One of a Kind

Now when Jane Austen wrote Emma she created a character that was completely different from any of the other heroines.

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Yep, Emma is truly unique and here are the reasons why.

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1) No Worries About Money

Emma

Unlike the other heroines, Emma has no worries at all about money. While Elizabeth and Jane Bennet, Pride & Prejudice, are from an okay family, their estate is entailed so their family are constantly worrying about how they will marry the girls off. Elinor and Marianne, Sense & Sensibility, were raised wealthy, but too fall victim to the dreaded entailment

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and ended up schlepped to a cottage, their mother worrying if she will be able to get any man interested as their dowry is so small. Fanny, Mansfield Park, mother was rich but married down, living in poverty. Fanny managed to escape this as her wealthy aunt and uncle brought her into their home, but she wasn’t treated nice but constantly reminded that she was a poor relation. In Northanger Abbey, Catherine Moreland comes from a financially ok family, but as we see when James announces his engagement they don’t have gobs of cash. This is a moment of strife for Henry Tilney, as he has been trained to marry wealthy, rather than for love. Anne Elliot, Persuasion, was also born wealthy, but finds herself heading toward poverty as her father is whittling it away on the stupidest things.

Out of all of them, Emma is the only one who is finacially stable throughout the whole book. She also doesn’t have to worry about entailment, as her father has no restrictions. In fact, she is the favorite of her father’s children, so in fact she’s the one who will be getting all the money.

money money money

And she nows this. However, unlike the other Austen heroines, this security of life does cause her to become bored, which leads her to meddling in others lives.

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2) Doesn’t Want to Get Married

Emma

Unlike the other heroines of Jane Austen’s world, Emma doesn’t want to get married. I wrote a whole post on it, The Real Revolutionary, so I’m only going to touch base on it here.

Emma doesn’t feel the need to marry as she doesn’t need money (her father is rich and she will inherit it all), she has never met a man who she felt was her equal, she is independent enough in her own home as she is mistress of the house, etc. For her, she’s believes she can have a thrilling and fulfilling life as an independent woman.

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Elizabeth (P&P) isn’t mooning over any guy in particular, at least not at first, but she dreams of a time that she will be married, and to someone she is intensely in love with. That’s why she turns down Mr. Collins, and is shocked that Charlotte would choose the security of Mr. Collins instead of love. Elinor and Marianne both have their own romantic fantasies. Elinor wishes and hopes for the love of Edward, while Marianne has this huge romantic vision of her dream man. Fanny has been mooing over Edmund ever since she was a young girl, and while she doesn’t presume they will marry, that doesn’t stop her from dreaming. Catherine loves romantic novels, so she has all kinds of dreams and views on what type of man she will marry one day. And Anne, well she wanted marry Fredrick, until she was convinced not to, and afterwards dreamed of him coming back and the two reuniting.

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3) Does Whatever She Wants

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Unlike the other characters, Emma is a bit selfish. After all, she was raised wealthy, with whatever she wants at the tip of her fingers. So she just does whatever she wants to. This causes some big problems as she doesn’t always think about how her actions affect others, or the repercussions. Thank goodness for Mr. Knightly to keeping her straight.

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Elizabeth never does what she wants as she is always worried about her sisters and keeping the younger ones straight, while protecting kind-hearted. After her father’s death, Elinor takes all responsibilities of the household and has to live her life taking care of everyone else. Fanny is too busy pleasing everyone as she doesn’t want to be kicked out of her house, and was raised to be subservient. Catherine doesn’t have the means or the personality to do whatever she wants as she has a large family, and is the daughter of a minister. Anne, is another one who is always trying to please everyone else, turning down the love of her life because of that.

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4) Doesn’t Like to Read

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Unlike any other Austen herione, Emma hates reading.

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She strives to improve it, but finds herself bored and turning to other amusements, such as meddling.

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This is strange as almost every other main character has a crucial scene that involves their thoughts on literature. In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth is an avid reader, bringing about the scene in the library were she and Mr. Darcy compare their views on the subject. And of course Mr. Darcy saying that a truly accomplished woman must love reading. Marianne is a huge fan of poetry, romance, and Shakespeare. She rejects Edward as a potential suitor for Elinor as he doesn’t read that much, (implying that Elinor also enjoys reading). She believes that a man who doesn’t share her views on reading isn’t worthy enough, causing her to fall head over heels when Willoughby mentions his equal love of Shakespeare’s sonnets. In Mansfield Park, Fanny loves reading but not plays or the theater as she sees it as immoral. In fact she tries to stay out of the whole family putting on a show. In Northanger Abbey,the whole plot revolves around a girl reading so many novels, she ends up with an overactive imagination. In Persuasion, Anne loves reading poetry books, something that becomes a crucial part in the book. She starts showing a brokenhearted sailor more uplifting poems, bringing everyone to speculate whether or not there will be a future match there, along with causing Fredrick to realize that he loves Anne.

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5) Best Friend is a Man of no Relation

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Emma doesn’t have any girlfriends, just a governess until Harriet comes along who is more of a project than a friend. The only one she has to converse with and discuss her opinions on subjects is Mr. Knightly. This is very radical from the time period as unmarried women were not often hanging out and spending time with men who were not related to them. Emma gets around this as Mr. Knightley is considered her “father’s friend” by the community, even though in fact Mr. Knightley is her best friend.

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In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth had her sister Jane and her best friend Charlotte. In Sense & Sensibility, the sisters are best friends. In Mansfield Park, Fanny’s best friend is a male, but it is her brother William. In Northanger Abbey, Catherine has Mrs. Allen, her sisters, and the fair-weather friend Isabella. In Persuasion, Anne has her mentor and old teacher.

