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245 reviews in total 
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Greasy Grass, 26 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am working my recent Ohio State B.A. in American History Degree into this movie: "Battle of Greasy Grass" is the Native American name for the Battle of Little Big Horn. It is now 2015. I never watched this movie before.

I majored in History at OSU because I love history of movies, theatre, actors and actresses. In my History Degree, I have further studied their lives against historical events such as wars, depressions, etc. At Ohio State, I have studied Native American History, Civil War History, Western History, etc. Custer was a miscalculating, inept army officer busted down from General to Lieutenant Colonel. As is shown by Errol Flynn in They Died With their Boots On, Custer was a flamboyant God's Gift to Women. The Plains Indians (Cheyenne, Pawnee, etc.) were a unit I studied, including Custer's Little Big Horn.

Custer and U.S. Grant were both West Point graduates; Custer was last in his class. Was he that stupid? In this film, he wears a bright red scarf and yellow suit in the final battle, saying to the Native Americans, "Here I am. Come and get me." At any rate, Grant was president, and jealous Custer wasn't. Grant died from throat cancer, but Custer was cut down on the battlefield.

U.S. Grant: I wrote a biographical paper on him. He was no more alcoholic than other 19th century men, who drank more alcohol because it was purer than drinking water. His childhood hobby was raising horses. As a West Point cadet, he met his wife, Julia Dent Grant, his roommate's sister. He became a Civil War general and later U.S. President. When Grant was terminally ill with throat cancer, he wrote his autobiography to give Julia an income after his demise. Mark Twain had it published posthumously, giving Julia a substantial royalty check.

American West: After the Civil War, army generals were posted to the western frontier. Custer had even fought at Gettysburg. It was thought that God wanted Americans to expand west to the Pacific Ocean.

So here comes naïve young man Jack Crabb (fictional) into this melee of Cheyenne, Pawnee, settlers, army adventurers, gamblers, gunslingers, snakeoil salesmen, prostitutes. Jack is a sly dog. Did he really have five wives, four at once? Jack meets new Mrs. Robinson: Faye Dunaway. A gay Native American man wants to be Jack's Wife Number Six.

This is a very funny movie, powerful and philosophical. History courses are now taught from Native American point of view. Little Big Horn was disastrous for the army, with Custer's reputation suffering.

Historical fact: At Little Big Horn, many tribes gathered for their ginormous annual Sun Dance religious ceremony. They were still warriors. They knew Custer was coming. Custer figured they would be a small number, and he would slaughter them all. Thousands of Natives were at the Sun Dance, and they cleaned Custer's clock. They were very organized and calculating. Custer did not live to savor any victory.

Doris a good dancer, 19 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Doris great singer. Good dancer. Loved her tap dance. In finale, Patrice Wymore got the most athletic dance part. This could be because in Doris' earlier life she was in a car accident after being trained in dance. In this movie, it looks like Doris has recovered enough to do some widely moved and slower paced dance steps, except I winced when she jumped over some big objects in the finale dancing opposite Gene Nelson.

Movie too long, I felt, and drags in places, and that is my reason for giving it a nine. Otherwise, it is excellent. Gordon MacRae is just divine. All the character actors did a good job. Billy De Wolfe always comedic spot-on. Same for Eve Arden. SZ Sakall great as the wealthy uncle.

I just love dance movies. You know this when you read my other reviews.

I thought it was Harry's wedding., 6 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The promos said a wedding. It turned out to be Rosalie's, not Harry's. Serge de Bolotoff was an aviator in real life, it turns out. Serge is really a mama's boy. Hope Mamma can stay away from meddling in her son's and new daughter-in-law's lives.

I was hoping Harry would get a new wife. Of course, in real life I read that after Rose passes he gets a lively new life of lots of womanizing as a widower. Even the Dolly Sisters as depicted in this show (have they already been on or are they in future episodes?) were way more sleazy in real life, and Harry along with them at the same time. There is a Dolly Sisters movie, but none of this Harry scandal is depicted. The Dolly Sisters were only TWO of his very many female companions for many years.

I do love this show. Piven does a great job. Kudos to this actor and producer. I hope that he is reading this. He portrays Selfridge as heartfelt, caring, enthusiastic, entrepreneurish, interested, outgoing and generous. The real life Harry also had streaks of womanizing and SMH financial bad investments, and I think Piven has portrayed some of this also.

