Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Since this is Oscar time and I’ve already watched the Golden Globes and SAG awards, I’m still in a movie mood, and I want to add to something I wrote last week. RUTHLESS PEOPLE, 1986, with Danny Devito and Bette Midler is another comedy classic.

I mentioned GAMBIT as a favorite “Caper” film which was released in 1966. It starred Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine and was nominated for three Academy Awards. The poster said, “Go ahead and reveal the ending. Just don’t reveal the beginning.” But I’m going to do that. Well, partly. For the first twenty minutes of the film, MacLaine, although starring, says absolutely nothing. It’s then revealed as a scenario that Caine is thinking about and expects to have happen. But reality kicks in and nothing is the same. It’s funny and clever and has a great twist ending.

The same is true of the caper film, THE HOT ROCK, 1972. Based on the novel by Donald E. Westlake, it stars Robert Redford, George Segal and Zero Mostel. Another case of the audience wanting the clever but lovable bad guys to win.

The classic Mystery film is THE MALTESE FALCON, 1941, based on Dashiell Hammett’s novel, starring Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Sidney Greenstreet, and Mary Astor. A super black and white “film noir” with great acting, and lines movie buffs never forget, such as, “I’m sending you over, Sweetheart,” and “It’s the stuff dreams are made of,” straight from the novel. A real gem.

I consider the 1993 film, THE FUGITIVE, starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones, a mystery. After all, it has a murder and a detective (Jones) trying to recapture the man (Ford) he thinks killed his wife. Based on the 1960s TV series, it’s one of the best movies of its kind, and I saw it in theatres three times before my husband bought me the DVD. I found only one fault in it. The detective, Girard (Jones) calls Kimball “Richard” throughout the film, whereas I believe he should have--and a real cop would have--called him “Kimball.”

My favorite historical dramas are GONE WITH THE WIND, BEN HUR, TOM JONES and AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. They are totally different but each is great in its own way. I also like LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and THE AFRICAN QUEEN, although, in a way those could be called “war” movies since there was a war in the background.

Looks like I’ll have to do another post about films. Meanwhile what have I missed in these genres that you love?


  1. I love those sweepingly long historical movies like Ben Hur and Spartacus and Gladiator. They take me back to times I can't even imagine and remind me that people lived and loved back then just as they do now.

    1. Patricia:
      I agree with you, although I found SPARTACUS and GLADIATOR too violent for me. But I'm a wimp. That's why I write romance novels. I want a happy ending.

  2. Well, not to be a smarty pants, but you seemed to have MISSED every really terrific movie that came out after the 1980s. I could name a dozen, but...

    1. Nathan:
      Go ahead, be a smarty pants. Name some. I might not have missed seeing some terrific films. They just didn't make my Favorite list. It's hard to name only one or two. As I said to Patricia above, I admit I'm a wimp, so I can't take too much violence and prefer a happy ending. However, there are 40 films on my list, including THE GODFATHER trilogy


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