My mom grew up seeing this movie at Christmastime and one year she found it on DVD and bout it for the family. Now my Christmas is not complete unless I watch it. I love the music, the actors, and the story.
Jim Hardy (Bing Crosby) plays a burnt out singer and moves to Connecticut to buy a country home and live a simple life.
It soon becomes too much for him and he turns it into a hotel, open only on holidays. (Sounds like my type of place).
Wannabe star Linda Mason starts to work for him and the two fall in love.
Unfortunately, Crosby’s old partner and womanizer, Ted Hanover (Fred Astaire), comes back into the picture and tries to break up the two. It involves a lot of zany romance and comical moments.
Most Romantic Moment: I Won’t Let You Get Away
So Jim tried to outsmart Ted and be sure that Linda wouldn’t fall for his charms, but it backfires and Linda is angry with him, taking off with Ted to make a movie in Hollywood about the Inn.
Jim knows that Ted is quite the charmer and it won’t be long until he dances his way into her heart. It’s all over.
Until Mamie, Jim’s housekeeper, convinces tells him he shouldn’t give up. That’s the kick in the pants that Jim needs and he flies out to Hollywood to get his girl. Despite her having been hurt and currently engaged to Ted.
Even though chances are slim, Jim goes after his girl-determined for her to know and see how much he cares. And that he’s not letting her get away. And in the end her gets his girl, as that was all she wanted.
And though you fight to stay alive, your body starts to shiver. For no mere mortal can resist the evil of the thriller.
So I know you are probably thinking, a music video? That’s not a horror film.
This music video is almost 14 mins and a recommended length for a short film, by the New York Film Academy, is 10-15 mins. That makes this “music video” a short film, and perfect for our countdown.
It was directed by John Landis, most known for his film An American Werewolf in London, and he made the film because he wanted to bring back the theatrical short, you know the short film before the movie. Like Pixar and Disney used to do.
“I saw it as a chance to resurrect a genre that had once been a Hollywood staple. Music videos were new in 1983, and MTV was just two years old.”
They even tried to get an Academy Award nomination for Best Short Live Action, but the Academy didn’t have the same love for it as the rest of the world did. However in 2009 it was selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, being the first music video in history to receive that honor.
It takes place in the 1950s and starts off with Michael and his date (Ola Ray) are driving and the car runs out of gas. They get out to walk through the creepy forest:
Stay out of the forest!
Michael wears a red letterman that looks a lot like a certain jacket from a certain horror film:
He asks his date to be his girlfriend, and she agrees him giving her a ring to symbolize it.
But then he warns her:
Michael: There’s something I’ve got to tell you.
Michael’s Girl: Yes, Michael?
Michael: I’m not like other guys.
Michael’s Girl: Of course you’re not. That’s why I love you.
Michael: No, I mean I’m different.
Michael’s Girl: What are you talking about?
Nothing good is going to come of this.
And then the moon comes out:
And he changes into a Werecat!
And the makeup is pretty creepy. You can thank Rick Baker for that. Even though CGI is probably cheaper, I love seeing what people were able to make with such limited supplies and technology. It is unbelievable.
Back to the video. So Michael the werecat os chasing his date through the forest. Run girl, run!
Just as the werecat is about to grab her, we cut to a movie theater. Yes this is a film that Michael and his girlfriend are watching.
Michael loves the film but his date (Ola Ray) is not into horror films. Such a pity.
She walks out and Michael, being a good date, follows. As they are outside the music starts up and we get those perfect lyrics that are impossible to hate.
It’s close to midnight and something evil’s lurking
In the dark
Under the moonlight you see a sight that almost stops
You try to scream, but terror takes the sound before
You make it
You start to freeze as horror looks you right between
Now at first this is Michael just joking around with his girlfriend, teasing her. But it will soon change.
You hear the door slam and realize there’s nowhere left to run
You feel the cold hand and wonder if you’ll ever see the sun
You close your eyes and hope that this is just imagination
But all the while you hear the creature creepin’up behind
You’re out of time
I like how in his dance Michael Jackson throws in a Frankenstein monster move and hints at famous “thrillers”.
Night creatures call
And the dead start to walk in their masquerade
There’s no escapin’ the jaws of the alien this time (they’re open wide)
This is the end of your life
They’re out to get you, there’s demons closing in on every side
They will possess you unless you change the number on your dial
Now is the time for you and I to cuddle close together
All thru the night I’ll save you from the terrors on the screen,
I’ll make you see
Now in this scene it is very apparent that they are taking there time walking home in not the best conditions. There are no streetlights and a ton of fog. You know what’s coming, something bad.
