Our pets are more than just our best friends these days — they’re family. When life is tough, our pets are the first to pick up on it and they always ensure that they are by your side no matter what. A friend that is loyal always deserves to be taken care of and spoiled from time to time. Accessories and clothing for dogs doesn’t just look good nowadays, it serves a very practical reason for our beloved pooches.
Every year since it’s inception, the organizers of the TCM Classic Film Festival have been letting me in without paying. Most of those years, I’ve been celebrating that fact by putting together my own drinks inspired by the films I was lucky enough to see there.
My first 2016 beverage du cinema (please don’t tell if that’s not actual French) is actually drawn from a film I saw on the last day of the fest which, frankly, was rather a last minute choice. An adaptation of a novel by A.J. Cronin, “The Keys of the Kingdom” isn’t a movie even hardcore film geeks hear that much about, even if it netted a young Gregory Peck his first Oscar nomination. As the decades-long tale of an idealistic priest from Scotland who finds himself a missionary in China, I have to admit that I had some qualms about spending my dwindling TCM time on what seemed likely to be a rather draggy bit of classic-era Hollywood Oscar bait from John Stahl, a director best known for making the original 1930s versions of the classic melodramas “Imitation of Life” and “Magnificent Obsession.” (If you know them at all, you’re likely more familiar with the 1950s remakes directed by Douglas Sirk.)
However, I should have more thoroughly considered the talents of two of classic Hollywood’s most skilled and witty screenwriters, Joseph Mankiewicz (“All About Eve”), who also produced, and the hugely versatile Nunnally Johnson (“The Grapes of Wrath,” “How to Marry a Millionaire,” and, get this,”The Dirty Dozen.”) As good as the suprisingly humorous and compelling script turned out to be, I was very pleasantly surprised by the film’s treatment of its many Asian characters. They are well-rounded non-stereotypes and, even more of a surprise, all played by actual Asian actors. That’s more impressive than it should be considering that, up to this very moment, Hollywood seems to be allergic to casting Asian actors in large roles.
“The Keys to the Kingdom” is a bit longish but, otherwise, a terrific example of classic-era Hollywood at it’s humanistic, entertaining, inspiring, and relatively progressive semi-best. Why not make it a cocktail?
When you need a ride but don’t have a car or don’t want to do your own driving, you have a few options. You could wait a while at a bus stop, or hail a cab, or you could even impose on friends or family to get you where you need to go. But here is a better idea: Use Uber.
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