Angela Lansbury Takes to the stage at Beauty and the Beast 25th Anniversary Showing

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is 25 years old this year. Scary I know. It’s my all time favourite Disney film and it’s one of the first Disney films I can ever remember watching.

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To celebrate this big milestone Disney have released a 25th Anniversary special of the film that includes some amazing sounding special features! There is fun facts,  a few recording sessions and commentary from the directors. I’ll definitely be buying it!

Some cinemas in the US have also done special screenings and the lucky audience at the Lincoln Centre, beauty-and-the-beast_79535_5New York got an amazing surprise from none other than Mrs. Potts herself Dame Angela Lansbury! The first time I saw this I smiled the whole way through, I still smile all the way through now. Angela certainly still has the singing voice and she’s still my Mrs. Potts even if the cast has changed for the live action version.

So for your viewing pleasure here’s Dame Angela Lansbury singing the amazingly beautiful Beauty and the Beast from 1991’s Beauty and the Beast. Isn’t she adorable?!

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High Society (1956)

60 years ago this week (17th July 1956) an amazing film was released. It’s the type of musical film that will probably always make it onto the greatest musical films and for very good reason. It is, in fact, one of my favourite musicals of all time. This film is High Society.

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I’m always shocked by how few people have ever heard of or seen this film because it brings some of the best actors and musicians of Old Hollywood together to portray a retelling of the very famous The Philadelphia Story. Now I’m not saying Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart didn’t do the original justice because they totally rocked the film but when you have the likes of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra together in a script that is funny and musically ingenious you know it’s going to be a film to talk about.

224265256413693233RDl7GbVXcIt’s always been a special film to me because it was Grace Kelly’s last ever film before she married Prince Rainier of Monaco and basically became a fairytale princess. In the film she plays a wealthy soon to be married socialite and yet we see her try to please her family and eventually go back to her ex-husband who she still loves. The film may be a musical comedy but the relationships and emotions involved in the film seem very normal.

The songs themselves tell a story and are very memorable, that’s why we named our blog after a High Society song. The song “Who Want’s to Be a Millionaire?” is sung by Sinatra and Celeste Holm and they make it a funny yet romantic song because they don’t want yachts or other expensive items they just want each other. The funnier thing is Sinatra’s character doesn’t even realise Holm has a crush on him.

You’ll also notice Louis Armstrong in the film with his band and how different his music is to the rest of the film. This brings a freshness because all his songs are fun and make you pay attention.

So what’s not to love? Excellent actors who may not have gotgrace-kelly-bing-crosby-frank-sinatra-high-society-1956 on in real life but have a great relationship on screen (Crosby kept his distance from Sinatra during production) A lovely vocal performance from Kelly and a great scene in French. Great songs and great musical talent to write and perform the songs which means the songs will be remembered more than the films.

Some musicals can become boring or not seem relevant to the time and we find them being consigned to the archives yet High Society as withstood society’s changes. It actually teaches us about love and relationships while reminding us of people’s standing in society and how we need to be our own person. 60 years on it’s still a watchable fun film that you’ll want to watch again and again.

That Old Frank (Film) Magic

This is obviously a bit belated but I wanted this to be perfect.

 

tumblr_nzqc9riaOE1r0dj31o1_500On the 12th December the great Frank Sinatra turned 100. Everyone was jumping on the band wagon by playing his great songs and telling us stories about his less than perfect private life. I’ve actually heard someone say they don’t like the guy now they’ve heard some of the sordid tales from his Vegas and married days. Let me assure you these probably are true, there’s lots of other similar tales from friends, family and acquaintances, but this shouldn’t put you off his magnificent work whether it be his song writing, his singing or his acting.

His acting is where we come in. I could spend days talking about his music and his Rat Pack singing days. I could tell you tales of who he inspired, how he was one of the few celebrities of the time who basically needed the press to survive.tumblr_nz9e4vfjJR1r3rmj3o1_500

High Society (1956)

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Grace Kelly & Frank Sinatra

One of the first films I ever watched that starred Sinatra and, to this day, it is still one of my favourite films. Sinatra stars with Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Celeste Holm in this fun musical based on The Philadelphia Story. Sinatra is Mike Connor the journalist who is picked to report on the wedding of socialite Tracy Lord. True love ensues for Connor and Holm’s character, Liz Imbrie, yet it’s fun to watch them get to this point. The film has some great songs, some classic funny moments and an all over light hearted feel.

