June 15, 2011

USA: An Old Man’s Favorite Old Movies

PORTLAND, Maine / The Elder Storytelling Place / TimeGoesBy / June 15, 2011

An Old Man’s Favorite Old Movies

By Mickey Rogers of This, That and the Other
Zanesville, Ohio

HARVEY (1950):

James Stewart plays the part of Elwood P. Dowd, a laid-back, friendly fellow who enjoys life, drinks too much and has an invisible six-foot rabbit as a best friend. This is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen.


THE DIRTY DOZEN (1967):
This is one of my favorite World War II flicks. I was a high school student when several friends and I watched the movie for the first time at a local drive-in theater. Since then I’ve seen it enough times to know most of the dialogue, but it never grows old.
Twelve convicted murderers are given a chance to redeem themselves. Their mission is to kill German generals who are resting at a resort. The all-star cast includes Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Clint Walker, Telly Savalas, Jim Brown and Charles Bronson.

KEY LARGO: (1948):

A mobster and his gang take over a hotel in Key Largo and proceed to hold its residents captive. Edward G. Robinson, who plays the gang leader, is so wonderfully vicious that the viewer has to cheer when Humphrey Bogart finally gives this bad guy what he deserves. The cast includes Lauren Bacall and Lionel Barrymore.


ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (1944):

Cary Grant’s oddball aunts take in elderly gentlemen as boarders and then proceeds to bury the poor souls in the basement after killing them with poison. Described as a “black comedy,” this show allows Cary Grant to display his excellent light comedic skills.

THE MUSIC BOX (1932):A professor’s wife orders a player piano for her husband’s birthday. Unfortunately, the husband hates pianos. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are hired to deliver the gift.

The house sits on top of a steep hill, so the boys have to lug the piano up several flights of steps. For various comical reasons, over and over again the piano slides back down the steps. Eventually they get it to the top, only to have the postman inform them that there is a road behind the house.

You guessed it - the boys then take the piano down the steps, reload it onto the wagon, and then use the road.

THE THIN MAN (1934):

This wonderful movie stars William Powell and Myrna Loy. In this first of several “Thin Man” films, detective Nick Charles and his wife Nora investigate the disappearance of an inventor. Each of these films features good-natured humor and great chemistry between the two main stars.


GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER (1967):
Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy must come to terms with the fact that their daughter is engaged to a black man, played by Sidney Poitier, one of my favorite actors.
STALAG 17 (1953):
The setting is a German prisoner of war camp during World War II. William Holden, one of the prisoners, is a schemer who trades merchandise with the enemy.
 
As a result, when the prisoners discover that the Germans know about each and every one of their plans, they blame Holden. Then it’s up to him to discover the real traitor among them.

IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934):


Claudette Colbert plays a spoiled rich lady who runs away from home. Macho man Clark Gable, a newspaper reporter, who eventually falls head-over-heels in love, comes to her assistance.


IT HAPPENS EVERY SPRING: (1949):
A college professor is carrying out an experiment when a baseball crashes through the window, landing in a mysterious brew. Soon the professor discovers that the solution has anti-wood properties.
A ball with this substance on it will dip or dive over a wooden bat, making hitting almost impossible.

Therefore, he takes his limited supply of liquid and goes off to pitch in the major leagues. One of the funniest parts is when the catcher, played by Paul Douglas, mistakes the substance for hair tonic and proceeds to put it on his hair.

What are your favorite old movies? Write to Mickey Rogers

© 2011 Ronni Bennett