Monday, May 19, 2008

Oh great, not another list... I mean...

This week's honorable mentions go to...

Babies. Spending the weekend with a couple of enchanting young (ok, very, very young) men was not only restful, but necessary. I charmed a one-month old with digestive issues into naptime and I feel like I have accomplished something wonderful.

The beach. Here's to long walks.

Guys and Dolls. And by this I mean the 1955 film starring Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons and Vivian Blaine. Now, why does this movie merit an honorable mention? It is, first of all, Guys and Dolls, one of the most fun musicals of all time--despite being the most popular musical performed in high schools today. And even though it cuts some of my favorite songs, only to add new ones which are not as good and don't keep to the spirit of the movie, it's still got Fugue for Tinhorns and Oldest Established. It has Frank Sinatra singing. It has Marlon Brando (sort 0f) singing. It has a sewer, Jerry Orbach, and that script! That script makes up for every funky camera angle. That script has some of the cheesiest, inverted, stilted lines ever to descend from Sheldon Leonard's sneering lips, and I couldn't be happier. Example:

Harry the Horse: I just acquired five thousand fish.
Nicely-Nicely Johnson: Five thousand? If it can be told, where did you take on this fine bundle of lettuce?
Harry the Horse: I have nothing to hide. I collected the reward on my father.
Benny Southstreet: It is an advantage to have a successful father. Nobody ever wanted my old man for as much as five hundred.

I don't think any of those guys use any contractions at all.

Similarly, On The Town. It might be all about sailors looking for a little hanky-panky, but this show/1949 film had some of the pluckiest, most independent musical heroines of its time (hello, Brunhilde Esterhazy!).

I blame Betty Comden.

Again, why do they always cut the best songs for the movie version of Broadway hits? But still... it's got Gene Kelly directing and dancing his heart out with Vera-Ellen.


C.S. Lewis. Not just as an observer or theologian. For his voice.

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