Turn Your Back on Evilūüėą

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I was thinking the other day, Halloween is one of my favorite¬†holidays but, with the horrors I see every day on my television, I’m not sure I want to watch my top-pick scary movies this year to celebrate.¬† Funny thing is I’ve always looked at Halloween as an exercise and opportunity to face your fears and take control of how you deal with life.

In giving in to my apprehension, I was letting the nightmare in the White House affect my joy and alter my attitude and behavior. But, then I remembered the classic film “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and the leverage that Heather Langenkamp’s character (Nancy) discovered she had against Freddy Krueger when she turned her back on him. In that moment, he disappeared and she took back her power over her attitude and commitment¬†to fighting his evil.

In my opinion, “A Nightmare on Elm Street” is an allegory for our pent-up fears which prevent us from fighting through obstacles and taking ownership of our own happiness. Dreams are supposed to be representative of our true thoughts and understanding said dreams can help us understand what makes us tick.

 

“A Nightmare on Elm Street”¬†is a 1984 American¬†slasher film¬†written and directed by¬†Wes Craven, and the first film of the¬†Nightmare on Elm Street¬†franchise. The film stars¬†Heather Langenkamp,¬†John Saxon,¬†Ronee Blakley,¬†Amanda Wyss,¬†Jsu Garcia,¬†Robert Englund, and¬†Johnny Depp¬†in his feature film debut. The plot revolves around four teenagers who are stalked and killed in their dreams (and thus killed in reality) by¬†Freddy Krueger. The teenagers are unaware of the cause of this strange phenomenon, but their parents hold a dark secret from long ago. (Wikipedia)

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Nancy confronting her mom.

Because Nancy’s mom ( Ronee Blakley) lives in a constant state of agitation over her part in the death of Freddy Krueger, she projects these feelings of anxiety on her daughter. She drinks heavily in an attempt to deal with her overwhelming sense of guilt and terror and even goes so far as to putting bars on the windows of the house to protect her daughter’s life.

When she eventually tells Nancy the truth about the legend of Freddy, Nancy understands her mom’s frenzy and Freddy’s desire to kill the children of those involved in his demise. Nancy decides to break through this paralyze¬†by trying to save her friends, learning how to defend herself and eventually discovering the means to take away Freddy’s control over her, her friends, and by extension, her mom.

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Freddy, Nancy

Nancy could have taken on her mom’s constant state of panic, but instead chose to break the cycle.

I’m taking Nancy’s lead and turning my back on the paralysis and dread that the malice in the White House has managed to wreak on our country and the world.

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So, in the spirit of Halloween, the celebration has begun with decorations and the enjoyment of my choice best of the best as I turn my back on evil and continue¬†the battle against a madness greater than any horror film I’ve ever seen.

 

 

 

 

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“Is This a Kissing Book?” Princess Bride (1987)ūüĎł

TCM Big Screen Classics Presents

The Princess Bride

 

A Special 30th-Anniversary Event

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IN THEATERS OCT 15th and OCT 18th

 

One of my favorite and definitely most quotable films, “The Princess Bride”(1987) brings together all the classic elements of the damsel in distress¬†story and style of the irreverent and hilarious Monty Python franchise to the 1980’s generation.

It’s back in the theaters and even if you’ve quoted it a thousand times, there’s nothing like sharing the laughter in the theater with fellow “Princess Bride” aficionados!

 

“The Princess Bride”¬†is a 1987 American¬†romantic¬†fantasy¬†adventure¬†comedy-drama film¬†directed and co-produced by¬†Rob Reiner, and starring¬†Cary Elwes,¬†Robin Wright,¬†Mandy Patinkin,¬†Chris Sarandon,¬†Wallace Shawn,¬†Andr√© the Giant¬†and¬†Christopher Guest.

 

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The film was adapted by William Goldman from his 1973 novel of the same name and tells the story of a farmhand named Westley, accompanied by befriended companions along the way, who must rescue his true love Princess Buttercup from the odious Prince Humperdinck.

The story is presented in the film as a book being read by a grandfather (Peter Falk) to his sick grandson (Fred Savage), thus effectively preserving the novel’s narrative style. (Wikipedia)

 

Fred Savage

 

This 30th-anniversary event includes a specially produced interview with Ben Mankiewicz and Rob Reiner.

