The Classic Movie History Project Blogathon: 1967 in Films

 

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Many people says that 1939 was the greatest year in films. I agree, it was a great year. It has some big and memorable movies such as Gone With the Wind, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Stagecoach and more. 1939 was also a year we won’t forget at it was the beginning of World War II. However, there’s a year, which is not only my favourite year in films, but also one of the most influential ones, one who brought up many changes and new things in cinema history, a year that was like a breath of fresh air : 1967. You’ll be surprise to know all the movies that were realized during this year and many of them are known by every classic film lovers, but also by people in general: Bonnie & Clyde, The Graduate, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, In the Heat of the Night, Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (Young Girls from Rochefort), Valley of Dolls, Cool Hand Luke, Wait Until Dark, The Dirty Dozen, Le Samourai, Two for the Road, Dr. Dolittle, In Cold Blood, The Jungle Book, To Sir, With Love and more.  Just like 1939, 1967 was a big year, but also a turning point for the history of the 7th art.

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I’m talking to you about this year because I’ve decided to participate to The Classic Movie History Project hosted by Movies Silently, Once Upon a Screen and Silver Screenings. Well, some great blogs, best known for their amazing blogathons! This blogathon is the occasion for us to write about a particular moment of movie history. That’s why I’m going to talk to you about the year 1967. Of course, there are many great subject to explore, but I chose this one, not only because it is my favourite year in films, but also because I want people to realize how important this year was.

1967 was not only a great year in films, but also for the world in general. It was one of those hippie years. Of course, we were right during the Vietnam War, which is not something “happy”, but let’s not forget the great events. Many people were coming to Montreal, Canada for the famous Expo 67. My father attended this event, he was 11 years old. Even Princess Grace was here! I live in Montreal, and I would have loved to attend this event. In music, The Beatles released their album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. In medicine, the first heart transplant was realized. It’s a year that people won’t forgot. But let’s get back to our films. When we think of “most influential films of 1967”,  the first ones that come to our minds are The Graduate, Bonnie & Clyde and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Of course, they were all influential in their own ways. I can’t talk to you about all the films made in 1967. First, because I haven’t seen all of them and, second, because it will be too long. So, I’ll write about six marvellous films : In the Heat of the Night, The Graduate, Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, Bonnie & Clyde and Cool Hand Luke. Of course, I might precise some important things about some of the other films.

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The Graduate

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The Graduate (Mike Nichols), story of a young man, Benjamin (Dusting Hoffman) who is seduced by his parent’s friend, Mrs Robinson (Anne Bancroft) and then falls in love with her daughter, Elaine (Katharine Ross) could be known as the “sexual revolution” film of 1967. This dramatic comedy indeed broke up a lot of taboos around sexuality in films. That was shown in different ways: the editing (let’s remember the subliminal shots of Mrs. Robinson’s on her breasts and her belly. Also, simply the fact that we knew that the characters were having a sexual relations or were talking about sex was something new. I mean, that was sometimes suggested in old classic films, but in a much more implicit way. This film also made a scandal because it involved a relation between a young 21 years old man and a mature woman. Well, Lolita, an earlier film, also approached this kind of thematic. The Graduate also had an impact on music history for its soundtrack by Simon and Garfunkel. I mean, who don’t know the songs “The Sound of Silence” and “Mrs. Robinson”? Even if this film produced a scandal, it was a great box office and critic success on its release.

A famous scene from the film

Bonnie & Clyde

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If The Graduate was breaking the sexual taboos, Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn) was breaking the violence taboos. This film tells the true story of Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) and Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty), two bank robbers during the early 30’s. Many times they succeed escaping the police, but were finally trapped in a police ambush in Louisiana and died riddled with bullets. Their crimes didn’t only involve bank robbery, but also murder as they killed many policemen. So, that’s where the violent aspect of this film comes from. Here, we won’t hide  the blood and the gun shots from you. It’s shown in a quite explicit way. Of course, the most violent scene is the final one, when Bonnie and Clyde are killed by the police. What is quite terrible about this scene is the fact that they are literally transformed in skimmers. The police wanted to be REALLY sure they were dead. For Bonnie and Clyde, only one gun shot was enough to kill someone.  Bonnie & Clyde is my favourite film of this year.

