some thoughts on ‘texas’ (1941)

texas-365565860-large.jpg

This post is part of the Texas Blogathon hosted by The Midnite Drive-In.

_______________________________________

Confederate soldiers Dan (William Holden) and Tod (Glenn Ford) look to Texas for opportunities when the war ends. Upon witnessing a stagecoach robbery, the close friends ambush the outlaws and confiscate the stolen funds. Tod wishes to return the money, but Dan wants to keep it. After a sheriff gives chase, each man runs off on his own. They are reunited after some time, but with Tod now an honest ranch hand and Dan an outlaw cattle rustler, the two do not know if their friendship can survive.

_______________________________________

I was originally going to write a bona fide review of ‘Texas’, but I have a lot of scattered thoughts and comments to make concerning it, so I thought I might as well do a list thingy instead.  (There will be spoilers.)  (And if you want a more conventional review of this movie, I recommend this post.)

MV5BM2M2MThlNWYtYzlmMy00ZmQ2LTliNDEtMDg3NTZlN2FjN2I2XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMDMxMjQwMw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1477,1000_AL_.jpg

~I’m highly amused by the cheery music that plays as ‘…The paths to the market were bloody trails of Indian depredations, outlaw, rustlers…’ scrolls across the screen.

~William Holden and Glenn Ford are, like, baby-year-olds in this film.  And very adorable.  I’m sort of used to Young William Holden because I’ve seen ‘Arizona’ (was ‘Texas’ supposed to be a sort of companion piece to ‘Arizona’?).  Young Glenn Ford is very attractive and he and William Holden both have cute dimples.  Plus, their acting is great.

~William Holden tends to play jerky guys, at least in most of the films I’ve seen him in.  I don’t really care for Dan (Holden’s character).  I mean, he joins up with cattle rustlers and doesn’t seem much bothered by it.  And he steals Tod’s girl (though he might not have known that extent of Tod’s feelings at first).

MV5BYjYyOGUzNGMtZjZiMy00YWY1LWI5ZTMtOTdkNzQxMTEzMzFjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMDMxMjQwMw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,901,1000_AL_.jpg

~The fight near the beginning is HILARIOUS.  My siblings and I laughed so hard during it when we first watched the movie.

~Edgar Buchanan makes for a chilling bad guy.  I’ve only ever seen him playing kindly/harmless old codgers, but he was something else again as Doc.  Lots of nastiness, and it’s surprising twist considering his usual screen roles.

MV5BMTY2MzIyMDI3NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTg5NTUxNw@@._V1_.jpg

~I love how Tod stands up and says his piece after Windy Miller makes his offer of two dollars a head of cattle.  If I were Mike, I’d have fallen for him right then and there (Tod, not Miller).

~*snickers at how Dan wants to keep the money and Tod tries to talk him out of it because Glenn Ford’s character in ‘The Sacketts’ does the exact opposite and why am I snickering about this when the situation is actually kinda heartbreaking in ‘The Sacketts’?*

~Thanks to certain comments on Hamlette’s review of ‘Texas’ (see link above) I will forever get Tod and Dan’s names mixed up in my head.

MV5BNDE3YzdhYzktYzM0OS00NDZhLWJlNGUtNzNmNDcxMGUyZTNjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMzk3NTUwOQ@@._V1_.jpg

~Man.  The way that sheriff and the posse are so quick to lynch Tod puts ‘The Ox-Bow Incident’ to shame.

~Also, the ending of ‘Texas’ is a bit of a downer and not something I expected from a 40’s ‘B’ western.  But I guess it all comes down to the fact that Dan’s life was in a mess and there wasn’t enough time to bring resolution, reconciliation, and redemption to him, so they killed him off. *sigh*

~Overall, though, a fun, entertaining, and enjoyable western film, one that I’ll be sure to watch and re-watch over the years.

28f7295b069ec9026a5bafd1b3f1982d.jpg

 

Have you ever seen this film?  What did you think of it?

Eva

Advertisements

movie review: the proud rebel

This post is part of The Alan Ladd Blogathon taking place at Hamlette’s Soliloquy.  You can read the rest of the blogathon posts here.

