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text 2016-04-03 16:55
Jeannie Come Lately Post: BookLikes Round Robin -- Favorite Pre-1980s Movies

Pretty much everybody has seen it at this point I guess, but anyway, here is Book Cupidity's idea:


"Let's list favorite old (or older) movies. The list can be long or short, with a narrative or no, anything goes. The parameters is that it has to have been made prior to 1980, I sort of arbitrarily picked this number, and sort of didn't -- for the young whippersnappers, Star Wars is the equivalent to some of our black and white favs. Plus, I think cinema in the 80's had a different feel.


So, tell me some of your favorites! Maybe we will discover new great flicks and new friends. Let's tag the post so that we can search it over the weekend - "Fav old movies'. I will also use the tag 'BL Round Robin."


So while everybody else is probably already moving on to the next decade, i.e. movies made in the 1980s (since that's cropped up in the comments to some of yesterday's posts), here's my pre-1980s contribution:


Humphrey Bogart


They don't make 'em like that anymore -- there isn't, never was and never will be, anyone like him.  I'm going to limit myself to the three absolute essentials, though I'm sorely tempted to list virtually his entire body of work.


Oh yes, and Bacall of course -- and Sidney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre.  'Nuff said.



All About Eve


The Bette Davis movie to end all Bette Davis movies, and the principal reason why I'm a fan of hers.  Bumpy ride indeed.








Grigori Kozintsev: Hamlet (Гамлет)


You didn't really think I'd be capable of posting without a reference to Shakespeare, did you?  This is one of my all-time favorite adaptations of Shakespeare's plays in general, and of "Hamlet" in particular.  (And no, I don't speak Russian, but who needs subtitles with a play, and a movie, like this?!)





Witness for the Prosecution


Marlene Dietrich.  Billy Wilder.  Charles Laughton.  (OK, and Tyrone Power.)  Based on a story (and a play) by Agatha Christie.  One of the best court movies ever made -- and that "hearing aid" cross-examination scene is even the stuff of law school trial advocacy classes these days.





Murder on the Orient Express


Allbert Finney isn't my favorite Poirot (that would be David Suchet), but you can't beat this one for class, style and a cast that somehow makes the word "star-studded" sound like the understatement of the decade (including some of my all-time favorite actors, in particular Lauren Bacall, John Gielgud, Sean Connery, Vanessa Redgrave, and Wendy Hiller).




Mata Hari


Ah, Greta Garbo.  Hollywood's iciest blonde, even more so than Bacall and La Dietrich.  I could just as well have listed "Ninotchka", "Grand Hotel" or "Anna Karenina", too, but what the heck.  This one is utterly and completely fictionalized, but it's a great spy story, and who can resist Garbo opposite Ramon Novarro?





The Thin Man


Doesn't actually have all that much to do with Dashiell Hammett's literary original, but a hot contender for an adaptation that's actually better than the book.  Myrna Loy and William Powell are the duo from hell (or heaven, depending on your perspective), and you just gotta love Asta.


"Will you bring me five more martinis, please?"





43 years later, still the best neo-noir, bar none.  Hits all the right skewed notes and grey shades (noir grey, that is, not that book ... [*TA ducks*]), and Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and John Huston are right up there with Bogey, Bacall and Sidney Greenstreet.


"Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown ..."





Le Samouraï


Nobody epitomized "cool" the way Alain Delon did, and nowhere more so than in this movie.  Looks to die for and killer charm at arctic temperatures.







M -- Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder


Claustrophobic, dark and eerily timeless: German pre-WWII cinema at its best; the story of a serial killer and child abuser who ends up being hunted by an entire city.  Directed by Fritz Lang and starring Peter Lorre.






The Godfather


The whole trilogy, actually, though only Parts 1 and 2 qualify for inclusion in this list.  The mob movie trilogy to end all mob movies -- directed by Francis Ford Coppola and bringing together Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and Robert de Niro.  How much more heavyweight can you get?


"I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse ..."



To Kill a Mockingbird and Twelve Angry Men


Golden Age Hollywood's two other stand-out court movies, with mindblowing performances by their respective stars and a tremendous cast all around.




