Donna S.'s blog

Gather 'Round the Table

It’s that time of year again.  For many of us, Thanksgiving is the real start to the holiday season.  We get together with family and friends and have a big dinner.  We talk and visit and catch up on everyone's news.  We probably watch some football or the parade or a favorite movie.  And in the midst of all the festivities, we remember how fortunate we are.

James Bond

For a guy who’s pushing 60 years old, James Bond is going as strong as ever. Maybe even stronger. And he’s about to flex his muscles in Skyfall, his 23rd motion picture.

"Good Evening..."

There are some movie directors who can conjure up an image or a mood just by the mention of their names. 
John Ford -- Westerns and valor.  Frank Capra --1930s and 40s America and patriotism.
Steven Spielberg -- Epic films and adventure.  Martin Scorsese -- Crime films and redemption.
Alfred Hitchcock -- Suspense films and, well, suspense.

“Oh, Wise Guy, Eh? Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!”

It's that time of year again.  Very soon, the major studios and independent filmmakers will be releasing the movies they hope will lead to the Oscars.  Movies that are serious.  Movies that  challenge the mind and the heart.  But I’m not quite ready for those films.  I’m in the mood for a laugh.  A really good, long belly laugh.  The kind of laugh that can only be brought on by some classic old-fashioned slapstick.  And the kings of slapstick are The Three Stooges.

And the Winner for Best Comedy Was...

This coming Sunday, September 23, we’ll get to see the winners of the Emmy Awards for 2012.  I’m looking forward to finding out who the victors are, though I have favorites I’m cheering for.

In my last blog, I listed some of the past winners for Best Drama.  So, naturally, I’m following that up with past winners for Best Comedy.  As before, I’m not including any series that are still being broadcast with new episodes.  But the list is pretty long, with a variety of settings -- from domestic to wartime to office – and with humor ranging from slapstick to satire to dramedy.

And the Winner for Best Drama Was...

We’re still a couple of weeks away from the Emmy Awards show, but I thought this might be a good time to look at the history of the Emmys and the programs honored in years past.

Westerns -- Movie Edition

Just as westerns were a staple of television, they were among the earliest movies.  In fact one of the very first movies was The Great Train Robbery, an 11-minute film that wowed audiences in 1903.

Over the decades certain names have become synonymous with western movies: John Wayne, Gary Cooper, James Stewart, Clint Eastwood, Henry Fonda, director John Ford, writers Louis L’Amour and Larry McMurtry.  Today Sam Elliott and Kevin Costner are probably the actors most associated with the genre.  No matter when the films were made, the overall theme of one person or one group of people fighting others -- or even the elements – makes for exciting entertainment.

Westerns -- TV Edition

There was a time when westerns outnumbered cop shows or sitcoms on television.  In fact, in 1959, there were 26 westerns on prime time TV.  The genre continued to be a staple of TV programming until the 70s, when the popularity began to wane.  Still, those of us born and raised in the 50s and 60s have fond memories of the series we grew up with.  My personal favorites were – and still are -- Here Come the Brides, The Big Valley, and The High Chaparral.

Scotland the Brave

This summer Pixar released its 13th feature film – and its first with a female lead.  The movie is titled Brave, and tells the story of a young Scottish woman and her clash with tradition – and her mother’s expectations.  I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, especially because it was about Scotland.  The title itself is inspired by the song Scotland the Brave, the unofficial national anthem.

Celeste Holm (1917-2012)

Celeste Holm’s passing this week was a particularly sad occasion.  Yet another link to Hollywood past has gone with her.  Beginning her movie career in the 1940s, Holm was already a star on Broadway, originating the role of Ado Annie in the stage production of Oklahoma!  Once she settled in Hollywood, however, Holm stayed, working up until the end in film and television. 

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