With a Little Luck of the Irish: 17 More Irish Heroes

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Yes it is time for our annual countdown of great Irish heroes from film and books. Let me tell you, this year was hard. I had two, then that grew to seven in August. After a lot of thinking, it finally rounded out to seventeen.

I’m great

But then I realized one of those on my list wasn’t actually Irish!

I was sunk.

It was down to the wire…but with a little luck I finally found someone.

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17) Lady Bess Sedgwick from At Bertram’s Hotel by Agatha Christie

At Bertram’s Hotel is a Miss Marple mystery, in which Miss Marple goes on vacation for a fortnight to the place she though was the most delightful place of her youth, Bertram’s Hotel. Miss Marple enjoys the hotel, it looking as if it hadn’t changed a bit since she was young, but at the same time feels uneasy. It almost seems as if there is evil lurking about the place. Besides old friends she sees Lady Bess Sedgwick, best described as an adventurer, and also becomes interested in the interactions of a young girl, Elvira Blake. Soon a train is robbed, a Canon goes missing, jewelry is stolen, young girls are running off to Ireland, a race car driver is causing discord with mother and daughter, the doorman is murdered: and Bertram’s is right in the middle of it.

Why Lady Bess Sedgwick is Awesome: *Contains Spoilers*

Bess Sedgwick is an amazing person who has done everything daring you can think of. She was a member of the French Resistance, she fought German troops, she flew solo across the Atlantic, driven racing cars, saved two children from a burning building, and is the second best dressed woman in England. But she isn’t all great- she has a string of marriages, gave her daughter up to her ex- husband (and guardians after his death never having contact with her), is a crime syndicate boss and thief. However, what earned her a spot on this list was that even though she spent her whole life being selfish and just doing what she wants and likes, is that when her daughter was in trouble she was there for her and tried to take the blame for her to let her daughter live. It might not have been the morally right thing to do, but it showed how much she loved her daughter in that she was willing to sacrifice everything for her daughter.

For more Agatha Christie, go to There Wouldn’t Be Any Difficulty in Finding a King: The Secret of Chimneys

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16) Shannon Christie from Far and Away

Joseph Donnelly (Tom Cruise) is a poor Irishman, who after his father’s death could no longer pay the high rent. After his family farm is burned down, he goes off to take his revenge on the landlord Daniel Christie. That attempt fails, and by some strange coincidence he finds himself being a valet to Christie’s daughter, Shannon (Nicole Kidman), on her voyage to America. What was thought as being a temporary arrangement becomes more permanent, as all of Shannon’s things are stolen and she finds herself becoming dependent on Joseph for survival. With the two masquerading as brother and sister they start working in the factories to earn enough money to buy land in the West. As the two continue to work in America they find out that their road West will not be an easy one.

Why Shannon Christie is Awesome:

At first she appears to be nothing but a spoiled brat, but as we continue to watch the film Shannon has some real hutzpah. She will not live off Joseph, but sets off to help provide for their travel West, working in horrible conditions of a chicken factory. When she and her family finally go West, she is instrumental in showing them the skills she learned and teaching them what they must do to survive now that they are no longer gentry, but just like everyone else.

For more on Far and Away, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes

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15) Professor Laurence MacKay from Please Don’t Eat the Daises

Professor Laurence MacKay (David Niven) is leaving the academic world to become a drama critic. His wife, Kate (Doris Day), is at first thrilled for him, but as he becomes more sought after and being invited to parties nearly every night; she starts to wonder if the fame will go to his head and that he will change for the worse. When the lease comes up on their apartment, and they find themselves going to homeless, they decide to live their dream of being in the country. However, Laurence finds it hard adjusting to country life and the constant repairs of the house. Kate sends him back to New York to finish his book, while she completes the house. Throw in the mix a Broadway writer angry at his bad review plotting revenge on the MacKays and a starlet setting out to seduce Laurence; and you have one highjink-filled film.

Why Professor Laurence MacKay is Awesome:

Laurence does spend a majority of the film a jerk as fame and flattery have turned him from the person he was into this stranger; but when such things are pointed out to him, he realizes his mistakes and the old Laurence resurfaces. Above all he loves his wife and his children, turning down the siren and staying true to them.

For more on David Niven, go to On the 7th Day ‘Til Christmas: The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

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14) Regan Reilly from The Regan Reilly Mysteries by Carol Higgins Clark

Regan is the daughter of mystery writer Nora Reilly, and funeral director Logan Reilly. Instead of joining either parent’s professions, she decides to become a private investigator.

Why Regan Reilly is Awesome:

She is a great private detective who is always looking in every direction for the answer to any problem that may come her way. She is a likable character,intelligent, along with being caring and compassionate. I am looking forward to reading more of her novels.

