Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Black History Month on Femnista (Jan/Feb 2018)

I know it's been at least a year since I've written for Femnista, a web publication by Charity's Place. But I'm in a bit of a better time management place with my life now, so writing for Femnista is one thing I've picked up again. Because I actually really missed it.

The topic for this issue is Black History Month.

Celebrating Black Heroes

For the main "table of contents" go HERE.

And for my article about Academy Award winner Sidney Poitier, please go HERE.

May you enjoy and be blessed by the articles in this month's issue of Femnista.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Feeding the Inner Woman in 2018

Aye me, what a long week. 

While I love working for a non-profit, year end can be positively exhausting because that's when the final donations come pouring in. It's terrific that people give because they can use the giving for tax purposes, but still, why wait until the last day of the year? Now we're finishing up year end reconciliation which means processing everything from 2017 that might possibly be left. Still, that should be finished by the 10th and then I pray we can heave sighs of relief for at least a little while. The life of those in data entry.

The apartment hunting is currently on hold for a few months, which might actually mean I'll be buying a condo instead, which would be lovely. I'd prefer to buy rather than rent anyway. At least then your money is going to purchase something. My focus instead is to pour as much of my paycheck as physically possible into my savings account. By the time April rolls around my savings should be back to where I want it.

Do any of you make New Years resolutions?

I only ask because I rarely make them in the form of a physical list or anything. Instead I think of something I've been wanting to accomplish and for whatever reason simply haven't followed through on. It's never something that made it to a list of resolutions, like losing weight or exercising more or cleaning out the refrigerator every two weeks.

Instead it's just usually something that will end up doing my soul good. Or my spirit good, whichever word you prefer.

This year I have two things on this list that will do my inner woman good: read as much of C.S. Lewis' nonfiction as I can and read through the entire Bible (something I am ashamed to say that I have never done).

I'm starting my Lewis reading by actually listening to Focus on the Family's radio presentation of C.S. Lewis at War. For any bibliophiles or anglophiles out there, it stars Jeremy Northam (Mr. Knightley) as Lewis and he does a stupendous job portraying the great author and theologian.

Next I'll read The Problem of Pain, a little book that I anticipate will pack a lot of meat for my tired and careworn spirit. Then I'll just go on from there, maybe posting random thoughts on nourishing spirituality that I might find, or keeping them as little nuggets to myself. We'll see.

As for reading the Bible, I really don't think that needs much introduction. Except to say that I'm using the Charles Swindoll Bible Reading Plan. It starts me off in Genesis (reading several chapters a day) and the Psalms. They're weekly reading plans for 5 days so you have Saturday and Sunday off and I've made it one week so far. I do love reading the Old Testament if simply because these people remind me that God's followers have never been perfect.

May your new year be full of spiritual fruit and contentment. Books, knitting, and cat snuggling will be in my year along with anything the Lord might toss my way. As always, He will be faithful no matter what comes. Blessings!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Thank goodness it's 2018!

I'm one step closer to renting an apartment. Caitlin and I are touring an apartment tomorrow at a complex that really interests us. My sister is a good judge of character and she feels the assistant manager is an honest and forthright woman. I admit that I liked her a lot too. Not that she couldn't turn out to be a Patrick Jane in disguise, but still, the chances of that are really slim.

One potential hiccup to our plans to move right away is my car. It had some, shall we say, issues tonight. It's likely either the battery, battery terminals, or the alternator. None of which are very expensive, but there's always the possibility it's something bigger and therefore has larger charges attached to it. I'm praying for just a simple and easy fix. I'd hate to put off moving because I needed to pour $1,000 into my car unexpectedly.

Car troubles aside, it's been fun to plan a move with my sister. She's already bought 2 filing cabinets to house the family genealogy (she's the history major in the family), and now we're talking dining room suites and end table vs. coffee table for the living room. We already have most of the living room furniture already, thank goodness.

The only real thing I have my heart set on is hanging battery powered candles from the ceiling.