Anchors Aweigh (1945)

One of the first films Sinatra did with Gene Kelly.tumblr_mg8uq2h4IO1qapcnno1_250 This is a great film where Clarence Doolittle (Sinatra) and Joe Brady (Kelly) are on 4 days shore leave in Hollywood. They go on a musical journey where Joe teaches Clarence to pick up girls and he eventually finds an aspiring actress (Kathryn Grayson) who is the love of his life. There’s a mix of animation with Kelly dancing with Jerry Mouse. There’s some excellent songs and it is a lovely story. You’ve probably heard of another sailor themed film, On The Town, featuring Sinatra and Kelly but this one is well worth a watch too.

Von Ryan’s Express (1965)

tumblr_mx3cqlhmkh1r3mh0to1_400.gifA Sinatra film that everyone should know about and one that’s a bit different to the others he was famous for. A war film in every sense the film is set in WWII and sees a group of allied soldiers try to escape by hijacking a train. Sinatra plays Joseph Ryan who is a US Air Corps pilot and gets taken to a concentration camp after being shot down. Here the film unfolds into a thrilling story of bravery and courage. Sinatra gives one of his best performances in this role. If you’ve read the book you’ll notice a few differences but I think you’ll agree they work perfectly in the film.

Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964)

A true Rat Pack film, maybe not as famous as Ocean’s Eleven but this is still everything that made the Rat Pack films fun and enjoyable to watch. Sinatra truly made this film brilliant with a glittering cast and some memorable songs all done to the storyline of Robin Hood. Sinatra obviously has the leading role of Robbo and sees that fun, adventure and true spirit takes place in the ranks of Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Bing Crosby and Peter Falk. It’s fun to watch while still teaching the meaning of Robin Hood.

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From Here to Eternity (1953)

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This film basically relaunched Sinatra’s film career and was nominated for and won many awards. It’s based on the book by James Jones and makes for the perfect movie. Sinatra, Montgomery Clift and Burt Lancaster play three US Army soldiers stationed in Hawaii months before Pearl Harbour. They each have their different problems and we learn a great deal about them throughout the film, as well as the jobs they do. Maggio (Sinatra) is a fun character and yet suffers terribly throughout the film. Sinatra, rightly so, won Best Supporting actor at the Oscars for his role.

Guys and Dolls (1955)

Where to start with the film. It’s based on thetumblr_n8aeofHfwt1sjmaqio1_500 Broadway musical but there are some differences most noticeably with there been extra songs written for the film. Sinatra plays gambler Nathan Detroit who’s finding it difficult to find somewhere to hold an illegal crap game because of the police. Then comes in Marlon Brando’s Sky Masterson and they bet on taking a girl out to dinner. Detroit also has to deal with his fiancé of 14 years wanting to tie the knot. The film is very upbeat and has some great romance to it. Sinatra fits the role of Detroit extremely well as if the part was made for him. If you’ve never seen it you’re missing one of the greatest musicals ever.

 

Frank Sinatra made films his own and brought so much emotion and drama to both the big and tv screen it’s a wonder his films aren’t more famous. He’ll always be remembered for his stunning vocals, even in films, but remember the guy won Academy Awards so he definitely did something right somewhere.

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Happy Birthday Well Did You Evah!

Wow we’ve made it a full year! (Okay maybe a year and a few days)

We did have big plans but because we left these plans a tad bit late we haven’t been able to fulfil them. Organisational skills are obviously not our strong point. We will however be bringing special things throughout the festive month of December as a thank you for you our lovely fans. We wouldn’t have made it this far without you!

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As part of our birthday celebrations we wanted you, our fans, to write for us. I also wanted to send chocolate reindeers to people but this idea was squashed in the early stages.

We’re also doing a special poll where you choose your favourite film, actor and actress of 2013 and which ever gets the most votes by the end of December will win. I was thinking we’d basically write a post on them. This all depends on you guys participating! So please get in touch on here or Facebook and we’ll get the poll started!

So lets all go eat cake, raise a glass of something nice and give three cheers for Well Did You Evah! A blog I am dead proud of and get to write about what I love for people who love reading about it. Here’s to another brilliant and fabulous year!

Here I’ll leave you to the song (and our namesake) Well Did You Evah from High Society. What A Swell Party It Is!

Thumbelina, movie Review

ThumbelinacoverThis has to be one of the strangest things I have ended up buying, but yes a few days ago I bought the 1994 cartoon movie, Thumbelina. Now, this movie isn’t Disney, so I don’t expect all of you to go, ohhh it’s that one. But the movie is based upon the story of Thumbelina by Hans Christian Andersen, so, judging by that it possibly could have a dark side.

The movie does involve songs, most of them… well let’s say there is a mouse that sings about death and about ignoring love. There is a song about, following your heart, but that is sang by my opinion one of the more annoying characters. There is a bird, I suspect it to be a pigeon with a French Accent, who I came to believe he could have a GPS system in his chest as the amount of times he said or implied following your heart could get you to where you want to be.

