Favorite Movies Set in LAS VEGAS

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Below is a list of my favorite movies set in Las Vegas, Nevada: 

 

FAVORITE MOVIES SET IN LAS VEGAS

1 - Ocean Thirteen

1. “Ocean’s Thirteen” (2007) – In this third entry of Steven Soderbergh’s OCEAN’S TRILOGY, Danny Ocean and his co-horts plot a heist against casino owner Willy Bank, after he double-crosses one of the original eleven, Reuben Tishkoff. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Al Pacino starred.

2 - Casino

2. “Casino” (1995) – Martin Scorsese directed this adaptation of Nicholas Pileggi’s non-fiction book about the clash between a professional gambler and a mobster sent to operate a mob-controlled Las Vegas casino. Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone starred.

3 - The Hangover

3. “The Hangover” (2009) – Todd Phillips produced and directed this hilarious comedy about four friends who to Las Vegas for a bachelor party. The groom-to-be ends up missing the following morning, and the three remaining friends search all over town to find him, despite having no memories of the previous night. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha and Heather Graham starred.

4 - Bugsy

4. “Bugsy” (1991) – Warren Beatty and Annette Bening starred in this biography of mobster Ben Siegal during his time in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Directed by Barry Levinson, the movie co-starred Harvey Keitel and Ben Kingsley.

5 - Ocean Eleven

5. “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001) – This remake of the 1960 movie also served as the first entry of Steven Soderbergh’sOCEAN TRILOGY. In it, Danny Ocean and a group of thieves plot the heist of three Las Vegas casinos owned the current boyfriend of Ocean’s ex-wife. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts and Andy Garcia starred.

6 - Rush Hour 2

6. “Rush Hour 2” (2001) – Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker re-teamed in this sequel to their 1998 hit, in which they go up against a counterfeit ring that takes them from Hong Kong to Los Angeles and finally Las Vegas. Brett Ratner directed.

7 - Diamonds Are Forever

7. “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971) – Sean Connery starred as James Bond in this adaptation of Ian Fleming’s 1956 novel. The British agent investigates a diamond smuggling operation that leads him to the crime organization SPECTRE and arch nemesis Ernst Stravos Blofeld. Directed by Guy Hamilton, the movie co-starred Jill St. John and Charles Gray.

8 - Viva Las Vegas

8. “Viva Las Vegas” (1964) – Elvis Presley and Ann-Margaret lit up the screen in this musical about a race car driver forced to find a way to raise money to enter a race in Las Vegas, while romancing a hotel swim instructor. George Sidney directed.

9 - Miss Congeniality Armed and Fabulous

9. “Miss Congeniality: Armed and Fabulous” (2005) – Sandra Bullock stars in this sequel to 2001’s “MISS CONGENIALITY”, as the now famous F.B.I. agent Gracie Hart. When two of her friends – Miss United States and pageant commentator Stan Fields – are kidnapped, she recruits the help of fellow agent Sam Fuller to help her. Directed by John Pasquin, Regina King and William Shatner co-starred.

10 - Honeymoon in Vegas

10. “Honeymoon in Vegas” (1992) – Nicholas Cage starred in this comedy about a man who loses a great deal of money to a professional gambler, while in Vegas to marry his girlfriend. The gambler agrees to clear the debt in exchange for a weekend with the girlfriend, who reminds him of his late wife. Directed by Andrew Bergman, the movie co-starred Sarah Jessica Parker and James Caan.

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“The Many Loves of Rafe McCawley” [PG-13] – 4/7

“THE MANY LOVES OF RAFE McCAWLEY”

PART 4 – “Daddy’s Girl”

LONG ISLAND, NY; DECEMBER 1940 . . . Danny sat on what he considered to be a ridiculous-looking chair. Beside him stood a dark-haired, Rubenesque nurse. She tapped his left kneecap for the last time. Danny’s leg shot up, confirming his quick reflexes. “Okay, Lieutenant,” she said in a nasal voice that hinted her origins as one of the five boroughs in New York, “that’s it for today.” She opened Danny’s medical file and stamped it. PASS

“Thanks,” Danny mumbled, as he stood up. The nurse handed him his file and he joined Rafe, who stood nearby. The pair resumed their conversation on Ellie Conway. “So, you knew all along that she was using you to become Homecoming Queen?”

Rafe grunted. “Hell, Ellie was always pretty easy to read. And when she asked me to help her campaign for Homecoming Queen, I knew.”

“When did you finally decided to break up with her?” Danny asked.

The two friends found empty seats for a few minutes’ rest. Rafe took a deep breath. “It was after you brought up Lila, I reckon. I just got tired of pretending that I cared for her, after that. In fact, I think I simply got tired of Ellie, period. And I noticed that I wasn’t the only one. Hell, she went through five boyfriends in one year.”

“Six,” Danny corrected. Rafe’s eyes narrowed. “Becky McPherson and I kept count. It was a hobby of ours.”

Rafe chuckled and shook his head. Danny smiled. It was nice to see Rafe relaxed for once. The older man had been on edge all morning and afternoon. “The only other girl I can recall who went through so many boys was Fenton Marsh,” Rafe continued. “Only she went through fiancés, not boyfriends. You remember Fenton, don’t you Danny?”

A groan escaped from Danny’s mouth. Of course he remembered Fenton Marsh. He had been the one responsible for introducing her to Rafe.

* * * *

KNOXVILLE, TN; OCTOBER 1936 – APRIL 1937 . . . A tall, lanky figure raced across the Knoxville campus of the University of Tennessee, oblivious of the others in his path. Rafe McCawley, who sat on one of the steps in front of Ayres Hall, averted his eyes from the book in his lap, as his best friend slid into a halt, before him. “Hey Danny, what’s shakin’?”

“Hey Rafe.” A breathless Danny Walker dropped into the empty spot next to Rafe. Despite his exertion, the younger man’s dark eyes glimmered with excitement. “Say, are you available for Saturday night?”

Rafe shrugged. “Not really. I was hoping you would help me with my English Lit class.” Although Rafe, along with Danny, had managed to complete two years of college and start his third year, English continued to be a major impediment in his education. It was a problem that baffled Rafe, Danny and many close friends and family. Everyone knew that Rafe was an intelligent young man. He had no trouble comprehending his other courses – especially those that dealt with mathematics and science. And he usually excelled in those subjects, as long as someone explained it to him. Or when he read mathematical figures. When it came to reading and writing, he usually encountered trouble. Thankfully, Rafe had Danny to help him. Just as he occasionally helped Danny with more complex mathematical and engineering courses.

Danny promised to tutor Rafe tonight. But he still had other matters to discuss. Like Saturday night. “What’s so special about Saturday?” Rafe continued.

“Do you have a date?”

An exasperated sigh left Rafe’s mouth. “You know the answer, already.” He referred to his latest girlfriend, a fellow Shelby native named Burdetta Foster. They had recently broken up after a summer romance. No hostile words or bad feelings had been involved. Rafe and Burdetta simply grew tired of each other.

“Well, Carrie Ann and I found the perfect date for you,” Danny continued. “Her name is Fenton Marsh.” According to the 19 year-old, he and his girlfriend, Carrie Ann Vogel, had met this girl in their English Literature class. Fenton Marsh. Danny provided a few other tidbits about this prospective date. She was 19 years old, who would turn twenty, next month. Fenton majored in History and her father happened to be a wealthy businessman with investments in coal, steel and cotton. According to Danny, she also enjoyed literature, art, dancing and parties. “She’s really swell,” Danny added in an enthusiastic voice. “The perfect girl for you.”

Perfect girl? Rafe did not believe such a person existed. At least for him. But if Danny thought otherwise (and the younger man rarely liked any of his girlfriends), Rafe decided that he would give this Fenton Marsh a shot.

* * * *

She was perfect. Rafe could not find no other words to describe Fenton Marsh. The moment this beautiful, chestnut-haired girl opened her mouth and laughed at one of his jokes, Rafe fell in love.

“You are so funny!” Fenton’s deep blue eyes sparkled with delight. “I bet you could put Fred Allen and Jack Benny to shame.” She leaned forward, her full lips stretched into a wide grin. “You ever thought of going to New York and performing on radio? Heck, you could probably try one of the stations, here in Knoxville.”

The quartet of college students – Rafe, Fenton, Danny and the latter’s girlfriend, Carrie Ann Vogel – occupied a booth inside a local dance club frequented by many students. A waitress appeared with their drinks. Other patrons filled the dance floor, as they moved to the music of an all-black jazz band.

Carrie Ann, a pretty girl with dark hair and almond-shaped brown eyes, took a sip of her beer. “Rafe on the radio? Well,” she gave him a fond smile, “considering how much he likes to talk, that’s not hard to imagine. But I think he would prefer to fly a plane than be a radio star. Danny too.” She planted a quick kiss on the latter’s cheek.

“A pilot?” Fenton’s brows shot upward. “You two are pilots?”

Rafe nodded. “Yes ma’am. I’ve been one for the past four years. Danny got his license three years ago. But we’ve both been flying for at least six years. My daddy taught us.”

Fenton asked, “And what does your daddy do for a living?”

“He’s a crop duster pilot,” Rafe replied. “And he also owns a flying school. He used to be an Army pilot during the War. You know, like Buddy Rogers and Dick Arlen in “WINGS”.”

Fenton turned to Danny. “And your daddy?”

