Thursday Movie Picks: Rags to Riches


This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is a trope I haven't thought of in a while: Rags to Riches. Aside from one pick that came to me immediately, I had to think about the other two for a while. Here's what I came up with.

1) Annie -
It's a hard knock life for Annie. The little Orphan who charms a billionaire's heart. I love this movie, I watched it quite a bit as a kid. There's been several remakes and stage shows, but the 1982 version always has my heart.

2) The Tale of Princes Kaguya -
A simple bamboo cutter and his wife find a small child inside of a stalk of bamboo and she goes into a beautiful princess. While this isn't my favorite Studio Ghibli film, the animation is gorgeous. It's lovely to watch.

3) Cinderella -
There's so many versions of this I could've chosen from, but the cartoon makes me think of my son, who watched this every day for months when he was a toddler. He loved her. 


  1. I feel bad for not loving Annie. It's okay but for me it's missing a certain gossamer component that the best musicals have that sweep me away. It's okay but I don't think I've ever watched it more than once. I did enjoy Carol Burnett in it, but then I always do.

    You know I'm not much for animation but this version of Cinderella is charming thanks to the Disney magic.

    I know it will be a shocker but I haven't seen the second!

    I also thought of Cinderella right off but figured it would be popular today (along with Trading Places which I also decided to forego) and dug a little deeper into the past for mine.

    If I Had a Million (1932)-To keep his money from going to the pack of vultures that are his family, a steel tycoon (Richard Bennett) chooses eight random strangers from the phone directory and gives each $1 million. For some-an entertainer (W.C. Fields), a salesman (Charlie Ruggles), a prostitute (the great, unjustly forgotten Wynne Gibson), an office clerk (Charles Laughton), a retiree (May Robson)-the windfall brings joy both temporary and permanent. For others-a death row inmate (Gene Raymond) and a gangster (George Raft)-sorrow and for one-a Marine (Gary Cooper) disbelief but it changes them all. Each vignette was helmed by a different director including Ernst Lubitsch.

    Brewster’s Millions (1945)-Penniless Monty Brewster (Dennis O'Keefe) fresh out of the service learns that his uncle has left him $8 million! There’s a catch, the will stipulates that Monty must spend $1 million before noon of his 30th birthday two months hence. Monty thinks it will be a snap until he finds out it must be done in complete secrecy following a set of arcane rules including remaining single, much to the chagrin of his fiancée Peggy (Helen Walker). Wackiness ensues as Monty discovers just how difficult it can be to spend a million dollars!

    Caught (1949)-Poor department store model Leonora Eames (Barbara Bel Geddes-Vertigo and Miss Ellie of Dallas fame) tired of struggling to make a buck sets her sights on marrying a millionaire. When she snags multi-millionaire industrialist Smith Ohlrig (Robert Ryan) Leonora thinks she’s the luckiest girl in the world finding herself awash in every luxury imaginable. But it’s a false dream, Smith is a cold, controlling nutcase who holds her a virtual prisoner and delights in finding new ways to mentally torture her and Leonora finds herself “Caught”! Will kindly slum doctor Larry Quinada (James Mason) be able to save her in time? Atmospheric and unsettling noir.

    1. I wouldn't feel bad about not liking Annie, I feel like the ones who enjoy it most were kids when they first saw it. I can't imagine many adults seeing it for the first time and feeling the same way. I haven't seen any of your picks. Brewster's Millions sounds very familiar though. I wonder if I've just seen part of it before.

    2. There was a remake of Brewster's Millions in the 80's with Richard Pryor which isn't bad but I prefer this one.

      Maybe if I had read the Little Orphan Annie comic strip more regularly I might have gotten more out of Annie. It just tries too hard to be precious and endearing which makes it less so. Given the choice I'll watch Oliver!, Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or any of the other kid-centric musicals before this.

    3. Oh god, I can't with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Give me Marry Poppins any day.

  2. Annie is a great pick! Out of all the Cinderellas, I do have a soft spot for the Disney version. I can remember watching it as a child and absolutely loving it.

    1. I do too, but I also love Ever After. That's my other favorite.

  3. I really like your picks! I think I gave a nod to Annie and Cinderella in my post as well, just because they feel really fitting for the theme. Well done!

  4. The only film in that list I haven't seen is The Tales of Princess Kaguya as I am aware that there's a lot of films from Studio Ghibli that I need to watch although I don't have HBO Max right now. The other 2 picks is a yes. I am surprised that someone like John Huston would do something as intense as The Treasure of Sierra Madre and then do this musical. Yet, he made it work. I'll stick with this one over the remakes as well.

    1. Kaguya isn't on the high end of my Ghibli list but it's still a good watch!

  5. I love Cinderslut🎭🤣👗. Sorry, that was the original name for this poor gal. Cinderella does sound much better and better than Aschenputtel. I do like this version of Cinderella which is sweet. I just never had a desire to see Annie because I just never liked her, I am a sad sack. I have not even heard of the 2nd pick.


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