Beth’s Classic Film Club: Kitty Foyle

You guys, I love old movies. No, not Forrest Gump, what are you, 20? Get off my lawn, you whipper snapper. No, I mean OLD movies, preferably black and white. Classic movies, as the folks at Turner would say. So, I started a classic movie club. It’s like a book club but you don’t have to read a book. You just come over to my house, drink box wine, eat popcorn, and watch a film. It’s so much fun!

What’s that, you say? You say you don’t know me in real life and don’t live in Seattle and you’re bummed you can’t come watch old movies with me? Me too…but let’s do the next best thing: I will give you movie suggestions, and then you go watch them and post your comments here. I’ll even introduce the movies like they do on that classic film channel. I don’t have a film studies degree or anything, but I do watch a lot of old movies and I love to talk about them. I’ll also try to pick a mix of famous films, and also some more obscure titles you might not have heard of.

First up, from 1940, it’s Kitty Foyle, starring Ginger Rogers. You guys, Ginger got an Oscar for her performance in this movie, and not only that, she beat out Kate Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story for it. (Hepburn was offered the lead role in Kitty Foyle but turned it down.) Did you know she wasn’t just a singer and dancer, she also had some serious acting chops? She’s one of my heroes. In this film, she plays a young woman from the wrong side of the tracks who falls in love with a rich guy. I don’t really want to say any more about the plot than that, because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I will say that the rich guy is played by Dennis Morgan, who is a little bit dreamy.

The film was a huge hit, and it was based on a novel of the same name by Charles Mosley, which was a best seller. The plot was changed a bit from the book–in the book, there’s more sex, and Kitty has an abortion, both of which were WAY too racy to be in a film during the production code days. One more tidbit of info: One of Kitty’s dresses in the film was so popular that women all over the place were wearing it, and the style is still called a Kitty Foyle in the fashion industry today, or so the Internet tells me. (I know nothing about fashion.)

Warning: the movie has a couple of race-related lines that will probably make you wince. At one point Kitty refers to herself as “free, white and 21” and at another point, when discussing whether she should date the rich guy, she says, “Well, we’re both the same color.” Ouch…I hope that doesn’t spoil the film for you, because it really has a lot to offer, including the introductory sequence about the death of chivalry. Me and my friends had a bit to say about that sequence…

So, once you’ve seen the film, drop a comment or two here about what you thought of it. And maybe invite some of your mom friends to come over and watch it with you! Box wine and popcorn are best when shared with friends.

One thought on “Beth’s Classic Film Club: Kitty Foyle

  1. Now here’s another thing you’re going to be able to teach me about … I don’t know that I could name a single classic film that I’ve watched. (I hope you’ll still be my friend!!) Seriously, this Christmas I watched that one with “every time a bell rings an angel gets her wings” … drawing a blank. Perfect Life? It’s a Perfect Life? OH! It’s a Wonderful Life. Seriously. I’m lame, I know. But that’s the only classic film I can think of.

    I am so lame.
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