Well. I have to admit I have given myself one of the worst headaches. Ever. But it was all worth it! I watched four movies yesterday: two on youtube and two on TCM.
LIBELED LADY (1936)
First of all, what a great cast. William Powell and Myrna Loy were already doing the Thin Man series, and Jean Harlow and Spencer Tracy had worked together the year before on "Riffraff" (1935). And they all blended together wonderfully. It was really fun to watch, and even though I was watching it on Youtube on the tiny screen in low definition (ugh) I still laughed out loud at parts. Sorry this is so short...I just don't have that much to say about it? This was the first William Powell movie I've seen and he was surprisingly pleasant, though I still don't see his appeal as a leading man. Jean Harlow's acting left a little something to be desired at parts but, then again, there was a lot of dramatic build-up. I thought she should have been cast as Myrna Loy's character, but I don't think the studios were sure about her playing an upper-crust socialite. Myrna Loy always seems too demure, and housewife-ish to me. But the film was really funny and I would certainly watch it again.
God this headache...will someone please just crack my skull open instead of stabbing my brain from the inside?
So then, I was perusing around on Youtube and what do I find?
(I apologize for the lame poster...it was either this or nothing at all!)
So I see this film on Youtube, and I just had to watch it. I'm a little embarrassed to admit this but I'll say it anyway. Throw virtual tomatoes at me, whatever : this was the first Garbo/Gilbert film I've seen.
But I just have to say one thing first: Greta Garbo may have perfect features. And I mean perfect, as in not flawed, as it she's freaking GORGEOUS. Sorry if I'm repeating things you already know, but when she took off her veil, John Gilbert and I had the same face (only I wasn't looking at her in a "I want to make out with you and then have you coldly reject me" way).
And can I just say how much I want all of her clothes from this movie? Please. I would eat my own face for that^ dress and to look that good in it. Even though I would be faceless.
And John Gilbert! Wow, I was also surprised by him. In all the photographs I've seen of him in my TCM's Leading Men book, he just kinda looked...unattractive.
John Gilbert: Sexpot?
But John Gilbert definitely looks better on film than in photographs. And I totally got that "leading man" quality from him in the movie.
So the movie is based on Anna Karenina, and it seems to follow the book pretty well, except for two things:
- It says on Wikipedia that Anna has a semi-incestuous relationship with her son and I didn't really get that in the movie. I mean, that was totally fine that they left that out but it didn't really come across to me in the movie.
2. The ending! I know there are supposed to be two endings, and the version I watched had the reunion. Does anyone know where I could find the suicide version?
But overall, really good silent film and in general.
HIGH SOCIETY (1956)
I have a lot to say about this film. First off:
I told my mother that I had watched High Society this morning and she said "Oh, isn't that a take off of The Philadelphia Story?" And I said yes and she said:
"OH, YOU KNOW I DON'T THINK I'VE SEEN THE PHILADELPHIA STORY."
WHAT?!?! Okay, my mother probably (hopefully) just forgot that she never saw The Philadelphia Story. I am so upset.
I still think the Philadelphia Story is better than High Society. Not just because it's the original, but because the musical numbers seemed really awkward and out of place, and I got so bored with them, I started to take my water breaks during them. I think the reason I didn't like the musical numbers were because they didn't help the plot or story move along in any way, and they just kept stalling the movie so Bing Crosby and/or Frank Sinatra could sing about something. They were just...random songs. But I did like the beginning with Louis Armstrong. I kinda wished he had sang all the numbers.
Let's talk about Grace Kelly. I've only seen her in one other movie:
Let's talk about The Swan for a little bit. It was, in one word, awful. The acting was: awful. The plot itself wasn't bad, but the whole movie just, was not good. I did think Grace Kelly was the worst out of all of them, but here is why. I felt sympathy for Louis Jourdan for his bad acting because he was just...so good looking. I mean, who wouldn't?
I also felt sympathy for Alec Guinness because he was the best actor out of all of them (which is not saying much). So I labeled Grace Kelly as the most overrated actress to ever walk across a movie screen.
BUT I WAS WRONG!
*flashy music* *thunder and lightning*
Grace Kelly...was actually really good. She was a very gifted comedic and dramatic actress. The best scene she was in would have to be when Tracy and Carolyn meet the reporters and pretend to be all hoity-toity. I enjoyed her acting a lot. She actually didn't have a bad singing voice either.
Bing Crosby's acting left something to be desired. He was kind of flat. And he and Grace Kelly did not look good together at all. There were parts when he looked shorter than her, and then he was taller, and it was so confusing.
And can I just say how good looking Frank Sinatra was?
And can we PLEASE talk about Celeste Holm?
WHY WERE YOU IN THIS MOVIE? I don't understand it! Couldn't they have chosen someone a little more...attractive? Sorry to Celeste Holm fans. I thought she was spectacular in All About Eve, and The Tender Trap (which I'm talking about next). But this part didn't really require a lot of acting, though she did bring a lot of real emotion to the part. But she just is not someone you want Frank Sinatra to end up with.
Overall, this was a pretty good movie, even though my Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide calls it "fluffy".
THE TENDER TRAP (1955)
Okay, this blog is way too long, so this last entry is going to be short. Frank Sinatra was good, Celeste Holm and David Wayne stole the show. Debbie Reynolds was really neurotic but she didn't have a bad singing voice. Okay movie, but it was really dated with the views about marriage and all that. "You're not fully a woman until you're married"...that line made me cringe.
Thanks for reading if you made it this far! Don't get arrested!