Morning Glory (1933)

Well, it has been quite a while. I last posted on this site, February 17, 2016. That was when I responded to someone who disagreed with my review of The Walking Deceased. Go check that out! I had a blast backing up my review.

Anyway, since I last posted on here, I have started a Twitch stream, YouTube channel and have watched a lot of movies. If you want to check out my Twitch stream, my channel name is Whitmoore. I usually try and stream on weekdays. The YouTube channel is called The Movie Seal. Check it out if you want to.

Last night, I watched the movie Morning Glory. This isn’t the film that came out a couple of years ago that starred Rachel McAdams. I’m talking about a film from 1933 and it stars Katharine Hepburn in her first Oscar winning role. She plays a girl who just arrived in New York who dreams of being a big actress on the stage. Adolphe Menjou plays a producer who isn’t exactly ready to give her that break she needs, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. plays a playwright who kind of takes an interest in her. C. Aubrey Smith (a personal favorite character actor) is also in here. He plays a very experienced actor who decides to take Hepburn under his wing and teach her what he can. That’s really all I want to tell about the story. Like my reviews before, I don’t like spoiling the story.

This was one of those films that really had no plot whatsoever. It is the story of a struggling actress trying to get her big opportunity. I’m sure all of us have seen this film before but what distinguishes this one from the rest is Hepburn. She is terrific in this. Charming, crazy, and elegant all wrapped into one. I couldn’t take my eyes off her during this film. I really haven’t watched a Hepburn film in a while but this film might make me pull out Adam’s Rib or The African Queen really soon. She really made you care for this character a whole lot and I was pulling for her. I even read, after watching the film, that Hepburn based her performance on Ruth Gordon. After thinking about that, I now can see it. Hepburn is possibly the best actress that graced the screen. If you haven’t seen any of her films, drop everything now and go watch something she’s in!

Lowell Sherman directed this film. I had never heard of him. It turns out he died in 1934. This film came out in 1933, so he didn’t really have a long career. He is pretty much known for this film and the Mae West movie She Done Him Wrong. It’s too bad. He definitely had potential with those two films under his belt.

If there’s anything I didn’t like about this movie, it would have to be the ending. I thought the ending was good but I felt the story could have went on. It ended so abruptly. I wasn’t expecting it to fade to black at that moment. It was kind of anticlimactic. I guess what I’m saying is that I wanted more. With a runtime of 70 minutes, I’m sure you can see why I’m saying I wanted more and not in a good way.

Overall, I really liked this movie. I wasn’t really expecting that with a 6.6 on IMDB right now, but I’ve learned for a while now that the scores on IMDB aren’t always accurate. Just for Hepburn’s performance alone, this film should be in the 7’s. I completely forgot my score system I set up for this blog, so let me look it up right now and post it below this:

AMAZING

So, will I keep up this blog once again? We will see. I can’t promise a review every day. I will try for every other day. I will probably start doing top 10 lists soon and I will probably do a once in a while feature where I will focus on one of my favorite films. Anyway, have a great day everyone and let’s see where this goes.

GOODNIGHT

 

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Stahl’s Automotive Museum

Today, I want to talk about Stahl’s Automotive Museum. I know I only talk about movies on here, but this is definitely movie related and I really couldn’t wait to tell you all about this place.

I went to this museum today and was heavily surprised. When my brother texted me the other day and asked if I wanted to go, I didn’t really want to but I said yes. I am not a car person. When I look at a car, I only see a car. I drive a ’97 red Dodge Neon, so that should tell you how much I care about cars. The only times I get fascinated with cars is when they were used in a movie or has historical significance. That is what happened today.

When walking through the museum, the first car that took my eye was a Shelby Cobra that raced in the 1965 Le Mans.

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The second car that caught my interest was the car Steve McQueen drove in the movie The Reivers. I’ve never seen the movie, but if Steve McQueen drove it, it’s special. I didn’t take a picture but here’s one from Google.

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This is the car that really “star struck” me. I would have never guessed this car was in the town I live in. imageWhen I seen it, my heart started beating fast and I got very excited. It is Jack Lemmon’s Professor Fate car from The Great Race. I love that movie and my favorite scenes were the ones between Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk. Lots of those scenes took place in or around that car and I felt like I was in the presence of cinematic history. This is a car that if I had lots of money, I’d buy. I seriously wouldn’t care about the price, I’d buy it in a heartbeat. This car still has me speechless. I never thought I’d ever be in the presence of this car.