 

Awards:

*1992: Best Picture (David Brown, Rob Reiner and Andrew Scheinman, Producers), A Few Good Men. **1976: Adapted Screenplay, All the President’s Men; 1969, Original Screenplay, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

 

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Cast now: Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Wallace Shawn, Carol Kane, and Billy Crystal

 

 

 

Make sure to mark your calendar, buy your ticket and get ready to enjoy this classic on the big screen. Relive this epic adventure filled with fencing, fighting, giants, monsters, Miracle Max, and true love!

 

 

 

 

“God bless us, everyone.” Quotable Closing Lines

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I can appreciate there are those who don’t like Top 10 lists but I tend to enjoy them because of getting to find out the favorites of fellow film lovers. Also, reminiscing about my best-loved movies that perhaps I haven’t thought about for a while.

 

 

Closing lines can serve as punctuation, the¬†cherry on top. They can also, wrap up the film. One-liners¬†that recall the movie all over again. Often times these are the quotes we remember most and become representative of the movie’s theme.

There are way too many movies to choose from so these are just a sampling that made this particular list. I love the Top 2 but as I was watching so many other films came to mind.

Please, let me know in the comments some of your best quotes. I’m looking forward to reading them.

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Spoiler Alert: I make it a point to never reveal a film’s ending because it’s a matter of courtesy. Don’t spoil the movie!

 

Although not closing, a few choice quotes:

Charlie Chaplin – The Great Dictator (1940)

Peter Lorre – Maltese Falcon (1941)

 

Colin Clive -Frankenstein (1931)

 

Wallace Shawn – Princess Bride (1987)

 

Paul Reubens- Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)

 

Clevon Little – Blazing Saddles (1974)

For the 1 Percent, “Greed is Still Good”

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“Wall Street” (1987)

 

BACK IN THEATERS

SEPTEMBER 24th and SEPTEMBER 27th

Twentieth Century Fox Presents

Wall Street 30th Anniversary

 

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In this riveting behind-the-scenes look at big business in the 1980s, an ambitious young broker (Charlie Sheen) is lured into the illegal, lucrative world of corporate espionage when he is seduced by the power, status and financial wizardry of Wall Street legend Gordon Gekko ( Michael Douglas in his Oscar-winning performance).

But, he soon discovers that the pursuit of overnight riches comes at a price that‚Äôs too high to pay. Daryl Hannah and (Martin Sheen‘s) co-star in Oliver Stone’s gripping morality tale about the American dream gone wrong. (Fathom Events)

This special 30th-Anniversary event also includes a unique look at ‘Greed is Good”, a retrospective.

When I experienced “Wall Street” at its release I thought it hit the nail on the head as far as the state of Ronald Reagan’s America. All about the Benjamins, this country ventured down a road we continue to travel, with even more disastrous¬†results – “Citizens United”, “Corporations are People”, “Enron”, “The Worse Recession since the Great Depression”, all in the name of “Greed is Good”.

 

Stone made the film as a tribute to his father, Lou Stone, a stockbroker during the Great Depression. The character of Gekko is said to be a composite of several people, including Dennis Levine, Ivan Boesky, Carl Icahn, (endorsed Trump for the 2016 U.S. presidential election) Asher Edelman, Michael Ovitz, Michael Milken, and Stone himself. The character of Sir Lawrence Wildman, meanwhile, was modeled on the prominent British financier and corporate raider Sir James Goldsmith. (Wikipedia)

 

Check out “Wall Street” in a theater near you and take a look back at the not so distant past to fully understand why the rich get richer and the poor beg for healthcare. Brilliantly directed by Oliver Stone, it reminds us that if we don’t know our history we are bound to repeat it.

 

Click here to purchase tickets.

 

Before “Cabin in the Sky” – Early Black Films of the 1920’s

 

Believe it or not, I appreciate being corrected and kept on my toes about the facts and details of film history.

Thanks to the observant eye of one of my fabulous readers, I’m making a correction to a previous post about¬†“Cabin in the Sky”. I labeled it as the first all black cast and musical which it was not.

 

 

To make sure of my facts, I did some digging and discovered that the first all black sound film was The Melancholy¬†Dame (1929). An early two-reeler, it starred Evelyn Preer¬†(known for her 1920 role of Sylvia Landry in Oscar Micheaux’s “Within Our Gates”), Roberta Hyson, Edward Thompson, and Spencer Williams.

