Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Love from a Stranger (1937)

Love from a Stranger is a 1937 film adaptation of a play which was in turn an adaptation of an Agatha Christie short story. Starring Ann Harding and Basil Rathbone, the actors do a great job of playing out the roles in this suspense thriller.

Watch it via the Internet Archive (The sound's a bit fuzzy, but I couldn't find a cleaner one.):

I'll offer this as my "in" to the weekly T Stand for Tuesday blogger gathering where we share a reference to a beverage and visit one another:

On learning her dear friend has won thousands of pounds in a sweepstakes:

"I'll go make a cup of tea."

to which her friend pulls a bottle out of a bag and says,

"Tea?! Champagne!"

In the screenshot above they are laughing and crying with joy and excitement as they uncork the bottle. What a sweet moment.

ClassicHorror concludes,
Running for 84 minutes, this smoothly acted suspense drama is unfortunately one of Rathbone's frequently overlooked performances, despite that fact that he is superbly effective as the insane murderer. The quick-fire editing, atmospheric photography and Britten's good music score, particularly during the latter stages, is an additional bonus, but it is Rathbone's performance alone that makes this film most enjoyable.
Agatha Christie Reader calls it "a wry, well-conceived psychological thriller which proves that –even 75 years on– movies haven’t really changed." TCM has information.








Here Comes the Sun:





Random (not from a prompt):

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Twelfth Night (1969)

Twelfth Night is a 1969 British television production of the Shakespeare play. It stars Alec Guinness and Ralph Richardson.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Birds Aren't Real

on Highland Street in Memphis, TN

Birds Aren't Real. It's true. Just check out the website, where there's ample evidence to convince the most skeptical.

from the website:

"We needed a way to keep an eye on the American citizens without them knowing. It was imperative, for their own safety of course. We hired only the best. It took years. We designed, built, tested, failed. We persisted. Eventually, over decades, we had it. A fleet of covert technological surveillance devices unlike anything the world had ever seen. We called them, 'Birds'"   - Richard Nixon (1978)

Recent surveys have revealed that 99.5% of the general public still believe in "Birds." I know, I was shocked too. That said, it is our DUTY as Bird Truthers to remove the blinders from their eyes and welcome them into the light of the truth. Together, we can shift society's perception of what flies above us.
The founder of the movement is from Memphis. I love our quirky city.

(The photo at the top of the post was taken by The Younger Son. I was driving and was stopped by a train when we saw the billboard.)

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Merchant of Venice (1996)

The Merchant of Venice is a 1996 film adaptation of the Shakespeare play. Paul McGann is Bassanio and Bob Peck is Shylock.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Doorbell Rang

The Doorbell Rang is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. Though published in 1965, it's still quite relevant in how it portrays the FBI as a too-powerful, secretive, aggressively abusive, government agency at odds with the best interest of citizens. This is the last of the Nero Wolfe books that have been loaned to me by The Younger Son and so will be the last I read until he obtains more. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series.

from the back of the book:
There's no one and nothing the great detective Nero Wolfe wouldn't take on if the price was right. That's something wealthy society widow Rachel Bruner is counting on when she writes him a check for a whopping hundred grand. But even Wolfe has a moment's doubt when he finds out why the prize is so generous. For the oversize genius and he able assistant Archie Goodwin are about to link horns with the FBI -and those highly trained G-men have a way with threats, tails, and bugs that could give even sedentary sleuth Nero Wolfe a run for his money.
This book has been adapted twice in English. 1) the A and E Mystery series starring Maury Chaykin and Timothy Hutton:

That entire video series is worth watching, and we have it on DVD and re-watch them every once in a while. The adaptations are well done and might even be considered better than the books.

and 2) in a 1977 made-for-TV film called Nero Wolfe starring Thayer David and Tom Mason:

This should at best be called a loose adaptation, since it's said to include a romantic subplot involving Wolfe. I haven't seen this one and have no need to with the entire Chaykin/Hutton series on my shelf.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

A Flirtatious Woman

A Flirtatious Woman is a 1955 film, Jean-Luc Godard's 2nd short film. It is based on Le Signe (The Signal), a short story by Guy de Maupassant, which you can read online here.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019


Youth is a 1952 science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov. You can read it online here or here. It begins,
HERE was a spatter of pebbles against the window and the youngster stirred in his sleep. Another, and he was awake.

He sat up stiffly in bed. Seconds passed while he interpreted his strange surroundings. He wasn't in his own home, of course. This was out in the country. It was colder than it should be and there was green at the window.


The call was a hoarse, urgent whisper, and the youngster bounded to the open window.

Slim wasn't his real name, but the new friend he had met the day before had needed only one look at his slight figure to say, "You're Slim." He added, "I'm Red."

Red wasn't his real name, either, but its appropriateness was obvious. They were friends instantly with the quick unquestioning friendship of young ones not yet quite in adolescence, before even the first stains of adulthood began to make their appearance.

Slim cried, "Hi, Red!" and waved cheerfully, still blinking the sleep out of himself.

Red kept to his croaking whisper, "Quiet! You want to wake somebody?"

