Category Archives: Film Reviews

Can’t Cramp Her Style

The Giphy is taken from the film ‘All About Eve‘ with Bette Davis. It is about a forty-year old actress who is being sabotaged by a younger rival. This role did not cramp her style at all. Isn’t she gorgeous and not old or over the hill except maybe by Hollywood standards.

Anne Baxter (L) and Bette Davis (R) Young Marilyn Monroe lower center

“Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night!”

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Prompt word for today ‘cramp.’ Giphy via Image of Anne Baxter and Bette Davis from

To The Dreamers

“Here’s to the ones who dream

Foolish, as they may seem

Here’s to the hearts that ache

Here’s to the mess we make…”

JusJotItJan is hosted by Linda G Hill. Prompt word “tingle” suggested by Tessa. Above quote of lyrics from ‘The Fools Who Dream’ by Justin Hurwitz for the film La La Land. Featured image of La La Land scene from Bogo Games on Flickr. This is a film that will make you tingle with happiness for the great art it is.



The Movie Screen

I am out of town this weekend visiting my daughter. Right now I am typing on her MACBook and I am not used to MACs. So that’s my excuse and I’m stickin’ with it. We saw a great movie last night called Queen of Katwe. It has been wonderful spending time with my daughter and we are catching up on a lot of conversation.

I love movies and spend a lot of time watching them for entertainment and relaxation. Nowadays we can enjoy films in the privacy of our homes and have the option of large flat screen TVs to watch them on. But there is something special about seeing a film at the theater on a movie screen. The size of the picture and sound, the theater seats, and the tasty bags of popcorn, make it a worthwhile experience. I do like watching films at home as well. It is less expensive and you can watch them more than once and at a convenient time if you have a DVD. I prefer watching films over most television shows.

I am so happy that movies were invented and I hope they never go away no matter what type of screen I am watching them on.

This is a short post for Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G Hill. Image of movie theater via Wikipedia.

Drums Along the Mohawk

I love movies and have a special love for classic films. Even though they do not have the special effects of modern films they often make up for it with the writing, acting, and cinematography. The film makers of those days had to work harder to create the effects with set decoration, lighting, music, and the acting itself. There are times when I watch a modern film with all the bells and whistles of computer generated effects and feel that that is all that is carrying the picture. Like “where’s the beef? ”

Via Jack T You Tube:

A classic film I just watched again is Drums Along the Mohawk, (in color), based on the novel by Walter D. Edmonds, starring Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert about the first pioneer American settlers of the Mohawk Valley in New York State. William Faulkner was an uncredited contributor to the screen play. It takes place during American Revolutionary War times. I was reminded about this film by the blog Cinematically Insane.  The restored film was chosen to be among those shown at the 53rd Annual New York Film Festival this year. The settlers have a beef with the British (The Revolutionary War) and some of the Native Americans the British have convinced to fight with them. John Ford is the director. I am a big fan of John Ford movies and the cast is made up of some of his regulars like Ward Bond, Chief John Big Tree, Francis Ford, and Arthur Shields. Edna May Oliver is very funny as the widow Mrs. Mc Klennar. There is a scene where two Seneca braves raid her house and she orders them to carry her bed downstairs before burning down her house. The film is not historically correct in that the Seneca did not raid with the British in the Mohawk Valley. But the British did send in a small force. There is a battle that the local militia men are involved in in the movie which is based on the Battle of Oriskany (1777) which was one of the bloodiest battles of the Revolutionary War.  I love the performances of many of these great character actors. I have wanted a copy of the film for a while. After seeing the post about the film’s screening at the festival I decided to order it, and I did.

This is the original trailer for the film and I do not know why it is in black and white via retrotrailer on You Tube:

Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G Hill.