The younger man’s face hardened momentarily. Before he could open his mouth, Rafe answered for him. “Danny’s pa was a farmer. He died of a heart attack a couple of years ago. Danny’s been living with my family ever since.” Rafe acknowledged his friend’s grateful smile with a small nod.

Meanwhile, Fenton continued to express interest in the boys’ career plans. “So you both plan to be pilots. Doing what, exactly? Flying crop dusters or one of those new Pan Am clipper ships?”

“No ma’am,” Rafe replied calmly. “Army pilots. Danny and I plan to join the Army Air Corps when we finish college.”

A smile touched Fenton’s lips. “How very patriotic.” For a moment, Rafe wondered if she was being patronizing. But her expression seemed genuinely sincere.

The band began to play another tune. A popular Irving Berlin tune called, “Let Yourself Go”. The band’s female vocalist began to sing:

“As you listen to the band don’t you get a bubble?
As you listen to them play don’t you get a glow?
If you step out on the floor
You’ll forget your trouble
If you go into your dance
You’ll forget your woe
So – come, get together
Let the dance floor feel your leather
Step as lightly as a feather
Let yourself go.”

Rafe stared at Fenton. “Well, you heard what the lady said. Shall we?” He eased out of the booth and stood up. Fenton gave him a happy nod, as she allowed him to help her do the same. Then the pair joined the others on the dance floor.

* * * *

“You were right about her, Danny,” Rafe declared later that night. The two friends entered the dormitory building, where they resided. “Fenton’s perfect.”

A triumphant grin appeared on Danny’s face. “What did I tell you?”

“She sure talked a lot about her daddy, though,” Rafe added reflectively.

Danny frowned as he paused near the staircase, inside the foyer. “Huh? What do you mean?”

“Her daddy. Fenton talked about him. A lot.”

Danny’s frown deepened. “And that bothers you? Maybe they’re close. From what Carol Ann told me, Mr. Marsh seems like a swell guy.”

The pair began ascending the staircase. “Well, if you say so. I reckon there’s nothing to worry about.”

* * * *

The more Rafe became acquainted with Fenton Marsh, the more enchanted he became. He felt that she was wonderful. The couple grew close over the next several months. When they were not engaged in the great college social whirl, both helped each other with their studies. Fenton tutored Rafe in reading and writing, making it easier for him to comprehend the lessons in his textbooks. And Rafe helped her tackle the Geometry course she needed to complete this semester.

“I swear,” she declared in a frustrated voice one chilly evening in early December. “If I ever have to read another science book again, I’ll go mad.”

The pair sat inside the study hall of one of the university’s libraries. Rafe reached across the table and brushed away a strand of chestnut hair away from her forehead. “Just consider this – if you pass Geometry this semester, that will only leave you with Physics for next spring. And then, you’ll be free to sign up for the courses that interest you during your senior year.”

Fenton grunted, which produced a smile from Rafe.

The Christmas holidays arrived in late December. Rafe, Danny and Carrie Ann received invitations to spend the holiday with Fenton’s family on their plantation in Tipton County. Carol Ann accepted, but Rafe and Danny had to decline. “I wish we could go,” Rafe said to his girlfriend, “but Danny and me had promised my folks that we would be home for Christmas.”

Fortunately, Fenton understood. “My daddy always said that Christmas was an important time of the year for family.” Rafe remained silent. He usually did whenever Fenton discussed her parent. Which was often. “But what about next April? During Spring Break? My family and I are usually in Florida during that time. Would you like to join us, there?” Both Rafe and Danny promised they would consider the suggestion.

Christmas and the New Year came and went. The students returned to the campus to tackle mid-year finals, before commencing on the second semester. Rafe did not realize how much he missed Fenton, until they reunited for a Saturday night date at the end of his first week back. The moment she joined him inside his car, Rafe drew her into arms and captured her mouth with a kiss.

“Hmmm,” he moaned, as the couple remained locked in a deep embrace. “I sure missed you a lot.”

Fenton began to nibble his left earlobe. “Oooh and I missed you too,” she murmured. “Even Daddy noticed that my attention was elsewhere. Christmas and New Year’s wasn’t the same without you. And I don’t know how I’m gonna get through the Easter holiday. Or summer.”

Rafe gently pushed her back against the car seat. “I don’t know about the summer,” he whispered, “but maybe I can do something about Easter vacation. Because right now, Florida is sounding very appealing.” He brushed his lips against Fenton’s cheek. “How about that?”

Another moan left Fenton’s mouth. She grabbed the back of Rafe’s head and drew it toward hers. “That . . . sounds like a wonderful idea. Just grand.” She captured his mouth for another deep kiss.

* * * *

When Rafe broached the subject of spending Easter vacation with the Marshes to his parents, he was surprised by their easy acquience of the idea. In fact, they seemed unusually thrilled.

“Maybe they like the idea of you being serious about a girl, for once,” Danny suggested. Rafe had just told him about the McCawleys’ reaction. The two friends sat inside the older man’s Cadillac convertible, as it sped toward the nearest airfield, where they planned to spend an afternoon of flying.

Rafe dismissed the idea with a wave of the hand. “What are you talking about? They’ve never met Fenton.”

“True, but you gabbed about her during the whole time we were home. Your mama practically ordered me to tell her everything I knew about Fenton.” Danny shrugged. “I reckon she liked what I told her.”

Rafe shot his best friend a grateful smile. “You know what, Danny? You’re a true friend. But I’ll tell you something you don’t know.”

“Like what?”

The airfield loomed ahead. Rafe steered his Cadillac to one of the hangars. He put on the brakes and faced Danny. “I plan to ask Fenton to marry me. I’ve already bought an engagement ring.”

Pure shock lit up Danny’s dark eyes. “Marry? But Rafe, you’ve got one more year of college to finish before we join the Army. Isn’t this a little soon?”

“Yeah, it is,” Rafe said. “However, if Fenton says yes, I plan to suggest a year long engagement. Wait until we graduate.”

Danny remained silent. Rafe began to wonder if his friend regretted introducing him to Fenton. “Look Danny, I still plan to join the Army Air Corps after graduation. If you’re worried about that. And if Fenton doesn’t agree . . . well, I reckon that would be it for us.”

“I’m sure that Fenton won’t mind being an Army officer’s wife,” Danny finally said. Rafe detected a note of doubt in his friend’s voice. But he remained silent. Only time would tell.

* * * *

The following weekend, Rafe took Fenton to a formal dance being held inside a ballroom, at a local Knoxville hotel. To his delight, she accepted his marriage proposal. She even agreed to a year-long engagement, along with a wedding after graduation. And she did not seemed to have no qualms about becoming an officer’s wife. “I suppose it will be difficult at first,” she admitted, “but I’ve always loved a good challenge.”

“I reckon that’s what I’ll be facing when I meet your folks. Especially your daddy,” Rafe responded with a chuckle.

Fenton let out a squeal of delight. “Does this mean you’ll be coming to Florida for spring vacation?”

Rafe nodded. “Yep. You don’t mind if I bring Danny along, do you?”

“Of course not! Heck, I plan to invite Carol Ann, as well.” Fenton threw herself into Rafe’s arms. “Oh Rafe! This is gonna be just wonderful! I can’t wait for you to meet my folks! Daddy’s gonna love you! You two are a lot alike.”

Rafe remained silent, while his fiancé continued to ramble on. Despite the delight he felt over his engagement, Fenton’s words about her father reverberated in his mind. He did not know whether to feel complimented by the comparison. Or alarmed.

* * * *

Spring vacation finally arrived. After Rafe and Danny spent the Easter holidays on the McCawley farm, they met Carol Ann in Memphis and began a bus trip to Florida. After a connection in Atlanta, the trio finally arrived in St. Augustine, on the following afternoon.

A uniformed chauffeur conveyed them to an elegant, three-story villa located not far from the beach. Upon their arrival, they found Fenton waiting for them inside the foyer.

“Rafe!” She threw herself into her fiance’s arms. Rafe responded with a long kiss. Danny, Carol Ann and the Marshes’ servants pretended not to notice. Fenton broke away with a sigh and added, “Everyone’s upstairs, changing for supper. You might as well freshen up, as well. Supper will be ready in one hour.”

House servants escorted the guests to their rooms. Rafe noticed that Fenton had made sure that each had his or her own room. To guarantee a little late night privacy? Rafe did not have time to wonder. Instead, he showered, changed into one of his nicer suits and joined Danny and Carrie Ann, downstairs. The trio found the Marsh family sitting around a dining table on the verandah. Beyond it laid the beach.

Fenton shot out of her chair to greet her guests. “Hey everyone! I’m glad that you could make it.” She grabbed Rafe’s hand and dragged him toward the handsome, middle-aged man who occupied the seat at the table. “Rafe, I’d like you and Danny to meet my father, Hunter Edward Marsh.”

Like his daughter, Mr. Marsh possessed chestnut-hair and deep blue eyes. Only his hair was sprinkled with gray and lines stretched from his eyes. He stood up to shake Rafe’s hand. A tall man, but not as tall as Rafe or Danny. “So, you’re the young man who’s captured my girl’s heart,” he boomed in a deep voice.

A grin split open Fenton’s mouth. “Oh Daddy! This is Rafe McCawley, your future son-in-law. And this is his best friend, Danny Walker. You already know Carrie Ann.”

