Friday, April 29, 2016

TCM Presents . . . On the Silver Screen

ON THE WATERFRONT, Marlon Brando, 1954

When it comes to Classic Cinema the average viewer usually has only three choices.
  1. Wait until the movie hits TCM and pray you're home.
  2. Grit your teeth through the skips and jumps and frame freezes on the library copy.
  3. Dig out your wallet and actually buy the DVD (blu-ray if you're REALLY lucky).
If you're like me, which hopefully you are, then you've spent more than your fair share of time hoping and waiting for your favorite classic movie to actually hit DVD in a remastered format. There was never really any hope beyond the basic opportunity to view, in this case my favorite classic movie, On the Waterfront (1954) on anything other than your typical television screen on your typical DVD.
Except that TCM has finally, and I do mean finally, done something spectacular.

I'm a fan of Fathom Events at the theater. They can be loads of fun depending on what you're seeing. I saw Singin' in the Rain, The Wizard of Oz, and the extended Lord of the Rings trilogy as Fathom events, plus some special Elvis in Concert night.

This past Wednesday, April 27th 2016, TCM presented On the Waterfront in the theater ON THE SILVER SCREEN.

Though I'm sure other viewers would deny it, I'm pretty sure that angels were singing. The above scene is HEAVEN on the big screen.

Okay, I admit that there were only 8 people in the theater for the evening showing, including myself. But I've never had a better seat at the movie theater in my life than I did for On the Waterfront, a film I consider to be the absolute height of Marlon Brando's career, let alone the careers of Eva Marie Saint, Rod Steiger, Lee J. Cobb, and Karl Malden.

The hilarious thing is that when you put a classic movie on the big screen nowadays, you notice things . . . things that get lost on your home television.

Such as.
  1. Joey Doyle's dialogue never ONCE matched his lips in his one and only scene.
  2. No one was willing to pay for an actual stuntman to fall from the roof in lieu of the OBVIOUS dummy?
  3. Dramatic music must ALWAYS accompany smooching in classic cinema.
Ah well, such is life, I guess.

Despite the little hiccups here and there, On the Waterfront remains one of the finest examples of classic Hollywood from the 1950s.

ON THE WATERFRONT, Rod Steiger, Marlon Brando, 1954
You know that scene with Brando and Rod Steiger in the taxicab? I thought it couldn't possibly move me since I've watched the movie countless times. But there's something about that scene in an actual theater that tested my emotional reserve. There were a few actual tears, people.

I know, it's too late for you to watch On the Waterfront in the movie theater. You have my sympathy because it was so totally worth it.

However, On the Waterfront is only 1 in a series of 12 movies being shown in the theater this year by TCM. I missed The Maltese Falcon in February (which would have been a great intro to a movie I've never seen), but there are still 8 classics (well, some I'd call classics, others merely pretenders) that will be shown through the end of 2016.

  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, May 15 and 18
  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, June 26 and 29
  • Planet of the Apes, July 24 and 27
  • The King and I, Aug. 28 and 31
  • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Sept. 18 and 21
  • The Shining, Oct. 23 and 26
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Nov. 27 and 30
  • From Here to Eternity, Dec. 11 and 14

Plan your calendar for the rest of the year very carefully.

As for myself, I know where I'll be May 18th, June 29th, August 31st, and November 30th.

Thank you, Turner Classic Movies, for taking my mind off the loss of my sweet kitty by putting my favorite movie on the silver screen.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Goodbye, my beautiful girl.

My family has a hole right now.

I always knew Bubbles was going to die someday, but it felt like this crept up so suddenly. She's been struggling with her breathing for several days now.

Caitlin and I took her to an emergency animal hospital yesterday afternoon where they ran x-rays that showed fluid around her lungs, about 7 ounces of fluid crushing her tiny little lungs. We had them take the fluid out and the doctor was very realistic and compassionate. It was congestive heart failure instead of the cancer she had suspected (she tested the fluid).

The fluid would have filled up around her lungs again within a couple of days at the most and we just couldn't let her suffer. I can't imagine suffocating to death with her little lungs wheezing to catch a breath. So we gave her hugs, told her we loved her and that we would see her again, and let them put her to sleep. She was at least 16-years-old, likely somewhere between 16 and 17, a ripe old age for a cat.

But it doesn't make losing her any easier. She was an integral part of our family unit and my dad said last night that "he felt a presence missing" from our house. And he's right.

