Tuesday, March 31, 2009


In 1965, there were 350 movies made. Animal movies, i.e. Clarence the Cross Eyed Lion comes to mind. Without researching the movies of ‘65, I am inclined to believe there where a lot of “CURSE OF” type movies. It is a time when drugs, like LSD are in movie titles.

On the fly, I would think The Sound of Music or Doctor Zhivago would be contenders of the best movie of the year. This is the last of the following the Awards trail. Old Trunks has enjoyed proving the idea that many movies are make overs from previous movies, some numerous of times.

*The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews, nominated. Baron Von Trapp, a widower, runs his home near Salzburg like the ship he once commanded. That changes when Maria arrives from the convent to be the new governess of his seven children. Their romps through the hills inspire all to sing and to find joy in the smallest things -- like raindrops on window panes. With a renewed zest for life, the baron hosts a party to introduce his new fiance. Maria knows then she does not want to be a nun. She marries the baron. The happy ever after part is threatened when Austria's new German rulers want the baron back in military service.

Darling, A beautiful but amoral model sleeps her way to the top of the London fashion scene at the height of the Swinging Sixties. Stars Julie Christy, selected as best actress, and Laurence Harvey.

Doctor Zhivago, Young and beautiful Lara is loved by three men: a revolutionary, a mogul, and a doctor. Their lives become intertwined with the drama of Russian revolution. Doctor Zhivago is still married when he meets Lara. Their love story is unfolding against the backdrop of revolution which affects the doctor's career, his family, and his love to Lara. The director had desired to use a well-known Russian song but could not locate the rights to it, and delegated responsibility to Jarre. After several unsuccessful attempts at writing it, Lean suggested to Jarre that he go to the mountains with his girlfriend and write a piece of music for her. Jarre says that the resultant piece was "Lara's Theme", and Lean liked it well enough to use it in numerous tracks for the film.

Ship of Fools, Great movie starring Vivian Leigh and Lee Marvin. Passengers on a ship traveling from Mexico to Europe in the 1930s represent society at large in that era. The crew is German, including the ship's doctor who falls in love with one of the passengers, La Contessa. A young American woman, Jenny, is traveling with the man she loves, David. Jenny is fascinated and puzzled by just who some of the other passengers are.

A Thousand Clowns, Stars Jason Robards as Murray. Twelve-year-old Nick lives with his Uncle Murray, a Mr.Micawber-like Dickensian character who keeps hoping something won't turn up. What turns up is a social worker, who falls in love with Murray and a bit in love with Nick. As the child welfare people try to force Murray to become a conventional man (as the price they demand for allowing him to keep Nick), the nephew, who until now has gloried in his Uncle's iconoclastic approach to life, tries to play mediator.

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, Richard Burton nominated. British agent Alec Leamas refuses to come in from the cold war during the 1960s, choosing to face another mission, which may prove to be his final one.
Cat Ballou, Lee Marvin wins. This musical spoof of Westerns featured Lee Marvin in dual roles that won him a Best Actor Oscar. Jane Fonda stars as the title character, a prim schoolmarm returning to her hometown of Wolf City, Wyoming, after receiving an Eastern education. She hires Cat Ballou to avenge her father's death.

Othello, Laurence Olivier, nominated. The evil Iago pretends to be friend of Othello in order to manipulate him to serve his own end in the film version of this Shakespeare classic.

A Patch of Blue, Shelly Winters, Best Supporting, Elizabeth Hartman, nominated. Sidney Poitier stars Accidentally blinded by her prostitute mother Rose-Ann at the age of five, Selena D'Arcy spends the next 13 years confined in the tiny Los Angeles apartment that they share with "Ole Pa", Selena's grandfather. One afternoon at the local park, Selena meets Gordon Ralfe, a thoughtful young office worker whose kind-hearted treatment of her results in her falling in love with him, unaware that he is black.

Inside Daisy Clover, Ruth Gordon, nominated. Daisy Clover (Natalie Wood) goes from teenage girl to movie star practically overnight when her demented mother enters her voice in a talent-search contest. From a broken-down carnival on the Santa Monica Pier, in no time at all she is attending glamorous Hollywood parties.


Perhaps it is because I went to Saturday matinees; I still like a good shootum up, gun’um down movies. You can’t beat a good western or an animal story.

Yet, regardless of the year, it seems there are always thrillers, mysteries, adventures, comedy, military/war movies along with those wonderful sappy, pass the tissue type movies that this old softie seems to get caught up in. I do not like horror or monsters and even on TV, I have trouble with blood and guts and hope I am out of the room when it is happening. Yet I have at least one child who LOVES horror movies!

I grew up with Andy Rooney playing his Andy Hardy roles and still watch them when they are on. So for all of you who watched Roy Rogers ride into the sunset or Tarzan fans who watched him swing from vine to vine, I bidyou great movie watching.


AWARDS 1963 and 1964

*Tom Jones,
Albert Finney, nominated, Dame Edith Evans and Joyce Redman, nominated. Hugh Griffith, nominated. Tom Jones, the adopted son of a British country squire, is a love-'em-and-leave-'em lady charmer who goes blithely from bed to bed, while managing to get into enough other mischief to come within moments of being hanged.

Cleopatra, Rex Harrison, nominated. Stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. The story of Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt who wants to stabilize her power by using the tensions in the Roman Empire. Caesar visits Egypt, has an affair with her, and returns to Rome. She bears his child and visits Rome to claim her place at Caesar's side. He is murdered before this can happen. She returns to Egypt leaving Rome in turmoil. Mark Antony follows her to Egypt and they fall in love. However, Octavian defeats Anthony in battle

How the West Was Won, The fifty years of American westward expansion between the 1830s and 1880s are viewed through the experiences of the Prescott and Rawlings families, as they migrate by the Erie Canal, continue over the prairies from St. Louis during the California gold rush, suffer through the Civil War, and finally help build the railroads on the plains and bring law and justice to the frontier. Along the way they meet mountain men, journey by wagon train, deal with Native Americans, and face outlaws in the southwest. Numerous stars play roles. Remade in 1979.
Hud, Patricia Neal, best actress. Paul Newman, nominated. Hud Bannon is a ruthless young man who tarnishes everything and everyone he touches.

Hud represents the perfect embodiment of alienated youth, out for kicks with no regard for the consequences. There is bitter conflict between the callous Hud and his stern and highly principled father, Homer.
Lilies of the Field, Sidney Poiter, Best Actor. An unemployed construction worker (Homer Smith) heading out west stops at a remote farm in the desert to get water when his car overheats. The farm is being worked by a group of East European Catholic nuns, headed by the strict mother superior (Mother Maria), who believes that Homer has been sent by God to build a much needed church in the desert...

Captain Newman, MD, Bobby Darin, nominated. Dr. Josiah Newman (Gregory Peck) runs the psychiatric unit of a U.S. Military Hospital during WWII. Short of help, Newman coerces newly arrived neurotic orderly Jackson Leibowitz (Tony Curtis) to work in his ward. Leibowitz's scheming & humor quickly turns life inside the ward upside down. Newman, while amused, tries to maintain a semblance of order. Newman's other recruit to the ward is nurse Lt. Francie Corum (Angie Dickinson).
Irma La Douce, Shirley MacLaine, nominated, also stars Jack Lemmon. Comedy about a Parisian policeman who becomes the lover (and unwilling pimp) of a carefree street-walker. After falling in love with her, the officer conspires to limit her occupation by taking on an alter-ego, "Lord X", to serve as her sole client.

Additional movies include: Courtship of Eddie's Father, The Nutty Professor with Jerry Lewis, (Jekyll and Hyde), It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World, and beach movies included it the release of 351 movies for the year.

* My Fair Lady,Rex Harrison wins, Stanley Holloway, nominated. One of the all-time great movie musicals follows the unlikely love that blooms between languages expert Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle, the Cockney flower girl he transforms into a proper English lady.

Dr. Strangelove or How I learned to Stop Worrying About the Bomb,

U.S. Air Force General Jack Ripper goes completely and utterly mad, and sends his bomber wing to destroy the U.S.S.R. He suspects that the communists are conspiring to pollute the "precious bodily fluids" of the American people. The U.S. president meets with his advisors, where the Soviet ambassador tells him that if the U.S.S.R. is hit by nuclear weapons, it will trigger a "Doomsday Machine" which will destroy all plant and animal life on Earth. Peter Sellers portrays the three men who might avert this tragedy. Tom loves this movie.But then, I don't get dark humor.