While he shook Rafe’s hand, Mr. Marsh gave the other two a polite nod. “Nice to meet you all. This is my wife, Delphine Fenton Marsh.” He nodded at a handsome, dark-haired woman with pale skin and dark-brown eyes, sitting opposite him. “And that young snapper over there,” Mr. Marsh pointed at a young boy who seemed to be the spitting image of Mrs. Marsh, “is my son, Putnam Hunter Marsh.”

After the introductions were made, the three guests settled into empty seats around the table. The meal, Rafe had to admit, was delicious. Crab, shrimp, rice pilaf, green salad, roast duck, corn chowder and sourdough bread. He found himself growing comfortable, while Danny and Carrie Ann described the trip from Tennessee. Rafe would have added to the conversation, but he was too busy observing Fenton’s family.

It amazed him on how much Fenton resembled her father. And not just physically. Both daughter and father seemed to possess the same gregarious nature – talkative and at times, almost opinionated. Father and daughter also shared a taste for company, especially parties. Mr. Marsh seemed more excited than everyone else about the party he planned to hold in honor of Rafe and Fenton’s engagement. “We can also celebrate your birthday as well, Rafe. Fenton tells me that you just turned twenty-one.”

“Yes sir,” Rafe replied with a nod. “Just over a week ago.”

Mr. Marsh nodded. “Twenty-one, huh?” He sighed. “Why I remember when I was twenty-one. Going to college. I’m afraid that I spent more of my college years indulging in leisure, instead of my studies.”

“But you still managed to turn out perfect, didn’t you, Daddy?” Fenton crowed. She smiled indulgently at her father. A smile that left Rafe feeling very uneasy.

Mr. Marsh smiled back. “If you say so, darling. If you say so.” Rafe’s eyes focused first upon the father, and then the daughter. Finally, he stared at Mrs. Marsh, who merely rolled her eyes in disgust. That uneasy feeling now formed a tight knot in Rafe’s stomach.

* * * *

“Danny, you ever get this feeling that you’re about to make a mistake? Or have already made one?”

Rafe’s question pierced the silence inside his bedroom. Danny had joined Rafe for a late night snack of chiffon cake that had been served for dessert. The younger man stared at the older one. “Rafe, what the hell are you talking about? What mistake?”

Sighing, Rafe rolled over to meet his friend’s eyes. “I’m talking about Fenton. I got this feeling that marrying her might turn out to be a big mistake.”

“What?” The word came out of Danny’s mouth like a deep whistle. He lowered his voice. “What do you mean? You and Fenton are perfect for each other. It’s not like you two plan to get married right away.” After a moment’s pause, he added, “Or have you simply changed your mind?”

Rafe took a deep breath. “No, we still plan to get married, next year. It’s just . . .”

“What?”

Another paused followed before Rafe added, “I don’t know. It’s Fenton and her daddy. Don’t you think that they seemed a bit . . . close?”

Danny’s eyes flew open with alarm. “Wait a minute! Are you saying that Fenton and Mr. Marsh have some kind of . . . that their relationship is more than . . .”

“I’m not talking about incest, Danny!” Rafe retorted. Then he sighed, while the other young man’s shoulders sagged with relief. “It’s just . . . well, I think Fenton is what one might call a ‘daddy’s girl’. You know what I mean.”

Danny nodded. “Oh.”

Rafe continued, “Jesus Danny, I hope I’m wrong. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life competing against my father-in-law for my wife’s attention! Or even worse, agreeing to everything he says.”

“Don’t you think you might be exaggerating? So, Fenton’s close with her daddy. Hell, you’re close with both of your folks.”

A sigh left Rafe’s mouth. “I don’t have some mutual admiration society going on with either of them. Then again . . .” he sighed, “I don’t know. Maybe I am imagining things.”

Danny smiled. “Does that mean I can leave and finally get some sleep?” He slid off Rafe’s bed and headed for the door. “See you later, Rafe.” And he left.

* * * *

Perhaps Danny had been right after all, Rafe decided two days later. Maybe he had seen too much in Fenton’s relationship with her daddy. Since that first evening in St. Augustine, neither daughter or father have shown any signs of what Rafe feared. In fact, he has barely seen Fenton or Mr. Marsh together – except during meals.

On the fourth evening, Rafe, Fenton, Danny and Carrie Ann returned to the Marshes’ villa, after spending a day visiting some of St. Augustine’s tourist spots – including the famous Castillo San Marcos. The quartet found the household preparing for an early supper. They quickly headed for their bedrooms to change into less casual clothes.

Dinner started on a pleasant note. The young people enthusiastically described their day about town. Rafe had found his mood growing steadily positive since his late night conversation with Danny. But the good mood finally disappeared when Mr. Marsh decided to change the subject that evening.

“Say Rafe, mind if I ask you a question?” the older man said.

The hairs on the back of Rafe’s neck began to rise. There seemed to be a hint in Mr. Marsh’s tone that gave him a foreboding air. Rafe smiled dimly at his future father-in-law. “Yes sir?”

Mr. Marsh coughed slightly. “It’s about your plans for after college. I understand that you and Danny plan to join the Army, following graduation. The Army Air Corps. Is that right?”

Oh oh, Rafe thought. Trouble. He answered, “Yes sir, that’s right. Danny and me have been planning this for a long time. Ain’t that right, Danny?”

The younger man nodded, warily eyeing their host.

“Uh huh.” Fenton’s father speared a piece of roast chicken and popped it into his mouth. He chewed. Slowly. “You know, it’s fine thing that you want to serve your country,” he added, after swallowing the chicken. “Only, why now? We’re not exactly at war with anyone right now. And I can think of a better way to utilize that fine education of yours.”

Rafe glanced at Fenton. His heart nearly sank at the hopeful expression, imprinted on her face. “Exactly what do you have in mind, sir?”

Mr. Marsh went on to explain that he had contacts with the Lockheed Company, located in Los Angeles. “I told them about you and Danny. And the good news is that they would be more than happy to hire you two boys as civilian test pilots. And once you earn your Masters, you can become aviation engineers. Now, how do you like that?”

How did he like that? It almost seemed like a dream come true for Rafe. To become a top test pilot at a prestigious company, along with the chance to design new aircraft seemed like a great opportunity. Well, almost. He still longed to be an Army pilot above anything else. Nor did he care for the idea of getting ahead in the world, due to marriage with Fenton. So, he had only one answer. “Thank you, Mr. Marsh, but I’m gonna have to say no thanks. I can’t speak for Danny, but I’d prefer to go ahead with my own plans.”

Danny’s shoulders sagged with relief. Mr. Marsh looked at Rafe as if the latter had gone mad. Even worse, Fenton’s expression seemed to crumble with disappointment. “Look here boy, I’m handing you the opportunity of a life time!” Mr. Marsh cried. “And you’re turning me down?”

Rafe shrugged. “Like you said, sir, I want to serve my country. Besides, some of the best pilots have received military training. And there’s a good chance that we might be at war within the next few years.”

“With whom? Hitler? I suspect that Roosevelt and his cronies tend to make a big deal out of nothing. Hitler’s no danger. He’s only trying to help his country.”

“By taking over the Sudenland, in Czechoslovakia?” The outburst came from Carrie Ann, who immediately blushed after everyone stared at her. “Excuse me,” she mumbled.

Mr. Marsh’s eyes lingered upon Carrie Ann for a moment. Before they returned to Rafe. “Now listen, boy. You better grab this opportunity, while you can. I’m not about to stand around and watch my daughter become some Army wife. She deserves better than that. So, I suggest that you accept this offer. Or . . .”

“Or what?” Rafe’s voice assumed a slight, belligerent tone. “Look here, Mr. Marsh, I love your daughter very much. And I hope to make her my wife. But I also have every intention of leading my life in the way I see fit. Fenton has known about my plans to join the Army, since we first met. And she has no problems with it. Right Fenton?” Rafe faced his fiancée. To his shock, she turned pale. Then she let out a slight sob, slipped out of her chair and fled the dining room.

* * * *

“Why in the hell didn’t you tell me that you had problems with me joining the Army?” Rafe bellowed at Fenton.

Following her flight from the dining room, Rafe found Fenton on the back veranda, sitting on the wicker sofa and staring at the ocean, beyond. Now the engaged couple faced each other, wearing grim expressions.

Fenton replied in a defiant voice, “I didn’t mind. At first. But after Daddy and I talked, I realized that I didn’t want to be an Army wife. Why can’t you accept his offer?”

“Because I don’t want to work for Lockheed! Not if your daddy arranged the whole thing.”

“What’s wrong with Daddy getting a job for you?” Fenton shot back. “You should be grateful!”

Rafe wondered if he had heard his fiancée right. “Grateful? Why the hell should I be grateful? If I give in to this, he’ll be running our lives forever! Even with us in California and him in Tennessee!”

“You’re just jealous! That’s all. Like the others before you! You’re jealous that he’s a lot smarter. And you just can’t bear the thought of him knowing better than you on what to do with your life! Our lives!”

At that moment, Rafe realized that he had fallen love with the wrong woman. A daddy’s girl. He stared at her in disbelief. “I can’t believe you’re saying this to me.”

Nodding furiously, Fenton added, “Well, believe this. If you want me, you’ll have to give up the Army. You can’t have both.”

“I’m only surprised that your daddy doesn’t come with the deal,” Rafe replied sarcastically. The moment those words came out of his mouth, Fenton’s slim hand slapped him hard across the face. Rubbing his cheek, he added, “I reckon that tears it, then. Good-bye Fenton.” He turned his back on his now former fiancée and returned inside the house.

