Posts Tagged ‘Cary Grant’

Cover of "North by Northwest"

Cover of North by Northwest

Monday 6:30 am Oh what a night….I’m not sure that I ever fell asleep, I know I dozed now and again because I have some remembrance of short dreams.  Trying to sleep in the seat was just awful; No way to get comfortable, no way to stretch out your legs and as I had been warned, it got really cold in the car last night.   I kept clutching my cotton shawl around my shoulders and arms.  The eye mask and neck pillow only helped a little.  I doused my eyes with drops in hopes that they would stop feeling like sandpaper and asked Peter to get us coffee.

He brought back two steaming cups of tasty coffee and convinced me that we should go to the dining car for breakfast.  I really didn’t want to be in bright lights but ok, he wanted a real meal so we went.  It was still dark out!  This is a trip of many firsts;  I’ve never traveled this far or overnight on a train before, I never ate in a dining car and I surely never  saw the sun rise in Savannah Georgia sitting at the window of a lovely dining car!  We sat across the table from a nice man and his young son who were on their way to Florida to celebrate Grandpa’s 100th birthday!  It was really nice sitting at a table with a white tablecloth and having someone wait on you after the hours spent in our seats eating carrots and humus and fitfully trying to catch some zzzz’s 

It’s now 8:30am and my husband is already napping – he who claimed 4 hours of sleep was quite enough for him!

NOON  We didn’t make reservations for lunch, the food is not so great  for the price so I guess some of now warm snacks left from yesterday will be our lunch. I just watched my travelogue documentary on the Northern Lights narrated and starring Joanna Lumley.  I love this film; I want to duplicate her journey, it was amazing!  We are just past DeLand which is southwest of Daytona so we are still pretty far north in Florida. I’ve been tracking our progress with the GPS on my phone.  I can see and feel just how long this day is going to be.

The rest of the afternoon was all about reading and looking out the window and standing in line to go to the rest room.   Actually there was no line at the end because both the toilets weren’t working, but this is probably  TMI.  Overall, the fact is that riding an Amtrak train is certainly not the Orient Express.  Okay of course it’s not the Orient Express, The Blue Train of South Africa, and for sure my trip in no way resembled  the trip Cary Grant took in  North By Northwest.

Anyway it was absolutely wonderful to step off the train and be greeted by my daughter and my sister-in-law.  Soon we were at her house, the kids came running out and the smiles on their faces and the shrieks of “Gig, Gigi” made all the long hours of the night before seem very far away.

The girls have been staying up late the past few nights with all of the company arriving at their house  and so convincing them it was bed time took a little negotiation and a LOT of “but what is Santa going to think?”  I even invoked the ELF last night!  Surely you know about the “ELF”.  He  or she ELF is endowed with magic powers which allow the ELF to report back to Santa Claus each night on the day-long behavior of the house’s young denizens.  Not only does he snitch, he also moves around so each morning you have to find him – it’s always good to know where your elf is.  However, I can see that the real issue here is what do we use as leverage after Chistmas?

You know the luxurious feeling advertisers try to describe like a bubble bath, a certain lotion or even your bed at some  national chain hotel?  Well, when I laid my weary body down on the bed last night, I thought I had never felt anything so soft and cosy and comfortable!  AHhhhhh!

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Cropped screenshot of Bing Crosby and Danny Ka...

Cropped screenshot of Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye from the trailer for the film White Christmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everyone has a favorite Christmas movie and I think last year I asked my readers to send in their fans-so why not again this year and let’s see which one emerges as most popular choice.  I love the holiday movies and look forward to seeing the old classic Christmas movies.  Here are 8 of my favorite holiday films:

  1. THE BISHOP’S WIFE – My perennial favorite with Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven.  Made in 1947, this movie is terrific.  Cary Grant as a charming  angel tempted by the lovely Loretta is amusing and can you EVER really get tired of looking at his oh-so-handsome face?  David Niven is perfect in the role of the uptight minister.  WHY do they remake an already fantastic film?
  2. MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET Year and year out ever since I was a child, I have watched Kris Kringle charm little Susan into believing.  Suitable for kids of all ages and timeless.
  3. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE – A holiday tear jerker for sure but I never get tired of watching it.  Jimmy Stewart in the lead role of a small town boy all grown up and itching to go to the big city. However, love steps in, evil lurks around the corner and this lovely tale of good and evil and David and Goliath is well-acted and will bring out your holiday spirit. Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore and Henry Travers flesh out the cast and are superb in their roles.
  4. HOLIDAY INN – With Bing Crosby singing and Fred Astaire dancing and Irving Berlin writing the songs…really now you know this is a very entertaining movie.  A 1942 romantic comedy and set in New England, this is a true holiday movie because the Inn is only open on holidays. Produced in 1942.
  5. WHITE CHRISTMAS1954 Twelve short years and Bing is back in the hotel business.  This time he has even more talent around him to make this a cute song and dance film.  Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney and Dean Jagger.  Everyone pitches in to help save the inn! 
  6. A CHRISTMAS STORY – 1983 YES there was a time in our lives (well mine anyway) when you or your brother could actually ask for and GET a B-B gun for Christmas.  Ralphie is a pudgy nerdy-looking kid who is perennially picked on and molly-coddled by his mother.  Some of the most memorable scenes are the tongue-sticking on the freezing pole, the pink bunny pajamas, the leg lamp and the fateful visit to the store Santa.  Darren Magavin as the Old Man.
  7. A CHRISTMAS CAROL – I know of at least 6 versions.  My choices are the 1938 film starring Reginald Owen as Scrooge, the 1971 Alastair Sim  and Michael Redgrave movie and the 1984 George C. Scott version.
  8. THE GATHERING A 1977 made-for-tv movie starring Ed Asner.  This is 5 tissue tear-jerker, believe me.  Adam (Ed Asner) knows he’s going to die so he tries to pull his torn-apart dysfunctional family together for one last Christmas celebration.  I wish I could see it again…


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Cary Grant

Cary Grant (Photo credit: twm1340)

I just walked into my apartment after having dinner with  a dear friend who told me all about her wonderfully romantic vacation.  My husband had left the TV on in the den and of course it was tuned to  ONE OF THE ONLY TWO stations he watches – TCM (Turner Classic Movies).  

And what did I see? OMG I had the good fortune to walk in on the last scene of An Affair to Remember!!!! OMG (again) that scene just rips your heart out and then puts it back in its appropriate place…

Cary Grant was beyond gorgeous in this movie.  Perfectly groomed, hair with a part as straight as I-95, impeccably dressed in his own clothes always sporting French cuffs and there he is pacing nervously around Deborah Kerr‘s living room.  She is posed and poised on the couch dressed in red (after all it is Christmas) and a red coverlet covers her lower body.  Well I’m crying as soon as he starts carrying on about how he never went to the Empire State Building  and she plays it so cool yet conveying through some facial expressions the tumult of emotions at play in her mind and heart.

Tears are dropping down my cheeks and I know that the crescendo of this emotional scene has yet to unfold but it definitely on its way.  The shawl, the confession of waiting and waiting, the deep looks exchanged between the two former lovers….He moves to the door and in true Hollywood pull-at-your-heartstrings style, he stops and turns for one last look.

And then slowly in perfect timing, he explains to Terry why he didn’t take money for the painting…I’m bawling now, sobbing at each passing moment.  The climax is heartfelt and Nickie’s face is a road map of discovery, pain, realization and heartbreak.

What movies make you cry? I have some more, but I think An Affair to Remember is my all-time-guaranteed-to-make-you-cry movie.   Would love to hear from some of my readers which movies cause their eyes to fill up!

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Cropped screenshot of Clark Gable from the tra...

Image via Wikipedia

February is all about LOVE so what better time to recap some of the BEST and ROMANTIC movies made.  And why not, with the Oscars around the corner. Whether it’s boy-meets-girl, boy-meets-boy or ogre-meets-princess, it’s always ALL ABOUT LOVE. This is the 1st of 3 Thursday’s Top Ten list to be devoted to the Best of Romantic Movies... The lists are in chronological order. …by the way, anyone having a party???