For more on Regan Reilly check out my sister blog Mysterious Eats with Decked

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13) Bridget Hennessy from 8 Simple Rules

Paul Hennessy is a sports writer, protective father, and loving family man. His wife is Cate, a nurse, and they have three kids: Bridget the eldest is beautiful and only cares about fashion, looks, and boys; Kerry, middle child, suffers from insecurities about her looks and is the smart, studious one; and Rory is the youngest, an adorable sports nut. With each episode we balance comedy and drama as they deal with real life issues.

Why Bridget Hennessy is Awesome:

While at first Bridget only cares about her looks and popularity, we see that as the show progresses and she grows up that her character develops and she begins to extend in her interests and hobbies. She cares about her family and tries to be there for them; especially after the death of her father. The fact that her ex-boyfriend is dating her sister bothers her at first, but ultimately she cares more about her sister and wants her to be happy. She may not be the most intelligent person in schoolwork, but her kindness and compassion grows with her.

I love the episodes when she dates her tutor Jeremy, Jonathan Taylor Thomas. I wish they had had more of him.

For more on 8 Simple Rules, go to It’s Fantastico!

12) Finn O’Finnegan from Too Many Leprechauns Or How That Pot o’ Gold Got to the End of the Rainbow by Stephen Krensky

Finn O’Finnegan returns home and finds that leprechauns have invaded his town of Dingle, making shoes and keeping anyone from the town from sleeping, working, or cooking, etc. O’Finnegan comes up with a plan to out trick them, and be able to enjoy his mother’s soda bread.

Why Finn O’Finnegan is Awesome:

This is a cute children’s book with a great main character in O’Finnegan. He looks like a rogue or a rascal, so a lot of people don’t trust him; but it doesn’t matter what he looks like, he has brains in his head and uses them to not only outsmart the Leprechauns, but save his whole village. A hilarious story and perfect for Saint Patrick’s Day.

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11) Sharon McKendrick from The Parent Trap

Susan is traveling to camp from California. She meets Sharon from Boston. This wouldn’t be unusual except for the fact that they look exactly alike. That’s right, Sharon and Susan are twins, separated after their parents divorced, as each took one sister home with them. The two become friends and decide to switch places in order to get to know the other parent and reunite their parents. Unfortunately, a lot has changed while Susan was away. Her father met someone and is engaged! Now the girls are trying to reformulate their plan to break up her dad and his fiancé, and get their mom and dad back together.

Why Sharon is Awesome:

So both girls are Irish on their mom’s side, but as Susan wasn’t really raised by her mother, I decided to include only Sharon.

Sharon is very talented in music, conversation, art, elocution, etc. She is also very intelligent, putting together the fact that they are siblings long before Susan.

We also see that out of the two, Sharon is quieter and kinder; trying to be friends, or at least civil, with Susan in the beginning, only going to war after the first shots were fired. Sharon is also very brave as she lets her untrained sister cut her hair and pierce her ears, (there are some things I would never let my sister do even though I love her). A fun and sweet character you can’t help but love (and so much better than the remake.)

For more on The Parent Trap, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroes

For more Hayley Mills, go to That Darn Cat

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10) Paul Hennessy from 8 Simple Rules

Paul Hennessy (John Ritter) is a sports writer, protective father, and loving family man. His wife is Cate, a nurse, and they have three kids: Bridget the eldest is beautiful and only cares about fashion, looks, and boys; Kerry, suffers from insecurities about her looks and is the smart, studious one; and Rory is adorable and a sports nut. With each episode we balance comedy and drama as they deal with real life issues.

Why Paul Hennessy is Awesome:

Paul Hennessy is a great dad. At times he can be a little overprotective of his girls, but he only wants the best for them. He knows how guys are and he wants to help their teen years be good ones, (he also is having a hard time letting go). As always John Ritter is hilarious, I just like to think of Paul Hennessy being Jack Tripper with a family.

For more on John Ritter, go to She’s Been Totally Different…Like Stepford: Ted, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)

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9) Sarah Nolan from Must Love Dogs

Sarah (Diane Lane) is a 40-year old, divorced, kindergarten teacher. Her brother and sisters are all happily married, and her father is dating (on the internet); so they all think it is time she put herself out there and started again. After an embarrassing snafu in which she ends up accepting an email invite from her father, she tries to navigate the dating world, both electronically and physically. As she begins dating, she finds herself drawn between two very different men: the strong, silent, divorced, father of one of her students (Dermot Mulroney); and the talkative, less orthodox, unexpected, recently divorced boat craftsman (John Cusack). Whom will she choose? Or will this voyage into dating confirm that she is better off with a dog?

