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Monday, 27 June 2011

Box Set Monday #1: Deborah Kerr

Hello and welcome to my new series: Box Set Monday. The idea for it came when I was lamenting over the fact that so many wonderful stars don't have even one box set of their own. Fans of Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe etc. have many box sets available to them, but what about Deborah Kerr's fans? Or Greer's? And how about Eleanor and Roz Russell's? So, I decided that it would be fun to imagine I was able to create and manufacture the box sets for certain stars who haven't any; it seemed rather exciting to think about and pick out certain titles that would compliment each other and make a wonderful box set. So, to start of this series we have my queen, Deborah Kerr.

The Essential Deborah Kerr Box Set

From Here To Eternity, 1953
The Grass is Greener, 1960
The King and I, 1956
The Night of the Iguana, 1964
An Affair to Remember, 1957
The End of the Affair, 1955

Now, a little about why I chose this particular selection of films. Firstly, I wanted to have a mix of drama, romance, and comedy. I personally prefer box sets to have a mix of an actor or actresses' films from a variety genres. So, taking that into consideration, I selected from what I consider to be the "essentials" for every Deborah Kerr film fan or for getting someone hooked on her. There are films I missed out that I'm sure other people might have included (such as Black Narcissus, Separate Tables, Tea and Sympathy) but I chose the films that I personally think would make someone fall in love with Deborah. Perhaps I'll do a Vol. 2 of this box set and include some of the films I didn't in this one.

I picked From Here To Eternity because it's perhaps Deborah's most iconic role, not only because she made such a wonderful job of Karen Holmes, but also because it was pretty the first film in which she didn't play some prim, perfect lady. Although she did get more roles in a similar vein after FHTE, Deborah never really managed to shake off the "just sit there and look pretty and English" typecast. Therefore, as a testimony to both her talent and the fact that it's a brilliant film, FHTE had to be included.

The Grass is Greener is a film I think you can't help but love. It's easy going, it's funny, it has a great cast (Deborah, Jean Simmons, Cary Grant, Robert Mitchum), and it's such a great little film. There wasn't a doubt in my mind that I had to pick this as one of the comedies. It showcases how brilliant the entire cast were as comedians (not that we didn't already know Cary was) and always look as though they are having so much fun together. It never gets old.

Whilst FHTE is arguably Deborah's most iconic role, Anna Leonowens in The King and I is probably her most well known and well loved. It's a truly wonderful film, from the cast to the music, the colours, and of course, the storyline. Deborah shone as Anna, the English governess who although being quite prim and proper, had no qualms about giving the King of Siam a piece of her mind. Everyone knows and loves this film and you couldn't very well have make a Deborah Kerr box set without including it.

In The Night of the Iguana Deborah, Ava Gardner and Richard Burton all give magnificent performances - maybe the best of their respective careers. It's sadly not all that well known but it's an essential for, not only Deborah/Ava/Robert fans, but also for classic film fans in general.

An Affair to Remember: the ultimate romantic comedy. It's one of those films that when you say "I like classic films" to someone, they reply with "Oh, me too! I love blah blah blah and AATR!". Nevertheless, it's a wonderful tear-jerking film that mixes romance, drama and comedy perfectly. If you don't love Deborah after seeing her sing "Tomorrowland" with the little kiddies, you never will.

The End of the Affair is probably the film I'm most excited to include in this selection. It's breathtakingly stunning black and white photography combined with the heartbreaking story makes this very sadly underrated film not only one of my favourite Deborah films but one of my favourite films in general. It's tragic and beautiful, sweet and haunting. It's probably the darkest of all six films.

The Essential Deborah Kerr Box Set will retail for FREE! Because everyone needs a bit of Deborah in their lives ;D

I hope you enjoyed the first Box Set Monday. Any ideas for who box set (it's a legitimate term as of this moment) would be most appreciated. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

balloons, cake and birthday wishes for the 'woman of a thousand faces'

That's right ladies and gentlemen, a year has rolled by and once again we find ourselves celebrating the lovely Eleanor Parker's birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

I hope you have a wonderful days filled with raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens. See how seamlessly I managed to fit a TSoM reference into that sentence? Even though it technically had nothing to do with Eleanor...

