The Gotta Dance! Blogathon: The Turning Point (1977)

This post is part of the Gotta Dance! Blogathon, hosted by Bonnie at Classic Reel Girl. See a list of other participants in this event HERE!

The Turning Point is a strange hybrid of dance/backstage and Golden Age Hollywood “women’s” movies. In a year that saw film going through a major transition, with the release of seminal films such as Star Wars and Annie Hall, it seemed a bit of a throwback, even though it had a strong feminist vibe. The script by Arthur Laurents is highly flawed in certain ways.

And yet I love it. It had such a strong impact on me when I first saw it during its original theatrical release. It opened up the world of ballet to me.

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My Top Five Movie-Viewing Experiences

This post is part of the Classic Movie Ice Cream Social Blogathon, hosted by Fritzi at Movies Silently. Read the rest of the yummy posts HERE!

This list is actually going to be short of one of my favorite movie-viewing experiences, since I’ve already written a post about my first movie viewed in a movie theater, a story I love to tell again and again, but I’m just linking to it. (So, yeah, I kind of cheated. This is actually Top Five after one other top viewing experience.) Continue reading “My Top Five Movie-Viewing Experiences”


Darth Vader & The Lure of the Dark Side

This post is part of the Great Villain Blogathon hosted by Ruth of Silver Screenings, Karen of Shadows & Satin, and Kristina of Speakeasy. See the list of participants for this event HERE!

Do I need to give a SPOILER WARNING for the Star Wars movies? Here’s one in case you need it, especially for The Force Awakens. If you haven’t caught up with it yet there will be some MAJOR spoilers.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away. . . a mixture of influences from Kurosawa films, Flash Gordon serials, and American Westerns became a pop culture phenomenon to match few others. A space opera with strong elements of fantasy, the Star Wars franchise uses the Hero’s Journey to create a new mythology for the modern world.

It also features one of the great movie villains of all time. Continue reading “Darth Vader & The Lure of the Dark Side”


Book Review: Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray


In a recent blog post about The Terminator, I cited Ripley from Alien as the first modern film action heroine—and she is the first who was the protagonist. But it’s Star Wars’ Princess Leia, in a supporting role, who’s the true seminal character in modern film.

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Game of Thrones Season 6 Premiere: Minor Characters Matter

As a reader of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books, it felt decidedly strange going into the Season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones. With the exception of some parts from A Feast of Crows, going forward the TV series is moving beyond events in the first five published books. We’re still waiting for publication of The Winds of Winter, the penultimate book in the series.

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Tony Curtis & Janet Leigh - Houdini - 1953. Restored by jane for Doctor Macro's High Quality Movie Scans website: http://www.doctormacro.com. Enjoy!

The Star-Studded Couple Blogathon: Tony Curtis & Janet Leigh

This post is part of the Star-Studded Couple Blogathon, hosted by Phyllis at Phyllis Loves Classic Movies. Read the rest of the posts for this event HERE!

Janet Leigh had what seemed a very charmed career. With zero acting experience, she had been discovered by actress Norma Shearer, who showed agent Lew Wasserman a picture of a young girl she had seen while vacationing at a ski resort. Wasserman obtained for Leigh a contract at MGM. She debuted in the film The Romance of Rosy Ridge, which was a big hit. Her career stumbled a bit when a couple of film projects she was involved in were shelved, but soon got back on track with a role in the 1949 version of Little Women. She went on to an incredibly varied career, playing roles in an array of genres and for some of the most famous directors of the time, including Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock.

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William Holden Meets Lucy Ricardo, Hilarity Ensues!

This post is part of The Golden Boy Blogathon: A William Holden Celebration, hosted by Virginie at The Wonderful World of Cinema. Read the rest of the posts for this event HERE!

Big movie stars appearing on TV shows is fairly common nowadays—sometimes playing characters, sometimes playing themselves. We call it “stunt casting.” The classic 1950s sitcom I Love Lucy, which was a groundbreaking show in many respects, pretty much invented the practice. It has rarely, if ever, been done as well since.