 

 

 

Right, Thumbelina, is a thumb-sized girl/teenager. She has boobs, so, I’m not going to imply she is under 12. I remember watching this movie as a child- although I remember I’ve watched it, I just don’t really remember what happens. It’s probably got me  feeling like this-

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But then I grew up

If this was a Disney movie, they’d probably adapt it even more. Because Thumbelina doesn’t just become the romantic interest of one Prince! No, three more characters come along!

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First there is the Spanish toad, then there is the Beetle, then there is the mole. All after her because of her voice.

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You have to admit though, even from it’s back end that’s a cute bee. Also doesn’t take her long to be flashing the full length of her legs!

The Fairy Prince meets Thumbelina after peeking through her window, after rebelling against his parents, wondering off. Rebelling against his parents, I understand he’s 16, but peeking though her window??? What if she was getting changed rather then just dancing and singing? But Cornelius, without telling Thumbelina his Princely title, does their equivalent of a guy showing up in a high convertible speed car with a stereo. He takes her for a ride on a Bumble Bee while singing. Possibly a good thing that the Bee was riding because if you sing and dance in a car you’ll find yourself in the nearest obstacle.

 

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On this, “First Date,” Is where candidate number two- the toad- sees Thumbelina. We also meet the cliche line of the Prince and Thumbelina are now in love, although they have just met. But hearing Thumbelina’s voice the toad is now in love with her! The Toads big boobed and big pink haired mother, who sort of has some similarity to Nicki Minaj, kidnaps Thumbelina as she sleeps…

We meet the family of Spanish toads/frogs, who I have a hard time understanding when they sing, but apparently they sing for a living.

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The Creepiest things in this movie, will always be the toads

Thumbelina manages to get away, after being left on a lily pad by the frogs even though one of them is going to marry her, with the help of the Pigeon- Jacquimo, Now, I think this pigeon has a special power. He keeps changing sizes. One moment he is the same size as a book, the next he is rivalling the height of some of the cute bugs and the next he is similar height to a bear’s head.

 

 

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Sorry, but how can you trust that?

 

 

The Beetle is the next sexual predator to arrive.  This guy is frustrating in the fact, he calls himself the, “Judge ofbeautiful women,” And proves to be misogynistic , throughout the movie. Fortunately, this pursuit is only short lived, wanting Thumbelina to perform at the Beetle Ball, he dresses her up… Then all of a sudden she is stripped to her bloomers and top…

 

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Honestly, Hans Christian Anderson also wrote My Little Mermaid, I think he was doing her a favour when she got her to sell her voice compared to this. Beetle calls her ugly after the crowd conclude to it, equalling Thumbelina in tears and proving she has low self confidence.

A Prince sang to you that you are beautiful and you then go an believe someone who is not even the same species as you when he calls you ugly! From this information, I think she is actually enjoying getting hunted down. She just wants the attention!

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It’s the pigeon bird that wears a hat and boots and a top

Hibernation is something that has gone out of the window in this movie. Winter is here, but the pigeon bird, is still flying about and all the animals that should be underground sleeping are still there.

We move to find Thumbelina now housed with a pessimistic mouse, while the Frog and Beetle are now plotting to kidnap the prince for bait

and the prince…

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Is stuck in ice.

Now, mouse introduces her to Mole and this is why Feminism was invented. Thumbelina after one song and taking one strangers word that the prince is dead, is now going a head with the wedding!

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Meanwhile, the bugs are breaking the laws of physics, slow cooking the prince. In snow, with the Prince popsicle melting on the fire.

It takes Thumbelina, to get to the alter and having hallucinations of the prince for her to finally grow a back bone and announce this is not what she wanted.

In the end she grows wings (No one explained why she didn’t have wings in the first place…) and is happily married to the prince, and Happily ever after (apparently)! So we do get there in the end!

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As a kids movie, I applaud it. It does give the whole defenceless girl story line who is rescued by a prince. It was intended for children so, they obviously won’t see the things I have seen.

Overall, it’s a good kids movie, brilliantly drawn and animated and I think the voice actors/actresses fit the characters perfectly.

Bless Yore Beautiful Hide Howard Keel.

Today I’m having a Howard Keel party. It is his birthday so I thought why not? Day off work, good films to watch, a sexy man on the screen and some great songs to sing along to. You want to … Continue reading

Singin’ In The Rain, 61 years old & still Fit As A Fiddle.

Today was a big day here at Well Did You Evah. Singin’ In The Rain was released in US cinemas 61 years ago and this gave us a good excuse to re-watch, what has been for many years, one of … Continue reading

The films we watched as kids

Last night I couldn’t sleep so decided to watch some films. Deciding what film to watch has always been a tough decision for me but for some strange reason I wanted to watch The Swan Princess which lead to me … Continue reading