In a move of maximum modesty, we decided to refrain from dictating our picks of the best movies to mark the romantic occasion. Instead, we ask you — yes, you!
Don’t be shy, please. We’d like to know about your Valentine’s Day favorites, both familiar (Casablanca, Brief Encounter, Annie Hall, When Harry Met Sally, Moonstruck, etc.) and unfamiliar. Especially the latter.
Is there a great romantic gem out there that you have been keeping to yourself all these years? If so, now is the time to spill the beans. We’ll happily print your answers, so don’t hesitate to let the world in on your movie secret.
We’d like to know not only the title of your favorite Valentine’s Day movie, but what about it makes you like it so much.
We plan on publishing as many reader picks as we can in our Feb. 14 blog. So, by all means, shake a leg. The sooner we receive your choice(s) the better. Just click onto the “Leave A Comment” box (upper right) and fire away. Thanks.
Troweling through our email bag, we came across the response of regular correspondent and fellow blogger Patricia Nolan-Hall (Caftan Woman) to our Jan. 27 What’s A “Working Actor”? (Richard Jaeckel, Anyone?) blog. As you’ll see, Pat has a favorite in the “working actor” sweepstakes:
I’ll put Wallace Ford at the top of the list. From “Freaks” to “A Patch of Blue” he did it all in the movies. (That’s our man pictured above and below)
A detective in “Shadow of a Doubt”, a snitch in “T-Men”, Jean Harlow’s leading man in “The Beast of the City”, the doomed Frankie McPhillips in “The Informer” and the philosophical cabbie in “Harvey”. He created the role of George in the Broadway production of “Of Mice and Men”. When he appeared on screen you could relax and enjoy a good performance because he knew what he was doing and never disappointed.
We couldn’t agree more, Pat. Frank especially appreciates Ford’s expressions of pathetic desperation while being parboiled in a steam bath by nasty Charles McGraw in 1947′s T-Men.
In response to our Jan. 10 Carole Lombard & George Raft — Lovers? Can That Be? blog, we received interesting responses from two of our regular correspondents. Kim Wilson provides the woman’s point-of-view about the plausibility of team Raft and Lombard as lovers:
I can see it. He had intensity and that can be attractive to women.
Our man Vincent tells us more about Raft’s liaisons:
It should be noted that among Raft’s other lovers were Norma Shearer (after Irving Thalberg’s passing), Betty Grable (pre-Harry James) and Mae West. He and Mae were lifelong friends — in later years, they talked on the phone daily — and he worked on both her first film (“Night After Night”) and last (“Sextette”). Raft and West died within two days of each other in late 1980.
Finally, back to Pat Nolan-Hall, who took one look at the photograph of Spring Byington surrounded by Edmund Gwenn and Charles Coburn (costars of 1950′s Louisa) in our Jan. 25 blog, What’s An Old-Fashioned, Charming Picture Doing In A Place Like This, and wrote:
I scrolled down to the picture and “Bam!” I was a kid again, sitting in front of the TV on a Sunday afternoon watching “Louisa”. It’s been that long since I’ve seen that gem, as you so rightfully called it. Truly, they don’t make ‘em like they used to.
One of the plot points deftly and discreetly made in Louisa is that romance is indeed possible post 60 or even after 70. Sounds like a great Valentine’s Day choice to us.