Friday, October 29, 2010

For the Weekend: Childhood Halloween Favorites

I love Halloween!  Always have and always will.  It's all about having fun, with the costumes, candy, parties, and pumpkin carving.  (That's my pumpkin this year to the left, my Jack Skellington!  teehee)  It's the one holiday where everyone gets to celebrate feeling like a kid again.  And of course for me, that also means watching all the Halloween specials I had to watch every year growing up.  So, for your weekend enjoyment today, let's dive into all those wonderfully cheesy shows!

The first and biggest is probably everyone's favorite (at least for those born before 1990), "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!"  This television special, first broadcast in 1966, was the third prime-time animated special from Charles Schultz's classic Peanuts comic strip.  It follows the Peanuts gang as they each celebrate Halloween in their own way - Charlie Brown has bad luck, as always, and only gets rocks trick-or-treating; Snoopy dresses as a WWI flying ace and pretends to be shot down over enemy lines; and Linus waits in the pumpkin patch all night for the Great Pumpkin to show up and bring him toys.  It's all classic, mild-mannered fun that I can't do without each Halloween, from the dialogue to Vince Guaraldi's famous "Linus and Lucy" theme (that actually premiered in "A Charlie Brown Christmas").  "Great Pumpkin" has aired on television every year since it's initial broadcast, on CBS until 2000, then on ABC ever since.  Loved since the beginning, after it's first airing, Schultz received tons of candy from children all over the country, all addressed to Charlie Brown, feeling sorry that he got nothing but rocks.  It's great fun and wonderful memories, and if you missed last night's airing on ABC, you can go to Hulu and watch it free or purchase it from iTunes to watch over and over again.

My next favorite special was broadcast every year up until 2000, so this is for all my 80s and 90s peeps - "Garfield's Halloween Special."  First aired in 1985, this was the first special Garfield comic strip creator Jim Davis didn't base on already-existing material of his (and the fourth special all together).  With Lorenz Music continuing his voicing of Garfield, the infamous, lazy, lasagna-eating cat, the show has Garfield give up lasagna for one night as he takes Odie the dog on his first trick-or-treating outing, only to end up having the two trapped in a pirate ghost story.  This fun special (which actually used to scare the Halloween sugar out of me when it got to the ghost part) aired every year on CBS in conjunction with "Great Pumpkin" until ABC bought the Peanuts special's broadcast rights in 2000.  After that, it was only my recorded VHS tape version from the 80s that I watched (with all the great TV commercials that just fueled my nostalgia).  Since I can't send you all my VHS tape, you can watch "Garfield's Halloween Adventure" on YouTube here (not the best copy though), or get the DVD "Garfield Holiday Celebrations" (which also includes his Thanksgiving and Christmas specials).

Finally, my last must-watch Halloween show is probably only known by those true 80s children out there...the television movie "The Worst Witch" (1986).  This is a rare one, if you know it.  My parents don't even remember me watching this one!  (They told me this when they bought me the DVD for Christmas a while back, haha.)  Based on the series of books by Jill Murphy, it tells the tale of a young unlucky misfit girl at a school for witches.  Fairuza Balk stars as the bumbling witch-in-training Mildred Hubble only a year after making her big lead debut in the "Wizard of Oz" sequel "Return to Oz" (another one of my childhood favorites that scared the bejeezus outta me).  She had some great costars as well, including Diana Rigg, Charlotte Rae, and Tim Curry.  It's really bad, extremely cheesy, and the least scary Halloween movie ever made (just watch Curry's Halloween solo below as proof), but I love it 100%, just because of the nostalgia.  It's one of those cult classics that only a few people I know enjoy too.  It originally aired on HBO and then The Disney Channel until the late 90s so it wasn't an easy special to find.  But because of my love of it, I refused to read or watch Harry Potter for some time (why does a boy wizard at magic school become so popular but not a girl witch?!)  I have since come to love Harry Potter much, much more than "The Worst Witch" ('s so much better!  Shhh, don't tell anybody, k? *wink, wink*)  You can watch all of "Witch" on YouTube here or pick up the DVD.

So, dive into your childhood and revel in being a kid again this Halloween weekend.  And stay safe too!  Happy Halloween!!!!!  See ya next week!