Slim noticed all at once that the sun scarcely topped the low hills in the east, that the shadows were long and soft, and that the grass was wet.

Slim said, more softly, "What's the matter?"

Red only waved for him to come out.

Slim dressed quickly, gladly confining his morning wash to the momentary sprinkle of a little lukewarm water. He let the air dry the exposed portions of his body as he ran out, while bare skin grew wet against the dewy grass.

Red said, "You've got to be quiet. If Mom wakes up or Dad or your Dad or even any of the hands then it'll be 'Come on in or you'll catch your death of cold.'"

He mimicked voice and tone faithfully, so that Slim laughed and thought that there had never been so funny a fellow as Red.

Slim said, eagerly, "Do you come out here every day like this, Red? Real early? It's like the whole world is just yours, isn't it, Red? No one else around and all like that." He felt proud at being allowed entrance into this private world.

Red stared at him sidelong. He said carelessly, "I've been up for hours. Didn't you hear it last night?"

"Hear what?"


"Was there a thunderstorm?" Slim never slept through a thunderstorm.

"I guess not. But there was thunder. I heard it, and then I went to the window and it wasn't raining. It was all stars and the sky was just getting sort of almost gray. You know what I mean?"

Slim had never seen it so, but he nodded.

"So I just thought I'd go out," said Red.

They walked along the grassy side of the concrete road that split the panorama right down the middle all the way down to where it vanished among the hills. It was so old that Red's father couldn't tell Red when it had been built. It didn't have a crack or a rough spot in it.

Red said, "Can you keep a secret?"

"Sure, Red. What kind of a secret?"

"Just a secret. Maybe I'll tell you and maybe I won't. I don't know yet." Red broke a long, supple stem from a fern they passed, methodically stripped it of its leaflets and swung what was left whip-fashion. For a moment, he was on a wild charger, which reared and champed under his iron control. Then he got tired, tossed the whip aside and stowed the charger away in a corner of his imagination for future use.

He said, "There'll be a circus around."

Slim said, "That's no secret. I knew that. My Dad told me even before we came here—"

"That's not the secret. Fine secret! Ever see a circus?"

"Oh, sure. You bet."

"Like it?"

"Say, there isn't anything I like better."

Red was watching out of the corner of his eyes again. "Ever think you would like to be with a circus? I mean, for good?"

Slim considered, "I guess not. I think I'll be an astronomer like my Dad. I think he wants me to be."

"Huh! Astronomer!" said Red.

Slim felt the doors of the new, private world closing on him and astronomy became a thing of dead stars and black, empty space.

He said, placatingly, "A circus would be more fun."

"You're just saying that."

"No, I'm not. I mean it."

Red grew argumentative. "Suppose you had a chance to join the circus right now. What would you do?"


"See!" Red affected scornful laughter.

Slim was stung. "I'd join up."

"Go on."

"Try me."

Red whirled at him, strange and intense. "You meant that? You want to go in with me?"

"What do you mean?" Slim stepped back a bit, surprised by the unexpected challenge.

"I got something that can get us into the circus. Maybe someday we can even have a circus of our own. We could be the biggest circus-fellows in the world. That's if you want to go in with me. Otherwise—Well, I guess I can do it on my own. I just thought: Let's give good old Slim a chance."

The world was strange and glamorous, and Slim said, "Sure thing, Red. I'm in! What is it, huh, Red? Tell me what it is."

"Figure it out. What's the most important thing in circuses?"

Slim thought desperately. He wanted to give the right answer. Finally, he said, "Acrobats?"

"Holy Smokes! I wouldn't go five steps to look at acrobats."

"I don't know then."

"Animals, that's what! What's the best side-show? Where are the biggest crowds? Even in the main rings the best acts are animal acts." There was no doubt in Red's voice.

"Do you think so?"

"Everyone thinks so. You ask anyone. Anyway, I found animals this morning. Two of them."

"And you've got them?"

"Sure. That's the secret. Are you telling?"
You can listen to the Librivox recording here.



Beverages (I'm linking this to the weekly T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering):

Black and White:


Black Background:

Let's Party:


Thread (I sewed the ribbon to the card with thread. I like some cards better than others, and I don't like this one at all. I'll probably take these butterflies off at some point and do something else with them.):

Tissue Paper:


Random (not from a prompt):

Monday, July 08, 2019

Devil Rider (1991)

Devil Rider is a 1991 horror western. It's the story of a man who defends his land through the years, long past his own time, against all newcomers. I find it boring and labored, and I say that as someone who thinks there should be more horror westerns. It's behind a mature viewer warning at Daily Motion, though I've seen worse that weren't. There's a woman fairly early in the movie who stands naked while she bathes with her back turned towards the camera. From clips I've seen there are similar shots that happen in a modern shower, but I quit watching before then.

Reviews are scarce. I think I understand why.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

The Botanic Gardens Asian Garden

The Asian Garden is a lovely space tucked into a section of the Memphis Botanic Gardens close to the new Urban Home Garden.

and back to the entrance of this area:

It's a peaceful space.