So the film is set in 1940 and starts off with actress Viviane Denvert at the premiere of her newest movie. It is a hit and everyone loves her, espechially Prime Minister Jean-Étienne Beaufort (Gérard Depardieu).
Viviane should be happy, but she isn’t as the producer of the film is staring at her. When she gets home he is there and he wants “payment” for all he’s done. Cut scene, if you know what I mean.
In the next scene Viviane calls her old neighbor and boyfriend, Frédéric Auger, an aspiring writer. When he arrives she tells him that the producer attacked her and fell from the second floor. She wants Auger to help her move the body, while he wants to call the police. She is afraid to have the scandal in the papers, as it was all an accident-but Auger insists they call the police.
However, Viviane is so charming she convinces him to move the body-NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!
You should have called the police! This will all end badly for you!!!!!!!!
So they put the body of the producer’s in Auger’s trunk and he is going to drive and dump it somewhere. Viviane offers to come with him, but he tells her he will handle it.
However, that night it is storming down buckets of rain and the windshield wiper breaks. Auger struggles trying to see and ends up crashing the car unto a police box, the pressure from the crash popping his trunk.
Bystanders come to help, and they find the body.
Next thing you know Auger is in jail for shooting the producer. Auger is completely flabbergasted and shocked to hear that the producer was shot. Even worse his lawyer won’t be able to help him as he is being set to the frontlines.
Meanwhile, Viviane has not forgotten the prime minister and heads to him, She goes on about how worried she is for herself and uses all her charm to completely wow the prime minister.
Time passes and the Nazis are storming Paris to occupy it, so the jail decides to move its prisoners. All of them are chained with another, and luckily Auger gets handcuffed to Raoul, a thief who has been planning an escape. They escape from the jail, and head into an empty Paris.
Auger searches for Viviane, but it turns out that she has left with her beaux, the prime minister, for Bordeaux. As she is the only one who can help clear his name, he gets on the last train and heads after her.
On the train Auger runs into Raoul who is also heading to Bordeaux as he has a get-rich-quick plan. Raoul has fallen head over heels, 100% in love with Camille, assistant to Professor Kopolski from the College de France. He keeps trying to get her to agree to go out with him, but she turns him down as they are headed to Bordeaux on an important mission.
But then Camille meets Auger, and she falls head over heels, 100% in love with him, but he still cares for Viviane-even after all she has done. Raoul tries to get him to see she was using him, but he is convinced that it is all a mistake.
Camille is traveling to meet up with Professor Kopolski and his other assistant as they are secretly trying to move heavy water out of France. Heavy water is what is used to make nuclear bombs and they had borrowed some from Sweden. With Hitler taking over Europe, they hope to send it and the Jewish professor out of the country to England.
When they arrive in Bordeaux, Raoul goes on to his plan to steal wine to sell and use, while Camille leaves to meet up with her associates.
Auger goes looking for Viviane who is staying with the Prime Minister Beaufort-he taking care of her and fulfilling her every whim. Right now he is in a stressful situation as they are trying to figure out what to do with the Germans-fight, give up, etc.
As Beaufort doesn’t have as much time for her-she has another man on her string, an American reporter (Peter Coyote) who is there to get a story and trying desperately to get Vivienne to run off with him.
Auger runs into Viviane, who wants to keep him a secret from Beaufort as the murder was highly publicized. She ducks into shops and sneaks away but eventually Beaufort gets jealous and follows her demanding to meet her friend. He invites him to lunch, which Auger does not want to be a part of.
Camille and the professor have been trying to speak to the prime minster to try and move the heavy water, but haven’t been able to get any time with him. When they spot Auger with him and Viviane they try to get him to help them. He tries to explain he doesn’t know the prime minister, but they don’t believe it.
Camille reveals all about the heavy water and their need to smuggle it out to Viviane. She has fallen completely for Auger-but Raoul is in love with her.
Things get further complicated when officials try to impound the car that holds the Heavy Water: Auger goes to lunch with Viviane and Beaufort and is spotted by the nephew of the man he “murdered”; the nephew after yelling and screaming at Auger starts to wonder about Viviane; Beaufort dumps Vivienne; Beaufort will not help the professor; and one of the characters is a Nazi spy after the heavy water.
This was so good!!! It was dramatic, has action, was fun, hilarious, intense-everything you could want in a film.
Tonight Has Been the Birth of the Planet of the Apes
So we are almost done with out Planet of the Apes Wednesdays I’ve really enjoyed them as I think this has been the first time I’ve actually watched them all in order and completely through.
We open up in America 1991-Gorillas in orange jumpsuits, Chimps in green khakis. A whole new world.
So already digging two things about this film-Yes Roddy McDowell is in this one too (I just love him)! And it sounds as if they brought that awesome music from the first film- a tribal sound mixed with scifi.
So a lot has happened since the last film. It turns out Cornelius and Zira brought a space disease that killed all the cats and dogs in the world. Yes Taylor going through time disrupted the timeline and accelerated it.
Just like Cornelius had said, the people began adopting apes to have them be pets, and then when they become so good at everything, they start treating them as slaves.
All of them
The police/security guards are all dressed as gestapo and the apes aren’t allowed to gather and meet freely. They are training the apes to be slaves, just like Cornelius said in the previous film. Carry packages, tie shoes, shoe-shine, mop, waiters hairdressers, servers, etc. The apes are on leashes, yes they are man sized-look like people but treated like animals.
People are protesting as the apes take their jobs. They really get you on the metaphor. It is interesting as this is clearly speaking from the headlines of the, but some things are still relevant to today.
We see Cesare and the circus owner, Armando (Ricardo Montalban). They give us a brief recap of where we left off in the as film (I summarized above). So Armando has protected Cesare by keeping him away from the cities in his traveling circus. However, they have needed to go to the city to get a crowd and make more money
So WORST IDEA EVER!!! Why would you bring the most sought after talking ape who has been sheltered his whole life to the city where they treat apes cruel. You should have left him with the circus animals.
