Friday, July 29, 2011

A Letter to Three Wives (1949) All of them wondered which of them wandered!

A Letter to Three Wives (1949) 20th Century FOX
Directed By: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Starring: Ann Sothern, Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell & Kirk Douglas

"All of them wondered which of them wandered!"

  • Movie is based on novel entitled "Lettter to Five Wives"
  • Won 2 Academy Awards for Best Director & Best Writing (Screenplay) in 1950.

The story centers on three married women who are all friends: Deborah (Crain), Rita (Sothern) & Lora Mae (Darnell). All ladies are close and dear friends and reside in NY state. On the day we are introduced to them all three are boarding a boat filled with children. Just before the boat sails a messenger delivers a letter posted to all three ladies. All three gather around and read the devastating letter that states that a friend of their's being Addie has left town for good. The cherry on top is that Addie has left with a married man, one of their husbands but wont mention who! Each lady after this news has a flashback on the ups and downs of marriage and the circumstances they are in. It is a long day for each of these ladies but at the end of the day one will find out which man has strayed. A very well acted film that showcases each of the fine actresses.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In Pictures: Rosalind Russell

In Pictures: Rosalind Russell
Here is our eighteenth installment of this very successful feature to "Love Those Classic Movies!!!" This article is simply an enjoyment via beautiful pictures of our favorite golden age classic stars. Not a lot of writing at all or tid bits or extras just simply as it is stated, "in pictures!" Hope you all enjoy one of the original great actress's of the silver screen Rosalind Russell and her brilliance in pictures, cheers!!!!

His Girl Friday (1940) "She Learned About Men From Him!"

His Girl Friday (1940) Columbia Pictures
Directed By: Howard Hawkes
Starring: Rosalind Russell, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy & Gene Lockhart

  • The role of Hildy Johnson was originally offered to Jean Arthus who turned it down due to her experiences working with Howard Hawkes which left neither on frienly terms.
  • Based on the play "The Front Page"
  • The original production had the role of Hildy as a male character where the film decided to change which worked wonderfully!
  • The film is #19 on "American Film Institute's: 100 Years, 100 Laughs"

In this whitty film where dialogue is fast paced and comedy is nothing short of excellence we meet Walter Burns (Grant) who is a big shot editor for "The Morning Post" in NYC. Walter to his surprise and shock finds out that his ex-wife who also was a sharp reporter for the same newspaper is getting remarried and moving to upstate NY. Hildy Johnson (Russell) is giving everything up to become a stay at home mother and wife which is unlike the pesron that Walter truly knows.  The new man in Hildy's life is Bruce Baldwin (Bellamy) who deals with insurance and seems to be very opposite of everything she is about.

Walter with this new information about the nuptuals decides to be sneaky and push Hildy into taking part in one last story before she leaves and changes her life for good. The thought is with her feet back into her passion that she will not be able to leave nor get married. The story happens to be a very hot one which is covering the execution of a convicted murderer Earl Williams (John Qualen). This story then reteams them together. Walter is so fixated on keeping Hildy with him and to rekindle things that he is determined to remove Bruce from the picture by doing nasty things which are lies in order to get him arrested. This will allow the ex's to have more time with one another which does not really work well since they both know exactly how to set one another off.

The major part of the story that both Hildy and Walter did not plan on was that the convicted would escape prison and literally fall into each other's hands at the paper. The sheriff (Lockhart) is determined to find this run away convict which the reporters hide. Not known to anyone the sheriff and mayor of the city had a hidden agenda with this convict that for election purposes it was determined to do what it took to execute Earl. This even is the case when they obtain a reprieve from the governor and try to sweep that under the carpet, very ill things going on.

Walter and Hildy come to the rescue when finding out about Earl being not guilty and intervene. The crazy slap stick comedy and one liners come into action in this non stop masterpiece of a comedy!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mourning Becomes Electra (1947) "Rivals In Ruthelessness Even To Murder!"

Mourning Becomes Electra (1947)  RKO Studios
Directed By: Dudley Nichols
Starring: Rosalind Russell, Michael Redgrave, Raymond Massey & Kirk Douglas

  • Film was based on the original stage play written in 1931 by Eugene O'Neill.
  • Film originally ran just a few minutes under 3 hours and RKO Studios decided due to poor box office to cut it to 105 mins though it has been recently restored to it's 173 mins.
  • Nominated for 2 Academy Awards (1948) including Best Acto for Michael Regrave & Best Actress for Rosalind Russell who was a major favorite for her wodnerful portrayel of Lavinia though lost to Loretta Young.
  • Rosalind Russell won the Golden Globe in 1948 for Best Actress.

Set during the Civil War, in New England the very wealthy and respected family The Manons are thought of with great admiration. Ezra (Massey) and Christine (Latina Paxinou) are the parents in this family with two daughters, Lavinia (Russell) and Orin (Redgrave). Behind closed doors this seemingly perfect family has a lot of hidden and dark issues that are coming more visible to others. Both children since birth have been arranged to marry another highly respected family's children: Peter (Douglas) and Hazel Niles (Nancy Coleman).

The large issue is between Ezra and Christine whose love seems to have faded and has been brought to focus in other borderline romantic feelings for their children. Ezra has a lot of affaction for his daughter Lavinia and so does Christine for her son, Orin. Ezra tries to love his wife though has no idea that in return she has true hatred for him. Ezra and his son Orin are called into fight and are away to battle the great Civil War. During this time Lavinia falls in love with a ship's captain, Adam Brant (Leo Genn)  though finds out he is having an affair with her own mother. Lavinia now sees red and hates both Adam and her own mother.

Upon return of the ended war both father and son arrive home. As soon as Orin is home Lavinia tells him of the affair and then further tells him the correct actions to take.  Orin does not agree with this action and decides to follow-up with his own path. Both siblings are not happy with the situation at hand but are willing to deal with it in different manners one possibly death. A very well acted and thoroughly enjoyable film.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mrs. Pollifax-Spy (1971) "The Spy Who Came Out Of The Kitchen"

Mrs. Pollifax-Spy (1971) United Artists

Directed By: Leslie H. Martinson
Starring: Rosalind Russell, Darren McGavin, Harold Gould, Nehemiah Persoff & John Beck

"Mrs. Polifax, The Spy Who Came Out Of The Kitchen"


Mrs. Pollifax also known as Emily (Rosalind Russell) a widower with no responabilities walk right into the CIA and inquires about becoming a spy! Her huband has passed and all of her children have grown up and moved leaving her too much time. The CIA is taken back since never having someone walk right in and volunteer since they always go and do there own recruiting. Mrs. Pollifax has a recommendation for a local senator which she hopes will help sway them for thiking of her. The funny part is that they take her on as a spy for a "little errand." She is going on vacation asccording to her family so the undercover begins!  She takes a flight to Mexico City and while there needs to go to a bookstore to find a book "A Tale of Two Cty's" when going in asking for it and then gets the book and heads back to Washington D.C. and DONE!

Emily is to be known as her own identity when on this mission that is told to her to be a fast and very brief one. There seems to be a lot more going on on this mission relating to danger that the CIA kept from Emily which brings more intrique and action! Emily goes to the bookstore and does not see the book in the window but is offered to come in and is given a deck of cards instead. When she leaves another murders the bookstore owner and covers as the owners family when Emily comes back for the book. They are all after this film and Emily finds herself drugged after having something to drink and wakes up handcuffed to another person captured on a plane heading east......they have been captured!

Emily is now in Albania with another spy and who knows what is going to happen!