Count Your Rainbows: 7 More Irish Heroes

 

I know with all that’s happening today in the world, it probably feels like we are in a giant hurricane but when things get low, that’s when we have to think about-what are we thankful for-it’s the only bright thing that can keep us going in the dark times. I don’t know what all of you have going on in your life, but I hope there is at least one rainbow in your life.

So today is Saint Patrick’s Day and I have previously been doing 17 heroes, but last year I switched to 7-it’s just easier.

They are just random, coming from books, films, or TV shows that I happened to read or watch throughout the year. So let’s get started with this year’s picks:

7) Clara Kelly from Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict

Clara is an Irish immigrant traveling to America. When she reaches the shores and steals a dead girl of the same name’s job, she finds herself working as a maid in Andrew Carnegie’s mansion. The two grow closer and closer together-will Clara recieve a Cinderella ending, will she remain “downstairs”, or will her life take another path?

This was an engrossing novel as it presents an interesting view of immigration, the life of a servant, the Gilded Age, and the duality of one of America’s most impressive businessmen. I highly recommend it.

Why Clara is awesome:

Clara is an amazing character full of grit and bravery as she travels across the ocean alone with no clue what will await her on the other side. When she sees an opportunity, she grabs it and becomes a maid in the Carnegie household. She’s intelligent, loves to read, has great business sense, and can hold her own against Carnegie. I liked that this book didn’t have a typical “romantic ending”, and I really enjoyed the way Clara went as I felt that any other ending wouldn’t have been as good.

6) Keara Buckley from Together in Pinecone Patch by Thomas F. Yezerski

In this picture book poor families from Ireland and Poland travel to the United States for a better life. They end up in Pinecone Patch, Pennsylvania (a mining town), and live a harder life than what was promised. The only thing that makes them feel better is to pick on the other race. But could that all change when Irish Keara Buckley and Polish Stefan Pazik become friends?

Why Keara Buckley is awesome:

Keara is awesome as while she starts off the story making fun of Stefan, but when he says something nice to her one day-everything changes for her. Afterwards she invites him into her home for tea, and begin having tea and talking to him every day. When the two fall in love and decide to marry-she ignores the racism of her parents and the town, and continues to see him and marry him anyway.

5) Tommin from The Gold-Son by Carrie Ann Noble

It is the 19th century, and all 16-year old Tommin wants to do in life is make shoes and take care of his grandmother. Unfortunately, he is constantly getting into trouble as he can’t stop himself from stealing items. When he can’t help himself one day, he finds he picked the wrong pocket as he tried to steal a leprechaun’s gold and gets himself kidnapped. Underground he and Lorcan’s “niece” are trained in being magic “gold-children” as Lorcan the leprechaun has a huge evil plan. The gold children try to escape from underground, but when they finally reach the surface they discover years have gone by-and they are now in the 21st century. Can they survive the “real” world after magic? Besides that, Lorcan is not easily defeated and he will not let his evil plan be stopped by time or distance…

Why Tommin is awesome:

Tommin is an incredibly sweet boy with a kind heart that is doing the best he can. He wants to help his grandma out, he wants to do the right thing, but he has this weakness he can’t stop. Even underground in the Leprechaun land, he tries hard. His soft, sweet, sensitive soul-is a perfect foil for the other main character Eve-who is hard, tough, and steely.

For more on The Gold-Songo to Shame Book Tag

4) Alvirah Meehan from The Lottery Winner & Other Stories by Mary Higgins Clark

Alvirah and Willy are just average people-a cleaning lady and plumber-from Flushings, NY who win the lottery. They take the money and make a few changes-new clothes, new place to live-but the biggest changes are that Alvirah starts crime solving. It seems she has a knack for it-wherever she and her husband go.

Why Alvirah is awesome:

Alvirah is one of those people that you can dress up in $10000 dresses and she’ll stay exactly the same. Which is a reason why I love her! She is kind, fun, caring, hilarious, intelligent, resourceful, and solves countless crimes. She is willing to do anything to help anyone and is just all around one of the best “cozy mystery” sleuth characters that have ever been created. If you haven’t read this yet, then you need to.

For more from Mary Higgins Clarkgo to Kissing the Blarney Stone: 7 More Irish Heroes

3) Father Malone from The Fog (1980)

Antonio Bay, CA is celebrating its 100th anniversary, but what should be a day of fun and food-turns out to be one of nightmares as an unearthly fog rolls into the town, ghosts descend on the town, strange occurrences occur, and people are murdered. Can they stop the fog? Or when it lifts will all be dead?

Why Father Malone is awesome:

Father Malone isn’t a big part, but I found him to be truly memorable. He discovers a journal from the priest in the parish 100 years ago and the truth of the night and the founding fathers-he wants to reveal the truth but is outvoted. Later when the ghosts attack, he does all he can to help and care for his people. I love at the end when the ghosts attack and he brings the cross out, begging the ghosts to spare everyone and take him instead. Like none of the others were likable but him and he planned on sacrificing himself for others, to set things right.

For more on The Fog (1980)go to There’s Something in the Fog!: The Fog (1980)

2) Charles Adare from Under Capricorn TV Series (1983)

So this is a remake of the Under Capricorn (1949) movie, and I liked the original better (you all probably saw that coming) except-I preferred Charles Adare in this version.

