A New Kind of Love starring the real-life couple of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward tells the story of a man and woman who hate each other at first sight, but, as in almost all romantic comedies, end up loving each other in the end.

Samantha “Sam” Blake (Woodward) is a dowdy fashion designer who meets the playboy newspaper columnist Steve Sherman (Newman) on a plane to Paris. Sherman has been exiled to Paris by his boss to keep him away from his wife. Blake and her boss are in Paris to steal designer fashions and reproduce them in the States.

It is most certainly not love at first sight. Blake has yet t0 embrace her femininity (she covers her boyish hairstyle with a hat and wears dark glasses) and Sherman mistakenly calls her “mister” when they first meet. She does not disguise her contempt and, thinking he is drunk, tells him to call AA.

They happen to bump into each other a few more times while in Paris. After Blake decides to give herself a makeover, she goes out on the town to celebrate. Sherman sees her again but does not recognize her as the same woman from the plane.

Blake decides to play a trick on him to get even. She pretends to be a French call girl named Mimi and gives Sherman stories about her profession that he cannot resist writing about. The trick goes on for longer than Blake originally wants, and in the process, Sherman realizes he has been duped.

The truth about Blake’s real identity comes out and so does the fact that they have fallen for each other.

Thelma Ritter co-stars as Blake’s older confidant who is romantically challenged as well. She steals almost every scene she is in with her quick wit. Eva Gabor and Maurice Chevalier also co-star.

This film reminds me of Paris When it Sizzles with Audrey Hepburn and William Holden. There are some funny moments, but there are also a few strange scenes. Overall this was a cute film, but both of the leads made much better films together and separately. The chemistry is there but could have been better with a better script.

The opening credits do boast Frank Sinatra singing “A New Kind of Love”.

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*sigh*

I’m behind once again on posting. I’ve had the chance- ok so I’ve made time- to watch several great films over the past couple of weeks, but I have yet to get around to writing my thoughts about them.

While I have a moment, here is a couple of brief snippets of my thoughts of these films. Hopefully later I will get a chance to ramble on a little more.

First up: The Hustler (1961) with Paul Newman, George C. Scott and Piper Laurie

Eddie lines up a shot

Fast Eddie (Newman) is a hotshot pool shark who bites off more than he can chew when he takes on the equally legendary Minnesota Fast (Jackie Gleason-yes, from The Honeymooners TV show). After losing to Fats, Eddie goes a quest of sorts to regain his confidence and money. He runs across Gordon (Scott), a greedy manager that wants to use Eddie to make money. Eddie agrees to go along with him for awhile, but risks losing much including his girlfriend (Laurie).

This is one of Newman’s great performances and Laurie gives an equally performance as the messed up girl that tries to help Eddie but is in serious need of help herself. George C. Scott is great as always; he is manipulative and plays on Eddie’s weaknesses.

Hustler was nominated for almost every Oscar there is, but only winning for Best Art Direction and Cinematography. For anyone who loves a great rise-from-the-despair-to-win story, this movie is for you.

Tom and Matt talk over the upcoming, grueling cattle drive

Red River (1948) with Montgomery Clift, John Wayne, Joanne Dru

Making his feature film debut (although The Search made it to theaters first) Montgomery Clift c0-stars as Matt Garth, the adopted son of John Wayne’s Thomas Dunson.

Dunson is forced to drive his cattle from Texas to Missouri when the Civil War robs the South of money and there is noone to buy his beef. This seems to be an impossible task to undertake, but Wayne knows it is this or go completely broke. Along the way, someone suggests taking the shorter route to Abilene where there is rumored to be a new railroad. Dunson is set in his ways and forces to men to continue on the predetermined route. Garth decides to take the cattle and the willing men and go to Abilene instead. Dunson’s pride takes a hit and he vows to catch up with Matt and kill him for undercutting him. Matt and the men do make it to Abilene and find the rumors of the railroad to be true. They sell the cattle and wait for Dunson to catch up to them.

Joanne Dru stars as Tess Millay, a woman in a wagon train that Garth and his men help rescue from the Indians. After their brief encounter, Garth and Millay fall in love, but Garth continues on to Abilene. Dunson later meets her and brings her with him to Abilene. When Dunson finally confronts Matt in the street, Tess is the one who breaks up their fight, telling them they are stupid for fighting because everyone can see how much they truly love each other.

This Howard Hawks-directed film is a masterpiece of the Western genre. Wayne delivers his usual gruff, strong character with a hard shell but soft insides. Clift is magnificent is his debut and the scenes in which he has with Dru pave the way for his future romantic leading man roles. He is as comfortable as Wayne in the Western garb and backdrop. He did not try to outdo Wayne, which cannot really be done. But instead he played Matt with an ease and confidence that translated onscreen perfectly.

The plot has enough comedic spark mixed in and it has a good flow. I enjoyed seeing Walter Brennan star as the grumpy old cook and Dunson’s good friend. Brennan also stars with Wayne in another great Western Rio Bravo Not to spoil the anticipation, here’s a clip of the ending (sorry it’s not the best quality):

More to come….hopefully in the near future!

