Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Wild Irish Rose(1947).

My Wild Irish Rose(1947) film directed by David Butler. cast: Dennis Morgan and Arlene Dahl. It was nominated for an Academy Award in 1948.

A fictionalized bio-pic of Chancellor Olcott, the film showcases the rise of an Irish-American tenor to stardom at the end of the 19th century and start of the 20th.

Olcott's original composition, of the same name, was included in the film's music, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture.

Working, as a tugboat operator Chauncey Olcott, has dreams of making it "big" in show business. Soon finds a way into a dinner party in honor of the famous, Miss Lillian Russell, who tells him that he has a wonderful voice. With that Chauncey, decides to tell his mother, that he is ready to leave home to follow his dreams. His mother gives Chauncey his father's watch and asks him not to use his father's name until he can honor it with success. Chauncey, quickly pawns the watch to buy a banjo and using the stage name Jack Chancellor, travels around the country.

When his money for the watch runs out, he trades in his carriage for the lease on a bar. Later, he stops a runaway horse carrying Rose Donovan and immediately falls in love with her. It is not long before Chauncey learns, Nick Popolis, is the real owner of the bar is and demotes Chauncey to janitor and Rose is engaged to Terry O'Rourke.

Rose, Popolis, Terry and her father John, travel to New York to hear Chauncey sing. There, Terry learns of Chauncey's feelings for Rose and sends some of his friends to beat up the singer. After, Chauncey wins the fight with the help of his friends, Rose invites him to meet her and her father at church the next day, but Chauncey, finds himself behind bars. Several days later, Duke Muldoon, another member of the show, pays Chauncey's bail, but he has already lost his job.

Looking for work, Chauncey again meets Lillian Russell, who hires him to sing in her show. When, Rose hears the rumors of a romance between Lillian and Chauncey, she travels to New York to find out for herself. Rose misunderstands, what she finds, heartbroken she returns home.

After Lillian's show closes, Popolis, who manages the Irish singer William Scanlon, hires Chauncey to sing in the show. For the first time, Chauncey performs using his own name.

On St. Patrick's Day, Scanlon is unable to sing, and Chauncey takes his place. Disappointed the crowd is furious, until Chauncey's voice charms them. Scanlon wants Chauncey to be his successor and gives him a watch he received from the Prince of Wales. Will Chauncey win over Rose heart once again?

This very charming musical played beautifully by Dennis Morgan and Arlene Dahl his love interest. There are over 25 songs: Come Down My Evening Star; My Nellie's Blue Eyes; You Tell Me Your Dream; Wait Till The Sun Shines, Nellie; Will You Love Me In December?; By The Light Of The Silvery Moon; Minstrel Days; Polly Wolly Doodle; The Natchez and the Robert E. Lee; Miss Lindy Lou; If I'm Dreaming; Wee Rose of Killarney; Shake Hands; One Little Girl; A Little Bit of Heaven; Mary; Sweet Innescarren; Tiddely Um; When Irish Eyes Are Smiling; Mother Machree; The Kerey Fair; Room In My Heart; My Wild Irish Rose.

Although, the film only earned one Oscar nomination for Scoring. I also think it should have won one for Art Direction and Costume Design.

Arlene Dahl (born August 11, 1925). is an actress and former MGM contract star, who achieved notability during the 1950s. She is the mother of actor Lorenzo Lamas.

 Dahl began her acting career in 1947. She reached the peak of her popularity and success in the 1950s. Some of her films include: Reign of Terror (1949), Three Little Words (1950), Woman's World (1954), Slightly Scarlet (1956), and Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959).

Friday, March 16, 2012

So Goes My Love(1946).

So Goes My Love(1946). Directed by Frank Ryan. Cast: Myrna Loy, Don Ameche. Comedy based on A Genius in the Family, the memoir of Hiram Percy Maxim, and focusing on the relationship between Maxim and his father, Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim.

Jane Budden, looking for husband, takes the money from selling the family pigs and travels south to Brooklyn, to follow her dreams. On her way to visit her cousin, Garnet Allison, Jane meets the eccentric handsome, Hiram Stevens Maxim, a poor inventor.

Garnet, invites several of the local matrons to her home to help Jane, find a suitable husband. They become concerned, when she says she does not really care who she marries just as long as he is, intelligent and wealthy. Hiram's landlady Mrs. Meade, warns him of the "designing woman" who is his new neighbor. Hiram, with flowers in hand, goes to visit Jane, to ask about why she moved to Brooklyn .