Mary Poppins, Julie Andrews wins, The movie combines a diverting story, songs, color and sequences of live action blended with the movements of animated figures. Mary Poppins is a kind of Super-nanny who flies in with her umbrella in response to the request of the Banks children and proceeds to put things right with the aid of her rather extraordinary magical powers before flying off again. How can anyone not love this movie!!

Zorba the Greek, Anthony Quinn, nominated. An aimless Englishman finds he has a small inheritance on a Greek island. His joyless existence is disturbed when he meets Zorba, a middle aged Greek with a real lust for life. As he discovers the earthy pleasures of Greece, the Englishman finds his view on life changing.

Becket, Richard Burton nominated, Peter O'Toole, nominated. King Henry II of England has trouble with the Church. When the Archbishop of Canterbury dies, he has a brilliant idea. Rather than appoint another pious cleric loyal to Rome and the Church, he will appoint his old drinking and wrenching buddy, Thomas Becket.

Unsinkable Molly Brown, Debbie Reynolds, nominated. The woman who later became known as the Unsinkable Molly Brown was born Margaret Tobin in 1867. Her birthplace is at Denkler Alley and Butler Street in Hannibal, Missouri, U.S.A.. As a young girl, Molly learned to steer a boat on the Mississippi River and, for a while, she worked as a waitress at the Park Hotel. She then moved west to Denver, Colorado after one of her customers, Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) told her about the riches of the Rocky Mountains. She married and, in 1890, her husband struck it rich in the mines of Leadville. They bought a sixteen-room house on 1340 Pennsylvania Street which is now a museum of Victoriana.
During the sinking of the Titanic off the coast of Newfoundland on April 14, 1912, Molly Brown was reputed to have rowed for seven and a half hours and delivered herself and her passengers to safety on Lifeboat No.6. She became known as the only woman to have done so and thus earned her nickname "Unsinkable". Later, she liked to entertain the society leaders with her picturesque descriptions of the event. Many historians, however, consider Molly Brown's story to be only a legend.

Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte. Agnes Moorhead, nominated. Bette Davis stars as an aging recluse deluded into a state of dementia by horrible memories and hallucinations, lives in a secluded house where, thirty-seven years before, John Mayhew her married lover, was beheaded and mutilated by an unknown assailant. Considered to be the modern day Lizzie Borden

What about the 007 movies? What about the Pink Panther movies?
What about the Americanization of Emily? How about the Beatle films?
How come Audrey Hepburn wasn't even nominated for best actress in My Fair Lady? Of the 389 movies released my favorite is Audrey Hepburn....oh er, I mean My Fair Lady.

Monday, March 30, 2009


*Lawrence of Arabia
, Peter O'Toole, nominated. Omar Sharif, nominated. An inordinately complex man who has been labeled everything from hero, to charlatan, to sadist, Thomas Edward Lawrence blazed his way to glory in the Arabian desert, then sought anonymity as a common soldier under an assumed name. The story opens with the death of Lawrence in a motorcycle accident in London at the age of 47, then flashbacks to recount his adventures

The Longest Day, Tells the story of the D-Day invasion of Normandy in WWII. There are dozens of characters, some seen only briefly, who together weave the story of five separate invasion points that made up the operation. Numerous cameo roles by popular actors.
The Music Man, Confidence man Harold Hill arrives at staid River City intending to cheat the community with his standard scam of offering to equip and train a boy's marching band, then skip town with the money since he has no music skill anyway. Things go awry when he falls for a librarian he tries to divert from exposing him while he inadvertently enriches the town with a love of music. Stars Robert Preston and Shirley Jones. The part of Harold Hill was first offered to Frank Sinatra.
Mutiny on the Bounty, Stars Marlon Brando, this movie is a remake from the 1935 film. The Bounty leaves Portsmouth in 1787. Its destination: to sail to Tahiti and load bread-fruit. Captain Bligh will do anything to get there as fast as possible, using any means to keep up a strict discipline. When they arrive at Tahiti, it is like a paradise for the crew, something completely different than the living hell on the ship. On the way back to England, officer Fletcher Christian becomes the leader of a mutiny.
To Kill a Mockingbird, Gregory Peck wins, Mary Badham, nominated in supporting role. Based on Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning book of 1960. Atticus Finch is a lawyer in a racially divided Alabama town in the 1930s. He agrees to defend a young black man who is accused of raping a white woman. Many of the townspeople try to get Atticus to pull out of the trial, but he decides to go ahead. How will the trial turn out - and will it change any of the racial tension in the town ?

Birdman of Alcatraz, Burt Lancaster, nominated, Telly Savalas, nominated. Thelma Ritter, nominated. As an inmate at Leavenworth prison, Robert Stroud has a series of confrontations with the guards and with the other convicts. When Stroud kills a guard, he is sentenced to be executed, and only his mother's impassioned intervention gets his sentence commuted to life imprisonment, which he must serve in solitary confinement. As he serves out his sentence in boredom and despair, one day he finds a helpless baby sparrow in the exercise yard. Stroud soon takes a deep interest in caring for birds, which gives him a new purpose in life, but which also brings new conflicts with prison authorities

Days of Wine and Roses, Jack Lemmon, nominated. Lee Remick, nominated Joe Clay is a top-notch public relations man. Anything a client wants Joe can arrange for them, whether it be dancing girls or an article in a prominent magazine. Part of the job however is drinking and Joe's ability to consume alcohol seems boundless. When he meets the very pretty Kirsten Arnasen, she prefers chocolate to alcohol but Joe has a solution to that in the form of a Brandy Alexander (made up of brandy and creme de cocoa). They eventually marry but their love is insufficient to prevent them from the downward spiral that alcohol brings to them. They try desperately to break the habit but continually relapse until only one of them manages to break free.

The Miracle Worker, Anne Bancroft, wins, Patty Duke, wins. Young Helen Keller, blind, deaf, and mute since infancy, is in danger of being sent to an institution. Her inability to communicate has left her frustrated and violent. In desperation, her parents seek help from the Perkins Institute, which sends them a "half-blind Yankee schoolgirl" named Annie Sullivan to tutor their daughter. Through persistence and love, and sheer stubbornness, Annie breaks through Helen's walls of silence and darkness and teaches her to communicate. Remade for TV starring Patty Duke.

Long Day's Journey Into Night, Katherine Hepburn, nominated Author Eugene O'Neill gives an autobiographical account of his explosive homelife, fused by a drug-addicted mother, a father who wallows in drink after realizing he is no longer a famous actor and an older brother who is emotionally unstable and a misfit. The family is reflected by the youngest son, who is a sensitive and aspiring writer. Remade in the 80's.
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Bette Davis, nominated. Victor Buono, nominated. Also stars Joan Crawford. Two aging film actresses live as virtual recluses in an old Hollywood mansion. Jane Hudson, a successful child star, cares for her crippled sister Blanche, who's career in later years eclipsed that of Jane. Now the two live together, their relationship affected by simmering subconscious thoughts of mutual envy, hate and revenge.

Sweet Bird of Youth, Geraldine Page, nominated, Ed Begley wins for supporting role. Shirley Knight, nominated. Drifter Chance Wayne returns to his hometown after many years of trying to make it in the movies. With him is a faded film star he picked up along the way, Alexandra Del Lago. While trying to get her help to make a screen test, he also finds the time to meet his former girlfriend Heavenly, the daughter of the local politician Tom 'Boss' Finley, who more or less forced him to leave the town many years ago. Written by Tennessee Williams.

The year concludes with 356 movies including Elvis and Biblical. Cape Fear, a movie starring Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck is a personal favorite.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


* West Side Story
was the movie of the year. George Chakras and Rita Moreno both won as supporting roles. One of the milestones of music and dance on film, Romeo and Juliet is updated for the 20th century, set on the mean streets of New York where rival gangs fight and fateful lovers are torn apart. Swept the 1961 Oscars including awards for the Bernstein/Sondheim score.

Judgment at Nuremberg
Starring Maximilian Schell as best actor. Spencer Tracy was nominated as was Montgomery Clift. Nominated for best supporting actress was Judy Garland. After the end of World War II, the world gradually became aware of the full extent of the war crimes perpetrated by the Third Reich. In 1948, a series of trials were held in Nuremberg, Germany, by an international tribunal, headed by American legal and military officials, with the intent of bringing to justice those guilty of crimes against humanity. However, by that time most of the major figures of the Nazi regime were either dead or long missing, and in the resulting legal proceedings American judges often found themselves confronting the question of how much responsibility someone held who had "just followed orders."