About this show: I really like the music as very lively and upbeat. I like the interiors and laid out merchandise of the department store. I love the costuming. I used to work in a place like that, but sadly now it has since departed from the retail scene, whereas Harry's store still exists. I like the upbeat atmosphere in the Selfridge store.

I feel that this show moves faster than a certain other British drama set out in the countryside of York. The other show is very popular, but seems very ploddy compared to Selfridge. Selfridge is very citified, but the other show is not exactly on the cutting edge of early 20th century sophistication.

Both shows have shown pre-World War One, mid-war and post-war. Both shows have mansionish dinners with servants, in which guests make verbal faux pas. Both shows show changes in fashion clothing, hairstyles and hats. Both shows have the upstairs and downstairs. In Selfridge, there are the sellers, marketers and demonstrators of perfumes and the new lip rouge, plus there are the lower levels where stockpersons and delivery mongers exist. There is also the executive office suite. In the York show, there are the aristocrats upstairs and servants banished to the downstairs, plus there are pig farmers as tenants on the property.

Soap opera continues (but I love it)., 5 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Serge is married to Rosalie, but gets mouthy with Harry. Mama Princess de Bolotoff is one shrewish piece of work. Give her something to do. Loxley is still his snarling, hissing villainous self, ready to assist Serge in his plans of a commercial aerodrome.

Violette seems like the sister who is out of the limelight, but finagles herself into being a highly made up fashion model in the store. She needs a life. Who is going to marry her?

Mr. Crabb is very loyal. I thought he was going to quit when Harry severely talked down to him in the meeting. What will it take for Crabb to finally wash his hands of Harry and his store? Was there a Mr. Crabb in real life?

Thackeray is also a real piece of work. He is almost as snarling and hissing as Loxley. Thackeray was ticked off about Madame Lanvin, but Harry always has the last word. From what I remember, Thackeray always has his prissy hands full with Henri and Agnes, and then he has this famous outsider Madame Lanvin to come in and further blow his ideas to smithereens.

I miss the Selfridge children; it seems that they have grown up overnight. Maybe Harry will find them a new mother figure soon? Will it be Jane? Stay tuned.

Villain snarling; let us boo and hiss., 5 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Loxley always there to foil Harry. This time Harry won. But we know that Harry makes disastrous financial gambles, and may not get bailed out this time. Will Loxley get the field for the aerodrome? Will Sergei tell Harry to jump in the lake even though Sergei is living in Harry's home? Will Loxley buy Sergei his own mansion? Maybe Sergei's mamma will move into Sergei's new home? Hope so. Anyway, I was always taught to boo and hiss the villain, and Loxley wins the prize for meanest boy on the playground.

Where is Lady Mae? I miss her. Loxley was a jerk who threw her to the floor. I finally started to like her personality and her interest in the store, but then Loxley went all ape-you-know-what on Mae and I really felt sorry for her. Did she throw Loxley in the pokey? Loxley could always bribe the warden to let him out.

Jane Webb is jumping in to rescue Harry from his financial acting-out, it looks like. Maybe she will bail him out with a ton of new British pounds; the bid was for way more than the bank was willing to loan Harry. Harry looks at Jane with puppy eyes because she reminds him of Rose in many ways. Spoilers say Harry gets much cozier with Jane as episodes continue. Are there wedding bells for Harry and Jane in the near future? I have not read enough of the real Harry's biography yet to find out, at least in the real life version of Harry Selfridge.

I like the famous real life people in this show. Louis Bleriot (famous aviator from my OSU Aviation History course), Sergei de Bolotoff (a real cad in this show), Anna Pavlova, famous Russian ballerina, Madame Jeanne-Marie de Lanvin, famous fashion designer and parfumier.

There were other stars of Harry's early shows, like Ellen Love (was she from real-life?). She was the cheesecake posing with Bleriot's famous airplane. Harry's real-life biography says he actually used Bleriot and his airplane inside the store, in order to draw huge publicity and ensuing buying crowds.

Too bad about Kitty. The actress should submit this scene for her Emmy reel (does this network qualify? I am not sure). I thought that Henri and Agnes would also get beaten up, but the suspense built and finally the bums/disgruntled war veterans beat up the loveliest of the two women (sorry, Agnes, I think you are very pretty, but Kitty is quite fashionable and wears the latest bring-out-your-beauty/lipstick-looked-like-a-tart makeup).

