Archive for the Category »1950′s Movies «
This post is an entry in the Universal Backlot Blogathon, hosted by Kristen at her blog Journeys in Classic Film. Please visit her site to read all the other great entries and let her know she’s doing a great job on hosting her very first blogathon!
“Black and white is more beautiful than color in my eyes.”
No, that’s not a quote from an actress, director, or fashion designer . . . it’s just a quote from me that I use as part of my Twitter bio. I have no idea if that’s corny or not, but it just came to me one day and I really liked it, so I’ve been using it ever since.
I’m referring to movies of course, and for me that quote applies probably about 95% of the time. I’ve come to love black and white movies so much that I just prefer them over color now.
But every once in a while I’ll watch an old movie in color that will be an exception to that rule. Such was the case recently when I watched All That Heaven Allows (1955), starring Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson.
When I first started watching the movie, I was struck by how beautiful and vivid the colors were. I was also happy when I realized it was set in a small, scenic New England town for the same reasons I discussed in my review of the movie The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry.
All That Heaven Allows was directed by Douglas Sirk, and if you’ve ever read any discussions about this movie or any of his so called “melodramas” such as Magnificent Obsession (1954), Written on the Wind (1956), or Imitation of Life (1959), you know there is much debate about the quality of those movies. Some think they are nothing but corny, overly sentimental soap operas while others believe they are great movies that provide important social commentary on life in the 1950′s. Continue reading »
In my last post, I highlighted some of my favorite 1930′s and 40′s movies that were set (at least partially) on ocean liners, one of my favorite movie settings. This post covers a few of my favorites from the 1950′s.
Year of Release: 1951
Directed by: Stanley Donen
Royal Wedding is a musical comedy starring Fred Astaire and Jane Powell as a brother and sister dance pair who take their Broadway show to London around the time of the 1947 royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. It features two of Fred’s more well known dance routines, one where he dances on the walls and ceiling and one where he dances with a coat rack, which much to the chagrin of classic film fans, was turned into a tacky commercial for Dirt Devil a few years back. This was my first time watching Jane Powell in a movie, and I really enjoyed her performance. Continue reading »
Comfort Food: food that is associated with a sense of home or contentment or that is prepared in a traditional style usually having a nostalgic or sentimental appeal.
I’m not sure what it is about Barbara Stanwyck movies, and this might sound a little odd, but whenever I watch one of them I’m reminded of comfort food in a way. For instance, if I’m in a restless mood and I’m not sure what kind of movie I feel like watching, it’s a pretty safe bet I’ll be content watching one of hers. When I finish one, I usually come away from it feeling nostalgic for the time period in which the movie was set. This is both due to my admiration for Barbara as an actress and the types of movies that she has starred in.
Whatever the reason, that was definitely the case with her movie No Man of Her Own (1950), which I watched last night. I was in one of those restless moods, and when I noticed that the movie was available through Netflix Instant I immediately gravitated to it hoping it would be a satisfying choice. I was not disappointed. I really enjoyed the movie and Barbara Stanwyck’s performance. Continue reading »
When I’m in the mood to watch a movie but don’t have much time or am too tired to sit through a long movie, one of the things I like to do is find a shorter movie to watch through Netflix Instant. You can find a lot of movies there, especially classic thrillers and film noir that are often considered ‘B’ movies, that have a run time between 60-90 minutes, which is perfect for the two situations I mentioned. Because a lot of those films star little known actors and actresses, it’s also a good way to get introduced to new talent without investing a lot of time if the movies are not the greatest quality.
The other day, I was searching on Netflix, and I came across a movie that I had never heard of before that starred one of my favorite actors, Joseph Cotten. I always love it when I find movies by my favorite stars that I didn’t know existed!
The movie was a thriller called The Killer is Loose (1956) about a deranged bank teller (Wendell Corey) accused of robbery who seeks revenge on the police officer (Joseph Cotten) who accidentally killed his wife. It also starred Rhonda Fleming and Alan Hale, Jr., better known to many as the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island. With a run time of only 73 minutes, watching it was easy to fit it into my busy day. Continue reading »
Yesterday I stumbled upon one of those “This Day in History” sites, and it caught my eye that it was the 57th anniversary of the day the song “Rock Around the Clock” was recorded by Bill Haley and the Comets. Normally an odd numbered anniversary of something isn’t going to be of much significance to me, but it stood out to me for several reasons. The first reason is that I absolutely love early rock and roll from the 1950′s. Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, and of course Bill Haley and the Comets are just a few of the names in a long list of artists that I enjoy listening to.
The song also makes me think of the tv show Happy Days, which was one of my favorites growing up. Bill Haley recorded a new version of the song in 1973, and it was used as the show’s theme song for the first two seasons, until just like Richie and Joanie’s brother Chuck, it disappeared from the show. Continue reading »
As a resident of the state of Wisconsin as well a huge football fan, I’ve certainly been no stranger to the world of union disputes lately. With the labor unrest in Madison and the battle between NFL players and owners both dominating the news, it was quite timely but totally coincidental that I decided to watch a movie whose plot basically revolves around a union dispute.
However, there was just a *slight* difference in the amount of money being fought over in the movie. By slight I mean billions of dollars (in the NFL) vs. 7 ½ cents an hour. Sounds a bit ridiculous I know, but the movie I’m referring to is a musical comedy from 1957 called The Pajama Game, which centers around a union in a pajama factory fighting for a 7 ½ cent raise. With $1/hr. being the minimum wage in 1957, 7 ½ cents probably did seem like a lot back then, but it’s funny how insignificant it seems now compared to the amounts currently being contested. Continue reading »