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Months of Meryl: THE RIVER WILD

"Great post and comments. Yes, Streep had to navigate the rough waters of being in her 40's! I do think she smashed through the glass ceiling for women since she persevered and then became an even bigger star in her 50's." - Sister Rona

"One of my favourite movies from my teen years - I'm shocked at how long ago this was released. It was Meryl that sold this movie for me and is the reason I saw it. At the time, and I still feel this way, she is the reason to watch and believe this film." -Filmboymichael

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Beauty vs Beast: All About the Blonde

JA from MNPP here. At this point it feels more than a little cliche to call Alfred Hitchcock your favorite film-maker. Tomorrow is his 115th birthday and it feels like we've spent at least double that amount of time writing about and reacting to how great, twisted, funny, pervy and technically masterful he was. Hitch is often the gateway drug, the little puff of movie marijuana that leads true cineastes on to the hard stuff.

I'll always come back to my first taste. It was the sweetest, the purest, and it still sends that shiver down my spine. I remember the first time I realized that movies, Movies, these are the thing I love, laying on my cousin's floor watching a camera sweep across across a boxy Manhattan backyard filled with windows into another world, stories in shorthand of life on top of life, all at once. It was everything. It still is everything.

So let's pay our respects by devoting this week's "Beauty vs Beast" to the man who made me interested in the ambiguities of the "good" guys and the "bad" guys in the first place, and let's do it with the movie that finally tossed Citizen Kane down the staircase.


You only have six days to vote this week since we're running a day behind (sorry about the delay) so get to it - bleach yourself, slide into a gray dress, wander through a redwood forest or some neon green light, do whatever it takes - just pick and make your case in the comments!

PREVIOUSLY Last week we were talking about the blonde presuasion as well - Charlize Theron and Patrick Wilson faced off again in a Young Adult redux. Wilson's Buddy might be the nice guy, willing to clean up baby burps and all that, but he never stood a chance against mean girl-woman Mavis. CMG put is succinctly:

"Mavis. Buddy is blind and seems dumb. The end."

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Reader Comments (13)

I will vote for Judy because she has one of the best entrances ever. When that music is playing and Judy as Madeline in the green light slowly comes into frame. It is breathtaking.

August 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTom

I voted for Judy, because, well, Scottie is kind of the biggest monster in Hitchcock's filmography. To paraphrase Training Day, "Norman Bates doesn't have shit on me!"

August 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Scotty--husband material (Perfection is boring in a husband so I like the faults, especially gullible.)

August 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

I still haven't decided. I need more input from everyone. I'm torn because Jimmy's performance is super-brilliant but then I love Novak and always love doppelgangers...

August 12, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I can imagine any number of actors (Cary Grant, Henry Fonda, Joseph Cotten, Fred MacMurray, Robert Young, James Mason, Ray Milland) playing Scottie – and not necessarily better than Stewart did – but Kim Novak *is* Judy, and Madeleine, Madeleine, Madeleine...

(And I also have a thing for doppelgangers and twins.)

August 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Judy is the perfect Hitchcockian heroine: A blonde puzzle, with a past. A great wardrobe and the perfect palette for techicolor, in this case his use of green.
Is there anything more to say?

August 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie19

I voted for Judy. But first I'll talk about James Stewart and Scottie.

Other actors could have played Scottie, but it wouldn't be the same. Jimmy Stewart was seen as the epitome of 'goodness,' but by the end of the film that goodness, and your good will towards him, has been stripped away until you end up despising him. Although I have a little sympathy for Scottie, it's tempered by his treatment of Judy.

Hence I voted for Team Judy. Even though she is impossibly naïve, I can understand falling for someone who's not good for you, and staying against your better judgement. Judy obviously hasn't got any confidence in herself as a person, and doesn't enjoy being alone. I feel sad that she decides to let these men change her, instead of trying to like and understand herself.

Sorry this turned into an essay, but it's my favourite film!

August 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobMiles

@JA: Although for this series I might have pitted Judy vs. Madeleine, or Judy vs. Midge...

August 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Paul Outlaw - The problem with pitting Judy against Madeleine is that it would be Beauty vs. Beauty. And are you calling Midge a beast?!

August 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobMiles

RobMiles: That is the question. ;-)
But seriously, the beast in that match-up would definitely be Judy and her eyebrows.

August 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Judy vs. Midge - i love it.

August 13, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R


August 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJA

Realistically, Midge. But oh, Judy. Poor Judy. Scottie, you are just beyond. It says something on audience expectation that Jimmy Stewart being Scottie had him get a lot of grief from the audience but every re-watch of Vertigo turns it the other way for me. Scottie's the worst!

August 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

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