The Hustler: Paul Newman was nominated for best actor, as were George C Scott and Jackie Gleason. Lead female role nominee; Piper Laurie. "Fast" Eddie Felson is a small-time pool hustler with a lot of talent but a self-destructive attitude. His bravado causes him to challenge the legendary "Minnesota Fats" to a high-stakes match, but he loses in a heartbreaking marathon. Now broke and without his long-time manager, Felson faces an uphill battle to regain his confidence and his game. It isn't until he hits rock bottom that he agrees to join up with ruthless and cutthroat manager Bert Gordon. Gordon agrees to take him on the road to learn the ropes. But Felson soon realizes that making it to the top could cost him his soul, and perhaps his girlfriend. Will he decide that this is too steep a price to pay in time to save himself?

The Guns of Navarone are huge Nazi cannons, installed on an Aegean island behind enemy lines. Anthony Quayle is the officer assigned by the British to lead a task force to put the guns out of commission. When Quayle is injured, the mission winds up in the relatively inexperienced hands of Gregory Peck.

Fanny When her boyfriend leaves her pregnant and sails off to sea, a young French girl marries an older man for security. Problems arise when the boyfriend returns to claim his woman and son. Remade from 1932

Splendor in the Grass stared Natalie Wood, nominated for best actress and Warren Beatty. The movie was a screen play by William Inge. The story of two Kansas high school sweethearts growing up in the late 1920s through the stock market crash of 1929. Bud and Deanie are very much in love, but the pressures of sex in society creates a rift in their relationship. Bud's father encourages him to leave Deanie to find "another kind of girl" which drives Deanie into madness. She is committed into an institution while Bud reluctantly obeys his father and enrolls in Yale. The crash of '29 hits and changes the lives of both their families. Together they learn the harsh lesson of love and life in the '20s and sadly go their separate ways.

Summer and Smoke was credited with a nomination of Geraldine Page repeats her stage role as minister's daughter Alma Wine miller, who lives a spinsterish existence in her WWI-era Mississippi home town. Though her hateful mother has nothing but nasty things to say about men, Alma carries a torch for her handsome next-door neighbor and lifelong friend, Dr. John Buchanan, played by Laurence Harvey. The doctor prefers the companionship of Rosa, Rita Moreno, a "wrong side of the tracks" girl who is as open and freewheeling as Alma is shy and repressed. Desperate for Buchanan's attention, Alma begins behaving with uncharacteristic affection towards him. He misreads her signals and attempts to seduce her. Already on the edge, Alma goes ballistic, literally running out of Buchanan's life. When the doctor throws an engagement party for himself and Rosa, the neurotic Alma tells Buchanan's father that a wantonly immoral get-together is taking place in the doctor's home. And yes, it is another Tennessee Williams play turned movie.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s starred Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. Audrey Hepburn shines in this peppy and poignant romance based on the novella by Truman Capote as the bright-eyed free spirit Holly Golightly, who lives the high life in New York City by dating wealthy men until she becomes entangled with her humble neighbor (George Peppard). My all time personal favorite movie!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


*The Apartment. Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine were both nominated for best performance in this film about an ambitious young office worker (Jack Lemmon) climbs the corporate ladder by lending his apartment to the philandering executives of his company for their afternoon romantic trysts, but he finds himself in a pickle when he falls in love with his boss's latest girlfriend (Shirley MacLaine).

The Alamo starred John Wayne. Wayne and a chosen group had researched the facts of the Alamo as he wanted the story told just as it was. There was a riff about it and John walked off the set. He was to play a bit part and direct, however the studio wanted him in a leading role. Wayne was nominated for his part of Houston.

Elmer Gantry was nominated and Burt Lancaster won the award for the best actor and Shirley Jones for best actress. a drunken, dishonest street preacher allegedly patterned on Billy Sunday, wrangles a job with the traveling tent ministry conducted by Sister Sharon Falconer played by Jean Simmons. Thanks to Gantry's enthusiastic hellfire-and-brimstone sermons, Sister Sharon's operation rises to fame and fortune, enough so that Sharon realizes her dream of building her own enormous tabernacle. These ambitions are put in jeopardy when a prostitute, played by Shirley Jones, a former minister's daughter who'd been deflowered by Gantry years earlier, lures Gantry into a compromising situation and has photographs taken. It took several years for any Hollywood studio to take a chance with Sinclair Lewis' novel. Lewis' book is more explicit.

Sons and Lovers is set in an English mining town, the film focuses on Paul Morel, played by Dean Stockwell the sensitive son of a rough hewn, alcoholic miner Trevor Howard and his gentle, repressed wife. Intent on becoming an artist, Paul is not above depending upon the financial kindnesses of the young women of the town. Many of the girls carry a torch for him, but his strong bonds to his mother leave him emotionally sapped.

The Sundowners. Deborah Kerr was nominated for best actress; Glynis Johns for supporting in this film which takes place in Australia. The leading man is Robert Mitchum, who drives sheep and has no wish to settle in one place while the wife, Kerr, puts money down on a farm.

Psycho Phoenix office worker Marion Crane is fed up with the way life has treated her. She has to meet her lover Sam in lunch breaks and they cannot get married because Sam has to give most of his money away in alimony. One Friday, Marion is trusted to bank $40,000 by her employer. Seeing the opportunity to take the money and start a new life, Marion leaves town and heads towards Sam's California store. Tired after the long drive and caught in a storm, she gets off the main highway and pulls into The Bates Motel. The motel is managed by a quiet young man called Norman who seems to be dominated by his mother. Janet Leigh is nominated for the part she played as Marion Crane. Tony Perkins plays Norman

Best Actress for the year is Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8. She plays a high price call girl. It also starred Laurence Harvey.Taylor had been very ill and the rumor was she may die.

Other movies to consider are in the field of 368 are:

Inherit the Wind with Spencer Tracy. Based on a real-life case in 1925, two great lawyers argue the case for and against a science teacher accused of the crime of teaching evolution. Also called the Monkey Movie.

North to Alaska with John Wayne. Sam and George strike gold in Alaska. George sends Sam to Seattle to bring George's fiancee back to Alaska...

World of Suzie Wong with William Holden. Robert Lomax tired of working in an office, wants to be an artist. So he moves to Hong Kong to try his hand at painting. Finding a cheap hotel he checks in, only to find it's used by prostitutes and their 'dates' who meet in the bar downstairs. Since he never picks up any of ladies, they all want to know more about him. Eventually he does hire one to model for him, but soon falls in love. But, since he's on a limited budget, he can't afford her exclusively, and doesn't want to 'share' her.

Oceans Eleven 1960 The gang plans the elaborate New Year's Eve heist with the precision of a military operation. Josh (Davis) takes a job driving a garbage truck while others work to scope out the various casinos. Demolition charges are planted on an electrical transmission tower and the backup electrical systems are covertly rewired in each casino.
At exactly midnight, while everyone in every Vegas casino is singing, the tower is blown up. Remade in 2001 starring George Clooney.

Please Don’t Eat the Daisies with Doris Day and David Niven. Drama critic Larry McKay, his wife Kay, and their four sons move from their crowded Manhattan apartment to an old house in the country. While housewife Kay settles into suburban life, Larry continues to enjoy the theater and party scene of New York. Kay soon begins to question Larry's fidelity when he mentions a flirtatious encounter with Broadway star Deborah Vaughn. Remade for television 1965 starring Pat Crowley

Magnificent Seven with Yul Brunner. An oppressed Mexican peasant village assembles seven gunfighters to help defend their homes. Remade in 1998
Wackiest Ship in the Army with Jack Lemmon. Lieutenant Rip Crandall is hoodwinked into taking command of the "Wackiest Ship in the Navy" - a real garbage scow with a crew of misfits who don't know a jib from a jigger. What none of them knows, including Crandall, is that this ship has a very important top-secret mission to complete in waters patrolled by the Japanese fleet. Their mission will save hundreds of allied lives - if only they can get there in one piece. Ricky Nelson sings.

Wild Ride with Jack Nicholson. A rebellious punk of the beat generation spends his days as an amateur dirt track driver in between partying and trouble making. Although it may be a lame movie, Jack Nicholson still has the devilish smile.


Friday, March 27, 2009


*Best picture for 1959 was Beh-Hur, starring Charlton Heston, who was the best actor winner of the year. Heston played the part of Moses in this Biblical film. The best part was the chariot race! The rumor was someone died while racing.