The following morning, Rafe, Danny and Carrie Ann packed their bags and left the Marsh house for good. The trio boarded the first Greyhound bus bound for Tennessee.

END OF PART 4

“A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD” (2013) Review

a-good-day-to-die-hard

 

“A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD” (2013) Review

Five-and-a-half years following the successful release of the fourth movie in the DIE HARD movie franchise – 2007’s“LIVE FREE AND DIE HARD”, 20th Century Fox Studios release a fifth movie about the adventures of New York Police detective John McClane called “A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD”

A high-ranking, yet corrupt official in Moscow, Russia named Viktor Chagarin plans on incriminating political prisoner/government whistleblower and former billionaire Yuri Komarov without a fair trial when Komarov refuses to hand over a secret file believed to have convicting evidence against Chagarin. A young man assassinates a colleague of Chagarin’s and agrees to testify against Komarov for a shorter sentence. He turns out to be John “Jack” McClane Jr., Detective McClane’s estranged only son. The NYPD police officer, who has not been in touch with his son for years, learns of Jack’s situation and travels to Russia to help.

But when John arrives and approaches the courthouse that holds Jack and Komarov on trial, an explosion orchestrated by Chagarin and his henchmen disrupts the courthouse, and Jack breaks free with Komarov. After spotting Jack, John confronts him, but their dispute is cut short when Chagarin’s henchmen, led by main enforcer Alik, chase them throughout the streets of Moscow. John learns that Jack is a CIA agent and has been on a three-year mission to rescue Komarov from Chagarin’s clutches and retrieve a file that can link Chagarin and Komarov to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The file will enable the U.S. government to bring down Chagarin, who has proven to be an obstacle to U.S.-Russian relations. But the McClane men not only learn to heal long-standing family rifts, but also discover there is more to this mission than evidence against Chagarin.

“A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD” received negative reviews from movie critics. In fact, their response to the movie strongly reminded me of the negative press that the James Bond movie, “QUANTUM OF SOLACE” had received in 2008. In a way, I could see why. Both movies share two negative traits that prevented them from becoming even better films.“A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD”, like the Bond film, suffered from what I liked to call the “Paul Greengrass film editing style”. I realize that this editing style has been popular with recent filmmakers who use it to trim a movie’s running time. But I can do without it. I disliked in the second and third JASON BOURNE movies. I disliked it in “QUANTUM OF SOLACE”. And I also disliked it in “A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD”. Director John Moore and editor Dan Zimmerman used it with strong effect during the Moscow car chase, making the latter one of the most confusing car chases since the one featured in 2007’s “THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM”.

Moore and Zimmerman’s use of this fast speed editing style also enabled them to give “A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD” the shortest running time in the franchise’s fifteen year history . . . one of 97 minutes. The idea of a DIE HARD movie running slightly over 90 minutes makes me shake my head in disbelief. Also, the plot for this latest film, penned by Skip Woods, is too complicated and quite frankly, too good to be wasted on a 90-something minutes running time. If “A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD” had possessed a longer running time, Woods story could have been told with greater detail. For instance, the movie could have revealed how John learned of Jack’s arrest with greater detail. And the situation regarding Chagarin, Komarov and Jack could have been told with greater detail with a longer running time. Also, Cole Hauser could have enjoyed more screen time as Jack’s CIA partner, Mike Collins. Instead, Hauser was barely on screen for five minutes tops.

Before one begins to think I share the critics’ dislike of “A GOOD DAY TO DIE”, you will be mistaken. Because I do not share their opinion. Despite the Paul Greengrass editing style and the shorter running time, I still enjoyed the movie very much . . . in fact, more than I thought possible. As I had stated earlier, Skip Woods penned a very strong story for the movie. Yes, it featured the usual over-the-top action that has been a hallmark of the franchise for years. One of my favorite scenes proved to be John, Jack and Komarov’s escape from the CIA safe house in Moscow. It not only gave Bruce Willis (or his stunt man) another chance to prove how great he can be as on-screen badass, it gave Jai Courtney, who portrayed Jack McClane, a chance to show that his character is a badass, as well. In fact, another scene provided more great moments for both Willis and Courtney – namely the McClane men’s escape from death after they and Komarov were captured by Alix.

One of the best aspects of Woods’ screenplay proved to be the complicated story surrounding the strained relationship between Chagarin and Komarov. This storyline provided audiences an interesting peek into Russian politics – if it is somewhat accurate. I suspect that it is not completely accurate, but this is a work of fiction we are talking about, not a documentary. More importantly, Woods’ story added the Chernobyl disaster as a catalyst to the former colleagues’ estrangement . . . enabling audiences a chilling peek at the infamous Chernobyl site in the Ukraine, during the movie’s final action scene. This sequence also provided a plot twist that brought back a memories of the 1990 film, “DIE HARD 2”. The best aspect of “A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD” is that the movie allowed a more satisfying portrayal of the relationship between John and Jack than “LIVE FREE AND DIE HARD” did for John and Lucy, five years ago.

Speaking of the relationship between the two McClane men, it would not have worked without the chemistry between Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney. I understand that the movie’s casting director considered a good number of actors – including Liam Hemsworth and James Badge Dale – before Australian actor Jai Courtney was chosen. Willis was in top form, as usual. I found Willis very effective in portraying McClane’s desire to reconcile with his son in conflict with the NYPD cop’s penchant for butting into situations where he is not wanted. And he formed a top-notch chemistry with Courtney. The latter did an excellent job in portraying Jack’s initial resentment toward John, his growing regard for the latter and intense fixation on his mission. German actor Sebastian Koch (whom I last saw in 2011’s “UNKNOWN”, gave a subtle, yet complex portrayal of Yuri Komarov, the former billionaire and criminal who found a conscious and exposed his former partner. Sergei Kolesnikov gave a solid performance as the corrupt politician Viktor Chagarin. But I found Yuliya Snigir very impressive as Komarov’s daughter Irina, who proved to be more than meets the eye. I wish I could say the same about Radivoje Bukvić, who portrayed Chagarin’s main henchman. But I found his performance a little over-the-top. It was nice to see Mary Elizabeth Winstead reprise her portrayal of Lucy McClane, and she proved to be as spunky as ever. But Cole Hauser was really effective as Mike Collins, Jack’s CIA partner. He was subtle, brutal and slightly scary. And his performance made me wish he had more scenes.

I can understand the critics’ disappointment with the shorter running time and quick flash editing in “A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD”. But despite these flaws, the movie still proved to be very entertaining, thanks to solid, yet slightly flawed direction by John Moore, an interesting story penned by Skip Woods and a first rate cast led by Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney.

Notes and Observations of “STAR WARS: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith”

The following is a list of minor notes and observations that came to me, during my recent viewing of “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”. I hope that you enjoy them: 

Notes and Observations of “STAR WARS: EPISODE III – REVENGE OF THE SITH”

*How ironic that this story begins with the “rescue” of Chancellor Palpatine – the very person who has exploited the Jedi’s weaknesses to bring about their downfall. I wonder if both Anakin and Obi-Wan ever came to regret the success of their mission.

*I noticed how both Anakin and Obi-Wan seemed to be flying in perfect sync with each other in the opening sequences. And yet, as they get closer to Palpatine (who is “being held prisoner” aboard Grievous’ ship), things begin to go wrong. Perhaps this situation is an allegory of their relationship at this stage of the story.

*”Flying is for droids.” – Odd comment for Obi-Wan to make, considering that his former padawan is such an excellent pilot. Does this mean that Anakin can be viewed as a future droid?

*Poor R4-D17. At least he had three good years with Obi-Wan

*The usually cautious Obi-Wan zips out of his starfighter cockpit in a flash and starts striking down droids. Meanwhile, Anakin takes his time to unfasten his safety restraint and climb out of his cockpit. This might possibly be a sign of how the two men have adopted each other’s way of handling matters. This also reminds me of how both men had dealt with their “animus” nature inside the Geonosis arena in AOTC.

*Notice how both Count Dooku and General Grievous seem to foreshadow Anakin’s future as Darth Vader. Count Dooku represented the Jedi Knight/Master who became Palpatine’s Sith apprentice. Grievous represented the cyborg that Anakin will become.

*R2-D2’s efforts to hide from the Separatist droids must be one of the funniest sequences I have ever seen in a STAR WARS movie.

*”Uh, no loose wire jokes.” – Dear Anakin. It’s nice to see there is one advocate for the droids.

*The Chancellor’s seat on Grievous’ ship strongly reminds me of his throne in ROTJ.

*”Chancellor Palpatine, Sith Lords are our specialty.” – Oh dear. Obi-Wan seemed to be in danger of becoming too self-assured. The last time he had believed that he and Anakin could take out Dooku, Yoda ended up saving them.

*”Good! Twice the pride. Double the fall.” – It seems that Count Dooku is also suffering from the same kind of arrogance.

*Anakin tells Dooku that he has become twice as powerful, since their last encounter on Geonosis. How is it that despite the loss of an arm, his connection to the Force has strengthened? Makes me wonder if Lucas’ comment that Anakin’s loss of limbs on Mustafar had weakened his connection to the Force is a lot of bull.

*Anakin and Obi-Wan’s pride and aggression nearly cost them in their second duel against Dooku. Only Dooku’s own pride and arrogance saved them in the long run.

