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About rosebette

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    New England
  • Interests
    Vintage movies, especially precodes and films of 30s and 40s, literature, music (classical, show tunes and soundtracks, literature -- college English instructor), public TV and radio, yoga and fitness

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  1. Oh Lord, and even Judi Dench is in this as Tatiana, wearing next to nothing! It's hard to believe that they were all so young once!
  2. This is swell review (I love the observations about the clothes and sets), although I do disagree with your opinion of Rathbone and the ending. This is one of the few films in which he doesn't play a heel. I think he's fallen for Bennett from the beginning, and tries to help her out by introducing her to more cosmopolitan ways. I'm rather disappointed that she ends up with MacKenna, whose character, in my opinion, was unworthy of her.
  3. Gene Raymond had no on-screen chemistry with anyone. For there to be chemistry, there has to be something beside H2O.
  4. This is an enjoyable film with Basil Rathbone as a romantic lead. I'm disappointed in the ending, though. This was what he was being groomed for in the early talkies, then he went back on stage, then ended up at MGM and other students as a "independent contractor" playing mostly villains.
  5. It seems like just yesterday that she was hosting Masterpiece Theater, and maybe only a few days before, she was my girl crush. My sister and I used to play Avengers in the backyard. She was Steed (she always liked the guy roles), and I was Mrs. Peel. My dream was to grow up tall and slender so I could wear that catsuit and all those other mod clothes. No such luck -- I stopped growing at 5'2". She was a classy lady and a great actress. I think I enjoyed her most in Bleak House.
  6. I watched El Camino (1963) after the Women Directors documentary. I hadn't expected to like it, but I was charmed and moved by this film, the authenticity of the characters, especially the child actors. As an ex-Catholic, I was brought back to the humorous awfulness of small-town, pre-Vatican II Catholicism; many laugh out loud moments at the Church's expense. The cinema scenes reminded me of Cinema Paradiso, and I wonder if that director had viewed this film first. The ending brought me a few unexpected tears.
  7. Claude Rains in Deception (1946). I almost expected him to lift his head up off the step and continue another line of sarcastic dialogue. I just want more of him in that movie - what a scene-stealer!
  8. I watched A Hidden Life (2019) last night, about Franz Jurgenstatter, a rural Catholic who chooses to refuse to take the Nazi oath of allegiance, for which he and his family eventually suffer -- he is actually recognized as a Catholic martyr. It's beautifully directed by Terence Malick, and the natural landscapes of Franz's rural surroundings are magnificent. While this film depicts someone informed by a deep faith, it is never preachy or artificial. By the way, the institutional church does not come off as especially sympathetic in the story. I found this film haunting and unsettl
  9. Glen Frankel's High Noon tells the backstory of Carl Foreman, the blacklist, etc. It's an excellent read. I got it for Christmas from my brother 2 years ago. https://www.amazon.com/High-Noon-Hollywood-Blacklist-American/dp/1620409488
  10. I watched Olivia (1950) last night, and I was fascinated. I never thought a film in which there is no overt "action" could be so compelling as the complex relationships between the teachers and students in this film unraveled. Apparently this film was heavily censored in the U.S. because it is clearly about lesbian and queer relationships. The performances, from the actresses who played the leads, Miss Julie and Olivia, down to the cook, Victoire, and the math teachers. Simone Simone has a great part as a petulant and demanding hypochondriac.
  11. I watched Night Flight last night, which got rather mixed reviews because I guess the expectation was that all those great stars would be in scenes together, and one does feel rather cheated at seeing Gable only in a cockpit wearing a helmet most of the time and Myrna Loy is on camera for maybe about 5 minutes. However, I actually found it quite compelling. Amazing how far we have come from those early days when pilots took their lives into their hands; some of the flight scenes were especially harrowing, particularly Robert Montgomery's flight through the Andes and the later scenes with Ga
  12. I watched so many old movies on Saturday afternoon TV matinees with my Dad, so my memories of old films are inextricably intertwined with memories of him. However, our TV reception wasn't great, so he sent me to my grandmother's (they had a better signal) to watch The Adventures of Robin Hood for the first time. I must admit that it was love at first sight -- I fell for Errol and Olivia and hard. Then, when we got a stronger signal through cable, one station had the complete Warner's library. I saw Captain Blood for the first time on the same night that The Partridge Family aired, but r
  13. What Now, Little Man? (1934) I've been looking for this one to turn up on TCM, partly because I've become a little obsessed with Douglass Montgomery since seeing him in the original Waterloo Bridge, but also because it is a Frank Borzage film set in barely pre-Hitler Germany, a theme that director is noted for. Montgomery has more of a naturalistic acting style than one is accustomed to for that era, and in one scene is near tears when he is humiliated by an actor when he is working as a sales clerk at a heartless retail establishment. Margaret Sullivan is fragile and luminous, as always.
  14. I caught Thirty Day Princess and Sabotage. Thirty Day Princess was delightful, a bit like Lubitsch but with some Preston Sturges thrown in. I could see the roots of later films that Sturges either wrote or directed. The scene when one of Nancy's actor friends says "It's the same girl" reminded me of The Lady Eve, which also has a Doppelganger motif, and the idotic fiancee (who also turns up as a Sturges regular in later films) who is thrown off the train with his baggage reminds me of the scene when Henry Fonda jumps off the train after he finds out about Eve's "past." There's a key scen
  15. I don't think Kim has a true mullet, just bangs in the front and pulled back on the sides. She may actually have had short hair (which she does in most of her pictures) and a a fall piece was added to give length in the back. I'm female, so maybe I'm no judge, but I don't think too many on this site would say that Kim doesn't look beautiful in Picnic. Judy also doesn't have a mullet, but bangs and then the side hair pulled back. Of course, it's a wig styled for the period. I actually found Judy quite lovely in this film, especially in the Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas number
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