The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.jpgC.S. Lewis was a master story teller. Many people today remember him for introducing us to the world of Narnia in the seven book series The Chronicles of Narnia. Unlike other film series, Disney produced the second book in the series in 2005 as The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

When evacuee children from London to the countryside during World War II find themselves living with a recluse professor. However, when the youngest Lucy finds to hide in during a game of hide and seek she finds the magical land of Narnia. When she returns after having tea with Mr. Tummus, a faun, she attempts to explain this to her siblings, only for them to disbelieve her. That is until her brother Edmund follows her in. However, he ends up meeting with the evil White Queen. Under her power Edmund promises to bring his siblings to her. Upon their return, Lucy tells her two older siblings Peter and Susan about her and Edmund in Narnia, only for Edmund to lie. Eventually, a broken window leads the four siblings to end up in the wardrobe. Once inside they end up in Narnia where Susan and Peter apologize to Lucy while insult Edmund for lying. When they get their they learn that something is not quite right as Mr. Tummus has been taken captive by the White Queen. When they make the acquaintance of two beavers they start a quest to go and find Aslan in order to give the four siblings what they need to restore peace to Narnia. However, Edmund has taken off to go and find the White Queen as he has been corrupted. Realizing that he is gone, the beavers take the remaining children on a journey to a safe place to wait for Aslan. Upon their arrival they meet Aslan who appears sends troops to rescue Edmond. When Edmond returns he apologizes to everyone when the White Queen appears. When this happens Aslan offers a trade unbeknownst to everyone, his life for Edmund’s freedom. Aslan heads off to the White Queen to be sacrificed with a silent Lucy and Susan behind him. After Aslan is killed, the White Queen heads off to kill Aslan troops. Lucy and Susan stay behind while they send warning to Peter and Edmund who prepare the troops for battle. So a giant battle between the White Queen and Aslan troops ensue. In the meantime, Aslan has come back from the dead going with Susan and Lucy to fight the White Queen with reinforcements who she had turned to stone earlier in the film. Along with the newly freed creatures, included Mr. Tummus, they all head off to destroy her once and for all. They manage to do so with all four children being crowned kings and queens of Narnia. After some time had passed, they are shown to be grown adults living in Narnia. However, upon the site of a certain lamp post they end up going back to modern day England where they are young again meeting the Professor who asks them about the broken window.

C. S. Lewis brought us all into the magical world of Narnia. In the seven book series The Chronicles of Narnia he was able to bring to life a whole world based on his imagination. In 2005 the second book in the series The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe came to life bringing us to this world like never before.

The Trouble with Angels

The Trouble with Angels (theatrical poster).jpgRosalind Russell passed away on November 28, 1976. The Hollywood legend has left her mark through her work. In the 1966 film The Trouble with Angels she portrays a strict nun showing why she deserves her place.

Mother Superior of St. Francis Academy, an all girls school, finds herself struggling to keep up with Mary Clancy. The young spirited teenager is constantly playing jokes, pranks, and breaking the rules resulting in her receiving detention. Mother Superior starts to become fond of Mary as she knows that she is a natural born leader with a life ahead of her. However, she worries about Rachel, who is Mary’s best friend and is a follower. As the film plays on Mary and Rachel continue on with their pranks through their high school years only for the two of them to be separated at the end of the film. When Mary chooses to become a nun, Mother Superior fully supports her decision compared to Rachel who is hurt. Despite her feelings towards Mary about becoming a nun, Mother Superior goes to Rachel and tells her how strong Mary is as this was her choice. Rachel and Mary say their final good-byes with Mother Superior telling Mary she will quit if Rachel comes back.

Rosalind Russell was an actress like no other. On November 28, 1976 she passed away leaving behind a legacy of films. In the 1966 film The Trouble with Angels she was able to show her acting skills once again before she passed on.

Carefree Dancin’ with Fred and Ginger

Image result for carefree dancin' with fred & gingerThey are the iconic dancing and singing duo that many idolize today. They were constantly paired in movie musicals that would lead them to stardom and immortality. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are remembered today as a beloved dancing duo as time as told. On November 12, 2016 The Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut there was a Broadway preview of the upcoming show Carefree Dancin’ with Fred and Ginger.

As I walked around the painting strewn lobby the ushers were preparing for the show. While they were preparing there were dancers from the Southeastern Connecticut Ballet preparing to hand out brochures for their upcoming shown. On December 10 and 11th The Nutcracker will be shown put on by many of the talented dancers. Each one of the three girls posed in different positions as their characters of Clara, The Nutcracker Prince, and a Doll.

While the audience walked in they were greeted by the dancers handing out fliers for the show. Then walking into the auditorium where the red curtain was down with ushers handing out programs and showing them to their seats. At around eight o’clock the show had started with Fred and Ginger popping right out of the screen.