Other movies nominated for the year include:

Anatomy of a Murder, starring Jimmy Stewart, (nominated).James Stewart plays a fly by the seat of your pants lawyer who hopes to win freedom for his client by using as his defense the argument of "irresistible impulse". Words like semen and panties were taboo words in 1959.

The Diary of Anne Frank This is the autobiographical drama of a young Dutch Jewish girl hiding from the invading Nazis during World War II. Anne and her family share a claustrophobic attic with another family. Tension is often unbearable, as the people hiding know that their discovery by the enemy could lead to almost certain death at the hands of their captors. They also must contend with the Dutch Gestapo or "Green Police," who will turn them over to the Nazis if discovered. Dutch nationals risk their lives by hiding the family for two years. Shelley Winters is nominated for supporting actress. Many of us read this book before the movie came out.

The Nun's Story Audrey Hepburn plays the nun who is sent as a nurse to the Belgian Congo, an assignment she'd been hoping for, Sister Luke is disappointed to learn that she will not be ministering to the natives but to European patients. Through the example of no-nonsense chief surgeon , the nun sheds her idealism and becomes a diligent worker -- so much so that she contracts tuberculosis. Upon the outbreak of World War II, Sister Luke tries to honor the edicts of her order and not take sides, but this becomes impossible when her father is killed by the Nazis. Realizing that she cannot remain true to her vows, Sister Luke leaves the order and returns to "civilian" life. Based on a true story. Hepburn was nominated for best actress.

Room at the Top Is a British film starring Lawrence Harvey who climbs the social ladder and falls in love with the bosses daughter. The girl is sent away and while she is gone, he links up with someone else. Later, the two get back together after he is beaten up by thugs.

Some Like it Hot, where Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis dress as women and tour with a all girls band to hide from gangsters after they saw a crime. Lemmon was nominated.

Pillow Talk with Doris Day nominated as best actress. PLOT: Interior decorator Jan Morrow and composer Brad Allen share a phone line. Brad keeps the line occupied all day talking to his girlfriends, which annoys Jan terribly and animosity between them builds up. They however have never met and when by chance Brad sees Jan, he decides to add her to his list of conquests. Knowing however how she feels about him, he poses as an innocent Texan country boy named Rex Stetson to win her, a plan which seems to work.

Imitation of Life, starring Susan Kohner and Sandra Dee. This is a remake of the movie of 1934. A widow with a daughter hires a black woman, also a widow with a daughter. The black daughter passes for white.

Suddenly, Last Summer employed Katherine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor, both nominated for awards. It is one of many Tennessee Williams plays turned film. The film features Catherine Holly (Taylor), a young woman who seems to go insane after her cousin Sebastian dies on a trip to Europe under mysterious circumstances. Sebastian's mother, Violet Venable (Hepburn), tries to cloud the truth about her son's homosexuality and his death, as she wants him to be remembered as a great artist. She threatens to lobotomize Catherine for her incoherent utterances relating to Sebastian's demise. Finally, under the influence of a truth serum, Catherine tells the gruesome story of Sebastian's death by cannibalism at the hand of local boys whose sexual favors he sought.

What about other films like:

Blue Angel a strict and humorless schoolmaster who is shocked when he discovers the boys in his class have been spending their time at a sleazy cabaret called The Blue Angel, where an entertainer named Lola (Dietrich) keeps the men in thrall and sells suggestive postcards of herself. Rath goes to the club in hopes of catching his students and giving them a severe dressing-down, but he instead finds himself entranced by the carefree atmosphere of the club, and is struck by Lola's earthy, sensual beauty. Renake from 1930

Blue Denim with Carl Lynley. Arthur Bartley and Janet Willard are fairly typical 1950s teenagers. Their lives are turned upside down however when Janet becomes pregnant

The Hangin’ Tree (Remember Marty Robbins song?)
Character study of a Doctor who saves a local criminal from a mob who are trying to hang him, but then tries to control the life of the young man...

I came to town to search for gold

And I brought with me a memory
And I seem to hear the night wind cry
,"Go hang your dreams on the hangin' tree
Your dreams of love that could never be
Hang your faded dreams on the hangin' tree!"

North by Northwest starring Cary Grant. A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive. Mystery/Thriller by Alfred Hitchcock. Also stars Eva Saint Marie.

Old Trunks is amazed at how long some of these actor/actresses have been in films. Aren't you?


Thursday, March 26, 2009


André Previn won for the score for the movie. Gigi, a young girl raised by two veteran Parisian courtesans to be the mistress of wealthy young Gaston When Gaston falls in love with Gigi and asks her to be his wife, Jeans is appalled: never has anyone in their family ever stooped to anything so bourgeois as marriage! Weaving in and out of the story is Maurice Chevalier as an aging boulevardier who, years earlier, had been in love with Gingold's character. Chevalier gets most of the best tunes, including Thank Heaven for Little Girls, I'm Glad I'm Not Young Any More, and his matchless duet with Gingold, I Remember it Well. Caron's best number (dubbed by Betty Wand) is The Night They Invented Champagne while Jordan gets the honor of introducing the title song. Filmed on location in Paris, Gigi won several Oscars, including Best Picture

Auntie Mame starred Rosalind Russell, who was nominated for best actress. the flamboyant, devil-may-care aunt of young, impressionable Patrick Dennis. Left in Mame's care when his millionaire father drops dead, young Patrick is quickly indoctrinated into his aunt's philosophy that "Life is a banquet--and some poor suckers are starving to death." Social-climbing executor Dwight Babcock does his best to raise Patrick as a stuffy American aristocrat, but Mame battles Babcock to allow the boy to be as free-spirited as she is.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor were both nominated for their roles in this movie. The fifth Tennessee Williams play to reach the screen, wealthy Mississippi plantation owner Big Daddy Pollitt, unaware that he's dying of cancer and disturbed by the strained and childless marriage of his favored alcoholic son Brick and his other son, Gooper, whose wife is about to bring forth another in the endless line of little "no-neck monsters," celebrates his sixty-fifth birthday with his family. Brick's wife, Maggie, beautiful and desirable, tries unsuccessfully to coax her husband away from the bottle, while alternately enticing him and taunting him about his obsession with his deceased best friend and the guilt about their relationship.

Great quotes:
Margaret "Maggie" Pollitt: You know what I feel like? I feel all the time like a cat on a hot tin roof.
Brick Pollitt: Then jump off the roof, Maggie. Jump off it. Cats jump off roofs and land uninjured. Do it. Jump.
Margaret "Maggie" Pollitt: Jump where? Into what?

Susan Hayward, I Want to Live! is a favorite of a friend in KS. She adores Susan Hayward. This drama is adapted from the true story of Barbara Graham, a woman sentenced to die in the mid-1950s after she allegedly committed a murder during a robbery. Graham pleaded innocent until the day she died in the San Quentin gas chamber.

Old Man and the Sea with Spencer Tracy, who plays an elderly Cuban fisherman, no longer as strong as he once was, takes to the water in hopes of catching a huge marlin and must deal with bad weather, sharks, and other dangers as he does battle with the mighty fish.
Bell, Book, and Candle. Stars Kim Novak and James Stewart. A modern-day witch likes her neighbor but despises his fiancee, so she enchants him to love her instead... only to fall in love with him for real

The Big Country. Stars Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, and Carol Baker. Retired, wealthy sea Captain Jame McKay (Gregory Peck) arrives in the vast expanse of the West to marry fiancee Pat Terrill (Carroll Baker). McKay is a man whose values & approach to life are a mystery to the ranchers & ranch foreman Steve Leech (Charlton Heston) takes an immediate dislike to him. Pat is spoiled, selfish & controlled by her wealthy father, Major Henry Terrill (Charles Bickford).

The Blob
. Stars Steve McQueen in a color about a red blob this is his first starring role, Steve McQueen plays a typical oversexed, car-lovin' high schooler who can't get anyone to believe his story about a huge meteor, which crashes to earth and begins exuding a pink, gooey substance. Affixing itself to the body of an old man.

