Thursday, February 28, 2013

Welcome to the John Garfield Blogathon

After several weeks of planning and anticipation, the eagerly-awaited John Garfield 100th birthday blogathon (main page HERE) is finally upon us.  Beginning tomorrow, and continuing on through Monday, we'll be celebrating one very under-appreciated actor, and I, for one, am thrilled.  Mr. Garfield so deserves the honor and recognition.  (Participants, please include a link to this page somewhere in your post, and then either leave as a comment or email me the link to your article, so I can include it on the page.)

Participating in the event are two dozen different people, two of whom are not bloggers but are John Garfield enthusiasts.  Since they don't have blogs of their own, it is with joy that I welcome them to be guests here at They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To.  As with all blogathons, try to visit as many of the entries as you can...and have fun celebrating the sensational John Garfield.

The contributions are as follows:

March 1st:

Quite fittingly for this "debut day" of the blogathon, Jenna, of Classic Movie Night, is showcasing Mr. Garfield's debut film---Four Daughters.  (HERE)

The late Lori Moore will be sharing a beautiful video tribute at They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To.  (HERE)

Victoria of Slightly Shabby is taking a break from her usual discussion of home decor to showcase one of her favorites--The Postman Always Rings Twice.  (HERE)

Johan, of I'd Love to Kiss You, But I Just Washed My Hair, has reviewed one of the few Garfield films I have yet to see---Between Two Worlds.  (HERE)

Oh, So Very Classic's Alyssa has provided some quotes by and about Mr. Garfield, as well as a bit of biographical information.  (HERE)

Over at Olivia & Joan: Sisters of the Silver Screen, Tom will be shining the light on the star-studded Thank Your Lucky Stars.  (HERE)

March 2nd:

The WWII film Air Force takes to the air with Jeff over at The Stalking Moon.  (HERE)

At 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, Kim shares her thoughts about that sensational film noir The Postman Always Rings Twice. (HERE)

Art, Movies, Wood, and Whatnot's Artman will be sharing the John Garfield portion of his beautiful movie paperware collection.  (HERE)

Featuring Mr. Garfield in his most inherently evil role, Out of the Fog will be showcased by John over at Twenty Four Frames.  (HERE)

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To has invited a guest, who will discuss the little-known Saturday's Children, a film which features Mr. Garfield in a rare romantic role. (HERE)

March 3rd:

Le of Critica Retro will be discussing Mr. Garfield's influence on films.  (HERE)

Tom will be highlighting Daughters Courageous over at Motion Picture Gems.  (HERE)

Ivan of The Thrilling Days of Yesteryear will give us a glimpse into the terrific noir Force of Evil.  (HERE)

Over at Tales of the Easily Distracted, Dorian will be showcasing the wartime spy flick Dangerously They Live.  (HERE)

Deb of Sidewalk Crossings will be taking a short break from her James Bond series in order to tackle the noirish spy thriller The Fallen Sparrow.  (HERE)

Here at They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To, the boxing film They Made Me a Criminal will be stepping into the ring.  (HERE)

March 4th:

Kristen of Journeys in Classic Film will be spotlighting 1947's Academy Award-winning Gentleman's Agreement.  (HERE)

Taking center stage over at Flick Chick's A Person in the Dark is the prison film Castle on the Hudson.  (HERE)

Here at They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To, I will be offering a humble tribute.  (HERE)

 Over at The Girl with the White Parasol, Aubyn shines the spotlight on Nobody Lives Forever.  (HERE)

Dawn, of Noir and Chick Flicks, will be showcasing one of the ultimate chick flicks---Humoresque. (HERE)

The Nitrate Diva---will be getting into the action with another of Mr. Garfield's WWII films, Destination Tokyo.  (HERE)

Over at The Movie Projector, Richard will be highlighting The Breaking Point, the second film adaption of Ernest Hemingway's To Have and Have Not.  (HERE)

And, appropriately, on this final day of the blogathon, Judy of Movie Classics will be discussing Mr. Garfield's final film, He Ran All The Way.  (HERE)

NOTE:  Two other important Garfield films---Pride of the Marines and Body and Soul---were to have been spotlighted during the blogathon; however, the bloggers intending to showcase those films ended up unable to participate.  So, while those films were not part of the blogathon, it's not because they were overlooked.