Why Sarah is Awesome:

I like that Sarah is a very real character, expressive of people today who are lost in the new way of dating; along with being comfortable in herself and what she likes/wants. She enjoys a quiet life of being with friends, family, animals to love, old movies to watch, etc. You connect to her because she could easily be you, a friend, a family member; she just feels so real.

Also Sarah is brave to begin dating after her jerk of a husband. She also is sweet and funny (only negative, it takes her a while to spot the real winner of the two men.)

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8) Lady Henrietta Flusky from Under Capricorn

This film takes place in early 19th Century Australia. Australia has formerly been a place where England sent their criminals: serving out their sentence and living there, or returning home to England. Now however, more and more “good” citizens have found themselves emigrating to Australia and civilizing the towns. The new Governor, Sir Richard, arrives bringing along his foppish, indolent, “rich boy” nephew, Charles Adare. Charles meets, Samson “Sam” Flusky, an ex-convict, former murderer, and prospering land owner. He intrigues him in a business deal and brings Charles to his house, in which he meets Sam’s wife, Lady Henrietta, who turns out to be an old family friend. Charles soon spends all his time at the house and finds something strange about Henrietta’s actions, as she is no longer the same woman he knew. As with all Alfred Hitchcock films, there is suspense, mystery, and an old secret’s truth is revealed.

Why Lady Henrietta Flusky is Awesome:

Now if my little synopsis has encouraged you to watch the film, then stop reading. If you aren’t interested in watching the film, proceed.

Lady Henrietta spends most of the film going insane from her guilt at killing her brother, the guilt of Sam taking the blame for it, not understanding Sam’s drive (he feels unworthy of her), unable to figure out how to talk to him, and being harassed by a maid who is hoping to replace her as Mrs. Flusky.

However, we discover later how much Henrietta cares for her husband. She loves only him and would do anything to help him. When an accidental shooting looks like he will spend the rest of his days in prison, she is willing to speak up and admit who really killed her brother, (something she would have done in the beginning to save him but was stopped by Sam), and go to prison if it means securing Sam’s freedom. She loves him and would do all she can to help him in any way.

For more on Under Capricorn, go to I Would Suffer Anything to Save You: Under Capricorn (1949)

For more Ingrid Bergman go to Because I Am Mad, I Hate You. Because I Am Mad, I Have Betrayed You: Gaslight (1944)

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7) George McFly from Back to the Future

In Back to the Future Marty McFly, Michael J. Fox, accidentally goes back in time in a time machine built by his friend Dr. Emmet “Doc” Brown. When he gets there he accidentally changes the future by causing his parents not to meet. So not only does he have to discover a way to get back to the future, he also has to get them back together before he ceases to exist.

Why George McFly is Awesome:

George is an incredibly sweet, intelligent, and talented guy. He’s the type that you always want for a friend. A geek, he has never dreamed of stepping out and taking a risk; even though he is in love with Lorraine. However, with a little encouragement from Marty, (and Darth Vader from Planet Vulcan), he will do anything to stand up and protect the person he cares most about.

For more on George McFly and Back to the Future, go to I Will Face My Fears for You: Back to the Future (1985)

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6) Macaulay “Mike” Connor from The Philadelphia Story

Tracy Lorde (Katherine Hepburn), high society girl, is planning on getting married again and wants everything to go perfect, but unfortunately that is not in the cards. First, her ex-husband C. K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant) returns to her life trying to reunite. Spy Magazine wants to do a feature on her and have sent in a reporter, Macaulay “Mike” Connor (Jimmy Stewart), and a photographer to do the story. She has to contend with them snooping around and try to hide that her father has run off with a dancer. She enlists her uncle to pretend to be her father, which as you can tell brings on gaffes and guffaws. As Tracy spends time with Dexter Haven, Connor, and her fiancé George Kittredge; she starts to wonder who it is she is really in love with and wishes to marry.

Why Mike Connor is Awesome:

Mike is a top reporter: sarcastic, snoopy, cynical, sharp edged, cold, and full of wit. However, while he seems like your typical newshound, there is much more to him than meets the eye. Connor has a romantic soul; a compassionate and tenderness about him that is revealed in the short stories he has written and when he romances Tracy. At first he is a little prejudiced at the upper class, seeing them as snobs looking down at him; but when such judgement is proved false he realizes his mistake and finds himself enjoying the company of the upper crust. A great character and played wonderfully by the fantastic Jimmy Stewart.

