Psycho (1960)

Alfred Hitchcock may have been known as the “Master of Suspense.” But, he created one of the best known horror films of all time. In the 1960 horror classic Psycho there are twists and turns surrounding a reclusive young man and the motel that he and his mother run.

Marion Crane wants to help her boyfriend out of a financial situation. Her boyfriend, Sam, is in the middle of a messy divorce with his ex-wife wanting everything from him. One day at Marion’s job she is asked to deposit some money for a man. When Marion volunteers to do so she has an ulterior motive by taking the money and giving it to Sam. Upon returning to her apartment, she packs up and leaves. Along the way Marion becomes more paranoid imagining the voices of her boss and the man who she stole the money from. The next day she buys a new car after being followed by a policeman who caught he sleeping in her old car on the side of the road. Traveling along the way she starts to become tired again. With the rain coming down hard and fast, she decides to check into the motel that she sees.

The name of the motel is Bates Motel, when she goes into to get a room she meets Norman. When Norman asks her to stay and eat dinner with him, she finds him kind but stand offish. When Norman goes to tell his mother about the dinner, she hears a conversation about her with his mother referencing her as a whore. Knowing that there is something not quite right, Marion volunteers to eat dinner alone. Yet, Norman insists leading her into a strange conversation where she is even more put off by his attitude. After dinner Marion goes into her room where she counts the rest of the money that she has. Ultimately, she decides she wants to make things right and return the rest. However, she takes a shower and is killed by Norman’s mother. When Norman sees her body, he puts her in the trunk of her car and lets the car go down into a lake. Believing his crime to be covered up, he goes back.

A few days later Marion’s sister Lila approaches Sam at his job with a private investigator. Sam learns that Marion had stolen money and is wanted by the police. When he tells Lila that he has not heard from Marion the two start to work together in order to find out what happened. Yet, at the private investigator, Arbogast, insists on going alone at first. Arbogast happens upon the Bates Motel where he informs Norman of the missing Marion. Norman identifies a picture of Marion giving Arbogast more information. After meeting Norman, he realizes that something is not quite right. He decides to stay awhile and calls Lila and Sam to tell him of his location. When Arbogast goes inside the Bates house he is killed by Normans mother in the same way that Marion was killed, with a knife.

After not hearing from Arbogast, Lila and Same decide to take matters into their own hands. They go to the sheriff who tells him that it is likely that Marion and Arbogast just ran off. The sheriff proceeds to give them more unsettling information about Norman Bates and his mother, such as his mother being dead for several years. With the sheriff proving to be no help, Lila and Sam decide to go to the Bates Motel to look around some more. When they arrive they get a room and plot a way to get more information. Sam distracts Norman while Lila goes inside the Bates house. Once inside she discovers the truth that unravels to the mystery that has been surrounding the Bates Motel since her sister arrived. But, I won’t give out the secret.

Psycho is one of the most well known films of all time. Alfred Hitchcock directed this 1960 horror classic that startled audiences everywhere with the ending. On April 29, 1980, Alfred Hitchcock passed away leaving behind many more iconic works.

To Kill A Mockingbird

Harper Lee wrote one of the most beloved books of all time. To Kill A Mockingbird is a book that has been read time after time in high schools across America, only for many more people to enjoy this story. In 1962, To Kill A Mockingbird became a movie that reached critical acclaim everywhere.

