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Mom in the Movies: The Iconic Screen Mothers You Love (and a Few You Love to Hate) Hardcover – 1 May 2014

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 23 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Mother, Please! 23 April 2014
By G.I Gurdjieff - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those topically themed books from TCM that takes a look at the mothers as they are portrayed in the movies. Tied into Mother's Day, I suspect that many moms will get this as a gift on Mother's Day.
It's not a scholarly book. In fact it is more a non-book because it it packed with a lot of pictures. However, it forces its reader to look at iconic movie moms such as Irene Dunne's turn in the memorable film I Remember Mama. Extending its theme and moving beyond the purely sentimental and self-sacrificing mother you also get served up bawdy stage mother Rose (Rosalind Russell) in Gypsy. This theme also extends to would be mother figures and also includes my particular favorites who are quite literally mothers from hell. On this one think Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest and Angela Lansbury in the Manchurian Candidate.
The brief essays or narratives included that salute the celluloid mommies are sort of amusing at times and play off the mother theme.
There are thoughts given to how the role of motherhood has changed and evolved in the modern world and how this translates to film.
I'm not sure this is for everyone, but fans of TCM will probably like this seasonal light touch for the upcoming maternal holiday. I thought it was interesting but wouldn't buy it for myself. It was a gift from my son sent long distance.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Mothers Know Best 21 Aug. 2014
By tribecan - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A highly intelligent, literate and witty journey through the history of mothers in Hollywood movies. Corliss has apparently seen every movie ever made, and he writes with love of the medium, and also an often funny, often heartwarming, love of mothers. This is not an angle on the history of cinema I would have thought to explore, but as a way into how Hollywood has told stories and presented reality this book is hard to beat. Fascinating, and a wonderful read. Highly recommended.
The King is Wearing No Clothes 12 Oct. 2014
By Robert J. Canning - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What is in it is quite good. What isn't is maddeningly disappointing. A sin. And a crime. I bought this book with a reasonable expectation that Doris Day would be featured in some way. Who epitomized sunny motherhood in the 40s-60s better than Day? Starting with her first mom role ("My Dream is Yours"), her widowhood and motherly persona is golden with a non-precocious child actor you wish grew up to be a star. "Lullaby of Broadway" has Day the mother of 2 1950s teenagers who (in flashback) tell their friends their mom and dad's show biz story back in the 20s. Gladys George, who has a great segment in the book -- AND IN THE MOVIE -- plays Day's alcoholic mother trying to be a sober mom again. Why weren't Day and George featured -- or even mentioned -- in the book? (DUH!) At about that same time (early 50s), Rosemary DeCamp and Leon Ames play Day's parents in "On Moonlight Bay" and "By the Light of the Silvery Moon." (Ames not only rates a mention as Judy Garland's Dad in "Meet Me in St. Louis," but shares a color photo with Garland's screen mom, Mary Astor.) In "The Man who Knew too Much," one of Day's best films, she is the mother of a son who has been kidnapped. (Yo, Richard Corliss, how long is your nap -- or coma -- going to last?) In "The Tunnel of Love," one of Day's worst movies, she and screen hubby Richard Widmark are trying to get pregnant -- and of course, they do before "The End" ends the film. (Okay, Corliss, I'll give you a pass on this one on a technicality.) Then, in the sweet and funny flop, "It Happened to Jane," Doris co-stars with Jack Lemmon and a trainload of lobsters. Here again she is the widowed mother of Teddy Rooney and DEN MOTHER to his Cub Scout Troop. Okay, that takes care of the 40s and 50s. Now into the '60s with Mother Doris. "Please Don't Eat the Daises" has Day as the mother of a tribe of wild Indians (all boys), and in the chaos, handles them with love and aplomb. Talk about the PERFECT MOM IN THE MOVIES, CORLISS! Then in the wildly funny and highly successful pairings with James Garner (and two adorable kids), she is, once again, the PERFECT MOM IN THE MOVIES, "The Thrill of it All" and Move Over, Darling," Finally, in her final film, "With Six You Get Eggroll," she is the mom to three boys and stepmother to Barbara Hershey. No Day anywhere in MOM IN THE MOVIES. There is NO LOGICAL EXPLANATION for this lapse in good judgment. Then again, most sins and crimes are just that, lapses in good judgment.
Not just for Mother's day 26 Jun. 2014
By DC McKenzie - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Outstanding achievement of Cinema history, based on a unique premise. The only reason I'm leaving off the fifth star is because I feel it was too short. If publishers actually read our reviews, perhaps they'll learn that we can not only handle meatier books, but want them. Nevertheless, it was worth every penny. And while I must admit it was the best Mother's day gift I've come up with in years, as we share an abiding love of classic films, this book would be at home in any school library. For those who are wondering, yes, it's filled with gorgeous photos. And real emotional content too, threaded throughout with intelligent, insightful writing that easily transcends a mere 'film review'. Spanning the decades from the Silent era to modern filmmaking, this book will captivate even the most cantankerous film buff--after all, everyone loves their Mom, right?
Happy Mom's Day 9 Jun. 2014
By Grams Kelley - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this ,in Kindle edition for myself. It is informative and mentioned some movie moms I was not aware of....although I think there were a few not mentioned. I recommend it as a "beach" read!
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