Thursday, January 09, 2014

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty


Written by Ken Englund and Everett Freeman; produced by Samuel Goldwyn; directed by Norman Z. McLeod.

TheSecret Life of Walter Mitty, DVD, is a combination of fantasy, comedy and suspense. Danny Kaye portrays Walter Mitty, a proofreader for a magazine publishing company in New York City circa 1947.  Each day he rides the train to and from work toting miscellaneous items—a rake, a water sprinkler, a Grandfather clock—which his mother nags him to buy in the city. Her requests trigger his daydreams. Walter Mitty, daring sea captain! Walter Mitty, greatest surgeon in the world! Walter Mitty . . . dangling from the ledge of a skyscraper. Mitty’s real life and his fantasy life become intertwined when he meets a mysterious young woman on the train. The movie is loosely based on the short story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber, writer and cartoonist for The New Yorker.

The DVD includes a theatrical trailer, for premier audiences, which boasts: “Lavish Laughs,” “Gorgeous Girls,” and “Ghastly Ghouls.” In one funny scene Mitty, disentangling himself from a chair and seat cushion during a hoighty toighty afternoon tea, is a lot like the Three Stooges, minus two of the stooges. This classic comedy captures the bygone era of magazine publishing when artists created oversized hand painted covers for installments of sensational murders and cheesy love stories. Ben Stiller’s current film adaptation of Thurber’s story picks up where the vintage version left off; not only does Mitty fantasize about his identity, he takes a flying leap of faith right into his own exciting life adventures!
If you like TheSecret Life of Walter Mitty, check out His Girl Friday, a comedy starring Cary Grant at the Virginia Beach Public Library, or search the VBPL catalog for more Columbia classics.


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