Charles Adare has traveled from Ireland to Australia as his family’s fortune has depleted and he’s heard that fortunes can be made quickly in Australia. He meets Samuel Flusky, a former convict turned wealthy man, and enters a business deal with him. He is invited to their house for dinner and meets Flusky’s wife, Lady Henrietta-someone he knows from his childhood. He grew up with her being close friends with his older sister, until she ran off with the stablehand. Henrietta has had a hard time of it, and Charles tries his best to bring her back to her old self-but there are dark forces at work. Someone wants to get rid of Henrietta-will Charles be able to help her?

Why Charles Adare is awesome:

So in this version Charles is not romantically interested in Henrietta at all, but is only helping her because he remembers how beautiful, elegant, and graceful she was-and wants to get her back to her former glory. He works on her-getting her to remember how things were done, tells her what duties she is supposed to do-but breaks it down, step-by-step so she can regain who she was. He provides the upper class she was used to, memories of old, and with him being from her hometown that she can never return to, it’s like having a little bit of home again. He also being from an upper class family knows how Henrietta should be treated and picks up on the power plays happening between her and the staff-along with picking out the ones who are against Henrietta.

For more from Under Capricorn, go to With a Little Luck of the Irish: 17 More Irish Heroes

1) Detective Lieutenant John McClane from the Die Hard Series

So I had wanted to include him last year, but when I looked up McClane it said it was a Scottish name. However, in Die Hard 3: Die Hard with a Vengeance, Simon Gruber called Jon McClane “an Irish flatfoot” so I guess he is Irish, not Scottish, and that means I get to add him.

John and his wife have been having problems-he’s a cop in NYC and she has a high ranking job at the Nakatomi company in LA. He is coming out this Christmas to try and mend fences-see if they will stay together or end the marriage. But Nakatomi Christmas party is invaded by German terrorists/bank robbers. McClane the only one who can do anything, but can he stop them?

In Die Hard 2, it’s another Christmas but this time John has to face off against ex-military, a dictator from another country, and trying to save the airport and the plane coming in-the one that his wife is on. In Die Hard 3 John is back in NYC, he’s suspended, but brought in when a madman threatens NYC, and wants John to solve his riddles to stop him from blowing up the city. Live Free or Die Hard McClane is sent to pick up hacker Matt Farrell and keep him alive and in A Good Day to Die Hard McClane heads to Russia to help his son, an undercover CIA agent.

Why John McClane is awesome:

John McClane is an amazing tough guy, who is extremely intelligent, resourceful, and can take any situation thrown at him and try to turn it to his advantage. He’s quick witted, easily pieces things together, and just awesome as he takes the terrorists and any villain out. He’s not great with his words (like sharing how he feels), but he would do anything to protect his family. We see in film after film-that he puts his life and body on the line (blood, sweat, and tears) in order to keep them alive and well.

So that ends my list for this year. You all know what I’ll be doing with the rest of my day. Eating some Irish soda bread I made (although there is not much left). Unfortunately, thanks to Disney+ I cannot continue my yearly tradition of watching the Disney Channel Original Movie: The Luck of the Irish as they took it off Youtube.

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So I’ll have to choose another Irish themed film…good thing I have a few to choose from with all these past lists! (Counting them rainbows!) I hope you all have a wonderful Saint Patrick’s Day!

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For the 2013 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes 

For the 2014 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2015 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to Lookin’ Over a Four-Leaf Clover: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2016 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to The Wearing of the Green: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2017 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to With a Little Luck of the Irish: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2018 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to Top O’ the Morning: 7 More Irish Heroes

For the 2019 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to Kissing the Blarney Stone: 7 More Irish Heroes

I Won the Read the Write Act & Six0Six Design Giveaway + Can’t Fight This Feeling: Romance is in the Air, Part VII

So if you have been following me for a while, you know how I feel about free things.

As I always say:

“Free is always good unless it is diseases.”

So I just cannot resist a giveaway-anytime I see one I have to enter it.

So in november I entered the ReadtheWriteAct giveaway that had partnered with Six0Six DesignThe winner would receive their choice of homemade pencils.

When I was contacted by Vanessa Scott-Hayward as to which set I wanted, I told her to surprise me with any of the Jane Austen ones. I was sure I would love any of them as you know how much I love Jane.

Plus I am horrible at making decisions:

Or what to pick…

The set came in right before Christmas and it turned out I was given the “Jane Austen on Love and Marriage Pencil Set“.

“Jane Austen on love and marriage. Austen’s wisdom on falling in love, all in one of my custom literary pencil sets.  The perfect gift to give this Valentines Day. AND it is also ideal to give as a Galentines present to your bookish bestie! Taking quotes from her letters and novels I have compiled five of my favorite romantic Jane Austen quotes.”

These pencils were absolutely beautiful and very well made. And when I saw them, I thought the same thing, they are the perfect Galentine’s gift. I ended up breaking the set up to give two to my friends, one to my niece, and one to SewMelissaWrites in the giveaway I did-keeping the last one for myself.

I was going to review this later, but as this is a perfect Galentine’s gift, I know I needed to review it before, and give you all a chance to order it for your best girlfriend or galfriend!

Last month I visited with two of my friends. One of them was talking about this:

“If a woman doubts as to whether she should accept a man or not, she certainly ought to refuse him.”

So I knew it was the perfect pencil for her.

My other friend we were talking about getting back into a relationship after ending one that lasted a long time. I thought the pencil with this quote was perfect for her:

My niece is turning 13 this year, and all I can think is I hope that she doesn’t get involved with boys. 13 year old boys have a lot of growing up to do, so I sent her the pencil with this quote:

Last month I did a giveaway and I ended up mailing it later than I planned as life got in he way. So as a consolation prize to SewMelissaWrites I put one of these pencils in there, the one with this quote:

And kept the last for myself.