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Beyond the Cover Blogathon: When Worlds Collide (1951)

worldcollide8This post is part of the Beyond the Cover Blogathon, hosted by Kristina at Speakeasy and Liz of Now Voyaging. See the roster for the rest of this event HERE!

The classic sci-fi apocalyptic novel When Worlds Collide was written by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie and published in 1933. It was originally serialized in the magazine Blue Book. They also co-wrote the sequel After Worlds Collide.

When trying to decide which book and film adaptation to write about for this blogathon, of course I considered many great works of literature and their great-to-kind-of-great adaptations. While When Worlds Collide is not exactly great literature, it is without doubt a seminal and influential work. It’s probably the first of the “Earth struck by planet/meteor/comet” sub-genre of apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic fiction. It has been cited as having inspired Superman (which features escape from a planet about to destruct to another planet) and Flash Gordon (an athletic man, his girlfriend, and a scientist have adventures in space).

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Announcing The Sword & Sandal Blogathon!

Yes, I’ve finally decided to do it: host my own film blogathon!

I considered many, many different topics for my first blogathon, but kept coming back to the Sword & Sandal epics that have captivated film and TV viewers from the silent era right up to the present day. Please join in and celebrate the clash of steel in the arena, the miraculous events of the Bible, the political upheavals of ancient empires!

The event will take place July 8, 9 & 10, 2016. I will not be assigning days. Simply post your articles on or before these dates.

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F Troop: The Courtship of Wrangler Jane

This post is part of the 2nd Annual Favourite TV Show Episode Blogathon, hosted by Terry at A Shroud of Thoughts. Read the rest of the entries for this event HERE!

I can’t tell you how much I envy young girls today. Young women can watch movies and TV shows with amazing heroines such as Rey, Katniss, Hermione, Tris, Peggy Carter, the female Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as long overdue reboots of classic action heroines such as Supergirl and Wonder Woman.

It’s far from perfect and we still have a long way to go, but when I was a little girl, during the mid-1960s, the list was much, much shorter. Continue reading “F Troop: The Courtship of Wrangler Jane”

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Why Writers Should Listen to the Hamilton Soundtrack

Hamilton, the hip-hop musical about one of our most fascinating Founding Fathers, has garnered a huge number of devoted fans. This is mainly due to the original cast album. If you can’t see the show (and most of us can’t, even many who live in the New York City area) you can listen to the album. It’s as close as you’ll get to experiencing the show because, with the exception of one scene, the entire show is in song.

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Mini-Reviews of Books I’ve Recently Read

It’s been a while since I’ve done some book reviews, so here are some books I’ve read recently that I have particularly enjoyed. Since I have little time to read, I mainly listen to audiobooks while at work, so these are all reviews of the audiobooks. Continue reading “Mini-Reviews of Books I’ve Recently Read”


Random Thoughts on the Final Season of Downton Abbey


It’s over! It’s all over! No more snarky bon mots by Violet! No more snarky anything from Mary! No more life treating Edith like the raggedy puppy mean people want to kick! No more members of the Bates family arrested on trumped-up criminal charges! No more Carson wringing his hands over the way his world is changing!

Whatever shall we do?

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The Terminator (1984) Cured Me of Being a Film Snob

This post is part of the In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb Blogathon, hosted by Steve at MovieMovieBlogBlog. Read the rest of the post in this event HERE!

Yes, it’s true. There was a point in my life when I was one of those insufferable film snobs.

I had grown up loving movies—all kinds of movies—but then two things happened that changed that:

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The Movie Scientist Blogathon: Them! (1954)

This post is part of the Movie Scientist Blogathon, hosted by Christina Wehner and Silver Screenings. See the list of the other participants HERE!

Them!, released in 1954, was the first of the “giant insect” movies that became so popular during the 1950s. It’s not only the first, it’s the best, and, I would argue, one of the best sci-fi horror films of the 1950s.

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