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Little Willow [userpic]

Favorite Films

December 20th, 2008 (12:20 pm)

Current Mood: thoughtful
Current Song: Pillow Talk by Doris Day

A list of my favorite films, in order of release:

Bringing Up Baby (1938) - comedy
My Favorite Wife (1940) - comedy
Ball of Fire (1941) - comedy
Laura (1944) - film noir
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) - film noir
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) - comedy
Singin' in the Rain (1952) - best musical movie ever
North by Northwest (1959) - suspense
Charade (1963) - suspense
The Trouble with Angels (1966) - comedy
The Odd Couple (1970) - comedy
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1972) - fantasy, musical, NOT the Disney version
The NeverEnding Story (1984) - fantasy
Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer (1985) - fantasy, animated
Anne of Green Gables (1986) - drama
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) - comedy
The Little Mermaid (1989) - animated, musical
Stargate (1994) - fantasy, action/adventure
Anastasia (1997) - animated, musical

As you can tell, my heart belongs to classic films and musicals.

I am a musical theatre girl. I sing, dance, and act. I write songs, scripts, screenplays, and stories. I love directing and choreographing.

I favor intelligent, thoughtful, witty, and clean pictures.

I will watch anything featuring Cary Grant, Gene Kelly, or Barbara Stanwyck.

Gene Kelly was a dancer, an actor, a singer, a director, a choreographer, and a visionary. I want to follow in his footsteps. I would have loved to have worked with him. I've read that he was a taskmaster, but that would be just fine with me.

Cary Grant was talented and classy. (Please join The English Muffin-Lovers Society if you are a Cary Grant fan!) He was able to do comedy and drama equally well.

The same can be said for Barbara Stanwyck. Look at her in Ball of Fire, then Double Indemnity. She was dynamic. Such a commanding presence.

Almost all of my favorite performers, have passed away, including the three I just praised, plus Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, Donald O'Connor, Natalie Wood, June Allyson, and so many others. How I wish I could have worked with them. Oh, Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Wells, if only I could have taken your direction. Rod Sterling, I would have loved to have appeared on The Twilight Zone. The list goes on and on.

Many of my favorite films are based on books.

If there's a film based on a book, I like reading the original book prior to seeing the film, but in some cases, I saw the movie when I was little and had to track down the book years later.

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers is based on a story entitled Love Lies Bleeding by John Patrick using the pseudonym Jack Patrick. I cannot find this story anywhere. I can't find any evidence of it ever having been published. If any of you know where I can find it, please tell me.

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House is based on a short story by Eric Hodgins. I prefer the film, but I am thankful for the story, because without it, we wouldn't have the hilarious movie.

I read and liked the original play The Odd Couple by Neil Simon. The film is very close to the play.

A&E's adaptation of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald was superb. Great leading man - Paul Rudd as Nick - great costumes, great locations, inclusion of the many major plots and events. I have yet to see the Sam Waterson film in full.

The BBC's adaptation of Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen was lovely.

Double Indemnity: Groundbreaking book by James M. Cain, amazing film starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is based on a novel by R. A. Dick, which is also enjoyable. The movie removed one of the children from the book, but the main story and the other characters are pretty much the same.

The Trouble With Angels is based on a memoir by Jane Trahey entitled Life With Mother Superior. When I was a kid, I managed to track it down through an interlibrary loan.

Breakfast at Tiffany's is a fantastic film. I prefer the film to the original short story by Truman Capote. They are quite different, and I respect them both.

I prefer the film version of The Seven-Year Itch to the play. Written by George Axelrod, they match up nearly word-for-word for the first half of the story, and then, suddenly, they become polar opposites. Having seen the movie a countless number of times before reading the play, I was fairly shocked by the turn of events in the play, which has outright infidelity. The movie flirts with it, but then he runs off in search of his family. Yep. Give me something G-rated any day.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The NeverEnding Story, and Anne of Green Gables are three of my favorite novels of all time.

