Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Favorites: Classic Romance movies

I received two new movies in the mail yesterday. I wouldn't say they were new, actually, they are quite old, but two that I don't own so they are new to me. The first is one of my favorites, based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier, titled, Rebecca. Yes, the old Hitchcock favorite, starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. I think it was after reading Rebecca that I seriously wanted to write my own stories, though I never got too serious until a few years ago. I remember reading this book, no rather, engulfing this book, sometime in high school and then soon after watching it on AMC, as that was what I usually did on Friday night. (Not your typical teenager. But that isn't important, and more suitable for another post.)
 I absolutely love this book and nearly as much love the movie, though I get tired of Joan being so weak and wishy washy. I like strong female characters like Scarlet and Elizabeth Bennett, not women who won't speak up! And other than creepy Mrs. Danvers, I find everything else about this movie, even the twist at the end, delightful. The other movie I bought, Portrait of Jennie, was recommended to me as research for my newest WIP (work in progress). I haven't seen it yet, so I'll let you know.

These two movies got me thinking about all of my favorites. I have so many, can I really list them in order? Do I put genre lists together? For a girl that struggles to choose what shoes to wear, I can't bear to rate my favorite movies as they all have something that I love, but for different reasons. It's like your children. They come so different. One might be good at sports, but struggle in English while another might make friends easily, but struggle with procrastination. You get the idea. So, I've decided to take it by Genre. We'll hit classic romance today, because I think I've already mentioned two and then next week I'll move on to my favorite 80's movies (Some Kind of Wonderful) Sorry-- let the cat out of the bag already-- and then I'll move on to action and so forth.

So here's my top five--six--I mean seven--I mean nine!

1. Somewhere in Time.

“The man of my dreams is almost faded now. The one I have created in my mind. The sort of man each woman dreams of in her most secret and deepest part of her heart. I could almost see him now before me. What would I say to him if he were really here? Forgive me, I've never known this feeling. I've lived without it all my life. Is it any wonder that I fail to recognize it? You brought it to me for the first time. Is there any way I can tell you how my life has changed? Anyway at all, to let you know what sweetness you have given me? There's so much to say-- and I can't find the words-- except for these... I love you. That is what I would say to him if he were really here. ” 
― Richard Matheson

Besides the handsome Christopher Reeves, and gorgeous Jane Seymour, this storyline gets me every time! When the old lady touches Richard Collier's shoulder and drops the pocket watch in his hand and says in an urgent whisper, "Come back to me." Oh! Love it! It just get's better from there. I'd say this movie has become a bit of a cult classic for it's fans.

2. Pride & Prejudice

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” 
― Jane AustenPride and Prejudice

I have to go with the six hour version on this one, though I know a lot of men and a few women that would differ. I'm not anti Kira Knightly or Matthew McFadden, but Colin Firth nails Mr. Darcy's arrogance and Pride and dashing good  looks splendidly. I watch it at least once a year. Last year my 12 year old daughter watched it with me.  She was on the edge of her seat and giggling whenever Mr. Darcy came into a room. It was so fun to see her catch the addiction.

3. Little Dorrit

John Chivery: I had got over it. I had! I might never thought of it again. I may not be a gentleman, but I am a man. Why do you think I found this room for you that you'd like and carried up the things for you when I really felt like knockin' you down? Do you think I did it for your own sake? I didn't do it for you! I did it for her!
Arthur Clennam: For who?
John Chivery: For Amy! Because she loves you!
Arthur Clennam: [Shocked] What?
John Chivery: Oh, oh! How can you say you don't know it? Anyone with eyes could see it! These walls know it! You're so lofty, so far above the rest of us, you don't even notice it. All the time I was breakin' my heart over her, she was breakin' her's over you!

An unusual pick for me seeing this movie is fairly new, but comes from Charles Dickens book of the same title and has sometimes been called long and confusing. The movie provides great chemistry between Matthew McFadden who plays Arthur and Claire Foy who plays Amy Dorrit. Matthew  is amazing in this movie. I absolutely love him even if he is a unaware of Amy's ardent affections for him for most of the movie. The triangle between Amy, Matthew, and her childhood mate, John, is classic. Fun side note if you see the movie-- when it shows the books of prisoners, the name of Charles Dicken's father is listed above Amy Dorrit's father's name. The story is Charles Dicken's father spent some time in a debtors prison himself.

4. Count of Monte Cristo

“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered                               on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst, for I will do mine! Then the fates will know you as we know you” 
― Alexandre DumasThe Count of Monte Cristo

While not strictly a romance, it is one of the most romantic stories ever told. I like the movie version better because I am a fan of happy endings. Unfortunately  when you combine revenge, greed, and unrequited love, there is going to be a tragedy befalling someone. Stick with the movie if you are a romance fan. If not, read the book. Its an amazing piece of literature.

5. Princess Bride

Buttercup: You can die too for all I care.
[she pushes him down a high hill]
Man in Black: AS... YOU... WISH.
Buttercup: Oh, my sweet Westley! What have I done?

This is probably the best fairy tale romance ever. Sometimes when I watch this classic the thought that they just don't make them like this  always runs through my head. My favorite lines? Too many to count. But I think my favorite romantic line has to be, "As you wish." sigh...

6. Gone With the Wind

“No, I don't think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.” 
― Margaret MitchellGone with the Wind

First off, I love Scarlet. She is strong and full of spit and fire, yet weak and completely flawed in an endearing way. The tragedy in this movie is she spends the whole time wanting someone she would not have really been happy with if she had actually had the opportunity to have him. Rhett is her perfect match yet she is always yearning for weak and feeble-minded Ashley. I get it, but it drives me crazy at the end. Hello, It's Rhett Butler, woman! Open your eyes.


7. Rebecca

              " You wouldn't think she'd been gone so long, would you? Sometimes, when I walk along the corridor, I fancy I hear her just behind me. That quick light step, I couldn't mistake it anywhere. It's not only in this room, it's in all the rooms in the house. I can almost hear it now."

As mentioned above, I love this movie, but would probably put it under suspense rather than romance, as I find the romance in this movie rather lacking. Anybody for a little cheek rubbing? That always get's my fire going. Fun side note you may not have noticed. The main characters name is never mentioned. We hear so much about the dead first wife Rebecca, but we never know her name as her husband always calls her pet names like darling, sweetheart, dear, etc, etc, etc. If I could give her a name I'd name her Janice. She just seems like a Janice to me.

8/9 (This is getting long, so I'm going to combine two.) Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I love the newest versions of both. Here are a few pics.

"Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal — as we are!” 
― Charlotte BrontëJane Eyre
“He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” 
― Emily BrontëWuthering Heights               

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