Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Max: We gotta do something.
Professor Fate: Oh, don't worry. Before this iceberg melts and we drown like rats, we're going to do plenty.
Max: Yeah? What?
Professor Fate: We're gonna starve!
Maggie DuBois: You mean amazing because I'm a woman.
Professor Fate: The eternal struggle takes time, Max.
This movie is loosely based on an actual 1908 New York-to-Paris race. "The Leslie Special", four of which were built for the movie, was a loose interpretation of the 1907 Thomas Flyer that won the real race.
In the film's press kit, Natalie Wood divulges that she took fencing lessons, sidesaddle lessons and practiced smoking cigars, but her biggest challenge was driving the Stanley Steamer. The steering was difficult ("like turning a tractor, I suspect", she says) and going into reverse was nearly impossible.
During the pie throwing scene there is a running gag that The Great Leslie remains clean while everyone else is covered in pie. Tony Curtis was required to change clothes several times when he was accidentally splattered with debris from a pie that had hit someone else.
The pies used during the pie throwing scene were real, containing fruit, custard, whipped cream and other ingredients. Following this scene the crew devoured more than 300 leftover pies.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Sunday in New York (1963). Director: Peter Tewksbury. Cast: Cliff Robertson, Jane Fonda, and Rod Taylor. The screenplay by Norman Krasna was adapted from his play which had been produced on Broadway the previous year. It was one of Fonda's earliest films.
Airline pilot Adam Tyler, is getting ready to spend a romantic weekend in his New York apartment with his girlfriend, Mona Harris. When they are surprised by arrival of his sister Eileen, who has just broke up with her fiancee, Russ Wilson, because she does not to sleep with him before they are married. After telling Eileen that she has done the right thing. His flight assignment is changed at the last minute and he is unable to reach Mona.
Soon after he leaves, Eileen finds Mona's night gown in her brother's closet and becoming angry at her brothers double standard. She decides to seduce Philadelphia newspaperman Mike Mitchell, after meeting him on a bus. Mike respects her virtue and can not go through with it, even though they are falling in love. While still in their robes, they are surprised by the arrival of her fiancee Russ, who mistakes Mike for Eileen's brother. When her brother returns to his apartment he is introduced as his own co-pilot but goes along with the story, even though he suspects the truth. How will this situation be resolved?
I thought Sunday in New York, was a very charming, romantic, comedy. Performed very well by all the actors. A hidden gem!
Jo Morrow's mother encouraged Jo's acting career by entering her in a "Be A Star" contest. Which Morrow, won a 20th Century-Fox contract (film-debuting in Gary Cooper's Ten North Frederick (1958) and from there moved to Columbia. The 1964 birth of a deaf daughter forced Morrow to choose between movies and motherhood. Although, she made a short comeback in 1970s, Doctor Death: Seeker of Souls (1973) and Terminal Island (1973).
Monday, June 14, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
The Feminine Touch (1941). Romantic Comedy. Cast: Don Ameche and Rosalind Russell.
College psychology professor John Hathaway, becomes upset when Dean Hutchinson suggests that the team's star, Rubber-legs Ryan, must pass an exam to be put back on the team. Rubber-legs has eyes for John's wife Julie, John, who is writing a book about jealousy, thinks he is above all that and is not upset. Which does not make Julie very happy. When John and Hutchinson argue over Rubber-leg, John quits and moves to New York with Julie. At the publisher Elliott Morgan office, they meet, Nellie Woods, who is secretly in love with Elliott. While John talks over his book with Nellie, the jealous Julie meets the womanizing, Elliott who does not appeal to Julie. At a party, Elliott admits that he is attracted to Julie, and John says that he should spend time with Julie, while Nellie and John spend time together working. Julie goes sightseeing with Elliott and becomes very upset that John is not jealous. One day, when Julie comes home and sees John and Nellie hugging and drinking champagne, celebrating the sale of his book, Julie's jealousy surprises John. Later, while they are riding a subway, Julie and John jokingly pretend that he is bothering her and bystanders call a policeman. She tries to stop John's arrest but is pushed back onto the subway by the crowd. You have to watch to see what happens next.
I thought this was a very charming romantic comedy. Not heavy on plot, a perfect movie for a summer afternoon with its snappy dialog, especially from Russell and Francis. Another fun part about watching this movie is Julie fun hats. We also look back at 1940's feminism seen though psychology professor eyes but scoffed at by Julie, who says those are the women who are alone at night.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
The performances are all wonderful. Jane Wyman is awesome as Vivian. She gives a ditzy blonde performance (even though she is brunette) that would make Marilyn Monroe proud. You won't believe half the things that come out of her mouth but you will be laughing anyway. I never knew Wyman could be this funny. Ann Sheridan is pretty good too despite a few times she comes close to going over the top with her shrieking. But she gives the best double takes along with Jack Carson out of the whole cast. And speaking of Carson, he is in top form as usual. Alexis Smith actually is quite good in a comedy role instead of her usual dramatic ones. She even gets to do a thick Brooklyn accent that will bring a smile to your face. And let's not forget the great Charles Ruggles, who is perfect as Slade.
The Doughgirls is a very funny movie that I loved from the get go. It's setting will remind you of The More the Merrier and Government Girl, as those films also dealt with the wartime housing shortage. And it is just as memorable as those films as well. I have no problem placing The Doughgirls on the list of great screwball classics.