Ginger Rogers

Flying Down to Rio (1933)

Band leader Roger Bond (Gene Raymond) is a notorious womanizer.  While his band is playing in Miami, the lovely Belinha De Rezenda (Dolores del Rio) catches his eye and isn’t about to let the hotel’s rule about staff not fraternizing with guests stand in his way.  Fred Ayers (Fred Astaire), his friend/choreographer/accordion player, knows that this will not end well at all and sure enough, he is right.  When Belinha’s chaperone finds out what Roger is doing, she gets him fired.  But when he finds out Belinha is headed to Rio de Janeiro, he gets in touch with his friend Julio (Raul Roulien) in Rio and gets the band a gig playing at the hotel Julio works at.  And it just so happens that Roger likes to fly and has his own two-seat plane, so he offers to give Belinha a lift.

Along the way, Roger plays the old “engine trouble” card and lands his plane on a secluded beach in Haiti.  He spends the whole night trying to win Belinha over, but he soon finds out there is one little detail she’s neglected to mention — she’s engaged.  Roger isn’t about to let that stand in the way, but when she finds out that there wasn’t really a problem with the engine, she storms off and catches another plane to Rio.  When Roger finally makes his own way to Rio, he asks his friend Julio to help him win Belinha back, but doesn’t realize that Julio is the person Belinha is engaged to.  Not only that, her father owns the hotel they’re now playing at.

While Fred and Honey Hale (Ginger Rogers), the band’s singer, are having fun learning the local dances, things aren’t going so smoothly for Belinha’s father.  Some business rivals are trying to put his hotel out of business before it even opens and has the police shut down the band’s rehearsals, knowing they couldn’t get their entertainment permits in time for the grand opening festivities.  But then Roger has a stroke of genius and decides to do their show in the air, where they wouldn’t need permits.  They come up with a show that involves plenty of showgirls dancing on the wings of airplanes.  The show is a huge success and Belinha’s father is so grateful to Roger for saving his hotel that he sends him a heartfelt letter thanking him for all he has done.  After that, Roger doesn’t have the heart to split up Belinha and Julio.  But Julio realizes that Belinha would be much happier with Roger and doesn’t want to get between them.

Flying Down to Rio is best remembered for being the first movie to feature Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers together.  But don’t go into it expecting something along the lines of Swing Time or Follow the Fleet.  Flying Down to Rio was really intended to be a vehicle for Dolores del Rio, so Fred and Ginger are just supporting roles.  But even in their supporting role status, they’re clearly the scene stealers of the movie.  If you set the Fred and Ginger factor aside, Flying Down to Rio stands well on its own as a real pre-code classic.  It’s got some fun innuendo and even though there’s no way that musical number on the airplanes would ever actually work as a real show, it’s such an unforgettable scene.  Overall, a very fun movie.

Fashion in Film: Top Hat

In my last Fashion in Film post, I talked about how costumes can reveal a lot about what a character is like and what they’re feeling.  Now let’s move to the other end of the spectrum where the costumes might not be as insightful, but perfectly represent what the movie was supposed to be.  Top Hat is one of the greatest musicals to come out during the Great Depression and one of the finest pairings of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.  Depression era musicals were all about escapism and fantasy and Top Hat definitely has plenty of that.

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Vivacious Lady (1938)

After his cousin Keith (James Ellison) runs off to Manhattan, Peter Morgan, Jr. (James Stewart) is sent after him to bring him home again.  Peter finds Keith, all right, but he also finds Francey (Ginger Rogers), a night club singer.  It’s love at first sight for Francey and Peter and after knowing each other for one whole day, they get married before getting on a train with Keith to Old Sharon, Peter’s hometown.  Peter’s parents, Peter Morgan, Sr. (Charles Coburn) and Martha (Beulah Bondi), have no idea about Francey and they’re pretty conservative, so they wouldn’t be too wild about Peter having eloped with a nightclub singer.

When Peter’s parents meet them at the train station, they assume that Francey came with Keith.  Peter really wants to tell his parents, but every time his father starts going on about Francey, his mother feels weak from a heart condition.  So then he decides to tell his parents during the prom held at the university where Peter teaches and Peter, Sr. is president.  There’s one other person Peter needs to break the news to: his first fiancée Helen (Frances Mercer).  Francey poses as a new student and Keith’s date to get into the prom.  She even meets Martha and hits it off with her.  But just as Peter is ready to tell everyone the news, Francey and Helen get into a fistfight that ends with Francey accidentally punching Peter, Sr.