Spencer Williams was an American actor, writer, director, and producer whose early pioneering work in African-American or “race” films was eclipsed in fame by his role as one of the title characters in the equally pioneering and also controversial 1950s sitcom¬†The Amos ‘n Andy Show¬†(1951). (IMDb)

Directed by Arvid E. Gillstrom, the plot of “The Melancholy Dame” involves a nightclub owner’s wife (Evelyn Preer), jealous of his attentions to his star singer, scheming to get her fired. The look on the wife’s face from the opening frame says it all!

 

I can’t believe I found a copy of the film (20 min.) on YouTube.

The first two full-length films with all black casts were “Hearts in Dixie” (1929) starring Daniel Haynes, Nina Mae McKinney, and Victoria Spivey and “Hallelujah” (1929) which starred Clarence Muse, Stepin’ Fetchit, and Mildred Washington. “Hearts in Dixie” was also the first all black-oriented all-talking film from a major company. (The Chronical History of the Negro in America)

 

“Hearts in Dixie” celebrates African-American music and dance and was released by Fox Film Corporation just months before Hallelujah,¬†produced¬†by¬†competitor¬†Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The director of¬†Hearts in Dixie¬†was¬†Paul Sloane. Walter Weems wrote the screenplay, and¬†William Fox¬†was the producer. (Wikipedia)

“Hearts in Dixie”¬†unfolds as a series of sketches of life among American blacks. It featured characters with dignity, who took action on their own, and who were not slaves.¬†The plot focuses on Grandfather Nappus (Clarence Muse), his daughter, Chloe (Bernice Pilot), her young son, Chinaquapin (Eugene Jackson), and her husband, Gummy (Stepin Fetchit).

To make certain his grandson Chinaquapin does not end up like his father or become tainted by the superstitions that dominate the community, the grandfather decides to send the boy away.

 

“Hallelujah”(1929), was the first all black musical and was directed by King Vidor and produced by MGM studios. It was intended for a general audience and was considered so risky a venture by¬†MGM¬†that they required King Vidor to invest his own salary in the production.

Vidor expressed an interest in “showing the Southern Negro as he is”(whatever that means)¬†and attempted to present a relatively non-stereotyped view of African-American life.

“Hallelujah!”¬†was King Vidor’s first sound film, and combined sound recorded on location and sound recorded post-production in Hollywood.¬†King Vidor was nominated for a Best Director¬†Oscar¬†for the film.

It was the first major studio musical and the first of its kind in Hollywood history.¬†In 2008, “Hallelujah!”¬†was selected for preservation in the United States¬†National Film Registry¬†by the¬†Library of Congress¬†as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

 

Vidor thought the time was right to test the waters of racial tolerance with a tale of sex, murder, religion, and music enacted by a black cast. He also wanted to take advantage of the emerging sound technology that was revolutionizing the film industry.

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These 3 films were some of the first race talkies ever and despite the stereotypes, these films are important as they were made with black actors for black audiences (thus ‘race films’).

African Americans produced films for black audiences as early as 1905, but most race films were produced after 1915. As many as 500 race films were produced in the United States between 1915 and 1952. As happened later with the early black sitcoms on television, race movies were most often financed by white-owned companies, such as Leo Popkin, and scripted and directed by whites, although one producer, Alfred N. Sack, made some films written and directed by black talent such as Spencer Williams (actor).

 

Many race films were produced by white-owned film companies outside the Hollywood-centered American film industry such as Million Dollar Productions in the 1930s and Toddy Pictures in the 1940s. One of the earliest surviving examples of a black cast film aimed at a black audience is A Fool and His Money (1912), directed by French emigree Alice Guy for the Solax Film Company. The Ebony Film Company of Chicago, created specifically to produce black-cast films, was also headed by a white production team.

Some black-owned studios existed, including¬†Lincoln Motion Picture Company¬†(1916‚Äď1921), and most notably¬†Oscar Micheaux‘s Chicago-based Micheaux Film Corporation, which operated from¬†1918‚Äď1940. On his posters, Micheaux advertised that his films were scripted and produced exclusively by African Americans.¬†Astor Pictures¬†also released several race films and produced¬†Beware¬†with¬†Louis Jordan.

 

 

Race films vanished during the early 1950s after African-American participation in World War II contributed to black actors in leading roles in several Hollywood major productions, which focussed on the serious problems of integration and racism, such as Pinky with Ethel Waters; Home of the Brave with James Edwards; and Intruder in the Dust, all in 1949; and No Way Out (1950), which was the debut of the notable actor Sidney Poitier. The last known race film appears to have been an obscure adventure film of 1954 called Carib Gold. (Wikipedia)

Thanks to my original error, I ended up learning so much more about the history of black ‘race’ films and the long, rich history of African American artists.