The movie follows closely to the book by taking place in a small southern town. The narrator of the story is a young girl named Scout who learns that her father is defending a black man on trial for rape. Although, Scout is unaware of the severity of the crime she sees her family become more ostracized. When her father Atticus explains the reasoning behind this, Scout starts to understand more. As the film goes on we watch as Scout is able to live a life as normal as possible with her father going out of his way to protect his family. When Scout manages to make it into the courtroom for the final moments of the trial she watches in horror as Tom Robinson is sent to prison for a crime that he did not commit. It is obvious that the girl who accused Tom of raping her was lying, yet not even Atticus’s impassioned closing argument can sway the jury. Atticus tells Tom that he will appeal the judgement in hopes that Tom will be able to be set free. Unfortunately, Atticus receives the news that Tom was killed while trying to escape jail. When Atticus goes over to comfort Tom’s grieving family he is met by the father of girl who accused Tom of rape. He has been humiliated in the court room due to Atticus asking the questions about the crime his daughter was asked. As he leaves, he tells Atticus that he will get revenge for what he did to his family. Later on Scout and her brother Jeb go to a Halloween party where she is dressed up as a ham. On the way home Scout and Jeb are attacked by the fatehr of the young girl, but are saved by a mysterious figure. Once at home Scout is able to identify the man who had saved her and Jeb’s life as Boo Radley. Boo Radley is a local recluse who many of the kids believe had killed a man among many other rumors. The movie closes with Boo stepping out of the shadows as he is being thanked for saving the life of Atticus Finch’s children.

Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926, so today would have been her ninetieth birthday. To Kill A Mockingbird is a story that she wrote based on her childhood experiences in the south. Today, not only is her book beloved, but so is the movie that has many cheering over and over again.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Sandy Dennis was quite the versatile actress. In her life she won an Oscar and a Tony Award for her performances. She received both of these for her portrayal as a young wife in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? This play was made into a movie in 1966 with Sandy Dennis in it.

George and Martha are a middle aged married couple who are expecting a younger couple over for dinner. One Honey and Nick arrive the two start having a bickering conversation. This leads Martha and Honey to leave with Martha telling Honey about her and George’s son. Upon return George learns of this and is furious that Martha had shared this information with Honey. When George goes out to make coffee, Nick shares with George that he is more attractive to Honey’s wealth rather than her personally. After a bit, Honey and Nick decide to leave. But, George insists on driving them home after a night of heavy drinking. When the two couples come to a roadhouse, Martha decides she wants to go in and dance. Once inside Martha begins suggestively dancing with Nick, much to George and Honey’s displeasure. While Martha is dancing with Nick, George begins dancing with Honey, although not as suggestively as the other two. Martha begins to taunt George again with words causing him to go and unplug the jukebox. After this more words come out with Martha suggesting George killed his parents and George talking about a Midwest couple who suffered from a hysterical pregnancy. Eventually, George tells Honey why Nick married her and she runs out. Nick runs after her swearing revenge on George for what he did. George walks out into the parking lot admitting that he cannot stand his wife. Martha leaves with the car to go and pick up Honey and Nick. Once George returns home he finds that the car has crashed with a half conscious Honey inside with the shadows of Nick and Martha in the bedroom. Through Honey babbling, George suspects that instead of a hysterical pregnancy, Martha had an abortion. George starts to come up with a plan to get back at Martha for what she did. Upon entering the house, Martha accuses Nick of being sexually inadequate. George enters and starts talking to Martha about their son. This start to upset Martha as George goes on about how her abuse towards him and their son. as the conversation goes on Nick realizes that there never was a child to the married couple. George and Martha were unable to have children, so to fill the void they created an imaginary son who got killed in a car crash. This was supposed to be a secret between the two, until Martha broke the rule by telling Honey. Nick and Honey quietly depart leaving George and Martha. Martha tells George that she is afraid of Virginia Woolf after George asks.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is one of those films that you have to watch a couple of times in order to understand what is happening. The first time I saw it, I had no clue what was going on between the two couples, especially George and Martha. Sandy Dennis portrayed the young wife Honey in this move as well as the play. On April 27, 1937, Sandy Dennis was born, becoming best known for her role as Honey. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a 1966 classic that is quite confusing, but understandable after the next two times you watch it.

Mame

On April 26, 1989 the world lost an icon. Lucille Ball was a comedian, actress, and trailblazer who passed away. Many people know her as the crazy wife in the sitcom I Love Lucy. But, she also had a well known film career as proven in the 1974 film Mame.

