American Girls

Based on the series of books created by the American Girl company,
these novellas feature young fictional heroines--
who live during important times in America's past,
providing "girl-sized" views of significant events in history.

Felicity: An American Girl Adventure (set in 1774)

Ten-year-old Felicity Merriman is growing up in Williamsburg, Virginia, just before the American Revolution. Felicity longs for freedom from the tight stays she must wear and the small, ladylike steps she must take if she is to behave like a respectable young gentlewoman. High-spirited Felicity would rather rush into exciting adventures, like taming the wild horse owned by the cruel tanner, Jiggy Nye. Her parents have warned her to stay away from the animal, but Felicity feels a bond with the horse that she just can’t ignore—and she can’t bear to see Jiggy Nye abusing her!

Felicity isn’t the only one questioning what’s right and what’s wrong. Change is in the air as some colonists—like Felicity’s father and his apprentice, Ben—take steps toward independence from the king of England. Others—like Felicity’s dear grandfather and her best friend, Elizabeth—are shocked that anyone would question the rule of the king. How can Felicity choose a side when she knows it means being disloyal to someone she loves? As the Revolutionary War threatens to tear friends and neighbors apart, Felicity’s family faces a crisis of its own.

Samantha: An American Girl Holiday (set in 1904)

Kindhearted Samantha Parkington's world starts to change the day Nellie O'Malley walks into her life. Nellie, her father, and her two little sisters have moved in next door to be servants for the Ryland family. Though they come from completely different backgrounds, Samantha and Nellie become fast friends. The girls turn to each other in happiness and sorrow, adventure and danger, and grow to be as close as even two sisters could be. But nothing could prepare them for the life - altering surprises that lie ahead!

AnnaSophia Robb (from Bridge to Terabithia) as Samantha, Mia Farrow as Grandmary,
and Hannah Endicott-Douglas (Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning) as Bridget O'Malley and Rebecca Mader as Aunt Cornelia.

Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front (set in 1944)

Based on several of the "Molly; An American Girl" books, this story is set in 1944 in the fictional town of Jefferson, Illinois during World War II. Molly McIntire and her family are learning to cope with the changes the war has brought to their close-knit family. Molly misses her father who went overseas to care for the wounded soldiers. As they try to keep things running smoothly, Molly enters a dance contest at school. She and her friends are lively, outgoing and always bursting with ideas. Also during this time a young girl named Emily comes from London England to live with the family and Molly learns the importance of getting along and pulling together.

Kit Kittredge: An American Mystery
(set in 1934)
centers around a young living in the struggles of the Great Depression. 10 year old Kit lives in a boarding house her parents own in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has a passion for writing, & dreams of having something of hers put in the local paper someday. With the help of her friends, Sterling & Ruthie, will her dream finally come true?

Starring Abigail Breslin as Kit, Julia Ormond and Chris O'Donnell as her parents, Joan Cusack, Willow Smith, Stanley Tucci,
and directed by Patricia Rozema, director of Mansfield Park.

My daughter and I loved these books (even though we're Canadian).

We spent a lot of time and effort collecting the books
and sewing outfits for our Felicity, Samantha and Kirsten dolls.
I highly recommend these books for girls aged 8-12...

Sense and Sensibility (2008)

The Jane Austen classic is being remade into a BBC miniseries
with screenplay by Andrew Davies
to be aired on
March 30th and April 6th, 2008 on PBS

>>>>>View trailer on Youtube

Sarah, Plain and Tall

Sarah Plain and Tall was the most-watched made-for-television movie of the 1990s (50 million viewers upon first broadcast in 1991), this fine adaptation of Patricia MacLachlan's novel stars Glenn Close as Sarah, a Maine schoolteacher who responds to a Kansas farmer's newspaper ad seeking a bride. Set in 1910, the story follows Sarah's trial run as stepmother to the children of the widowed Jacob Witting (Christopher Walken). The tough part of the experiment is the conflicting expectations the would-be couple have over Sarah's role in the household. The kids, too, have their doubts about a substitute for their mother, and Jacob isn't ready, emotionally, for a new beginning. But in short order the strong-willed Sarah brings happiness and vitality into the house, and love and understanding eventually blossom between the two lonely adults. Everything is right about this Hallmark production, from a bright script cowritten by MacLachlan to Glenn Jordan's sensitive direction and a pair of first-rate leads making every moment worth watching. A wholesome tale from the heartland, this is a good movie for any viewing situation, from an audience of one to an entire family. (Tom Keogh-Amazon)