Finally, there was a car there used in The Grinch movie with Jim Carrey. It’s interesting. I guess after seeing the Professor Fate car, all my excitement was gone. Still, it’s a movie car and I like it.

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If you’re ever in the Chesterfield, Michigan area, I recommend this museum. You pay $5 dollars to get in and it all goes to charity which is always commendable. There are lots of cars there to look at and I’m sure any car aficionado would be in heaven if they went to this place. There is also a very nice collection of jukeboxes and musical instruments that you can check out as well. They also have a Wurlitzer organ set up in the museum and have a person on hand playing it. You really get the full treatment. The museum is only open on Tuesdays from 1-4 and the first Saturday of the month from 11-4. Here’s a link to their webpage: http://stahlsauto.com/index.cfm/museum/

Goodnight

Adventure in Baltimore (1949)

I left off on the Shirley Temple marathon that TCM played in honor of her being “Star of the Month.” The second film they played was Adventure in Baltimore. I tried to get into this one but couldn’t.

I really don’t remember much from the film but I will try to explain it as best I can. The film is set in the early 1900’s in Baltimore. Shirley plays a girl who is an aspiring artist and progressive thinker. She’s in love with the boy next door, but he’s in love with another girl. Shirley’s father is a minister and being considered by the higher ups to moving up to bishop. Shirley paints a picture where she uses the boy next door as a model and enters the painting into a competition. The painting causes a scandal and now everyone is shaming Shirley, the boy, and her father. Will everything get solved? I might have been gone for a week but I’m still not giving away spoilers.

This film was just another example, like That Hagen Girl, of why Shirley made the right choice to leave the film industry. She just didn’t have that spark she had when she was a child. Also, the quality sunk as well. I’m sure once the money slowed down, the studios just didn’t care about the script or how good the movie was. Shirley had a bankable name and they were going to use it until that well dried up. Shirley tries in this film but never really manages to gain our attention. There was really only one scene I really liked in this film. She goes around town to find a person or landscape to paint. She finds a man sleeping on a bench and starts painting him. A group of guys crowd behind her and start arguing about what she’s painting and a big fight breaks out. I got some amusement out of that.

Robert Young, who worked with Shirley in Stowaway, plays her father. I thought he did his job, but that great chemistry they had in Stowaway is lost here. John Agar, who was married to Shirley at the time, plays the boy next door. It was no wonder their marriage didn’t last too long after this film because they never really hit it off in this film.

Richard Wallace directed the film. I felt he did a mediocre job. I did like the way it was photographed and those moments that I felt were nicely set up like that painting incident. The acting definitely needed some work and the script could have used some work.

The film was very average and something you watch out of curiosity.

Adventure in Baltimore – NOTHING SPECIAL

Goodnight

Update #1

I’m back, ladies and gentlemen! I haven’t posted anything for over a week because my mother had a heart procedure done and there were some complications. It’s been a tough week with her going in and out of the hospital. Now, she seems to be getting better and today we went up to my aunt and uncle’s cottage and had a nice time. I’m so glad to see she is getting better.

Other fantastic news is that it looks like that group I was a part of, where we did the video gaming videos on YouTube, is probably now officially done. We have a secret Facebook page for the group and the one guy, who I always felt was bringing the group down, took himself out of the group. The guy who started the group and owned the equipment valued this man above me and everyone else in the group and that’s what really drove me away from the group. I could write a novel about the problems I encountered with this man and how much he drove me nuts with his unwillingness to be entertaining and to conform to what the group wanted. He really though he was in charge and that his opinion was above everyone else’s. The one time the group leader put his foot down to this man, he decided he needed to show us that we were wrong and started his own show. It was a disaster and probably the worst Let’s Play show I have ever seen. He would come up to me and ask if I could do his show and I would always come up with excuses to get me out of it. With him gone from the group, that only leaves two other people and I really don’t see these two doing their own thing. It’s done and good riddance.

I left at the right time and I feel I made the right decision. I recently got together with two of the guys who left with me and we filmed a little teaser for his haunted house he builds every year for Halloween. It was a lot of fun and it gave me hope for things to come. I’d really like to give the video game thing another shot and use all those ideas I had that were ignored by the “higher ups.” I really want to start doing Twitch but I don’t have the equipment right now. I will definitely be looking into it.

Anyway, I just wanted to give an update on why I haven’t posted on here for over a week. I will probably start posting reviews again tomorrow. Those who are following my page and reading my reviews, I thank you!

