Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks-Ugly Duckling to Beautiful Swan


I’m in the busy days leading up to Christmas so I’m bad with posting my cards etc...This week it’s all about turning an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan and I would love to have someone professional do me up and wear some fancy couture gown with a dazzling sapphire necklace. Ok, so I’m in my pajamas with my blue robe, glasses and no make up....very comfy:) I picked 2 classics and a guilty pleasure. Head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves and see what other swans were chosen.

1. PYGMALION-1938


This film is about the closest to Shaw’s play and it is my favourite rendition because of the brilliant acting of Leslie Howard and Dame Wendy Hiller who was perfect as Eliza Doolittle. A renowned professor makes a bet with his friend and colleague that he could make a common guttersnipe a lady passing her off as a Dutchess at a ball. The professor is brutal, condescending, rude but brilliant with his creation. Eliza is stubborn, willful, brilliant and a beauty. It was remade as a musical with Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn( Julie Andrews would have been better in the role she originated) called My Fair Lady but I find this comedic version better and the ball gown and look is much more fetching than the one Audrey wore.

2. NOW, VOYAGER-1942


This is one of the most famous of make-over films with Bette Davis as the mousy gal who is stifled by her domineering mother and sent away to get some mental help by the kindly doctor played by, the always great, Claude Rains. She comes back healed, not only within but outside as well. She takes a cruise and meets a man played by hubba Paul Henreid. They share a sleeping bag together and he often lights 2 cigarettes and gives one to her which was the epitome of sexual innuendo back in the day and made many women swoon. Another great film that is romantic but is more bout a woman who breaks free from being dominated and finds her purpose in life.

3. MISS CONGENIALITY-2000


This is my guilty pleasure that is shown often on tv and I still get a kick out of it especilly when poor Sandra Bullock has to undergo major treatment to make her look like a beauty pageant contestant. Yes, Sandra is too old for this role and the plot is silly but it’s funny and has no real meanness. She is an FBI agent who goes undercover to find out who wants to destroy the Miss USA pageant. She enters the contest with a preconceived opinion about the girls and finds out they are more than just fake everything. I love Michael Caine as her guru who does the impossible...makes her beautiful. It’s silly but I enjoy this flick.

What would you choose?

54 comments:

  1. Birgit,

    The two old movies I haven't seen but wouldn't mind watching them. Miss Congeniality is a hoot! Sandra Bullock did a fabulous job. She truly did go from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan. :)

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    1. Yea, she was so good I never this Movie especially when she was so obnoxious at the beginning.

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  2. Never even heard of the first two at my sea. Miss Congeniality wasn't bad if you turn your brain off a bit and just enjoy. That's the only one that popped in for me, unless you go with the sequel too.

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    1. The first 2 are stellar! The last one is fun and totally a brain turn off

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  3. Soon as I read the topic, that third one came to mind.

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    1. Yes, I think this will be popular today

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  4. Hi, Birgit!

    Seems every TV sitcom presents at least one episode in which a plain Jane gets an extreme makeover. As you know the device was also used on the big screen in Pretty Woman and in the teen comedy She's All That. I am familiar with all three of the films you showcased but, believe it or not, I haven't actually watched any of them in their entirety. Speaking of plain Jane, however, Sandra Bullock's character in Miss Congeniality is very similar to Jane Rizzoli, the character played by Angie Harmon on the TV cop dramedy Rizzoli & Isles.

    Have a nice Thursday and a safe and happy weekend, dear friend BB!

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    1. You are so right about tv series. I remember one from the Brady Bunch, Gilligan’s Island and so many more. You are right about Angie Harmon’s character

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  5. I loved Miss Congeniality when I was in middle school. The other two I haven't seen.

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    1. My 3rd pick is so typical of this theme and a funny one where one can turn off their brain. Maybe one day you will see the other 2:)

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  6. Miss Congeniality is a guilty pleasure of mine too! I absolutely love it and Sandra is wonderful in it.

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  7. Well, at least I can't say I've never seen any of them this year, because I watched Miss Congeniality on tv. I love Sandra Bullock and will watch anything she stars in. Personally, I find it difficult to ugly her down enough to make it so they need to turn her into a swan. It's the perfect fit for this week's theme.

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    1. Yes, It is pretty hard to ugly any of these women down but they did their best

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  8. Ha! That should have read this week, not this year. I'm obviously needing more sleep.

