Classic movies

I spent a wonderful afternoon and evening over at Dad’s house with my brother and sister from North Carolina and their kids – the side of the family I don’t get to see so often. (My sister and my other brother both live here in Tennessee.)

For various reasons, we had the TV on TCM most of that time, and there were several terrific movies on during that time:

“3 Godfathers” – a classic John Ford western with a twist. John Wayne, Harry Carey Jr. and Pedro Armendáriz are bank robbers who encounter a woman, abandoned by her wagon train, on her deathbed from childbirth. She makes them swear to take care of her newborn baby, and they try to do that – despite desert conditions and being pursued by law officers.

“Fitzwilly” – Dick Van Dyke plays the title character, a butler for a sweet but somewhat dotty old dowager. Unbeknownst to her, her wealth ran out years ago, but Fitzwilly and the household staff have discovered various ways to scam, swindle and steal furnishings, food, and enough money to cover the old lady’s lifestyle and her frequent gifts to charity. But when the old lady hires a grad student (Barbara Feldon of “Get Smart” fame) as her new secretary, the interloper threatens to spoil everything.

“The Bishop’s Wife” – You already know about this one, so here are a couple of IMDb trivia bits: Shooting began with Cary Grant playing the bishop, David Niven playing the angel, and Teresa Wright in the title role. Mogul Samuel Goldwyn fired the director, and he and the replacement director decided to start over again, a quite costly proposition, with the men switching parts. By that time, Wright was pregnant, which wouldn’t have suited the storyline, and so Loretta Young was hired instead. Also, the actress playing Niven’s and Young’s daughter is the same one who played Zuzu in “It’s A Wonderful Life,” making her a part of the cast of two classic holiday movies.