These are gorgeous, but they are made in Ireland. So when ordering just factor that into your shipping time! Absolutely gorgeous and a great gift to give.

For more giveaways, go to I Won the Two Sisters Tea Giveaway

Well with tomorrow being the first of February, you know what that means:

Yes, the time has come for me to choose 14 romantic moments from film and TV:

So whether you are single:

Or in a relationship:

Whether you love Valentine’s day:

Or hate Valentine’s Day:

There is sure to be something you will love on this list. So don’t fight your feelings any longer…

and join me! And of course I have to end on:

To start Romance is in the Air from the beginning, go to Boom Box of Love: Say Anything (1989)

To start Romance is in the Air: Part II, go to Language of Love: Love Actually (2003)

To start Romance is in the Air: Part III, go to I Can See Your Beauty: The Breakfast Club (1985)

To start Romance is in the Air: Part IV, go to I Can’t Pretend, I Have to Be: Casual Sex? (1988)

To start Romance is in Air: Part V, go to I Did It for You: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

To start Romance is in the Air: Part VI, go to Who Says I Have to Stop: Fireproof (2008)

What the H*** Are You? I’m a Leprechaun, Me Dear: Leprechaun (1993)

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!!

So most of you are going:

No, I’m not crazy. I know that this is October, Horrorfest VIII. But I couldn’t help it as this film has a Leprechaun and I watched it on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Tory: What the h*** are you?

Leprechaun: I’m a leprechaun, me dear.

So I have never watched this film prior to this time, I’d only seen Nostalgia Critic’s review of it. It never really interested me, but when we added it at the library I thought “what the heck, why not?”

This was probably the dumbest thing I have ever seen.

Warwick Davis plays the Leprechaun and I’m just why? This is a talented actor! Star Wars, Narnia, Willow, etc. You’re better than this.

Than this movie!

So the film starts off with Dan O’Grady returning from Ireland. He searched and caught a Leprechaun, stealing the Leprechaun’s gold.

The Leprechaun follows him, and is set on killing him, but kills the wife first. But in the midst of his planned murder spree-he stops for tea.

Now I love tea, but it just seems weird to me that he stopped for tea. At first it made me laugh, but then it made me realize how creepy this leprechaun is. Like he just legit murdered someone and then nonchalantly has tea time.

Or scones!

O’Grady outsmarts him and traps him in a chest, putting a four-leaf clover on it. Now the leprechaun is stuck in there until the clover comes off.

[Daniel O’Grady lays the four-leaf clover over the Leprechaun’s crate]

Daniel O’Grady: The power of this clover will keep you in there forever.

Leprechaun: [From inside the crate] Get that d*** clover off this crate. I told you, you couldn’t kill me. Where’s me gold, Danny, me boy? [Mr. O’Grady begins to hammer the crate shut] Oh, Danny, don’t strain yourself.[Mr. O’Grady then begins to pour gasoline over the crate] No, not gasoline. You can’t burn me, I won’t let ya. [the Leprechaun laughs] Don’t strain yourself. You’re not as young as you used to be. You might have a stroke. I curse ye for all eternity. I’ve traded me soul for me gold. You’ll trade your life. [the Leprechaun laughs]

O’Grady has a heart attack, and we flip to the next scene…

Jennifer Aniston is teenage (?) Tory. She is moving with her dad from LA to North Dakota, for reasons unknown. There is no character development, or personality (besides whines a lot) from her.

So anoying

OMG Jennifer Aniston calls where she is New Mexico and her dad said North Dakota-like those two look nothing alike. Ughhhhhh, I can already tell this will be a loooooooong movie.

Ugh!

They come to a beat up, dirty, nasty house that used to be the O’Grady home and the Dad bought it. So….how like much time has passed? I mean O’Grady is alive and in a nursing home, but it looks like it has been forgotten for 25 years. No, make that 50, like the Jumanji house looked way better.

I looked it up and it is ten years. Ten YEARS?! Seriously-it looks waaaay longer.

Time has not been kind to you.

So there is a group of three guys painting the house. I guess the dad hired them, I mean they never explain that, or why they are there-but I guess so.

Speaking of which, who are these guys. I mean I know they are painters, but are they brothers? Cousins? Why is that little kid with them and why isn’t he in school? Now that I mention school, when does this take place? Summer? What is going on?

So Nostalgia Critic and Cinema Snob call the one guy Tory likes Jim Carrey Kevin Bacon, and I have to say they are right. He’s like the no-name brand of a famous cereal.

OMG, I just realized the big guy is evil Francis from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure! Francis the bike stealer. Better not trust him, once a bike stealer, always a bike stealer.

I loved PeeWee’s Grand Adventure, I used to watch the movie again and again. So hilarious. And much better than this one. But enough about that, back to the movie.

Do I have to?

Francis…I mean Ozzie accidentally knocks the clover off the box, which releases the Leprechaun.

Ozzie tells the rest outside but they don;t believe him.

And…wait a second, why is Jennifer Aniston Tory painting? This doesn’t make sense. With the little bit of her character we have had so far, there is no way she would be into that.

Ozzie spots a rainbow, and he and the little boy follows it finding the gold-Ozzie swallowing one-Really?

Alex: Hey, Ozzie. Do you know what this means?

Ozzie: We’re rich, and I can buy comics every week.

Alex: Yeah, but you know what else? We can get you an operation.

Ozzie: For what?

Alex: To make you smart. See we can go to the hospital and have them operate and fix your brain.

Ozzie: But – But I – I’m smart.