We're in talks about getting new cats. Caitlin wants to wait on getting a cat for her until she has her own place. But I'm considering getting siblings for me. Whenever we've lost a pet in the past, the best way to help heal is to have another pet.

I expect to see her around corners and think I hear her coming up the stairs. I look at her favorite corner of my room where she used to curl up and she's not there. My poor, sweet baby. How I miss her.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Whirlwind Love of Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee

Ahhh, Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee. Two such adorable people have never before or since graced the Hollywood scene as a couple.

How do you describe a man like Bobby Darin? His was a renowned musician/songwriter/performer and also acted in several movies during the 1960s. His musical style spanned several genres from rock n' roll to pop to jazz to country. 1958 was the year that he really took off with his hit recording of Splish Splash. This was followed by Dream Lover, Beyond the Sea, Mack the Knife and hundreds of other fun and flirty, serious and sad songs. He died in 1973, tragically young at only 37, having a weakened constitution from a severe bout of rheumatic fever when he was a child.

Sandra Dee is almost better known than Bobby Darin now, although not so much for herself as for that song in Grease that everybody seems to know. She made a "splash" in the 1959 release of Gidget, the story of a girl who thinks surfing and surfer Moondoggie are "the absolute ultimate!" She was only 14-years-old at the time of the filming (if you go by her birthday being 1944 instead of 1942 which I think is more likely since in a 1980s interview she said she was not yet 16 when she met Bobby Darin in 1960). The pristine and perfect young miss, Sandra Dee represented chastity and purity, a tragic contrast with her personal life of sexual abuse as a child. Her career peaked and ended in less than 10 years, but all of her 1960s films are a delight unto themselves.

If only Bobby and Sandy's happiness had been long-term, but alas, only about 4 years after their wedding in 1960, divorce proceedings took effect. Theirs was one of those flash-in-the-pan romances like Elvis and Priscilla Presley, where you just fervently wish it could have lasted. Although, Sandy herself admitted that they lived together for 3 years or so after the divorce soooooooooooo. . . make of that what you will.

Their love kindled during the filming of Come September, a film released in 1961 and filmed in 1960 and where both Bobby and Sandy were side-liners to the "big name" leads, Rock Hudson and the exotic Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida. Rumor has it that during the filming, Bobby simply would not leave Sandy alone. He followed her everywhere on set, which is actually in keeping with his somewhat obnoxious character of Tony who's determined to win the fair hand of the charming and virtuous Sandy. Sounds fitting, eh?

A photo apparently snapped on their honeymoon.

Honestly, if it wasn't for Bobby and Sandy, I wouldn't own Come September. They add a little bit of spark, a little bit of pizzazz, to an otherwise average romcom. And of course, knowing that Bobby was doing his hardest to woo Sandy while on the set is an additional charming flair thrown in for good measure.

In an interview Sandy gave, she described her introduction to Bobby where he whistled at her and she turned around to face him I guess she hadn't even noticed him until he made his presence known. He said, "My name's Bobby Darin, and I'm going to marry you." That was it, nothing more. She knew who he was, of course, but until that moment had no idea he was in Come September, so that was a shock. Sandy described him as "abrasive, insulting, and cocky" and it seems that her mother asked Bobby why he was treating Sandy so rudely and he said, "because she doesn't give me attention any other way." He loved to make her fight back which sounds so like him.

Her mom encouraged Sandy at first to be nice to Bobby, to spend time with him and get to know him because she had to work with him on the set. But as soon as Sandy started liking him romantically, her mom backed off, probably out of terror that the relationship had developed into something she hadn't planned on. She did not approve of their romantic relationship at all, and even left Sandy high and dry when she was barely 16-years-old, for the first time in her life, which actually spurred Sandy's marriage to Bobby because she was lonely and scared.

Friday, April 22, 2016

A Return to Cab Drivers and Coffee Pots!

I'll be changing my blog name from Musings of an Introvert back to Cab Drivers and Coffee Pots sometime this week, about the time I'll do my Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee post for the Star-Studded Couple Blogathon and will also make a new header, likely with Bobby and Sandra just because I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!

This means that the blog focus will be changing a bit too. I'll still post occasional spiritual posts or afternoon tea, along with film analysis for modern films, but I really want a strong focus on classic film. I watch so many classic movies and want to share them with everyone, but always thought those types of reviews didn't quite match my blog name. Plus, classic cinema makes me so happy.

I nearly made an entirely new blog over on Wordpress, but decided there was no need to do that when I already have a blog with a great name and followers on Blogger. Although I love how easy Wordpress is to design, much easier than Blogger if I'm being completely honest. Still, I've gotten used to Blogger.