I’m getting shivers
And then we have the best thing in the world. Just as Michael and his girlfriend go by the cemetery, we hear Vincent Price’s voice. Bringing us:
And then things begin to rise in the graveyard.
Darkness falls across the land
The midnite hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
To terrorize y’awl’s neighbourhood
And whosoever shall be found
Without the soul for getting down
Must stand and face the hounds of hell
And rot inside a corpse’s shell
It’s funny to think that this music video never would have had such an amazing voice in it, I mean aside from Michael Jackson, if it wasn’t for writer Rod Temperton’s wife, Peggy Lipton. Temperton had wanted talking at one part and needed a classic horror actor to give the music the edge he desired. Lipton was a good friend of Price, asked him and he agreed.
So the rest of the dead are waking up; out of every grave, tomb, and casket.
The foulest stench is in the air
The funk of forty thousand years
And grizzly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom
And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the thriller
Can you dig it?!
And of course, they head after Michael.
They are surrounded! Oh no! Michael’s girlfriend looks to Michael for help, but it is too late:
And then we have one of the most engaging dances ever to be created/performed.
They actually had to think long and hard how to create the scene where they dance that wasn’t childish or silly, but kept to the mood of the previous scenes; and I have to say they accomplished it. In fact, before Landis agreed to direct, he made it mandatory that all extras spend two weeks in rehearsals with the choreographer; something that had never been done before. This dance has been such a big part of our culture from Thrill Around the World to being referenced in numerous films and TV shows.
‘Cause this is thriller, thriller night
And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about to strike
You know it’s thriller, thriller night
You’re fighting for your life inside a killer, thriller tonight
That it’s a thriller, thriller night
‘Cause I can thrill you more than any ghost would dare to try
Girl, this is thriller, thriller night
So let me hold you tight and share a killer, diller, chiller
Thriller here tonight
Michael’s date is horrified and runs into a creepy old house, with the zombies surrounding her on every side. Very Night of the Living Dead.
Too bad she doesn’t have a Ben to save her as they start destroying the house to get her.
Michael grabs her and bam. It turns out they are just in a home, Michael isn’t a zombie….Or is he? We close on Vincent Price’s amazing laugh with frozen still of Michael’s yellow werecat eyes.
That was Michael Jackson’s Thriller and it is amazing. From the song, to Jackson, to Price, to Ray, to the dancing, the makeup- I could go on and on but it is just perfect. I mean it gives you everything you want
Plus a fun dance to do. Check it out for yourself!
I Love this musical. My best friend Carson and I were obsessed with it when we were eight years old. We used to watch it over and over, knew every song by heart, and could do the hand jive in our sleep. Grease was definitely the word.
So the movie is set in the 1950s, you know one of my favorite decades.
Sandy is from Australia and visiting the American beach for summer vacation (winter in Australia). She meets Danny is also away at the beach and the two meet and fall head over heels for each other. But Sandy has to back home, with both thinking they would never see each other again.
School’s back in session, and we see Danny is the hottest and coolest guy in school.
He and his gang are ready to finish their senior year when he gets the biggest surprise of his life, Sandy is in school. Can this designated bad boy and good girl make a relationship work?
Throw in a car racing challenge, dance contest, Frankie Avalon, and amazing songs.
Most Romantic Moment: I Will Do What I Can to Get You Back
So throughout the whole film we see that Danny is all about “his reputation”.
Sleeping around with girls, not caring about what happens to them but just using and losing…
However when he meets Sandy that changes. At first he tries to keep to his “tomcattin” ways, but realizes that’s not what he wants; he wants Sandy. But how to win her back?
As Sandy is a cheerleader, he decides to go out for a team sport going from greaser to jock. (Which was a big deal then. Remember Daryl in The Outsiders and how he was able to cross over into Soc territory if he wanted to because of football? Ponyboy too was offered that as well but he wouldn’t give up his cigarettes for track). But Danny doesn’t really mean it, he’s just doing it to try and win Sandy back at this moment. But because he doesn’t put his whole heart into it, he messes up again and again; ditching her for another girl to win the dance contest and giving her his “ring of commitment” in order to make out.
But none of these work, Sandy is a high quality girl and she won’t have some pretender, she needs something real.
So Danny realizes that if he loves her, he needs to stop the pretending and kidding around. He is going to have to do something really drastic to show Sandy he truly cares about her.
