Sunday, May 13, 2012

Around the Blogosphere This Week

Miscellaneous bits of news and fun stuff from around the Internet...

...The For the Love of Film Blogathon starts today! Info on participating is at the Self-Styled Siren. There's also more info in my link roundup of February 5th.

...At Immortal Ephemera, Cliff does a great job providing historical background on the Washington, D.C. of 1943 portrayed in GOVERNMENT GIRL (1943). There are so many interesting angles to consider when watching films; for instance, I enjoyed seeing how Warner Bros. used last night's movie, ESPIONAGE AGENT (1939), for propaganda purposes prior to the U.S. entering WWII. GOVERNMENT GIRL stars Olivia de Havilland and Sonny Tufts. I've recorded it and look forward to checking it out.

...Caftan Woman reviews Olivia's sister, Joan Fontaine, starring with Bing Crosby in THE EMPEROR WALTZ (1948). I saw that film as a teenager at the Vagabond Theater in Los Angeles; I remember it as being colorful, but not much more. Time to revisit it! I happen to have the movie on a DVD which my kids enjoyed when they were younger; the flip side is a film my children particularly liked, A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT (1949), starring Bing and Rhonda Fleming.

...MC has a marvelous post on the films of Elvis Presley at Happy Thoughts, Darling. One of her favorites, BLUE HAWAII (1961), was another film my kids especially liked when they were little. We also played that movie's soundtrack CD a lot! I've only seen a couple of the Elvis titles she reviews; I love VIVA LAS VEGAS (1964) and enjoyed MC's comment that she could watch "The Lady Loves Me" from that film every day and be glad about it. That number is '60s musical perfection, and so is "My Rival." LOVING YOU (1957) and KING CREOLE (1958) are high on my Elvis "watch" list since they costar Dolores Hart.

...VCI has brought out some really interesting British titles in recent months, such as this coming week's release of LOVE STORY (1944), starring Stewart Granger and Margaret Lockwood. Coming to DVD this July 17th: HIGHLY DANGEROUS (1950), starring Margaret Lockwood and Dane Clark. Given those leads, it's a "must buy" for me.

...Dorian reviews one of my favorite Deanna Durbin films, LADY ON A TRAIN (1945), at Tales of the Easily Distracted.

...ARGO (2012), a suspense film directed by and starring Ben Affleck, looks as though it has great potential. It's based on the true story of how several Americans were hidden by the Canadian ambassador during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, and then an elaborate plan was concocted to get the Americans safely out of the country. Here's the trailer. The film comes out September 14th.


...Matt Hinrichs reviews EXCLUSIVE STORY (1936) at DVD Talk. This MGM film, out from the Warner Archive, stars favorites Franchot Tone and Madge Evans.

...And Raquelle reviews another film from the Archive, SUSAN SLEPT HERE (1954), at her blog Out of the Past. Like the above-referenced LADY ON A TRAIN, this is a film which is now a regular part of my Christmas viewing. The remastered Archive DVD is beautiful!

...Out at last on DVD: Season 1 of L.A. LAW. It's apparently an all-region edition being sold by a British company.

...James Garner's daughter Gigi recently did a very nice 15-minute audio Q & A session with an interviewer from Garner's native Oklahoma. To Gigi, of course, he's just "Dad," but Gigi has some wonderful memories of growing up as James Garner's daughter.

...At Shadows and Satin, Karen's pre-Code TCM pick for May is the wonderful MIDNIGHT MARY (1933), starring Loretta Young and Franchot Tone. It's one of Young's finest performances, but everything about this fast-paced William Wellman film is great.

...TCM has announced the schedule for this summer's TCM Essentials Jr. series. These Sunday night films are meant to help hook children and teens on classic films. The first movie, airing June 3rd, happens to be my teenage son's favorite film for several years now, 12 ANGRY MEN (1957). That's a great "outside-the-box" selection to lead off the series. I also especially like the selection for June 17th, RIO BRAVO (1959); as I've written here before, my children have always loved that movie so much that our dog is named after John Wayne's character! Other titles in the series include LASSIE COME HOME (1943), NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959), BALL OF FIRE (1941), THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (1940), THE BAND WAGON (1953), and THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939).

...At Another Old Movie Blog, Jacqueline celebrates this weekend's National Train Day with a post on Doris Day and Jack Lemmon in the fun IT HAPPENED TO JANE (1959).

...Here's another review of the great new Warner Archive release of WESTWARD THE WOMEN (1951). Paul Mavis calls it "a criminally undervalued of the best Westerns from the genre's best decade." No argument from me on that point.

...Notable Passing: Longtime TV character actor Walter Mathews has passed on at the age of 85. He had over 60 screen credits, appearing steadily in episodic television from the early '60s to the mid '80s.

Have a great week!


Blogger Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Thanks for the link.

4:26 AM  
Blogger MC said...

Thanks for the mention, Laura! Viva Las Vegas is such a fun movie, isn't it? I love every musical number in it. Being from Texas, I especially get a kick out of the "Yellow Rose of Texas" scene. ;) Ann-Margret was a great match for Elvis on screen. She had the same kind of energy and charm, and their chemistry was out of this world.

In addition to King Creole and Loving You, I hope you get a chance to see Follow That Dream sometime. It's a sweet family comedy that's both laugh-out-loud hilarious and heartwarming. I think you might like it. :)


5:36 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

You're so welcome, Jacqueline! You made me want to see the movie again. :) I'm a big Doris fan and have only seen JANE once.

MC, it just so happens that the unseen Elvis DVD I have here besides LOVING YOU is FOLLOW THAT DREAM -- I picked it up for a low-low price earlier this year because I thought it looked good, so I'm delighted to hear you liked it and think I might too!

There's something about that "Lady Loves" scene in VIVA LAS VEGAS that's extra-special -- the colors, the beautiful pool, the '60s ambience, the charismastic stars, the tune itself -- just wonderful!

Best wishes,

9:07 AM  
Blogger DorianTB said...

Laura, great lineup in this new "Around the Blogosphere This Week," and I swear I'm not saying that just because you so generously included a recommendation for my review of LADY ON A TRAIN over at TALES OF THE EASILY DISTRACTED! :-) Seriously, beaucoup thanks for that, and for our own Jacqueline T. Lynch's fascinating and entertaining post about IT HAPPENED TO JANE at ANOTHER OLD MOVIE BLOG. I was already intrigued by the train element, but when I read on and realized Team Bartilucci fave Ernie Kovacs was in it, too, I was hooked! Thanks again!

9:18 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Thanks for linking to my Exclusive Story DVD Talk review, Laura. I was delighted to snag it (Warner Archive doesn't send us copies of a lot of their stuff for reviewing, unfortunately).

My next classic DVD will be The Lawless from Olive Films/Paramount - I'm looking forward to it!

5:12 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks, Dorian and Matt! Dorian, hope you'll enjoy IT HAPPENED TO JANE -- fun movie. :) Matt, I'm very intrigued by THE LAWLESS thanks to the lead actors and would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Best wishes,

8:05 PM  

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