Final scene of Bonnie & Clyde

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

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What was special about Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (Stanley Kramer) was the fact that it is the story of a Caucasian girl, Joanna “Joey” (Katharine Houghton) and a Afro-American man, John (Sidney Poitier) who had fallen love together and now want to get married. However, John will marry Joey only if her parents, Christina (Katharine Hepburn) and Matt (Spencer Tracy) accept. This film was maybe the most beautiful and touching one of this year. Of course, it was a great revolution as the main theme is an interracial marriage. At the time, this was illegal in 17 states until June 12 1967. This film was pure brilliance as it makes us think about what real love is. Showing to people of the 60’s, living in a still quite racist country (USA), that, whatever color the persons are, if they love each others, this won’t stop their love to grow. One line in this film expresses this greatly, when John says to his father: “You see yourself as a colour man, but I see myself as a man”.  Just like The Graduate and Bonnie & Clyde, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? was another box office success.

In the Heat of the Night

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In the Heat of the Night ( Norman Jewison) was a little similar to Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? for its main theme. It was another great Syndey Poitier’s film. It tells the story of  Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier), an Afro-American cop, who is involved in a murder investigation in a little town of the South where most of its citizens are racist. This film was one of the numerous ways to express the necessity of civil rights for the Afro-American people. When we first saw Sidney Poitier in the film, he is arrested by a cop who think he is a robber only because he has a lot of money on him, but also, because he is an Afro-Amercian. On, and he also think he is the murderer…Only he doesn’t ask him questions… Virgil Tibbs will work on the murder investigation with Bill Gillepsie (Rod Steiger) who will learn, all alone the film, that not only Caucasian men can be good cops. In the Heat of the Night won the Oscar for Best Picture. Sidney Poitier was also the first Afro-American Actor to win an Oscar, but that was for Lilies of the Field in 1964.

The calle me MISTER TIBBS!

Cool Hand Luke

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Cool Hand Luke was maybe a less “scandalous” movies, but it certainly was one of the greatest of 1967. After having destroyed some parking meters, Lucas “Luke” Jackson (Paul Newman) is condemned at 2 years of imprisonment and forced labor. Three times he will try to escape. He and Dragline (George Kennedy, winner of an Oscar for Best Supporting actor) will develop a complicity and Luke will also have to face the sadist captain of the jail (Stroher Martin). Yes, there is some violence and some allusions to sex in this film, but nothing to compare with The Graduate and Bonnie & Clyde. Cool Hand Luke can be known as one of the greatest jail movies.

The Chase

Les Demoiselles de Rochefort

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We finally move to France with Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (Young Girls from Rochefort) a musical directed by Jacque Demy. That was maybe the most joyful film of the year. For the occasion, the walls of Rochefort were painted in pink, blue, yellow, etc. to accentuate the “joie de vivre”, one of the main themes of this film. The casting was quite marvellous, involving both french and American actors: Catherine Deneuve, Françoise Dorléac (Catherine Deneuve’s sister who unfortunately died in a car accident not long after shooting the film), Danielle Darrieux, George Chakiris, Grover Dale, Michel Piccoli, Jacque Perrin and even Gene Kelly! What’s special about this film is the fact that, if the golden age of musicals what at its end in Hollywood, it was the beginning of it in France. Of course, there were not many musicals realized in France, but some memorable ones. Jacque Demy was maybe the king of french musicals with movies such as Les Parapluies de Cherbourg , Les demoiselles de Rochefort, Peau d’âne and Une chambre en ville. The excellent score of Les demoiselles de Rochefort was composed by Michel Legrand and the choreographies were realized by Norman Maen. Of course, with George Charikis and Gene Kelly, they couldn’t go wrong. What’s also special about this film is that it was both shot in French and English. I would like you to watch my favourite musical number of the film: “Nous voyageons de villes en villes”.

