Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday Movies

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends - the heat was got brutal yesterday. We hung out by the pool after we got home with a bunch of the neighbors for a few hours because like most homes here in SF we do not have air-conditioning. It really isn't worth it for the few days of heat we have. Last night with no breeze the heat sort of held on and the air was very still - if it weren't for the fans we had going it would have been impossible to sleep. Today the breeze is to kick back up and the temps drop down into the low 70's. When we were coming into work this morning you could already feel the cool back in the air and the wind was starting to blow back in - so I guess our natural "air-conditioning " was turned back on.

There are four flicks I wanted to mention - the first are kind of a pair - starting off with "Susan Slade" - 1961 - starring Troy Donahue, Connie Stevens, Dorothy McGuire and Lloyd Nolan. A beautifully shot film. The story revolves around Stevens, a very sheltered girl who in the throws of a ship board romance gives into a world wise playboy whom she thinks "loves" her. This premarital tryst produces a child that the world thinks is her little brother being raised by her mother. The movie wraps up with some dramatic scenes at the end. Although handled well, I felt the movie was a bit melodramatic and campy, but of its time. The second film "Parrish" - 1961 - starring Troy Donahue, Claudette Colbert, Karl Malden, Dean Jagger and Connie Stevens - made and released the same year as "Susan Slade" - it is also a soap opera type film. Set in the Connecticut Valley on tobacco farms (who knew they grew tobacco in Connecticut) it is the struggle between the haves and the have nots -with lots of rich folks being bad and the poor folks being good - predictable at times, but some nice scenes and good acting. For the Troy Donahue fans or the fans of early 60's film these are nice films to see.

The next film is "Zero Hour" - 1957 - starring Dana Andrews, Linda Darnell and Sterling Hayden. This is the film that was spoofed in the film "Airplane" - 1980. Almost scene for scene and many of the same lines are used in both films. In "Zero Hour" the same plot exists - a flyer from the WWII made a mistake in battle and has not flown for 10 years. Now on a plane that had a dinner service choice of both lamb and tainted "fish" that takes out the pilot and the co-pilot - he has to step up to the plate and fly the plane in some crazy bad weather. If you see this film you should certainly watch "Airplane" soon after and see how funny the remake/spoof really is.

The last film for today is "Lady Killer" - 1933 - starring James Cagney, Mae Clarke and Margaret Lindsey. The story of an usher - Cagney - who is fired from the Movie House for his bad habits and customer complaints - he is out of work and falls in with a gang of criminals. They inadvertently kill a maid during a robbery and have to get out of town fast. The gang scatters with Cagney and the maul played by Mae Clarke ending up in Hollywood. There he is arrested for being in the gang. The girlfriend get scared and disappears, with his bank roll. He is eventually released, but with no resources and told to get a job or get out of town. While eating a bowl of soup he is "discovered" by a movie person looking for new faces - this ends him up in pictures -starting off with bit parts that eventually leads to becoming a star. With all the press surrounding a movie star this attracts his old gang - which is bad news for Cagney as he has gone straight and doesn't need a bunch of criminals around. There is a great chase scene at the end and some pretty funny scenes and moments - this is billed a s a comedy and has some really funny parts. The extras on the DVD are good also with a couple of super cartoons!!

There you go sports fans - thanks for stopping by.

Take care,
edgar

2 comments:

Kath K said...

Please, please send some cool down to the OC. This isn't the worst we've ever experienced by a long shot, but I think I'm growing less tolerant of heat as I age ;-)

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