For more on Jimmy Stewart, go to The Wearing of the Green: 17 More Irish Heroes

5) Detective Phoebe O’Hara from Kindergarten Cop

Detective John Kimble (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has been on the case of putting away drug dealer Cullen Crisp for a long time. Every time they get a witness, Crisp somehow finds out and takes them out. The only one left is his ex-wife, but she took off with their child, and changed their names. They have managed to locate the area she was in, but have no idea their names or what they look like. All they know is that the child is six years old. He is partnered with Detective Phoebe O’Hara (Pamela Reed), ex-kindergarten teacher turned detective. They are going to pretend to be husband and wife while she teaches at the school in order to hunt out which kid is Cullen Crisp Jr. Unfortunately, O’Hara gets food poisoning and Kimble has to be the teacher. He thinks it will be a cinch, but those of us who have worked with kids know nothing is ever that easy.

Why Detective Phoebe O’Hara is Awesome:

I just love this character. Here is a petite woman who is is incredibly strong and able to hold her own against the toughest criminals. She is intelligent and quick witted, assessing situations and navigating them on the fly. For instance, when she realizes that Kimble is attracted to one of the teachers, she rewrites their cover story in seconds, becoming his “sister” and flawlessly speaking in an Austrian accent. I also love that she is always eating, and not just healthy food, but good food, calories don’t matter. Besides that she is hilarious, every time she is on the screen I am cracking up. A fantastic and fun character.

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4) Doris Walker from Miracle on 34th Street

Doris is in charge of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade but is experiencing a major problem when the person she hired to be Santa is drunk! Luckily she finds a man who is the exact image of Santa and can have him fill in, a man who goes by Kris Kringle. He is then hired on at the store and becomes even more invested in her life as he moves in with her  neighbor (and guy she is interested in); along with befriending her daughter and helping teach her how to be a child. But when Kris insists that he is the “real” Santa Claus, it lands him in a mental facility, the only way out?A huge court case to determine whether or not Santa is “real”.

Why Doris Walker is Awesome:

So some of you might be wondering, how do I know that Doris Walker is Irish, after all, Walker is an English name? Well, first of all Walker is her married name so it has no bearing on her ethnicity, and secondly: every character that O’Hara plays is Irish because she is Irish.

Doris Walker is a great character because here is a woman who was so totally destroyed by her husband’s misdeeds (we are never told what they are but they must have been bad), but works hard to not only provide for herself and her daughter; but be sure to spend as much quality time with her. She is kind and caring, not wanting Kris at first in her life, but once she gets to know him finds herself falling for his charm and wanting to help him in any way. She stands up to others trying to trick him and get rid of him, vowing to be no part of their evil plan. She spends a lot of time going against imagination, blind trust, and faith for realism; but in the end realizes she is wrong and tries to raise her daughter to believe in those intangible things and to believe in Kris. “I was wrong when I told you that, Susie. You must believe in Mr. Kringle and keep right on doing it. You must have faith in him.” She even “writes a letter to Santa”, encouraging and supporting him.

For more on Miracle on 34th Street, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more Maureen O’Hara, go to That Place…There’s Queer Things Goes on There: Jamaica Inn (1939)

3) Andrew O’Brien from Copper

Copper is about the NYPD in the mid 19th century. New York is a crazy place with the Civil War  going on bringing tension between Southerners and Northerners; the racial clashes between “Americans”, “White” Europeans, Irish, and African-Americans. Corky is one of the “coppers” trying to keep the notorious Five Points in line with its murders, thievery, prostitution, opium trade, etc.

Why Andrew O’Brien is Awesome:

Andre O’Brien is a good man. He is good to his woman, making her his one and only, along with not staying out too late but being home at night (as if he didn’t she would probably belt him). He’s a good friend, always  there for Corky when he is needed, no matter the job. Honorable and loyal to the end. He is also a good cop; protecting, patrolling, and caring for the people in his community. That’s why I put him up so high, he’s all around a great man and as everyone knows a good man is hard to find.

For more Copper, go to Simply Fantastic

2) Father Lonergan from The Quiet Man

The Quiet Man tells the story of Irish-American born Boxer Sean “Trooper Thorn” Thornton (John Wayne), returning to Ireland to regain his family land. What no one but Father Lonergan knows is that Thornton killed a man in the ring, and decided to give up boxing and fighting for good. While in Ireland Thornton tries to adapt to the culture and at the same time falls for the feisty, traditional Mary Kate Danagher (Maureen O’Hara). Thornton wants to date her, but has to go through all the traditional methods of courtship, something extremely foreign to him.

Why Father Lonergan is Awesome:

Father Lonergan is a kindly priest who cares about the people in the community and tries to help them in any way he can. He is the first to accept Sean Thornton into the community, as others are not quite so welcoming of an “American” (they don’t recognizing him as Irish). Father Lonergan is helpful in not only explaining the culture and the way life is to Thornton, but there to counsel him and Mary-Kate through their matrimony.