If 1967 movies were known for breaking some taboos, that’s because Production Code what at its end in Hollywood. This was the beginning of the “New Hollywood”. I haven’t talked about it, but let’s not forget The Jungle Book who was also made in 1967. That was Walt Disney last animated feature before its death.

I hope my article will make you want to see many 1967 films! Of course, don’t forget to read the other entries of the blogathon, perfect to learn about cinema history:

Silent Era

The Golden Age

Modern Era

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To Be or not to be

The And… Scene! Blogathon: To Be or Not to Be Opening Scene

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Today, I’m participating to a very creative and nice blogathon: the “And…Scene! Blogathon hosted by Sister Celluloid. This blogathon is the occasion for us, movie bloggers, to review, not an entire movie, but one precise movie scene, a scene we love, a scene we find interesting, a scene we can watch over and over, etc. I like that, because you may have notice that, in my movie reviews, I often talk about my favourite scenes of the film. Of course, choosing only one scene for this blogathon was not something easy, because there are so many movie scenes that I love! I have a playlist on iTube with some of my favourite movie moments (many from Bringing Up Baby!) so that was a good way to start my choice. I finally decided to go with the opening scene of To Be or Not to Be. It’s a scene I have, indeed, pleasure to watch over and over.

To Be or Not to Be is a comedy directed by Ernst Lubitsch is 1942 and starring Jack Benny and Carole Lombard in her last film before her tragic death. Of course, when we think of Carole Lombard, we think of comedy movie. Even if I haven’t seen a ton of her films, I’ve always felt that she was the Queen of Comedy. To Be or Not to Be takes place in Warsaw (Poland) at the beginning of the World War II. A troupe of stage actors is staging a play about Hitler. When the Germany invades Poland, the troupe will use its talent to save the Polish resistance.

Carole Lombard and Ernst Lubitsch
Carole Lombard and Ernst Lubitsch

During the opening scene, a narrator introduced us to the city of Warsaw by presenting different theatres. The country is still in peace and life seems quite normal for the citizens, but suddenly everybody stops what they are doing, they can’t believe what they are seeing: Adolf Hitler is walking alone on the street. How can that be possible? Then, with a flashback, we understand what happened. In the headquarters of the Gestapo, two nazi officers are reciving a little boy whose father had said funny things about Hitler. They gave him a little tank (just a toy) so it’s father will stop saying funny things about Hitler. But, very soon, we’ll discover that these are just the comedians repeating for the play about Hitler! That happens when Hitler (Mr. Bronski) makes his first entrance on stage and says “Heil Myself.” Then, the producer, Mr Dobosh, gets mad and asks him to respect the script. All the actors seems now that they have to give their point of view about the situation or the play in general. It’s a real chaos. Then, Mr. Dobosh realized Mr. Bronski is not quite convincing as Hitler. Insulted, Mr. Bronski tells him that he knows he looks like Hitler and will go on the street with his costume to see people’s reactions. So, that’s how “Hitler” got to walk alone in the streets of Warsaw. Of course, Mr. Bronski’s little comedy ends up when a little girl comes next to him and asks him “May I have your autograph Mr. Bronski?” And that’s the end of this part.

I will now invite you to watch this scene. Don’t worry, if you haven’t seen the film, there isn’t really spoilers as it is the beginning of the film.

