The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Movie Review

…………………………………………………

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Movie Review

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is a 1947 fantasy romance film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and starring Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison. It is such a beautiful movie.

………………………………………………….

You must make your own life amongst the living and,

whether you meet fair winds or foul,

find your own way to harbor in the end

………………………………………………….

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The story is great and it is something that only could have been made during the forties as they were really into ghost stories during this decade. A young widow comes to a haunted house and there she befriends a ghost seaman. Eventually the two develop feelings for each other and that leads to many obvious problems.

The highlight was that beautiful third act. I rarely love the endings from the forties that portray a passage of time, but this one was done really well and it told us surprisingly quite a lot given that we only get a handful of scenes over a great period of time. Great writing right there. And the finale is indescribably beautiful and perfect, I loved it!

But I also loved the film’s exploration of different genres. It is atmospheric at first, sort of like a horror film, then it delves into comedy for a couple of scenes with some really funny banter between the two and it eventually leads to heartbreaking and at last heartwarming drama. But it is above all a fantasy romance and rarely have the two genres coalesced so perfectly into each other as evidenced here.

………………………………………………….

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Rex Harrison definitely gave a very typical voice here, but still he was very charismatic and highly likable. I really enjoyed him and his performance. George Sanders was typically typecast here and I honestly really disliked his role and his part of the story as it was obvious from the first moment how it would end and it came as sort of a detour to the film, a rushed and unnecessary detour. That is the only thing I disliked in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

Mrs. Muir herself is great and such a fine character so wonderfully portrayed by Gene Tierley. This has to be her career finest performance as I have never seen her be this great. She is beautiful and the camera surely does love her, but she is also very competent in the role, very complex and ultimately she gave possibly the year’s best female performance.

The relationship between the two is just wonderful. This is one of the rare romances that honestly gave me the feels. I rooted for the two end up together so strongly which is a rarity for me, but the writing and the dialogue are so good and their relationship is so sweet that I fell in love with both of them almost immediately. It is one of the best love stories from this period without any doubt, it’s both moving and timeless in quality while also being fueled by its fantasy aspect to give it that extra layer of awesomeness. It is a better movie than ‘Ghost’ in my opinion.

………………………………………………….

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Movie Review

………………………………………………….

As I said above, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is so well written and having some excellent lines of dialogue and great quotes, but above all it is superbly directed by one of my favorite directors Joseph L. Mankiewicz and he excelled here and gave this movie such a polished feel. The cinematography is simply stunning and it led to the only Academy Award nomination for the movie (ridiculous).  I loved the house, the effects and the beach scenes were the best. And the score is so incredibly moving and atmospheric in quality that it fuels the more emotional scenes to even greater heights.

Beautifully scored, gorgeously shot, so well directed and fueled by Gene Tierney’s wonderful, powerhouse performance, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is an underrated, marvelous fantasy romance that I simply adored. It is so well written and it has such a beautiful ending, but its romance is so elegant and lovable that I was fully invested in it. It shifts genres so well and it is such a moving, even poetic film that really needs to be appreciated more.

My Rating – 4.5

Share

Leisure (1976)

Leisure ReviewLeisure Review

Leisure is a 1976 Oscar-winning animated short that is not that great.

First of all, the positive aspects. Well, the entire idea to tell the story of human leisure from prehistory to modern times is interesting and I liked some of its points. It is an interesting subject rarely talked about, but it is something that all of us do and thus it was interesting to me. The narration was also pretty solid here.

But the film is still barely solid and nothing more than that owing to its annoying style that was typical of the seventies. I am talking about the documentary approach of giving us many frames, pictures and photos instead of giving us full, fleshed out animation. Only the prehistory part was animated and it was the best, but otherwise it felt cheap and thus not as interesting as it could have been.

Leisure is a weaker Oscar winner with an interesting subject matter, but a very annoying, cheap presentation of it.