Houseboat starring Cary Grant and Sophie Loren. Tom Winston, a widower, is trying to understand and raise three precocious children alone. He gets a little unexpected help from Cinzia, when the children decide she is be the new maid. She is actually an Italian socialite who is trying to get away from her overprotective father. Not to be confused with Father Goose (1964)

The Match Maker. Stars Shirley Booth, Shirley MacLaine, and Tony Perkins. It's 1884 in Yonkers, New York. Dolly Gallagher-Levi is a Jane-of-all-Trades, but her latest and most lucrative venture is as a matchmaker, setting men up with women with the intention of matrimony. This job is ironic as she was previously married herself, not enjoying the experience. Her latest client is older penny-pinching retail store owner, Horace Vandergelder, who works his two young meek clerks, Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker, to the bone. As Horace won't give them a day off, Cornelius and Barnaby plot to close the store and sneak into New York for the day, their mission to meet and kiss a girl. Remade in 1997.

Onionhead starring Andy Griffith. The Ship's Cook who has the Coast Guard in a Stew!

Vertigo with Kim Novak and James Stewart. In the opening scene, a criminal climbs up the rungs of the ladder on a dark San Francisco night. A police officer and John "Scottie" Ferguson (James Stewart), a detective, are hot on his trail. They chase the fugitive across the top of buildings. The criminal jumps between two buildings, making it across. The police officer follows, but Scottie can't get his footing. He slips. Scottie hangs on to the gutter as his fear of heights kicks in. The police officer tries to grab Scottie's hand, but falls to his death. Scottie witnesses this and dangles helplessly . from the gutter. And yes, this is the second film in a year for the combo of Kim Novak and James Stewart.

The Young Lions. The destiny of three soldiers during World War II. The German officer Christian Diestl approves less and less of the war. Jewish-American Noah Ackerman deals with anti-Semitism at home and in the army while entertainer Michael Whiteacre transforms from playboy to hero. Stars Dean Martin, Marlon Brando, and Clift Montgomery.
Damn Yankees. Tab Hunter plays a ball player who makes a deal with the devil, played by Ray Walston.

South Pacific, musical starring Mitzi Gaynor. It is 1943 and the United States Navy has established several bases in the Solomon Islands, in preparation for an invasion towards New Guinea and the Central Pacific. On one such island lives a French planter named Emile de Becque, whom the Navy wishes to employ as a scout to nearby Japanese held islands. To accomplish this task, de Becque is approached by a US Navy nurse named Nellie Forbush. Amidst an outstanding musical score, and breathtaking scenery, the drama of "South Pacific" unfolds

Boris Karloff is re-invented and makes several horror films in the mid to late 50’s. Other horror movies include The Fly and Fiend Without a Face. Teens loved them. Songs were written about them. Tag lines from the movies were used by teens across the nation.

Beware of the Blob~~Perhaps Old Trunks should say, "Beware of the Blog"

Beware of The Blob, it creeps
And leaps and glides and slides
Across the floor
Right through the door
And all around the wall
A splotch, a blotch
Be careful of The Blob


Wednesday, March 25, 2009


* The Bridge on the River Kwai wins with Alec Guiness as best actor as did the score written by Malcom Arnold. The classic World War II prisoner-of-war drama of a dedicated British colonel (Alec Guiness) commands his men to build a railroad bridge for their Japanese captors, while an escaped American POW (William Holden) leads a team to destroy the bridge.

Peyton Place was NOT allowed for our tender eyes, although the book floated around school and the sexual pages were marked. Lana Turner was nominated for actress.

Sayonara starring nominee, Marlon Brando plays Major Lloyd Gruver a Korean War flying ace reassigned to Japan, staunchly supports the military opposition to marriages between American troops and Japanese women. But that's before Gruver experiences a love that challenges his own deeply set prejudices...and plunges him into conflict with the U.S. Air Force and Japan's own cultural taboos. Miyoshi Umeki wins best supporting female role and Red Buttons in the best supporting male role.

12 Angry Men starring Henry Fonda is a courtroom drama. The defense and the prosecution have rested and the jury is filing into the jury room to decide if a young Spanish-American is guilty or innocent of murdering his father. What begins as an open and shut case of murder soon becomes a mini-drama of each of the jurors' prejudices and preconceptions about the trial, the accused, and each other. Remade in 1997

Old Yeller Young Travis Coates is left to take care of the family ranch with his mother and younger brother while his father goes off on a cattle drive in the 1860's. When a yellow mongrel comes for an uninvited stay with the family, Travis reluctantly adopts the dog. After a series of scrapes involving raccoons, snakes, bears and all manner of animals, Travis grows to love and respect Old Yeller, who comes to have a profound effect on the boy's life. Then…the dog has to be shot because it is rabid.

An Affair to Remember
While in a cruise from Europe to New York, playboy Nicky Ferrante (Cary Grant) meets the gorgeous former night-club singer Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr) and they have a romance. Nicky is traveling to meet his fiancee, the inheritor of one of the greatest fortunes in USA, and Terry is returning to the arms of her supportive boy-friend. They schedule a meeting on the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building six months later to decide whether they should marry each other, but Terry has an accident and she is not able to reunite with him. This is a wonderful romance story, bring tissue.

Deer Slayer
In the wilderness of early Colonial days, trapper Tom Hutter lives with his two daughters in an isolated floating fort. Tom's one-man vendetta against Indians has brought the wrath of the Hurons down on him...thereby garnering the reluctant aid of wilderness wanderer Deerslayer and his Mohican's blood-brother, Chingachgook. Among adventures, violence and escapes, a batch of dirty secrets emerges... Book by James F. Cooper

A Face in the Crowd, starring Andy Griffith and Patricia Neal. hayseed named Lonesome Rhodes (Andy Griffith) from itinerant Ozark guitar picker to local media rabble-rouser to TV superstar and political king-maker. Patricia Neal plays Marcia Jeffries, the innocent Sarah Lawrence girl who discovers the great man in a back-country jail and is the first to fall under his spell.

Funny Face, starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire. Fashion photographer Dick Avery, in search for an intellectual backdrop for an air-headed model, expropriates a Greenwich Village bookstore. When the photo session is over the store is left in a shambles, much to salesgirl Jo Stockton's dismay. Avery stays behind to help her clean up. Later, he examines the photos taken there and sees Jo in the background of one shot. He is intrigued by her unique appearance, as is Maggie Prescott, the editor of a leading fashion magazine. They offer Jo a modeling contract, which she reluctantly accepts only because it includes a trip to Paris. Eventually, her snobbish attitude toward the job softens, and Jo begins to enjoy the work and the company of her handsome photographer.

Love in the Afternoon a middle-aged playboy fascinated by the daughter of a private detective who has been hired to entrap him with the wife of a client. Stars Audrey Hepburn and Gary Cooper

Sweet Smell of Success, starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis. J.J. Hunsecker, the most powerful newspaper columnist in New York, is determined to prevent his sister from marrying Steve Dallas, a jazz musician. He therefore covertly employs Sidney Falco, a sleazy and unscrupulous press agent, to break up the affair by any means possible.

Four hundred forty four movies made in this year.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009


* Around the World in 80 Days won for best picture. By now, us mid-forty babies were going to the movies by ourselves. Our theaters may not have gotten the film first run, yet we were willing to wait for them to arrive. PLOT: This adaptation of the famous Jules Verne novel has Jackie Chan playing a thief in 1872 who becomes the traveling companion and martial arts bodyguard of a man betting that he can circumnavigate the world in a set time. The pair use various means to accomplish that, stopping in Paris, Turkey, India, China and the United States.

Friendly Persuasion, Gary Cooper plays Jess Birdwell, patriarch of a Quaker family which does not believe in warfare. Birdwell's son Josh (Tony Perkins) wishes to adhere to his family's pacifism, but is afraid that if he doesn't sign up for military service, he'll prove to be a coward. Josh joins the Home Guard, which disturbs his mother Eliza (Dorothy McGuire). But Jess Birdwell realizes that his son must follow the dictates of his own conscience. Josh proves his courage to himself when he is wounded during a Rebel raid, while the elder Birdwell is able to stay faithful to his religious calling by not killing a Southern soldier when given both a chance and a good reason to do so. Do you remember the goose being whacked with the broom?

Giant, in which both James Dean and Rock Hudson were nominated. Texan rancher Bick Benedict visits a Maryland farm to buy a prize horse. Whilst there he meets and falls in love with the owner's daughter Leslie, they are married immediately and return to his ranch. The story of their family and its rivalry with cowboy and (later oil tycoon) Jett Rink unfolds across two generations. Elizabeth Taylor plays Leslie.

