Mommie Dearest

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I became supremely excited as Mommie Dearest neared on my watch-schedule, because even though a lot of its fame comes from being so over-the-top, it’s a movie that’s definitely been absorbed into the collective pop culture unconscious. I’m always fascinated by movies like this, where I already know most of the plot, the famous scenes, lines, could probably identify it in a police lineup, etc., and yet I haven’t ever seen it. Someone makes a “wire hangers” joke here, a Simpsons spoof episode there, and over time I’ve unwittingly absorbed half the movie.

High Society (1956)

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Well, that’ll teach me to actually read the synopses before seeing the movie: I got about 5 minutes into High Society thinking, “Hmm, this is awfully similar to The Philadelphia Story before realizing that–well, yes, that’s because it IS The Philadelphia Story.

I tend to avoid synopses and trailers and so on before seeing movies if I can… I figure if I’ve already got enough to convince me to see the movie another way, I don’t need to do any further research. The last time this happened was with The Matchmaker, which had seemed awfully similar to Hello, Dolly–though really, in that case, it was the other way around since Matchmaker was out first.

The Barkleys of Broadway (1949)

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In case it’s not obvious, I’m sort of cheating on my That’s Entertainment watchlist, because I’m starting with all the movies that have multiple entries first, so it’s more satisfying to check off. This will catch up to me later, but for now it works.

The Barkleys on Broadway was kind of a delightful surprise, as I’d mistakenly assumed it was related to Babes on Broadway (because… words, I guess), so I was expecting a pleasant, frothy comedy with a few dances in it. But I was wrong! It’s actually a heady, emotional dramatic piece with some great character moments. Not that there’s anything wrong with either of these options–it was just a pleasant surprise.

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

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Meet Me in St. Louis is part of the rare club in That’s Entertainment  that has THREE numbers included, which means it must be good.

“The Trolley Song” is one of those great movie moments where, after growing up inherently knowing the song, you realize… so that’s where that comes from. Unless, of course, you watched Meet Me in St. Louis a lot as a kid, in which case you were probably the one spreading it around on the playground and teaching it to kids like me who would have a late-in-life epiphany moment like this. So, really, we’re all a part of the cycle.

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