When a young orphaned boy named Patrick Dennis is sent off to live with his eccentric Aunt Mame he learns quickly about what life now has in store for him. Mame is determined to fill the child’s life with adventure in a comedic string of events. From sending him off to a nontraditional school to having him attend parties until late at night, nothing is stopping Mame from giving Patrick the life she thinks he deserves. All of that comes crashing down when the stock market crashes with Mame being left penniless. Mame goes out into the world to get a job. However, her first job turns out to be a flub when she fails to write out a check correctly for a couple buying a pair of roller skates. But before she got fired, she caught the eye of a man named Beau. Beau followed Mame and the two begin dating. Although, Beau’s family is reluctant to Mame and her lifestyle they warm up to her. Once Beau and Mame get married the two take off on an extended honeymoon with Patrick in staying at Beau’s family plantation. When Mame and Beau return they go back to New York where Patrick meets them. Patrick has gone from a young boy to a man as proven with him dating a snobby girl named Gloria. But, this relationship goes down in flames when Mame is inspired to turn her house into a home for unwed mothers. This upsets Gloria’s parents and they leave. The film then flashes forward to where Patrick is married with a son of his own. Mame asks Patrick if he can take his son on a trip with her to Siberia. He agrees on the condition that he is back in time for school.

Lucille Ball starred as the eccentric unmarried woman who does not quite know how to take care of a boy named Mame. In 1974 she was able to bring the role to life through song and dance in the classic movie Mame. On April 26, 1989 Lucille Ball passed away, but not before leaving behind an inspiring set of work. She is one red head that is not to be forgotten.

That Darn Cat!

Dorothy Provine was an actress who was like no other. Even though her name is not as well known today, back when she was alive she had many roles that are well known. On April 25, 2010 she passed away with a great amount of roles. In That Darn Cat! she stars as the reluctant older sister involved in a police investigation into a kidnapping.

When Patti finds that her cat DC has a watch rather than a collar she is startled. Upon realizing this she turns the watch over to see that it says Help Me!. With a kidnapping in the area, Patti suspects that her cat came across the victim and convicts. Against her older sister’s, Ingrid, wishes, Patti brings DC to the police station with her story. When she arrives she meets inspector Zeke Kelso who is reluctant to take on the case. Yet, when he presents it to his superiors the case is on. Zeke goes over the Patti’s house and sets up the operation after a team of police officers are briefed on the situation at hand. However, when Patti’s boyfriend arrives he suspects that something is going on. Patti is advised by Zeke to not inform him of what is going on as it might compromise the situation at hand. When Ingrid returns home she is furious at what is happening within the house. But, Ingrid is forced to go along with the operation that is to take place. That evening Zeke and the police crew follow DC only to find themselves back in Patti and Ingrid’s house. After this it is viewed to be a wash and the police stop the investigation using DC. However, Patti still believes that DC did stumble upon the kidnapped woman. Trusting her instincts she contacts Zeke again. The two follow DC to the apartment where the kidnappers are staying. When the kidnappers realize who they are and after a bit of a struggle the kidnappers are arrested and the woman is freed. With DC being hailed as a hero everything goes back to normal with Patti and her boyfriend. But, Ingrid dumps her boyfriend, who was stuck up and needy, for Zeke. The movie closes with DC and his own family.

That Darn Cat! is quite the comedy. In every scene, there is something funny that is going on in the lives of those involved. In 1965, this movie premiered to make audiences laugh over and over again. Dorothy Provine portrayed Ingrid, the practical older sister who wanted nothing to do with a police investigation. On April 25, 2010 this actress who h

Funny Girl

Barbra Streisand is quite the actress, singer, and dancer. She has inspired many people through her work in film, theater, and song. On April 24, 1942 this legend was born. Barbra Streisand is probably best known for her portrayal as Fanny Brice in the 1968 film Funny Girl.