The King and I starring Yul Brynner, who one the best actor and Deborah Kerr was nominated is about Mrs. Anna Leonowens and her son Louis arrive in Bangkok, where she has contracted to teach English to the children of the royal household. She threatens to leave when the house she had been promised is not available, but falls in love with the children. A new slave, a gift of a vassal king, translates "Uncle Tom's Cabin" into a Siamese ballet, expressing her unhappiness at being with the King. She attempts to escape with her lover. Anna and the King fall in love, but her British upbringing inhibits her from joining his harem. She is just about to leave Siam when she hears of the King's imminent death, and returns to help his son, her favorite pupil, rule his people.

The Ten Commandments To escape the edict of Egypt's Pharaoh, Ramses’ I, condemning all first-born Hebrew males, the infant Moses is set adrift on the Nile in a reed basket. Saved by the Pharaoh's daughter Bithiah, he is adopted by her and brought up in the court of her brother, Pharaoh Seti. Moses gains Seti's favor and the love of the throne princess Nefertiri, as well as the hatred of Seti's son, Rameses. When his Hebrew heritage is revealed, Moses is cast out of Egypt, and makes his way across the desert where he marries, has a son and is commanded by God to return to Egypt to free the Hebrews from slavery. Cast includes Charles Heston as Moses.

The Bad Seed played at the Avalon Theater on the night of Sandy Christianson's birthday party. The idea was for her mother to give us the money and we would sneak over to the theater once her mom was out of sight. We wanted to see the Bad Seed. But, she paid for our tickets and we didn't get to see it! PLOT: Christine Penmark seems to have it all: a lovely home, a loving husband and the most "perfect" daughter in the world. But since childhood, Christine has suffered from the most terrible recurring nightmare. And her "perfect" daughter's accomplishments include lying, theft and possibly much, much worse. Only Christine knows the truth about her daughter and only Christine's father knows the truth about her nightmare.

And what was Baby Doll all about? It was considered to be the dirtiest American-made motion picture and was banned in Sweden and the Catholic Legion succeeded in having the film withdrawn from release in most US theaters. It was about a childlike bride of a Mississippi cotton gin owner and she becomes a pawn in the battle between husband and his enemy.

Bus Stop stars Don Murray and Marilyn Monroe. He is on his way to Phoenix and while at a cafe stop, he hears Cherie sing and decides to marry her and take her back to Montana. Marilyn sings, "Old Black Magic".

Ingrid Bergman won best actress for Anastasia, Russian exiles in Paris plot to collect ten million pounds from the Bank of England by grooming a destitute, suicidal girl to pose as heir to the Russian throne. While Bounin is coaching her he comes to believe she is really Anastasia.

Of the 414 movies made one of them, Love Me Tender starring Elvis Presley started a new movie craze to include Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and the Comets. It was the beginning of a new era. Westerns still rode, including Randolph Scott, and Burt Lancaster made two movies; Trapeze and The Rainmaker.

Eddy Duchin Story Starred Tyrone Power and Kim Novak. The life story of the famous pianist and band-leader of the 1930s and 1940s

Lady Chatterley’s Lover. She was beautiful and sensual, trapped in a loveless marriage. He was her husband's servant. Born into worlds as far apart, they found a passionate world of their own. 1956 and 1981. We weren’t allowed to see this movie either, but the book went from desk to desk in high school with some of the pages marked!

Tea House of the August Moon, Starred Marlon Brando
A satire on America's very own drive of a world changer: One year after world war ii, Captain Fisby is sent to the village Tobiki in Okinawa to teach the people democracy. First step is to build a school - but the witty folks know what they really want. They tell him about their culture and traditions - and persuade him to build something they really want: a tea house

The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit
, Starred Gregory Peck.
Money is a bit tight and when the opportunity arises, he applies for a public relations job with a major television network. During his long commute to work everyday, Tom reminisces about the war. Although 10 years have gone by, he is still haunted by the violence and the men he killed. He also thinks of Maria, an Italian girl with whom he had an affair while stationed in Rome. At his new job, the head of the network Ralph Hopkins takes an immediate liking to him. Tom soon realizes that he will have to choose between becoming a wholly dedicated company man or maintaining a healthy work-life balance. When he learns that Maria gave birth to his son after he left Italy, he decides to let his wife know and ensure that the boy is cared for

The Man Who Knew Too Much. Starred James Stewart Bob and Jill Lawrence are on a winter sports holiday with their teenage daughter Betty. When their friend Louis Bernard is shot whilst dancing with Jill, he tells Bob of an assassination about to take place in London. Fearing that their plot will be revealed, the assassins kidnap Betty in order to keep the Lawrence's quiet. Bob and Jill return to London and take matters into their own hands. Remade from the 1930’s film by the same name.

It appears there is either a Biblical picture or a Shakespeare play each year. This year was no different, was it?

Monday, March 23, 2009


Elvis Presley made thirty-one movies, how many have you seen?

1956 Love me Tender
Elvis Presley stars in this western drama set just after the Civil war. He was the youngest of the four brothers who stayed behind to care for the farm. It is the only movie where he had second billing.

Loving You
Name changed twice before the title was chosen in this movie about a singing truck driver.

1957 Jailhouse Rock
In jail for manslaughter, his bunk mate and country singer gets him started in singing.. Great dance shots. Saw this in Canada in the summer of '58.

King Creole
Elvis best role as an actor. He plays the part of someone from the ghetto coming to NYC to sing. He sweeps the floors at a night spot who lets him sing.

1960 G I Blues
Plays an army sergeant in Germany who wants to open a night club.

Flaming Star
A serious movie, Elvis plays the part of an Indian mother and a white mother. The movie was first offered to Marlon Brando.

1961 Wild in the Country
Elvis plays the part of a rebel and beats up his brother. He is put under the guidance of a counselor. Preview audiences didn't like the ending so it was re-written.

1961 Blue Hawaii
Big commercial success of this movie filmed in Oahu and Kauai Islands. He plays a tourist and has time to sing with the pretty girls.

Follow That Dream
Elvis' family are bumpkin type southerners. A social worker is sent to see if the children are taken care of. Elvis plays the part of a man trying not to get into a woman's grips.

Kid Galahad
Elvis plays a boxer. It is a remake of a 1937 film of the same name.

Girls, Girls, Girls!
Plays a charter boat captain with lots of pretty girls.

It Happened at the World's Fair
With the back drop of the Seattle Worlds Fair, Elvis and his buddy to earn some money to get their crop dusting airplane out of hock. He may have been a poor crop duster but his ward robe for the movie included 10 suits, 2 cashmere coats, four sport coats, 15 pair of slacks, 30 shirts, and 55 ties.

1963 Fun In Acapulco
Elvis plays a former circus performer who is traumatized by his partners accident. He goes to Acapulco, hires on as a life guard, and sings to women.

Kissin' Cousins
Elvis plays duel roles; an Air Force officer and a mountain man.

Viva Las Vegas
Plays a race car driver who needs a new car engine for the race. Considered his best musical comedy, also stars Ann Margaret.

Elvis works as a roustabout/handyman in a broken down carnival in financial trouble....until Elvis starts singing and the girls crowd around him and he becomes star billing.

Girl Happy
Happens during spring break in Florida, a girl happy flick.

1965 Tickle Me
Elvis plays the part of a rodeo singer who moon lights at spas. Elvis weds on screen for the first time to a woman he meets and needs help finding the lost gold in a ghost town.

Harem Scarum
Plays the part of a famous singer caught up in a Middle East country. He comes back to USA and does a show with a harem.

Frankie and Johnny
Elvis sings on a river boat and his shot, just like in the song but his lucky medal saves him

1966 Paradise, Hawaiian Style
Plays a helicopter pilot who risks his license to save a girl on a deserted island.

1966 Spin out
Plays a race car driver with lots of girls in love with him.

Easy Come, Easy Go
Elvis plays a Navy frogman. One one of his last dives, he discovers a sunken treasure.

Double Trouble
Elvis plays a pop singer who becomes intrigued while playing the discotheque in London.

1967 Clambake

Elvis, playing a rich guy, exchanges places with a poor person because he wants to be accepted for himself, not his money.

1968 Stay Away Joe.

Elvis plays a Native American for the second time, this time as a rodeo rider.

Elvis plays a race car driver that gives/gambles away all his winnings and owes back taxes. Nancy Sinatra stars as the IRS agent

Live A Little, Love A Little
Elvis plays a photographer. His father has a bit part.

1969 Charro!

was a movie in which Elvis did not sing. It is an offbeat western in which he is pitted against his old gang.

1969 The Trouble With Girls,

Elvis is the manager of a traveling group. It is beset with problems. Elvis is only in about a third of the movie.