  1. Gone With The Wind (1939) How many of us swooned over Clark Gable in the role of Rhett Butler; his portrayal of a rich, handsome and best of all “a bad boy” had the ladies in the theaters sighing and crying as he swept Scarlett up in his arms and carried her up the stairs.
  2. Casablanca (1942) Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall brought the chemistry of their off-screen romance to their chemistry-infused but not-to-be love affair of the movie.  The lines,  “Of all the gin joints in town, why did you come here”? and “Here’s looking at you kid”  entered our lexicon 70 years ago and are still with us.  All that and set in an exotic (to Americans) land and in the midst of a war.  We’ve all had what we sure was a “meant to be” love affair – how many of you married that person?
  3. An Affair To Remember (1957) Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr…you almost don’t have to say anything else.  His voice, his looks, his manners and a shipboard romance to boot, charmed Terry McKay and every other woman since.  An unfulfilled love affair between soul-mates.  Do NOT see the remake, none of the above applies.
  4. Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961) Who could imagine that a novella by Truman Capote (of all people) would become the must-see movie for young women all over the country and often a pre-requisite at fashionable bridal showers! George Peppard as the sensitive writer and Audrey Hepburn as the fragile soul hiding behind the party-girl exterior.
  5. Dr. Zhivago (1965) What could be more romantic than a doomed love affair played out against the back-drop of a  Revolution and a Russian one at that.  Omar Sharif and Julie Christie carry on in the midst of the beautiful and bleak Russian countryside and all the while our hearts and minds are humming along to Lara’s Theme, the movie’s signature song (and for me, my wedding song in 1968).
  6. The Sound Of Music (1965) On the eve of a world war, a former nun and a widower with kids – now there’s an unlikely but winning combination for romance and a true story too!  Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews sing their way through love and who among us doesn’t know “…do a dear, re a spot of  golden sun…”.  As for me (again) my first date with my future husband was going to see this movie in Hartford, CT.
  7. Bonnie And Clyde (1967) With a tagline, “They’re young, …they’re in love, …and they kill people”, this offbeat romance shocked audiences with more graphic violence than had been seen before in a mainstream movie.  Ahh, but Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were so gorgeous you had to love them and feel a pang or two over their ill-fated romance and doomed lives.
  8. Love Story (1970)You may not want to admit it but this saccharin and yet another unlikely and doomed romance won our hearts and the phrase, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” lives on.  Preppy Ryan O’Neil and beautiful Ali MacGraw were perfectly cast in this “class”ic tale of lovers from both sides of the tracks.
  9. The Way We Were (1973) Along the same lines as #8, our 9th pick throws a very preppy writer, Robert Redford ooooohhhh, and a sassy left-wing activist, Barbra Streisand together.  Opposites attract but they probably shouldn’t live together and this was a case of principles overriding love – how sad in a way.  I wanted to see them together just because – although I knew she was way too smart for him and in the long run their love would have died a long and painful death.
  10. Grease (1978) It’s so easy to romanticize an era when you are at least 20 years beyond it and so the 50’s seemed like a fun time especially when greaser John Travolta met up with exchange student, Olivia Newton-John.  Based on a hit Broadway musical, the movie was a smash hit and surpassed The Sound of Music as the highest grossing musical of its day.

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Cover of "The Bells of St. Mary's"

Cover of The Bells of St. Mary's

It was two days before Thanksgiving and the Christmas decorations were out in K-Mart and from that point on it’s been Christmas season unplugged!  I can remember when holiday music was played on the radio every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, but I think it got out of control when The Chipmunk Song was on the air every 30 minutes.  I don’t think I’ve heard any holiday songs on the radio BUT every store and shop has either music or muzak playing  so we are not entirely bereft of the sounds of the season!  Not so in the movie department.  Where are all the old Christmas movies?  Even TCM, the guardian of the classics hasn’t been featuring any oldies.   Perhaps next week during the countdown till Christmas.

Well, all this chatter has been leading to the question: What is your favorite holiday movie?  I can’t wait to hear from you  – is Charlie Brown’s Christmas or The Christmas Story?  Are you partial to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or does Frosty the Snowman warm your heart?  The Little Drummer Boy?

I love the old classics and could and do watch Miracle on 34th Street and It’s A Wonderful Life whenever they are being shown.  I like these movies because they are full of the emotions and feelings we all hope and believe are part of this season.  These movies make me cry… I used to wait every year for Christmas Eve because that’s when I would be able to watch The Bells of St. Mary’s, now there’s a tear-jerker and plus you get to hear Bing Crosby croon!!!

But my favorite?  Ahhhh,  I’ve saved the best for last – The Bishop’s Wife!  NOT the new version (which I never saw), I’m talking about the original version with the fabulous trio of Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven.  Omg this movie is the BEST Christmas movie!  First of all you get Cary Grant as an angel!! Can you stand it? He’s so gorgeous to begin with and now he plays the role of an angel, dear lord, it’s great.  And you have the angelic face of Loretta Young as the wife of the beleaguered bishop who is played by David Niven.  Perfect casting in a perfect story.  I don’t want to give away the plot or the story line because IF you can find it on TV or rent it from NetFlix, you should.   Such a sweet treat for Christmas!

Ok, so what’s yours? Please share your favorite holiday movie with us and tell us why (or not).


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