The police start roughhousing with an ape and, of course Cesare speaks out. They are close to being captured, but the attention is grabbed by someone else and they melt away into the crowd.
Cesare runs away and they hide out for a bit. Armando never should have brought him.
Armando tells Cesare to wait for him, he is going to the police and make up a story. If he doesn’t return by nine o’clock, the plan is for Cesare to head to the harbor and pretend to be an ape fresh off the boat.
Armando ends up in the governor’s office, and they torture question Armando more and more. Armando continues to fight them and protect Cesare. He continues to say that he has no clue about the chimps from space and monkeys.
The governor doesn’t believe him and is taking no chances. In the provinces, where the circus has been-there has been no issues. But in the city, there have been uprisings. One ape attacked his owner, which an aide says was because of excessive beatings, proof seen on the body. But the governor doesn’t care. He doesn’t like them, and they all must be subservient or ELSE!
So Armando doesn’t come and Cesare sneaks into the harbor with the other apes. They are all freaking out-worried, but Cesare calms them down. When they arrive off the boat they are fingerprinted and taken to be trained.
That’s not good.
I really like the buildings on this, it kind of makes me think of Total Recallset design.
So the guards have flamethrowers, just like the Nazis. Yes, the Nazi vibe is really heavy here. We see it in the uniforms the guards wear, the camps to train the apes in, flamethrowers, apes having to wear certain clothes, apes having to be separate, etc.
Cesare is put in a pen with other chimps and given a banana . The other chimps have been going crazy as they have been starved all day, but Cesare shares the banana with the others.
Meanwhile the guards are torturing I mean questioning Armando. I like how the guards in charge of the apes are a mix of races, although only men. I guess women don’t get to be guards in this new world order.
So Cesare of course is just blowing the guards away with his talent, being much faster at picking up the training.
There are very few orangoutangs in this and probably because they have to be bigger and the makeup budget was slashed. The gorillas and chimps were much easier.
So they breed the chimps and gorillas like in Anthem by Ayn Rand. Cesare gets picked as a breeder and…
This movie isAnthem! Both films have a society were a small elite rule over a larger group that have to do “lower” things like janitorial, shoe shining, etc. They assign certain people to each other and breed them. One man rebels against them, and in Anthem runs off with their lady to recreate society.
Must be why I love that book, (I obviously saw this before I read it.)
They then chain the apes up to monoliths and sell them. Cesare is brough out for the bidding and the guard drops the cuffs and Cesare picks it up and gives it to him. Everyone can see that he is a chimpanzee of great intelligence and he goes for $1500 to the governor! Eep!
That’s not good.
So whenever the people speak to apes they say “no” a lot. I don’t think I say no to my cat that much, but then who could make a cat a slave? No wonder that was Aldo’s first word.
Breck: Ah, it seems the little fella’s not quite so bright after all.
MacDonald: No, but then brightness has never been encouraged among slaves.
The governor lets Cesare pick out his own name, as his wife has all their apes do it, and he chooses Caesar. What book were they looking at that the Cs were in the middle of the book? I guess if it was an “a-d” volume but it was a fat book.
Cesare walks taller than the others and more like a man. He is lead out and intrigued by all that he sees on the world. They climb through these tunnels, and they look like the ones they went through in Beneath the Plant of the Apes Yay! Continuity.
Caesar gets put to work on filing.
Meanwhile, Armando is still in questioning. They finally decide to release him after he signs a declaration. He doesn’t read it, but signs right away. He shouldn’t have don’t that.
Always read before you sign.
They put him under a machine that forces him to tell the truth-see shouldn’t have signed.
Bad luck is never ending!
He fights with them and they beat him, he ends up trying to escape and goes out the window falling to his death.
Ah, poor Armando. He never should have taken Cesare into the world, he should have left him in the circus. But if he had, we never would have had this film.
Poor Caesar hears of it and cries,. The only father he as ever known!
So the governor obsesses about Cornelius, Dr. Zira, and ape uprising over and over-yet has their child working for him. Seriously-dude.
Caesar begins the uprising, by having all the apes collect items and start saying no. I like how he is there at each uprising-he is either there or his spirit is!
The Governor wants all bad apes to be rounded up and sent to the conditioning center, but because of Caesar’s rebellion the centers are full. He also is searching for the ape, Cornelius and Zira’s baby-convinced it is still alive!
The govenor’s aide, Malcolm Macdonald (Hari Rhodes), thinks the governor is being useless. Making a list of the bad apes, fighting the apes, he thinks he is committing folly and creating more problems, the governor does not agree. However, with all this extra work the governor is making them do, one thorough worker discovers that a crate from Borneo had a chimp in it-the one that was sold to the governor. The Chimp can’t be from Borneo as chimps don’t live there.
Th governor calls for Caesar to be sent to his office, preparing to kill him, McDonald feels bad and doesn’t send him in as he is on an “errand”.
The governor keeps calling McDonald and he ignores the governor until he can’t no longer. He is at a crossroad, he does’t want Caesar to be tortured and murdered, but what can he do?
Caesar speaks t him, and McDonald’s eyes just go bam with shock-he is a much better actor than Brent.
I like how Caesar and McDonald talk about revolution, McDonald is African American and does’t agree with society, as after all it was only 30 years go (the year is 1991 in the film) that African Americans were be treating similar to how the apes are now. But at the same time he doesn’t want a revolution, killing, etc
“Caesar: [to Malcolm] You above everyone else should understand.”
As they talk the Gestapo come storming down and McDonald’s conscience and morals win out over duty. He releases Caesar and he scurries off. Cesar tries to hide, but is eventually found and chained to be tortured into talking.
They put Caesar into the torture machine to try and get him to talk, to prove he is the ape they have been searching for. He just screams in agony. But eventually the pain is to great and Caesar finally gives in and says help
McDonald sneaks away and cuts the power to let Caesar be free as he doesn’t want him to be electrocuted to death.