1969 Change of Habit,

This ends his days in Hollywood. It is the first time he plays a professional. He is a doctor who heads a clinic in the ghetto and falls in love with a nun, played by Mary Tyler Moore....but he doesn't know she is a nun. Only three songs in this movie.

Viva Elvis.


Sunday, March 22, 2009


*Marty starring Ernest Borgnine won picture and actor. I saw this movie with my parents at the Avalon Theater and thought it was sad. PLOT:
slice-of-life drama is a heartwarming story about Marty Pilletti a lonely Bronx butcher. Marty is a burly but gentle man, easing into middle age without much hope for romance or a career. He lives at home with his mother a kind but life-smothering woman, and a small circle of dead-end friends. Marty has no self-confidence and feels he's dumpy and unattractive. While it takes some doing, Marty's friends finally convince him to go to a local dance with them and try to pick up girls. At the dance he meets a plain-looking schoolteacher named Clara (whose life appears to mirror his own). He asks Clara to dance and soon they are dating. But to Marty's surprise and frustration, his friends put her down and his mother is hostile to her. Swayed by his friends and his mother, he doesn't call Clara back. But sitting alone at home watching television one night, Marty decides he has had enough, and defying his enclosed little world, he picks up the phone and gives Clara a call. As Marty shouts to his friends, "You don't like her. My mother don't like her. She's a dog. And I'm a fat, ugly man. Well, all I know is I had a good time last night ... You don't like her? That's too bad.

Other movies at the 1955 Academy Awards included

The Rose Tattoo. An Italian-American neighborhood in Louisiana is disturbed when truck driver Rosario Delle Rose is killed by police while smuggling. His buxom widow Serafina miscarries, then over a period of years draws more and more into herself, trying to force her lovely teenage daughter Rosa to do likewise. On one eventful day, Rose finally breaks away; Serafina learns of Rosario's affair with another woman; and a new carefree, handsome Italian truck driver enters her life... played by Burt Lancaster.

Another movie which plays often is Picnic, starring Kim Novak and William Holden. Holden, a former college foot ball start drifts into a Kansas town near Labor Day. He does odd jobs for food and of course, falls in love with Kim Novak. At the time of the shooting, Holden was 37, twice Novak's age.

Starring, Frank Sinatra, the Man With The Golden Arm, is a gritty 1955 black and white film adaptation, uniquely portrayed heroin as a serious literary topic as it rejected the standard "dope fiend" approach of the time. It was the first of its kind to tackle the marginalized issue of illicit drug use. Kim Novak plays his girl friend.

1955 included numerous westerns, Ma and Pa Kettle movies, Fred Astaire continues to dance and Esther Williams is swimming.

Cary Grant plays in To Catch a Thief and James Dean is A Rebel Without A Cause.

Musicals include, Oklahoma with Gordon MacRae and Guys and Dolls with Marlon Brando.

How many movies? 385


Saturday, March 21, 2009


1954 and a total of 371 movies

* On the Waterfront starring actor winner Marlon Brando. PLOT: The classic story of loyalty and betrayal on the New Jersey docks, a washed-up boxer and dock worker (Marlon Brando) keeps his mouth shut about a murder orchestrated by his union boss. But when he falls for the dead man's grieving sister, he decides to take a stand. Eva St. Marie wins award for best actress in a supporting role.

Audrey Hepburn is nominated for Sabrina. PLOT: A playboy becomes interested in the daughter of his family's chauffeur. But it's his more serious brother who would be the better man for her. The players in the 1954 movie were Alan Ladd and Humphrey Bogart. The film was remade in 1995 starring Harrison Ford.

Another movie from this era was White Christmas starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney. A successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act with lots of Irving Berlin music. It is said to be a sequel to Holiday Inn.

Other movies:
The Caine Mutiny. Humphrey Bogart, nominated. When a US Naval captain shows signs of mental instability that jeopardizes the ship, the first officer relieves him of command and faces court martial for mutiny.

Country Girl. Bing Crosby, nominated. Grace Kelly wins best actress. William Holden plays. Washed up singer/actor Frank Elgin has a chance to make a come-back when director Bernie Dodd offers him the leading role in his new musical. Frank however is very insecure, turns to alcohol and shuns even the smallest of responsibilities, leaving everything up to his wife Georgie who finds it harder and harder to cope with her husband's lack of spirit. Bernie tries to help Frank regain his self-confidence, believing that it is Georgie who's the cause of his insecurity.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Adam Pontipee comes into a small mountain town after the winter to get some corn, farming equipment and a wife. He is searching for a woman who is pretty, young, strong, loving and a good cook. Whether he actually loves her doesn't matter, he wants a full time maid more than a wife. Milly works at a local bar where the men of the town come in droves to eat her tasty grub and ask her to marry them, but she always refuses with a smile and another helping of food. But she falls in love with Adam the moment he walks through the door, and is soon on her way. it’s a great musical starring Jane Powell and Howard Keel. Saw this in Minneapolis and sang the music all the way home.

Three Coins in the Fountain, best song, “Three Coins in the Fountain,” In this romantic comedy, three American roommates working in Italy wish for the man of their dreams after throwing coins into Rome's magnificent Trevi Fountain. A secretary at a government agency sets out to win the heart of her employer, a smooth-talking novelist, while her co-worker defies office regulations by romancing an Italian who works at the agency. Finally, office newcomer Maria meets a real Italian Prince Charming and falls madly in love. Now the only thing the three hopeful ladies need to do is seal their fate. Stars Clifton Webb and Dorothy McGuire.

A Star is Born. James Mason, nominated, Judy Garland Stars. This is the second of three of this movie. First one in 1932 and the last in 1976. Norman Maine, a movie star whose career is on the wane, meets showgirl Esther Blodgett when he drunkenly stumbles into her act one night. A friendship develops, then blossoms into romance before tensions increase as Esther's career takes off while Norman's continues to plummet. In the 1976 movie, it stars Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.

Missed from 1953, but not forgotten is the mad cap movie,

The Long, Long, Trailer. Nicky and Tracy are going to be married. Nicky wants to save up money for a house, but Tracy dreams of starting off with their own home on wheels--a trailer. After the two are hitched, they hitch up their trailer and begin their honeymoon. The humor comes from several disastrous adventures the couple has while traveling including Tracy's awkward attempt to cook dinner in a moving trailer, and a cliff hanging ride through the mountains that nearly destroys their marriage. My Favorite line was: "Turn left right here" and they wind up on a switch back road tapping the martini glasses to the table. Saw this film with parents in Minneapolis on a BIG screen! Starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

The Magnificent Obsession. Jane Wyman, nominated, Rock Hudson also stars. This movie is a remake from the mid thirties. When churlish, spoiled rich man Bob Merrick foolishly wrecks his speed boat, the rescue team resuscitates him with equipment that's therefore unavailable to aid a local hero, Dr. Wayne Phillips, who dies as a result. Phillips had helped many people, and when Merrick learns Phillips' secret, to give selflessly and in secret, he tries it in a ham-handed way. The result further alienates Phillips' widow, Helen, with whom Merrick has fallen in love. Merrick's persistence causes another tragedy, and he must remake his life, including going back to medical school, in an attempt to make amends and win her love.

Wuthering Heights, 1939. 1954, 1970, and 1992

Elephant Walk, Including Elizabeth Taylor, Peter Finch, and Dana Andrews. The young bride of a rich planter finds herself the only white woman at Elephant Walk tea plantation, British Ceylon.

There’s No Business Like Show Business. There's no musical like this grand salute to the songs of Irving Berlin. Classic Berlin tunes like the title song, "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody" and "You'd Be Surprised" are woven around the story of a close-knit vaudeville family. Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey, Donald O'Connor, Mitzi Gaynor, and Marilyn Monroe star.

It was a great year for musicals!!!

Do, re, me


Friday, March 20, 2009


*From Here to Eternity wins and the lead players, Montgomery Clift and Deborah Kerr are nominated. It follows the tensions within an American military unit in Hawaii during the weeks before the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Winner of eight Academy Awards including Best Picture and two for supporting roles by Frank Sinatra.

Audrey Hepburn wins best actress for Roman Holiday. Princess Anne embarks on a highly publicized tour of European capitals. When she and her royal entourage arrive in Rome, she begins to rebel against her restricted, regimented schedule. One night Anne sneaks out of her room, hops into the back of a delivery truck and escapes her luxurious confinement. However, a sedative she was forced to take earlier starts to take effect, and the princess is soon fast asleep on a public bench. She is found by Joe Bradley, played by Gregory Peck, an American newspaper reporter stationed in Rome. He takes her back to his apartment. The next morning Joe dashes off to cover the Princess Anne press conference, unaware that she is sleeping on his couch!