ANYWAY, it's time for me to rustle up one of my 6 Reasons posts. I haven't done one of these since Deborah's birthday last year because none of my most favourite favouritest favourites have had any birthdays since then (except Glynis, but shhhhh she musn't find out!). In no particular order...

Reason #1 - Her smile

Reason #2 - The Baroness Schraeder Giggle

Reason #3 - Her chameleon-like ability in films

Check out Lizzie (1957) if you want to see her showcase her ability to morph from a mousy museum office worker Elizabeth into the more than slightly crazy Lizzie.

Reason #4 - Her voice

Reason #5 - Scaramouche

It should start at 5:10, one of my favourite parts. Eleanor is so hilarious as Lenore; the film wouldn't be any good without her in my opinion ;D

Reason #6 - Her ridiculous beauty and adorableness

There you have it! 6 serious and not so serious reasons I love the birthday girl. Once again, on the off chance that Eleanor is surfing the interwebz, I'd just like to extend my warmest wishes to you on this day and I hope that you enjoyed eating plenty of weiner schnitzel (sorry, my TSoM references cannot be tamed!) cake and had a wonderful time. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! ♥

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

New Poll: Who's Your Favourite von Trapp Kid?

As I've mentioned so many time before, The Sound of Music is one of my favourite films and when I was growing up I used to measure my age with the ages of the von Trapp children. Now I'm sadly older than all of them (at least I got someone to sing Sixteen Going on Seventeen to me before I turned 17), although most people would probably place my mental age somewhere between Gretl and Marta. My favourite growing up changed several times. First it was Gretl (and Liesl because she was so grown up!), then Louisa, and for the past few years it's been Brigitta. She is hilarious and brilliant and I want to be her! So, let me know who your favourite is by voting in the poll in the sidebar :)

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Films I Can Watch Over and Over #3

Although there are several Disney cartoons that hold a special place in my heart, on the whole I much prefer Disney's live action films of the late 50s-60s. If I could choose to live in any film, I would probably pick a Disney live action film (or Columbia's similar The Trouble With Angels, starring Hayley Mills). My favourite of these is The Parent Trap (1961) starring Maureen O'Hara, Brian Keith, and Hayley Mills... doubled. It's a great family film; just as enjoyable for adults as for children (both my parents like it). The comedy in it is absolutely brilliant (I don't laugh at loud often at films, but this one always has me chuckling) and Hayley Mills is utterly fantastic as always. I have the greatest respect for her as an actress. She can be sweet, she can be spunky, she can be just plain marvellous...

I can't talk about this film without mentioning how fabulous Maureen is in it. Seriously, her character is one of my favourite film Mums. She's so fierce, like always, and her red hair is so gorgeous that a;lfjda'ldsfja'ldfj you can't help loving her. Also, she and Brian Keith make such an adorable couple.

Ooops! Spoilers ;) (Ok, you won't get that reference unless you're a Doctor Who fan obsessed with River Song who I'm not even going to start talking about following last week's "revelation" episode which renders me incapable of thinking any good thoughts about Stephen Moffat and his self indulgent, ridiculous, far too serious story lines. Get out. Now.) Although, it's not as if it isn't blatantly obvious what's going to happen from the very first moment you read the back of the DVD cover, so... ;D You should watch it. Everyone should watch it. The Parent Trap is the best and I will not accept any blasphemous remakes starring Lindsay Lohan being obnoxious and flaunting an English accent I've never heard any English person use. Good day, sir!

