Gidget

•September 5, 2010 • 2 Comments

The week of September 5, 2010:

The movie of the week follows the adventures of a teenage girl and her surfing friends on the beach in Malibu. Gidget stars Sandra Dee in the second of five films she released in 1959. The movie was a big hit with teenagers and transformed Dee into one of the most popular teenage stars of the twentieth century.

Stars: Sandra Dee
Directed by: Paul
Wendkos
Released in: 1959

While at the beach with her girlfriends one day, Francie Lawrence becomes interested in surfing. All the surfers treat Lawrence like one of the guys and nickname her Gidget. The surfers’ leader is known as the Kahuna, a man whose sole goal in life is to travel the world looking for the perfect waves. All the younger surfers aspire to Kahuna’s life. Yet, Gidget is taken under the reluctant wing of one of the younger surfers instead. Gidget’s chaperone is nicknamed Moondoggie and comes from a privileged background but wants to live life on his own terms, just like Kahuna. As Gidget spends more time with Moondoggie, she develops deep feelings for him. Gidget realizes she has all summer to get Moondoggie to return the affection. If he doesn’t then perhaps Jeff Matthews will, he is the college son of a friend of Gidget’s father. Their parents have been trying to set the pair on a date all summer.

Fact: The producer of Gidget wanted Elvis Presley to play one of the leading male roles but the studio declined because Presley was at the time too expensive.

To view a trailer of Gidget visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFyqxYWZ7Kg

As well, Gidget will air on the Turner Classic Movie channel on Sunday, September 5 at 6:00PM. Be sure to double-check your local listings and times at www.tcm.com

And as always, feel absolutely free to leave your comments:)

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Rebel Without a Cause

•August 29, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The week of August 29, 2010:

One movie that has been deemed culturally significant by the American public is now also deemed the movie of the week. Rebel Without a Cause was one of the first movies to uncover the moral decay of American youth. A very talented and young cast, that included James Dean and Natalie Wood, told this particular story of a new generation. Rebel Without a Cause still remains an important film to both Dean and Wood’s careers.

Stars: James Dean, Natalie Wood, & Sal Mineo
Directed by: Nicholas Ray
Released in: 1955

After Jim Stark and his family move to the suburbs of Los Angeles, he finds a new friendship with a boy named Plato and a girl named Judy. But matters in Stark’s life become more complicated when he gets mixed up with some tough guys. This gang of tough guys talk him into participating in their “Chickie Run”, which involves driving cars towards the edge of a cliff. During this particular “Chickie Run” one of the boys, who is Judy’s boyfriend, accidentally dies. This leaves Stark and his two new friends to hide in an old abandoned mansion to escape the police and the friends of Judy’s boyfriend.

Fact: The three lead actors of Rebel Without a Cause all died young under tragic circumstances. James Dean died in a car accident at the age of 24. Sal Mineo was stabbed to death by a stranger at the age of 37. And Natalie Wood drowned at the age of 43.

Awards: Rebel Without a Cause was nominated for three Academy Awards. Sal Mineo was nominated for the Best Actor in a Supporting Role award. Natalie Wood received a nomination for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role award. And Nicholas Ray was nominated for the Best Writing – Motion Picture Story award.

To view the trailer of Rebel Without a Cause visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAlzg0S51GY

As well, Rebel Without a Cause will air on the Turner Classic Movie channel on Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 12PM. Be sure to double-check your local listings and times at www.tcm.com

And as always, feel absolutely free to leave your comments:)

To Each His Own

•August 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The week of August 22, 2010:

This time, the movie of the week is a heart-wrenching film about a mother who is torn away from her son. To Each His Own stars the brilliant Olivia de Havilland. In this particular film, de Havilland is able to illustrate the powerful nature of motherhood. And throughout her career, de Havilland’s wise decisions allowed her to star in unique productions. 

Stars: Olivia de Havilland
Directed by: Mitchell Leisen
Released in: 1946

During World War I, a small-town girl named Josephine Norris has an illegitimate son. After a horrific scheme the newborn is given to another family and Norris is left to devote her life to love the boy from afar.

Fact: Ginger Rogers was first offered the role of Josephine Norris. Rogers read the script and asked herself if she wanted to play the mother of a twenty-year-old man who is preparing to go off to war. She turned down the role and later regretted it when Olivia de Havilland won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Rogers also turned down The Snake Pit, which de Havilland also accepted and was nominated for another Oscar. Rogers stated, “it seemed Olivia knew a good thing when she saw it. Perhaps Olivia should thank me for such poor judgment.”

