Classic TV, Science Fiction

The Twilight Zone (1959-1964)

In 1959, a TV series aired in America that was quite unlike anything else airing at that time. This series tackled the big issues of the day. Issues such as racism, individuality and conformity, hatred and war. The series also looked at what it even means to be human. It was scary, moving, shocking, powerful and very thought provoking The series stands up very well when viewed today and it more than retains its impact and ability to make the audience think. That series is The Twilight Zone.  

“You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension – a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into The Twilight Zone!” Rod Serling’s opening narration for seasons 4 and 5.

I love this series! Growing up I had heard and read a lot about this series, but I had only ever actually seen a handful of episodes from it. That all changed a couple of years ago. I treated myself to the complete series on Blu-ray(the episodes are beautifully cleaned up and look like they could have been made today). It is now one of my favourite series.

In addition to it being one of greatest Science Fiction series ever made, I also think this is the most human series I have ever watched. What I mean by that is it so perfectly captures just what it means to be human. The series shows our weaknesses, our strengths, our desire to better ourselves or to change a situation we don’t like. The series shows us the best and worst of humanity. It also contains some very moving performances and scenarios which have the ability to really touch the viewers heart.

Gig Young takes a trip down memory lane in Walking Distance. Screenshot by me.

I especially love the episodes where we in the audience are made to think what we would do if we were in a particular characters shoes.

Who among us wouldn’t love to be able to go back and offer advice and support to our younger selves? Well, by watching Gig Young in Walking Distance we can feel like we have done. 

By watching No Time Like The Past, we can see that the good intentions in trying to chance historical events may not be possible or even advisable.

 The Twilight Zone series was created by Rod Serling. Rod was a WW2 veteran who despised hatred, war, bigotry and cruelty. He poured his heart and soul into this series and it shows on screen. He not only created the series, but he also produced it and wrote many of the episodes. 

Martin Balsam and William Bendix in The Time Element. Screenshot by me.

The series first came into being with a script written by Serling, called The Time Element. This unofficial pilot episode for the series was first aired on the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, on the 24th of November, 1958.

Martin Balsam(who would go on to guest star in the official series)and William Bendix were the stars. This story of a man who claims to be able to time travel back to Pearl Harbor just before the infamous attack there really sets the tone for the series we all know today. This episode is included as an extra with the Blu-ray boxset.

Earl Holliman in Where Is Everybody? Screenshot by me.

The official series aired a year later, on the 2nd of October, 1959. The first episode of the official series was called Where Is Everybody? This episode finds a man (Earl Holliman) discovering an abandoned town and not remembering who he is.

The series would continue on the air until 1964.

The series is primarily classed as Science Fiction, featuring many stories of time travel, alien invaders and alien worlds. I like many of those episodes, but my personal favourites are the creepy ones: episodes such as The Grave. Thirty- Fathom Grave. The Hitch-Hiker(the first episode that I ever saw). Deaths-head Revisited and The Howling Man.

Some shocking information is revealed at the end of The Silence. Screenshot by me.

The powerful performances and different weekly settings ensured that Serling’s series became very popular with audiences. The series real claim to fame though was the twist ending to each episode.

These endings are the series trademark, and these twists often leave us reassessing the previous 25 minutes that we have been watching. I love that no matter how many times I watch the episodes that those twists still retain their shock factor, even when I know full well what’s coming next they still work.

It is a credit to Serling and his superb regular writing staff of Charles Beumont, George Clayton Johnson and Richard Matheson, that the series is still as powerful and impactful today as it was when it first aired. Many other famous writers including Ray Bradbury took turns writing scripts for the series.

Ed Wynn and Murray Hamilton have an important talk in One For The Angels. Screenshot by me.

The scripts are real quality too and they are very good character pieces. They really knew how to write back then and how to put so much into a simple 25 minute episode. You just don’t see anthology series like this any more. You also seldom get script writing of this quality anymore, which is a real shame I think.

I also like how you never know where you’ll end up next in this series from episode to episode. One episode could be set on an alien world, another set in the old west, and another in the present(50’s and 60’s). Serling’s series also bravely tackled the big issues of his day – particularly racism, fear of nuclear war,fear of people and places unknown to another set of people etc. The morality tales still pack quite a punch and sadly make you see that in some ways not much has changed since the series aired. Humanity is still intent on killing one another, there is still racism, and there is still fear of other cultures etc. 

Rod Serling in one of his introductions. Screenshot by me.

I can also think of no other series where the creator became such an integral part of their own series(not even Alfred Hitchcock on his anthology series.) Serling is the heart and should of the series I think.

He provides the voice over narration for all episodes and he filmed intros and outros to the episodes. The face of Serling is as much a part of the series as the famous theme tune and the twists. In the Blu-ray boxset, Serling’s intros and outros are included for all the episodes. I really enjoy watching those and seeing Rod introduce each episode.

I consider the first three seasons to be the best. I’m in the minority of fans who actually quite likes season 4(locks self in sealed vault to escape onslaught of season 4 hate 😉 ). While I will agree with the season 4 critics that the format change from 25 minutes to 50 was a mistake; I do strongly disagree that the episodes found here are the weakest of the series.

Robert Duvall becomes fascinated by a dolls house in The Miniature. Screenshot by me.

Some of my favourites from season 4 are the following: The Thirty-Fathom Grave. On Thursday We Leave For Home. Miniature(one of the most moving of all the episodes, and featuring a memorable performance by a young Robert Duvall).The New Exhibit. Jess-Belle and Printer’s Devil.

I actually think season 5 is the worst season. So many of the episodes are terrible(what went wrong with the writing here?)There are a few gems to be found though: In Praise of Pip. Nightmare at 20,000 feet(perhaps the best known of all the episodes).An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge. The Masks. Living Doll. Night Call and Stopover in a Quiet Town.

Throughout the series there are many fan favourites including: Time Enough At Last. Five Characters In Search Of An Exit. The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street(although I personally think this would have worked better as a paranoia story without the alien involvement that we later discover). Nightmare at 20,000 feet. The After Hours. And When The Sky Was Opened. The Invaders. In Praise Of Pip. Walking Distance. It’s A Good Life. The Silence. The Masks. A Stop At Willoughby and The Odyssey of Flight 33.

There are somewhat lesser appreciated gems to also enjoy including: The Last Flight. Nick of Time. People Are Alike All Over. One For The Angels. Printer’s Devil. The Hunt. The Passersby. I Am The Night,Color Me Black. The Sixteen Millimetre Shrine. I Shot An Arrow Into The Air(surely the origins of Serling’s film The Planet of the Apes?).Judgement Night. The Obsolete Man. Passage For Trumpet and Mirror Image.

