The Classics tagged posts

The Titanic

The TitanicThe Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance-disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, The Titanic stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as members of different social classes who fall in love aboard the ship during its ill-fated maiden voyage.

In 1996, treasure hunter Brock Lovett and his team aboard the research vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh search the wreck of RMS Titanic for a necklace with a rare diamond, the Heart of the Ocean. They recover a safe containing a drawing of a young woman wearing only the necklace dated April 14, 1912, the day the ship struck the iceberg.  Rose Dawson Calvert, the woman in the drawing, is brought aboard Keldysh and tells Lovett of her experiences aboard The Titanic.

In 1912 Southampton, 17-year-old first-class passenger Rose DeWitt Bukater, her fiancé ...

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Forrest Gump

forrest-gumpForrest Gump is a 1994 American comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, and Sally Field. The story depicts several decades in the life of Forrest Gump, a slow-witted but kind-hearted, good-natured and athletically prodigious man from Alabama who witnesses, and in some cases influences, some of the defining events of the latter half of the 20th century in the United States; more specifically, the period between Forrest’s birth in 1944 and 1982. The film differs substantially from Winston Groom’s novel, including Gump’s personality and several events that were depicted.

In 1981, Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) sits at a bus stop in Savannah, Georgia...

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Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

Indiana JonesIndiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 American action adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, with a screenplay written by Lawrence Kasdan, from a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman.

Released on June 12, 1981, Raiders of the Lost Ark became the year’s top-grossing film and remains one of the highest-grossing films ever made. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards in 1982, including Best Picture, and won four for Best Art Direction, Film Editing, Sound, and Visual Effects with a fifth Academy Award: a Special Achievement Award for Sound Effects Editing.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is often ranked as one of the greatest films of all time, both in the action-adventure genre, and in general.[3] The film also ranks #2 on Empire’s 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time.

In 1936, archaeologist Indiana Jones braves an ancient booby-trapped temple in Peru and ...

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Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green TomatoesFried Green Tomatoes is a 1991 comedy-drama film based on the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg. Directed by Jon Avnet and written by Flagg and Carol Sobieski, it stars Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Mary-Louise Parker. It tells the story of a Depression-era friendship between two women, Ruth and Idgie, and a 1980s friendship between Evelyn, a middle-aged housewife, and Ninny, an elderly woman who knew Ruth and Idgie. The centerpiece and parallel story concerns the murder of Ruth’s abusive husband, Frank, and the accusations that follow. It received a generally positive reception from film critics and was nominated for two Academy Awards.

Evelyn Couch (Bates), a timid, unhappy housewife in her forties, meets elderly Ninny Threadgoode (Tandy) in an Anderson, Alabama nursing home...

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The Natural starring Robert Redford

The NaturalThe Natural is a 1984 sports drama. It is a film adaptation of Bernard Malamud’s 1952 baseball novel called The Natural, directed by Barry Levinson and starring Robert Redford, Glenn Close, and Robert Duvall.

The Natural was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actress (Glenn Close), and nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress (Kim Basinger).

In The Natural, Roy Hobbs is a boy who is a skilled baseball player, often playing catch with his father Ed (Alan Fudge). One day, his father suffers a fatal heart attack and drops dead near a tree on the family property. When the same tree is later struck by lightning, Hobbs fashions the heart of the tree’s trunk into a bat, which he dubs “Wonderboy”, carving a lightning bolt into it.

In 1923, a 19-year-old Hobbs (Robert Redford) is a promising pitcher...

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Hello, Dolly

Hello, DollyHello, Dolly! is a 1969 American romantic comedy musical film based on the Broadway production of the same name.  Hello, Dolly follows the story of Dolly Levi (a strong-willed matchmaker), as she travels to Yonkers, New York, to find a match for the miserly “well-known unmarried half-a-millionaire” Horace Vandergelder. In doing so she convinces his niece, his niece’s intended, and Horace’s two clerks to travel to New York City.

Directed by Gene Kelly and adapted and produced by Ernest Lehman, the cast includes Barbra Streisand, Walter Matthau, Michael Crawford, Danny Lockin, Tommy Tune, Fritz Feld, Marianne McAndrew, E. J. Peaker and Louis Armstrong (whose recording of the title tune had become a number-one single in May 1964).  Hello, Dolly! is considered one of the greatest musical films ever.

In 1890, all of New York City is excited because widowed, brassy Dolly Levi is in town (“Ca...

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The Sons of Katie Elder

 Sons of Katie ElderThe Sons of Katie Elder – John (John Wayne), who is a famous (or infamous) professional gunman; Tom (Dean Martin), a professional gambler; Bud (Michael Anderson, Jr.), the youngest brother, still in school; and Matt (Earl Holliman), an unsuccessful hardware dealer – reunite in their hometown of Clearwater, Texas (approximately 2 hours east of Dallas, Texas), in 1898 for their mother’s funeral, sharing regret that none of them has lived up to her high expectations of them.

