Final batch of July movies:
125. (662.) How Green Was My Valley (1941)
This film won a Best Picture Oscar (actually, the category was called "Outstanding Motion Picture" in '41), beating Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon, Sergeant York, Suspicion, and four other films that were also probably better than How Green Was My Valley. If you can't tell, I didn't like it.
127. (664.) If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969)
This comedy, on the other hand, was completely charming. I love the leads, the scenery, the ending, heck, I liked everything about it.
128. (665.) Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
I figured that since there was a newer Die Hard movie out, I was finally allowed to see this. I don't think the director understood what made the earlier films in the series so memorable: John McClain isn't Superman, he's just the right person at the wrong place at the right time. (I thought the elevator scene was the worst thing the movie could give me until we got to the scene with the F-35.) It's not terrible for a loud, dumb action film, it just isn't as good as any of the preceding Die Hard films.
129. (666.) Nancy Drew... Reporter (1939)
The highlight of this charming film is Nancy's justification for her own mischief: "A reporter has the right to do things an ordinary person shouldn't." Well said, Lois Lane.
130. (667.) The Unsuspected (1947)
The audience knows who the killer is, but the characters are slow to learn as they die, one by one. Good suspense.
131. (668.) Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)
A British musical set in World War I. Perhaps it is best described as "violently anti-war." (In many ways it reminded me of the video game Bioshock Infinite. Coincidence?)
132. (669.) The Wheeler Dealers (1963)
James Garner as a fast-talking millionaire. Good stuff.
133. (670.) Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (1939)
Finally, Ms. Drew crosses the line from detective to criminal, and her poor boyfriend pays the price. Repeatedly. Nancy is painfully off-model here, but the film is still fun.
134. (671.) The Dark Corner (1946)
Something rang false about this noir detective film for me. Perhaps Lucille Ball was too quick with a quip, but more likely the hero was too bland and cliche. In any event, it failed to grab my interest until it started throwing people out of windows.
I told you last week that I saw 4 actors in 3 movies each last month. One of them was Jack Benny. If you were counting (and why would you be doing that?), you may have realized that the other three were the principal cast of the Nancy Drew films: Bonita Granville, Frankie Thomas, and John Litel. (Technically I saw Frank Orth 3 times as well, but as Police Captain Tweedy had only a cameo appearance in the second film, I'm only giving him partial credit.)