Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Désirée’s Baby

Désirée’s Baby is an 1893 short story by Kate Chopin. You can read it online here or here or have it read to you at the bottom of this post. It begins,
As the day was pleasant, Madame Valmondé drove over to L’Abri to see Désirée and the baby.

It made her laugh to think of Désirée with a baby. Why, it seemed but yesterday that Désirée was little more than a baby herself; when Monsieur in riding through the gateway of Valmondé had found her lying asleep in the shadow of the big stone pillar.

The little one awoke in his arms and began to cry for “Dada.” That was as much as she could do or say. Some people thought she might have strayed there of her own accord, for she was of the toddling age. The prevailing belief was that she had been purposely left by a party of Texans, whose canvas-covered wagon, late in the day, had crossed the ferry that Coton Maïs kept, just below the plantation. In time Madame Valmondé abandoned every speculation but the one that Désirée had been sent to her by a beneficent Providence to be the child of her affection, seeing that she was without child of the flesh. For the girl grew to be beautiful and gentle, affectionate and sincere, —the idol of Valmondé.


Tuesday, March 28, 2023

The Killing (1956)

The Killing is a 1956 film noir directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Sterling Hayden and Elisha Cook, Jr. Cook is a favorite with us. Rodney Dangerfield has an uncredited role in this, his first film. A lesser known noir, it deserves more attention and is well worth watching.

free via YouTube, but it's "age-restricted" for some reason so you'll have to click through to YouTube to watch it:

Roger Ebert has it on his list of Great Movies. Filmsite calls it "a stylish but stark film noir crime drama, and the definitive heist-caper movie". The Criterion Collection calls it "one of Hollywood’s tautest, twistiest noirs". Turner Classic Movies has an overview. Rotten Tomatoes has a 96% critics concensus score.

I'm drinking my usual cuppa coffee (no whitener, no sugar):

Please share your own drink and join us at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, March 27, 2023


Wildhood is a 2021 Canadian coming-of-age romantic drama film about a young man in his late teens who was raised disconnected from his mother's native Mi'kmaq heritage by his abusive white father. Following the discovery that his mother, whom he had long been told was dead, is in fact still alive, he takes his younger half-brother on a journey to find her. A fascinating film and a touching story. I watched it on Hulu.


The Guardian says, "Set in Nova Scotia, Bretten Hannam’s tremendously shot film follows two boys as they flee their abusive dad and embark upon a quest". The Hollywood Reporter says, "Wildhood combines the foundation of heartrending coming-of-age narratives with the feel-good elements of road trip flicks to create a delicate, not to mention visually appealing, [second] film [for this director]." Rotten Tomatoes has a 100% critics consensus score.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Funny Girl

Funny Girl is an award-winning 1968 musical comedy film loosely based on the life of Fanny Brice. The movie is directed by William Wyler and stars Barbara Steisand in her film debut and Omar Sharif. Anne Francis and Walter Pidgeon co-star. I had seen this before but it had been decades since the last time. It's fun to see the songs in context. I watched it on Amazon Prime.


Roger Ebert has a full 4-star review, calling Steisand "magnificent". There's a 94% positive reviewer consensus at Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Here Comes Mr. Jordan

Here Comes Mr. Jordan is a 1941 fantasy romantic comedy film starring Robert Montgomery, Claude Rains, and Edward Everett Horton. Not my usual fare as I don't favor comedies and especially try to avoid romantic comedies, but this was a fine little film. I'll watch anything with Claude Rains in it. It's on Tubi. I watched it on my computer via YouTube (embedded below), but you can get the free Tubi app through Roku and watch it on your TV if you prefer that.

via YouTube:

DVD Talk opens with this:
Here Comes Mr. Jordan is one of those rare Hollywood classics that hasn't dated and never fails to raise one's spirits. It's one of the first and best of the Films Blanc, the splinter genre of light comedy-dramas that imagine the universe to be governed by a fanciful Hereafter. Screenwriters Sidney Buchman and Seton I. Miller put Robert Montgomery into a no man's land between heaven and earth, while sympathetic angels work to correct a cosmic error. Nominated for seven Oscars, the film won two, for Original Story and Screenplay.
Slant Magazine describes it as a "Hollywood gem". Criterion calls it "A sophisticated supernatural Hollywood comedy whose influence continues to be felt". TCM has information. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 100%.

Friday, March 24, 2023

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf is a 2021 adult animated dark fantasy film focusing on the origin story of Geralt's mentor and fellow witcher Vesemir, the witcher featured in The Witcher televsion series. This is a wonderful origin story which stands on its own even if you're unfamiliar with the other witcher stories. I watched it on Netflix.


Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus rating of 100%.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

The Curse of Humpty Dumpty

The Curse of Humpty Dumpty is a 2021 horror film. It's one of those evil doll films, which I tend to avoid, but I'm glad I watched this one. The main character is a woman recently diagnosed with dementia. I saw it on Tubi.


Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance

Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance is a 1972 Japanese sword-fighting film, the first in a series of six films in the Lone Wolf and Cub series based on the manga. This is interesting, and I'm glad The Younger Son introduced me to the series. The father/son pair is sweet. Right now it looks like it's available on Internet Archive. I watched it on HBO Max.


Criterion opens its description with this: "The inaugural film in the Lone Wolf and Cub series immediately thrust Itto Ogami into the ranks of the all-time great samurai movie icons." Rotten Tomatoes has an audience consensus score of 90%.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Pinetop's Boogie Woogie

Pinetop's Boogie Woogie:

This is a live version. The song was recorded at Sun Studio by Pinetop Perkins, who died on this date in 2011 at 97 years of age.

Pull up a chair and join me in a cuppa (mine's chamomile) while you listen:

I'll be joining the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering. Join me?

Monday, March 20, 2023


Wanda is a 1970 award-winning American independent drama film written and directed by Barbara Loden, who also stars. Set in the anthracite coal region of eastern Pennsylvania, the film focuses on an apathetic woman with limited options who inadvertently goes on the run with a bank robber. This is definitely re-watchable.

The director died of breast cancer in 1980 at age 48. Wanda is her only feature-length film as director.

I watched it on HBO Max.

via YouTube:

NPR concludes, "Unable to find backing for another film — [the director] wanted to adapt Kate Chopin's The Awakening — Loden died of cancer at age 48. But her legend continues to grow. On the basis of a single movie, posterity has made her a symbol of all the women filmmakers who might have had great careers but never really got the chance." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 92%.