William Shatner gets a shock in Nightmare At 20,000 Feet. Screenshot by me.

I also love how many big film stars feature in this series. I envy classic era audiences who got to tune in weekly not knowing who would appear next.

A handful of stars made more than one appearance on the series: Jack Klugman(superb in several deeply moving episodes), Burgess Meredith, William Shatner, Martin Balsam etc. I think the quality of the work is evident given the amount of film stars who agreed to guest star in these episodes.

The series also features one of the most instantly recognisable themes in TV history. Chances are if you’ve never seen an episode, you’ll have heard that intro tune at some point in your life. The original theme tune for the series was composed by Bernard Herrmann, this theme can be heard in season 1. As much as I do love the later theme, Herrmann’s theme is very eerie and mysterious and I love it very much indeed because it’s so atmospheric. The theme that we all know today didn’t make its debut until season 2. That iconic Zone theme was composed by Marius Constant.  

Joanne Linville and James Gregory in The Passersby. Screenshot by me.

I suppose there is also the big question as to just what exactly The Twilight Zone is and what it means? I take it that it is a phrase that perfectly sums up the weird and unexplainable events in life, be it our current life or in a time back in the past or forward in the future. I have often found myself saying “I can’t believe this, it’s like I’m in The Twilight Zone”, when faced with bizarre or horrible situations in my life.

My ten favourite episodes are: The Passersby(featuring a heart wrenching performance by Joanne Linville, as a woman left in deep emotional distress following the Civil War). Walking Distance. The Last Flight. The Grave. Printer’s Devil. The Odyssey of Flight 33. The Changing of the Guard. In Praise of Pip. The Howling Man and One For The Angels.

Similar series to this which I like are One Step Beyond and Thriller. I have also seen a few episodes of Rod Serling’s later series called Night Gallery; this is a much darker series than The Twilight Zone and I highly recommend it to horror fans. 

Please share your thoughts on the series. What are your favourite episodes?

Never seen an episode? What are you waiting for? The Zone awaits you. Just make sure you get a return ticket though, because you wouldn’t want to get stuck there. Would you? 



Blogathons, Tributes To Classic Stars

Announcing The Ida Lupino Centenary Blogathon 2018

Hi everyone. I think it’s high time we had another blogathon. This year would have been the 100th birthday of the actress, director, writer and producer, Ida Lupino. I’d like to invite you all to join me in celebrating her centenary. 

Ida in The Bigamist. Screenshot by me.

Ida was born in London, in 1918, she went on to make quite a name for herself in Hollywood. She became an actress, producer, writer and a director too.

She was a tough and determined woman. She had equal amounts of talent both before and behind the camera. I admire her for being a groundbreaking woman in a very male dominated industry. She really helped to pave the way for future generations of female directors.

I am hosting this blogathon to mark Ida’s centenary. I do hope you will all be able to join me to celebrate her life and career. You can write about Ida as an actress, director, producer or as a writer. You can also write about her entire career if you would like to.

You can enter more than one post if you wish to do so. I am allowing duplicates for the films she directed, but no more than two duplicates please for films that she starred in. Previously published posts you’ve written about Ida will also be accepted for this blogathon. 

The blogathon will be held for one day only on the 12th of May, 2018.  

Simply let me know what you would like to write about and leave me a link to your blog. Take one of the banners below and put it on your site somewhere to help spread the word. You can view the list of who is writing about what below. 

Most importantly have fun writing! Let’s do Ida proud. Lets honour her talents and also the great contribution she made to the classic film era. 


Participation List

Maddylovesherclassicfilms – The Hitch-Hiker & On Dangerous Ground

Movie Movie Blog Blog Ida directing four episodes of Gilligan’s Island

RealweegiemidgetreviewsThe Devil’s Rain 

Musings Of A Classic Film Addict The Sea Wolf

Taking Up RoomThey Drive By Night

Old Hollywood FilmsThe Trouble With Angels

Classic For A ReasonThe Hard Way

Down These Mean StreetsPrivate Hell 36




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Ida banner 1







Blogathons, British Cinema, Films I Love, True Story, War

The Marvellous Michael Caine Blogathon: My Five Favourite Michael Caine Performances

caine3Realweegiemidgetreviews is hosting this blogathon all about Michael Caine. Be sure to visit Gill’s site to read all of the entries. I can’t wait to read them all myself. 

Michael Caine is one of my favourite actors. He is someone who I have grown up with, and he is someone whose work I always try and make time to watch. I first saw him in The Muppet Christmas Carol and I’ve loved him ever since.  

He is an actor who I think is always worth watching, sometimes he has appeared in some really terrible films (yes, I’m looking at you The Swarm and Jaws The Revenge)but he is usually always watchable. I think he has got even better as he gotten older to be honest. 

The following are my five favourite Caine performances. I’m not claiming that these are his best performances. These are simply all performances and films of his that I really love. 


1- Zulu (1964) 

This British war classic is the film which really made me a fan of Michael’s. This is not only a cracking film filled with terrific performances, but it is also the film that got Michael noticed by audiences and critics.

Michael has the difficult task in the film (which he manages so well)of making us both hate his character, and then start to like and respect him, until eventually he has become one of the characters we are really hoping survives. He goes from being arrogant and annoying,to being capable and calm under pressure, to being battle fatigued and desperate.  I love the growing bond between his character and Stanley Baker’s. Starting off as opposites and rivals these two men soon become very important to one another, and they see each other in a different light as their hostility towards one another melts. 


2- Miss Congeniality (2000)

This hilarious film sees Michael as a Henry Higgins type character. He plays the fussy make up artist who has to help a seriously unglamorous FBI agent (Sandra Bullock)become a pageant beauty for an undercover assignment. He has to turn her into a lady.

He is hysterical here filled with disdain and possesing an acid tongue one moment, and then turning kind and loveable the next. Michael looks like he is having great fun in this film too and that just helps to make it funnier I think. I love the restaurant scene where he is watching Sandra’s character eat,you can see how repulsed and fascinated by her he is. So funny.


3- Batman Begins (2005)

I think that Michael was perfectly cast as a tougher and more worldly screen version of Alfred Pennyworth. He captures Alfred’s great love and loyalty for his master, the caped crusader Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale).

Michael’s Alfred is a war veteran. I think you can believe that he was made Bruce’s legal guardian because he could protect him should the need to ever arise. Michael makes his Alfred tough, funny, sharp, loyal and resilient. I think this film is very good and that he stole all the scenes he was in. Whenever I watch this, I really enjoy the film, but I am always waiting for the scenes I know he appears in. 


