There’ll Be Somebody With My Name…But She Won’t Be Me!: The Stepford Wives (1975)

StepfordWives

I won’t be here when you get back, don’t you see? It’s going to happen before then. Don’t ask me to explain it, I just know. There’ll be somebody with my name, and she’ll cook and clean like crazy, but she won’t take pictures, and she won’t be me! She’ll – she’ll, she’ll be like one of those the robots in Disneyland.

So first, happy 40th anniversary! February 12, 1975 brought this great film to us.

So one day I was spending the night at my friend’s house, and her grandmother had a massive movie collection, although nothing made past the ’90s. We were trying to figure out what to watch, when she chose The Stepford Wives (2005). I thought it was funny, and even bought it for myself when it was on sale for $5 at Wal-Mart.

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Then I was at a yard sale, where a friend who has a monster horror/mystery film collection was selling all the VHS he had just bought DVDs of. I saw The Stepford Wives (2004) and was shocked. There was another version of the film?

Say What

I bought it; along with Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Wolf Man (1941), Rebecca (1940), The Phantom of the Opera (1943), North by Northwest (1959), House on Haunted Hill (1950), Family Plot (1976), Lifeboat (1944), The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), Notorious (1946), and The Night of the Hunter (1955).  I really cleaned him out.

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Then one day, I decided to watch The Stepford Wives (1975). And I LOVED it! I thought it was sooooo much better than the remake, in fact I never even watch the 2005 version anymore. I really should just donate it to the library or thrift store.

So this film was based on a novel, in fact written by the same man who wrote Rosemary’s Baby, Ira Levin. Funny that I should review both films the same year. I didn’t even realize they were by the same person until right now.

Anyways, on with the review.

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The film starts out with Janna Eberheart (Katherine Ross) saying good-bye to her apartment they have been living in in the city.

Sadface Batman

She doesn’t want to leave, but moving to the suburbs will be better for her two young kids.

Now Katherine Ross is extremely beautiful, and her husband is only so-so. How did he score such a ringer? Not  to be mean, but he looks old and is balding, and looks like the type to get a beer gut.

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They are unpacking their stuff when a beautifully coiffed woman comes over with a casserole, Carol Van Sant. She walks and talks a bit weird, almost unearthly in grace.

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Later Walter is walking the dog and tells his neighbor, she cooks as good as looks.

Men

Men

So it turns out that Joanna definitely did not want to move. It was all her husband’s idea. He thinks it is safe, secure, and there is more room for the kids and Joanna to have dark room for her photography. Joanna is still not pleased.

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The next day Joanna’s kids take the bus to school. All the other kids are too perfect and not rowdy at all. Weird.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Now that the kids are gone, what is the city girl gonna do? She has tea, clearly bored.

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She does get interviewed by neighborhood lady, who writes the women’s magazine. We found out that Walter Eberheart, her husband, is a lawyer; while is an inspiring photgrapher. The thing she misses most about New York? The noise.

The next day she goes to return the casserole dish to neighbor, when she sees a guy come up from behind and start feeling her up and kissing her. It is mid morning! Is that her husband? And what is he doing here instead of at work? Weird.

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That night Walter tells Joanna how he has met the other Stepford commuters. They invite him to Men’s Association. It has only one rule, men only. Joanna is not pleased.

Men

Men

We see that their relationships actually are having some problems that have been happening for a while.

Joanna Eberheart: You pretend we decide on things, but you have already decided on everything. You ask me if I want to move out of city, and I find you have already been looking. You ask me if I like this house place and I find that you have already made a down payment. You ask me about the men’s association and you have already joined. Why even bother to ask me at all.

When they go out grocery shopping, it seeems as if all the other women are more in control of their kids, have planned out their list better, being perfect; while  JOanna harried and forgetful.

Carol coming out of market, and gets into a car crash. She is taken by the ambulance, and keeps repeating herself over and over as if stuck on something.

Joanna Eberhart: [ambulance drives off] We may be new here, but isn’t Stepford Hospital that way?

Walter Eberhart: Oh, no, no, no, you’re wrong… No, no, you’re *not* wrong, the ambulance went *that* way, didn’t it?

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

That night Joanna wakes up in bed alone, and hears something downstairs. It is Walter in front of the fire, as he just got back from mens association. He is upset and drinking. What’s going on? Why is he so sad and upset? What did the men do?

suspicious Hmm

The next day Bobbie Markowe (Paula Prentiss) comes to see her after reading about her in the lady’s paper. You notice she is the only other woman wearing pants as well.

Bobbie is like Joanna. She moved her from New York, not her decision but her husbands. She isn’t perfectly coiffed and doesn’t have a spic and span house. She is normal and the two quickly become friends.

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That night Joanna is working in her dark room developing pictures. Walter calls and tells her the meeting will be at their house, in 20 mins. That’s really short notice to be given, what if the house was a mess? But i suppose those guys think a house should always be perfect.

After Walter gets off the phone, Dale, leader of the men;s association tells him he recognizes that Walter is not altogether sure, telling him not to worry the change is for the better.