Goodnight

Link to the Haunted House teaser:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dqfht3W6Xrw

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947)

The final night of Shirley Temple movies, and the film TCM started the night off with was The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer. I’ve actually see this film before and I still think it’s great.

In this film, Myrna Loy plays a judge who is raising her sister played by Temple. One day, an artist, played by Cary Grant, gives a lecture at Temple’s school. While Temple is listening to his lecture, she visualizes Grant dressed as a knight in shining armor and falls in love with him. She manages to get Grant alone after the lecture and he tells her he’d love for her to pose for him sometime. Temple takes it serious and she tracks down where he lives. She manages to get into his apartment but he’s not there, so she waits for him.

It gets late and Loy starts worrying about Temple. Loy remembers Temple talking about Grant and goes over to Grant’s apartment. Grant gets a big surprise when he arrives home and Temple is on his couch and Loy is at the door. Grant is arrested and Loy makes a deal with him. She wants him to date her sister so she can realize he’s not the love of her life and she will move on. Will Grant do this? I can’t tell you. This film is too good to spoil.

One thing I love are screwball comedies and this one is a great one. Cary Grant, when was he ever lousy? I think never and he’s hilarious in this film. I love Myrna Loy and she works well with Grant. They would follow this film with Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream Home which is another great screwball comedy. I wish they would have kept that going but I guess two is better than one or nothing at all. This is probably Shirley’s best later performance. Her playing a naive teenager worked. I’m also sure her working with two powerhouses like Loy and Grant probably helped her. Everyone is great here.

This film won The Oscar for best original screenplay by Sidney Sheldon. It is a great screenplay. Many great scenes and the characters are nicely written, but I feel Charlie Chaplin should have got it that year. He was nominated in the same category for Monsieur Verdoux. That is one incredible film right there. I’m in no way putting this film down, it’s just puzzling to believe that this script would beat Chaplin’s amazing script. I’m sure a lot of politics were involved.

I’ve got to give it to Irving Reis, directing screwball comedies are a challenge and he did a good job. There was one scene in here when it starts off with a dinner with just Grant and Loy at a small table. When the scene ends, there is probably ten people sitting at that table. A scene like that really needs a lot of attention. When you add more and more people to that scene, it’s always a huge possibility that the audience will not get it and the scene could end up being a cluttered mess. Everything works out so well in that scene and I couldn’t stop laughing as more and more people piled into that scene. I’m just giving this example to show how well this film was made and how well everything is setup in here. It’s just so satisfying when you come across a comedy that hits it’s marks.

A hilarious, fun comedy that you must see.

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer – AMAZING

Goodnight

Kathleen (1941)

The final Shirley Temple film I watched this past Monday was Kathleen. I know it’s not a great movie but I liked it. I did watch this after That Hagen Girl so it could of just felt like a breath of fresh air.

In this film, Shirley plays a neglected daughter. She lives with her father but hardly sees him because he’s obsessed with his work. A very mean nanny takes care of Shirley. One night, when things get a little out of hand between the two, Shirley’s father realizes it’s best to get rid of the nanny.

The father is recommended a child psychologist so he has the psychologist come live with them to monitor and see why Shirley is troubled. The psychologist turns out to be a young and good looking woman. Shirley warms up to her fast and sees this as an opportunity to be a matchmaker. The problem is, Shirley’s father is in love with a snobby woman and soon he proposes to her. Will Shirley manage to break off the engagement and get him to fancy the psychologist or will he marry this woman who is definitely all wrong for him? Give this a watch to find out what happens.

I thought Shirley was pretty good in here. My favorite scene is when she makes a box that explodes when it’s opened. She writes “Private” and “don’t open” in crayon all over it and sets it in front of the nanny. Shirley tells her not to open it and to mind her own business. As you can guess, the nanny opens it and gets a nice surprise. I also liked the scenes with Shirley and the great character actor Felix Bressart. He plays a pawnbroker who Shirley visits to get away from her nanny. They work very well together. Herbert Marshall plays the father and he does pretty good. I thought he was perfectly casted. Laraine Day plays the psychologist and she has some good scenes with Shirley.

Harold S. Bucquet directed this picture. I felt he did his job but he could have done more. First off, the film isn’t visually satisfying. Everything was very bland and the shots were safe and nothing extraordinary. Also, I felt Shirley could have done more here. When, she realizes that she needs to sabotage the engagement, the only thing she actally does is dump coffee on the women. They could have made this like The Parent Trap and have Shirley completely torture the women until her true feelings come out. Instead, Shirley’s character tries to get along with the woman and hopes her father will wake up. It seems like a missed opportunity.

