Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Movie: A Christmas Movie

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Movie is “Brother Orchid” (1940):

It’s getting harder and harder to find a good Christmas movie to recommend. All the usual suspects have been seen so many times.

“It’s a Wonderful Life”? Ain’t that the one Jimmy Stewart gets to see all those reruns of scenes from his life. “White Christmas”? Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye get to dance and sing. Love their dancing and singing but it’s time to take a break.

“A Christmas Story”? Okay, the kid doesn’t shoot his eye out. “The Polar Express”? I wasn’t that bowled over with Tom Hanks as a cartoon character. “How the Grinch stole Christmas”? Too much like real life this year. “Elf”? Will Farrell isn’t my cup of coffee. Or tea either.

“Home Alone”? Seems that’s the “Die Hard” of kids’ movies. “A Christmas Carol”? Way too many Scrooges for me. ‘Course there’s always “Bad Santa” “The Santa Clause” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”. Seen about one hundred fifty-five and a half times or less.

So I went searching through the vault and found this one. It’s got Edward G. Robinson as the mob boss. He’s been so good at mobbing he decides it’s time he took a respite. He’s off to Europe and culture.

He leaves his girl, Ann Sothern, back in the states. And, oh yeah, he’s leaving his second-in- command in charge, Humphrey Bogart, in charge of the piggy bank.

“Take good care of things till I get back,” he orders.

Right. I’ve seen Bogie in too many tough guy movies from the thirties to know that he’s going to hand the goodies back over to his ex-boss. And, for good measure, he’ll take charge of the girl as well.

Edward G. returns with all sorts of class and culture. And what do you know. He finds himself on the run. Where to hide out? Where to hide out? In a monastery, of course.

Little does he know that his wise guy is going to turn into a truly wise man.

haiku for the day: whistle

It was her debut, and Lauren Bacall made the best of it. She dazzled the Bogey with her entrance in Hemingway’s “To Have and Have Not” (1944). She gave the world an idea of what true sex appeal could be. When the film was released, every guy in that audience must have been blown away. For a nineteen year old actress, she had acres and acres of It. And Bogey was one fortunate man to be dazzled by her. ‘Course he was a guy who could do some dazzling himself.

Lauren Bacall said
just pucker your lips and blow.
I still can’t whistle

Uncle Bardie’s Movie of the Week: Sam Spade & the Black Bird

Once a week on Monday, Uncle Bardie shares a movie with his Readers he gives a big two thumbs up. It will simply be a short excerpt or a trailer. Uncle Bardie might even throw in a reflection on the movie. If so, it will make an appearance below the video. So pop some popcorn and give yourself a treat. This week’s movie is John Huston’s “The Maltese Falcon” (1941):

Humphrey Bogart had been in a number of movies previous to “The Maltese Falcon”. This one was the one that put him on top. Also it was John Huston’s directorial debut.

It’s 1941 and Europe is deluged with war. The Nazis are bombing London. And Private Eyes Sam Spade and Miles Archer have a case. Nothing spectacular. Just another humdrum type of a case they’ve worked on dozens of times.

Ruth Wonderly walks into the office of Spade & Archer with a request. Help her find her sister and get her away from a man named Thursby. It’s all a lie. It gets Archer killed because he has the hots for the woman who turns out to be Brigid O’Shaunessy.

Now Spade is up to his neck in trouble because it was the last case for Archer. He may have been a knucklehead but he was Spade’s partner. In the long run, you go the extra mile for a partner. Spade may not have many ethics but that is one that is one hundred percent with him.

Before he can say “San Francisco”, he is up to his eyeballs in trouble. Some fellow with an accent named Joe Cairo, a large man name of Kasper Gutman and O’Shaunessy, of course, are all trying to shake Spade down.

And it’s all over a falcon. A Maltese Falcon.