Category: 1960s

The Great Race

The Great Race is one of the best movies ever.  Yeah, I went there.  But seriously, if you haven’t seen it, as K would say, go do it immediately.  If you enjoy zany, mad-cap movies, this one’s the granddaddy.  And I love it.

Jack Lemon is at the top of his game, and his game is always good, as the black-clad, mustache-twirling villain, Professor Fate and as his doppelganger Prince Hapnick.  Tony Curtis is equally smarmy and charming as the hero with the sparkling smile, and Natalie Wood is fantastic as a suffragette who insists on equality between the sexes, but uses her feminine wiles to get her way.

The Great Leslie (Tony) and Professor Fate are arch rivals in just about everything they do.  When Leslie comes up with the idea for a race from New York to Paris, Professor Fate is determined to beat him.  Maggie Dubois has determinations of her own, which include being the only journalist to cover the entire race.  They, along with Professor Fate’s assistant Max (Peter Faulk) and Leslie’s (Keenan Wynn), have many misadventures along the way.  There’s a bar fight in the old west, crossing the pacific on an iceberg, and quite possibly the most awesome pie fight ever filmed.

China Glaze Street Racing

This picture is two coats of China Glaze’s Street Racing.  I really like the color of this polish.  It’s weird, but I’m not a huge fan of orange, but I have always liked it on my nails.  Anyway, the coverage was good, but the formula was a little runny, which was a bit problematic.  My only caution, if you use this polish, start slowly so you don’t overdo it.  A little goes a long way. ~E

Babes in Toyland

I always loved Babes in Toyland when I was little.  I thought Annette Funicello was beautiful as Mary and I’m pretty sure Tommy Sands was one of my first crushes as Tom Piper.  Ray Bolger was appropriately menacing as the villain Barnaby (remember I was a kid) and Henry Calvin and Gene Sheldon were hilarious as his cronies (again, I plead being a kid).

Now that I am older, I can see the cheesiness of it all, but it is still a fun holiday movie.  Barnaby is now considerably funnier than he is scary.  No matter how old I get however, Ed Wynn as the Toymaker and Tommy Kirk as his assistant are always funny.

Mary Contrary and Tom Piper are about to be married, but because Mary will come into a large inheritance upon her marriage, Barnaby just can’t have that.  He hires Gonzorgo and Roderigo to kidnap Tom and drop him into the sea.  Instead, they decide to sell Tom to a band of gypsies, which of course backfires.  After Barnaby steals Mary’s livelihood, a flock of sheep, he convinces her that she has no choice but to marry him.  To celebrate Mary’s second engagement in as many days, Barnaby hires a band of gypsies as entertainment.  Needless to say, Tom is revealed to be alive, which doesn’t best please Barnaby.

The children in Mary’s care (I’m not sure whose children they are or how they came to be in Mary’s care) decide to find their lost sheep in the Forest of No Return, where they are captured by the trees.  Luckily, Mary and Tom find them just before they are delivered to the custody of the Toymaker of Toyland.  The Toymaker and his apprentice are in a bit of a crunch, as they won’t have enough toys for Christmas.  The children, along with Mary and Tom, agree to help them make the toys.

Meanwhile, Barnaby and his associates are plotting their revenge.  I won’t go into all the details, but I will say that it involves a shrink gun and a battle with toy soldiers.

OPI You're a Doll

In one scene, Mary and Tom sing a song about a doll.  It’s actually one of my least favorite scenes, but it made a nice connection to the chosen polish for this movie.  OPI’s You’re a Doll is quite a lovely polish.  It’s sort of a dusty rose, light lavender shimmery base with micro red glitter.  It is pretty sheer, and this picture is three coats.  Although it took multiple coats to be opaque, I still liked this polish.  Overall, a fun movie and a fun polish! ~E

Wait Until Dark is a scary movie. And not in a gory or ghostly way, but in an extremely tense and dark way. (Literally dark…there’s a scene that is completely black and you can only hear what’s going on.) The fabulous Audrey Hepburn plays Susy, a recently blinded woman who is targeted by three con-men who are looking for a heroin-stuffed porcelain doll in her apartment. Apparently, Susy’s not so bright husband (Efram Zimbalist, Jr.) brought the doll through customs for a stranger (that’s why you never hold someone else’s bag in an airport, right?) and then lost it. The con-men start a sick game, in which they try to trick the innocent Susy into revealing the doll’s location. Unfortunately for two of these baddies (Richard Crenna and Jack Weston) the third is a real psychopath (Alan Arkin) who is willing to kill anyone (and everyone) to get what he wants.

One of the things that makes this film so effective is its claustrophobic setting. All of the action takes place in Susy’s tiny New York apartment, and when they start turning the lights out, I feel like I’m the one being boxed in.

The performances from the two leads (Hepburn and Arkin) are quite excellent and gripping. The final showdown scene is one of the most terrifying things ever. I prepare myself for it, and yet I still jump every time. (There may or may not have been some girlish squealing, too…I couldn’t say…) Henry Mancini’s spooky, off-key score doesn’t help matters. The jangly, out of tune piano bumps the tension quota up several more notches. Don’t watch this one alone at night. You’ll regret it if you do. You’ve been warned.

This is 3 coats of China Glaze’s Near Dark from their Haunting Collection (Halloween 2011). It’s a very deep green creme, almost black, but not quite. This had a very thin formula, which was pretty disappointing, but I do like me some dark polishes. Maybe just not ones that need so many coats. ~K

I have a confession to make: I love Peter O’Toole. I know, the age difference is insurmountable…not to mention the fact that we have never met (and probably never will). But I have seen just about every movie he’s ever made (even the really weird ones…What’s New Pussycat anyone?) and I’ve concluded that my love is eternal.

Anyway, How to Steal a Million is one of Peter’s best. He’s a charming private detective specialising in art forgery, while Audrey Hepburn is the daughter of an incorrigible art forger. She catches Peter in the act of examining one of her father’s ersatz Van Goghs and assumes he is an art thief. She enlists his aid in a scheme to steal a fake sculpture from a high security Paris museum, and since he finds her so fetching, he decides to help. Their scheme goes off without a hitch and, in the process, they fall in love.

Audrey is beautiful (as always) and full of adorable naiveté (which is odd considering her family’s underhanded business dealings) and Hugh Griffith is good fun as her morally clueless father. John Williams channels Henry Mancini for one of his early scores and Givenchy costumes Ms. Hepburn in some real humdingers (like the lace face mask she wears for her shady meeting with Peter).

And as for Peter, he is very funny (if you’ve seen Lawrence of Arabia, you might not believe me, but it’s true…he can be funny) and obviously relishes the part. His chemistry with Audrey is outstanding and he adds a lot of little quirky touches to his character that makes him all the more endearing. All in all, a fun little caper, totally worth the watch.

My polish for How to Steal a Million is Finger Paints Art of Theft. It is a beautiful dark blue with tiny flecks of pink and purple shimmer (it actually looks purple in the bottle, so the vibrant blue came as a surprise). This picture is 2 coats and I had a little bit of bubbling, so I added a thick layer of topcoat to even things out. So lovely! One of my new favorites. ~K

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