Thursday, November 05, 2015

Rainy Autumn

It was raining pretty hard when I got up this morning. I opted to spend the morning inside, cleaning and watching Those Calloways. This is one of the last movies from the dubbed batch I got from Lauren last Christmas that I hadn't gotten to until now. The Calloways in question in this live-action Disney drama from 1965 are a family living in a small backwoods town in Vermont. The father (Brian Keith) dreams of buying a small marsh near-by to start a sanctuary for the wild geese that fly through the area most years. His wife (Vera Miles) wishes he'd spend the money on their home instead of chasing dreams. His son (Brandon DeWilde) is more supportive, to the point of failing to notice that his longtime gal pal Friday (Linda Evans) has become a very attractive young lady. The townspeople of near-by Stillwater think the dad's crazy, except gabby old Al (Walter Brennan). When a real estate agent from Burlington shows up and insists the town can use the wild geese to attract hunters, the townspeople have to decide if they want to support the "progress" the hunters may bring...or Calloway's dream.

I have vague memories of seeing at least some of this on the Disney Channel during my childhood. The copy Lauren sent me seems to have come from a Hallmark Movie Channel dubbing (from around 2005, from the commercials for the McBride movies Anybody Here Murdered Marty? and Tune In For Murder). This is not one of Disney's faster-paced movies. It's very slow and intense, especially early on, and for a movie that features Ed Wynn (as a deaf friend of Brennan's) along with Brennan, rather humorless. The romance between the teenagers is fairly bland as well. Miles and Keith are much better as the Calloway parents, who love each other despite their very different desires and opinions on the marsh and the geese.

The cinematography alone is reason to at least give this a look. It was actually filmed in Vermont, and the exteriors are gorgeous, especially during the opening and closing sequences in the fall. The DVD is evidently one of Disney's few 50's and 60's movies to be released in its original widescreen format; I can certainly understand why. If you love quiet family dramas or some of Disney's other more dramatic films and can handle the snail pace, or just want a good look at the rugged beauty of rural Vermont, this one is worth at least a rental.

Did quite a bit of cleaning while this very long movie was running. I gave the bathroom a quick scrubbing. I washed the windows. I aired the rugs. I vacuumed. The one chore I put off was the dusting. I'll do that Thanksgiving week, before I put up the Christmas decorations.

Despite it raining again by 12:30, I headed out to run a few errands anyway. It was raining so hard by the time I arrived at the Oaklyn Library, they were dead except for one guy reading random books and two librarians. Even the kids stayed at school. This did give me a chance to work on organizing the children's area, especially the board books and easy readers, while it continued to pour.

The rain had finally vanished by 1:30. Ran to WaWa for eggs and lunch. I loved their "Gobbler" hoagie so much last year, I treated myself to the mini-version last year. It's turkey, cranberry sauce, mayo, and stuffing, and it's divine. Also grabbed a Chocolate Cookies n' Cream Smoothie, which was wonderfully decadent as well. Unlike the last time I ran to WaWa, it was down to clouds when I headed home. I peeked at Studio LuLoo, but the rain must have scared them off.

Did the first Thanksgiving special of the season when I got home as I had lunch. Garfield's Thanksgiving doesn't start off well when Liz the veterinarian decrees that Garfield must go on a diet the day before the holiday, then Jon invites her for dinner. Jon can't make a big meal to save his life, either. Grandma from the Christmas special knows how to make things right.

Went right into my story after lunch. Pruitt and Victor (in his "Sir Johnathan Arnold" guise) have brought prisoners from the captured white crystal mine to the downed Flying Fortress. Pruitt introduces the sinister magic-draining machine and how it works. Victor wants to stop him right there, but fears revealing his identity. Meanwhile, Pruitt sends him ahead to Port Harbor to spy on Duke and Duchess Singer and find out where their loyalties lay.

Had a nice bath after I got off the computer. Ahhh. That felt good. I read Peace and Plenty and listened to one of my finds earlier in the day. The Oaklyn Library recently acquired a plastic bin of mostly paperback books, but also some CD's. The majority of the titles were classical releases, but I did find three of music from the 20's. I did the Hits of '26 album, with iconic songs of the era like "When the Red, Red Robbin Comes Bob-Bob-Bobbin' Along," "Black Bottom," and "Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue."

Did some quick Max & Ruby while eating a "spinach pancakes" (spinach, eggs, and cheese cooked flat on a pan) for dinner. Ruby wants to decorate the table for "Max's Thanksgiving." Her brother just cares about Grandma's nut stuffing. "Ruby's Leaf Collection" may be the best in her class, if she can ever dig it out of the huge pile of leaves her brother has been making. Ruby helps Candy out in her shop in "Ruby's Candy Store." She keeps admonishing Max to eat fruit instead of candy. Max has other uses for the fruit.

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