A huge thanks to: my good friend Monty, of All Good Things, for creating the blogathon's beautiful banner...each person who spread the word about the event...each person who contributed an article...each one who visited the blogs and read the entries.  This celebration would not have happened without the participation of all of you!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

CMBA "Fabulous 40's" Blogathon---Sentimental Journey (1946)

Sentimental, sensitive,  and extremely emotional by nature, I am always on the lookout for touching, tender, heart-tugging films, and after finally tracking down 1946's Sentimental Journey---which had been on my "want to see" list for close to four years---I thought it would be the perfect addition to the Classic Movie Blog Association's "Fabulous Films of the 1940's" blogathon.  There are hundreds of wonderful films in that decade, and nearly four dozen of them are being showcased by other bloggers in this 6-day event.  To read the other entries, go here.

The second of four films Maureen O'Hara and John Payne made together, Sentimental Journey is a little-heard-of gem.  It features William Bendix and Sir Cedric Hardwicke in supporting roles and introduces child star Connie Marshall.  (While Miss Marshall had appeared in Sunday Dinner for a Soldier two years earlier, it is in Sentimental Journey that she is billed as being presented.)  Directed by Walter Lang, this lovely drama runs 94 minutes.

When stage actress Julie Beck (Maureen O'Hara) learns she is dying, her first thought is about her producer husband, Bill (John Payne).   Julie knows she is Bill's whole world, and she fears he will have no desire to go on without her. Wanting a child for Bill to cling to after she's gone, yet knowing she is unable to bear a child herself, Julie wonders if adoption might be the answer.

While walking on the beach shortly after recovering from a bad spell, Julie comes upon a group of children from a Brooklyn orphanage; she is immediately drawn to the one little girl sitting all alone.  A dreamy, fanciful child, Hitty (Connie Marshall) reminds Julie of herself at that age, and she approaches Bill about adopting her.  A somewhat selfish, possessive man, Bill---who has no idea Julie is dying---doesn't see the need for a child; in fact, he says, Julie is the only family he needs.  However, to please Julie, he agrees, and the two of them make a trip to the Martha Stone Orphanage.

Hitty is thrilled to see Julie again, and she happily accompanies the couple to their New York home.    Sweet and loving, and with a desire to please, Hitty quickly learns how to take care of Bill and make his home life comfortable.  But Bill is not comfortable---he's tense and agitated...and completely annoyed by Hitty's fanciful nature.  And when Julie chooses to stay home with a sick Hitty rather than attend an event with him, Bill is angry.  He doesn't like having to share his wife.

Knowing Bill can't change who he is, nor can Hitty change who she is, Julie finds herself in the position of having to choose between them.  Should she send Hitty back to the orphanage?   The stress of the situation brings about a fatal attack, and just before she dies, Julie begs Hitty to stay with Bill no matter watch over continue doing for him all the things they had done for him together.

Completely devastated by his wife's death, Bill can barely function.  He gets through her funeral and the days afterward as though in a trance.  He certainly wants no part of Hitty and her attempts to fill the void left by Julie's death.  And for Hitty, who is also grieving the loss of Julie, Bill's rejection is heartbreaking.  How these two hurting souls find peace and love will play out in the balance of this lovely, sob-inducing film.

Sentimental Journey is a wonderful, 4-star film for me.  Maureen O'Hara is the most beautiful I have ever seen her.  She's simply stunning here, and her character is a joy---kind, caring, gentle, accepting.  John Payne's character is---as is necessary for the story---self-centered and unlikable.  Still, though, I couldn't help rooting for him to come to his senses and realize what he was throwing away.  Though perhaps not on the same plain as Natalie Wood, Connie Marshall is, nevertheless, completely charming as little Hitty. She will easily capture your heart!  Just like Miss O'Hara and Miss Wood had super chemistry together in Miracle On 34th Street, so, too, do mother and daughter have a beautiful connection in this film.  As Julie's doctor, Cedric Hardwicke has a fairly small part, but he plays it well.  And William Bendix---as Bill and Julie's friend and Hitty's adopted "Uncle Donnelly"---adds a bit of lightheartedness. Given the film's title, it will come as no surprise that the lovely 1945 song "Sentimental Journey" is liberally interspersed throughout.  As Julie and Bill's song, that beautiful melody is heard over and over again.

Although Sentimental Journey touched me deeply and had the potential to be another Penny Serenade in my estimation, I have to admit that it fell just a trifle short, a result, I think, of it's 94-minute running time.  With Penny Serenade coming in at 119 minutes, there was a full 25 minutes more to develop the characters and situations.  As it was, I felt things were rushed and, therefore, a little less deep than they could have been.  Had the film been longer, I have no doubt it would have merited 5 stars, instead of the 4 I have given it.

