Monday, August 24, 2009

Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)

I always wondered how a simple and sentimental movie about a school teacher could net Robert Donat a Best Actor Oscar in one of the most hotly contended Oscar years ever. Well, now I have watched it and now I know.

Elderly Mr. Chips at the beginning of the movie

Robert Donat, same year, will someone explain to me how this young man came to look like the elderly man seen above?!?!?

I am probably the last person on earth to just get 'round to watching this one, but in case there is one more out there, here's the plot. The movie opens with an elderly Mr. Chips (Robert Donat) reflecting back on his life from the point that he was travelling to take his appointment as teacher at a prestigious private school. Is shows him as an almost painfully shy young man, desperate to do a good job and have his student like and respect him, but he can't seem to break out of the shell of shyness. After approximately a decade on the job, and being passed over for promotion, he finds himself on a trip to Austria. It is here that he meets Katherine (Greer Garson) and they fall in love, marry, and he brings her back to school. It is Katherine that helps ease him out of his shell and helps give him the confidence to become the man and teacher he always wanted to be.

Robert Donat is so completely believable as the 83-year-old man. Not only does he look different, but he carries himself completely different. He sounds completely different. When he delivers the somewhat teasing and grumpy old man line of, "Enough of your loathsome statistics woman, go about your business" you certainly can't imagine that coming from the younger version of himself. What a difference in demeanor and presence between the older Mr. Chips and the young, shy instructor who speaks slow and looks so awkward. I would have sworn on my life that they hired an old man to play the part. How on earth - in 1939 - did they make a 34-year-old Robert Donat look so different and believable as an 83-year-old?

I also want to mention Greer Garson's role too. It is amazing how skillfully and gracefully Katherine helps ease his uncomfortableness at social situations and teaches him how to interact with confidence. I think I have fallen for Greer Garson in this role. She is peaches and cream, delightful ... perfection.

This movie is a testament to storytelling. Chips isn't an extraordinary man really, he is someone that we can identify with - a shy person who learns to reach out. Give good actors and a good director a wonderful, simple story to tell without all of today's over-the-top trappings and this is what you often get - magic. I highly, highly recommend this one if you haven't already seen it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)

I am not going to lie to you. If you watch this movie, you are going to cry. It is perhaps one of the saddest movies I have ever seen.

Bruno shaking hands with his new found friend

Bruno (Asa Butterfield) is an 8-year-old boy growing up in Germany. His father is a Commandant in the German Army who has been assigned to oversee Auschwitz. They move to a house near the concentration camp and Bruno is miserable that he isn't allowed out to explore the surrounding area. As any young child would most likely do, he disobeys his parents and goes exploring anyway. He eventually finds and befriends a boy named Shmuel (Jack Scanlon) whom he thinks lives on a strange farm and wears strange striped pajamas.

It is interesting to watch the atrocity that happened through the eyes of a young, innocent boy. It makes complete sense that there is no way for children to take in and understand what they are seeing as it happens. The innocent questions Bruno asks and the conclusions he draws, when we as the audience knows what's really going on, is completely heart-breaking.

One of the things I liked is how all of the German characters, even Bruno, are shown as humans who are capable of both good and bad acts. It would have been so easy to paint all the German soldiers as monsters, and while most of them were monsters to the Jewish population, they are still shown as multi-dimensional, caring folks to others. Even Bruno is shown to have faults when faced with a difficult situation.

Everything about this movie is both beautiful and heart-breaking simultaneously. The performances are amazing. Both boys show so much innocence and pain on their faces, I don't know how they were able to pull off the performances they did about such a horrible tragedy at such a young age. I would imagine it would be terribly difficult for a young boy to even understand the depth of emotions, nevermind portray them. Most of the adult actors give restrained performances consisting largely of subtle looks as Bruno asks questions to try to understand. I liked they also showed the range of emotion an adult felt (Bruno's mother) when learning the truth of what was really happening at the camps. It helps give an emotional counter-balance to the calm German soldiers coldly going about their business. I also want to add that the cinematography and lighting is all so stunning too. It is so hard to take in the beauty of the cinematography when the subject is so disturbing. It creates an attraction/repulsion at the same time which works because that is what most of the characters are feeling as well.