Untitled.png

Confederate veteran John Chandler (Alan Ladd) returns from defeat in war to find his home razed, his wife dead and his young son, David (David Ladd), traumatized and rendered mute. Desperate to cure the boy, Chandler takes David to a small town in Illinois where he hopes to find a doctor. But, soon after the pair arrives, Chandler finds himself framed for assault — and forced to choose between serving hard time and working for struggling local farmer Linnett Moore (Olivia de Havilland).

_______________________________________________________

I remember watching ‘The Proud Rebel’ at my grandparents’ house and not taking much away from it except a couple of hazily remembered scenes (mainly one in the courtroom where Linnett talks to the judge and also some bits regarding the dog).  I mostly forgot about it except to sometimes wonder “What was that movie with the dog and the deaf boy?” (I mistakenly thought that David was deaf.)  Then I got rather interested in Alan Ladd and found an old DVD of ‘The Proud Rebel’ in our collection, so I popped it in to watch and when I hit the courtroom scene I was like “Ohhhhhh…I remember you!”.  Very cool feeling.

brokenststill001x.jpg

Alan Ladd plays John Chandler and his real-life son, David Ladd, plays his in-the-movie son, David Chandler.  Alan Ladd puts in a fine performance as John Chandler, a man looking to move forward from his past as a Confederate soldier as well as trying to find help for his mute son.  I really love the relationship between John and David – the boy is mute, so he has to depend on his father to help him communicate with people.  Their interaction is made even more heartwarming by the fact that they’re father and son IRL.  John and David’s father-son relationship is a huge part of ‘The Proud Rebel’, since John wanting to find a workable treatment for David is what drives pretty much all the action.

Linnett, portrayed by Olivia de Havilland, is one of the best female characters I’ve ever seen in a western.  She’s run her ranch (or is it a farm?) singlehandedly ever since her father (and brother, I think) died.  She’s kind and compassionate, particularly towards David (he steals her heart much sooner than his father does), but she’s also strong and capable and gives John plenty of good advice throughout the film.  Linnett’s farm is threatened by the villain of the piece, Harry Burleigh, and he’s a pretty formidable villain, played quite well by Dean Jagger (who I know best as the great General Waverley in ‘White Christmas’ – still not used to him in a villainous role).

The Proud Rebel 1.jpg

I don’t care for dogs, but I still enjoyed every moment of ‘The Proud Rebel’, even the last twenty minutes or so which are centered almost entirely around David’s dog.  And no spoilers, but the ending is predictable without being any the less emotional for all that.

Overall, ‘The Proud Rebel’ is a good, solid film.  I’ve watched it twice, enjoyed it twice, and I wouldn’t be the least opposed to seeing it a third time.  The cinematography, story, and dialogue all flow together well and the plot is interesting.  Recommended to fans of westerns, dogs, Alan Ladd, Olivia de Havilland…just about anyone.

(My six-year-old brother liked it, so it’s good for children as well.)

(And you can watch it for free on Youtube.  Just so you know.)

Alan Ladd Blogathon Green.jpg

Eva

notorious VS. casablanca

This blog post is part of The 3rd Wonderful Ingrid Bergman Blogathon.  Check out the other entries here.

3-ingrid-bergman-3.jpg

Ingrid Bergman is one of my favorite actresses – her beauty, accent, talent, and height all combine to make her one of the most striking women on Hollywood’s silver screen.  I’ve only seen her in four or five films, but she’s impressed me in every single one.  Today, I wanted to compare two of her most famous films – Notorious and Casablanca.  Both movies were made around the same time, both star Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains, and…um, that’s good enough for me to write a comparison post (seriously, though, I’ve considered comparing The Lorax and The Giver just because of their similar themes – plus, Taylor Swift’s in both).

Anyway.  Enough rambling.

// The Story //

STORY.jpg

I’m horrible at plot summaries.

Notorious: A German-American woman is recruited by the US government to spy on…other spies?  Not entirely sure what Alex is, actually.  Anyway, the woman, Alicia (Bergman), falls in love with her handler, Devlin (Cary Grant), but things become chaotic when Alicia marries one of the enemy.

