Screen Junkies » angela lansbury http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Fri, 19 Sep 2014 21:04:14 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 The Film Cult Presents: Bedknobs and Broomsticks http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/262393/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/262393/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 17:28:57 +0000 Philip Harris http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=262393 The Film Cult Presents: Bedknobs and Broomsticks! The best way to fight the Nazis? How about a magic bed knob, a con artist, and an army of dead knights!

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Confession time: when I was a child I wanted to be British. Well, what can one expect? With famous film adaptations of children’s literature such as Mary Poppins, Sleeping Beauty, and Winnie the Pooh, how could any Disney doused young person not desire to be English? I grew up in the Southern California suburbs. I wanted double-decker buses, monarchy, and magic. When I finally got to England and wardrobes didn’t lead to Narnia and nannies didn’t fly, I was heartbroken. I had to fall in love with new things about England: the wit, the countryside, the history. But before that transition, one of the movies that greatly fostered my childhood Anglophilia was Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Not among the most famous of childhood fantasy movies, it’s garnered a cult following in the forty-plus years since its release. Let’s take a look at it, shall we?

International icon Angela Lansbury is Eglantine Price, your average spinster living in wartime England. She has a cat named Cosmic Creepers, picks up broomstick-sized packages in the village, and is undergoing a step-by-step course in witchcraft. To hopefully aid the war effort, she’s been studying under the remote tutelage of a man by the name of Emelius Browne, the headmaster of the Correspondence College of Witchcraft. And as so many did during World War II, Ms. Price has reluctantly allowed three displaced children into her home. There is the oldest son Charlie, middle-sister Carrie, and youngest boy Paul.

Both children and guardian are skeptical of each other at first, especially after the children see her crash land the aforementioned broomstick in the middle of the night. After a few more parlor tricks, Ms. Price offers the children (to shut them up more than anything else) an enchanted bed knob. A few twists and an incantation will transport the bed, and whomever is on it, to wherever they desire. Bad luck befalls Ms. Price when her correspondence with Mr. Browne is swiftly brought to a halt. Determined to find out the rest of the lessons, and to give him a piece of her mind, Ms. Price instructs Paul, with whom she’s entrusted the bed knob, to fire up the bed to take them all to Mr. Browne. In the movie’s most poignant scene, as the children and Ms. Price ready the bed for travel, skeptic Charlie doesn’t believe the bed will go anywhere. Ms. Price sings him the eternally relevant “The Age of Not Believing.” As an adult, I can’t say I didn’t get a little misty-eyed at rehearing it after so many years.

After discovering Mr. Browne is a con artist who tramps around Portobello Road, it’s pretty clear the only thing left for them to do is find the rest of the book from which he was getting his lessons.  They succeed, and it’s glorious. Not only is the Portobello Road sequence one of the most underrated musical numbers in film history, the most famous of the film’s songs, The Beautiful Briny Sea, has actually become a classic. Angela Lansbury even sung it at Emma Thompson’s house the children and parents all in tears.

The make-shift family travels to a magical, animated island to search for the spell of substitutiary locomotion, the ability to make inanimate objects move. The spell is on the star that hangs around a king lion’s neck. Unable to bring it into this world, Paul, who is magical in his own right, saves the day when the words are written in his comic book. In a glorious climax, Ms. Price brings to life an entire army of knights’ armor and quashes the invasion of the Nazis. However, in so doing, she loses her power.

 

This movie is wonderful for so many reasons. First, as hinted at before, this isn’t a movie about the nuclear family. It’s about the family you end up with. A spinster, a con artist, and three evacuated siblings end up forming a bond that is as close as blood family. Second, the theme of the film’s movie is that the smallest of efforts can help the larger cause. Ms. Price wants to help England in her own way, and if that’s through actual witchcraft, then so be it. Everyone does there part. And third, this movie is steeped in pagan ritual. Not once is Christ or Christianity mentioned in the film. The spell given for substitutiary locomotion is engraved around a pentagram. Ms. Price is a witch, full stop. She rides a broom, has a black cat, and flies against the moon. None of the characters in this movie are hung up on Christian values.