As you can see none of these other characters would have ever thought to befriend a man who wasn’t related as it would have been scandalous, and only Emma is daring enough to go past society’s rules in a number of ways and do her own thing.

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When Jane Austen wrote Emma she set out to create a character very unlike anything we had seen from her before, and from the society of the times. Her differences may make her unlikeable to some, but I think it just makes her a more likable and entertaining character.

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For more on the book Emma, go to 200 Years of Glorious Emma

For more on Emma Woodhouse, go to Fashionably Postworthy

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Murder is My Favorite Crime: Laura (1944)

Laura 1944

Murder is my favorite crime.

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

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

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

So I decided I would.

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

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

So anyways, on to the film.

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

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

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

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1) Waldo Lybecker

Waldo Lybecker Laura Innocent

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

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

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

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

Laura Angry Mad Upset

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

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

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

Sound suspicious

Hmm…

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2) Shelby Carpenter

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

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

Laura Hunt: Yes.

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

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

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

Laura Hunt: What about next year?

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

Laura Hunt: What about dancing?

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

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

Sound suspicious

Or is it?

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

Laura Interviewing Shelby

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3) Ann Treadwell

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

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

Sound suspicious

Sound suspicious

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

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

When suddenly somebody comes crashing through.

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It’s Laura!!!

Laura Switch on you dames

But wait…

What!

But if that’s Laura? Who is…?

Who is the dead body?

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

Yep this leads Mark with another suspect…Laura

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4) Laura Hunt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What does this mean? Who is the killer?

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

Laura

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

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

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

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

For more mysteries, go to Quite a Horror Story

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

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

I Love You Anyway: The Notebook (2004)

Romantic Moment #11

The Notebook

The Notebook (2004)

So as I told you all last year when I chose A Walk to Remember to include on my Valentine’s Day Romantic Moments list, that I am not a big Nicholas Sparks fan. In fact the only book/movie that I like (actually Love) is A Walk to Remember.  I’ve never been interested in his other works, and I actually hate  the Notebook. Even though I adore Rachel McAdams and think she is a fantastic actress, I dislike it, A LOT. So why am I including it on this list? You’ll have to read on to find out.

So onwards. The movie begins at a nursing home where an elderly man is reading a romantic story from his notebook to a woman.

The story is set in June of 1940 in South Carolina. A country boy, Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling), has fallen for a heiress Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams). The two spend the summer together, with Noah taking Allie to an abanded house and promising to buy and redo for her. Allie’s parents don’t like Noah and forbid her to see him. The two break up and her family returns to Charleston.

Noah enlists in  World War II and Allie becomes a nurse. At the hospital Allie meets Lon Hammond, Jr. (James Marsden), a handsome, kind, lawyer who is also from Old Money. They date and become engaged.

Meanwhile, Noah has returned from the war and buys the abandoned house, redoing it for Allie. He had seen her in Charleston with Lon, and has convinced himself that by fixing the house he will win her and her love. Allie sees an article about his completed renovation in the newspaper and visits him.

In the present, we are shown that the woman is Allie who suffers from  dementia and her husband is the man reading her their story, but sadly, Allie doesn’t recognize him.

Back in the ’40s, even though she is engaged Allie resumes her relationship with Noah. Allie’s mom comes by and gives her a talking to, telling her Lon has come as well. Allie talks to Lon telling him what happened and Lon, while unhappy, tells her that he loves her and wants to be with her still. Allie is still unsure who she wants.

Back in present day, Allie regains her memory and we see that the man she is with is Noah. She left Lon and her and Noah were married. Allie tells Noah to continue reading the notebook, as it will always bring her back. Allie then relapses, panicking as she does not recognize who is hugging her.  That same night Noah is hospitalised. After he is released from the hospital, Noah goes to Allie’s room and finds her lucid. After telling each other that they love one another, they both go to sleep in Allie’s bed. The next morning, a nurse finds them dead in each other’s arms.

Most Romantic Moment:

So I know that many of you may not agree with my choice of a romantic moment, and that is fine with me. This my blog, and I put what I want on it and I know not everyone will agree with me or like what I post and I’m okay with that.

So the moment I find most romantic is when Lon finds out that Allie cheated on him and still wants to marry her.

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I know, I know; not the most conventional moment , but I personally find it extremely romantic. Here is this guy that loves this girl and is prepared to marry her and have a life together, only to find out that she cheated on him with a past boyfriend! Cheated! Now the worst things I believe you could ever do to a person is 1) Lead them on, 2) Lie, and 3) Cheat on them. And out of all of these cheating’s the ultimate treason. She broke his heart, she threw it into the shredder. And how does he respond?

Lon: [to Allie] The way I see it, I got three choices. One, I can shoot him. Two, I can kick the crap out of him. Or three, I leave you. Well, all that’s no good. You see, ’cause none of those options get me you. In spite of everything, I love you.

This girl cheated on him, she broke his heart and he doesn’t get mad or angry, like I would have been. I would have been all kinds of crazy if I found out the person I was engaged to cheated on me. Like Kelly Clarkson in Since You Been Gone or Madea.

But does Lon do this? Does he freak out or scream or get angry? No, no, nope. He tells her he still loves her and wants to continue spending the rest of his life with her. He does nothing but waits for her to decide who she wants. That’s real love. He’s like the guy in “Keep on Loving You“.

I know I’m like the only one, but I totally would have picked Lon.

(Start at 8:17)