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Five Favorite Films of the '50s

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Happy National Classic Movie Day! To celebrate the classic film community's favorite day, I'm participating in the Five Favorite Films of the '50s Blogathon, hosted by the Classic Film and TV Cafe. You can read the other entries here.

I knew as soon as I signed up for this event that it'd be difficult -- I have a track record of getting stressed out over these kinds of lists -- but I surprised myself with how quickly I made my choices. I mean, I did keep changing my mind when it came to the last slot, but the other four seemed clear to me... although I must admit they aren't the most original selections in the world. I also made a rule for myself that I wouldn't repeat directors or actors so my choices would be a bit more diverse.

Sabrina (1954)
My second favorite film of all time, Billy Wilder's dreamy modern fairy tale is the perfect antidote for whatever ails you. Rendered in lush black and white, Sabrina sweeps me off my feet on every viewing. The dialo…

Announcing the Janet Leigh Blogathon!

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Discovered at age 18 by Norma Shearer, Jeanette Morrison made her cinematic debut in 1947 in the Civil War drama The Romance of Rosy Ridge. Rechristened Janet Leigh by her dear friend and Rosy Ridge co-star Van Johnson, the actress soon became a star. With her marriage to Tony Curtis and such iconic work as Psycho, The Manchurian Candidate, and Bye Bye Birdie, Leigh created an incredible legacy.

She has also become one of my absolute favorite actresses, a dazzling woman who was much more than just Marion Crane or the mother of Jamie Lee Curtis. When it occurred to me that I hadn't seen a blogathon dedicated to her, I knew I had to fix that -- and just in time for her July 6th birthday!

The rules are simple: talk about Janet! You can discuss her films, her TV appearances, her books, or her personal life (remember to be kind, please!). All I ask is that there are no duplicates. I would love for this to be as diverse a celebration as possible. Just leave me a comment, select a banne…

Gary Cooper and Audrey Hepburn find... Love in the Afternoon (1957)

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One of my favorite Gary Cooper films, maybe even my absolute favorite, is Love in the Afternoon. It even ranks high in Audrey Hepburn and Billy Wilder's filmographies for me. It's a beautiful confection of a film -- funny, interesting, wonderfully photographed, and supremely romantic. And before anyone mentions it, yes, there is an age difference between the leading man and lady, but no, I will not be commiserating over it. I detest reducing good performances to that kind of thing, because that's not what I care about when watching something as lovely as Love in the Afternoon. On to the movie!
Private eye Claude Chavasse (Maurice Chevalier) loves his job, which is clear from the moment we meet him as he snaps photos of an obviously illicit affair going on in a hotel across the street. We see a man and a veiled woman kiss each other goodbye, helping Chavasse's case all the more. Satisfied with what he got, he heads home and greets his completely charming daughter, Aria…