My favorite film adaptation of Alice is the full-length live-action British musical from 1972. Most of the lyrics are lifted straight from the original book, and the music is delightful. Hurrah for John Barry and Don Black. Alice is portrayed by Fiona Fullerton, an average-sized teenaged brunette. As a child, I was simply overjoyed that Alice had brown hair like me. I later learned that the REAL Alice, Alice Liddel, was a brunette too. :)

The first film adaptation of The NeverEnding Story is great. The NeverEnding Story 2 is good, and it still has roots in the book. The NeverEnding Story 3 is a disgrace and should never be mentioned in the same breath as the book or the first two films.

The Kevin Sullivan version of Anne of Green Gables beats out his Anne of Avonlea, because although both are good, the first is more true to the book. Avonlea attempts to combine three books into one film, and that's a lot to undertake. Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story had surprisingly little to do with the books and changed far too much. Megan Follows is the best Anne Shirley I've ever seen.

I rarely like modern films as much as I love classics.

A lot of mainstream films nowadays are rife with things I disagree with or dislike. That being said, I do like some movies from the 80s and 90s. See the list above for my favorites, like Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer.

Though many people love Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, for me, the best John Hughes film is Ferris Bueller's Day Off. No contest.

Films released in the past decade which I like include but are not limited to Frequency, Happy Accidents, and Donnie Darko.

I was a loyal follower of The Baby-Sitters Club books. Therefore, I also watched the TV series and the film.

I want the petticoat skirts featured in Teen Witch.

Clueless is fun. It was a surprisingly decent modern adaptation of Emma by Jane Austen.

Some movies should not have sequels or knock-offs.

Everyone should see The Trouble With Angels, but no one should see Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows.

The Parent Trap with Hayley Mills is great. Parent Trap 2 is so-so. Parent Trap 3: Hawaiian Honeymoon is fun and good. The remake with Dennis Quaid is decent.

Pillow Talk is better than Lover Come Back.

There are many movies that I will watch whenever they are on TV.

Naturally, this includes any of the movies I listed as favorites, as well as I'll Be Waiting for You, Frequency, Out to Sea, Bring It On, Fools Rush In, Serendipity, Born Into Exile, A Walk to Remember, and Say Anything...

My favorite made-for-TV movie is Nightmare in the Daylight, starring Jaclyn Smith and Christopher Reeve. Someday, someday, this will re-air. Maybe it will even be released on DVD.

Related Posts: I ramble about films, prompted by tlace; I posted before about my favorite films; and I think highly of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.


Posted by: Daphydil (daphyn)
Posted at: September 8th, 2004 02:50 pm (UTC)
river noah's ark (loudreality)

I love movies. I can't list them in any kind of order, but my absolute favorites are:

The Labyrinth
Billy Elliot
Moulin Rouge
Now And Then
Titan A.E.
Mary Poppins
Radio Flyer

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 8th, 2004 04:04 pm (UTC)

Of those you listed, I've seen Chicago, Moulin Rouge, Now and Then (which I very much like) and Mary Poppins. I want to see Billy Elliot.

Posted by: Daphydil (daphyn)
Posted at: September 9th, 2004 10:33 am (UTC)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 9th, 2004 09:33 pm (UTC)

Posted by: tlace (tlace)
Posted at: September 8th, 2004 02:57 pm (UTC)

I love Little Willow lists!!! I think all eras and most genres are perfectly represented. I may have to make a list of my own. And, eventually, someday, actually watch some of the films you've recced to me.

P.S. The Little Mermaid is my favorite Disney movie ever. :)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 8th, 2004 03:56 pm (UTC)

Thank you for appreciating the list. :)

The Little Mermaid is my favorite Disney film. Ariel and Tinker Bell are my favorite Disney characters. I think Jodi Benson (Ariel) has a lovely voice. I enjoy all of the soundtracks released regarding The Little Mermaid - the movie soundtrack, Songs from the Sea, etcetera.

I miss music and lyrics by Alan & Howard. I was so sad when he passed away. I have not seen a Disney animated movie in full nor in theatres since Pocahontas. I have seen portions of some, such as Toy Story and Hercules, neither of which I really enjoyed. I cannot believe that Disney animated features are no longer musicals. I will see Finding Nemo at some point in time because I have heard good things about it.