Cesar appears to be dead, but I know he isn’t They should know better to always check a pulse! I’ve seen enough horror films. They aren’t really dead right away.
Cesar goes over and kills the guard.The revolution has begun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
La Liberté Guidant le Peuple (Liberty Leading the People)
Viva la Cesare!!!
He goes to where all his ape buddies/followers are waiting and the uprising begins!!!
It is interesting how this film doesn’t have a lot of dialogue, as a majority of your cast is silent, but the film is really intriguing as they know how to show you how you feel. I feel a lot of today’s film’s don’t know how to just give us the visuals and let is be intelligent enough to know what they are trying to show and represent.
Governor calls his men trying to take the apes down, but it’s not gonna work. They are coming for you Man in the High Castle!
You now this film reminds me a lot of I Robot. I think they copied a lot from this film. All the people need to be inside a sthe Ape army marches on.
What the humans don’t realize is that they have been planning for this moment and are prepared to take over.
They police keep telling the apes no and to go back, but they persevere-a silent army that will be be silent no longer.
The apes net the humans, being reminiscent if the first film. Well done writers, well done.
The apes storm across the plaza with weapons picked up from the police they have stopped. Armed and organized! With shields!
But then they stop. What are they waiting for?
Fire, earlier they had poured gasoline in the square and they set it on fire and storm off-ape versus man! I think it is obvious who would win.
Chaos, fire, and fighting-what every Dystopian Future film has to have! (Think about all the ones you have seen, they all have those three things in them).
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO One if the apes burns the books!!!!!!!!! OOOOOOOONOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I no longer approve of your revolution.
The governor barricades himself, but the apes cut through the door. And in comes Caesar storming the gates and shooting up everyone.
Caesar saves the governor though just to confront him. Caesar asks him why did you turn your pets into slaves? He says because we were born from you. You are the beast that resides in us and you must be shackled and destroyed.
They take him out t be killed and they stab and kill the humans. MacDonald tries to stop him, telling him what he is doing is wrong. He begs him to show humanity to the men. But Caesar coldly replies that he is not human! Caesar starts giving a speech that is a glimpse of the future (or past film?)
“MacDonald: Caesar… Caesar! This is not how it was meant to be.
Caesar: In your view or mine?
MacDonald: Violence prolongs hate, hate prolongs violence. By what right are you spilling blood?
Caesar: By the slave’s right to punish his persecutor.
MacDonald: I, a descendant of slaves, am asking you to show humanity.
Caesar: But, I was not born human.
MacDonald: I know. The child of the evolved apes.
Caesar: Whose children shall rule the earth.
MacDonald: For better or for worse?
Caesar: Do you think it could be worse?
MacDonald: Do you think this riot will win freedom for all your people? By tomorrow…
Caesar: By tomorrow it will be too late. Why a tiny, mindless insect like the emperor moth can communicate with another over a distance of 80 miles…
MacDonald: An emperor ape might do slightly better?
Caesar: Slightly? What you have seen here today, apes on the 5 continents will be imitating tomorrow.
MacDonald: With knives against guns? With kerosene cans against flamethrowers?
Caesar: Where there is fire, there is smoke. And in that smoke, from this day forward, my people will crouch and conspire and plot and plan for the inevitable day of Man’s downfall – the day when he finally and self-destructively turns his weapons against his own kind. The day of the writing in the sky, when your cities lie buried under radioactive rubble! When the sea is a dead sea, and the land is a wasteland out of which I will lead my people from their captivity! And we will build our own cities in which there will be no place for humans except to serve our ends! And we shall found our own armies, our own religion, our own dynasty! And that day is upon you… now!”
So I know some people were upset since Roddy McDowell clearly states in the previous film, that the leader of the one who rebelled against the humans was called Aldo and the leader in this film was originally Milo, then Caesar.
But I think it worked. I mean they didn’t know they were to become the parents of the future leader or plan for it. And it was never thought they would go to the past so the timeline was disrupted, first by Taylor, then Brent, and then Cornelius and Dr. Zira.
Caesar: But now… now we will put away out hatred. Now we will put down our weapons. We have passed through the Night of the Fires. And who were our masters are now our servants. And we, who are not human, can afford to be humane. Destiny is the will of God. And, if it is man’s destiny to be dominated, it is God’s will that he be dominated with compassion and understanding. So, cast out your vengeance. Tonight, we have seen the birth of the Planet of the Apes!
Fire consumes the city and the apes cheer. But what will the future hold? We will find out next Wednesday when I review the last film of the originalPlanet of the Apes: Battle for Planet of the Apes.
I wasn’t sure I would be able to do all five but I’m feeling super confident- I think I’ve got this in the bag.
This is fate we’re talking about, and if fate works at all, it works because people think that THIS TIME, it isn’t going to happen!
Some of you might be wondering where the Jane Austen is in Horrorfest? Isn’t the name of the blog, JaneAustenRunsMyLife? Well, we have had a few Jane Austen-esque things this year. First we had Death by Persuasion and Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans TV show High Seas/Alta Mar. But I thought I would throw in another film with a Jane Austen connection. Because, you know:
A while back I reviewed the book Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries, and in the beginning Lindsay Doran wrote about how she was thinking about turning Sense and Sensibility into a film, but needed to find the “right” writer. While filming Dead Again, producer Lindsay Doran discovered that Emma Thompson loved Jane Austen. They spent a lot of time talking about Austen and her books:
“I got to know Emma very well over the course of the twelve-week shoot, and it wasn’t long before we discovered our mutual passion for Jane Austen. It was clear that she knew the books by heart, and that her appreciation of them was not of the dry, academic sort she enjoyed them, and she loved their wit as much as she admired their intelligence.” Lindsay Doran, from The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen’s Novel to Film
Doran then watched Emma’s show Thompson, and after seeing the writing and acting there-asked her to write Sense and Sensibility (1995). Yes, without Dead Again, Sense and Sensibility (1995) never would have been born-or a less wonderful version would probably have been created.
