Category: 1950s


The Searchers

So, I don’t know why, but K has decided she needs to culture me up, which apparently includes making me watch a lot of old, albeit famous, movies.  Now before you go thinking I’m an uncultured yokel, I already do watch a lot of old movies, my tastes just lean more towards funny instead of the dramatic. For every Citizen Kane, I have watched an Arsenic and Old Lace.  Still, this is not cultured enough; hence yesterday’s post about Vertigo (which I am apparently going to have to watch again before I actually enjoy it) and today’s post for The Searchers.

If you go into the back room at my grandmother’s house, you may be startled by the tall man just standing there—believe me, it’s happened more than once—but there’s no need to worry because it is just her life-size cut out of the Duke.  Yes, my grandmother is a huge John Wayne fan, and her cut out is far from her only memorabilia.  Anytime any of her children or grandchildren find anything John Wayne related, we must instantly buy it for her, as it will be the perfect gift.

Given this heritage, you would think I would have seen every John Wayne movie out there, but that is not the case.  I think, including The Searchers, I have seen three (the other two are McLintock and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, just in case you were wondering) John Wayne movies. I think that if my grandma knew that she would disown me!

So, The Searchers.  I rather enjoyed this movie.  As K pointed out, it’s a great lesson in subtext.  John Wayne plays Ethan Edwards, a former Confederate soldier returning to his brother’s house in Texas after a long absence. Shortly after his arrival, a neighbors cows are stolen and the men in the small community go out to track down the culprits, but Ethan insists on going in his brother’s place.  Turns out the thievery was really a ploy by the local Comanches to get the menfolk away.  They kill all of Ethan’s family except for his two nieces.  Ethan and his brother’s adopted son spend the next five years tracking this particular group of Comanches to try to find his nieces. There’s heartache and humor along the way, and of course the Duke being the Duke.  I think he says, “That’ll be the day” about 50 times during the course of the movie.

China Glaze Wagon Trail

Since this is one of the few westerns I have ever seen, China Glaze’s Wagon Trail seemed appropriate.  I like that it is not a super bright and cheery color, as this seems to match the more somber tone of the movie.  This polish is a black base with multi-colored shimmer.  There’s some red, some green, and gold, among others.  It took three coats to be completely opaque, but I thought this was a nice formula.  Much like The Searchers, I quite liked Wagon Trail. ~E

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Vertigo

The first time I saw Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (which wasn’t very long ago, I’m ashamed to say), I was left scratching my head. What in the heck was that? I wondered. I didn’t feel like I’d enjoyed it very much, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. When I finally forced E to watch it, she didn’t like it either. But on second viewing, I found I enjoyed it thoroughly. I knew what was coming. I understood the character’s motivations even before they did. And I didn’t expend all of my energy trying to figure out if I was watching a paranormal romance, a thriller, or a whodunit mystery. The truth is, Vertigo is a bit of each. Or none of the above. Watch it yourself, and you’ll see what I mean.

Vertigo is the story of “Scottie” Ferguson (James Stewart, looking a little old, but still swoonworthy), a retired policeman who has a big problem with heights. Since he can barely stand up without getting debilitatingly dizzy, he feels he isn’t good for much until an old friend hires him to do a little private investigating. The friend wants Scottie to follow his wife, Madeline (Kim Novak) around and find out what she’s doing all day…not because she’s cheating, but because he believes she is being possessed by the suicidal spirit of her great-grandmother. Scottie is reluctant at first, but he quickly falls under Madeline’s spell and she under his.

Now, if that doesn’t sound complicated enough, just wait. That’s just setting the scene for the real meat of the film…which I won’t give away here.

The score is amazingly effective and surprisingly subtle (unlike the Psycho score, which is effective but totally unsubtle). This is Hitchcock at the top of his game and definitely a must see (twice!).

China Glaze Bad Landing

This is China Glaze’s Bad Landing, a shocking pink shimmer that applied like a dream (the above picture is 2 coats). If your eyes can stand this much pink, then you need this color. It’s kind of awesome, and I’m not even a pink fan. ~K

Calamity Jane

Calamity Jane is one of my favorite childhood memories. We used to have sleepovers at our Aunt Marta’s and stay up late watching old musicals and eating Doritos (something it seems we never got at home). To this day, I feel a Dorito craving whenever I watch this movie.

This is a very colorful, historically inacurate (but delightfully so) tale about Calamity Jane (Doris Day) and her (mis)adventures. Calamity is a rough and tumble gal with a bit of a bragging problem, so when she promises the men of Deadwood that she will bring back a famous actress to perform in their town theater, she goes to great lengths to follow through. Unfortunately, she returns with the actress’ maid, Katie (Allyn McLerie), who immediately wins the hearts of the Deadwood men, in particular Wild Bill Hickok (Howard Keel) and the lieutenant that Calamity has her eye on.

The songs are great, the acting is first-rate and Doris is positively adorable (if you ask me, she’s never been better than here.) Howard Keel is one of my leading man crushes, and when he sings my heart goes all wibbly-wobbly. These two leads have great chemistry (although, come to think of it, both Doris and Howard have great chemistry with their costars in pretty much every movie).