I also love Newsies. I wish it had received more acclaim. I wanted Disney to use that film to bring back live-action musicals appropriate for the whole family to see.

I want to see musicals in theatres regularly again. I appreciate the cinematography and colours of recent releases like Moulin Rouge and Chicago, but being a musical theatre girl myself, I was not wowed by either of those films.

I am very picky about any film in which the main character(s) are aspiring singers, dancers and/or actors. The people who were in the same room with me when I saw Save the Last Dance and Center Stage on TV can attest to that fact. I think I drove some of them nuts. With films such as these, I start saying things like, "Could you MAYBE POINT YOUR TOE?" or, "She would never get into that school. Never, never, never!"

The concepts, stories and characters of Peter Pan and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (and Through the Looking Glass) are fabulous. Though I like the Disney versions of both Peter Pan and Alice, they are not my favorite versions. I love the character of Tinker Bell. In the original play and book, I dislike the unfeeling way that Peter tells Wendy what became of Tink.

The 1972 live-action British musical film is the best Alice rendition in my opinion. It features a brunette Alice - which gave me such hope as a child and still does, because if only everyone would just say no to typecasting, the world would be a better place! It is a full-out musical with music by John Barry, who also did the music for Somewhere in Time and many other amazing movies.

Posted by: Anna (harshlightning)
Posted at: September 8th, 2004 05:32 pm (UTC)
Kaylee (Firefly)

My attempt a list of 20 favorite movies, also in order of the release:

It Happened One Night (1934)
Gone with the Wind (1939)
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Casablanca (1942)
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Star Wars Trilogy
The Princess Bride (1987)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Schindler's List (1993)
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Dark City (1998)
Moulin Rouge (2001)
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Finding Nemo (2003)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

I could easily add more to this list, but I did try to limit myself a bit. :) I count the Star Wars trilogy and LotR trilogy each as one because the movies in each work together to complete the whole trilogy.

Yay for movie lists! You always come up with the best lists/questions, chica. :)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 8th, 2004 05:55 pm (UTC)

Thanks! Back at you.

From your list, I have seen and loved:
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

From your list, I have seen and liked:
It Happened One Night (1934)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

From your list, I feel okay about:
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Moulin Rouge (2001)

From your list, I feel eh about:
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
The Princess Bride (1987) (Give me TNES anyday)

From your list, I have seen only portions of:
Gone with the Wind (1939)
Casablanca (1942)
L.A. Confidential (1997)

From your list, I have not seen:
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) (read it)
Star Wars Trilogy (saw Episode 1)
A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
Schindler's List (1993)
Dark City (1998) (REALLY need to see)
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Finding Nemo (2003)

Did you know there is a musical version of It's a Wonderful Life? I have not seen nor heard it.

Posted by: Anna (harshlightning)
Posted at: September 8th, 2004 06:08 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 8th, 2004 06:18 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Anna (harshlightning)
Posted at: September 8th, 2004 07:46 pm (UTC)
Kaylee (Firefly)

We balance out for TNES and TPB then! I haven't read TPB.

We do indeed! :)

Thanks for the movie rec for To Kill a Mockingbird.

You are welcome! Gracias for all of yours. :)

Posted by: Anna (harshlightning)
Posted at: September 8th, 2004 07:51 pm (UTC)

Ooops... meant to add that on as a reply, but apparently the heat here is going to my head. ;)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 8th, 2004 07:56 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 8th, 2004 08:27 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Anna (harshlightning)
Posted at: September 8th, 2004 08:34 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 8th, 2004 08:37 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Miss Momoko (missmomoko)
Posted at: September 8th, 2004 11:54 pm (UTC)

Ah I can never really chose what my favourites movies are because I chop and change depending on the mood I'm in.