Cat on a Hot Tin Roof


Two names: Paul Newman and Tennessee Williams.  A killer combination in the best and most lethal sense simultaneously.  Liz Taylor is in great shape, too, but truthfully, it's all about those two guys for me.







Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Sting


While we're mentioning Paul Newman, his hilariously funny double bill with Robert Redford obviously can't be left out, either.


Bifocals, anybody?





All the President's Men


And while we're on it, I could just as easily have listed the better part of His Redfordness's body of work, too.  One of my all-time favorite Redford movies is outside the parameters for this list ("Out of Africa" ... expect that one on my list for the 1980s), but this one comes darned close.  And anyway, Watergate was one of the defining moments of the 1970s, so there!





The Day of the Jackal and Bullitt


The two movies that, along with Redford's "Three Days of the Condor" and the Sean Connery Bond films exemplify 1960s and 1970s thrillers to me.






James Bond 007: Goldfinger


There's only one James Bond, and he is Sean Connery -- and "Goldfinger" sets the standard for every single other Bond movie.  (Plus, it's got Gert Froebe.)








In the Heat of the Night


"My name is Virgil Tibbs."


Growing up in Europe, the movie that taught me more about racism in the pre-Civil Rights / Black Power Movement Southern U.S. than anything I could have read in a book.





East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause


Can you reach adulthood as a woman without having had a giant crush on James Dean at some point in your life, I wonder?  (Or is this a generational thing?)  Mine had everything to do with these two movies -- and it (as well as my lasting interest in everything Southwestern U.S.) also ended up making me a major fan of John Steinbeck.


Gone With the Wind


The epic love story to end all epic love stories.  (Also, Clark Gable.)  Yes, I know it's been called racist, and totally for good reason.  But I can't help it; I'm sucked right in every single time.  So call me a sop ...







The Scarlet Pimpernel


Forget Anthony Andrews and Richard E. Grant: If you haven't seen the Pimpernel portrayed by Leslie Howard yet, you've missed out on the real thing.  Nobody else manages the transition from cunning swashbuckling hero to preposterous fop as seamlessly and convincingly.  And needless to say, this is a completely different Leslie Howard from Ashley in "Gone With the Wind", too ...





"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad" -- and he's a hot contender for the Pimpernel when it comes to swashbuckling heroes and revolutionary France.







The Three Musketeers


1973 version -- never surpassed.  One of the first swashbucklers I ever watched, and still one of my all-time favorites.










And speaking of swashbucklers, how can I leave out this story?  Never again in film history were medieval knights and damsels in distress so romantic and just plain sexy.








The Adventures of Robin Hood


Never again after "Ivanhoe" ... but before that there was, of course, already Errol Flynn!  I'm going to go with "Robin Hood", here (particularly since I've already included another Sabatini story further above -- "Scaramouche"), but I could just as easily have included the adaptations of Raphael Sabatini's "Captain Blood" and "The Sea Hawk".




Kind Hearts and Coronets


Alec Guinness's most hilarious multiple-character tour de force ever.  Ealing Studios at their absolute best.









To Catch a Thief


Hitchcock on a slightly lighter note -- also, Nice and the French Riviera (... and Cary Grant.  Has to be at least one Cary Grant movie in everybody's list, as it turns out!).  A sentimental favorite.







Lawrence of Arabia


(aka "Orence"). I'm a sucker for Hollywood's classic epic movies in case you hadn't noticed, and who can resist a double billing of Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif, set in an exotic location (and purporting to be based on, even though in reality myopically glorifying, real historical events)?





The Lion in Winter and Becket


Speking of Peter O'Toole, can't leave out his two forays into medieval history (or more precisely, Henry II's troubled reign), either.  You really don't want to cross that Plantagenet king ... and his costars in both movies aren't exactly slouches, either.  Pure dynamite, in fact.


A Man for All Seasons


And while we're speaking about great historical movies and English kings and their advisors, obviously this one needs to be added to the list, too.  Up until Hilary Mantel's Cromwell books I'd have taken this as gospel on Thomas More's character, but whatever the historical truth, it's an amazing film.







