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Showing posts from September, 2016

Rock Hudson in Pillow Talk (1959) and Lover Come Back (1961)

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As much as I wanted to be scholarly while writing this piece, I soon discovered that it was pretty hard to do, strictly on a personal level. You see, talking about Rock Hudson is something I love to do, but it can be difficult to leave his personal life out of the discussion. Because I adore Hudson, I'm apt to look at him as a tragic figure, a man who wasn't able to completely live as himself and died of a horrific disease. People often like to look at his films through the lens of his homosexuality, which is perfectly fine and a worthy thing to do, but it also seems to leave something out: Rock Hudson, the actor. Can we separate Rock from his closeted image and just examine him as an actor? I think I owe it to him to try. I can't believe that his sexuality is all that we have to define him.

To me, Hudson is irresistible, and nowhere is that more apparent than in his comedies, particularly those with best friend Doris Day. Known primarily for dramas such as Giant and his …

Jane Wyman falls for... Three Guys Named Mike (1951)

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Many years ago, I was a classic film novice. It feels like a lifetime ago that I didn't know who Cary Grant was or what Citizen Kane was about, yet I can still clearly remember the small steps I took that led to my passion for old movies. One such step was Three Guys Named Mike. My oldest sister had heard that I was slowly learning about the classics and so she brought me one of those cheap collections comprised of those poor films that have been doomed to the public domain. The quality wasn't the best and the selected films were hit-and-miss, but to me, it became an education because of two films that couldn't be more different: Of Human Bondage with Bette Davis and Leslie Howard and Three Guys Named Mike.

While OHB knocked me to the floor, TGNM charmed me to pieces. Its story about a young woman leaving Indiana (!) to become a stewardess and explore the world tickled me, and watching her navigate her journey with wit and grace while juggling the attentions of three suit…

Announcing the Vincente Minnelli Blogathon!

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A genius filmmaker, Vincente Minnelli created some of cinema's most amazing images, as well as some of its greatest works: Meet Me in St. Louis, An American in Paris, The Bad and the Beautiful, Father of the Bride, The Band Wagon, the list goes on! So, in honor of Mr. Minnelli, I wanted to host my very first blogathon, which will be a tribute to the director and will take place on Dec. 16-18, 2016. Why these dates? Well, I originally thought of doing this on Minnelli's 114th birthday in February, but I decided I couldn't wait that long because I'm an impatient child. December was a touch closer and works with my current schedule, plus December 18th happens to be the 58th anniversary of the premiere of Some Came Running, so there's my official excuse. On to the rules!
The rules: You can write about any of Minnelli's films, or really anything else related to him, such as his relationship with Judy Garland, his stage work before he came to Hollywood, his work on s…

The Loss of Gene Wilder.

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I've been starting and erasing every opening sentence I've had for this post for the past five minutes. Honestly, how do I begin? I've been in love with Gene Wilder ever since I first saw him in The Producers. He was hysterical (and wet and in pain), a tightly-contained man who could suddenly burst into the most outrageous and magnificent being. The moment he started clawing at Zero Mostel for his blue blanket, I knew Wilder was someone I could never forget.

Throughout high school, I was always bugging my friends about the latest classic I had seen; I could practically feel the stars in my eyes as I recounted Swing Time or Gentlemen Prefer Blondes or Funny Face. I can still remember how much my friend Maggie and I laughed as I gave her all the details on The Producers. She had never heard about it, but here we were, giggling until we cried over a movie only one of us had seen. You could say that demonstrates the power of Mel Brooks, the film's director and writer. But…

Clark Gable is Doris Day's... Teacher's Pet (1958)

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No, you don't need your eyes checked, you read my title right -- Clark Gable and Doris Day made a movie together, and you know what? It's really good. When I first heard of this film, I was thrilled. I mean, Doris and Gable worked together? But then a bit of dread set in. Will this be super terrible? I mean, isn't it a weird pairing? And then I saw the posters, which all have Clark staring wide-eyed at Mamie Van Doren's behind. Oh no, I thought. This is going to be one of those awful, cliché-ridden sex comedies. I'm so happy to say that I was wrong.
Teacher's Pet is a smart, witty, and surprisingly thought-provoking romantic comedy. Fay and Michael Kanin's screenplay is fantastic, showing real character development and depth, as well as looking at both sides of the coin fairly -- it's not often that I can watch a rom-com and understand both of the leads' point of view as clearly as I do with Teacher's Pet. If I may be so bold, I'm going to v…