Walk,_Don't_Run

Walk, Don’t Run

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Walk, Don’t Run was Cary Grant’s last movie made.  It is filmed in Tokyo and based on the housing shortage with the 1964 Olympics Games.  Hats off to the 1930’s screwball comedies, with all the beautifully delivered witty lines by Grant and friends, makes his last movie one of my favorites!

It is a remake of the 1943 film with Jean Arthur, The More the Merrier with the lovely character actor Charles Coburn who won the Oscar for the Best Supporting Actor.  This movie should be on your list as well to watch because it also very well done and funny.  In a different way though and the two movies can hold their own both being very funny must see movies.

Back to Walk, Don’t Run.  Grant is joined by Samantha Eggar and Jim Hutton with Quincy Jones’ music throughout the movie.  The three actors do a great job of making the writing come to life in a very humorous way.  Jim Hutton’s performance is resemblance of Jimmy Stewart, which no idea if it was done on purpose or not but it totally works with Grant.

The movie is fluff, I mean it is a total of silliness situations that Grant’s character, Sir William, orchestras to get Eggar and Hutton (Christine and Steve) together.  But it is so delightful and so funny and after all that is the point and why you make comedies so they won the game there!

Sir William is a British business man that came to Tokyo two days early and answers an ad to share an apartment that Christine posted at the British Embassy.  She isn’t sold on sharing with a man but somehow Sir William gets her to let him stay.  Then Sir William meets Steve, the Olympic sportsmen that also arrived two days early looking for a place to stay.  So all three are in Christine’s apartment, where Sir William sees a spark and there you go.

There are sharp lines woven throughout the movie but there are gems of comedic scenes that are truly laugh out loud!  Sir William’s first night, Christine is trying to make sure that the morning schedule is very clear and organized down to exact times and then we are in wdr03the small apartment watching it unfold.  I would love Cary Grant to make me a cup of coffee the way that he makes it!  Then you have Steve and Sir William in a Japanese bath and Steve literally jumps in the bath making a big splash and ruining Sir William’s relaxing cigar and soak.  And towards the end you finally find out Steve’s event and see Cary Grant walking along side of Jim Hutton trying to make the last effort to get Samantha Eggar and him together all while walking through the streets of Tokyo in his underwear!

Looking for a night in and to laugh at mid-century romcom, this is a great pick.  It may have been Grant’s last movie, however I promise that the charm is still there and he completely delivers along with Eggars and Hutton.

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Ginger Rogers

Ginger Rogers and you expect the name Fred Astaire to follow.  Makes sense they made six movies together and have danced their way into movie history where dance teams are still measured by up to them.  Ginger Rogers made over 60 movies in four decades playing in comedies, dramas, and of course musicals. ginger rogers

She usually plays the rough fast talking independent sales girl trying to find the right guy.  Out of the movies that I have seen, the first one is still my favorite – Stage Door.  Although I do enjoy her with Cary Grant and Marlin Monroe in Monkey Business because I think that she is a much stronger and more enjoyable actresses in comedic roles.  I am a Gene Kelly fan and more on the side of musicals when they were on their way out rather than the Busby Berkely era.  So Flying Down to Rio, Follow the Fleet,  and Swing Time aren’t what I would watch on a rainy night in but no doubt the dancing and acting is there and everyone should watch one or two to judge themselves.  There are classics.

So can we talk about Stage Door for minute?  This 1937 dramedy has Katherine Hepburn, Adolphe Menjou, Ann Miller, Eve Arden, and Lucille Ball with Ginger Rogers about stage actresses trying to make it on Broadway while living together in a boarding house.  It is funny!  The chemistry with all the ladies with the one lines and zingers that they throw around is very entertaining.  The drama is there as well to make the plot even deeper for this wonderfully put together film.  It is a movie that you can watch over and over again and still laugh at the lines while feeling for the ladies trying to make it on the stage.