Alex: Yeah. Well, sort of. What I mean is we can make you real smart. That way, people won’t make fun of you.

An operation for your brain, that went dark. Who is this kid-jeez.

What the heck?

The Leprechaun hides under a truck and gropes Tory’s leg. She complains about it and her dad’s reaction is hilarious.

Tory: [Tory falls after something touches her leg from under the truck. Nathan comes to check on Tory] I thought that was you rubbing my leg.

Nathan Murphy: And you let me?

Tory: That’s not the point. Something was rubbing my leg, like caressing it. And it-it ran off over there.

J.D. Reding: It’s probably just an old possum, honey.

Tory: No, dad. That was not an animal. I know what it feels like when a man caresses my leg.

J.D. Reding: You do?

Really dad, I’m sure ANYONE could tell the difference between a possum which has CLAWS and a male hand.

You know what, imagine a movie about horrifying possums, like that would be the SCARIEST thing ever. You don’t know scared until you have had one of these ugly demon creatures hiss at you.

And do Possums even live in North Dakota, I would think it would be too cold…You know what-looking it up…It looks like only in the last few years have they been heading into North Dakota, and a very tiny population.

Hmmm?

The Leprechaun attacks the dad and he ends up in the hospital overnight. The leprechaun follows then attacks them on a tricycle.

A leprechaun on a tricycle-the least scariest thing ever. Seriously? Who green lighted this?

Jennifer…I mean Tori and the Kevin Bacon lookalike go to the hospital and then over to a diner, where Ozzie and the little boy Alex are supposed to meet them. Ozzie and Alex stop at a merchant’s office first, showing him the gold coins, leaving one with him.

Afterwards, the Leprechaun comes and he…

He pogo sticks him to death. Pogo Sticking the merchant to death-this is the stupidest thing I have ever seen.

Ugh! Really!

And then after he kills him-he…he stops to clean his shoes!? WHO green-lighted this film? WHO?

We flip back to Jennifer Anniston complains again-this time about the diner food. I hate to agree with her-but the stuff discount KB is eating looks like dog food. I wouldn’t want it either.

Later, the Leprechaun drives one of those Barbie cars. Oh man, I wanted one of those so bad as a kid. Anyways… A cop pulls the Leprechaun over and I’m like how does a toy car even have lights to actually drive in the dark?

The Leprechaun kills him.

The Leprechaun goes back to the house and tosses it looking for his gold. And stops to shine shoes.

The crew comes back to the house and Discount Kevin Bacon says a bear could have messed up the house? Really? REALLY??? Have you seem what bears do-it would have been way more messed up. I mean you live in North Dakota, you should know what something looks like after a bear attacks it. Why is everyone in this movie so stupid? Oh wait, it is a stupid movie.

“I’m going to check out the bedrooms for where we will stay.” Why are they all staying at the house with Jennifer Aniston? Where do they usually live? Why is she okay with this? She doesn’t know these guys they could be crazy or rape her.

This movie!!!!

And was her dad really okay with this when he was freaking out over the leg thing earlier? Don’t these boys have their own home? Wouldn’t it have made more sense for her to stay at the hospital or a motel rather than go home for the night in a beat up house in the middle of nowhere?

I’m done

Discount KB gets caught in a bear trap and they have a stupid fight with a leprechaun. Basically whack-a-mole with a leprechaun.

I’m out!

They all run to the car, which won’t work because of the leprechaun who dismantled the battery. They are trapped inside it when he comes chasing after them in a car with a pitchfork attached.

First, usually the monster is attacked with the pitchfork so I guess trying to do irony or something.

Huh?

And second, all I can think is that he is a little man in a kid’s car. Like, he seriously can’t be stopped. I mean he’s the size of a toddler. And he manages to knock the truck over? Seriously. This movie is sooooooo dumb!!!!

Or plot!

They escape to the house and slam the door on his hand-making him loose it. Tori then goes out with a gun (even though she’s never shot anything before.) And gives the gold to the Leprechaun.

She asks what he is, and I know it is dark, and your character has already been established as not smart, but really? Really? Really?

Leprechaun counts the gold and realizes one is missing,

They open the fridge-no freezer so I don’t know how this is possible-for ice and the leprechaun is inside. Well if he can transport into buildings-why didn’t he do that earlier. Why didn’t he just get them in the truck or come in the house hours ago. This movie makes no sense!!!! NO SENSE!!!!!

How I feel about this movie:

They try to call for help, but the Leprechaun takes over the phone copying Nightmare on Elm Street with his tongue.

EW!

They then throw shoes at the Leprechaun to escape to find Mr. O’Grady to figure out how to stop the Leprechaun. The Leprechaun actually stops to shine the shoes.

WHAT AM I WATCHING??!!

That little boy Alex is a total sicko and psycho-in-training. The next Norman Bates-the way he talks-just saying!

Killer

So they get to the hospital and the Leprechaun is there. If the Leprechaun was mending the shoes how did he get the hospital so fast? Magic powers? And if he has such powers WHY DIDN’T HE USE THEM EARlIER AND JUST KILL EVERYONE ALREADY

UUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH, I’m so over this film. UUUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH

AAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGHHH!!!!!!

Tori finds O’Grady and he tells her to find a four-leaf clover. She goes home…and where are the guys? Weren’t they all in a car together? Or are they still at the house. If they were at the house why didn’t the Leprechaun kill them as he wants the gold in Ozzie’s stomach? If they went with her, why didn’t they come back with her? I’m confused.

Tory goes to a green glowing clover patch. Now I’ve seen A LOT of movies, and glowing green-radiation right there. She’s going to become a giant shamrock woman or have earth-driven powers or something after touching these.