But Clueless and Donnie Darko are definately there at the top of my list as well. They have so many good quotes in there. I also enjoy 'Now and Then'. I used to play the soundtrack non stop. As for films that are not on your list, Grave of the Fireflies, Spirited Away, Leon, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Stand By Me, I'm always fond of the Goonies...my list goes on!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 9th, 2004 08:00 am (UTC)

I have never seen any of the films listed in that last sentence of your comments, except for the majority of Stand by Me and The Goonies. Clueless is smartly silly.

Posted by: Rob (robgairey)
Posted at: September 14th, 2004 03:01 pm (UTC)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Hi from Cardiff.

I too love the 1972 version with Fiona Fullerton, and have great fun star spotting. I think I've mentioned this before, but there's a very good version on DVD now that was made by the BBC in 1966, featuring Peter Sellers, this time in the role of the King of Hearts: it obtained very mixed reviews - and still does today - because of its rather etherial and in many ways "adult" take on the story. There are no animal costumes here, the story instead being used as a metaphor for Victorian decay, complete with very crusty, bored Oxford dons.

And another brunette Alice!


Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 15th, 2004 12:45 am (UTC)
Re: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Sounds interesting. Black and white, brunette, hike! :)

Posted by: capri pants. leather sandals. pregnancy. (37piecesflair)
Posted at: September 14th, 2004 10:44 pm (UTC)

Rainbow Brite on DVD soon! They're planning to remake Mr. Blandings which is SO wrong. They've already basically done it anyhow with The Money Pit. My mom said she read the novel of Mr. Blandings and it was hilarious.

If I ever HAVE to remake a film, it will be Bringing Up Baby with someone like Renee Zellwegger.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 15th, 2004 12:42 am (UTC)

I want to read the book. That's been on my to-read list for a while.

Rainbow Brite rocks all.

Posted by: Emilia Rothschild (etherealshores)
Posted at: October 16th, 2004 02:20 am (UTC)

There was a Rainbow Brite MOVIE!?!

I loved the show and had NO IDEA.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: October 16th, 2004 03:20 am (UTC)

Hello there! Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer is available on VHS. It will be released on DVD on November 2nd. See cover art.

Posted by: Emilia Rothschild (etherealshores)
Posted at: October 16th, 2004 04:18 am (UTC)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: October 16th, 2004 04:44 am (UTC)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 6th, 2007 03:11 am (UTC)
Love the book, haven't seen the film

As I read LOOKING FOR ALIBRANDI by Melina Marchetti, I pictured Anthony LaPaglia as the father. After finishing the book, I discovered ALIBRANDI had been made into a film - with Anthony LaPaglia as the father. I knew that I needed to see this film immediately. I was then told that it was not available in the United States. WHY?! WHY?!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: July 12th, 2007 01:14 pm (UTC)

It doesn't get much better than Ferris Bueller's Day Off, now does it?

Jules (7-Imp)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: July 12th, 2007 01:50 pm (UTC)

I'm so disappointed in Cameron! Twenty bucks says he's in his car right now debating on whether or not to go out.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: December 22nd, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC)

Is this an older entry? I must comment anyway because--

Anastasia (1997) - animated, musical <- I LOVE THAT MOVIE. When it came out, I *had* to see it. And then I did. And my life became Anastasia. And I became obsessed with all that history. It was so awesome! It still is awesome. I must watch it before Christmas because it's such a holiday movie to me. Thank you for reminding me about it. And the songs were fantastic--it should be adapted for stage!

Also, what did you think of the Anne of Green Gables prequel movie--if you haven't seen it, did you have any thoughts on it being made? It premiered in Canada last week (2 wks ago?). The girl playing Anne was def. trying to channel Megan Follows.


Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: December 23rd, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC)

Anastasia is SO good. I have the score music for Once Upon a December and Journey to the Past in my audition songbook.

Keep your eyes peeled for Sarah Miller's next book, OMTA, about the princesses - due out in 2010.

I heard about that back when they were planning it, then casting it. I want to see it. Tell me all about it.

Happy holidays and HAPPY RELEASE DAY to you and CUTB! :)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: December 31st, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: December 31st, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC)

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