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Movie Critique - The Wrong Man

For review of other books or movies by Alfred Hitchcock, go here.

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: Despite not being a commercially successful movie, the scariest movie by Hitchcock, this sad drama leaves you anxious for the Balestreros and a rage against the mishandling of justice. An excellent masterpiece certainly overlooked and forgotten.

The Wrong Man is a 1956 American film noir produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock with Henry Fonda, Vera Miles, Sir Anthony Quayle and Harold J. Stone among the lead cast. One of the few Hitchcock movies based on true story closely following the real-life events.

Christopher Emanuel "Manny" Balestrero (portrayed by Henry Fonda) goes to the life insurance company to borrow $300 for his wife, Rose's (portrayed by Vera Miles), dental work. The insurance company mistakes him for the guy who had twice held them up and robbed. From there it starts a journey of mistaken identity, arrests, court room drama and finally redemption due to sheer luck. 

Based on the true story mentioned in the book The True Story of Christopher Emmanuel Balestrero by Maxwell Anderson, screenplay for the film was written by Angus MacPhail with expert support from Anderson. 

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Book Critique: Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3)

For review of all books in this series: Go here.

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: A splendid and powerful conclusion to this saga of Shadowhunter Chronicles testing them in every which way possible - love, romance, friendship - in the process finding themselves, fighting demons inside & outside; and working towards saving the world in the process.

Clockwork Princess is the third and final book in The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare, first published in March of 2013. The plot begins two months after the events in the previous book Clockwork Prince

The antagonist Mortmain and his mechanical automatons have been silent for two months. Just as the shadowhunters are coming to believe that perhaps Mortmain will not resurface, peril after peril fall in their path. The biggest of them all is the need for Mortmain to acquire Tessa Gray. And Jem Carstairs and Will Herondale put everything on line to save her and defeat Mortmain. 

If you're following the timeline the Shadowhunter Chronicles are set, then this would be the third book to read. However, if the reading order suggested on goodreads is followed (by publishing date), this book is put after City of Lost Souls, the fifth book in The Mortal Instruments Series.

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Movie Critique - The Window

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: Aesop's fable turned to a deadly film noir with some exception action by everyone involved, leaving viewers with chills, horror and the feeling to dive into the screen and save the little one. Well-made and thoroughly entertained.

The Window is a 1949 American film noir directed by Ted Tetzlafff and produced by Frederic Ullman Jr. Based on the 1947 short story "The Boy Cried Murder" by Cornell Woolrich, the screenplay was adapted by Mel Dinelli and the film was a box office hit that year. Barbara Hale, Arthur Kennedy and Bobby Driscoll were among the lead cast in the film.

The Woodry family lives in a tenement in the Lower East Side of New York. Their son Tommy Woodry (portrayed by Bobby Driscoll), one night sees a murder being committed by his neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Kellerson (portrayed by Paul Stewart and Ruth Roman). However no one believes him since he always cried wolf. But the murderous couple now try to kill Tommy and he has to escape from them with no help from anywhere whatsoever.

Everyone remembers Barbara Hale for her famous role as Della Street, confidential secretary to Perry Mason, in the original TV series that aired in 1957 to 1966; and later reprised the role in the Perry Mason made for television movies between 1985 and 1995.

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Movie Critique - The Hidden Eye

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: For a B-movie, it had more than average performances by the actors, and a better murder mystery than most keeping the viewers hooked.

The Hidden Eye is a 1945 American mystery film directed by Richard Whorf. It is a sequel to 1942 Eyes in the Night with Edward Arnold, Frances Rafferty, Ray Collins and Paula Langton in the lead cast. It is produced by Robert Sisk.

Having already watched the 1942 prequel Eyes in the Night, a few years ago, I had been wanting to watch the sequel for a while. And lo and behold, TCM came to the rescue again.

Edward Arnold reprises his role as Captain Duncan "Mac" Maclain, the blind detective in this film. With help of seeing-eye dog, Friday (portrayed by Friday himself) and his bodyguard Marty Corbett (portrayed by William "Bill" Phillips), he is on a case investigating the mysterious deaths of Jean Hampton's (portrayed by Frances Rafferty) father and uncle. Every one including Jean comes under suspicion and Mac with his intelligent deductions manages to unravel the case.

Screenplay was by George Harmon Coxe and Harry Ruskin based on the original story written by George Harman using the characters created by Baynard Kendrick. Though the stories were not from Kendrick's novels, he had written 14 novels featuring Duncan Maclain and his two dogs and household staff aiding him solving cases.

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Movie Critique - Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939) and Sky Murder (1941)

For review of all movies in the Nick Carter series, go here.

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: With less mystery and more comedy it has been a rather fun going along plot where even the villain can be scared; the hero will bumble along; the heroines are simply delightful even if they don’t chose the hero; and the sidekick gets the final say in the end. 

When I watched Phantom Raiders last month, I noted that there were three movies that Walter Pidgeon portrayed the role of Nick Carter. Phantom Raiders was the second in the series. This past week the other two Nick Carter movies were aired on TCM. And here are my thoughts on them.