So let’s review Dead Again
This film struck my interest when a patron checked it out at the library. So, of course, when it came back I had to check it out and watch it. It is a film-noir, murder mystery romance.
So the film starts off in black and white in the 1940s-with and amazing into that involves newspaper stories and headlines about the Musical Murder of Margaret Strauss by her Conductor Killer, Roman Strauss. Margaret (Emma Thompson) was stabbed to death by scissors, by her conductor husband Roman, (Kenneth Branagh). He was found guilty and put on death row for the murder. As he approached the electric chair, journalist, Gray Baker (Andy Garcia), goes to hear the killer’s last words-Roman saying that this is far from over.
Now we fast forward to present time, 50 years later-a woman (Emma Thompson) with no memory and can’t talk is in an orphanage.
The nuns and priest have been taking care of her-but it appears the help she needs is much more than what they can offer. They hire Michael Church, (Kenneth Branagh) a private detective (who had been raised at the same orphanage), to take her to the asylum and discover who she is.
Michael Church (Kenneth Branagh) is known for being able to find “anything” and “anybody”. He has just found Dr. Cozy Carlisle (Robin Williams), psychologist turned store owner who’s been extremely hard to track down. He gets the call and heads to the orphanage.
Ready for any case
Michael inspects all that they know about the unknown woman and discovers she has a Claddagh ring-an Irish ring which represents love, loyalty, and friendship-but only one band, the other is missing. He takes her to his friend at the newspaper who shoots her picture and they plan on it being printed in tomorrow’s edition. Church then goes to take the woman to the asylum, but after seeing how horrible it is-takes her to his home. Sure “just because it looks bad”-like it has nothing to do with the fact she is a pretty woman?
The woman experiences nightmares, a fear of scissors, and screams out Dysher. The next day, Church gets all kinds of calls about the woman-but all are just cranks. But then, Franklyn Madson (Derek Jacobi), comes calling. He is an antique dealer and hypnotist who wants to help. He regresses the woman and we shift to black and white-to the Strausses.
Los Angelas Late 1940s
Margaret was beautiful, English, and beloved by all. She performed in an orchestra and saw conductor Roman Strauss and was struck by him. Roman was a recent arrival in California, having left Europe when he escaped the Nazis during WWII, his wife dying in the escape.
Roman is just as struck a with Margaret and the two date, fall in love, and marry. Roman gifts her the Claddagh ring, with a matching one, and a very expensive anklet.
“Roman Strauss: The man I bought it from explained to me that, when a husband gives it to his wife, they become two halves of the same person. Nothing can separate them… not even death.”
They marry and at the wedding, a Mr. Gray Baker (Andy Garcia), writer, comes as the date of someone. He is enamored of Margaret and actually tries to flirt and charm her at HER wedding-ugh this dude.
Understandably, Roman is very upset and does not like him. Margaret, however, “doesn’t” understand his feelings as she loves Roman.
The two are in love and happy-except for one thing. Margaret hates Roman’s servants -Inga and her son Franky. She thinks they don’t like her and they keep usurping her authority. She wants to be rid of them, but as they saved Roman’s life he refuses to let them go. He never would have made it out of Germany without them.
After the regression, the woman can speak. They look over the Strauss story in Life magazine, located in the antique shop. They see a resemblance between the Strausses and them and that the orphanage where they both spent time in, was once the Strauss mansion.
Church gives the woman the name Grace, and then goes to see Dr. Carlisle to talk about what happened. Dr. Carlisle tells him some cases where he worked with patients and regression helped solve the issues. He thinks they should continue to see the hypnotist and see what comes of the Margaret and Roman story.
Meanwhile, Grace and Church spend a lot of time together and fall in love.
They day after they sleep together a man shows up claiming that Grace, real name Katherine Sharpe, is his fiance. He has all the answers to Church’s questions, until Chruch catches him in a lie about gloves. The man takes off and Church tries to catch him-but the man gets away.
Why would they want Grace? WHO would want her?
Church and Grace go back to the hypnotist where Grace regresses more…
Los Angeles Late 1940s
The Strausses are having more cracks in their relationship. As Roman is not involved in Hollywood, he is seen as a “nobody” and is trying to write an opera but suffering from writer’s block. They are at a party and no one wants to talk to “nobody Roman”.
Margaret gets approached by Gray and the two go outside to talk. Gray is so in love with Margaret it is super obvious-and Margaret should not be feeding into it. Gray asks to “look” at her anklet, and she obliges-he holding her leg up to take a “closer look”. Really…really now?
Margaret, can’t you see how this is something you as a married woman should bot be doing with a man who is not your husband? Hmmm….?
Roman sees them and becomes understandably furious, punching Gray in the face (not understandable) which knocks him in the pool. They try to make it sound as if Roman is a jealous brute, making a big deal out of nothing-but I have to disagree. This guy started trying to get with Margaret at her wedding-and he’s still trying. Even though Roman shouldn’t have punched him-he totally deserved it.
Margaret and Roman get into a huge fight over it, it ending as Roman confesses his insecurities.
Later Margaret catches Frankie in her jewelry and tries to get Roman to fire them, but again he refuses. Gray calls Margaret, which Roman accidentally overhears. He questions her abut the call but she lies to him.
Later, Margaret was lying in bed when she is stabbed-by Michael Church!
Grace wakes up from her trance angry, confused, and scared. Michael takes her home but she flips out convinced that he will kill her.
In order to calm her, Church decides to regress as well. What he discovers changes everything. Will they figure out this mystery and solve it before another murder? Or will history repeat itself?
I liked how the movie was in color for the present and then reverted to black and white with the past. I thought it was pretty intriguing with a few twists and turns that I didn’t see coming were thrown in very well. And now that I have seen the film, that poster is so perfect and obvious. It is well worth a view for fans of Spellbound and film-noir
The end is a little cheesy, but Im not sure how else they could have had an ending that satisfied the viewer. I didn’t want to give away the end, so if you’d like to watch it, click here.