The townspeople are unfriendly to The Sons of Katie Elder,  John and Tom in particular. Katie Elder was extremely well liked by everyone in the community, who were all aware of her honesty, her poverty and her undying love for the sons who neglected her...

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Rear Window

Rear Window #1 jpgRear Window is a 1954 American mystery thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and written by John Michael Hayes based on Cornell Woolrich’s 1942 short story “It Had to Be Murder”. Originally released by Paramount Pictures, Rear Window stars James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter and Raymond Burr. It was screened at the 1954 Venice Film Festival.

The film is considered by many filmgoers, critics and scholars to be one of Hitchcock’s best and one of the greatest movies ever made. The film received four Academy Award nominations and was ranked No. 42 on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies list and No. 48 on the 10th-anniversary edition. In 1997, Rear Window was added to the United States National Film Registry in the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

After breaking his leg photographing a racetrack accident, a professional ...

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Bringing Up Baby

Bringing Up Baby posterBringing Up Baby is a 1938 American screwball comedy film directed by Howard Hawks, starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, and released by RKO Radio Pictures.  Bringing Up Baby tells the story of a paleontologist in a number of predicaments involving a scatterbrained woman and a leopard named Baby. The screenplay was adapted by Dudley Nichols and Hagar Wilde from a short story by Wilde which originally appeared in Collier’s Weekly magazine on April 10, 1937.

The script was written specifically for Hepburn, and was tailored to her personality. Filming began in September 1937 and wrapped in January 1938; it was over schedule and over budget. Production was frequently delayed due to uncontrollable laughing fits between Hepburn and Grant. Hepburn struggled with her comedic performance and was coached by her co-star, vaudeville veteran Walter Catlett...

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To Kill A Mockingbird

In the movie To Kill A Mockingbird, Jean Louise “Scout” Finch and her brother Jeremy Atticus “Jem” Finch, live in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the early 1930s.  They spend their days happily playing games with each other and spying on Arthur “Boo” Radley , who has not been seen for many years by anybody as a result of never leaving his house.  Their widowed father, Atticus , is a town lawyer and has a strong belief that all people are to be treated fairly, to turn the other cheek, and to stand for what you believe.   Early in To Kill A Mockingbird, the children see their father accept hickory nuts, and other produce, from Mr. Cunningham  for legal work because he has no money.   Through their father’s work as a lawyer, Scout and Jem begin to learn of the racism and evil in their town, aggravated by poverty.

Kill A MockingbirdIn To Kill a Mockingbird a local judge  appoints Atticus t...

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Singin’ In The Rain

Singin’ In The Rain is one of my favorite musicals.  I believe it is very well acted and will always remain a very popular film.  Singin’ In the Rain contains three of my favorite actors in Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds.  A little known fact is that the last shot of the “Good Morning” number in Singin’ In The Rain, with Don, Kathy and Cosmo falling over the couch, took forty takes to film.Singin'

Singin’ In The Rain is a movie about Don Lockwood (Kelly)who is a popular silent film star with humble roots as a singer, dancer and stuntman. Don barely tolerates his vain, shallow leading lady, Lina Lamont (Hagen), though their studio, Monumental Pictures, links them romantically to increase their popularity. Lina herself is convinced they are in love, despite Don’s protestations otherwise.

At the première of his newest film, The Royal Rascal, Don tells the gathered crowd an exa...

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Stripes

Stripes In the movie Stripes, John Winger is a cab driver who, in the span of a few hours, loses his job, his apartment, his car, and his girlfriend. Realizing that his life is a failure, he decides to join the United States Army. Talking his best friend Russell Ziskey  into joining with him, they go to a recruiting office and are soon off to basic training.

Upon arrival at Fort Arnold, they meet their fellow recruits, and their drill sergeant, Sergeant Hulka. Moments after arriving, John offends Sgt. Hulka and is ordered out to do push-ups. He stands out as a misfit throughout the rest of basic training. Their commanding officer is the incompetent Captain Stillman. As basic training progresses, Russell and John become close to female MPs Louise Cooper and Stella Hansen. Not long before graduation, Sgt. Hulka is injured when Stillman orders a mortar crew to fire without setting target coordinat...

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Daddy Long Legs

daddy-long-legs-jpgDaddy Long Legs (1955) is a Hollywood musical comedy film set in France, New York City, and the fictional college town of Walston, Massachusetts. The film was directed by Jean Negulesco, and stars Fred Astaire, Leslie Caron, Terry Moore, Fred Clark, and Thelma Ritter, with music and lyrics by Johnny Mercer. The screenplay was written by Phoebe Ephron and Henry Ephron, loosely based on the 1912 novel Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster.

Daddy Long Legs was Fred Astaire’s only movie musical at 20th Century-Fox. It was also the only time he co-starred with Leslie Caron (who, at the time, was still under contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, but was lent to Fox for this production). The film was one of Astaire’s personal favorites, largely due to the script, which, for once, directly addresses the complications inherent in a love affair between a young woman and a man thirty years her senior...

