Saturday Afternoon Chat: Some alone time, a couple of outings, visit by friends, and bad Anne of Green Gables sequels

Everyone, I am so excited because by the time you read this, or maybe while you are reading it, I will be having an afternoon to myself to write and watch movies and do whatever I want.

In other words, I will be sitting in my house completely lost and wondering why I thought it would be a good idea to accept my husband’s offer to take the kids to a movie and for me to stay home.

The whole thing sort of went down like this:

Husband: “I’m going to take the kids to Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse on Saturday and you can stay home and write.”

Me: “Uh. Oh. Okay.”

Husband: “Great. Have fun.”

And boom. Here I am. Alone. Writing a blog post.

Alone. In my house. With the dog. With my family 45 minutes away from me one way.

Alone with my thoughts and an old movie (How to Marry A Millionaire).


Did I ever mention that alone time is highly overrated? Because it is.

 I’ll update in my Sunday Bookends post how many times I cried wishing my family was home with me interrupting me 15 times while I try to write and that I had instead gone with them.

For now, though, a little about last week.

There is very little to report, honestly. It was a fairly relaxed week – at least physically. Mentally my mind seemed to race all day.

We spent Sunday at a Memorial Day service at a small cemetery about 30 minutes away. A bagpiper played some music in honor of the holiday at the cemetery which was recently repaired and cleaned up.

The speaker who was supposed to come didn’t make it so it was just the bagpiper, but he did a wonderful job. The music was very poignant and moving as we overlooked the cemetery full of veterans of wars that our country fought as far back as at least the Civil War, if not the Revolutionary War as well.

After the service we stopped at a playground right down the road for Little Miss to play a bit. She, however, was more interested in playing in the creek behind the playground, which is totally fine with me. She had no interest in leaving the creek when it was time to go and we hope to stop by there again soon to give her even more time to play.

The water was very low there because we have not had a lot of rain recently and also did not have a very snowy winter.

I have a feeling that our county will be under a burn ban soon. In our area we are allowed to burn trash in a barrel outside in our backyards, but not if there is a burn ban in effect. That will probably come soon as our grass is starting to fade to yellow in some places and our trees are very dry.

Little Miss and The Husband threw rocks in the creek and Little Miss and I put our feet in the water. It was really a very nice and relaxing afternoon.

The Boy was home resting after working the night before.

On Monday we visited my parents for Memorial Day after The Husband went to a Memorial Day service to take photographs and my dad and The Boy went to a service downtown.

The Husband cooked steaks on the grill that my dad had bought a while ago from a local farmer.

The steaks were excellent.

Little Miss, The Husband, and the Boy took a ride on the golf cart before we left. Little Miss helped clean out the pool at my parents before the golf cart ride. My dad is trying to get it summer ready. We will have to do some more cleaning tomorrow when we visit to get it all the way ready.

On Thursday Little Miss had a friend over to visit.

Yesterday we did pretty much nothing, other than The Husband who was awesome and braved the heat we were having to pick up groceries.

It turned out to be not as hot as we thought it was going to be but he didn’t want me to have to deal with any drama after the loss of the key fob last week. There always seems to be drama when I do the shopping. Sigh. He also does a great job and keeps us well within budget. Not that I go too crazy with the budget, but Little Miss does tend to add extra fruits to the cart when we do it, which is okay by me.

This past week started writing more of book two of the Gladwynn Grant Mysteries. I am having fun crafting the story and will hopefully write a little more on it today during my break.

I started to watch Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story today but – ick. I forgot that the story was not from the books and was, quite frankly, ridiculous and way too over dramatic. The actors were too old to be playing the parts, they took the story out of Prince Edward Island and to the United States and Kevin Sullivan took way too many liberties with the characters for my taste.