Even though Father Lonergan is Catholic, and is most of the people, when the Protestant church is about to be shut down by its overseers for lack of members, Father Langoren gets his congregation to pretend they are part of the church so that Rev. Playfair can remain in the area. Even though he might not agree on everything, Father Lonergan is there for any one who needs help in the community, no matter what.

But while Father Lonergan is a kind priest, there is a lot more to him than one would imagine. He is an avid boxing fan (which is how he knows Thornton’s secret) and the leader of the local IRA. For him he doesn’t want to have bloodshed or bombings (which is what most of us think of when we hear IRA), but he wants to unite the Irish people so that they achieving independence and freedom.

For more on The Quiet Man, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes

1) Jessica B. Fletcher AKA J.B. Fletcher from Murder She Wrote

Jessica Fletcher is a retired, widowed schoolteacher from Cabot Cove, Maine. When she writes a book for fun she never dreamed it would take off as it did or that she would become one of the best-selling mystery writers in the United States. Besides writing her stories, Jessica always manages to come upon a mystery and murder. Using her Miss Marple-ian way of observing; she manages to solve every case she comes upon (and still have time to write).

Why Jessica B. Fletcher is Awesome:

No matter how wealthy, famous, or powerful she becomes: Jessica always stays the same. She never uses any of this to abuse others, manipulate those she comes across, or have it mold her into a different person. She still visits her extensive relatives, always having time to aid them in anything they need. She is never too busy to make new friends (from all walks of life), help a struggling writer, give advice when needed, tutor those who need help, fundraise for charities, etc. Even when she solves case after case, she never lords over the police or tries to take over investigations; she is respectful and offers her observations. She is kind, caring, understanding, compassionate, adorable, sweet, intelligent, and never says I told you so.

For more on Murder She Wrote, go to Please Excuse My Dear Fan Lady

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So that ends my list for this year. You all know what I’ll be doing with the rest of my day. Eating some soda bread made by my sister blog, MysteriousEats.wordpress.com. And my yearly tradition, watching the Disney Channel Original Movie: The Luck of the Irish.

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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

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Is Mr. Darcy Out There?

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Now I’m not talking about a “Mr. Darcy”

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Don’t Stop Believing!

But I mean a “real” Mr. Darcy.

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Let me explain. So the other day I helped someone at work who’s last name was Darcy.

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It was an older woman and I began thinking, does she have a son or grandson? And if she does did would she (or his parents) name him Fitzwilliam so he could be Fitzwilliam Darcy?

Really?

How cool would that be if you met a “real” Mr. Darcy? If you married a “real” Mr. Darcy!

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I have always said to my friends if I ever married someone with a last name Stewart, and I had a son I’d name him Jimmy, so it was James Stewart. Marry someone with last name Wayne? The son is going to be Bruce. And the same goes for girls; last name Fisher, first name Carrie. And on and on. I think it would be hilarious!

She'll get what's coming to her.

Well whether he is a real Darcy or a “Mr. Darcy”, one day I’ll find him.

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For more on Mr. Darcy, go to Waiter, There’s Some Disney in My Jane Austen

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

For more Austen men, go to Captain Wentworth’s Diary

It’s A Fan World After All

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Yes the fangirl posts have returned!!!

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We had to take a break with the 30 Day Challenge of August, but now that it has ended, every Sunday with be a fangirl countdown post. At least for September, when October comes it is all about the Horror films, so we will have to take a break once again.

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Dr. Seuss

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Ah Dr. Seuss. There is so much to say, but no words exist to describe how much I love you Dr. Seuss and all your works. You were such an amazing writer and such a HUGE part of my childhood.

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I’m not going to write about every book, as that would be too much, but instead going to talk about my three favorite books.

The Cat in the Hat– Too iconic to pass by. Such a cute book about the consequences of our actions, and who can’t love that adorable Cat?

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Bartholomew and the Oobleck– In this book, the sequel to Bartholomew and His 500 Hats, Barthlomew is living in the castle and life is doing good. That is until the King wants something different from the sky. He’s tired of rain, snow, sunshine, etc. He gets his magic men to create something new, Oobleck. It is kind of a Frankenstein of the sky, a story on how you should never try to be “bigger than your britches”, and absolutely adorable.

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The Sneetches & Other Tales-Some of the Sneetches have stars on their bellies and some do not. Those with Stars think they are better than all the others. When a man comes to town who promises that for a great deal, he can give the starless Sneetches stars; they pay up. Now the orginals are upset and pay to get their’s removed. This becomes an endless cycle until all the Sneetches’ money is gone and no one knows who was orginally born first stars and who wasn’t. A great tale about being happy being you, and that no one is better than others because of their looks.

