CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Drama Filled Thursdays

As I promised I will be writing about great classic dramas all month long and I chose Thursdays as the day to do it. I will chose 5 dramas and write short views on them as to why they are some of my favorites. I thought I would choose a theme each week for that particular set of dramas. Up first family drama. You know where the family members are at odds against each other be it for financial reasons or just pure old jealously. I chose these 5 films as some of the best family dramas ever made. No rankings involved, just films I wanted to talk about with everyone.

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (1958) Superb film. Liz is smoking hot in this Tennessee William's adaptation. And she gives a great performance, to boot. Easily could have won an Oscar for it. Liz is Maggie the cat and she's married to Paul Newman, who have come home to celebrate his dad's birthday. He's called Big Daddy , wonderfully played by Burl Ives. When a southern family like this get together, all kinds of drama starts to unfold. This is the type of film where you just sit back and watch the fireworks go off, because it's an actors showcase. One of my favorite films of all time.

THE SUNDOWNERS (1960) Top notch family drama set in the Australian outback with the father (played by Robert Mitchum) who wants to keep sheep-herding from place to place. But his wife (Deborah Kerr) and son want to settle down. During one point, the family win a horse on a bet and name him Sundowner and race him. Hoping to make money so they can finally buy their own farm house. Things don't go as planned and it makes for some great drama. Loaded with a stong supporting cast in Peter Ustinov, Glynis Johns, and Dina Merrill.

A RAISIN IN THE SUN (1961) Powerful film version of the popular play about a family living in Chicago's southside during the mid 50's who argue over how to use a $10,000 insurance check for their recently deceased father. The mother (Claudia McNeil) wants to use it to buy a home and move out of the apartments. But the son (Sidney Poitier) wants to open up a liquor store. So tensions arise quickly. Great acting holds your interest even though the setting hardly ever changes. Sidney is amazing as usual. Also stars Ruby Dee as Sidney's wife.

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951) Vivien Leigh in one of great film performances as Blance DuBois, a fading Southern belle who arrives from Mississippi to the French Quarter of New Orleans, where her sister Stella Kowalski (played by Kim Hunter) resides with her brutish husband Stanley (a powerhouse Marlon Brando). Blanche is damaged goods and prone to drink quite a lot. Things turn ugly between Blanche and Stanley and end quite nasty. Riveting stuff.

GIANT (1956) Giant is an epic size movie that is very well done. It focuses on Texas ranger Jordan Benedict (played by Rock Hudson) who travels to a Maryland farm to buy a prize horse. There he meets the lovely Leslie (played by Elizabeth Taylor) and immediately falls in love. The film details their life together at Benedict's family ranch in Texas and their rivalry with Jett Rink (James Dean's last film before his untimely death). This is grand film-making on an epic scale. Director George Stevens unfolds this film at a good pace. A true epic in every sense of the word.


Irene Palfy said...

very nice choice of films here..

Patti said...

Would you believe that I haven't seen a single one of those. I did start The Sundowners a couple weeks ago, but I couldn't get into it, so I turned it off...guess I should have persevered a bit longer.

I love drama films---they are my genre of choice. So, I will look forward to your list each week.


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