Monday, May 16, 2016

The 5 Movies on an Island Blogathon

In celebration of National Classic Movie Day, Rick of the Classic Film and TV Cafe, is hosting The 5 Movies on an Island Blogathon, in which bloggers select their five favorite films that they would want with them on a deserted island.....one equipped with no other modern convenience other than a working television set, DVD player, and electricity ( which, for most of us movie lovers, is the only convenience desired anyway ). With a pile of ripe coconuts and a comfy straw couch to sit upon, we should be content to watch these films day in and night out for a good year or so.....after which time basket weaving and bamboo whittling will have to suffice as hobbies. 

Diana and I ( Connie ) have both chosen to participate in this desert island fantasy and have selected 5 films each....we're assuming we got stranded on different islands. 

Connie's Picks 


The Rainy Weather Picture - Not even Gilligan's Island could boast of having perpetual sunshine. Sooner or later, the rains gotta fall and, on that day, I'd kick myself for not having a good mystery film in my collection to watch - and what better mystery than that old warhorse, The Bat ( 1959 )? This Vincent Price/Agnes Moorehead classic features every cliche in the genre and has a good dose of old-fashioned "horror" thrown in too. It's a family favorite and one that I've grown up with, so that's that. On days when I feel like watching a cheap sci-fi film, this will have to suffice. 

A Dose of Humor - Surviving on a desert island can be serious business, and methinks a good dose of humor will be needed on a weekly basis to tickle up the laughing glands. Bob Hope and Don Knotts are tops to me, and since I love The Reluctant Astronaut ( 1967 ), that's one movie I'd be hankering to see on the island. I've watched it countless times already and have not tired of it yet, so I think it's good for another fifty or so viewings. 

Jolly Old England - Palm trees and white sandy beaches are beautiful, but after awhile I'd be longing for the greenery ( and wet weather ) of England, so Murder Is Easy ( 1981 ) will be my dose of comfort to carry me through my anglophile spells. This isn't quite a "classic" but it's Agatha Christie and it boasts a great cast of talented actors including Helen Hayes, Olivia De Havilland, Leslie Anne-Down, and Bill Bixby. I have a lot of happy memories associated with this movie, and since I've seen it over fifteen times already, I know it has the stuffing to last for decades ( Oh dear! I hope I won't be stranded that long on this island.....)

You're Going to Be Here Awhile  - Just in case I will be on the island for longer than expected, four 90 minute films won't be able to last long. So I'm taking Gone with the Wind ( 1939 ). I never included this movie on my favorites list, but I must admit, that every time I watch it, I love it...so it must have just been an oversight all these years. In this case, I need it. It has enough plot to cover ten different movies with a bunch of different scenes to love. It has romance, too, which most of the other films I chose lack. 

The Pick-Me Up  - I couldn't survive on an island without at least one Walt Disney film...that's to carry me through on the days when I'm despondent. That Darn Cat is my favorite Disney film, but I have a feeling that the cat-chasing angle may get tiresome after awhile, so I'm going with my second favorite - The Parent Trap ( 1961 ). This one has a lot going on in it and a double dose of Hayley Mills to boot! The Parent Trap is another classic from my childhood and watching it always conjures up a happy California camping feeling. It has a few great Sherman Brothers songs, too, so that covers my lack of any musical. 

Diana's Picks


When my sister Connie asked me if I would be interested to write an article for the "5 Movies on an Island Blogathon", it didn't take me too long to decide which five films I would insist upon bringing along with me. I believe if I were left stranded on a faraway tropical island with a DVD player and a bowl of popcorn as my closest pals, then I would most certainly want to watch my most favorite films: 

"I Know Where I'm Going!" ( 1945 ) - Wendy Hiller plays a determined young Englishwoman dead set on traveling to a remote Scottish island to wed her wealthy fiance, but a gale disrupts the last leg of her journey, leaving her to patiently sit it out until the storm passes. 

Jack Cardiff's stunning black & white cinematography, the rugged scenery, and the romance which unexpectedly blossoms between Joan and Torquil, a dashing Naval officer ( Roger Livesey ) makes this one of my all-time favorites! 