Ooh, does anyone know how to add a signature image to my posts? Because I would LOVE to do that and I've looked for tutorials online but haven't found the right kind, which is weird.

Say goodbye to Steve McQueen for a while at least, but I anticipate he'll be back at some point, probably as Hilts 'The Cooler King'!

Thanks to those of you who gave me your feedback in my last post. I appreciate you very much! ❤

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Blog Name Question?

What are your thoughts about me turning my blog name back to "Cabdrivers and Coffee Pots?"

Really, when you think about it, this blog has turned into more of a film analysis blog, which is great because I love analyzing films. And the reason why I originally chose "Cabdrivers and Coffee Pots" is because I LOVE Arsenic and Old Lace with Cary Grant and that film's final line is spoken by the cabdriver who says in manic frustration, "I'm not a cabdriver, I'm a coffee pot!"

So the blog link name always was more geared towards film than anything else.

Or should I just keep the blog name of Musings of an Introvert?

Or should I choose something completely different?

Thoughts? Feedback?

Monday, April 18, 2016

When you feel like screaming, pray instead.

This last week has been something out of the black lagoon for my family. Literally.

But at the end of the day Monday, we all sat down in the living room and realized something. God is faithful always. In the good days. And in the bad days. But it's on those bad days when we really need to press in to His presence and own the blessings of peace that He bestows on His children.

Burned out trailer brakes on the first trip out of town don't matter.

A broken bolt that needs to be drilled out to replace the shocks in a car don't matter.

That moment when your sister realizes she accidentally turned in a rough draft as her final paper doesn't matter.

God is faithful in the good and the bad and the ugly.

Monday night, after all of the chaos had settled down, Caitlin shared her devotion for the day with the family, all about peace and trusting in the Lord no matter the circumstances. It was a GODthing.

We didn't do the entire week right. My parents admitted that they were short-tempered with people trying to help them with their new trailer. They faltered and they forgot that God is in control. They forgot to ask Him for wisdom, for patience, and for peace during the trial He placed them in.

But the thing they didn't see is that God has already grown them in their reaction to adversity than how they would have reacted 5 years ago. It is through these tests that our faith grows stronger, which is why we talk about it together, as a family unit, so we can examine and learn from our missteps.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Classics Club Update - just finished Wuthering Heights

Just so you delightful people know, I'm still participating in the Classics Club.

However, I'm writing all of those posts over on Bookshelves and Daydreams!

So, to keep everyone informed of the classics I've just completed, I'll be doing these mini updates so you'll know where to find my posts.

And, I just completed Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights to mixed emotions and thoughts, but overall a gratitude to finally proclaim to the world that I've read it! Woohooo!!!

If Johnny Depp could watch Wuthering Heights 10 times then I figure I could read it at least once!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Meeting Laurie R. King!

I had a chance to meet the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes author, Laurie R. King, on Friday at the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver, CO! It was an awesome experience and I wrote all about it HERE on my book review blog, Bookshelves and Daydreams. Drop on by! ❤

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Period Drama Challege - March Tag Questions

Wow, we're answering the March tag questions already! I'm astounded how time is flying! You can read the March link-ups HERE. Lots of terrific dramas this month, possibly some you haven't watched! ❤

 March Tag Questions: 
(Answer here in the comments or on your blog)
1. What period dramas did you view in March?
Okaaaaaay, let me think. I watched David Copperfield and Nanny McPhee but haven't reviewed them yet (will definitely review the first). Also watched Anna Karenina and Crimson Peak with Charity, both of which I also intend to review although they'll be quite challenging just because of content issues. And I reviewed The Imitation Game and When Calls the Heart.
2. What is your favorite period drama soundtrack?
Oh boy, I'm so bad about remembering soundtracks. Truly. Can I choose the Jane Eyre musical that only ran on Broadway for 6 months? LOVE that soundtrack! In fact, I should probably review it.