I still liked the movie though and I’d watch it again. I believe next Monday is the final Monday for Shirley on TCM. I will definitely miss her.

Kathleen – GOOD

Goodnight

That Hagen Girl (1947)

Well, it looks like we have found a bad Shirley Temple film. I did not think when I first seen her as the charming little girl in Little Miss Marker that she would end up doing a turkey like this.

That Hagen Girl starts off with a young girl who arrives back in town after being away for some time. When she gets off the train, her parents cover her completely up and refuse to let anyone see her. Also, getting off the train is a women from town and she has a baby. The people want to know who the parents of the child are and she tells them that she’s the mother. The people get suspicious because the woman was never pregnant. For some reason, the townspeople put circumstances together and believe the girl who was covered up is the mother of the child and she gave it to the lady to raise because she comes from a respectable family and they don’t want a scandal to tarnish their image. The girl who was covered up is known to be romantically involved with Ronald Reagan and they point to him as the father.

Years go by, and the baby is now grown up and in high school. The people in town shun her and still believe that she is a bastard child. Ronald Reagan arrives in town. He’s been away for years building up his career and is surprised when he’s not given a warm welcome. What will happen when he finds out that the people think he is the father of this girl? My lips are sealed

The thing about this film is that even though it’s bad, it still sucks you in. I didn’t want to turn it off and I actually wanted to see the conclusion. The problem was the conclusion was terrible, so I’d recommend you only watching this one once.

Shirley Temple and Ronald Reagan, this is the worst I’ve seen from them. You could tell their hearts weren’t into this film and I don’t blame them. I’m sure they just did this for the work. The romantic storyline between the two of them was a complete joke. I hate to spoil this romance storyline but I must. The whole film, Lois Maxwell and Ronald Reagan’s characters are inseparable and I thought they were going to end up together. They are pretty much the same age and are both well-educated. A good match. Then, all of a sudden, Lois Maxwell says out of nowhere “You’re in love with the girl.” It was so bad and there really is no sign or build up of this “love” until that point. Lois Maxwell just says this and Ronald Reagan is like “You know what? You’re right!” Are you kidding me? She hasn’t even graduated and Ronald Reagan is probably in his 30’s, aren’t they already involved in enough scandal? There was also a scene where Shirley Temple tries to drown herself and it’s so bad. There aren’t words to describe how bad it is.

I cannot believe the same man who directed Christmas in Connecticut and The Two Mrs. Carrolls directed this. Those two films are very good and this is just bad. I totally blame Peter Godfrey for this being bad. I heard Reagan really hated this movie and even went to Godfrey about changing the love story because of the age difference. Godfrey responded by saying that him and his wife have a 20 year age difference. I have nothing against big age differences, but I just don’t see how Godfrey couldn’t see why this didn’t work.

This film was just terribly written and badly directed. If you want to see this film, I will not tell you to don’t go see it. Like I said, even though this film was terrible, it kept me interested. There are terrible films like Jack and Jill where I wanted to turn it off every couple of minutes and every scene was so grueling to get through. I never got that feeling here. In fact, just thinking about seeing That Hagen Girl again doesn’t make me want to pull my hair out. I would gladly watch this again.

That Hagen Girl – AWFUL BUT WATCHABLE

Goodnight

Honeymoon (1947)

The third Shirley Temple film on watched on Monday was Honeymoon and this was probably the beginning of the end for her. This is probably her first role were she plays a woman instead of a girl and this transition is where she got lost and never recovered. The film isn’t a bad one, it’s just very mediocre. It’s very hit and miss on the comedy element.

In Honeymoon, Shirley plays a women who arrives in Mexico to marry a soldier. He never shows up to meet her at the station so she goes to the American consulate to find out if his plane ran into any delays. Sure enough, she finds that it had to land and won’t arrive until tomorrow. Shirley is now stuck to wait. Will they ever get married? You will have to find out that answer yourself.

I hate to say this but after watching this film, I seen why Shirley left the business. When she was a little girl, she shined and completely stole every scene away from some really magnificent actors. In here, she was the lead and instead of being the center of attention, Franchot Tone completely dominated over her. He was pretty good in here but that wasn’t enough to make it a good movie.