(Post-tidbit:  "The Great Pumpkin" has been parodied a lot over the years but nobody has done it better than "The Simpsons" in their "Treehouse of Horror XIX" with "It's the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse."  Below is a clip of some of the best dialogue "The Simpsons" writers have ever written, as the Grand Pumpkin comes to life.  Enjoy!)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Beetlejuice: Death at its Funniest

There's only one genre of film that I don't really like - the slasher-horror genre.  I'm sorry but having the bejeezus scared out of me, almost making me pee in my theater seat, is not fun to me.  I need laughs more than I need adrenalin almost making my heart explode.  If I like a horror-type movie, it's more of a death comedy.  So, since it's almost Halloween, I'm talking about my favorite of them all - "Beetlejuice"!

I hope everyone reading this has already seen this movie.  If not, it's a must! This is Tim Burton at the beginning of his feature-directing career.  Though he didn't write the original script (or even the rewrites), you can still see those Gothic, dark, Burton-esque qualities that Gen X has come to love and cherish.  The film tells the tale of a young married couple living out in the countryside who get into an accident and die.  Their ghostly afterlife is confined to the house they once called home, unable to leave.  When a city couple and their daughter buy the house and start transforming the home they worked so hard to build, they get the help of a bio-exorcist named Betelgeuse (pronounced "Beetlejuice") to scare the family away.  But Betelgeuse proves to be more harmful than helpful, so the newly-dead couple must now save the family they first wanted to scare.  It's a hilarious comedic ride through the world of the afterlife, and stars Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Jeffery Jones and Michael Keaton as the titular character.

Released back in 1988, "Beetlejuice" was the second feature film directing project for Tim Burton.  The first feature Burton directed, "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" (1985), was such a huge success, he was being bombarded by scripts for his next project.  None of them had the imagination and creativity he was looking for, and Burton was becoming disheartened...until producer David Geffen handed him "Beetlejuice" by Michael McDowell.  McDowell's original screenplay was much more of a horror film than a comedy though, with Betelgeuse as a hellish winged demon who could transform into many different people.  The climax of this version had Betelgeuse raping one daughter (there were two originally) and mutilating the second by transforming himself into a ravenous squirrel.  Luckily, Burton and the studio hired writers to lighten up the story...a lot!

With only a $13 million budget, Burton relied heavily on his love of old B-movies, wanting the sets and effects to look cheap and fake.  He first tried to get art director Anton Furst for "Beetlejuice" but unfortunately, Furst was already committed to "High Spirits" (1988).  (Furst would later work with Burton to create a whole new look for Gotham City in "Batman" (1989).)  Burton hired Bo Welch instead, which started a working partnership that continued with "Edward Scissorhands" (1990) and "Batman Returns" (1992).  Welch also managed to start another great partnership during "Beetlejuice."  He met Catherine O'Hara and fell in love, marrying in 1992 (and still together today).

Michael Keaton was not Burton's first choice to play Betelgeuse.  Originally, he wanted his childhood idol Sammy Davis Jr. in the part.  Yes, that Sammy Davis Jr., the song and dance man!  Geffen suggested the comedic Keaton instead to Burton, who was unfamiliar with any of his work.  However, after Burton saw a tape, he agreed with Geffen and hired Keaton.  Even though Betelgeuse is the title character (in phonetic form, at least), he has only about 17 minutes of screen time out of the full 92-minute running.  Keaton only had to work on "Beetlejuice" for two weeks.  However, it led to his biggest and best role ever when Burton cast him in the lead of his next project - "Batman"!

"Beetlejuice" was a big break for young Winona Ryder as well.  17 years old at the time, Ryder had been in only two films before this, "Lucas" (1986) and "Square Dance" (1987).  It was her performance in "Lucas" that impressed Burton and led to her winning the role of odd, goth teen Lydia.  She won it over young actresses like Diane Lane, Jennifer Connolly, Sarah Jessica Parker, even already odd Juliette Lewis.  This then led to her next big role, in the teen dark comedy "Heathers" (1989), solidifying her as a role model for alienated teens everywhere.  She also made a mark with Burton, who cast her again alongside Johnny Depp in "Edward Scissorhands."

"Beetlejuice" went on to earn $73 million at the box office and an Oscar for Best Makeup.  Thanks to his second success, Warner Bros. was more inclined to grant him the large budget he needed for "Batman," which went on to earn $411 million at the box office and proved Burton was (and still is) a solid bet in Hollywood.  So, get your Halloween groove on this week and drown yourself in laughter with "Beetlejuice."  It's currently an instant streamer on Netflix and is always available on DVD.  Have a great week, everyone!

(Post-tidbit:  A sequel was written back in 1990 at Burton's request, titled "Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian."  However, other commitments kept causing Burton to put the project aside.  Many people have been asked over the years to do some rewrites on the script, including Daniel Waters ("Heathers"), Pamela Norris ("Troop Beverly Hills" (1989)), even Kevin Smith.  Yet, everyone passed and it still sits untouched at The Geffen Film Company.)

Video treat: Part 1 of Episode 1 of the "Beetlejuice" cartoon series, produced by Burton:

Friday, October 15, 2010

For the Weekend: Netflix the 90s

There are so many great films available for instant viewing on Netflix right now.  So, for your weekend suggestions this time, I thought I'd go through the list of Netflix instant films, and pick out some gems for you.  And since I'm in a bit of a nostalgic mood these days, they're all early 90s favs.

First up is "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," the 1992 film, not the television show of the same name (though you can watch all the seasons of the TV show on Netflix as well).  Starring Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland, Paul Reubens, Rutger Hauer, and Luke Perry, it is the story of a high school cheerleader who finds out she is the only one who can save the world against vampires.  The original screenplay was written by Joss Whedon, the creator of the television series, but the studio took it and rewrote a lot of it to lighten the story up (which of course, did not please Whedon at all).  Therefore, the spinoff TV series is more of a continuation of his original script and not this film.  But I still love this movie too.  It's so fun to watch.  (Joss, I hope you don't mind that I love them both.)

Next up is "Hook" from 1991, starring Robin Williams as a grown-up Peter Pan, Dustin Hoffman as the infamous Captain Hook, and Julia Roberts as sprightly Tinkerbell.  Directed by Steven Spielberg, it tells the tale of Peter Pan after he leaves Neverland and grows up, only to have his children kidnapped by Hook, forcing him to go back to his past.  Screenwriter James V. Hart was inspired with the idea for "Hook" after his son asked him one day what would have happened if Peter Pan actually grew up.  Even though the film didn't turn out as well as Spielberg was hoping, he did (because he's Spielberg) get quite a few big names to make cameos.  Glenn Close plays a pirate who gets locked in a box with scorpions.  The band Genesis makes an appearance as inspectors in London.  Even George Lucas and Carrie Fisher make an appearance as a couple kissing on a bridge.  (Fisher also did some uncredited rewrites of the script.)  It'll bring out the child in you, for sure.

Finally, the romantic drama "Legends of the Fall" (1994).  The film is about a father and his three sons and the woman who changes each of their lives as the battle many different wars in changing times.  It stars Brad Pitt,  Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn, and Julia Ormond, but, truly, it's Pitt whom most everyone remembers in this film, for it came out right when his heartthrob fame was beginning.  Pitt almost didn't play the part of Tristan.  It was originally offered to Johnny Depp, but he turned it down.  The story was at one time designed as a starring vehicle for Sean Connery and Tom Cruise, but since it took Edward Zwick over 10 years to get the project up and running, they were no longer available.  This film is true epic melodrama and brings me back to my teenage crushes.  Remember your crushes too with it this weekend.

So, I hope you enjoy these 90s gems on Netflix this weekend, or explore the vast list of other instant streamers available.  You're sure to find something you like.  Have a great weekend, everyone!  Until next week.

(Post-tidbit:  A couple of Oscar winners got their starts in these films.  "Buffy" was future two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank's first film.  And "Hook" was Gwyneth Paltrow's film debut.  Paltrow even went on to audition for the role of Susannah in "Legends of the Fall.")

Monday, October 11, 2010

Die Hard: See, Even Girls Like It

I've talked about a wide range of favorite movies here this year.  Being a girl, some may have surprised you (like "Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid"), some not so much (four words - "The Sound of Music").  Brace yourself cause you're about to get the biggest shock yet.  Today I'm talking about..."Die Hard"!

I know, I know, I'm a girl!  But like I've said a thousand times, if the movie's good, no matter the genre, I'll like it.  And "Die Hard" totally falls into that mindset. It's one of the best action films ever made (as probably ever guy reading this right now will testify).  Well, gentlemen, guess what?  There are girls who like the film too.  I'm not sure what it is that puts this film onto my all-time favorites list over all the other action films that make me say "Ok, that was fun...back to romances."  It could be the solid, seemingly simple script.  Maybe because it's so much fun to watch with my dad.  Or possibly it's my unabashed love of Alan Rickman, which started when I first saw him in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," yelling "I'll cut your heart out with a spoon!" to Kevin Costner.  (Later conversation: "Why a spoon, cousin?  Why not a knife or a fork?"  "Because it's dull, you twit.  It'll hurt more."...teehee, love it.)

Now, I know I don't have to tell you guys the plot, but for all those women out there reading this, here you go.  A New York cop arrives in Los Angeles to spend Christmas with his estranged wife and kids and heads straight for the wife's office from the airport, where a Christmas party is going on.  However, thieves pretending to be terrorists bust into the office building and hold everyone hostage, except the cop.  Now it's up to him and only him to stop them and save everyone, including his wife.  Released back in 1988, it stars Bruce Willis as the cop John McClane, Alan Rickman as the thief Hans Gruber, and Bonnie Bedelia as the estranged wife Holly.

This was THE film that made Bruce Willis an action star.  At the time, he was mainly a funny man, starring alongside Cybill Shepherd in "Moonlighting" since 1985.  And he wasn't the first choice to play McClane either.  Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Burt Reynolds, Richard Gere, Harrison Ford, and Mel Gibson were all offered the part but each one turned it down.  Willis had to really work his schedule out to shoot "Die Hard" too.  He was filming "Moonlighting" at the same time, during the day.  When he finished there, he would head over to Fox and film "Die Hard" through the night.  He did have a little time off during filming, though, to elope to Vegas and marry Demi Moore.

This was a big film for Alan Rickman too.  Mainly a British stage star at the time, he made his Broadway debut in "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" as Vicomte de Valmont in 1987 (for which he was nominated for a Tony).  "Die Hard" director John McTiernan and producer Joel Silver went to see a matinee performance of "Liaisons" one day, and from that, they knew they had found their villain Hans.  Since Rickman was not offered the role of Valmont in the film version of the play, he accepted "Die Hard" instead, thus making his feature film debut.  And what a debut!  He created one of the most famous villains in film history (#46 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Heros & Villains list).

Even though you may think, "It's only an action film.  They wrote it just so they could blow things up," "Die Hard" is actually based on a book - Nothing Last Forever by Roderick Thorp, a sequel to his book The Detective.  The first book had already been made into a film in 1968 starring Frank Sinatra.  Thorp wrote the second book with the thought of it being adapted into a sequel to the film "The Detective."  However, Sinatra turned down the sequel, and the book was shelved until the 80s.  They made the lead character younger, changed the daughter being held hostage to his wife, and changed the corporation, but most of the film follows the book.  One major change McTiernan made, though, was switching the villains terrorists to thieves, to make the film less heavy.  He felt the audience would enjoy the thought of all that money more than some deep political beliefs.

When 20th Century Fox did greenlight "Die Hard," they had the perfect location for the film to use already, the newly constructed Fox Plaza building in Century City.  All exterior shots and some interior shots were filmed at the building, which even itself had some floors unfinished at the time.  Much was still filmed on sound stages, for, as you well know, there are a lot of stunts in this film.  Willis didn't do all his own stunts, though.  (Sorry, guys.)  For example, his stunt double did the jump in the elevator shaft, which he actually missed.  McTiernan liked his mistake so much anyway that he edited it look like McClane misses the first vent, then grabs the second.  Rickman did have to do part of his one major stunt himself.  He was a bit nervous though, so he made McTiernan do it first.

So, guys (and maybe some gals like me), get your high body count fix this week with "Die Hard."  (I know I don't have to tell any of you gentlemen twice.)  It's on any number of television channels everyday, but it's also currently an instant streamer on Netflix.  Have a great week, everyone!

(Post-tidbit:  Ever notice that you never really see Hans' face whenever he fires a gun.  That's because Alan Rickman couldn't help flinching at the sound and flash of the guns.)

Friday, October 8, 2010

For the Weekend: More Curtis Tributes

This Sunday, TCM is having a 24-hour tribute marathon to the late Tony Curtis.  I already talked about "Some Like It Hot" this week (which is, unfortunately, not part of the marathon) so here are some more great Curtis films not to miss, just in case you can't watch the entire day.

First up, don't miss the lighthearted, fun "Operation Petticoat" (1959).  Released the same year as "Some Like It Hot," the comedy stars Curtis and Cary Grant as to naval submarine officers during the early days of World War II who get stuck transporting a few stranded nurses to safety while in a pink submarine.  It's a crazy but fun story.  It was also a dream come true for Curtis.  Growing up, he idolized Grant, especially in his favorite film "Destination Tokyo" (1943).  It even inspired him enough that when Curtis enlisted in the Navy for the war, he requested submarine service.  So when the opportunity came around to actually star with Grant in a submarine flick, he jumped at it.  And they make a great pair.  Catch them together at 11:45am EST.

Next is Curtis' first big breakthrough film into serious acting - "Sweet Smell of Success" (1957) with Burt Lancaster.  Based on a novelette by writer Ernest Lehman, "Success" tells the story of a powerful Broadway columnist (inspired by real-life powerhouse columnist Walter Winchell) who uses a struggling New York press agent to break up his sister's relationship with a jazz musician, by any means necessary.  Curtis had to fight for the role of Falco the press agent because up until then, he had only played nice, pretty-boy characters.  Universal, the studio he was under contract with, was scared "Success" would ruin his career.  But Curtis managed to get the part, and was a critical darling.  He did make production difficult though, unintentionally.  Because much of the film was shot during rush hour on the streets of New York, keeping the Tony Curtis fans behind the barriers was often difficult.  Seeing Curtis as this heartless character did make many fans cringe at the time, but it was still ranked one of the best films of the year by critics.  "Success" is on at 8pm EST (followed by his next big dramatic role in "The Defiant Ones" at 9:45pm - click here to read my previous post on that). 

Finally, it's back to lighthearted, crazy antics in "The Great Race" (1965).  Directed by Blake Edwards (who also directed "Operation Petticoat"), "Race" stars Curtis, Natalie Wood and Jack Lemmon.  Curtis plays The Great Leslie, a turn-of-the-century daredevil who suggests a race from New York to Paris (going west through the US, up through the Bering Strait, and through Russia) to promote a new car.  Based on a real race in 1908, Edwards wanted to turn it into the ultimate comedy.  A true slapstick farce, it has all the comedic elements of the silent era, especially Laurel and Hardy, and cartoons.  (It inspired the "Wacky Races" cartoon series by Hanna-Barbera).  It even includes the largest pie fight ever filmed.  During the fight, there is a running gag that The Great Leslie remains immaculately clean while everyone else is covered from head to foot in pie.  However, at one point, the cast couldn't resist Curtis' clean appearance and pelted him with pies all at once.  Curtis actually wasn't the first choice for Leslie.  Charlton Heston was originally offered the role, but when production on "The Agony and the Ecstasy" (1965) ran long, he had to back out.  Be sure to catch all the crazy fun at 1:30am EST (Monday morn). 

So, pay tribute to a great actor who we just lost and watch TCM this Sunday.  You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll cringe...but it will be worth it.  And, Mr. Curtis, I hope you are peaceful wherever you are.  Until next week, everyone.  Have a wonderful weekend!

(Post-tidbit:  ABC adapted "Operation Petticoat" into a television series back in 1977, which ran for 2 seasons.  It didn't have any of the original film's cast members, of course, but it did have a relation - Curtis' daughter Jamie Lee, starring as one of the nurses.)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Some Like It Hot: Farewell, Mr. Curtis

We lost one of the great movie stars of classic Hollywood last week - Tony Curtis. So what better time than now to talk about my favorite film of his, and high on my list of all-time favorite films ever - "Some Like It Hot" (1959).

Directed by the great Billy Wilder and co-written with his frequent partner I.A.L. Diamond, "Some Like It Hot" stars Curtis in probably his most famous role ever.  Starring with him in this comedy classic are Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe.  Curtis and Lemmon play two musicians who witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago so they disguise themselves as women to escape to Florida with an all-girls jazz band.  Monroe is, of course, a member of the band, and as Curtis falls for her, their lives get more and more complicated and mixed up.

I remember the first time I saw this film I loved it instantly, not only for the comedy, but for the boundaries it pushed for its time.  I mean, there are men cross-dressing!!  In the 50s!  And so many other underlying subtexts running throughout the film with Lemmon dating a millionaire while he's playing a woman.  Hilarious and so ahead of its time!  And the rest of the world, I feel, pretty much agrees with me.  AFI rated "Some Like It Hot" as #14 of the greatest movies of all time in 1998, and the greatest comedy ever on their "100 Years...100 Laughs" list in 2005.  It was also one of the very first films to be included in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry when it was created back in 1989.  And even though it won only one Oscar (for Best Black & White Costume Design), it was nominated for five others, including Best Actor for Jack Lemmon, Best Screenplay, and Best Director.  Funny all the praise, for during filming, everyone warned Curtis and Lemmon not to make it, saying the subject would be a career killer.  Even Kansas banned the film, saying it was "too disturbing for Kansans."

At the time of "Some Like It Hot," Curtis was riding on the success of some of his best dramatic roles - "Sweet Smell of Success" (1957) with Burt Lancaster and "The Defiant Ones" (1958) with Sidney Poitier.  However, 1959 marked his true jump into comedy, with "Hot" and "Operation Petticoat" with Cary Grant (his idol from childhood, and the voice he imitated for the millionaire in "Some Like It Hot"). Like so many classic stories of Hollywood then, Curtis was born Bernie Schwartz, a name Hollywood said was too Jewish, so he chose Tony Curtis instead.  He grew up a poor Brooklyn kid who loved going to the movie theater, especially to see his favorite actor, Grant.  So when Curtis suggested imitating Grant for the millionaire he pretends to be in order to seduce Monroe in "Hot," Wilder loved the idea.  Of course, later when Grant saw "Hot," he said, "I don't talk like that."

Curtis and Lemmon are one of the best onscreen pairings in history, but it almost didn't come to pass.  Originally, Wilder had Danny Kaye and Bob Hope in mind for the leads, but after a while, he changed his mind, leaning toward the lesser-known stars.  Then, before production began, Frank Sinatra began to petition for the role of Jerry/Daphne, bumping Lemmon out of the running.  Luckily, Sinatra ultimately decided against the role, and Lemmon was back in.  When the costume tests were being done before filming began, in order to see if Curtis and Lemmon could truly pass as women, the two decided to walk around the lot in full costume and makeup.  They even went into a woman's restroom for a while, but not a single woman in there noticed anything odd about the men.  After that, they knew everything would be a success.  And I'm sure this gave Curtis some much-needed confidence.  After their first dress fitting, Lemmon came sauntering out of the dressing room, completely relaxed.  However, Curtis refused, nervous and uncomfortable, and had to be dragged out by Lemmon.

All the Florida scenes in "Hot" were actually filmed at the famous, beautiful Hotel del Coronado in San Deigo, California.  Wilder chose that hotel for many reasons, but mainly for one major problem "fix" - Monroe.  Monroe, known for her constant lateness and insecurity, was no different during the filming of "Some Like It Hot."  Wilder thought that if she was staying at the same place as the filming, she wouldn't be as much of a problem.  Unfortunately, that wasn't the case, as she still would show up 2-3 hours late and many times was unable to get the simplest of lines correct.  One of the hardest scenes to get right was one line, "Where's that bourbon."  All Monroe had to do was walk in, rummage through some drawers, and say that line.  After 40 takes, Wilder finally pasted her line in a drawer.  Unfortunately, she got frustrated because she couldn't remember which drawer had the line in it, and still messed up.  So Wilder pasted the line in every drawer, and after 57 takes, they finally wrapped that scene.  However, it's still one of her best performances ever, and hard to notice her troubles off-screen.

"Some Like It Hot" is a masterpiece, and if you're a true movie fan and haven't seen this film yet, you must see it soon, especially in memory of the late, great Tony Curtis.  Have a wonderful week, everyone!  I'll be back Friday with some more Curtis gems as TCM honors him with a 24-hour marathon this Sunday.

(Post-tidbit:  "Some Like It Hot" was made into a Broadway musical in 1972 entitled "Sugar."  In 2002, Curtis starred in a production of the play, playing millionaire Osgood Fielding III this time around.)