What I like about this scene, it’s that it immediately makes me want to watch the rest of the film. It really is the perfect scene to grab your attention. Yes, this movie really begins in a strong way. It’s funny, it’s creative and it also has some great lines. Of course, this “Heil myself” gets me every time I heard it. I also like Carole Lombard’s entrance when she says to Mr. Dobosh “How do you like my dress?” in a very natural way while he is getting angry with Mr. Bronski who didn’t respect the script. The problem is that she’s supposed to play a prisoner in a concentration camp, but the dress she’s wearing is too fancy for that. Well, she thinks it will make a marvellous visual effect for the audience. This really is a typical “Carole Lombard’s moment”. Silly, but clever. One of my favourite lines in this part is also when Mr. Rawitch says “How dare you call me a ham?!” to Mr Greenberg who had just told him: “Mr. Rawitch, what you are I wouldn’t eat.” Of course, that’s completely absurd, but that’s what makes it so great.

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What’s special about this film and this scene is its main themes: Hitler, the nazis, the war. Of course, we all know what awful things happened during this war, that Hitler and its Nazis were dreadful men and that it was not something to laugh at. Of course, To Be or Not to Be is a comedy, so that was, of course, a delicate thing to do. Well, the way Ernst Lubitsch directed it was pure brilliance and it gives us the right to laugh about it. Not about what Nazis did, I want to make myself clear about that, but about who they were and they’re ideology which was, of course, completely ridiculous.We also ought not to forget that this film was realized in 1942, so right during the war. At the time, people still didn’t know everything about Nazis’ and Hitler’s actions. Ernst Lubitsch said something quite interesting about this film and the main themes it involved:

What I have satirized in this picture are the Nazis and their ridiculous ideology. I have also satirized the attitude of actors who always remain actors regardless how dangerous the situation might be, which I believe is a true observation. It can be argued if the tragedy of Poland realistically portrayed in To Be or Not to Be can be merged with satire. I believe it can be and so do the audience which I observed during a screening of To Be or Not to Be; but this is a matter of debate and everyone is entitled to his point of view…” (Ernst Lubitsch- IMDB)

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Ernst Lubitsch

So, he gave us the right to have our own point of view about this film. As a matter of fact, To Be or Not to Be will have to wait until 1960 to be projected on German screens. It’s one of these films that, we know, was not just something “innocent”. That makes me thing, the french title is  interesting : Jeux Dangereux (that means “Dangerous Games”). It’s quite appropriated for the movie itself but also for what it involves. On my side, I think it’s one of the funniest and most intelligent and challenging film (and scene) ever made, but I think it can’t be strong enough to let us forget the horrendous things that happened during the World War II.

French poster
French poster

It was, of course, an honour to participate to this blogathon. I think it was a tremendous idea and it gave us many opportunities as there are so many great movie scenes to review. Of course, I invite you to read the other entries. You can simply click there: “And… Scene!” Blogathon.

See you soon with  The Classic Movie History Project!

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A Liebster Award for The Wonderful World of Cinema!

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I’m so happy, Michaela Ann from Love Letters to Old Hollywood nominated me for a Liebster Award! Thanks so much to her! I now have to answer to Michaela 11 questions, share 11 things about me, nominate 11 other blogs for the Liebster Award and ask them my own 11 questions. Tough job because they are so many great blogs!

Michaela Ann’s 11 questions:

1- Who is your second favorite actor/actress, and why?

My second favorite actor is Marlon Brando and my second favorite actress is Grace Kelly (I have to make the distinction). Why? Well, they are first some of the first classical actors I discovered. I discover classic films with movies like High Noon and The Wild One. I had (and still have) a big crush on Marlon Brando (young…), but I also think he is an incredibly talented actor. Grace Kelly is one of the actresses I know the best. I have seen all her films and was always amazed by her performances. Why are they not number one? Because I love James Stewart and Audrey Hepburn a little more, but before I discovered Jimmy, Marlon was my number one and there was a time I couldn’t choose between Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn for my number one favorite actress.

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2- Favorite on-screen duo?

Hum, hard question! I don’t really have a number one favorite on-screen duo, but one I love very much is Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester. I think they were both hilarious and had a great complicity and chemistry together in Witness for the Prosecution and The Private Lives of Henry VIII.

