Q&A With the Movie Mom

Posted on November 2, 2008 at 8:00 am

Years ago, 1940-mid 1950s, there was a movie involving a spinster teacher in a small town, who had inspired generations of students. The story involves flashbacks and interaction of former students showing how she had such a positive effect on everyone’s lives. Answer: The lovely film you are thinking of is “Good Morning Miss Dove” with Jennifer Jones. I used to watch a movie about an orphaned girl when I was a kid. The movie starts out with a young girl in a bedroom with her father. By the look of the room you can assume they are wealthy and I think it’s in India. He’s getting ready to leave (to war I think) and she’s touching his face. The father says, “Are you trying to memorize my face,” she replies, “No, I already have it memorized.” He leaves and never returns (think he died at war). The girl gets moved somewhere and is forced to stay in the attic I think. She becomes a maid/slave in the house but her room is in the attic. That’s about all I can remember. I would have been watching it in the early 90’s and can assume it was released at that time. Any idea what that name of that movie is or possibly where I could find out? Thanks for you help! Answer: That wonderful movie (and book) is “The Little Princess.” It has been filmed a number of times but you are thinking of the 1995 version. It is available on DVD. Enjoy!Years ago i saw a film it was about a couple the move into a new house the women finds a wedding dress in the attic that is ripped. when the women put the dress on she is transported back in time to the time when the dress was last warn. me and my mum loved this film and have spent years trying to find out the name i know that it is a film from somewhere 1960s to 1980s at the end she stays in the past and when he moves out he finds pictures of her from the past. if you could help i would be so grateful. all my thanks Answer: Yes, it is “The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan” with Lindsay Wagner and Marc Singer. There was an old movie where at the end it was found that ma belle or at & t ruled the world. It was most likely from the the 60’s or 70’s. Please let me know if you have the answer. This is a tough one – Thanks Answer: That’s the very funny satire “The President’s Analyst” with James Coburn.I saw this movie a few months ago now I can’t think of the name of the actors or the name of the movie! Its about a couple with a daughter..hes a businessman and his wife and daughter go away for a weekend to look at a potential house they might buy…while she’s gone he cheats on her with a blonde woman. When he tries to end it with the blonde she tries to slit her wrists. She lies and says she’s pregnant, she stalks the family and kills the daughter’s bunny. Answer: That movie is “Fatal Attraction” with Michael Douglas and Glenn Close.I have been trying to find the name of a film about a man who had a pair of magic trousers. Every time he put his hand in the pocket he found a £5 note. I think it was a British film but not sure, I’m pretty sure it was in black and white though. It was around the time of the Million Pound Note with Gregory Peck. Can you help please?Answer: I believe you may be thinking of a British television movie called “Priceless Pocket” also featured in a compilation film called “The Triangle.” The government makes Mr Popple exchange the pants, but then his new pants have the same magic property.There was a movie I saw some years ago about a soldier who killed his wife and children and sid that some hippies broke ino there home and committed the crime. It was a true storyAnswer: That movie is “Fatal Vision” with Gary Cole playing Jeffrey MacDonald.What was the name of the American film that had a mixed raced girl who was white in appearance but her biological mother was black. She denies her mother in public so that her white friends will not find out she is half black and lie gets bigger and harder to hide. Set roughly 40s – 60s. Answer: I think this is probably “Imitation of Life.” There are two versions, but she’s probably thinking of the one with Lana Turner and Sandra Dee. Both are the story of black and white single moms with daughters who band together. And in both the black daughter is light-skinned and passes for white, even at one point telling her friends that her mother was her “mammy.” Then the mother dies and the daughter is devastated. What was the movie from the late sixties or early seventies set in New York which had as the main characters an older man and his son or adopted son(or similar) they had a personal game of trying to accurately identify the detailed accent origins of every person they met? .Answer: That’s one of my favorites! “A Thousand Clowns” with Jason Robards. I need the title of a comedy about a financial whiz running away from the mob and the FBI and hides out in a high school with a black janitor. Answer: That is “Hiding Out” with Jon Cryer of “Two and a Half Men.”In “Pulp Fiction,” what was in the box that Samuel Jackson would not give up? Answer: Good question, John! And the answer is that no one knows. Writer-director Quentin Tarantino intentionally left it up to the imagination of the viewer and there have been many fascinating alternatives offered by fans of the film. The myth-busting website Snopes has a good summary of the ideas and a confirmation that Tarantino did not answer the question. Thanks to all who wrote!

