Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thursday's thirteen: Thirteen Elisabeth Taylor Movies

In honor of Elisabeth Taylor's passing, I'm posting thirteen must see of her movies.

1. "National Velvet" (1944)

A preteen Taylor starred as Velvet Brown in this classic horse film, opposite Angela Lansbury and Mickey Rooney. In "National Velvet," based on Enid Bagnold's novel, a girl aspired to win the prestigious Grand National horse race. Disguised as a jockey, Taylor's character entered the race.

2. "Little Women" (1949)

Little Women Poster

Based on Louisa May Alcott's novel, this film featured. Mary Astor as, a Massachusetts mother raising four daughters, while her husband fought in the Civil War. Taylor played one of the girls in a cast including June Allyson, Leon Ames, Peter Lawford, Janet Leigh and Margaret O'Brien.

"Little Women" was remade in 1994 with Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon.

3. "Father of the Bride" (1950)

Father of the Bride Poster

Taylor stars as an eager bride in this comedy, with Joan Bennett and Spencer Tracy playing her parents. The film earned Oscar nods for Best Actor and Best Picture, but did not win. By 1951, "Father's Little Dividend" followed, with Taylor's character giving birth.

"Father of the Bride" was remade in 1991 with Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams-Paisley,Martin Short and Kieran Culkin.

4. "Raintree County" (1957)

Raintree County Poster

Adapted from a book by Ross Lockridge, Jr., "Raintree County" offered Civil War epic drama. with Montgomery Clift, Lee Marvin and Eva Marie Saint. Critics panned it, but Taylor earned an Oscar nomination for her Southern belle.

5. "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1958)

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Poster

Taylor sizzled in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" as Maggie "The Cat" Pollitt, vamping wife to Paul Newman's debauched "Brick" in the Tennessee Williams drama. The cast included Burl Ives and Jack Carter.

Elvis Presley, James Dean, Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Lana Turner were rumored to have considered starring roles. In the end, Taylor grabbed a BAFTA and an Oscar nomination for her turn.

6. "Suddenly Last Summer" (1959)

Suddenly, Last Summer Poster

Melodrama and intrigue surround this tale of 1930s psychiatry and family dynamics. Based on a Tennessee Williams play, "Suddenly Last Summer" stars Taylor, Clift and Katherine Hepburn. Taylor was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar and won a Golden Globe for this movie.

7. "Butterfield 8" (1960)

BUtterfield 8 Poster

Taylor won the Academy Award for Best Actress as a socialite call girl in a love affair with a married man. Eddie Fisher and Dina Merrill also starred in "Butterfield 8."

8. "Cleopatra" (1963)

Cleopatra Poster

A costly critical flop, "Cleopatra" is a popular Taylor favorite. Playing the Nile Queen, Taylor starred opposite Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, Martin Landau and Roddy McDowell. The Egyptian epic, receiving four Oscars, became legendary for Taylor and Burton's meeting.

9. "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1966)

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Poster

This film adaptation of Edward Albee's Broadway smash set Taylor against Burton in a close-up look at a tumultuous 20-year marriage. Sandy Dennis and George Segal joined the cast. Taylor picked up an Oscar, a BAFTA and a Golden Globe nomination.

10. "The Taming of the Shrew" (1967)

The Taming of the Shrew Poster

This adaptation of William Shakespeare's Renaissance comedy starred Taylor and Burton, squaring off as Kate and Petrucio. The supporting cast included Michael Holden and Michael York. Taylor received a BAFTA nomination for "The Taming of the Shrew."

11. "Life with Father" (1947)

William Powell is a tower of comic strength as Clarence Day, the benevolent despot of his 1880s New York City household. Irene Dunne co-stars as Day's wife Vinnie, who outwardly has no more common sense than a butterfly but who is the real head of the household. The anecdotal story, encompassing such details as the eldest Day son's (James Lydon) romance with pretty out-of-towner Mary (Elizabeth Taylor), is tied together by Vinnie's tireless efforts to get her headstrong husband baptized, else he'll never be able to enter the Kingdom of God. Each scene is a little gem of comedy and pathos, as the formidable Mr. Day tries to bring a stern businesslike attitude to everyday household activities, including explaining the facts of life to his impressionable son.

12. "Elephant Walk" (1954)

Elephant Walk is a 1954 Paramount Pictures film, directed by William Dieterle, and starring Elizabeth Taylor, Dana Andrews, Peter Finch and Abraham Sofaer.

Colonial tea planter John Wiley, visiting England at the end of World War II, wins and weds lovely English rose Ruth and takes her home to Elephant Walk, Ceylon, where the local elephants have a grudge against the plantation because it blocks their migrating path. Ruth's delight with the tropical wealth and luxury of her new home is tempered by isolation as the only white woman in the district; by her husband's occasional imperious arrogance; by a mutual physical attraction with plantation manager Dick Carver; and by the hovering, ominous menace of the hostile elephants. The elephants end up destroying the plantation in a stampede along with a fire.

13. "Lassie Come Home" (1943)

The original adventure of a boy and his dog is considered by many as the best. Young Roddy McDowall stars as a boy whose poor family is forced to sell their beloved collie, Lassie.

What's your favorite movie starring Liz Taylor?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday's thirteen: Irish Songs

1. Danny Boy (my grandfather use to sing this one)
Often copied classic
Click Here for Song and Lyrics

2. When Irish Eyes are Smiling (I was told I had Irish eyes by an English man, then he went back to his woman singing this song.)
Click Here for Song and Lyrics

3. She Moved Through the Fair (a very haunting song about a dead love's return)
Used in the film 'Michael Collins'
Click Here for Song and Lyrics

4. The Wearing Of The Green
Click Here for Song and Lyrics

5. Erin Go Bragh
Click Here for Song and Lyrics

6. Amhran na bhFiann
The Irish National Athem
Click Here for Song and Lyrics

7. The Rose of Tralee
Click Here for Song and Lyrics

8. The Foggy Dew (another haunting melody)
Click Here for Song and Lyrics

9. An Irish Lullaby (I sang this one to my daughter when she was a baby.)
Hugely popular sentimental song
Click Here for Song and Lyrics

10. The Water is Wide
Click Here for Song and Lyrics

11. Green Grow the Lilacs
Click Here for Song and Lyrics

12. Four Green Fields
Click Here for Song and Lyrics

13. I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen
Click Here for Song and Lyrics

What's your favorite Irish song and who sang it to you?

Monday, March 07, 2011

Rainy Monday

We had rain over the weekend with more tonight. Don't get me wrong I love the rain, but it did kind of mess-up our plans of working in the yard.
Do you know how hard it is to photograph rain?
You have to have something dark on the other side, so the rain will show up in the photo.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Windswept Shores available in the UK

I'm so thrilled. If you live in the UK and want to buy my book you now can!

Here's the link:

But it's still an ebook.