'Nother one of Hollywood's great epics.  Yes, it's preachy -- but man, that chariot race alone is worth the price of admission.  And you just gotta love Sheik Ilderim ... (also, as a teenager I had a major crush on Stephen Boyd's Messala).






Quo Vadis


Forget the persecution of Christians stuff; this one you have to see just for the fun of watching Peter Ustinov satirizing Emperor Nero.








Star Wars


(So I'm finally getting 'round to this one, too, Troy ... :) )


To this day, one of the few SciFi / Fantasy sagas other than Tolkien's Middle Earth books that I not only can endure but can actually watch over and over.  It changed the way Hollywood does things in more ways than one, made household names of those of its participants that weren't well-known already, and taught moviegoers that even robots can be downright cute.


Cabaret, West Side Story, and My Fair Lady




Of Hollywood's varied and numerous adaptations of musicals (or films featuring musical numbers), by and large these three qualify as my all-time favorites; in terms of storylines, actors and production values alike, each in its own way.


Karl May Adaptations


My guilty pleasure movies: the 1960s' Karl May adaptations starring Pierre Brice and Lex Barker as Winnetou and Old Shatterhand. Cheesy and only marginally faithful to the books at best, but with two heroes such as these, who gives a flying f*ck?  To this day, you can't grow up in Germany without becoming aware of Karl May's adventure novels, the most popular of which are set either in the American West or in the Middle East -- and I was hooked pretty much from the time I learned to read.  That I'd also become a fan of the movies was pretty much a foregone conclusion.


Upstairs, Downstairs


OK, for my final entry I'm going to break the rules and include a TV series: the first series I ever watched, in fact (in its original run), and of which I instantly became a fan, with a particular fondness for Gordon Jackson, David Langton and Jean Marsh (as well as the characters played by them, as well as Angela Baddeley's Mrs. Bridges).  Forget "Downton Abbey" ... this one's the real thing!


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text 2015-07-25 15:38
Saturday Morning Cartoons for July 25- featuring Golden Age Hollywood actors as Superheroes, Grilled Cheese Stuffed Pizza, Marvel Comics album covers and a Stuffed Onion Ring Hamburger.







Another great creative mind at work: Joe Phillips gives us our favorite classic movie stars reimagined as Golden Age superheroes.



Foodbeast introduces us to a Grilled Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza. Yeah, baby!





A delicious BLT dip recipe that takes almost no time and is pretty tasty.




Ingredients: 1-1/2 pound bacon, cooked, drained, crumbled, and divided

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded) or to taste

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)

1 tablespoons mustard

2 cups chopped seeded tomatoes

1-1/2 cup shredded Iceberg lettuce

pepper and salt to taste

Toasted bread rounds, crackers, or pita chips.


Directions: Preheat oven to 350˚. Spray a 11⁄2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside 3/4 cup crumbled bacon. In a large bowl, combine remaining bacon, cream cheese, shredded cheeses, sour cream, mayonnaise, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and mustard. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle chopped tomatoes, remaining 3/4 cup crumbled bacon, and Iceberg lettuce over hot dip. Serve immediately with toasted bread rounds, crackers, or pita chips.


Enough of that healty shit! Howzabout an Onion Ring stuffed with Hamburger. Is it the Apocalypse, or just a damn good way to die?




Another artist imagines Marvel Superheroes doing famous album covers. The Spiderman, Magneto and Daredevil versions are clever, but I'm partial to the Spiderwoman one, myself.


This one's worth it for the Internet Explorer cartoon alone: Five Browsers and the Modes of Transportation They Resemble.



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review 2015-03-13 06:12
Dead to Me - Mary McCoy

Dead to Me is a book as pretty as its cover (although I really shouldn’t be using the word pretty).

As someone who has always been a noir mystery fan, I had a lot of fun reading this book and thought it was the perfect brain candy! It might not have been as noir as it could have been but it was still noir enough to satisfy me and keep me on the edge of my seat, flipping through the pages and trying to figure out what exactly was at play here.

