I was going to put together my list of the ten best movies of 2010, but I think I only saw two, and one of them, Hot Tub Time Machine, is such a shoo-in for the Oscar this year I thought why bother.
Instead, in the spirit of pure narcissism—and because I'm still working on my marathon essay on the years 1906-1914 and have nothing else to post—here are the ten subjects I most enjoyed writing about in 2010 (click on the highlighted link to read the original post):
10. Helen Chandler
She was an actress in the early days of sound best remembered now for getting her neck bitten in Bela Lugosi's Dracula. But I love her for uttering my favorite line of dialogue from the World War I flying ace movie, The Last Flight:
"What are you changing your shoes for?"
"On account of I can walk faster in red shoes."
9. Norma Shearer
It's fun—occasionally—to admit you're wrong and when I picked Norma Shearer as the best actress of 1931-32 for her performance in the comedy Private Lives, I had to admit I had been wrong in dismissing her so quickly in the past.
8. Ham Actors
You remember that Oscar ceremony where Wallace Beery beat John Barrymore around the head and shoulders with a rotary dial telephone? You don't? Well, it happened, at least here at the Monkey.
7. Movie Lists
I think I once vowed never to do a list—so, of course, this year I did two. Or three, counting this one.
6. The Aging Of Greta Garbo
But for an anomalous couple of weeks when somebody's droid app led to 3500 hits a day on my post about Popeye the Sailor, this post—a chronological series of photographs of Greta Garbo, ranging from childhood to old age—is the most popular one I've ever written.
5. Anita Page
Did you ever fall in love with a hundred year old dead actress you're not married to? You did? What are you, some kind of freak?
4. Leave It To Beaver In Japanese
Actually, I mean Yasujiro Ozu's classic comedy I Was Born, But ..., the story of a couple of mischievous boys who discover their dad is a middle management toady who survives as the butt of his boss's jokes. Why? "He pays my salary."
"Then don't let him pay you," his son says.
"Yeah!" the little brother adds with the implacable logic of a six year old. "You pay him instead!"
And you wonder why I blog for a living.
3. Jean Harlow
Seriously, I need to explain this?
2. Very, very old movies
I still say a rocket hitting the moon in the eye is one of the greatest images in the history of movies.
1. The Marx Brothers
Only a fool would write an eight-part, 12,000 word essay and not claim it as his favorite post of the year. Well, the Monkey may be crazy, but he's no fool.