My Rating – 3.3

Share

Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

Make Way for Tomorrow Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Make Way for Tomorrow Movie Review

Make Way for Tomorrow is a 1937 drama film directed by Leo McCarey and starring Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi. It is a very good, touching film.

………………………………………………….

When you’re seventeen and the world’s beautiful,

facing facts is just as slick fun as dancing or going to parties,

but when you’re seventy… well, you don’t care about dancing,

you don’t think about parties anymore, and about the only fun you have left

is pretending that there ain’t any facts to face,

so would you mind if I just went on pretending?

………………………………………………….

Make Way for Tomorrow Movie Review

………………………………………………….

It is about an old couple who are forced to separate because none of their five children will take both parents. This is a rare film from the thirties which deals with old people and aging issues and thus it felt different and memorable, not to mention admirable for its time. They did cast younger actors, but still the fact that this movie exists is remarkable.

Barkley and Lucy are such wonderful people and this is one of the finest romantic couples from classic movies for sure and a very underrated one at that. I found their children forgettable as there were too many of them, a choice that I did not like, and none of them stayed in my memory for long. But Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi gave such superb performances that rank among the finest of this year and both should have been Oscar nominated.

Make Way for Tomorrow features such a sad ending. It didn’t make me cry personally, but I can see how it can tear some people as it truly is heartbreaking. It is a definite goodbye and it is thus all the more tragic. But it was that strong because the scenes before that were just amazing. The two having their second  honeymoon at the hotel they went to fifty years ago provided us many wonderfully romantic as well as funny, playful moments. The interactions the two have here were beautiful, yet highly realistic.

………………………………………………….

Make Way for Tomorrow Movie Review

………………………………………………….

But, and this is a big but, the first half I wasn’t a huge fan of and that is why this movie is only a weak 4.5 film for me which was disappointing as I expected a 5 star film. But that first half honestly was very slow, sometimes even dull and overly emotional when it did not earn that emotion quite yet. The film was great when the two were together, but when apart, it mostly tended to fall apart a bit. It is still very well directed and superbly acted, but the pacing should have been better.

Make Way for Tomorrow is somewhat slow and dull in its first half, but the second half fixed that with a truly heartbreaking ending and a beautiful second honeymoon extended sequence filled with a lot of romantic and sweetly playful moments. It is a well acted, touching and rare 1930s film which deals with old people and aging and thus it felt all the more admirable and impressive.

My Rating – 4.5

Share

I Love to Singa (1936)

I Love to Singa ReviewI Love to Singa Review

I Love to Singa is a 1936 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is such a fabulous entry.

I absolutely adored this one. The animation here is simply phenomenal as the full Technicolor is on display and the results are more than stellar with beautiful colors and even pretty great bird designs. Of course the score is just fantastic and the titular song should have been a great hit given how catchy and fun it is. It fitted the story so well. The characters are memorable and Owl Jolson makes for a pretty great protagonist. He is a great parody of Al Jolson and the plot remakes ‘The Jazz Singer’ superbly.

I admired this plot where a father throws his son out of the house for singing jazz instead of classical music. There is a great message here about respecting everyone’s talent and interests even if they do not match your own. The ending could have been more memorable, but I absolutely loved that radio amateur contest as it featured a couple of not only funny, but hilarious gags. The judge throwing the contestants under the door honestly made me laugh wholeheartedly which is rare for me and this cartoon did it.

I Love to Singa has a great message, wonderful animation, memorable characters and a fun titular song leading to one of the best Merry Melodies so far.

My Rating – 4.5

Share

It (1927)

It Movie Review

…………………………………………………

It Movie Review

It is a 1927 silent romantic comedy film which is a great Clara Bow vehicle. She is excellent in the film which is itself not great.

………………………………………………….

I’m sorry, but a girl has to do that.

You know how things are

………………………………………………….

It Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The story of a shop girl who wants to seduce a handsome, wealthy boss is fairly typical by this point. I will give the movie credit for possibly being one of the first films to do this story and it is one of the first romantic comedies, but still it felt overly familiar and it lacked some sort of special oomph in the storytelling department to take it to the next level.

The characters are also fairly straight and typical with the only exception being the protagonist who is memorable. I really liked the performances here, but of course Clara Bow is the highlight and the biggest reason to see this movie for sure.

She excelled in portraying this spunky, energetic and very attractive girl and I could see why men love her and why women want to be her friends. The film explores the concept of “It” which is a special quality of possessing a magnetic force and it was just such a fabulous choice to cast Bow in this role as she really embodies that quality and is magnetic from start to finish here. I loved her look, her dresses and especially her movements and her facial expressions. She really gave a standout performance.

She also made It a very modern movie, much more modern than most of the movies from the twenties and it aged so well that it can be enjoyed a lot even in this day. It surely is a prototype of a romantic comedy as it has all of those ingredients, some great and some annoying.

………………………………………………….

It Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The film is well directed and paced and it looks great and very modern and quick in pace and in character interactions. I just loved the first half so much with all the preparations for the dinner and especially the roller coaster scene was so wonderful that it was really disappointing to see the second half get reduced to unnecessary melodrama (the subplot with the baby was not needed honestly), typical complications and misunderstandings and an overly bombastic, though still fun and memorable spectacle finale.

It is mainly a major Clara Bow vehicle and she certainly embodies the titular concept perfectly with her beautiful looks and a spunky personality while also giving just a fabulous performance as a whole. I loved the first half as it had some wonderful scenes such as that preparation for dinner as well as a roller coaster scene, but the second half was reduced to typical misunderstandings and melodrama a bit too much and although the spectacle ending is fun, it was still too bombastic. It is certainly a very influential romantic comedy for better and for worse.

My Rating – 4

Share

Porky’s Pet (1936)

Porky's Pet ReviewPorky’s Pet Review

Porky’s Pet is a 1936 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is such a fun cartoon.

Porky gets an offer from Broadway to star with his ostrich pet Lulu in a show and he will do anything to get there without the train conductor noticing. Eventually, the two get thrown out of the train, but board a cow and pass the train on the way there much to the conductor’s frustration. I absolutely loved that ending as I wanted the conductor to pay and he did. I loved watching him get annoyed.

The gags with the ostrich are definitely fairly typical as is this overall cartoon, but some of them are still quite solid and I overall liked them. I liked Lulu and Porky is as great as ever. The score is unremarkable, but the animation is actually very good and I particularly adored the use of still photography in animated the passengers on the train as they looked so good.

Porky’s Pet is some typical stuff, but executed well with some good animation and gags with the ending being the standout.

My Rating – 3.8

Share

Bucking Broadway (1917)

Bucking Broadway Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Bucking Broadway Movie Review

Bucking Broadway is a 1917 western romance film directed by John Ford and starring Harry Carey. It is a solid, but very flawed movie.

………………………………………………….

Helen and I, we’d like to get married

………………………………………………….

Bucking Broadway Movie Review

………………………………………………….

First let’s get the negatives out of the way. A girl leaves the cowboy for a rich city slicker but eventually realizes that she has made a mistake and gets back to him. How many times have we seen this exact scenario played out in the movie? Countless is the answer.

This triangle was boring and the story is beyond slight and melodramatic. I was definitely not a fan of it despite it having some really wonderful romantic scenes that I liked. I wished that it had more of that instead of a cliched melodrama.

Bucking Broadway is apparently restored to full length, but I do not buy that. The film feels ridiculously rushed at times and I do not blame the movie, but I honestly think that some segments are missing. I am most positive of that.

So let’s get to the good stuff. Although the characters are highly typical and regular, the actors are anything but. Harry Carey is very memorable in the main role and quite sympathetic whereas Molly Malone also gave a surprisingly strong, subtle performance. Overacting was not present here which is admirable given that this is 1917 we are talking about.