*Dooku had been right to criticize Anakin for not using his anger in their lightsaber duel. When Anakin finally did, he pretty much had it in control . . . until Palpatine convinced him to lose that control and kill Dooku.

*I also noticed that unlike Obi-Wan and Dooku, Anakin’s lightsaber skills do not seem as flashy as theirs. His style seemed to be similar to Qui-Gon and Mace – very direct and with very little complicated moves.

*I could not help but wonder what was going through Palpatine’s mind, when his life – along with Anakin and Obi-Wan’s – were in danger, while trying to escape from Grievous’ ship.

*”General Grievous . . . you’re shorter than I had expected.” – Hmm, now I see from whom Leia had inherited her sardonic manner.

*Has Obi-Wan become a little too cocky about his skills? He had chopped off the head of a Magna guard and walked away . . . only to be surprised to learn that it could still fight.

*Meanwhile, Anakin managed to show a predilection for patience – only in the wrong situation. It almost seemed as if an alien spirit had taken control of his body. Obi-Wan noticed and quite wisely disapproved. He knew that Anakin was not being true to himself.

*General Grievous’s escape from his ship struck me as being quite daring and masterful. I could also say the same about how Anakin had landed Grievous’ ship on Coruscant. As Obi-Wan said, “Another happy landing.”

*For the first time, I had noticed that the skies of Coruscant were cloudy . . . overcast. They seemed to hint the rising storm that will eventually erupt throughout the Republic.

*Was that Lucas’ daughter – a blue-skinned alien – amongst the welcoming committee for Palpatine?

*This is rare – Leia’s future father and stepfather actually have a scene together.

*Although Padme seemed to be wearing Leia’s infamous bun hairdo, I noticed that her hairstyle is slightly different.

*The moment that Anakin expressed his desire to end the deception over his marriage to Padme, she quickly opposed the idea. She must have been afraid of facing the consequences of their deception.

*John Williams’ score for this movie seemed darker and more martial than anything else heard in a STAR WARS movie. Has anyone else noticed this?

*I simply love the shot of Padme brushing her hair on the balcony, while Anakin watches her. Very romantic.

*”So, love has blinded you?” –Padme may have been speaking of Anakin. Then again, she may have been speaking of herself. Or both.

*It is interesting that Anakin has been reluctant to express his troubles to Padme. This must have been the case ever since his murder of the Tusken Raiders on Tatooine. One would say that all is not paradise with their marriage. But I must say . . . if their marriage had seemed like paradise, I would have been suspicious.

*The scene between Anakin and Yoda struck me as being rather cold. I wonder if this had been the first time Anakin had sought the counsel of the Jedi Master.

*I am curious as to why Obi-Wan had never exerted more effort to discourage Anakin’s friendship with Palpatine.

*I find it interesting that Anakin seemed more disturbed by the Jedi Council’s suggestion that he spy upon Palpatine than he was by the latter’s suggestion that he does the same with the Jedi Council. Especially after he had insisted that Anakin join the Council.

*After Mace reveals the Jedi Council’s decision not to make Anakin a Master, I noticed that both he and Obi-Wan seemed to express momentary flashes of guilt. And Yoda seemed to be making an attempt to distance himself from Anakin’s reaction by closing his eyes for a brief moment.

*Of course, Anakin’s reaction to the decision did seem very immature, as indicated by Mace’s order that he take a seat. But after Anakin had apologized for his outburst, Obi-Wan shook his head in silent disapproval of his former padawan.

*”It’s what you wanted. Your friendship with Chancellor Palpatine seemed to have paid off.” – For those who claimed that Obi-Wan understood Anakin very well, really need to read the above statement or watch that scene again. Why would Obi-Wan assume that Anakin had used his friendship with Palpatine to become a member of the Jedi Council? Why would he accuse Anakin of harboring ambitions to become a Council member, when he had admonished Qui-Gon, years earlier, for failing to reach such an achievement? What a curious man.

*If Obi-Wan was against Anakin spying on Palpatine, why did he insist that the young Knight accept the assignment in the first place? And why didn’t Anakin act on his feelings and refuse the assignment? I believe this scene is a clear case of Obi-Wan failing Anakin . . . and Anakin failing himself.

*Someone once stated that Padme had maintained her idealism of the Republic to the bitter end. And yet, in one scene, she tries to convince Anakin that the Republic was in danger of becoming the very evil she had opposed for so long.

*Why did Padme ask Anakin to discuss ending the war with Palpatine? I can see why he was upset. Like the Jedi, Padme seemed willing to use Anakin to further her own agenda regarding Palpatine.

*I noticed that Padme managed to change the subject from politics to personal matters in the same way Anakin had done during the Naboo picnic scene in AOTC.

*”All who gain power are afraid to lose it.” – Who would have thought that Palpatine would utter the very words that seemed to be the theme of the Prequel Trilogy. His words – more or less – seemed to describe all of the major characters. Including himself.

*Anakin must have been very desperate to believe Palpatine’s claim that he had knowledge of a way to save Padme through the use of the Force.

*Why was the Jedi Council so determined to refrain Anakin from going to Utaapau? Was their decision a reaction to the revelation that Palpatine had suggested that Anakin take part in that military operation?

*I wonder what was going through Anakin’s mind when he and Obi-Wan spoke for the last time as friends.

*So, not only does Anakin believe that the Jedi Council mistrust him, but also Obi-Wan. And I don’t know if he was right or wrong.

*”You expect too much of yourself.” – Padme was right. No wonder Anakin was determined to save her from death. A way to make up for Shmi’s death, perhaps?

*I like the look and style of the official that greeted Obi-Wan on Utaapau.

*Once again, Obi-Wan manages to remind me that he can be a little too arrogant in dealing with opponents. Facing Grievous turned out to be more difficult than had possibly imagined. Even if the Separatist general could barely use a lightsaber with barely any skill.

*I find it fascinating that the Jedi Council would even consider getting rid of Palpatine without the Senate’s authority. Even if it meant accepting Ki-Adi Mundi’s suggestion that the Council take control of the Senate.

*Palpatine was right that one must accept all aspects of nature – both the light and the dark. What he had failed to add was that the Sith were just as narrow and dogmatic in their view of the Force, as the Jedi.

*”So uncivilized.” – There’s nothing like a good blaster at your side, eh Obi-Wan?

*”For your own good, stay out of this affair. I sense a great deal of confusion in you, young Skywalker. There is much fear that clouds your judgment.” – Many people believe that Mace was wrong not to include Anakin in Palpatine’s arrest. I feel differently. Just listening to his words, made me realize that he had accurately sensed Anakin’s emotional state. If only he had heeded Mace’s words, Anakin would not have ended up with more blood on his hands. For those who say that Anakin would have destroyed Palpatine if Mace had allowed him to participate in the arrest. In truth, no one really knows what would have happened. Unfortunately, no one wants to admit this.

*Mace and the other three Jedi Knights did activate their lightsabers first. If they were there to arrest Palpatine, surely they should have received permission from the Senate. However, I noticed that Palpatine was the first to attack. And he nearly paid the price for his act of aggression.

*Aside from Mace, Palpatine failed to immediately kill Kit Fisto. And all because Mace had briefly intervened.

*Anakin arrived when Mace declared Palpatine under arrest. Then the latter attacked the Jedi Master with Force electrokinesis. Because he had disobeyed Mace, Anakin took his final steps into becoming a Sith Lord.

*”To cheat death is a power that only one has achieved.” Who was Palpatine talking about? Surely not Plageuis, who had failed to cheat death, thanks to his apprentice. And Palpatine knew nothing of Qui-Gon’s spiritual achievement.

*Although Anakin seemed willing to assist and agree with Palpatine, his face seemed to express great reluctance.

*Magnificent shot of Anakin leading the clone troopers to the Jedi Temple.

*Probably one of the most heartbreaking sequences in the entire STAR WARS saga is the execution of Order 66.

*What sort of vehicles were the clone troopers riding during their search for Yoda on Kashyyyk?

*I wonder what would have happened if Anakin had not told Padme of his intent to travel to Mustafar?

*Yoda had expressed belief that it would be easy for him and Obi-Wan to infiltrate the Jedi Temple. Yet, the two Jedi Masters found themselves forced to battle clone troopers guarding the Temple.

*It is interesting that Anakin’s murder of the Separatists leaders occurred around the same time as Palpatine’s declaration as the galaxy’s first emperor.

*Once more, a Jedi Master decides to move against Palpatine without the Senate’s consent. This time, it is Yoda, who decides to kill the Sith Lord. No wonder it was easy for Anakin to view the Jedi as a threat to the galaxy.

*Padme looked particularly heartbroken when Obi-Wan informed her that Anakin had become a Sith Lord.

*Why couldn’t Obi-Wan simply planted a tracker on Padme’s ship, instead of stowing away?

*You can hear signs of the Anakin/Padme love theme from AOTC, when Padme arrived on Mustafar.

*Anakin had an odd, calm expression on his face, while Padme was talking to him. And when he began talking about ruling the galaxy, his expression became even odder.

*Boy, Obi-Wan’s appearance on Mustafar was badly time. Which makes me question his decision to stowaway aboard Padme’s skiff even more.

*I forgot that Padme had been unconscious during Anakin and Obi-Wan’s duel.

*It is interesting that Obi-Wan was the first to light up his lightsaber.