Believe me, I know it is sometimes hard to get geared up for watching a gut-wrenching film, but this is a very important one. Gird yourself and go for it. This is a great film that everyone needs to watch. Just remember to bring to bring your kleenex as you have been warned.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Perry Mason (1934 - 1936)

I have a great, great fondness for Warren William. He has largely been forgotten by today's audiences, but I think there is a faithful flock of folks that have rediscovered his work and developed great admiration. As such, I DVRed the Perry Mason marathon last month and just got 'round to watching.

"The Case of the Howling Dog" (1934)

In order, the four movies are "The Case of the Howling Dog" (1934), "The Case of the Curious Bride" (1935), "The Case of the Lucky Legs" (1935) and "The Case of the Velvet Claws" (1936). I won't go into the plots of each of them as they all have different flavors and have different actors/actresses playing similar supporting roles.

Warren is wonderful in everything he does so he is, of course, great as a slick lawyer type that is not above totally breaking the law to finesse justice to the best of his advantage. Warren plays Perry as an extremely charming, quick thinking, witty and urbane .... shyster type. This Perry Mason in no way resembles Raymond Burr's Perry. Warren's Perry reminds me more of what Nick Charles from the "Thin Man" would have been like if he had been a lawyer.

I would have thought the first movie "The Case of the Howling Dog" with Mary Astor would have been one of my favorites, but for some reason, it didn't gel quite right with me. It might have been me, but I found the plot a bit overcomplicated and difficult to follow. I guess they were way too clever for my feeble brain. It was a good start though, to get me in the Perry frame of mind.

The next two "The Case of the Curious Bride" and "The Case of the Lucky Legs" were both wonderful - you have Perry Mason flirting with Della Street as well as any other woman he comes in contact with. You also have Allen Jenkins as the wonderful sidekick Spudsy. Perry also joins the ranks of the charming mystery solvers that can't find a clue without a drink in his hand. There are many jokes and gags regards to his penchant for the spirits and both movies are fun mystery romps that I highly recommend.

The last "The Case of the Velvet Claws" really fell short of my expectations, unfortunately. Warren is still as wonderful as always, but Allen Jenkins didn't return as Spudsy and his absence was very much noticed. Also, the movie series totally "jumped the shark" by starting the movie with a marriage between Perry Mason and Della Street. This tempered the sexual tension between them, it also stopped him from flirting with every single woman so as not to look like a cad and it just ended up not as fun a turn as a result. It is not surprising that this was the last one in the Perry Mason series, unfortunately.

If you are a great fan of Warren William, you should probably make an effort to watch all four. If not, you will be happier just watching the first three and skipping the last. You won't be missing much - you could save the time and re-watch one of Warren's many other wonderful movies.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

House of Mirth (2000)

I was very nervous about watching this one as it is one of those that people report as the worst movie ever made or the most brilliant movie they have ever seen. I doubted I would believe either of those, but I was worried about truly disliking this movie. I needn't have worried.

Lawrence (Eric Stoltz) and Lily (Gillian Anderson) would have had beautiful redheaded, blue-eyed and, almost so pale as to be translucent, children

As a woman of the early 1900s, Lily Barton (Gillian Anderson) finds herself in a most common quandary for women of that time. Does she marry for love or does she find a rich man to marry so she can live without material worry? Of course, that is not the only plot driving this film. It is also about society and what sacrifices one must make to stay true to oneself. Lily is torn between a life with a society lawyer that she loves, Lawrence Selden (Eric Stoltz), and the possibility of marrying a rich man, most likely Sim Rosedale (Anthony LaPaglia). Add to that the nasty turns of society with her frenemy Bertha Dorset (Laura Linney) and best friend's husband Gus Trenor (Dan Akroyd) and Lily finds herself in many precarious situations. As she says herself, "We resist the big temptations, but it is the little ones that pull us down."

I really think Gillian was wonderful in this role. I read so many reviewers talking about how slow her speech seemed and how stiff and reserved she seemed. Well, yeah, that was the way the character was supposed to be. This whole movie is not about spelling out the feelings of the characters in words, but watching subtle nuances on the actor's faces for emotional cues. In fact, most of this movie is about characters saying one thing, but the actors having to pull off showing a completely different emotion on their faces. There really were some wonderful performances in this that I am not sure people in the age of Terminator and the like would truly understand.