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And my all time favorite!!!! The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. I used to read this story over and over and over again, as I just loved that grumpy grinch. One year I ate a ton of a certain type of cereal just to send away for a special Grinch keychain. Sadly, I lost it though in one of my moves. The Grinch hates Christmas and decides to destroy and end the holiday, ruining the holiday for all the Whos. However, the Grinch finds out what the true spirit of christmas is, whether he wants to or not.

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For more Dr. Seuss, go to Speed Racer

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James Bond

What can I say? I’m a Bond girl (fan not film star). Aw James Bond. Where to start?

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Whenever I think of Bond the first thing that comes to mind is my brother. He was a HUGE James Bond fan and we used to watch the movies together when I was younger. Of course I could only watch them on TV and had to leave at certain points, (when he began to get it on with a lady). I remain a fan today and have seen every single film with Bond, James Bond.

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My favorite Bonds are without a doubt Sean Connery (the first and the all-time best), Timothy Dalton (the handsomest of them all), and Pierce Brosnan (cool and elegant).

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Jimmy Stewart

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Aw James “Jimmy” Stewart. One of my all-time favorite actors. It started with a few movies, then I read a biography, and before you knew it: I WAS Obsessed.

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Let’s start with the fact that he is tall, dark, and handsome.

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The kindest and most adorable man ever!

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Not to mention being the first actor to sign up for WWII, choosing to fight for his country rather than live in privilege as other suffered.

He’s perfect!

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I love all his work, but if I talked about them all it would take way, way, way too long. Now which one should I pick? I mean he was in Westerns, Comedies, Drama, Alfred Hitchcock films, Mysteries: his screenography is a little bit of everything. How can I pick a favorite out of so many, many cinematic masterpieces? I can’t it’s too hard. So I’m going to pick a few, and I promise just a few.

After the Thin Man

This sequel to The Thin Man is the only film Jimmy Stewart was in that was radically different from any role he has ever played. After the Thin Man has Detective Nick Charles and his wealthy wife Nora, back in her home town of San Francisco. There they stumble onto a murder and try to save their friend from going to jail, believing in her innocence. Jimmy Stewart plays a secondary character, but steals the scene in one of his earliest roles

Mr Smith Goes to Washington
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This film was supposed to be a sequel to Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, but when Gary Cooper was unable to reprise his role; it became a film about an ordinary, sweet, guy being chosen as a senator and going to capital hill to shake up the greed and corruption. This film is the essence of Stewart’s own beliefs and one incredibly powerful film.

It’s A Wonderful Life

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I’ve already written on this film three times- twice for my Valentine’s Day posts and for one of my Christmas countdowns. This film is just amazing as it shows the complete stretch of Stewart’s talent. A man who has only ever wanted to leave his town, but finds himself constantly being stuck there. He goes through incredible obstacles, with one ultimately bad day causing him to wish he had never been born. When his wish is granted, he discovers that everyone’s life would be way worse without him. Let me tell you, there is a reason why this film has been parodied, remade, and referenced in film and television.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Probably one of the best Westerns of all time, it stars John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart. Jimmy Stewart is Ransom, a lawyer from the East intent on bringing justice and civility to the West. He encounters Liberty Valence, a horrible outlaw, and has to contend with his own morals on whether he should continue the lawful way, or follow the way of the territories, taking justice into his own hands. He is just amazing in it!

Those are all I’m going to pick as it was hard enough choosing those four, and I don’t want to be writing for the next year on why he is so amazing.

For more Jimmy Stewart, go to Hunk-a-Thon

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Psych

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I love, love love Psych, I am so sad it ended.

Why? Why!

Why? Why!

It was soooooo amazing!!! Why is it over?

Under Capricorn Aah oh no ugh

I remember the very first promo for this show.

I was watching Monk at the time and dabbled in a few The Dead Zone episodes, but this new show Psych? I just wasn’t sure. Then one day it was re-airing that week’s episode Shawn (and Gus) of the Dead (season 2 episode 16). In this a supposed Mummy comes back to life. I found the show absolutely hilarious and started watching it all the time. That is until they mentioned the last season. I stopped watching as I didn’t want it to end right away.

Last year, I decided it was time and completely went on a spree watching every episode ever, through my computer and Netflix.

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I just love this show so much. Why did it have to end? I mean it just gets me. From the love of ’80s, film references, music, comedy: ah I just adore it so, so, so darn much. *sigh* WHY, WHY, WHY did it have to go?

Why? Why!

Why? Why!

So the show is about Shawn Spencer (James Roday) who is just your average guy, except for one thing. He has a photographic memory. His father was a cop and honed a thousand such skills, like psychology of body language, how to detect liars, etc in him. He rebelled from his father and left his home of Santa Barbara, CA to travel all over. When he returns, he is able to solve tons of crimes just from watching the news reports. When the cops get suspicious on how he is doing it, thinking he is actually committing some of these crimes, he lies and says he is a psychic. Soon he has roped his best friend since childhood, Burton “Gus” Guster into being a part of his crime solving crew, and the duo become consultants for the SBPD (Santa Barbara Police Department). Now a lot of my favorite characters I have actually posted about in my 2014 Saint Patrick’s Day post, At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroesbut I’m still going over my favorite characters anyway.

