Thursday, January 4, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks-Character Name in Title


The beginning of a new year.....let’s see what this year will bring. I hope more comedy from the orange man but I know he brings tragedy too. I hope all of us will be healthy, happy, have fun, watch movies, read, read..and read:) For a brand new list for the new year, head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves and see what everyone else has chosen for the first of 2018. On with the show....

1. ANNA KARENINA-1948


There are so many versions of this book by Tolstoy that we could talk about the differences of just these film adaptations. The most famous is the Garbo film done in 1935 and it’s good but I could never take her as the sensitive, fragile Anna because Garbo always came across as not giving a shit. Despite the weak performance of Kieron Moore as Vronsky, this is my favourite adaptation because of the luminous Vivien Leigh who is perfect as Anna. I am certain it helped that Vivien Leigh was fighting her own demons. Most films centre on the doomed affair between Anna and Vronsky with the upper crust never allowing an affair to become public. Of course, Vronsky does not receive the dismissive viatribe of the society but Anna does and she slowly loses all she holds dear. I read the book which is very...Russian...passionate, beautiful and one where I wanted to stick an ice pick in my eye out of frustration of the characters. It’s a great book but good grief, everyone is full of suicidal thoughts. Actually the story of Anna and Vronsky seems secondary to the life and love of Levin and Kitty who never seem to be at the forefront of any film.

2. JOHHNY BELINDA-1948


I love this film that takes place on Cape Breton Island, Canada, about a deaf mute girl, Belinda, who is believed to be dumb as well by her dad and her aunt. A kindly doctor comes around and finds that she is quite intelligent and teaches her sign language. Slowly the doctor educates her dad and her aunt as well and helps Belinda gain her confidence. When she is home alone, she is raped by a brute who has seen her at church and on the farm. She becomes pregnant as a result and has a boy...Johnny. What happens after creates some great scenes and Jane Wyman ( the first Mrs. Ronald Reagan) won an Oscar for this role.

3. PORTRAIT OF JENNIE-1948


I love this movie despite the blandness of Jennifer Jones who plays Jennie. A young artist meets a little girl in the park and over the course of a few weeks she grows up to be a beautiful young woman whom he, of course, falls in love with. He realizes that this is not the norm, her clothing seems to be from another era and her memories of from the past. His love provides him the ability to create his best portrait. I love the photography since the scenes seem to start off as a canvas only to merge into a film plus, due to David O’Selznick’s extravagant spending, they filmed on location ay the Met in NYC and The Cloisters ( a great museum in NYC). I kick myself that I did not buy the DVD when I saw it a few years ago.

Did you catch my theme within this theme?? What films would you choose?

60 comments:

  1. Iron Man! Batman! It is their superhero names. How about Hidalgo - that's the horse's name.

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    1. I love your picks and yes, all work. I’m so glad you picked Hidalgo-a great movie

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  2. Birgit,

    All of these are new-to-me. It's really hard to tell from watching the clips if these would interest me but I'd be willing to try. Over the weekend, we watched "Dressed to Kill" (1941) with Lloyd Nolan on Netflix. Unfortunately, it's no longer available as they removed it on Jan. 1st. Anywho, it was a fun, B&W movie. I love in those old movies how the men referred to women as "Dames". lol Thanks for sharing your TMP! I'd like to get back into doing this but picking more than one movie is a stretch for me most weeks. I'm not sure how the others would feel if I didn't keep to the rules closely. Have a good day and keep warm. TTFN!

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    1. Sure you can join and just choose 1 movie and if you know more then you can do more. Rules are always meant to be broken...or at least bent:)

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  3. Hi, Birgit!

    It is interesting that all three of these films were released the same year - 1948. It could be argued that the art of film making reached its peak in the Forties. I have not seen these three but the trailers and clips you provided have aroused my curiosity.

    Thank you and enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend BB!

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    1. I think you would enjoy these films especially the last 2. I hope you can see them

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  4. I haven't seen the 40's version of Anna Karenina but I really liked the more recent one with Keira Knightly. It was so beautiful.

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    1. I still have to see that version. I have seen the Garbo version, an excellent TV version with Jacqueline Bassett and Christopher Reeve and another with Sophie Marchaud and Sean Bean

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  5. I've never seen either version of Anna all the way through, but I have seen and enjoyed both of the other films you mention. haven't thought of them in years and wouldn't mind watching them again. I will be singing The Portrait of Jennie theme today as I work. Interesting that they were all made the same year, too.

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    1. They don’t get played too much especially Portrait of Jennie and that music is great

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  6. I haven't seen any of these. Not even the new version of Anna Karenina. Anyway, I liked your theme within theme :)

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    1. Thanks for that and hopefully you can see one of these one day

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  7. Haven't seen any of these. I really need to watch Anna Karenina. Sadly, I have not seen any version of it.

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    1. There are many versions from Garbo to Kneightly. It would be interesting to see all version and critique them.