I know, it sounds crazy, but most Harry Potter fans are at least a little bit crazy. It comes with the territory. See, we hosted a Harry Potter dinner party back in May of last year and we hung candles from the ceiling over the dining room table. It was gorgeous, but only temporary. I'd like to have a much more permanent fixture in place. The apartment we're looking at tomorrow is all gung-ho about letting its residents hang stuff on the walls and the ceilings. That's another plus in my book.

It's just the 2nd day of 2018 and already I'm kind of wishing I were 2 more weeks into the new year. By then I'd either be moving into the apartment we're looking at tomorrow or we'd be looking at a different complex. I'd know what's going on with my car and either have it fixed already or in for repairs. My raise would have come into effect at work, and maybe, just maybe, the breakfast smoothies would be starting to have a slimming affect on my waistline.

But alas, no. Instead, I must wait. Why is it that waiting is always so darn hard? And it takes for bloody ever! Oh Lord, help me to cherish each moment as it comes. Every day is a day that I will never live again, ripe with possibilities to do Your good work. Help me to not get so worked up at moving forward that I stop seeing the forest for the trees. Amen.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Peace be with You

The stockings and gifts are opened, Christmas brunch has been eaten, the cats are in a catnip coma, and the prime rib is coming to room temperature.

Now I can sit at my computer for a few minutes, listening to Andy Williams' Christmas album, and just reflect. As I've already mentioned, it's been a tough year. A year of weariness and emotional upheaval and uncertainty. Have you ever experienced that feeling of being always off-balance? Of never knowing where you're going to land and whether there's safe harbor? That's been me, this last year.

But sitting here, musing on Christmas day, I'm thankful. I'm thankful for this one last Christmas with my family the way it's always been. Next year will be different. I'm going to be in a home of my own, and likely my sister will either join me or she'll get a place of her own.

I'm reminded of Virginia Woolf, in a way. I'm a single woman with a successful job. If I'm going to make anything of my writing and of my faith, then I need a room, or in this case a home, of my own. All the uncertainty of the past year fades under that reality. My fear of change, of altering the traditional, has actually held me back in moving to the next level of my life. It's not so much about marriage and children, but growing into myself, becoming the woman I am meant to be.

Excitement flutters in me now when I think of having my own space. There's no room left for fear, only exultation that my time is coming. The Lord has opened many doors in my life before, and here is another one that it is nearly time to walk through.

Blessings to you all and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Four Things Tag

I randomly found this tag on Thrifty Bibliophile, and thought it sounded like fun. I don't mind doing tags every once in awhile, especially if they don't require me to spend a whole lot of time on them. Why am I doing it Christmas Eve? Because we're pretty much all set for Christmas, which is awesome! 