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  9. Years ago I was fortunate enough to have had my make-up done by both Gil Cagne at Max Factor and Pablo from Elizabeth Arden. When I looked in the mirror after Gil was finished I wondered who this woman was. The face was incredible. Unfortunately, this was back in the mid-60's and I did not have a camera available. Never again did I look like that.

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    1. Oh you are lucky to have had this done. Too bad you have no picture

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  10. Wow, I haven't seen any of these. I guess i should get out more. Or in. Or...whatever. I'm so confused.

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    1. You should stay in and sit and watch some movies:)

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  11. I find with these "ugly duckling" movies and such they never actually look "ugly" to begin with. They always start with beautiful women who are obviously beautiful, and sometimes they don't even try to hide.

    Weird but related side note: I'm reading Stephen King's Carrie, and the way she's described in the book (ugly and awkward) is NOTHING like any of the women who have played her in films.

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    1. You are so right. The closest is Bette Davis but they are all quite striking no matter what. I wonder if people would watch it if they were really "ugly"

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  12. Well circle the calendar it had to happen!! We match exactly with all three picks!

    Love them all but I'm most fond of Now, Voyager. It is just so swoonily romantic but at the same time empowering.

    Oh Julie why didn't they give you the role though Audrey certainly tries and is no where near a disaster. But Pygmalion is a more believable take on the matter.

    Miss Congeniality is just fun with one of Sandra Bullock's most pleasant performances.

    For form's sake here are my take on the three.

    Now, Voyager (1942)-Old maid Charlotte Vale (Bette Davis) is a member of an extremely wealthy Boston family whose spirit has been crushed by her gorgon of a mother (a truly hateful Gladys Cooper) until during a visit to their home by kindly psychiatrist Dr. Jaquith (Claude Rains) Charlotte suffers a nervous breakdown and he whisks her away to his retreat for rich nutcases “Cascade”. While there she begins to rebuild her long suppressed confidence and emerges a beautiful swan on a cruise to South America. On the trip she meets the dashing but lonely Jerry Durrance (Paul Henreid) who is trapped in a bad marriage and falls for him. But there’s plenty of bumpy road ahead for this pair and those in their sphere all executed in top flight fashion in amazing clothes set to a swooningly romantic soundtrack. A gigantic hit in its day this was the most profitable picture of Davis’s career. The ne plus ultra of Ugly Duckling movies!

    Miss Congeniality (2000)-To put it mildly FBI agent Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock) is rough around the edges, she eats with her hands, chews with her mouth open and her idea of fashion is what’s clean that day, but having just blown a big case she finds she can’t refuse when she is recruited to go undercover as a contestant in the Miss United States beauty pageant when a threat is received. Despite many people’s doubt including pageant show runner Kathy Morningside (Candice Bergen) and the coach hired to smooth her feathers Victor Melling (Michael Caine) as well as her own obstinacy Gracie is pulled, pummeled and plucked into a beauty. While working the case she even learns to lighten up and appreciate a different outlook. Breezy comedy is a perfect fit for Sandra Bullock.

    Pygmalion (1938)-First filming of the George Bernard Shaw play where a snobbish linguist bets a crony that he can transform a common flower peddler into a great lady by teaching her proper speech. Not as grandiloquent as My Fair Lady but both Leslie Howard as Professor Henry Higgins and Wendy Hiller as Eliza Doolittle create memorable characters. Wendy is actually more successful with her Eliza than Audrey Hepburn would later be since despite her innate dignity she makes a believable guttersnipe in the initial segment of the movie.

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    1. Hahahaaa! We are so on the same wavelength. I was thinking we would have one at least but we have 3 for 3! Love your reviews on these three

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  13. I didn't see the first two, but I thought Miss Congeniality was a classic. For me, Michael Caine stole the show. I can still picture him showing her how to walk properly:)
    Sitting around in your jammies sounds perfect to me:)
    Hope everyone in your life is healthy and well.
    Hugs

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    1. "Don't I look pretty?" I loved that scene with Caine. I so agree and we are doing well including my mom:)

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    2. Glad to hear everyone is well.
      YOU, have a purrfect week.

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  14. I actually read the play Pygmalion way back when. So, I know the actual play (and I assume that movie) ends a bit differently than My Fair Lady (I do love that movie.

    Now, Voyager. A favorite.

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    1. It does end with her and Higgins but I like that. Shaw actually wrote the scene for the ballroom as well so that still works for me

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  15. The first one that came to my mind was MY FAIR LADY, and no surprise there.

    The next one I thought of, right on LADY's heels, was STRICTLY BALLROOM. A slight twist on the concept there.