The movie opens up with Fanny Brice awaiting her husband’s arrival in New York City. The film then flashes back to when they first met. We are introduced to Fanny as a stage struck teenager. When she gets her first job she meets Nicky Arnstein who will go onto follow her career. As Fanny’s career flourishes Nicky becomes romantically involved with her. Even though there are times when their meetings are just fleeting moments, Fanny really does develop feelings for Nicky. As the young star of Ziegfield Follies, Fanny is reluctant to leave the place that she has called home. But, Nicky does convince her to leave so she can be with him. Later on in the film, Nicky wins a game of while traveling on the RMS Berengia. This leads to Fanny and Nicky marrying. As the film goes on we watch as Fanny and Nicky build a life together by buying a house and having a daughter. Fanny returns to Ziegfield Follies once things settle down. Sadly, Nicky has made a few bad investments leading to them becoming broke. Having to sell their house, they move into an apartment. Only, things get worse as Nicky has been embezzling money as part of his business ventures. Nicky is sent away to prison leading up to the opening scene with Fanny awaiting Nicky’s return. Nicky had been in prison from the beginning leading Fanny to question a few things about her life with him. The movie closes with Fanny asking him to separate from her. He agrees as the credits role.

Funny Girl is a 1968 musical with songs that almost everyone one knows. From “Don’t Rain on My Parade” to “Funny Girl” we are brought into this timeless classic over and over again. Barbra Streisand originate the role of Fanny Brice on Broadway in 1964. She then brought her to life on film in 1968 for audiences near and far to admire her. On April 24, 1942 Barbra Streisand was born, she is stil well beloved today as she was back then.

The Children’s Hour

Shirley Maclaine was born on April 24, 1934. She rose to become one of the most iconic and beloved actresses of all time. Through out her array of roles, one of her performances sticks out the most to me. In the 1961 drama The Children’s Hour she stars along side Audrey Hepburn as a teacher who’s life is destroyed by a single lie.

Karen and Martha are two well respected teachers who worked from the bottom up building their own school. Karen is engaged to the nephew of a wealthy and influential woman who’s granddaughter attends the school. Sadly, this young girl is a bully and when she is caught in order to get out of trouble, she tells her grandmother that Karen and Martha are lovers. Now remember, this is 1961 and a homosexual relationship between two women was heavily frowned upon. When Amelia, the influential woman, hears this she starts to tell the other parents of the girls who attend the school. One by one all of the girls are pulled from the academy leaving Karen and Martha in shock and wonder. Upon hearing of this rumor, they approach Amelia who would not let them in her own house. Before this happened, the rumor worsened when her granddaughter blackmailed another student at the school into lying as well. With their reputations ruined and their school closed, Martha and Karen try sue Amelia in court. Unfortunately, their only witness was too dedicated to the theater to make the court day. With all of this going on Karen ends up breaking her engagement with her fiancee who has stood by her because he starts to believe that the rumor is true. Shortly after, the young girl who was blackmailed tells the truth to Amelia. In a rage, she shouts at her granddaughter to go to her room from the floor that she falls on. When Amelia goes to make things right with Karen and Martha she is treated coldly and sent away. For Karen and Martha nothing will make up for the pain that she has caused them. Upon her leaving Martha confesses to Karen that she has “feelings” for Karen that she knows will never be returned. After Karen comforts her, she goes up to her room where she hangs herself. The movie closes with Martha’s funeral. Karen’s ex fiancee, Amelia, and several of the parents of the girls who were taken out of the school attend. The movie closes with Karen walking away alone from Martha’s funeral, not saying a word to anyone else there with her head held high.

Although, Shirley Maclaine in this movie is not as well remembered, to me it sticks out the most. In The Children’s Hour we are introduced to two young teachers who lose everything over a lie only for one of them to know the lie to be part truth. In this 1961 classic, Shirley Maclaine shines as a teacher with her reputation ruined. On April 24, 1934 Shirley Maclaine was born, meaning she turns another year older today.

The Omen (1976)

Richard Donner is a one of a kind director. On April 24 he turns a year older with many films that are inspiring. However, some of his films raise questions as to what you would do in a tough situation. In the 1976 horror film, The Omen, that question is asked multiple times towards the end.

