Tuesday, February 10, 2009

2/8/09: Sitting Pretty (1948)

Inspired by last week's viewing of the excellent Always a Bride, we hereby commence Monochrome Week—a seven-day run of movies in beautiful black and white. First up is a charming comedy directed by Walter Lang, who would later go on to team Marilyn Monroe and Ethel Merman in There's No Business Like Show Business. Featuring Clifton Webb as Mr. Belvedere—a character that would later spawn two movie sequels and two TV series—Sitting Pretty is sitcomy but delightful fluff about a couple (Robert Young and Maureen O'Hara) who hire a nanny for their three unruly brats; they think they're getting Mary Poppins, but an older gentleman with the feminine name of Lynn Belvedere answers their newspaper ad. And what a character he is, professing to despise children and making numerous acerbic snappy retorts (they're the best thing in the picture). Belvedere is the perfect man to tame the kids, but the inevitable conflicts eventually do arise, with hilarious results. Webb is quintessentially perfect in what turns out to be the ultimate babysitter flick. I never wanted it to end. Rating: 5/5.

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