I have not enjoyed every Anne book I’ve read (like Anne’s House of Dreams. Yuck. So depressing. Seriously.) but there is a reason I love L.M. Montgomery’s books. They are whimsical and full of joy, most of the time anyhow. There are some sad and hard stories but at their heart is a youthfulness and hopefulness to Anne that I really didn’t see in this mini-series or as much of it as I was able to watch today. I watched it years ago and remember not enjoying it very much then either.

Staying on the topic of Anne of Green Gables, this week I unfollowed the official account of the original mini-series when they started pairing scenes from the film with modern music – particularly Taylor Swift.

I am not a fan of Taylor, one, but, two, I am not a fan of modern music being paired with films about vintage shows or books. I read those books and watch similar movies to escape the modern world. I don’t see why they need to be combined and connected to the modern world in any way. Leave me my vintage fantasy world, please. That’s what I wanted to tell them but instead I just quietly unfollowed. No need to be a prude and a drama queen at the same time. *wink*

I usually share what I am drinking and forgot to do that at the beginning of the post so I’ll share now that I have made myself a cup of peppermint tea to sip and filled it with honey after being without honey for a week or so. The weather was very warm last week so I didn’t bother to make tea, but instead drank a lot of water with lemon or grape juice mixed in.

How was your week last week? Did you do anything exciting?

Drink any lovely teas or lovely beverages?

Let me know in the comments.

Spring of Cary: Holiday

Here we are to another week of Spring of Cary where Erin from Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs and I are watching Cary Grant movies for the spring. Katja from Breath of Hallelujah is joining in when she is able to.

I chose the list of movies from the ones of Cary’s I hadn’t watched before.

Our movie this week is Holiday and it was released in 1938, so it was one of Cary’s early films.

The movie kicks off with Johnny Case (Cary) coming back from a visit out of town where he says he has fallen in love with a woman and is going to marry her.

His friends don’t believe him and think he’s going to be destitute with a woman and her family leaching off of him.

They have nothing to worry about because when Johnny goes to the address that the woman he wants to marry gave him he finds out her family is super duper rich and live in a house that looks like, as he describes it, Grand Central Station.

The potential bride-to-be, Julia Seton (Doris Nolan), lets him know she’s from the famous, well-to-do Seton family. She also tells him that her father will expect him to start working with the company and become a businessman and Johnny really isn’t sure that’s something he’s interested in. He just wants to have fun. Like he told his friends at the beginning of the movie:

“She wants the life I want, the home I want, the fun I want.”

But does Julia really want all that? We will have to find out.

After Johnny first arrives at the big, fancy house, Julia tells Johnny she’s going to go to church and tell her father about them, and on their way out the door, in walks Julia’s sister Linda (Katherine Hepburn), who is very intrigued with this man her sister says she’s going to marry. It is clear that Linda has an entirely different spirit than Julia. A much freer spirit.

Linda wants to make sure that Johnny is good enough for the sister she loves. Deep down she doesn’t want Julia to get married. We learn later that one reason she doesn’t want Julia to get married is because she doesn’t want Julia to move out of the house and have a home of her own, This will leave Linda alone to be bored and unsure of her own future. For now, she’s simply rattling around in the big house where the men in the family and their goal of succeeding is the main focus and she is expected to attend business parties.

Early on we learn that Julia and Linda’s mother has died at some point in the past, but she was a fun mother who wanted her children to stay somewhat grounded so she had a playroom built in the house that featured more common furniture and the tools each child needed to explore their passions in life (a drum set, paints, and workout equipment for example).

Johnny isn’t very interested in impressing the patriarch of the family. He wants to work for a bit to save some money and then take several years off of work and go back to work when he learns why he’s been working his whole life. This is what he tells Linda, saying he wants to take a bit of a holiday in between his working years. The term “holiday” is sort of a British term to me but I know he means a type of break or vacation.

Linda likes the sound of that because she’d like to take a holiday from her rather mundane life where she feels like her family has lost touch with – well, each other. She longs for the days when her mother was alive and everything felt more real and wasn’t all about money.