One of the wonderful scenes of the movie was between Lily and Lawrence. They make simply touching hands seem so erotic. With Lily's breathing becoming more rapid and Lawrence saying he has nothing to offer her, but it would be hers if he did. The heartbreak of what little is being said there, but with such underlying meaning. All the while the gentle touch of two hands .... and the ache of desire. Yet circumstances making it so that neither is willing to risk their need for material comfort for love.

I have to admit, I have never read Edith Wharton's book so I was terribly confused by the title. After some research I found the answer. Ecclesiastes 7:3-4: Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. I really like this quotation for, at times, this proves I must surely be most wise.

Lastly, I have to speak about Bertha's character and Laura Linney's performance of Bertha. I have often thought Laura Linney is a most underrated actress. She proves it yet again with her turn as Bertha who would be a welcome addition on any of today's reality TV shows. She would be known as what is called "good TV". Some of the quotes from the movie referencing her character are wonderful such as, "For always getting what she wants in the long run, commend me to a nasty woman." This is followed up with a question about liking such a nasty person. The response is, "It's much safer to be fond of dangerous people." Laura plays her as such a cunning and manipulative little ... witch. She is sheer ... witchy perfection.

I do admit that this movie is quite a downer. It is sad that the whole reason that Lily couldn't succeed - her fatal flaw - is that she was simply too nice to play the ruthless games that one had to play in high society. She had many chances to triumph over those who pushed her down, but she always felt her dignity and staying true to herself was more important.

As for my recommendation, the costumes, sets, performances and cinematography - everything about this movie is wonderful. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes subtle films and is okay with an unhappy ending.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sixteen Candles (1984)

Due to the death of John Hughes recently, Encore movie channel decided to run some of his movies as a tribute. I happen to have the High Def version of Encore and became immediately excited about the idea of recording Jake Ryan in High Def. Seriously, I watched this movie before puberty and Jake Ryan became as much an idol to me as Magnum PI and Remington Steele. So ... hot.

Jake Ryan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald) just turned 16 and due to her sister's wedding, everyone has completely forgotten. To soften the blow she decides to trounce a geek's heart (Anthony Michael Hall) and set her sights on the most gorgeous guy in school (also most gorgeous guy ever in a teen flick) - Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling).

I will be the first to admit this is not a good movie. I still laugh every time I see it though! "No more yankey my wankey!" This was as close as we came to a Judd Apatow film in the 80s. I don't think it is possible to watch this and not chuckle at least once. The most difficult thing about this movie is how completely improbable it is. Let's see, this seriously gorgeous and rich senior guy dating a seriously gorgeous and rich blond senior girl is tired of her partying ways and wants to settle down with an almost mousy sophomore just because she said she wanted to have sex with him. What planet was this filmed on?!?!?! There is no teenage boy that would turn down Caroline (the seriously gorgeous blond) for Samantha (the mousy sophomore).

Since this movie is silly, I have seen a silly game that I thought I would try. It is to list the silly things you learned from the movie. I will list a few things here:

1. In HD, Jake Ryan has cute little freckles.
2. Freshmen will pay to see a girl's panties.
3. Grandmas like to feel up their granddaughters.
4. Rubbing lemons into your elbows is a beauty secret.
5. Men prefer mousy, flat-chested redheads to gorgeous, stacked blonds.

Audience participation time: Can you think of any other items you learned from this movie?

I highly recommend this one for when you are in your mid-life crisis and need to escape back to your days of school when your biggest worry was your hair or acne or when you would hook-up as in HOOK-UP with someone finally. Ahhhh, good times.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ever Since Eve (1937)

I had heard of Marion Davies before, but only because she was a mistress to William Randolph Hearst for 30 years until his death. I had never actually seen her in a movie. When TCM showed some of her movies for their Summer Under the Stars series, I decided to record a few. I started with "Not So Dumb" actually, and almost wanted to turn it off. Her fakey voice and silly, annoying "I'm dumb, but cute, so love me" character really was a turn off. However, after talking to my movie mentor, he suggested I watch "Ever Since Eve" in all it's role-reversal glee to try to redeem my overall opinion of Marion Davies.