*I now realize that Anakin and Obi-Wan’s duel was not about good versus evil. I believe that it was about years of resentment and anger finally exploding between two men who once loved each other as brothers, despite their disagreements. Hence, the use of blue lightsabers by both and the exploding fire and lava that surrounded them.

*Anakin and Obi-Wan’s out-of-control emotions during the duel seemed like a clear indication of why both had failed to achieve their goals. Anakin’s rash move near the lava bank had resulted in the loss of his legs and his other arm – and spending the rest of his life in the suit. Obi-Wan’s failure to immediately kill Anakin on that lava bank resulted in Vader’s impact upon the galaxy for over the next twenty years . . . and Obi-Wan’s eventual death.

*Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor’s moved very fast in their duel scenes. And I’m not simply referring to what was shown on the movie screen. I’m also referring to their practice sessions shown in the DVD’s Special Features disk.

*”Your arrogance blinds you, Master Yoda.” – I hate to say this, but Palpatine was right. But he could have also been referring to himself. As for Yoda, he made the worse mistake of attacking Palpatine’s guards upon entering the Emperor’s office. He had attacked the guards in the presence of Mas Amedda, the Senate’s leader. An accusation of an assassination attempt by the Jedi would not be far from the truth.

*”My little green friend.” – I would not be surprised if those words had pissed off Yoda.

*Anakin and Obi-Wan’s duel lasted longer than Yoda and Palpatine’s.

*”You were the Chosen One!” – Obi-Wan went into full rant after chopping off Anakin’s limbs. This is an example that he was just as emotional as Anakin during the duel. Of course, I cannot help but wonder why he did not kill Anakin, and allowed the latter to suffer a possible prolonged death on the lava bank.

*Palpatine’s return to Coruscant with a wounded Anakin happened in the midst of fierce rain storm. This scene reminded of that old lady’s words to the nine year-old Anakin in TPM – “Storm’s comin, Ani!” This had occurred before Maul’s arrival on Tatooine. Palpatine and Anakin’s return in the first mentioned scene truly indicated that the storm has finally struck the Republic.

*The expression on Anakin’s face as his Vader mask was being lowered upon him was truly heartbreaking.

*”There’s still good in him.” – If only Obi-Wan had heeded Padme’s words. But . . . he thought that Anakin was dead. On the other hand, the infant Luke did listen. This was perhaps, Padme’s greatest contribution.

*Palpatine seemed pleased by Anakin’s show of power inside the infirmary, when the latter learned of Padme’s death.

*The movie’s last shot of Padme is the japoor snippet that Anakin had given her, years ago.

*I think I must have cried during the movie’s last ten to fifteen minutes. Oh well. On to A NEW HOPE.

“RED-HEADED WOMAN” (1932) Review

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“RED-HEADED WOMAN” (1932) Review

According to Hollywood legend, at least a handful of movies made during the period known as the Pre-Code Era (1929-1934) had pushed the boundaries of on-screen decency so deeply that they may have been responsible for the stringent enforcement of the Hays Code between the mid-1930s and the late 1960s. One of those movies happened to be MGM’s 1932 comedy called “RED-HEADED WOMAN”

Based upon Katherine Brush’s 1931 novel, “RED-HEADED WOMAN” told the story of Lilian “Lil” Andrews, a young secretary at the Legendre Company who uses sex to advance her position there by instigating an affair with William “Bill” Legendre Jr., the son of her wealthy boss. During the course of the film, Lil engages in pre-marital sex, breaks up Bill’s marriage to his ladylike wife Irene. After Lil marries Bill following his divorce, she finds herself shunned by high society due to not only her home wrecking, but also her lower-class origins. Lil tries to force herself into high society by seducing the Legendres’ main customer, wealthy coal tycoon Charles B. Gaerste and blackmailing him into sponsoring her own party. But the plan backfires and a humiliated Lil sets upon a course that ends up threatening her tenuous marriage.

“RED-HEADED WOMAN” proved to be a difficult movie to make for MGM production chief Irving Thalberg. One, he did not care for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s first draft, viewing it as too serious. Thalberg believed that the movie would be more of a success if it presented Lil’s antics from a humorous bent, so he replaced Fitzgerald with Anita Loos as the movie’s screenwriter. He hoped she would provide a story that was more fun and playful. And he proved to be right. Thalberg and associate producer Paul Bern originally hired Clara Bow for the role of “Lil” Andrews. Although she originally agreed to participate in the movie, Bow changed her mind due to her objections to the long-term contract that MGM wanted her to sign for the role. Thalberg and Bern then turned their attention to the studio’s new contract player, Jean Harlow, whose contract they had recently purchased from Howard Hughes. Studio contract employee Jack Conway directed the film. Four weeks after production ended, the movie was released in late June 1932.

In a nutshell, “RED-HEADED WOMAN” is a funny and sexy movie that holds up surprisingly well, even after eighty-one years. For me, “RED-HEADED WOMAN” is a humorous reminder at how little human nature has changed over the years, especially in regard to sex, gender issues, ambition and class bigotry. Used to the idea that single women eighty years ago (or even fifty years ago) never had pre-marital sex, “RED-HEADED WOMAN” must have seemed like a shock to the system to modern viewers. This makes me wonder how present moviegoers would view “RED-HEADED WOMAN”, if it had been made in recent years. Think about it. “RED-HEADED WOMAN” featured pre-marital sex, extramarital sex, and rough sex (all which were featured off screen). If made today, most of Lil’s sexual encounters would have made it in the final cut . . . along with some on-screen nudity. But for me, it is the story itself, along with actress Jean Harlow’s amoral portaryal, that struck me as both sexy and lurid. I suspect that any on-screen sex and nudity would have very little impact on the movie. But I cannot help but wonder if today’s writers would have given Lil her happening.

Thalberg was right to dump Fitzgerald’s serious screenplay in favor of Loos’ more risqué tale. I believe the latter served the story a lot better. Realistically, Lil Andrews is not a sympathetic character. And I suspect that if her tale had told in Fitzgerald’s more serious style, the general moviegoers would have been turned off by her antics. And I doubt that the emotional crisis that Lil had suffered from Bill Legendre’s first rejection of her following their first tryst or the class bigotry she had faced from her father-in-law and the Legendres’ friends would have garnered any sympathy for her. A good number of morality groups from the early 1930s were up in arms over Lil’s fate at the end of the movie. If Thalberg had chosen Fitzgerald’s script over Loos’, I suspect those moviegoers that had made “RED-HEADED WOMAN”such a big hit would have felt the same.

I did have a few problems with the movie. I realize that Thalberg, Loos and director Jack Conway thought it was best to introduce Lil Andrews’in a brief montage that featured Harlow spoofing the “Gentlemen prefer blondes” quote from Loos’ famous 1925 novel and the actress wearing a see-through dress (honestly, not much is shown other than her legs). Frankly, I found this introduction rather amateurish and stagy. I think Loos could have done better. Also, the movie seemed to permeate with class prejudice. I realize that Lil was supposed to suffer from such bigotry. But the movie fails to generate any real sympathy toward her situation, due to Lil’s role as a home wrecker. Even Lil’s best friend, Sally, did not seem particularly repelled by Lil’s antics. And it did not help that the movie’s most sympathetic female turned out to be the gentle and well-born Irene Legendre. Even Bill Legendre seemed to be viewed in a sympathetic light as a mere victim of Lil’s feminine wiles, instead of simply a cheating spouse. If Lil had not emerged triumphant in the movie’s last reel, I believe this movie would have turned out to be a real turn off for me . . . despite the comic tone.

The cast proved to be the best thing about “RED-HEADED WOMAN” . . . at least for me. Although Jean Harlow had become a star two years earlier, thanks to her co-starring role in Howard Hughes’ wartime opus, “HELL’S ANGELS”; her career had eventually suffered through a series of questionable roles. Thankfully, Paul Bern saw her potential and convinced the MGM brass to purchase her contract from Hughes. And she was perfect as the amoral and sassy Lil Andrews. She was not the first or would be the last actress to portray a woman who used sex to advance her social position. But thanks to a performance that featured not only perfect comic timing and some surprisingly emotional angst, her Lil Andrews proved to be one of the most memorable female roles not only from the Pre-Code era, but also from 1930s Hollywood.

Harlow received admirable support from Chester Morris, who proved once again his talent for roles that projected a male ideal corrupted by man’s inner lusts and other flaws. He did a very good job in combining both Bill Legendre’s superficial decency and inner bestiality. Both Lewis Stone and Leila Hyams gave solid support as Bill’s snobbish father Legendre Sr. and long-suffering first wife Irene. And I was somewhat surprised to see Charles Boyer in a small, yet charming role as Lil’s eventual lover, Albert. But the two performances (other than Harlow and Morris) that really stood out for me came from Una Merkel and Henry Stephenson. Merkel was a delight as Lil’s equally sassy friend, Sally, who seemed to enjoy a voyeuristic thrill from Lil’s sexy love life. Also, she and Harlow managed to generate a strong chemistry as the two best friends. I wonder if they had made any further movies together. And Henry Stephenson, whom I remember from two Errol Flynn costume swashbucklers, provided some great comic moments as the Legendres’ wealthy customer, who ends up in a tawdry affair with Lil.

“RED-HEADED WOMAN” is a comic gem from the early 1930s, despite a few kinks, including a class bigotry that nearly tainted the film. It featured a sexy tale and fine performances from a cast led by the incomparable Jean Harlow that still holds up after eighty years or so. As far as I am concerned, I consider it one of the highlights of the Pre-Code era. Producers Irving Thalberg and Paul Bern, screenwriter Anita Loos and director Jack Conway took on an improbable project and transformed it into a minor classic.