Henri, what's wrong with you? I know. PTSD/battle flashbacks. Plus, you are now an alcoholic and workaholic. You are quickly alienating the affections of your wife. Plus, Harry should bill you for all the broken decorations in the store window. See a shrink and get rid of all your angst.

Miss Mardle, too bad you had to lose Florian. I must have missed this, or it was offscreen between seasons. Also same for wedding of Frank and Kitty. I did the wedding of Sergei and Rosalie. SMH did I even see the quickie wedding of Henri and Agnes? It seems like Harry gave them time off to go to France (this doesn't sound right) for their honeymoon.

Miss Mardle, how can you stand there and make nice with your old boyfriend's wife who has now had five children with him? You shagged him for years, with no children to show for it. Florian was a welcome respite, and a real cutie. You need a new life, now.

Harry, get rid of the bums around the store. Kitty should have had an escort. The women should not be walking around unescorted. Besides, the bums blame the women for taking their old jobs. Also, Harry, wait until your fired delivery women start picketing the store to make you give all their old jobs back.

4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Got better as it went on., 9 March 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am giving this a higher mark than have many other reviewers. I was bored at first, and thought that this weird movie was so slow moving. The story lines began to pick up, so instead of leaving I decided to stay and watch the rest of it.

I do love musicals, and hope that more movie musicals will again be made. I am from old school, and you readers all know that musicals are my favorite movies, especially singing and dancing.

IMO Johnny Depp was incredibly awesome. He can play these oddball parts to the max. That in this short "cameo" appearance he appeared lecherous, greedy and very hungry I felt was just camp to the nth degree. The makeup was ingenious, and the tail was totally hilarious. The hairy clawed hands/paws were a total knockout. His hungry wolf made me think of his performance in Sweeney Todd. He was also very talented in Edward Scissorhands.

Loved the blue hair. Streep knocked her witch character out of the park. Her late in the movie younger self blue hair was stunning, and even the blue witch hair was outrageously obnoxiously fitting to the part she played.

The gold shoes were a different take for Cinderella. Were they made by Ferragamo? The two princes were a different take. That was a surprise.

The baby was darling. The stepmother and ugly stepsisters were total riots. The baker couple were endearing and nice. Jack of the famed Beanstock did a great job, although many of his British accented song lyrics escaped my comprehension. Jack, you need to simplify your singing for American audiences.

Deaths of the cow, Mrs. Baker plus Giant Woman were out of place and not for child viewers, much less adults. These depictions were disgusting, in my opinion.

Jack's "house" was hilarious. Here, the mother said the cow could stay because it was better than the barn? The house was worse than any falling down shack, and it was certainly air conditioned. The cow was supposed to be warmer there, to give milk, according to Jack?

I thought that the large gold egg was beautiful, and that the giant gold coins were stunning. Kudos to the props department.

Since I felt that this movie improved later on in my viewing, I have upgraded it to an 8 out of 10.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Excellent., 27 January 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Excellent movie. Lots of singing and dancing. Bolger superb in his leaping, traveling tap dance. Main always good. Loved her purple dance outfit. Judy the best. Led the whole group in the train song. Very energetic and nicely choreographed. I marveled at how Judy weaved/wove in and out of the other players during the train song, at close range. This looked quite tricky. Many large group dance numbers have members way further apart. Lots of dance scenes have the dancers in huge, long rows, but this group in Harvey Girls has all mingled together. Wills, Main and Judy were in Meet Me in Saint Louis. Judy and Bolger were in Wizard of Oz.

Hodiak cute and sweet; Preston a perfect bad guy. Lansbury can play a vicious bad lady; rather soft hearted at the end. Lansbury I also saw in a musical show in the movie Till the Clouds Roll By (I think that's the one; she is on a swing on stage -- also mid nineteen forties).

Charisse excellent. O'Brien her usual deadpan excellence. The singing piano player sweet on Charisse was very charming.

Judy's wedding gown wonderful. Reminded me of her wedding gown in the later forties movie The Pirate. Was this the same costume? The Pirate was 1948/1949, only two to three years later.

Another major star in this movie was the train, lol.