4- Educating Rita (1983)

Michael is both funny and moving here as the teacher who has lost the will to teach. Into his life comes a young woman called Rita (Julie Walters). She is desperate to learn from him. Teaching her, and seeing her knowledge grow, really makes him very happy and he feels of use again. As they spend more time together he begins to fall in love with her and also grows to love life again and becomes a happier person.

Michael’s performance here is all in his expressions and eyes. It’s a complex character he is playing and he does a fantastic job of letting us see what this guy is feeling and going through. This is a film that I return to again and again, and each time I do, Michael’s performance never fails to have me laughing one minute and tearing up the next. 


5- The Ipcress File (1965) 

Michael plays a more realistic secret agent than James Bond. Michael is Harry Palmer, a spectacle wearing British agent who has to find out who is brainwashing some scientists. He is torn between knowing who to trust and gets caught up in something far beyond his control. Michael shows us here that brainy men can be just as sexy as men of action. 

Harry Palmer is the anti Bond and Michael plays the role so well. This guy lives modestly, and cooks his own food. His job is more about observation and being watchful, rather than shooting his way to the answers. Michael is so cool in this flick, and he oozes class and style. I never get tired of watching this film. 


What are you favourite Michael Caine films and performances? I’d love to hear what you think of the films I chose. 




Blogathons, Classic TV, Science Fiction

Time Travel Blogathon: The Odyssey Of Flight 33 & Once Upon A Time

Time Travel Banner

Rich at Wide Screen World and Ruth at Silver Screenings are co-hosting this blogathon about time travel. Be sure to visit their sites to read all of the entries. I can’t wait to read them all myself.   

I have long been fascinated by time travel. What would it be like to actually be able to go forward or backwards in time? What would you do, and where would go if time travel were a reality? Once you travelled through time, would you be able to return to your own time afterwards?

If you went backwards in time would you try to save loved ones from death? Would you try and stop things from happening that would cause misery and death to millions? Should you try and interfere in past events at all?(I don’t think you should, as you would end up changing the future and further negative things could occur because of what you did.) These are all big questions and that is why I love these types of stories so much because they really challenge you to think about what you would do if you were the character travelling through time. 

I’ve decided to write about two of my favourite time travel episodes from the TV series The Twilight Zone. Long time readers of my blog will know of my great love for this series. I love the blend of genres found within it. I love the famous actors who agreed to guest star in it, and I love how the series makes you really think. My favourite stories from this anthology series are the horror and time travel ones.   

The two time travel episodes I’d like to write about are The Odyssey Of Flight 33 and Once Upon A Time. Both take a very different approach to how they tell a story of time travel.


If you’ve not seen either of these episodes, then please don’t read on any further as there will be spoilers!




The Odyssey Of Flight 33 (Season 2, Episode 18)




The flight crew notice something is amiss. Screenshot by me.

There are no easy answers in this episode and I think that is precisely why I love this episode so much. The anomaly which causes the plane to move through time is completely unexplainable.

The anomaly is simply one of those weird things that exists in our world (like the Bermuda Triangle for example)and if you get caught up in it, then you will be in for a very weird experience indeed.

If you went through what the passengers and crew of this flight are about to, then I think you would be very scared and would be left speechless about the whole experience.

The episode begins up in the air mid flight. A passenger plane is on its way to land in New York.

Towards the end of the flight the Captain begins to feel a very strange sensation, it feels to him as though the plane has drastically increased its speed.  He gets quite concerned about this weird sensation. At first the other crew members don’t feel it, but then they do and become convinced something isn’t right.

      The flight crew can’t believe their eyes. Screenshot by me. 

When the passengers and crew next look out of the windows they are not where they expect to be at all. The land they see down below is empty of all signs of human existence.

Then they see that a dinosaur is down there happily chomping on a tree. They all realise then that they have taken a very strange detour indeed.  

They see this dinosaur on the ground. Screenshot by me.

Everyone panics. Some people refuse to accept what they are seeing. Then the plane speeds up again and everyone looks out and sees they are back in New York. The crew slowly begin to stop celebrating though when they can’t contact their destination airport on the radio. They also soon see down below them the 1939 World Fair. The plane has come home, but this is not their New York, it is the New York of over twenty years earlier.

They obviously can’t land here either. So, with fuel supplies running dangerously low, they keep on flying, desperately hoping to keep speeding up and hopefully finding themselves back in their own time period. 

This episode is in my top 10 favourites from the whole series. I love the setup for the story and how it has a realistic look about it. There have been many stories and reports of planes vanishing. Many stories of pilots reporting seeing strange things while flying, or experiencing strange events mid flight. I think that those stories make you accept that this story is perhaps not so far fetched as it might sound. 

Captain Anderson. Screenshot by me.

I think that the actors all do a terrific job here. The ones playing the cabin crew all convince as pilots, navigators and radio operators who are all veterans of their jobs. Rod Serling’s brother Robert actually wrote several books on aviation, and he helped Rod write the cockpit dialogue and make it sound realistic. 

John Anderson delivers my favourite performance as the calm and rational Captain Farver, who slowly begins to realise that he and his flight are trapped in something far beyond his control.


This episode always leaves me wondering what happened to the people on this flight. Will they ever make it back home? Or are they doomed to fly around the planet, moving between time for eternity? It’s almost like this plane could become an air version of the Flying Dutchman. Thought provoking and quite sad really.  




Once Upon A Time (Season 3, Episode 13)



We now move on to a very different type of episode. This one is much less serious and I think it has an uplifting and warm feeling about it. This one also tells a time travel story, but it tells it in a completely different way to The Odyssey Of Flight 33.  

Woodrow tries on the helmet and begins to time travel. Screenshot by me.

The episode is basically there to grant Buster Keaton an opportunity to show us all that he still had his comic skills, and that he was still more than capable of performing stunts. The first time I saw this episode I was overjoyed to discover Buster was in it.  


Woodrow arrives in 1960. Screenshot by me.

Buster plays Woodrow Mulligan, a grumpy caretaker who lives in 1890. A professor he knows has invented a helmet. This helmet has the ability to transport whoever wears it through time.

Trying on the helmet himself, Woodrow gets transported forward in time to the year 1960. He has no sooner arrived there when he quickly realises he wants to get back to his own time. He certainly marvels at what he sees in this new era, but he really misses his own time. 

Woodrow meets Rollo, who is also a scientist and who is fascinated by the possibility of time travel. When the helmet gets damaged, Rollo and Woodrow work together to try and get it fixed. Once that’s done Rollo returns with Woodrow to 1890. When he arrives he soon wishes to be back in his own time too. He realises that his time is more advanced and therefore can better accommodate the sort of work he needs to do. So Woodrow helps send Rollo back to his own time.

