Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Silver Screen Blog Party!

Miss Tasha of Day by Day is hosting a Blog Party honoring classic films of the '30s, '40s and so on, the one-year anniversary of her Etsy store, Wool and What-not, and her own birthday. Whee! Quite the celebration, wot? Head on over, fill out the questions and link up! That's what I'm about to do right now.

But first, I want to share some good news with y'all.
Remember last week, when I shared how God had provided wood for our new woodstove? Well, this week we ran out of wood again, and of course the house got cold. Once again, I tried not to doubt the Lord's goodness, but at the same time I had to admit that I didn't understand what He was doing (or rather, not doing).
At noon today, our pastor and another fellow from church came over so that Mr. R could look at Mom's very noisy bathroom vent. Mom showed them the new stove and mentioned that we were out of wood and would need to go look for some. Next thing we know, Pastor switches on his cell phone and calls up a guy from church who “has a barn full of wood” and told him we needed some. The man said he'd deliver it tomorrow initially, but he ended up bringing it this afternoon! That's what I love about this church—they truly look out for one another. And now, thanks to God's incredible provision through the Christian generosity of others, we have a truckload of tamarack to keep us toasty again! PTL!

And now, without further ado, the Blog Party!
Here goes....

t h e q u e s t i o n s

{1}It seems to be standard procedure for blog party questionnaires to begin by asking you to introduce yourself to the rest of the party goers. Far be it from me to be remiss in my duty, therefore, do tell us a bit about yourself, in as many or few words as you wish.
Hello, my name is Tom (on the Internet, anyway), and I'm a chocoholic. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate—it's all good in my book. :-)
I also enjoy working with my hands—jewelry making, embroidery, knitting and crochet, and sculpting (polymer clay). I love miniatures and hope one day to build my own roomboxes to display them in.
I like fairy tales and fantasy, as well as old classics like Little Women, Robinson Crusoe, Jane Eyre, and many others, including Jane Austen's works. My brother and I could talk for hours about movie trivia if we were allowed, :-P and I learn my history through fashion. I mayn't be able to tell you who was president in 1798, but I could give you a general idea of what they wore!
I enjoy designing my own clothes (and jewelry to match!) and hope one day to have a wardrobe that is God-honoring, “modest, decent and proper,” that flatters the coloring, figure and personality He's given me, expresses my creativity without being flashy, and that is versatile and fun!
I love cats best of all pets, but wouldn't mind a dog or two, and I have a weak spot for teddy bears.

{2} What are a few of your favorite classic films?
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood (Errol Flynn & Olivia deHaviland)
  • The Mark of Zorro (Tyrone Power)
  • The Wizard of Oz (Judy Garland)
  • The Naughty Ninties (Bud Abbott & Lou Costello)
  • Charlie Chan movies (Werner Oland/Sidney Toller)
  • It's a Wonderful Life (Jimmy Stewart & Donna Reid)
  • You Can't Take It With You (Jimmy Stewart & Jean Arthur)
And several others I can't remember right now....

{3} Out of those films, who are your favorite characters (not actor, character)?
  • The Scarecrow (Ray Bolger) from Wizard of Oz. Ever since I was a kid, I've loved the clumsy yet cheerful Scarecrow. I even named one of my teddy bears after him!
  • George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) and Mary Hatch-Bailey (Donna Reid) from It's a Wonderful Life. While George is at times a bit cocky and headstrong, he stands by his family and friends when they need him...even though it means sacrificing his own dreams. And I just love how, no matter how George behaves, Mary sticks to her childhood vow, “George Bailey, I'll love you till the day I die!” You can just hear her saying that in her heart as she goes through pivotal moments in George's life along with him. And after he has been particularly abusive and moody and storms out of the house, Mary doesn't collapse into tears and badmouth him to the children. No, instead she determines to find out why George is so angry and do everything in her power to make it right. I only wish they'd made George less disbelieving and reactionary, and more teachable, after Clarence shows up.
  • Don Diego Vega (Tyrone Power) from The Mark of Zorro. At first he is greatly put out at having to leave Spain and return to California at his father's request, but once he sees how his home has taken a turn for the worse under the rule of a new Alcalde, Diego squares his shoulders and sets out to make life good again for the peons of Los Angeles. Rather like a Spanish Robin Hood or Scarlet Pimpernel, really.