Linda can tell right from the beginning that Johnny is a free spirit and while Julia is nice, she is not a free spirit. She is a “this is the way we’ve always done it and it needs to be done this way still” type of person.

As much as Linda is worried about Johnny ruining Julia’s spirit, she also seems worried that Julia will do the same to Johnny.

It all comes to a head at the New Year’s Eve party where Julia and Linda’s father announces the couple’s engagement but Linda refuses to come to it because she was going to throw a smaller, less public, and more intimate party for her sister instead.

The sisters also have a brother, Ned, who keeps himself liquored up to deal with life.

This was really just a fun movie and I absolutely loved Katherine Hepburn in it. Critics called this her comeback movie after she had developed a reputation with RKO Pictures as being box office poison. I feel that in this movie she really showed them that they made a mistake. One critic in 1938 said the same, writing, “”If she [Hepburn] is slipping, as Independent Theatre Owners claim, then her ‘Linda’ should prove that she can come back–and has.”

She was sweet and touching in this movie and just pulled me into Linda’s world so easily. She and Cary had an amazing chemistry and as much as I liked Cary in this movie, I was mesmerized by her performance and simply impressed with his.

I really enjoyed Cary’s youthful exuberance in this movie. According to Wikipedia, he was 34 when the movie was made. He just seemed more chipper and happy in this movie than the previous movies I’ve seen him in. Since Cary was much younger in this movie, he was able to pull off a lot more of the physical comedy. Katherine got in on some of her own physical comedy during at least one scene.

This was one of four movies that Cary and Katherine were in together. The others were Bringing Up Baby (I absolutely recommend this one), the Philadelphia Story (I also recommend this one), and Sylvia Scarlett which The Husband just realized we have on DVD in a collection of Cary movies.

Incidentally, the director of the movie, George Cukor, almost cast Irene Dunne in the movie, which was the actress who was in The Awful Truth and My Favorite Wife with Cary. In the end, though, he chose Hepburn, which, as I mentioned above, did worry some in the industry.

I enjoyed this movie more than any of the others we have seen so far. To me, Cary and Katherine are simply a winning combination.

To see Erin’s impression of the movie hop on over to her blog (later Thursday for this week. She’s been delayed.)

I don’t know if Kajta will have a post today or not but if she does you can find her blog here.

Next up in our lineup for movies to watch:

Operation Petticoat (May 11)

Suspicion (May 18)

Notorious (May 25)

Spring of Cary: My Favorite Wife

For the third movie in Spring of Cary (Grant) with Erin from Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs (and anyone else who wants to join – I’m looking at you kajta, but I know you’ve been busy), we watched My Favorite Wife with Cary and Irene Dunne.

Yes, Irene was in last week’s movie too.

This movie was an interesting concept – if not a bit crazy. Hopefully, you’ll be able to tell as I begin to write about this movie, that this is meant to be a comedy. In fact it was defined back then and now as a screwball comedy.

A man wants to get married, but before he can, he must declare his first wife Ellen (Irene) dead. She’s been missing at sea and was believed drowned seven years earlier.

It turns out, however, that she is not dead, and she returns while Nick Arden (Cary) is on his honeymoon with wife number two, Bianca (Gail Patrick).

Nick is of course shocked and now has no idea what to do because he has two wives.

It turns out Ellen was stranded on an island all those years and it would have been lonely for her if it wasn’t for Steve Burkett (Randolph Scott) who was stranded with her.

That’s a fact she doesn’t immediately admit to her husband and a fact he’s not real pleased with, even though he’s remarried.

That new wife, by the way, is not a very nice woman.

Oh and don’t forget that Nick and Ellen have two children together and all of that will have to be figured out as well.

To break the news to Nick, Ellen heads to his honeymoon, which was the same hotel and place they had their honeymoon, I might add. How tacky is that of him?!

As the movie goes on we the viewers now have to figure out who we want Nick to end up with and for me, of course, it’s Ellen (Irene), his first wife.