3. If you could attend a ball in a Jane Austen story what would be the color of your ballgown and who would you dance with?
You'll love this. I actually did attend a Jane Austen ball since I was Charlotte Lucas in a theater production of Pride and Prejudice. My gown was a shimmering cream silk (LOVED IT) and I danced with a charming young man who also played Colonel Fitzwilliam (although not in this scene). He was about 8 years younger than myself, but he was quite nice and and an elegant dance partner. The above photo is, in fact, myself!
4. Do you prefer watching period dramas by yourself or with friends/family? Why?
Depends on what it is. Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Right now my family is watching Wanted Dead or Alive with Steve McQueen (tv series) and LOVING it. But I did watch David Copperfield on my own. It really does depend on what it is.

source credit: maudelynn on tumblr
5. What period dramas are you looking forward to viewing in April 2016?
I'm reading Wuthering Heights over on Bookshelves and Daydreams right now, so I'm really salivating to watch the 1939 version with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. I'll be watching more of Wanted Dead or Alive and may actually decide to finish Brideshead Revisited with Anthony Andrews and Jeremy Irons (it's just so loooooooooooooong)!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Bride Came C.O.D. - A Screwball Comedy starring Bette Davis and James Cagney

Written for the Bette Davis Blogathon. ❤

The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941) is one of those rare comedies that you either love or hate. If you don't mind some slapstick comedy, a little rough-housing, etc. then there's a good chance this one will entertain you.

I originally watched The Bride Came C.O.D. because of Cagney. I ADORE him. Although I do love his comedies best, which is the main reason why I picked up this film in the first place, simply because it was a comedy. Bette Davis was never really on my radar since I tend to marathon actors instead of actresses, but I did note right away that this was not the Bette Davis that I'd heard so much about, with all of her serious roles and dramatic performances. No, here is a Bette Davis with superb comedic timing who plays off Cagney as if he's a hockey puck and she's the stick. It's one of those opposites attract moments and that's the real reason why The Bride Came C.O.D. works at all!

The premise is simple enough to follow, so simple in fact that I'm borrowing it from Wikipedia.

Pilot Steve Collins (Cagney) agrees to help bandleader Alan Brice and heiress Joan Winfield (Davis) elope. Steve then contacts her father Lucius, offering to prevent the marriage and deliver her to him in return for enough money to get out of debt.

Steve tricks Alan into getting off the aircraft, then takes off with Joan. When an irate Joan tries to jump out of the aircraft, Steve sees that she has her parachute on backwards and is forced to crash land near the ghost town of Bonanza. The next morning, they encounter the lone resident, "Pop" Tolliver. (Wikipedia credit)

And that's as far as I'll go with the synopsis because I don't want to spoil the mayhem for you!

Like I said earlier, if you're looking for a film that is your typical Bette Davis, this isn't it. Which makes The Bride Came C.O.D. all the more delightful.

A few of my favorite moments are:

1) Bette landing bum side down in a pile of cactus and Jimmy having to pluck tines from her derriere (skirt decently in place of course).

2) A rematch with said cactus only this time Jimmy is the victim! (seen in above photo)

3) Bette attempting an escape from the ghost town in a rickety old jalopy of some sort.

4) Cagney flicking pebbles at her with a rubber band and effectively landing one smack on her derriere!

6) The mine scene and Bette's irate fury.

7) When Cagney hauls Bette over his shoulder and plunks her into one of the old-time western jail cells.


But really, this scene told in the gif set below (not mine and I wish I knew who to credit), is HILARIOUS and one of my absolute favorites!

It's tempting to dislike Cagney's character in The Bride Came C.O.D., but don't yield to that temptation. Really, he is just trying to get Joan back to her father unmarried, plus he's about to lose that plane of his and it's his livelihood. He needs he money. Plus, he's really a tolerable nice guy, rather like Clark Gable in It Happened One Night. You know, the rough around the edges type. At least he doesn't rub a grapefruit into Bette's face like he would have done in one of his mobster movies. Those, I don't really watch.

And yes, I can see the similarity in storyline between The Bride Came C.O.D. and It Happened One Night, the only difference being that one is considered a top notch classic while the other has been sort of forgotten. I'm sure you can guess which is which.

Overall, this film is a pure delight from start to finish. I've heard rumors that modern viewers are less drawn to it than original audiences, but I don't know how much of that we really want to believe. It wasn't a rousing success in the box office, but I think it's well worth a viewing now. It's a great showcase for Bette Davis and James Cagney's unique comedic talents, and really let them play a bit with the roles. It's a hodgepodge of crazy characters and zany schemes . . . a timeless comedy to the last.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Keeping the Faith - Femnista March/April 2016 Issue

My article in this issue is for Risen, which shouldn't surprise anyone since I've been vocally singing its praises for months. Enjoy the issue!

In This Issue: Call the Midwife, Joan of Arc, Saintly Queens, Moses, One Night With the King, Augustine, Lydia Seller of Purple, Perpetua, Thomas Aquinas, Risen, Medieval Gods
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