Sunday, February 24, 2013

Too Soon for Another Blogathon? Hmmm

I've been wanting to host another Blogathon and since it's been awhile since everyone signed on to discuss horse films, I have another idea and a wonderful co-host this go around.

Coming off of our CMBA Blogathon, most of you will most likely find this idea crazy. The time and the topic, but I've never been known to make much sense.  Who needs rest anyway?

We feel like discussing the one classic film that really terrified us. That one film that stood out for all of you as never wanting to see again unless you watch it with all of the lights on and someone holding your hand.

So, is anyone up for signing on to my Terrorthon in April?
I do hope you'll join me and my co-host Rich of Wide Screen World. (Rich, asked me if this topic would be better to do around Halloween but that would be too predictable.)

Below are the banners for the Terrorthon and if you want to sign on just leave a comment with your film, the blog and the date or if you prefer to do so privately you can email me.  Perhaps we can keep the films before 1980 even though you younger kids think 1990 is considered a classic. ha ha

We're looking forward to some scares in April and you don't even need to write about one particular film but whatever you want to discuss about this topic. Everyone is welcome to sign on so tell your fellow bloggers and if you don't feel up to another Blogathon, promoting it with a banner would be swell too.

When making your choice just think of the one film that really scared your pants off. The idea is to look back at which classic film had the most impact as far as scares.

You have plenty of time to decide on your film. I'm pretty easy going when it comes to deadlines. We don't want this event to be stressful but fun. We're going with the 10th of April as the deadline for now.

Rich's very cool poster for the Terrorthon. Please use any of these on your own blogs to promote the event. 

Page and Rich

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fabulous Films of the 1940s, CMBA Blogathon entry: The Philadelphia Story

This is my entry for the CMBA Blogathon: Fabulous Films of the 1940s. For the rest of the entries just click on the link HERE

When deciding on a film for the Blogathon I knew immediately that I wanted to do another snarky photo review but choosing a film took a minute or two. The Philadelphia Story is my favorite comedy behind Bringing Up Baby which I had snarked on awhile back for another Blogathon. Is it okay to try to provide humor for another already very funny film? What to do? Well here I am again, paying homage to another wonderful comedy in my own way. I do hope you'll enjoy my take on it and you weren't expecting another serious review of this film. As a fan of classic cinema, we've all seen it and we've read plenty scholarly write ups on it.

If you're ready and you have your humor caps on. lets get started!

The Philadelphia Story, 1940. The critical darling was nominated for six Oscars and it took home two. Best Actor for Jimmy Stewart and Best Writing/Screenplay for Donald Ogden Stewart. Kate and Ruth Hussey were also nominated. Sadly, Cary Grant was snubbed.  Of course, Joseph Mankiewicz for Best Picture then George Cukor received a nod for Best Director.  


Cary Grant as C.K. Dexter Haven
James Stewart as Macaulay Connor
Katharine Hepburn as Tracy Lord
Ruth Hussey as Elizabeth Imbrie
John Howard as George Kittredge
Roland Young as Uncle Willie
John Halliday as Seth Lord
Mary Nash as Margaret Lord
Virginia Weidler as Dinah Lord

Director: George Cukor for MGM Studios
Costumes by Adrian

 We open to C.K. Dexter and his wife, Tracy, who's either having a very high end garage sell or he's in big trouble. 

 If my husband had a look like that on his face I would run and hide but this is a 1940s comedy so he'll probably pratfall into a vat of oysters.

 She's strong for someone who weighs about 60 lbs. 

 You just don't mess with a man's golf clubs, especially on the front porch. Pretty sure this is an illegal activity.

She's such a mean looking woman but she's managed to land another man. Keep your homeowners insurance up buddy and good luck.

We meet Tracy's little sister, Dinah. She's a real piece of work. Just picture a miniature version of Judith Anderson in Rebecca. Except this one's armed with a yo-yo instead of matches.

She's making fun of diamonds. Dinah Short is a little snob. I bet she hates party balloons, puppies, caviar and sunny days.

When Kate smiles through clinched teeth we know she's hating on someone. It's the ex for now.  I know he tried to knock her block off but it's Cary Grant and they were nice golf clubs.

