Big City, 1948

If you’ve seen (and liked) the 1987 film 3 Men and a Baby, which starred Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, and Ted Danson, then you’ll like the 1948 version of men taking care of a helpless baby. Big City shows the men have a lot of heart and want what’s best for the little girl.

Two of the three stars in Big City were familiar to me right away. Danny Thomas was a big star before he had a daughter named Marlo Thomas, who starred in the TV series That Girl. Thomas, who played Cantor David Irwin Feldman in Big City, was a television and movie producer in the 1960s and 1970s. He also founded St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The other star I recognized in Big City was Robert Preston, who played Rev. Philip Y. Andrews. I had already seen him in The Music Man, Mame, and Victor Victoria, all of which were memorable performances.

The little girl, Midge, grows up enough in Big City to be played by eleven-year-old Margaret O’Brien. She was already a veteran actress by then, having appeared in 16 films, including Meet Me in St. Louis.

The film is heartwarming and sweet. Just the kind of movie to watch at Christmastime.

How The West Was Won, 1962

Lilith Prescott and her family members journey to the West during the Civil War era, finding hardship, romance, and excitement.  

A big film with big stars and 12,000 extras, How The West Was Won shows off the talents of several Oscar-winning actors including James Stewart (1941), Karl Malden (1952), Gregory Peck (1963), John Wayne (1970), and Henry Fonda (1982). Also performing in this film were Robert Preston, Debbie Reynolds, George Peppard, Agnes Moorehead, and Thelma Ritter. Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach often played terrific bad guys and did a great job in this film. All four of the film’s Cinematographers were already Oscar winners before participating in this project.

Of the eight Oscar nominations for this film, only 3 won awards. This film’s Academy Awards went to Harold F. Kress for Best Film Editing and to Franklin Milton for Best Sound, as well as to James R. Webb for Best Writing, Story and screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen.

Of all the actors in this star-studded film, I love James Stewart the most. He never gives a bad performance. This is by no means his best work, but even in a smallish role, he’s captivating.

Keeping the Family Together

God loves to be a part of our daily lives, whether during the holidays or not. He’s the glue that keeps our family together. He’s the sugar that keeps us sweet. Today at Seek God With Me, I’m sharing about two families who escaped death because they believed the one God sent to them.

Have you seen big changes in your family because of something God said or because of someone he sent? Join me at Seek God With Me where I’m bringing out the old and the new.

December is for Families

I hope you enjoyed our Thanksgiving break as much as I did. My family was able to gather for a meal and game time. We all pitched in and helped prepare parts of the meal. We love being together as often as we can.

So for the month of December, I will be focusing on families and how God works through one member to affect others.

If you're like me, you'll enjoy the movies I'm reviewing this month. Families share good times and bad. Through it all, families try to stick together.

Come back tomorrow and check out my devotional. It shows a couple of ways how God keeps families together.

Gentleman's Agreement, 1947

Gregory Peck plays Phil Green who writes articles with such style and creativity that he’s been hired to dig deeper than he ever has, and this time it's for an article on anti-Semitism. He can’t just provide facts and figures with an arm’s-length approach. He has to find out what Jewish Americans have been dealing with for a long time.

His long-time buddy, Dave Goldman, played by John Garfield, gives him encouragement and a few pointers along the way. His new girlfriend, Kathy Lacy, played by Dorothy McGuire, wants to encourage him, but has a lot to learn.

This film was addressing a hot topic. Some of the movie studio chiefs warned about stirring up problems with this film and urged producer Zanuck not to make it. However, the movie made more money for the studio than any other film that year.

Spreading Your Message

A lot of people are more connected with their friends these days because of texting and Skype and emails and other communication apps. Today’s technology puts a giant spotlight on our interests. Do you meet with friends over an online war game? Do you play word games with several friends on handheld devices? It makes me wonder what apps people would’ve used in the Bible days.

Since there are a lot of messages being sent out over phones, iPads, blogs, and many more avenues of communication, let’s take a minute to think about our message? Does it honor God? Join me at Seek God With Me for a look at how we spread our message.

Three Coins in the Fountain, 1954

Three American girls look for romance in Rome while they work as secretaries at the USDA. Clifton Webb is a famous novelist who has hired a woman to type what he’d been writing all night. This secretary knows him very well, and he loves that she’s unemotional and all business with him.

Dorothy McGuire, Jean Peters, and Maggie McNamara play the three secretaries of whom two throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain, wishing to stay another year. The three men who fall for these beauties are Clifton Webb, Rossano Brazzi, and Louis Jourdan.  

One of the scenes involves a runaway truck with no brakes. Another scene is an evening at the opera. These show the amount of patience these girls have for their men. They’ll put up with a lot to get the guy they want.

The beginning of the film doesn’t start with a story, but with a gorgeous overview of Rome’s fountains. Several times during the film, the camera shows off the beauty of the setting. It was so well done that Milton R. Krasner received the Academy Award for Best Color Cinematography. The music playing during this breathtaking beginning also received an Oscar. Jule Styne (music) and Sammy Cahn (lyrics) received the award for Best Music for an Original Song, which was aptly named “Three Coins in the Fountain.”