MOVIE CORNER

December 1, 2006

Dec.1 in the Movie History

Filed under: Movie calendar — movie_critic @ 1:42 pm

Dec.1, 1945 is a birthday of Bette Midler.

Born Dec.1, 1945 in Hawaii she had become one of the best comic actresses of the last 30 years.

She started her career as a singer and she still continues her very successful career on stage. Her voice brought her a wide recognition as well as the Emmy awards for the songs “Wind beneath my wings” and “The Rose”. Her movie career was mostly geared to comic roles, like the one in “Ruthless People”. In this hilarious flick she plays 
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March 9, 2006

Dec. 1 in the movie history

Filed under: Movie calendar — movie_critic @ 6:22 am

Bette Midler

Born Dec.1, 1945 in Hawaii she had become one of the best comic actresses of the last 30 years. She started her career as a singer and she still continues her very successful career on stage.

Her voice brought her a wide recognition as well as the Emmy awards for the songs “Wind beneath my wings” and “The Rose”. Her movie career was mostly geared to comic roles, like the one in “Ruthless People”. In this hilarious flick she plays a role of a rich wife, whose husband decides it’s time to say Good-bye to old Barbara in order to inherit her money and lead an enjoyable life with his mistress. But just as he wants to poison her, she gets kidnapped by a mysterious couple, effectively saving the husband the trouble of killing her. Too bad the couple turned out to be a rather soft-hearted pair of amateurs and instead of following through with their threats they’ve joined forces with the wife to punish the husband. One of the best roles of Bette Midler – ever! It is hilarious to see her shaping up in captivity and cooking up a trap for her husband together with the young couple wronged by him.


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November 4, 2005

Nov.4 in the movie history

Filed under: Movie calendar — movie_critic @ 2:48 pm

Nov.4 is a birthday of Doris Roberts, the actress widely known for her roles in TV series, particularly those of Mildred Krebs in “Remington Steele” (from the second season in 1983) and Marie Barone in “Everybody Loves Raymond”(1996-2005). Both roles brought her “Emmy” awards nominations, but only the last one was actually given the award – three times. The formidable Ms Krebs is probably my favorite of the two, simply because I believe the character was more diversified due to wider variety of the situations Ms Krebs kept finding herself in, where her no-nonsense, take-charge attitude and quick wit was her salvation (and a great help to the other two protagonists, Steele and Laura). Who can forget her mighty entrance in the very first episode of the “Remington Steele” Season 2, where she charged into Steele’s office through the throngs of would –be-secretaries and took him to task over the lack of his tax return documents? Her hairdo is quite unforgettable too, by the way – kudos to the hair stylist who had come up with it! The plump, aging, rather plain-faced Mildred through Doris Roberts acting is really becoming a diamond in the rough, a very valuable asset to the small detective agency. She is often quite funny too, which trait developed even more in the “Everybody Loves Raymond” series, where she plays a loving Italian mother of 2 very grown up sons( which she does not always seem to realize ). Her pairing with Peter Boyle was a real stroke of genius, these two are unbelievably funny together!

October 30, 2005

Oct. 30 in the movie history

Filed under: Movie calendar — movie_critic @ 3:36 pm

Oct. 30, 1968 – the day of the theatrical release of the unforgettable movie “The Lion in Winter”. A film adaptation of an earlier Broadway play has become famous due to its unbelievable emotional charge and superb acting of the cast. It was based on the story of one of the most famous couples in history – Henry II, the King of England (Peter O’Toole), and his Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine (Katharine Hepburn), set at the time when Henry II, having lost his oldest son and heir and feeling that his time is coming to a close, summons to his favourite castle of Chinon his estranged wife Eleanor and his remaining sons in order to choose a new heir to the throne.

