Monday, April 23, 2012

31 Days of Oscar

Okay, so I'm about three weeks late, but I really enjoyed the 31 Days of Oscar on Turner Classic Movies this year. During those 31 days, every film they show either won or was nominated for an Academy Award. I've been aware of it for years, of course, and I usually catch a handful of movies during the month. This year, I did better than that! I saw 36 movies on TCM watched or recorded during the 31 Days of Oscar (some watched during early to mid April), and 31 of them were new to me. (Repeats for me were My Fair Lady, The Nun's Story (an all time favorite), Gone with the Wind, Victor/Victoria, and To Catch a Thief.) Here's what I thought of all those new films:
* The Thrill of It All (Doris Day and James Garner, who I almost didn't recognize; still funny (and even somewhat applicable), even if some of the references are outdated)
* Some Like It Hot (I really enjoyed this movie; great part for Marylin Monroe, and I thought Jack Lemon was fantastic)
* Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (loved every single bit of this film (except the continued use of the word negro, which I know was common at the time); all performances were excellent!)
* The Unsinkable Molly Brown (I really like Debbie Reynolds, but I thought this movie was just okay)
* The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (not really my kind of movie, but such a classic, I felt I had to see it; Humphrey Bogart did give a great performance, though)
* The Spirit of St. Louis (this was just okay; a great typical James Stewart role in an okay to good movie; just a little blah)
* The Philadelphia Story (I actually did not enjoy this movie as much as I expected to, which is odd, considering I adore the three main leads)
* Wait Until Dark (thought this was very good; Audrey Hepburn was excellent, as usual, and boy, does Alan Arkin play a super creepy bad guy!)
* There's No Business Like Show Business (my first Ethel Merman film, and she's a hoot! this was pretty good, and a pretty good role for Marilyn Monroe)
* It's Always Fair Weather (was supposed to be a sequel to On The Town (which I watched later), but Sinatra couldn't do it; they brought in Cyd Charisse, though, so all is forgiven; and leave it to Gene Kelly to very gracefully tap dance in roller skates!)
* Let's Make Love (I generally quite like Marylin Monroe, but I didn't care much for this movie)
* Second Fiddle (my first Sonya Henie film, and I really liked it; she's very sweet, her "aunt" is hilarious, and I'm developing an affinity for Tyrone Power)
* Lover Come Back (my first Rock Hudson/Doris Day film, and I was quite enjoying it up until the last 5-10 minutes; bleh! ruined the whole film for me)
* Boy on a Dolphin (I wanted to see a young Sophia Loren, and I did; this was her first English film, and she's beautiful, but the movie was just so-so)
* On the Town (more Gene Kelly, who I adore; virtually the same cast as Take Me Out to the Ballgame (a personal favorite), and I enjoyed it almost as much)
* The Adventures of Robin Hood (I actually didn't like this as much as I hoped; acting *way* over the top (even for the era), and I found the extreme Technicolor distracting instead of stunning)
* A Room With a View (I quite liked this, though honestly not as much as I thought I might; exceptional cast, though, so worth seeing at least once)
* 42nd Street (I thought this was great fun! really enjoyed both Ruby Keeler and an early (pre-Fred) Ginger Rogers)
* King Solomon's Mines (interesting in its own way, but some parts were just bad; great scenery, though I can only hope they didn't really kill that elephant)
* A Yank in the R.A.F. (another Betty Grable, this one in black and white (shame); it offended my modern sensibilities more than average)
* Down Argentine Way (another film on my quest to see every Betty Grable film; this one was pretty good)
* Fiddler on the Roof (pretty good; pegged Topol from For Your Eyes Only immediately by his unmistakable voice!)
* The Lion in Winter (enjoyed this movie more than I should have; all scenes with Katharine Hepburn were exceptional)
* Captain Blood (I think I liked this Errol Flynn film better than The Adventures of Robin Hood!)
* The Spanish Main (eh; I like Maureen O'Hara, but this was just okay, though not as bad as it might have been thanks to her)
* Grand Hotel (really enjoyed this movie and all the stars in it; one of the first ever "ensemble films")
* Bullitt (quite interesting, definitely the precursor to modern films; I liked it)
* An American in Paris (not as good as I hoped; I prefer several other Gene Kelly films)
* Meet Me in St. Louis (didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I would; it was fine, but just okay, not great)
* The Harvey Girls (liked this Judy Garland offering much better; more fun and spitfire, and seeing a young Angela Lansbury as "head saloon girl" was priceless)
* Flying Down to Rio (the first Fred and Ginger pairing, and though ironically they were not the leads in the film, they definitely stole the show)

Currently feeling: much more like a classic movie buff

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