TCM 31 Days of Oscar
I’ve challenged myself to watch a movie every day from Turner Classic Movie channel’s 31 Days of Oscar. And I’m going to be focusing on the movies I haven’t seen yet, with maybe just a few rewatch movies.
Here is my 8th day and movie of my challenge to TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
7 out of 10 stars
1935 Comedy. Starring James Cagney, Mickey Rooney, Anita Louise, Dick Powell, Joe E. Brown, Ross Alexander and Olivia de Havilland.
The 360 Game: It starts off with It Happened One Night starring Dick Powell, who stars in this film, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, also stars James Cagny which connects the next film, Mister Rogers.
And the Oscar goes to… The film won two Academy Awards: Best Cinematography – Hal Mohr and Best Film Editing – Ralph Dawson.
And the Oscar did not go to… Nominated for: Best Picture – Henry Blanke, producer and Best Assistant Director – Sherry Shourds
Short Synopsis: Shakespeare‘s Puck (Mickey Rooney) and forest fairies prompt a triple mortal wedding, with entertainment by Bottom (James Cagny)
My Thoughts: I thought I haven’t seen this before but I guess I had, but probably has been a few years since. As for a movie that best fits the adaptation of the books, this movie was pretty good I thought. What I liked the most was the special effects used during the scenes with the fairies. Really magical.
A note before I start watching this, I have seen many various versions of this play, even some that I participated with backstage at a community college.
I don’t think I have seen this version, but yet the Play by Plays won’t be as lengthy as my others because it is late and I’ve got a busy week ahead.
The Play by Play Thoughts…
0:00 “Overture”. For a film that’s “runtime: 133 min | 117 min (edited) | 142 min (with overture and exit music)” (thanks IMDb for that breakdown of the time).
0:07 Warner Brothers has the honors of finally starting this film after a 7 minute overture. I do like the way they’ve made the words of the credits magically appear and disappear. Nice touch.
0:09 Proclamation of the Theseus (Duke of Athens) and Hippolyta (Queen of Amazons) wedding.
0:10 Trumpets, Fanfare and more Announcements. As if the Proclamation wasn’t enough.
0:15 Bottom, the Weaver, played by James Cagny.
0:16 Four Nights. “Four happy days bring in another moon.” When I took a theater costume course and participated with the community colleges play, I was taught that the costumes gave a whole character by themselves. The dress for Hippolyta proves that with the snake design.
0:28 The Forest. Deers, owls and frogs, oh my. And Puck, Unicorns and fairies, oh goodie.
0:36 Oberon and Titania. The glitter special effects was great.
0:58 “There’s a play on foot, I’ll be the audience” Puck – played by 15 year old Mickey Rooney. His laughter/ squeals are good, but after hearing them after every time he talks gets annoying.
1:03 Bottom’s transforming into a donkey. This at least looks family. Now I know I have seen this, but obviously it’s been a while or I’ve only watched some of the movie because I’ve forgotten about a lot of this version. This part has a pretty good special effects done, especially for the limited effects arts they had available in 1935.
1:04 “We are haunted. Pray, Masters! Fly Masters!” Puck tormenting the play actors was hilarious.
1:17 “Intermission, 10 Minutes.” Shortened down to about 25 seconds.
1:25 “You thief of love.” Now this part in the Play (and this movie) is the best Love Triangle theme in my opinion.
“Yet but three? Count one more. Two of both kinds make up four.”
1:40 Feminism lost. Poor Titania has been tricked into doing what Oberon wants. Up until the point of having the spell on her, I always thought she stood her ground to what she wanted. But then after being woken, she agrees to leave with Oberon and there’s no arguments of the Indian changeling child.
1:56 “Bottom’s Dream” Ballad… What methought I was and what methought I had.” Another them of having ones identity and self not there own.
2:04 “The actors are at hand” The way they did the Play was both funny and well done.
2:16 “Come your Bergomask.” The Duke liked the play so much he wanted their Bergomask dance. Not.
2:19 “So good night unto you all.” My favorite quote of the Play here and I thought Mickey Rooney did a good job with it.
“If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended—
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend.
If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearnèd luck
Now to ’scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long.
Else the Puck a liar call.
So good night unto you all.
Give me your hands if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.”
2:20 Exit Music. And with the wedding march and other music for 3 minutes, the movie is over. And here I thought Puck’s speech was the end. Or at least hoping it was because this seemed pretty long and now it’s past my bedtime.