|Lovely window garden in An American in Paris|
I'm on a mission to get through the next few movies fairly quickly as I approach my all-time favourite. Fortunately, there is nothing to interest me on television these days so I'm speeding through the list. Sometimes I'll get to one that I really don't care to watch again but I've persevered and usually there will be something of interest even if I just look at it from a historical perspective - as in where it fits in the evolution of movies since the 1930's. It is fascinating to watch them chronologically and observe changing acting styles and film-making techniques from decade to decade.
The next lot were quite a mixed bag - thriller, musicals, western, romantic comedies. A bit of everything.
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Two strangers discuss the probability of pulling off the perfect murder. One of them is a
charming psychopath and intends to follow through with the plan.
Best Hitchcock moment: the murder is shown in the reflection of the victim's glasses which
have fallen to the ground.
An American in Paris (1951)
Self explanatory title. Gene Kelly is an American artist living in Paris. Lots and lots of
singing and dancing ensue. I've probably mentioned before that I'm not a big fan of
musicals as a rule. I can't go into detail about the plot here (was there one?) because I kind of zoned out at times. Admittedly, it's a very pretty movie visually and Gene Kelly is both talented and easy on the eyes. The closing musical extravaganza is pretty spectacular.
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Another energetic Gene Kelly instalment .
"Singin' in the Rain" is probably the most famous musical of them all. Set in 1929 and the
advent of "talking pictures".
Jean Hagen, as the silent movie actress with a speaking voice totally unsuitable for the "talkies", completely steals the show.
Familiar well-loved musical numbers and great dance routines throughout. An
exception to the rule (mentioned above).
High Noon (1952)
On his wedding day, which also happens to be the day he quits his job as Marshal, Will Kane (Gary Cooper) single-handedly takes on the bad guys in a small western town in New Mexico.
Takes place in real time with clocks featured prominently in many scenes to remind us of this, while adding to the suspense.
The Quiet Man (1952)
Ex-boxer, Sean Thornton (John Wayne) goes home to Ireland and falls for the fiery Mary Kate Danaher.
The Irish countryside is beautifully depicted as is the cosy village in which events take place.
One of those movies where even the minor characters are memorable.
Maureen O'Hara is gorgeous as the willful Mary Kate.
Calamity Jane (1953)
I adored this movie as a child. It's still loads of fun. Set in the"wild west", Calamity Jane (Doris Day) is tasked with bringing a famous showgirl to her home town in Dakota. As her name suggests,
nothing ever goes smoothly when Calamity Jane is around, including the course of true love.
Great chemistry between Day and Howard Keel who plays Wild Bill Hickok.
Favourite scene is still the one where Calamity and Katie makeover Calamity's rundown cabin.
I do love a good makeover.
|Celebratory tea in the pretty refurbished cabin|
Roman Holiday (1953)
Beautiful location, very attractive leads (Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn), entertaining
story and a sweet romance - can't ask for more. (Although C watched this with me and I think she was a bit disappointed with the non-fairytale ending)
Hepburn is a princess who escapes from her minders during an official tour of Rome and
enjoys a day of freedom in the company of Gregory Peck, who is actually a reporter looking
for an exclusive story. Audrey Hepburn is so lovely it's distracting.
More Audrey indulgence - plus a touch of Gregory Peck gorgeousness.