If you need to straight up laugh then watch Monkey Business.  Ginger and Cary are a married couple that are working together to prove that Cary Grant’s character youth formula works at making people younger.  Super funny!  Fast pace comedy with slapstick comedy mixed in with the support of a brilliant character actor, Charles Coburn.  Perfect mix of actors with a solid script to make you laugh directed by Howard Hawks.  A must see for sure!

In 1950 she made, Storm Warning, with Ronald Regan and Doris Day.  It is a strong movie about the South and the Ku Klux Klan that is a very well done movie.  I was surprised when I watched this movie on how well done it was, actually.  I was interested in the combo of actors and wanted to watch some more of her movies and went in with not expecting much.  I was wrong and should of went in with higher expectations.  Rogers and Day are sisters and Rogers is passing through town to surprise visit her sister and meet her new husband.  The trip takes a turn and doesn’t go quite as she planned or hoped.  Well written and well edited with telling this story.

While I was reading more about Ginger Rogers, I found out that her mother Lela Rogers was a pretty remarkable lady.  She and Ginger remained very close throughout her life and she helped direct Ginger’s career on the studio of RKO.  Lela Rogers started an acting school, Hollywood Playhouse, on the lot of RKO and helped many many green actors to get their start.  She also was the first woman to enlist in the Marine Corps and a founder of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals.  She acted and directed as well – see why Ginger Rogers was good at playing the tough lady working to make her own way!

Ginger Rogers acted on film and on the Broadway stage as well as directed a play at the age of 74.  She won an Academy Award for Kitty Foyle in 1940 and was honored in 1992 at the Kennedy Center.  AFI has Ginger Rogers ranked number 14 for the top female actors and she earned status of an American Icon.

ginger-rogers-224x300

Ginger Rogers

ginger rogersGinger Rogers and you expect the name Fred Astaire to follow.  Makes sense they made six movies together and have danced their way into movie history where dance teams are still measured by up to them.  Ginger Rogers made over 60 movies in four decades playing in comedies, dramas, and of course musicals.

She usually plays the rough fast talking independent sales girl trying to find the right guy.  Out of the movies that I have seen, the first one is still my favorite – Stage Door.  Although I do enjoy her with Cary Grant and Marlin Monroe in Monkey Business because I think that she is a much stronger and more enjoyable actresses in comedic roles.  I am a Gene Kelly fan and more on the side of musicals when they were on their way out rather than the Busby Berkely era.  So Flying Down to Rio, Follow the Fleet,  and Swing Time aren’t what I would watch on a rainy night in but no doubt the dancing and acting is there and everyone should watch one or two to judge themselves.  There are classics.

So can we talk about Stage Door for minute?  This 1937 dramedy has Katherine Hepburn, Adolphe Menjou, Ann Miller, Eve Arden, and Lucille Ball with Ginger Rogers about stage actresses trying to make it on Broadway while living together in a boarding house.  It is funny!  The chemistry with all the ladies with the one lines and zingers that they throw around is very entertaining.  The drama is there as well to make the plot even deeper for this wonderfully put together film.  It is a movie that you can watch over and over again and still laugh at the lines while feeling for the ladies trying to make it on the stage.

If you need to straight up laugh then watch Monkey Business.  Ginger and Cary are a married couple that are working together to prove that Cary Grant’s character youth formula works at making people younger.  Super funny!  Fast pace comedy with slapstick comedy mixed in with the support of a brilliant character actor, Charles Coburn.  Perfect mix of actors with a solid script to make you laugh directed by Howard Hawks.  A must see for sure!

In 1950 she made, Storm Warning, with Ronald Regan and Doris Day.  It is a strong movie about the South and the Ku Klux Klan that is a very well done movie.  I was surprised when I watched this movie on how well done it was, actually.  I was interested in the combo of actors and wanted to watch some more of her movies and went in with not expecting much.  I was wrong and should of went in with higher expectations.  Rogers and Day are sisters and Rogers is passing through town to surprise visit her sister and meet her new husband.  The trip takes a turn and doesn’t go quite as she planned or hoped.  Well written and well edited with telling this story.

