Some of us are using lockdown to shape up, hone our cooking abilities, explore the local land or learn a new skill, and some of us, namely myself, are opting out of reality all together. Sorry but it’s just not working out, lockdown isn’t for me and this weather isn’t really cutting it either, so until further notice you’ll find my nose in a book or my eyes glued to the TV.
I take great, unnecessary, gloating pride in the fact that I was essentially raised on 1950’s musicals and Georgian drama. Classic film has a comforting effect on me and I spent the majority of January binging on the same Hollywood movies on repeat to escape the desolate start to 2021.
Whether you’re a big fan or have never watched a musical outside of the Greatest Showman, I highly recommend, in fact I plead with you, to give the following a go;
Doris Day is, without a doubt, my favourite Hollywood movie star, her voice was perfect and she had such range and versatility. Calamity Jane gave Day the opportunity to really showcase her multitalented persona with this gruff, unladylike character. The songs stay in my head for days and Howard Keel is just drop dead gorgeous.
Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly. Need I say anymore really? Crosby and Kelly are a divorced couple, it is the week of Kelly’s second wedding and Crosby just won’t piss off; winding her up, driving her mad, so naturally Kelly starts losing her mind…Enter Sinatra, a reporter trying to get a scoop on the wedding of the century. This witty, charming, easy to watch delight is the perfect Sunday afternoon viewing.
Meet Me in St. Louis
This film reminds me a little of On Moonlight Bay and By the Light of the Silvery Moon, though this film came before both. This is actually a perfect Christmas song, so I’m at least a month late but it’s the kind of film you can get away with watching throughout the year for that little Christmas feeling of excitement when you need it.
Half a Sixpence
Unlike the other five, this is a British film with Londoner, singer and actor Tommy Steele taking center stage. I only discovered this film in the last year and it’s full of the kind of nostalgia you can’t really know but have experienced because you’ve watched so much TV and listened to so many stories from your parents. It’s funny, silly and just quite easy to watch.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Howard Keel plays pig-headed Adam Pontipee, eldest of Seven brothers living in one house in the mountains. Adam is on the hunt of a wife and comes across Milly, who he marries within hours and brings her back to his cabin without mentioning the group of animalistic, burly brothers he’s got back home. I love everything about this wholesome, funny, obscurley romantic film; from the music and dancing to Milly and Adam’s growing love.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Controversially, i’m not well versed, or much of a fan of Marilyn Monroe’s films. I know it’s sacrilege to speak ill of the blonde bombshell but, there you have it. In fact, my favourite thing about this film is Jane Russell’s cynical and more realistic portrayal as Dorothy Shaw. Nevertheless, this film is full of good humoured, charming moments, polite comedy and glamorous musical sequence.