Related Tags:

 

Q&As

Do All-Star Casts Live Up to Their Billing?

Posted on September 4, 2008 at 6:00 pm

Loyal reader jestrfyl left a provocative comment about my post on the 1939 and 2008 versions of “The Women.” He’s a skeptic about all-star casts. He writes:

There is no Constellation that is made of all first magnitude stars, and I wonder if that lesson from nature should apply to films. However, if they can gel as a company and not only work with each other, but encourage and embolden each other, it could be an amazing experience. Are there any other films that are good examples of many combined super-celebrities?

It is sometimes called “stunt casting” when the point of selecting a particular actor relates not to talent or fitness for the part but to what the audience knows outside of the movie that they bring with them when they watch. As that suggests, it can be a distraction. And stars used to, well, star treatment can have a clash of egos that can lead to scene-stealing. But there’s a reason stars are stars and those who are truly talented and committed love to work with people who can challenge them to do their best.

Some good, bad, and ugly examples of all-star casts:

1. Oscar-winners Shirley Maclaine, Sally Field, and Olympia Dukakis are joined by force-of-nature Dolly Parton and all of them are eclipsed by then-newcomer Julia Roberts in one of the great weepies, “Steel Magnolias”

2. One of the first high-profile all-star casts was in 1956 Best Picture Oscar-winner “Around the World in 80 Days.” Mike Todd (who was married to Elizabeth Taylor until his tragic death in an airplane crash) produced and used his considerable charm to get extra publicity by coaxing just about everyone in Hollywood to appear in the film. For example, when a honky-tonk piano player turns around for a moment we see that it’s Frank Sinatra. Todd made it seem like a tiny part was not disrespectful. On the contrary, it was something special and highly coveted. He even coined the word for a brief appearance by a big star, using the name of a small, valuable piece of jewelry: a cameo. (And Shirley Maclaine is in that one, too!)

3. One of the most popular recent all-star casts was “Oceans 11” and its sequels. Just like the original, which had “the Rat Pack” (Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis, Jr., etc. — and Frank Sinatra), this one was filled with big-time Hollywood names. It was like a People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” reunion with winners George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt. (And Julia Roberts is in that one, too, with joke billing “introducing” her.)

4. One of the most prestigious all-star casts was in “Glengarry Glen Ross,” with Oscar-winners Jack Lemmon, Kevin Spacey, Alan Arkin, and Al Pacino, and equally brilliant work by Alec Baldwin, and Ed Harris.

5. One of the smallest all-star casts was a film, recently remade with one of the original stars. The original is the only movie with the entire cast nominated for Oscars. Any guesses?

6. “How the West Was Won” and other episodic or compilation films like “O. Henry’s Full House” or “Zeigfield Follies” have all-star casts. Disaster films like “Airport” and “The Towering Inferno” also frequently have all-star casts.

7. “Murder on the Orient Express” had a train car full of suspects, every one of them played by a star.

8. “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World” had a big big big big big big cast of almost every comedian in Hollywood, including Mickey Rooney, Phil Silvers, Ethel Merman, Jimmy Durante, the Three Stooges, Jerry Lewis, Sid Caesar, Jonathan Winters, Milton Berle…and Spencer Tracy.

9. “Bobby,” about the night Robert Kennedy was killed, stars Sharon Stone, Anthony Hopkins, Lindsay Lohan, Laurence Fishburne, Martin Sheen, Helen Hunt, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, and Elijah Wood.

9. And then there’s the ugly. Some all-star casts have no-star scripts. Stay away from the original “Casino Royale,” with David Niven, William Holden, Ursula Andress, Deborah Kerr, Orson Welles, and Woody Allen.

