Sunday, October 17, 2010

Movies You Might Have Missed Mondays

I used to wonder why old films were considered classic.
Several years ago, I embarked on a quest to watch all of the movies, since 1939, nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award (I’m about ½ way through, btw). In so doing, I have found out what they mean by classic.
I believe it is a synonym for treasure.
One of those treasures can be found in one of the Best Picture nominations of 1950, Born Yesterday, and her name was Judy Holliday.
Her name is just a little less recognized than those other classics such a Audrey Hepburn, Bette Davis, Greta Garbo, but Judy exuded just as much talent and would have made just as much an impact had she lived longer. Breast cancer claimed her in her early 40s.
Still, in her short career, she left a notable mark, like a ray of sun finding its way through a momentary parting in the clouds on a stormy day.
Having weathered a lifetime of dumb blonde jokes myself, you’d think that her typical ditzy-blonde character would offend instead of entertain me. The opposite is true, however, since her performances hint that under blissful ignorance, profoundness exists that makes you think she’s a million times smarter than anyone else in the cast.
Judy even said, “You have to be smart to play a dumb blonde over and over and keep the audience’s attention without extraordinary physical equipment.” LOL.
And boy does she keep this audience’s attention in her role as Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday.
Along with stellar co-stars William Holden and Broderick Crawford, Judy lights up the story of a gruff, wealthy junk salesman visiting Washington D.C. to conspire with the senator he has in his back pocket for a big money-making deal. Judy plays the tag-along girlfriend, Billie Dawn, with a serious lack of refinement and brain cells who gets herself in a couple of sticky – and hilarious – social pickles, embarrassing her junk salesman. So he hires a writer (Holden) to educate her. Along the way, she discovers life-altering revelations, not the least of which is that she deserves to be respected for who she is.
My favorite scene is the gin rummy scene.
I love Judy’s movies because, while they do offer a moral of the story, they’re just plain fun. A little romance, a little silliness, lots of good laughs, sweet and touching conclusions that leave you on an upswing.
She is one famous lady I would have loved to meet. Her sense of humor is right up my alley, yet in the middle of telling a joke, she seems to be sharing more about what it’s like to live.
While Born Yesterday is my favorite Judy Holliday film, she shines in all the ones I’ve seen – Solid Gold Cadillac, Pffft!, and Bells are Ringing – all worth watching!
And this Friday evening, It Should Happen to You airs on TCM, starring Judy and another comedy great, Jack Lemmon. I’ll be tuning in, via DVR at the least.
I hope you’ll have the opportunity to experience this shooting star I found when I was exploring the classics.
Happy Monday, Dry Ground friends! AND, Happy Birthday to both my stepmother and mother-in-law today! You are both such blessings in my life!
(photo by


lynnrush said...

I didn't get to stop by here yesterday so I'll be saying Happy Tuesday to you, instead. LOL.

Great post.

Boy, sounds like a great film do like the classics, don't you?

It's not my thing, but I love reading about this here on Dry Ground. :)