Perfect Pairings for “Palentine’s Day”

Perfect Pairings for “Palentine’s Day”
For those who dread Valentine’s Day, there is no need to forgo an evening of celebration. Here are some classic films paired with the perfect beverages for a Valentine-free evening of entertainment.

Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
If you refer to “love” as a four-letter word, then this film is perfect viewing for you. This dramatic thriller navigates through murderous actions and complicated deceptions so smoothly that you won’t even suspect where the next twist or turn will come from.

The story follows London barrister, Sir Wilfrid Roberts (Charles Laughton), as he takes on one more case before retirement. Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power) is accused of wooing and subsequently murdering a lonely old woman for her money. As evidence mounts against him, Sir Wilfred is confident that Vole will be exonerated by the testimony of Vole’s devoted wife, Christine (Marlene Dietrich).

Born from the stage play by Agatha Christie, you can bet that the trial doesn’t go smoothly. In fact, as each witness takes the stand, more layers of intrigue are added, and even the seasoned barrister has difficulty unraveling the mystery to find the truth.

If you choose this film for your Valentine’s Day viewing, skip the champagne. This film is best enjoyed with a shot of schnaps and a tall, cold, glass of revenge.

The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer 1947
Don’t be fooled by this farcical comedy. It has everything that Cupid ever wanted to gain from his pointy little arrows, including a May-December romance, a love triangle, and a lot of unrequited love.

The film stars Shirley Temple as a dreamy teenager named Susan who is crushing hard on much older, but devastatingly handsome artist, Richard “Dickie” Nugent (Cary Grant). Susan’s protective older sister, Judge Margaret Turner (Myrna Loy), is familiar with many of Dickie’s wild exploits as she has presided over his latest court case. You’ll forget all about the love story when doors are being slammed and declarations are being made with fists held defiantly in the air. The film moves quickly, so put your tongue in your cheek during the opening credits and you won’t miss a single laugh.

This film would be best enjoyed with a heavy meal, and a splash of orange juice.

These Three 1936
Based on Lillian Hellman’s groundbreaking play The Children’s Hour, this controversial film is about secret love and scandalous lies that ruin the lives and livelihood of two young female teachers.

The story is set in a school for girls, newly founded by Martha (Miriam Hopkins) and Karen (Merle Oberon) soon after their college graduation. When a young doctor (Joel McCrea) comes on the scene, love blossoms, but affection and intentions are misconstrued, and when one spoiled, vengeful, student (Bonita Granville) is disciplined, she gets her revenge by spreading ruinous gossip about the two teachers and the doctor.

While the play dealt with the theme of lesbianism, the production code in 1936 would not let that subject be approached. Hellman rewrote the story for the screen to imply a three-way love affair between the doctor and the two teachers.

The crux of the film isn’t whether or not anyone loves anyone else, but in the power of a lie told by an “innocent” child.

Certainly daring and sophisticated thematically, this classic might best be paired with – you guessed it – a Cosmopolitan.

NOTE: I screened these films at my own expense and not at the request of any outside company or service. Free-to-view versions might be available digitally. These films may also be available for purchase or through subscription-based services.

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