Gilmore girls creep

So while Joanna is pouring teas and coffees, Dale is watching her, he likes seeing women in domestic settings.

Joanna Eberhart: Why do they call you Diz?

Dale Coba: Because I used to work at Disneyland.

Joanna Eberhart: No, really.

Dale Coba: That’s really. Don’t you believe me?

Joanna Eberhart: No.

Dale Coba: Why not?

Joanna Eberhart: You don’t look like someone who enjoys making other people happy.

Joanna sit in on the meeting, One guy draws Joanna, as the rest of the men talk about charity events they could do. The men are absolutely boring and horrible at planning and deciding on something. She goes to check on the kids to get out of there.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

They all stop talking as soon as she leaves. Hmm…interesting.

When she comes back, the meeting breaks up and the guy gives her the drawing of her.

Ike Mazzard: [Handing drawing to Joanna] In case you’re wondering what I’ve been doing.

Joanna Eberhart: You’re not the Ike Mazzard are you?

Ike Mazzard: I’m afraid so.

Joanna Eberhart: Walter tell him, I’m just awful on names. You’ll have to forgive me. I used to gawk at all those girls in those magazines. You blighted my adolescence, you know that?

Walter Eberhart: [Grinning] I thought I benighted your adolescence.

Joanna doesn’t like the men, as she thinks they are boring. The women, besides Bobbie, are not friendly and also don’t seem to think that much beyond how they look or how to cook. She thinks her husband is acting weird by hanging with these people.

Dale give a barbecue, and Joanna and Bobbie dress casual; Joanna in a nice sundress and Bobbie in pants. However, all the other women are dressed SUPER fancy in long dresses. Joanna and Bobbie feel really out of place, but can’t quite put their finger on why exactly.

Joanna Eberheart: It’s all so dazzling, so why don’t I like it. I like it but I don’t like it. Does that make sense?

Carol starts talking to them, but keeps repeating herself. Something is not right with her. Is she drunk? Or is it something else?

Really?

The next day Carol comes and apologizes to Joanna and Bobbie. She explains that she used to be an alcoholic, one of the reasons why they moved out of the city, and the reason why I was acting weird last night. I had started drinking again. Her husband made her come apologize to the newcomers, didn’t want to frighten them off.

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So strange to Bobbie and Joanna. Both ladies did women’s liberation in New York and decide they need to start something here in Stepford. They start inviting women, but they don’t really care and don’t want to. One too busy ironing, one too busy baking, another shopping, etc.

The last person they see is Charmaine. She is relatively new, only been here a little bit longer than Bobbie. She heard that the girls wanted to start meeting, and wants to join as she has had a hard time connecting. She used to play tennis with one girl, but now she is far too busy cooking and cleaning.

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One of the men wants to do a speech experiment with her. Needs to know every place you have ever lived, and you have to read off a vocab list he made up. Joanna won’t do it, unless the wives come to her meeting.

Joanna Eberhart: I’m very busy…just like your wife. Bobby and I tried to involve her in one of our projects, but she had too much ironing. Maybe you could convince her. Kit Sundersen, too. If they could find the time for me… I could find it for you.

Claude Axhelm: Isn’t this uh… kind of blackmail, Joanna?

Joanna Eberhart: It’s what made this country great, Claude.

They have the Women’s Liberation meeting, but the other wives don’t seem really into it. Joanna starts by saying she thinks walter cares more about law than her. Charmaine says that she doesn’t think her husband ever loved her, but only married her because she looked right. After that emotional piece, one of the wives says she didn’t bake any thing yesteday  because she didn’t finish cleaning. Then all the “other wives” start talking about products they use, sounding like a commercial.

So weird.

Joanna goes out for a walk with her dog, when she is gone men come over and looking at room and all her stuff. They leave after their observations.

The next day, Bobbie and Joanna run into an older woman who tells them about a new family coming to Stepford, a black family. She says it doesn’t surprise her as Stepford is the most liberal place. Bobbie and Joanna are surprised and find out they used to have a ton of women’s groups, including a huge Women’s Liberation. What happened?

They go see Carol, who they discovered was the leader of the Women’s Liberation in Stepford. She tells them it died out because the women got bored.

Joanna Eberheart: Is it enough?

Carol Van Sant: It is enough for me, maybe not for you.

Joanna goes to New York to show some photographs to a gallery, but the owner turns her down. When she returns, she discovers that her dog is gone. She and Bobbie start driving around looking for him when they see Charmaine’s Tennis courts being destroyed!

Whattheheck

They go see her and she is dressed like other wives and acting like them. She only cares about making her husband happy. Fired the maid and wants to do all the cooking and cleaning herself. She’s letting her husband get the heated swimming pool that he always wanted.

what what'shappeningSupernatural

Both are freaking out about this. Bobbie is convinced that they must be poisoning the water or something. She wants to take a sample and give it to a trustworthy chemist, but doesn’t now any. Joanna does, and when they give it to him; there is nothing in the water.

Bobbie is scared.

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She wants to leave, and is planning on asking Dave tonight to move. She doesn’t want to become one of those women.

Creepy!

Creepy!

