ten little indians

the year: 1965
the genre: mystery
the cast: Hugh O'Brian (Hugh Lombard); Shirley Eaton (Ann Clyde); Fabian (Mike Raven); Leo Genn (General Mandrake); Stanley Holloway (William Blore); Wilfrid Hyde-White (Judge Cannon); Daliah Lavi (Ilona Bergen); Dennis Price (Dr. Armstrong); Marianne Hoppe (Frau Grohmann); Mario Adorf (Herr Grohmann)
the plot: One of Agatha Christie's best (with a few liberties taken).  A group of strangers, ten in all, are invited by a Mr. Owens to spend a weekend at his remote mountaintop home. After dinner, they learn via a tape recording that they've been invited to the house to pay for their crimes. The accusations are well-founded and, unable to leave the house, the guests are being killed off one by one. The private detective in the group thinks that their host is likely hiding in the house somewhere. Judge Arthur Cannon thinks the killer is a member of the group and he proves to be correct.
don't miss: all the wonderful screaming by Frau Grohmann.  Good thing she was killed off pretty quickly.  And the black and white is a fun touch, too.
listen for: "How utterly marvelous! You all came to a house party without knowing your host!"
"Well, what about you, Miss Bergen"
"Darling, it happens to me all the time!"
did you know: I felt much better when I realized that Fabian is *not* Fabio. 
extra bonus points: if you recognize the two actors from My Fair Lady. 
also listen for: "Drop dead!"  "That's not funny."


5th avenue girl

the year: 1939

the genre: comedy

the cast: Ginger Rogers (Mary Grey); Walter Connelly (Mr. Borden); Verree Teasdale (Mrs. Borden); James Ellison (Mike); Tim Holt (Tim Borden); Kathryn Adams (Katherine Borden)

the plot: Troubled with union problems in his business and lonely on his birthday because his wife, Martha, is out with a playboy, millionaire Timothy Borden meets unemployed and hungry Mary Grey in a park and convinces her to help him celebrate at a nightclub. Much to his surprise the following morning, Mary has slept in the guest room for the night. Not unmindful that Martha's interest in Timothy seems renewed, he hires Mary to stay at the house as an employee and they go out on the town virtually every night. Mary meanwhile has a positive effect on other members of the household: daughter Katherine (in love with Michael, the communism-spouting chauffeur) who seeks her advice; and son Tim(who is forced to take over the neglected business to keep it from running downhill), which his father had been trying unsuccessfully to get him to do. Complications (of course) arise when Tim falls in love with Mary..

listen for: "Might as well be civil!"  "Only when civl liberties are in danger."

don't miss: the park bench scene - and Jack Carson as the ardent sailor.

also listen for: "I guess rich people are just poor people with money."

watch scenes from the movie here.


to see

Silver Lining Playbook

(And not just because I can appreciate his views on Hemingway.)

Hotel Transylvania

Robot & Frank

The Trouble With the Curve


thunderbird 6

the year: 1968

the plot: The International Rescue team is faced with one of its toughest challenges yet, as the revolutionary lighter-than-air craft Skyship One is hijacked while on her maiden voyage around the world. Against backdrops including the Statue of Liberty and the Sphinx, Lady Penelope, Parker, Alan and Tin-Tin fight the hijackers from on-board, while the rest of the team tries to stop the airship crashing into a missile silo.

don't miss: the Wistle Stop Inn.  Miniatures with miniatures.  Boy, it must have been fun working on this movie!

did you know: the "Ball Room" set on Sky Ship 1 included over 600 painted ping pong balls. The set caught fire under the hot studio lights and had to be completely rebuilt.

listen for: "Now, let's have a rundown on the International Rescue craft. So far, there are five. Thunderbird 1: sleek, first and fast. Thunderbird 2: giant transporter. Carries all the rescue gear to the danger zone. Thunderbird 3: designed for space rescue. Thunderbird 4: capable of withstanding the pressure of the depths. Thunderbird 5: space monitor. Capable of receiving or intercepting distress calls from any part of the world. And I'm telling you, Brains, in no uncertain terms, that we now need a Thunderbird 6.

extra bonus points: if you know why it's funny when Virgil says, "I've got a tiger in my tank."

