Tag Archives: hypothetical movies

And That’s Why Career Girls Shouldn’t Get Married

22 Sep

Posted as part of the Breaking News:  Journalism in Classic Film Blogathon, hosted by Comet Over Hollywood.

As everyone knows, career women (especially in classic films) are a rare breed of diseased characters who need to be cured through domestication.  Once married to a good man, a (former) career woman presumably lives a normal life, inoculated against her unnatural occupational fixations with the wholesome combination of kids and dogs and bacon and eggs and draperies.

However, not many films explore how this domestication might actually play out.  Crime of Passion (1957) starring Barbara Stanwyck, Sterling Hayden, and Perry Mason (Raymond Burr, that is) takes the career woman character to her logical–and tragic–end.

First a Synopsis

Our story begins with a newspaper truck barreling through San Francisco.  On the side we see this advertisement.

Read Kathy Ferguson

So we see this picture of our protagonist, Kathy Ferguson, and we see she’s one of those “Dear Abby” type columnists, and we’re probably supposed to think she’s all soft and feminine and sympathetic and all that.

And then we cut to the newsroom, where Barbara Stanwyck is Barbara Stanwyck-ing around, wearing practical clothes, trading wry witticisms with coworkers, and generally showing she’s not as prissy as we might imagine a ladies’ columnist to be.

Her editor sends her out to get a scoop on “the Dana woman”–a woman accused of killing her husband in Los Angeles and holing up someplace in San Francisco–and write a piece from some lady angle.  She at first does not want to go because she’s got other stuff to do, but he says they can just run some of her trash from last month and nobody will notice.  She reluctantly goes to the pressroom at the police station or wherever, and everybody’s on a personhunt for “the Dana woman,” including two detectives from Los Angeles–Captian Alidos and Lieutenant Doyle (Sterling Hayden).  Alidos tells her point blank, “Your job should be raising a family and having dinner ready for your husband.”  This is her response:

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If Everything Were Written by Charlotte Brontë

30 Mar

What if everything were written in the same mellifluous, melodramatic style as Jane Eyre?  Wouldn’t life be glorious?

If Double Indemnity were written by Charlotte Brontë, that scene where Phyllis and Walter confront each other in Phyllis’s living room might go a little something like this…

venetian blinds stanwyck

Rather dimly do I recall the events of this evening, though it was not long ago.  Presently, as the very life blood pours out of me, the memories come to me as through a haze, some dingy fog that might be seen in a great coastal town on a moonless, dreary night–and understandably so as I look through my mind’s eye at the scene.

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A Day in the Life of a Star Trek Director

6 Mar

Good morning, everyone.  Quiet on set, please.

No, put down that bat’leth.  We’re using it in next week’s episode, and I don’t need it getting lost among all those leola root props.

Ok, let’s look at what we’ve got on the docket today… Hmm… A scene in engineering and two on the bridge.  That means we’ve got a lot of technobabble today.  Let’s start with some vocal warm-ups.

What a to do to die today at a minute or two till two.  A thing distinctly hard to say but harder still to do.

Faster now.

Red leather yellow leather, aluminum linoleum, red leather yellow leather, aluminum linoleum.

All right.  To engineering.

I need six extras to stand around in the back.  I want stage chatter, but not too much.  You, the one in make-up already:   Look really concerned.  You, the tall one: look mad as hell.  You, the short one:  Act like a Maquis.

What do you mean what’s that supposed to mean?  Hell if I know.  I haven’t directed this before.  It’s what’s in the script.  Find your inner freedom fighter and channel it.

What?  Yeah, good idea.  Play the scene while mentally singing “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”  Nice.

All right, leads.  Find the x’s you’re supposed to stand on.

Yes.  I know there’s only one x.  Both of you stand on it.

Don’t bother with the logistics.  I want you both in the same spot.

Good scene, everybody.  Good take.  Let’s go on to the bridge.

All right.  I need four extras this time.  You with the hair: Pretend you don’t have hair.  You without the hair:  Pretend you do have hair.  Other two:  Pretend your dog just got run over, and the captain just bought you a new dog.

Ok, leads.  This is what I want you to do: Walk toward each other until your noses touch, then the one on stage left will step back half a step.  This is where I want you to play the scene.  I hope everyone brushed his or her teeth this morning.

Great scene, everybody.  Next we’ve got our other bridge scene.  The alien that comes on the viewscreen has twelve ears, and the rest of his face is a chin.  You will all act as if this is something you see every day, except you–guy with the earring–will raise an eyebrow.

Then Twelve Ears will come in off the turbolift.  Captain, I need you to sit in his lap when he sits down.

Where does he sit down?  Ha.  Yes.  Good question.  He will sit on that console, and you will sit on his knee.

No, no, no.  Don’t play the scene as though you’re in love with him.  Play it like you’re in love with everyone else and are using him to make everyone else jealous.

Yes… yes… good… good.  Touch him more.  Yes.

Great work.

Tomorrow we’ll tackle the holodeck scene, and I’ll need everyone to come in wearing bikinis.

Ok.  Who’s up for burgers?

Dueling Country Divas (And Their Diva Duel Movies That Might Have Been)

12 Dec

Backlots once again is hosting the Dueling Divas Blogathon, which highlights glamorous classic movie stars who hate each other glamorously and fight out their troubles glamorously.  I’m participating in this officially a little later on, but I want to kick things off a little early with a pre-blogathon post that doesn’t exactly fit the criteria.

I’ve chosen five classic country songs that feature ladies in varying degrees of duels.  Each song, in my opinion, would have made a great classic diva duel movie.  Therewith, I will share with you why the ladies in these songs are divas and how the movie that could’ve been made might’ve looked (and I apologize in advance for all the crappy posters).

