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List: The Best Glove Movies

Posted on November 30, 2009 at 3:59 pm

At Thanksgiving, my mother brought out a collection of about 30 pairs of gloves, most of them her mother’s but a few my sisters and I had when we were little girls back in the days when young ladies wore white gloves to go into the big city, attend religious services, or fly in an airplane. I took home two pairs of wrist-length white kid gloves and our daughter picked out two elegant pairs of opera-length gloves. It made me think of some of my favorite gloves in classic movies. Like cigarettes, gloves give rise to a ballet of expressive movements that can be very evocative and even help to tell the story and reveal the character. These are not wool or leather gloves worn for warmth or protection; these are indoor gloves, worn for elegance. Well, except for the last two.

1. Let’s Make Love You can glimpse Marilyn Monroe wear two pairs of gloves in this trailer for her movie about a wealthy man who tries to shut down a satiric musical show because it makes fun of him. The pair I love is the short daytime gloves she wears in the elevator, while Yves Montand is kissing her and singing.

2. The Age of Innocence Director Martin Scorsese shows us that sex and violence can be powerfully portrayed even without guns and goodfellas. In this story of impossible love based on the novel by Edith Wharton and set in 19th century New York high society, Daniel Day-Lewis kisses Michelle Pfeiffer on the wrist under an unbuttoned glove and it is as erotically charged an image as has ever been filmed.

3. Little Women Older sister Meg loans a glove to her impetuous sister Jo so that they can both be properly attired at a party in this film of the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott. Jo has spoiled one of hers and it would be unthinkable for well-brought-up young ladies to go out without them, so each wears one and carries one.

Copyright MGM 1942

4. Woman of the Year Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn began one of the great on and off-screen love stories in this film about the romance between a sports writer and a columnist. The gloves (and hat) she wears to her first baseball game are hilarious.

5. Lover Come Back In this frothy Doris Day/Rock Hudson comedy, Day wears 1960’s professional woman chic, beautiful suits and impeccable white gloves.

6. Meet Me In St. Louis Only Vincente Minnelli would think of putting his heroine (Judy Garland) in purple gloves for her clang-clang-clang “Trolley Song” number in this turn-of-the-century musical based on the childhood memories of Sally Benson at the time of the St. Louis World’s Fair.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmx1L8G25q4
Copyright 1956 Columbia Pictures

7. Gilda Rita Hayworth wears long black gloves in one of the steamiest dance numbers in history, “Put the Blame on Mame.”

8. Breakfast At Tiffany’s Watch this movie and you’ll want to wear gloves like Audrey Hepburn, the essence of elegance in this Truman Capote story about two people who have made many compromises but find the courage to build a relationship that will make them be honest with each other and themselves.

9. This Is Spinal Tap This outrageously funny mockumentary about a metal hair band includes a hilarious scene where they get the news that the record company will not permit the art they selected for their new album, “Smell the Glove.” For some reason, they found it offensive.

10. Yellow Submarine Who can forget the Dreadful Flying Glove, one of the most important weapons of the Blue Meanies but no match for the music and love of the Beatles in this animated classic?

And in one of my favorite opening credit sequences, the lovely ladies of “Deliver Us From Evil” dance to “You’re All I Need to Get By” in elegant attire, including, of course, gloves.

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Film History For Your Netflix Queue Lists

Holiday Movie Moments

Posted on December 14, 2008 at 11:19 pm

I love Kris Rasmussen’s list of favorite holiday movie moments from Idol Chatter. Some of my favorites are included and I was especially happy to see one most people overlook, the Cary Grant/Katharine Hepburn movie “Holiday:” Made by the same team behind the classic “The Philadelphia Story,” it is a rare chance to see Grant show off his acrobatic skills.

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For Your Netflix Queue Great Movie Moments

Holiday

Posted on December 13, 2002 at 5:17 am

After a whirlwind romance at a ski resort, Johnny Case (Cary Grant) is on his way to meet his new fiancée, Julia Seton (Doris Nolan). Overwhelmed by the mansion at the address she gave him, he assumes she must be on the staff, and goes to the back door to ask about her. But she is the daughter of the wealthy and distinguished family that occupies the house. He is surprised and amused, and enjoys meeting Julia’s sister Linda (Katherine Hepburn) and brother Ned (Lew Ayres). They promise to help him win over their father, who is likely to object to the engagement, because Johnny is not from an upper-class wealthy family.

Johnny is a poor boy who has worked hard and done very well. Julia likes him because she sees a similarity to her grandfather, who made a fortune. She wants him to do the same, and tells him, “There’s nothing more exciting than making money.” But Johnny, who has just taken the first vacation of his life, only wants to make enough so that he can take a “holiday,” to “find out why I’ve been working.” As the movie begins, he is about to achieve that goal.

