Joseph and Mary

Ahh. The 25th of the month means Christmas is coming. So it’s still four months away, so what. The stores are getting ready for the Christmas season already, and so will I.

Today on Seek God With Me, I’m blogging about Joseph and Mary. Yes, THE Joseph and Mary. In keeping with this month’s theme of great love stories, I’m sharing about what kept these two lovebirds together.

Okay, okay. I know. Everyone already knows it was a miracle from God that kept them together. But for more on this famous Christmas couple, check out my devotional blog Seek God With Me.

City Lights, 1931

The story is about a tramp and a blind girl. After the girl mistakes the tramp for a millionaire, he falls for her. Without trying very hard, he befriends a drunk millionaire and finds himself making hard decisions like whether or not to take advantage of his new wealthy friend. He finds out the blind girl needs money, so he goes to work and earns a small income so he can help the girl. His love for her grows and as more opportunities to help her come along, he gives it his best shot. The heartwarming ending showed graceful acting and good writing.

City Lights is considered one of the highest marks of Charles Chaplin’s career. Not only did Chaplin write, direct, and star in this movie, he also composed the entire score for it. In fact, he was quite an accomplished composer, writing music for several of his films. Probably his most famous song is “Smile”, which he used at the end of his 1936 film Modern Times. “Smile” has been used in many other films and TV shows, including the first season of the popular TV show Glee.

I love Charles Chaplin movies. He had success with silent films in a world where “Talkies” were the new standard. I’ve only seen Limelight and City Lights, but both were worth my time. In each of these movies, the hero wasn’t a superhero, just a guy with a heart of gold.

Boaz and Ruth

How far around the world would you travel to find your true love?

Many would travel far away if they knew they would find true love, but few widows would follow the mother of their late husband in order to take care of her in a foreign land. That’s exactly what Ruth did. She didn’t have true love on her mind, but she found it while caring for her mother-in-law.

Today on Seek God With Me, Ruth’s story shines as an example of how God can put two dissimilar people together and make it work out great. Join me and see God’s hand at work.

John Loves Mary, 1949

A soldier, John, comes back home to marry his fiancé, Mary, but he first must be divorced from the woman he married in England. He hopes he doesn’t have to explain that he only married the English woman so she could come to the US to marry John’s best friend Fred who saved his life. Fred looked all over England for her and had to come back home without her. When John found her, he vowed to repay Fred for saving his life by bringing home the girl Fred thought he’d never find.

Great conflict and twists in this film. Patricia Neal did a great job in her Hollywood film debut. Neal, as Mary, was believably emotional. I also enjoyed Ronald Reagan as the troubled, but hopeful John.

Taken from a play by Norman Krasna, this film was written by Henry and Phoebe Ephron, parents of Nora Ephron who was nominated for Best Writing Oscars for Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally, and Sleepless in Seattle.

Samson and Delilah

When Samson fell in love with Delilah, he knew better than to tell her the secret of his strength. Her people wanted to capture him, so they asked her to find out how to subdue him. Samson loved being with her, so he gave her answers that would keep her around longer, but wouldn’t give away his secret.

Why did he not just throw her out?

When I read Samson’s story in the Bible (Judges, chapter 16), I knew it wasn’t fiction. He was a real guy giving a real guy’s response to the woman who stole his heart.

In a novel, Samson would propose to her near the end of the story. She would agreed to marry him on the condition that he tell her his secret. The wedding scene would be where she stops him before throwing the wedding bouquet and asks him to tell her right then. Instead, he’d whisk her off to a faraway cabin where they would spend the next year in wedded bliss. She’d have her answer, but no one around to tell it to.

And no one would gouge out his eyes.

For more on the true story of Samson and Delilah, join me at Seek God With Me.

Samson must have really loved Delilah, bless his heart.

Midnight, 1939

Don Ameche was wonderful as the smitten Tibor Czerny, a Paris taxi driver who falls for penniless Eve, played by Claudette Colbert. After her taxi ride with Czerny, she gains attention of wealthy Georges, played by John Barrymore, and agrees to help him get his wife’s attention back. Mary Astor played Helene, Georges’ wife. Jacques Picot, played by Francis Lederer, is a smooth-talking philanderer who has eyes for Helene until Eve comes along. Czerny enlists the help of all Paris taxi friends to look for his long lost love, Eve, whom he’s just met.

Eve has begun the charade of being Baroness Czerny when taxi driver Czerny finally finds her. Georges helps Eve persuade the wealthy people they’re with that she is the Baroness Czerny of Hungary. Of course, she made up her identity to keep from getting thrown out. Funny how one lie always leads to another and another until the whole mess gets quite difficult to unravel. Taxi driver Czerny and fake Baroness Czerny fall for each other, but Eve’s problem is money and how to justify giving it up for love.

This was very well written and played out well to the end. I think this was the first time I saw Don Ameche in his early films. He showed passion both for and against the woman who didn’t realize she had the best man in the beginning. Another actor who stood out was John Barrymore. His humor built an enjoyable sneakiness into this film. But Ameche is unsurprisingly quite charming.

The writing team of Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett had many successes. They were often paired together, but in the early 1940s, Brackett started producing films, and Wilder started directing Hollywood films. Wilder and Brackett wrote Midnight, What A Life, and Ninotchka, all of which came out in 1939. Ninotchka was nominated for 4 Oscars, two of which were for writing.

Hosea and Gomer

When a love relationship is broken and needs mending, what tools can you use to fix the problems?

God’s love heals.

In the Bible, Hosea has a whole book to himself. It even has his name on it. He was a prophet through whom God showed his love. Hosea emphasized to his wife, Gomer, that she would be a wife and not a prostitute. The Lord told Hosea in chapter three, verse one, “Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods..."

Today on Seek God With Me, I’m sharing the story of God’s strong love as shown through the example of Hosea and his wife, Gomer. Join me.