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The Colgate Comedy Hour (1950)
Martin and Lewis together again!
The Colgate Comedy Hour (1950-1955) was a show that had the biggest comedians and entertainers as guest hosts. It featured of music, fun and gags. Last night I heard that the comedy legend Jerry Lewis has died at the age of 91. I took the news with a heavy heart since I've been a big time JL fan for many, many years. That was the reason I wanted to find something from the net with Mr. Lewis. And I found an episode of this show from 1955. There he teams with his old partner Dean Martin. They still have the chemistry left here, and it is a true joy to watch them perform 'Side by Side' together. And Jerry is his funny self when he makes Dino's pool playing impossible. How sad that they're both gone now. I hadn't seen this show before, but plan to see much more of it in the future.
The Pajama Game (1957)
Stanley Donen and Doris Day work great together
The Pajama Game (1957) is a musical comedy set in a pajama factory. It follows the romance of the factory worker and member of the employee union's leadership Babe and the new superintendent Sid. This movie from 60 years back has two directors. George Abbott, who lived up to the high age of 107 (!) is the other. Then the other is Stanley Donen, who is 93 now. He is the man and the master of many classics including Singin' in the Rain. His collaboration with the main star Doris Day, who turned 95 last month, works great. This great actress, singer and animal welfare activist is just radiant in the lead. And the male lead, John Raitt in the role of Sid Sorokin is terrific. They both have a great singing voice. Carol Haney is wonderful as Gladys. Eddie Foy Jr is superb as the knife throwing Hines. Other great talents include Reta Shaw (Mabel), Thelma Pelish (Mae) and Jack Straw (Prez). The Pajama Game was a positive surprise to me. I didn't even recall hearing of the movie before finding out one library had it as a DVD. It was originally a Broadway play. There are some amazing musical numbers, that are also greatly choreographed. Racing with the Clock is one great example. Or Once-A- Year-Day. Or There Once Was a Man. And the song that I was familiar with, Hernando's Hideaway. It is performed by Carol Haney and boy does it sound good! Richard Adler and Jerry Ross are behind the music. There is also a social message in the movie, with these pajama factory workers demanding for a raise, which they'd totally deserve. But most important message of the movie is you can always break into song and dance in whatever situation.
Young Man with a Horn (1950)
Music and life
Rick Martin is a young boy who finds the love for music after his mother dies. The trumpet becomes his instrument, and he learns to play it from an old master called Art Hazzard. Young Man with a Horn from 1950 is directed by Michael Curtiz. Rick Martin is first played by Orley Lindgren, then by Kirk Douglas. Lauren Bacall plays his troubled wife Amy North. Doris Day is the singer friend Jo Jordan. Hoagy Carmichael is the pianist friend Willie 'Smoke' Willoughby. Juano Hernandez portrays Art Hazzard. The cast is quite superb. Douglas does excellent job in the lead. Especially when Rick starts having problems with the alcohol, then Kirk really has to act. And that he does really well! I think the movie becomes more interesting when it portrays all those problems this young man starts having. Problems with marriage, drinking. When it's not just about music and how good he is at it. Bacall's performance is very film noir, which works fairly good in this movie. Day is very touching in the caring she has for her friend. And she can really sing, which we all knew! If you're a fan of the main trio, if you like good music, if you like drama you should see this movie.
The Play House (1921)
Awfully lots of Keatons
Buster Keaton goes to the theater and sees the stage full of Keatons. In The Playhouse from 1921 Buster plays not only the actors, but also members of the audience (including women and one kid), staff members and even a monkey. And he also has time to fall in love with a girl (Virginia Fox). The only problem is that she has a twin sister, and he has hard time telling which is which. This silent short made me laugh more than once. Buster as the monkey is something hilarious. And when Buster puts off a beard fire with an axe! This movie is a fine proof of Keaton's talents. He was truly a master in physical comedy. And what a fine example of movie magic- the 1920's style- this movie is. In the minstrel show you see nine Keatons on stage. That's really something!
Sailor Beware (1952)
Martin and Lewis in the navy
Ladies's man Al Crowthers and the geeky Melvin join the navy and become friends. Melvin wants to stay away from girls since he's allergic to the cosmetics they wear. But he falls for a girl that walks without any makeup on. Those two also have to face a bully. Hal Walker's Sailor Beware from 1952 is the fifth of 16 comedy films Martin and Lewis made together. It's not their best but offers a few laughs. The boxing scene is quite hilarious. And so is the moment before he steps into the ring with the tough guy accent. And the one on the deck of the submarine. What a funny man that Jerry Lewis! 😁 He turned 90 this year and is still going on strong. He and Dean Martin shared a great amount of chemistry before their split. The leading ladies in this movie are played by Corinne Calvet and Marion Marshall. Also James Dean appears in it before he was a star. For the fans of Martin and Lewis Sailor Beware is not to be missed.
