Monday, September 29, 2008

Yes, I Killed Paul Newman

I foolishly decided to show The Sting for Old Movie Night this weekend. Big mistake! Knowing my history of killing people by movie watching, I actually had the thought a couple weeks ago that this may kill Paul, but I was hoping this time would be different since I was making plans in advance to watch it. The last three times it happened, I had watched the movie on a whim and the death came the next day. But this was scheduled! It was different! But really I only killed him sooner.

So I'm sorry, world, for taking the wonderful Paul Newman. Meanwhile, I loved The Sting! It went over well at Old Movie Night and I served a number of Newman's Own products. It was a lovely tribute evening.

I really need to watch The Sting again because 1. I know there are a lot of things I missed ... it's pretty complicated, and 2. It's awesome. Paul Newman is so smooth and cool and funny and rather dreamy. Where has he been all my life?? A friend of mine also gave me Butch Cassidy to watch and I'm looking forward to that. I sure hope Robert Redford is in good health.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Women

TCM showed The Women the other night, I'm guessing because the remake just came out which looks to be basically terrible. However, I found the original 1939 version to be fabulous!

I was thinking about renting it last week after all the talk about the remake, but lucky me, TCM was one step ahead of me. I do love them.

Anyway, the film follows a group of incredibly spoiled housewives who are friends only in that they see each other regularly. I'm not sure you can call many of their interactions friendly, per se; they're generally pretty cruel to each other. Nevertheless, they continue to have lunch parties and observe all the usual proprieties while mostly complaining to each other about their husbands. These are the ties that bind.

The opening credits involve each woman being compared to an animal. It's a little odd to say the least. I couldn't figure out the exact meaning of some of them, but I just know I wouldn't want to be the one compared to a cow.

As the film progresses we begin to learn more about each character, though it mostly revolves around Mary, played by Norma Shearer, a housewife living in her own little fairy tale world, totally oblivious to the fact that her husband is cheating on her with a perfume saleswoman, (Joan Crawford). Mary was generally much too happy and she often pranced around instead of walking like a normal person. Perhaps her husband was super annoyed by this as well. However, when she's finally crushed after hearing the news about her cheating husband, she stops prancing, thank heavens.

The best character in the film is the gossip-happy, basically insane Sylvia played by Rosalind Russell. She's just amazing and hilarious and has a very special taste in clothes. Along with her sidekick, Edith Potter (the cow in the opening credits), she easily spreads the news about Mary's husband and craziness ensues. This part was perfect for Rosiland Russell as she can talk about a mile a minute and her juicy gossip seems to fly out of her mouth before she can stop it.

The rest of the characters range from the cynical old maid to the perky young newlywed. They pretty much cover all the bases.

In some ways it reminded me of a very old fashioned Sex in the City or the like. Talking about men, some drama, some fights, and so on. It's nowhere near real life, but many of the issues they deal with can touch close to home. I think it's safe to say just about every woman can relate to at least one of the characters, unrealistic as they may be.

So I highly recommend it. It's funny in parts and serious in parts, but overall pretty entertaining. But see the remake at your own risk!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Wizard of Oz at McDonald's

Good news, McDonald's is bringing back their Wizard of Oz Madame Alexander Dolls starting September 12th! The line up looks much better than last year's. I was so displeased with their decision to include the Wicked Witch of the East last year that I wrote a very strange letter of complaint. It was all a joke really, but apparently I was right ... at least about the flying monkey thing!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mmmm ... Paul Newman

I have to be honest, I haven't seen very many Paul Newman movies. As I look through his filmography on it's mostly the not-so-famous ones I've seen: What a Way to Go! (during my Shirley Maclaine phase, a mediocre film), The Towering Inferno (a fairly famous one I suppose, but also kind of lame), and The Hudsucker Proxy (a newer one, but good).

Clearly, I have some Paul Newman movie watching to do. I fully intend to show The Sting at Old Movie Night sometime soon. And some friends of mine watched Butch Cassidy last summer and loved it, so I guess I need to check that out. Any other suggestions?

Meanwhile, even though I can't really recommend any Paul Newman movies, I can tell you this: His figs are exceptional. I'm not kidding. Go to the grocery store of your choice and pick up some Fig Newmans. I'm eating some right now. They blow Fig Newtons out of the water, I'm telling you. Plus they're organic and have a clever name.