Sadly, Sentimental Journey is a film that is not easy to track down---it's not out on DVD, and TCM never seems to air it (at least in the three to four years I've been looking for it, I've not noticed it on their schedule).  Finally, earlier this year, I found it in its entirety on YouTube; however, as of the day of this writing, it appears to be there no longer.  All that to say, finding a way to view Sentimental Journey may be rather difficult, but if you do get the opportunity, go for it.  It's a sweet and---as its name suggests---sentimental journey.

Happy viewing!

Happy Birthday, Sidney Poitier!!

Today is the 86th birthday of one of my top 12 favorite actors---the sensational Sidney Poitier.  (February 20, 1927).  Since Mr. Poitier is one of the few stars of the "golden era" who is still alive, I definitely want to celebrate him.

I first discovered the Academy Award-winning Mr. Poitier in No Way Out, a film which was recommended by Net Flix because of my interest in others similar to it.  That film---which is Mr. Poitier's credited screen debut---sees top billing going to Richard Widmark; however, Mr. Poitier more than held his own.  I was completely impressed with him and was soon on a quest to see more of his films.  Since he excels in meaty, dramatic roles, and since those are my favorite kinds of films, it's no wonder I have enjoyed everything of his that I've seen.

Mr. Poitier's Academy Award came for his work in Lilies of the Field.  Walking away with 1963's Best Actor statue, he became the first black man to receive such an award.  He also received a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for The Defiant Ones; 2002 saw him receiving an Honorary Oscar "for his extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen and for representing the industry with dignity, style, and intelligence." Quite honestly, I think Mr. Poitier ought to have at least been nominated (if not coming away with the win) for many more films than he was.  He has always given powerful, brilliant performances.

Mr. Poitier has also seen action on the other side of the camera, directing such films as Buck and the Preacher, Stir Crazy, and A Piece of the Action.  I'm not familiar with any of his directorial works, though.

My all-time favorite Sidney Poitier film is Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn---reviewed HERE).  This is one of those not-nominated-for-an-Oscar-but-should-have-been films in my opinion.

Rounding out my list of five favorite Poitier films are:

2.  To Sir, with Love  (reviewed HERE)

3.  A Raisin in the Sun  (With Claudia McNeil and Ruby Dee, this is another should-have-received-an-Oscar-nomination film---reviewed HERE)

4.  Edge of the City  (with John Cassavetes---reviewed HERE)

5.  A Patch of Blue  (with Elizabeth Hartman and Shelley Winters---reviewed HERE)

So, Mr. Sidney Poitier, happy 86th birthday to you!!  I hope your birthday finds you in good health and surrounded by family and friends.  You will always be one of my very favorite actors.  Thank you for bringing so much enjoyment to my life through so many fantastic movies!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Madame X (5 stars)

In celebration of Lana Turner's February 8th birthday, I recently enjoyed a re-watch of my favorite of her films---Madame X---and since my review of it was way back on the very first day of this blog, I decided a re-write and expansion of that post was in order.

With Lana Turner in the title role and supporting help from John Forsythe, Constance Bennett, Ricardo Montalban, Burgess Meredith, and Keir Dullea, 1966's Madame X is not only my favorite Lana Turner film but my favorite film of the 1960's and among my top 7 movies of all-time.  It's an incredibly beautiful, heart-tugging movie...the one I consider to be the tearjerker of all tearjerkers (though Gary Cooper's Ten North Frederick is right up there too). It doesn't just cause me to weep...but to sob...almost to the point that I can barely breathe.  Sometimes, I pop the movie into the player and then fast-forward to the final 30 minutes just so I can sob my  heart out.  Strange, yes...but the absolute truth. 

The story is about Holly Anderson (Lana), a young woman who has married into a rich and powerful family.  Her husband, Clay (John Forsythe), has political aspirations and an extremely controlling mother (Constance Bennett) who wants to be sure her son becomes all that he aspires to be.  Although Holly and Clay seem happy and even have a son early into their marriage, Clay travels a great deal, leaving Holly very lonely.  Her mother-in-law, however, tells Holly that she simply must not sit home and long for Clay...that she has a role to fulfill...that she must continue to be seen socially.