The unbelievable love story of Henry and Eleanor, who was 10 years his older and already married to the French King Louis IX when she met the 18-year old Henry and they fell in love and then married – it is all in the past. The days of love between Henry and Eleanor are long gone, she’s been conspiring against him for years, presumably to avenge his marital infidelity, and now they are locked in a mortal battle of wits, conspiring against each other, so that the son one of them favours most would become the heir to the throne. Eleanor’s favourite is Richard (the future Lion Heart, played very energetically by young Anthony Hopkins in his film debut). Henry favours the youngest and rather feeble son John ( the future King John the Lackland – played by Nigel Terry). The middle son Geoffrey(John Castle), generally overlooked by both his parents, is plotting against everyone, using the weaknesses of his retarded younger brother John to ensure John’s place as the future King with him as a real ruler behind the throne.

To add to this explosive situation a young King of France, Philippe II (unbelievably young Timothy Dalton in one of his best performances) is showing up at Chinon to press the marriage of his sister Alice, the bride of the now deceased heir, to the new heir of the English throne or to take her back to France. Unfortunately, the sister has already become a mistress of the King Henry II himself and he has no desire to part with her. The French King has also other matters to pursue in Chinon – including trying to rekindle his past relationship with Richard as well to try to secure his future influence in England through carefully plotted game. The king Henry is left alone amidst this nest of snakes, with only Alice loyal to him, while all others, including his favorite son John, are betraying him one by one.

By the end this cauldron of emotions is coming to a point of explosion, when the King decides that none of his sons with Eleanor deserve a place on the throne and it would be best if he had a new heir with his young lover. The sons unite in their hatred against the father and strike against him and only Eleanor saves him from the untimely death at the hands of his sons.The movie was actually a facsinating, tragic portrait of a very dysfunctional family on the verge of collapse, the family which ironically was created out of one of the biggest romances in the history.

The dialogues between Henry and Eleanor, when they throw their grievances at each other, trying to prove that the other was responsible for this failure, are riveting. O’Toole’s famous temper is fully unleashed here, but behind all the King’s follies, one can see a vulnerability of a man, who’s come to his life’s end and with all his glory and power he is alone and hurt and does not have a soul to turn to. Katherine Hepburn is mesmerizing as Queen Eleanor – a worldly, educated, strong-willed and very dangerous woman, still in love with her strayed husband, but unable to get him back and therefore avenging herself by striking him where it hurts most.

The monologue with the mirror, where Eleanor gives herself a little pep-talk after one of the turns where the king had beaten her at her own game, is one of the best scenes I’ve ever seen in the movies. She is positively shining with the strength and conviction of a woman, who has known many defeats, but came back from them stronger and more resilient. Katherine Hepburn, who was 60 at the time, is also very beautiful in that scene. She had won an Oscar as the Best Actress for her role in this film.

The main question of of the film is asked in the end, when Henry and Eleanor, just having witnessed a rebellion of theire sons against their father, which almost cost him his life, look at each other and wonder how they came to this point of hatred and destruction from all that love that they had before. There is not an easy answer, just regret and sadness in the end.

October 25, 2005

Oct. 25 in the movie history

Filed under: Movie calendar — movie_critic @ 3:16 pm

Oct. 25, 1415 – the army of Henry V, king of England, defeated the French army at the battle of Agincourt. This event was a cornerstone of Shakespeare’s drama “Henry V”. In 1944 Laurence Olivier had created a film with the same name, which had become one of the most famous Shakespeare screen adaptations of all times. The famous Henry V speech, rallying the troops before the battle of Agincourt, had a special patriotic appeal for the British people in the times of the Second World War. The film had brought Olivier, who directed and starred in the movie, an Oscar for the “Outstanding achievement”. The film had also 4 nominations in other categories.

Oct. 25 is a birthday of Leo G. Carroll, British character actor, mostly known for his roles in several Hitchcock movies and later in British teleplays. The roles he played in Hitchcock films were always of the characters in the position of authority, the villains hidden behind impeccable manners and the high post, like Dr. Murchison in “Spellbound” – a former chief of the psychiatric facility, who kills his new replacement in order to stay in the clinic. Later is his life he enjoyed a big succes in the TV series “The Man from U.N.C.L.E” about the spymaster Alexander Waverly.

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