Joanna wants to leave, but Walter doesn’t. After a bit of pleading, he gives in. But is it too late to move?

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They start looking in different areas together. Dave, Bobbie’s husband is mad about house hunting. He was so upset that he almost canceled their annual trip to plaza. Bobbie has Joanna take care of her kids.

The kids are crazy and loud, and Walter hates it. Joanna takes tons of photos while kids are playing. Joanna is working in the dark room making Walter have to care for the kids. He wants Joanna to take over as he is tired and can’t think of anything else to do. Joanna tells him too bad, she deals with it every day.

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Joanna goes to New York to get a gallery owner to look at them, thinks they are amazing.

Double double yay

Joanna goes to tell Bobbie about gallery accepting her work, but Bobbie doesn’t even care. She just wants to discuss clothes, looks, cleaning, all about taking care of Dave.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

They’ve gotten to her, and she is no longer the same.

Joanna tries to tell Walter what is going on, but he doesn’t understand and won’t listen. He just keeps telling her that she is crazy!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Joanna is going to leave, and planning on it today. Walter stops her, telling her they will move, but only if she sees someone. He tries to get her to see one in town, but she refuses. She wants to find her own person and someone far from Stepford.

Getting out of here

Getting out of here

Joanna visits a doctor far way, but is afraid to tell doctor the real reason why she wants to leave Stepford. Ater four months Charmain changed. After four months Bobbie chnged. And four months is how long Joanna has been in Stepford. She’s afraid that whatever changed them will change her as well.

Joanna Eberhart: I won’t be here when you get back, don’t you see? It’s going to happen before then. Don’t ask me to explain it, I just know. There’ll be somebody with my name, and she’ll cook and clean like crazy, but she won’t take pictures, and she won’t be me! She’ll – she’ll, she’ll be like one of those the robots in Disneyland.

Dr. Fancher: Alright, now listen. I’ll give you a prescription which you have filled, then you gather up your children and you GET THE HELL AWAY! Don’t tell your husband, don’t tell anyone, just go, wherever you feel safe. Now, do you have family?

Joanna Eberhart: They’re dead.

Dr. Fancher: Well, just drive, and stop some place. Then in a few days – I’ll be back on the 10th – you ring me, I’ll come to you, and we’ll sort this thing out. Now how does that sound?

Joanna comes home and plans to do just that. She goes upstairs looking for kids, but they are not here.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Joanna wants to know where they are, but Walter won’t tell her. He tries to get her to go upstairs and lie down, grabbing her.

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They fight and Joanna breaks away, going upstairs and locking herself in. Oh no, just like in Rosemary’s Baby! But it didn’t save her!

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The phone starts blinking, and Joanna can see that he is talking to someone. While he is on it, she sneaks out of the house and heads off to Bobbies to look for her kids. But when she gets there, they aren’t there.

After she short circuts Bobbie, she heads back home. When she gets there, she smacks him in the head with a fireplace poker, demanding to know where her children are.

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He mutters “association” and Joanna decides to head out there. When she gets there she hears her children’s voices calling, follows the sound and it turns out to just be a recording. It was all a ploy to get Joanna there.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Joanna Eberheart: Why change the women?

Dale Coba: Because we can we make them perfect.

 But Joanna won’t just go down, she still has a lot of fight in her and takes off running. She gets lost in the hallways and opens a door to her bedroom.

what what'shappeningSupernatural

Camera slowly pans…………..tension building…………dun dun dun dun dun….and we see:

Her!!!! Brushing her hair with her black demon eyes. Robot Joanna. Body even more perfect. Probably one of the creepiest moments in any horror film, of all time there.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next day all in supermarket, talking to each other.

And we end seeing that new family in town, fighting the same way everyone else did previously. They are next on list.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

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So after watching this a second time, there are a few things I have noticed and wanted to bring light to now that the “real” review is over.

1)The Husband was the one who wanted to move. So I wonder, did Walter know ahead of time that the town was like that? Is that why he choose Stepford out of any other suburb?

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2) The clothes are great with the differences. Joanna and Bobbie are the only ones “in” with current fashion. They wear jeans, crop tops, no bras, and show lots of skin with their mini skirts and shorts. Originally the directors wanted the robot women to be “playboy bunnies”, but I think it was better having them in nice, lacy dresses. It definitely shows an extreme difference between the “fixed” women and those “still in need of alterations”. Plus the women in those dresses, defintely is a throwback to not the ’50s, like most assume: but the turn of the century. I mean look at those clothes, throwback to a time when women really had no rights. Or at least that is my views on the whole thing.

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To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to Because I Am Mad, I Hate You. Because I Am Mad, I Have Betrayed You: Gaslight (1944)

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For more on evil robots, go to We’re Mad Scientists. We’re Monsters: Avengers, Age of Ultron (2015)

For more by Ira Levin, go to What Have You Done to Him?: Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

For more husbands that are more than what they seem, go to She Cries in the Night: The Screaming Skull (1958)

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Murder is My Favorite Crime: Laura (1944)

Laura 1944

Murder is my favorite crime.