I find that this episode makes you value what you have in the present. You may wish to visit another time but never forget that there is no place like home. The episode also shows you that technology may advance and change, but some things such as human behaviour and the need for money seldom ever change for the better.

The episode is also very funny with Buster getting to perform stunts (love the scene where he gets lifted up to put on some trousers in mid air) and make us laugh with his grumpy deadpan routine. He had still got his comic gift right up to the end.

I also love Buster’s performance in the scene where Woodrow sees a TV for the first time. At first he thinks it is a window, then when he turns it on, he thinks that the TV presenter is speaking directly to him and that the TV is a window and the guy is actually there. Buster is so funny in this scene. 

                         Woodrow reacts to seeing a TV for the first time. Screenshot by me.

The 1890 sequences are filmed like a Silent movie, while the 1960 sequences are filmed in the normal sound era way. I really liked the decision to film the different time periods like that.  

These two episodes also both serve to show you just how different this series could be each week. One week a story could be scary and thought provoking, the next it could be funny or moving. This is another reason why I love this series so much. You just never know where the zone will take you next.

Here are my picks for the five best time travel episodes from this series. 

1- The Last Flight

2- The Odyssey Of Flight 33

3- Execution

4- No Time Like The Past

5-A Hundred Yards Over The Rim

If you have seen these episodes what did you think of them? What other time travel episodes of this series do you like? 






Films I Love, Unsung Classics

Unsung Classics 9: King Solomon’s Mines (1950)

It’s time to take a look at another unsung classic film. This is one that I love a great deal. It really annoys me that so few people ever discuss, or even seem to know about this one today. It has a perfect blend of adventure, action, romance and mystery. It was mostly filmed on location. It also features two of the classic film eras biggest stars – Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr. There is plenty to enjoy in this film.

Allan protects Elizabeth and John. Screenshot by me.

I will never forget the first time that I saw this film. I was in High School and in history class we were studying the Suffragettes. We had an exam coming up, and our teacher said that if any of us wanted to do so, we could borrow a tape from her to take home for a night to watch.

On the tape there was a documentary about the Suffragette movement. The documentary would help us as a part of our exam revision. I was one of those who borrowed the tape.

I finished watching the documentary and I was about to turn the tape off, when the tape cut back to what had originally been recorded on it. It cut to this film. The film was a few minutes in, starting at the scene where Elizabeth first meets Allan at his house. Seeing Deborah Kerr was in it, I carried right on watching. I was very glad that I did. I loved this film. As I had missed the title, I then spent some time checking out Deborah’s film information until I found that the film I had just seen was King Solomon’s Mines.  

Stewart Granger as Allan Quatermain. Screenshot by me.

I couldn’t tell you a thing about that documentary now, but I can tell you that I was very happy indeed to have found this film on that tape. I wasn’t familiar with Stewart Granger at this time and he certainly made quite an impression on me in this film. I have been a fan of his ever since, and this is one of my favourite films that he ever made.

I love Stewart’s performance in this as the fearless, experienced, and smouldering adventurer, Allan Quatermain. It was a role he was well suited to playing I think. He’s got the tough guy of very few words persona down perfectly in this. It also doesn’t hurt that Stewart is one of the manliest and sexiest men who ever did live.  🙂 

Deborah Kerr does a fantastic job of playing a woman unaccustomed to the struggle and danger of going on their expedition. Allan is convinced that Elizabeth will not last long and will beg him to turn back. She finds the journey difficult to endure, but she stubbornly refuses to give in and put an end to her misery and exhaustion.

Deborah does her best with a role that is essentially a damsel in distress, she really tries to put across her characters determination and emotional distress. I think she succeeds quite well at this.

Deborah Kerr as Elizabeth. Screenshot by me.

For a large part of the film Deborah sadly doesn’t get much to do apart from scream as animals scare her or try to attack her. These sequences lead to lots of moments of Allan rescuing Elizabeth, and at the moment of rescue the pair gaze into each others eyes and their growing bond and desire is ever more evident to us.

Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr have some incredible chemistry going on in this film. The sexual tension between them is the thing I remember the most about this film. It is so evident and adds something extra to the film.

From the way Stewart and Deborah both look at each other (swoon)to their body language, they very clearly convey to us their characters growing feelings for one another.   

Richard Carlson as John. Screenshot by me.

Richard Carlson (who I love in The Creature From The Black Lagoon)lends good support as Elizabeth’s brother. He can see before his sister can, that she and Allan are falling in love. He also knows the real reason (which we don’t learn until later on)why she is pushing herself so hard to find her husband. Carlson is an actor who I think given the right material could have become a much bigger star, sadly that wasn’t to be. 

The film is directed by Compton Bennett and Andrew Marton. It is based upon the 1885 novel of the same name written by H. Rider Haggard.

This was not the first adaptation of the novel, it had been filmed before in 1937. That earlier adaptation starred Cedric Hardwicke as Quatermain. Several other adaptions would follow over the decades.

The 1950 film is not an accurate adaption of the novel. In the novel Deborah Kerr’s character doesn’t exist, and the missing man being searched for is the brother of a man in Quatermain’s expedition party.  

Personally I think that adding the character of Elizabeth helped the film as the growing relationship between Elizabeth and Allen is possibly the most memorable part of the film. I also liked seeing how Elizabeth coped in a hostile environment and how she doesn’t want to be seen as weak or helpless by Quatermain and the others. 

Elizabeth and Allan share a moment. Screnshot by me.

Elizabeth Curtis (Deborah Kerr)and her brother, John (Richard Carlson)hire  the experienced hunter and guide, Allan Quatermain (Stewart Granger). They hire him to take them in search of Elizabeth’s missing husband. Mr. Curtis was searching for the legendary King Solomon’s Mines and he hasn’t been seen since setting out on his adventure.

Allan accepts the job, but he warns them that it will be dangerous, difficult and it will be unlikely that they will find him. The trio set out, along with a number of native guides and bearers. Along the way they are joined by the exiled (and very tall)native king Umbopa(Siriaque).

The group encounter danger from tribesmen, from oppressive heatwaves and from some wildlife. Allan and Elizabeth start off disliking each other, but over the weeks that follow they both realise they are developing feelings for one another. 

The film also features one of the best examples of an only in the movies moment that I can think of. Elizabeth’s long hair proves to be a real bother to her during the trek, so she takes the scissors to it and cuts it off. After a quick wash in a rock pool by a waterfall, she emerges to sunbathe on the rocks. The next time we see her, she now has a perfectly styled (and blow dried) new hairdo. See my screenshots below to enjoy this transformation. Ah, the magic of film. 😉

The film is great fun and I highly recommend it. My only issue is that there are several scenes where animals are killed for no reason other than they scared Elizabeth. I can’t stand to see animals killed or hurt, and I really hate people who hunt animals. To see these animals killed (even though the animals were probably not harmed for real)really annoys me.

