Yep, I thought I’d write a post about old movies, mainly because I was on vacation for a week for the Thanksgiving holiday and binge watched movies like crazy. In my movie repertoire, I have several classic films I never tire of watching. But during that week when I did re-watch these films, I reviewed them with a more critical eye so to speak and some of these films were…………….FOREVER RUINED!!! Ugh yes, ruined, fucked up, FUBARED!! What else can I say, but let’s start the review and critiques of my favorite films.
His Girl Friday 1940 – This is one of my favorites, it stars Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, and it’s pretty much a remake of the 1928 film, The Front Page, also a remake in 1931 and a more comical version, in 1974 with Walter Matthau and Jack Lemon, which is to say the least, hysterical as always when it comes to Lemon and Matthau. Walter Burns (Grant) is an editor at the Morning Post, and his prized reporter Hildegard (Russell) is leaving to get married. I loved this film when I saw it back in the day after I had my second son and was home on maternity leave. I’ve watched it about a hundred times, but last week I realized that, Cary Grant is a complete asshole in this film. He’s a conniving, misogynistic prick trying to sabotage not only his ex-wife but very talented reporter out of getting married!
And not even because he misses her as his wife, but more so because she makes money for the paper he runs. I mean seriously, I know this film was made in 1940, when women really didn’t have that much support as far as having a career or supporting themselves. Or gaining any type of equality from the male species, as in this movie, only to be seen as a prize, a possession or a means of making money. As much as I love this movie I’m hard pressed to want to watch it again anytime soon.
I watched and cursed at the television (even threw Chex mix at the screen) as I made my pre-Thanksgiving preparations. Of course my son would yell from the spare room/office/game room asking me who I was yelling at. Anyway, on a scale of 1-5 wine bottles, I give this one a 3.
The Nuns Story 1959 – I saw this film one late night when I was a kid, I was with my grandfather and he was babysitting me while my parents were at a wedding. The only thing that would come out late at night on one of the local channels were classic films. Which didn’t interest me very much until my grandfather began watching this that day. Although he didn’t speak English he understood it and seemed very enthralled by this film with Audrey Hepburn. As we sat there, completely taken in by this young woman Gabrielle Van Der Mal (Hepburn) entering a convent of nursing sisters, to become a nun in the Belgian Congo. We were captivated by the rituals of becoming a nun, as we watched her part ways with her physician father played by Dean Jagger, after a dowry was given to the convent that is. The history and religious customs that she had to go through, like observing the grand silence and letting go of your memories of your past. One had to erase any trace of the life you lived before entering the convent, and observe, be obedient and take the vow of poverty. It seemed like such an undertaking as I watched this as a 9 year old, but especially being a girl and having to watch this young nun give up any and everything she’d grown up with. Like mirrors for example, having to get dresses without mirrors because it’s seen as vane, now come the fuck on!! Mirrors, seriously?
Anyway, I watched this over the holiday week as it was on TCM, and as I re-watched it I realized that the only way she could become a nurse, was to become a nun? What the literal fuck?! But Hepburn did turn out to be a true heroine in my eyes, as she couldn’t keep up the façade of being a nun, and not taking pride in her work as an excellent nurse. Because pride is a sin, and she could not do that as a nursing sister. She was asked to fail her final medical exam by one of the reverend mothers in order to prove humility.
In my head I thought this was completely wrong and asking Hepburn’s character to do such a thing was a sin in itself. I’d have been, nope not doing it, with all due respect reverend mom, I’m outta here. But I suppose that I wouldn’t have made it past the preliminary vows as a postulant. I have been thrown out as soon as I complained about wearing the same shit every day and not having mirrors or being able to drink water when I wanted to.
She made it past being a postulent, and even got to go to the Belgian Congo to serve as a nurse. She worked with the handsome Dr. Fortunati.
A doctor who was labeled as hard to work with, but throughout their time together it seemed as though Sister Luke was developing feelings for him. But of course being a nun, one can’t develop feelings for anything or anyone. I’m sure this was the beginning of the end as a nun for her.
But I suppose Gabrielle found out that after her father was killed by the Nazi’s, she couldn’t find it in her heart to forgive, and being a nun, that has to run deep in your soul. In the end (spoilers people) Gabrielle Van Der Mal saw she couldn’t be both a nurse and a nun. It was either one or the other, and she left that place behind realizing she was a better nurse than she was a nun and taking pride in her work. But overall, it’s a great film, and the Huntress gives this one 5 out of 5 wine bottles.
Rear Window 1954 – Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly play L.B Jefferies and Lisa Freemont, photographic journalist and fashion guru/socialite boyfriend and girlfriend. Jefferies broke his leg taking a picture in the middle of a race track, and his sweet girlfriend Lisa is taking really good care of him during his recovery. Because Jefferies is bored and stuck in his little apartment staring out at the courtyard that links his apartment building with three others, he’s become quite the nosey neighbor. From there he can stare straight into the apartment of his neighbors. Watching them like some sort of voyeuristic perv and making some judgmental opinions about his neighbors that somehow are really off key.
When Lisa kindly and lovingly orders dinner from their favorite restaurant he’s snarky about it. When one of his neighbors, who’s a composer, is playing one of his unfinished tunes, she comments about it and how it seems that it’s being especially written for them, he’s snarky about it.
When she presents dinner at his side (lobster Thermidor, French string potatoes, and a fine wine) he’s fucking snarky about it.
Because she suggests that he may want to stay close to home so they can start a life together, he says’ that they are too different and it wouldn’t work out. He tears her down at every chance he gets, and this is Grace Fucking Kelly were talking about here!! This asshole is a total jerk to her, then they argue and outright tells her to “shut up a minute” so he can assert his masculinity while tearing her down once again. I love this movie, it’s been one of my all-time favorites for years, but after watching it over two bottles of Stella Rosa wine. I again found myself yelling at the television calling Jimmy Stewart every name in the book, for being such an asshole all because Lisa is “too perfect” a woman for this prick! She’s kind, loving, generous and not to mention patient with this sorry ass looking excuse of a man. As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, Jimmy Stewart was 48 years old when this film was made and he looks 70. Yet Brad Pitt is 56 years old and came out shirtless in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood and gives Ryan Reynolds and Bradley Cooper a run for their money. But looking at Grace Kelly and James Stewart she is by far, more glamorous and way out of his league in this film as far as their characters go. So I didn’t feel one bit sorry for the motherfucker (spoiler’s people) when he broke his other leg being a nosey neighbor. But on one last note about this film, and the one His Girl Friday. It seems that the writers of the screenplays wrote the female characters to be in “need” of a male in their lives to give them purpose. I give this 3 out of 5 wine bottles, because, GRACE KELLY people!
As “strong” as Grace Kelly and Rosalind Russell’s characters are, they are still written by men who only saw them as an “accent” or an “accessory” to their male lead characters. Because they were made to come on screen and play a part of a strong female only to wind up needing a man to feel complete. If it were me in Rear Window, I’d have chucked L.B Jefferies for his detective buddy or said to him “Your right, I am too perfect for you prick, so I’m out of here.” But of course that’s not how these films were written to begin with. This is my review/critique of these classic films.
P.s This is a picture of my new office, we’re finally settled in and unpacked everything. Why, yes, those are a pair of GIANT scissors next to the mini-fridge. Those have a story of their own, I’ll post about it later on, but go ahead and just let your imagination run away with you for now.
This is The Huntress saying….”Don’t be a Moth Around a Dim Yellow Bulb, Be a Moth to a Flame, Make it worth the Burn!”