Robert Thorn is a well liked American diplomat living in Rome with his wife Katherine. On the night that Katherine gives birth to their son Damien, Robert learns that his son has died. However, he learns that there is another baby in need of a home. Trying to save his wife from horrifying grief, Robert agrees to take in the orphaned baby. Eventually, Robert relocates his family to England where he has received the job as U.S. Ambassador. There strange things start to happen around Damien, such as a jackal staring at him. The Thorns put this off until, the day of Damien’s fifth birthday party when his nanny kills herself. Another nanny Mrs. Baylock is employed to look after Damien. Upon meeting Damien, she tells him that she is there “to protect him.” As the film goes on more strange things happen around Damien, such as the car being attacked by wild baboons at a drive thru zoo and him violently resisting going into a church. While Katherine puts off some of the fear about her son, Robert is informed by a couple different people about the origin of his son. At first a priest comes to tell Robert that his son is the son of the devil. But, Robert takes this as a threat because he believes he is trying to expose his sons true identity. Yet, the priest ends up being murdered leading Robert to question what is really going on. When Robert teams up with a reporter the truth becomes unveiled in a cemetery where he learns that his son was murdered. this was a plot in order to ensure that the son of the devil would be put in the Thorns care. However, the reporter is killed after he uncovers more evidence about Damien’s background. Around this time, Katherine has an “accident” when she is watering the plants in her house. Upon hearing of his wife’s hospitalization, Robert goes to her and returns home. Sadly, Mrs. Baylock shows up and murders Katherine by throwing her out the window. Once there he notices the sign of the beast upon his son’s skull. Knowing that his son is the anti-Christ and responsible for the pain of others, Robert decides to kill him. Mrs. Baylock shows up and stops Robert from killing him. Yet, Mrs. Baylock dies in the struggle with Robert carrying Damien out of the house. When he leaves he runs into the police who do not understand what is going on. When Robert raises his knife to kill Damien he is shot and killed by the police who are there. The movie closes with the Thorns funeral being attended by the President of the United States and their new son, Damien.

There is nothing quite as scary as the apocalypse that the anti-Christ is said to bring. In the 1976 classic, The Omen, we are introduced to a young child who’s destiny is to do just that. Richard Donner directs this horror classic, with the ultimate question, would you be able to do what Robert was trying to do knowing that it was the right thing. Remember, Damien may have been a child but his destiny is to bring upon the end of the world as we know it.

Armenian Genocide

On April 24 the Armenian Genocide is remembered. 1.5 million people died at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. Men, women, and children all lost their lives in the year 1915 due to horrendous murder practices. Today, we remember the horrors of the Armenian Genocide.

Macbeth (1948)

One of the most well known playwrights and artists passed away on this day. William Shakespeare’s works have gone onto inspire generations of people through music and theater. In 1948 Orson Welles directed and acted in one of the most well done versions of Macbeth.

Sticking well to the story the movie opens up with the three witches standing around a cauldron chanting. When Macbeth and his companion Banquo come across them, they inform Macbeth of what he is to become. But, they warn him of what could happen if he does not wait to become King of Scotland. Macbeth brushes this off as he knows that this is not possible. However, when Macbeth tells his to his wife Lady Macbeth she encourages him to kill the King and he does so. Although, he is successful as a king Macbeth becomes more and more paranoid killing off those close to him, including Banquo. One night at a feast he sees Banquo who harps on his inability to achieve what the king has done before him. Banquo does not let it go that Macbeth is responsible for his death. This drives Macbeth well into the madness that the witches had warned him of. In shock of what has become of her husband, Lady Macbeth takes her own life. In a reckless movie, he orders the death of MacDuff’s family. MacDuff he views as his ultimate rival, yet only MacDuff’s son and wife are killed. MacDuff shows up to the castle to challenge Macbeth to a duel. Reckless Macbeth accepts as the witches had told him the only man that could kill him is one of unnatural birth. MacDuff was birth was of Caesar-an, so when he tells Mabeth this it shocks him. MacDuff manages to kill Macbeth allowing order to be restored.

Macbeth is a classic tale that many people are drawn to. Even though, the language can be difficult to understand, it is still one that many love today. In 1948, Orson Welles directed and acted in a film version of William Shakespeares masterpiece. On April 23, 1616 William Shakespeare passed away, but he still lives on through his art.