Friday, November 27, 2020

Blood Of The Vines - The Mills Family

Pairing wine with movies!  See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies and many more at Trailers From Hell.  This week, the Mills Family - John, Haley and Juliet.- not to be confused with the Mills Brothers.  How many holiday meals will have face masks as a side dish?

1959's Tiger Bay stars John Mills and daughter Hayley Mills, in her first movie role.  It's a tasty role for a young actress, as she gets to expose a killer while at the same time generating sympathy for him.  There is a murder - a crime of passion - committed by a sailor played by Horst Buchholz.  He returns from a sea voyage to find his girlfriend has taken up with a sportscaster.  Pause here for uproarious laughter, at the mere thought that a 1950s sportscaster was able to steal someone's girlfriend.  I knew plenty of sportscasters in my broadcast days and, let me tell you, none of them got the girl.  

Horst is drawn up as a pretty good guy when he jumps off a ship to save Haley, who fell overboard right in front of him.  The heroic move costs him a trip beyond the three-mile mark, his jurisdictional salvation.  It's great that he saved the girl, but we can only wish that his girlfriend had been so lucky.  

There is an $18 Chardonnay produced - or, at least labeled - by the Flagler Tiger Bay Club.  The outfit is based in Palm Coast, Florida, about halfway between Jacksonville and Orlando, but there may be as many as 20 other outposts in the state.  They claim to be a non-partisan political group, but we'll try not to hold that against them, since they hold civility as one of their guiding principles.  I suppose that means Citizen Trump won't be one of their guest speakers.

Avanti!, from 1972, stars another John Mills offspring - daughter Juliet - who shares the screen with Jack Lemmon.  The script for the romcom was written by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond, so there is a pedigree to be considered.  If you don't think it’s funny enough, welcome to the club.  Wilder reportedly didn't care for the finished product and claimed he didn't write it as a comedy in the first place.  So, there.

Wine plays a tangential role in the movie.  A deadly auto accident that serves as the film's linchpin happens at an Italian vineyard, and the owners prove to be unhappy that their vines were damaged by the crash.  Colorado's Avanti Winery comes to mind, but wouldn't you rather have a nice Ligurian Vermentino?  I thought so.  

Hayley Mills takes the lead in 1960’s Pollyanna, the first of six Disney films in which Mills would star.  This one was taken from a series of books, from which arose the term Pollyanna.  As her name indicates, Mills is an impossibly cheerful kid, an orphan, who is shipped off to live with her rich aunt.  The aunt turns out to be a bit on the mean side.  Through her actions, Pollyanna falls off the house and is paralyzed.  Predictably, that bums her out a bit.  But spirits soar before the end credits as there is a doctor who can fix everything.  Classic Disney - cue Rex Allen for the voiceover.

D’Arenberg's Pollyanna Polly is a sparkler from South Australia's Adelaide Hills.  You’ll find it hard to wipe that smile off your face when the bubbles start tickling your little nosey-wosey.

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