One problem, however, but it is of the times. Girls was the word. Judy was a girl getting married to a man out west. She never thought of herself as a woman. As far as the girls of the restaurant, maybe they were never thought of as adult women, either.

Women's biggest aspirations were to get married. Waitresses is another politically incorrect word today. Waitressing was a planned career in those days? A way to get off the farm? Two schoolteachers ditched the life for slugging steaks to the cowhands. What the???? How ridiculous.

This was a post World War II confection. It was mostly happy and carefree. How many of the cowhand actors had fought in World War II? How many of the actresses had been Rosie the Riveter on their way up to movie life?

Still, IMO this movie is still way better than the typical shoot-down-plane bang bang war movies of that time period. Enough of the fighting and killing. Hurray for this type of singing and dancing confection, and kudos to Judy for heading this stellar ensemble cast.


0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Great stars., 29 December 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Lucille Ball excellent. Cracking that whip. Dressed in pink. Those cats. Meow.

Tap extravaganza with Astaire and Kelly. Too awesome. A pairing for the ages.

Booze Skelton sketch delightful, and memorable.

Two dollars. I always remember that one.

Charise beautiful pointe ballet dancer. Also great pair dancers were Bremer and Astaire.

O'Brien always excellent in her deadpan singing -- witness The Harvey Girls.

William Powell great, as always. I liked the heavenly Shakespeare, Barnum and Ziegfeld motifs, as well as the dolls in the beginning. These dolls are so darling and lifelike.

This movie was released the year I was born. The War -- World War Two -- was over, and people wanted to relax and enjoy life. The actual Ziegfeld had actually passed away the previous decade, the victim of bankruptcy and IMO the First World War taking away his audience and subsequently causing more people to leave the old ways behind (live performances) and prefer silent and then sound films.

In real life, it is said that Ziegfeld's wife, Billie Burke, went back to work to pay Ziegfeld's bills -- he apparently was wiped out in the Stock Market Crash of 1929. He passed away a few years later. Billie had been a stage star in New York City for Charles Frohman pre-World War One, married Ziegfeld and retired from performing (to Frohman's disapproval and disgust). She had a daughter with Ziegfeld named Patricia. You will see Billie in some 1930s and 1940s films, including the blockbuster The Wizard of Oz -- portraying Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. She looked beautiful in her tall crown and pink gauzy gown in that movie, and in other movies she was well known for portraying her ditzy, comedic, goofy society matrons.

This movie portrays the deceased Ziegfeld as living in the lap of luxury, but his real life ended, I feel, in near poverty. Still, I enjoyed the heavenly furnishings, etc., near the beginning of this film.

I am an historian of theatre and film. I have a B.A. Degree in History. I am also a futurist, meaning that we study the past and discuss trends leading to the future. I have studied theatrical critiquing and cinematic techniques. I enjoy studying the lives of actors and actresses, in stage, film and television, both present and past, but especially in the past.

I enjoy historical films, as well as song and dance musicals. This film fits these categories.


0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Ugh but OK, 26 December 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Shirley was racist in downtalking to Little Chief, and about how Native Americans had to learn to behave, er Indians. I realize that that was the patois of the day. It is no longer correct to talk down to people of other backgrounds.

Scott had just saved her life, and she had the nerve to berate the older gentleman, Scott's friend, for making her clothes because she said sewing was for women. He made her a beautiful outfit.

Scott was good looking, and very gentle with Shirley and the others. He seemed to be very patient with everyone.

I am giving this movie as high as an eight, because I usually like Shirley movies. This one I am rating lower just because of the racism and some of the dialogue. In some other Shirley movies, she is always very nice to the African American characters.

Shirley, RIP. I still love you, anyway. I loved The Little Princess and even The Blue Bird.

Eight out of ten.

Annie Middle of Ohio

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Powerful movie., 8 December 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Howard Roark is an idealist. He is honest. He cares not for fame and fortune.

Howard is approached several times to sell his soul for less than upright purposes. He always refuses, however. He learns that good, simple honesty is the best way to run one's life.

He is approached by liars and cheaters. He always turns them down. They are the real losers in the world.

Howard will not build anything cheap. He will not build anything flimsy. He is not out for awards. In short, he is the ideal person many people should strive to be.

Unfortunately, many people, even today, try to skate through life with dishonesty, cheating, immorality, etc. Even today, though, there are a few honest, upright personages like that gallant Howard Roark. :)


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