Four Jobs I've Had
  1. Library Shelving Page
  2. Library Circulation Assistant
  3. Data Entry Associate
  4. Data Entry Specialist
Four Things I Don't Eat
  1. Stuffed Bellpeppers (ewww on so many levels particularly with the hamburger meat)
  2. Red Chili (Dennison's is the only type I can stomach)
  3. White Chocolate (bleh)
  4. Those weird little baby octopus (YUCK!)
Four Places I've Lived
  1. California
  2. Oregon (3 different homes)
  3. Colorado (3 different homes)
Four of My Favorite Foods
  1. Sushi (yep, the real kind of sushi with the raw fish and everything, so yummy!)
  2. Noosa Yogurt
  3. European breakfast buffet with smoked salmon, tomatoes, rye toast, etc.
  4. A really excellent Chicken Caesar Salad
Four Movies I've Watched More than Once
  1. The Apartment with Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray.
  2. The Lord of the Rings
  3. Rogue One
  4. Thor: Ragnarok
Four TV Shows I Watch
  1. Gotham
  2. Once Upon a Time
  3. Stranger Things (it sorta counts)
  4. Trollhunters (another Netflix original)
Four Things I'm Looking Forward to This Year
  1. Renting an apartment or buying a house
  2. Pursuing my writing with deeper purpose and focus
  3. The possibility of working from home
  4. Getting back into the blogging scene
Four Things I Can't Live Without
  1. God's love and His promise of salvation
Four Places I've Visited
  1. Helsinki and Vaasa, Finland
  2. Disneyland
  3. Vancouver, Canada
  4. Mesa Verde, Colorado
Four Pet Peeves
  1. The foot jiggle from people who think they have ADHD but don't (just STOP)
  2. Being reminded of things I've already done because I remembered to do them
  3. Talking instead of working while on your employer's dime
  4. Tailgaters with blaring music
Four Things I Wish I Could Do
  1. Retire now
  2. Lose weight and keep it off
  3. Get in the car and drive to wherever strikes my fancy
  4. Finish everything in the span of my 33 years that I've started and haven't yet finished
Four Subjects I Studied at School
  1. Victorian Literature
  2. The British Romantics
  3. Composing Poetry
  4. Creative Writing
Four Things Near Me Right Now
  1. An unopened pack of Luke Skywalker party napkins (why? Because I love them)
  2. A pair of Elvis Presley blue suede slippers
  3. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (a book my sister lent me)
  4. 3 different types of hand lotion (I obviously need to commit to just one)
I Tag . . . 

Because it's been awhile since I've been active on here and have no clue how many people are still reading my blog, pretty much anyone who wants to participate can. I'd love it if DKoren and Birdie would, actually, if I'm going to tag someone specific.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

I'm back and Merry Christmas!

My precious Bucky Boy enjoying his Christmas tree this year.

I look back over 2017 and a part of me thinks, “Wow, this year sucked.” There was a system transition at work that has yet to be completed even though we began in January 2017. Talk about wearing on the mind and soul.  I began battling a mild form of depression and started taking meds to combat it. This year has truly been a flux of up and down and back and forth; emotions whirling and friendships rising and ebbing a bit depending on my ability to interact.

But there’s another part of me, a somewhat larger part, that is now able to see quite a few of the blessings that have flowed my way in 2017. With the Lord’s help, I’ve finally overcome something I’ve struggled with for years. That’s the epitome of awesome, right there. My family traveled to Finland (our first major trip outside the country) and discovered family ties, ancestral land, and just an incredible culture of people that we never imagined experiencing. Finland is amazing and I love it with my whole heart and it connected a lot of the dots about my values and the pacing of my life. Apparently you don’t have to have been born in Finland to live a Scandinavian lifestyle.

Another thing I’ve learned, and I’m sorry it took this long to learn it, is that I should never try to change up important things when I’m in the middle of intense life experiences. Like this blog. I’m much more than just one thing, and while I deeply admire the people who are able to blog about just one thing, that’s not me. I can’t compartmentalize like that. I love classic films, but I’ll go for weeks, even months sometimes, without watching one. I love books, but heaven knows I don’t always want to sit down and review them. There are times when the books I read are too personal, too intimate to my soul, for me to really want to share. I write, I knit, I crochet, and I think, think, think, probably like the majority of people with “intellection” in their top 5 Strengths/Finders.

I tried to put myself in a box, format myself into what I thought others expected of me, but I can’t do that. I have to be free to be who I am. I love the Lord and I need to express that when the urge hits me. If I read a book that inspires me to talk about it, I need that freedom to write about it. It’s the same with movies and television, no matter the era. Travels and writings and craft projects may need to be shared.

All this is to say that after a hectic time of growth and stress and overcoming the loss of loved ones over the last couple of years, my blog is returning to Musings of an Introvert. This is what it should have been all along because that’s when it truly felt right to me and I was engaged with it. I know I’ve lost quite a few readers due to my hiatus and that’s okay. People come and go. But the intensity of my identity needs to be channeled somewhere and I always found blogging to be therapeutic when I did right.

