It was another busy movie weekend here at the Monkey. In addition to the essay about King Vidor's Hallelujah!, which off and on took all day Saturday, Katie-Bar-The-Door and I watched Spike Lee's answer to Saving Private Ryan, Miracle at St. Anna, a very fine war movie about the experiences of the 92nd Division's "Buffalo Soldiers," an all-black division that fought in Italy during the Second World War. Here's a movie that somehow slipped through the cracks last year—no, actually here was one that critics and moviegoers alike stomped on and shoved through the cracks—but Katie and I both thought it was a superb movie and highly recommend it.
We also watched Bedknobs and Broomsticks because it was Angela Lansbury day on Turner Classic Movies and neither of us had seen the movie since its release in 1971. Turns out there's a reason for that. It's not good. It's dull and derivative and chock full of bad songs. Rent Mary Poppins instead.
On my own, I also watched a couple of Ernst Lubitsch movies, Design For Living, which you'll be hearing much more about later, and Monte Carlo, which you won't. The former is a Hays Code-busting comedy about a ménage à trois between Miriam Hopkins, Gary Cooper and Fredric March, with excellent support from Edward Everett Horton (support in a movie sense, that is). The latter proves that even the immortal Lubitsch can't overcome a fatal flaw in casting, in this case Jack Buchanan as the romantic lead. Who's Jack Buchanan, you say? Exactly.
As for the new comments policy, I enjoy hearing from my readers, even the ones who have been dead for years. But the comments section has gradually turned into something of the old Wild West lately and it has been called to my attention (possibly by the left side of my brain) that genteel folk have become afraid to walk the street in broad daylight.
So for the time being, my good friend, Sheriff John T. Chance, has agreed to review all comments before they are then posted on the blog. He says no cussin', at least nothing that even Two and a Half Men couldn't use, no racial slurs, no ad hominem attacks on readers who are still alive, no wearing tights in public, etc.
And leave all firearms with Dude at the end of town.
Likely, there will be some delay between when you submit your comment and when it shows up on the blog—Sheriff John T. is strictly old school when it comes to all this newfangled technology— and if you think your comment was unfairly rejected, take it up with Chance. If you dare.
Anyway, we'll see how this works out ...
Book Review--Majestic Hollywood: The Greatest Films of 1939
49 minutes ago