Bye Bye Birdie (1963)

Bye Bye Birdie
Directed by George Sidney
Written by Irving Brecher from a book by Michael Stewart
Columbia Pictures Corporation/Kohlmar-Sidney Productions

Repeat viewing/Amazon Instant

Harry McAfee: The next time I have a daughter, I hope it’s a boy!

This blast from the past is enjoyable, if for no other reason, watching Ann-Margret take off!

Albert F Peterson (Dick Van Dyke) is a failing song writer who would really rather be engaging in bio-chemistry experiments.  His overbearing mother (Maureen Stapleton) has been standing between him and marriage to the long suffering Rosie (Janet Leigh).  Rosie gets a brainstorm.  Rock star Conrad Birdie has been drafted.  She pitches an idea to have a representative teenager give him a farewell kiss while he is singing a song written by Albert for the occasion on the Ed Sullivan Show.  Amazingly Sullivan buys it.

The lucky girl selected is small-town teenager Kim MacAffee (Ann-Margret).  The media circus complicates her relationship with new steady Hugo (Bobby Rydell) and with her father (Paul Lynde) and mother.

This is yet another show I was in in my teens.  Actually, the stage play is better and less crazy than the movie version.  We did not, however, have the incandescent Ann-Margret!  Nostalgia made it an enjoyable watch for me.

Bye Bye Birdie was nominated`for Academy Awards in the categories of Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment and Best Sound.


Charade (1963)

Directed by Stanley Donen
Written by Peter Stone and Marc Behm
Stanley Donen Films
Repeat viewing/Netflix rental

Adam Canfield: Heroin, peppermint-flavored heroin.

This is a treat every single time I watch it.

Regina “Reggie” Lampert (Audrey Hepburn) is minding her own business while enjoying a skiing vacation when she learns her secretive husband has been killed and thrown off a train.  She doesn’t mind too much – the couple were estranged.  All he has left her is the spartan contents of an overnight case.

The movie is set in Paris.  Immediately a number of men become very, very interested in the young widow.  The first of these is the dashing Peter Joshua (Cary Grant) who befriends her.  And what girl could resist such a man?  Soon after Hamilton Bartholomew (Walter Matthau), an official at the American Embassy, informs her that her husband was in the possession of money stolen by a group of Army buddies during the war and that the US government wants it back.  So, too, do the buddies her husband denied their shares.

Soon Regina finds herself in great danger and does not know who to trust.

The pleasure of watching Audrey Hepburn modeling Givenchy in Paris while making romance with Cary Grant is enough to make an entertaining picture.  Here, though, we’ve got wit and suspense galore.  Quality motion picture making and highly recommended.

Charade was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song (“Charade”}