Before I talk about all the good stuff, I wanted to talk a little about the setting of the novel. Dead To Me is set in the late 1940’s. There is so much that could have been done with that and even in the blurb, 'the golden Hollywood age' is mentioned, but the potential for this wasn't realized, at least I never felt it was. Their are so many things specific to that time period but they weren't as played up as they could have been. If it weren’t for little things here and there, I would have had no idea that this book was set almost 60 years in the past. I am not saying that the author doesn't go into incredibly awesome details regarding Hollywood and all the secrets that come with it but the problem is that I never felt as though it was enough and I wanted more than just Hollywood in that time period.

My issues regarding the setting aside, Alice was fantastic female lead. Her determination, her need to find out what actually happened, kept me turning the pages. It’s hard to not want to know how this all turns out. Where is everything going? Every corner Alice looks in, some deep hidden secret comes crawling out and she is forced to question the world as she knows it. She is so determined and while it did seem a tad unrealistic that this young girl managed to do all of these things all on her own, I decided to roll with it for the sake of the story. Alice was so believable as a female lead because not all of her decisions were on point but she did manage to make a lot of smart decisions over the course of the book. The way she solved the mystery and put together the puzzle pieces made sense to me as a reader. She is not a perfect character but she isn't that imperfectly perfect kind of character either. She makes mistakes that will make you shake your head but she also makes other decisions that make you want to high five her.

There is an entire entourage of secondary character who are all as interestingly developed as Alice and I liked getting to know them. One of the things McCoy did very well was making sure none of the characters were flat. Bad guys aside, the secondary characters walked a thin line between black and white. They all had their faults and it just made them so much more interesting to read about.
It added to this idea of black vs. white in the story because there are so many lines being crossed that you no longer know what is more shocking. Is it okay for someone to do something terrible because it was a choice between their lives and the thing they were being asked to do?

This book is incredibly atmospheric and McCoy does a great job in building the deceit, lies and the secrets. It’s a book that is well plotted. Nothing about it screams predictable and yet you won’t find yourself being surprised. I make it sound like a bad thing but it isn’t. It works incredibly well for this book and adds in a realistic layer. If there had been more red herrings and more ‘surprises’, I know it would have been harder for me to take this book seriously but as it is, my eyes were glued to the pages.

One of the best parts of this book is that there was no romance, there was a moment or two that made me question if the author would decide to throw one in but there were wayyyyy too many other things on Alice’s mind to think about any boys in any sort of way. She is being beaten up by bad guys, she is chasing bad guys! None of this actually leaves room for some ladi-da romance. SERIOUS STUFF IS GOING DOWN.

What made this book so fantastic was the way the author wrapped everything up. The book really picked up pace toward the end and I was so worried about how the author would resolve everything. I was worried she would decide to give this mystery a clean cut ending but that isn't what happened. Not everything is perfect in the real world and the book didn’t end on a ‘everything is solved and we can go back to our normal life now’ note. It was more realistic than that and it did justice to the book.

This is a fun noir mystery and while it may not be perfect, I definitely enjoyed reading it and would definitely recommend it to noir mystery fans or anything just looking for something exciting to pick up!

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text 2014-11-23 19:09
Autumn Leaves and Chilly Breeze-Early Christmas Book Haul + Cat Pics + New Ideas

Listen to this as you read:You can never go wrong with Ella!

My current soundtrack(s): a mix between Ella Fitzgerald and Regina Spektors newest album {Firewood is my favourite, though it's sad}


Dear readers, I have so much to be thankful for this season, and I'm not just talking about books or my new Kindle. {GAHHH! BUT IT'S AMAZING!} or even yummy seasonal foods that I look forward to every year {my dad and I picked up 3 mini bread loaves: Pumpkln Spice, Cinnamon and Gingerbread as well as more snickerdoodle Coffeemate-we're addicted!} but I'm thankful for the dramatic wonderful changes in my life, fast and pleasant like the changing of the leaves. My sister is back in our lives after a lot of personal struggle and estrangement, and next week I'm to spend Thanksgiving with both of my parents, which is nice as they're separated. {yes, I will post a blogful of pictures of my holiday meal!}

My only regret is that I don't think I'll be able to get Bryce here this Christmas, but there's always my birthday in June. I'm just so happy everything is coming together in my life and the worries of last year have all faded away like the sunshine this season.