So as you all know I started a book club last year. I have fallen behind with my posts, but I’m catching up. Only two more after this and I’m back on track.
Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed. What can I say, I just love books.
There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want. This time one member chose:
The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman
The member had seen the movie and wanted to read the book afterwards. And we all know how that goes:
Now I haven’t seen the movie but I did enjoy the book.
It is a non-fiction story about Jan and Antonina Zabinski who owned and ran a zoo in Poland. They cared strongly for the animals, raising all kinds-sometimes even in their homes. Some animal babies grew up sleeping and eating alongside their son.
They had a beautiful complex and even some very rare animals that other zoos tried to get their hands on. But that all changed with World War II.
It is horrific to read the destruction that was unleashed on the people with the bombings, annd how the animals were in the cages and just decimated. Jan and Antonina tried to help as many as they could, and let them out but still many became casualties of war.
It really is sad
They lost many members of their animal family to that, some took off when the destruction started never to be known what happened to them, and the rest were all picked apart and sent to other Zoos. Those poor animals.
After the animals were gone, the Zabinskis used the zoo complex to help the Resistance against the Nazis. They stored guns and other ammunitions there, right in plain sight almost and were never caught. In fact the Nazis never thought the Polish were smart enough to do something that intelligent as they weren’t of Aryan blood. They sure showed those guys.
Then they started using it as a way station to help Jewish people, until they could move out of Poland. Now what was really interesting was that Jan’s father became so angry with the Christian church that he sent Jan to Jewish school instead. There Jan developed many friendships with all different Jewish people-bringing them food when they were receiving nothing and helping many in the ghettos. Because of those friendships he was asked and wanted to help the Jewish people, the two of them saving over 300 people.
It really is am amazing story and I think it is well worth a read if this is the type of story you are interested in.
The Darcy Monologues edited by Christina Boyd and written by Various
So first of all, I’m so sorry to have taken so long to post this. I first planned to have it up by the 20th, but then I got busy and I pushed it back to the 21st. Then other things occurred which took me away from home all day so I had to push it back to the 22nd. And then I am sure you can guess that once again my attention was diverted.
After all you know my motto:
But never fear, my other motto has this covered.
The Darcy Monologues was brought to my attention when Christina Boyd gave me a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I readily agreed and began reading:
What the novel consists of is several monologues, or short stories, retelling Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy’s point of view.
Some stories take place during the novel, some change things, some ask questions of “what if this happened…?”, etc.
The first half of the novel’s collection all take place in the Regency Era; and I loved it!
To read more about those stories, click on this link. The second half involves different decades.
Now let me clear one thing up. It was said anywhere, but for some reason I assumed that every story would take place in a different decade and involve Darcy and Elizabeth throughout time.
However, that assumption was false. When they say “Other Eras”, they mean “not Regency”. Yes, there is no great time traveling like I thought.
And let me be clear that this assumption wasn’t anyone’s fault but mine. The writers and marketing team did not lead me astray. I made the mistake.
So I’m going to do things a little different then in the previous review. Last time I went through the stories by the way they are set out in the novel. This time I am going to review the stories by their times-starting with the ones in the past and ending with those that are set in modern times.
Pemberley By Stage by Natalie Richards
Thoughts Before Reading:
When I heard that there was going to be a Western version of Pride and Prejudice I couldn’t wait to read it.
If you have been following me, then you know how much I was obsessed with the Old West, cowboys, and Clint Eastwood as a child.
So will this story be all I dreamed it to be?
After having his name sullied by his associate, George Wickham, lawyer Darcy has been convinced by his friend, Charles Bingley, to move to San Francisco and start over. He is journeying with Bingley and Bingley’s sister Louisa; no Caroline as she “would not leave civilization.” Darcy brought his sister Georgiana with him, but is worried that maybe it would have been best to leave her in the East. Also in their stagecoach is a Mr. Hurst, a man Louisa has become interested in.
As they are journeying, the stage is overtaken by bandits. Darcy is knocked out and when he comes to he discovers that the thieves not only stole everything of value, but kidnapped Georgiana as well, and will only release her for $10,000.
Darcy wants to travel after her, but many are wounded and need assistance. Luckily, two siblings-Jane Bennet and her brother Elias, arrive on the scene. They have been after the gang and the leader, George “Smiling George” Wickham” (the same ex-partner of Darcy), ever since he convinced their sister Lydia to run off with him. The two know of a healer, so Darcy and Elias head off to fetch her while Jane and Louisa tend to the wounded.
As the two travel they talk about their families and instantly form a friendship. After bringing back the healer, who is also a prostitute favored by Wickham, Darcy pays not only for her to aid his friends but for the information of Wickham’s hideout. Elias wants to join him, as Darcy needs an extra hand, and Elias is an excellent shot.
However, it turns out that Jane does not want Elias to help, as she can’t stand to lose another sister.
Yes, Elizabeth had been traveling as “Elias” to protect herself and her sister. Darcy is at first upset at Elizabeth, as he shared personal information but Elizabeth withheld hers. As they ride, the two patch up, as each understands the other hurt.
When they arrive at the camp they find Georgiana tied up, Lydia pregnant, and a camp of thieves bickering between themselves as what to do next. As this gang begins to turn on each other, Darcy and Elizabeth must think fast and bold in order to save their siblings.
Things I Pondered: How awesome this was.
Things I Liked: How amazing this was!
The action was fantastic, the pacing was great, and once I got started I just had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next.
Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!
I think it was absolutely one of the best in this section. Just amazing from beginning to end and with every character. I know this will be one I will read over and over.
I love history and had just finished reading The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, so I was primed for a World War II-themed Pride and Prejudice.
Darcy and Bingley are soldiers in the British army. They knew each other back in school and have struck up their friendship again. Bingley’s sister Caroline is after Darcy, but he has been free from her clutches as she has evacuated London and went to a country estate, Netherfield
One night when Darcy has time off, he comes across a light shining during a mandatory blackout. When he drives up to yell at the person with the torch (flashlight), he finds his words being thrown back as Elizabeth Bennet will not take any of his gruff, especially as he is on her land.
