Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Motion Picture Picks: for Winter

Considering the flurries and snowfalls we've been getting here, and also considering that we rarely get sizable amounts of snow and therefore don't have the correct equipment to get rid of a foot of snow, I decided it was a prime time to make a list of my motion picture picks for winter.  Also considering that I'll probably spend tomorrow having to stay inside, I'll probably be watching many of these throughout the day!! :-). Some of these are for you to watch curled up on your couch with a mug of hot chocolate, while others are to help you dream of summer.  (I put summer or winter under each film, so you'll know which choice it is.)  I tried to pick films that would hopefully be easy to get a hold of if you don't own them on DVD, perhaps through your library, Netflix, or something like that.  Hope you enjoy them!!


The Bishop's Wife
Starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven

In this film, David Niven is bishop of a small church, and his dream is to build a large church on a hill for the city.  Problem is, he's having trouble getting funding for it, and in his fixation on the church fundraising, he's ignoring his wife (Loretta Young). Pretty soon, heaven decides to send along an angel (Cary Grant) to save the two's marriage, and help the bishop with his church.  Except the bishop's wife starts getting awful fond of the angel...........
This was the first Cary Grant film I saw, and it is undeniably a classic, alas an under appreciated one.  Number one on this list!!

Neptune's Daughter
Starring Esther Williams, Ricardo Montalban, Red Skelton, Betty Garrett

Esther plays the championship swimmer turned bathing suit company associate in this movie.  Her little sister (Betty Garrett), is desperate for a boyfriend, and when the South American polo team comes to town, it seems like a dream opportunity for her to find one.  Red Skelton is the masseur for the stable, but when Betty comes over to find herself a polo player, she accidentally knocks him unconscious....and mistakes him for the captain of the polo team, José O'Rourke (Ricardo Montalban).  Jack Spratt (Skelton) is happy to have a girl himself, so when he eventually realize who Betty thinks he is, he doesn't correct her.  Meanwhile, Eve (Williams) is mad as a hornet at José for getting involved with her sister, and begrudgingly agrees to go out with him on a date once in her sister's place, as José has decided to use the situation to his advantage and get a date with Eve.  Will everything ever get straightened out? 

Christmas in Connecticut
Starring Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan

Stanwyck plays a columnist for a home and garden magazine, much like a Martha Stewart type.  She pretends to have a beautiful farm, a nice husband, and to be an excellent cook, but in actuality, none of those things are true.  When her editor tells her to host a war hero for the holidays, she's forced to figure out some way to produce the farm, cooking skills, and husband, or lose her job.

The Shop Around the Corner
Starring Jimmy Stewart, Margaret Sullavan, Frank Morgan

Jimmy Stewart is a store clerk in this fun movie, and Sullavan gets hired as a fellow clerk after she is able to sell an item neither Stewart's character nor anyone else had been able to sell.  The two cannot stand each other at work, but they also unknowingly are writing anonymous letters to each other.  Neither realizes that their pen pal sweetheart is the same clerk that annoys them to no end at the office.....

Holiday Inn
Starring Bing Crosby, Marjorie Reynolds, Fred Astaire, Virginia Dale

Fred and Bing play two song-and-dance men who do an act with a beautiful girl (Virginia Dale). Bing's character and Dale's are engaged, but in truth, she's in love with Fred instead!!  Bing finds out about it and leaves for his farm, quitting show business.  He decides ultimately to turn his farm into a unique inn only open for the holidays.  Things get complicated when Marjorie Reynolds shows up for a job as a singer, and over time, she and Bing fall in love.  But then Fred wants her as his new dance partner after Virginia runs out on him, and soon the two are both vying for her singing and dancing skills.....and her heart.

Daddy Long Legs
~ summer~
Starring Fred Astaire, Leslie Caron, Terry Moore, Thelma Ritter

Fres is a millionaire, and while traveling through Paris, he sees a beautiful orphan (Leslie Caron) during a stop at an orphanage.  He feels bad for her, and wants her to have a good life, so under the understanding with both the orphanage and his business partners that he will maintain no contact with her and will be anonymous, he pays for her college education in America, and buys her loads of clothes and things to take to said college.  But she doesn't understand why her anonymous sponsor won't answer her letters, and after he eventually reads them, he decides to visit the college during a family and friends event, and simply not tell her who he is.  But then they begin to fall in love, and she still doesn't know who he is....but don't worry, everything works out in the end!
I particularly like that this film doesn't ignore how old Fred was at the time (he was in his 60s), and just stick him with a 20 year old in a film.  Instead, they worked it into the storyline. :-)

Good News
Starring June Allyson, Peter Lawford, Patricia Marshall, Joan McCracken

Peter Lawford plays the big ladies' man on campus, a football hero.  And June is the girl working herself through college by working in the library.  Patricia Marshall (who plays a character who has the exact same name as herself) is the new student on campus, a transfer from finishing school, and she thinks herself the cat's pajamas (and so does every boy on the campus). But she rebuffs Peter's character, and he doesn't like that.  But he eventually falls in love with June instead......and then accidentally breaks a date with her when fickle Pat decides to go out with him after all.  Broken hearts all around, but perhaps Miss Fickle can be made to put her attentions elsewhere...

Starring Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, John Barrymore

Miss Colbert, one of my favorite actresses, plays a showgirl who bet everything in Monte Carlo, and then subsequently lost everything in that bet too.  She ends up back in Paris, and strikes a deal with a cab driver (Don Ameche) to drive her around to look for work, and if she gets a job, she'll pay him double the meter.  But he likes her, and although she rather likes him too, she's dead set on marrying a rich man!  So she sneaks into a fancy party, where a high society gentleman (John Barrymore) decides to employ her help in taking his wife's lover's attentions off his wife!  But the cab driver isn't going to give up so easily on finding her, and so what ensues is a long path of assumed identities (Claudette pretends to be a rich baroness), hilarious comedy, and romance.

So there's my list!!  I just realized that the good majority of them are 1940s films, but I hope you won't mind. :-)

Ta-ta, dahlings!!


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