My Favorite Movies Set on Ocean Liners Part II

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.

Royal Wedding
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.


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Barbara Stanwyck in No Man of Her Own (1950)

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 →

Have You Seen These Movies? Classics I Have Yet to Watch!

Are there any classic movies that you know are well-loved by others or that have received many awards and honors, that you just can’t get yourself to watch? I’ll be the first to admit that I can be very discriminating when it comes to the types of movies I watch so my answer to that is definitely ‘yes’.

Although there are some exceptions, I usually don’t stray too far away from the typical drama, comedy, or film noir, or movies that tend to take place in “normal” every day settings. For instance, I’m not a big fan of science fiction or fantasy films, and *gasp* have never seen a Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter movie.

Here are just a few of the award winning and much loved classic movies that I have never been able to bring myself to watch, mostly due to the fact that the setting or the time period in which the movie takes place doesn’t appeal to me:

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

IMDb synopsis: “When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard’s absence, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army.”

Awards and honors: The movie won three Academy Awards including Best Original Score, Best Film Editing, and Best Art Direction and was also nominated for Best Picture. Continue reading →

The Killer is Loose (1956) on Netflix Instant

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.

Killer Is Loose, The from Warner Bros.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 →

The Pajama Game (1957)

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 →