SoCS badge 2015

Darkness Comes

A Childhood Fright

I remember going to the Saturday matinee at our local movie theater when I was a little girl. We would usually see comedies like Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein or a Jerry Lewis movie and eat a lot of candy. Those movies weren’t scary but made me laugh hysterically. I loved the scenes where the monster keeps appearing to Costello and then, when he tells Abbott, the monster has disappeared from sight. The old horror movies were not so funny but would be considered campy and dated today. There were a couple that stuck with me for a long time and in a bad way. These were ” The Fly”, ( 1958), screenplay by James Clavell and “The Tingler” (1959), directed by William Castle. Both had Vincent Price in the cast. He was great in all those old horror films. Which reminds me of “The House on Haunted Hill,” (1959), also directed by William Castle.  Now I want to go out and get that one. The others still creep me out too much. What was disturbing about The Fly was how the main character ends up with a fly head, for a head, and then in the end is going to get eaten by a spider. AAAAH! With The Tingler it was that creepy centipede like creature that was supposedly in our spines and the bathtub full of blood with an arm reaching out of it. The centipede creature is supposed to break your spine if you don’t scream. Vincent Price plays the mad pathologist who uses LSD in his research and autopsies executed murderers for the state. I probably shouldn’t have been allowed to watch those movies…. 

Posters via IMDb: 

The Fly (1958) Poster377px-House_on_Haunted_Hill

Now for my story:

Darkness Comes

On Samhain, the villagers tell of a stone circle that is in a grove of ancient oaks deep in the forest. There you can see upon old pikes the severed heads of the Cinn Dorcha. They were placed there by the Druid Priestess Aine in the olden times. The heads are covered with rotting flesh, the eyes bulging, and mouths contorted. People swear they can hear them talking to each other when they walk through the grove late at night.

The Druid Priestess

I am a Druid priestess. Some say I am a witch. I descend from a long line of Druids through my maternal side. My earliest memories are of my mother making beautiful swirling clouds of color appear over my crib and hearing the voices of all my maternal ancestors singing enchanting lullabies and cooing to me, “Aine, the blessed one, our beautiful child, and joy of our hearts!”

I watch over the village near the sacred grove. The people come to me for divinations and interventions with the gods. It is a peaceful time but it has not always been so. It was around this time of Samhain, two years ago, that a dark evil descended on our village.

I stood in the sacred grove after the Samhain bonfires. I was in despair about what had come to our land. Darkness was descending. Ta dorchadas a thagann. Ta dorchadas tar eis titum thar ar dtalamh. Cloisim an caoineadh mo mhuintir. Mo mhuintir caoin amach. Ta fulaingt i bhfad. Ta fulaingt i bhfad.

The Darkness comes in the form of the Cinn Dorcha, the Dark Ones, and their quest to coerce my people to their ways. Whether it be by tricks or by intimidation. They speak against the old ways and call them evil superstitions. They tell the people that in order to survive they need to reject our old ways and practices. They tell us how we have to dress and how we are to behave as men and women.  The women of my country were used to freedom and shared with men equally. The Cinn Dorcha tell us that this is no longer to be allowed.  Women who resist this are made their slaves and are abused and violated. They replaced our old holiday celebrations with their own. They destroyed the ancient temple of Tlachtga. Their leader, Olc, labeled our Druid priestesses as witches. The people are afraid and do not know how to fight them. Ni mor dom a cabhru leo. Ni mor dom a cabhru leo!

I have been in hiding in the forest. Olc has proclaimed he will give a great price for my capture. I have been able to shield my cottage with a powerful ward. The enemy have searched the forest many times and walked past it only seeing an old burnt out ruin.

I began a campaign of harassment against the invaders. I use my shape-shifting ability to become first a falcon strafing them with my talons and next a wolf tearing at their throats. The shape-shifting takes a lot of energy and I am exhausted for days afterward.

The Day of Fire

I was resting in my cottage when I heard the raven. Bran alerted me with his shrill cries as he swooped down into my garden,  “Aine, hurry they are near the grove and they have Isibeal!”

I questioned Bran as I ran toward the grove, “Why would they take Isibeal?  She is only a herbalist who mixes potions for the villagers. She is not a threat to anyone.”

I was able to blend into the surrounding trees with my cloak and from there I watched them. Olc was with them.They dragged poor Isibeal by a rope that was wound around her neck. Her hands were tightly bound behind her back and her face streaked with dirt and tears. They took her to the stone circle in the sacred grove and tied her to a tree.

I stepped out from the trees and called out, “Olc, I heard you will give a great price for my capture.”

” You will join your friend at the stake,” Olc snarled. ” Seize her, seize the witch!” he cried to his men.

I raised my arm and called upon the powers of the wind, Thogairm me an ghaoth!  A dark cloud blew across the sky covering the sun and the sky turned a metallic grey. The air, cold as ice, circled around the men like a whirlwind.  It blew with such force it sounded like the wail of a thousand banshees. The cinn olc were all immobilized with fear. I quickly untied Isibeal and told her to run into the forest. Stepping outside of  the stone circle, I raised my arm, and recited the ancient incantation, Teacht chun cinn laochra mor. Scriosann ar naimhde!