NPG x11868; Elsa Lanchester; Charles Laughton by Yvonne Gregory

3- Which actor/actress/director/etc. do you wish wrote an autobiography?

If she was still alive, that would have been Jean Simmons. She is one of my very favorite actresses, but I don’t know much about her life because she didn’t made a lot of interviews and no one wrote a biography book about her and she didn’t neither. She is incredibly talented, but I would have like to know a little bit more about her life.

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4- If you had the money, what film-related item would you buy in an instant? Memorabilia, a theater, old costumes…?

Casablanca’s piano was for sale to the auction not a long time ago. That’s what I would have bought because I play piano and, of course, it’s something unique!

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5- What is your personal favorite flick from 1939?

I won’t be very original and go with Gone With the Wind. Yes, always Gone With the Wind! Well, it’s one of the greatest movies of all times! What more can I say?

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6-Splashy 1950’s musicals or gritty 1940’s films noir?

Ok, that’s a cruel question, because I love both genres! Well, I’ll go with the film noir because 3 films noirs are in my top 10 favorite films (Strangers on a Train, Shadow of a Doubt and Sunset Boulevard), but I love musical as well!

7- Is there a director you wish got more attention, during their time and/or today?

Hum, first one that came to my mind is George Seaton. He directed and also wrote some great movies (The Country Girl, Airport). As a screenwriter, he won 2 academy awards. His work was recognized at the time, but, today, it’s seems that he has been a little forgotten. I mean, people don’t talk much about him like they talk about Alfred Hitchcock or Stanley Kubrick.

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8- Who do you think was Fred Astaire’s best partner?

I have only seen two Fred Astaire’s films, but I have to go with Audrey Hepburn (sorry Ginger!) She’s first my favorite actress and I think they made a lovely duo in Funny Face. Of course, Audrey didn’t dance like Ginger, but she has talent and seeing her and Fred singing and dancing together in this film was refreshing, different.

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9- If you were allowed only one movie-related book, what would it be?

I’m not sure I perfectly understand the question. Do you mean, if I could have only one book about movies in my possession, which one would it be? Well, if I’m answering correctly to the question, I would choose Hitchcock/Truffaut. One of the most interesting book I’ve read. And it’s so nice to have the real master of suspense point of view about his films!

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10- Favorite Disney film? (I’ll include Pixar.)

 Including Pixar, my favorite Disney film is A Bugs Life. It’s also my favorite animation picture. I think it’s very clever and I can’t get tired to watch my VHS copy of this film!

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11- Is there a movie you’re ashamed to admit you hate/love?

Well, when I watched “More American Graffiti” (American Graffiti’s sequel) I really liked it, even a little bit more than American Graffiti. I liked how the movie was structured and loved the music. Then, I realized this film was not very well rated. And we know how people, in general, feel about sequel…

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And then, 11 things about me:

1 – When I was younger, I wanted to be an actress, then I changed my mind and wanted to be a movie director, then a screen writer or a film critique. Anyway, since I’m a child I know I want to work in the movie business and never changed my opinion about that.

2 – I hate pigeons. It’s stupid, but they scare me. Of course, watching Hitchcock’s The Bird didn’t help, but I keep watching it because I love it!

3 – I own two movie star autographs: one from Vera Miles in a letter she send to me and one from Joan Fontaine in a No Bed of Roses’ copy I bought on eBay.

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4 – My great uncle, Louis Saia, is a famous movie director/screen writer and play writer in Quebec.

5 – My favorite drink is mojito.

6 – At least once a year, I do a cross-country skiing expedition with my parents, my sister, my two cousins (girls) and their parents, with backpack and we sleep in shacks without electricity. Much fun!

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7- Except cinema, my other passion is dance. I just love dancing. I’ll probably start tap dance lessons in September. I wanted to do so since a long time.