It’s clear from the moment that Nick sees his first wife that he is still in love with her.

The problem is that he has to find a way to tell Bianca that his first wife has returned and this is a task he drags out in comical ways. He drags it out so long that eventually, Ellen has to pretend to be a visitor of Nick’s mother. A wild Southern friend.

Of course, the movie keeps it tasteful and never touches on Nick and Bianca “consummating” the marriage, which we are guessing they never have.

Even though Bianca is stuck up, it is very unfair of Nick to keep dragging it out and not tell her the truth. She believes he’s her husband and that he might be running around behind her back. He keeps chickening out because he doesn’t want to upset her but she’s already upset, thinking something horrible is wrong with her and he’s fallen out of love with her.

Every time he has a chance to tell her the truth something interrupts them and he runs off again, leaving her in even more despair.

Of course, one of these interruptions comes from an insurance man who reveals that Ellen was stranded on the island with another man for seven years. Not only that but the man is quite interested in her and he lets Nick know about it.

This was a hilariously ridiculous movie, if not a little bit cringeworthy at times.

I mean are we really supposed to expect they were on an island seven years and nothing “untoward” happened? Hmmm….Well, I suppose it is a movie so we can suspend belief for a bit.

This movie was very similar to The Awful Truth, including Cary’s purposeful awkwardness and the silly and suggestive ending.

Overall it was a cute movie, but I wouldn’t say it was one of my favorites of Cary’s.

Have you ever seen the movie? What did you think about it?

To read Erin’s impression of the movie, visit her blog here:

The rest of the movies we will be watching for Spring of Cary include:

An Affair To Remember (April 27)

Holiday (May 4)

Operation Petticoat (May 11)

Suspicion (May 18)

Notorious (May 25)

The Spring of Cary: Houseboat (1958)

I love this graphic that Erin madr

Today Erin of Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs, and I are starting a spring feature called Spring of Cary Grant. We will be watching one Cary Grant movie a week and sharing our impressions of it on Thursdays.

I gathered this list of movies together not because they are his best movies, but because I either hadn’t seen them yet or had not seen them in years.

This week we are writing about Houseboat. Next week we will be writing about The Awful Truth.

Houseboat was released in 1958 and stars Cary and Sophia Loren.

Cary plays Tom Winters, a man whose estranged wife has passed away.

Sophia portrays Cinzia Zaccardi, the daughter of a famous Italian composer who is in the United States while he is touring and wants to experience life in the United States before she has to go back. She’s supposed to be 22 and I thought she looked older but she was actually 24 when the movie was made.

Cary was 54. I’ll just leave that where it is.

The opening of the movie was pretty heartbreaking and it doesn’t give too much away to say that the mother of Tom’s children has passed away and their father, who they rarely see, has returned from Europe. He was preparing to divorce their mother and they had been separated for four years so he didn’t know the children very well.

There is a definite undercurrent of sadness in the movie, but thankfully there is plenty of comedy.

As we get into the movie we realize Cary’s character truly is clueless about how to be a father.

He’s also a bit of a jerk. Then again the other men in the movie are sort of jerks too. Most of them needed slapping. A few of the women did as well.

Luckily,  he learns how to be a better father and a better person as the movie goes on.

There are some downright ridiculous moments in this movie, but I need a bit of ridiculous this week.

There were also a lot of heartbreaking moments of children really acting out in grief and their lives being turned upside down.

The child actors were excellent in this. I think they might have actually had more range than Cary in this one.

There was something awkward about this movie for me and I thought it was only because of the age gap, but when I read about the movie and how it came about, the awkwardness continued.

According to IMBD: “The original screenplay was written by Betsy DrakeCary Grant‘s wife at the time. Grant originally wanted it to star her, but his extramarital affair with Sophia Loren complicated the project. Grant decided to have Loren replace Drake. Adding insult to injury, it was drastically rewritten to accommodate Loren by two other writers, Jack Rose and Melville Shavelson (who also directed), bearing little resemblance to her original script, she received no writing credit, and the reworked script was Oscar®-nominated for Best Original Story and Screenplay.”