The novel was the basis for three television movies
1-Sarah, Plain and Tall;
2- Skylark and
3- Winter's End

Glenn Close is terrific as always, and for those of you who know Christopher Walken
in any of his many scary, creepy roles, he will surprise you as tenderhearted Jacob.


Set two years after the events in Sarah, Plain and Tall, a series of challenges test the resilience of the Witting family's bond. With a drought and the possibility of fire looming over the Kansas farm, Sarah (Glenn Close) leads a pilgrimage East to her old stomping grounds in Maine. The change of scene and an unexpected separation put a strain on everyone, including husband Jacob (Christopher Walken), but in the end the film imparts the same sense of nostalgic reassurance viewers embraced in the first film. First aired on CBS in 1993, this isn't quite the fresh experience of Sarah, Plain and Tall, and director Joseph Sargent doesn't have the same delicate touch as Glenn Jordan. But fans of the earlier work and/or the Patricia MacLachlan novel that inspired this series will love it all the same. (Tom Keogh - Amazon)

Winter's End

The third and final episode of the Sarah, Plain and Tall series is a 1999 production reuniting stars Glenn Close and Christopher Walken with original director Glenn Jordan. Taking the story eight years beyond the original tale, Winter's End is set in a harsh Kansas winter of 1918, with the specter of death everywhere: soldiers are dying overseas during World War I, influenza is at epidemic proportions in the U.S., and an old man has returned to the Witting farm with an uncertain reception. He's John Witting (Jack Palance), father of Jacob (Walken), and the two men have not seen each other since John abandoned his son years ago. Reconciliation comes hard, punctuated by cliffhanger disasters (Jacob breaks his leg and burns with a fever, Sarah almost dies in a heavy snowstorm), but this most brutal of trial periods for the Wittings still invites a viewer to yearn for a more innocent--perhaps mythical--time in America. A worthy and rewarding finish to a trilogy fit for families yet sophisticated enough for all ages, Winter's End may be one of the last network television classics in an era of audience relocation to multichannel cable. (Tom Keogh - Amazon)

The children Caleb and Anna were so sweet in the film.

A children's book written by Patricia MacLachlan,
and the winner of the 1986 Newbery Medal.


The man.
The music.
The magic.
The madness.
The murder.
The mystery.
The motion picture.

The title refers to a name that Mozart often used (he was baptized as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart) as a pen name.

The movie shows us the life of Mozart (Tom Hulce)
as told by the envious composer
Salieri (F. Murray Abraham)

The film was nominated for 53 awards and received 40, including eight Academy Awards, four BAFTA Awards, 4 Golden Globes, and a DGA Award. In 1998, Amadeus was ranked the 53rd best American movie by the American Film Institute on its AFI's 100 Years list.

It won the 1985 Oscar for Best Film
and F. Murray Abraham won the Oscar for Best Actor.

Loved the line said by Emperor Joseph II repeatedly: Well, there it is.

Emanuel: Look, I asked you if we could start rehearsals next week and you said yes.
Mozart: Well, we can.
Emanuel: So let me see it. Where is it?
Mozart: Here. It's all right here in my noodle. The rest is just scribbling.
Scribbling and bibbling, bibbling and scribbling.

Emperor Joseph II: My dear young man, don't take it too hard.
Your work is ingenious. It's quality work. And there are simply too many notes, that's all.
Just cut a few and it will be perfect.

Mozart: Which few did you have in mind, Majesty?

Salieri: I heard the music of true forgiveness filling the theater,
conferring on all who sat there, perfect absolution.
God was singing through this little man to all the world, unstoppable,
making my defeat more bitter with every passing bar.