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  8. I think I saw Garbo's Anna Karenina on TV in the UK a looong time ago. Don't remember any of the others.

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    1. Yes and the Garbo version 8s a good one

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  9. 0 for 3 this time at my sea. Tons of superhero names come to mind, both other than that hmmm.

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  10. I haven't seen any of them.

    Annie Hall
    Rachel Getting Married
    Lady Bird

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  11. I saw the recent ANNA KARENINA, I liked it but didn't love it

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  12. Just off the top of my pea-brain I'll say...

    ROCKY (1976) -- The original, the masterpiece, the only installment in the dismal "Rocky" series that is worth watching. This one was from the heart; the rest of them were for the money.

    SCROOGE (1970) -- Starring Albert Finney. A musical which is far and away the best version of Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' ever put on film. I love it so much that, for me, it very nearly equals 'It's A Wonderful Life' in terms of expressing Christmas joy and soul-salvation. In fact, to be honest, there have been times where I thought perhaps 'Scrooge' was even better than '...It's A Wonderful Life'. Really, it almost depends upon which one I'm watching at the moment.

    [Link> MONTE WALSH (1970) -- Starring Lee Marvin, Jack Palance, and Jean Moreau. It's my favorite Western of all time because it's the story of my life!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    See... 'It's A Wonderful Life' Come To Life

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    1. I think I might have seen the Finley version but looooong time ago. I have to see if I can find it but nothing beats It’s a Wonderful Life:) I will look up the ones you have highlighted here. One note, in Portrait of Jennie, Gene Tierney would have been so much better in the lead than Jennither Thones:)

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    2. ANY movie would be better with Gene Tierney in it! The fact that she could actually act some was mere icing on that incredibly beautiful cake! [;^)

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Would You Like To See... 'It's A Wonderful Life' Come To Life?

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  13. LOVE that almost everybody seems to be doing some sort of theme within the theme this week!

    Terrific choices!

    As much as I love Vivien I found this version of AK on the ponderous side though she's customarily strong. The Garbo version isn't bad...well the sound version anyway the silent one called Love (originally intended to be called Heat until the powers that be at Metro realized the marquee would read Greta Garbo & John Gilbert in "Heat"!) is so changed from the source material it has very little relation to it. Actually the version I remember fondly is the Jacqueline Bissett TV one from 1985. It was her TV bow and she and Paul Scofield were quite wonderful in it, Christopher Reeve was also in it and was okay but the other two acted rings around him.

    Johnny Belinda is beautifully acted and powerful, it also shows how far people with disabilities have come as far as others understanding of their challenges and limitations.

    Portrait of Jennie is a marvelous looking film with some very fine work in it by Joe Cotton, Lillian Gish, Ethel Barrymore and a really strong supporting cast too bad they're supporting someone so blah as Jennifer Jones! If only it had been Gene Tierney or Linda Darnell how much better a film it would have been.

    Joining in with everybody I also came up with a theme within the theme inspired by my first choice which I've loved for a long time and I received as a gift this Yuletide.

    Mary, Mary (1963)-Struggling New York book publisher Bob McKellaway (Barry Nelson-who is fine but his role has Jack Lemmon’s name all over it) is getting ready to marry his socialite fiancée Tiffany (a knockout Diane McBain) as soon as his divorce from first wife Mary (Debbie Reynolds) comes though. However his accountant Oscar (a delightful Hiram Sherman) requests Mary come up from Philadelphia for the day to straighten out some tax issues before the decree becomes final. Once together Bob and Mary start to jab wittily at each other and before you know it their attraction starts to resurface aided by the attentions to Mary of movie star and prospective author Dirk Winsten (Michael Rennie) and an inconvenient snowstorm. Betrays its stage origins (the play ran for over 1500 performances) but is often clever and witty. Both Rennie and Nelson repeat their Broadway roles.

    Rachel, Rachel (1968)-Rachel Cameron (Joanne Woodward) is a lonely middle-aged schoolteacher. Never married and still a virgin she lives a life of quiet desperation with her widowed mother over the funeral home left to them by her father. Over summer vacation she goes to a revival meeting with her best friend fellow teacher Calla (Estelle Parsons) during which she has an epiphany and begins to emerge from her shell taking her life in unexpected directions. Directed by Paul Newman as a vehicle for his wife this received four Oscar nominations including ones for Woodward, Parsons and Best Picture.

    Corrina, Corrina (1994)-Widower Manny Singer (Ray Liotta) is frustrated in his search for a nanny for his young daughter who has withdrawn into herself since her mother’s death and stopped speaking. When Corrina Washington (Whoopi Goldberg) applies she is able to break through the child’s reserve and is hired. As time passes she and Manny discover an attraction and grow closer but all does not go smoothly.

