Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) is a seemingly modest and conscientious girl who gets the chance of a lifetime. She is able to meet a great Broadway star (Bette Davis) as well as her close circle of friends. Soon she is helping this Margot Channing by taking care of errands and odd jobs. This ambitious girl finally convinces one of Margot’s friends Karen (Celeste Holm), to let her be an understudy. And so when Margot is detained the night of a show, Eve gets her chance at the big time. However, Eve soon shows a different side of herself; one of back-stabbing and blackmail. Through her manipulation, she meets a famous critic (George Sanders) and wins an award. However, he has her pegged and the truth becomes evident. By the end of the film, Eve seems to have fallen for the same trap that Margot had. This film was pretty good and featured a good cast including Thelma Ritter and a young Marilyn Monroe. As Davis exclaims, “fasten your seat belts!”
Starring Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake, with director Preston Sturges, Sullivan’s Travels is about a highly successful film director (McCrea) who wants to make a movie about the common man and suffering. However, he usually writes comedies and so he decides to go on the road as a hobo to try and understand the lifestyle. During his adventures he meets a young failed actress (Lake) who is about to leave Hollywood. Wanting to help her, Sully tells the girl what he is doing and they go off together masquerading as tramps. After taking a short respite, he goes on the road again, this time alone. Through a series of events he finds himself in a chain gang while his friends assume he is dead. Eventually he is freed but not before learning a valuable lesson. If he wants to relate with the poor he should give them laughter instead of hardship. I found this movie to be an enjoyable light comedy (even though I had never heard of it beforehand).
The inspiration for the award-winning TV series, MASH follows the quips and antics of two doctors as they are stationed in Korea. Starring Donald Sutherland, Elliot Gould, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman, with director Robert Altman, it brims with sexual banter, bloody bodies, and comedic moments. MASH effectively is a commentary against war and is seemingly as somber as it is funny. However, up to the end you are left with a smile on your face. The climatic moments during the football game will have all riled up and fittingly we see Captain Pierce (Sutherland) ride away in the same stolen jeep he had when arriving. The iconic theme “Suicide is Painless” adds to the composition. Overall it is a good film much different then the MASH we got to know on television.
12 Angry Men is a very intriguing film, that begins with a jury that is 11 to 1 in favor of giving the death penalty to a young boy. In this ensemble cast headed by Henry Fonda (the one unsure man), tempers flare as the heat rises. By the end this lone juror finally wins over the opinions of the others through discussion. The cast is a wonderful mixture of veteran and young actors, with everything in between. The cast includes Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley, Martin Balsam, Jack Warden, John Fiedler, and Jack Klugman. However there are no women or black jurors because this film was made back in 1957. Aside from that, it has a great story which takes place almost entirely in one room. In this way it is much like another classic and favorite of mine, Rear Window. Get ready to fight it out with every word and piece of evidence in 12 Angry Men.
Following a visit to the Reagan Library yesterday in Thousand Oaks California, I thought I would make a post in honor of “The Great Communicator” who was a president, governor, and of course an actor.
Ronald Reagan started out in radio but in the late 30s he transitioned into acting. During his time as an actor he was in some memorable films including Dark Victory, Knute Rockne All American, and The King’s Row. However, he was also a part of the political side of Hollywood being a president of the Screen Actors Guild and supporting anti-Communist activities. His first wife was actress Jane Wyman (The Lost Weekend, Johnny Belinda). A lesser known actress, Nancy Davis was Reagan’s second wife who became most famous as First Lady during his presidency.
I would certainly recommend the library because it is informative, located in a nice area, and enjoyable overall.
In the classic starring Tom Hanks as the slow-witted but kindhearted Forrest, we see him as he takes part in history. From the day we see him teach Elvis how to dance, up to the point he runs across country, he is constantly part of or making history. However despite everything he has accomplished whether it be in Vietnam, playing ping-pong, or in the shrimping business, Forrest still is humble and seemingly oblivious to it all. His innocence is heartwarming amidst all the turmoil around him in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Hanks is supported wonderfully by Robin Wright, Mykelti Williamson, Gary Sinise, and Sally Fields. This film is funny as well as touching, making it wonderful to watch. The soundtrack also helps to transport you back to the different eras.
With an interesting conflict between two policemen, one white and one black, In the Heat of the Night is a thrilling crime film. Rod Steiger delivers a wonderful performance as the common place and prejudiced officer who heads a southern police force. Things do no start off well when a policeman from Philadelphia, Mr. Tibbs (Poitier) is accused of murder simply because of his race. Only afterwards do they learn he is a highly respected detective. Because they need help, they reluctantly ask for his assistance. Tibbs must learn how to deal with the prejudice while Gillespie (Steiger) must curb his own racism. Over the course of the film, the two men face opposition but they stick with it to see the case through. When the crime is finally solved, Tibbs is about to leave and Gillespie with a new-found respect tells him to come back sometime. In an age where racism was still a tremendous problem, this film combated the issue and created something very special in the process.