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Betty Boop - Minnie The Moocher (1932)
The movie which defined Betty’s character as a teenager of a modern era, at odds with the old world ways of her parents. In the cartoon, after a disagreement with her parents, Betty runs away from home, accompanied by her boyfriend Bimbo, only to find themselves in a haunted cave. A ghostly walrus (rotoscoped from live-action footage of Calloway), sings Calloway’s famous song “Minnie the Moocher”, accompanied by a whole troupe of other ghosts and skeletons. This haunting performance sends the frightened Betty and Bimbo back to the safety of “home sweet home”.
Cyrano De Bergerac (1950)
José Ferrer received the Academy Award for Best Actor for his starring performance as Cyrano de Bergerac, the charismatic swordsman-poet with the absurd nose and “crowned with the white plume freedom”. This film adaptation directed by Michael Gordon of the 1897 French Alexandrine verse drama by Edmond Rostand, uses poet Brian Hooker’s 1923 English blank verse translation as the basis for its screenplay. The story tells the tale of our large-nosed hero Cyrano falling in love with the beauteous Roxane; she, in turn, confesses to Cyrano her love for the handsome but tongue-tied Christian. The chivalrous Cyrano sets up with Christian an innocent deception, with tragic results.
Scarlet Street (1945)
Widely regarded as one of Fritz Lang’s best films, Scarlet Street is based on the French novel La Chienne (The Bitch) by Georges de La Fouchardière. Somewhere between film noir and black comedy, the plot revolves around a man in mid-life crisis who befriends a young woman whose fiancé persuades her to con him out of some of the fortune she thinks he has.
Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936)
Considered by many to be the best film adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1886 novel of the same name, said by Polly Hovarth to be “the Harry Potter of his time”- starring Freddie Bartholomew, Dolores Costello, and C. Aubrey Smith. A nine-year-old Brooklyn boy living in poverty, moves to England to live with an aristocratic grandfather he’s never known after he is told he’s heir to a British earldom.