I’m a sucker for a John Payne movie. Don’t place the name? You might remember him as the lawyer from Miracle on 34th Street. But this isn’t that movie. Put some dark-rimmed glasses on him and he’s swoon-worthy.
Like I said, though, this review isn’t about that movie. This one is about Week-End in Havana. It’s a fun, yet romantic picture featuring Mr. Payne, Alice Faye, Cesar Romero and Carmen Miranda. Faye heads to Havana and her ship runs aground. Unfortunately, Payne, who works for the shipping company, is sent to Havana to obtain waivers from the passengers so they can have another trip another time. Faye wants hers now. No waiver. Payne feigns interest in her and escorts her around the island. Romero, thinking she’s got money, tries to get involved and win money to help his career as a gambler and the one of his singing star wife, played by Miranda.
The antics are amusing…watching Romero try to run from the fiery Miranda, Payne trying not to fall for Faye and the girlfriend who isn’t sure everything is on the level, even though it is. The girlfriend who tries to interfere. Gotta have one of those characters. It’s a light movie and just plain fun.
If you’re looking for an afternoon viewing on a chilly day, then this one might be the one for you. The scenery is lush, the gowns exquisite and the singing numbers are fun. Find it and watch this flick today.
Depressing, but worth the watch. I’d never seen Goodbye Mr. Chips. I kept thinking, this is an award-winning movie. I should catch it. Did I? Not until the other day. I wish I hadn’t waited.
This movie ticked a lot of boxes for me. There’s adventure, a bumbling, but lovable hero, romance, and a few tears. Mr. Chipping, aka Mr. Chips just wants to teach at an all boys school. How he goes through is life and his trials is interesting. By the end of the movie, I felt like I knew the character well.
I rooted for him. Hoped he’d get what he wanted, then cried more than once at the end. Greer Garson plays a good foil for him in his love interest. I almost wished she were on the screen longer. Their interplay was great.
I wish it hadn’t been quite such a depressing film. Gracious. What that poor man went through during his time as a teacher and master. I felt for him, though, which was the point. I wanted to see him succeed. It’s a long movie for the time, but worth the watch. If you’re in the mood for a movie that will tug at the heartstrings, then this might be the one.
I’ve been on a black and white movie binge for a while and the first one I watched happened to be Now, Voyager. I’ve wanted to catch this one for a while. I’m not sure why I hadn’t watched it before. I love a good Bette Davis movie and this one wasn’t bad.
I loved how Davis, as Charlotte, bloomed through the story. The way she grew and changed was great. Then there’s the romance that can’t be between Davis and Paul Henreid. I liked him in Casablanca, but here, Henreid shines. He’s a tortured man and trying to find happiness. Some of the reasons for his unhappiness are of his own making, but I could overlook it.
A few things I couldn’t overlook were how dated this movie truly was. Unfortunately, I initially watched it through the lens of current times. Just because Charlotte is brow-beaten doesn’t mean she should have to go to a sanitarium, but she does. She doesn’t get along with her mother–but who could! Mother was as coarse as they come. It’s no wonder Charlotte felt belittled. Then there was the scene with Tina. There’s no way someone who wasn’t the child’s biological relative would be able to not only take her out of the sanitarium for a camping trip without supervision, but to keep her out on said trip. No way they’d allow the pair, a motherly woman and a young teen to pair up the way they did or to allow the teen to move in with the woman. Without the parent’s approval? Oy. It bothered me. And how the father just went with it.
I liked the movie, but I had some serious issues with the emotional affair and the child situation.
Looked at through a more innocent lens, this movie is brilliant acting on the part of Davis. She shined in her role and the way she came out of her shell was great. Henreid played a handsome hero figure and the romance satisfied, despite it being doomed.
If you’re in the mood for a movie with an ending you won’t see coming, then this might be the one for you.
This week, I’m a little late with the post, but it’s because I’ve been watching a movie I really love. The more I’ve watched this flick, the more I identify with the characters.
This week, I’m focusing on The DUFF. I wasn’t sure I’d like this movie because it seemed like yet another teen flick. What would make this one resonate with me? It’s about teens and I’m not a teen any longer.
It’s the pecking order thing and knowing your place. Bianca, the main character, has been labeled a Designated Ugly Fat Friend by her perceived as better looking friends. It’s all about perception. She thinks she’s not as good as the others, so she tries to find out why. Then there’s the social pecking order. The people who believe life in high school is only the start of how important they will be for the rest of their lives. This is a microcosm of high school. We want to find our places and how we fit into the world. Bianca chooses to try to improve herself, but all she really needs to do is be herself. High school only lasts for four years. Life goes beyond that.