So I strongly contemplated whether or not I wanted to include this in my Horrorfest. It isn’t really a horror film but more of a mystery thriller, even better defined as a film-noir. I really wanted to include it but, since it wasn’t a real “horror film” I wasn’t sure if I should. But then I had a moment of clarity.

zenon zetus lupetos

This is my blog. I can do whatever I want!

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

So I decided I would.

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So this actually started out as a play and then was turned into a novel. Otto Preminger saw it as the perfect thing to turn into a film. It is known to be one of the best Film-Noir films along with one of the best mystery-thriller films of all time. AFI ranked it #4 on their list of the 10 greatest mystery films.

This film is also famous for Gene Tierney’s portrayal of Laura. This helped give her title of “Film-Noir Queen”.

So anyways, on to the film.

So it starts off with New York City police Detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews).

Det. Lt. Mark McPherson laura

He is investigating the death of the beautiful, successful, advertising executive Laura Hunt. Laura was murdered by a shotgun blast to the face.

Det. McPherson starts investigating and finds himself with multiple murder suspects and motives.

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1) Waldo Lybecker

Waldo Lybecker Laura Innocent

Waldo (Clifton Webb) is a famous columnist and he was the one who actually discovered Laura. She tried to get him to advertise something for him, and faster than you could say Pygmalion, he takes her under his wing and tries to change her and “improve” her.

“Waldo Lydecker: She was quick to seize upon anything that would improve her mind or her appearance. Laura had innate breeding, but she deferred to my judgment and taste. I selected a more attractive hairdress for her. I taught her what clothes were more becoming to her. Through me, she met everyone: The famous and the infamous. Her youth and beauty, her poise and charm of manner captivated them all. She had warmth, vitality. She had authentic magnetism. Wherever we went, she stood out. Men admired her; women envied her. She became as famous as Waldo Lydecker’s walking stick and his white carnation.”

But it goes a little more than that. Waldo becomes obsessed with Laura.

800__shadow_of_a_doubt_blu-ray_04_intense stare angry upset mad creep

Yep. He is in love with her and wants to be the only man. Every time some other guy came around he would find a way to criticize them and demean them. The two broke it off, but Laura was very upset with him.

Laura Angry Mad Upset

Laura started dating another guy, Shelby Carpenter. No matter what Waldo said, Laura wouldn’t listen to him. In fact she decided to marry him.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Yep he was angry. Extremely upset about losing Laura to someone he thought was so unworthy? Angry enough to kill?

Sound suspicious

Hmm…

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2) Shelby Carpenter

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Shelby (played by Vincent Price) comes from great stock, has expensive tastes, and loves the high life. Only one problem, he has no money. None at all. Instead he has to use to his charms to court rich, older women and have them pay for his expenses. In fact he had found a real great giver in Ann Treadwell (Judith Anderson). That is until he met the very charismatic Laura. Not only is she the perfect cash cow to support him, but young and beautiful. Who could ask for anything more?

Shelby Carpenter: I knew there was something on my mind. Ah yes, will you dine with me tomorrow night?

Laura Hunt: Yes.

Shelby Carpenter: No, it’s not that – it’s the next night. And what about three weeks from tonight? And all the nights in between?

Laura Hunt: Shelby, you talk as if I had no other engagements!

Shelby Carpenter: And two months from now? And the month after that?

Laura Hunt: What about next year?

Shelby Carpenter: Oh, that’s all settled. What about breakfast?

Laura Hunt: What about dancing?

Shelby Carpenter: What about lunch? Beautiful lunches, day after day after day?”

The two starting dating and she gave him a job, one of which he didn’t have to do too much work. The two become engaged and all is well.

Sound suspicious

Or is it?

It turns out that Laura wasn’t the only person Shelby was seeing. He was going around with a lot of poor models. Rumor has it that Laura found out and was not happy…could he have killed her? If she was about to leave him high and dry, he might have become incensed and murdered her?

Laura Interviewing Shelby

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3) Ann Treadwell

Laura question

Ann Treadwell is the rich older aunt of Laura. She and Shelby had been in a relationship for a long time. She knew what he was, but that was what she wanted.

Laura what I want

When he left her for Laura, she was furious that her niece stole him away. Furious enough to kill?

Sound suspicious

Sound suspicious

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As Det. McPherson continues to delve into the clues and motives…he learns more and more about Laura. As he learns more and more he starts falling for Laura as well.

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One night Det. McPherson is at Laura’s apartment looking at her painting and trying to figure out the mystery, along with Laura. Why does she draw him to her?

When suddenly somebody comes crashing through.

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It’s Laura!!!

Laura Switch on you dames

But wait…

What!

But if that’s Laura? Who is…?

Who is the dead body?

They find out that the murdered girl is one of the models, Diane Redfern. The same model that Shelby was involved with.

Yep this leads Mark with another suspect…Laura

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4) Laura Hunt

Laura New Hat trying it on mirror

So we’ve heard how Laura rose from nothing to being the top girl. She was beautiful, smart, classy, etc. All women envined her and all men wanted her.