8- I’m French-Canadian from Montreal (QC), but I also have Italian origins on my mother side. Italian culture is very important in our family. I also have French (from France) origins on both my mother and father side (but far away in the family) and some German origins on my father side (also far away in the family).

9- I’m a Harry Potter addict. I don’t know how many times I’ve read the books and seen the films, but too many and will probably read/watch them many times again.

10- One of my big (and new) project would be to do a road trip around the USA and visit all the states. I still have to figure which path to take.

11- I have a younger sister named Juliette. She is 18 years old (I’m 20).

The 11 blogs I nominate for the Liebster Award

In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood

Backlots

Smitten Kitten Vintage

Criterion Blues

Cinephilia

The Margaret Lockwood Society

Le Mot du Cinephiliaque

Outspoken and Freckled

Once Upon a Screen

Silver Screenings

The Motion Pictures

I would have liked to name many more!

My 11 questions for the 11 blogs I nominated:

1- If you had the chance to play any movie character, which one would you have choose?

2- Which movie made you discover the world of classic films?

3- What are your three most favorite decades in films?

4- With whom do you watch your  films?

5- What movie star do enjoy the most listening to their interviews and why?

6- What do you think was the best screenplay ever written and why?

7- You have the chance to visit one movie set during an entire day and discover its secrets. Which set do you choose?

8- You try to convince someone to watch classic films. What is your major argument to convince him or her?

9- Is there a movie everybody has seen you are ashamed to admit you never saw it?

10- Do you own some movie posters? If yes, which ones?

11- You are invited to a costume ball and you have to dress up as a movie character or a movie star. Which one do you choose?

Thanks again Michaela! This is such an honour. 🙂 ❤

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Billy Wilder Blogathon: Love in the Afternoon

Love in the Afternoon (1957) - Audrey Hepburn, Gary Cooper
Love in the Afternoon (1957) – Audrey Hepburn, Gary Cooper

Today, on June 22 2015, Billy Wilder would have been 109 years old! He was one of the most talented movie directors and movie writers of the 20th century or, may I say, of all times! I never saw a Billy Wilder’s film that I didn’t like. Some Like it Hot is my favourite movie of all times and his screenplays (most of the  time co-written with other talented movie writers) are some of the best. Did you know that I can recite all Joe Gillis’s narration in the opening scene of Sunset Boulevard? From “Yes, this is Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California” to The poor dope. He always wanted a pool. Well, in the end he got himself a pool, only the prize turned out to be a little high…” When I can remember movie lines so well, it’s because I like them, they are well-written or because I have seen the film so many times. Billy Wilder’s films are masterpieces I can watch countless times and never get tired. Some Like it Hot is the best comedy of all times and Sunset Boulevard is one of the most fascinating movies I ever saw. Well, I’m here, talking about these films and it simply makes me want to watch them. Right now!

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Anyway, today, for the occasion of Billy Wilder’s birthday, I’m happy to take part to the Billy Wilder Blogathon hosted by Outspoken and Freckled and Once Upon a Screen. I won’t talk to you about Sunset Boulevard or Some Like it Hot, but about a film that doesn’t immediately comes up to our mind when we think of Billy Wilder. It’s not his most famous one, but it’s a movie who has a special place in my heart, a real pearl of the Silver Screen: Love in the Afternoon. This film is different from his other ones, but like all his films, it has the “Billy Wilder’s Touch”. That little something that makes it so appealing, so enjoyable to watch and so memorable. Just look at the title: Love in the Afternoon. There is something very poetic about it and, yes, there is a certain poetry in this film, ingrown by Audrey Hepburn. To review this film will also be a good occasion for me to review an Audrey Hepburn’s film for the first time on my blog, but also a Gary Cooper’s film.

