Friday, July 29, 2016

100 Days of Old Movies: Final Instalment! (92 – 100)

I've made it! Here is the last instalment of my 100 Days of Old Movies! Still can't quite believe that I've made it to the end, and that I did so while only being late with two posts! (and that I got all my actual work done on time as well)

92, 93 & 94: How To Marry a Millionaire (1953)

If you don't marry him, you haven't caught him - he's caught you!

How To Marry a Millionaire is a comedy film starring Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable, often mentioned because it has the reigning bombshell of the 40s (Grable) and the reigning bombshell of the 50s (Monroe) in the same picture. 
Schatze (Bacall) has a plan: she's already been married to a man with no money, who walked out on her. This time she's going to marry a millionaire. But you can't meet a millionaire just anywhere, you need to be in the right place - so she teams up with Pola (Monroe) and Loco (Grable), two dumb blondes, and they rent a fancy apartment and go to all the night spots. Only one of them needs to catch a millionaire for them to pay off the rent and everything, although obviously it will be better if they all catch one. Things don't, of course, go precisely to plan....

Here is the trailer. It seems to be happier about the Cinemascope than the film, but it is the trailer... =P

More below the cut: 

95 & 96: Maytime (1937)

To life's last faint ember
we will remember
Spring time

I haven't actually seen Maytime with Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy - I haven't seen any of their films, they haven't been shown on tv, I can't hire them, they're not in the shops.... but it was suggested that I include this screen team, so I picked Maytime based solely on the frothy costumes. As far as I know it's a story about an opera star (MacDonald) who marries her tutor out of gratitude, but falls in love with a young singer (Eddy). She asks her tutor to set her free, but he shoots Eddy and she has to live out the rest of her life without him, until eventually she dies, and they are reunited. Cheerful. Personally, I prefer films where the hero is not killed off. =P 

97 & 98: Gaslight (1944)

Yes, that's it. I am mad. I'm always losing things and hiding things and I can never find them, I don't know where I've put them.

Gaslight is such a beautifully filmed movie. Really it was a shame to draw these two in colour, as the black and white is so sumptuous and so important to the overall creepy feel of the film - but I did track down the correct colours for that gown. It stars Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer, with Angela Lansbury and Joseph Cotton.
Paula Alquist (Bergman) is a young singer studying in Italy after the death, some years before, of her Aunt, a famous opera star. She falls in love with Gregory Anton (Boyer) who whisks her off back home to London, and the house where her aunt was murdered. Soon Paula starts to hear strange noises and her husband refuses to let her out of the house, things are always going missing... is she going mad? Friendly detective Brian Cameron (Cotton) thinks not.

99 & 100: Two Sisters From Boston (1946)

Hold me in your arms for thirty days, and if nobody claims me, I'm yours!

Two bonus double-features to finish off the series. Two Sisters From Boston is a favourite of mine, a very charming musical comedy. 
Abigail (Kathryn Grayson) has been sent to New York for voice lessons by her uncle and aunt, who are from a very stuffy Boston family. Abigail's sister Martha (June Allyson) is still in Boston, and their uncle is running for parliament. Then the gossip starts - someone has heard that Abigail is singing in a beer hall, showing her (gasp!) limbs. The family pack off to Boston to confront Abigail, so has only got the job because her uncle's money wasn't nearly enough - she really wants to sing in the opera. She tells her uncle that that's what she's doing, singing in the opera chorus, in costume and then has to get into the opera company somehow so that he will believe her and not drag her back home to rot in Boston. Her friend and manager Spike (Jimmy Durante) wrangles her in by telling everyone that she's a 'friend' of Mr Patterson, who owns the opera. To make sure her family know she's on the stage, she ruins the star's big aria by singing along. Now she will never be allowed into the opera company, her dreams are dashed - but Martha, who has been left to stay with her sister in New York, won't stand for that, and sets about trying to get her heard by the Pattersons, with the help of their scholarly son Lawrence (Peter Lawford).

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