Laura Smart Intelligent woman Dopes

But then the guy she loves and is supposed to marry is running around with a model!!! Cheating on her!!!!

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She knew Diane was in love with Shelby, and she knew Shelby only cared about her money. She knew Shelby was taking models to her house and she could have gone after them and shot her for trying to mess with her man.

that girl is going after my man she is going to wish she was never born

Or she could be so angry at Shelby for cheating on him that she prepared a way to take care of him.

dialMforMurder Killer Hate

Instead of killing him, she could have killed Diane to make it look like Shelby and make him pay!

Does it seem too far-fetched? Well she wasn’t at the cabin when the cops looked that weekend. Her response “I was talking a walk.” She didn’t see the newspapers and come back saying she was alive? Or hear it on the radio? Her response: I don’t get a newspaper and my radio is broken.” Did anyone see you there? “Nobody”.

Being questioned police Annex - Tierney, Gene (Laura)_03

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What does this mean? Who is the killer?

You’ll have to watch the film to find out.

Laura

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

For to the previous post, go to Every Time I Bring a Girl Over, You Try to Eat Her!

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For more on Laura (1944), go to All I Know About Trilogies is That in the Third One, All Bets are Off

For more on Vincent Price, go to The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind

For more mysteries, go to Quite a Horror Story

For more films based on books, go to But the Book, It Will Never Close…

For more films based on a play, go to Some People Are Just Born Evil

That’s What You Get

Heartbroken

Yep, you’ve guessed, its another song on our heartbreak list. This one is:

Paramore

8) That’s What You Get by Paramore

So Paramore was a band suggested by my ex, but I never got a chance to listen to it as we broke up before I reached the CD in the large stack.

The music video was created at a time when the band almost broke up as they were having personal issues with each other. (Kinda ironic huh?) The music video is of two lovers and are having a great time when the boyfriend meets someone and lives his girlfriend in the dust. Very sad.

mansheartChangeable_DowntownAbbey

I actually don’t like the video as much as the lyrics. It just describes how you feel after being dumped.

No sir, well I don’t wanna be the blame, not anymore.
It’s your turn, so take a seat we’re settling the final score.
And why do we like to hurt so much?

Paramore blame
I can’t decide
You have made it harder just to go on
And why, all the possibilities, well I was wrong

That’s what you get when you let your heart win, whoa.
That’s what you get when you let your heart win, whoa.
I drowned out all my sense with the sound of its beating.
And that’s what you get when you let your heart win, whoa.

ParamoreBroken-Heart-

I wonder, how am I supposed to feel when you’re not here.
‘Cause I burned every bridge I ever built when you were here.
I still try, holding onto silly things, I never learn
Oh why, all the possibilities I’m sure you’ve heard.

Paramorebreaking-up

That’s what you get when you let your heart win, whoa.
That’s what you get when you let your heart win, whoa.
I drowned out all my sense with the sound of its beating (beating)
And that’s what you get when you let your heart win, whoa.

Pain make your way to me, to me.
And I’ll always be just so inviting.
If I ever start to think straight,
This heart will start a riot in me,
Let’s start, start, hey!

Why do we like to hurt so much?
Oh why do we like to hurt so much?

That’s what you get when you let your heart win, whoa!
That’s what you get when you let your heart win, whoa.
That’s what you get when you let your heart win, whoa.
Now I can’t trust myself with anything but this,
And that’s what you get when you let your heart win, whoa.

Now even though you may feel like this:

neverfeelagainRemember:

listentoHeart

Don’t worry you will find the right person who will appreciate you.

findperfectguy

musicnotes

To go to the first post in the Heartbreak series, go to If It Means A Lot To You

To go to the previous post, go to Love Stinks

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For other posts you may like:

For more of my favorite songs, go to Good or Bad

For more of my fav quotes, go to Heartbreak Hotel

For more on a change of heart, go to I Don’t Love You

For more on Downton Abbey, go to A Hunky Helping of Manwich

For more on Margaret Mitchell, go to At the End of the Rainbow

For more on Nicholas Sparks, go to I Love You Anyway

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In other news this is post 300

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For the 200th post, go to A Letter of Love: Persuasion (2007)

For the 400th post, go to The After Party.

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The Right Path is Not the Easiest One

Pocahontas

Day 9) A Film you like but everyone hates

Now lots of people hate this movie and I don’t really understand why. Now I know there are all kinds of things about the age and differences in the historical content, but this is just an interpretation of an event. I mean Mulan does similar things but you don’t see people crapping all over that movie. (And they shouldn’t because it is awesome)

So this Disney film is an interpretation of the life of Pocahontas based on legend and stories surrounding her from letters and writings of John Smith and John Rolfe (her husband). The controversy comes over the fact that other people’s account of the time do not confirm that Smith’s story of being saved by Pocahontas, as they say that the tribe was very friendly, something Smith had written himself many times.  There is also the fact that Smith had some mistrust surrounding him, as better depicted in the film A New World.  Plus when Smith and Pocahontas meet in England she refused to talk to him, no one knowing why, which lead people to wonder what went down between them to make her dislike him. Also when the alleged incident happened Pocahontas was much younger, like 12, so there was no romance between her and John Smith.