In this tale there are only three Bennet sister- Jane, Elizabeth, and Mary. However, the household is harboring two girls from the city, Lydia and Kitty Potter.
Darcy tries to talk to Elizabeth at a USO dance but she is angry for the things Caroline said about her family previously, the Potter girls, mother, etc.; and that Darcy listened to it all in agreement.
When Lydia and Kitty return to London to visit their parents, a bombing is done by the Nazis. Darcy goes with Elizabeth to track down the missing girls and try to make amends for his earlier behavior. But will he succeed or fail in both ventures?
Things I Pondered: I didn’t really see where this level of anger was coming from in Elizabeth as there is a difference between voicing an opinion and listening/agreeing to one. I felt that she released her anger at Caroline at Darcy, instead of being given a reason to dislike him.
It also felt weird without Mr. Wickham. As much as we hate him, he does play a very important role in the story.
What I Like: I liked the introspection Darcy goes through as he realizes not saying anything can be just as bad as being the one saying it; when you give the impression that you agree with the speaker instead of being polite. I think it was paired very well with the fact that this was a war in which some citizens didn’t agree with what the Naziparty believed, but also didn’t say anything about what they were doing.
I liked the second part of the story when they search for the girls as it just grabs you and makes you read faster to see if they discover them alive…or dead.
The secondary characters were also fun as I like what the author did with Kitty, Lydia, Denny, and the like.
You Don’t Know Me by Beau North
Thoughts Before Reading:
This whole time I have been reading this title as You Don’t Own Me, thinking it was named after the Lesley Gore song.
Having it in the sixties intrigued me as I wondered if the author was going to go in the direction of Mad Men or Do Not Disturbwith marketing or fashion (as that is how I saw Darcy) or the overused “hippie” route.
I was pleasantly surprised to find this to be about music and a radio station.
Darcy inherited half his father’s company when he passed, the rest being controlled by his aunt Catherine. He doesn’t really care for it, as the company always held all of his father’s attention, but does like the money he gets from it. After he is caught with a client’s wife, as he did not know she was married, his aunt banishes him from Manhattan to Buffalo for a year.
If he does well with the newly acquired station, WPNP, then he can come back after the year. Otherwise he stuck there.
The interim station manager and sales manager is Charles Bingley, who later becomes a good friend, and his secretary is Jane [Bennet]. One of the radio shows is run by an Eliza Bennet, who has the top stats with her music. The only problem, she is playing African-American music which is not what Aunt Catherine or Regina Caroline Bliss, leader of the Mother’s Morality League, want. Finding himself pressured from all sides he tries to strike a compromise which doesn’t work well with Eliza, them often going head to head.
After a heated argument, Darcy goes to speak to Eliza at home and meets her father, Tomas Benowitz. It turns out that Elizabeth Bennet is actually Benowitz and that she is Jewish. There are more discoveries to be made as Tomas was the star violinist of the Royal Orchestra of Prague, before the war changed everything and he came to America. Darcy also meets Eliza’s aunt and uncle; and enjoys everyone’s company.
In fact, he starts falling for Eliza but she refuses him as she doesn’t want to be seen as securing her job by sleeping with the boss; plus Darcy is only staying for a year. Darcy doesn’t like, but agrees to just be her friend.
Not what I want, but what can I do?
Darcy leaves, with Bingley in charge (he is also now dating Jane). He returns to Manhattan and repairs the relationship with his aunt. When Eliza’s father dies, he returns, but she still refuses him. There is nothing he can do but return home.
His Aunt Catherine discovers that he is in love and encourages Darcy to go back and try again. Will he fight for the woman he loves? Or will he give in and marry some high society girl from Vassar?
Things I Pondered: I didn’t care for this story as much as I didn’t like the depiction of Elizabeth. She always seems to be just rude and yelling at Darcy. I understand her wanting to be sassy and standing up for the rights of others, but still Darcy is her boss. I don’t care how good you are, I think most bosses would fire you for screaming at them and saying the things she says about their character.
I don’t know the background of North but I thought the Jewish ancestry wasn’t dealt with as well at it should have been. Yes Eliza talks about the fact that she had to change her name to not offend people, but they characters act as if it isn’t a big deal when many Jewish people still faced racism and scrutiny. It also seems to not impact their lives or anything as it is introduced and never featured in the story again. True, it is not about her but Darcy, but I felt like it could have been fleshed out (maybe in a future novel?). I also thought they were too cavalier with Darcy converting. I mean changing religions is a big deal, it isn’t like changing a shirt. There are lots of steps he has to go through and it is taking everything he has known and celebrated and throwing it out, having to adjust to new life.
Things I Liked: I really like that North decides to make this a bicultural relationship. This is something not really seen, other than the film Bride & Prejudice. I liked the idea of having Pride and Prejudice with people of different cultures or races as you aren’t as separated as one was in Regency England. I would definitely read an interpretation of Pride and Prejudice that went along those lines.
I also like how the author tied in Eliza’s background to her musical choices. Being a person who is discriminated against as to her gender and religion, it made sense that she would campaign so hard for others who face prejudices.
Plus *SPOILER ALERT* I love how he tells her on air, not caring who hears him, that he loves her and wants to marry her.
Hot for Teacher by Sara Angelini
Thoughts Before Reading:
So at first I thought this was set in the 1980s as the title comes from the Van Halen song, Hot for Teacher (1984) and they name a section after AC/DC‘s Back in Black. But then they reference Creepby Radiohead (1992), Dazed and Confused (1993), She’s So High by Tai Bachman (1999), and then Paradise which I am not sure is referring to the ’80s film or the Coldplay song that came out in 2011.
There are no cellphones really in use, but then Darcy does mention Google. I think the author set it in modern times, but it still has an older vibe to it. I may be wrong, but I’m going with early 21st century.
Darcy’s parents were the CEOs of the FitzCo company, his father having passed on, but instead of being a part of the corporation Darcy has chosen a career in education.