Francey moves into an apartment and continues posing as a student so she can see Peter during his classes.  Peter does eventually manage to break the news to his father by blurting it out right before Peter, Sr. has to make a speech.  As expected, Peter, Sr. is not happy and Martha’s heart problems suddenly flare up again.  Except Martha missed the part where Peter said he was married to Francey and Peter, Sr. orders Peter to not tell Martha so she won’t get upset.  By now, Francey is getting frustrated with the situation and starts considering going back to Manhattan.  But when Helen catches Peter sneaking out of Francey’s apartment one night, she decides to tell Martha that Peter and Francey are together.  Martha goes to Francey’s apartment to investigate further and Francey accidentally admits to being married to Peter.  But rather than be upset, she’s happy.  She likes Francey and we quickly find out she’s not as uptight as Peter, Sr.  When Peter, Sr. insists that Francey and Peter divorce, Martha decides she’s fed up with his controlling behavior and leaves him.  Francey also reluctantly decides to leave Peter.  Martha and Francey unintentionally get on the same train together, but while they’re headed out of town, Peter and his father are trying to chase the train down and get their wives back.

I loved Vivacious Lady!  It instantly became one of my favorite Ginger Rogers movies, she was hilarious in it.  This was a perfect vehicle to show off Ginger’s comedic skills and she had wonderful chemistry with Jimmy Stewart.  Actually, this had a fantastic cast all around.  Jimmy was excellent, Beulah Bondi’s scenes with Ginger were so much fun, James Ellison made a great playboy type, and of course, if you want a stuffy, rich, older guy with good comedic timing, you can’t go wrong with Charles Coburn.  A wonderful bit of purely cheerful entertainment!

Live Post: The Debbie Reynolds Auction

Even though I’m broke and can’t afford to actually bid on anything in today’s auction, there’s so much amazing stuff up for sale today that I can’t resist trying to follow the auction as best I can.  So I figured I’d try my hand at live blogging and cover the auction the best I can as it happens.  I’m not going to cover every single item up for sale, but I’ll try to keep you updated about some of the more noteworthy items.  So stay tuned, sit back, relax, and live vicariously through other people who can afford to spend insane amounts of money on movie memorabilia.  And I’m just putting it out there right now: I would not be even remotely surprised if Hugh Hefner buys Marilyn Monroe’s white dress from The Seven Year Itch.  A million dollar absentee bid has already been placed on it, so it will definitely be sold for at least that much today.

If you want to follow along with the auction live, just go here, click on “Live Bidding”, then click the option to just watch the auction. There is a live video stream, but no audio.

Updates:

Note – The selling prices I list here don’t include the buyer’s premium.  If you see articles about Judy Garland’s Wizard of Oz test costume selling for more than a million, that source factored in the buyer’s premium.

3:12 PM – The first lot, a 1915 35mm Bell and Howell camera just sold for $32,500!

3:16 PM – Rudolph Valentino’s matador suit from Blood and Sand just went for $210,000.

3:19 PM – Mary Pickford’s headpiece from Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall went for $3,250.

3: 21 PM- Francis X. Bushman’s charioteer helmet from 1925’s Ben Hur sold for $30,000!

3:26 PM – Harold Lloyd’s suit and hat went for $4,000!

3:34 PM – Mary Pickford’s gown from The Taming of the Shrew sold for $17,000.

3:36 PM – Lots 17 and 18, both Douglas Fairbanks costumes from The Taming of the Shrew sold for $20,000 and lot 18 didn’t sell.

3:38 PM – One of Charlie Chaplin’s infamous hats went for $110,000!

3:40 PM – A Model T used by Laurel and Hardy sold for $32,500 and a pair of their suits went for $16,000.

3:42 PM – Carole Lombard’s gown from No Man of Her Own sold for $11,000.

3:47 PM – Claudette Colbert’s Cleopatra gown went for $40,000.

3:52 PM – Greta Garbo’s gown from Anna Karenina also sold for $40,000!

3:53 PM – Harpo Marx’s hat and wig went for $45,000!

4:10 PM – Lots 42, 43, and 44 are the paintings commissioned by Marion Davies and respectively went for $10,000, $11,000, and $17,000.  These really got the bidders going.

