Tara Fitzgerald, Hugh Grant, and Robert Mitchum

I didn't have to work today due to Martin Luther King Jr's Day. I watched a few movies off of the hard drive on my DVR to free up some space. One of them, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain, from 1995, I'd recorded over a year ago. I should never record movies because I just never seem to get around to watching them. The other movie was an oldie from 1958 Thunder Road starring Robert Mitchum (he also co-wrote the theme song and managed to direct the movie and produce it as well as having co-written the screenplay -- busy fellow, it was almost a one-man operation though his son James, playing Mitchum's younger brother Robin in the film, helped out too).

They were both good movies but Thunder Road was pretty dated in terms of acting. The male leads, Mitchum and Gene Barry, who played a Treasury Agent, acted well but Mitchum's son was a little stiff and the women were dreadful. Maybe the casting was done to make the male leads shine brighter in comparison. The plot dealt with the moonshine running business in the mountains of Southern Appalachia in the early 1950s. This is the culture that developed NASCAR racing but that was never mentioned in the film. Pity. This movie was just a little too nihilistic for my tastes.

Hugh Grant's movie, Englishman who went up a Hill, was more to my tastes. It was a romantic comedy with an inspirational message that with the right circumstances--in this case the dread of WW1 in 1917 Wales--an entire town can come together for one purpose and change things for the better. All the themes were very light in tone as often happens in Hugh Grant movies but it still worked. I especially liked Tara Fitzgerald in this film. She was cute as a button with some Minnie Driver-like overtones.

The film is loosely based on events in the village of Taff's Well (Ffynnon Taf in Welsh) which the film's director, Christopher Monger, heard about from his grandfather when Monger was just a child.

Other than the movies I did some "spring" cleaning. Despite it being mid-January the mercury stopped just short of 70f today so I had my windows open and I rearranged some furniture and then vacuumed the place and did a load of wash and also towels and linens. Now everything is clean and aired out. Not often I get a cleaning urge in the middle of January!

Only 2 weeks left of meat for me so I'm getting nervous. Of course it's only a month and then I'll return to the lair of carnivores. But maybe in a more limited fashion--we'll see...


kenju said…
I remember seeing "The Englishman" some years ago and found it delightful.
Anonymous said…
Hey Utenzi!

Thanks for stopping by earlier.

24 is a great show. I haven't seen seasons 1 or 2 but I have seen the rest of them. I was afraid that I would need to see the other seasons first but I didn't. The season opener was excellent! You won't believe how it ended last night! Unreal!! You will enjoy it!

Have a great day!
No_Newz said…
I enjoyed the day off too. And like you, I sat my ass in front of the TV. But I watched HGTV nearly all day. Fixer upper shows are now part of life as we redo this house. Here's to hoping we do a better job in the kitchen than you did on your chair. ;) Hahaha
PI said…
I agree about Tara Fitzgerald. Did you know she is the neice of that lovely actress from the forties/ fifties - Geraldine Fitzgerald?
srp said…
It was hot here yesterday too... what a difference a day makes. While 68 early this morning, the temperature has fallen steadily since. Break out the sweaters and jackets... if only for one day.
MissMeliss said…
I did not have the day off yesterday. Or rather, I had the option of not writing, but since I had spotty internet on Friday and couldn't finish alotted tasks, I wrote yesterday.

I should have taken the day, as you SAW what my odd mood led me to. (I want pink hair for real, now.)

Today, I did NOT have to deal with Jury Duty - I was on standby and just had to call in.

I liked Colm Meaney as Morgan the Goat in The Englishman...

Anonymous said…
I saw Englishman long ago but don't remember it. I think I liked it.

Haven't seen Thunder Road but what's the point?

You may find that your new diet makes you feel much better and will be easier to stick to in that respect. Red meat is starting to creep it's way onto my "can't eat without suffering the consequences" list. What we eat tends to be habit. I've heard that giving sweets up for a month will break the cravings. I've been planning my month to give up sweets since 1982. I'm just glad I'm not diabetic.
Deana said…
I wonder if Carowinds named its roller coaster after that movie? I used to love that ride back in the day....now I guess I'd pass out.
Carmi said…
You're reminded me that I need to activate my zip.ca movie subscription. Time to get the movie-by-mail pipeline filled.
Anonymous said…
I saw Englishman in theaters a long long time ago. 47 letters is a lot for a title.

I have had Coal Miner's Daughter on my DVR for a very long time--since April of last year. Someday, maybe I'll watch it and understand how anyone could have beaten Mary Tyler Moore out for the Oscar that year. (And if I had my way, Sissy Spacek would have won back in '76 for Carrie instead of Faye Dunaway for Network. . . but this is getting long.)

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