Ouch. I can’t even imagine that heartache. But here is some more complication – Sophia apparently wasn’t as in love with Cary as he was with her because before filming started she married another man, which is why I think the chemistry between them really wasn’t there for me. Cary, who was reportedly heartbroken, tried to back out of the movie but couldn’t because of his contract and so the director helped make it go smoothly – how, I have no idea.

I guess Cary got over it eventually since he was married five times (two times after that) Ha!

I guess this wasn’t a great kick off for The Spring of Cary Grant – learning about his personal life, but I still enjoy his movies. I hope that he apologized to his previous wife for that one before they both passed away. Eek! I did read that they actually remained friends until his death, so I think they did make amends.

Also, Cary had a lot of issues from his childhood that he carried into adulthood and that affected his relationships with women, unfortunately. It’s not an excuse but it does help me understand his issues in that area a little bit better.

And, again, it doesn’t take away from his acting ability or his movies.

I’m looking forward to writing about The Awful Truth next week, which I already watched when I planned on doing this feature myself. I’m so glad Erin decided to jump in with me. You can find her impressions of Houseboat on her blog.

The movies of Cary’s that we will be watching next include:

The Awful Truth

My Favorite Wife

An Affair To Remember


Operation Petticoat



Summer of Paul: Sweet Bird of Youth

I decided about a month ago that I would start watching Paul Newman movies for fun this summer. I started with Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, at the suggestion of Erin at Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs, and then stumbled on to a list of Paul Newman movies on a movie site to sort of guide me.

I have a lot of catching up to do on this list and hope to get to as many of them as possible through August. So far this summer, I have watched Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Long Hot Summer, Paris Blues, and Sweet Bird of Youth. In the past, I have watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Exodus.

Up this week will be The Rack and The Hustler. The Husband wants me to watch The Hustler with him this weekend.

Before the summer ends, I hope to get to:

Cool Hand Luke (which I watched once many years ago),

Somebody Up There Likes Me

Rachel Rachel (which he directed and stars his wife Joan)

The Color of Money


Nobody’s Fool

The Sting

The Verdict

And the documentary series about him and his wife, Joan Woodward:

The Last Movie Stars

The documentary is on HBO Max, but I will have to get a subscription to watch it because we were sharing a subscription with someone, and they got rid of their subscription. We will see what can be done, but, man, a subscription to HBO Max is expensive now! Maybe they will have a sale.

I have digressed quite a bit here because I had planned for this post to be about Sweet Bird of Youth, which I watched a couple of weeks ago. This is yet another movie that Paul was in that was based on a Tennessee Williams play. I didn’t realize that Paul had been in more than one movie based on Williams’ plays until I started watching his movies this summer.

I had never heard of Sweet Bird of Youth before and for a movie made in 1962, it was quite dark and heavy and also seemed ahead of its time somehow. The acting was absolutely stellar all the way around. The overall story was gritty and raw, focusing on some serious issues, at least one of which I don’t want to share because it will be a spoiler. A couple of the issues I can mention are alcoholism, drug (pot) use, promiscuity, domestic abuse, power-hungry politicians, greed, and nepotism.

Paul’s shirt was off quite a few times in this movie, which wasn’t a bad thing to me but did drive my son nuts because every time he walked in the room, there was a shirtless Paul Newman.

“Just go back to watching your movie with that shirtless guy,” he told me one day to avoid discussing his need to eat healthier food (or maybe it was about his need to clean his room. I lose track of our discussions now that he is a teenager).

In addition to Paul, the movie starred Ed Begley (wow. His performance made me want to reach through the screen and slap him! Dang!), Shirley Knight (she was stunning and so perfect in that part), Rip Torn (didn’t even recognize him, he was so young), Geraldine Page, and Madeline Sherwood.

Here is a small description of the movie I found online: “After unsuccessfully trying his luck in Hollywood, charming gigolo Chance Wayne (Paul Newman) wanders back to his hometown, accompanied by Alexandra Del Lago (Geraldine Page), a movie star on the wane. Chance quickly falls back into his old rut — he’s still smitten with his former sweetheart, Heavenly Finley (Shirley Knight), but her thuggish brother (Rip Torn) and her crooked politician father (Ed Begley) both hate him. When Alexandra leaves town, Chance is left with little more than trouble.”

I do recommend the movie, but I will warn you that it is not a happy Paul and some of the topics are a bit uncomfortable. I am not giving rankings to the movies I am watching but if I was, I’d give this one a five out of five.

Classic Movie Impressions: Blue Hawaii

I have been trading classic movie suggestions this summer with Erin from Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs.

The movies we have given our impressions of so far have been

A Streetcar Named Desire

Cat on A Hot Tin Roof

The Thin Man

Double Indemnity

On her blog today, Erin is discussing To Catch A Thief, a favorite Hitchcock film of mine. I am going to be discussing Blue Hawaii, as the blog post title suggests.

When Erin suggested this movie, I was fine with it because I was sure it would be fun and if nothing else, the music would be good. Because my mom was always a huge fan of Elvis I knew quite a bit about him from a music stand point but I’ve only seen clips of his acting.

I do believe I saw part of this movie years ago. I expected it be a pretty big Cheese Fest, but I didn’t mind. With the way the world’s been lately, watching something light and cheesy is fine with me.

And yeah, there was some cheese to it, but it was also much better than I expected. Plus, Elvis’ voice on Can’t Help Falling in Love With You totally reminded me why so many people loved his singing and not just those swinging hips.

My mom was a huge Elvis fan when she was a teenager. She was raised by a strict, stereotypical Southern father who declared he would not have any of his daughters screaming about some boy swinging his hips. So one night when my mom and her sisters and their aunt (who is only a year older than my mom) were watching him on The Ed Sullivan Show, my mom said they tried to be very calm and not scream when he came on screen.

The bad thing was that her aunt grabbed my mom’s knee, and my mom can’t stand anyone to touch her knee because she’s very ticklish. She screamed when my aunt grabbed her knee, which brought my grandfather’s stern response of, “I will not have anyone screaming for that boy in my house!” My mom did her best to explain to him what had happened, but I’m not sure he believed her.

He must not have been too upset by my mom’s scream, though, because he took my mom and her sisters to see Elvis at a local high school at some point after he was on The Ed Sullivan Show. If you knew how my grandfather was back then, this would surprise you. I know it surprised me.

Anyhow, I digress. Blue Hawaii is a simple film about Elvis who returns to the island of Hawaii after serving in the military. His parents want him to work for his father in the pineapple business, but he wants to make it on his own, which, of course, causes tension. His quest for independence allows several opportunities for him to croon 14 different songs throughout the 1 hr 41 minute movie.

I wasn’t expecting Elvis to be a very good actor and he wasn’t stellar, but he also wasn’t that bad. He was certainly better than many of the actors of today. His long, dark eyelashes and pouty lips certainly didn’t hurt his appearance on screen.

This movie also stars Angela Lansbury as his mother. She portrays an over-the-top Southern mother who likes to remind everyone how rich they are. She’s also fairly racist, which is illuded to but not explicitly shown. She’s not a huge fan of her son’s girlfriend, a native girl who is bi-racial — part Hawaiian and part French. The suggestion is that one reason she’s not impressed with the girl is her background, but that’s only subtly suggested because the movie is very light for the most part. Plus, all of that is put aside as the movie moves on and the attitude of Elvis’ mother changes toward the girlfriend and his effort to make a way on his own.

Speaking of  his girlfriend in the movie (Joan Blackman), according to Express, which is a UK publication, Elvis fell in love with her and asked her to marry him. He met her in 1958, before they filmed Blue Hawaii, and chased her and begged her to be in the movie with him.

Joan said: When we first set eyes on each other (in 1957), there was a spark, a magic in the air… There was just that special something between us, sometimes so warm and wonderful you could almost reach out and touch it.”

In 1977 she told a magazine that she and Elvis had adjoining hotel rooms during the filming of the movie and essentially lived together for weeks. Of course Elvis was dating Priscilla at the time and she and Joan looked a lot alike.

I should add that this Express magazine site looks a bit like a gossip site, so take all of this with a grain of salt.

Back to the movie, because I have digressed again.

I loved the music and scenery in this movie. I wouldn’t say the movie is a super accurate portrayal of what Hawaii is really like, but it doesn’t mock the natives of the islands and instead brings the viewers attention to some of the more interesting aspects of the islands’ diverse cultures.

I will say that according to this movie, Hawaii is a place where bare-chested men always ride the seas in little boats with a guitar so they can sing. I’ve never been there before so for those of you who have — is this true?!

If you are looking for a deep plot, this movie is definitely not what you want to watch. It’s essentially one big concert movie with very little plot. That, however, is exactly what I needed last week when I watched it.

Have you ever seen Blue Hawaii? What did you think of it?

Classic movie impression: Streetcar Name Desire

Erin from Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs and I, are trading classic movies this summer. She gives me a suggestion and I give her one and then we will write a post with our impressions of the movie we watched.

This week I suggested Double Indemnity for Erin (because I kid you not, I was about to suggest Key Largo and she was already going to watch it. We think along the same lines sometimes and sometimes we are totally on the opposite side of things. It makes life interesting. *wink*) and she suggested Streetcar Named Desire from 1951.

I have watched a couple of scenes from Streetcar Named Desire (Stella! Stella!!) but had never watched the entire movie. Erin is a huge fan of the young Marlon Brando, which is why she suggested this one. It is, as she said and I agree, one of his best.

His character is not “the best” of course. In fact, Stanley Kowalski is a complete jerk and Brando pulls it off amazingly well. His acting is flawless which may be because he was also playing the character on Broadway when they decided to film the movie, which is based on a play by Tennessee Williams.

In fact, everyone in the film, from what I’ve read, with the exception of Vivian Leigh who plays Blanch Dubois, was from the original play. Leigh was added to add more star power to the movie.

Brando was so natural and real in this – it was like I was watching a reality TV show in some ways and that’s not a good thing.

Vivian Leigh was apparently good at playing flirtatious women because here she was yet again needing attention from men just like in Gone with the Wind, where she played Scarlet.

It was awful to watch everyone, especially Stanley and Blanche, manipulate those around them, mainly Stella who wasn’t an angel but was really caught in the middle most of the time. I don’t want to give away anything for someone who hasn’t seen the movie (though it is over 50 years old, others could be like me and have never watched it), but watching Blanche pretty much falls apart more and more as she can’t keep her façade up is heartbreaking to watch. She creepily reminds me of a family member by marriage. She’s told so many lies she doesn’t know what reality is anymore.

I read after I watched the movie that the message of the play and the movie was that Blanche and Stella were both victims of societal pressures placed on them by men’s idea of how women should be treated in postwar America. Huh. Okay, we can go with that but I also felt like the sisters didn’t have a very warm upbringing, maybe from abusive homes, so that made them look for love and security in all the wrong places — mainly with men. Stella seems to suffer from the same issues abused women suffer from, which is the fear to leave their abusive spouse for a few reasons, including the fact they think no one else will want them. In Stella’s case, she also fell for Stanley’s good looks and the dangerous edge to his personality.

Whatever the theme and whatever the issues of the women, the acting was superb and focusing on the acting helped take my mind off the sobering subject matter of the movie.

If you are among the few that have not seen the movie, I do recommend it, but be aware the subject matter is dark and you are constantly worrying about what bad is going to happen next. To distract yourself from the tough subjects, do what I did and focus on the acting instead.