Sunday, February 27, 2022

End of February Sunday Movies

Football season is officially over & it's still cold outside so it's back to a favorite time--Sunday afternoon movies.  Over the years DVD's have come & gone from my collection as I've moved & downsized.  Some I've kept, some have stayed gone & in idiot fashion, some have been repurchased.  I had one of each today.

Enchanted Cottage

First was 'The Enchanted Cottage' with Robert Young & Dorothy McGuire from 1945. The story begins with Laura (DM) returning to her home town, single & sad & "ugly" according to the townspeople, getting a job as a maid at a cottage owned by the amazing Mildred Natwick.  A young engaged couple come to rent the cottage for their honeymooon but the wedding does not happen because Oliver (RY) goes to war.  Fast forward a year & Laura is still there & Oliver return alone after a war injury that disfigures his face. His fiance Beatrice has a reaction that convinces Oliver that their marriage won't ever work.  

Laura falls in love with Oliver on the first visit & he  falls for her gentle spirit & eventually marries her thinking no one else will have him. Mysterious Mildred knows the secrets of the cottage.  They are not revealed til the end but the secret is that the love in the cottage makes the occupants see way down deep in the person they love instead of just what they can see with their eyes.  But he eventually really falls for her as the cottage works it's magic.  They have a blind friend who helps them see the world with more than just their eyes.  And they live happily ever after.  *Sigh*

A couple of things...the quality of the movie print is not great even though the movie came from 'Warner Archives' so it may be the best there is.  And the blind friend has a nephew who helps him from place to place that he adorably calls "Taxi"😄.  And anyone who thinks Dorothy McGuire is ugly is an idiot who needs glasses. 

White Nights

My second movie has an ironic twist.  First, there was not a plan here....I got 'White Nights' in the mail last week & decided to watch today.  Right now, the Russian government has sent troops into the Ukrain to take over their country & they are defending themselves admirably.  Honestly, until the movie started the connection never crossed my mind. 

White Nights (1985) starts with dancer Nikolai Rodchenko (Mikhail Baryshnikov) as a Soviet dancer who defected to the United States.  On a flight over Europe, the plane is forced to land in Russia, where he has been judged a criminal.  The authorities quickly figure out who he is & attempt to coerce him into coming back to Russia to dance.  They keep him in hiding by telling the world he is gravely injured.  But his manager is a vocal Geraldine Page & sets out to free him.  He is placed with an American army deserter/theater tap dancer named Raymond (Gregory Hines) & his Soviet wife Daria (Isabella Rossalini).  They are eventually moved to Nikolai's former apartment in Moscow for more brainwashing.  They form a bond & eventually all decide to escape together.  They get help from Nikolai's former lover Galina (Helen Mirren) who he deserted when he defected.  Eventually, the American Consolate gets involved.  Nikolai & Daria get away but Raymond is unable to leave. It's unclear everything that happened to Raymond but I think he was sent to a work camp.  At the end, he is traded back to the west for another traitor defecting to Russia, all arranged by Nikolai.  

The movie has great dancing by both stars & has to strike all kinds of chords with Baryshnikov who also defected to the US.  In the movie he states that he's an American citizen but will always be Russian.  He left for his freedom in general & as an artist. 

Love the movie.  And love how Baryshnikov looks in a pair of jeans.

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