But the point of the fact that this is a Disney animated film that contains musical numbers means that it isn’t going to be a biopic. Watch New World if you want that, although I do NOT recommend it, it was one of the MOST BORING films I have ever seen.

EW!

 I mean you think a film with Colin Farrell and Christian Bale in it would be good, but it wasn’t. [Side Note: Christian Bale is also in Disney’s Pocahontas, he’s the character of Thomas.]

Anyways to get back to the business of the film and today’s post.

So the film starts off with a ship heading off from England to America as the English are eager to get in with the gold that Spain has found mountains of. On the ship is Thomas (played by Christian Bale [I know isn’t it funny that he was in two depictions of the story of Pocahontas?]), a newbie and John Smith (Mel Gibson [pre-crazy]). The other crew members are looking to kill Natives, etc; while John Smith on the other hand wants adventure. He helps Thomas learn the ins and out in sailing.

Meanwhile in what would become Virginia, Pocahontas is the chieftain’s daughter and is reaching of marriageable age. Her father has her whole life planned out for her, but Pocahontas isn’t sure whether or not that is what she really wants. She seeks guidance from a tree spirit, Grandmother Willow, and discovers the settler’s ship.

The crew have picked out a spot to erect their fort and have also decimated the area in digging for gold. Smith, being one for adventure, has been scouting out the area and comes upon Pocahontas. Intrigued by her, he pursues her and the two begin talking, creating a friendship that develops into something else. 😉

All is not going smoothly between the Natives and the Conquerers. They had a battle and both fear the other is determined to kill them. This causes trouble between Smith and Pocahontas, as Pocahontas’ possible fiancé, Kocoum, is killed by Thomas. Smith takes the fall for him, and is taken to be punished. The leader of the settlers, Governor Ratcliffe, uses the fear and unrest as a way to completely decimte the Natives, convincing everyone that they must kill them for Smith.

Smith is taken out to be killed, but before he can be injured, Pocahontas arrives just in time and throws herself on his body, blocking her father’s weapon and laying down her life for him. Her father admires her courage and sees that maybe peace can be achieved between the two, that killing won’t bring the people he lost back, and steps down. Ratcliffe doesn’t like the idea of allowing the Native Americans to roam freely (its their land!) tries to kill the Chief, but is thwarted by Smith who takes the bullet. The settlers leave for England, taking the injured Smith with them.

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Why Pocahontas (1995) is Awesome

1) Pocahontas

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Pocahontas is awesome. She is the chieftan’s daugter but doesn’t see herself as higher than anyone else in the tribe, working alongside and helping prepare the harvest. When her father tries to get her to conform to his vision of the future, she respectfully declines as she needs to live her own life; rejecting the marriage to Kokoum. She also is bold, strong, smart, wise, and awesome. When she comes upon John Smith she bravely faces him down, causing him to put away his gun as he is so intrigued by her. When Smith calls her people ignorant and savage, she challenges his thinking showing him that what he sees may be different from what he is used to but is not less, stupid, or barbaric; teaching him the importance of learning more about things we find “strange” and viewing them from the eye of the person, as otherwise we  may miss something. This is truly important message to teach children, just because someone isn’t like you or does things differently; it doesn’t make them stupid or strange; it just means that everyone does things differently and there are other ways to view the same thing. She also is incredibly brave as she stands down her father and whole tribe, trying to show them that violence is wrong. Many say this:

Frozen

But I think they are sorely wrong. Pocahontas does that way sooner as she is the one to save her whole tribe from being massacred and her love, John Smith. Also unlike Frozen, Pocahontas doesn’t even end up with the guy, she ends standing on her own two feet; taking on the world and continuing on her uncharted path.

pocahontas_on_the_cliff_by_reginaac57-d6l5111blue-swirl-banner-background-82684222) John Smith

John_Smith_17 Pocahontas

Now John Smith is one of the sexiest of Disney’s cartoon heros. First of all he is a strong, tough, manly, brave, smart, kind guy. I mean he is the greatest on the ship, the other guys can mess up, but never him. He is a crackshot and never misses his mark. I mean the crew tell all kind of stories about him and his adventures, he’s pretty cool. And so brave and tough, handling the terrain on his own, climbing mountains, crossing streams, etc.; all the while there being all kinds of dangers out there, but he doesn’t care, he’s a man’s man. He also is so kind! He helps Thomas every chance he gets by mentoring him and even taking the blame for him, laying his life down for his friends. He also is so sweet with Pocahontas, as when she blames herself for his upcoming execution, he tells her it isn’t her fault and tries to make her feel better; telling her everything was worth it as he meet her.

So romantic!

So romantic!

But the really awesome thing about John Smith is his willingness to see other’s point of view and to admit he is wrong about things. Similar to Phoebus in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, at the beginning of the film he has a clear view of us and them. We are the smart, improved, evolved people with our cities, technology, ideas; and they are stupid, barbaric, and doing nothing with the land given to them. However, when Pocahontas starts showing him that there are many different views on things, he let’s go of his stereotypes and objectively listens to her arguments, seeing that she is right. What he thought was backwards was actual a very forward and advanced society. Therefore changing his view and trying to help build a relationshipIn between the two groups.