Too often compared to Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks has never gotten the true attention it deserves. In fact, The Beautiful Briny Sea was a Mary Poppins throw away song. The Sherman brothers did the rest of the music as well. There is no grand plan to get the children and their father back together, no snappy magical nanny who can step in and out of chalk drawings. Maybe not the most famous of Disney’s movies, the message of Bedknobs and Broomsticks is still as simple as taking a white rabbit out of a hat: “You must face the age of not believing, doubting everything you ever knew, until at last you start believing there’s something wonderful in you.”

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BREAKING: Angela Lansbury Not Supportive Of ‘Murder, She Wrote’ Reboot!!!!! http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/breaking-angela-lansbury-not-supportive-of-murder-she-wrote-reboot/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/breaking-angela-lansbury-not-supportive-of-murder-she-wrote-reboot/#comments Mon, 11 Nov 2013 18:56:07 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=257964 Body count from the scandal so far: 0

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A vitriolic rift has shaken Hollywood, and the nation at large over the weekend as Angela Lansbury, former Murder, She Wrote star, has taken a stance against calling the rebooted series Murder, She Wrote. The new series will star Octavia Spencer and will air on NBC in the near future.

Lansbury didn’t pull any punches when she exclaimed (in a very soft, gentle voice, no doubt):

“I think it’s a mistake to call it Murder, She Wrote because Murder, She Wrote will always be about a Cabot Cove and this wonderful little group of people who told those lovely stories and enjoyed a piece of that place, and also enjoyed Jessica Fletcher, who is a rare and very individual kind of person … So I’m sorry that they have to use the title Murder, She Wrote, even though they have access to it and it’s their right.”

Whoa. And the gloves come off!!!

May I simply suggest avoiding this whole mess by renaming the series, Manslaughter,  She Jotted Down?

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New ‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins’ Trailer Is Penguin-Filled To The Max http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/new-mr-poppers-penguins-trailer-is-penguin-filled-to-the-max/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/new-mr-poppers-penguins-trailer-is-penguin-filled-to-the-max/#comments Fri, 20 May 2011 04:52:54 +0000 Geoffrey Golden http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Video&p=212993 Also, learn how to play "The New Mr. Popper's Penguins Movie Trailer Drinking Game."

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I’ve just played “The New Mr. Popper’s Penguins Movie Trailer Drinking Game.” It’s simple. Just watch the trailer above and take a drink anytime someone says the word “penguin.” Also, I gotta tell you… that you are my… best friend in the whole frickin’ world.. I love you, man… serio– for serious. *Hiccup*

Mr. Popper’s Penguins stars Jim Carrey as a man who receives a lot of penguins, which poses many humorous problems for him, as you can no doubt imagine. Ultimately, those penguins seem to help him connect better with his family, which is a big relief for me personally. The Fox film also stars Angela Lansbury, Carla Gugino, Dominic Chianese and Madeline Carroll.

Jim Carrey will dance to “Ice Ice Baby” with a group of penguins in theaters nationwide June 17, 2011.

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Penguins Have A Lot To Say To Jim Carrey In ‘Mr. Poppers’ Poster http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/penguins-have-a-lot-to-say-to-jim-carrey-in-mr-poppers-poster/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/penguins-have-a-lot-to-say-to-jim-carrey-in-mr-poppers-poster/#comments Fri, 15 Apr 2011 04:09:17 +0000 Geoffrey Golden http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=207251 The penguin shouting at him recently Netflixed 'Yes Man' and wasn't thrilled.

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Each of the penguins in this first poster for Jim Carrey‘s Mr. Poppers Penguins (below) is trying to tell Carrey something different. The penguin biting his ear wants to email him a screenplay. The penguin shouting at him in the top left recently Netflixed Yes Man and wasn’t thrilled. The penguin on the top right is waiting for the right opportunity to poke Carrey’s eye out. Meanwhile, Carrey seems half-heartedly apologetic, as if to say, “I might be about to ruin yet another classic children’s book. My bad.”

Directed by Mark Waters and based on the book by Richard & Florence Atwater, Carrey plays a man who gets a bunch of penguins. He also works in real estate. Problems occur because he gets all these penguins. What problems? Find out June 17, 2011, when the movie will be shown in many movie theaters. You know who else you’ll see? Carla Gugino and ”Murder, She Wrote” star Angela Lansbury. I believe there will also be several penguins in the film. (IMP)

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