The show started off with previewing classic movie clips of the famous duo, followed by an old RKO Radio production. In the ninety minute show there was much singing and dancing. Using several of the duo’s classic songs like “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” and “Cheek to Cheek” there was much to be praised. There were times when they were dancing in sync with the screen playing right behind them. The tap dancing was fast, noisy, and fascinating with moments that you felt like they would not stop. Then there were times when they were jumping behind a screen of a classic film starring Fred and Ginger.

When the show started to slow down the cast got together on stage one last time to commemorate the dynamic duo. By touching on the small talents that Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers had they were able to bring to remind us what made them special. Whether it be the way Fred smiled or Ginger laughed, these were the minor things about them that made them who they are. In the fast paced show Carefree Dancin’ with Fred and Ginger they came to life again talent and all.

Quest for Camelot

Quest for Camelot- Poster.jpgJaleel White is best known for portraying the stereotypical nerd in the hit sitcom Family Matters. However, there are other roles that he is remembered for as well. Such as Bladebeak in the 1998 film Quest for Camelot.

Kayley is a young girl who dreams to be like her father a knight of King Arthurs Round Table. One day she finds that Camelot is under attack when the man who killed her father has stolen Excalibur. Soon after this happens Kayley’s home, mother, and freedom is taken by the evil Ruber. So off Kayley goes on an adventure to save her home. Along the way she meets a blind hermit by the name of Garrett who’s heart she wins, as well as a two headed dragon, Devon and Cornwall, and Ayden, Garrett’s falcon. Together they are met run quickly from Ruber’s men as they near Camelot. However, they have a friend on Ruber’s inside, Bladebeak, who helps them when they do reach Camelot. Upon their arrival Kayley runs to help the King, while Garrett, who by this point has gained his vision back, convinces Devon and Cornwall to fly. Once Kayley and Garrett defeat Ruber everything is turned back to normal. Kayley and Garrett marry and are made Knights of the Round Table.

Jaleeel White was born on November 26, 1976. Many people today recognize him as a beloved nerd. However, many remember him as the voice of Bladebeak in the 1998 film Quest of Camelot.

The Toll of the Sea

Image result for the toll of the seaOn November 26, 1922 the first two tone technicolor movie was released widely in America. The movie by the name of the The Toll of the Sea was released with new found technology that would change the way we watch movies. After all, technicolor was a new thing that was just coming out.

Lotus Flower and Allen Carver fall in love when she rescues him from the sea off the coast of China. The two quickly marry with the disapproval of both their friends and family. Sadly, Allen’s friends get to him leading him to leave for America without her. Some years pass with the heartbroken Lotus Flower having his son naming him Allen. Allen returns to China much to Lotus Flower’s delight. But, her delight is short lived as she finds that he is married to an American named Elsie. Elsie knows about Lotus Flower with the two meeting. After some time, Allen manages to convince Elsie to convince Lotus Flower to give them the son she had with Allen. Lotus Flower reluctantly agrees to give her only child Allen away to live in America. The movie closes with Lotus Flower going to the spot where she and Allen fell in love empty as the sun sets.

The Toll of the Sea is one of those films that many have never heard of. Even though this is true, on November 26, 1922 this became the first two tone technicolor film to receive a wide release. Today, the magic of movies would not be the same if it wasn’t for the invention of technicolor.

High Noon

High Noon poster.jpgOn November 25, 1947 the Hollywood ten were blacklisted by movie studios. This was in response to the Red Scare in America in response to Joe McCarthy claiming there were Communists in the country. In response to this the 1952 movie High Noon was made as a testament with the writer of the screenplay, Carl Foreman, being blacklisted himself.

Police Marshall Will Kane and his new wife Amy are settling down in a small town in the New Mexico territory. However, the town is threatened when a vicious outlaw is about to make his appearance. Amy, being a pacifist, encourages her husband to leave town before he arrives, but Will is unwilling to do so. With several people fleeing the town Will looks to his mentor for aid as how to deal with this problem. The more Will looks around him the more he sees he has allies who support him but are too scared to take a stand. Eventually, the criminal, Frank Miller, arrives in town leading to a stand off between him and Will. When Will manages to win the fight with Frank Miller being shot dead. The town rejoices as Will has been able to win the freedom for all the town.

High Noon was created as a allegory to the Communist blacklist going on at the time. On November 25, 1947 the Hollywood Ten were blacklisted as a result of the Red Scare caused by Joe McCarthy. Known today as McCarthyism, this era is one that will not be forgotten.

