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Showing posts from July, 2014

Forgotten Classic: The Glass Slipper (1955)

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It’s time for the second installment of my “Forgotten Classic” series. This time I’ll be talking about the absolutely enchanting The Glass Slipper (1955). Directed by Charles Walters, this film is an interesting take on the Cinderella fairytale, with Leslie Caron as Ella, Michael Wilding as Prince Charles, Keenan Wynn as Charles’s valet Kovin, Elsa Lanchester as Ella’s stepmother, and Estelle Winwood as the fairy godmother character, Mrs. Toquet.
We all know the basic Cinderella story, but I’ll provide a summary of the movie anyway. Ella is an orphan taken in by Widow Sonder and her two daughters, Serafina and Birdina. Ella is an angry and very lonely girl, or as the narrator puts it: “It was the old story of the rejected becoming all the more rejected because they behaved badly because they’d been rejected—one of those circles.” One day in her secret spot away from town, Ella meets Mrs. Toquet, an eccentric lady who is gossiped about because she lives by herself in the woods and likes…

Le 14 julliet

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Being the Francophile I am, every year on July 14th, I try to celebrate Bastille Day. I know I’m American, but I feel a special affinity with France, so it’s fun to make some crepes and pop in a few films that are somehow associated with the country. Usually, I’ll watch a musical. The most obvious choice? An American in Paris, bien sûr. What better way to celebrate the romantic France than to watch the joyous dancing and singing of Gene Kelly as he falls for Leslie Caron? Director Vincente Minnelli and Kelly were both Francophiles, and boy, does it show in this film.
Another great Minnelli-Caron musical to watch is Gigi. The main cast is almost entirely made up of French natives (Caron, Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan), and since it was actually filmed in their home country, you get to see some great locations. If you want a third Leslie Caron choice, you can do no wrong with the marvelously underrated Daddy Long Legs. Sure, a good chunk of it takes place in the U.S., but the story co…