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Archive for September 4th, 2012

by Brandie Ashe

I think it’s safe to say that the combination of Rock Hudson and Doris Day in three candy-colored onscreen frolics— Pillow Talk (1959), Lover Come Back (1961), and Send Me No Flowers (1964)—resulted in one of the most indisputably adorable cinematic pairings of all time. But don’t hold that cuteness against them—these three films are genuinely funny romantic comedies, trading on Day’s subtle sexiness and Hudson’s macho appeal in a series of hilarious battle-of-the-sexes romps. Add in a trio of amusing supporting turns from Tony Randall, and you have the recipe for pure entertainment … and the basis for pretty much every romantic comedy to follow (I’ll leave you to decide if that is ultimately a good thing or a bad thing, given the current state of romantic comedy).

While each film has its respective charms, to me, the best of the lot is the first (which, incidentally, won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay). In Pillow Talk, Day plays Jan Morrow, an interior decorator sharing a telephone party line with songwriter Brad Allen (Hudson). Brad’s constant appropriation of the phone–wherein most of his conversations involve him singing a variation of the same tune to one of his numerous female lovers–irritates Jan to no end, and sight unseen, the pair share a mutual loathing of one another. When Brad’s best friend, the wealthy Jonathan Forbes (Randall), tells Brad about his infatuation with his new designer (Jan), Brad is intrigued and determined to try to snag Jan for himself. The two of them happen to meet at a restaurant one evening, and knowing that Jan hates him, Brad pretends to be a rich rancher from Texas named Rex Stetson, in the process sweeping the unknowing Jan off her feet. (more…)

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Robert Lynen as title character in Julien Duvivier’s 1932 POIL DE CAROTTE, a wrenching French masterpiece featured at the Film Forum’s ‘Old Wave’ Festival.

by Sam Juliano

The death knell for summer has been sounded, and the only other things left are the memories and the traditionally hot weather that continues on for most of September.  School teachers are readying their rooms (not me as I’m a “floater” who moves from room to room and building to building!  Ha!) and preparing for yet another term, and most have completed sabaticals.  Movie lovers haven’t been treated to all that much by way of quality movies during June through August, but are heartened by the coming of fall, which usually brings some promising releases.  It’s safe to say that most of 2012’s good stuff is lying ahead of us, even if  for some us, the year has offered us gems from Bela Tarr, the Dardennes, Joaquim Trier, Terrence Davies, Jafar Panafi and Richard Linklater among a few others that are making strong bids for year-end ‘best of’ lists.  Speaking of ‘lists’ Allan’s weekly weekend survey of every year from the early 20’s onward continues to attract well-deserved attention and participation from many distinguished film bloggers and friends.

Pinball lovers all, my brood enjoyed a trip on Sunday evening to the Pinball Arcade and Museum in Asbury Park, the seaside resort town famed for Bruce Springsteen’s early musical ascendency.  The place featured nearly 200 machines including the much-desired 90’s titles that are always a joy to navigate: Medieval Madness, Indiana Jones, Twilight Zone, Scared Stiff, Attack from Mars, Theatre of Magic, Elvis, The Addams Family, and Roadshow, and some recent Stern titles like The Simpson’s Pinball Party and The Sopranos, in addition to some classic earlier machines.  Lucille and Sammy engaged in quite a battle for superiority on Attack from Mars, and I’m still not sure who came out ahead!  To cap things off was quite a thundering oceanfront fireworks display! (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(UK 1971 522m) DVD1/2

The Lion’s cub

p  Roderick Graham  d  Claude Whatham, Herbert Wise, Richard Martin, Roderick Graham, Donald McWhinnie   w  John Hale, Rosemary Ann Sissons, Julian Mitchell, Hugh Whitemore, John Prebble, Ian Rodger  m  David Munrow  art  Peter Seddon  cos  Elizabeth Waller

Glenda Jackson (Elizabeth I), Robert Hardy (Leicester), Ronald Hines (Burghley), Stephen Murray (Walsingham), Peter Jeffrey (Philip II), Vivian Pickles (Mary Queen of Scots), Michael Williams (Alençon), John Woodvine (Sir Francis Drake), John Shrapnel (Sussex), Daphne Slater (Mary I), Robin Ellis (Essex), John Ronane (Thomas Seymour), Angela Thorne (Lettice Knollys), Basil Dignam (Bishop Gardiner), Bernard Hepton (Cranmer), Margaretta Scott (Catherine dei Medici), Christopher Hancock (Idiaquez), Rachel Kempson (Kat Ashley), Rosalie Crutchley (Katherine Parr), Hugh Dickson (Robert Cecil), John Nettleton (Francis Bacon), Nicholas Selby (Walter Raleigh), Peter Egan (Southampton), Jill Balcon (Lady Cobham), Esmond Knight (Bishop de Quadra),

The Six Wives of Henry VIII was successful enough to instil a need amongst audiences for historical dramas on TV that the BBC wasn’t going to ignore.  They wanted more of the same and, in actual fact, that’s what they gave them.  Elizabeth R was, to all intents and purposes not so much a sequel to the earlier series as parts 7-12 of the same series.  Even cast members who played characters still relevant in the second series returned to their parts.  Looked back upon today, it must be viewed with a little sympathy, considering the date in which it was made.  Historical dramas back then really were cheap, with very few exteriors and relied largely on existing buildings when they did.

Elizabeth R, like its predecessor, consisted of six episodes, taking her story from her incarceration and near death under fanatical Catholic half-sister and predecessor Mary and her being courted by Philip II, her early romance with Leicester and struggles to bring England under one church, through various would-be suitors and into her dealing with her treacherous cousin Mary, Queen of Scots and defeat of the Spanish Armada and eventual death.   (more…)

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