Shawn Spencer

Shawn Spencer

Shawn can be a jerk, childish, selfish, and a bit whiney at times; but all in all he is one pretty cool guy. He may be a goofball, but he is also highly intelligent, passing the detective test 100% at age 15, often feeling that things are too easy for him. He has great taste in films and music, making all these references that I absolutely adore. While he often uses Gus; his money, car, etc; he cares for his friend and would do anything for him. As the series progresses, Shawn matures; refraining from his previous extreme narcissistic tendencies. He and Juliet start dating in the last few seasons, this relationship really changing his childish ways, but not too much, as Juliet’s level-head and stable life works really well with Shawn.

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Burton “Gus” Guster

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Gus and Shawn have been best friends forever. He is smart, intelligent, and typically the saneer one of the two. After high school he went to college and became a pharmaceuticals rep, doing quite well for himself. When Shawn returned from his adventures, Gus was quickly swept up into his quirky ways. Out of the two, Gus is the researcher, planner, bill payer: i.e. responsible. While Shawn solves the crimes, Gus is the one who typically comes up with the information that is key to solving it. He is hilarious and adorable, the perfect balance in all that is Shawn and Gus.

Juliet “Jules” O’Hara

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Jules is the young police officer who moves from Miami to Santa Barbara when Carlton Lassitar’s old partner is transferred. Jules may be a very pretty, bubbly, sweet, rainbow-sunshine kind of girl; but she is not just bubbles and fizz, but also a very deep and intelligent person.

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She has scored the highest on the detective test (second to photographic memory Shawn), beating Carlton Lassitar. She also is fluent in Spanish, due to her time in Miami. While she is gentle and sweet, she can be gruff and unmoving when she needs to be; holding her own and not allowing anyone to walk over her. She and Shawn Spencer end up getting together and her stability and his goofiness work well together.

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Carlton Lassiter

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Now I have a huge TV crush on Carlton Lassiter, its a little hard not to. He is pretty awesome and handsome (played by Timothy Omundson). Carlton is a strictly by the book kind of guy; SB law, the Constitution, NRA, etc. He is a great cop, a bit old fashioned, but stubborn, persistent, etc. He is a huge Clint Eastwood fan, wishing he could be Dirty Harry or Tom Highway. He also loves Westerns and wants to be a modern day cowboy. He is a huge Civil War history buff and takes part in reenactments. He knows how to shoot like every type of gun and has built up a immunity to chloroform.

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However, the best thing about him is how strongly he throws himself into relationships. He does everything he can to try and work things out with his ex-wife (really not wanting to get a divorce). True he did cheat on her with his old partner, but they had been separated for quite some time and she was porking around with someone else. (Doesn’t make it right but it is understandable). However, the best thing was when his girlfriend was arrested and imprisoned (she stole blood from a blood bank for her sick brother), he went and visited her every time he was allowed to. Nothing kept him from being there or true to her. He also did everything he could to free her from the jail. So sweet! 🙂

And who can forget the amazing singing done on this program?

Or this?

Or this?

Or this?

One absolutely awesome show.

For more on Psych, go to Tuesday the 17th: Psych (2009)

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Ray Bradbury

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I love Ray Bradbury. He is one of my all-time favorite writers. He is just so amazing and his work unbelievable.

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So I first was introduced to him through the film Fahrenheit 451, a dystopian future film.

It’s a powerful film and when my mother told me it was based on a book, I was like I HAVE to read that. I did, and I loved it!

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The story is set in the future. All people are really concentrated are on reality shows, entertainment that mean nothing, and no one reads (sound familiar?). In fact the firemen jobs are not to put out fires, but to burn books and libraries. Guy Montag is a fireman that has started to wonder about the books. He picks one and starts reading it.

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And before you know it he is hooked. Stealing books and hiding them all over his house.

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His neighbor also gets him interested in thinking outside the box and about real things. However, it’s not long before he is found out and has to go on the run, hoping to find the place where people become books. That is they have memorized one book completely and recite it, so that it may never be lost. Oh I love this book so much and read it over and over and over.

Or 10th, 50th, 100th....

Or 10th, 50th, 100th….