Miracle on 34th Street

Miracle on 34th Street.jpgThis past Thursday was Thanksgiving in America. Every fourth Thursday in America I sit down with my family as we give thanks for what we have. But, one of my favorite traditions is watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In the 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street the movie opened with the parade as it brought in the Christmas season

When Doris Walker highers Kris Kringle to portray Santa Claus in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade she gets more than she bargained for. He claims to be the real Santa Claus with her daughter, who she taught not to believe in Santa, becomes convinced. Kris’s presence in Macy’s starts to bring smiles to every child and change the lives around them. Soon, Kris is put under psychic evaluation with a frustrated psychiatrist having him institutionalized. However, Kris finds comfort in knowing that his lawyer Fred Gailey is willing to represent him in a court of law to prove Santa does exist. Before everyone knows it Santa is on trial with children writing letters to him as they believe him. Kris Kringle is found to be competent with him being the “real” Santa Claus. However, Doris’s daughter Susan doesn’t believe in him anymore because he won’t get her the house she wanted for Christmas. Heartbroken, Doris tells her that she must believe in Kris for once. On Christmas Day when Doris and Fred are driving with Susan in the back seat she repeats “I believe” constantly when she shouts for them to stop. Susan has seen the house that she wants to live in. To the shock of Doris and Fred she runs inside telling them that Kris is the real Santa Claus because he gave her the house she wanted. When Susan goes out to play on the swing set Doris and Fred spot Kris’s cane and hat as they come to realize that Santa does exist after all.

Miracle on 34th Street taught everyone a valuable lesson which is to believe. On Thursday November 24, 2016 America celebrated Thanksgiving with the Macy’s Day Parade welcoming in Santa Claus. Marking the beginning of the holiday season Thanksgiving is a holiday to be thankful for what we have, rather than what we want.

The Bride of Frankenstein

Movie poster with the head of Frankenstein's monster at the center, looking forward with a somber expression. Elevated above him is a woman looking down towards the center of the image. Near the bottom of the image is the Bride of Frankenstein, looking off to the right of the image as her hair surrounds the head of Frankenstein's monster and the body of the woman. Text at the top of the image states "Warning! The Monster Demands a Mate!" The bottom of the image includes the film's title and credits.Boris Karloff is one of the most recognizable faces in movie history, well, monster movie. As an actor he found fame portraying the original Frankenstein monster. In 1935 he reprized his infamous role in The Bride of Frankenstein.

After surviving an explosion Frankenstein’s monster starts makes his appearance. However, he finds comfort in a friend who wants to use him for disastrous deeds. In the meantime, there is an angry mob forming to bring down the monster once and for all. In the meantime it becomes clear the monster wants a mate, so he hunts down his maker Victor  Frankenstein. Reluctantly, Victor does help the monster out. When the monster’s mate makes her appearance she is disgusted at the monster as she screams in terror as the credits role.

Boris Karloff was born on November 23, 1887 to lead a life as a movie monster. In the 1935 film The Bride of Frankenstein he brought to life the legendary Frankenstein monster once again. Today, he is most remembered for his monster role, but also his talent.

Toy Story

Film poster showing Woody anxiously holding onto Buzz Lightyear as he flies in Andy's room. Below them sitting on the bed are Bo Peep, Mr. Potato Head, Troll, Hamm, Slinky, Sarge and Rex. In the lower right center of the image is the film's title. The background shows the cloud wallpaper featured in the bedroom.On November 22, 1995 Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story was released. This groundbreaking film was the first to be completed with computer generated images. Today, the movie industry is forever changed with Toy Story.

Woody takes pride in being the leader of Andy’s toys. Not only that, he is Andy’s favorite toy. That is until Andy’s birthday when Buzz Lightyear is given to Andy. Soon, Woody finds himself in second place to Buzz. So, Woody decides to get rid of Buzz out of jealousy. However, all of the toys turn against Woody leading him to go out of his way to get Buzz back. But, Buzz is taken in by a mean boy named Sid next door. To make things worse, Andy is moving in a couple of days. Buzz and Woody start to work together in order to get back to Andy as they know he needs them. After a few misunderstandings, Woody and Buzz make it back to him as Andy is heading on his way to his new home.

Toy Story is one of those movies that is beloved by all. On November 22, 1995 Toy Story was released marking it as the first movie with completely made out of computer generated images. Today, Toy Story does live on with a franchise starring Woody and Buzz.

Private Benjamin

One of the most recognizable faces and names in Hollywood throughout the past years is Goldie Hawn. On November 21, 1945, Goldie Hawn was brought into the world. In the 1980 movie Private Benjamin she was able to show she is more than a pretty face.

After her new husband dies on her wedding night, sheltered and wealthy Judy Benjamin decides to join the army. However, she is met with dislike by many of her new comrades. Yet, she decides to stay and finish basic training at the top of her class. Even though she has been able to prove many of those who looked down upon her she ends up facing sexual harassment when she is picked for an assignment. After leaving, she decides to marry a man named Henry even after he is outed as a communist. Sadly, things don’t work out with Henry as she finds out he has been having a side relationship. She leaves him at the altar to start a life of her own, the one she has dreamed of.

Goldie Hawn brought to life Judy Benjamin proving her fantastic acting skills. On November 21, 1945, Goldie Hawn was born making  today her birthday. In the 1980 film Private Benjamin, she was able to push her limit once again.