Casablanca: Talk about a ‘tale as old as time’.  The story of Casablanca is known around the world.  Rick owns a cafe in Casablanca.  Everyone comes to it over the course of the story and the romances, intrigues, political plot points, etc., etc. make for an addictive cinematic experience.

// The Heroine //

HEROINE

Because they’re both played by Ingrid Bergman.

Notorious: Alicia Huberman (later Alicia Sebastian) is a wonderful heroine.  Though her father was a member of the Nazi party, she herself is a loyal American on the side of truth, liberty, and justice.  However, she ends up having to lie constantly to her husband, her liberty is curtailed when Alex finds out who she really is, and there’s no justice in the way Devlin treats her throughout the movie (until the very end).  Yet she rises above all this to emerge as one of the most memorable Hitchcock leading ladies of all his films.

Casablanca: Most people view Casablanca as a ‘Humphrey Bogart picture’ and I have to say that that’s true.  He’s the main character and the moral centre of the entire thing, but without Ilsa, there would be no story.  From the moment she walks into Rick’s cafe until the moment she leaves on the plane to Lisbon, she is constantly in Rick’s – and our – mind.  She is the catalyst of the entire story (well, the letters of transit play a big role, but they’re more a MacGuffin than anything) and a great character in her own right.

// The Hero //

HERO

Because they’re both awesome.

Notorious: As I’ve mentioned before, Devlin is one of the only Cary Grant characters I like.  And he’s a jerk for most of the film!  Like, a serious jerk.  I can never quite figure out if he loves Alicia at the beginning – at least, as much as she loves him – but by the time she marries Alex, you know he does.  And he’s so very heroic in rescuing Alicia at the end. ❤

Casablanca: Rick is one of the most famous heroes (or is he an anti-hero?) in the history of film.  He’s hard and bitter and cynical at first – but not without reason.  The bit in the cafe at night where he’s drinking and talking to himself/Sam along with the part where Ilsa leaves him at the train station…always give me a huge lump in my throat and an ache in my heart.  He does an incredibly awesome, brave thing at the end as well and that’s mostly what defines him as a great hero, even though he doesn’t get the girl.

// The Love Triangle //

TRIANGLE

Because they’re required in every great story.

Notorious: Alicia, Devlin, and Alex.  The scenes with all three of them are so tense, no matter what’s going on.  Alex gets jealous easily because he’s so much older than Alicia and, come on, it’s obvious that she and Devlin are in love.  It really is.

Casablanca: Ilsa, Rick, and Laszlo.  May I just say that I really like Laszlo?  He grows on me with every viewing.  Anyway, this love triangle is unique because the story ends with the girl still with the same guy she was with at the beginning (that’s sounded so awkward, but you get the idea).

// The Villains //

VILLAINS

Because they’re crafty and clever and I dig villains.

Notorious: Besides Alex, there’s also his creepy mom and his creepy Nazi friends.  Alex is a sympathetic villain, almost, because you can kinda tell that he really does care for Alicia (until he discovers she’s a spy, that is).  But his mom is distrustful of her daughter-in-law right from the start.  And those Nazi friends are diabolical.

Casablanca: Does Captain Renault count as a villain?  Not really, I don’t think.  And Major Strasser is just…there.  Doesn’t do much, truth be told.

// Ending //

ENDING

Because both are perfect.

Notorious: Mannnnn.  I LOVE the ending to this film.  Devlin rescuing Alicia and finally admitting that he loves her and then “Alex, come inside.  We want to talk to you.” (not an exact quote, but still) *shivers*  So great.  Hitchcock really knows how to end a movie (except for The Birds – that was just weird).

Casablanca: Who doesn’t know the ending to Casablanca?  Even if you’ve never watched it, over half of the most iconic quotes are found in the last ten minutes or so.  “Hill of beans”, “usual suspects”, “looking at you, kid” (okay, that one was said earlier on), and “always have Paris”, “beautiful friendship”…so quotable.  And the ending is majorly tearjerking as well.

