Remembering Maureen O'Hara (1920-2015)

Remembering Maureen O'Hara (1920-2015)

The iconic actress' five greatest films
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It's called The Golden Age of Hollywood for a reason. The movies had simple, timeless messages, the actors and actresses exuded class and style in movies and in their everyday lives, and the rest of the world looked up to them. Stars wouldn't be caught dead wearing sweatpants in public, and although this was because they were basically the property of the major studios and were contractually obligated to be glamorous 24/7, it still made for a magical time in American history.

Sadly, the Golden Age has been over for decades, and most of the iconic stars that inspired and entertained the public for years have passed, with a precious few remaining. On October 24th, screen legend Maureen O'Hara passed away at the age of 95.

You may not know the name, but you've probably seen something she's been in (like the original The Parent Trap). She was a fiery Irish redhead who was often described as the only woman tough enough for John Wayne, her co-star in five films. In my own personal attempt to preserve the memory of this screen legend, I've picked out her five best films. They've stood the test of time and showcase Ms. O'Hara at her best.

5. Jamaica Inn

One of Alfred Hitchcock's earliest films, Jamaica Inn is the story of a gang of 19th century criminals who intentionally cause multiple shipwrecks, stealing the cargo and murdering the crew. When orphaned Mary Yellen (O'Hara) comes to live with her Aunt Patience, one of the gang members, she becomes caught in the middle of all of this.

This is one of O'Hara's first films, and it's often forgotten as an O'Hara or Hitchcock film because Charles Laughton, a Hollywood giant, literally and figuratively, steals the show.

You can watch the movie here.

4. How Green Was My Valley

Citizen Kane is often cited as the greatest movie of all time.

Citizen Kane also lost the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director to How Green Was My Valley at the 1941 Academy Awards.

I like to think that Maureen O'Hara had something to do with that.

The movie is set in a Welsh mining community in the 19th century, so all of the names are ridiculous and sound like something straight out of Lord of the Rings (Gwilym, Angharad, Huw, Bronwyn). O'Hara plays Angharad Morgan, trapped in a loveless marriage to the mine owner's son and in love with the local priest, Mr. Gruffyd. While she is not the focus of the film, the movie is undeniably hers, and it stands a beautiful story about the triumph of familial bonds over adversity.

You can watch the movie here.

3. McLintock!

It isn't one of John Wayne's best movies (try The Searchers or the original True Grit for some first rate Duke) and it isn't one of O'Hara's absolute bests, but it is a classic and it showcases the "hell and fire" that were always closely associated with her on-and-off screen persona. It's a semi-convoluted plot about land-ownership and love in the Old West, but one scene defines this movie: the mud brawl.

In the scene, all of the townspeople engage in a fistfight, leading most of them to slide down an incline into a large, muddy pit. While the cowboys brawl, O'Hara runs around, pulling feathers from her hat and stabbing people in the butt with them. It's a gem.

Here's the movie.

2. The Quiet Man

Now this is quintessential Wayne/O'Hara. Wayne plays Sean Thornton, an American-ex boxer who returns to Ireland to reclaim his family property. Mary Kate Danaher's (O'Hara) brother Will wanted the land for himself, and refuses to pay Mary Kate's dowry when she and Sean fall in love. Mary Kate doesn't recognize their marriage as valid without the dowry, because in keeping with Irish customs, it represents her freedom from her brother, and eventually Sean has to get it back. There's romance, there's (another) fistfight, including a beer break for the two men, and despite John Wayne's stereotypical machismo, it's an incredibly touching movie.

Here's the movie. You should watch it.

1. Miracle on 34th Street

If you have a heart, or parents who love you, or if you've ever known joy in your life, then you've seen Miracle on 34th Street. This classic Christmas movie is probably what O'Hara is best remembered for, and it's one of her finest performances.

The plot is simple: Santa is real.

What more could you want from a movie?

The Golden Age of Hollywood was a time of unbelievable wealth, glamour, and above all else, talent. The men and women who graced the silver screen were some of the finest in the world and set the bar for excellence in film. Maureen O'Hara was one of the last links to that time and place, and she will be greatly missed. At the risk of sounding like your grandpa, my generation has an obvious and understandable lack of interest in older films. But I encourage you to push past this apathy and watch any one of them. Movies like these, created by artists motivated by their craft instead of money, transcend time. They're well made, the acting is phenomenal, and they still have a poignant story to tell decades later.

Cover Image Credit: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/03482/Maureen-O_Hara-1_3482033b.jpg

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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Warcraft 3: Reforged - A legend returns

One of the top 100 games of the century makes a comeback in an epic way.

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17 years ago, the legion invaded the realm of Azeroth, forcing the different races of Humans, Orcs, Night elves, and Undead to make the most unlikely of alliances. There were those who fought for the light while the others wished to banish it. Night and day, the furnaces of Lordaeron burnt bright as the loyal dwarves of Khaz Modan hammer away the swords and shields that would aid the fight ahead.

17 years ago, the young orc warchief Thrall foresaw the fate of his people as meteors of green flames crash upon his lands. He saw the upcoming demise of his clanand ordered a mass evacuation towards a new continent where they shall be safe for generations to come. 17 years ago, the night elves felt a corruption within the Tree of Life, causing them to split into opposing factions: one fought in the name of the Goddess, while the other fought in the name of personal hatred. 17 years ago, a legion of undead came upon the shores of Lordaeron, plaguing the land and defiling the life force of the realm. That was the story of Warcraft, one that spanned continents and races only to join them together for a crucial battle of their history.

Warcraft 3: Reforged - Cinematic Trailer Youtube

Warcraft was a monument to an entire gaming generation, ranked 2nd best game of all time by German games magazine "GameStar." Its fate, however, was ultimately sealed as computing technology became better and overshadowed the old giant. Plus, with the rise of gaming consoles and handheld gaming devices, PC gaming lost its appeal slowly, and games like Starcraft or Warcraft eventually faded into oblivion.

But over on the horizon, Blizzard Entertainment came to the rescue. Following the success of their previous release of Starcraft: Remastered, they decided to come forth with their next great project: remastering Warcraft 3.

Using a new and revamped engine built over the foundations of the old one, they have rebuilt the world we once loved. Adding to that are new, high definition voices and sound effects that they recorded just for this old game. For the blurry characters of old, the team decided to upscale and remodel all present units to give them the 2019 high-def treatment they deserved. For the old user interface (UI), the development team settled on one that resembled the "Starcraft: Remastered" interface, offering more room for players to look at the gorgeous 4K character models. Also, to fit the new continuity from World of Warcraft, Blizzard opted to alter the story by a small margin, showing promising changes to the revived game.

Warcraft 3 – Original vs. Reforged Trailer Graphics Comparison Youtube

However, not everyone was hyped when the game was announced. Many gamers expressed disappointment at Blizzard's move of remastering old games instead of developing new ones. Many, feeling uncomfortable at the company's decision, took to the internet and into forums. Some fans expressed concerns over Blizzard's decision to retcon a game they hold dear Some are unhappy with the graphics not being consistent with characters: unit models look too detailed while buildings look cartoonish.

Despite all this, the general population loved the announcement at Blizzcon. As the game slowly reaches its release date of December 31, 2019, the hype can only go up from here. For those of us who can't hold their excitement, here's a video of the crowd's insane reaction to the announcement:


Warcraft 3 Crowd Reaction Youtube

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