Glynis Johns

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The Sundowners Review


Good
Deborah Kerr as Ida Carmody, an indomitable stick in the Australian outback, makes an impassioned plea for women living a nomadic existence in that spare country down under to the unhappy Jean Halstead (Dina Merrill), "This is good country for sheep and it's not bad for men. But it's hard on us women. The men come here because of the sheep and we come here because of the men and most of us finish up looking like the sheep -- wrinkled faces, knotty hair, not even much of our own minds." Jean replies, "I think you'll always have a mind of your own, Mrs. Carmody." She ain't kidding. Ida has to hold her own against her beer- and gambling-loving husband Paddy (Robert Mitchum), who as a sheep drover in 1920s Australia, keeps his family -- Ida and their teenage son Sean (Michael Anderson Jr.) -- moving with the sheep. Paddy is happy not being tied down, but Ida and Sean want a place to settle down and convince Paddy to take a job as a sheep-shearer in order to make a down payment on a farm. Paddy doesn't realize it though, and the struggle between Paddy, who wants to be free, and Ida, who wants a home, is the slender thread that ties Fred Zinnemann's The Sundowners together.

The Sundowners is a pleasant and happy film, marked by wonderful set pieces (a tremendous brush fire sequence, a sheep-shearing contest, a gambling scene, a tavern brawl) all set to a jaunty Dimitri Tiomkin score.

Continue reading: The Sundowners Review

Superstar Review


Good
It's time to see some new female faces in comedy. Sure there are lots of women comedians, but who else can successfully headline a big-time film other than Janeane Garofalo these days? I won't believe for a second that the talent is not out there. I just think some stereotypes need to be broken down first.

That's why Superstar, starring Molly Shannon, is a breath of fresh air. It's the first film in a long while to give a woman the freedom to "get jiggy" with all-out Jim Carrey-esque full body humor.

Continue reading: Superstar Review

Mary Poppins Review


Excellent
Parents, you have a responsibility. Your kids should not know Julie Andrews just from the two Princess Diaries movies. Luckily, you have an opportunity since Mary Poppins, the movie that landed Andrews an Oscar and made her a star 40 years ago, has just been released on DVD for its 40th anniversary.

Andrews is just perfect in the title role, a mystical nanny who literally falls from the London sky and into the lives of two lonely children in 1910. The kids desperately need some kind of attention. Their father (David Tomlinson) is a workaholic, brown-nosing banker, who treats his kids as two obstacles in keeping an orderly home. Mom (Glynis Johns) is no better, a dingbat who prefers supporting social causes to spending time with her kids. Funny how little things have changed, huh?

Continue reading: Mary Poppins Review

Glynis Johns

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