I stumbled across this one Saturday morning in the not too distant past, and it was so strangely bizarre...well, I just couldn't turn away.  By the time it was over, I was a fan.  How have I missed this?!?   I guess there was a tv show and at least one other full-length movie.  Miss Penelope's pink car is pretty impressive. 


the lucky one

the year: 2012

the genre: drama

the cast: Zac Efron (Logan); Taylor Schilling (Beth); Blyth Danner (Ellie); Riley Thomas Stewart (Ben); Jay Ferguson (Keith Clayton)

the plot: U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive - a photograph he found of a woman he doesn't even know. Discovering her name is Beth and where she lives, he shows up at her door, and ends up taking a job at her family-run local kennel. Despite her initial mistrust and the complications in her life, a romance develops between them, giving Logan hope that Beth could be much more than his good luck charm.

listen for: "Start appreciating the memories you have and stop begrudging the ones you never got to make."

did you know: theaters on military installations were given an advanced showing of the film.

a shout out to: Blaine, Scott, Logan, and anyone else who has made it so I now view all Nicholas Sparks' movies skeptically.  My two thoughts after watching this: 1) could someone please get that girl a bobby pin so she could pin back her bangs?! and 2) let me get this straight: this guy can repair boat engines, play the piano, train dogs for agility courses, do dishes, good naturedly lose at chess to a kid, dance, single-handedly renovate a house, lift three 50 pound bags of dog food at a time without breaking a sweat, and is great with dogs AND kids?  Guess they've got their chick flick formula pegged.

disclaimer: there are a few make out scenes in this one.


last chance harvey

the year: 2008

the genre: dramedy

the cast: Dustin Hoffman (Harvey Shine); Emma Thompson (Kate Walker); Kathy Baker (Jean); James Brolin (Brian)

the plot: Harvey is about to lose his unfulfilling dead-end job writing jingles when he boards a plane to attend his daughter's wedding in London. Upon arriving in London, Harvey is devastated to learn that his daughter has opted to have her stepfather walk her down the aisle instead of him. Harvey realizes that he won't be able to suppress his sadness through the whole reception, and makes a quick getaway in hopes of catching a plane back home. Later, at the airport bar, Harvey is drowning his sorrows when he strikes up a conversation with no-nonsense Office of National Statistics employee Kate.

don't miss: Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson - both great actors and it's fun to watch them work!

listen for: "I'm gonna dance your socks off."

extra bonus points: if you know how Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson came to be co-stars in this movie. 


the magic of ordinary days

the year: 2005

the genre: drama

the cast: Keri Russell (Livy Dunne); Skeet Ulrich (Ray Singleton); Mare Winningham (Martha)

the plot: After she becomes pregnant by a soldier departing for WWII, Livy Dunne, the wealthy, pampered daughter of a Denver minister, is forced to abandon her hopes of becoming an archeologist. To shield her from further scandal, Livy's father ships her off to a remote town and arranges her marriage to shy farmer Ray Singleton. 

don't miss: Livvy's friendship with two well-educated Japanese American women, Florence "Flory" and Rose Umahara, who are at a nearby internment camp.

listen for: "Moths rest with their wings spread. Butterflies with their wings together. And more often moths have protective colorings so they blend in. Butterflies are bold!"

did you know: the movie is based on a novel of the same name by Ann Howard Creel.


how to fall in love

the year: 2012

the genre: rom-com

the cast: Brooke D'Orsay (Annie Hayes); Eric Mabius (Harold White); Kathy Najimy (Kim); Gina Holden (Julie Owens); Jody Thompson (Claire Russell)

the plot: Still suffering from the ugly-duckling syndrome that branded his youth, Harold White hires Annie Hayes, the pretty and popular girl he knew in high school, to be his dating coach and help him shed his wallflower approach to romance. Annie even enlists her friend Kim, a waitress at a local diner, to be Harold’s practice date. Annie draws Harold out of his shell and teaches him to win over a new love interest with the help of their shared passion for classic love songs and, of course, sparks unexpectedly fly between “student” and “teacher,”

don't miss: the beautiful framed photographs at Harold's pad.

listen for: the great classic love songs.  Nancy Wilson's "I Wanna Be Loved" is fantastic!

also listen for: "This is it?!?  I was expecting a beach or something."

extra bonus points: if you know the show where Eric Mabius played character Daniel Meade.