The film has a wonderful romance and I loved that gift he gives her and the significance of it and the ending was nice, although that fight was getting on my nerves how silly it felt, not to mention overlong.

……………………………….…………………

Bucking Broadway Movie Review

…………………………………………..……..

Bucking Broadway looks beautiful thanks to stunning cinematography. Really, some of the shots here were just amazing to behold and it truly felt like a glorious early western with beautiful desert landscapes. It was all the more great watching it in HD. I also liked its spare use of intertitles and I have to commend John Ford for his abilities. He was only 23 years old during this year and this was one of his first movies and he just knocked it out of the park completely with such a superb, competent direction and this movie truly signaled the arrival of a great director.

Bucking Broadway’s overly familiar and cliched story, a melodramatic approach and typical characters do not take away from how gorgeous its cinematography is and how terrific the direction is. It has its romantic and lovely moments, but mostly this was just a solid film that still brilliantly signaled the arrival of John Ford who really excelled here.

My Rating – 3.5

………………………………………………….

Share

Plane Crazy (1929)

Plane Crazy ReviewPlane Crazy Review

Plane Crazy is a 1929 Mickey Mouse cartoon. It is such a fun film.

Here Mickey takes Minnie for a ride on his plane and he flies it so badly that she gets frustrated with him and literally leaves the plane midair. That was hilarious and another funny moment was the ending of course with such a good magnet gag. The film isn’t quite on par with the previous entries such as ‘The Barn Dance’ as some of its animation was odd and the first half isn’t as entertaining, but the second half is great enough that it succeeds as a pretty good entry overall.

The animation is interesting for featuring some very chaotic camera movements and that was fitting given how bad Mickey was in driving this plane. I liked the film visually and the score is good, but the highlights are Mickey and Minnie’s relationship and of course many great gags.

Plane Crazy is so funny featuring many great gags while also giving us interesting animation and cinematography.

My Rating – 4

Share

Ben Hur (1907)

Ben Hur ReviewBen Hur Review

Ben Hur is a 1907 silent short film directed by Sidney Olcott. It is an expectedly flawed experiment.

Now I really did not like Sidney Olcott’s ‘From the Manger to the Cross’ and although Ben Hur shares most of its problems, it is still a better film overall. That is mostly because it is shorter in length and thus the film is much more engaging and it flows nicely.

Most of its scenes were solid with the early chariot sequence being solidly filmed and memorable. I also liked that the intertitles were sparingly used. But even though the film looks really good with such a good costume design, it is again flawed and I know I said that it is good that it is short, but it is also bad. Let me explain. With just fifteen minutes of runtime, the film couldn’t possibly adapt its source material properly and thus we have only a couple of scenes and nothing more than that. Thus the film feels ridiculously slight and frankly even unnecessary.

Ben Hur is another one of Sidney Olcott’s weak experiments that looks good, but has way too short runtime for this kind of story to be told.

My Rating – 3.2

Share

The Bewitched Inn (1897)

The Bewitched Inn ReviewThe Bewitched Inn Review

The Bewitched Inn is an 1897 silent short film directed by George Melies. It is such a fun film per usual for the director.

A traveler arrives to a small hotel room and prepares to sleep, but the room refuses to let him sleep and at first chairs move, then his boots and finally his bed. He eventually flees the room in frustration. This is such a funny film that is so well crafted and entertaining throughout its very small running time of just two minutes. I loved the ending and my favorite part was the clothes flying off.

I could see that it was the editing technique during the chair disappearance, but other than that, the film is superbly executed and again impossibly realistic and it looks great to this day and age. It lacks variety and I prefer his ‘The Haunter House’ from the previous year, but The Bewitched Inn is still a phenomenal achievement and such a wonderful and fun film from this decade.

The Bewitched Inn lacks variety, but it is stupendously entertaining and even funny with exceptional effects from master Melies.

My Rating – 4.1

Share