Friday, September 03, 2004

Movie Rentals, Week of 8/23/04

Well, better late than never….here’s what I watched the week of August 23rd:

THE LADYKILLERS (1955): This is the original film that was recently remade by Joel and Ethan Coen. This British production stars the incomparable Alec Guinness as the leader of a robbery gang holed up in a boarding house run by probably the sweetest little old lady ever on film. Hilarity abounds as the precious old gal thwarts the group’s best laid plans. I have not seen the Coen Brothers remake, but this version would be hard to live up to. The film also features a young Peter Sellers.

PLATINUM BLONDE (1931): This Pre-Code screwball comedy directed by Frank Capra stars bombshell Jean Harlow as a rich girl who impulsively marries a hard-nosed reporter—a classic story of two diametrically opposed worlds colliding. A pretty Loretta Young co-stars as a reporter who vies with Harlow for her colleague’s affections. A pleasant film—great for a rainy Sunday afternoon. I was interested in the engaging male lead in the film, Robert Williams. I did not recognize the name and hadn’t recalled ever seeing him in any other film. After a quick check in the Internet Movie Database, I discovered that Williams died of appendicitis in 1931. This was the last film he ever made.

ITALIAN FOR BEGINNERS (2000): This Dogme film from Denmark follows the lives and loves of eight lonely people brought together by an Italian language class. The movie was shot on videotape using a hand-held camera. This is somewhat jarring at first, but once you get used to it, the characters and story shines through. This is a very sweet, romantic film.

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