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Vintage Classic: Pride and Prejudice

20 Jun

You may love Pride and Prejudice. You have seen all the recent films. You may swoon the moment someone mentions “Darcy.” But the question is, do you know this vintage gem?

When I first acquired Pride and Prejudice from 1940, starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier, it was mainly for a lark, but now I enjoy it just as much as my other versions. I mean, what’s not to like?

Now, you have to be prepared for costumes that are not from the right period… for some reason the costumer must have thought bigger is better, so instead of seeing the empire waists of the period, you get the petticoat junction. Oh, and there are a few discrepancies with the text (which may irritate some of you). I like that they have a Punch and Judy scene. When you see Bingley peering over the divider at an ill Jane, who is absolutely COVERED in frills, I know I had a chuckle and a cringe.

But, but, but!

There is something that must be said for a Pride and Prejudice that starts with a carriage race between the Bennets’ and the Lucas’s. I mean, come on! Mrs. Bennet telling the man to “Pass them, pass them” and the Lucas’s not giving an inch? Classic!

Also, there is the case of Mr. Darcy. In most films (as with the book), you don’t get much feel to Darcy, except in those brief moments when you know how he feels and your heart bleeds for him. This gives you a bit more, and you never actually hate Darcy as one is prone to do when reading or watching the other films. He even helps her hide from the frightening Collins! What a sweetheart! (Refers to himself as St. George. Ack, be still my beating heart)

I suppose the best way to summarize this is as a look at the background of Pride and Prejudice. While they occasionally pass through the known plot, it is more common for them to merely touch it for purposes of keeping the storyline present in your thoughts. In fact, I might even go so far as to describe it as a common assortment of the daily life and happenings (the little things) about the story that are not there in the book.

Notes: *It appears as though Emma is not the only one who likes archery.

*Marsha Hunt (who plays a marvelous Mary) looks absolutely the part in this film. She is actually quite beautiful.

*Oh, yes. Do not expect any attractive men coming out of the water. Just some very attractive men doing some devastatingly adorable things.

*Edmund Gwenn (Mr. Bennet) later played Kris Kringle in the Original and Best Miracle on 34th Street

Quotes: “I expect you dance well with anyone, Miss Lydia, and I know I do” -Mr. Wickham

“Well, we’re hoping Elizabeth can manage to catch a cold of her own and stay long enough to get engaged to Mr. Darcy. Then, if a good snowstorm could be arranged, we’d send Kitty over. But if a young man should happen to be in the house – a young man who likes singing, of course, who can discuss philosophy – Mary could go. Then, if a dashing young soldier in a handsome uniform should appear for Lydia, everything would be perfect, my dear.” -Mr. Bennet

“Well, I told him if he ran into five of the silliest girls in England, they would be my daughters!” -Mr. Bennet

“Oh, if you want to be really refined, you have to be dead. There’s no one as dignified as a mummy” -Elizabeth

“It’s hard to imagine you making a fool of yourself” -Mr. Darcy (I know… “aw,” chorus)

“At this moment it is difficult to think you are so proud”(Elizabeth) “At this moment, it is difficult to think you are so prejudiced” (Mr. Darcy) — This is for all the people who apparently missed why they titled the book such. :)

Fathers’ Day Movie: To Paris with Love

16 Jun

As Fathers’ Day fast approaches, I wanted to share with you a good vintage romance with a great father figure.

Picture this: A young man about to go off to the army being taken to Paris by his father for the first time. The father, in a desperate attempt to make his son fall in love, takes him to Paris… in my opinion, the son is not really that averse to the female form as immediately after they get there, they almost literally run into a young female who they take under their wing.

The big gag in this RomCom is that the father, played by Alec Guinness, is trying to set the son up, and the son is trying to set the father up… Only, the father/son pair find women that are way more to their taste. And as we all know in the movies, men are stupid, women are patient (except when they are shrews), and romance is never exactly what the characters expect it to be.

 

If you start watching this movie and start to wriggle because the young fellow is after this female who would be his mother’s age, and she is after him… well, dont worry. It’s the 50’s. They wouldn’t do that to you. They dont care if its the other way around however.

All in all, a good chuckle. A bit slow at times, so watch it with a patient male or ply them with tons and TONS of caffeine and promises of kisses.

Notes: Alec Guinness in 1955 was so far away from Obi-Wan that other than the occasional laugh at thinking of Luke Skywalker’s father figure being a SIGNIFICANTLY younger man. Also, if you want to see some amazing outfits, check this movie out. I love some of the random outfits that the women wear.

Another classic RomCom with a great/ amusing father figure: Yours, Mine and Ours (w/ Lucille Ball)

Please do NOT  go with the new one. The oldies are LITERALLY the goodies here!

Philadelphia Story: Grant, Hepburn, Stewart

6 Jun

I want to share with you one of my all-time favorite rom-coms. To begin with, it has three of my favorite stars from the 1940’s in it, and there is a romantic quadrangle (or maybe pentagram).

After putting a bit of thought into this, I decided that this was the best way to start off our Vintage Sweetheart movie collection. After all, how can you go wrong with Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, and James Stewart? So you might have seen it in the post, but in case you were wondering, the name of the movie is…

The Philadelphia Story

The Wedding Day Dawns

So what makes this story classic other than the all-star cast and the splendid outfits? The storyline!

Tracy Lord [Hepburn] is just about to married for the second time when upon her doorstep appears her ex-husband [Grant]  and two reporters [Stewart] from an illustrious gossip magazine. After resisting the urge to throw them all out on their respective ears, she agrees to let them stay for the wedding due to an indiscretion of her father that will hit the pages instead if she refuses.

Then she starts to learn about herself. Tracy is too prone to not accepting the weaknesses in other people, and she is revered as a goddess on a pedestal. She decided she wants to be human, and after a particularly exciting pre-wedding party, her fiance is feeling compromised because of the reporter… so who does she end up with?

I hate being a movie rat, so I can not tell you. But take the time to enjoy The Philadelphia Story!

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