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Billy Wilder directed Love in the Afternoon in 1957. It was his second collaboration with Audrey Hepburn (first one was the more famous Sabrina) and his first and only collaboration with Gary Cooper. Billy Wilder first wanted Cary Grant for the male leading role, but that didn’t happen and Gary Cooper got the job. Some people say he was not perfect for the part, that he was too old, but I’m not one of those people. It’s Gary Cooper after all, not some “nobody”! Well, as Billy Wilder would have said: “Nobody’s perfect!” Of course, Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant will have to wait until the 60’s to make a movie together: Charade (directed by Stanley Donen).

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To me, Billy Wilder’s movies were always easy to resume. That’s probably because they are so well written. A real inspiration for  those who study screen writing like me. You know my bloggers habits, I don’t like to tell the whole film story in my articles, because I feel it’s less interesting for those who haven’t seen the movies. So, here is a short summary of the film: It takes place in Paris. Claude Chavasse (Maurice Chevalier) is a private detective. He investigates on an adultery case: Monsieur X (John McGiver), his client, thinks his wife is having an affair with another man. That’s true, she’s having an affair with Frank Flannagan (Gary Cooper), a businessman already well-known for his many love affair scandals. When Monsieur X learns the news, he only has one idea sucked in his mind: kill Frank Flanagan. Claude Chavasse told him that it would be a regrettable idea, but his “project” is already all set in his mind: go to the Ritz Hotel where Frank stays, surprise him with his wife and kill him. Fortunately, Claude Chavasse daughter, Ariane (Audrey Hepburn) will stop him. She’ll go to the Ritz, enter in Flannagan’s suite by the window, explain the situation to Flannagan and Madame X, takes Madame X hat (and this one will runaway by the window) and Monsieur X will realize that his wife is not having an affair with Flannagan. This is only the beginning of the film, but that’s what set the story and that’s how Frank Flannagan and Ariane Chavasse will meet. As you can imagine, a love story will start between Ariane and Frank and the rest of the film is the evolution of their love. Of course, for the sweet, fragile and innocent Ariane, it won’t be an easy thing to be in love with a man like Frank Flannagan. She will invent some incredible stories to grab is attention.This movie is named Love in the Afternoon because, every times Ariane and Frank meets, it’s during the afternoon, most of the time at 4 pm.

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“Beautiful” would be the best word to describe Love in the Afternoon. It’s not only a Billy Wilder’s film, but also a typical Audrey Hepburn’s film: simple and pretty. In this film, she gives us one of her most sensible performances and also one of the most touching. If you haven’t seen this film yet, I can tell you that the unforgettable ending will make you live some incredible emotions. Of course, Gary Cooper was great too and Maurice Chevalier was, in my opinion, at his best. Well, that’s another wonderful thing about Billy Wilder’s films: they always have a wonderful casting. Love in the Afternoon was unfortunately not a Box Office success and that was mainly because Gary Cooper was considered too old for the part. However, as I read on IMDB, he  “was very pleased with his performance and was very disappointed that the majority of critics thought him miscast due to his age” (IMDB) Well, I support him. To come back to Audrey Hepburn, there’s one aesthetic aspect of the film I really have to emphasize: the marvellous Audrey Hepburn’s costumes designed , not by Edith Head, but by Hubert de Givenchy of course (we’re talking about Audrey Hepburn after all!) Those are very chic, very classy, very elegant, but also simple and perfectly well designed for Audrey Hepburn. That’s proves us that a simple black dress can be a very beautiful thing to wear.

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What I also like about this film is that the tragic and comic parts are both well-balanced. You have both chances to cry and laugh when you watch Love in the Afternoon. In other words, it’s certainly not a bore. Love in the Afternoon‘s screenplay was written by Billy Wilder and I.A.L Diamond and based on the novel Ariane by Paul Czinner. The Wilder-Diamond screen writers duo was certainly one of the best. They also worked together for the following films: Some Like it Hot, The Apartment, One, Two, Three, Irma La Douce, Kiss Me, Stupid, The Fortune Cookie, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, Avanti!, The Front Page, Fedora and Buddy Buddy. Love in the Afternoon was their first collaboration together. I think it has been a success because, as you can see, they worked  11 other times together.

