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Monday, the return - Laura Wise

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May 12th, 2014

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11:26 am - Monday, the return
Well, that was a crazy week and weekend. Was it actually a hundred days long? It rather felt like it.

But now it's Monday, and an easier day, and therefore we have time to meme and appreciate.

Via mamculuna, my ten most CRUCIAL CRUCIAL CRUCIAL-ASS movies, those that have defined me for good or ill, with a lot of childhood favorites included. I have a hard time paring down to ten, so I'm doing ten Studio-Era and ten post-1960 films, but these are my off-the top-of-my-head choices in chronological order:

GOLDEN AGE and a little beyond:
The Thin Man, 1934. Powell, Loy, AWESOMENESS. HIGH STYLE.
The 39 Steps, 1935. Because years ago I sat alone in a cinema at the Barbican and fell in love with Robert Donat and this movie.
Libeled Lady, 1936: Powell, Loy, Harlow, Spencer Tracy. Because of a scene where Bill Powell, feeling (rightfully) guilty, wreathed in faux moonlight and cigarette smoke, gazes into the middle distance. Also because of a scene where Bill Powell in riding clothes wipes mustard off Myrna Loy's face, and her croaky-voiced "Thanks!" in return.
The Wizard of Oz, 1939. Because of course. Because Dorothy/Scarecrow. Because of "Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My." Because of "If I Were King of the Forest." Because it started my love of portal fantasy, and because There's No Place Like Home.
His Girl Friday, 1940: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell. Because the first ten minutes is crucial crucial crucial to my life.
The Philadelphia Story, 1940: KHepburn, Cary Grant, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey. (And yes, there are some DODGY sexual politics in this film. Even so...) "C.K. Dexter HAAA-VEN!"
All About Eve, 1950: Bette Davis, George Sanders, Celeste Holm, Anne Baxter, Gary Merrill. Because Margo Channing is awesome. Because Addison deWitt is played by George Sanders, and he is polished, delicious, nasty, and scary by turns. Because I love Bill Sampson, I really do. Because of the dialogue.
Singin' in the Rain, 1952. You know, I love Fred Astaire more than Gene Kelly, but this movie is freakin' perfect. PERFECT. "Dignity, always dignity!"
Rear Window, 1954, or To Catch A Thief, 1955. Because Stewart and Grant, because Grace Kelly, because Hitchcock, because style.
The Court Jester, 1954, or White Christmas, 1955. A Danny Kaye movie, anyway. Because you can never outfox The Fox! Because the chalice from the palace and the vessel with the pestle! Because let's just say we're doing this for an old pal in the Army. Because it's not a good reason, but it's a reason.

The Parent Trap, 1961. No one is more appalled than I am.
The Sound of Music, 1965. No one is more appalled than I am, redux.
Young Frankenstein, 1974. BECAUSE IT IS PERFECT.
Raiders of the Lost Ark,1981. BECAUSE IT IS ALSO PERFECT (aside from the casual racism, which I now see much more plainly). Marion Ravenwood + Indy forever.
The Empire Strikes Back, 1980. (Yes, it's out of chronological order.) Because I spent a month alternating between Raiders and Empire at bargain matinees. Because of Lawrence Kasdan's script. Because of the ineffable beauty of Han Solo, and the awesomeness of Carrie Fisher. "I love you." "I know."
Bull Durham, 1988. Because I cannot adequately express my love for Annie Savoy and Crash Davis and Nuke LaLoosh and Ron Shelton's script and direction. Because of lolly-gaggers. Because we're dealing with some serious shit here. Because sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.
Truly, Madly, Deeply. 1990. Because of Juliet Stevenson and Alan Rickman and Hoppy-Boy Michael Maloney. Because it gets grief right, and because the ending is sublime.
Much Ado About Nothing, 1993. Because I cried happy tears when the boys rode over the hill to the swelling Patrick Doyle score, and I laughed the rest of the way.
And the last one would be either Ghostbusters or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or Sense and Sensibility or Lone Star or Notting Hill or maybe even Skyfall, I couldn't decide.

What movies have made you who you are? :)

May the memories be good ones today.

(9 comments | Leave a comment)


Date:May 12th, 2014 07:44 pm (UTC)
"C.K. Dexter HAAA-VEN!"

Now I want to watch The Philadelphia Story yet again. (Even though I just saw it a few weeks ago!)

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Date:May 12th, 2014 10:57 pm (UTC)
God I love that movie. :)

Cheers and hugs, Gwynne!
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Date:May 12th, 2014 08:36 pm (UTC)
But they broke the vessel with the pestle...

[User Picture]
Date:May 12th, 2014 10:57 pm (UTC)

Cheers and hugs, mate!
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Date:May 13th, 2014 02:37 am (UTC)
I love so many of your movies.

I was looking at making a list and it's fairly horrifying and I'm sure I've said this before somewhere, but I think the most formative movie in my life was Billy Jack.

It's so embarrassing.
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Date:May 13th, 2014 10:29 am (UTC)
I admitted, in public, to The Parent Trap. So Billy Jack doesn't seem quite so shocking. :)

[sings "One Tin Soldier" to self]

[sends hugs]
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Date:May 13th, 2014 05:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you, L! I so enjoyed your list, and I watched the end of All That Jazz in your honor. :)

Hugs and a great Tuesday!
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Date:May 13th, 2014 02:09 pm (UTC)
I've been trying to think of some formative movies, but I don't think we were allowed to watch anything interesting when we were really young. I do remember Watcher in the Woods and the original Escape to Witch Mountain, but that's because Wonderful World of Disney was the only thing on TV Sunday nights. I have since made up time and watched every really bad action movie ever made in the 80's.

...now that I think about it; we saw Ghostbusters and Gremlins in the theatre and I was scared, which probably did shape my dislike of potentially scary movies.
[User Picture]
Date:May 13th, 2014 05:33 pm (UTC)
I'm fairly sure that I saw The Parent Trap on the Wonderful World of Disney first! Actually, this would be an interesting addition -- which films on one's list were seen on TV and which in the theatre.

Cheers and happy Tuesday!

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