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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I Heart Claudine

I watched "Claudine" this morning (cause I got it like that). This movie has real love attached to it from the readers of this blog, no matter what their age. I personally love it on so many levels; the realness, the music, the I've said before I am a huge fan of films that show blacks in other eras.

For those of you who don't know, it is the story of a working (under the table) single mother on welfare and her six kids (Diahann Carroll) who falls in love with a sanitation worker aka garbageman (James Earl Jones) and their trials and tribulations from life and trying to make their relationship work. It's hilarious and moving at the same time. I think 20th Century Fox did this film a great disservice by releasing the DVD with a boring, generic cover (Diahann is unrecognizable as well). If I wasn't already familiar with the film, I'd never pick it at the video store.

The cover belies what the film is all about; yes, it is a love story, but it's so much more than that. It's about trying to survive and live a real life on no money, trying not to get caught up into giving up, worrying about not measuring up for your children, and the complications from trying to love someone else that's in the same boat you're in. All of it is just as relevant now as it was 30 years ago.

It also has one of the most amazing soundtracks in the history of film (a la Curtis Mayfield), and it immediately jumps on you before there is even one credit shown in the beginning. Some of my favorite scenes are:

-The opening sequence where Claudine walks to work with her 6 kids on their way to school and such--aged 18 to about 4.

-How Roop (James Earl Jones) goes to pick up Claudine in his polyester suit and T.I. cocked hat at her tenement, and realizes she has 6 kids, who are all on their best (worst) ghetto behavior.

-How Claudine tries to hide her disappointment when first seeing Roop's shabby apartment (complete with resident rat) and realizing he's just as broke as she is.

-Roop squeezing lemon Joy into the water so Claudine can take a bubble bath.

-Claudine and the kids hiding the toaster, coffee maker, iron, etc. every time the "welfare lady" (Claudine's social worker) does one of her drop-ins.

There are many other scenes I love, but I try to keep my posts short. It should be noted that this is probably the last film that featured the hotness of Lawrence Hilton Jacobs (in his Cooley High days) pre-crackdom.
sidenote trivia: Diahann received both a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination for this role


Yobachi said...

Well, I've already talked about how much I love this film too in the previous post, and you highlighted most of the reason I brought up.

It's a simple film that's layered with so much substance, and really gets at the heart of the human condition on a number of levels. I'm not a romantic, so for me to like a love story this much says a lot about it.

You're going make me go home and watch it tonight.

I don't know what cover you're talking about (is it the picture in this post), but the cover of the version I have both Diahann and James are both easily recognizable. They're embracing each other with both of the faces largely sized in the middle.

hottnikz said...

I remember my auntie telling me how fine she thought Lawrence Hilton Jacobs was back in the day.She said all the women her age were. He's on crack now? Kind of like Bobby Brown, huh?

Invisible Woman said...

@ Yobachi-yes that is the cover...if you know it's her, you'd recognize it. But they made her look about 60, and you can't tell how beautiful she is either. imo

@hottnikz-if he isn't on crack he should be, he looks and sounds like Bobby Brown's grandfather....yellow eyes and teeth to match. He used to have a crush on my girlfriend in L.A.--she couldn't run away fast enough!lol

coloredgirlswhohaveconsidered said...

This movie is on my top three tear jerker's.
1. Imitation of Life (either version they both make me cry)
2. Claudine...even the soundtrack gives me chills
3. BAPS...please don't talk about me. But, something about that final scene and the reading of the will, does it every time. I know we all got issues.

Invisible Woman said...

@ coloredgirls-Girl, we both need help, cause I felt the same at BAPS, but this is the first time I've been able to tell somebody LOL...that is so funny you mentioned the chills by Claudine; when I watched it the other day the opening bars of "On and On" gave me goosebumps....great minds think alike!