4:17  PM – W.C. Fields’ joke box sold for $35,000.

4:39 PM – Norma Shearer’s purple gown from Romeo and Juliet went for $20,000.

5:04 PM – Now we’re into stuff from The Good Earth and people went nuts for some of the furniture!  The pair of chairs went for $20,000, the opium bed for $20,000, two Paul Muni robes for $4,000 each, Luise Rainer’s shirt for $2,000, the lot of stands and other furniture for $3,500, and Luise Rainer’s jacket for $3,000.

5:13  PM – A gown worn by Norma Shearer in Marie Antoinette and Lucille Ball in Du Barry was a Lady sold for $11,000.

5:44 PM – Oh, now we’re into a busy bunch of lots!  First up was Marlene Dietrich’s outfit from “The Boys in the Backroom” number in Destry Rides Again, which went for $8,000, one of Judy Garland’s test costumes from The Wizard of Oz went for $910,000, a test pair of the ruby slippers sold for $510,000, an extra’s jacket from the Emerald City scenes of the Wizard of Oz sold for $22,500, Clark Gable’s dressing robe from the production of Gone With the Wind went for $10,000, and Basil Rathbone’s famous Sherlock Holmes caped overcoat sold for $50,000!

5:54 PM – Vivien Leigh’s suit from Waterloo Bridge sold for $16,000.

6:09 PM – Gary Cooper’s military uniform from Sergeant York went for $55,000.

6:16 PM – A couple of costumes worn by James Cagney in Yankee Doodle Dandy, the satin jockey shirt went for $27,500 and the clown outfit sold for $15,000.

6:19 PM – Not so fast, Louis!  A suit worn by Claude Rains in Casablanca sold for $55,000!

6:53 PM – Took a dinner break and missed another busy bunch of lots!  Elizabeth Taylor’s riding outfit from National Velvet went for $60,000, Judy Garland’s “Under the Bamboo Tree” dress from Meet Me in St. Louis sold for $16,000, Judy’s dress from the snowman building scene in Meet Me in St. Louis went for $10,000, Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra’s sailor suits from Anchors Aweigh went for $27,500 and $15,000 respectively.

7:00 PM – $22,500 for Joan Crawford’s waitress uniform from Mildred Pierce and $5,000 for Ann Blyth’s Mildred Pierce suit.

7:05 PM – Edmund Gwenn’s Santa suit from Miracle on 34th Street just sold for $22,500.

8:12 PM – The gold lame dress worn by Ginger Rogers in The Barkleys of Broadway went for $8,000.

8:51 PM – The chiffon robe worn by Vivien Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire sold for $18,000.  Then it went into a bunch of items from An American in Paris with Leslie Caron’s peacock dress from the fantasy ballet number for $15,000, Nina Foch’s white halter gown from a party scene for $3,000, and a showgirl costume from the Stairway to Paradise number for $1,100.

9:05 PM – We have reached the Singin’ in the Rain part of the auction.  First were the green and white checked suits worn by Donald O’Connor and Gene Kelly, $8,000 and $14,000 respectively.  Jean Hagen’s Marie Antoinette-esque dress sold for $5,500 and Gene Kelly’s period costume went for $9,000.  Debbie’s green and white leaf print dress went for $15,000, Gene Kelly’s jacket from the Broadway Melody Ballet number went for $6,500, Jean Hagen’s black and white fur coat went for $6,000, Donald O’Connor’s “Good Morning” suit didn’t sell, Cyd Charisse’s white Broadway Melody Ballet outfit for $7,000, and Debbie’s “Good Morning” dress went for $27,500.  A pink dress worn by Gwen Carter sold for $3,750, and a bunch of costumes from the “Beautiful Girl” montage brought $5,500.

9:22 PM – Now we’re getting into some of the Marilyn Monroe and Marilyn-related items.  First up is Marilyn’s red “Two Little Girls from Little Rock” dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which brought $1.2 million!  Then came the feathered hat worn by Jane Russell when she impersonates Loreli Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, that sold for $4,250.  Lauren Bacall’s wedding dress from How to Marry a Millionaire went for $8,000 and the car used by Marilyn and Cary Grant in Monkey Business sold for $210,000.