The ancient oaks in the grove began to sway and moan. With a loud roar the trees released their sharpest branches like spears toward the enemy. The Cinn Dorcha and their leader were impaled where they stood. I raised my arm again and called upon fire, Thogairm me tine! , and an arc of flame shot out from my fingertips setting them all ablaze. They met the fate they had planned for Isibeal.

Like the Cinn D’aois in long ago times, I placed the heads of my enemy on pikes at the entrance to the sacred grove. The villagers say that when you walk through the grove in the dark of night you can hear them talking to each other.




Goddess by Banks Vevo on You Tube:

Rhiannon [a cousin of Aine]  by Fleetwood Mac via muzicchnl on You Tube:

WEP Halloween Challenge

Word Count: 888

General Criticism and/or gentle appreciated.

SOCS-P is for Picnic

Labor Day Picnic


Small-town America

Sack races and

Pieces of watermelon

Drifter and the Beauty Queen





Dance scene from Picnic by Stan Gunn on You Tube:

The film Picnic was based on a Pulitzer Prize winning play written by William Inge. It was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor.



Bees and Bliss

I found my bliss. Ollie Hofnoodle’s Haven of Bliss that is.  If you have seen A Christmas Story by Jean Shepard this is another film written by him that is very funny. What I love about it is that is epitomizes an era in American life of the middle class family. This is about Ralphie and his family when he is a teenager looking for his first job. His father still has his nose to the grindstone and wants nothing more than to get away for his annual 2 week summer vacation at a resort on Clear Lake. There are hilarious parts about Ralph’s first job, how the family dog “Fuzzhead” runs away, and the “epic car trip” on the way to the lake. Their family car is loaded up to the roof with all the comforts of home they want to bring to the vacation cabin. This was when a family typically had one family car. Shepard describes the mother’s lot in life, quite accurately I thought, when he says she never got to taste her food warm because she was constantly waiting on the rest of the family during mealtime.

There is one scene where the family is on the road and they recall how when then got to a certain place there was this bee that would come into the car and harass them. They wonder if the bee could still be there. The father says that’s ridiculous. Well, you guessed it, the bee shows up and the next scene is the whole family running down the road.

Sequel of To Kill A Mockingbird

I read on this morning that a sequel to the novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee will be released this summer. The title of the new book is, “Go Set a Watchman.” Harper Lee, who is now 88 years old, is quoted in the Salon article. This is her first novel in 50 years. Ms. Lee won the Pulitzer Prize for “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

One of my favorite films of all time, based on the book,  is “To Kill A Mockingbird,” starring Gregory Peck. It has a whole cast of wonderful actors including Brock Peters, Robert Duvall, Alice Ghostley and many more. Mary Badham and Phillip Alford play the children Scout and Jem.  The screenplay is by Horton Foote and music by Elmer Bernstein.

We have our own copy of the DVD and have watched it over and over. I think the story is still pertinent today. It is about racial prejudice and prejudice against people who are mentally ill. It about standing up for what is right even when many people around you are against you. It is told through the eyes of the little girl Scout. I love her relationship with her brother Jem and all their adventures with their visiting summer friend Dill. There is some mystery in the story surrounding their neighbor Boo Radley who is shut away in his house except for his nighttime forays where he leaves little gifts in the hollow of a tree for the children.

I am very interested in reading this new book. It is about Scout as an adult. You can read more about it in the Salon article. It states that Harper Lee wrote this book before she wrote “To Kill A Mockingbird” and the novel was just discovered last Fall.  I suspect it will be made into a film sometime in the future.


 “Mentally deranged by the influence of the moon…dreamily romantic or bemused.”–

Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I. (Rodgers & Hart)

When he talks he is seeking
Words to get off his chest.
Horizontally speaking
He’s at his very best.

I love the film Moonstruck starring Nicolas Cage, Cher, and Olympia Dukakis and written by John Patrick Shanley. It is a romantic comedy where the main character Loretta ,(Cher), is afraid to get involved with Ronnie, (Nick Cage) ,the brother of her fiancé, because it goes against the rules. When she married her first husband she felt she did not follow the expectations of society and waited to have a baby. When her husband was killed she felt it was because she broke the rules. So Ronnie says to her in response:

” Loretta, I love you. Not like they told you love is, and I didn’t know this either, but love don’t make things nice-it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren’t here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die! The storybooks are bullshit. Now I want you to come upstairs with me and get in my bed!”