Honorable Mention:  Jeannie C. Riley’s “Harper Valley PTA

The Song:  A sassy widow, the bane of Harper Valley, exposes the PTA as the hypocrites they are when they have the nerve to send a note home criticizing her lifestyle choices.

Main Diva:  The sassy widow shows her divatude in the climactic confrontation with the PTA.

Supporting Diva: Shirley Thompson, PTA board member, who, if you smell her breath, “you’ll find she’s had a little nip of gin.”  There are many antagonists in this story; however, I think Shirley would make the best lead because there’s a lot of inherent pathos in being an alcoholic.

The Movie:  I know there’s already a movie, and I’ve seen parts of it many years ago, but I imagine this starring Ginger Rogers–maybe as a post-Primrose Path or Kitty Foyle endeavor, where she is from the wrong side of the tracks and works her way up and marries a rich dude and then is jilted by him (and then he up and dies), and then the movie includes some flashbacks to life before Harper Valley and then some Stella Dallas-esque scenes of her embarrassing her daughter (the narratrix of the movie, like the song) and then the climactic showdown.  Meanwhile, a glamorously and furtively drunk Ann Sothern–a woman both hard and soft who delivers one-liners like an absolute champ but who can also convey deep emotions–plays Shirley Thompson, whose marriage to Mr. Thompson is on the rocks, and she has her own troubles when Ginger Rogers rolls into town.  The ladies hate each other at first, but then they come to an understanding after the showdown because Ginger’s dad was an alcoholic and ya da da.  And maybe at the happy ending they trade recipes and snicker about the gal who’s having an affair with the ice man.

Harper Valley PTA

***

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Dear Googlers 2: Some More Letters to Some More People I’ve Never Met (Probably)

27 Oct

Dear Googlers Who Found My Blog Using the Search Terms “who played commander janeway in battlestar galactica”:

I wonder if this crossover is intentional.  If not, your brain accidentally made something up that my brain only wishes it had come up with.

So say we all,
Alexandra

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Dear Googlers Who Found My Blog Using the Search Terms “lady macbeth i started late and forgot the dog”:

You’re right!  I should write more about Lady Macbeth!

Unsex me here,
Alexandra

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Top 5 Sequels/Spin-Offs I Wish Existed

10 Jul

We’ve all got our “what if blah blah existed, wouldn’t it be the best thing ever?” lists.  I present one of mine (what sequels/spin-offs I wish would’ve or still would happen), complete with infographics.

#5: Ruthless People The Musical

The Original: In Ruthless People, a sweet but slightly bitter couple hard-up for cash (Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater) kidnap the wife (Bette Midler) of the man (Danny DeVito) who made them poor.  But the guy hates his wife and drags his feet giving them the ransom until he’s accused of her murder.  Misunderstandings, mistaken identities, and hilarity ensue, all ending in a big-ole seaside showdown.

The Proposed Sequel/Spin-Off: Same plot, plus songs by Bette Midler and Mick Jagger.  I’m debating whether it should be updated for the modern age.  I’m leaning toward yes because the movie is the ‘80s-est thing to exist, so the musical should be the 2010s-est thing to exist—heavy use of iPhone, skinny jeans, and pop-culture references, I’m thinking.
Highlights include the hit songs “The Kidnapped and Gettin’ Buff Blues” and “If We Look Like His Parents.”

Why It Would Be Spectacular:  I can’t think of a reason it wouldn’t be spectacular.  Big budget production numbers.  A gigantic cast.  Clever songs.  Sparkling dialogue.

Starring:

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Damages 3.8 Recap: When Frobisher Returns, and We All Groan Because He Is Ridiculous and Not That Interesting

9 Feb

Episode 8:  “I Look Like Frankenstein”

Previously on:  Frobisher!?!?!?  Ugh!!!!!

Flashforward:  Ok, that thing that I thought might’ve been one of those bookends that killed Ellen’s fiancé is not a bookend; it’s a bobble head on Tom’s dash.  We see from the driver’s perspective (so we still don’t know who ran Patty down).  We’ve got driving gloves and heavy breathing.

At the station, Magician Cop is talking to Ellen and writing stuff down with this pen that I also own—except mine has a pink shaft.  He tells Ellen that Patty has been in a car wreck.  Ellen’s asking a lot of questions about what happened.  She seems rather emotional but in a reserved, cagey Ellen way.  I can’t tell whether she knows more than she’s letting on. Then Magician Cop says, “You’re good at puzzles, right?”  and proceeds to tear up a piece of paper into “puzzle pieces.”  How’s this paper going to help anything?  Maybe creepy-ass Magician Cop killed Tom.  What a weirdo.

Check out those stairs! Is this the same set as Patty’s house, or do Patty and Frobisher live in the same building? (They also have the same patio doors!)  PS, the guy in the background with the full beard is Actor, and that woman in the foreground is not integral to the plot whatsoever, but I love her because of this awesome face I accidentally captured her making.

3 months earlier, Frobisher’s having a fundraiser-type rich-people party in what looks like Patty’s house (but of course is not.  Frobisher and Patty always have the same taste in living arrangements—modern wood-and-glass fancy stuff).  He’s starting some green energy wind initiative or something ridiculous and says as part of his speech, “What is the point of doing anything unless you’re doing good?”  He talks about a movie star who supports his cause and has come to his party.

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If All Movies Had Been Made in the 1940s(ish)

17 Jan

Cracked.com ran a photoshop contest a while back with this same premise.

This is something I’ve thought about before, and continue to think about, especially when I watch movies that could have been infinitely more satisfying if they had shown the tiniest ounce of restraint/morals. 

So I’ve compiled this short list.  Some even have posters!

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