9:48 PM – A lot of two safari outfits worn by Grace Kelly in Mogambo sold for $47,500.  A Winchester rifle used by Clark Gable in Mogambo brought in $15,000.

10:00 PM – A couple more from Marilyn Monroe.  The gold dress from River of No Return went for $510,000 and her costume from the “Heat Wave” number in There’s No Business Like Show Business brought in $500,000!

10:52 PM – After a little break, we’re back with the dress everyone’s been waiting for — the infamous Marilyn Monroe white subway dress from The Seven Year Itch.  I fully expected bidding to be out of control for this one and I wasn’t disappointed.  It brought in an astonishing $4.6 million!

11:03 PM – Now we’ve got a couple from To Catch a Thief.  A coat worn by Cary Grant brought in $15,000 and an outfit worn by Grace Kelly earned a jaw dropping $450,000!

11:41 PM – A couple of dresses worn by Deborah Kerr in An Affair to Remember brought in $6,000 and $11,000.

12:17 AM – One of Lana Turner’s dresses from Peyton Place sold for $4,250.

12:22 AM – Lot number 407 is rather unique because it includes things worn by both Kim Novak and Rita Hayworth in Pal Joey.  It went for $6,500.

12:29 AM – Leslie Caron’s iconic plaid schoolgirl outfit from Gigi went for $65,000.

12:40 AM – Charlton Heston’s tunic and cape from Ben Hur could have been yours for the low, low price of $320,000!

1:32 AM – Marlon Brando’s naval outfit from Mutiny on the Bounty just brought in $90,000!

2:12 AM – Elizabeth Taylor’s famous headdress from Cleopatra went for $100,000 and Richard Burton’s tunic, cape, and sword brought in $85,000.

Oh, who cares what time it is anymore?  Yes, I’m still going!  Aren’t these people tired and broke yet?!  Janet Leigh’s yellow fringed dress from Bye Bye Birdie fetched $3,750 and Bette Davis’ blood stained dress from Hush, Hush…Sweet Charlotte sold for $11,000.

Another big item to watch tonight was Audrey Hepburn’s Ascot dress from My Fair Lady.  I fully expected it to exceed the $200,000-$300,000 and it sure did.  It went up to $3.7 million!

I would say that the hills are alive with the sound of music, but at this time of night, I’m pretty sure that’s a noise ordinance violation.  Julie Andrews’ guitar went for $140,000, her jumper from the “Do Re Mi” number for $550,000, her turquoise and green dress for $45,000, the peasant dress went for $42,500, and a pair of the Trapp children’s outfits sold for $35,000.

And at long last we have reached the Barbara Streisand part of the auction.  First from Funny Girl is her costume from “I’d Rather Be Blue” for $65,000, a lot of the other roller skating costumes for $2,500, the black velvet dress from “My Man” for $16,000, a bunch of stuff worn by the Ziegfeld girls in the “His Love Makes Me Beautiful” number for $7,500, Anne Francis’ silk dress for $1,800, and Kay Medford’s beaded shawl for $1,400.

A jacket worn by Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid brought $8,500 and a dress worn by Katharine Ross went for $16,000.

And back to Streisand.  The purple Hello, Dolly dress went for $55,000 and the gold dress for $100,000.  Surprised the gold dress went for that little, that’s how much it cost to make that dress back in the day.

You’ll be fascinated to know that a shirt worn in the cinematic masterpiece known as Grease 2 sold for $475.

We have finally made it to the final segment of posters/portraits!  The title cards for Blind Husbands fetched $2,000, the lot of three Gloria Swanson title/lobby cards sold for $1,200, the portrait of Gloria Swanson went for $8,500, the lot of two Mabel Normand lobby cards for $800, the pair of silent title/lobby cards for $1,600, the lobby card for Lon Chaney’s The Penalty for $1,700, and the lobby card for Chaplin’s The Idle Class for $1,600.  The portrait of Jean Harlow went for $11,000!

Now it’s high time I called it a night!  Good night everybody!

The Major and the Minor (1942)

Susan Applegate (Ginger Rogers) is just one of the thousands of people who move out to New York City in hopes of a more glamorous life.  After spending a year there, she’s gone through twenty-five jobs and eventually winds up working as a scalp massager.  When she gets called to take care of Albert Osborne (Robert Benchley), the appointment goes awry when he makes a pass at her and she finally decides she’s had enough.  She packs her things and tries to catch the next train back to Stevenson, Iowa.  Only problem is that she doesn’t have quite enough money for a ticket.  But if she were a child, she could ride for half fare.  She heads to the ladies room and does what she can to make herself look about twelve years old and manages to get a half fare ticket.