{4} Share one of your favorite movie lines...
Just one?! ;-)
Old Chinese proverb: Genius twin brother to Insanity, and sometimes one mistaken for other.” (Paraphrased because I can't remember exactly how it goes.) ~Charlie Chan at the Opera

{5} What is your opinion on remaking classic films?
If it's done with sensitivity to the origina'ls heart and tone, then I think it could be a good thing to bring a little color (literally!) and more modern cinematography to an old favorite.
But it usually doesn't happen that way. :-(

{6} How about colorizing black and white films?
Um...ick. It usually ends up looking fake and washed-out, and sometimes they don't even colorize the whole picture. People's skin often looks pasty and opaque, and I'll never forget Shirley Temple's gray teeth!
And on the opposite extreme, you have the Laurel and Hardy version of Babes in Toyland, where everything is colorized in fluorescent pinks and purples and greens!!!

{7} Name a few of your favorite silver screen actresses.
  • Judy Garland
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • Shirley Temple

{8} Now a few of your favorite actors.
  • Donald O'Connor!
  • Bud Abbot & Lou Costello
  • Errol Flynn
  • Tyrone Power
  • Larry “Buster” Crabbe

{9} Why are they your favorites?
Because they can act well, without it seeming like acting. In the case of Donald O'Conner, he could not only act, but he was an excellent dancer and had a good singing voice and hilarious, energetic acting style. That adorable boyish grin didn't hurt, neither. :-D
And about Buster Crabbe—he was the best actor in the whole Flash Gordon serials...and he wasn't even a trained actor! He was actually an Olympic swimmer and had never been to acting school, yet he brought more life and energy into his role than the whole rest of the cast combined (although, to be fair, the supporting cast of Conquers the Universe was much improved from the first serial).

{10} Do you enjoy westerns? Why or why not?
Not really. Calamity Jane is about the only “western” I enjoy, because the focus is more on the characters than to “keep on shootin' till there's no one left to kill,” as so many westerns tend to do sooner or later. The Indians are almost always the bad guys, and they end up in a long, drawn-out shooting match with the “cowboys” (or whomever), and it just gets tiring. I think the only “western” I've ever seen where the Indians are treated with respect is Annie Get Your Gun.
Sorry, folks.

{11} Are you a purist when it comes to adapting a book you love to the screen?
To some degree, yes. I do prefer a movie based on a book to be as accurate as possible, although I realize there are things you can do in a book that don't translate well to the screen. But huge digressions from the book's plot, or an adaptation with no sensitivity to the heart of the story—that I can't stand!
{12} Are there any film adaptations that you enjoyed more than the original book?
Yes, actually:
  • Pinocchio. Bro and I grew up with both the Disney version and the made-for-TV play starring Sandy Duncan and Danny Kaye. Both presented Pinocchio as innocent, cheerful and loving. His “badness” is more out of naiveté than anything else. The book's Pinocchio is truly naughty, mocking Gippetto when he (Pinocchio) is still a log (!), running away, deliberately defying any kind of authority...and smashing the cricket who warns him to mend his ways. Yeah.
  • Mary Poppins. If you thought Disney's finger-snapping, umbrella-riding nanny was rather uppity in the movie, don't read the books. Not only is she uppity and crabby, she's also so conceited that she stops whenever she sees a mirror in the shop windows and admires her own reflection (then scolds Jane and Michael for dawdling). Mind you, she wasn't all prickles, but one can't imagine the books' Mary Poppins smiling sweetly or speaking tenderly like Julie Andrews' portrayal of her.
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I didn't even get through the first chapter of this so-called classic because the author had a twelve-year-old boy spouting the H-word, (with a couple other profanities thrown in elsewhere), and some imagery that had no place in a children's book. However, the movie is squeaky-clean in that regard, and the story heartwarming and timeless. Bravo, Hollywood; you actually did something right!   
    • [EDIT] Hans Brinker. *Ducks under Everything-proof Shield* I know, I know, it's a classic children's story, and parts of it are very sweet and enjoyable. However, when our family read it together, we felt it was more like a textbook on the history and culture of Holland, with a bit of plot thrown in for good measure. The movie we grew up watching (circa 1970's) stuck fairly close to the book, but the plot was much more interesting. The other "children" were a lot nicer to Hans and Gretel, and Hans was actually invited to skate to Amsterdam with "Captain Peter" and the other boys, whereas in the book he was left behind.
    • Peter Pan. Having grown up with the Mary Martin made-for-TV screenplay didn't prepare me to discover that Never Land isn't some sort of happy Fairyland where life is all fun and games...if you're not careful, you'll either be shot by pirates or scalped by Indians. Nor did I expect Wendy to be a bit of a cat by spells, and I found out Peter's conceit had been toned down a couple notches in the movie. 
    Yessir, there are times when the movies are better than the books!