Mozart: It's unbelievable, the director has actually torn up a huge section of my music.
They say I have to rewrite the opera. But it's perfect as it is! I can't rewrite what's perfect!

[trying on wigs]
Mozart: They're all so beautiful. Why don't I have three heads?

Wikipedia Article

see more screencaps at Period Movie Review

The Complete Jane Austen on PBS

Sundays... beginning January 13, 2008

For the first time on television, Austen fans can now sit down to a weekly feast of all of her immortal plots, presented by MASTERPIECE THEATRE® over the course of four months in beautifully acted, lavishly set and gorgeously costumed adaptations. As a bonus, viewers will be treated to a new drama based on Austen’s own bittersweet love life.

The Austen extravaganza includes:

Persuasion” (Jan/13, 9-10:30) Sally Hawkins (Little Britain) appears as Anne Elliot, destined for spinsterhood at age 27 after being persuaded eight years earlier to refuse the proposal of dashing Captain Wentworth (Rupert Penry-Jones, “Casanova”). Then chance brings them together again. While her better days are past, his are definitely ahead, as he’s now rich and free to play the field among eligible young beauties. Anthony Head (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) co-stars as Anne’s spendthrift father. Adapted by Simon Burke. Directed by Adrian Shergold. Executive producer, Murray Ferguson. Executive producer for WGBH, Rebecca Eaton. Produced by David Snodin. A Clerkenwell Films production for ITV in association with WGBH/Boston.

Northanger Abbey” (Jan/20, 9-10:30) In Austen’s gentle parody of gothic fiction, Felicity Jones (Meadowlands) plays romance-addict Catherine Morland. Invited to a medieval country house that appeals to her most lurid fantasies, she forms a close friendship with the younger son on the estate, Henry Tilney (JJ Feild, “The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton”), but their budding romance is mysteriously cut short. Adapted by Andrew Davies. Directed by Jon Jones. Executive producers, Andy Harries, Charles Elton. Executive producer for WGBH, Rebecca Eaton. Produced by Keith Thompson. A co-production of Granada and WGBH/Boston.

Mansfield Park” (Jan/27, 9-10:30) Austen’s most complex plot stars Billie Piper (“Doctor Who,” “The Ruby in the Smoke”) as Fanny Price, who goes to live with prosperous relatives at Mansfield Park. Fanny navigates a labyrinth of intrigues and affairs among the occupants of the house, while her cousin Edmund Bertram (Blake Ritson, “Inspector Lynley Mysteries”) remains her stalwart confidant. Also starring Jemma Redgrave (“Bramwell”) as Fanny’s observant aunt. Adapted by Maggie Wadey. Directed by Iain B. MacDonald. Executive producers, George Faber, Charles Pattinson. Executive producer for WGBH, Rebecca Eaton. Produced by Suzan Harrison. A co-production of Company Productions and WGBH/Boston.

Miss Austen Regrets” (Feb/3, 9-10:30) If nothing else, Jane Austen wrote from personal experience. Courtship she knew well; only the last act eluded her. This film biography dramatizes Austen’s lost loves: Harris Bigg, whose proposal she accepted and then rejected; Edward Brydges, whom she also refused; the tongue-tied vicar she teased mercilessly; and the young surgeon who arrived on the scene too late to steal her heart. Starring Olivia Williams (The Sixth Sense), Greta Scacchi (The Player) and Hugh Bonneville (Notting Hill). Written by Gwyneth Hughes. Directed by Jeremy Lovering. Executive producer, Laura Mackie. Executive producer for WGBH, Rebecca Eaton. Produced by Anne Pivcevic. A BBC and WGBH/Boston co-production.

Pride and Prejudice” (Feb/10-Feb/24, 9-11) Colin Firth (Bridget Jones’ Diary) is Mr. Darcy and Jennifer Ehle (The Coast of Utopia) is Elizabeth Bennet in the definitive adaptation of the most-loved of all Austen novels. With five daughters, no sons and an entailed estate, the elder Bennets are in dire straits as they try to arrange advantageous marriages. Wedding bells ring three times, but the path to true love is tortuous indeed. Adapted by Andrew Davies. Directed by Simon Langton. Executive producer, Michael Wearing. Produced by Sue Birtwistle. A production of BBC Television and BBC Worldwide Americas, Inc. in association with A&E Television Networks. The MASTERPIECE THEATRE broadcast of “Pride and Prejudice” is the first in the U.S. other than on A&E Television Networks.

