Jun 27, 2011

5 Mini Reviews including 'My Reputation' & 'This above all'

Hi guys, here are my brief commentaries of the movies I've seen lately but haven't reviewed:

1. The three lives of Thomasina (1964; Don Chaffey)
I really liked this Disney movie. It's about a widower (a vet) his daughter, and her cat, Thomasina living in a small village. After his wife died, the vet became kind of detached: if an animal is dying, he doesn't care about the feelings of the owner. When Thomasina, the cat, is seriously injured, he doesn't try to help her and is let to die.

The daughter doesn't forgive her dad for this; everyone believe the cat died. Only she didn't and a nice "witch" is taking care of her. It was fun, kept you intrigued and the kids from Mary Poppins (Karen Dotrice & Mathew Garber) play the main characters here too.

2. I wake up screaming (1941; H. Bruce Humberstone)
DorianTb recommended me this movie and I loved it! Told in flashbacks from different points of views, the movie tells the story of a woman (Carole Landis) that was murdered. The police is trying to find the killer and her manager (Victor Mature) is the main suspect. The victim's sister (Betty Grable) doesn't agree. Directed by H. Bruce Humberstone, the film makes you wonder, makes you change your opinion with every flashback and then root for the innocents. It was great to see Laird Cregar, the Devil from Heaven can wait (review), playing a mysterious Police Inspector.

3. My reputation (1946; Curtis Bernhardt)
Loved this "drama", although I didn't like the ending very much. Basically, a widow (Barbara Stanwyck) is condemned by the society and her family because she's in love with George Brent and they hang out WITHOUT BEING MARRIED. Obviously, you have to see this movie in perspective to get the drama in that. My favorite things from this movie are Eve Arden's awesomely well delivered jokes (made me want to watch more from her movies as you'll see in the next post of mini reviews) and Barbara Stanwyck's usual terrific acting skills. Please, check this scene:

Why I didn't like the ending? Because they decided to end everything according to the social rules (and the Hays Code I guess). I enjoyed watching it anyway.

4. The wedding night (1935; King Vidor)
I actually re-watched this film. Gary Cooper is a writer (inspired in Francis Scott Fitzgerald) that likes to drink and party with his wife. At some point he decides to start writing a new book in the country, alone. There he meets a Pole family of farmers with strict rules and falls in love with the simplicity and sweetness of the daughter, Anna Sten (although in real life the actors hated each other and he called her Anna "Stench").

I love this movie (even when it seems that the portrayal of the Poles was far too barbaric) and it always makes me cry. Anna has to marry a primitive-looking Ralph Bellamy (he does a great job, makes you forget his elegant roles) because her dad needs lands or money or whatever.
There are some scenes beautifully played, that makes you really empathize with the characters. The protagonists need each other and you can see they would be happy together and help each other...but, well, see the movie to check what happens. I like how they developed the ending.

5. This above all (1942; Anatole Litvak)
This is a movie that was made to give strengths to the people during World War II. You know them: they always end with a speech delivered by someone looking to the horizon. But I enjoyed the ride: Tyrone Power and Joan Fontaine are great together.
Set in England, their chracters have different social backgrounds: he comes from the working class while her family is rich and powerful. She decided to become a volunteer and while she is on that, she meets Ty, a guy that has issues with having to defend his country. I liked it because they enjoy their love and give a leap of faith, facing social prejudice (like taking ONE room at a hotel for a weekend) and their own fears.

Well, that's all for now, folks! I wrote 5 mini-reviews more, I'll publish them in a few days (so don't believe is the same post).

PS: Remember that if you're replying as a guest you can leave the link to you site. Just click the option "Link to your website" under "Your name".


  1. Very much enjoyed your latest minireviews. I loved MY REPUTATION when I saw it but found I didn't remember much about that clip at all -- Stanwyck is so good conveying a variety of emotions in it. I have to rewatch that one!