But not everyone knows how to wield it.

Of course not really, bur I’m sure that would be a waaaay better film.

So the Leprechaun transports himself and follows her. They get the four-leaf clover, kill the leprechaun, and then throw him in the well? Wow, You just poisoned the water supply.

And then gasoline? Do these people not care at all about the environment?

I’m out!

OMG I JUST REALIZED SOMETHING. THE LEPRECHAUN GETS THROWN IN THE WELL! WHAT IF HE IS REALLY?

Would be a better film, dontcha think?

Hmm…

All in all, it’s a DUUUUUUUUUUUUUMB Movie and I’m glad it’s over.

Yay!

To start Horrorfest VIII from the beginning, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

For more leprechauns, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes

For more Nostalgia Critic, go to Ever Heard of the Tommyknockers?: The Tommyknockers (1993)

For more on Jennifer Anniston, go to Even Though You Are Only Using Me and Made Me Look Like a Jerk, I Only Care About Helping You: Picture Perfect (1997)

Book Club Picks: A Light in the Window

So I have fallen waaaay behind with my posts, but as you know I started a book club this year:

Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed.

There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want. Back in May, one member choose the first book in The Mitford Years series, so when it was their turn to pick they decided on us reading the second book in the series.

A Light in the Window (The Mitford Years #2) by Jan Karon

This book is set in the fictional town of Mitford, North Carolina. The last book centered around the Vicar, Father Tim as he is contemplating at age 60 if he should continue or retire. In that year he faces all kinds of changes from a dog adopting him, taking in a child, jewel thieves, a fake antiquities ring, health changes, a new neighbor/love interest, all kinds of secrets being revealed, and more. This town and Father Tim will never be the same.

At the end of the first book he and Cynthia (his neighbor) have become boyfriend and girlfriend. This is a huge step for Father Tim as this is his first relationship in forty years.

While he loves Cynthia, he finds himself unsure about the relationship, and draws into himself pulling away from her.

Cynthia, understandingly gets upset:

And now Father Tim has a choice to fight for her or let her go.

Meanwhile, a recently widowed parishioner has set her sights on Father Tim, not caring he’s in a relationship. She starts cooking him up his favorite dishes in the hope of capturing him.

Father Tim had just returned from a trip to Ireland and discovers that one of his cousins has followed him home and wants to stay with him while she works on her book. However, something about her is not right as she spends all her time in her room, her dishes disappear, she eats everything, she never leaves her room, etc and more.

Something is not right.

So I loved the first book

But this one, not as much. I mean it has some real good parts, funny moments, and things that I really enjoyed, but it was missing all the fun characters and their interactions from the first one.

The other thing I didn’t like was how a big part was done in letters between Cynthia and Father Tim as she has to go to New York for months to work on her book. While I like epistolary novels, this made me feel like a voyeur reading such personal mail. I was the only one who didn’t like it, as the other book club members loved it. What can I say:

So on a whole, the book was good-but I just felt it paled in comparison to the first one. It was just missing a little spark.

For more book club picks, go to Book Club Picks: A Voice in the Wind

For more on The Mitford Years, go to Book Club Picks: At Home in Mitford

That Place…There’s Queer Things Goes on There: Jamaica Inn (1939)

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That place – Jamaica Inn. It’s got a bad name. It’s not healthy, that’s why. There’s queer things goes on there.

Alfred Hitchcock, practically everyone knows the King of Suspense.

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But while most know the films The Birds; Psycho, Vertigo, etc: a lot of his earlier films are ignored. So while these may not be everyone’s favorite, these are films I love and enjoy.

Jamaica Inn was the last film Alfred Hitchcock made in the U.K., with him moving to the United States after this picture was completed. While it is not considered one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best films, most people hate it even going as far to state it as his worst, I like it so I’m going to review it.

So the film is based on the historical fiction novel of the same name, written by Daphne du Marier (the same woman who wrote The Birds and Rebecca). Both she and Alfred Hitchcock were very displeased with the end result. Now why did this movie have so many problems? Charles Laughton.

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Now don’t get me wrong. He is a great actor, I mean look at his filmography. However, as he produced this he was able to call a lot of the shots, therefore not allowing Hitchcock to work his usual magic. Laughton changed the character chosen for him, forced Hitchcock to hire Maureen O’Hara, made Hitchcock reveal a twist earlier than planned, etc. It’s hard when someone usurps the director’s power.

But not everyone knows how to wield it.

But not everyone knows how to wield it.

Anyways, I’m going to review, because I like it.

So there! tongue sticking out pug

Now before we get into the review, let’s have a brief history lesson.

historyteach

This film takes place in the 1820 and involves a ship wrecking gang. Wrecking was a major economy booster and began as early as the 14th century, ending in the 20th century. Certain areas, such as Cromwell where this film takes place, gangs would cause ships to crash into the rocky shoreline, by either creating false lights or putting out the usual ones.

When the ships crashed, the gangs would then salvage the cargo, sell it, and kill the sailors to hide their crimes. It wasn’t until 1870, that rescuing the sailors brought in a reward.

In order to hide these activities, the wreckers would spread stories about ghost, phantoms, or other supernatural beings existing in the area.

Jamaica Inn is also based on a real inn and pub. It was known for its smugglers, pirates, and ghost stories.

Jamaica-InnPOSTER1CROP6

 So this film starts out with something a bit unusual, a prayer.

“O Lord we pray the–

not that wrecks should happen,

but that if they do happen

Thou wilt guide them–

to the coast of Cornwall,

for the benefit of the

poor inhabitants.

