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Tea and Sympathy; Review by Robin Franson Pruter

Originally released 27 Sep 1956
Written by Robert Anderson based on his play

Directed by Vincente Minnelli

Starring Deborah Kerr, John Kerr, Leif Erickson, Darryl Hickman, and Edward Andrews

My rating: ★★★★ stars

When you talk about this movie, and you will, be kind.

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Life Begins at 17; Review by Robin Franson Pruter

Originally released Jul 1958
Written by Richard Baer

Directed by Arthur Dreifuss

Starring Luana Anders, Mark Damon, Dorothy Johnson, and Edd “Kookie” Byrnes

My rating: ★★★ stars

On the surface, an insignificant teen movie but, upon more consideration, a surprisingly relevant indictment of toxic bro culture.

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The Bells of St. Mary’s; Review by Robin Franson Pruter

Originally released 27 Dec 1945
Screenplay by Dudley Nichols from a story by Leo McCarey
Directed by Leo McCarey

Starring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman

My rating: ★★ stars

Manipulatively inspirational pablum elevated by Ingrid Bergman’s stellar performance.

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Announcing the 2nd Disability in Film Blogathon!

A few months ago, I mentioned to someone with whom I was having a debate on Facebook that I was disabled. (I was born with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a congenital connective tissue disorder.) He immediately dismissed everything I said because I was a “welfare recipient.” Obviously, the fellow was a dunderhead. He didn’t seem to understand that not all disabled people receive disability payments. I don’t; I’m certain Larry Flynt doesn’t. Even if we did, disability payments are not welfare. Even if they were, that wouldn’t automatically negate a disabled person’s opinion. Clearly, this fellow held a belief that disabled people are a drain on society and that they are of lesser worth than their able-bodied peers. I could dismiss the fellow’s reaction as being that of an ignorant fringe-dweller, but his attitude toward disability, while extreme, isn’t an outlier.

Although disability is common in society—about one in five Americans report having a disability—we’re more likely to encounter disability in film than in real life. I’ve seen far more deaf people, blind people, and mobility-impaired people in movies than I’ve met in real life, and I would bet that my experience isn’t uncommon. Our understanding of disability often comes more from cultural products than from real life. How these cultural products present disability is vital, then, to how real-life disabled people are viewed and treated.

The Disability in Film Blogathon covers portrayals of disability in film and television, including physical impairments, developmental disorders, traumatic brain injuries, and speech disorders. (It does not cover mental illness—that’s a whole topic to itself. Nor does it cover terminal illness—the focus of the film or television program should be on living with disability, not on mortality.) Also allowed are the stories of performers with disabilities. Other topics related to disability in film and television are allowed as well—for example, the issue of able-bodied performers playing characters with disabilities or a discussion of the fact that performances of disabled characters are often given awards.

The blogathon will run from 24 October-26 October 2018, in honor of National Disability in Employment Awareness Month. As there are plenty of topics from which to choose, no more than two entries on the same topic will be allowed.

The Rules in Brief:

1) Entries must cover some topic related to disability in film or television, excluding mental illness or terminal illness.

2) No more than two entries per topic.

3) Blogs may post up to three entries.

4) No old posts. All entries must be newly posted.

5) To express your interest in participating in the blogathon, leave a comment on my blog, along with the name and URL of your blog, and the subject you wish to cover, or you can always register by email at: robinpruter@gmail.com. For those of you who wish to register by email, please be sure to include the name and URL of your blog, and the topic you wish to cover.

6) Posts must feature one of the banners below and a link back to the blogathon post on either Pop Culture Reverie or this year’s co-host, In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood.

Entries:

Pop Culture Reverie: The Sessions, The Lookout

In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood: The stars who stuttered, The Spiral Staircase (1946) and TBD

The Stop Button: My Left Foot

Cinematic ScribbingsImmortal Love

Who Am I to Stop It50 First Dates

18 Cinema Lane: Matthew Rogers from Little House on the Prairie and Bucky Barnes from Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Crítica Retrô: Lucky Star (1929)

FilmexodusWhat’s Eating Gilbert Grape

Taking Up RoomMr. Holland’s Opus

The Wonderful World of CinemaCharly

It Came From The Man CaveMonkey Shines

The Midnight Drive-In: The X-Men movies or possibly “I, Borg”

Real Weegie Midget ReviewsHyde Park on Hudson

I Found It At The MoviesThe King’s Speech

Old Hollywood Films: The life of Harold Russell

Movierob: Passion Fish, Sling Blade, Breaking the Waves

Banners:

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Santa Clarita Diet; Review by Robin Franson Pruter

Premiered 3 Feb 2017
Created by Victor Fresco

Starring Drew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant, Liv Hewson, and Skyler Gisondo

My rating:  ★★★1/2 stars

Killer comedy is an acquired taste.

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Savages (2012); Review by Robin Franson Pruter

Originally released 6 July 2012
Written by Shane Salerno, Don Winslow, and Oliver Stone
Directed by Oliver Stone

Starring Blake Lively, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Taylor Kitsch, Salma Hayek, Benicio del Toro, and John Travolta

My rating: ★★1/2 stars

Ultra-violent tale of people reduced to their worst selves by competition in the drug trade.

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Prey (1998); Review by Robin Franson Pruter

Originally aired 15 Jan 1998 – 9 Jul 1998 (ABC)
Created by William Schmidt

Starring Debra Messing, Adam Storke, Frankie Faison, Larry Drake, Vincent Ventresca, and Roger Howarth

My rating:  ★★★1/2 stars

A series ahead of its time.

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