even tried watching one. I just knew they would be boring, outdated, and corny and I wouldn’t like them. There wasn’t much anyone was going to say or do to get me to watch them. Or so I thought!

Unlike many of the other participants in this blogathon, I wasn’t exposed to old movies very much when I was growing up. My dad watched things like Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy (thanks for the reminder, Ruth!), and maybe a western here and there, and I have vague memories of my mom watching Gone With the Wind at some point, but that’s about it. Of course I did watch The Wizard of Oz quite a few times as a kid, but I honestly thought at the time that it was a current movie, not an old classic. Continue reading »

The Best Oldies to Watch When You Need Cheering Up

Sunshine

Are there any movies you like to watch when you’re feeling happy, sad, bored, etc.? For me, it’s rarely my emotions that determine the movie I watch, although sometimes the time of year or even the weather can play a part. I mean, who doesn’t love to watch a good mystery when it’s storming outside?! Well, I do anyway! :-)

But when Frances stopped by my Facebook page and suggested I create a list of the best oldies to watch when you need cheering up, I thought it was a great idea. Even though I don’t usually pick a movie for that reason, I figured it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a few titles handy just in case I’m ever in need of some good cheer myself.

So after going through the list of all the classic movies that I have seen so far, I came up with the following movies that I think would put a smile on just about anyone’s face. (To learn more about each movie, click on the title which will bring you to its summary page on IMBd.com)

Laughter is the Best Medicine – Classic Comedies

It Happened One Night Hitchhiking Scene

It Happened One Night (1934) One of the first classic movies I ever watched, the hitchhiking scene with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert showed me early on that old movies can be just as laugh out loud funny as current movies. I never would have believed that before I discovered my love for classic film.

The Thin Man (1934) and the entire “Thin Man” series. This movie is just so much fun. I love the mix of comedy and mystery, and the wonderful chemistry between its two stars William Powell and Myrna Loy make them one of classic film’s greatest on-screen couples. Continue reading »

Barbara Stanwyck Blogathon: Ball of Fire (1941)

Barbara Stanwyck in The Lady Eve

This post is my contribution to the Barbara Stanwyck blogathon hosted by Aubyn at The Girl With the White Parasol.

Ask a classic movie fan, “What was your favorite year or the best year for movies?” and I’m guessing that more often than not you’d hear “1939” as the answer. At least that seems to be the case based on numerous discussions I’ve heard over the years. While there were definitely some great movies made that year, there is a year that stands out to me even more, 1941.

I’m not sure if I can definitively call it my favorite, but I’ve watched more movies from that year than any other in the classic era, and a few of my all time favorites were made that year including Sullivan’s Travels and The Lady Eve, the latter starring the actress being honored in this blogathon, Barbara Stanwyck.

Add to those the acclaimed classics Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon, and another Barbara Stanwyck great, Meet John Doe, and I’d say it was one heck of a year for movies. And now I have a new favorite to add to that list, Ball of Fire, a movie that like Meet John Doe, starred Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper. Continue reading »

Fabulous Films of the 1940s Blogathon: The Heiress (1949)

TheHeiressA Fabulous Films of the 1940s Blogathon and the Academy Awards ceremony coming up in a just a few short days gave me the motivation to watch a movie I had been eager to watch for a few months now, The Heiress.

As I mentioned in my post about my favorite movie podcasts, I love the “A Year at the Oscars” series hosted by Jason O’Brien on his radio show, Oscar, Oscar where in each show covering a separate year of the Academy Awards, he gives an in depth analysis of the year’s nominees and winners.

The most recent episode from November covered the year 1949, when All the King’s Men won the award for Best Picture. Although he had some positive things to say about that movie, two movies that he thought were more deserving were The Bicycle Thief and The Heiress.

As he was praising The Heiress for its many great qualities, I couldn’t remember if I had seen it before but had a vague recollection that I had many years ago . . . and didn’t like it. So I consulted my trusty spreadsheet where I keep track of whether or not I like the movies I watch, and sure enough, right next to the movie’s title were the words “didn’t like.” Continue reading »

Double Indemnity: My First Classic Movie on the Big Screen

As silly as it may sound now, when I first became a classic movie fan many years ago, I had a dream of one day owning a theater that showed nothing but old movies. Not understanding at the time what a difficult if not impossible undertaking that would be, I actually thought that dream would come true.

In the excitement of planning the kind of movies I’d show at my theater, I started to keep a list of all the movies that I watched and put them in either a “show in theater” or “don’t show in theater” column based on whether or not I liked them or thought they would draw a crowd. Although I know now that I’ll never be using it, I still keep that list today to remind myself of those early days when I thought anything was possible. :-) Continue reading »