"The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" ( 1947 ) - A beautiful romance between the breathtaking Gene Tierney and gentlemanly Rex Harrison. A spunky young widow ( Gene Tierney) sets out to make a new life for herself and her daughter ( Natalie Wood ) and rents a charming cottage overlooking the sea, but her home comes with an uninvited cohabitant, the ghost of its late owner Captain Daniel Gregg.

It is a lovely story to spin daydreams around with a musical score that sends me drifting out to sea. I admire Lucia's courage and grace and there is this passionate tension she shares with Daniel I find so attractive. 

"The Parent Trap" ( 1961 ) - "For Now, For Always", this film will remain very special to me. Identical twin sisters, separated at birth, meet by chance at summer camp and arrange to have their divorced parents reunite. 

Growing up, I fell in love with scenic Camp Inch and it made me want to go to summer camp myself, but it was hard to find one as nice as Camp Inch! The location scenes are beautiful and it really captures the "happy Saturday morning" feeling I can't live without!

"It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World!" ( 1963 ) - A group of people set out to find a stash of stolen loot hidden under a "Big W" somewhere in Santa Rosita Park. Along the way, the number of people who get caught up in the excitement increases and so does the suspense... which all happens in one day! 

A lot of heart and talent went into making this superb comedy. It features a fabulous cast of comedians and cameos and the smart, witty dialogue keeps me laughing long after I watch it. The stunts are incredible, the theme song is catchy, and it always makes me happy! 
"The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" ( 1965 ) - Luther Heggs, a newspaper typesetter, dreams of becoming a famous reporter and gets his big opportunity when he is assigned to write a feature surrounding a crime that occurred in the town's past. 

I love Don Knotts and "Mr. Chicken" is spooky, but not horror-film scary, so it's perfect to watch on a Friday night and at Halloween..which I'll still be celebrating on my island. Great character actors and a well-written script, it embodies all the charms of small town America and funny one-liners I like to repeat all year 'round! "Atta boy, Luther!"

8 comments:

  1. I like how you both chose The Parent Trap and a Don Knott's film :) I've never heard of "I Know Where I'm Going" but is sounds interesting!

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  2. Hey, Connie, that's quite an interesting guest list of Mary Roberts Rinehart, Agatha Christie and Don Knotts.

    My goodness, Diana, alone on an island with Torquil MacNeil? You have given this a lot of thought.

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  3. Hmmm... I think there is some genetic thing going on there with The Parent Trap (one of my faves) - and I'm so glad you chose GWTW - it's not only endlessly fascinating - it's practically endless!

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  4. Great lists both, but the movie I should've included on my own list is "I Know Where I'm Going!", an all-time favorite and incredibly underrated Powell & Pressburger gem.

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  5. What fun to see what each of you selected! I'm with you both on THE PARENT TRAP, a personal favorite that almost made my list (and if I made the list again next week, it might be on it). Ditto for THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR, which may be my favorite movie romance. Finally, I adore the selection of I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING with the incomparable Dame Wendy Hiller. Powell & Pressberger made some tremendous films. My Cafe collaborator, Toto, bumped A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH off her list only at the last minute.

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  6. Connie, I enjoyed reading the criteria you used to make your selections! It was fun to see that both you and Diana selected "The Parent Trap" because it always delights me when I watch it (after I initially got over the fact that the parents separated their twin daughters and didn't even tell them about each other). Diana, "I Know Where I'm Going" when I get a hankering to see Wendy Hiller! This is such a precious film and reminds us that sometimes divine intervention really is for the best. Also, for several years our film of choice for New Year's Eve was "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir." I adore Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, and little Natalie Wood. It is simply timeless!

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  7. Such unique choices! Sara and I would probably choose "The Wizard of Oz" for a pick me up, "Titanic" (1997) for the going to be here for awhile category, "Shadow of a Doubt" for a rainy day movie, for a dose of humor, we'd choose "Some Like it Hot" and for a final pick...that's so hard, maybe either "Clueless" (1995) or a romantic old movie like "A Place in the Sun" or "It's a Wonderful Life."

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  8. I'm with Phyl--I love that you both chose the Parent Trap and a Don Knotts movie. I'm swimming over to your islands!

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