// Overall //

OVERALL

Both Notorious and Casablanca are outstanding examples of film-making at its very best.  But Casablanca is my second favorite movie of all time, so it kind of wins by default, right?  Notorious is still one of my top favorites, though. (And Ingrid Bergman is a luminous presence in both films.)

Which of these two films do you like best?

Eva

the alfred hitchcock blogathon 2017 – wrap-up!

BUTTON5

You know, even though I was busy with Life Stuff throughout this blogathon, I still had lots of fun.  All the posts written were great (for a list of them, go here), very entertaining, and it was a good time of camaraderie among fellow Hitchcock aficionados.  So, as I said last year, unless something unforeseen comes up, another Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon will be held in August of 2018.  Already looking forward to it!

And thank you for your participation, everyone. 🙂

Eva

P.S. There’s still time to submit your entry to the blogathon if you haven’t already.  Just leave a link in the comments and I’ll make sure it gets put on the roster.

my favorite hitchcock heroes, heroines, and villains

This post is part of my Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon 2017.  Check out the other posts in this blogathon here.

Alfred Hitchcock was a master filmmaker – that’s something no one can deny.  His skills as a director merged with great scripts, great actors, and great music to make some of the best films ever.  While there are lots and lots of things I could chose to talk about today, I decided to list a few of my favorite Hitchcock characters.  All of my favorite books and movies have one thing in common – awesome characters – and Hitchcock’s movies are no exception.

Let’s get started!

Favorite Hitchcock Heroes

HEROES.png

-Gilbert Redman (The Lady Vanishes): There are many, many good things about The Lady Vanishes (I can still hum that special tune), but Gilbert is one of the best.  He’s handsome and funny and helpful and brave – everything a good hero should be.

-T.R. Devlin (Notorious): Cary Grant is one of my least favorite actors, but Notorious is one of only two movies where I do more than tolerate him; I actually kinda love him. (The other film is Room for One More.)  Sure, he’s a jerkface for most of the movie, but I think it might be partly because he finds himself falling in love with Alicia, and he thinks nothing good can come of it.  And when he rescues her… *heart-eyes*

-Mitch Brenner (The Birds): Hitchcock favored his villains over his heroes, so it was actually a bit hard for me to come up with a third hero.  I finally settled on Mitch because he’s very capable and level-headed during so much of the terror and *cough* Rod Taylor’s pretty handsome.

Favorite Hitchcock Heroines

HEROINES.png

-Iris Henderson (The Lady Vanishes): Hurrah for strong female characters!  Iris is an awesome heroine in her search for Miss Froy and in her general demeanor and strength of character.  One of my favorite female protagonists in classic film.

-Alicia Huberman (Notorious): Alicia is such a brave woman and I admire her, despite her checkered past.  I mean, she even goes so far as to marry Alex Sebastian to gather more information about his evil plots.  Ingrid Bergman is a luminous presence onscreen, and I’ll be talking more about her performance as Alicia later on this month for the Ingrid Bergman blogathon.

-Lisa Fremont (Rear Window): First, Grace Kelly.  Secondly, Edith Head’s gorgeous costumes.  And thirdly (and most importantly), Lisa is the BOSS.  She goes out and does a lot of the fieldwork for Jeff, even going so far as to enter the bad guy’s apartment in the search for the truth.  She’s a wonderful character.

Favorite Hitchcock Villains (here be spoilers)

VILLAINS.png

-Dr. Murchison (Spellbound): I know Leo G. Carroll best as the kindly Mr. Waverly from The Man From UNCLE TV show, so it’s always a half surprise for me to see him playing such a villainous character.  But Carroll pulls it off and Dr. Murchison is one of the most sinister villains (I think) in the Hitchcock canon.

-Phillip Vandamm (North by Northwest): It’s James Mason, people.  You can’t beat that.  Again, I’m more familiar with his role as a good guy in Journey to the Centre of the Earth, but he makes for a suave, polished, utterly dangerous villain in North by Northwest.  He’s one of my favorite things about the film.