The Demon Seed is praying something bad happens. She's also on Team Cary Grant. This new fiancée, George must be a real ogre.

Oh, I think she's going to chloroform Dinah.  

Here's the fiancée, George. Tracy tells him he looks awful. She's such a peach in tweed. I can see why she attracts so many men. 

Just when I think she can't get any more likable she throws George to the ground and throws dirt all over him.  Mating rituals certainly are different for the upper class. 

He's ambitious and she's turned off! I can tell by her giant, clinched teeth. The horse looks very uncomfortable to be put in this situation. 

George: "Is there any way to maneuver this thing close enough to my fiancée so I can accidentally kick her in the teeth?"

We head over to Dime and Spy magazine with Mike and his lovely sidekick, Elizabeth.  (Here's a tip..If your hat is so high that we can't see Cary Grant behind you then go for something a little less origami boaty.)

The head of the magazine has talked this ambitious duo into covering the wedding of the year. Of course the ex has ulterior motives. I hope it's to kidnap Danvers Jr. then rescue George.

Meddlesome Mike and Lois Lumineers can't wait to start going through the Lord's fancy possessions. They're on Team Resent the Upper Class.

While Mike amuses himself with fancy phones, Lois Lumineers struts around taking photos. She seems to be enjoying this. We know this because her feather seems to be getting taller. 

Now that Mike has figured out fancy phones it's time to test it out with a prank phone call. These people are connected so I'm sure there's a direct line button there, straight to the President. 

Instead he gets the Mad Hatter and her souless snit.  The prank call gets blamed on the hired help who must be drunk before noon. By the looks of that room, this must happen a lot. 

Dinah Short's thrilled! I think she's hoping Tracy gets beat up again. This kid should have been sent off to boarding school.

It's hard to pull one over on Kate when she's wearing a tailored pant suit but we give it a go. 

She's sniffed out that the unwelcome wedding guests are actually reporters, there to get to the bottom of her father's escapades with a young ballerina. (Please don't hand Kate scissors, there's a time and a place to get rid of her split ends. She's got Joan Crawford problems!) 

 Apparently the family is being blackmailed. I really do hope the guilty parties show up. This weekend needs a rich man and his ballerina side piece.  Plus the ballerina and Dinah Short can have a dance off.

 Kate has the same expression that she always does but she's going to be sick all over her pantsuit. This film just has one tragedy after another.

 The crazy mother has no idea what's going on. I doubt she even knows she has a husband or that she's raising the weirdest girls on the planet. Danvers Jr. is tickled that she gets to play a prank on common folk. Stick around to see if it involves a yo-yo.

 Mike appears to be doing inventory of the silver in the study. This is going to be some article. 

 They're startled by something across the room. 

 Oh, Gawd! It's Dinah Short who's doing some weird Gertrude Stein meets Anna Pavlova.

This is why rich kids should stay in boarding schools. Left unattended, they scare people. 

 Mike: "What do you think is wrong with her?"
Elizabeth: "Give me a minute, at least until she stops spinning!"
Mike: "I'm going to be ill!"

 This right here is why the servants stay sauced! Oh, Lydia! 

 Queue Tracy for her part of the show. She's really let her hair down for this charade. Gone is the pant suit and Hellllooo, gingham ruffled up!

 Most women avoid 30 lbs of ruffles and print because it isn't flattering to the figure. For some odd reason, it's the opposite with the wealthy. If Ma Kettle were to wear that...Well, you get the idea. Mike has the right idea. Just don't look at it!

 Our souless snit lays it on thick with a weird Bela Lugosi accent from White Zombie. (It's amazing how Kate can unhinge her jaw to show happiness)

 Mike: "What in the world did she have on?" 
Elizabeth: "Gingham, ruffled up!...I saw it in a fashion magazine once. Very expensive!"
Mike: "I don't think caviar and disdain have enough calories and why do rich people sound like Count Dracula or that egomaniac, Gertrude Stein?"
Elizabeth: "What about that strange kid and the way she sidles up? It's just creepy!"

 Mother has no idea who these two are. If we could get these two name tags, it would shave off about 20 minutes of the movie.

 You've got to keep your eyes on that spindly fella. He has this strange obsession with the silver.

