Tag Archives: James Stewart

You Can’t Take It With You: Enjoy It Now

YOU’LL LOVE THEM ALL FOR GIVING YOU THE SWELLEST TIME YOU’VE EVER HAD! With It Happened One Night (1934), Frank Capra had already won an Oscar for Best Director. The same honor was bestowed on him after he adapted the popular Broadway play ”You Can’t Take It With You”. The film was a hit and … Continue reading You Can’t Take It With You: Enjoy It Now

My 12 Favorite Christmas Movies

We’re one week away from Christmas and everybody’s making lists of their favorite movies. As always, some are debating whether or not Die Hard belongs on the list. Don’t be silly, of course it does. What says Christmas more than “Now I have a machine gun, ho, ho ho”…? Here are my 12 favorites, a mix … Continue reading My 12 Favorite Christmas Movies

The Greatest Show on Earth

THRILL TO CECIL B. DEMILLE’S PAGEANTRY AND EXCITEMENT! Often labeled one of the worst Best Picture Oscar winners ever, this look at all the drama behind the scenes of a big top circus still is a grand epic. The main focus lies on the rivalry between two trapeze artists, one of whom is romantically involved … Continue reading The Greatest Show on Earth

It’s a Wonderful Life: Wing and a Prayer

IT’S A WONDERFUL LAUGH! IT’S A WONDERFUL LOVE! This Christmas I decided to catch Frank Capra’s last masterpiece again. Having seen it several times before, I knew what to expect. It’s a great story and I was instantly drawn into it once again. Still, I thought I was much too jaded, that I would resist … Continue reading It’s a Wonderful Life: Wing and a Prayer

North and South: Book II

When we meet the Mains and Hazards again, the Northern and Southern families are pitted against each other as the Civil War unfolds; the miniseries takes us through it. Elaborate, vivid and very entertaining, this first-rate soap offers extravagant battle sequences, thoroughly dedicated leading actors (as well as a few glorified cameos from the likes … Continue reading North and South: Book II

Anatomy of a Murder: Admiring the Game

There’s an amusing sequence in the middle of this film where the judge (Joseph N. Welch) asks the counsels if there isn’t a better word to use instead of “panties”, which was considered somewhat indecent at the time. They’re unable to come up with an appropriate synonym. It’s a rather telling scene, considering the kind … Continue reading Anatomy of a Murder: Admiring the Game

Ziegfeld Girl

YOU’VE GOT A DATE WITH THE GIRLS FROM THE “FOLLIES”! In the 1920s, three girls (Lana Turner, Judy Garland, Hedy Lamarr) join the Ziegfeld Follies and handle the challenges of stardom in different ways. Originally meant to be a sequel to Robert Z. Leonard’s The Great Ziegfeld (1936), this was turned into a story that … Continue reading Ziegfeld Girl

Philadelphia Story: From Box Office Poison to Bankability

BROADWAY’S HOWLING YEAR-RUN COMEDY HIT OF THE SNOOTY SOCIETY BEAUTY WHO SLIPPED AND FELL – IN LOVE! The Philadelphia Story became a tour-de-force for Katharine Hepburn in more ways than one. In the late 1930s, she had been labeled “box office poison” by the Independent Theatre Owners of America after a string of failures. She needed … Continue reading Philadelphia Story: From Box Office Poison to Bankability

Vertigo: I Put a Spell on You

ALFRED HITCHCOCK ENGULFS YOU IN A WHIRLPOOL OF TERROR AND TENSION! One of Alfred Hitchcock’s three 1950s Technicolor masterpieces (the others are Rear Window and North by Northwest). Curiously enough, when it premiered audiences didn’t flock to it and critics were disappointed. Hitchcock, in an unnecessary effort to find a scapegoat, allegedly blamed the film’s star, James Stewart, … Continue reading Vertigo: I Put a Spell on You

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: How the West Found Law

Since the United States of America has always been a democracy, it may be easy to forget that not all parts of the country have been free, and I’m not even talking about slavery. As new territories on the North American continent were seized by U.S. authorities, law and order were not always prioritized in … Continue reading The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: How the West Found Law

The Stratton Story

Alcoholic former baseball pro Barney Wile (Frank Morgan) helps talented Texas farm boy Monty Stratton (James Stewart) join the Chicago White Sox, but a tragic accident cuts the kid’s career short. Director Sam Wood’s final film was the inspiring real-life story of Monty Stratton who lost a leg but overcame his difficulties. It’s a standard … Continue reading The Stratton Story

Rear Window: A View to a Kill

IT ONLY TAKES ONE WITNESS TO SPOIL THE PERFECT CRIME. This masterpiece from Alfred Hitchcock reunited the director with James Stewart from Rope (1948), another thriller that was set entirely in one apartment. This film has the same set-up, albeit with one big difference; the apartment is primarily the place from where we look into the lives … Continue reading Rear Window: A View to a Kill