This real prayer for the 19th century shows how prevalent, wrecking/salvaging was.

DreadPirateRoberts Princess Bride

So the film starts out with the pirates (as they technically are as they are robbing/plundering ships) putting out the lights at Cromwell’s shore during a huge storm, causing them to crash. The crew go out and salvage everything, leaving no sailor alive.

wolfman dead bodies lots cart

The leader of this group is Joss Merlyn, also owner of Jamaica Inn. He picks the ships, sells the goods, divvies up the profits, and makes sure every man follows his orders. He’s not looking to head for the gallows.

Meanwhile, Mary Yellen is traveling from Ireland to Jamaica Inn.

what strange huh Jamaica Inn Mary Maureen O'Hara

Mary is played by Maureen O’Hara, in her first big role. She’s heading to Jamaica Inn to be with her Aunt Patience as her parents died and she has no where else to go. She’s heading in a cab, when suddenly it starts moving extremely fast and passes Jamaica Inn.

What's going on?

What’s going on?

She tries to get him to stop, but he refuses to listen. He’s afraid of Jamaica Inn, as he’s heard stories of ghosts, pirates, thieves, and worse. Instead he overshoots it by miles, dropping her off in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere.

jerk_alert32

Geez, how rude. I mean just living a women stranded in the middle of nowhere in the dark?

Jerk

Luckily, she isn’t too far from the Squire’s house, Sir Humphrey. She decides to head down there for help.

Meanwhile, Sir Humphrey is having a big dinner and fancy party for him and his friends.

jamaicainneatfooddinner

Now the Squire loves beautiful things. He’ll spend tons of money on a figurine, a horse, etc. Some of the ladies at the tale are interested in landing him, but they aren’t young or pretty enough for him.

uh-no-gif

Mary comes in from the cold and demands to see the Squire for help. Sir Humphrey is annoyed/intrigued at the intrusion sand makes a bet the girl will be ugly. However, when he sees her, he is stunned at her beauty.

swoon dreamy

He then tells her to remove her coat:

Gilmore girls creep

I’d be like “heck no!” I’m leaving my clothes on.

jerk

But, she agrees, and he says she looks stunning. That over and done with, she asks him for help to the Inn. Sir Humphrey doesn’t want her to go, as the inn is full of ruffians, no place for a pretty, young girl. He would rather she stay with him.

No thank youhowaboutno

Mary thanks him, but insists on going to the inn to be with her aunt Patience. Sir Humphrey agrees to help, and takes her to the inn.

When they arrive, Joss is creepily staring through the window at Mary.

He's creepin' in your windows. He's starin' at your people.

He’s creepin’ in your windows. He’s starin’ at your people.

She knocks at the door and when he opens it, he sticks a gun in her face.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Mary quickly tells him who she is, and then Joss tries to flirt with her, asking for a kiss.

I don't think so

Mary starts yelling at him and telling him to watch out, her uncle won’t stand for such rude treatment.

The jerk just laughs, and reveals he is her uncle.

ew! Gross Yuck

Luckily, Patience comes out and stops his attentions for the moment. Mary is shocked when she sees Patience, she used to be so beautiful, but now is a tired, pale, weary, slip of a thing.

What happened to you?

What happened to you?

You can tell by her pinched face that she is emotionally and physically abused by her husband.

Patience is happy to see her, but surprised. Apparently, they never received Mary’s letter telling of her parents death. They bring her in, with Joss making poor Patience carry the whole trunk. Mary goes to help, but Joss says no as he would hate to ruin a lady’s beautiful hands.

ew! Gross Yuck

How could he flirt like that in front of his wife? To her own niece?

Jerk

Mary has a fiery temper and yells at him. In return he picks up her trunk and throws it up the stairs, proving his strength. A true test of wills.

Don't mess with me!

Don’t mess with me!

Downstairs the crew are laughing and being rowdy, Joss having Patience take Mary into the kitchen so that she won’t find out what’s going on.

When Harry, Joss’ right hand man, hears of a pretty lady, he tries to go see her and put the moves on her.

howyoudoingfriendsjoey

But Joss tells everyone that Mary is hands off, only for him. I mean to his wife’s niece? What a jerk and mega creep.

Certified Creepo Ribbon

Back in the kitchen Mary and Patience are talking. Mary wants Patience to leave Joss, but she won’t. She ran away from him because she loved him, and even though he beats her, she still “loves” him. In reality, she has come to believe she deserves the beating, stuck in that cycle of abuse.

StarTrekBonesMcCoyPoorGirl PM

So back with the pirates.  A recent addition to the team, Jem Trehearne, has been starting a ruckus with the men.

JamaicaInnJemTrehearne

He believes there is a lot more going on then Joss is saying. He’s been keeping on eye on the merchandise ands how much they’ve received back and it is not adding up right. There is some that is being funneled elsewhere. Jem is also smart enough to realize there is no way Joss could fence these items on his own, there must be someone helping him. But who?

Sounds suspicious

Sounds suspicious

Joss sees how unsettled everyone is, and turns the suspicions back onto the crew; telling the group how easy it could be for one of them to take the product and waylay it, selling it later and keeping the profits. Now we have a witchunt, wtith everyone questioning each other.

miller-s-crucible-movie-ryder

He starts questioning how long each has been with him, coming up to Jem who has only been a part of the group for two months. Jem tries to turn it back to Joss and his mystery partner, but all have turned against him.

mob

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

They seize Jem and search his pockets, finding gold. That settles it, he must hang.