I wanted to tell you about a Youtube project I'm starting to work on, after the idea sparked this week. I'm going to do multi-part montages of singers, actresses, dancers and musicians from the twenties silent era to the seventies, starting with females. I'll also do a male version, a Broadway specific version (male and female too, but from thirties to present)
I've started the first female part for screen, radio and record and the first person I will show is my favourite Judy Garland, but the rest will be secret for now. My Youtube username is Hannah Lynn Phillips, if you want to subscribe or check them out. I want it to be as extensive and international as possible, so feel free to drop me names {Remember, 20s-70s female drama/musical actresses, recording artists, performers, dancers etc. No general celebs like Eleanor Roosevelt or Amelia Earhart}

Things I'm excited for upcoming in 2014 and 2015: INTO THE WOODS MOVIE COMING OUT CHRISTMAS DAY NEXT MONTH OMG MY FAV MUSICAL!, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell BBC miniseries possibly premièring the end of the this year/beginning of next, new Cinderella movie in 2015, the last hobbit movie, the new Night at the Museum movie, biopic of JMW Turners life starring Timothy Spall, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel coming out March 2015, A Little Chaos starring Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman coming out March 2015, Child 44 coming out April 2015, The Age of Adaline coming out April 2015, WWI drama Testament of Youth coming out in teh Uk Jan. 16th 2015, Strange Magic an animated musical coming out Jan. 23rd 2014 (Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, and kristen Chenoweth OMG).

Also, I've become obsessed with Downton Abbey...like BADLY. Now that I've seen the full seasons online up until the most recent fifth season episode, I'm desperately waiting for the 2014 Christmas Special to come out in the Uk and be posted on the website where I watch them. Gah. WITHDRAWL. Due to that, I've got some Downton Abbey-esque books.

Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher {a book I've gotten for my December wintry reads list} Summer and Bird, The Captains Daughter by Leah Fleming {set during the Titanic}, The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin {first book I got to deal with my Downton Abbey withdrawal} Mrs. Queen Takes The Train by William Kuhn, Grand Central: Original Stories of of Postwar {WWII} Love and Reuinion, and The Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stuart.

(bottom to top then sides) First book in the Dido Kent mystery series Belfield Hall by Anna Dean, The Book Of Summers by Emylia Hall, Major Pettigrews Last Stand by Helen Simonson, The Italian Garden by Judith Lennox, The Downstairs Maid by Rosie Clarke and The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn {2nd and 3rd books for Downton Abbey withdrawal} C'est La Folie by Michael Wight, The Summer House by Mary Nichols, Mr. Rosenblum's List by Natasha Solomons and An Important Family by Dorothy Eden.

(bottom to top) second book in the Dido Kent mystery series, A Gentleman of Fortune by Anna Dean, more books for my Downton Abbey withdrawl, a trilogy by Jane Sanderson. 1. Netherwood 2. Ravenscliffe 3. Eden Falls. The Broken Gate, the first in a trilogy set in early 1900s by Anita Burgh, Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart and a vintage, Royal Mistress by Patricia Campbell Horton. Might be a delightful bodice ripper.

Last but never least: presents from my mom, Knitting for Dummies and a book of yummy looking smoothie recipes, as that's my thing now, Dreamers Pool bu Juliet Marillier, Ravenburn by Laura Black, a vintage gothic romance with a bookish heroine and my favourite type of hero, a beta. China Shadow by Clarissa Ross, King Of Morning, Queen of Day, an Edwardian fantasy by Ian McDonald, and books six and seven in the Jane Austen mystery series by Stephanie Barron.

My pretty Kindle case with my shiny new Kindle inside. Autumn wallpaper comes from my favourite bloggers website under "Free Stuff"

Susan Branch's beautiful blog.









Peaches photobombing, as usual.




Herbie photobombing my picture taking.. I can tell this is my cat, because he LOVES the smell of books. No, really!

I'll keep you guys informed about my projects when they're finished.

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