Also the whole thing with Elizabeth screaming every single time she comes across an animal is very annoying. Does she not know that she in these creatures natural habitats and so of course she will be very likely to encounter them at some point?

Anyway, I hope I’ve convinced you to give this film a watch if you’ve never seen it before. If you watch it for no other reason, then at least watch it to see Stewart and Deborah’s chemistry. 

Allan reunites with his beloved pet monkey, Lulu. Screenshot by me.

Here’s a cute picture from one of my favourite scenes in the whole film. When Allan returns home from an expedition at the beginning of the film he is reunited with his beloved pet monkey, called Lulu.

She is one of the cutest little things I’ve ever seen. Stewart looks genuinely fond of the monkey in these scenes.



Are there any other fans of this one out there? Somebody please tell me I am not alone in my love for this film!

Musicals, Romance, Tributes To Classic Stars

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers: Timeless Screen Elegance and Talent

          Fred and Ginger. Screenshot by me. 

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. These two names instantly conjure up the following words in my mind – elegance, romance and classy. I am also always reminded (of course) of all those many memorable dance sequences they were a part of. I think that this couple (along with their dancing talents)are truly timeless. I never get tired of watching their films and I’m always left feeling happy after watching their work.

I first became a fan of these two after seeing Top Hat. When I first saw this I had no idea who Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were. I just knew that I loved their dance abilities. I also loved their chemistry, and I loved the story, the costumes and the Art Deco sets. When I was younger I was absolutely obsessed with dancing, I spent many a happy hour watching musicals. Top Hat quickly became a firm favourite of mine. Over the years I have very much enjoyed checking out the other films that Astaire and Rogers made together. 

The slow motion romantic dance in Carefree. Screenshot by me.

Astaire and Rogers remain one of the greatest dance teams of all time. Everything they did on screen looked effortless and their dancing certainly had the wow factor. To this day they are still admired and loved by film audiences and dancers alike. 

The pair made ten films together between 1933 and 1949. Nine of their films were made at RKO Studios, and their final film- The Barkley’s Of Broadway(and their only film shot in Technicolor)was made at MGM Studios. 

Fred Astaire was born in Nebraska on the 10th of May, 1899. Fred had started out dancing on stage with his older sister Adele. The siblings successful dance partnership ended in 1932, when Adele got married. With the RKO films Fred really began to start to make a name for himself.

Ginger Rogers was born in Missouri on the 16th of  July, 1911. Ginger had quite a successful vaudeville career for many years. She was an up and coming dramatic film actress by the 1930’s. She was also quite a talented dancer in her own right.

When they were paired together by RKO Studios, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers clicked on screen. The pair fit together so seamlessly in their shared dance sequences. Film history was born when this couple were put together on screen.    

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were first paired together in 1933. Their first film as a screen team was Flying Down To Rio. The pair only appear briefly in this film playing two dancers. They sure make the most of their limited screen time though. Their scenes are a highlight of this film.

The Night and Day dance in The Gay Divorcee. Screenshot by me.

The couples next film was The Gay Divorcee. This was the first film in which the pair would have leading roles together on the screen. Their characters were the primary focus of the film. I also think that this film really set the standard for all the others that would follow it.

The highlight of this film is the famous Night and Day sequence, it is one of the most beautiful and memorable of all of their many dances. In this sequence Ginger is wearing one of the most beautiful dresses I have ever seen, and the whole sequence just oozes romance, class and elegance.

You also get Fred crooning Cole Porter’s classic song Night and Day in this scene. Not only was Fred a gifted dancer, but he also had a pretty good singing voice to enjoy too. 

The Gay Divorcee also sets up the formula that many of their other films would follow – Fred loves Ginger on sight, she however loathes him, but as they spend more time together she can’t deny the attraction between them. At some point in the films Fred will take her in his arms and they will dance, and it is at this moment that Ginger will fall in love with him too. Their films gave audiences plenty of romance and screwball comedy . They also showed the ability of dance to be able to bring two people together and experience romance and magic for a few minutes. 

I really like all of their films quite a bit. The Gay Divorcee, Top Hat, The Story Of Vernon and Irene Castle and Swing Time are my favourite Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films. I never get tired of watching these ones in particular. 

Fred and Ginger dance cheek to cheek in Top Hat. Screenshot by me.

I think that Top Hat is their best film. It has one of the best stories of the ten, some of the most unforgettable dance sequences and songs, and some stunning costumes and Art Deco sets. It is also the best remembered of their ten films.

Top Hat will always hold a special place in my heart as the film which brought Fred and Ginger into my life. When I need cheering up this is a film I often turn to. It is guaranteed to leave me with a smile on my face and with my toes tapping.

If there was just one of their films that I could recommend to you, then I would have to choose Top Hat.

Fred Astaire would have several future dance partners who could match his speed, talent, and skill equally. Of these ladies Rita Hayworth is my favourite, and I dearly wish that they had worked together more than twice.

There is something magical about the Astaire and Rogers pairing though that just can’t be replicated. The Astaire and Rogers magic wouldn’t be found with any of his future dance partners. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers routines have become timeless, elegant and stylish.

Never seen a Fred and Ginger film before? What are you waiting for? Watch one and get transported to a world of elegance and romance. To a world where dancing can bring two people together who are destined to be together. 

What are your favourite Astaire and Rogers films? What do you think of their partnership?



Disaster, Page To Screen, Science Fiction

The Day Of The Triffids (1963)


A Triffid prepares to attack. Screenshot by me.

Have you ever watched something which has left you with some very conflicting views afterwards? Well I feel that exact same way about this particular film.

Yes, I am very well aware that this film looks extremely cheesy now where the special effects are concerned. I also accept that some of the film is also pretty dire if we’re being brutally honest. 

However, the story about the blindness and the breakdown of society still chills me to the bone, no matter how many times I may watch this film. 

Just imagining such a situation happening in reality is disturbing enough, but seeing it depicted on screen is much worse. So for that alone this film isn’t one I can dismiss easily. 

The film is based upon the 1951 novel by John Wyndham. He was famous for creating stories that made you think and which also really creeped you out (The Midwich Cuckoos for example). The Day Of The Triffids is one of his best stories I think.

This story has a very interesting premise. In the story a new species of plants called Triffids are discovered. These plants can grow taller than most humans, they can move around and they are carnivorous. That sounds good on paper but on film I think that it sadly looks quite silly to be honest.