CrucibleHanging

Before they can get started, Patience interrupts. She never would do such a thing, except Mary has just told her the Squire, Sir Humphrey, gave her a lift to the inn. She’s worried that him being there, he might have seen something.

Spoke too soon

He tells Patience to take Mary up to her room to finish dinner, let’s Harry take care of Jem, and then heads upstairs to a locked room.

Sounds suspicious

Sounds suspicious

And in there is the squire.

Say What

It turns out that Jem was right all along, there is someone else in charge, the squire.

This was an area of the film Hitchcock strongly disagreed with. He wanted to wait until the very end to do one of his famous reveals, us finding out that the Squire, supposed good guy was the real villain. But Laughton was a big star and he wanted more screen time, and as he was also producing the film, what he said went. It is interesting to see Hitchcock as he is starting out and then later on, when his word was the law. Even when it drove his actress crazy, like Tippi Hedren in The Birds.

Anyways, yes the real criminal mastermind is indeed the Squire, Sir Humphrey.

jamaicainneatfooddinner

Don’t let that pompous act fool you. He wines and dines the captains, finding out when ships carrying valuables are coming, sending word to Joss, who then gets the group out there to take care of it. Joss turns the goods over to the Squire, who sells the product taking a hefty cut, and giving the rest to be doled out the crewman. In some ways, this is very similar to Michael Crichton’s book Pirate Latitudes.

So Sir Humphrey is not happy with what he has, he thinks he deserves more.

minemineminepocahontas

Joss disagrees, warning him about the unruly crewman who think they are being created. They were lucky that Jem was a perfect scapegoat, but what if next time they men turn on him?

Them in this case

Them in this case

Squire tells him it doesn’t matter, and he better deal with the problem. They need to refocus as a new ship is coming in tomorrow night with lots of valuables.

Eyes on the prize

Eyes on the prize.

Joss tells Sir Humphrey about Mary, and that he will remove her from the equation. Sir Humphrey disagrees, as he wants Mary to stay, that is until he’s had her.

Mmhm great gatsby

Meanwhile, Jem has been knocked out and tied up. The crew are looking for the right beam to hang him, unknowingly choosing the exact one that lies under Mary’s room.

She overhears them talking about killing Jem, and watches them through a knothole, as they tie him up to the beam. One of the men, Dandy, really likes Jem’s buckles. Instead of waiting to play dice for them, Dandy grabs them and runs off, causing the others to chase him.

Run Away

With them out of the way, Mary takes her knife and starts sawing through the rope, trying to free Jem. After he drops to the ground, she sneaks out of her room and completes untying him. She wakes him up, and he tries to get her to come with him, but she has to stay for her aunt.

However, they quickly discover Jem is gone. Patience figures out that it is Mary.

JamaicaInnItwasYou

and tells her to run. She takes off but soon finds herself about to be caught, when Jem pulls her onto the roof.

How romantic

How romantic

How sweet, he couldn’t leave her behind to face everything on her own.

The two take off for the shore, Jem saying he knows a place they’ll be able to hide for a while.

Joss figures out who let Jem out, and sends everyone in teams to find them and kill them. He then goes to see the Squire to warn him.

Back at the squire’s home, we discover that he isn’t as rich as he’s been pretending to be.

rebeccaitwasallalie

I also suspect that he suffers from being bipolar or some other disease. They way he switches so quickly from anger to joyful, there’s something disconnected up there.

im-back

It turns out that his Butler is also starting to question what’s going on with the squire, as madness runs in his family.

Joss goes to him worried about what might happen with Jem and Mary, who they will tell. Sir Humphrey tells him to calm down as he is the only justice of the peace in the area. He kicks Joss out and tells him to focus on the ship wrecking.

Eyes on the prize

Eyes on the prize

He continues to yell at Joss, and also tells him to leave Mary alone. That girl is his.

All-Mine

The next day, Mary wakes up in the arms of Jem.

JamaicaInnArmsfacetogether

She is suddenly freaked out as the realization of her choices hits her. She betrayed her family to save a man she doesn’t even know, a thief and pirate. She can never return to her Aunt’s home, all family is lost to her, and all she has is a pirate who could be cruel to her or hurt her.

I don't know what to do

She tries to sneak away, and steal the boat, but wakes Jem up, who is hurt at her not trusting him. I mean after all that you think they would have a bond.

Jem Trehearne: That’s women for you – save your life one minute, frightened of you the next. I guess I’m not a very pretty sight at the moment, but I don’t bite, you know.

While the two are arguing, the boat slips away and they are now stuck in a cave, and high tide will be upon them soon enough.

Reality Sucks

So now they are stuck. And in this scene we have some of the best banter. Jem is totally trying to make light of the situation. Mary, on the other hand, is angry at herself and the fact that everything is going wrong.

Jem Trehearne: Trust me to land myself with a woman. ‘Course, you did save my life.

Mary Yellen: I hope you make better use of it in the future.

Jem Trehearne: That’s a tall order for a desperate character like me.

Mary Yellen: No doubt.

Jem Trehearne: Smuggler and a cutthroat; that gives it.

Mary Yellen: Very likely.

Jem Trehearne: Do you think there’s any hope for me? Tell me, what all am I to do?

Mary Yellen: Anything you please.

Jem Trehearne: Well, I used to be a sailor. I can go back to sea.

Mary Yellen: I’m not in the least interested.

Jem Trehearne: You must be. Don’t forget you’re responsible for me.

Mary Yellen: I am not.

Jem Trehearne: Oh, yes. If weren’t for you I shouldn’t be here at all. You can’t deny that. When we’re safe in Trulo I’ll place myself entirely in your hands.

