Hamish Downie has a column that started back in December of 2021 as his Holiday playlist. It was so popular that he decided to make it a monthly recurring column with a movie playlist for each month. Thanks, Hamish, for creating a new concept for TG Geeks.
If you have seen any of these films, let us know your thoughts.
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Hamish’s June Playlist
Hello everyone, as I write this, the rainy season in Japan has already started. So, that’s a great time to sit down with a great movie. This week we return to the Golden Age with two Biopics.
THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX (1939)
The title of the film goes a long way to telling you what this film is about. It is the story of the ill-fated love between Queen Elizabeth 1 and her favorite, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (who was 19 at the time to her 51). Bette Davis is in her element as the Queen, and Errol Flynn is dashing and suitably noble. This is the early days of technicolor, so it does have a very primary color quality, much like the film that was released the same year, “The Wizard of Oz”. Bette Davis and Errol Flynn were reportedly supposed to be loaned out as a pair for “Gone with the Wind”, so it is perhaps interesting to imagine what they may have been like in that film. Michael Curtiz (The Adventures of Robin Hood, Casablanca) directs the film, and there is also a young Vincent Price in the mix.
Vincent Minelli and Kurt Douglas team up for this glorious technicolor film about the life of Vincent Van Gogh. Van Gogh real letters are used, as well as his real paintings. The set pieces are meticulously recreated from the paintings of the time, and is probably one of the selling points, aside from Kurt Douglas’ tour de force performance where he absolutely embodies the tragic painter. It is a beautiful film. A young Anthony Quinn has a small but important role as Paul Gauguin.