Archive for the Category »1940′s Movies «
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!
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 I just knew they would be boring, outdated, and corny and I wouldn’t like them.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 »
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 (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.
The Awful Truth (1937), The Philadelphia Story (1940) and His Girl Friday (1940) – There are very few actors that can cheer me up more than Cary Grant, and you can’t go wrong with any of these three hilarious comedies where he is paired with three different leading ladies who are very funny in their own right; Irene Dunne, Katharine Hepburn, and Rosalind Russell, respectively.
The Lady Eve (1941) – Okay, I’m stealing this description from my post about my favorite movies set on ocean liners, but this is why I love The Lady Eve and think you will too, especially if you could use something to brighten your day: “It has everything that I love most about classic films; witty dialogue, great performances by an impressive cast, superb direction by Preston Sturges, fabulous sets, and gorgeous fashions by designer Edith Head.
Music, Dancing, and . . . Feathers?
Footlight Parade (1933) – I probably could have chosen just about any movie featuring Busby Berkeley musical numbers, but I picked this one because it contains what I consider to be one of his most spectacular numbers, “By a Waterfall”. It’s also great to see another side to James Cagney as he shows off his often underrated song and dance skills.
Top Hat (1935) This is my personal favorite of the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers pairings The movie contains the delightful dance number “Cheek to Cheek” where Ginger Rogers wears a beautiful dress covered in ostrich feathers. You can read more about that famous scene in this look Behind the Camera on tcm.com.
Singin’ in the Rain (1952) – I haven’t found much dissension among classic movie fans in thinking that this is one of the best musicals of all time. I seriously could watch Gene Kelly dance all day, and the “Good Morning” and “Moses Supposes” dance numbers with Kelly dancing along side Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor make this movie an absolute joy to watch.
Family Oriented Movies
Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938) A nice, wholesome family comedy with one of the most endearing pairings from the classic movie era, Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. This is just one of several in the “Andy Hardy” series of movies, but I picked this particular movie for the appearance of a young Lana Turner.
Curly Top (1935) – I know she doesn’t appeal to everyone, but I think Shirley Temple was adorable and very talented especially when it came to her tap dancing ability. As with many of her movies, she once again plays an orphan, but her rendition of the popular song “Animal Crackers in My Soup” and the uplifting turn her life takes when she is adopted by a loving bachelor make this one of my favorites of her movies.
Holiday Cheer – Classic Holiday Movies
The Shop Around the Corner (1940) – While much of this movie is not necessarily “cheery”, it is a very charming romantic comedy with an ending that made me smile. The movie starred Jimmy Stewart and the actress he once loved in real life, Margaret Sullavan, and they display great chemistry throughout the movie.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) Natalie Wood’s delightful acting (she has such great facial expressions!), a sweet and charming performance by Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle, and nostalgic scenes shot in New York City on the actual day of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, make this the perfect movie to watch if the holiday season has got you feeling a bit down.
Do you have a favorite go-to movie(s) when you need cheering up? Let me know in the comments section below!
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 »
A 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 »
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 »
***A quick note before the start of my post: I actually started writing this a few days ago but didn’t get a chance to finish it. When I got online today, I discovered that it is the 16th anniversary of the death of legendary actor and dancer Gene Kelly, one of the subjects of this post. The timing is totally coincidental since I didn’t realize this day was coming up, but I just wanted to say a quick word to acknowledge the date, which I know is a very sad one for many of his fans, and dedicate this post to his memory.***
Gene Kelly in Cover Girl (1944)
Do you love Gene Kelly? I do! But it had been so long since I’d watched one of his movies that I had forgotten just how much I loved him and his dancing. When I watched a YouTube video of one of his dance numbers from the movie Cover Girl (1944), it reminded me that I really needed to get back into watching his movies. Since I thought the aforementioned dance routine, commonly referred to as his “Alter Ego” number, looked amazing and I had yet to see Cover Girl, I decided to watch it earlier this week.
On a side note, I found that video in a series of blog posts put together by Kelli, one of the contributors to a site devoted to Gene Kelly called Gene Kelly Fans. I’d encourage you to visit that site to learn more about him and also to read her six part series highlighting an interview she did for a documentary called “Dancing in the Rain: Gene Kelly” which celebrates Gene’s life and career. If you love Gene Kelly, you will really enjoy them. If you are not yet a fan, I think there is a good chance you will be after you get to know him better. Continue reading »