“The Many Loves of Rafe McCawley” [PG-13] – 3/7

 

“THE MANY LOVES OF RAFE McCAWLEY”

PART 3 – The Homecoming Queen

LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK; DECEMBER 1940 . . . “Say Rafe? Are you still sore? That I talked Lila Deakins into driving you away, like that?” Danny glanced uneasily at his friend. 

The pair slowly made their way to the next station. Rafe seemed distracted. Almost sad. Danny knew who was on his mind. The Shelby Belle. “It’s okay, Danny,” he said softly.

Danny blinked. “Huh?”

A sad smile touched Rafe’s lips. “It’s okay. About Lila. Hell, I forgave you about two hours after I left the Shelby House. It didn’t take me long to figure out that you were simply trying to protect me.”

“You seemed distracted for a moment.”

Nodding, Rafe continued, “I guess I was remembering Lila on that last day. After I left the house, I had looked back and saw her staring out the window. Crying.”

“Maybe you should have went back and . . .” Danny said, feeling a sudden burst of guilt.

Rafe shook his head. “No. I did the right thing. Actually, Lila did the right thing. I was too young. Hell, Sheriff Crawford would have put her behind bars if anyone had ever found out. Besides, she didn’t stay around Shelby very long.”

Danny remembered. Two months after Rafe’s last visit to the Shelby House, the two friends had learned from local mechanic Farley Bates that Lila had departed for Memphis. Danny recalled that his friend had remained silent for nearly the rest of the day. Quite a feat for the usually talkative Rafe McCawley.

After the Shelby Belle’s departure, Rafe had turned to girls of his age with a vengeance. Danny remembered that he did not remain with one very long, during those last three years in high school. He usually dated a girl for at least four to six months. Except for one who barely lasted a month.

“Say Rafe,” Danny said out loud, “do you remember Eleanor Conway?”

A frown creased Rafe’s forehead. “Ellie Conway? What made you think of her?”

Danny shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess I was thinking of all the girls you’ve dated in high school. Then I realized that you didn’t stay with Ellie Conway as long as you did with the others. Not that I’m complaining.”

The two friends found themselves standing in line to have their reflexes tested. In a very long line. One of Rafe’s brows quirked upward. “Is this your way of telling me that you didn’t care for Ellie?”

Danny, in a rare moment of sarcasm, shot back, “Are you saying that you did?”

* * * *

SHELBY, TENNESSEE; OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 1933 . . . Coach McCuffie blew his whistle and the Varsity football team of Shelby High gathered around him on the field. “Okay boys! That’s enough practice for today. Don’t forget that a bus will be in front of the school, tomorrow morning. And it will leave precisely at 9:30a.m. Now, hit the showers!”

Rafe McCawley and his fellow players, streamed off the football field. Some ran toward the Physical Education building, whooping at the top of their lungs. The remaining athletes, including Rafe, slowly made their way off the field. “Hey there, Rafe!” A high, silvery-voice stopped the seventeen year-old in his tracks. Was that . . .? He turned around. Behind him stood a nubile, pretty girl with elfin features, and blond hair. Eleanor Conway.

Everyone at Shelby High knew about Ellie Conway. Cheerleader. The new president of the Chatelaine Society Club. And recently elected Secretary of the Student Body. Not much brains upstairs, Rafe recalled, but very shrewd. Especially when it came to her social position. Her father happened to be the head manager of a local mortgage company. Another thing about Ellie Conway that everyone knew – she happened to be an ardent Hollywood movie fan. She had especially developed an obsession toward one of Hollywood’s newest sex symbols – Jean Harlow. That explained why Ellie’s usual honey-brown hair had been dyed platinum blond.

Rafe gave the cheerleader a polite smile. “Hey, Ellie. What can I do for you?”

Pale blue eyes flashed at him. “I’m having a little party at my house, tomorrow night. You know, to celebrate our victory?”

“What victory? The game isn’t until tomorrow.” Both Rafe and Ellie referred to the football game Shelby High would play against a high school at a nearby town.

A coy Ellie lightly slapped Rafe’s chest. “Oh c’mon Rafe! This is Marshall High we’re talking about. I reckon we can beat them blindfolded!”

Rafe could not deny the truth. Marshall High School possessed one of the worst football teams in this part of the state. Like Ellie, he figured that Shelby High would easily come out the winner.

Ellie continued, “Since it’s certain our team will win, I decided to have a party, tomorrow night. Wanna come?”

“I don’t know, Ellie,” Rafe replied. “You see, I don’t have a date.” Just a week ago, his three-month relationship with Cora Hale had ended.

Ellie’s pert nose crinkled. “That’s okay. Why don’t you bring Danny along, instead? I’m sure he would love to come.”

Surprise overwhelmed Rafe. Although a popular guy himself, not many have been willing to include Danny in their parties. Being the son of the dead Lucas Walker had done nothing for the younger boy’s popularity. “Well, that’s really nice of you, Ellie,” Rafe replied. “We’ll be there.”

“Good. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Ellie further surprised Rafe by planting a quick peck on his nose.

* * * *

“She invited me to her party?” Danny eyed the older boy suspiciously. “Ellie Conway?”

The two friends sat on the porch, outside the McCawley farmhouse. Rafe and Danny had just finished eating supper with Rafe’s parents. While the latter remained inside the house to listen to the radio, the two adolescents had decided to sit outside for some fresh air.

Rafe nodded. “Look, I know you find that hard to believe . . .”

“You can say that again!”

Shooting his friend with a dark look, Rafe continued, “Well, believe or not, you’ve been invited.”

“Why?” Before Rafe could answer, Danny continued, “I can’t help how I feel. Aside with a few like Dick Hobbs and Rebecca McPherson, I’m not exactly a popular guy at school. The only reason I can think why Ellie is willing to invite me to her party is . . .” His brown eyes narrowed. “She’s after you, ain’t she?”

“What?”

“Ellie. I heard she just broke up with Johnny Shaw. Caught him with Ginny Welland. And with Homecoming just a month from now, she needs a date. A Homecoming King. And who better than Rafe McCawley, football hero, member of the Shelby Science & Math Club, Student Body Sergeant-At-Arms and one of the few people in this whole damn county that can actually fly a plane. She’s after you.”

Rafe shot to his feet. “You got some kind of beef with me, Danny?” he growled. “Cause, I don’t see no reason why you should be shouting at me.”

A moment passed. Strains of Fred Allen could be heard from inside the house. Danny sighed. “No, I . . . I guess that sometimes, I get so tired of being treated like a second-class citizen at school. All because my daddy was a drunk. And now I have this feeling that Ellie only invited me because she wants you.”

“I don’t know what Ellie wants,” Rafe said, as he sat back down. “But after Cora, I really feel like a party. And if you can be there. . .”

Danny let out a heartfelt sigh. “All right, I’ll go.”

Rafe smiled.

* * * *

The football game against Marshall High ended as Ellie had predicted. It ended in victory for Shelby High. Later that night, Rafe and Danny arrived at the Conway residence for the celebration. The party was already in full swing. Bing Crosby singing, “You’re Getting to Be a Habit With Me” blasted from a phonograph. The two friends squeezed their way through the crowd.

“Rafe!” Ellie’s high voice squeaked above the music. “You made it!” She threw herself into Rafe’s arms and gave him a hug. After she stepped back, her eyes fell upon Danny. Ellie gave the latter a friendly smile. “Danny. Glad you could come to my party.” To Rafe’s relief, Danny responded with a friendly nod.

It wasn’t bad as parties go. The food seemed pretty good to Rafe. Everyone seemed to be on a high, following the football team’s victory over Marshall. Rafe noticed that the guests’ good mood had spilled over to Danny. Aside from a few malcontents determined to shun the latter, most seemed as friendly as Ellie.

At least an hour later, Rafe found himself in a good mood. Of course, several cups of punch spiked with brandy from the liquor cabinet helped. Along with Ellie’s company. A new song blared from the phonograph – “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”. Rafe’s own eyes blinked through an alcoholic haze, as he watched Ellie sauntered forth. More like danced. She leaned forward and whispered in his ear, “Why don’t we go outside for some fresh air?” Rafe immediately agree.

The pair made their way through the crowd. Rafe spotted Danny staring at him through narrowed eyes. Which he ignored. Once outside on the Conway back porch, Ellie again threw herself into Rafe’s arms. “Hey,” she whispered. Her breath smelled of fruit punch and brandy.

Rafe whispered back, “Hey yourself.”

“You look a little drunk. Maybe you’ve drunk one too many glasses of punch.”

“Don’t you mean spiked punch?” Rafe added playfully.

Ellie giggled. Then her mouth inched closer. “How else can I get you out here, alone?” The small, pink mouth now hovered inches away from Rafe’s. “Lord, you sure are one tall drink of water. Aren’t you gonna kiss me?”

Why he hesitated, Rafe had no idea. After all, Ellie Conway was considered to be one of the prettiest girls at Shelby High. And one of the most popular. So why did he feel so reluctant to kiss her? “Well, I . . . uh . . .” Rafe began. Before he could say anything further, Ellie pressed her little pink lips against his.