Another movies nominated were:

Julius Caesar Marlon Brando, nominated.

The Robe, Richard Burton, nominated. Marcellus is a tribune in the time of Christ. He is in charge of the group that is assigned to crucify Jesus. Drunk, he wins Jesus' homespun robe after the crucifixion. He is tormented by nightmares and delusions after the event. Hoping to find a way to live with what he has done, and still not believing in Jesus, he returns to Palestine to try and learn what he can of the man he killed.

Shane, Brandon de Wilde and Jack Palance, nominated. Alan Ladd plays Shane. Shane rides into a conflict between cattleman Ryker and a bunch of settlers, like the Starretts, whose land Ryker wants. When Shane beats up Ryker's man Chris, Ryker tries to buy him. Then Shane and Joe take on the whole Ryker crew. Ryker sends to Cheyenne for truly evil gunslinger Wilson. We wonder about Shane's relation to Joe's wife Marian. Shane must clear out all the guns from the valley before he can ride off with Joey hollering "Shane ... Shane ... Come Back!"

Stalag 17: William Holden wins best actor, Now realizing that Price has figured prominently in the death of the Americans that have attempted escape, Sefton plots revenge, and, after exposing Price's true identity to his fellow POWs, he maneuvers to force Price to make an unauthorized exit from the barracks. To the guards manning the tower, Price's exit looks like an American escape attempt, and they shoot him, much to the dismay of Stalag Commandant Von Scherbach played by Otto Preminger.

The House of Wax. A sculptor of wax figures for a museum is horrified when his partner proposes setting fire to the unpopular museum in order to collect the insurance money. As the wax figures melt amid the blaze, the two men have a fight. The sculptor is knocked out in the scuffle and left to "perish" among the flames. He resurfaces many years later for the launch of his own wax museum. The opening coincides with the sudden disappearance of some dead bodies from the city morgue. Movie stars Vincent Price, Carolyn Jones, and Phyllis Kirk. This was the first 3D movie at the Avalon Theater in Thief River Falls. I saw it with my parents and it was truly a horror picture to me. The movie was remade in 2005. Cast included Paris Hilton.

Titanic. Unhappily married and uncomfortable with life among the British upper crust, Julia Sturges takes her two children and boards the Titanic for America. Her husband Richard also arranges passage on the doomed luxury liner in order to let him have custody of their two children. Their problems soon seem minor when the ship hits an iceberg. Starred Clifton Webb, Barbara Stanwyck, and Robert Wagner. Remade in 1997 and won eleven awards. This movie has a different twist: on its epic journey a poor artist named Jack Dawson and a rich girl Rose DeWitt Bukator fall in love, until one night, their fairytale love for one another turns into a struggle for survival on a ship about to founder to the bottom of the North Atlantic. Rose leaves her fiancée Caledon Hockley for this poor artist, but when the Titanic collides with the Iceberg on April 14th, 1912, and then when the ship sinks on April 15th, 1912 at 2:20 in the morning, Jack dies and Rose survives and 84 years later Rose tells the story about her life on Titanic to her grand daughter and friends on the Keldysh and explains the first sight of Jack that falls into love, then into a fight for survival. When Rose gets saved by one lifeboat that comes back, they take her to the Carpathia with the 6 saved with Rose and the 700 people saved in the lifeboats. The Carpathia Immigration Officer asks Rose what her name is and she loved Jack so much she says her name is not Rose DeWitt Bukator, but her name is Rose Dawson. She seen Cal looking for her, but he doesn't see her, and they never ended up together, her mom, Cal, and friends of the family has know choice but to think that she died on the Titanic. But in the crash of 1929, Cal is married, but then he put a pistol in his mouth and committed suicide.

So Big. Stars Jane Wyman. Dirk is the only child they have and after a few years Pervus dies. With a young child and only the farm, Selina begins her quest to grow high quality vegetables. She wants more for Dirk and guides his life until he graduates from college as an Architect. As her vegetable label prospers, she sees Paula control Dirk's life as he moves away from creating and into sales, which is not where he wants to go. This is a remake from 1932.

Abbott and Costello movies continue as well as the Bowery Boys and Red Skelton round out the year with 446 movies produced.


Thursday, March 19, 2009


* The Greatest Show on Earth was a lavish tribute to circuses, featuring three intertwining plot lines concerning romance and rivalry beneath the big top. DeMille's film includes spectacular action sequences, including a show-stopping train wreck.

High Noon with Gary Cooper won best actor. PLOT: This classic Western stars Gary Cooper as marshal Will Kane, about to retire from office and go on his honeymoon with his new Quaker bride, Amy (Grace Kelly). But, after learning that the Miller gang is due on the noon train.

Come Back Little Sheba
, although not nominated for picture, gave Shirley Booth the best actress award. You might remember Shirley as the maid in a sitcom called, "Hazel". PLOT:A movie version of the play by William Inge, COME BACK, LITTLE SHEBA is the story of "Doc" and "Lola" Delaney -- a sadly aging couple whose attention seems drawn indestructibly to lost dreams and failed ambitions. A grim and cold recovering alcoholic, Doc seems only able to numb the pain of his black-and-white existence with drink. Lola, on the other hand, desperate for warmth and affection, still longs for the little lost dog named "Sheba" missing for nearly a year which had provided her so much companionship and joy. Into this mix comes Marie, a carefree young co-ed happily dabbling at love and romance. When she rents a room from the Delaneys, their home is suddenly inhabited with the ghosts of their own failings -- Doc's professional failings, Lola's failings as a wife and mother, and the shared failings of their marriage.

The Quiet Man starring John Wayne Irish-American boxer John Wayne, recovering from the trauma of having accidentally killed a man in the ring, arrives in the Irish village where he was born. Hoping to bury his past and falls in love with Maureen O'Hara.

Although the top films of the year were drama, many of them were slap stick sort of comedy. It was the beginning of Bob Hope, with the movie called, Son of Paleface. Author wonders if it was the beginning of the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby adventures.

Danny Kaye is in this era with his high jinx and unbelievable body language on screen. He is a favorite and of the 28 films he made, Court Jester is still my favorite. It is a 1955 film and I am getting ahead of myself.

Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin made 16 comedies together, previously they had done night club acts and radio. Before their break up in 1956, they had moved on to television.

Jerry Lewis, in a book called, Dean and Me, states: , “In the age of Truman, Eisenhower, and Joe McCarthy, we freed America. For ten years after World War II, Dean and I were not only the most successful show-business act in history -- we were history.

You have to remember: Postwar America was a very buttoned-up nation. Radio shows were run by censors, Presidents wore hats, ladies wore girdles. We came straight out of the blue–nobody was expecting anything like Martin and Lewis. A sexy guy and a monkey is how some people saw us, but what we really were, in an age of Freudian self-realization, was the explosion of the show-business id.

Like Burns and Allen, Abbott and Costello, and Hope and Crosby, we were vaudevillians, stage performers who worked with an audience. But the difference between us and all the others is significant. They worked with a script. We exploded without one, the same way wiseguy kids do on a playground, or jazz musicians do when they're let loose. And the minute we started out in nightclubs, audiences went nuts for us. As Alan King told an interviewer a few years ago: "I have been in the business for fifty-five years, and I have never to this day seen an act get more laughs than Martin and Lewis. They didn't get laughs–it was pandemonium. People knocked over tables." Like so many entertainment explosions, we happened almost by accident.

Another movie of the 415 produced this year of 1952 is:

The Snows of Kilimanjaro starring Gregory Peck who lays gravely wounded from an African hunting accident he feverishly reflects on what he perceives as his failures at love and writing. Through his delirium he recalls his one true love Cynthia Green (Ava Gardner) who he lost by his obsession for roaming the world in search of stories for his novels. Though she is dead Cynthia continues to haunt Street's thoughts. In spite of one successful novel after another, Street feels he has compromised his talent to ensure the success of his books, making him a failure in his eyes. His neglected wife Helen (Susan Hayward) tends to his wounds, listens to his ranting, endures his talk of lost loves, and tries to restore in him the will to fight his illness until help arrives. Her devotion to him makes him finally realize that he is not a failure. Maybe it is Susan Hayward but this movie really gets into me.