Although “Roman Holiday” was not Audrey Hepburn’s first acting role, it was the film that helped to put her on the map. Released in 1953, “Roman Holiday” still delights and charms audiences today. It’s hard not to watch Hepburn and her co-star Gregory Peck careen through Rome on a Vespa scooter and not fall in love with this picture. Fun fact: After the picture had been released sales of Vespa scooters went through the roof! Continue reading Retrospective Review: Roman Holiday
“Possessed” sees Crawford’s character reduced to an empty shell, and completely retreats into her neuroticism. Although dated with its approach and understanding of mental illness, “Possessed” remains somewhat relevant in the ills of the patriarchy and the appalling treatment/misunderstanding of individuals suffering from a psychotic break (you only have to look at the treatment of Elisabeth Moss’ character in this year’s “The Invisible Man” to see how little society has come since 1947). Continue reading Retrospective Review: Possessed
This year Hollywood legend Dame Olivia de Havilland turns 104 – a tribute
Olivia de Havilland first appeared on movie screens 85 years ago.
If you’ve watched her in David O. Selznick’s “Gone with the Wind” (1939) you can’t be faulted if that’s how you remember her – as Melanie. If you haven’t watched her as Melanie, perhaps you should be faulted, after all. She was vital to GWTW’s success.
Remember Mammy pouring out her grief to Melanie as she walks up that staircase in the mournful Rhett-Scarlett household?
Seconds of grumbling. That’s all it took. Unlike the rest of us, Melanie didn’t find it just mildly annoying. She found it unbearable. She saw the world through a clean, clear lens. She wouldn’t let her own dark thoughts – she did have those – or the dark words and actions of others, cloud that lens beyond a point. Continue reading de Havilland: Olivia for all time, Melanie forever
Earlier this year, “Miss Americana” (2020) was released on Netflix. The documentary delves into Taylor Swift’s status as “America’s sweetheart” and the pressures it puts on her. What it also shows is how this perception of her sometimes masks what a brilliant businesswoman she is and how she’s built her own empire from the ground up. But Swift isn’t the first curly-haired blonde to be called “America’s sweetheart” and whose impressive business acumen is often overlooked.
Mary Pickford might be best known as the original ingénue and the “girl with the curls,” but she was also a founder of the United Artists film studio and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She was one of the most powerful figures in the early days of Hollywood and achieved so much in her eighty-seven years. Not only beautiful and talented, she learned to negotiate pay raises for herself to reflect her wild popularity and became a producer of both her own and other films. Continue reading Women’s History Month: Mary Pickford
It was 1941 and American soldiers were away from home only weeks after Pearl Harbor. On Christmas Day they heard a song written by a Russian Jewish immigrant that spoke of all their longing for home and the comforts of the holiday sung by Bing Crosby on the radio. Seventy-eight years later, “White Christmas’ by Irving Berlin has lost none of its poignancy and the film that shares its title is just as cherished. “White Christmas” is a remarkable film, especially for the two fantastic leading ladies it is lucky to claim. Continue reading Retrospective Review: White Christmas (1954)