Pocahontas

blue-swirl-banner-background-82684223) Interracial Romance

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I don’t care what anyone says, this is HUGE! Even in 2014, very rarely will you have a film that will show an interracial romance as most audiences don’t like it. They prefer like with like, which usually is white with white or black with black. The only other Disney films I can think of that do this are The Hunchback of Notre Dame which came out a year later and has French Phoebus with the racially unknown, but not white, Esmeralda; High School Musical which has white Troy and Latino Gabriella pair up, along with African-American Zeke and white Sharpay; and The Wizards of Waverly Place Movie which has a white and Latino family. Yep, only four films (comment below if you can think of another one) of which Pocahontas was the first. Now for me I grew up in a biracial family and hated how I never could find any books or films that dealt with that issue, and when I was a kid I don’t think I realized it, but as I’m older that is one thing I really appreciate about this film. You don’t have to get with the ethnically same, but can fall in love with whoever.

blue-swirl-banner-background-82684224) Positive Minority Character

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This film comes out during a period called “revisionist history”, that is historians were looking back and checking voices not previously heard, such as minorities and women, challenging previous depictions and notions about these groups. As this film comes after Dances With Wolves and The Last of the Mohicans, films had already begun to depict Native Americans as being more than villians or mistreated people. Instead it tried to break previous stereotypes and just show them as people. In Pocahontas, while they do follow some stereotypes, such as talking to trees, animals, etc.; they also show them as being real people who care about each other. In one of the earlier scenes we see a group of warriors returning, saying good-bye to their allies and being  greeted by their families; showing that they have positive home lives. The Cheiftan, while wanting to get rid of the settlers, isn’t doing it because he is evil or cruel, but because he is worried for his people. Pocahontas is a wise soul, but instead of having the “Native American wisdom as she is just sooo connected to the planet”, like other films do she is just an observant and smart person, and her personality is not tied to her ethnicity but just who she is; something radically different from earlier depictions of any minority. Even the killing scene is better here than in other films. As with earlier depictions of Native Amerians killing people, you have something like Duel at Diablo,  where the guy is on a wheel and roasted/tortured in many different ways. Then you have Lonesome Dove, where Blue Duck, rapes and tortures his victims. At least in this film it was a slightly more humane way than roasting them or having a prolonged death.

blue-swirl-banner-background-82684225) The songs

So Pocahontas has some of the best songs out of all the disney films.

A) The Virginia Company

Short but a great intro as we not only get a history lesson (you’re children will never forget colonial involvement because of this film) but an understanding into our settler characters.

We get the three reasons why any would sail and take on a hard life (1. Gold, 2. Glory, 3. God [and not really about him at all]

For glory, God, and gold

And how they fanty believed America was going to be like this fairyland or treasure trove or something.


For the New World is like heaven
And we’ll all be rich and free

Yeah. Well most of you will die or be indentured servants. Yeah, not much fun. Click her to listen/watch

B) Steady as the Beating Drum

This song I am particularly fond of as in sixth grade my music class had to learn it on the recorder, and participate in a recital with the older kids. I love this as an intro for the Native Americans, as with Virgina Company it helps give us a view into their life and what they are feeling/doing before the settler’s arrive. Very different from any other film that deicts Native American and white relations as almost all center on when/after the whites arrive not before.

O great spirit, hear our song
Help us keep the ancient ways
Keep the sacred fire strong
Walk in balance all our days

It focuses on the connection with the land and their dependence on it for survival, but it also has a little sad foreshadowing. As these traditional ways, will no longer be kept in the same manner as with the colonists arrival, they bring change.

C) Just Around the River Bend

I love this song as it can connect to everyone. At some point in every one’s life you have a time when you have to make a decision. Often you will have conflicting views of what others want you to do (marry Kokoum) and what you want [something different, i.e. John Smith ;)] Sometimes the thing you want isn’t the most stable thing, sometimes you can’t be cautious but have to take a risk.


Should I choose the smoothest curve
Steady as the beating drum?
Should I marry Kocoum?
Is all my dreaming at an end?
Or do you still wait for me, Dream Giver
Just around the riverbend?

It always made me think of Something’s Coming from West Side Story, there are more things out there than one can see, more choices, paths, rivers. It’s an amazing song!

Pocahontas

D) Mine, Mine, Mine

One of the best evil villian songs as it shows how selfish and unscrupulous Ratcliffe is and how he would do just about anything to get what he wants.


And the gold
Is …
Mine!
Mine!
Mine!
Mine!

The duality of using the word mine for mine as in mining, and mine as in it belongs to me. Plus sneaky Disney also gives us another mini history lesson as it talks about European conquest. But really what you see here is how Ratcliffe just uses and ravages things; working his men crazily, destroying the forest, tearing up the land, etc. It makes you just hate him more.

We also get a view into John Smith and how he differs from Ratcliffe, clearly distinguishing Smith’s “heroic role”.