To those of you have still have me in your blog rolls, thanks. I appreciate you and I missed you. And to any new readers that may crop up along the way, cool. We’ll find our way together. Merry Christmas!

The Greatest Showman (2017)

After spending 2 glorious hours in the theater today watching The Greatest Showman, one thing struck home. Nobody should care whether the movie is a true representation of P.T. Barnum’s real life. That’s not what The Greatest Showman is all about; rather, the movie is the embodiment of believing in impossible dreams and of loving yourself despite what the world says.

My sister cosplays and depending on what she’s wearing and where she is, it’s hilarious watching people try desperately to not look at her. To pretend they don’t see her and that she isn’t dressed in full Victorian garb, bustle, corset, and all. Why? Because she’s different and people do . . . not . . . like . . . different.

P.T. Barnum was different.

And The Greatest Showman represents him as the glorious type of different that ignites the imaginations of the people around him. This movie tells you that it’s okay to be different because you still have the right to happiness, to family, to love, despite anything that anyone may say to the contrary.

So I pretty much spit on the Rotten Tomatoes critics that are complaining about everything from The Greatest Showman not being true to history (Really? You mean Barnum didn’t sing and dance modern show tunes through his life story?), claims about it being formulaic (Hmm, I’m pretty sure Sing got some pretty serious praise and The Greatest Showman is waaaaay superior), and containing some of the worst songs in show tune history (Ummm, you're going to try and teach me about music, now? I know what I like).

Honestly, it really just feels like modern critics have the exact same approach to the exciting and fantastical as the humbug critic in The Greatest Showman. Awww, did the poor wittle babies take offense at such an accurate representation of themselves? To steal a quote from George Gilbert, a favorite radio character of mine from Father Gilbert, modern film critics are "narrow-minded and prejudicial."

You put Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron in starring leads in a larger-than-life musical about chasing dreams and you’ve got a winner. I haven’t fallen this hard for a film since Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hit theaters, and it’s disappointing to find the same critics who praised the lackluster LaLa Land being so boorish about this fresh, invigorating and just plain fun musical. Just when I really needed a toe-tapping good time, The Greatest Showman popped up to surprise and impress me, so much so that I wished I'd had the time to buy another ticket, turn around, and see it twice in the same day!

Hugh, it’s good to see you back doing musicals again and not bulked up to the nines playing Wolverine. You’re so much better than just an X-man and The Greatest Showman proves it.

And Zac, WOW. I have so totally missed you, dude! Not that you haven’t been in movies because you have, but, come on now, do obnoxious frat boy roles really match you? You’re better than those characters, and I LOVED you as Philip Carlisle. I miss hearing you sing and that number you and Hugh perform together is AMAZING. My advice for what it’s worth and that’s very little is to shelve any future frat boy films and stick to the classier roles. They suit you. Just own that you're a classy gent and run with it.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Award Winners for a REASON: The African Queen (1951)

The African Queen (1951)
starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn

I'm back! I can't believe it's been almost a year since I last posted on this blog. Taking a break from certain things proved to be necessary for my emotional survival this last year. We're had a lot of upheaval at work and just overall stress and the last thing I needed was the additional weight of trying to write movie reviews on a regular basis. But I'm back and willing to give it my best shot.

The basics haven't changed. I'll still be watching and discussing classic film and actors.

However, I've also decided to incorporate modern movies set in the era of old Hollywood. Those can be loads of fun. Like, right now, I'm rewatching Zodiac, which is of course about the Zodiac Killer and takes place in the late 1960s to early 1970s. Not a classic movie, but set in the right era. It'll be a fun expansion since I really do love movies set in the era of classic Hollywood, period.

On to The African Queen from 1951.

Please tell me that everyone has seen this movie at least once?

Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn SHINE in this glorious film that is based off C. S. Forester's book of the same name that I have yet to read, but is on my bookshelf. This movie is actually filmed on location in Africa. Do you know how rare that was in the days of classic Hollywood, to film a movie anywhere other than a studio?