Marion Davies portrait "borrowed" from doctormacro1 and colored by someone named Brittany

Marge Winton (Marion Davies) is a gorgeous blond secretary who can't keep a job because her male bosses always put the moves on her and she inevitably gets fired when she turns them down. In order to keep a job, she comes up with a brilliant plan of dressing up in full-on frump so that her employers will focus on her skill and not on her appearance. All seems to go well until she is asked to work with a writer named Freddy Matthews (Robert Montgomery) and he eventually sees her without the plain Jane costume and falls in love. After that, mistaken identities, dance numbers and stick 'em ups abound!

This is one of the more improbable screwball comedies I have seen in a while. It starts out sane, but by the end it is so completely off-the-charts zany that you know you enjoyed yourself but wonder how on earth you got there. Marion Davies didn't have the crazy voice like she did in "Not So Dumb" and played a smart lady so I have now forgiven her for annoying me so the other day. Plus, she is cute as a button so I had already forgiven her a bit anyway, truth be told. If that wasn't enough, her romantic rival (Marcia Ralston) went to the school of Ethel Barrymore eye acting (continually narrowing and widening one's eyes to try to show emotion) so that alone makes Marion Davies look completely brilliant! Well done!

A huge bonus for me was seeing Robert Montgomery again. Speaking of forgiving, this one almost made me forgive him making me sit through "Lady in the Lake". Al-most. He is back to sweet "Mr & Mrs. Smith" charming fun and frivolity in this one. I also really enjoyed the supporting cast. Frank McHugh, Patsy Kelly and Barton MacLane help round out the film and provide a bit of a comedic foundation to allow the in-zanity.

This wasn't a great film, but it was definitely enjoyable and most importantly, entertaining. I definitely recommend checking this out if you happen to catch it on TCM sometime. It is worth the 80 minute investment.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mighty Aphrodite (1995)

I really shouldn't admit this for fear of stones being thrown by various movie lovers, but I will be brave and just say it. I have a really hard time with Woody Allen movies. I usually like the clever dialogue and I usually like that Allen is making fun of himself in some way or other, but I have little patience for watching Woody Allen play the same character, himself, over and over on the screen.

Lenny (Woody Allen) and Amanda (Helena Bonham Carter) decide they should adopt a child. Well, really she decides and suddenly they are holding a baby boy named Max. The boy thrives in the intellectual environment and by the time he is of pre-school age he has been designated as extremely intelligent. Lenny and Amanda's marriage hits the rocks and Lenny starts fantasizing about the mother (Mira Sorvino) of his adopted son and tracks her down.

Even though I have a difficult time with Woody Allen movies, this one was one of the better ones I have seen. I loved the device of using the Greek Chorus between scenes to both draw parallels to Oedipus and contemporize it in a humorous way. That was a stroke of genius.

What I thought really didn't work very well was the pairing of Woody Allen and Helena Bonham Carter. He was 60 and she was 29. That may have been overcome if either showed the remotest amount of interest in the other. I think it is an understatement to say there was zero chemistry. From the beginning of the movie I was puzzled how they ever got together and how they could really be in love.

My other issue was that the character Mira Sorvino played grated on my nerves. Her voice and her vapidness (is that a word?) made me want to fast-forward through every scene she was in. After hearing so much about her performance due to her winning the best supporting actress Oscar in 1996, I have to say that I don't see it as an Oscar-worthy performance. She is good as the dumb blond and I know that she isn't that way in real-life, but really, does that make it Oscar worthy?

However, even though everything doesn't seem to fit together perfectly in this, I still say it is a terribly funny movie. I particularly loved Olympia Dukakis as Jocasta and Jack Warden as Tiresias as part of the Greek Chorus. The Greek Chorus manages to both lift up the sophistication level while at the same time showing the movie isn't trying to take itself too seriously. That alone made this film brilliant. I recommend this one for the humor, the Greek Chorus and perhaps the line "I'm sure that you're a state-of-the-art fellatrix." Can't beat that.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Recently the gauntlet was thrown down, so to speak, by my friend and fellow blogger Jenny. Whilst discussing "Truly, Madly, Deeply" here in one of my entries, she shared my enthusiasm for the movie and the actors in the comments section. She said, "Alan Rickman is sexy. You have have to, have to watch Sense and Sensibility now. If you have already watched it, you have to watch it again and notice Alan and how sexy he is. " So, apparently, I had to ... because gosh, I don't remember thinking anything about Alan Rickman after watching that one. I mean, seriously, he was an old man or something?

