Saturday, August 11, 2012

Not an Essentials Jr. movie

Last week, I suggested that the week's Essentials movie on Saturday night, Some Like It Hot, wouldn't necessarily be a bad choice for Essentials Jr.. (The only other Monroe movie I might suggest for Essentials Jr. is Monkey Businesee.) This week's Essentials selection, Lolita (as always, at 8:00 PM), is an entirely different matter. Lolita, of course, is the movie in which James Mason starts leching after his stepdaughter, who is much too young for him, and really too young for anybody with the possible exception of Roman Polanski.

That having been said, the movie preceding Lolita might not be such a bad choice for Essentials Jr.: Journey to the Center of the Earth, at 5:30 PM. It's based on the Jules Verne novel, and I think a lot of Verne's stuff can work well for younger audiences if adapted correctly. I don't know that the 1950s version of Around the World in 80 Days would be so good for the young ones, but that's only because the film is something close to three hours. I read the story, or at least an abridgement of the story, back when I was in elementary school, and the story is perfectly fine fot children. Same with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and I think the Disney live-action version was an Essentials Jr. choice several years back. (TCM, I believe, no longer have the broadcast rights to the Disney live-action films.) From the Earth to the Moon isn't a bad story, but the movie is problematic because it was made in the death throes of RKO. Fox made a version of Verne's Five Weeks in a Balloon in the early 1960s, and that's another one where I don't think the story is bad, but Fox put in one of the teen idols (Fabian) and the movie has African stereotypes that would probably make some people uncomfortable.

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