Miscellaneous bits of news and fun stuff from around the Internet...
...Interesting Robert Taylor stories two weekends in a row. Last weekend I shared photos of his beautiful Brentwood ranch home, and this weekend there's word of a Robert Taylor Centennial Celebration, to be held in Taylor's hometown, Beatrice, Nebraska, August 5th through 7th. Taylor's biographers, Linda Alexander and Charles Tranberg, will be there, and Taylor's children, Terry and Tessa, will attend as well. Wish I could be there! I love seeing this underrated actor being rediscovered and honored. (By the way, I recently picked up Tranberg's book, and it looks terrific.)
...Here's a great Internet find: ROBERT TAYLOR OF BEATRICE: THE NEBRASKA ROOTS OF A HOLLYWOOD STAR by E. A. Kral. It was published in NEBRASKA HISTORY.
...This is also the second week in a row for a story on In-N-Out Burger. (Last week's is linked here.) The Orange County Register's Fast Food Maven, Nancy Luna, ran an interesting story on Puritan Bakery, which supplies In-N-Out with their hamburger buns. Puritan also serves Fatburger, Johnny Rockets, and other chains.
...What will happen to fashions on MAD MEN as the series moves into the late '60s?
...Here's a brief blog post with a lovely new photo sure to make fans of Olivia de Havilland smile. (Via Addie Reed.)
...Last month I did my best to convince Jacqueline to write about a favorite film, Frank Borzage's HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT (1937), at Another Old Movie Blog. What a nice surprise to click on her blog last Monday morning and find her post on the movie! Her detailed analysis is thoroughly enjoyable, and (as usual) she makes some terrific points.
...And my thanks to Toby at 50 Westerns From the 50s for linking to my review of SHOOT-OUT AT MEDICINE BEND (1957). Toby also remembers it as feeling like watching a Warner Bros. TV Western. He posted a nice still of Randolph Scott in the movie.
...Greenbriar Picture Shows has a very interesting post on the marketing campaign for Hitchcock's I CONFESS (1953).
...VivandLarry.com takes a look at MADONNA OF THE SEVEN MOONS (1945), a Gainsborough film starring Stewart Granger, Phyllis Calvert, and Patricia Roc.
...The World Figure Skating Championships, which had been scheduled for Tokyo right about now, will be relocating to Moscow in late April. France, which is due to host the World Championships starting March 26, 2012, graciously has offered to give up their hosting rights if Japan would like to host the championships next year.
...I'm curious about the new film version of JANE EYRE (2011)...but not curious enough to see it before it hits Netflix. Here's a review by Todd McCarthy in the Hollywood Reporter.
...Starting next month, Starz will institute a 90-day delay before movies and TV shows in their library can be shown on Netflix. According to Home Media Magazine, "The altered arrangement would also include future first-run movies from Disney and Sony, which are contractually distributed by Starz."
...Here's a very interesting recent DVD release, a 1958 Hallmark Hall of Fame production of KISS ME, KATE, with the original Broadway leads, Alfred Drake and Patricia Morison. There's also been a release of a 1955 TV production of THE DESERT SONG starring Nelson Eddy. I hope to check these out at some point, and I also hope there will be similar future releases of rare TV productions.
...Tom Hooper, director of THE KING'S SPEECH (2010), is set to direct a big screen version of the classic musical LES MISERABLES. Good luck with that...if he can pull it off successfully, no one will be happier than me, but I'm a skeptic. (Exhibit A: the 2004 version of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA sounds like such a mess I've refused to see it, preferring to stick with my memories of the stage production.)
...Reviews, reviews, and more reviews: Mike Clark, a favorite reviewer from his days at USA Today, reviews Warner Archive's PRIMROSE PATH (1940) and SUNDAY IN NEW YORK (1963) at Home Media Magazine...DVD Legion reviews Frances Dee and Ginger Rogers in FINISHING SCHOOL (1934)...Barrie Maxwell has a number of interesting reviews in his latest column at the Digital Bits site, including his take on CRY WOLF (1947), which generated a lot of discussion when I reviewed it last week...Riding the High Country reviews a film on my "to see" list, DEAD RECKONING (1947), starring Humphrey Bogart and Lizabeth Scott...and at the New York Times, Dave Kehr reviews "made on demand" Westerns including THE NEVADAN (1950), starring Randolph Scott, and STARS IN MY CROWN (1950), with Joel McCrea.
...Kate Winslet is receiving critical raves for the new HBO miniseries version of MILDRED PIERCE; it might be interesting to try it when it comes to DVD. But what's with L.A. Times reviewer Mary McNamara referring to the Joan Crawford original as a "camp-classic"? That comment struck me as uninformed, to say the least. Classic yes, camp no. (And no, Carol Burnett satirizing the original film does not qualify as turning it into camp.)
...The USC School of Cinematic Arts pays tribute to composer Maurice Jarre on Sunday, April 3rd. Three films will be screened on the USC campus in Los Angeles that day, including LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962).
...Alert for Southern Californians: the American Cinematheque is looking for volunteers for the Egyptian and Aero Theatres.
...More news for Southern Californians: on Thursday, March 31st, the Film Noir Foundation's great Eddie Muller will be signing his excellent book DARK CITY: THE LOST WORLD OF FILM NOIR at Larry Edmunds Bookshop. The following evening the 13th annual Noir City Festival opens a couple of blocks away at the Egyptian Theatre. I'll be there Opening Night for the double bill of HIGH WALL (1947) and Anthony Mann's STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT (1944). Both will be shown in brand-new restored prints.
...Notable passing: Diana Wynne Jones, the British author of HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE and other well-known fantasy books, has passed away at the age of 76.
...I was also sorry to learn of the passing of former Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro at the age of 75. Our politics are poles apart, but I enjoyed her in her role as a commentator on Fox News Channel. Ferraro had battled multiple myeloma for over a decade.
...My very great thanks to Monty of All Good Things for awarding me the Stylish Blogger Award. What a lovely compliment! I encourage classic film fans to check out Monty's photo-filled blog, which I've been regularly visiting for a couple of years now.
Have a great weekend!