Millie Dillmount: Do you have a mo?

Trevor Graydon: A what?

Millie Dillmount: A moment. I would just love to get a man's opinion of Rudolph Valentino.

Trevor Graydon: Huh?

  Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)
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April Issue

Classic Film

The Roaring Twenties

The 1920's was a very interesting decade - people of that era felt a mixture of relief at the end of the decimation wrought by the First World War, and euphoria at the upward and onward trajectory of world stockmarkets (that seemed like they would never fall). People were becoming increasingly excited by the new phenomenon of 'moving pictures', and were embravcing a unique period for music and fashion. No wonder it is such a popular period for filmmakers to focus on.

This month our eZine will be looking at classic film star Julie Andrews (who appears in this month's screening of Thoroughly Modern Millie... a film set in the 1920's) and we'll be looking back at some of the best films that were either made in the 1920's or set in that period.

You can also check out our new look website.

We hope you enjoy this month's eZine.
Classic Film Stars
Julie Andrews
Julia Elizabeth Wells was born on October 1, 1935, in England. Her mother, Barbara Ward (Morris), and stepfather, both vaudeville performers, discovered her freakish but undeniably lovely four-octave singing voice and immediately got her started on a singing career. She performed in music halls throughout her childhood and teens, and at age 20, she launched her stage career in a London Palladium production of "Cinderella".

Andrews came to Broadway in 1954 with "The Boy Friend", and became a bona fide star two years later in 1956, in the role of Eliza Doolittle in the unprecedented hit "My Fair Lady". Her star continued to rise in 1957, when she starred in the TV-production of Cinderella (1957) and through 1960, when she played "Guenevere" in "Camelot".
In 1963, Walt Disney asked Andrews if she would like to star in his upcoming production, a lavish musical fantasy that combined live-action and animation. She agreed on the condition if she didn't get the role of Eliza Doolittle in the up-coming film production of My Fair Lady (1964). After Audrey Hepburn was cast in the role Andrews made an auspicious film debut in Mary Poppins (1964), which earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress.
Andrews continued to work on Broadway, until the release of The Sound of Music (1965), the highest-grossing movie of its day and one of the highest-grossing of all time. She soon found that audiences identified her only with singing, sugary-sweet nannies and governesses, and were reluctant to accept her in dramatic roles in The Americanization of Emily (1964) and Alfred Hitchcock's thriller Torn Curtain (1966). In addition, the box-office showings of the musicals Julie subsequently made increasingly reflected the negative effects of the musical-film boom that she helped to create. Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) was for a time the most successful film Universal had released, but it still couldn't compete with Mary Poppins or The Sound of Music for worldwide acclaim and recognition. Later Star! (1968) and Darling Lili (1970) bombed at the box office.

Fortunately, Andrews did not let this keep her down. She worked in nightclubs and hosted a TV variety series in the 1970s. In 1979, Andrews returned to the big screen, appearing in films directed by her husband Blake Edwards, with roles that were entirely different from anything she had been seen in before. Andrews starred in 10 (1979), S.O.B. (1981) and Victor Victoria (1982), which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
She continued acting throughout the 1980s and 1990s in movies and TV, hosting several specials and starring in a short-lived sitcom. In 2001, she starred in The Princess Diaries (2001), alongside then-newcomer Anne Hathaway. The family film was one of the most successful G-Rated films of that year, and Andrews reprised her role as Queen Clarisse Renaldi in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004). In recent years, Andrews appeared in Tooth Fairy (2010), as well as a number of voice roles in Shrek 2 (2004), Shrek the Third (2007), Enchanted (2007), Shrek Forever After (2010), and Despicable Me (2010).
The best of the 1920's
The 1920's was a very interesting period in filmmaking. Hollywood was hitting its strides, attracting top talent from around the world, making very accomplished films, and by the end of the decade was starting to experiment with talking pictures. At the same time in Germany great directors like Murnau, Pabst and Lang were making brilliant films that came to be a part of the expressionist movement.

The 20's was also a very interesting historical period. There was great relief to see the end of 'the War to End all Wars'. There were interesting developments in music with the emergence of jazz along with its growing popularity. There was the prohibition period in the US which spawned very interesting characters, and more interesting dens of iniquity called speakeasies. There was the mania of the stockmarkets followed by the devastation of their inevitable crashes.

All of this has left a lasting effect on film.

Below is a selection of some of the Best films made in the 1920's

  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) - One of the more memorable and influential films from Germany's silent Expressionistic period
  • The Kid (1921) - An iconic Chaplin film
  • Dr. Mabuse (1922) - an early triumph for Fritz Lang and another excellent example of a great German expressionist film 
  • Nosferatu, A Symphony of Terror/Horror (1922) - a disturbing horror film from silent master F.W. Murnau
  • The Thief of Bagdad (1924) - a film celebrated for it's incredible special effects (for the time)
  • Battleship Potemkin (1925) - a ground breaking Russian film which changed the way films were made
  • The Gold Rush (1925) - another Chaplin classic
  • The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) - the oldest surviving animated feature film
  • The General (1927) - Buster Keaton at his absolute best
  • Metropolis (1927) - the powerful and timeless classic by Fritz Lang
  • Sunrise (1927) - A masterpiece by F.W. Murnau
  • Un Chien Andalou (1929) - a strange but compelling film by Luis Bunuel
  • Pandora's Box (1929) - the film that immortalised Louise Brooks despite her fractured and short career in film
If you can find copies of any of these films, they are well worth checking out
There are also many great films that were set in the 1920's, such as:
  • The Great Gatsby (any version other than the Baz Luhrmann one)
  • Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) - coming up at the end of the month
  • Some Like it Hot (1957) - the Billy Wilder classic starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon
  • Citizen Kane (1941) - a film that has been labeled the best of all time
  • The Blue Angel (1930) - the Marlene Dietrich classic
  • Chariot's of Fire (1981) - academy award winner
  • The Cider House Rules (1999) - the much loved Tobey Maguire and Michael Caine drama
  • The Quiet Man (1952) - John Wayne in a John Ford comedy-drama
  • The Razor's Edge (1946) - don't make the mistake of watching the Bill Murray version
  • Singing in the Rain (1952) - possibly the best musical ever made
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) - Humphrey Bogart classic
  • Midnight in Paris (2011) - one of Woody Allen's more charming films in spite of the appearance of Owen Wilson
These are films that will be easier to track down than the first list, and well worth a look if you haven't seen them already.

And if you haven't seen Thoroughly Modern Millie on the big screen, be sure to see it this month at Cafe Nova
New Website
We have freshened up our website. It is still at the same web address, but it has a bigger  focus on the films we have screened or are about to screen.

We plan to add a discussion forum following the screenings of our films. If you don't want to contribute to the discussion straight after the film, we'd love you to share your thoughts on the website.

Check it out and let us know what you think
 Movie Competition winner
Congratulations to Rita McAuliffe who answered all last month's Quiz answers correctly. She wins an annual pass to the 2018 screening season

Screening at Cafe Nova

Sunday, 30th of April

7.00pm start

Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)

Millie comes to town in the roaring twenties to encounter flappers, sexuality and white slavers.

Comedy/Musical /Romance   Rated: G   138 min
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