I was that kid in high school that people knew, but didn’t pay much attention to. I sort of blended in until they needed something. Oh, and I was labeled. Not the DUFF, but a brown-noser. Yeah, how nice was that? I did my thing and didn’t complain, yet I was seen as someone who kissed up to the teachers. It took me a little longer than Bianca to realize I wasn’t just that one thing. So I was the weird kid? So I wasn’t like everyone else? Didn’t mean I didn’t want to be a little bit like them. Didn’t mean I didn’t want to be accepted. I’m older now and am comfortable in my own skin. The DUFF proves you should be yourself. It might not be the easiest thing to do, but it’s worthwhile. You’re being true to you.
There aren’t too many movies that make me squirm. Secretary was one of those movies. I can’t say I squirmed because of the sexual content. Honestly, that didn’t affect me all that much. What did bother me was the subject manner…the relationship between Lee and Mr. Holloway how hot and cold it could be…and her cutting.
Lee was a ball of confusion, stuffed into an awkward dress. She deals with her problems by cutting. I can’t imagine doing something like that to my body and seeing what she went through did make me cringe. I enjoyed watching her journey to find success, despite her background and family. Good grief was her family a mess…
There is definitely a sexy angle to the story. Lee enters into a BDSM sort of relationship with Mr. Holloway. James Spader is great as Mr. Holloway. He does unhinged, but with a tick of control very well. Maggie Gyllenhaal is fantastic as Lee. You feel for her, even when some of the things she does doesn’t seem to make sense.
Watch this movie if you want a different perspective on BDSM relationships and healing. It’s not that other BDSM movie by any stretch and that’s a good thing. If it were hokey in any way, that would take away from Lee’s growth as a character. Her character must be handled delicately. There are some odd moments in this movie, but definitely worth watching at least once.
This week, I thought I’d talk about a movie I’d long wanted to see, but hadn’t had the chance. Mannequin. There are certain movies that are revered as being an everyone’s seen this kind of movie. To me, Mannequin was one of those movies. I hadn’t seen it and I was missing out.
I have to admit, I’m a sucker for Andrew McCarthy movies. I don’t know. I guess it’s his special mix of silliness and nerdiness, while still being handsome that does something for me. This one didn’t disappoint.
Andrew McCarthy plays an artist-slash-window dresser who happens to lose his job (one of a hundred so it seems) and by coincidence, ends up at the store where Emmy happens to be. I loved Estelle Getty in this flick. She’s not Sophia from the Golden Girls and it’s refreshing. She’s got great comic timing. James Spader plays the baddie, yet again, quite well. I almost have a hard time liking him as a character when he’s NOT playing the bad guy. He does smarmy so well. Meshach Taylor does a great star turn as McCarthy’s side-kick. He has the flair and was funny. A tad dated, but I could overlook it.
I’ll admit one must suspend their disbelief a lot for this movie. The premise is almost laughable, but I wanted escapism. I wanted a happy ending, too, and wasn’t in the mood for a Hallmark flick. I had a pretty good idea what I was getting when I started this film and I wasn’t disappointed. If you want something fluffy and a little ridiculous, but fun, then this might be the film for you.
I have to admit, I’ve been on a bit of a Tyrone Power bender of late. He’s handsome. Who can deny that? Some of his movies were pure schmaltz, but that’s okay. I wanted something light-ish.
Johnny Apollo isn’t a light movie. Not by a long shot. It’s not super heavy, but it’s not dashing-leading-man-sexy-and-fun fare that I’m used to by Power. Sure, he took a serious turn in Nightmare Alley, Blood and Sand and Witness for the Prosecution, but I guess I wasn’t expecting this story to be quite so dark. Still, I enjoyed the viewing.
Johnny Apollo is definitely a movie of it’s time. The mob was in full force and so was the depression. The notion that crime doesn’t pay is woven throughout the film. Yes the crime happened and Johnny wanted it for the right reasons, not the wrong ones… still it doesn’t pay.
I liked how Power played the character of Bob Cain, aka Johnny Apollo, like George Clooney might play him–dashing and sexy, but stern. He knows he’s doing bad things, but he makes it look…good. There’s a certain naivete in his performance that shows through the film. His heart is in the right place and he’s trying to earn the love and respect of his father. It’s typical of a young adult or one just out of college to think they know it all and while I agreed with some of Power’s character’s assessments, I could see the father’s side, too.
Power is shot well…almost better than costar Dorthy Lamour. You know he’s the star turn in this film. He’s handsome even in jail after being in solitary confinement for a while. That’s a challenge.
The movie isn’t long and it’s not bubbly fun, but it’s interesting to watch. I recommend Johnny Apollo if you want a crime drama or just another one of Power’s films for a Tyrone Power film fest. You can’t go wrong with Johnny Apollo…even if he’s very wrong.