Holly begins to attend social functions with another man (Ricardo Montalban), and eventually he falls in love with her.  When Holly informs him she cannot see him anymore, they fight, and he tumbles down a flight of stairs, dying immediately.  Mother-in-law insists that since it looks like Holly killed him, a scandal will ensue, thus ruining Clay's political future.  Determining that the best way to protect her son and grandson from Holly's "indiscretion" is to get Holly out of their lives, mother-in-law promises to cover everything up if Holly will just disappear forever. mother-in-law's urging and with her help, Holly "dies" in a tragic boat accident and then goes to Europe, where mother-in-law sends money for her support.

For twenty years, Holly spirals downward into alcoholism and addiction and perhaps prostitution (nothing is shown, so that possibility is left to the imagination). She is a shell of the beautiful woman she used to be. Eventually, a con man discovers who Holly really is, and he intends to use that information to extort money. Desperate to keep the man from destroying her husband's political hopes and her son's future ambitions, Holly shoots him and is sent to trial. The man appointed to defend her is none other than her now-grown-up son, and neither mother nor son has any idea who the other is.

At the time I first discovered Madame X, I didn't profess to be a huge Lana Turner fan; in fact, I really didn't care for her that much. While I loved the movie and the title character, Lana herself did nothing for me.  Since then, though, I've come to  love Lana and now deem her among my five favorite actresses of all time.  I truly believe her performance in Madame X has to be the finest performance of her career.  She is completely brilliant here...very definitely worthy of an Academy Award nomination, which, unbelievably, she did not receive.

It has recently come to my awareness that there is a 1937 version of Madame X, with Gladys George in the title role.  I would love an opportunity to see it and to compare the two films.

Since Madame X is out on DVD, it ought to be fairly easy to track down a copy.  Try to see it if you can, as it really is an amazingly beautiful, heart-tugging movie which I highly recommend.

Happy viewing!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

To Sir, with Love (5 stars)

Another one of my 5-star film discoveries for this year is To Sir, with Love, a 1967 drama starring man of the month, Sidney Poitier.  Filmed in England, this film features a British supporting cast---Christian Roberts, Judy Geeson, and Lulu among them.  James Clavell (of Shogun fame) wrote the screenplay and produced and directed the film, which, like Blackboard Jungle twelve years earlier, finds Mr. Poitier surrounded by delinquent students in a high school classroom.

Unable to obtain a job in his career field, engineer Mark Thackery (Sidney Poitier) relocates to London, where a teaching job in an inner-city school awaits him.  Though Mark has never taught before, and despite warnings that the students are rebellious rejects from other schools, he, nevertheless, accepts the position.  Knowing the behavior of the students in Mr. Thackery's classroom, another teacher jokingly refers to Mark as a "lamb for the slaughter."

Stepping into the classroom, Mark is transported to a wild, unruly, uncooperative world. Disrespect for authority---and even for one another---is the norm for the students.  They swear, throw things from windows, create disturbances, and---Mark soon discovers---the majority of them can barely read.

Idealistic and wanting to help the kids become mature, responsible, properly-behaving adults, Mark strives for a way to reach them.  Since traditional methods won't work with this bunch of rebels, he'll need to try a different approach.  How Mark turns a group of wild hooligans into a class of respectful, caring students will play out in the remainder of the film.

To Sir, with Love is a wonderful movie, with terrific acting by everyone.  Mr. Poitier, of course, leads the pack, giving his usual brilliant performance.  I really loved him in this role, which, incidentally, is one of the few in which his race isn't central to the story.  Also played perfectly were the student parts---especially Pamela (Judy Geeson) and Denham (Christian Roberts).

In some ways, To Sir, with Love is like Mr. Poitier's earlier classroom film, Blackboard Jungle---only this time, Sidney is the teacher, not the delinquent.  (Glenn Ford is the teacher in that film.) Both films feature a teacher who won't give up...who won't throw in the towel...who will do whatever is necessary to make a positive impact on his students.  They're both terrific films about the life-changing role a teacher can have.   What took To Sir, with Love from 4 to 5 stars for me is its beautiful sentimentality.  The final few minutes, which feature student Barbara (Lulu) singing "To Mr. Thackery (Sir), with Love," really touched me.  I vaguely remember this song from childhood (I was 6 when it was popular), but hearing it in context with the film gives a whole new meaning to the lyrics.  They're powerful, heart-tugging, and tear-inducing.

