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(More) Transformational movies ... like "Now, Voyager"


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I have watched Now, Voyager 100 times (or more) over the years. I enjoy the fact that I get to witness the once-a-doormat daughter change her attitude, and become a free-thinking, free-acting human being. In this vein, there are modern movies like Mumford ... and even The Dream Team. I would appreciate it if you could recommend any transformational movies to me.

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Thank you, Fred, for your suggestions.


I have seen It's a Wonderful Life 20 times, usually around Christmas time. It's a classic.

That isn't quite what I am looking for. There is a character in it who is transformed for the better (including, the realization that he is loved at the end of the movie). But first, George Bailey transformed from a fun-loving guy (with dreams, and the ability to have a good time), into a man who became darker and darker (to the point of suicide). Finally, after Divine intervention, the last 15 seconds of the movie (during which I usually cry), George sees life differently (as the precious thing it is).


What I would like to see is, that movie ending 30 minutes after it did, to allow me to witness George feeling good about life. Also, I am looking for a movie where the tone is a little more upbeat, where this movie is pretty grim.


I have seen Les Miserables. It, too, is pretty dark. A man constantly pursued.


As far as your 3rd suggestion, I have not seen it. I look forward to checking it out.

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Yes, mr6666, The Heiress is truly a transformational goodie.


A woman is beaten down for years, even though she is kind and obedient. Then, a cad takes her "for a ride." Finally, she returns the "favor." She is a sucker no more.


Thanks for reminding me. I will buy a copy soon.

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Hi, Hollywood, I appreciate your welcoming me.


A silly search follows:

I went to look up White Banners in my Leonard Maltin book ... it wasn't there.

I looked in another movie book ... still no luck.


Finally, I went to IMDB (Duh), and read about it.

It seems to be a dark movie.

When I watch a dark movie, I am usually bleeding (with pity for the poor soul).


I was wondering if you could let me know if there is a goodly amount of the movie which is after the transformation? If so, I will keep my eyes open to find it on a movie channel.

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Pygmalion (1938) - Leslie Howard, Wendy Hiller


May Fair Lady (1964) - Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison


The Enchanted Cottage (1945) - Dorothy MacGuire, Robert Young (two emotionally damaged people are transformed by love-in-a-cottage)


Peter Ibbetson (1935) - Gary Cooper, Ann Harding (childhood sweethearts rediscover each other through the power of belief)


My Reputation (1946) - Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent (a repressed widow struggles out of her shell when she meets a handsome officer)


The Smiling Lieutentant (1934) - Maurice Chevalier, Claudette Colbert, Miriam Hopkins

(Miriam Hopkins is transformed from dowdy to dazzling when she learns to "Jazz Up Your Lingerie" :D )


Sabrina (1954) - Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, William Holden (A chauffeur's daughter is transformed by a trip to Paris---it can happen!)


Vertigo (1953) - James Stewart, Kim Novak. (Hitchcock's ultimate transformational movie---but not very "upbeat")

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> {quote:title=oldie-viewer wrote:}{quote}

> Finally, I went to IMDB (Duh), and read about it.

> It seems to be a dark movie.

> When I watch a dark movie, I am usually bleeding (with pity for the poor soul).


I don't think it's dark, certainly not in the sense of a movie like It's a Wonderful Life which has some dark moments. Yes, there's some drama to it, but it doesn't seem particularly dark to me.


> I was wondering if you could let me know if there is a goodly amount of the movie which is after the transformation? If so, I will keep my eyes open to find it on a movie channel.


I'm not sure I understand the question, but I think what makes the movie so special is the way Fay Bainter's character subtly (and not-so-subtly) changes the people around her. And especially the little kid (Jackie Cooper, I believe).


The movie has been shown on TCM a few times, though recently they said they were having rights issues with it. Hopefully, it will be back on the schedule soon.

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You mentioned that you tried to look up the movie "White Banners" in Leonard Maltin's movie book. but it wasn't there. You need to look in the right book!


Inevitably as each new edition is published and Leonard adds new titles, the book gets bigger and bigger. So several years ago he had to start deleting some older and more obscure titles, not with anything against any of those particular movies, and I'm sure he hated to do it, but he felt he had to, in order to keep the book down to a practical size. "White Banners" is one title that got dropped a few years ago, so if you had looked it up in one of the older editions of the book you'd have found it.


Then a few years ago Leonard decided to publish a companion book to the regular one, and round up all the deleted titles as well as lots of other older movies that had never made it into the other book before. This companion book is called "Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide" and it contains only movies from before 1960 (soon to extend to 1965 in the next edition, which Leonard says will be out next year).


So, what does it say about "White Banners"?

Here's the entry:

"Fay Bainter shines in this inspirational Lloyd C. Douglas tearjerker as a motherly mystery woman who arrives in a small town and eases herself into the lives of teacher-inventor Claude Rains, his family, and schoolboy Jackie Cooper."

The movie rates three stars (out of four).

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Since you youself mentioned several modern films, have you seen "The Mirror Has Two Faces", directed by and starring Barbra Streisand? I think it's very much in the vein of "Now, Voyager", though I think Streisand seems much more self-satisfied as the "****" than Bette's beautifully restrained characterization of Charlotte. For modern films, I would also recommemd "The Dexil Wears Prada" for Ann Hathaway's deft transformation.


Edited by: DougieB on Oct 19, 2009 10:50 AM

for an addition.

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For oldies, one of my faves would be "Blonde Venus" with Marlene Dietrich. She plays a showgirl who becomes a devoted wife and mother. When her husband becomes ill, she returns to the stage to earn the money for his treatment and the plot moves from there. Without being a spoiler, I can say she rises, falls, rises again, then returns to the life that means the most. It's hokey, sure, but I say it touches the heart. More hokum would be the various "Madame X"s. It's a very convoluted story about disgrace and redemption, but one I personally enjoy. TCM has shown both the Ruth Chatterton and Lana Turner versions. For more suggestions, I would refer you to Jeanine Basinger's "A Woman's View: How Hollywood Spoke To Women 1930-1960". It's a great read and it would be full of suggestions for films about women and the transformations they made in films of that era.

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Bette Davis in Pocket Full of Miracles

Freddie Bartholomew in Captians Courageus

Debbie Reynolds in The Unsikable Molly Brown

Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman

William Powell in My Man Godfrey

Eddie Arnold in You Can't Take it With You

Barbara Stanwyck in Remember the Night

Micky Rooney in Boys Town

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