The Triffids certainly look weird and the squelching sound they make as they move towards potential victims sends a shiver down the spine. They move so slowly though that they are robbed of any possibility of being the truly scary things they were intended to be. Almost all of the scenes featuring the Triffids come across as being quite laughable, and that is a shame because that sure wasn’t the intention of Wyndham or the filmmakers. 

The highlight of the film for me is the first half, where mass blindness and panic occurs following the meteor shower. I actually wish that Wyndham’s source material had forgot the plants and focused solely on the blindness incident and the breakdown of society etc caused by this.

Karen and Tom are trapped during a Triffid attack. Screenshot by me.

Adding in the killer plants certainly adds suspense as people are vulnerable and can be easily hunted, but for me that aspect just lacks the all out horror and disturbing quality that is present during the mass blindness and the chaos following that.

I will admit though that I found the Triffid attack sequences in the Lighthouse to be very well done. It also has to be said that if one of these things broke through a door and came towards me, I would be very unnerved indeed. I am however confident that I (and anyone for that matter)could easily outrun these things if they were a reality. 

Interestingly when the film was first finished, there wasn’t actually all that much footage in the finished product. So that was when the storyline featuring the Goodwin’s was written. Those sequences were then filmed and edited in with the rest of the film to make it longer. 

The film begins in London. Around the world there is a strange and prolonged meteor shower and lots of bright and strange lights are flashing in the sky. The action in the sky is causing lots of attention and people are stopping what they are doing to look.

The more that people gaze at these lights though, the more they are slowly becoming doomed. Soon everyone who is outside looking at the lights gets blinded by the lights. Only people who were inside asleep, or who were not looking at the lights are left with their sight intact.

Howard Keel as Bill. Screenshot by me.

Bill Masen (Howard Keel)is a naval officer who is in a London hospital undergoing eye surgery. A few days after his procedure is when the meteor shower occurs.

Bill wakes up the morning after the meteor shower with his bandages still on. When he wakes up, the hospital is deserted. When he removes his bandages he quickly discovers he is one of the few left who is able to see. 

Venturing outside, Bill quickly discovers that society has pretty much broken down. The blind are everywhere and chaos and fear are reigning. He meets a young schoolgirl called Susan (Janina Faye)who also still has her sight. Bill takes her under his wing and together the pair try and find out what is going on.

Soon the pair come across the Triffids. They decide to leave England by boat to travel over to France. Once in France they find more people who can see, and they all try and stop the Triffids once and for all.

Meanwhile, in a lighthouse on the British coast, Karen and Tom Goodwin ( Janette Scott and Kieron Moore) are marine biologists who discover a Triffid has grown near their lighthouse. This pair soon discover a way of killing the Triffids. 

The film frustratingly leaves many loose ends. What happens to all the blind people? How can world governments ensure the destruction of all Triffids using the Goodwin’s discovery? Are there more Triffids lurking elsewhere that we don’t know about?

If you’re looking for some pure escapism this is a good one to watch. It also has some very dark and exciting scenes. There’s the out of control train crashing into the station. The blind doctor throwing himself out of a window. The plane crash. The lighthouse attack. I am also certain that the sequences of the abandoned and chaotic London must have inspired the makers of 28 Days Later for the famous opening of their later film.

Day Of The Triffids also has lots of examples in it of that hilarious old school horror cliché of the screaming potential victim. In such scenes, the soon to be victim leans against a wall and screams helplessly in horror at something that is approaching them VERY slowly. Why don’t they just run away from the approaching horror?!  🙂  

Nobody in the cast really stands out to me as delivering a remarkable performance, but all the actors do the best with what they had to work with. I personally think that Rod Taylor would have been better cast in the role of Bill. Keel is okay in his role, but his performance just doesn’t make me really care what happens to Bill. 

If you’re after a fun and enjoyable Sci-Fi Horror film, then this one is certainly well worth a look despite its weaknesses. 

What do you think of this film?








Blogathons, British Cinema, Drama, Films I Love

The Free For All Blogathon: This Happy Breed (1944)


Theresa over at Cinemaven’sessaysfromthecouch is hosting this blogathon. We have all been allowed to write about any topic we want, just as long as it is film related.

Click on the link below to read all of the entries. I can’t wait to read them all myself. 

I’ve decided to write about David Lean and Noel Coward’s film This Happy Breed. The film focuses on a working class/lower middle class British family. The film takes place between 1919 and the start of WW2. The film is based upon Noel Coward’s 1939 stage play of the same name.   

I think that this film really honours its stage bound beginnings. There are a large majority of the films scenes which take place indoors, and there is an almost claustrophobic feel about the film as the camera makes it seem as though we are in that house with this family.

The film also has many external sequences too. This is also a film where the actors are allowed to carry the film and are our main focus. Personally this is the sort of filmmaking I prefer. Give me films like this any day,rather than those where effects carry the film and the story and characters are sidelined. 

The decent Frank. Screenshot by me.

David Lean is one of my favourite film directors. I like him so much because he was one of the few directors who was able to make films which were both epic and intimate. Not every director can pull that off, but Lean certainly had the knack. 

Lean knew how to get the balance between the intimate and the epic just right in his films. I think that this particular film is one of the best examples of his ability to be able to meld those two things together. 

This Happy Breed is an extremely intimate character study set against an epic backdrop of the historical change in Britain during the first part of the twentieth century. This film is also notable for being Lean’s first solo outing as a director.

David Lean first got into the British film industry in the late 1920’s, and he worked as a film editor for many years. In 1942 he teamed up with Noel Coward to co-direct In Which We Serve. The pair would go on to work together again on three other films – This Happy Breed, Blithe Spirit and Brief Encounter. With these films, the talents and abilities of David Lean became abundantly clear to audiences and critics alike. 

I really love This Happy Breed for several other reasons too. I love this film because when I watch it I always feel as though I am watching the life and experiences of a real family. It’s like I am there in that house with these people. Setting the film in a house also makes us in the audience the direct witnesses to the private life of this family. I think that in a way we in the audience become the walls of the house, (remember the old saying “if walls could talk”?) as we bear witness to what happens to this family as the years pass them by. The house also becomes another character in the film and the house set really comes across as though it is a real lived in home. 

Frank and Bob. Screenshot by me.

I also love the film because Robert Newton and Celia Johnson’s characters remind me so much of my grandparents. Grandad was just like Newton’s character is in the film, he was a quiet man who didn’t speak all that much. When he did speak it was because he had something very meaningful to say. He loved his family and his garden more than anything else. 