While I was reading more about Ginger Rogers, I found out that her mother Lela Rogers was a pretty remarkable lady.  She and Ginger remained very close throughout her life and she helped direct Ginger’s career on the studio of RKO.  Lela Rogers started an acting school, Hollywood Playhouse, on the lot of RKO and helped many many green actors to get their start.  She also was the first woman to enlist in the Marine Corps and a founder of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals.  She acted and directed as well – see why Ginger Rogers was good at playing the tough lady working to make her own way!

 

Ginger Rogers acted on film and on the Broadway stage as well as directed a play at the age of 74.  She won an Academy Award for Kitty Foyle in 1940 and was honored in 1992 at the Kennedy Center.  AFI has Ginger Rogers ranked number 14 for the top female actors and she earned status of an American Icon.

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A Star is Born152

You hear the name Judy Garland and you think Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz”, with maybe Somewhere Over the Rainbow playing in your head.  That’s fair for sure, no doubt it is a wonderful movie with a great song that she sings like no other, but I think of “A Star is Born” when I hear that name.  It is a fabulous movie with fabulous music and fabulously shot.  James Manson plays Norman Maine to Garland’s Esther Blodgett directed by George Cukor with mostly Ira Gershwin’s music.  Sounds like a good combo?  Well, Warner Brothers thought so and agreed to make the film with Garland’s then husband, Sid Luft, producing in 1954; four years since Garland was in a film after being released from her MGM contract.  She earned another Academy Award Nomination and won a Golden Globe for her comeback performance.

Have you heard the song by Ira Gershwin and Harold Arlen – The Man That Got Away?  Let me share a secret with you that I can sing that in the shower like no other!  I love this song, like a lot.  It starts with some sexy horns playing and then Judy let’s out all the passion about losing her man on a night that turns bitter.  She tells of how she lost her man and life won’t be the same for her and when she sings it – you not only believe her but you feel like you are her.  Oh this song – could just listen to it on repeat.  I love that this was shot start to finish and her movement from sitting at the piano to ending at the table with all that hair mussing in the middle!

Another fabulous number is Lose That Long Face which is a super fun dance number with amazing wardrobe and set design with grays and Judy in red.  This number follows one of the most dramatic scenes in the film that will surely bring tears to your eyes that won’t last long because you are carried away in this up beat tap number.  I love how it is shot and I love the color contrast and I love the toe tapping number and I love how it shows off Judy Garland’s talent for dramatic acting quickly followed by her flawless singing and dancing.  Which is totally crazy to me why this was one of the numbers that was cut after the premier back in 1954.  The film after completion ran 196 minutes and George Cukor cut it to 182 minutes, which is how it was premiered to rave reviews.  The peeps loved it!  Jack Warner wanted the theaters to play as many daily shows as possible so he decided to cut it down to 154 minutes, without the director.  How making money clouds judgement and makes bad decisions at times – lucky for us the movie is restored to the 182 minutes version which has this fun number in it.

Not sure what you may think of Judy Garland and from what I can gather, either people love her or they don’t get the hype.  Guess you can tell that I rather enjoy watching her movies.  I think the main reason why I love this movie so much is because it has it all.  If you want to laugh, or cry or watch a romance, or see a story about people struggling – wrap it up cause the hunt on Netflix is over.  You can tell when you are watching this movie that love and dedication went into this 100% for sure hands down no questions asked, promise.  Judy’s career in the movies was at the end when this was made but really you won’t know that watching it.  Her performance as well as James Manson and Jack Carson is so on point.  Cukor directed these actors to perfection and bought out the best in them.  Many people have talked and written about this movie and how it is the best musical and I agree.  It does what movies are supposed to do and make you forget your daily life and whatever is going with you.  It is the escape into a great story that really is a timeless tale of someone wanting to make it in Hollywood and falls in love along the way.

Amazon has it to rent for $4 and you can add it to you Netflix DVD queue.  If you want to start watching classic films – this is a great one to start with and if you are already a movie buff then it is a fun  revisit with these characters in their story.  A sure must see Judy Garland film.