Linda thinks this is a great idea. She is something of an outsider in the family, forsaking the huge formal rooms of the mansion for one cozy place upstairs, which she calls “the only home I’ve got.” She tries to persuade Julia and their father that Johnny is right. Even though he completes the deal that gives him enough for his holiday, Johnny gives in and promises Julia to try it her way, and go to work for her father for a while. As her father presents them with a honeymoon itinerary and explains he is arranging for a house and servants for them, Johnny balks. He knows that if he accepts all of this, he will never be able to walk away from it. Julia breaks the engagement, and Linda joins Johnny on his holiday.

Kids should talk about why it was so important to Linda that she be allowed to give the engagement party. Why did Johnny change his mind about trying it Julia’s way? If you were going to take a holiday, what would you do? Remember, this is more than a vacation, it is more like a journey of discovery. Where would you go? What would you hope to find? How do you think people decide what jobs they want to have? Ask your parents what they thought about in choosing their jobs, and whether they ever took (or wanted to take) a “holiday.” What do you think Johhny will do at the end of his holiday? If Linda thought making money was exciting, why didn’t she want to do it herself?

Many kids will identify with the feeling of wanting to take a holiday, to step back from daily life and study the larger picture. The idea that other things are more important than making money and living according to traditional standards of success may also have some appeal. This is a good opportunity to talk with them about what success really means, and about finding the definition within yourself instead of putting too much weight on the definitions of others. There is nothing inherently wrong with making a fortune, of course, just as there is nothing inherently wrThis movie has two exceptionally appealing characters in Johnny’s friends the Potters, played by Jean Dixon and Edward Everett Horton. Their kindness and wisdom contrasts with the superficial values of the Seton family.

Cary Grant began in show business as an acrobat, and you can see him show off some of that prowess in this movie. The same stars, director, author and scriptwriter worked on another classic, “The Philadelphia Story.”

 

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Based on a play Classic Comedy Date movie For Your Netflix Queue Movie Mom’s Top Picks for Families Romance

The African Queen

Posted on December 13, 2002 at 5:17 am

Rose Sayer and her brother Samuel are English missionaries in 1914 German East Africa. Their rare contact with the outside world is through Charlie Allnut, who delivers their occasional mail on his steam- powered boat, The African Queen. The Germans destroy their village. Samuel is injured and dies, broken-hearted. Charlie offers to take Rose with him.

At first, they are stiffly polite to each other. He respectfully calls her “Miss,” and she calls him “Mr. Allnut.” She decides that they must help fight the Germans by using their explosives to blow up the powerful German gunboat, the Louisa. He becomes angry and frustrated by her insistence on what he sees as a dangerously reckless idea, and she becomes disgusted and furious when he gets drunk. He calls her a “crazy psalm-singing skinny old maid.” She pours all his liquor overboard.

He decides that she will change her mind when she sees how dangerous the river is, and takes her over the rapids. She is thrilled, telling him that she is “filled with admiration” for his skill, and that “I never dreamed any mere physical experience could be so stimulating!” Charmed by her enthusiasm and praise, he still insists that they cannot possibly attack the Louisa. The river is all but impossible to navigate, and a German fort blocks their path. She insists, and as they face challenges together they learn to respect, rely on, and finally love each other. After a tender night together, she asks him, “Mr. Allnut, dear. There’s something I must know. What’s your first name?”

They make it past the fort and survive bugs, rapids, leeches, and the reeds that strangle the river, finally approaching the Louisa. But they are captured and sentenced to death by the captain. Charlie asks for a last request — that they be executed as husband and wife. The captain quickly marries them, and just as they are about to be hung, Charlie’s torpedo strapped to the African Queen hits the Louisa, and Mr. and Mrs. Allnut swim to shore together.

This is one of the finest and most satisfying of the “two diverse characters must take a journey together and learn to like and respect each other along the way” genre. Rose and Charlie are opposites. And yet they are perfectly suited to each other.

We first see Charlie hideously out of place sipping tea with Rose and Samuel and trying to hide his growling stomach. “Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we were put in this world to rise above,” she tells him later. And yet, in another sense, Rose and Samuel were out of place in Africa. Ultimately, Rose is not comfortable “rising above” nature, and indeed grows to love it, as she gives up some of the strictures of civilization and appreciates the beauty and “stimulation” of the natural world. Charlie learns to appreciate some of the beauties of civilization; to take the challenge and the responsibility of participating in the fight against the Germans, to have a relationship of trust and tenderness.

Humphrey Bogart won a well-deserved Oscar for this performance. Katharine Hepburn, who was also nominated, said that her performance was based on director John Huston’s suggestion that she play Rose as Eleanor Roosevelt. Compare this performance to her appearance in “Pat and Mike” a year later, in which she played a world-class athlete.

The movie is based on a novel of the same name by C.S. Forester, but the romance was added by screenwriters James Agee and John Huston. Adults who enjoy this movie might like to see “White Hunter, Black Heart,” a backstage look at the making of this film, concentrating on John Huston’s elephant hunting.

Look at a map of Africa to see where this took place.

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