Yes, Darcy is the principal of the prestigious Pemberley Academy. A new year is about to start, but Darcy is less then pleased with Vice-Principal Charles Bingley’s choices in two new teachers. For art we have Ms. Elizabeth Bennet, who dresses in eccentric clothes and does not carry the look Darcy expects his staff to project.
That sweater and hairstyle?
But Ms. Brunhilda (his nickname for Elizabeth) is nowhere near as disastrous as the new English teacher, a Mr. George Wickham.
George Wickham is the half-brother of Darcy, having been born from a liaison between Darcy’s father and his secretary, George’s mother. The two have never gotten along and Darcy dislikes him with every fiber of his being. George has never done anything to warrant this dislike but Darcy just has a “feeling”.
One night when Darcy is attending the FitzCo art benefit, he makes a disparaging comment about one of the artists, Frances Gardiner, to his cousin Anne (mix of Anne and sister Georgiana). Elizabeth overhears it and is extremely displeased as that is her mother.
Darcy soon grows to like Elizabeth but finds himself challenged in that arena with his half brother. However, after a few conversations and flirting, he believes Elizabeth is in to him, and goes for it at a the Homecoming dance.
Elizabeth turns him down and yells at him. She finds his behavior with George and the other teachers to just be atrocious. She dresses him down for all kinds of things he was unaware that were occurring in the school, and with a few lies that George has told her.
After that embarrassing moment,
Darcy decides that he will try and improve himself and the relationships at school. Will it work? Or will George and Elizabeth have the happily ever after?
Things I Pondered: I didn’t care for this depiction as much as I felt there were quite a lot missing. First Darcy’s relationships are horrible, I mean he had friends in the original book. And he wasn’t as mean or temperamental as depicted here as all his servants loved him and could only speak kindly of him. I mean that is something that validates the Darcy in the letter, when Elizabeth visits his home and hears what the people who work for him say.
Having George Wickham not be evil, also didn’t work. In fact, you rooted more for him as he missed out on all kinds of things Darcy had, while Darcy hates him for being born. I mean it isn’t his fault your dad cheated on your mom. They should have made him far more nefarious than stealing money at the end of the book.
Elizabeth is really mean to Darcy and he is her boss. I don’t mind her being sassy, but the way she talks to him, I’m surprised she didn’t get fired. If I yelled at any boss I’ve ever had this way, I don’t think I would have stayed on. They would have let me go.
Darcy was a bit of a dork in this. I thought he had more in common with the original Mr. Collins. The way he acts around others, his flirting, his assumptions, etc.
Elizabeth yells at Darcy for being cruel and insensitive, but while in the original novel she had a valid concern, the others being misinformation supplied by Wickham; in this she has no justification. Mrs. Crane has been late multiple times and isn’t keeping up with her work so the rules say she has to receive a warning. Elizabeth yells at him that the only reason she has ben doing that is because her husband was in a car accident and is going through physical therapy, meaning she has become the sole caregiver for her husband and boys. Darcy didn’t know as Mrs. Crane never told him. It isn’t his fault, she should have talked to him, after all she could have received emergency family leave. The same goes for the other teachers, they never give a reason why they can’t do something, so what is Darcy supposed to think?
What I Liked: I actually liked that Darcy wasn’t carrying on the family business but doing his own thing. In today’s world you don’t have families being forced to carry on the professions their ancestors did but have the freedom to do what they want. I thought that was a very new twist in the story, and something no other Austen retelling that I have read has ever tried doing.
Also Angelini finally does the one thing Austen fans have been BEGGING someone to do.
Yes we finally have Darcy do that. Thank you very much Angelini.
And something even more surprising, Angelini does something I never thought possible-she makes Mr. Collins likable.
Yes I know, I never, ever imagined finding myself liking Mr. Collins. Angelini you must be a magician or something.
I, Darcy by Karen M. Cox
William Darcy has hated his name for as long as he could remember. His mother choose it after the hero in one of her favorite novels, but he just can’t wrap his head around why woman like him so. Ten years ago he read the book and hated it-
So the worst place for him to be would be a convention center full of Austenites.
Yes, he is bemoaning this to his friend and business colleague, Charles Bingley, when he is interrupted by two lovely ladies who defend Austen. Jane and Lynley Bennet walk in and out of his life, but remain memorable as the two gentlemen head on to discuss opening a chain of locally sourced restaurants with their board of directors. It passes and Charles it out to start up the trial place-with Darcy joining him later.
When Darcy comes driving up to the house Bingley rented in the country, he has car trouble but manages to get help-from Lynley. Not only is that a coincidence, but Charles is dating her sister Jane.
Darcy waits for Charles as he is out on a date and starts reading a copy of Pride and Prejudice he finds on the table (probably given to Bingley from Jane), surprising himself with falling in love with the book.
Later the two men discuss the farms they want to use for the restaurant, seeing the Bennet farm as the perfect place to get their supplies from. Darcy makes them a generous offer, one they need as if they don’t get a good contract they may lose it; but Lynley refuses, angry at Darcy. What could he have done to upset her? I smell a nefarious plot, but who would want to ruin Darcy’s name?
Things I Pondered: I liked it. I thought it was funny how she went with this theme of “real” Mr. Darcy as I was just talking about that earlier this year.
Things I Liked: I thought the characters were very well written and easy to connect to. I liked how the story flowed and enjoyed it from start to finish.
The Ride Home by Ruth Phillips Oakland
This story takes place after Darcy proposed to Elizabeth and was rejected. Darcy is owner of the company, Pemberley Media, and is in the States to launch PM’s channel here, then planning on returning to England. His best friend got his happy ending when Jane said yes to his proposal.
Soon to be!
The happy couple have been celebrating with champagne when they receive a call from Elizabeth asking for a ride. Neither can take her, so they wake Darcy and ask him to do it.