    And to show this is not strictly a female happenstance:

    Buddy Buddy (1981)-Trabucco (Walter Matthau) a hitman on a job to rub out a Mob informant before he testifies is waylaid by Victor Clooney (Jack Lemmon), the suicidal guy in the hotel room next door. Once he talks him off the ledge he plans to jump from their lives become intertwined and nothing goes as planned. Billy Wilder’s final film as director would seem to have everything needed to succeed, a reteaming of Lemmon and Matthau, a quality supporting cast and the great man himself behind the camera but even he admitted that it was more or less a miss.

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    1. We thought the same thing when it comes to Gene Tierney! I love your theme and would love to see Mary, Mary. I have seen the other 2 although I should rematch Rachel, Rachel again. Corrina, Corrina is pretty good and I as surprised since I am not a lover of Ray Liota. Buddy, Buddy is ok but it is a miss for these 3 greats.

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  14. Jennifer Jones bland? An intriguing idea to explore.

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  15. Hi Birgit - it's great that you post these films up ... they will be an excellent resource ... all the best for the coming year - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks and hope you see one. Happy New Year to you too!

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  16. So excited to see Johnny Belinda here! I had to do a double take just be sure!!

    Happy new year to you too!! - off to a good start ;)

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  17. I see Shady figured out your theme within a theme. I had no idea. I had only heard of Anna Karenina, but I've never seen it. Any version.

    Off the top of my head, I think I'd pick Gigi which is a favorite of mine.

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    1. OMG! Gigi is a great choice and I love that movie

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  18. I blush to admit, I haven't seen any of them.
    Hope today was a good day and that both you and your mom are feeling well.

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    1. You may see one of these in the future. We are both aok!

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  19. I haven’t seen any of these. The very first film I was ever taken to see was Pollyanna. I had to be carried out screaming 😟

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  20. This last one sounds like a beautiful story and film.
    Be well and may 2018 be very kind to you.

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    1. It is..an excellent romantic lovely ghost story.

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  21. I've seen all three of these, but not your version of Anna. I offer for consideration Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Favorite Young Man says Weekend at Bernie's, which I've never seen but I'm sure it sucks shit.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Hahahaaaa love your last comment and I love Weekend at Bernie’s because it is funny as hell. Ferris is another fun movie to watch.

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  22. As seems to be the case, I'm late visiting, and I have never seen any of these. The only one I've even heard of is Anna Karenina. You seem to have chosen well, though, as is noted by all the comments others have left.

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    1. Thanks and maybe one day you will see a version of Anna Karenina but Vivien Leigh is so perfect for the role even if the film is flawed.

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  23. Great three films. One other from 1948 which I loved is the Hitchcock film The Rope. I read, though, that Hitchcock called it an experiment which didn't work and it didn't get great reviews. I thought it was creepy and suspenseful. Happy New Year and keep those films coming!

    That's Purrfect

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    1. Thanks! I still have to see Rope!! I love Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart so this is really high on my list of movies to see. I think it has gained more positive reviews as time moves on.

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  24. I haven't seen any of these! But, you know I always love hearing about new movies. First ones that came to my mind: Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Uncle Buck, and Being John Malcovich. :)

    Happy New Year!
    ~Jess

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    1. I hope you see one of my choices. I still have to see Being John Malkovich but I heard it is excellent

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  25. I love Johnny Belinda, too. That's the movie that also introduced me to Jane Wyman. I always wondered what she saw in Reagan. She seemed so different than Nancy Davis.

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    1. They were so different and I don’t know what they saw in each other but I think they were young and dumb

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  26. I think my favorite character name in a title is Harry Potter. Oh, and John Wick. :P

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    1. Harry Potter is perfect. I had to walk away from John Wick after the dog scene. It still haunts me

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  27. Good grief...I haven't seen any of these.
    Would "Edward Scissorhands" count?

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  28. Hmm, Annabelle? Ali, Erin Brokovitch. :)

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    1. Ooh, Constantine! Loved that movie.

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    2. Perfect! I have not seen Annabelle or Ali yet. I’m surprised no one picked Ali so great choice

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  29. Ok, here I am attempting a comment! I'm hoping this goes through :)

    I really want to read Anna Kerenina so afterwards this will be the movie version I will watch. It sounds like such an interesting story, but very melodramatic. My sister read it and thought the same thing as you and also really loved it. This film version looks really amazing, I'm completely entranced by 19th c. Russia at the moment. Have any of Tolstoy's other books been made into movies (other than War and Peace)? I wonder if heavy romances are a reoccurring theme in his novels.

    And Johnny Belinda sounds really interesting, I'm going to check that one out! :) I had never heard of it before.

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    1. Your comment works! I am with Annie because I still think of that book even though I know I won’t read it again...maybe. I looked it up about other Tolstoy books made int9 films and there seems to be quite a few but it looks like they are foreign films which I would love to see. There are quite a few films of Anna Karenina from the Greta Garbo version to a great tv mini series with Christopher Reeves as Vronsky which I thought was excellent. I hope you get to see Johnny Belinda which I loved.

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