Thursday, July 6, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks #156: Summer Vacations

This being Thursday, it's time for another edition of "Thursday Movie Picks", the blogathon run by Wandering Through the Shelves. This week's theme is an appropriate one for early July, at least in the northern hemisphere: summer vacations. As always, I've picked three relatively old movies:

Bank Holiday (1938). The British use the term "bank holiday" roughly the same was Americans use "public holiday", and not like the way Franklin Roosevelt shut all the banks down in 1933 to prevent further runs. This one is an ensemble-cast movie about a whole bunch of people who spend their vacation at one of those old British seaside resorts, in the days when they were still relatively stylish and not like the post-war days of movies like Separate Tables or The Entertainer. Margaret Lockwood plays a nurse who thinks about the mother who died in childbirth while the nurse's boyfriend is trying to put the moves on her; other stories involve a beauty contest and a family trying to get away from it all.

M. Hulot's Holiday (1953). The largely non-speaking Jacquet Tati, as Hulot, goes on vacation to his habitual French seaside resort, which is not the romantic and glamorous Riviera. Monsieur Hulot inadvertently causes all sorts of complications. This is the sort of movie I'd really recommend for people who think they're not fans of foreign films, because the humor easily crosses cultures and because since Tati cut down the dialogue in his movies, there are relatively fewer subtitles to read.

Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (1962). Hobbs (James Stewart) plans on a vaction with his wife (Maureen O'Hara) alone; she arranged a family reunion with the two minor kids and two married daughters and their husbands. And it doesn't help that the beach house Mrs. Hobbs rented is in parlous shape. All sorts of further complications ensue.


Dell said...

You pitched a shutout to me this week. Haven't seen any of these. That said, I have wanted to see Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation for awhile.

joel65913 said...

I LOVE Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation. It's certainly no challenge to Jimmy Stewart's acting skill but he gives an amiable fulled relaxed performance and is a good match for Maureen O'Hara. A very cute film and perfect for a rainy summer day.

I wish I could say I loved Mr. Hulot's Holiday but while I liked it okay I think I went into it after hearing too much praise and was underwhelmed.

I couldn't get into Bank Holiday. It was fine but I'll never watch again.

This week I went with two sprightly teen movies and a comedy of more recent vintage with beautiful views of Greece.

My Life in Ruins (2009)-Stranded in Athens teacher Georgia (Nia Vardalos) takes a job as a tour guide which she hates and isn’t very good at hiding it. Every group seems just like the last-a goofy couple, a frat boy, a sullen teen, a feuding couple, divorcĂ©es looking for a mate, and the funny guy who really isn’t. Mostly tourists on summer vacation and mostly Americans they’re historied out by the time she gets them and most just want to shop. Her latest group looks like it will be business as usual but as unexpected events transpire what starts out so badly slowly turns into a life changing pleasure. Genial romantic comedy filled with stunning views of Greece.

Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)-It’s summer vacation so Frankie & Annette along with Bonehead and the whole gang hit the beach and battle Eric Von Zipper and his gearheads to save the kidnapped singing star Sugar Kane (Linda Evans) with the help of mermaid Lorelei (hey it’s a beach party movie go with it). The ultimate AIP summer flick where all the typical elements gelled into the best of the series with the catchiest theme song.

Gidget (1959)-17 year old Frances Lawrence (Sandra Dee) goes to the beach one day on her summer vacation with her girlfriends. While they are sunning she decides to take a swim and promptly gets bumped on the head by surfboarder Moondoggie (James Darren). Intrigued by both the sport and the boy she buys a second hand board with her birthday money and is soon hitting the waves with Moondoggie and his gang of buddies lead by slightly older beach bum The Kahuna (Cliff Robertson) who dub her Gidget (a contraction of Girl and Midget). From then on it’s pretty much sun, fun and hitting the curl until the film takes a darkish turn when Kahuna, who’s been traveling around the world chasing the perfect wave, faces an existential life crisis but that doesn’t stop Gidget and Moondoggie from falling in love. Enormously successful film with a very appealing Sandra Dee followed by several sequels and a short lived TV show that introduced Sally Field to the world.

pilch92 said...

Mr. Hobbs takes a vacation sounds fun.

Birgit said...

I have to see Mr. Hulot's holiday and it's been on my list to see. I haven't seen Bank Holiday and would lie to one day and hope I will. We match with Mr. Hobbs! I love that movie and Jimmy Stewart who is so funny when he is bird watching.

Ted S. (Just a Cineast) said...

Bank Holiday is one of those nice little British movies where it seems like the filmmakers didn't even think about the international market. I think I first saw it ages ago on TCM even before I started the blog. Which reminds me that I wish they'd show Millions Like Us again.

Katie Hogan said...

Jacquet Tati is very popular with my parents and aunt. I've only seen bits of his work but they were amusing.

Not seen any of them though but Mr Hulot sounds fun!