The big news: I have a new love. Myrna, Jean, Irene, move over (well, not too far over!). My heart belongs to Ginger. Now I know, you're asking, what took me so long? The truth is, I always stayed away from Ginger Rogers movies because I associated her only with dance routines. This is because I, ladies and gentleman, am an idiot. TCM had a Ginger Rogers day a while back and Fred Astaire was nowhere in sight; hardly a shimmy to be seen, just one top-quality comedy after another. And Miss Rogers was just ... *sigh*. What a voice. What timing. What looks (in both senses of the word). What a dame.
I loved it. Niven and Rogers are both so wonderful, and it's such a funny movie. It also has a great pro-life, pro-adoption message, in a totally non-preachy, indirect way (the plot centers around an abandoned baby being mistakenly forced into Rogers' care). This is around the point you begin to realize I have no idea how to review movies - my goal here is simply to post some good screenshots and to gush like a schoolgirl with a crush, and I'm fine with that. I will say one thing, which goes for three of the four movies in this post. I watch a lot of oldies and am fairly familiar with which ones are considered classics, but I had never heard of this one until TCM played it one afternoon. It's a small, old, low-budget, relatively unknown little flick, and yet it is infinitely better than just about anything Hollywood has put out in decades. With all the joy I get from gems like this, there is always a sadness, too, because I know that the world is changed, that sweet little movies like this simply will never - can never - be made anymore.
Jimmy Stewart as young as I've ever seen him. Rogers at her comic, sexy, and romantic best. Gush, gush, gush.
And speaking of Jimmy Stewart...
The Shop Around the Corner
So obviously this is the one movie in the bunch that I had heard of before watching. Don't know why it took me so long to see it, considering I do like the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks remake (You've Got Mail). Turns out, this one is about a million times better. And I'm not just saying that because it's Hungarian! Also, as far as Jimmy Stewart Christmas movies go, a million times better than It's a Wonderful Life.
The Strawberry Blonde
Rita Hayworth may be the blonde from the title and Jimmy Cagney may be onscreen every moment, but, as terrific as they both are, don't let them fool you: it's all about Olivia, baby. There's this one scene she has with Cagney when she tries to fake a bad-girl persona that is absolute comic gold. The way she winks at him - priceless.
In conclusion, God bless Turner Classic Movies. And please watch these four charming little gems, I promise you won't regret it. Just stay away from Ginger, she's mine!
UPDATE: I immediately thought up an exception to my nostalgic rant above. One of my absolute favorite movies, one which proves that, even in the 70s, if you really put your mind to it, you could make a 30s masterpiece.
Please, please see this. One of the best ever.