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About MelissaW.

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  1. Watching Song of Love this morning and struck by the scene where Clara races through a performance so that she can run backstage and breastfeed her baby (complete with a closeup of nursing baby curling its toes in satisfaction!) and wondering if anyone can think of any similar scenes in classic film, where it's obvious that the mother is breastfeeding. (I work on a maternity floor and mentioned the scene to the lactation nurses, and they wanted to know if there were other examples, but I was drawing a blank.)
  2. He's a virtuoso with an unerring eye for composition. It's true that the visuals in this particular film can overwhelm the story at times and can also dazzle to the point where you miss the significance of the scene or the intended symbolism. But that's really a high class problem with a simple solution. You just have to watch it again. I would love to see it on the big screen. It never came to my backwater town.
  3. I feel like I'm cheating on classic films, romancing this newer film behind their backs, but this movie has rocketed to the top of my favorites list and that's saying something since my "top ten" hasn't changed in about twenty years. I'm posting about it here on TCM because it is about an early Hollywood stuntman and is a paean to film making and ought to be of interest to classic film devotees like y'all. (Astute viewers will recognize tips of the hat to A Clockwork Orange, The Bicycle Thief and others.) Set in a hospital on the outskirts of Los Angeles around 1915, Hollywood stuntman Roy
  4. I'm not going to disagree on your choice of great films but I also want to acknowledge really wonderful performances in films that weren't necessarily great or important, such as This Above All, which to modern eyes is all overwrought patriotism and WWII propaganda but it includes a rare performance from Power that isn't as mannered as his other dramas at the time. In particular, the scene in the train where he is visibly shaken by Joan Fontaine's transformation when she changes clothes. And then there were the light, throwaway comedies. I personally think Power had brilliant comedic timi
  5. I get the Story of Alexander Graham Bell reference and all but did anyone outside this movie really refer to the telephone as "the Ameche"? I want to believe that it's true.
  6. And Airport. And Airport '75. (But I draw the line there.) It makes a great double feature with that other slice of Michael Pare cheese, Eddie and the Cruisers.
  7. I recently finished Washington Square (Henry James), the novel on which the play and subsequently the movie The Heiress was based. It started off wonderfully for me, with dazzling language. I particularly loved the deeper insights into the character of Aunt Pennimen: "She would have liked to have a lover and to correspond with him under an assumed name in letters left at a shop." And the nature of Catherine's relationship with her father: "Whenever he addressed her, he gave her pleasure; but she had to cut her pleasure out of the piece, as it were. There were portions left over, light
  8. 1984's "rock and roll fable" (that's more rock than roll) Streets of Fire. It's bombastic, sexist, over-the-top and occasionally silly. But it takes itself completely seriously and I love it for that and for a powerhouse soundtrack that features songs by Jim Steinman (Meatloaf), Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty and Ry Cooder. Okay, so Diane Lane lip-syncs to at least three different voices and Rick Moranis was badly miscast and Michael Pare sounds like his dialogue was dubbed by someone whose first language was not English and Willem Dafoe looks like Bob's Big Boy gone bad and in the end, violence is t
  9. Well, it was a radish, not a turnip. Perhaps if you view again with that in mind and the deep thematic significance of the radish as opposed to the turnip, it might all make better sense.
  10. Let's say for the sake of this discussion, under the age of two. (At my age, anyone under thirty is a baby, so you are wise to ask for clarification.)
  11. This is rather frivolous, but I can't help it. This baby in Bachelor Mother is the cutest baby I've ever seen. He's so responsive and charming. The moment when he reaches out for Charles Coburn's hand is so perfectly timed. If there is a cuter baby in classic film, I'd like to know about it! Which one is your favorite baby?
  12. I am reading Rupert of Hentzau, a sequel to The Prisoner of Zenda and kind of wishing I hadn't started it because it mucks up the lovely ending of the first story. If you've seen the movie versions, at the end, the king is all about how he's going to try to be a better king and I BELIEVED HIM. But in this book, his health is wrecked by his ordeal and he has become spiteful and embittered at the memory of how much better Rudolph Rassendyll was as a king than he can ever hope to be. Queen Flavia is miserably unhappy and makes several foolish mistakes that get her in hot water and in need of
  13. I *LOVE* when she does that with her hair. It is a master-stroke of characterization. It's especially great that we don't even really see the hair, but Regina does and she must deal with it. One thing the stark white makeup does is make her teeth look ghoulish (back in the day before everyone in Hollywood had bleached white Chiclets for teeth.) So that when she smiles--which is usually an unpleasant thing--her teeth are much darker than her face and add to that monstrous quality.
  14. I love some of the older British miniseries, like Poldark (based on the Winston Graham novels--Graham also wrote the novel on which Hitchcock's Marnie was based) and Brideshead Revisited. Have a soft spot for Flambards and Robin of Sherwood. Can't get on the Downton Abbey bandwagon because the characters are so horrible and tension is rarely sustained. Also, the writing goes from derivative (entire first season cribbed from Upstairs, Downstairs) to outright plagiarism. Did anyone else notice the bit in the first season that copied the flower show scene from Mrs. Miniver almost word for wo
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