Donna S.'s blog

75 Years Ago...

When you’re a classic movie fan, there’s one bit of common knowledge that is universally accepted: 1939 was a best year for movies.  There’s a lot to be said for that year.  Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith goes to Washington, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Wuthering Heights, and so many others.

Garry Marshall (1934-2016)

Garry Marshall didn’t win Oscars.  He didn’t win an Emmy, although he was nominated several times.  He was also nominated for Writer’s Guild awards, but didn’t win.  In later years he received honorary awards from the Guild.  But by and large, those accolades we associate with successful writers and producers and directors eluded him.

However, it’s safe to say that his work is among the most enjoyable, fun, and crowd-pleasing that movies and TV have to offer.

Olivia de Havilland

The golden age of Hollywood produced so many stars we remember and enjoy even today.  Most of those actors and actresses have left us.  But one lovely, talented actress is with us still: Olivia de Havilland.  And on July 1st, she turned 100 years old.

Anton Yelchin (1989-2016)

When talented people are lost to us, it’s always sad.

When that person was so young, it’s even worse.

80 Years Ago...

A funny thing happened on my way to this week’s blog.  I was mulling over writing about some old movies, because I like to suggest/encourage/urge people to see more of the past treasures of Hollywood.  Whenever I tune into Turner Classic Movies, as long as the film is black & white, I’ll stop to see what it is, who is starring in it, and what it’s about.  And very often, I’ll find a new old treasure to enjoy.

Partners in Crime

It should come as no surprise that I have a great fondness for mysteries and, particularly, cop shows and movies.  From lighter fare to dark thrillers, I’ve enjoyed watching the good guys take on the bad guys.  That might come from my earliest years watching Perry Mason.  Then moving on to The Streets of San Francisco, Dragnet, Adam-12, Columbo, the original Hawaii Five-O.  Of course all of those series have one big thing in common: all the crime solvers were men.

The Best at Being Bad

An odd thing has begun at the Disney theme parks.  More and more these days, there is a salute to the villains of Disney movies.  The Evil Queen.  Captain Hook.  Maleficent.  Ursula.  Gaston.  Mother Gothel.  Cruella de Vil.  Jafar.  Believe it or not, these bad guys have their own fans.  I’ll admit that I have a favorite: Ursula -- though Mother Gothel is a close second.  My best friend is a Maleficent fan.  We’ve even said how much we’d love to see the stage show of villains at Walt Disney World.

If You Can Read This...

Many years ago, there was a very popular bumper sticker that read, “If you can read this, thank a teacher.”

This is Teacher Appreciation Week.  And it’s fitting that we acknowledge those who spend their professional lives working for the benefit of children, young adults, and even older adults.  I’d be willing to bet that almost everyone has a particularly teacher they remember as a role model or mentor.  My favorite teacher is one from elementary school, though I really liked some in high school and college, too.  I have several family members who have taken on the sometimes tough, more times rewarding career in education.  My admiration for them is boundless.

A Place in the World

What do Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, Jane Eyre, Anne Shirley, and Harry Potter have in common?

The answer is rather an easy one.  They are all orphans.

It’s a theme that’s been used over and over again in storytelling, from fairy tales and classic literature to fantasy and comic books.  The child whose parents have died or perhaps disappeared.  The child who often feels all alone in the world.  The child who finds friends or a calling to see him or her through the roughest of times.

Patty Duke (1946-2016)

Patty Duke was a star at 12 years old, taking Broadway by storm in The Miracle Worker, playing young deafblind Helen Keller.  At age 16, she received an Oscar and a Golden Globe for that same role in

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