The basic story is this: Katharine Hepburn (Rose) and her brother are missionaries to the Congo in 1914. They've been there for 10 years. World War I breaks out and the little African village they minister to is raided by the Germans and all of the Africans are driven off. The shock of it puts Rose's brother into an early grave and she's left alone until Humphrey Bogart (Charlie Allnut), the captain of a sweet little vessel called the African Queen, shows up on her doorstep. He's been delivering supplies and mail to them for years, but now he takes Rose on as a responsibility to get her to safety. Except that Rose decides they need to destroy a German gunboat named the Louisa that is on a lake far down the Ulanga River. It's a dangerous proposition and Charlie is reluctant to even start, but together the two form an unusual partnership and even end up discovering they are soul mates.

The African Queen is a gorgeous film for two reasons.

First, like I already said, it was filmed on location in Africa.

Second, Humphrey Bogart was never more brilliant as an actor in all his life than in this film. Which explains his Academy Award for Best Actor! He earned it . . . hands down, no arguments. You'll also never see him in any better physical shape. Not a spare ounce of fat on his body anywhere, or on Katharine Hepburn for that matter. The two sparked!

Did you know that filming The African Queen was a welcome break for the actors from the McCarthy Hollywood red scare? Katharine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, and Bogie's wife Lauren Bacall were all under fire by the Army-McCarthy Hearings that were nothing more than a glorified witch hunt for communists. So for them, getting away from Hollywood was refreshing, despite the physical trials of a difficult African climate.

While one of the film's benefits was its authentic setting on location another was that it was an independent film, directed by John Huston yes, but funded independently. Not being attached to a major studio gave the actors a bit of breathing room. John Huston approached Bogart first, without any funding at all, and Bogart got Hepburn on board since he'd never acted with her and thought their chemistry might work with the story. The funding came next and the rest, as they say, is history.

While Bogie is the only one to come away from The African Queen with an Oscar, it's a good thing since it was his only one. But it was still an honor for Hepburn and Huston to be nominated in addition to being nominated for "best-adapted screenplay."

It's normal to wonder if your movie is going to be a success or a flop. But I don't think anyone anticipated that The African Queen would be such a phenomenal success. Now 66 years later, fans still marvel at the connection between Bogie and Hepburn and the absolutely stunning scenery as the African Queen floats down the Ulanga River, through white water rapids and sometimes under fire from German guns.

Oh, and by the way, the remastered DVD is AMAZING! You can tell how hard the restorers worked to present modern audiences with the best version of The African Queen that was humanly possible.

Monday, August 1, 2016

When a tough exterior hides a heart of gold in . . .

Written (sort of) for the Legends of Western Cinema week, hosted by A Lantern in Her Hand and Meanwhile, in Rivendell. I say sort of because I had planned to write a post on Wanted: Dead or Alive anyway, but this gave me motivation to actually buckle down and do it.

The era of the television western was something to behold. Its recognized beginning was 1949 and the official ending was 1969, so a mere 20 year span of time. Oh, some shows made it past the 1969 cut-off, like The Young Riders in the 1980s and of course, Alias Smith and Jones from the 1970s, but the official best years of the genre was always in the 1950s and the early 1960s.

Shows like Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Wagon Train, Rawhide, Have Gun Will Travel, Big Valley, and one of my favorites, The Wild Wild West all ran during that span of time. And while I'd like to focus on each and every one of them, I've chosen instead a western series that only ran for 3 years, from 1958 to 1961, and birthed the beginnings of a radiant career on the big screen.

That's right, I'm talking about Wanted: Dead or Alive starring none other than Steve McQueen.

Would you believe that I've only been a fan of this show, and McQueen, for less than a year? I guess I needed to fall in love with McQueen at the right time in my life, and that time happens to be now. But I especially, ESPECIALLY, love him as Josh Randall, the tough bounty hunter with a heart of gold from Wanted: Dead or Alive.