All of my life, I have searched for a land
Like this one
A wilder, more challenging country
I couldn’t design
Hundreds of dangers await
And I don’t plan to miss one
In a land I can claim
A land I can tame
The greatest adventure is mine!

He wants the land not to own or dig or find riches, but finds riches in the land itself; exploration, creating a home, farming, etc. We also see here how he wants to claim and tame the land, not having a connection like the Native Americans who love the land and see it as its own entity. This helps with John Smith’s chracter development, as after being with Poahontas and listening to her point of view, he changes his mind and rids himself of his previous stereotypes.

Click here to listen/watch

E) Colors of the Wind

This song is so freakin’ awesome. It’s all about how we can assume so much about a person, but you never really know someone until you get a glimpse of what their world is like.

You think the only people who are people
Are the people who look and think like you
But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
You’ll learn things you never knew you never knew

And Disney always subtlety throwing things in and trying to brainwash our children (but in a good way)

For whether we are white or copper skinned
We need to sing with all the voices of the mountains
We need to paint with all the colors of the wind

Color doesn’t matter, we all need to work together, all are important. This is why this is such a great movie to show your children, as it tells them that prejudice and racism is bad. Very bad!

And look how beautiful this scene is!

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F) Savages

Now this is my favorite song in Pocahontas. I just love the lyrics and the imagery used in this. It actually pulls a lot from West Side Story. West Side Story does this great number Tonight in which the two rival gangs, Sharks and Jets, are going to fight (one group is white and the other is Puerto Rican). While they sing about the upcoming battle, you have Maria and Tony sing about how tonight the fight will be over and they can be together (which doesn’t quite work out). In this you have the two groups, Native Americans and Whites, preparing to fight and it is just an awesome song. I mean this whole song is about how racism is stupid, as these two groups who are going to kill each other are not quite different at all, in what they are (human) and what they think (things different bad, we must fight those diffrent from us, etc) I mean look at the lyrics.

Ratcliffe:                       Powhatan: 

What can you expect                   This is what we feared
From filthy little heathens?          The paleface is a demon 
Their whole disgusting race is like a curse        The only thing they feel at all is greed
Their skin’s a hellish red                 Beneath that milky hide 
They’re only good when dead           There’s emptiness inside 
They’re vermin, as I said                         I wonder if they even bleed 

[English Settlers]                            [Native Americans] 
They’re savages! Savages!                       They’re savages! Savages! 
Barely even human                        Barely even human 

See not much difference between the two, which is the whole reason they are fighting.

pocahontas savages

I also love how they made both groups look evil in this song, making it clear that both sides are bing violent and are both at fault, there is no one villian. As historically both groups did horrible, horrible things to their own people and each other; showing that all people have faults.

Then we have Pocahontas who has finally discoverd her destiny and is trying to run and save everyone from war. And the tension mounts as you are unsure if she will make it in time and then what will happen next.

[Pocahontas] 
Is the death of all I love 
Carried in the drumming of war?

It’s a horrible situation as if the Native Americans win, John Smith dies and they are villianified and going to kill/die when future settler’s comeIf the settlers win, than all the Native Americans will be wiped out, the only thing that can solve this dilemma is if Pocahontas can bring peace between them.

 

G) If I Never Knew You

I love this song so much, it is my favorite Disney love song so I will actually be saving that for a later post. Sorry!

For more on Pocahontas, go to a Disney Lesson

For more on Disney Princesses, go to A Hidden Wonder

For more on Frozen, go to Frozen Solid

For more on Mulan, go to A Horse’s Tale

For more of my favorite songs, go to The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind

For more on Disney Heroines, go to Belle of the Ball

For more on Disney Heroes, go to  Prince of a Man

For more on Disney, go to That Would Make Me Happy

Where Oh Where Can It Be?

Something I notice that happens whenever you need to go somewhere or do something, and am running behind schedule, you manage to lose an important item and have to spend a long time looking for it, an ALWAYS when you really need it. Here is a list I compiled:

1)Keys (They never seem to be around when you really need them. I lose my keys all the time)

2) Your left/right shoe (Always just one of them)

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3) Your socks (I swear the dyer is the gateway to another dimension)

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4) Flashdrive (Especially when there is an important document on it)

5) You homework (Sometimes it grows legs and walks away)

6) Your wallet (Always manages to be put in the wrong place)

7) Your purse (Doesn’t apply to most men)

8) A pen/pencil (They always seem to disappear)

9) Tape

10) Stapler (Always when I write a paper)

11) The card you bought weeks ago for someone (Now you have to buy a new one, and immediately find the old one afterwards)

12) Directions (GPS gets me even more lost)

13) Library Card

14) Change

15) Your cellphone (And as luck has it will usually be on silent or off)

PhoneOnSilent

16) Your hairbrush (I always look around singing this)

17) Your charger (And just as your phone/computer/whatever is dying)

18) Time (You lose so much looking for everything)

Send me a comment about anything you always seem to lose when it is most needed.

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For more on modern day things, go to Darcy’s Dream Date

For more on Supernatural, go to Cinderelly, Cinderelly