Nick Carter, Master Detective is a 1939 spy film and the first in the three films in the series which had Walter Pidgeon in the titular role. In this film along-side Lou Farnsby (portrayed by Rita Johnson) and his trusted side-kick Bartholomew (portrayed by Donald Meek), Nick Carter gets embroiled in an espionage scheme at an aircraft factory and racing against time to not only foil the plans of the villains, but also save the girl. 

Directed by Jacques Tourneur and Produced by Lucien Hubbard, the plot is based on original story by Bertram Millhauser and Harold Buckley. This film actually got a loss to MGM records. Yet I was surprised that they made two more movies in the series. The story-line was not as grim as the radio show, again filled with humor and adventure. 

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Movie Critique - Having Wonderful Time

Stars: 4 / 5

Recommendation: This is a movie that finds fun and love while glamping with style and an equally enjoyable cast who themselves looked like had super fun. So why not you guys go ahead watch and have fun too! 

Having Wonderful Time is a 1938 American romantic comedy film starring Ginger Rogers, Lucille Ball, Eve Arden and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in the lead cast among others. Directed by Alfred Santell and Produced by Marc Connelly. 

Thelma "Teddy" Shaw (portrayed by Ginger Rogers) goes to Camp Kare Free for vacation and also to get away from the hustle and bustle of her work and home. She meets Chick Kirkland (portrayed by Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) who is working as a waiter there. They fall in love eventually, but misunderstandings arise when another couple interferes - Miriam "Screwball" (portrayed by Lucille Ball) and Buzzy Ambruster (portrayed by Lee Bowman). What follows is a comedy of errors and budding romances taking flight.

Based on the 1937 play of the same name by Arthur Kober, screenplay was given by Morrie Ryskind and Ernest Pagano, with Kober providing his expert support, especially to change his Jewish characters from the play into regular characters to keep with the censor board.

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Movie Critique - Blondie Goes to College

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: It’s just not Blondie, but Dagwood also who goes to college, which makes very little sense considering they have a child to look after. But it gave us a very funny movie with laughs from the beginning to the end.

Blondie Goes to College is a 1942 comedy film and the tenth of the twenty-eight films made under Blondie series by Columbia. The films are based on the characters created by Chic Young in the comic strip of the same name. Penny Singleton plays the titular role of Blondie Bumstead and Arthur Lake as Dagwood Bumstead, her husband.

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Book Critique – Seven Up (Stephanie Plum #7)

For review of all books in the series: Go here.

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: A doggedly persistent gumshoe even with her ineptness, disorganized and above all having no inclination to use a weapon, it is a miracle that Stephanie has strong instincts to chase the case and bring it to a closure.

Seven Up is the seventh book in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, first published in July of 2001. It is set right after the events in the sixth book, Hot Six.

Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter living in Trenton, New Jersey, working as a fugitive apprehension agent for her cousin, Vinnie's, Bail Bonds company. That begins the series with every book an adventure into Stephanie's trail onto fugitives and recovering them. And in the process she solves mysteries enabling her to hone her skills. There is a triangle love story for readers senses to feast on as well. Readers have been entertained so far with 27 books in the series and more to come, beginning with One for the Money in 1994 leading up to the 27th book Fortune and Glory to be released later this year. The stories are told in first person narration.

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Kitchen Fun - Beetroot Leaves Stuffed Roti

If you all have been following my cooking posts, you must have seen a post about ABC Juice (Apple Beetroot Carrot Cucumber) that I drink every day morning; something I got into habit since my cancer scare in 2017. I still drink it every day even though I am cancer free now.

Anyways, more than often the Beets I buy at Stop N Shop or Whole Foods come with fresh leaves, bright and green, itching me to pluck them and do something with them. So I stared making use of it just like how I would use Spinach or Methi (= Fenugreek) Leaves in Indian dishes - Rice, Curry, Chutney, Sambar, and Roti. Here is one of those concoctions I created out of these beautiful Beet Greens.

PS: Ignore my picture for now. I took it a little late, should have taken it immediately after the delivery of the groceries. 

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53 Week Journey through the Land of Drapes and Colors: Week #30

For details on all the sarees I have posted so far, go here.

We have a beautiful Rose Garden in one of the towns close by. Millions of roses (I think!) bloom every year. It is  historical landmark here which opened in June of 1904. A beautiful place that is a feast to one's all five senses. 

In 2012 the tropical Hurricane Sandy in August followed by a historic snowstorm in October, had destroyed this beautiful garden to the point that I never thought it would come back again. However the organization that maintains the Rose Garden has since made it come back to life.

Two months ago, I visited this Rose Garden along with my friend, Sunita, and thought to take some pictures there with the roses wearing one of my sarees. Well, how else can I get to 53 and also have stories and sceneries tagged to them! ;) We were a couple weeks late, but we managed to snag pictures in front of some of the beautiful roses still remaining. 

I wore this beautiful Yellow colored Creche Chiffon with blue thread work, machine stitched all over; blue woven silk for pallu (= part of saree that gets draped over the shoulder) and border. There is silver motif work woven with the blue silk all though. I believe I bought this saree in 2005 when I went to India for my brother's wedding. This is one of my favorite sarees from my collection.

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