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Vigor of Chicago
In print,
through the
on any
Greatest Christmas Movie
People had been through enough
hardship and sacrifice and maybe
were weary of this film's message of
one's obligation to one's fellow man and the
importance of sacrificing your dreams for
others' well-being. I have found this film's
message very troubling and have often voiced
my dislike of it, courting physical danger from
proponents of the Bedford Falls saga. Jimmy
Stewart is on record as saying this is his
favorite film of his career. I don't believe him.
Not when he played the leads in Vertigo, The
Shop Around The Corner, Rear Window and
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. As an
alternative, try Christmas In Connecticut from
1945. Much slighter than It's A Wonderful Life,
it is also much cozier and sweeter. For a good
dash of comedy you have supporting actors of
the caliber of Sydney Greenstreet, S. Z. Sakall
and Una O'Connor. Plus a love story centered
on the very sexy Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis
Morgan. I look forward to seeing Macushla
every year.
Greatest Comedy
I do not like Some Like It Hot. I find
it nasty, sexist and boring. I don't say
this too loudly in public for the same
reason that I don't express my true
feelings about It's A Wonderful Life. However,
I do love The Palm Beach Story by genius
producer-writer-director Preston Sturges. This
film is an absurdist trip down the rabbit hole
worthy of Lewis Carroll. Insane situation piles
up on top of insane situation, leading to an
exhilarating, insane climax. Along the way, we
encounter some of the wisest observations of
love ever made. The dialog is so fast and so
brilliant that you might not get just how
brilliant this film is the first time around, but,
lest you fear that it is simply a brainy comedy
of manners, rest assured that there is enough
slapstick to satisfy your baser comedy needs.
Claudette Colbert and Joel McCrea's madcap
journey from Manhattan to Palm Springs leads
to mind-boggling encounters with a canvas of
characters as varied as an oracular Pullman Car
conductor, the Princess Centimiglia, the
libidinous sister of the Rockerfelleresque Rudy
Vallee and of course, the Wienie King, who is
the closest I have seen to a Deus-Ex-Machina in
American film.
Written by: Mitchell Brown for Vigore