He wrote many other novels and short stories, some of which were turned into episodes for Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone. Out of his other books, my favorites are The Illustrated Man, in which a man is covered in tattoos, each telling a story. They range from funny, thoughtful, and downright creepy. Children talking to aliens and planning on taking over the world, a man getting a copy of himself so he “can have fun” only for the marionette to want to completely take over his life, and more. The Machineries of Joy, mushrooms really being alien spores trying to take over you, priests going to space, etc. And The Martian Chronicles, a collection about the colonization of Mars. They are just amazing.

And these are just a few, there are a ton more of his stories and novels, I haven’t been able to even read them all yet.

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For more on Ray Bradbury, go to Heaven on Earth

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Fandom

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For the previous post, go to Fans and the Furious

And Stay tuned for part 17

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For more bookish posts, go to To Win a Part of My Heart

 

Bringing the World to Your Backyard: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Romantic Moment #12

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It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Now this movie holds a special and dear place in my heart. Even though it is now considered a Christmas movie, it is one of my favorites to watch anytime because of the great message. Here is one man who helps and touches so many others, without even realizing the affect he has on everyone. He may not be a famous or a millionaire; but in his kind and quiet way is helping everyone in the town. I also love it because Jimmy Stewart is in it, and he’s my favorite actor. Plus we also have the film directed by the amazing Frank Capra. He is my second favorite director and I simply adore practically every film he has made.

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Now this may come as quite a shock, but I am not choosing the “Lasso the Moon” scene as my romantic moment. I know, I know; it’s a great scene and I absolutely love it, as I do every scene, but I thought I’d move us into a different direction.

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We start off It’s a Wonderful Life, with all these people praying for George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart); for God to please help him in his time of need. God decides to send in an angel to help him. We hear all this from Joseph, an angel overseer, who selects Clarence for the job. Joseph fills Clarence in on George’s backstory so he will know what lead George up to this point in his life.

Flashback

Flashback

From a young age George was a leader and eager to travel the world. When he was 12, he saved his brother from hypothermia, rescuing him when he fell into some icy water and sacrificing his ear. He works at a pharmacy and saves Mr. Gower, the pharmacist, from jail time when he points out that Mr. Gower accidentally messed up the dosage in  draught on account of him being distraught over his own son’s death. We are also introduced to Mary, a girl a few years younger than George, who declares she will marry him and love him forever.

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Fast forward the years and George is now 22, and eager to go off into the world. He was working for his father at the family’s Building, Saving, & Loan; until his brother graduated, and now he is going to use all the money he put aside and go off for college. That night he goes to Harry’s grad party and hijinks ensue. This is where we have the famous pool scene and moon scene. Both are awesome! But unfortunately as George and Mary are getting closer together; George’s father becomes ill and dies. The only way to keep the family business going and save people from evil Mr. Potter is to stay. So George does for another four years.

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Fast forwarding again, and Harry, George’s brother, is back from college. But instead of staying, he is going to work for his wife’s father. George is distraught at having to stay in the town longer, but after finally admitting his feelings for Mary, is happily ready to start a life together.

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Yes every time George tries to leave the town forever, he is just sucked back in. He doesn’t even get to go off in WWII on account of his ear. But he enjoys his life with his growing family. However, everything goes sour when an account of money is misplaced. If George doesn’t have it soon, then he will go to jail and they will lose everything. As he starts contemplating suicide, Clarence comes and stops him.

No killing yourself on my watch

No killing yourself on my watch

George then wishes he was never born, and sets off to see what the town and people would look like without him. Will they be better? Or worse?

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Most Romantic Moment: I Want You to “See” the World

It is after George and Mary’s wedding, and the two are excited to leave the town for their honeymoon. Once again as George is preparing to leave the town, something happens to get him to stay. (The man just can’t get a break.) There is a run on the bank and to calm everyone down, George and Mary sacrifice all of their honeymoon trip money.

Here’s the romantic part!

George was so busy trying to help everyone that he hasn’t even realized Mary left the building. He gets a call from Mrs. Bailey (Mary)  who asks him to come home. George doesn’t know what home she is speaking of, but heads off to the address she provided him. When he gets there, it turns out to be the old house on the block, the one that everyone throws rocks at to “get wishes”. Mary has fixed up the whole place with posters of far away places, she has a record playing tropical music, and a chicken rotissering over the fire.

It’s so romantic because Mary knows how much George has longed to leave Bedford Falls, and how many chances he has sacrificed for others. While she can’t take him around the world, she decides to bring those far off places he loves and dreams of, here. She even has Bert and Ernie, the cop and cabdriver (not muppets), serenade them. How romantic is that?

 

So romantic

So romantic

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

For the previous post, go to I’m Sorry Sounds Better in a Song: Music and Lyrics (2007)

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For more on It’s A Wonderful Life, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more on Mary Bailey, go to I’ll Give You the Moon: It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

For more George Bailey, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more Jimmy Stewart, go to Hunk-a-Thon