China Glaze Lasso My Heart

This picture is China Glaze’s Lasso My Heart (from the Rodeo Diva Collection), a plummy mauve shimmer. I am a sucker for this kind of color, so of course I love it. The application was lovely and this was opaque in 2 coats. So far, I have been thoroughly impressed with this collection. ~K

Watching this, I forgot how much I enjoy Disney’s Peter Pan. Sure, Captain Hook is more entertaining than threatening, but I get such a kick out of watching him run (swim) away from that crocodile, that I don’t so much mind that the only real danger in this film is the wrath of Tinkerbell.

This is your basic Peter Pan story–with the boy who won’t grow up, Wendy and her brothers, Neverland, Lost Boys, Pixies, Pirates, Indians and Mermaids. The animation is quite good and the vocal performances are great (my only quibble being that they got a boy–Bobby Driscoll–whose voice had already changed to play Peter). Some of the the songs are pretty snoozeworthy and the Native American scenes are decidedly not PC, but this is still a worthwhile watch…even if it’s just to watch the shenanigans of Captain Hook and Smee.

This is 2 coats of Jesse’s Girl’s Mermaid’s Lagoon, a lovely deep turquoise with orange shimmer. This was very nearly a 1 coater, but I had a little problem with the brush (too stiff) and so I needed 2. A very gorgeous polish. ~K

When we were little, we used to go to a video rental store called Video Heaven.  K always wanted to rent Sleeping Beauty.  Always.  The best part was that it terrified her, so she would only watch it if someone else would watch it with her.  That person was usually me.  Since I was still pretty young at the time, it scared me as well.  Maleficent was super scary.  I mean, she’s green for Heaven’s sake.  While watching this most recent time, K and I decided that part of the reason this movie is so scary is the music. (Go Tchaikovsky!)

That being said, this is one of my favorite animated Disney films, and definitely the best of the older princess movies (Snow White and Cinderella are not even close).  The animation is stunning, almost like a Gothic tapestry.  The voice work is also fantastic.  I think Prince Phillip might have been my first crush, mostly because of his dreamy voice (and don’t judge, there are some very attractive animated men out there).  Eleanor Audley plays Maleficient to terrifying perfection, and Mary Costa has the voice of an angel, especially when compared to Snow White’s grating vibratto.  Ugh!

By far the best part of the movie is the three good fairies: Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather.  They are adorably clueless, especially with gems like “There’s got to be a hole in the bottom” “That’s for the feet to go through” while making the dress, or “It will be thicker once it’s baked” in reference to the drippy cake that Fauna has already put candles on.  I also love the “Make it pink” “Make it blue” war that Flora and Merryweather have probably been fighting their entire lives.  Since there are three sisters in our family, we long ago decided that we are the three fairies (I’m Fauna, if anyone was wondering).

I also have to mention the scene where the two kings get drunk celebrating the marriage of their children, and then come to blows because they don’t know if the crazy kids will even like each other, since they haven’t met since Aurora’s birth.  I didn’t really get that they were drunk when I was little, but I still always thought it was funny.

Sleeping Beauty has two names in this movie: Aurora is the name her parents gave her and Briar Rose (which I always thought was kind of a weird name) is the name her fairy guardians gave her.  Therefore, Sephora + Pantone Universe’s Rose Dawn seemed like a fantastic polish for this movie.

So, I love this color.  It is a beautiful metallic pink/gold.  After painting my first nail, I was smitten.  It was smooth and super easy to apply.  Then, I moved on to the next nail and this polish did a complete 180.  It was gloopy and dried way too fast.  I really wanted to completely love this polish, but after the application debacle, I think I can only give it a so-so review.  This picture is two coats and a top coat.  I wouldn’t say the polish was necessarily dull, but the top coat definitely brought out the shine. ~E

Cinderella is not my favorite fairytale. She’s like the whimpiest princess there is (except for maybe Snow White…but that’s for another day). She allows herself to be made a virtual slave in her own house, something she puts up with for years. Then, when she doesn’t get to go to the ball, she blubbers like a baby until a deus ex machina (aka fairy godmother) appears and gets her all dolled up. The only brave thing Cinderella does is show up at the ball, which I admit, I probably wouldn’t have the guts to do. (Everybody was staring right at her, for Pete’s sake!) Anyway, the Prince is wooden and has maybe two lines of dialogue (Prince Phillip he is not!). The King and the Grand Duke are by far my favorite part of this movie (which is funny, because I didn’t understand them when I was little…back then, I thought the mice were the funniest parts).

Overall, not my favorite Disney, probably because I was overexposed to it as a child (along with Bambi, Lady and the Tramp and Pinocchio). Lady Tremaine is a very nasty piece of work (as E said: Maleficent is scary, but the wicked stepmother is evil). Also up for consideration as most evil character in Cinderella? Lucifer the Cat. I just want to make guitar strings out of him!

Here’s another on the nose polish: Sinful Colors Cinderella. This one so perfectly captures Disney’s Cinderella that I couldn’t resist. It’s a vibrant sky blue with flecks of pink/orange shimmer. The downside is that it is pretty sheer…3 coats in this picture. But it’s so darn beautiful that I forgive it it’s sheerness. I guess I could layer it over something… ~K

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