-Bruno Antony (Strangers on a Train): Bruno is a fascinating villain and I think, in some ways, he’s the the prototype for ca-raaaaazy villains like Jim Moriarty or the Joker, even.  He’s just…wow.  Really insane and intense and sort of weird.  Still, he’s a fun baddie to watch.

Who are some of your favorite characters from Hitchcock’s films?

Eva

the alfred hitchcock blogathon 2017!

It’s here!

Just leave a comment on this post with your blogathon entry, and I’ll add it to the roster. 🙂

Blogathon Posts:

~Maddy Loves Her Classic Films The Lady Vanishes (1938)

~Story Enthusiast Favorite Hitchcock Films

~MovieMovieBlogBlog North by Northwest (1959)

~Coffee, Classics, and Craziness Favorite Hitchcock Characters

~Christina Wehner The Lodger (1927)

Eva

movie review: the sea hawk

This post is part of the Swashathon hosted by Movies Silently.

swashathon-2-robin-hood.jpg

I inherited my love of swashbucklers from my grandfather, who is a huge fan of the genre in general – and of Errol Flynn’s films in particular.  While I don’t care for Errol Flynn much, old-fashioned swashbucklers are a big favorite of mine.  The glamorous action, feats of derring-do, music, romance, and gorgeous costumes all come together beautifully to create a kind of film that can still entertain today. (I know there are swashbucklers made today.  But the old ones were the best, in my opinion.)

On to the review!

seahawk.jpg

As Spain prepares an armada to invade England, British privateer Geoffrey Thorpe (Errol Flynn) embarks on a mission to loot Spanish ships. When he captures the vessel carrying ambassador Don Jose Alvarez de Cordoba (Claude Rains), the dashing captain falls for his niece, the beautiful Dona Maria (Brenda Marshall), who settles comfortably in England. Dedicated to protecting British interests, Thorpe heads out to sea on a dangerous expedition that may determine the country’s fate.

‘The Sea Hawk’ is easily my favorite Errol Flynn movie…and my favorite swashbuckler.

Stuff I love about it (because lists are easier than an in-depth review):

~The music – Nominated for a best score Oscar, and it definitely deserved that nomination.

004d81x1.jpg

~The romance between Geoffrey and Maria.  Yes, it’s a little clichéd and predictable, but so sweet.  I like how she starts out by hating/despising him but then softens.  Actually, Maria carries most of the romantic subplot by herself, as Geoffrey doesn’t have much time to think about his lady love in the jungle and the galleys.  It’s enough to bring a lump to your throat, the way Maria mourns for him. (That scene where she’s too late to warn him?  GAH.)

~How the jungle scenes are sepia-toned instead of black & white.  I dig it.

~All the other Sea Hawks.  You don’t see much of them, but they’re cool guys.

El-halcon-del-mar (4).jpg

~I LOVE THE QUEEN’S FINAL SPEECH SO MUCH.  You have to remember, that in 1940, England was at war with Germany (and had been for a year already), so I’m fairly certain that Queen Elizabeth I’s speech at the end was a good bit of patriotism that any British citizen would have found more than applicable to their current circumstances.

We have tried by all means in our power to avert this war.  We’ve no quarrel with the people of Spain or of any other country.  But when the ruthless ambition of a man threatens to engulf the world, it becomes the solemn obligation of all free men to affirm that the earth belongs not to any one man, but to all men.  And that freedom is the deed and title to the soil on which we exist.

Honestly, the only thing I would change about this movie is to have Basil Rathbone instead of Harry Daniell play Lord Wolfingham .  Basil Rathbone would’ve provided a chilling presence in the English court instead of a rather wimpy one.  Though, I suppose no-one would’ve been surprised at Wolfingham’s duplicity, then.

seahawk5.jpg

The swordfights are awesome, as usual.  I’ve read the Michael Curtiz didn’t put safety tips on the ends of the blades because he wanted the actors’ reactions to be real.  Dangerous, but it made for some great scenes.

‘The Sea Hawk’ is a glowing, adventurous, swoony film, the very epitome of a swashbuckler.  Highly recommended to all fans of the genre.

Eva