Almost as much as I anticipate Christmas, I also wait like a hope-filled six-year-old for that beloved space in between the big day and New Year’s. For most of us it’s a time that’s more relaxed: You can start a book you’ve been putting off; build a gingerbread house; binge-watch shows on Netflix; catch up on doing nothing. The possibilities are endless! So if I could be so bold, I’d like to suggest an idea. Watch an old (20’s—50’s) movie.
Think of movies like they’re music. Sure you have your style and artists, but every once in awhile it’s cool to put on an old record, hear the pop and crackle, and let the crooning Nat King Cole charm you. And if you do take my suggestion, add popcorn. It makes it a golden experience. So here are some recommendations for you…
THE GOOD: The Gold Rush (Chaplin), The General (Buster Keaton)
THE (POTENTIALLY) BAD: Metropolis, The Jazz Singer
THE CHRISTMASSY: Actually… none. Can you believe that?
THE GOOD: King Kong, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Duck Soup (comedy, Marx brothers)
THE (POTENTIALLY) BAD: Bringing Up Baby (Of all the bad actors in history, I think Cary Grant is the very best), Dracula
THE CHRISTMASSY: Babes in Toyland (1934, featuring Laurel and Hardy)
THE GOOD: Rebecca (early Hitchcock), The Great Dictator (Chaplin… talking!), Rope (Hitchcock), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Bogart)
THE (POTENTIALLY) BAD: The Grapes of Wrath
THE CHRISTMASSY: Holiday Inn (Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire), The Bishop’s Wife, our 3 nominees this week
THE GOOD: Strangers on a Train, Anatomy of a Murder, Witness for the Prosecution
THE (POTENTIALLY) BAD: Sunset Blvd, On the Waterfront, Touch of Evil
THE CHRISTMASSY: The Holly and the Ivy, White Christmas
Again, don’t forget to make popcorn.
Congratulations The Shop Around the Corner. This is your week.
And the Oscar goes to…
Best Actress: Judy Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis.
Best Actor: James Stewart in The Shop Around the Corner.
Best Quote: “Having babies to boost your circulation takes time.” — Reginald Gardiner as John Sloan in Christmas in Connecticut
Truth be told, I haven’t seen any of this week’s nominees. Turns out, however, they all have great quotable lines. Here are my favourites:
:Good morning; Merry Christmas. I hope I’m in time to watch you flip the flapjacks.” (CIC)
“Maybe scarlet fever. It’s a better colour for Christmas.” (CIC)
“Everything is hunky-dunky.” (CIC)
“John, when you’re kissing me, don’t talk about plumbing.” (CIC)
[Regarding “musical cigarette boxes”] “I think people who like to smoke candy and listen to cigarettes will love it.” (TSATC)
“Flora, take a letter. Ah… To whom it may concern. Mr. Vadas has been in the employ of Matuschek & Company for the last two years, during which he has been very efficient as a stool pigeon, a troublemaker, and a rat.” (TSATC)
“He picks on me, too. The other day he called me an idiot. What could I do? I said, “Yes, Mr. Matuschek. I’m an idiot.” I’m no fool!” (TSATC)
“It’ll take at least a week to dig up all my dolls in the cemetery.” (MMISL)
“Tootie, if you don’t hit Mr. Braukoff in the face with flour and say ‘I hate you’, the Banshee will haunt you forever!” (MMISL)
Though I think this one from MMISL may be my favourite:
ROSE: Agnes Smith, you’re nothing less than a murderer. You could have killed dozens of people!
AGNES: Oh, Rose, you’re so stuck up.