So he decides to quit the T-Birds
Now contrary to what some bloggers say, he is not just putting a “cardigan on”. The sweater is a symbol that he is completely changing his life. By changing the T-Bird leather jacket to the cardigan with his “letter for track” on it, he’s not only saying that he is giving up the “fast” lifestyle, the parting with all these other women, the reputation of never settling down; but that he is going to be something more stable and trustworthy. Something that she can rely on and that will be there for her.
As he tells the other boys, he grown out of that, and is instead looking forward to a future with Sandy, not just a “playdate”.
“Danny Zuko: Oh c’mon you guys…You know you mean a lot to me…it’s just that Sandy does too. And I’m going to do anything I can to get her…“
After all, what’s comfortable, can be worn anywhere, and something that makes you feel relaxed, supported, and warm…a leather jacket or a cardigan?
Gigi is a book, turned play, turned musical. The musical takes place at the turn of the century Paris, France. Gigi (played by Leslie Caron), is being trained by her Aunt to be a Courtesan. Now a courtesan is not a prostitute. Courtesans had one client and were treated well, often being given a home, jewels, money, etc. These women were often largely accepted by society, and were well treated by the people they were with.
So Gigi lives with her grandma, Madame Alvarez, and is unwillingly being trained by her Aunt. She doesn’t fully understand what it means be a courtesan, but thinks the lessons are boring and doesn’t want to be a courtesans. However, she dutifully goes to her lessons. Her favorite thing to do is spend time withGaston Lachaille (Louis Jourdan).
Gaston is a very wealthy man who is bored with life. He has had everything he has ever wanted and and finds that life holds nothing for him. He spends his days having parties and with his courtesan, as he intends to never marry, but life is empty. The only time he finds joy is at Madame Alvarez’s home, with the adorable Gigi.
One day when Gaston meets up with his courtesan at the ice-skating rink. There he discovers that she is cheating on him. He publicly dumps her and shames her, trying to show off how over her he is by throwing lavish party after lavish party. Eventually, he becomes bored of this as well and looks for something else to entertain him. He decides to visit the sea and stops by Madame Alvarez and Gigi before leaving. While there Gigi challenges him to a card game, if she wins then Gaston must take her and Madame along with him. She wins and the two join Gaston on his trip. While on holiday, Gaston and Gigi spend a lots of time together and discover that Madame used to have a relationship with Gaston’s uncle, Honoré Lachaille (Maurice Chevalier).
When they return, Aunt Alicia increases Gigi’s training in order to help her catch the eye of Gaston. Gigi tries, but continues to be awkward and bumbling.
However, they continue and purchase Gigi some grown up gowns instead of her standard childish things. Gaston sees her in an alluring gown and gets angry, yelling at her to not wear such things. He storms out, only to come back, as he realized that he is interested in her and doesn’t want her with any other man. He wants to take her out, but is refused by Madame Alvarez as his reputation could harm Gigi. He becomes upset again, but is convinced that her words do speak the truth. He then brokers a deal to make Gigi his mistress. But this doesn’t make Gigi happy. She refuses.
Gigi has discovered what the duities of a courtesan are, and doesn’t wish to be passed from man to man for the rest of her life. Everyone is shocked by her crudity, Gaston hurt by her refusal, and Aunt Alicia enraged that her granddaughter could give up such a person as Gaston. After a while Gigi sends for Gaston and apologizes. She tells him that she loves him and would rather be a courtesan with him, then spend a life without him.
That night the two go out to Maxims.
While at Maxims Gigi is perfect in everything that a courtesan should be…but this upsets Gaston. He doesn’t like seeing her this way, this non-Gigi but a courtesan. He storms back to her house and sends her up to her Grandmother, taking off. Gigi and her grandmother start crying not sure why Gaston is upset and afraid that he might shame her.
************Most Romantic Moment************
After Gaston has taken off for the third time, he goes on a walk trying to figure out why seeing Gigi as a courtesan upseted him. He wants her to be in his life, and he wants to be the only man in her life, so why is this troubling him? As he walks the streets of Paris he figures out why this made him so angry and he returns to Madame Alvarez’s home.
[after a long while, Gaston returns to Madame Alvarez’s apartment] Gaston Lachaille: May I come in?
Madame Alvarez: Please, Gaston… no papers… no scandal.
Gaston Lachaille: Madame, will you do me the honour, the favour… give me the infinite joy of bestowing on me… Gigi’s hand in marriage? [Gigi, filled with relief and joy, draws to Gaston’s side]”
He realized that he was in love with her and didn’t want a courtesan and he didn’t want Gigi demeaned as a courtesan. He wanted Gigi as Gigi and he wanted her to be his wife!
He realized that he wanted Gigi forever, and that the thing he’d been fighting off (marriage) was the one thing he truly desired.