 Uncle Willie, who wanders around clueless is chosen to fill in for Father Lord. (Have you seen the price of that giant flower pot at Lowes? These people really are rich!)

The only one who knows whats going on is Danvers Jr. so it's safe to say that someone is going to end up dead, almost dead or missing.

 Dinah's back and she's playing charades. Just spill it Dinah, even if you have to sing it!

 The real Father Lord shows up without the ballerina. Guessing she was sent off to fat camp after one too many trips to the olive bar.

 Mike heads over to the local library to do some research on the Lords. Just direct him to the Stranger than Fiction, section.

 He runs into Wee Willie Winkie, who's there reading his book until it's time to run through the town.

 Mike: "Where do you find your outfits?"
Tracy: "I've unhinged my jaw to smile, don't ruin this moment."

 Apparently Lois Lumineers has stopped by the same spa from "The Woman" because she jumps to the conclusion that these two are sneaking off to have a fling. (Just pray, Joan Crawford isn't in town for a Tanqueray convention!)

 Just because you don't look directly at the striped vest, doesn't make it disappear.  

 This is the saddest pool party I've ever seen. Even the hedges look miserable.

 Apparently W.C. Fields has been sneaking onto the property for late night swims. 

This is Kate, pulling off sexy and seductive. You're welcome! (I can assume that padded swimsuits weren't available in 1940?)

 Oh, we're back to long and flowy. Make up your mind, Kate. 

 The ex shows up to make sure there's nothing strange going on. He has spent time with these people, right?

 C.K.: "Are you gaining weight? I can't see the celery stick you ate yesterday."

 Here's George. It appears he's been hiding dinosaur clavicles by the looks of his nose. Oops! Wrong movie. 

 The cameraman is quite clever! It appears that Kate has turned into Louise Brooks from afar. 

 C.K. has left Tracy a wedding gift. A replica of their yacht, the True Love. (Are we to believe this one? Was the vessel name, Miserably Rich, already taken?)

 It's so very yar! Can muscle tone and water adding 10 lbs be yar?

 Uncle Willie is getting his flirt on. (I love Roland Young..he needs a bigger role and more alcohol. Let's hope he finds the gardeners stash or Dinah Short to drive him crazy.)

 Everyone has left Tracy to get ready for the dinner party over at Uncle Willies. She's not a drinker but tonight we've got some lives to ruin and hopefully more amazingly odd fashion to model.

 Yes, even Uncle Willies mansion is strange. It appears that the property stops and is replaced by a cardboard landscape within a few feet. 

 Tracy is lit up like a Christmas Cracker. Any normal man would leave town but George, he's an odd one. At least if they had written in that he digs up stuff he'd have something to do.

 Apparently the upper class sit around and suck lemons when not dancing or gossiping. 

 Mike, who's clearly pickled feels the need to scream and commandeer vehicles. Luckily there are no neighbors, just more cardboard scenery and some shrubs.

 Because he was able to get Tracy to smile and do a couple of high dives, he believes she's human enough to be in love. The first hurdle is to find out if C.K. Dexter Haven still has feelings for her. 

 As amusing as this is, I'm distracted by the stuffed animal heads. C.K. has spent a lot of time in Africa but all he managed to poach was a malnourished raccoon and a fox?

 And who mounts a raccoons tail? Don't the rich usually have those things made into a hat?

 Handling another mans guns is a big party foul. (We need to get to the bottom of what's going on. Jimmy is losing weight by the second. At this rate, he'll need to be propped up by the end of this.) 

 Someone has gone and killed Tracy. Hopefully it was Danvers Jr. That kid needs some jail time.

 C.K.: "Is she dead?"
Elizabeth: "You're not that lucky!..Have you seen, Philip Marlowe Lite?"

 Kate's hair has settled down and she's too drunk to speak. If he's going to fall back in love with her this would be the time.

 Avoiding a dangerous gun incident the next step is to get in the car with a drunken harpie. (It's a good thing the countryside is made up of cardboard and plastic plants so these rich idiots can't hurt themselves.)

 These two kids have a death wish. It's on to operation get electrocuted at the cement pond.