” We aren’t here to make things perfect…we are here to ruin ourselves and break our hearts and love the wrong people and die!” I love that quote.

In the movie Loretta goes through a physical transformation from a dowdy looking woman to glamorous as she readies herself to meet Ronnie at the Metropolitan Opera in New York for a performance of La Boheme. A  beautiful opera by Puccini.

I don’t think we are here to make things perfect either or to be perfect. We struggle and suffer and flail about a lot and try to do our best many times but we are not perfect.

Badge by: Doobster at Mindful Digressions

This is for Stream of Consciousness Saturday with the prompt “sick”. It made me feel a little qualmish to write about “sick” so I decided to pick a synonym.

Mr. Coffee and the Holy Water

My cousin Sue is 2 years older than me. When we were little girls we often played together. She was the one who always thought up things for us to do that might get us in trouble and usually did. She had that mischievous streak. My grandparents called her “the ring leader” and my mother sometimes called her “the sh*t disturber.” I remember when I heard my mother call her this and asked what it meant. She said it was someone who liked to cause trouble.

One day my cousin and I were playing in my room. We were going through the top drawer of my dresser examining the contents. I had a little plastic bottle that was meant to hold a small supply of Holy Water from the church. Holy Water is water that has been blessed by the priest and thought to have special powers to bless the members of the parish.

My cousin convinced me it would be a good idea to go to my local church and fill the bottle with holy water. So off we went to the church which was about 2 city blocks from where I lived.

We were at the back of the church trying to fill my bottle from the Holy Water font and we were probably being a bit too noisy about it with some spilling and giggling.

That was when Mr. Coffee the caretaker at the church spotted us and was in hot pursuit. As we exited the side door of the church I felt him grab hold of me and angrily ask what we were doing. He caught us by surprise. My cousin said he came out of no where. I guess he thought two little girls were capable of massive destruction and he was determined to put a stop to it. I was mortified. I tried to explain that we weren’t doing anything bad. My cousin shouted at him to let me go. I freed myself from his grasp and we ran all the way back to my house.

You have to understand my personality at that time. I was really the good little girl who was so serious and sensitive. I was very upset as we reported the incident to my mother. I spoke to my cousin about this incident and she remembered I was hysterical.

My mother called to complain about my treatment and explain how very serious I was about my religion, did not intend to do anything wrong and that I was terribly upset.

I was afraid Mr. Coffee would get me in trouble with the nuns at my school. I never heard anything more about it. I am sure I worried about it for quite a while.

It is funny what you remember from your childhood. I attended the Catholic School until the middle of 4th grade when we moved to the suburbs of The City. We referred to San Francisco as The City.

Another memory I have from that time is that we wrote J.M.J. on the top of all of our school work. This stood for Jesus, Mary and Joseph. My father was Irish American and would swear sometimes. One way he would express exasperation would be to say, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph!”

I don’t think I used this expression as a young adult very often. Except, I remember, when I was in labor with my son. As the pain became more intense and I experienced yet another contraction, I said to my Nurse, ” I’m having another one!,” meaning a contraction. She answered me with, ” Oh, are you having a contraction?”  I yelled out, ” Jesus, Mary and Joseph, what do you think I’m having?”

I had lost touch with my Irish American roots. My father never talked of any Irish history or culture. He was not religious. Then I watched one of my favorite films, “Only the Lonely,” directed by Chris Columbus and starring John Candy, Maureen O’Hara, Ally Sheedy, Jim Belushi and Anthony Quinn. It is about an Irish American family in Chicago.

John Candy is a policeman, Danny Muldoon,  and lives with his overbearing mother, Rose, played by Maureen O’Hara. And guess what? In the film I hear Rose say in exasperation, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph!” It took me back and I realized this is a common Irish American thing to say.

Well, I do highly recommend the film and not just because of that exclamation. It is a romantic comedy. It has some great music like Roy Orbison’s “Only the Lonely” and “Someone Like You” by Van Morrison.

220px-Only_the_lonely_ver1  Promotional Poster via wikipedia