Claudette Colbert was a fabulous comedian who seemed to have chemistry with any male actor. Imagine how great she might have been if she had just relaxed a little regarding her profile. She also wore a lot of make-up. I can’t imagine her posing as a twelve year old devoid (ish) of face paint like Ginger Rogers did in The Major and the Minor.
I adore Mary Astor. I find her sympathetic no matter how unsympathetic she is supposed to be and Andy and I decided she was better looking than Claudette.
The first moment I realised I was going to like this film occured with Colbert’s first appearance looking tiny and gorgeous in a gold dress.
Unfortunately, the film dragged on too long and I certainly could have done without the divorce court scenes and Colbert saying she would submit to a spanking if only her husband said he loved her.
Rex O’Malley was hilarious as the gay friend. John Barrymore was fine as the husband despite his eyes wandering around looking for his lines. Don Ameche was an attractive leading man but he was never one of my favourites.
Favourite scenes: Colbert on the phone to her “daughter” and Colbert convincing the others that Ameche was insane: “what is the matter with you people!”
It’s a millipede!
It's a whole load of caterpillars!
It's a right profile!
The Major and the Minor
This film was a hit for me until it got to the military academy and its icky premise fell off the bar and into the pit of tasteless and disturbing. The first boy’s Maginot Line stuff was a route to rape and Kirby’s stupidity was annoying. If the film had explored that he was attracted to Ginger as her mother as well as the child then the film might have got away with an explanation that he loved what was inside her not just the exterior.
I do particularly like Ginger’s five or ten minutes as an eleven year old at the station and on the train particularly when she conceals a cigarette in her mouth.
This was excellent. I get that some people are dismayed that it’s a lesbian film in which an unhappy lesbian dies fuelling the dead lesbian cliché. However, the sexuality of the leading characters is no more important that the sexuality of the characters in some other arty film. I do wish it had had a happy ending despite the fact they were a poorly matched couple.
Patricia Clarkson wobbled along the line of amazing and a little bit silly which is a shame because she was close to stealing the film from Radha Mitchell and Ally Sheedy who really impressed me. The former also looked like Cillian Murphy so if they could play siblings soon that would be great.
And I liked that Syd wasn’t having any of her boyfriend’s criticism of her work and interests. I am fed up with the b/f or husband either being a boor about such matters or being portrayed as being right.
The most moving moment was Syd weeping as she confesses that she loves Lucy.
A Letter to Three Wives
Joseph Mankiewicz had a good 1949 and 1950 with this and All About Eve and judging by how I feel today, I think I prefer A Letter to Three Wives, it was that good. It starts off slowly but when Deborah says “great leveleller” I knew we were onto a winner.
The use of sound effects was a little cheesy but was also unusual and rather quirky which was cool.
Fabulous rude dialogue: "Sadie may not realize it, but whether or not she thinks she's listening, she's being penetrated."
I liked George and Rita the most. George was witty and Kirk Douglas played him perfectly. Rita at first seemed best friend material until the fact that she was radio writer proved to be very important. George’s attitude was very modern (so modern, in fact, that I find it hard to imagine him in a film in these reactionary times) and, although I could have done without him shoving Rita into her seat, I did like what he said. He was less concerned that he wasn’t the main provider than he was with his wife selling out. He didn’t mind her earning more than him he just wanted her to be proud about how he was earning it and not kow-towing to commercialism.
Coincidentally, the narrators of this and All About Eve are called Addie and Addison.
Come Next Spring
I adored this when I was younger but hearing Ann Sheridan taking and getting the blame for men’s behaviour was not nice in my “oh my god, feminism has ruined everything for me” days.
Ann and Steve Cochran made a hot couple. I liked her a lot, she had so much oomph!
I like Steve in this but I have this feeling that he was totally sleazy in real life but I don’t know the details.
Night and the Fog
In general, I don’t like film noir not even noir set in post war, pre Festival of Britain London so I don’t know why I tried. The wrestling/fight scene was bloody unpleasant as was every single character except Gene and Hugh and they were boring.