Thursday, December 10, 2015

Stagecoach (1966)



This is not a proper review. It's a rambling collection of the reasons why I love Stagecoach (1966). But fear not, the list is not an exhaustive one so -- while long -- it does have an end. The main reason why I did not first post it on High Noon is that I simply had to post it with my “Dallas” header! Which said header, by the by, I love to pieces.


Hence, I'm not going to discuss the scenery (which is scrumptious and grand), nor how the story differs from the 1935 B+W version (which it does in so many ways), or how it is different from the original short story (which I haven't read for a long time :)).


Instead, I'm just going to talk about the characters, because they are simply... wonderful and lovely and brilliantly done.


Keenan Wynn as a Villain.
I first met him in The Absent Minded Professor, so technically I should have been prepared, but repeated viewings of Royal Wedding have somewhat altered my go-to impression of him. But oh he's delightfully disturbing in this role (not as in "disturbing" disturbing), but just rather delightful astonishment and awe at his talent.


Bob Cummings as Gatewood
Another favorite actor whose comedy I love and yet here he's great as a very rude villain. Of course he is perfect at being irritating and completely hilarious at the same time.


Hatfield... and Mrs. Mallory... and the Doctor and oh... everyone!
All are just perfection. Honestly, I love every single one of them. And Slim Pickens as the driver? Very, very fun. Mrs. Mallory is concisely proper, but not naturally unkind in temperament. (As a side note, both she and Dallas have similar coloring which, while rather amusing, still doesn't bother me in the least as they are both so beautiful)! And the Doctor! “Hey, it's Bing Crosby!” Before this I had only seen snatches of him via White Christmas and viewing those bits I found it impossible to meld his rather tragic expression with his humorous performance and actions, but his portrayal of the doctor totally reconciled the two in my mind and I enjoyed it in the extreme.

Finally....

Ringo and Dallas (aren't those the neatest names?)


Ringo is so normal and "everyday-ish", he truly does seem like someone whom you might just happen to meet any day (which said meeting would turn into an exquisite day). And that, my friends, is a very nice feeling indeed. And there is this really neat part indeed with him and the stage horses involving a thunderstorm and a mudslide.


Dallas is tough, yet with a vein of deeply hidden sensitivity running underneath that flashes out at times and only needs encouragement and a bit of tough love mixed with tenderness to draw it out. And (not to give anything away of course), that is exactly what a Certain Person gives her. And Ringo and Dallas together? Too… Much... Sweetness! He makes her laugh. Not a forced little giggle, but a beautiful and true laugh. She draws him out, too. Believe me, together, their relationship is absolutely adorable.


But it's not really the end... because there is so much more. More to be savored and sighed over, dreamt and written about, and of course those are the very best stories. And that is why this one is now one of my Top Five Favorite Westerns... and one of my Top Ten Favorite Movies, too (not that I can say what the other nine are, but I do know this is one :)).


Yes, I'm in raptures, because (to paraphrase the Abbess in Sound of Music) it's just that kind of story.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Things of Beauty: September - October

 (This post was actually written on November 14th. :)) 
...
Two weeks into November and I haven’t done my last collective yet. I left my blog notes at home and that changes a great deal. So much of September and October were wrapped in feelings: anticipation, imaginings; a mind too busy to think about anything else but thinking. Perhaps that’s not grammatically correct, but neither was my state of mind and now everything is being mixed with November. Ah well, that’s life. :) 

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Very Favorite Things 
Lark Rise to Candleford, mist shrouded mornings, 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene, playing with new workout routines, planning, eating chocolate chunk cookies, a breath snatching story idea (hence the choice of photo above), Stagecoach (1966), new kittens (1 orange + 1 black = perfect for fall), blood quickening Celtic music on a rainy afternoon. 

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Reading 
A page here, a sentence there; in other words, not much and my writing inspiration is suffering for it… not to mention my pride as a bookworm; however, I left for my vacation with three old favorites: Riders of the Purple Sage, Summer Moonshine, and A Tangled Web. 

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Writing 
Empty Rifles: a personally tingly piece of flash fiction, I’m not sure if it is going to go anywhere, but it has been with me a long time and I’m indescribably glad it is written. 

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Out-of-Doors 
Fall-ish and cool you know. And the colors… Rather nice actually. In other words it has been the ideal weather for my favorite season. 

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Cooking 
Chocolate Chip Oat cookies from Oh She Glows by Angela Liddon. (Her recipes are heavenly.) Vegan, refined sugar and (technically) gluten–free and they taste like boxed cookies, only fresh. Scrumptious indeed. Just writing about them makes me hungry and I have socializing to do tonight so I could really use the comfort… and I’m sitting in a hotel room miles away from a kitchen. 

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Discoveries 
Lark Rise to Candleford 
We have only seen the first two seasons, but I think I’m in love. In fact it’s one of my favorite period dramas ever. Especially in regards to Season 1 Episode 6. 

Mentioned by a friend at church months ago it wasn’t until late September that I actually tried it and it was amazing. And I didn’t skip a single day. The satisfaction was great I do assure you.  



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