Who doesn’t love a good con-the-bad-guy-and-get-even movie? When that movie stars Paul Newman and Robert Redford, you are bound to have a hit. Such as the case with The Sting.

Directed by George Hill and released in 1973, Sting tells the tale of Johnny Hooker, a small time con man who cons the wrong man, a big time racketeer named Doyle Lonnegan, and pays the price. Hooker’s friend and fellow con is killed and in retaliation, Hooker (Redford) consorts with retired con man Gondorff (Newman) to pull off the ultimate job and avenge their friend’s death.

They assemble a team of fellow artists and create a false racketeering business of their own to lure Lonnegan into chancing a large sum of his own money on horse racing.

Hooker and Gondorff are succuessful in their attempts to swindle Lonnegan but not without some bumps along the way. The plot does have some twists and turns as well, but the ending is satisfying.

Being paired only a few short years before in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Redford and Newman were destined to make another great film together. And they did with The Sting. The film was nominated for 10 Oscars, winning 7.

The Sting is a classic caper film sure to please audiences for many more years to come.

The films also features fantastic use of Joplin’s hit “The Entertainer”.

LongHotSummerI happened upon The Long Hot Summer one evening and decided to go ahead and watch it. This movie has been near the bottom of my “must watch when I have time” list but only because there are so many others that I also want to watch. Either way, I am glad I did sit down and give this one a chance.

The Long Hot Summer starrs Paul Newman as Ben Quick, a man accused of arsony and chased out of town, and Joanne Woodward as Clara Varner, the unmarried daughter of the richest family in town.

Orson Welles also starrs in this movie as Will Varner, the patriarch of the Varner family. Welles is fantastic in this movie and his character is just crotchety enough to be believable. Angela Lansbury plays Varner’s female friend in the town who is constantly after Varner to finally marry her.

After Ben wanders to the Varner place in search of a job, Varner aggrees. But he has the intention of getting Clara to marry Ben and stop being the town’s old maid schoolteacher. Varner’s son Jody (Tony Franciosa) is married but with no ambition in life. Varner is anxious to see his grandchildren before he dies and is willing to manipulate whomever he can to get his way. He thinks Ben has drive and would be a right fit for the family.

Clara of course has no interest in Ben at first. She is somewhat interested in Alan Stewart (Richard Anderson) and thinks Ben is too common. But Stewart is still tied to his widowed mother and will not make a committment to Clara.

Throughout the movie Jody starts to resent Ben for undermining his position in the family business, which is pretty much owning the entire town. The stress gets to him and he sets a barn on fire that almost kills his father. When the townspeople see the smoke, they automatically think that is it Ben who set the fire. They try to come after him but Varner saves him by saying that he set the fire with his cigar.

Much to Daddy Varner’s delight, Clara does fall in love with Ben in the end and does not let him leave when he wants to move on to the next town.

The plot of this movie was simple but the emotions portrayed were great. Welles’ portrayal of Varner reminded me much of my old grandfather with his deep South accent and gravelly smoker’s voice.

Newman and Woodward have definite chemistry throughout and were great choices for these roles. The secondary characters were also well cast.

I love old trailers and their giant headlines and announcer voices:

In celebration of the National Day of Writing, which is today, October 20, I decided to put together a short list of some of my favorite movie lines and monologues. Enjoy!

oZ“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore!”- Judy Garland as Dorothy in Wizard of Oz

“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate”- Strother Martin as Captain in Cool Hand Luke (although I think this line is better when Paul Newman’s character says it later in the film)

“Bond, James Bond.”- Sean Connery as James Bond in Dr. No

“Play it Sam.”- Ingrid Bergman is Ilsa Lund in Casablanca

“That’s what’s wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.”- Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in Gone with the WindGWTW

“As God is my witness, as God is my witness they’re not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.”- Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind

“You think you’re God Almighty, but you know what you are? You’re a cheap, lousy, dirty, stinkin’ mug!”- Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront (People just do not tell people off like they used to!)

“You don’t understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.”- Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront

Now, get this, you double-crossing chimpanzee: There ain’t going to be any interview and there ain’t going to be any story. And that certified check of yours is leaving with me in twenty minutes. I wouldn’t cover the burning of Rome for you if they were just lighting it up. If I ever lay my two eyes on you again, I’m gonna walk right up to you and hammer on that monkeyed skull of yours ’til it rings like a Chinese gong!”- Rosalind Russell as Hildy Johnson in His Girl Friday

ButchCassidy“You just keep thinkin’ Butch. That’s what you’re good at.”- Robert Redford as Sundance Kid in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

“Look I probably should have told you this before but you see… well… insanity runs in my family… It practically gallops!”- Cary Grant as Mortimer Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace

Do you know what’s wrong with you?” “No, what?” “Nothing.”- Audrey Hepburn as Regina Lampert and Cary Grant as Peter Joshua in Charade

“Story of my life. I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop.”- Marilyn Monroe as Sugar in Some Like It Hot

To end, here is one of my favorite scenes from Some Like it Hot. Jack Lemon’s character Jerry has pretended to be a woman to escape the mob and has accidentally snagged a rich playboy

Well these are just a few of my favorite quotes. Did I miss one of your favorites? Let me know!