Mark had cared...and that caring resulted in them caring, and that was very touchingly portrayed in the final few minutes.  Quite honestly, I think To Sir, with Love is the quintessential teachers' movie.  Sure it's a 45-year old film, but its message is timeless.

The film is out on DVD, and it is also on the TCM schedule for Sunday, April 14th, at 1:30 p.m. (ET).  If you like Sidney Poitier---or inspiring movies---you ought to greatly enjoy this.

Happy viewing!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Edge of the City (5 stars)

Another of my 5-star film discoveries of 2013 is 1957's Edge of the City, a hard-hitting racial issues/union corruption drama starring John Cassavetes and "man of the month" Sidney Poitier.  The film, which features Jack Warden and Ruby Dee in supporting roles, was originally a TV movie entitled A Man Is Ten Feet Tall.  The part was written with Sidney Poitier in mind.

Looking for work in a New York railroad yard is drifter Axel North (John Cassavetes).  Through a former friend, Axel has a contact at the rail yard and is soon hired on.

Axel's contact---the corrupt Charlie Malek (Jack Warden)---rules the roost at the yard and demands a kickback from Axel for getting him the job.  Additionally, he forbids him to have anything to do with Tommy Tyler (Sidney Poitier)---another employee who has been friendly to Axel.  Though Malek never outright says so, it is obvious that his contempt for Tommy is because he is black.

Despite Malek's warnings to stay away from Tommy, Axel goes to work on Tommy's crew, and the two men become very good friends.

As Axel spends time with Tommy and his wife, Lucy (Ruby Dee), they set him up with one of their friends, and while on a date one evening, Axel is approached by a man claiming to know him from somewhere...something which Axel denies.  Although Axel attempts to explain his behavior, it would appear that he is hiding something.

Deeply troubled by his past---and trying to hide his true identity, lest he be discovered and sent to prison---Axel finds himself at Malek's mercy.  Having discovered Axel's secret, Charlie demands a larger kickback from him; he also insists that Axel leave Tommy's crew and join his instead...failure to do so, and the gig is up.   A friend in every sense of the word, Tommy steps in to help Axel out of his action which infuriates Charlie and results in tragedy.

As with nearly every Sidney Poitier film I have ever seen, this is an intense, hard-hitting drama, featuring sensational acting...John Cassavetes and Mr. Poitier are both stellar in their roles.  Jack Warden is appropriately nasty and quite good as "the heavy."  Ruby Dee is terrfic as well.  Her final scene with Mr. Cassavetes is riveting.  The film's score is dramatic and quite adds to the mood.

I've seen Edge of the City compared to On the Waterfront.  For me (and I know I often march to the beat of my own drum), Edge of the City is the superior film.  While both tackle the issue of union corruption, abuse of power, and the need to speak out against them, Edge of the City moved me in a way On the Waterfront did not.  Quite honestly, Waterfront is only a 3-star film for me.

Portraying a black man and a white man as good friends was bold for 1957, as was having the black man as the white man's workplace superior.  For those reasons, Edge of the City did not play in the American South, thus making it a poor money-maker.

To  my knowledge, this film is not out on DVD; however, it is on the TCM schedule for Thursday, March 28th, at 8:00 p.m. (ET).  If you are a fan of either Sidney Poitier or John Cassavetes, you won't want to miss it.

Happy viewing!

Monday, February 04, 2013

The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (5 stars)

In all of last year, I had 6 "new to me" 5-star films...this year, after only 33 days, I already have 4!  It's not that I'm getting easier to please, because I also have at least a half dozen 1-star, couldn't-get-into-it-and-turned-it-off-after-20-minutes films.  Whatever the reason I've come upon so many lately, I absolutely love making 5-star film discoveries...and I love sharing them with my blog readers, always hoping that you will be as excited about the film as I am.  So, without further adieu, here is the first 5-star film discovery of 2013.

From 1961, comes The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, a meaty, adult-themed, tragedy, starring Vivien Leigh and, in his second film appearance, Warren Beatty.  Taking on a supporting role in the film (and nominated for an Academy Award for her performance) is Lotte Lenya, with a very young (and beautiful) Jill St. John having a small part as well.  Based on the Tennessee Williams novel of the same name, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone has somewhat of a Sunset Boulevard feel to it, as it explores the relationship between a fading, middle-aged actress and a much younger gigolo-type man.