Emma” (Mar/23, 9-11) The New York Times praised this production as “smart and spirited … understated and sly.” Kate Beckinsale (The Aviator) stars in the title role as the tireless matchmaker who professes no interest in matrimony for herself, only for her orphaned protégée, Harriet Smith (Samantha Morton, Longford). Still, Emma does feel a certain twinge for Frank Churchill (Raymond Coulthard, “He Knew He Was Right”) and a brotherly regard for Mr. Knightley (Mark Strong, “Prime Suspect 6”). Adapted by Andrew Davies. Directed by Diarmuid Lawrence. Executive producers, Delia Fine, Simon Lewis. Produced by Sue Birtwistle. Produced by United Film and Television Productions in association with Chestermead Ltd and A&E Networks. Originally broadcast in February 1997.

Sense and Sensibility” (Mar/30 and Apr/6, 9-10:30) Hattie Morahan (The Golden Compass) plays levelheaded Elinor Dashwood and Charity Wakefield (“Jane Eyre”) her impulsive sister Marianne. Though poor, they attract a trio of very promising gentlemen: soon-to-be wealthy Edward Ferrars (Dan Stevens, The Line of Beauty), heroic Colonel Brandon (David Morrissey, State of Play) and Byronic John Willoughby (Dominic Cooper, The History Boys). Adapted by Andrew Davies. Directed by John Alexander. Produced by Anne Pivcevic. Executive producer for WGBH, Rebecca Eaton. A BBC and WGBH/Boston co-production.


The World of Jane Austen
(my link to Austen movies, links and photos)

Michael Gambon

Michael Gambon's Period Films

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2008)
Brideshead Revisited (2008)
Cranford (2007)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Amazing Grace (2006)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Being Julia (2004)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Sylvia (2003)
The Lost Prince (2003)
Path to War (2002)
Charlotte Gray (2001)
Gosford Park (2001)
Wives and Daughters (1999)
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
The Last September (1999)
Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)
The Wings of the Dove (1997)
Mary Reilly (1996)
The Browning Version (1994)
Blood Royal: William the Conqueror (1990)
Much Ado About Nothing (1967)

with Justine Waddell in Wives and Daughters

The Sound of Music - The Movie

In 1930's Austria, a young woman named Maria is failing miserably in her attempts to become a nun. When the Navy captain Georg Von Trapp writes to the convent asking for a governess that can handle his seven mischevious children, Maria is given the job. The Captain's wife is dead,and he is often away,and runs the household as strictly as he does the ships he sails on. The children are unhappy and resentful of the governesses that their father keeps hiring,and have managed to run each of them off one by one. When Maria arrives, she is initially met with the same hostility,but her kindness,understanding,and sense of fun soon draws them to her and brings some much-needed joy into all their lives--including the Captain's. Eventually he and Maria find themselves falling in love, even though Georg is already engaged to a Baroness and Maria is still a postulant. The romance makes them both start questioning the decisions they have made. Their personal conflicts soon become overshadowed, however, by world events. Austria is about to come under the control of Germany, and the Captain may soon find himself drafted into the German navy and forced to fight against his own country.
(Written by LOTUS73 at Imdb)

Won Oscar for Best Picture in 1965
Best Director - Robert Wise
Julie Andrews - nominated for Lead Actress for Oscars
and she won BAFTA and Golden Globe for this performance

During the scene with Maria and the Captain at the gazebo, Julie Andrews couldn't stop laughing due to a lighting device that was making, in her words, a "raspberry" every time she leaned in to kiss Plummer. After more than 20 takes, the scene was altered to silhouette the two and to hide Andrews' giggles.

Reel Classics feature on the Sound of Music

The Greatest Films Website features more information on the 1965 film

The Sound of Music Site
(profiles international musicals and more)

(Read more about the real Maria,
updates on child actors from film, etc)

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