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 →

Like Sands Through the Hourglass: Days of Our Lives & Classic Film

I think I’ve mentioned a few times on my blog that I lost both of my parents in recent years. I don’t mention it to elicit sympathy, it’s just that they were such a huge influence on my life and did so much to shape the person that I am today, that I can’t help but reminisce about them on occasion. I often get nostalgic for the past because I have so many great memories of spending time with them that I will always cherish.

One of the things I did a lot of growing up as an extremely shy kid without much of a social life was watch tv with my parents, especially my mom since my dad was often either at work or sleeping in preparation for his next work shift.

I can still picture the two of us sitting on the living room couch together watching one of our many favorite shows, which included (in no particular order and boy, am I dating myself!) Dallas, Falcon Crest, Matlock, Murder She Wrote, The Incredible Hulk, Knots Landing, Amen, Highway to Heaven, Remington Steele, Diagnosis Murder . . . Well, I could probably keep going, but let’s just leave it at that impressive list. :-)

Usually when the nostalgia really kicks in I’ll get really sad and wish I was back sitting on that couch watching tv with my mom. Sometimes I’ll actually go ahead and watch one of the shows to relive some of my memories, something I did recently with another show that I often watched with her when I was a teenager, the soap opera Days of Our Lives. I’ve long since stopped watching it regularly, but one time I will watch it is around Christmas time when they sometimes include flashbacks to older episodes. Continue reading →

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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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 →