I think if this show were just another western series than I might not have latched onto it quite so voraciously. The creators took an original approach with the idea, allowing for the idea that not all heroes are good all the time and that bad things happen to good people. Perhaps it's not that original, but I'd never before encountered a western series that permitted, even encouraged, the characters to make mistakes. All with a brilliant, tight humor that never, ever failed to make an appearance in each episode. Sure, be serious, but make sure you give the viewer a break with snatches of hilarity too. These writers understood the need for humor in an otherwise dramatic series.

Josh Randall is terrific, but he's far from perfect. In fact, this is one of his normal looks, that half bewildered, half how-the-heck-did-I-get-myself-into-this-mess look. McQueen perfected that look. Anyway, Randall's a bounty hunter and money is a really strong motivator for what he does and why. I've read reviews that try to soften Randall, that he always gives his money away to people who need it, and it makes me wonder what show they're watching.

Yes, there were a couple of times, random times, when Josh would give money to someone, usually a victim or sometimes a relative of the criminal he hunted (the latter may have happened once), but overall, he kept the money. And his favorite pastimes when he's not chasing a bounty are lounging in saloons and gambling. So I'm pretty sure I know that the money ends up in the hands of gamblers who are slightly more skilled than he at the game.

However, I also said that Josh Randall has a heart of gold. He does. It just doesn't come in the form of giving away his bounty money. Instead, Josh is very wary of the bounties that he hunts. If someone doesn't seem on the up and up, he won't take the job. Plus, whenever possible, he attempts to take the prisoner alive because he believes in the system. It's not his job to kill people and he doesn't have a murderous heart like some bounty hunters.

But he's still spurned and scorned by many a western town because of his occupation. Oh, Josh will make a friend or two out of a sheriff, but when it comes down to your ordinary, everyday citizen, nope, it's not going to happen. The women in the show are especially devious, even cleverer than he is, and there's been many a time that he's had the wool pulled over his eyes by a fainting violet with nerves of steel and an ulterior motive. I guess you could say where women are concerned he's very naive.

This predilection most western towns had for hating bounty hunters crops up quite frequently, in fact. I'll always remember the episode where Josh brings in a bounty, but the criminal gets loose and takes the sheriff hostage. The sheriff's daughter is a town favorite and she cannot stand the idea of her father being left in the hands of a criminal, so the town decides to give the criminal Josh instead. At gunpoint. Sure, that's a nice, friendly little town they've got there. The sheriff's life is of more value to these upstanding citizens than a bounty hunter.

Josh encounters that mentality time and again throughout the series, but he's never vengeful, always resigned to their hatred of him, and he never raises a hand against innocent bystanders. He rolls with the punches most of the time, and there are plenty of punches. It wouldn't be an episode of Wanted: Dead or Alive if Josh didn't get knocked unconscious at least once. McQueen just did it so gracefully!

You know, it's entertaining to see where Steve McQueen got his start in westerns. Of course, westerns aren't all he did, but the roles of western archetype heroes seemed to suit him. As television western series go, there are scads more than would ever have time to watch, and the lesser known ones are lesser known for a reason. But Wanted: Dead or Alive takes its storytelling seriously and acknowledges that not every encounter in the west had a happy ending. In fact, some endings are downright sad, but that's real life.

You can also tell the quality by the types of guest stars who made appearances with such names as Michael Landon, Warren Oates, James Coburn, and even Martin Landau. Do I care that the bullets on Josh's belt could never, in a million years, fit that gun? Nope, I do not, because McQueen sells the character to the audience from the very 1st episode and we don't care that the bullets don't fit. Wanted: Dead or Alive is a brilliant western series with a brilliant lead actor who just captures the heart and the imagination with his glittering eyes, lean body (yes I have a crush, so sue me), and that crazy Mare's Laig of a rifle that he has strapped to his leg. ❤

Friday, July 29, 2016

Danny Kaye's cinematic debut in Up in Arms (1944)

Up in Arms (1944)
introducing Danny Kaye
and co-starring Dinah Shore, Dana Andrews, and Constance Dowling

I had a fairly decent sum saved up from my credit card rewards, and I couldn't think of a better way to spend it than on a Danny Kaye movie collection!

