June 2010

I just recently got a new job so the next few weeks will be crazy busy! But of course I want to still make time to watch a few films. I may not have time to write much about them, but I will try to at least write a short blurb and give the high points about each one.


It’s someone’s birthday! Yes, the beautiful, vivacious, Judy Garland! Judy was one of the first actresses I ever watched and admired, and I loved her ever since.

TCM has a great marathon on television today in honor of Judy. Here are a few of my favorites of Judy’s which I highly recommend (I’ve left out some of the more obvious ones like Wizard and Meet Me in St. Louis):

Presenting Lily Mars
Judy stars as Lily, a young girl who pesters her neighbor’s director son to give her a chance at acting. Van Heflin costars.

In the Good ‘Ol Summertime
Judy and Van Johnson costar as music shop employees who hate each other by day, but are secretly pen pals who are falling in love with each other.

Girl Crazy
Probably the best of the Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland pairings. Great dialogue, costumes, and swinging music make this musical set in out West at Cody College a fun time for all.

For Me and My Gal
Gene Kelley gets his first starring role alongside Judy in this wartime musical. This is one of my favorites and boasts great numbers and plot. Gene and Judy’s characters are falling in love as fast as their careers are taking off. But their big chance to “play the Palace” comes at the same time as Gene’s character’s draft notice. In an attempt to avoid being called up, he injures himself and in the process almost destroys his relationship with his fiancee. Their reunion scene overseas at an USO show is one of my favorite scenes of all time.

Today, TCM has a marathon of movies about brides and brides-to-be. I decided to watch the charming film The Bride Goes Wild starring Van Johnson and June Allyson.

The plot revolves around the famous children’s book author Greg Rawlings (Johnson) who ironically dislikes children. Martha Terryton (Allyson) is a teacher from a small town who wins a contest to illustrate Rawlings’ newest book.

Rawlings immediately gets on Martha’s bad side when they first meet. She threatens to quit and doesn’t want anything more to do with Rawlings after he gets her drunk and makes a pass at her. But Rawlings’ publisher John McGrath (Hume Cronyn) scrambles for an idea to get Martha to stay. He pays a boy from a nearby orphanage to pose as Rawlings’ son. Feeling sorry for the motherless boy, Martha stays on to spend time with Davey and Greg.

The charade works for awhile and Martha and Greg do fall in love. But Rawlings must find a way to cover his tracks when the good-hearted teacher Martha wants to visit the boy’s home during her time off from drawing. Hilarity ensues as Rawlings and McGrath sneak onto the property of the boy’s home and try to tell Davey to keep up the charade if he sees Martha.

In the end, the truth does come out, and Martha is understandably upset. The “bride” part of the title comes into play when Greg tells Davey to do whatever it takes to stall Martha’s wedding to another man. Davey and his pet ants do a great job of creating chaos. Greg makes it to the wedding in time and true love prevails and an instant family is born as the two adopt Davey.

Bride is a fun comedy with great lines and acting. Cronyn’s character is acted especially well. The poor frazzled publisher runs around like crazy trying to reign in his flaky author and get him to finish the book on time for the Christmas rush.