    THIS ABOVE ALL is in my stack to watch soon -- it's the only film in a boxed set of Tyrone Power films I haven't seen yet.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these movies!

    Best wishes,

  2. "The Wedding NIght" is one of my favorite Gary Cooper movies. It's so touching and sad.

  3. The Barbara Stanwyck one looks fun! Is it really a drama? Sounds a lot like a comedy to me!

  4. Thank you for your comment - I do hope you don't mind the link!! I just think your site is absolutely divine :) xx

  5. I loved "The Three Lives of Thomasina" when I a kid! I had forgotten all about that movie, and your post reminded me. My own cat looked exactly like Thomasina. Thanks for bringing back a fond childhood memory!

  6. Patricia Nolan-HallJune 28, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    Thanks for catching us up on your recent viewings. I read somewhere that "My Reputation" was one of Barbara Stanwyck's favourite roles. I think she and George Brent made a fantastic team.

  7. Thank you Laura :) Yeah, even when "My Reputation" was a drama , that was one of my favorites scenes from it. The way Barbara Stanwyck played it is just perfect and funny. "This above all" is entertaining and I liked how Joan and Ty worked together. Thank you for the feedback ^^

  8. I know!! I always end up crying. Thanks for stopping by, Melissa :)

  9. Yeah, I know. But it is a drama, with some funny comic relief scenes. I liked it overall, only the ending wasn't very surprising :) Thanks for visiting, Emma!

  10. Hi Caroline, no, of course I don't mind the link, on the contrary, thanks for spreading the word & for your kind words :)

  11. You're welcome, "The Three Lives of Thomasina" was really fun! Nice you had a cat like Thomasina, it was very cool :) Thanks for visiting :)

  12. Yeah, Barbara and George were great together, nice chemistry in "My reputation". I didn't know it was one of her fave roles, thanks for the info. And thanks for visiting :)

  13. I haven't seen *I Wake Up Screaming* but I have seen the nearly identical remake (from what I hear) starring Jeanne Crain and Jean Parker. I enjoyed it but would still really like to see the 'original' as I hear that it is the better of the two.

  14. Clara, I loved your mini-reviews, and I'm happy to hear you enjoyed I WAKE UP SCREAMING; glad you found my recommendation to be a good one! :-) By the way, I did check out Errol Flynn's 1941 comedy-mystery FOOTSTEPS IN THE DARK on TCM, and I found it to be light-hearted fun, with Flynn a hoot as a writer by night and a sleuth and banker by day. His in-and-out accent as he tries to convince burlesque queen Lee Patrick that he's a Texas millionaire cracked me up! :-)

  15. Thanks Dorian! Yes, I really liked "I wake up screaming", so intriguing :) Uhm, I haven't seen "Footsteps in the Dark", I reviewed "Cry Wolf" (with Errol and Barbara Stanwyck), but your description made me want to see it soon! ^^ Thanks for visiting my blog, girl!

  16. Hey, Audrey, you're right! I didn't know "I wake up screaming" was remade! I'll check "Vicky", you should check the original :) Thanks for the feedback!

  17. Oops, you're right, Clara: I did a mini-review of FOOTSTEPS IN THE DARK, but forgot to also mention that I finally had a chance to see CRY WOLF on TCM! I'll admit I missed the first 10 minutes, but I was riveted for the rest of it; it was a fun little woman-in-peril kind melodrama. I'm glad your review gave me the opportunity to watch it; thanks! Also, I've added Via Margutta 51 as one of the recommended blogs in the "Further Distractions" section of my blog "Tales of the Easily Distracted," because your blog is always a delight to read. Thanks for writing great blog posts! :-)

  18. Cool you got to see "Cry Wolf"! I think it was pretty awesome, especially the part in which Barbara starts investigating the mansion! Thank you very much for adding me to your "Further Distractions" section and for your kind words! I thought that Blogger had automatically added your site to my blog roll, but it didn't; I corrected that :)



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