I am surprised to find out that this is directed by William Keighley. I’m a fan of his work and I even wrote a paper on his gangster pictures when I was in film school. He has directed some good comedies as well but this one falls flat. I don’t think it was Shirley’s or Mr. Keighley’s fault for this. The script was kind of lackluster and could have used more attention. There were some good moments in here. I thought the ending was funny and I enjoyed it when Shirley and Franchot Tone shared the screen. When Shirley’s fiancé arrives, I felt that’s when the film lost it’s ground. If they just made that character more interesting and gave him more to do, they could have probably gotten away with this film.

This is in no way a bad film. I got laughs and didn’t want to turn it off which is more that what I can say for most of these comedies Hollywood is shitting out these days *cough* The Interview *cough*.

Honeymoon – NOTHING SPECIAL

Goodnight

I’ll Be Seeing You (1944)

The second Shirley Temple film I watched on Monday and once again she’s a supporting character here. This is another David O. Selznick production so obviously he must of had a soft spot for Shirley. She hadn’t worked for two years until he stuck her in Since You Went Away and I’ll Be Seeing You back-to-back.

I’ll Be Seeing You is about a soldier and a woman who meet on a train. She tells him that she’s getting off at Pinehill and he tells her he’s getting off there too because he has a sister who lives there. You find out he has no sister and gets off at Pinehill just for her. The problem is that they are both hiding some very big secrets from one another. He’s going through shell shock and was given some time off from his therapy so he could get out in the world and readjust to normal life. She’s a prisoner who is given some time off from her sentence to spend Christmas with her family for good behavior. The two start to fall for each other and both don’t know if they should tell the other about their problems. Will they ever reveal these big secrets to each other? You know it’s against my rules to tell you what happens.

I thought this was a great movie. Joesph Cotton, as I have said in a previous review, is one of the most underrated actors. I think he’s great in this film. There were moments where you could feel his tension when he’s put into those unsettling situations. Ginger Rogers does very well. I’m a fan and I haven’t really delved much into her dramatic career. I love the films she did with Fred Astaire and I can watch those over and over again. I’m definitely going to look into that part of her career now. I really liked Cotton and Rogers together. I hope this wasn’t the only film they did together. Shirley Temple was alright. You sorta see why she didn’t continue on much longer as an actress. Robert Osborne said after the film that George Cukor directed Shirley’s important scene and told her she was the reason the scene wasn’t working and continued to push her until she got it right. I’m sure this was what made her start to realize that acting might not be something she should pursue.

William Dieterle is the credited director. He was always good when it came to putting the story on screen. I’ve seen a lot of his biopics and you are always intrigued with the story. I felt the same here.

A very nice hidden gem.

I’ll Be Seeing You – AMAZING

Since You Went Away (1944)

I decided that I’m going to hold the other films I watched during last week and get to the Shirley Temple films I watched last night. The first one I watched was Since You Went Away. This didn’t star Shirley Temple. She was a supporting character and was in her teens, so we’re not getting the child Shirley Temple here.

Since You Went Away is about a mother raising her two daughters while her husband is off to war. That’s really all I can say to explain the film. It really has no plot. It’s just life on the Homefront during WWII. You see how people had to ration and make ends meet during those times. Also, you see the suffering, worries, and loss families went through during that time. It’s all very touching and makes me wonder if my Grandmother went through the same stuff with my Grandfather when he was in WWII.

I cannot complain about this cast. You have Claudette Colbert, Joseph Cotton, Robert Walker, Jennifer Jones, Monty Woolley, and of course Shirley Temple. I was disappointed when I seen Lionel Barrymore and Keenan Wynn were in here and they both probably had one minute each of screen time. I’m a fan of those two and was hoping they had more than that, but I guess it’s better than nothing. Claudette was very good. One of her best performances. Joseph Cotton is superb. I think he has to be the most underrated actor ever. Not one Oscar nomination ever. You have got to be kidding me. He should have been nominated for this and Shadow of a Doubt. Robert Walker is great as a very shy and insecure soldier. He kind of reminded me of myself. It’s funny because Walker would go on to play the opposite of this character in Strangers on a Train. Shirley didn’t have a big role in here but I felt she did well. You could tell her growing up wasn’t good for her acting career. She lost that charm she had when she was younger.

John Cromwell does a great job directing this picture. It’s nicely lit and very stylized. The man who should really get the credit for this film is the producer David O. Selznick. He was known for making these very big movies like Gone with the Wind. Great all star casts, epic scale productions, and true quality were all in Selznick’s pictures. This film is no exception.

A great picture. I’m sure I will check it out again soon. Must warn you, this film is close to three hours long but it’ll go by fast.

Since You Went Away – HELLO SAILOR

Goodnight