Related Tags:

 

For Your Netflix Queue Lists Q&As

Q&A with The Movie Mom

Posted on February 2, 2008 at 8:00 am

More recent questions and answers. Thanks to all who wrote!
I am looking for the title to a movie from late 70s or 80s about a group of US teenagers on field trip to Europe (I think a French class to Paris) that get embroiled in a spy plot where the male protagonist/classmate gets mistaken for an agent and plays the hero’s role– a comedy action film.
Angelinonsf was right on this one — it is “If Looks Could Kill” with Richard Grieco.
The 1985 movie <a href="Gotcha! with Anthony Edwards had him involved with a spy but not mistaken for one. Thanks, Angelinonsf!
I can’t find the name of the TV show or name of the judge that had court cases on tv in the 80’s or early 90’s. He was an older male, bald, and was once a referee in an Evander Holyfield championship boxing match. He himself was once a boxer.
That is Judge Mills Lane. (Thanks to my son the boxing expert for the assist on that one.)
What is the name of the movie with the little boy who writes letters to “his father” who is on a “ship.” His mom answers his letters and mails them back to him. When the ship “his dad is on” is scheduled to dock in their town, the boy gets really excited about meeting his dad. So she puts an ad in the paper to hire someone to pretend to be the boy’s dad for the duration of the ship’s stay. I saw the trailer once and forgot the name. I think it is a couple of years old. Anyhow, she ends up really liking the guy. I don’t know what happens next because I have not seen the movie. Can you help me find out the name of the movie so I can finally rent it?
dear%20frankie.jpgThat lovely movie is <a href="Dear Frankie” with Emily Mortimer and Gerard Butler. Enjoy!
What is the name of the family movie from the 80’s (I think) where a little boy kept seeing bubbles in an old flooded quarry and the “monster” turned out to be an old piece of machinery?
That is a 1986 movie called <a href="The Quest” with Henry Thomas, who was the star of “E.T.”
There was a movie in which some kids attempt to teach a bully a lessen. He drowns by accident and they panic and cover it up he drowns in a river on a boat trip after playing truth or dare, I think.
That movie is Mean Creek (2004). Very sensitively done, with beautiful performances.
What is the name of the movie where a little boy is chasing someone saying “where’s my $2?”
That movie is 1985’s Better Off Dead with John Cusack.

(more…)

Related Tags:

 

For Your Netflix Queue Q&As

Q&A with The Movie Mom

Posted on November 29, 2007 at 5:49 pm

I love to hear from readers, and I welcome questions on everything from what to tell an eight year old who says every other kid in 4th grade gets to go to PG-13 movies, how to find a DVD for a 10-year-old who loves horses, to what to do with a toddler who wants to watch the same move every single day to what to say to a teenager who wants to go to a slasher film. Recently, I’ve had a lot of questions from readers of my reviews asking me to help track down movies they can’t quite remember:
Q: I am looking for the name of a classic from 1961. It is set in the French Riviera childhood friends become lovers, boy wants to leave small town goes to sea comes back to find out his girl has given birth to a baby and his fathers friend marries the girl and raises the child to only have the father die and reunite the biological father and baby. Can you help me!
A: You are thinking of the lovely movie Fanny with Leslie Caron. It is based on a French trilogy and a Broadway musical. This version has some of the music on the soundtrack, but is not a musical.

(more…)

Related Tags:

 

Q&As
THE MOVIE MOM® is a registered trademark of Nell Minow. Use of the mark without express consent from Nell Minow constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. All material © Nell Minow 1995-2020, all rights reserved, and no use or republication is permitted without explicit permission. This site hosts Nell Minow’s Movie Mom® archive, with material that originally appeared on Yahoo! Movies, Beliefnet, and other sources. Much of her new material can be found at Rogerebert.com, Huffington Post, and WheretoWatch. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments, and she can be heard each week on radio stations across the country.

Website Designed by Max LaZebnik