Monday, June 25, 2007

Yeee hah!

Last night was our western themed Old Movie Night. We felt it was time to pull out a good ol' John Wayne movie. We encouraged people to dress up in their fanciest western garb, but only like two people actually did it. Suckers!

Anyway, after much deliberation (there are about 2 million John Wayne movies) we decided on Stagecoach. I'd not seen it, but people always talk about, so I thought it may be a good one to try.

This is the oldest movie we've watched so far. Up to this point, we've mostly picked films from the 50's and 60's. This one is 1939. Now that's an old movie. At least to people who don't watch old movies.

Quick summary: There are some people in a town and they need to get to another town so they have to take a stagecoach. They hear there are some Apache Indians that may cause trouble for them but they go anyway. They're a special bunch of characters: A Mr. Peacock (for some reason no one can remember his name in the movie. I remembered it.) who sells whiskey or something, an alcoholic doctor who takes kindly to Mr. Peacock (for obvious reasons), a skank who's being run out of town by some stuffy old broads, some old man who stole money and left his wife, a very proper, pregnant lady (though you're not really sure she's pregnant until she actually gives birth) and some other very skinny guy with a long face. Along the way, they pick up John Wayne who escaped from jail and is on the run.

They travel around, trying not to die and finally they get attacked by Indians and John Wayne kills them all of course. Also, the United States Cavalry come to back him up. Then he falls in love with the skanky lady and he doesn't seem to know what her profession is (prostitute I presume) even though everyone else in the movie seems to know just by looking at her. This was a topic of great discussion as she is treated like scum by everyone in the movie; but how did they know she was a floozy? I say despite her floor length dress showing absolutely no obscenities at all, it is her overall appearance that gave her away. She had her hair all done up real flashy and her dress was all plaid and rather fancy for a stagecoach trip. We imagined, had the movie been in color, that the dress would have been yellow, red and blue. Now if that isn't an 1800's prostitute, I don't know what is.

By the end, John Wayne has a shoot out with some guy in a town and wins (of course) and he and his prostitute ride off into the sunset. Actually, they ride off to Mexico so that he won't go to jail.

This movie didn't go over as well as some of the others we've watched, but I think people enjoyed it. The drunk doctor provided some comic relief and, as this was a John Ford picture, there were some beautifully laid out shots that one can't help but admire.

Seeing as Stagecoach was only 97 minutes long, it was still light out by the time it was over and we were not ready to be done watching movies. Much to the boys' dismay and keeping with our western theme, we pulled out 7 Brides for 7 Brothers. I'd not seen this movie, but of course I've heard of it and I'm sure I should have seen it long ago. So we made the boys watch it. At first I believe they were a bit disturbed, but they quickly figured out that the characters may break out into song at any moment, so it stopped being so strange after awhile. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I wouldn't say it's one of the best musicals ever, but some of the dancing was simply amazing. It was highly entertaining and a great conclusion to our western Old Movie Night.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Judy Evangelist

I think I'm becoming a Judy Garland evangelist. I've only evangelized one person so far, but I say that's pretty good!

I managed to get my roommate to watch two Judy Garland movies with me last week, Meet Me in St. Louis and Summer Stock. She seems to be obsessed with them. I'm very proud. She spent last weekend with her family and when she got home, she told me that she's watched too many old movies, to the point where she can no longer relate to her family. Brilliant! Welcome to my world. She actually told her sister to make her daughter watch a Judy movie.

It will take her some time to figure out how to bring Judy up in casual conversation with out looking like a crazy person, but I think she can do it. It's really an art form that can take many years to perfect.

I'm just proud that I've opened a young person's eyes to the magical world of Judy Garland. Now I need to work on finding my next victim.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

So True

I enjoyed this blog post very much. The Memoriam is my favorite part of the Oscars.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Judy!

Wow, I cannot believe I forgot to write about Judy Garland's birthday yesterday. I did not forget that it was her birthday, mind you, I just forgot to write about it. In fact, it was one of the first things I thought of in the morning and I quickly turned on TCM. They were showing Meet Me In St. Louis. Sweet! I also announced it to all my friends yesterday and received mostly blank stares. I'm used to that.