Even though she manages to fool the man at the ticket counter, some conductors on the train are pretty suspicious.  They keep giving her the third degree, but she blows her own cover when she goes to have a cigarette and gets caught.  As they conductors chase her through the train, she ducks into what she thinks is an empty drawing room, but instead finds Major Phillip Kerby (Ray Milland), a teacher at a military academy.  Phillip buys her disguise and when she tells him a story about not feeling well, he buys it hook, line, and sinker and invites her to spend the night in his room so she could lay down.  That night, there are some major thunderstorms and the train ends up being delayed because the tracks are washed out.  Meanwhile, Pamela, Phillip’s fiancée, and her father, who also happens to be his commanding officer, are waiting to meet him at the station.  When they find out the train has been delayed, they drive out to find the stopped train.

Pamela hurries on board and isn’t too pleased to find Susan in his room.  Phillip quickly comes up with a story about how Susan is his niece and he’s bringing her to the military academy until her parents can come get her. Pamela goes along with it and arranges it so that Susan can stay with her sister Lucy.  But Lucy’s a smart girl and can see that Susan is clearly not a kid.  She could easily blow the lid off this whole scheme, but she keeps her mouth shut because she wants Susan to help her with something.  Even though Phillip really wants to be put on active duty, Pamela has been arranging it so that he will stay at the academy with her.  Lucy can’t stand to see this so she recruits Susan to help get Phillip where he ought to be.  Meanwhile, Phillip has arranged it so that Susan will always have an escort from one of the boys on campus and she becomes quite popular with them.  During her time at the academy, she falls for Phillip and when Phillip looks at her with his bad eye, he thinks she looks like a pretty good-looking adult.  All goes well until the night of a big dance that is attended by some of the students’ parents.  Unfortunately, it turns out that Albert Osborne from New York is the father of one of the cadets and recognizes Susan immediately.  She flees from the academy and finally gets back to Iowa, but can’t get Phillip off her mind.  Phillip can’t forget her, either.

The Major and the Minor wasn’t Billy Wilder’s directorial debut, but it was the first American film he directed.  I wouldn’t call it his best comedy, but it is a wonderfully upbeat movie and very strong considering it’s only the second movie he ever directed.  The writing is pure Billy Wilder, Ginger was a riot in it, and Ray Milland wasn’t too bad, either.  I love the story about how Billy Wilder got Ray Milland to be in this movie.  The story is that Billy was driving along one night when he ended up stopped at a red light next to Ray Milland and on a whim, yelled to him, “I’m doing a picture.  Would you like to be in it?”  Ray said yes, so Billy sent him the script and the rest is history.  If you’re looking for a nice, lighthearted comedy, The Major and the Minor is right up your alley.   It’s one of those movies that’s so much fun to watch, I just don’t get tired of it.

Rafter Romance (1933)

Rafter Romance 1933 Ginger Rogers

Mary Carroll (Ginger Rogers) and Jack Bacon (Norman  Foster) are two people with very different lives.  Mary has just moved to New York and it took her a while to find a job selling iceboxes by telephone.  Jack is an aspiring artist and a security guard by night.  What they do have in common is that both of them are having a hard time paying their rent.  So their landlord Max Eckbaum (George Sidney) comes up with an idea where both of them move into the attic and split the rent.  Since Mary works during the day, she’ll be gone while Jack needs to sleep and Jack will be working while Mary is sleeping; they would never actually be home together at the same time.  Neither of them is particularly happy about the arrangement, but they don’t really have much of a choice.  However, as their arrangement progresses, they each do stuff that annoys the other person even though they aren’t there at the same time and they grow to despise each other.

But what they don’t realize is that they have met before.  While waiting for her turn in the apartment one evening, Mary sits outside of a deli working on her sales pitch.  James walks out of the deli and starts flirting with her.  The two of them meet up again and James even promises to buy six iceboxes from her.  When they arrange to meet up again, they inadvertently end up sabotaging each other.  Mary stops at home for a quick shower, only to find her roommate has rigged the shower to fall and hit her on the head.  So Mary gets revenge by putting his good suit in the shower so it would get all wet.  Jack leaves Mary waiting for him in the rain while he tries to get his suit taken care of.  When he tries to call her the next day to explain, she won’t talk to him and accepts an invitation from her boss for a night out.

