...The Criterion Collection has announced its releases scheduled for the next few months. Among the titles are ANATOMY OF A MURDER (1959), A NIGHT TO REMEMBER (1958), and GODZILLA (1954).
...MAD MEN returns to TV for its fifth season on March 25th.
...CALIFORNIA CONQUEST (1952), starring Teresa Wright and Cornel Wilde, sounds quite intriguing. You can learn more about it at Another Old Movie Blog, which has interesting analysis of the film's politics and Teresa Wright's pistol-shooting heroine.
...Over at Riding the High Country, Colin has a very good post on another Teresa Wright film of the '50s, TRACK OF THE CAT (1954), which also starred Robert Mitchum, her costar from PURSUED (1947).
...I found this Forbes article on poor service at Best Buy to be a worthwhile read. The comparisons between what Best Buy does wrong and Amazon does right seemed correct to me. It strikes me that the reference to Best Buy in the following paragraph could also apply to how Netflix has recently conducted business: "Amazon...simply does what consumers want. Best Buy does what would be most convenient for the company for consumers to want but don’t, then crosses its fingers and prays." A follow-up column is here.
...Glenn Erickson's latest reviews at DVD Savant include JUAREZ (1939), a Warner Archive release starring Bette Davis, Brian Aherne, Claude Rains, and John Garfield, and Criterion's Blu-ray release of DESIGN FOR LIVING (1933). DESIGN FOR LIVING stars Gary Cooper, Fredric March, and Miriam Hopkins.
...George Clooney will write, direct, and star in THE MONUMENTS MEN, an upcoming film about art experts employed by the U.S. government to retrieve artwork stolen by the Nazis. Sounds very interesting to me. It's based on a book by Robert M. Edsel.
...The month of VERTIGO (1958) continues at The Lady Eve's Reel Life with a look at the film's San Francisco locations.
...Speaking of VERTIGO, Kim Novak started quite a kerfuffle last week when she took out a full-page trade paper ad protesting the use of Bernard Herrmann's music for VERTIGO in THE ARTIST (2011). I think she could have phrased her comments a little more tactfully, but have sympathy for her point of view, and her complaint certainly raises provocative questions about "homages" and where lines should be drawn when it comes to reusing things like musical scores. Hollywood has historically borrowed from itself -- composer Alfred Newman, for instance, reused his own themes in film after film -- but I wouldn't want to go see a movie and find I was listening to Korngold's score for THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938) or Steiner's score for GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) instead of a new composition. Having just seen VERTIGO, I suspect I would be especially disconcerted to go see THE ARTIST and have the Herrmann score pop up. If nothing else, it takes one out of the picture at hand.
...Incidentally, THE ARTIST won a Golden Globe for Best Original Score tonight. Enough of the score is original that it also qualifies to be nominated for an Oscar.
...Some reviewers didn't like it (notably Leonard Maltin), but I was surprisingly intrigued by the trailer for CONTRABAND (2012) starring Mark Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale. It received good reviews in the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal. Might have to give it a try.
...Thanks to 50 Westerns From the 50s for pointing the way to this Ben Johnson web page.
...I can't say I was ever a particular fan of the 1977-81 series EIGHT IS ENOUGH, though I watched it from time to time; it had its enjoyable moments, but the family always seemed a bit plastic, with a touch of crassness thrown in. That said, fans may be pleased to hear it will finally come to DVD on April 17th.
...Cliff has a lengthy, interesting post on CLEOPATRA (1934) at Immortal Ephemera, and there's a related post at Warren William.com.
...French director Olivier Dahan is going to direct the biopic GRACE OF MONACO.
...Just caught up with a late December post on UNCHAINED (1955) at Where Danger Lives, starring Chester Morris and Barbara Hale. Mark's posts are always informative; I'd never heard of this film before!
...I'm planning to see THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS (1942) for the first time this year, so I was interested in the post at Jim Lane's Cinedrome where he makes the case that AMBERSONS is Orson Welles' greatest film.
...I was saddened that J.C. Loophole announced he is turning out the lights at the Shelf, as he hasn't had sufficient time at this stage of his life to continue blogging. J.C. has been a good friend since my earliest days of blogging back in 2005, as well as an inspiration for my writing on classic films, and I hope to see him rejoin the blogosphere at a future date.
Have a great week!