Apart from Bob Hope, Danny is my favorite funny man. But unlike Bob Hope who is sometimes too ridiculous, Danny always played lovable nut jobs with the right touch of realism to counteract the humor. I can't think of a single Danny Kaye role that I haven't loved so far. But the best thing about this collection is that I hadn't seen any of the 4 movies in it, one of which happens to be Danny's cinematic debut Up in Arms from 1944.

Danny Weems (Danny Kaye) is a lovable hypochondriac who took a job as an elevator man in a suite of doctor's offices just so he could be near medical care whenever he needed it. Patients get on his elevator and get off in worse shape than they were before. But Danny's lucky; he's got his best friend and roommate Joe (Dana Andrews) who supports him in all things. Except one. Joe falls in love with Mary (Constance Dowling), a lovely nurse from the building where Danny works. There's only one problem, Danny's convinced that he and Mary are in love and so he's blind to the growing attraction between Joe and Mary and blind to the romantic inclinations that Virginia (Dinah Shore), another nurse in the building, has towards him.

Everything might have continued in the same vein of awkwardness except that this is 1944 and so Danny and Joe get drafted into the military. And the girls, being the patriotic females that they are, also join up as nurses, the funny thing being that they're also higher ranked than Joe and Danny. Watching Danny, with his cases of medication, try to survive military life is hilarious, and it's a darn good thing that Joe is there to keep some of the thugs off his back. Resplendent with hilarious comedic gags, Up in Arms is a real winner up until the last 20 minutes and a terrific debut for Danny Kaye as a classic American funny man.

Despite it's winning qualities, though, I admit that there are some aspects that may offend modern viewers. Such as the Japanese soldiers at the end of the film that are just so dense I'm shocked they didn't walk off a cliff into the ocean. Danny manages to round all of them up with little trouble. They're caricatures of the Japanese and I caught myself wincing several times.

I'm also not sure about that bizarre dream sequence, also near the end, that merely seemed an excuse to roll out the Goldwyn Girls with their sparkling smiles and gorgeous figures. It felt like that absurd sequence out of Singin' in the Rain which makes sense since the movies were made in the same decade. One of those Goldwyn Girls happened to be Virginia Mayo, the girl who played opposite Danny in 4 pictures including The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (review upcoming at some point), so that bit was fun. But I'm still glad they cast Constance Dowling as Mary since I feel she had the right mixture of loveliness and compassion.

If you don't mind the little oddities, you'll love Up in Arms. It's nowhere near as offensive as the Bing Crosby black face number in Holiday Inn, a movie I LOVE all except for that one musical number. ❤

This poor man's first encounter with Danny leaves him far sicker than he ever was before he stepped into that elevator, much to the fury of the man's doctor.

The lovely Dinah Shore as Virginia, the girl who secretly loves Danny and who was just his practice model for a marriage proposal to Mary. No wonder she's mad.

Danny's first musical number in the film, while waiting for a motion picture to start. He effectively mocked going to the movies in a healthy dose of irony.

And here you have buddy Joe (Dana Andrews) and Danny's flame Mary (Constance Dowling) making eyes after a double-date. Poor Danny, so clueless, especially since Mary never actually led him on. He can't tell when a girl's just being nice.

Danny getting the infamous news that he's been DRAFTED!

While out with the boys and Mary, Virginia sings into a record recorder while a horde of soldiers gather. It's Now I Know and one of those typical songs during the World War II era that just gets you.

In a fit of insanity, Danny smuggles Mary onto the boat by accident just as it ships out, leaving Joe to help Danny figure out how to hide her.

And one last screen cap just for fun. Chaos is about to ensue in this one, in case you couldn't tell. Oh, and Mary's hiding under the bunk.
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