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Showing posts from January, 2021

MMYIF Magical Nanny Double Feature: Mary Poppins / Bedknobs and Broomsticks

My Misspent Youth In Films... Mary Poppins Directed by: Robert Stevenson Starring: Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke Released: June 18, 1965 In turn of the century London, a magical nanny employs music and adventure to help two neglected children become closer to their father. Bedknobs and Broomsticks Directed by: Robert Stevenson Starring: Angela Lansbury, David Tomlinson Released: December 13, 1971 An apprentice witch, three kids and a cynical magician conman search for the missing component to a magic spell to be used in the defense of Britain in World War II. What I Thought Then For our first ever double-feature, I present two very different musicals about magical women looking after children in England only to take them on a misadventure into a cartoon and have odd run-ins with David Tomlinson. They were a lot of fun with catchy songs and silly characters and just a dash of awe and wonder. These movies were the reason that--as a very young child--I constantly confused Julie Andrews and

MMYIF: The Sword In The Stone

My Misspent Youth In Films... The Sword In The Stone Directed by: Wolfgang Reitherman, Clyde Geronimi, David hand Starring: Rickie Sorenson, Sabastian Cabot, Karl Swenson Released: June 21, 1964 A poor boy named Arthur learns the power of love, kindness, knowledge and bravery with the help of a wizard called Merlin in the path to become one of the most beloved kings in English history. What I Thought Then This was one of my favorite movies that we didn't own--which meant whenever we visited someone who owned it, we made sure to watch it, which ended up being rather often. I loved the magic, Merlin's zany antics, and the running commentary from Merlin's surly pet owl Archimedes. I remember being completely stunned to realize in the end that this little boy was the  King Arthur (a detail that was provided in the opening titles, but what do you want I was six). What I Think Now Based on T. H. White's eponymous book, the first part of The Once And Future King , this film ha

MMYIF: Darby O'Gill And The Little People

 My Misspent Youth In Films... Darby O'Gill & The Little People Directed by: Robert Stevenson Starring: Albert Sharpe, Janet Munro, Sean Connery Released: June 22, 1960 A wily old codger matches wits with the King of the Leprechauns and helps play matchmaker for his daughter and the strapping lad who has replaced him as caretaker. What I Thought Then A magical story of Leprechauns in which two old men match wits against each other. The effects were so convincing that between this and The Gnome-Mobile I figured little people must exist somewhere. Also, there's a banshee at the end and it was terrifying, but not so terrifying that I didn't want to watch it again and again. What I Think Now You know what? It holds up rather well. The "little people" effects are well done for the time, using size-matched sets and composites with well-hidden matte lines. The banshee effects, on the other hand, don't look great. The pacing is deliberate, but it's not slow.

MMYIF: Seven Brides For Seven Brothers

 My Misspent Youth In Films... Seven Brides For Seven Brothers Directed by: Stanley Donan Starring: Jane Powell, Howard Keel Released: June 22, 1954 In 1850 Oregon, when a backwoodsman brings a wife home to his farm, his six brothers decide that they want to get married too. What I Thought Then This was one that we watched a lot. It's fun, funny, and filled with fighting, dancing, and slapstick humor. I loved the barn-raising scene, and I especially liked Frank, the hot-head. After decades without seeing it, I could still rattle off the names of the seven brothers (Adam, Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank, and Gideon). A good time for the whole family. What I Think Now Let's just say that the sexual politics of film have changed a lot in six and a half decades. But before we dig into that, let's talk about the stuff that works. Structurally, it is a taut film, which is not what you expect from a musical made during the Hollywood musical boom. Keel and Powell have very

MMYIF: My Misspent Youth In Films

 In 2019 I blogged about music. Last year I wrote about board games. For 2021, I'm going to write about the movies I grew up on and how they've aged (as I have). I'll be going through them in the order in which they were released, starting a week from today with 1954's Seven Brides For Seven Brothers . The list is not finalized but it's going to be in the 60-70 range, which lines up really poorly with the weeks of the year. So I'm going to post on Fridays (because that's when new movies come out--or used to when I was a kid) and there will be some double-features, probably around summer of 1989, since basically everything came out that summer. Still working out the kinks, honestly. We'll see how it plays. I expect to find some hidden gems as well as some full-on cringe. I'm limiting myself to movies that I have re-watched (or will have been able to re-watch) in the last decade.