 Not content to get through the night unharmed, it's time to run the wheels off of expensive wicker.

 Is it me or is Kate's hair getting fuller as the night progresses? She's turning into a pretty little, drunk idiot. This must be the Tracy that C.K. and George fell in love with then she sobered up. She's a modern day, Cinderella.

These two finally kiss. When they stand close together they come close to making one whole shadow. I hope they get married so they finally eat something. Even if it's wedding cake.

 Well, these two can't wander off too far. Another few feet and they're going to hit green screen. (These outdoor sets are like The Truman Show.)

 After the sane ones spend the night working on more blackmail material that will sink a couple of careers it's time for bed. Why can't anyone midnight swim or snoop around? The wrecking balls in the backyard need some company.

 Eagle Eye makes his way to the Hall of Silver just in time.

 C.K. "Did I just see you digging up old boots, George?"
George: "No, it couldn't be me. I'm just here to wander around looking pensive and confused."  Have you seen, Dinah? My shoes laces were tied to a gazelle when I woke up!"

 God, really does watch out for fools and children because these two have managed to return unscathed.

 One of these two is falling out of love while the other is falling back in love. It's all very confusing given that it's Kate and she's carousing with a commoner.

 Mike: "She's broken my back and two ribs!"
C.K. "She only weighs 60 lbs before a swim!"
George: "Do any of you realize I'm here?"

 C.K.Dexter Haven tries to knock another head off. I'm never a fan of violence but when it comes to these people. At least trip George for being such a boring dolt.

 This will only hurt for another 15 minutes. 

 Danvers Jr. has seen and heard everything. At least the trystettes are soused so they won't feel a thing when they're strangled with a yo-yo.

 It's the wedding day and everyone is hungover except the hired help, which is odd.

 I know the first thing I do when I can't wait to gossip is bridle the closest Shetland to a crate then pray someone with a hangover happens by.

 Tracy can't remember anything from the night before. If Lois Lumineers fell down on the job and didn't get enough pictures for a front page spread, I'll be disappointed. Sadly, she lost her camera somewhere between getting assaulted by Uncle Willie and the stuffed raccoons.

 Danvers Jr. can't wait to let it be known that she saw everything that went on last night from her bedroom window by the sea, the beautiful sea!

 Mike is still in love this morning with the wrong girl. I think he just wants to get his hands on that very large collection of silver. There's something off with this kid. 

 I can't decide if this hairstyle was molded to the hat or vice versa but what it needs is a few more long curls and a rhinestone belt. (She still doesn't recognize Mike even though he's been hanging around for what seems like a month.) They're all crackpots!

 C.K. Dexter Haven is quite amused at all of this. Who wouldn't be when you can go around punching people and still be invited to their fancy parties?

 Even the wedding cake looks hungover. 

 Poor, George! He's still confused. He left a note letting Tracy know he was through then he shows up dressed for a wedding. He does know he was the groom, right?

 Impromptu dancing to celebrate other peoples misery!

 Because everything takes place in the backyard, everyone has forgotten that at least 50 people have been seated for a wedding ceremony. 

 George wandered off again so Mike volunteers to be the groom. (That is the strangest wedding dress, or is it a negligee?)  Poor, Lois Lumineers! I hate when Ruth Hussey gets the short end of everything.

 Whatever you decide to do is fine with us dear! Just make a decision quickly. Will Rogers wants his hat back by 4:00.

 Oh, this has made Dinah Short very happy. I don't like this at all.

 Tracy: "Am I smiling? I feel like I'm smiling. Who's carrying me down the aisle? I haven't eaten in weeks." 

This movie needs a sequel where they all meet up in 10 years for a hunting trip at Dinah Shorts ranch.  Mother Lord arrives with Will Rogers and George shows up to win Tracy over with his winning personality.

Boy, this review is late, late and I apologize for that!  At least now I can get caught up with the other Blogathon entries and if you haven't done so, please click the link at the top of the post. 

Thanks for indulging me with this madness! There's so much to love about this film and Jimmy Stewart certainly deserved his Best Actor Oscar for his hilarious portrayal of Macaulay Connor. Roland Young, who was such a talented actor, stood out for me, which is hard to do when you're on-screen with Cary and Kate.