Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Film Finds

As we ring in the new year, let's count down Classic Reel Girl's top 5 Film Finds of 2015.

5) Lured (1947) - Why you should see it: Lucille Ball. 

Her presence elevates every film in which she appears (at least in all those that I have viewed thus far). Be forewarned that the plot begins to drag, but it is worth the watch to see Ball in a dramatic, film noir-ish role. Several cherries on top: Boris Karloff makes an appearance, Ball dons chic costumes, and if you are interested in literary criticism, the plot lends itself to a gay reading.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Dancing Legs Quiz ~ December Edition

Take a look at the following partial pictures. Each dance routine debuted in a movie released in December. Can you guess these famous dancing legs? Give yourself a bonus point if you can name the movie.



Friday, December 25, 2015

December Viewing ~ Home for the Holidays

I'll be home for Christmas. 
You can count on me.
I'll be home for Christmas.
If only in my dreams.
As I looked over the movies I viewed this month, I realized that December was all about going home. These are movies that will be forever intertwined with memories of my mother who introduced them to me. Though we may be miles apart, a piece of me goes home every time I view them.

The Long, Hot Summer (1958)

Whenever The Long, Hot Summer is on, I am compelled to stop and watch it--not because I am particularly enamored by the plot or characters. No, I view it because Long, Hot Summer reminds me of my mother. It is one of her favorite films and as such we viewed it many times together. I maintain that Ben Quick (Paul Newman) is a dirty, rotten scoundrel and that Clara (Joanne Woodward) deserves much better. I get that he had a rough childhood and is paying for his father's sins. However, he did con the local men into buying wild horses without blinking an eye. I will concede though that he is an awfully cute scoundrel and worthy of our female gaze. Another reason to stop and watch it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

November Viewing ~ Shearer, Spies, and MacLaine

The grades have been posted, the gifts purchased and wrapped, the cookies baked and set out. Now it's time for some Classic Reel Girl (and a nap!).

Before looking forward, I want to look back on the movies watched and discovered throughout the months of November and December. The last few days of 2015 will also include my top 2015 Film Finds, how I did with my 10 for 2015 list, and my 2016 Films to Watch list (not sure if I should make it ten again... ;-) ). Looks like I will be having a mini-blogging marathon to make up for lost time! Watch for updated links.


TCM's November was devoted to the legendary Norma Shearer. Prior commitments didn't allow me to catch nearly as much Norma as I wanted to this time around, but I made room for three of her films.

*The Divorcee (1930) - Ever since I took an interest in pre-code movies, this film and Baby Face (1933) have popped up in conversations as quintessential examples of the genre. While there is no doubting its pre-codeness, The Divorcee is lacking the characteristic I prefer most in pre-code movies: the all-out-strong woman. At first, the film appears it will deliver. When Jerry's (Norma Shearer) husband cheats on her, she "balanced [the] accounts" by doing the same. 

 Best shot of the film: Don't mess with Norma!
***Spoilers ahead***