Five Great Movies According To My Mom

These are my parents, Nancy and Joe. They are ridiculous.

A few months ago, I shared my dad’s five favorite movies and set him off on a path to Internet superstardom. This irritated my mom because Joe got to share his favorite  movies first. She was so irritated, I had to quickly jot down her favorite movies and promise to post them on her birthday. So here are my mom’s five favorite movies. Happy birthday Nancy!

Disclaimer: Just to double check, I asked my mom what her favorite movies were last week. She said “I should just know them” and it would be “too bad” if I hadn’t written them down. So who knows if these are actually her favorite movies. She also wouldn’t tell me why she likes these movies, so I’m just making it up. Now she’ll probably be irritated at me for writing this post. Oh well. I’m her favorite child (right, Mom?) so I’ll risk it.

Continue reading “Five Great Movies According To My Mom”

The Katharine Hepburn Performances I Love

Today would be Katharine Hepburn’s birthday 104th. In honor of my favorite actress, here are clips from some of her performances I love and consistently watch.

Susan Vance – Bringing Up Baby (1939)

Rose Sayer – The African Queen (1951)

Terry Randall – Stage Door (1937)

Jane Hudson – Summertime (1955)

Tracy Lord – The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Continue reading “The Katharine Hepburn Performances I Love”

Rejoice! The African Queen (Finally) Comes To DVD

Save this date!

Beginning March 23, you can own The African Queen on DVD. The 1951 classic starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn has never been released on DVD until now.

So why the wait? Paramount took six years to restore the film using 4k digital technology. Jack Cardiff, the film’s cinematographer who passed away in April 2009, provided his commentary of the film for Paramount. Other special features include a new documentary, Embracing Chaos: Making The African Queen, about the making of The African Queen. Martin Scorsese is one of the film experts interviewed for the documentary.

Limited editions will also include: an audio disc with a recording of a radio version of The African Queen; a Senitype film frame collectible reproduction; collectible postcards; and a reproduction of Hepburn’s out-of-print memoir, The Making of The African Queen or How I Went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall and Huston and Almost Lost My Mind.

Now this is something that should make every film geek go nuts.

One of Those Nights

The longest summer of my life – one filled with laughter and romance, never ending drama, countless mistakes, new places, people and experiences, more than 2000 miles of driving and sheer exhaustion – is finally coming to an end.

As I pack up my Mount Everest of crap before I head back to Mount Holyoke on Monday, I can’t help but to think about everything. I’m at this strange stage in my life where I have to start thinking seriously about the future, but not so seriously that I don’t enjoy being 20 (almost).

Fortunately (and perhaps coincidentally), when I collapsed on my couch tonight and turned on the television, there just happened to be Katharine Hepburn, attempting to make Spencer Tracy breakfast in the last moments of Woman of the Year. And that was followed by The African Queen.

These movies don’t necessarily help or even solve my problems. But they certainly help me forget about something. Just for a little while.

That’s more than enough to get me through the next few days.

The Performance That Changed Your Life

Today I am participating in Emma from All About My Movies’ first ever blog-a-thon!

For someone who has been reading my blog from the very beginning (almost two years ago now), you’ve learned one simple fact about me. I LOVE Katharine Hepburn. So deciding that the performance that changed my life was one of Katharine Hepburn’s was easy. Picking which one it was, now that was the hard part.

At first, I wanted to write about Susan Vance and Bringing Up Baby. Afterall, this is my favorite movie and it is the movie that made me love cinema. Susan is absolutely nuts and is often providing a very good reason for mental institutions, but it is impossible not to be drawn to that character. At times, I find myself wishing I could be more like Susan Vance; carefree, happy, witty, sassy, and still able to get the guy at the end.

But for whatever reason, I’ve decided against writing more about Susan Vance. I’ve been flip flopping between Tracy Lord (The Philadelphia Story), Tess Harding (Woman of the Year), Amanda Bonner (Adam’s Rib), Eva Lovelace (Morning Glory), Alice Adams (Alice Adams) and Eleanor of Aquitaine (The Lion in Winter). I’ve decided against all of these performances as well. I think at some point during this process I briefly considered every movie Katharine Hepburn has ever been in.

But don’t worry (especially if my rambling is starting to bore you), I eventually settled on one performance. Katharine Hepburn as Rose Sayer in The African Queen.

I know that someone out there reading this is probably thinking: How can an 18-year-old college student relate to a character who is a prissy missionary spinster?

At a first glance, not a lot. But something has always drawn me to this performance.

I was 15 when I first saw The African Queen in a back-to-back screening with Bringing Up Baby. I had just experienced a completely different Katharine Hepburn as Susan Vance and I wasn’t even intending on sitting through another movie. But something came over me when Robert Osbourne appeared and began his introduction; I didn’t movefor the next hour and 45 minutes.

Rose Sayer is an interesting woman. She is a spinster and a minister’s sister. She is a seemingly proper Victorian-era woman, but she is also incredibly intelligent and strong-willed. She is the one who decides to launch an attack against the Germans and if she knew anything about boats, she definitely wouldn’t need Charlie Allnut’s help.

And of course, Katharine Hepburn’s performance in The African Queen would mean nothing without her brilliant interaction Humphrey Bogart. Rose Sayer is the exact opposite of Charlie Allnut, Bogart’s character. They come from different social classes, he’s a heavy drinker etc. You’re thinking through the entire movie that there is no way these two can ever be a romantic pairing. But it does happen and when it does, it is absolute perfection.
Most of all, I think what draws me to Katharine Hepburn’s performance in The African Queen is that moment after The African Queen successfully goes over the rapids. The look of pure joy and enthusiasm that appears on her face makes me wish I had moments like that occur every day in my life. Every time I see this film, I find myself believing no matter what, I can steer a boat over rapids, seek out even more dangerous situations, be condemned to death, get married and swim safely to shore all while having a damn good time.
For me, watching Katharine Hepburn in The African Queen is the greatest experience anyone could ever have. Actually, I’m going to change that. Watching Katharine Hepburn in any movie is the greatest experience someone can have. The African Queen is where I suggest you start. After all, this movie has, in some strange way, allowed me to see parts of myself that I never knew existed. Who knows what it can do for you.