Things are about to get serious – only a mere two weeks until the big day! Let’s kick things off in earnest with the full film of Roger Corman‘s Bucket of Blood. What better way to celebrate the coming weekend than a Beatnik Busboy murderer who just wants to be appreciated for his art? Two snaps straight up, daddy-o!
Archive of ‘Films’ category
Oh man. Did you say you’ve never seen any of the Ealing Studios comedies with Alec Guinness? I envy you the joy you are about to experience.
I know most everyone loves the Cohen Brothers – and rightly so, they are artists of great skill in their own right – but when I watch their films I mainly admire how proudly they wear their influences on their collectives sleeve, particularly Preston Sturges and Ealing Studios chief among them.
And since we are looking at the dark and macabre this month, let’s start with the absolutely jaw-droppingly great Kind Hearts and Coronets, a deeply and deliciously dry pitch-black comedy, exemplifying Ealing at its best.
The plot concerns an undesired, discarded minor noble who kills his way through his family tree, all played by the young Alec Guinness (including the Lady Agatha!), to inherit the dukedom of the Descoyne family.
But really, this film serves as a vehicle for a young Alec Guinness to play eight separate roles, each funnier than the last. The script is as sharp-edged and bon-mot-filled as an Oscar Wilde play and the direction is as precisely perfect as any film student could ever dream to see.
So, here are a few more critics, directors and actors raving about how much they adore Kind Hearts & Coronets in case you need any more convincing. Absolutely well-worth watching, whether you’re feeling your most murderous or you just want some high level snark. You can catch the whole film on Turner Classic Movies or borrow the Criterion version from Netflix.
I can’t think of a better way to continue this series of posts than draw some attention to the ridiculously charming, totally family-friendly film, I Married a Witch.
The always stunning Veronica Lake stars as Jennifer, a centuries-old witch who curses the descendents of her Puritan accuser, Jonathan Wooley (Frederick March as several generations of Wooley men), to be forever unlucky in love. Trapped in a bottle with her father to escape their execution, Jennifer is released in the 20th century and immediately seeks out the current male Wooley heir to enact her revenge.
Of course, not all goes to her plan – Jennifer develops a crush on the stodgy Wallace Wooley and instead attempts to help him win a seat in political office, using all the skills at her disposal, including the help of her father (Robert Warwick).
Hijinks ensue in the best mid-century screwball comedy fashion, but it’s really director René Clair’s misty fairytale atmosphere and sly humor that lift I Married a Witch beyond being simply a fun film. Clair, the director of Le Million and Le Voyage Imaginaire, with the help of the brilliant Preston Sturges created this 1942 classic that inspired the Bewtiched television show and thus the magic twitching noses still running on TBS today.