    And my third choice: Ed Wood's GLEN OR GLENDA. Doh!!!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends

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    1. POSTSCRIPT:
      Never saw 'Miss Congeniality' as I dislike Sandra Bullock. Something about her (i.e., EVERYTHING!) rubs me the wrong way!

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends

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    2. My Fair Lady is a great choice even though I wished Julie Andrews would have been in the film and I love Audrey Hepburn so that says a lot. Strictly Ballroom is a perfect choice...love that movie! OMG! Glenor Glenda is a grea5 choice and it makes me laugh! Love your choice😂 I think we all have a star that people love but we just can’t stand. I like her even though I believe she might be a difficult and arrogant person. I can’t stand that Lena Durham or whatever...she is in that show Girls which I don’t ever care to see.

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  16. I didn’t know about that Pygmalion film, must seek it out. I’ve seen My Fair Lady umpteen times of course.

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    1. Pygmalion is great and Shaw wrote extra scenes for it I coudi;g the ballroom scene but he didn’t like the ending as that was different from his play.

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  17. I've never seen Pygmalion, but I know the story, of course. It was silly to cast Audrey Hepburn, who wasn't even a singer, in My Fair Lady, but Julie Andrews wasn't a movie star yet. Never mind that she originated the role on Broadway. Julie got her revenge when she won the Academy Award for Mary Poppins. I love Now, Voyager and have always wished a man would light two cigarettes and give one to me even though I don't smoke. Another turn-off-your-brain movie in this genre is The Princess Diaries with Anne Hathaway. Julie Andrews plays her grandmother.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. It’s funny about the cigarette because I don’t smoke and it is a horrible addiction plus it was in his mouth first but I agree with you and wish that some man did that for me too. I have seen parts of the Princess Diaries and it looks sweet.

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  18. I've seen Miss Congeniality. Seen My Fair Lady but not Pygmalion.

    Shady took my first choice, She's All That.

    Batman Returns
    Raiders of the Lost Ark
    Breakfast Club

    The Rocky series would be better, but I don't think the transformation took place in one movie.

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    1. You are so right about the Batman movie...I never even thought of that! The same is with your second choice. Yes, Breakfast Club is right on but I wish she didn’t turn from black to white...I liked her before much better

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  19. Never saw Pygmalion but of course saw both the film and the show of My Fair Lady. I loved Miss Congeniality, especially Michael Caine. I loved the bit with the taxi (I think) when she says "I'm walking here".

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    1. Yes! Sandra took that line right from Dustin Hoffman from the film Midnight cowboy

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  20. I love all 3 picks. I'm with you, Pygmalion is far better than My Fair Lady, which is my least favorite musical.

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    1. Pygmalion is a great film. My Fair Lady is not my fav but notmy least favourite. I have to give that some thought

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  21. I don't think I've seen any of these in their entirety or even partially except for Now, Voyager which I've seen in pieces on TCM as it gets played there frequently. Someday I'll have to watch it from start to finish.

    The story of transformation has been a common one over the years, but any others are mostly eluding me at the moment. Cinderella is one I think. And how about Pretty In Pink? It's been years since I've seen it, but it seemed like there was a sort of transformation at the end of that one. I know there are others.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Yes, I think Pretty In Pink works for sure. You can look above and see what the others have chosen including some male changeovers. I love Stephen’s pick of Glen or Glenda and Elliptical Man’s choice of Batman Begins

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  22. Casablance does it for me. Saying that, it's been a few good years since I last watched it, but that's the movie I like watching at least once a year.

    Greetings from London.

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  23. I didn't think I'd like Miss Congeniality - it's definitely not my kind of movie. But I loved it and have seen it several times too.

    Thanks, Birgit. I hope life is going easy on you.

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  24. Miss Congeniality is a lot of fun. So are The Devil Wears Prada and Pretty Woman. I guess they'd be my picks, along with that awesome makeover scene in The Breakfast Club.

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  25. Hope your week is filled with cheer and good movies;)

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  26. I've never seen the original Pygmalion, but now I want to. ☺ Thanks for the info. Now, Voyager was a real "tour de force" for Bette Davis. An old favourite! Miss Congeniality had some hilarious moments but often descended into over-the-top silliness. You're so right about Michael Cain. Perfect casting!

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  27. I love late bloomer stories and can't believe I can't think of more right now but...

    Little Voice
    Napoleon Dynamite
    Karate Kid

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  28. I have seen Miss Congeniality- but that is the only one. I read Pygmalion- but never saw the movie. Thanks for putting it on my radar. :)
    ~Jess

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