Alcohol and lust overcame Rafe’s reluctance and he drew Ellie into his arms. He gently forced her mouth open. What had begun as a small kiss, soon became a torrid meeting of tongues. At that moment, Rafe knew that Ellie had hooked him, line and sinker. And quite frankly, he did not care.

* * * *

Three days after Ellie’s party, Shelby High’s faculty announced it would accept nominations for the Homecoming court. Rafe had no interest about Homecoming or who would become its Queen. He only felt grateful that he had a date for the dance. Apparently, Ellie did not share his feelings.

“Say that again?” he demanded. Rafe and Ellie shared a table inside the school’s cafeteria. He had been eating his lunch when she surprised him with a bombshell.

Ellie took a deep breath. “I said that it would be nice if you helped me campaign for Homecoming Queen.”

Rafe stared at her. “What the hell for?”

“I thought it would be fun for me to run for Homecoming Queen.” A pout formed on Ellie’s lips. “And I thought you could help me.”

Right. A dark suspicion entered Rafe’s mind. Despite her words, he suspected that Ellie took this whole Homecoming business, seriously. Even worse, she needed to be associated with a popular man-on-campus, someone like Johnny Shaw or himself, to get elected Homecoming Queen. Ellie may be familiar on campus, but not even her popularity had reached the heights of Annabelle Parker, another cheerleader. But, he kept these dark thoughts to himself.

“Fun huh?” Rafe grunted. Then he sighed. “I reckon there’s no harm in helping you. Maybe it would be fun.”

A smile curved Ellie’s lips. “I’m sure it will.”

* * * *

Danny stared at Rafe with disbelief shining in his eyes. “You’re gonna help Ellie Conway run for Homecoming Queen? What the hell for?”

Annoyance surged through Rafe. He sat behind the wheel of his 1927 Ford convertible. Danny sat next to him, in the passenger seat. The convertible sped along a rural road that led to the McCawley Farm. “Because I thought it would be fun,” he snapped back. “You got a problem?”

An exasperated sigh escaped Danny’s mouth. “C’mon Rafe! You gotta be kidding me! You, help Ellie Conway run for Homecoming Queen? What are you, her publicity manager?” He paused momentarily. Then, “Wait a minute! This is all Ellie Conway’s doing, ain’t it? She talked you into it!”

“Yeah Danny, she did. So what? It’s just a goddamn dance. Nothing to get excited over.”

“Nothing to . . .” Danny signed again. “Dammit Rafe! Can’t you see? She’s using you!”

“Using me for what?”

Danny rolled his eyes. “You know why! Johnny Shaw dumped her for Ginny Welland. And she’s using you as a substitute for Johnny.”

Now brimming with anger because he knew that Danny had hit close to the truth, Rafe drove his convertible off the road and stopped. He switched off the engine. “And why does she need me as a substitute, Danny? What’s the matter. You can’t say it out loud?” Rafe pierced his friend with a hard glare. Danny’s eyes cast downward. Rafe heard him mumble under his breath. “What’s that? I didn’t hear you.”

His face turning deep pink, Danny spoke louder. “Ellie needs you to become Homecoming Queen. Like Johnny, you’re a popular guy in school. Ellie may be popular herself, but she hasn’t a chance against someone like Annabelle Parker. She needs you.”

“You’re a real smart fellow, aren’t you?” Rafe asked quietly. When Danny failed to respond, he sighed. There were times he hated facing the truth. Like now. “Has it occurred to you, Danny, that I may be using Ellie?

Danny frowned. “Using her? Why?”

Rafe stared directly at his friend. Then he murmured, “Lila.”

Realization lit up Danny’s eyes. Just a week before Rafe had ended his relationship with Cora Hale, the two boys had learned from Harley Bates that an obsessive customer had stabbed Lila Deakins to death, during a violet brawl in a Memphis whorehouse. “Is that why you and Cora . . .?” Danny began. He paused. “Did Cora know about you and . . .?”

Rafe snapped back, “Of course not! It’s just . . . well, things weren’t the same after Harley told us . . . told us about Lila.”

“Oh.” Again, Danny fell silent.

Rafe continued, “I know what you’re thinking. Why would I raise a fuss over a dead whore. It’s just that Lila was dif . . .”

“I understand, Rafe. I understand. Hell, I reckon you were the only fella in the whole county who didn’t have to pay to see her after the first time.” Danny added. “But how long can Ellie help you forget? Ever ask yourself that?” Silence fell between the two friends.

* * * *

Homecoming 1933. It was a magical time for the students at Shelby High. The night began on a high note, when the school’s Varsity football team won a difficult victory over Boone High. The game ended with a final score of 21 to 17, after quarterback Rafe passed a 30-yard touchdown to a Shelby fullback name Donnie Cole. Both Rafe and Donnie became the heroes of the day.

Not that Rafe really cared. He had another matter on his mind. Namely, tonight’s Homecoming dance. Rafe made sure that he was dressed perfectly in a black tuxedo he had rented for the evening. Since Danny also had a date, Rafe allowed his friend to borrow his Ford convertible, while he used his dad’s Pontiac sedan. At exactly 6:30 p.m., he drove to the Conway residence to pick up Ellie. He had to admit that she looked beautiful in a slinky, pale pink gown that looked like something out of a Hollywood movie.

“You look very beautiful,” he greeted Ellie, smiling. She responded with a peck on his lips. “Ready?”

Ellie nodded and the couple headed for the Pontiac. It took them five minutes to reach the high school. The Homecoming dance was being held inside the school’s largest gymnasium. When Rafe and Ellie entered, a loud applause broke out. Looking like a cat with cream on its whiskers, Ellie squeezed Rafe’s arm. “Oh Lord!” she nearly squeaked. “Isn’t this exciting?”

Seeing the estatic look on her face, Rafe’s pleasure in the evening immediately began to dim. The evening was beginning to look perfect. Maybe a bit too perfect. And Ellie seemed to be eating it up. Everyone gushed over her dress and congratulated Rafe in winning the game. Even Danny seemed to having a good time. Rafe spotted his best friend dancing with Rebecca McPherson. And both seemed lost in their own little world.

The evening’s celebrations ended in triumph for Rafe and Ellie. Much to no one’s surprise, Ellie was declared Shelby High’s Homecoming Queen for 1933. She practically squeaked when the principal placed a small, plastic tiara on her head. Rafe expressed delight at Ellie’s triumph. Or at least tried. If anyone had paid close attention, they would have noticed a subtle, yet lackluster expression on his face.

In fact, the evening went downhill for Rafe, after Ellie’s crowning. He struggled to maintain a happy smile, while a photographer took photos of the “Court”. Rafe felt a deep relief every time someone danced with Ellie. Including Johnny Shaw. His relief increased tenfold when the time arrived for him and Ellie to go home. Danny and Rebecca, he noticed, had already left.

Twenty minutes later, the McCawley Oldsmobile pulled up in front of the Conway residence. Ellie let out a sigh. “It’s been such a wonderful evening, Rafe. Don’t you agree?”

“Yeah,” Rafe quietly replied. “Swell.”

“Rafe?” Ellie gave him a quizzed look. “Is there something wrong?”

Rafe’s gaze focused on the oak tree that rose from the Conway’s front lawn. “No, everything’s fine.” He paused. Then he opened his mouth to continue, but Ellie spoke first.

“By the way, I’m organizing a hayride for next week. It’ll start at the McBride’s Farm. When can I expect you to pick me up?”

Rafe sighed. Long and hard. “Sorry Ellie,” he finally said, “but I’ll be busy, next weekend. Flying. You’ll have to find someone else to take you. Why don’t you try Johnny Shaw? You two seemed to be friendly.”

Disbelief shone in Ellie’s pale eyes. “What?”

“I said that you’ll have to find . . .”

“I heard what you said!” Ellie screeched. She rounded on Rafe. “What the hell’s the matter with you, Rafe McCawley? You’ve been a sour puss all evening! Don’t think I haven’t noticed!”

A smirk appeared on Rafe’s lips. “Say Ellie, does your mama know that you use such language?”

“Stop it, Rafe! What’s gotten into you?”

Rafe paused. He had started this. Might as well finish. “I’m bored, Ellie. With you.” A gasp left her mouth. “Normally, I would feel mighty guilty for this, but in your case, I don’t. In fact, I don’t really care.”

Ellie snarled, “What do you mean by that?”

“You don’t need me anymore, Ellie,” Rafe continued. “You got what you wanted. You’re the Homecoming Queen. You even got the chance to rub that into Johnny Shaw’s face. Let him know what he had missed. Why don’t you be honest? You needed someone like me – ‘a big man on campus’ – to help you get the crown. And the only reason I let you use me is that I was using you to get over Cora.” And Lila, he silently added.

A slender hand roundly smacked Rafe’s left cheek. SMACK!! “You son-of-a-bitch!”

“Now that’s certainly not proper language for a young lady such as yourself.”

“You wouldn’t know a lady if you met one, you scum!” Ellie screeched. “You and that white trash friend of yours!” She opened the car door.

Rafe sighed. “I guess this means you’re leaving?”

“Just as fast as I can!” Ellie climbed out of the car. “And I swear to God that I’ll never speak to you again, Rafe McCawley!”

Rafe playfully shot back, “Is that a promise?”

Ellie slammed the door, shut. She speared Rafe with her most withering glare and stalked toward the Conway front door. Rafe realized that if he was lucky, Ellie just might never speak to him, again. He never did like that squeaky voice of hers.

END OF PART 3