The Man from Snowy River (1982)
Kirk Douglas in a double role
It's 1880's in Australia. Jim Craig's father is killed and so he goes to work for Mr. Harrison. His one-legged brother Spur is his brother's enemy and Jim's friend. Jim starts to have feelings for Harrison's daughter Jessica. He also wishes to find his horse who ran off with wild horses. The Man from Snowy River (1982) is a film by George Miller. It's an Australian western with a twist of romance. Kirk Douglas is fantastic as both of the brothers. Today happens to be the 100th birthday of this legendary actor. He has had a remarkable career that spanned for many decades.Other actors may be overshadowed by Mr. Douglas' performance, but none of them does a bad job. Tom Burlington does a very nice job as Jim. And so does Sigrid Thornton as his love interest Jessica. Watch this movie if you like horses, and Kirk Douglas.
Iso viulu - kaks sataa (1976)
From the text of Daniel Katz
Iso Viulu- Kaks Sataa (1976) is a miniseries of two episodes, directed By Eila Arjoma. It takes us into the life of Mikko Papiross, a student who tries his hands on different jobs. It's based on the book of Jewish-Finnish writer Daniel Katz from 1972. They're both a little dated now, but not too much. The most hilarious part must be when Mikko works as an interpreter for the French. The actors do all a good job. Heikki Kinnunen, who turned 70 last week, plays the part of Mikko. Marja Packalén is his wife Hanna. Other cast includes Heidi Krohn, Esko Salminen, Pertti Palo, Ahti Kuoppala, Liisi Tandefelt, Jukka Sipilä and Olavi Ahonen. Many big names. If you like the original book by Daniel Katz, or Heikki Kinnunen for that matter, you should see this.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
Woody Allen travels through time
Owen Wilson plays a screenwriter called Gil Pender who goes to Paris with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams). He has troubles finishing his first novel, and then all of a sudden he finds himself from the 1920's, his favorite era. There he has a chance to talk to people like the Fitzgerald couple, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso. Midnight in Paris (2011) is a movie directed By Woody Allen. This Jewish New Yorker born as Allan Stewart Konigsberg turns 80 today, and still comes up with a movie per year. Now there's an achievement! He has made most of his movies in New York, but in the latter years he has gone to Europe. This movie made in France works very well and is one of his finest movies made in Europe. I am a big fan of time traveling, and that's one of the reasons I like this movie. This is like Back to the Future, in Woody's style. It's most intriguing to watch this 21st century guy interacting with celebrities of the past. The meeting with Salvador Dali must be the funniest. The acting work works as it always does in a Woody Allen movie. Owen Wilson is really good as Gil. In supporting roles you can see people like Michael Sheen, Kathy Bates, Marion Cotillard and Adrien Brody.If you want to see a time travel themed movie handled in an intellectual way, you should see this movie.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Magical transition from Kansas to somewhere over the rainbow
Can you believe I just saw this movie?! I've watched many classics over the years, but I just hadn't got to this one. Until this week. And I'm glad I did.The young Judy Garland as Dorothy singing Somewhere over the Rainbow is one memorable moment. And that's just one among lots of others in this movie. And all those lovable characters, The Scaregrow who wants to have a brain, The Tin Man who wants to have a heart and the Cowardly Lion who wants courage. Not to forget The Munchkins. The Wizard of Oz (1939) is a timeless classic, that's suitable for both kids and adults. Some kids may find some scenes rather scary, though. If you haven't seen this one yet, go do it now!
National Velvet (1944)
Young Liz Taylor and all grown up Mickey Rooney
12-year old Velvet Brown loves horses.She wins one and trains it for the Grand National steeplechase.She is helped by a young drifter, Mi Taylor, who used to be a jockey.National Velvet(1944) is directed by Clarence Brown.This movie has a nice casting.The young Elizabeth Taylor plays the lead Velvet Brown, and does a superb job.Former child star Mickey Rooney plays Mi Taylor, and he does a great job.Today we heard sad news about the passing of Mr. Rooney at the age of 93.His career lasted nearly his lifetime, starting in 1926.Donald Crisp portrays the father Herbert Brown and Anne Revere is the mother Araminty.Angela Lansbury, Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins and Juanita Quigley play the other children.And let's not forget King Charles, who plays The Pie, horse.This movie is a little gem from 70 years back.Especially for those, who dig horses.