Friday, 10 June 2011

My Classic Film Alphabet

I've wanted to do this since I saw Millie's great post in April but I only just got around to it. It took me quite a while to narrow down certain letters to just one film but in the end I decided just to go with the films that I'm really loving at the moment, regardless of whether I've loved them for years or for just a couple of months. I feel really bad for missing out Ball of Fire, It Happened One Night, The Grass is Greener, The Lady Eve, and so many more! Oh, well.

Here goes...

A is for Auntie Mame (1958)

B is for Breakfast at Tiffany's (1963)

C is for Cool Hand Luke (1967)

D is for Dream Wife (1953)

E is for The End of the Affair (1955)

F is for From Here To Eternity (1953)

G is for The Great Escape (1963)

H is for How To Steal a Million (1966)

I is for I Remember Mama (1948)

J is for Julia Misbehaves (1948)

K is for The King and I (1956)

L is for Love is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955)

M is for Mrs. Miniver (1942)

N is for The Night of the Iguana (1960)

O is for On the Beach (1959)

P is for The Parent Trap (1961)

Q is for The Quiet Man (1952)

R is for Random Harvest (1942)

S is for The Sound of Music (1965)

T is for The Trouble With Angels (1966)

U is for The Ugly Dachshund (1966)

V is for The Voice of the Turtle (1947)

W is for White Christmas (1954)

X is for nothing classic that I've seen. So you get The X Files. Any excuse to post a photo of Gillian Anderson.

Y is for Yours, Mine and Ours (1968)

Z is for Zulu (1964)

Thanks for reading! :)

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

My Year in Film: May

135. Niagara (1953)
136. The Trouble With Harry (1955)
137. The Virgin Suicides (1999)
138. Ladies They Talk About (1933)
139. Family Plot (1976)
140. Another Year (2010)
141. The Social Network (2010)
142. Love With the Proper Stranger (1963)
143. Topaz (1969)
144. Dance, Girl, Dance (1940)
145. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
146. The Lady Vanishes (1938)
147. Sabotage (1936)
148. Tea and Sympathy (1956)
149. Irresistible (2006)
150. Inside Daisy Clover (1965)
151. Le Fabuleux Destin D'Amélie Poulain (2001)
152. So Proudly We Hail! (1943)
153. Thelma and Louise (1991)
154. Love on the Dole (1941)
155. Easy A (2010)
156. True Grit (2010)
157. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
158. Pathfinders: In the Company of Strangers (2011)
159. The Fighter (2010)

1930s - 3
1940s - 3
1950s - 4
1960s - 3
1970s - 1
1980s - 0
1990s - 2
2000s - 3
2010s - 6

Most Watched Actresses

Natalie Wood - 3
Deborah Kerr - 2
Susan Sarandon - 2

Most Watched Actors

No actors appeared more than once.

New To Me Films I Really Loved

The Virgin Suicides (1999)
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Kathleen Turner, James Woods

This has to be one of the most haunting films I've seen in a long time. The cinematography is beautiful but there is nothing at all beautiful about the actual story. It's disturbing and the overwhelming feeling I had whilst watching it was that of a nightmare. It's not a film I'll watch again in a hurry and I'm not sure I would even say that I "loved" it, I don't think that's quite the right word, but I am glad I saw it.

Niagara (1953)
Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotten

If I'm honest, I didn't expect to like this, which is why I put off watching it for so long after I'd watched all the other films in my Marilyn box sets, but I was actually quite pleasantly surprised by it. It's chock-full of suspense and towards the end my eyes were glued to the screen. Both Cotten and Monroe gave great performances and I definitely count this among my favourite of Monroe's films.

Le Fabuleux Destin D'Amélie Poulain (2001)
Starring: Audrey Tatou

I've wanted to see Amélie for years so I was very excited to finally get to watch it! It wasn't exactly what I had imagined it was going to be, but I wasn't disappointed. It's beautiful, charming, romantic, thought-provoking, and absolutely wonderful. Audrey Tatou is such a great actress, I'm looking forward to seeing more of her films. I highly recommend this film!
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