If a good docudrama encourages you to research the film’s topic, then it has succeeded not only in entertaining, but also in enlightening. That’s what “Iron Jawed Angels” does.
Hilary Swank portrays real-life suffragist Alice Paul. Born a Quaker and determined that women and men should be treated equally, Paul traveled to Washington, D.C. in the early 1900s.
Along with Lucy Burns (Frances O’Conner) and a small but strong cadre of determined women, Paul demanded that attention be paid to women’s right to vote.
Carrie Chapman Catt (Anjelica Huston) and her established politicos opposed the parades and White House vigils Paul’s group thrived on and openly opposed their tactics.
The struggle for “equal pay for equal work” is ongoing in the 21st century, but watching “Iron Jawed Angels” helps to fill in the details either overlooked or long forgotten. Any number of sacrifices made by these Americans — such as being imprisoned and beaten without cause — are brutally but accurately demonstrated in this HBO film.
Make no mistake, men who care about their mothers, wives and daughters have a vested interest in watching “Iron Jawed Angels.” Likewise, women should appreciate and honor those who came before and fought for equality.
“If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.” — Pearl Buck
“Location, location, location.”
Filmed primarily in Venice, the combination of the Italian architecture and the romantic canals definitely entice the viewer to keep watching. Then of course there’s Angelina Jolie. Ultra-thin and tall and gorgeous, Jolie dons exquisite costumes as she ambles in stiletto heels away from very persistent pursuers.
Elise (Jolie) is a mysterious woman who boards a train and engages a stranger in the dining car. Frank, an American school teacher traveling alone, is slightly baffled by the beauty’s attention but becomes enamored as well as intrigued and “the game is afoot.”
“The Tourist” is directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck who first gained international attention as writer/director for the brilliant film, “The Lives of Others.” There are four screenwriters credited for “The Tourist” which may be part of the problem. The story could have been so much more than pretty close-ups, costumes and city panoramas. There is a bit of a twist that may hold your interest and if you keep your expectations at a minimum and just enjoy the scenery, you can escape to Europe for only the cost of a DVD rental.
When “Roman Holiday” was released in 1953, people flocked to see the movie. Was it the appeal of Gregory Peck, the dashing leading man? Possibly it was the surprise attraction of Audrey Hepburn in her first starring role. Maybe even the expectation of a new film by then established director of note William Wyler?
All those factors contributed to the success of this light, romantic comedy, but none more than the film’s location — Rome, Italy. Filming on location in the 1950s was a rarity, as was travel by the majority of the American public. Although many Americans visited Europe in the 1940s, it was under adverse conditions and hardly inviting. “Roman Holiday” showcased the city in the best possible light, even thought the film was shot in black and white.
Audrey Hepburn is Princess Ann, young and vibrant and stifled by those around her. On a whim, she escapes for a night of adventure and while wandering the narrow streets of Rome gets lost in the charm of the city. Joe Bradley (Peck) is a reporter in need of a story and stumbles on to one he never could have imagined.
With an Academy Award-winning script by Dalton Trumbo (blacklisted at the time and awarded his Oscar posthumously in 1993) and the wry director’s charm of Wyler, this light fairy tale unfolds. Eddie Albert adds comic relief as Peck’s sidekick, and a Vespa scooter, though not an official member of the cast, adds to the charm of this tour of Rome.
“Roman Holiday.” If you can’t afford to travel to Rome, this film may be just the ticket.
Grading this week’s DVDs: the ABC’s
Mon, Mar 19, 2012
Politics, political figures and spies
Tue, Mar 6, 2012
Tue, Feb 14, 2012
And now, reality
Mon, Jan 30, 2012
Looking back on the year that was (Part 1 of 2)
Wed, Dec 7, 2011
Film buffs should revisit ‘Northwest’
Wed, Nov 2, 2011
Conspiracy theories played out on film
Tue, Oct 18, 2011
Mix-ups, marriage and horse management
Mon, Oct 3, 2011
Going ‘Grease,’ locally and on DVD
Tue, Sep 13, 2011
It’s All About the Music
Fri, Sep 9, 2011