Grandad never spoke to us (not sure if he ever spoke to Gran about it either)about his war service (he served in WW2) but he regularly met up with Bill who was his best mate. He and Bill had served together and they would meet up pretty much every weekend.

Much like Stanley Holloway’s character does in this film, Bill would speak quite openly and regularly about what he and granddad had been through in the war. I actually learnt so much from him. His stories made me admire his and my granddad’s courage so much.

I wished then that I had fully understood the importance of what granddad had been a part of when he was alive. If I had known, I would have asked him so many questions (whether he would have answered me is of course another question) and told him thank you for what he did. 

Celia Johnson as the strong willed Ethel. Screenshot by me.

My Gran was just like Celia Johnson’s character is in the film. She was house proud, strong, and she was also one of those people who you thought would always be there. She never wanted to appear weak, nor did she ever want to waste time. She adored my granddad, and to him she was a queen whom he was extremely protective of. Their love for one another was very evident, he was always quick to tell her if he thought she was doing too much. I lost my gran over a year ago now.   

I am sure I can’t be the only one who watches this film and is reminded of people who they know or knew in real life. As well as making the characters come across as realistic, I also think that Lean’s film captures the determined and unyielding personalities of the generation who lived at that time. They had it tough, but they didn’t let it break them. Instead they used their experiences to make themselves stronger and made sure they cherished what they held most dear.  

The film begins in 1919. The pointless slaughter of the Great War has just ended. An entire generation of men have been wiped out. The scarred survivors of the trenches are coming home to their loved ones. These men just want a quiet, steady life with their loved ones and need time to readjust and live a normal life. This film follows the experiences of the Gibbons family.   


The film begins with the family moving into a new house in the suburbs of London. the mild mannered Frank (Robert Newton), his steadfast wife Ethel (Celia Johnson), their three children – quiet and dependable Vi (Eileen Erskine), hugely dissatisfied Queenie(Kay Walsh) and the idealistic Reg(John Blythe).

Also moving in are Ethel’s mum (Amy Veness) and Frank’s hypochondriac sister, Sylvia(Alison Leggatt), these two squabble something fierce and provide the comedy of the film. The family also bring with them their tabby cat, Percy. Frank is delighted to find a friend living nearby, a former comrade from the trenches called Bob (Stanley Holloway).  

We follow this family and their friends through their good and bad times. We see them experience the turbulent events of the next twenty plus years. Events depicted in the background include – strikes, the rise of Hitler, changes in British government and monarchs, the depression, changing fashion and music, and the ever growing threat of another world war.

Stanley Holloway provides strong support as Frank’s loud and fun best friend Bob. John Mills is kind and dependable as Billy, the boy who loves Queenie with all his heart and soul. 

If I have any criticisms of this film it is that perhaps the family are shown to be a bit too happy with their lot, even when enduring times of great stress and pain. They rarely complain about what they are enduring. I know this depiction plays into the whole stiff upper lip thing, and that it gets across the strength of this generation. I am certain though that people in this time must have had plenty of bad days, where getting up and facing their tough times head on was a real struggle for them. I don’t think they were as uncomplaining and accepting as they are depicted as being here.   

I also really wish that some sequences had lasted longer- such as the family day out at the Great Exhibition and the wedding day sequence. I also wish there was a bit more focus upon the aftermath of Frank and Ethel receiving the news of the death of someone very dear to them.

I also wish that the film itself had a much longer running time. This is one of those films that I never want to end and am always disappointed when I rewatch this and it ends so quickly (it’s barely two hours long).

Queenie shows off her dancing skills. Screenshot by me.

I also think that John Mills and Kay Walsh (although both delivering excellent and moving performances)were far too old for their respective roles. I do think that Kay was superb in her role of the young woman who feels trapped in her life and class. Kay really does make me feel Queenie’s desperation to escape her current situation and move on to something better.

Despite those minor complaints this film really is very good indeed. There are strong performances from all in the cast. I think Robert Newton delivers the standout performance in the film. If you are only familiar with him as the over the top Long John Silver, then you should really check him out in this flick. His performance is extremely subtle and quite touching. Watch his eyes and his face in this because they sure speak volumes. Robert brings Frank to life and makes him utterly believable.  

Fans of Lean’s work will have fun noticing Kay Walsh and Robert Newton play father and daughter here. Just four years later they would go on to play the ill fated lovers Bill and Nancy in one of Lean’s finest films, Oliver Twist

I also love the depiction of the marriage between Frank and Ethel. These two stay with each other through thick and thin. They clearly adore one another and Robert and Celia make us believe that they would be lost without one another. This couple accept each others flaws and they cherish every moment they have together. This is a marriage that is very rarely found nowadays. These days people are so often out the door at the first sign of any difficulty. I like that these two remind us that a good marriage is one that is worked at and is valued.  

I also really adore Queenie and Billy’s relationship. Queenie comes across as someone who is above her class, she wants to be something other than ordinary, and she can’t see a good thing (Billy)when it is right in front of her. I love how Billy waits for her to come to her senses and doesn’t judge her.  

Billy arrives home. Screenshot by me.

My favourite scenes are the following. Frank and Ethel receiving some terrible news about Reg (this scene serves as a masterclass in how to convey shock and grief without going over the top. It also shows that quite often the best thing is for the camera to simply remain still and capture the actors performances, these performances will tell the audience all they need to know.) Frank saying he doesn’t care what happens to him as long as he has Ethel. Billy bringing Queenie back to her parents. The family arriving at their new home and starting to clean the place up and unpack. Frank and Reg talking about their opposing views about the General Strike. Frank, Vi and Sylvia talking about Chamberlain declaring “peace in our time”. Frank, Bob and Ethel saying goodbye. Queenie leaving a letter to her parents. Queenie dancing.

What do you think of this film? 







Blogathons, Drama

The Elizabeth Taylor Blogathon: Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958)

Elizabeth Taylor blogathon

Crystal over at In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood is hosting this blogathon all about Elizabeth Taylor. Be sure to visit her site to read all the entries, I can’t wait to read them all myself. 

Elizabeth Taylor was someone famous who I always felt like I knew. I felt this way because I think that Elizabeth was so open about her life; her personal issues, her passions, and her tragedies were very well known to those of us who never actually knew her. Due to her openness, it often felt like you did know her in a way.

Her life was led very much in the public eye and pretty much everything she did was reported on. Elizabeth was one of the biggest film stars there has ever been, yet she didn’t become aloof or self centred, she was actually a very generous and kind person. Elizabeth also did so much for charity and she also helped to raise public awareness of AIDS and addiction.