While she’s out with the boss, Elise, a wealthy older woman with designs on Jack visits Jack at the apartment and realizes he’s living with a woman.  They get into a fight that results in Elise refusing to leave and Jack having to leave his own apartment.  While he’s out, he runs into Mary and convinces her to have dinner with him and Jack agrees to be Mary’s date to the company picnic the next day.  They have a nice evening out, but what Mary doesn’t expect to find when she comes home is Elise asleep in her bed.  The next day, Jack and Mary have a lovely time at the company picnic, but as they are leaving the picnic, Jack sprains his ankle.  Mary takes him home and realizes that Jack is the roommate she despises so much.  The two of them fight, but everything works out for the best and the movie has a happy ending.

The story reminded me a lot of The Shop Around the Corner and Pillow Talk, but compared to those two movies, Rafter Romance is a downright obscure movie.  Rafter Romance was produced by Merian C. Cooper, and in the 1940s, Cooper sued RKO for money he wasn’t paid for movies he had produced in the 1930s.  As part of the settlement, he was given full ownership of six RKO titles, including Rafter Romance.  While he owned them, he only allowed Rafter Romance to be played on television in 1955.  It wouldn’t be seen again until 2007 when TCM acquired the rights to the movies owned by Cooper, restored them, and started airing them.  I thought Rafter Romance was a pretty cute movie.  It isn’t nearly as scandalous as a lot of other pre-codes and it’s not meant to offer any serious commentary on society, but it’s a fun little movie.

My Top 100, 30-21

Wow, I can’t believe we’re already up to number 30! This week is another week where if you don’t know anything at all about my style and only saw these ten movies, you’d get a pretty good idea of what my taste is.  So, let’s get on with the list!

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My Top 100, 80-71

It’s Friday again, which means it’s time to count down ten more of my favorite movies!  All I really have to say about this bunch of movies is that almost all of my favorite types of movies are represented here.  Silents, musicals, foreign, film noir, drama, comedy, they’re all there.  The only way this week’s bunch could be more ‘me’ is if I had worked in some offbeat B-movie in there somewhere.  Now, onto number 80…

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What’s on TCM: March 2010

As March rolls in, 31 Days of Oscar enters its final days.  But there’s still plenty to see in those final days.  On Monday, March 1st at 9:30 AM EST, there’s Possessed starring Joan Crawford and Van Heflin.  Most people consider Mildred Pierce to be the highlight of Joan Crawford’s career, but I think her performance in Possessed really gives Mildred Pierce a run for its money.  Prime time on March 2nd looks fantastic: West Side Story, Rebel Without a Cause, and Giant.  I am a little embarrassed to say that I have never seen Rebel Without a Cause, but I’m looking forward to seeing it.   If you’ll be home during the day on March 3rd, the last day of 31 Days of Oscar, be sure to check out Adam’s Rib at 11:30 AM, which is followed by The Asphalt Jungle at 1:30 PM.   Two totally different movies, but they’re equally amazing.

TCM resumes its normal programming on March 4th, but it looks like there’s still plenty of great stuff to look forward to.  This month, they’ll be spotlighting a rather interesting couple of stars: Ginger Rogers and Akira Kurosawa.  I’m definitely looking forward to the Ginger Rogers movies, but I’m not so sure about the Kurosawa.  I’ve seen Rashomon and I’ve tried watching Seven Samurai a couple of times before but just haven’t been able to get into it.  Rashomon was good, just not really my cup of tea.  Anyone have any suggestions as to which of his movies I should check out this month?  I’ve heard so many great things about Kurosawa and I’m still willing to give his movies a shot, I just don’t really know where to begin.

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Gold Diggers of 1933

Right now, I’m kind of obsessed with Busby Berkeley musicals.  42nd Street, Footlight Parade, Dames, I love them all.  I can’t watch one of his musical numbers without wondering what on Earth was going through Berkeley’s mind when he came up with these kaleidoscopic extravaganzas.  As much as I love 42nd Street and Footlight Parade, if I had to take one Busby Berkeley musical with me to that deserted island, I think I’d go with Gold Diggers of 1933.

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