TornCurtainOk, I am finally getting  around to talking a little more about Torn Curtain. While most definitely not one of director Alfred Hitchcock’s best films, this movie still has a lot to offer.

The movie, a classic tale of suspicion and intrigue, is set during the Cold War, with the title referring to the Iron Curtain. It opens with Michael Armstrong (Paul Newman) and his fiancee/assistant Sarah Sherman (Julie Andrews) en route by cruise ship to a science conference  in Copenhagen.

Things seem to be going well until Armstrong starts acting suspciously. Sherman finds out he is going to East Berlin suddenly and decides to follow him there. He confronts her on the plane and tells her to go home and forget that she saw him. Sherman is not easily persuaded and insists on staying with him. He agrees with the condition that she stay out of the way and return to Copenhagen as soon as possible.

Things become even more suspicious when Armstrong is welcomed warmly at the East Berlin airport by German government officials. Sherman is convinced that her fiancee has defected to the East Germans.

But it soon becomes clear that Armstrong is only pretending to be loyal to the East in order to gain the confidence of chief scientist Gustav Lindt (Ludwing Donath). Lindt is key in the development of the Soviet’s missile program.

The story takes a tense turn when Armstrong is followed to the home of a fellow contact by a German security officer. Armstrong has to kill the officer and dispose of his body without coming under additional suspician by the police.

This scene is one of Hitchcock’s best; it is said that he wanted to show how difficult it really is to kill another person.

Armstrong is able to gain the trust of Lindt and is given the secret he was after.

But he and Sherman must then make an escape by a false bus that is also trying to get others to safety. They then make it to another contact within a traveling troupe that hides them in trunks on a ship bound for Sweden.

As in many of Hitchcock films, the director makes a cameo; he can be seen as a man holding a small child in the lobby of the hotel.

Hitchcock mixes the right amount of suspense, epionage and romance into this plot. Hopefully this is just the first of many Hitch films I will be able to discuss.

This was a very different turn for Andrews after just portraying Mary Poppins and the singing governess Maria. But I think she a great job in this unusual role.

As usual, Newman is fantastic and I would have liked to see him in an additional Hitch film. Although, Hitchcock himself seemed to prefer his old standbyes such as Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant.

I guess I cannot blame him in those cases.

If you like a classic wartime thriller, this movie should definitely should be on your list. Torn-Curtain2

Two more great actors of the golden age were born on this first day of October.

Today’s birthdays include the beautiful and talented Julie Andrews (she’s 74 today!) and the handsome George Peppard.

Most people may remember Julie Andrews from the classic musical Sound of Music. This does happen to be one of the only musicals my father will watch; yes, it’s because there are Nazis in it.

Andrews has had a diverse career on the stage, screen and television. Born in London on 1935, Andrews’ family quickly discovered her talent for singing. She begun her stage career at the age of 19. She later went on to star in the stage production of My Fair Lady as Eliza Doolittle.

She was approached by Walt Disney himself in 1964 to see if she wanted to role in his new live action/animation musical, Mary Poppins. She accepted and went on to win her first Oscar for the role. This role launched her into fame and straight into the role of Maria in Sound of Music. Music was an even bigger hit than Mary Poppins and earned Andrews yet another Oscar nomination (although the movie did win an Oscar for Best Picture).

Today Andrew is still active in Hollywood, starring in a few other well know film series such as The Princess Diaries and Shrek.

George Peppard is best know for his role in the well-loved Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Peppard studied acting at Carnegie Tech and the Actor’s Studio.

After Breakfast at Tiffany’s did so well at the box office, Peppard was able to land more credible roles. He starred as Jimmy Stewart’s son in the acclaimed How the West Was Won in 1962 and Operation Crossbow in 1965 with Sophia Loren.

He film success dwindled near the end of his career. But he found fame again in television playing the leader of the A-Team from 1983-87.

After years of heavy smoking, Peppard succombed to lung cancer in 1994.

He will always be remembered for his role as Paul Varjak, frustrated writer and friend to Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly as well as for his other romantic roles.

I would like to pick a movie from each and talk  a little about them. But for today, here are some video clips to preview which movies I will be talking about.

First: a great short scene from Breakfast at Tiffany’s

I, of course have seen Mary Poppins and Sound of Music several times each. But this movie, directed by the great Alfred Hitchcock, in which Andrews starrs with the Paul Newman is also very good. It’s a classic Hitchcock film with suspense and just enough romance (Andrews and Newman look great together!)

Sorry this trailer isn’t the greatest. The movie is great, just trust me 😉