 

 

Khan!!!!!! “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” ūüĖĖūüŹľ

 

SPECIAL 35TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan 35th Anniversary

Back on the Big Screen Sept 10th and Sept 13th!

My favorite classic Star Trek movie –

 

“Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”.¬†

 

A tremendous treat for Star Trek fans like myself and one of the most celebrated and essential chapters in Star Trek lore, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is now presented in this spectacular Director’s Cut from legendary filmmaker  Nicholas Meyer.

On routine training maneuvers, Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) seems resigned that this may be the last space mission of his career. But Khan is back, with a vengeance!

Aided by his exiled band of genetic supermen, Khan ((Ricardo Montalbán) brilliant renegade of 20th century Earth-has raided Space Station Regula One, stolen the top-secret device called Project Genesis, wrested control of another Federation starship, and now schemes to set a most deadly trap for his old enemy Kirk…with the threat of a universal Armageddon! (Fathom Events)

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is a 1982 American science fiction film directed by Nicholas Meyer and based on the 1960s television series Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry. It is the second film in the Star Trek film series and is a stand-alone sequel to Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). (Wikipedia)

I’ve shared memories of my favorite Star Trek movie before, celebrating the adversarial reunion of Kirk and Khan in this next chapter and look back at the outstanding tv series episode, ¬†“The Space Seed” on which the movie is based. Ricardo Montalban is mesmerizing as the “super-man” Khan Noonien Singh!

Fans won’t want to miss this special 35th-anniversary screening that includes an exclusive introduction from William Shatner.

William Shatner

Save the date and order tickets here.

See you at the movies!¬†ūüćŅ

The Evil Men Do – The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

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The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

“I am jealous of everything whose beauty does not die. I am jealous of the portrait you have painted of me. Why should it keep what I must lose? Every moment that passes takes something from me and gives something to it. Oh, if it were only the other way! If the picture could change, and I could be always what I am now! Why did you paint it? It will mock me some day — mock me horribly!” The hot tears welled into his eyes; he tore his hand away and, flinging himself on the divan, he buried his face in the cushions, as though he was praying.”

“Dorian Gray” – Oscar Wilde’s -“The Picture of Dorian Gray”

 

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Dorian Gray

If you could, would you, sell your soul for eternal youth?

That was the choice made by Dorian Gray. His story is a classic cautionary tale. Be careful what you wish for.

Dorian Gray (Hurd Hatfield) is a striking and wealthy young man living in 19th century London. While posing for his portrait with his artist friend Basil Hallward (Lowell Gilmore), he meets the cynical and audacious Lord Henry Wotton (George Sanders) who tells him that youth and beauty are fleeting and while he’s young he should entertain every worldly pleasure. Dorian is naive and in the presence¬†of an enchanted Egyptian cat wishes he would stay forever young and only his portrait would age.

 

 

While visiting a local pub, The Two Turtles, he meets the beautiful and demure Sybil Vane. She sweetly sings “Goodbye Little Yellow Bird” and Dorian is totally enamored. Falling in love, he asks Miss Vale for her hand in marriage and invites both Basil and Lord Wotton to the pub to meet his love.

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Sybil Vane

 

When Dorian informs Lord Wotton of his intention to marry Sybil, Wotton suggests he tests her virtue by inviting her to spend the evening with him. If she rebukes him then she’s chaste if she accepts she’s a tramp and as the saying goes “why pay for the cow when you can have the milk for free.” Dorian buys into this plan thus beginning his downward spiral into narcissism and pleasures of the flesh.

 

 

Sybil accepts Dorian’s request to stay with him and the following day Dorian sends her a breakup letter expressing his disappointment in her. Heartbroken, Sybil is devastated and Dorian becomes aware of the first signs of cruelty to appear upon his portrait’s face.

 

 

Years pass with his peers aging, but Dorian’s youth remains. Gossip swirls and his friends begin to shun him; questioning why his appearance is the same. Dorian goes full tilt debauchery until he finally reaches rock bottom.

There are people today who could benefit from heeding the lesson in the “Picture of Dorian Gray.” The evil you do comes back to bite. Karma is a bitch.

 

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