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The Longest Day

the-longest-day-1962I  believe the Longest Day being filmed in the style of a docudrama was the best way to present this movie. Beginning in the days leading up to D-Day, it concentrates on events on both sides of the channel, such as the Allies waiting for the break in the poor weather and anticipating the reaction of the Axis forces defending northern France. The film pays particular attention to the decision by Gen. Eisenhower, supreme commander of SHAEF, to go after reviewing the initial bad-weather reports as well as reports about the divisions within the German High Command as to where an invasion might happen or what the response to it should be.

Numerous scenes document the early hours of 6 June when Allied airborne troops were sent in to take key locations inland from the beaches. The French resistance is also shown reacting to the news that an invasion has started. The Longest Day chronicles most...

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On Golden Pond

On Golden PondAn aging couple, Ethel and Norman Thayer, continue the long tradition of spending each summer at their cottage on a lake called Golden Pond, in the far reaches of northern New England. When they first arrive, Ethel notices the loons calling on the lake “welcoming them home”. As they resettle into their summer home, Norman’s memory problems arise when he is unable to recognize several family photographs, which he copes with by frequently talking about death and growing old. They are visited by their only child, a daughter, Chelsea, who is somewhat estranged from her curmudgeon of a father. She introduces her parents to her fiance Bill and his thirteen-year-old son Billy. Norman tries to play mind games with Bill, an apparent pastime of his, but Bill won’t hear of it, saying he can only take so much...

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The Pride of the Yankees

 Pride of the Yankees The Pride of the Yankees is a 1942 American film directed by Sam Wood and starring Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright, and Walter Brennan. It is a tribute to the legendary New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig, who died only one year before its release, at age 37, from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which later became known to the lay public as “Lou Gehrig’s disease”.

Though subtitled “The Life of Lou Gehrig”, The Pride Of the Yankees is less a sports biography than an homage to a heroic and widely loved sports figure whose tragic and premature death touched the entire nation. It emphasizes Gehrig’s relationship with his parents (particularly his strong-willed mother), his friendships with players and journalists, and his storybook romance with the woman who became his “companion for life,” Eleanor...

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MARY POPPINS

The movie combines songs, color and sequences of live action blended with the movements of animated figures. Mary Poppins is a kind of Super-nanny who flies in with her umbrella in response to the request of the Banks children and proceeds to put things right with the aid of her rather extraordinary magical powers.
The “Step in Time” sequence had to be filmed twice because of a scratch on the film from the first take. The entire sequence took a week to film.
Julie Andrews provided the whistling for the animatronic robin during the song “A Spoonful of Sugar”
The filmmakers didn’t inform Karen Dotrice or Matthew Garber about some “surprises” that were going to show up in the movie. Karen’s dumbfounded look when Mary Poppins takes out item after item from the carpet bag and her little scream when Mary Poppins gave them medicines of different colors were genuine...

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South Pacific

The cast of South Pacific consisted of Mitzi Gaynor who played Nellie Forbush, Rossano Brazzi played Emile de Becque, and Ray Walston played the fast-talking Luther Billis.

The story for Rogers and Hammerstein’s 1949 musical, South Pacific, is drawn from a Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel by James A. Michener, entitled Tales of the South Pacific, which dealt largely with the issue of racism. It is considered by most critics to be among the greatest musicals of the twentieth century. The original Broadway production won ten Tony Awards, including all four acting awards, and many of its songs went on to have a life of their own outside of the musical, including “Some Enchanted Evening,” “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,” “Happy Talk,” “Bali ha’i,” “Younger than Springtime,” and “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy.”

The musical opens on a South Pacific island, during World War II, wh...

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Ben-Hur (1959)

Ben-Hur is an American epic historical drama film, directed by William Wyler, produced by Sam Zimbalist for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Hugh Griffith and Haya Harareet. A remake of the 1925 silent film with the same name, Ben-Hur  was adapted from Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.
I am happy to say that I grew up in Crawfordsville, IN, where Lew Wallace, who wrote the book Ben Hur, lived. Needless to say we all read Ben Hur while in high school. Ben-Hur premiered on November 18, 1959. It was the fastest-grossing, highest grossing film of 1959, and was the second-highest grossing film in history at the time. It won a record 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (Wyler), Best Actor in a Leading Role (Heston), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Griffith), and Best Cinematography, Color (Surtees)...

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The Odd Couple

I just finished watching the Classic movie The Odd Couple. It stars Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau, and was released in 1968. It was written by the great playwright Neil Simon and was later made into a television show that ran from 1970 to 1975 and stared Jack Klugman and Tony Randall.

It is a great film about two men struggling through the difficult effects of recent divorces. Felix, played by Jack Lemon, is a neatness freak, and Oscar, played by Walter Matthau, is an easy going slob.

The Odd Couple opens as Felix is wandering the streets after he and his wife break up. He eventually checks into a hotel and gets a room on the top floor with the intent of jumping out the window to his death. After entering his room and removing all personal items from his clothing and putting them in an envelope for his family, he is unable to open the window, and in the process hurts his back...

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