If you want to know one thing about me it is that I love good movies. I don't, however, get to watch them very often ( more on that later, I'm sure) but one way that does often work out is all due to my mom, who I can easily say likes them more than I do. Now, by this I mean mostly the classics. Ya know, black and white, credits at the beginning, fainting woman during the bloody scene, dramatic kiss where the orchestra kicks in and you're like, "ok, who kisses with their ENTIRE FACES lodged into each other?" But really, these movies deserve more credit and viewership than they normally get. I am not so in love with them as my mother, but there are a few that I hope to own one day so I can rewatch them at my own leisure instead of having to youtube or netflix.
Drum roll please...
Aaaand here they are!
Bunny Lake is Missing: Probably my absolute favorite of these all. I always said that if I could live in any era from the past it would either be the Victorian age, the twenties, or the sixties. However the Victorian era got cast out when I took women’s history and learned of the economic and social horrors that faced being a woman at the time. And then I eliminated the twenties because that would mean that I would later have to go through the Great Depression, and I am not travelling back in time—away from a recession—only to be depressed for over a whole decade.
So the sixties. Ah, the fashion, the music, the emergence of technology, that feeling of moving forward. All things I tend to associate with the sixties—of course there are other things…but they do not interest me. Know what I mean? AHAHA.
Anyhoo, Bunny Lake is Missing is set in the sixties and it is a psychological thriller of the best kind, in my opinion. That quiet, unsettling build of emotions and tension that totally gets you with the confounding twist of events in the end. The plot centers on a mom who moves to London with her love baby, Bunny, away from her ex-lover and finds soon that her daughter has gone missing. What does this lead to? You guessed it, suddenly there was no Bunny. Her things are missing and her records are gone. You might have heard this story a thousand times before, but trust me, the originals are always worth giving a chance, especially this one.
The Americanization of Emily: Who doesn’t love a Julie Andrews movie? Maybe you’ve seen this. I know her most popular are Sound of Music and Mary Poppins…and I must mention Princess Diaries, all of which I adore as well, but this one is in all respects a total 180 from the Julie Andrews you might know. This movie is hot, and mostly because of her. Not to mention the adorable, teddy-bear manliness of James Garner. It’s adorable and funny, but with a slightly surprising, underlying flavor of solemnity because of the World War II setting. Basically a laugh then cry then laugh again movie.
You Can’t Take It With You: Though Bunny Lake is Missing is my favorite, I am definitely guilty of having watched this irresistibly adorable movie more times than I can count. There is romance—James Stewart and Jean Arthur, how could you not?—and a sweet, witty old man, an absolutely ridiculous ballerina, a Russian? wrestler/ballerina teacher, a firework maker, all contrasted by Stewart’s character’s disgustingly rich and snotty family. When he and Arthur’s character fall in love, oh what fantastic atrocities and preposterous miscommunications ensue. The story is heartwarming and truly telling about friendship, love, and character. If you don’t think it lovely, then I recommend taking up the harmonica.
Rebecca: Another thriller, and also psychological. This was based off the book by Daphne Du Maurier, of which I own, and also of which I have not read. (But more on that some other time.) It’s equal parts romance and mystery. Set in a sweeping old mansion by the ocean Cliffside. Everything about this movie is romantic and wistful…and haunting. I can’t wait to finally read the book, it’s been sitting on my shelves for far too long, waiting very patiently, it deserves to be opened this summer. But until then I have the movie—did I mention it’s a Hitchcock movie? There, that’s reason in and of itself you should watch it. And of course Joan Fontaine is gorgeous in it!
The Prince and the Showgirl: Ok, so simply the words Marilyn Monroe should be enough in their own respect. Can I just say a stuffy, passionless prince meeting the vivacious and, in no better words, swinging HOT Monroe, who exudes the perfect amount of effortless naiveté, make a match in romantic comedy heaven. Sort of like Roman Holiday (with Audrey Hepburn)—another worthy recommendation—only funnier and with bigger, sassier curves.
These are all on netflix and at least most on youtube. So check them out! Tell me how you like them! I'd love to hear, especially if you've never seen a movie from beyond the 70's. Wait, wouldn't that mean no Wizard of Oz and A Christmas Story? I shudder. Well, there's a first for everything right?
Oh and happy May!