Friday, July 20, 2012

Triple feature—Matters of the heart

Hopefully by now you've read about my quirky vertical viewings of films habit, where I watch and compare 3 different film adaptations of the same film. No? Click to see my Cyrano de Bergerac, Shakespeare's Tempest, and Jane Austen's Emma posts on this blog. It's really fun.

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How about another type of film viewing? Instead of a vertical viewing, how about a double feature... or even better, how about a triple feature? It could refer to a common theme in the title alone (for example, films with the word heart in it), or be common in theme (for example, baseball films such as Field of Dreams, the Natural, and Moneyball ). Hopefully you are getting ideas for your own Triple Features. These days, with Netflix and instant downloading of films, these flicks are just a click away.

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To start, I will use the first example, film titles with the words heart in them. The three films I chose all portray amazing character studies, and each film captured my heart in three different ways.

The Hasty Heart — made in 1949, starring Ronald Reagan, Patricia Neal and Richard Todd
We're in Burma in 1945, and the war is over! A Scottish soldier, Corporal Lachlan "Lachie" MacLachlan (Richard Todd) is at a M.A.S.H. unit with other recovering wounded soldiers for surgery to his back. Unknown to Lachie, he is dying from kidney failure and has only a few weeks to live. Nurse Sister Margaret Parker (Patricia Neal) and the other five remaining soldiers in her ward have been asked by the hospital commander to befriend Lachie, who is a very proud man who wants no help or friendship from anyone. Slowly however, relationships are formed and Lachie begins to appreciate his new M.A.S.H. friends, something he has never had with anyone. He's a tough nut to crack, but if you are like me, you'll be swelling up with tears by the end of the film.
Dear Heart — made in 1964, starring Glenn Ford, Geraldine Page and Angela Landsbury
Single and alone, Evie (played delightfully well by Geraldine Fitzgerald) arrives in New York for the annual Postmasters' convention. Also staying at her hotel is a womanizing salesman (played by Glenn Ford) who has just become engaged. Their paths cross and although her quirky ways annoy the salesman, their time together is simply enchanting. 

Any Human Heart — made in 2010, starring Jim Broadbent, Matthew McFadden, and many others
Jim Broadbent superbly portrays a novelist starting out in 1920s Paris. We follow him back and forth and in flashbacks to '50s New York and '80s London. During his extraordinary life, he meets Ernest Hemingway, Ian Fleming and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. As the writer comes to the end of his life, his recalled memories and nostalgia will no doubt bring tears to your eyes.

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