Mary Yellen: Oh, please be quiet.

I like Jem. I think he is sweet, funny, and pretty adorable while at the same time being a man of action, and having some honor. I wonder how he got mixed up with thieves?

The plot thickens

So while they are talking, they fail to realize that their lost boat has just given away their position. Harry and two other crew members, realize they are in the cave and throw down a rope, inviting them up. They’re trapped. Either they wait in the cave and drown when the high tide comes in. Or they are saved and killed by the pirates.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

But Jem won’t give up. He decides to instead have him and Mary swim to shore. They have a better chance of surviving the stormy sea, then staying in the cave where the men will let them drown or hang them.

They make it to shore, and Jem wants to go to town. Mary changes his mind, by pointing out the Squire’s mansion is so much closer.

Spoke too soon

When they get to the house, they interrupt a dinner with a captain.

jamaicainneatfooddinner

The two come in soaked and telling the squire about what’s going on. Mary is sent upstairs to change into dry things, stopping to ask the squire for clemency for Jem, while Jem is regulated in front of the fire as he is not important. Go ahead and freeze to death or catch the flu and die, you’re not important.

Mr.DarcyMoveAsidepeasants Pride and prejuice

But Jem will not be regulated to the side. He insists on speaking to the squire NOW. In fact he has something very important to show Sir Humphrey.

officeroflawletter

His badge.

Say What

Yep Jem is not really a thief, he’s actual a cop and was just undercover trying to bust a ship wrecking ring. Before Sir Humphrey was just going to get rid of him or lock him up, but know that he is a cop with real officers knowing who he is and where he went. It’s time to change the game.

New plan

New plan

Mary overhears and runs over to the Inn to warn Patience, and try and get her to leave, but she won’t go. Soon Jem and Sir Humphrey arrive, Sir Humphrey playing along with Jem; as Jem deduces the how, where, and why of the whole situation. He just needs to figure out who the head man is.

WhoDoneItMystery?

He tries to persuade Joss to tell. This man is a tyrant that must be brought to justice!

Jem Trehearne: He [the head of the operation] remains aloof content to hire the scum of the coast to do his murderous work for him, thinking there’s no blood on his hands, but there is.

Jem leaves Joss with Sir Humphrey, as he goes to move the women upstairs. While he is gone Sir Humphrey warns Joss that tonight will have to be the last one, it would be best for both to take a little vacation. Then he hands over his gun.

Now think how much more awesome this scene would have been if this was the first time we realized that the Squire was the man they were working for. Hitchcock relly got gypped there. Oh, well.

So the men have heard Jem, and without Sir Humphrey as back up, the two are quickly captured and tied up.

JamaicainnTiedUp

Joss puts Patience on guard with a gun, while asking Mary along, just in case she had the urge to free Jem again.

Jem puts on a brave face and tries to convince Patience that if she gives up the location of her husband, then it will help him serve less time. Patiene refuses.

No thank youhowaboutno

Sir Humphrey doesn’t even bother talking, getting out of the unknotted knots Joss tied on him and walking right out. After all, he has a ship to catch.

Jem is embarrassed and angry he could be tricked so easily, but continues to try to get Patience to set him free. But Patience says no, she loves Jem.

Laura what I want No good

Eventually something must have worked on her, as the next scene we see Jem free and out to get help.

Meanwhile Mary is out with the crewman. They put the beacon out and wait, but while all are preoccupied, Mary runs out to fix the beacon. She gets in a fight with one of the men, accidentally breaking the beacon and setting her cape on fire. She hangs that up and saves the ship.

The salvagers are very angry!

mob

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

They grab her and start tearing at her clothes, making threats about what they will do. Joss comes into save her, but gets shot by Harry.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Mary manages to get his body to the inn. There Patience is heartbroken and tries to warn Mary that Joss wasn’t the real leader, there is someone worse, when she is shot!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Sir Humphrey shot her as he didn’t want her warning Mary about him. He then goes and ties her up, giving her a hooded cape to hide it, and takes her with him in his carriage.

tumblr_dr.jekyllhydemirrorsneakupbehindscareaah!

So Sir Humprey has completely succumbed to the insanity that runs in his family.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Jem is not too far behind the two, being able to get the regimental captain that was dining with Sir Humphrey earlier to use his troops to stop the men. They round up the ship wreckers and find the bodies of Joss and Patience. They set out to follow Humphrey’s trail.

At the ship, Sir Humphrey throws Mary inside a cabin. Telling her that she may have wanted to marry some normal, man and have a litter of kids, but that’s not what she should have. She should have the finer things with him.

Sir Humphrey: Good thing you have a man of sensibility, who’d rather see you dead first.

Certified Creepo Ribbon

Before Sir Humphrey can make good on his threats, the regiment arrives. He tries to take Mary as a hostage, but they are prepared to shoot any part of his body they can. In order to escape he climbs up the sails of the ship, choosing to jump off and commit suicide then be taken alive.

Mary is shaken over everything, with Jem taking her and comforting her.

TheEnd_Title_2

So was it as amazing as his later work? No. Was it still a good movie? Yes. I thought it was interesting, fun, a tad campy, but still entertaining.

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1939JamaicaInn

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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 The Story. We’re Living It. It’s Alive: The Brothers Grimm (2005)

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For more on Alfred Hitchcock, go to The Perfect Murder: Dial “M” for Murder (1954)

For more films based on a book, go to What Have We Done to Each Other?: Gone Girl (2014)

For more on Maureen O’Hara, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroes