June 24, 2012

Movie Monday: Double Feature!

Okay, I promise not to do this too often, but now that we’re hitting the summer months, TCM is pulling out all the great ones, and I just can’t choose between these two vastly different movies. So today, you get two for the price of one!

First:

The Long, Long Trailer

Source: imdb.com via Jaci on Pinterest

 

Lucy and Desi star in this adorable comedy about a pair of newlyweds setting out on a unique honeymoon. Nicky and Tacy (Desi and Lucy, respectively) are young and in love and getting married. Nicky’s job requires them to move across the county the day after the wedding, rather than putting down roots in Tacy’s hometown. Tacy takes this idea and runs with it, and talks Nicky into purchasing a fancy top-of-the-line GINORMOUS mobile home. That way, they can have a traveling honeymoon and have a place to live when they arrive at their destination! Nicky is skeptical – wanting a brick-and-mortar house - but his enthusiastic fiancé wears him down. They leave the church and load up their new mobile home, and off they go!

Source: nytimes.com via Jaci on Pinterest

 

Natually, it doesn’t take long before calamity ensues. Tacy, it turns out, doesn’t know how to drive, so Nicky has to drive the entire time, with Tacy navigating. She’s not the greatest at reading maps, either. Neither one of them are very mechanically-minded, so anything that breaks down on the car or trailer is a major expense. And of course, when you road-trip it through campsites, you run into all sorts of colorful “helpful” characters played by some of the best cameo character actors of the day!

 

And did I mention the movie is called “The Long, Long Trailer”? And they have never owned a trailer before? And they have to drive cross-country, through mountains and small towns where the space between stoplights isn’t even big enough for their little caravan?

 

 

I have to admit, now having gone through a couple of PCS’s involving large moving trucks and towed vehicles, this movie takes on a whole new meaning to me! I had grand ideas of turning PCS moves into sightseeing trips, too. Thankfully, we aren’t Lucy and Desi, so we didn’t have to experience most of the outrageous antics they did. My favorite part is when Tacy gets the bright idea to cook a gourmet dinner as Nicky is driving the trailer down a bumpy road. Obviously, it doesn’t go quite as she planned.

“The Long, Long Trailer” is a really funny Lucy/Desi comedy and great fun to watch as a frequently-moving couple. It will be on TCM Wednesday, at 1:15 CST.

The other feature today is a little more serious, but every bit as good (even better, in my opinion):

The Long Gray Line

Source: imdb.com via Jaci on Pinterest

 

Marty Maher (Tyrone Power) is an Irish immigrant to the US who gets a job at West Point as a dishwasher. Before long, for various reasons, he enlists and is assigned duty at West Point, assisting Capt. Herman J. Kohler (Ward Bond), called the Father of Physical Education at West Point. Maher spends the rest of his life at West Point, investing in the students and watching the graduates continue through two World Wars, into the history books and even into the White House.

 

 

Maher becomes very close to Kohler and his wife, who take it on themselves to set Maher up with their new housekeeper, the fiery Mary O’Donnell (Maureen O’Hara), also a new Irish immigrant. Their courtship is tempestuous, but brief, and together they provide a home-away-from-home for all the cadets so far away from their families. Marty and Mary experience Army life from a unique vantage point: while Marty is technically a soldier, he’s permanently a fixture on post. He watches the students he cares dearly for deploy without ever going overseas himself. They bring their family to live with them at West Point, and adopt each of the boys they meet as extensions of their own little family. They go to the troop trains with them and say goodbye to each of them – some of them, forever.

 

Marty Maher was a real person, who served at West Point and impacted the lives of many famous Army figures that are household names today. And while I’m sure a good portion of the story is exaggerated (Hollywood wasn’t any better at sticking to the facts in biopics then than they are now), it’s still a very personal, very moving piece that you really shouldn’t miss. Power and O’Hara make a fantastic, bombastic Irish couple who weather the ups and downs of Army life with strength, dignity and humor. The various supporting cast is some of the best ever assembled – the inestimable Ward Bond, Donald Crisp, Patrick Wayne, Peter Graves, many, many others. It’s a truly star-studded cast.

 

I admit, I was hesitant to include this movie as a feature because I am afraid I can’t do justice to it. I’ve loved this movie long before the Army was even a thought on the horizon for me. One of the criticisms I often read about this movie is that it’s “boring” because Maher himself was never a war hero or President or something like that, “He was just a guy.” But that’s what I love about this story. It shows that you don’t have to win the Medal of Honor or become the Sergeant Major of the Army for your life to have an impact. Invest in others, and the ripples of your life will reach far beyond what you ever thought they would. The final sequence of the movie rips my heart out every time, as Maher finally is given the credit we know throughout the movie he is due. There’s laughter, there’s tears, there’s tenderness and there’s tragedy. This movie has it all. The Long Gray Line will be on today, Monday, 4:15 PM CST. I hope you haven’t missed it, but if you have find this movie somewhere and watch it ASAP.

Honorable Mentions

On Moonlight Bay (1951) – Tuesday, 3:15 PM CST
36 Hours (1965) – Saturday, 2:15 PM CST
Sullivan’s Travels (1941) – Saturday, 7:00 PM CST
The Palm Beach Story (1942) – Sunday, 3:00 AM CST
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) – Sunday, 10:30 AM CST
The Music Man (1962) – Sunday, 4:15 PM CST

3 comments:

  1. I love these reviews. I'd like to hear your review on 7B47B... :)

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  2. Ive seen neither of these! They seem like films I would enjoy but not so much my hubby!

    Daisy Dayz
    Cross-Jones-Photography
    My Hub Pages

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