Awards: To Each His Own allowed Olivia de Havilland to earn her first Oscar. Specifically, de Havilland had won the Best Actress in a Leading Role category. Furthermore, the primal writer of To Each His Own, Charles Brackett, was nominated for the Best Writing – Original Story award.

As well, To Each His Own will air on the Turner Classic Movie channel on Friday, August 27 at 10:00PM. Be sure to double-check your local listings and times at www.tcm.com

And as always, feel absolutely free to leave your comments:)

Woman of the Year

•August 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The week of August 15, 2010:

The movie of the week is the first of nine films to feature Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn together. Woman of the Year is a prime example illustrating Tracy and Hepburn’s passion, intelligence, and whit. Their chemistry on-screen drew in large numbers at the box office and also fueled gossip columns of an off-screen romance.

Stars: Spencer Tracy & Katharine Hepburn
Directed by: George Stevens
Released in: 1942

Tess, a successful and independent woman, falls in love with Sam, a sports reporter. After the two marry they continue to have more trouble merging their careers and relationship.

Fact: The Broadway musical version opened at the Palace Theater on May 29, 1981 and ran for seven-hundred-seventy performances starring Lauren Bacall and Harry Guardino. The theatrical version was also nominated for three Tony awards in 1981.

Fact: The entire final sequence where Tess tries to win Sam by making him breakfast was written and filmed after the original ending tested poorly in preview.

Awards: Michael Kanin & Ring Lardner, Jr. won Best Writing – Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards. Katharine Hepburn also received a Best Actress in a Leading Role nomination for her part in Woman of the Year

To view the trailer of Woman of the Year visit:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chdPlYhEK2g

As well, Woman of the Year will air on the Turner Classic Movie channel on Friday, August 20 at 8PM. Be sure to double-check your local listings and times at www.tcm.com

And as always, feel absolutely free to leave your comments:)

Show Boat

•August 8, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The week of August 8, 2010:

For the first time the movie of the week will be a musical! 1951’s Show Boat stars Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, and Ava Gardner. To help make MGM’s big musical picture a success Kathryn Grayson was casted for her truly breathtaking vocals and the A-listed star Ava Gardner was ideally signed to help bring publicity to the film. Today, Show Boat remains one of the greatest musicals for its beautiful tale of family and friends and of course for its soundtrack.

Stars: Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, & Ava Gardner
Directed by: George Sidney
Released in: 1951

Cotton Blossom is a show boat which provides musical entertainment to the public as it travels along the rivers of the south. Julie LaVerne and her husband Stephen Baker are the musical stars of the entertainment act on the boat. But when rumors that LaVerne and Baker are accused of miscegenation turn out to be true, the owner of the Cotton Blossom, Captain Andy Hawks, sadly must ask them to leave his business as interracial marriage is illegal in the south during this time. Captain Hawk then asks his talented and beautiful daughter Magnolia and Gaylord Ravenal to take LaVerne and Baker’s places. In short time, Magnolia and Ravenal fall in love with each other and get married. The newlyweds then move to Chicago and live in a luxurious hotel. But  Ravenal’s addiction to gambling consumes the couple’s savings and he completely leaves his marriage without knowing Magnolia is pregnant. Magnolia struggles to survive on her own, until she decides to return to her father’s boat/business and raise her young daughter with her parents. Years later, LaVerne accidentally meets Ravenal and tells him about the daughter he never knew.

Fact: The original production of Show Boat opened in the Ziegfeld Theater on December 27, 1927 and ran for 572 performances.

Fact: The original choice for the role of Julie LaVerne was Judy Garland.

Awards: Show Boat received two nominations at the Academy Awards: Best Cinematography – Color and Best Music – Scoring of a Musical Picture.

To view the trailer of Show Boat visit: http://www.tcm.com/video/videoPlayer/?cid=35377&titled=14440

As well, Show Boat will air on the Turner Classic Movie channel on Tuesday, August 10 at 8PM. Be sure to double-check your local listings and times at www.tcm.com

And as always, feel absolutely free to leave your comments:)

Casablanca

•August 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The week of August 1, 2010:

One of the greatest love stories ever told will now be declared the current movie of the week! Casablanca stars two on-screen legends, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. In their performances, Bogart and Bergman display bravery, courage, and romance. By captivating the hearts of their audience, Bogart and Bergman were in high demand to play leading roles in great films for many years, plus held respected careers in Hollywood.