Mr. Rickman

So, about "Sense and Sensibility". I never know how to do a good synopsis of a movie adapted from a Jane Austen novel. There are generally too many twists and turns for any of it to make much sense in a small paragraph form. The important bits are that two of the three Dashwood sisters are of marrying age and are looking for love. Elinor (Emma Thompson) and Marianne (Kate Winslet) have vastly different approaches to finding and expressing love. Of course, gentlemen must enter the picture in the form of Col. Branden (Alan Rickman), Mr. Willoughby (Greg Wise) and Edward Ferrars (Hugh Grant) so as to court the ladies. You are pretty sure there will be a wedding at the end, but the twists and turns and who weds who is always the interesting part.

One of the great things about this one is not only the wonderful performances (shout out to the cranky Hugh Laurie in this), but the direction is wonderful too. I know that the direction has a lot to do with it because I have seen quite a few Ang Lee films now. He is a master when he is directing the shots. As an amateur photographer, I have little patience for any film that doesn't take the time to do something other than simply follow the action with a camera. It *has* to be more than that for a rich movie experience and Ang Lee is one of those directors that totally gets that. I heart that about his films.

Now, keep in mind I was about 20 when I saw this film in the theatre. For some reason, I haven't seen it since even though I own the DVD and really liked the movie. So many movies, so little time. It is amazing how much your life experience plays into what you feel about the same movie. Have you ever noticed this?

At the tender young age when I first saw this, I totally identified with Kate Winslet's character who wanted to be exuberant about love and not play coy. She didn't want to hold anything back and therefore put her heart right out there without even a thought of anyone ever mistreating it. I was all about Mr. Willoughby because he was dashing and charming and FUN. Lord, was he fun.

Now, almost a decade and a half later (good golly!) and at a not-so-tender age anymore, I totally identify with Emma Thompson's character. She holds her feelings deep below the surface so as not to allow just anyone to come along and trample all over them. She feels love just as much as her younger sister, but doesn't run around like a school girl telling everyone. The other epiphany of me watching this at an older age is, indeed, just how sexy Alan Rickman and his character is in this film. He is compassionate, loving, steadfast and true. You may not look at him and think "Woohoo - he MUST be the life of the ball" but I would look at him and think proudly, "That is my kind man whom I love so very much." I would happily sit with him in the garden and let him read me poetry all day. :-)

So, the same film, viewed almost 15 years later which almost translates to a lifetime of experiences, led to a totally different movie experience and result. I have noticed this happen many other times and at first am always surprised at how different the film was in my memory and it takes a while to realize the film and memory is the same, the viewer is the one who has changed.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

An American Crime (2007)

This is the true story of Sylvia Likens (Ellen Page). Her parents worked with traveling carnivals and in 1965, their marriage was on the rocks. They separated largely due to the fact the mother no longer wanted to travel with the carnivals, fearing it was too hard on their daughters Sylvia and Jennie. The father comes back and asks his wife to go with him on a carnival circuit, again, where they can save money for their family. He proposes leaving the girls with a lady from church, Gertrude Baniszewski (Catharine Keener), who also has children and will keep them just a few weeks as a way of making some money. Reluctantly the mother agrees.

As with stories like this, things go well at first until Sylvia and Jennie are beaten with a belt when their parent's money doesn't arrive exactly on time (it is a day late). Then the oldest daughter of Gertrude's becomes jealous of the attention Sylvia is getting from the boys in school and tells her mother that Sylvia is spreading rumors about her. This cements the already growing hatred Gertrude feels towards Sylvia and the abuse escalates. Sylvia somewhat accepts her fate as a way of protecting her sister figuring if Gertrude focuses on her, at least her sister will be spared. Sylvia is eventually locked in the basement where Gertrude encourages her kids and the neighborhood kids to "punish" Sylvia in a variety of harsh and evil ways. The neighbors hear Sylvia's screams coming from the basement, but everyone agrees it is a private matter and it is best if they mind their own business.