Darcy picks Elizabeth up from her disastrous date (with Mr. Collins) and she really lets herself go- drunkenly praising Darcy’s personality to body- ranging in too much information to nonsensical. She does apologize for being upset over Lydia, saying Darcy was right to be angry at Lydia spilling secrets to rival George Wickham. The two patch things up and everything looks great for Darcy, that is if Elizabeth remembers the conversation tomorrow. Will this drunken release be the beginning of something new, or the last shred of the old?
Things I Pondered: I didn’t care for this as much as I missed Elizabeth’s witty repartee with Darcy-something drunken speech can’t really do.
I also found myself distracted with trying to figure out if she would be well enough to talk. I mean she was average height, thin and consumed a gin and tonic along with four or five martinis (she lost count) but hardly ate anything as her date said no butter, salt, carbohydrates, meat, etc. I’m not a drinker but gin, dry vermouth, and more gin with no butter or carbs to counteract it seems to be like she would be passed out. I mean I calculated it and she has an estimated BAL of 0.235-that’s nausea, vomiting, blackouts, etc. How was she able to make him breakfast the next day? She should have a massive hangover.
Things I Liked: I liked having Darcy be introspective as he drives into town. Something about him just thinking over everything and himself as he drives resonated with me.
Darcy Strikes Out by Sophia Rose
Circa: Present Time
Thoughts Before Reading:
I love puns, jokes, and when authors are smart enough to use language that implies two meanings that fit perfect with the situation. In this case Darcy strikes out in the game of love and:
I’m also a big baseball fan so I was very interested in reading this.
Darcy is a top baseball player, known as “Dandy Darcy” after he and his father posed in top hats and tails with the bats as canes for a photo shoot. After his father passed away, and his sister was in her horrible accident that left her in a wheelchair; he pulled away from life and others. The only one who he remained close to (besides his teammates) was his good friend and old roommate, Charles Bingley, who he saved from a gold digger.
He meets Elizabeth Bennet, sports reporter, and starts to fall for her.
But when he asks her out, he strikes out. Yep, it turns out that he really dropped the ball as that “gold digger” was Elizabeth’s sister; she thinks he is a snob for being camera shy and refusing interviews (especially with that horrible nosy Collins), and sees him as a giant jerk for blackballing fellow baseball player George Wickham.
Darcy is still thinking over the refusal as he visits his sister. Yes, Elizabeth was right about Jane; but after checking her out Darcy did discover he was wrong about her and encouraged Bingley to try again. However, being camera shy and Wickham all have to do with Georgiana as he tries to protect her.
When he gets to his sister’s apartment, he discovers her hanging out with a friend who participates in the Paralympics, and their new friend; Elizabeth Bennet.
Elizabeth meet the girls when she was writing a story on upcoming athletes, and she has realized that she was prejudiced against Darcy. They later meet for breakfast, and Darcy reveals what happened to Georgiana. Wickham was trying to use Darcy to get ahead, but was lacking in discipline and focus; being cut from the team. Later at a high school party, Wickham being over eighteen, roofied Georgiana’s beer with the intent to rape her. However, she left early and ended up crashing the car not from drinking (which she did) but from being drugged. They knew it was him, but couldn’t prove enough to put him away. The famous Darcy name, underage drinking, a beautiful girl with a tragic story all made for excellent newspaper fodder, especially for a TMZ like reporter (Collins).
Things are going well, until Elizabeth hears from Jane that their sister Lydia is missing! It appears this underage girl was last seen with baseball player George Wickham.
Darcy calls in his private detective, Jack Austen, who has been keeping an eye on Wickham. Will they be able to find Lydia and Wickham in time? Or will this be another strike out for Darcy?
Things I Pondered: Wow this was awesome!
Things I Liked: First of all if there was a “Dandy” baseball player I would totally be out there cheering for him whether or not he was on my team (the As, Cali all the way). I also would purchase a “Dandy Darcy” clothing line for my friends and relatives if such a thing existed.
I thought this book was amazingly well done in taking the story and setting it in modern times. I loved what Rose did with all the characters, and I really enjoyed how she set us in the middle of the story with flashbacks as to what came before.
I also applaud you for doing something I haven’t really seen anyone else do- show how Wickham was not only a jerk but a child predator. Yes, contrary to popular belief, most people weren’t married until they were 21-24 during the Regency period. Most modern updates keep Wickham close in age the other characters and make him seem like just a fiend. In this we realize just how evil Wickham is, in the orginal and this version, as Rose unveils him as the pedophile he is.
Jack Austen, P.I.- I like the sound of that. I don’t know if there are any film-noir, 1940s, Humphrey Bogart-ish Austen retellings, but now you make me wish for one. Can’t you just see Darcy?
Or what if Elizabeth was the detective and Darcy the client?
So Rose names a few of Darcy’s teammates and their wives, I’m not sure but I believe they stand for other characters from Austen novels. There is a Cathy and Hank Denny, maybe Catherine and Henry “Hank” Tilney from Northanger Abbey?
And then there is an Esme and Jose Carreaga. Could it be Emma and Mr. Knightley?
I think it would be wonderful if Rose would develop this into a full novel with all the Austen characters.
But seriously, I thought this was just as fantastic as To Pemberley By Stage and just as hard to put down.
So what did I think of it as a whole?
I really loved it, even the stories I didn’t like as much. It was just so refreshing to see a point of view that is often overlooked or not done well. I enjoyed every version of Darcy as each had the things we loved most about him but at the same time were all so different.
I thought that was fantastic as it made a Darcy for everyone. I mean some might be into a baseball playing Darcy or Western Darcy, while others want something different-such as a teacher or man born with a silver spoon who needs to see how others live.
Just like the movies you have your pick of Darcy, being sure to find one, two, or more to love/
In conclusion I think The Darcy Monologues, Part I and II, are just fantastic.
If you are an Austen, Pride and Prejudice, or Mr. Darcy fan you need to check this book out TODAY!
In fact, not only is this something I know I will read over and over again:
Or 10th, 50th, 100th….
But I can already think of several people who will be receiving it as a birthday or Christmas present.