People liked Elizabeth and they felt like they could relate to her in some way.  Despite the fact that I never met her, I certainly did feel that in a way I had lost someone special when she died in 2011. 

Elizabeth as Maggie. Screenshot by me.

Elizabeth was also one of the most beautiful women of the 20th century. Sadly it was her looks which were often focused on more than her acting talents were. There was so much more to Elizabeth than just physical beauty. She was a very interesting person and was also a very good dramatic actress.

I’ve decided that I’m going to write about a film that I consider to feature one of her very best film performances. That film is Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.

1958 really was a key year in Elizabeth Taylor’s life. In March of that year her third husband Mike Todd was tragically killed in a plane crash. Elizabeth was left utterly devastated by his death.

At the time that Mike was killed, Elizabeth had been in the middle of filming Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. She had to then finish filming her scenes while she was still in the process of grieving for Mike. Elizabeth and Mike had planned for this to be her last film. Their plan was that she could have then retired from acting.

I’ve no doubt that making Cat On A Hot Tin Roof must have been an extremely difficult experience for Elizabeth; however her performance in this film certainly helped to show audiences how much of a skilled dramatic actress she was capable of being.

Maggie gets desperate. Screenshot by me.
Maggie comforts her husband. Screenshot by me.

Elizabeth had had some dramatic roles before this of course, but I think this was really the first film in which we saw just what dramatic heights she could actually reach.     

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof is directed by Richard Brooks. The film is based upon the acclaimed play by Tennessee Williams. The film tells the story of the wealthy Pollitt family. The film doesn’t fully manage to shake off its theatrical roots. Most of the action takes place in one room, and it’s one of those films where characters yell and shout a lot. If that doesn’t sound like it’s your thing, I’d say give it a try because the performances really make it worthwhile.

There is the handsome former football star Brick(Paul Newman). He is grieving the death of his best friend (who it is strongly suggested was also his lover). Brick is struggling with life and his biggest crutch is the regular doses of alcohol that he consumes.

The troubled Brick. Screenshot by me.

Brick’s young and very beautiful wife Maggie(Elizabeth Taylor)is frustrated over his lack of physical passion for her. She loves him so much, but she cannot reach his heart, and she cannot help him with his grief. She won’t give up trying to reach him though

Brick’s long suffering elder brother Gooper(Jack Carson)and Gooper’s overbearing and shrill wife Mae(Madeleine Sherwood)make life hell for Brick and Maggie. Gooper and Mae are desperate to become the next owners of the family plantation. 

As the family gather together for the milestone birthday of their patriarch Big Daddy(Burl Ives), family frustrations and secrets are revealed; including the sad fact that Big Daddy is slowly dying of cancer. 

This painful revelation about his father forces Brick to step up and take charge of his responsibilities. 

The tough Big Daddy. Screenshot by me.

There are three love stories in this Brick and Maggie, Brick and Big Daddy, and Brick’s love of the bottle(which is a form of healing and protection from real life for him).The most important of these is that between Brick and Big Daddy. By the end of the film both men have learnt something about the other, and both will develop mutual respect and understanding.  

The long suffering Big Mama. Screenshot by me.

I think that all of the cast shine here. Judith Anderson delivers solid support as the loving, loyal, but not particularly clever wife of Big Daddy, Anderson makes you really feel for her character.

Newman convinces as the brooding, pent up and reclusive Brick. He makes you want to yell at Brick, and he makes you want to tell him to snap out of his current state. For me though it is Burl Ives and Elizabeth Taylor who deliver the best and most memorable performances in this film.

Burl is excellent as the strong Big Daddy. He makes him a loud, sharp, clever and observant leader of the pack. He won’t show weakness, and he certainly won’t let people walk all over him.

Elizabeth superbly conveys the frustrations and desires of Maggie. She is all strength, anger, sensuality, desperation, sexiness, and passion. Maggie is not a woman who is content to sit at home knitting, she is clever, strong and fiercely independent. Her performance is all in her expressions and body language. I think this is one of the very best performances she ever gave.

Maggie lets her feelings be known. Screenshot by me.

As I said earlier, Elizabeth’s performance in this film also showed off what a superb dramatic actress she could be. I just think it’s a shame that she didn’t get more meaty dramatic material like this to work with in her career. This film along with Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? and The Taming Of The Shrew are real highpoints in Elizabeth’s career I think.   

I think that in the way Elizabeth plays Maggie here, she makes her become the strongest person in that family. Maggie keeps a cool head, she knows what’s going on, and she doesn’t care one bit for custom or tradition, she will do what she decides to do. I also love how she stands by Brick, even if she doesn’t fully understand what ails him, she’ll stick by her man and won’t leave him alone.

I also love how Maggie doesn’t stand for the rubbish way Mae’s kids treat her. Those kids are rude and spoilt, and Maggie doesn’t stand for their bad behaviour.

The ice cream throwing scene is a great favourite of mine. Maggie can’t believe that this obnoxious kid has just ruined her outfit by throwing ice cream at her. Maggie soon takes matters into her own hands and dishes out some punishment. That brat was flat out asking for it and Maggie squished that ice cream right in her face! Haha! 🙂  My screenshots below show Maggie getting her ice cream revenge. 🙂

When you think of this film, I will bet that it is Elizabeth’s performance and character that comes instantly to their mind. Elizabeth makes Maggie such a strong, sexy, passionate, desperate and tender woman, who it is impossible to forget. I also like how Elizabeth shows us that despite feeling left out, lonely, and despairing; Maggie still has some hope that she and Brick can actually get back together again and find a lasting happiness.

Maggie is patient with Brick, she lets her presence be known to him, and she doesn’t let him push her away from him. She is willing to wait for him to come to her, she bides her time and waits. This situation may get her down, but she doesn’t accept that the situation can never change or get better. Maggie always has hope. Maggie is a survivor of this situation and family. In that respect I think she is quite similar to Elizabeth.  

This film is a real high point in Elizabeth’s career. She gave this role everything she had, and I really think that shows through in her performance. 

What do you think of this film? What are your thoughts on Elizabeth’s performance as Maggie?

The following are my favourite Elizabeth Taylor films.

1- Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?

2- Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

3- Little Women

4- The Taming Of The Shrew

5- Cleopatra

6- The Sandpiper

7- Elephant Walk





Thanks For Taking Part In The Small Screen Blogathon

Small screen blogathon 1

A big thank you to everyone who took part in this blogathon.

You have all written some truly amazing posts about series and TV films dear to your heart.

I have really enjoyed reading your posts. I hope you all had fun. Thanks for taking part. 


Lon 4You are all invited to take part in my next blogathon. Ruth over at SilverScreenings and myself are co-hosting The Lon Chaney Sr Blogathon.