Babes in Toyland (1961)

Hello, hello!
Today we’re going to talk about a movie that was certainly not on my radar! I didn’t know what to expect from Babes in Toyland and certainly ended up surprised.

The Plot (according to Rotten Tomatoes):

Mary Contrary (Annette) is set to marry Tom Piper (Tommy Sands) when he is kidnapped by Roderigo (Gene Sheldon) and Gonzorgo (Henry Calvin), two goons working for the evil Barnaby (Ray Bolger). Barnaby wants to marry Mary for her inheritance. Instead of killing Tom as instructed, Roderigo and Gonzorgo sell him to Gypsies, which allows Tom to rescue Mary. Soon afterward, Tom and Mary encounter the odd Toymaker (Ed Wynn), who becomes a pawn in Barnaby’s new scheme.

The Rating:

We’re gonna file this under “what the heck did I just watch”. This acid trip of a movie was not what I expected. It was nauseatingly colorful, sweet, and cheerful, not to forget very loud because of an annoying number of songs. Don’t misunderstand me, I have no problem with a film full of music if it is well done. However, here not a single song was decent or even catchy. Honestly, every time somebody started to sing, I just desperately wanted it to be over.

The opening sequences must be one of the longest I have ever seen. Was it necessary? No. Was it entertaining? Remotely. The bits that I assume were entertaining back in the day when the film come up now look rather cheap simply because it can be done so much better today. The story was weird, to say the least, and the movie was just dragging on. You know, this might work as 30 minutes (max) episode of a show but as a whole feature film, it was not enough to sustain my interest.

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Movie Mania Hitchcock Special: Psycho

Hey guys!
Welcome to another post in my Hitchcock Special series. Psycho is probably the famous amongst all of his films, so we better talk about it 😉

 

The Plot:
Marion Crane makes a spontaneous decision: she steals 40,000 $ a client had paid her boss. There’s nothing to do but going as far away as possible, so Marion gets in her car and drives. Soon she winds up at a very remote hotel. Turns out, it wasn’t the best accommodation choice…

 

The Rating:
There’s a reason why this is Hitchcock’s most famous movie. Psycho is simply brilliant.
Janet Leigh who stars as Marion is intense. Her agitation seeped through the screen and I swear I began shifting uncomfortable – just like her.  Continue reading

Book vs. Movie: The Time Machine (1960)

Hello my lovely readers!
For this book vs. movie post I checked out one the most influential science fiction novellas of all time: The Time Machine by H. G. Wells and the 1960 adaptation which marks a milestone in sci-fi films!

 

The Plot:
A couple of friends arrive at the home of the inventor George. It January 5th 1900. The guys are surprised when after some initial delay George arrives – exhausted and clearly shaken. He claims that he’s been travelling through time since the group had last met…

 

Book vs. Movie:
Let’s see about the novel.
I was absolutely fascinated by Wells’ amount of imagination. He wrote the novella in 1895, so anything even resembling time travelling was yet to become a think to talk about. That’s why The Time Machine has been so extremely influential on the entire science fiction genre afterwards.
In general, Wells idea for the future are still relevant and fascinating. His novella gave me a lot of food for thought!
In 1960 director George Pal delivered the most iconic adaptation of this story with Rod Taylor in the main role.
Similar to the novella, the movie also mark a mile stone in movie history. The time-lapse photographic effects even won an Academy Award! Continue reading

Book vs. Movie: To Kill a Mockinbird

This one is a classic. Not only the book is considered a famous and important piece of world literature, but also the movie is considered to be among the best. Both of them had been on my to-do-list for ages and now I finally found the time!

 

 

The Plot:
Set in Alabama in 1933 (although a span of 3 years is covered) we experience life through the eyes of Scout Finch, a six-year-old girl. She is close to her brother Jem and to her father Atticus who is a lawyer. The book actually addresses several different issues, but I’ll just focus on the main thing right now: a trial. A black man is accused of raping a white girl. Basically a sure death sentence, regardless of his guilt or innocence. Problems arise, not only for the man, but also for his lawyer Atticus and his family. Continue reading

Little Shop of Horrors – Old vs. New

Little Shop of Horrors is a special kind of film. The original version was shot in 1960, 22 years a musical was produced and in 1986 the musical was turned into a movie. As this is a very interesting take on one and the same story, I decided to look into the old and the new movie for today’s post!

 

1960 – Directed by Roger Corman

 

1986 – Directed by Frank Oz

 

The Plot:
A rather clumsy young man finds a plant. But not an ordinary one as it soon turns out. Audrey (named after his love interest) lives on blood and gets hungrier each day. Fortunately, there is quite a lot of scum in the neighbourhood to make sure Audrey is well fed and growing strong…

 

Old vs. New: Continue reading