Middle-age stage actress, Karen Stone (Vivien Leigh), has reached a crisis point in her career. After being told by a friend that it's not a question of talent but of time of life and that she ought to take on more age-appropriate roles, Karen makes the decision to close her current play and to take a vacation with her years-older husband.  Before reaching their destination, however, Tom Stone suffers a fatal heart attack, leaving Karen to face life in Rome by herself.

In the business of providing handsome young men to wealthy widows of a certain age, the Contessa Magda (Lotte Lenya) makes a call on the lonely Mrs. Stone.  Accompanying the Contessa is Paola de Leo (Warren Beatty), who puts the moves on Karen, only to find, to his great ire, that she has no interest in him.  Knowing Karen is extremely wealthy, Paola intensifies his efforts to enter into a relationship with her, and in time, he is successful.  Though Karen has her doubts about the suitability of seeing Paola, since she is incredibly lonely and "drifting through life with nowhere to go," she continues to spend time with him; eventually, despite knowing that Paola may be using her for monetary gain, Karen falls into a physical affair with him.

With the Contessa pressuring him for her share of what he's received from Mrs. Stone, Paola intensifies his efforts with Karen, even indicating that he is in love with her.  Having fallen in love with him, Karen fails to heed her friends' warnings that she has become a subject of gossip; in fact, she pushes her friends away.  Paolo has become her obsession...only now he flirts with other women and, instead of words of love, he spews forth cruelty; adding to Karen's angst is the stranger lurking around her apartment and following her around the city.

Does Paolo really love Karen?  Or is he just using her?  Will the Contessa continue to wait patiently for Paolo's payment?  Will Karen be able to stop "drifting through life" and gracefully accept that she is growing older? And what of the lurking stranger?  What does he want with Karen?  These are the questions which will play out throughout the remainder of the film.

There is so much about this film that merited a 5-star rating---the acting, the photography, the direction, the score.  Vivien Leigh is completely and totally terrific in her role.  Forty-eight years old here and grieving the ending of her marriage to Laurence Olivier, she may have felt she was bringing her own story to life.  While Vivien's marriage had ended due to divorce rather than death as her character's had, she was no less heartbroken.  Perhaps the very fact that Karen's life somewhat mirrored her own made Miss Leigh's portrayal of her so all-fire tragic!  The pain in Karen's eyes as she "drifted" through the film was, undoubtedly, the same pain Vivien herself was experiencing.  I loved Karen, and I so felt for part, I'm sure, because of her parallel with Miss Leigh, whom I have come to love.  Though nearly 48 here, Vivien is still incredibly beautiful---once you get used to the blonde hair hair she is sporting.  Her wardrobe is stunning---I was especially wild about the beige one-shoulder gown.  Finally, adding an extra dose of sorrow to Miss Leigh's tragic portrayal, is the knowledge that this is her next to last film.

Lotte Lenya is absolutely terrific as well.  She oozed sleaziness!  As the pimp/madam, she resided, appropriately, in a gaudy red-walled apartment, absentmindedly stroking her cat while manipulating her entourage of young men to do her bidding.  She was so perfect, she made my skin crawl!

I will admit that I almost went with with 4 stars on this, simply because of Warren Beatty.   I don't care for him (dare a woman of the 1970's admit that!), and I found his attempt at an Italian accent annoying.  In the end, though, since I found his portrayal of the selfish gigolo spot-on, I had to stay with 5 stars.  Lowering a rating just because I don't like Beatty is not being very objective.

The musical score and the shots of Rome add to the moody authenticity of the film, and the ending scene is powerful, haunting, and moving.  All in all, I found The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone to be a totally terrific, 5-star viewing experience.

The film is out on DVD; however, it is on the TCM schedule for this Wednesday, February 6th at 8:00 a.m. (ET).  If you like hard-hitting, meaty, adult-theme dramas, you ought to greatly enjoy this film.

Happy viewing!!

Friday, February 01, 2013

Showcasing Sidney This Month

Of all the men on my "30 favorite actors list," one of them is actually still alive, and that man will be taking center stage here at They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To this month.  That man is the incredibly talented Sidney Poitier.

While I will be watching and reviewing the films of others and also taking part in the CMBA blogathon saluting films of the 1940's, the bulk of February's action will be devoted to Mr. Poitier.  He was an amazingly gifted actor, and I never fail to be impressed with his performance.

So, expect to discover some intense, meaty, hard-hitting dramas here at They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To this month, including my first 5-star film discovery of the year.