The next day,  smoke is seen coming from Mrs. Meade's boardinghouse. The volunteer fire brigade, arrives but are unable to find the source of the smoke, which was caused from a curling iron, Hiram's latest invention.

Jane, soon becomes popular with many of the young men and while dancing, she notices Hiram, saying negative comments on each of her potential suitors. Especially, on Josephus, who, is a wealthy lawyer. When, Hiram attends Jane and Josephus, engagement party uninvited and predicts she will never be happy with Josephus. Hiram's predictions begin to become true when, Josephus asks Jane to sign a pre-wedding contract and how he expects her to behave. Jane, breaks off their engagement and goes looking Hiram and proposes to him. He accepts after warning her that he is poor and has nothing to offer her.

Soon, they have a son Percy and Hiram's inventions begin to become successful. The House of Science decides to honor Hiram as inventor and engineer of the times and ask that he sit for a formal portrait.

Jane, now pregnant with their second child, wants to see Hiram's picture along side other world famous inventors, but Hiram refuses. Jane hires a scatterbrained artist, Magel, to come to the house to do the portrait.

While Hiram's is having his portrait painted.. Jane, is chasing after Percy's dog who is wearing the new babies bonnet, falls and becomes seriously ill. Will Jane and the new baby recover?

I just finished watching this charming film. Ameche and Loy do a wonderful job with their light comedy roles, so much so that I could almost ignore that they were too old for the parts they were playing.

The Universal International back lot was used for the wagon ride scene. The two houses used in the film were constructed on stage 12. In 1950, the stock units from the sound stage sets were reconstructed on the new colonial street. The "Maxim house" was used in the movie " One Desire" (1955) and the "Allison Home" used in the movie "Harvey" (1950) In 1964 Universal studios tour guides called the sets the "Munster House" (Maxim house) and the "Harvey house" . Today the sets are located on Wisteria Lane - 4349 Wisteria Lane (Allison Home) - 4351 Wisteria Lane (Maxim house)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey a Period drama. Created by Julian Fellowes. Written by Julian Fellowes, Shelagh Stephenson and Tina Pepler.

Directed by: Brian Percival
Ben Bolt
Brian Kelly
Andy Goddard
James Strong
Ashley Pearce

Hugh Bonneville
Jessica Brown-Findlay
Laura Carmichael
Jim Carter
Brendan Coyle
Michelle Dockery
Siobhan Finneran
Joanne Froggatt
Thomas Howes
Rob James-Collier
Rose Leslie
Phyllis Logan
Elizabeth McGovern
Sophie McShera
Lesley Nicol
Amy Nuttall
Maggie Smith
Dan Stevens
Penelope Wilton

Downton Abbey is a television series, co produced by Carnival Films in the UK and WGBH Boston in the US. The series is set on the fictional estate of Downton Abbey in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and premiered on ITV on 26 September 2010 and on PBS on 9 January 2011.

Ratings were high and the first series won many awards and nominations after its initial run. It has become the most successful British costume drama since the 1981 television serial version of Brideshead Revisited, and in 2011 it entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the "most critically acclaimed English-language television show" for the year, becoming the first co-produced US/British show to be so recognised by the Guinness Book of Records.

Highclere Castle in Hampshire was used for exterior shots of Downton Abbey and most of the interior filming. The servants' living areas were constructed and filmed at Ealing Studios.

The village of Bampton in Oxfordshire was used for filming outdoor scenes, most notably St Mary's Church and the library, which serves as the entrance to the cottage hospital. The Yorkshire towns and cities of Easingwold, Kirkby, Kirkbymoorside, Leeds, Malton, Middlesbrough, Ripon, Richmond, Thirsk and York.

We begin the story by meeting the Crawley family and their staff, the day after the sinking of the Titanic in April 1912. The family is very concerned about finding a male heir to the Grantham estate and Lady Mary finding a suitable husband.

The family is near financial ruin and the family fortune was saved only when Earl, married a rich American heiress. The earl, had three daughters and no son, and arranged for his eldest daughter to marry her cousin, keeping both title and estate in the family. Both heirs were lost in sinking of the Titanic. The family brings in a distant cousin, from Manchester, to inherit everything.

I just started watching this series and so far, I have really enjoyed the story, costumes, characters, beautiful scenes and the grand detail in the social graces of the period..