    {13} There are a lot of wonderful classic TV shows, but which one is your favorite?
    Aw, come on, you can't pick just one! ;-) Probably Andy Griffith is one of the highest on my list, though, because of its “Small Town America” feel and old-fashioned common sense paired with ingenuity (the older seasons, that is. The newer ones embrace the “question authority” mentality too much and make Andy out to be an old fuddy-duddy.)

    {14} After watching a musical, do you hum and singing snatches of the songs as you go about your day?
    Inevitably. Which is somewhat maddening, as I usually don't remember all the words!

    {15}Assuming the answer to the above is "yes", which song, without fail, gets stuck in your head?
    The peppy, fun songs with catchy tunes and clever lines, usually, although a well-done sappy love song (such as “The Street Where You Live”) occasionally stays in my head for days afterward. :-P

    {16)What's the corniest film you've ever seen?
Probably either My Favorite Wife or Arsenic and Old Lace. *Ducks under Anything-proof Shield* I can never take Carey Grant seriously now. He seems to have been stuck in the role of some poor guy who runs about like a chicken with his head cut off, while his whole world happily falls down around his ears. And in MFW, his first wife is such a cat, and he isn't man enough to tell his new wife the truth for fear of hurting her feelings. No offense to those of you who actually like these flicks, but I just couldn't stand them. YECH!

In other news, “Jubilee” now has a front insert! Yay! No more shocking necklines! I also installed the invisible zipper this past week and turned the neck-edge under. Sorry, no pix—I forgot my camera again. I'll try to get some pictures in my next entry—maybe even modeling the dress!

Until next time, Gentle Readers,
God bless,


  1. I meant to comment on your other post about the wood stove, but I'll just say right now that that is so wonderful!! It's awesome to see the Lord provide for His children=)

    The Adventures of Robin Hood is my absolute favorite movie!!! =)
    Oh yes! Donald O'Connor makes me laugh so hard!
    A western you'd probably enjoy would be Broken Arrow starring Jimmy Stewart. His character falls in love with and marries an Indian maiden. I love that movie.
    I totally agree with you on Mary Poppins. I did enjoy the books, but Mary Poppins in the film was much, much better.
    So...My Favorite Wife is one of my favorite films, but I totally know what you're talking about with Cary Grant. He was acting like a chicken with its head cut off...I think that's what made me laugh so hard, actually;)
    I'm so glad you joined it=)


    P.S. I can't WAIT to see pictures of Jubilee!! Please do take pictures of you modeling it!

    1. Awesome, in deed! But then, God is Awesome!

      Broken Arrow sounds interesting; I've added it to our NetFilx queue. :-) Thanks for the info!

      I hope I didn't offend you with all my rantings there--I can see how that type of "screwball humor" could be very funny to some...guess I'm just not wired that way. :-P
      *Note to self: Try to be less abrasive next time!

    2. No offense taken whatsoever! We're all entitled to our own likes and dislikes, and certainly entitled to rant about them on our own blogs! =)
      I'm afraid screwball comedy is right up my alley. *huge grin*

      You know something? I really, really want to meet you in person. I mean, it's silly that we live so close to each other and even have mutual friends, but have never meet. We should do something about that, don't you think?:)


    3. Oh good! *Is extremely relieved* Thanks for understanding; maybe I'm just too serious. :-P

      Great minds think alike; ever since our "conference call" at Kellie's, I've been thinking the same thing. E-mail coming soon!

      God bless,


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