Stars: Humphrey Bogart & Ingrid Bergman
Directed by: Michael Curtiz
Released in: 1942

During World War II, Casablanca, as part of unoccupied France, was a temporary safe haven for refugees fleeing Germans. Major Heinrich Strasser is sent to Casablanca to investigate the killing of two German couriers. They were carrying letters of transit that would allow the bearers to leave for Lisbon, Portugal. The letters have been stolen by Ugarte, a petty thief who asks Rick Blaine to hide them for him. Blaine is an American whose mysterious past prevents him from returning home. Blaine is also the owner of the most popular nightspot in town, Rick’s Cafe Americaine. When Ugarte is killed, Blaine’s place is searched in an unsuccessful attempt to find the letters. Meanwhile, an anti-Nazi underground hero, Victor Laszlo, arrives in Casablanca with his wife Ilsa. Ilsa and Rick once had a fairytale romance in Paris until she unexpectedly ended their relationship and disappeared from his life. Blaine has never forgotten, nor forgiven her. Suspecting that Blaine knows where the letters of transit that will allow her husband to continue his work abroad are, Ilsa begs him for them. Ilsa even threatens him with a gun, but she cannot kill Blaine as she realizes she is still in love with him. As old feelings emerge, Rick and Ilsa plan to run off together. Well, that was their original plan…

Fact: It is never revealed why Rick Blaine cannot return to America. Screenwriter Julius J. Epstein said that, “my brother and I tried very hard to come up with a reason why Rick couldn’t return to America. But nothing seemed right. We finally decided not to give a reason at all.”

Fact: No one knew right up until the filming of the last scene whether Ilsa would end up with Rick Blaine or Vincent Laszlo.

Fact: Despite their extraordinary chemistry, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman never appeared in another movie together. Casablanca is their one and only joint venture.

Fact: Just after Ingrid Bergman’s death, Diet Coke incorporated Casablanca in one of their commercials. In the commercial, the film is being watched by a young couple while they drink Diet Coke. To See the commercial visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgkAhu_mKYg

Awards: Casablanca won three Oscars. Michael Curtiz was declared Best Director and the Best Writing – Screenplay award was given to Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, & Howard Noch. Casablanca also received the highest honor at the Academy Awards by winning the award for Best Picture. In addition, Casablanca received nominations in the following categories: Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Cinematography – Black-and-White, Best Film Editing, and Best Music – Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture. 

To view the trailer of Casablanca visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INBmVxAsdFE

As well, Casablanca will air on the Turner Classic Movie channel on Friday, August 6 at 9:30. Be sure to double-check your local listings and times at www.tcm.com

And as always, feel absolutely free to leave your comments:)

National Velvet

•July 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The week of July 25, 2010:

National Velvet  is given title as movie of the week since it is the story of passion, perseverance, and greatness. The film features Mickey Rooney and a very young Elizabeth Taylor. The two stars make the perfect family film and play adorable personalities. The film is also unique because it features Rooney and Taylor at the early stages of their very long careers in the entertainment business.

Stars: Mickey Rooney & Elizabeth Taylor
Directed by: Clarence Brown
Released in: 1944

A young wanderer and opportunist named Mi Taylor, travels throughout England carrying around his father’s journal. One particular notation in his father’s journal leads him to the quiet English countryside where the Brown family reside. The youngest daughter of the Brown family is 12-year-old Velvet. Velvet has a love for horses and when she learns that she won a horse named The Pie in the town lottery, she becomes ecstatic. Soon, Velvet’s dreams for The Pie lead her to encourage Taylor to train the horse for England’s greatest racing event, The Grand National. But when Velvet discovers the jockey hired to ride The Pie in the race doesn’t believe he can win, she disguises herself as the male jockey. Can Velvet ride The Pie to victory?

Fact: After production was completed, arrangements were made to allow Elizabeth Taylor to keep the horse.

Awards: National Velvet won two Oscars. Best actress in a Supporting Role went to Anne Revere and Best Film Editing was rewarded to Robert Kern. National Velvet was also nominated for: Best Art Direction – Color, Best Cinematography – Color, and Best Director.

To view the trailer of National Velvet visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNsWrMc3Ep8

As well, National Velvet will air on the Turner Classic Movie channel on Tuesday, July 27 at 11:30AM. Be sure to double-check your local listings and times at www.tcm.com

And as always, feel absolutely free to leave your comments:)