Ninotchka (1939)

“This picture takes place in Paris, in those wonderful days when a siren was a brunette and not an alarm—and if a Frenchman turned out the light it was not on account of an air raid!”

So begins the riotous story of Ninotchka and Leon in Paris, penned by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett. Continue reading

The Philadelphia Story (1940)

“You’ll never be a first class human being or a first class woman until you’ve learned to have some regard for human frailty.”

So says C.K. Dexter Haven, ex-husband of the pretentious and beautiful Tracy Lord.  She has thrown him out and banned him from her mansion estate, and has recently engaged herself to George Kittredge.  In Kittredge, she sees everything that Haven was not.  Unlike Haven, who was born into the social elite, Kittredge was a self-made member of the upper-classes, not subject to the vices of the pampered life (a life that she, herself, has lived).  A woman of her privilege demands the absolute best in everything she consumes: her wine, her clothes, her horses, and her men.  Haven couldn’t live up to the task; he was an alcoholic with no respect for the things she wanted.  Perhaps Kittredge will. Continue reading

Notorious (1946)

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In light of my most recent posts listing the best actors and acting performances in film, alongside a two-part page series on the analysis of acting, it is only timely to kill two birds with one stone.  Bird number one: write my next review–which is supposed to be on a Hitchcock film as the framework for my blog requires.  Bird number two: write a supplementary article on a superb acting performance within the context of a single film.  Stone number one and only: Notorious. Continue reading

Roger Ebert (1942-2013)

 

Some people really changed my life when it came to movies.  I am forever indebted to my parents for helping me love and appreciate the occasional old-Hollywood film.  We watched Scrooge, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and It’s a Wonderful Life every Christmas; there was always a John Wayne movie available to watch; and in my teenage years, my father made sure to help me understand how cool Cary Grant and Gary Cooper were.  But, for the most part, my development as a fan of film was based solely on my own research, my own experience and my own evolving opinion. Continue reading