Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Movie Madness: Turner Classic triple feature

For the past week or so I seem to have been caught by Turner Classic Movie on a couple of features.  Instead of trying to choose between them, I'm just going to share them all with you.

'The Company She Keeps' is basically the story of a woman after she is paroled from prison.  She had been 'doing time' for check fraud, the latest in a series of acts of petty crime.  Her relationship with her parole officer is…complicated.  She kind of steals her boyfriend, then ends up falling in love with him and needing her help in getting to marry him.  The parole officer is the kind of saint that you only ever find in movies, generous to a fault.  But is her parolee worthy of it?

It's an interesting window into the perception of criminals, particularly female criminals, and rehabilitation.

'Break of Hearts' was originally a radio play with Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth, but it was adapted into a feature film with Katharine Hepburn.  You know you're watching a classic film rather than a modern one when the celebrity playboy is a conductor.  To borrow a phrase from 'Down With Love', he's a 'man's-man-ladie's-man-man-about-town' who can't even be satisfied with the love of Katharine Hepburn, as an unknown composer and fan.

It's not critical stellar, but given that they're playing films 24/7, they can't all be the timeless classics, and it's still enjoyable enough.  The cast is also great.  To be honest, just seeing a young Katharine Hepburn on the screen was enough to keep me from turning the channel.

I only managed to catch the last 15 minutes or so of 'Ball of Fire', a romantic comedy with Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper, but I definitely want to see the rest of it sometime, it was quite sweet.  It's about a group of stuffy old professors who enlist the help of a burlesque dancer to catalogue modern slang as part of their accumulation of general knowledge.  Again, sweet, and funny.

Plus, one of the ensemble cast of professors has a very distinctive voice: he was the Caterpillar in Disney's 'Alice in Wonderland'.  I always love putting the face to the voice, and to compile enough experience with pop culture to recognize people in different roles.  Like when Maleficent from 'Sleeping Beauty' popped up in an episode of 'The Twilight Zone'.  I love those moments.

Well, that's what I've been watching, how about you?  Amaryllis Musings has been enjoying some slightly more current cinema this week.

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