Catherine Keener in an oddly, somewhat tender moment with Ellen Page

This movie is obviously incredibly hard to watch, but if you have the stomach for it, I encourage you to do so. The script is based off the court transcripts. They shot the movie in sequential order so the actors could feel the progression of the atrocities. Ellen also took advantage of that and stopped eating so that she could feel Sylvia's starvation pain and lose weight to portray a young girl being starved. I also thought it was brilliant that Catherine Keener didn't play the role like a raving monster. It is a very subtle terror. At one point she asks her son, "Who's in charge?" He replies, "You are Momma" and I think that says it all.

On a personal note, I had an extreme emotional reaction to this movie that I will never forget. My mother very rarely talked about it, but eventually she told me her mother was paranoid schizophrenic. Everything was okay while her dad was alive, but when he died when Mom was 5, all bets were suddenly off. Her mom was incredibly cruel to my Mother. She wouldn't give her clothes or blankets in the winter, preferring to watch her freeze. She shaved her head to humiliate her. She physically and even sexually abused her, and these were just the things Mom dared talk about once, when I was older. I am sure there were so many more things that I never knew about. My Mom had a brother and a half brother. They were also encouraged or forced to hurt my Mom as well. Why Mom? I am not sure, I think her mom was jealous of how much her dad loved her. There may not have really been a reason other than her mom was sick.

It all came to an end one summer day when her mother decided to build a brush fire in front of their house. This was alarming enough to the neighbors as it could get out of control and destroy their property. The neighbors came out to see what was going on when they saw my Mom's mom trying to get her sons to throw her daughter on the brush pile. My Mom was screaming and fighting as best she could for her life. After months and months of neighbors ignoring shrieks of pain they must have heard coming from my Mom, someone finally stepped in and called the police.

I had such an emotional reaction because I couldn't help thinking of my Mom as I watched Ellen portray Sylvia. I also couldn't help think how amazing it is that my Mom was able to be a kind and loving Mom after such an extremely difficult childhood. She was an incredible woman to overcome the abuse and forgive her brothers and be able to love anyone after something like that.

I tell this story now because my Mom is gone now and everyone involved in the story, her mom and her brothers are all gone now too. I don't have any family on her side anymore so there is no one to hurt by telling this story that no one else can tell. It is unbelievable to me how close my Mom came to death as a child just because neighbors thought it was all a private matter. If her mom hadn't chosen such a public venue, I am certain she would have been killed in the house eventually. It is chilling to think myself and my brother and his children came that close to never existing.

I also tell this story to say this happens way more often than any of us think and it is NEVER okay to think it isn't our responsibility to step in or speak up. I wish someone had stepped in earlier for Sylvia and I also wish someone would have saved Mom earlier too.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Fashions of 1934 (1934)

Sherwood Nash (William Powell) is a con man who is always trying to think of another hustle. After several others didn't quite work out, he happens upon a talented fashion designer named Lynn Mason (Bette Davis). From there they begin a scheme of knocking off original designs and while that doesn't last it leads them to their next plan and possibly even to romance.

Bette Davis in a publicity still from Fashions of 1934

I am doing this blog really just to share Robert Osborne's hilarious intro to this one when it came on TCM recently. I watched the film and, unfortunately, either the film was a little lackluster or I was completely distracted the whole time. I think it was more the latter issue as I was constantly interrupted. I really will have to watch this one again, I think, to really get much out of the whole viewing experience. So this isn't really a review as much as a sharing of the wonders of Robert Osborne's way of bringing films to life.

I am putting quotes around it, but this is perhaps slightly paraphrased as I was typing directly from the TV. If I missed the exact wording, don't sue me. Robert said, "She (Bette) is glamorized beyond recognition. Her hair is bleached blonde and straightened. Her eyes and face have enough makeup to sink the Titanic. She wears gowns by Orry-Kelly that no human being would wear this side of a Halloween party. She went along with it once, just once. When she saw herself on screen she vowed to never let them do that to her again. Part of the fun of watching this one is knowing the seething fury going on in the mind of Bette Davis while she is parading around in all those ridiculous outfits."

I laughed every time I saw her on screen, almost, imagining her as a very angry furball of a kitty with these big huge eyes being forced into "cute" outfits for everyone else's amusement. I kept imagining the kitty hissing and fighting and eventually giving in only to be ashamed by the result when she looked in the mirror. That whole image in my mind was worth the price of admission, as they say. :-)