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I can’t say that Love in the Afternoon‘s screenplay is THE BEST Billy Wilder’s screenplay, but it’s certainly is a great one. It has its great moments and its great lines and also a great structure. Here are some of my favourite lines of this film:

1- Frank Flannagan: What does he export and what does he import?

Ariane Chavasse: Oh, he uh – he exports perfume and imports bananas. There’s a fortune in it. Do you realize that for one bottle of perfume you get twelve bananas?

Frank Flannagan: Twelve bananas for one bottle of – doesn’t sound like such a hot deal to me.

Ariane Chavasse : It’s a tiny bottle of perfume and very large bananas.

2- Ariane Chavasse: You know who I am, Mr. Flannagan, I’m the girl in the afternoon

3-  Ariane Chavasse : I’m against violence. In my opinion, there’s too much shooting in the world, and not enough love.

Frank Flannagan: How’s that, again?

Ariane Chavasse : I mean, if people loved each other more, they’d shoot each other less!

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The characters in this film evolve and that’s one of the most importing aspects of a screenplay. Of course, Audrey Hepburn, Maurice Chevalier and Gary Cooper are the main actors of this film, but I have to make an honourable mention to the music band The Gypsies. How can we forget this beautiful music: Fascination? This music band follows Frank everywhere and they are ALWAYS playing  music: a the Ritz, in the car and even on a pinnace! The music in this film is certainly a real treat to our ears.

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You know, if The Man Who Knew Too Much is our “Hitchcock family film”, Love in the Afternoon is our “Billy Wilder’s family film”. I remember, first time I saw it, I didn’t know what to expect. I watched it with my parents and we all loved it very much. I always watch my classic films with my mother (well, most of the time), but rarely with my father because he is always too tired to watch them in the evening 😛 (except if it’s a Martin Scorsese’s film). So, I was very surprised that he watched it all! He thought it was a great film as well. I think it became my mother’s favourite Audrey Hepburn’s film. As I said at the beginning of my article, this Hepburn-Wilder’s film is less known than Sabrina, but for those who love Billy Wilder and Audrey Hepburn, I will highly recommend this film. Definitely in my top 20.

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Well, that was a great pleasure to participate to the Billy Wilder Blogathon. He really was a fantastic movie director. I love all his films (well those I have seen so far. That’s a total of 12). Billy Wilder made me discover the world of screen writing, my favourite film, but also some wonderful actors such as Jack Lemmon, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, William Holden, Shirley MacLaine and more. Each time I watch a Billy Wilder’s film, I’m never disappointed. This afternoon, I’m going downtown, so I may go to a video store and buy Double Indemnity, one I haven’t seen yet and that is, apparently, one of his best. This year, I borrowed the book Conversation with Billy Wilder at my school library. It was very interesting, but, unfortunately, I didn’t have time to read it all. I will definitely have to borrow it again or buy it.

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I would like to finish this article by presenting you, first, my top 10 Billy Wilder’s film (you know how much I love doing top list):

1- Some Like it Hot

2- Sunset Boulevard

3- Love in the Afternoon (yes, number 3! So you can imagine how much I love it!)

4- Irma La Douce

5- Sabrina

6- Witness for the Prosecution

7- The Spirit Of St. Louis

8- Stalag 17

9- The Apartment

10- Fedora 

Second, I want you to enjoy my Billy Wilder’s video tribute! I’ve made a lot of video tributes, and this one is one of my favourites. The first music is “Fascination”. 🙂

Of course, don’t forget to watch Love in the Afternoon if you haven’t done it yet and read the other entries for this blogathon!

Billy Wilder Blogathon 

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Happy birthday Billy Wilder! 😀

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