...Today is Joan Fontaine's 94th birthday! (Her sister Olivia is 95.) Last year's birthday tribute has been updated with links to four additional Fontaine films reviewed in the past year. Three of those films are available on Netflix's Watch Instantly streaming service -- why not celebrate the day by watching a Fontaine film?
...Visit additional Fontaine tributes at Shadows and Satin, Backlots, and Olivia and Joan: Sisters of the Silver Screen, which recently ran a terrific post with photos of the actresses in their early childhood and youth.
...Today is also the annual big game between the University of Southern California Trojans and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. In honor of the occasion, here's a link to a full orchestral performance of USC's "Conquest" march, originally composed by Alfred Newman for Tyrone Power's CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE (1947). (Update: USC won, 31-17.)
...New book: HAVE YOURSELF A VERY VINTAGE CHRISTMAS by Susan Waggoner has just been released. I love Waggoner's books UNDER THE TREE, CHRISTMAS MEMORIES, and IT'S A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS. Anyone who likes graphic art of the '50s and '60s is sure to enjoy these books as well.
...Leonard Maltin writes about seeing the reconstructed and restored "lost" Ernst Lubitsch silent film THE LOVES OF PHARAOH (1922). A few days ago the film was screened with a live orchestra at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.
...Kevin reviews Fred MacMurray in THE TEXAS RANGERS (1936) at Kevin's Movie Corner. I reviewed the film in 2009, finding it fairly enjoyable, if slow-paced.
...Raquelle reviews the new biography of actor-director John Huston at her blog Out of the Past. Raquelle's got more reviews coming in the future!
...Don't miss Kristina's latest link roundup at her blog Speakeasy. The Ann Dvorak website she mentions looks interesting! Kristina also has a new shopping list feature focusing on classic films on DVD.
...Use Twitter? Tweet along with the Drive-In Mob, sharing real-time comments while watching classic horror films on Turner Classic Movies and Netflix Instant. This Thursday's lineup includes CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954), which it just so happens I'll be seeing in 3-D that evening at the Egyptian Theatre.
...Interesting new releases from Warner Archive include a Falcon Collection of films starring George Sanders, who later handed off the series to his real-life brother, Tom Conway. The Archive has also remastered DEATH OF A SCOUNDREL (1956), which stars Sanders, Conway, Yvonne DeCarlo, Nancy Gates, and Coleen Gray.
...Musical fans may be interested in the remastered THE STUDENT PRINCE (1954), starring Ann Blyth and Edmund Purdom, with Mario Lanza dubbing Purdom's singing.
...Here's an interesting story on the unusual discovery of a collection of classic film posters.
...The cost of postage stamps will go up yet again next January, increasing from 44 to 45 cents.
Classic Coming Attractions reviews at the Digital Bits, including Twilight Time's THE EGYPTIAN (1954) and TCM's Audie Murphy Westerns Collection.
...Here's enjoyable reviews by Sean Axmaker of "B" film noir titles on DVD, including THE THREAT (1949), FOLLOW ME QUIETLY (1949), and THE CAPTIVE CITY (1952).
...Critic David Edelstein wrote about the thrill of guest hosting this past week on Turner Classic Movies. He wrote 29 intros!
Have a great weekend!