I think it's safe to saw that Judy Garland is my favorite actress. My Judy obsession started young, maybe around 7 or 8, when a couple of my cousins and I (with the encouragement of our grandma) started watching Judy movies regularly. We quickly learned all the songs, and there was no looking back. I was officially sucked in to a weird little world where bursting out into song was perfectly normal and there was always an orchestra ready to back you up. I learned all the words to songs that none of my friends had ever heard of and I thought the word "gay" just meant happy. Needless to say, not much has changed since then except that I came to the harsh realization that none of these things are considered normal for my generation.

The first Judy movie I remember seeing (besides The Wizard of Oz, I guess) is For Me and My Gal. My cousins were really into it and knew all the songs, so I had to see what all the fuss was about. Soon, we were acting out the doll shop scene and fighting over who got to be Judy and who had to be the man (my cousin Christine usually had to be the man because she was the youngest). We continued to faithfully watch our Judy movies and learn our Judy songs to our little hearts' content. It was fun.

I had a bit of a falling out when I got a little older and I decided I had to try to be "cool." I stopped with the Judy movies. I don't know exactly what I liked at that time, but it must have been boring. Then in high school, I got over myself and decided to go back to my roots. Lucky for me, Judy was TCM's star of the month one month and they showed pretty much every Judy movie ever made. I never worried about being cool again. In fact, I was so far from cool that it wasn't even worth thinking about.

I'll end with some of my favorite Judy moments:
- Easter Parade when she makes that horrid face while walking down the street trying to get the men to notice her.
- The Harvey Girls when she takes Angela Lansbury down in the saloon.
- In The Good Old Summertime when she sings I Don't Care and fails her arms about as if she's being attacked by a swarm of locusts.
- Summer Stock when she sings on a tractor.
- The end of A Star is Born when she says, "I'm Mrs. Norman Maine."
- Ballin' the Jack from For Me and My Gal. So adorable.
- "Why, it would mean the ruination of my complete life!" From The Pirate.
- The Portland Fancy in Summer Stock - I'm pretty sure we watched this part so many times that the tape got worn out and we couldn't watch it anymore.
- The whole scene in Meet Me In St. Louis when everyone is eating dinner and Warren Sheffield calls Rose long distance. Also, when Judy takes John Truett through the house and turns off all the lights, only to turn them back on after he leaves. Oh, and the Trolley Song of course.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

My Favorite YouTube Videos

I think it's safe to say that YouTube is the best website that has ever existed. The things I've seen on YouTube have often been shocking to say the least, but always extremely entertaining. There's nothing like wasting away a lunch hour searching for rare Judy Garland interviews or strange performances by my favorite singers on 60's T.V. shows when they felt the need to try to prolong their clearly washed up careers.

This first video is in honor of my mother. I believe she originally found it and has been obsessed with it ever since. She makes jokes about it on a regular basis. My favorite thing about this video is the 4 guys singing with Debbie. They're just too happy.

I suppose this is just a must see—Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand. Despite my feelings towards Barbra (annoyance) I do enjoy this. But it's clear that Barbra thinks she's better than Judy. And why she's dressed like a slightly skanky sailor, I do not know.

There is a plethora of Julie Andrews/Carol Burnett videos all over YouTube, but this is by far the best one. You can only watch so many videos of them in painfully 1980's dresses singing a medley about how great it is to be friends. Yes, this video contains some painfully 80's dresses, but luckily they are sufficiently ruined by the end. Also, Julie Andrews makes fun of Americans which is always funny. I especially like when Carol Burnett asks for honey in her tea and receives a rather offended look from Julie. I can't drink tea without honey. Take that, Julie! You're in America now! There is a second part to this video which is definitely worth watching.

My last video has nothing to do with movies or really anything, but I just love it so much I had to post it. It's from The Office. Dwight is my favorite.

There are about a hundred other videos I would like to post here, but it would take too much space and time, so you're going to have to find them yourself. They're certainly out there in abundance, waiting to entertain and perplex you.