Sunday, October 07, 2012

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...Character actor Andy Devine was born on this date in 1905. My favorite of Devine's many roles was as the rescue pilot in William Wellman's ISLAND IN THE SKY (1953). There's information about Devine's background growing up in Arizona in my posts A Visit to Flagstaff, Arizona and To Arizona and Back!; the latter post contains a photo of the Hotel Beale in Kingman, Arizona, which was owned by Andy's father. Kingman is proud of its native son, and one of the city's main thoroughfares is Andy Devine Avenue.

...Cliff profiles the early years of Carole Lombard at Immortal Ephemera. He's got some great illustrations of movie advertisements and cards. On a related note, those who missed my post of exactly a year ago might enjoy reading about my college research on Lombard's early years in California and her relationship to the Kimberly family of Kimberly-Clark.

...An interesting new book: TWITCH UPON A STAR: THE BEWITCHED LIFE AND CAREER OF ELIZABETH MONTGOMERY. The author, Herbie J. Pilato, wrote an excellent book on BEWITCHED, one of my all-time favorite TV series. I loved Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha years before I became one of her father's biggest fans!

...Actress Glynis Johns turned 89 this past Friday. Anyone who hasn't yet seen her as the mermaid in MIRANDA (1948) is missing a real treat. It's out on DVD from VCI.

...Warner Bros. has made a deal to handle the distribution of some of Paramount's DVD titles.

...And speaking of Warner Bros., here's the studio's 90th anniversary logo.

...It was great to read in the L.A. Times that film actress and Broadway musical star Patricia Morison is doing well, living in Los Angeles. The Times says she's 97, but IMDb and IBDB give her age as 98. Her movies included one of my favorite Deanna Durbin films, LADY ON A TRAIN (1945). When I was a child I saw Morison as the Baroness in a theatrical production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC at the Los Angeles Music Center.

...Robert Osborne recently posted a note to his fans explaining his decision to reduce his on-air duties at Turner Classic Movies, a change mentioned in my link roundup of September 23rd.

...Another new book: THE MUSIC OF JAMES BOND by film music historian Jon Burlingame.

...Incandescent bulbs are now banned in England, for the most part, and things are looking dim.

...Here's the latest "Watch List" mini film reviews from Greenbriar Picture Shows.

...Jacqueline shares info on CAPTAIN CAUTION (1940) at Another Old Movie Blog. Victor Mature in the War of 1812!

...Mark your calendars: The U.S. DVD release of Season 3 of DOWNTON ABBEY will be January 29, 2013.

...A LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE feature film? Alyssa Rosenberg considers the possibility at Slate.

...Happiest wishes and congratulations to my friend Toby, who celebrated three years of blogging at 50 Westerns From the 50s on October 1st. Anyone who's a regular visitor knows what a great blog Toby has, and I highly recommend anyone who's not familiar with 50 Westerns make it a regular stop when cruising the web. Toby's blog combines great visuals, thoughtful analysis, DVD news, and some wonderfully knowledgeable discussions on Westerns by Toby and a number of regular commenters.

...Speaking of 50 Westerns, Toby recently linked to these wonderful color photos of 1940s Southern California. They're fantastic.

Have a great week!


Blogger Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Thanks for the mention. That new book on Elizabeth Montgomery looks interesting. Always thought she was a terrific actress.

4:58 AM  
Blogger Classic Maiden said...

I always look forward to these. Thanks!

8:48 AM  
OpenID fiftieswesterns said...

Thanks for saying such nifty things about my blog.

Now I have to try to actually live up them. Yikes.

8:54 AM  
Blogger DorianTB said...

Laura, I'm delighted to hear that such this week's Blogosphere post has so many actresses I like, including Elizabeth Montgomery, Glynis Johns, and especially Patricia Morison, who I especially enjoyed in THE FALLEN SPARROW and LADY ON A TRAIN!

What the heck, here's a link to one of her films:

1:19 PM  
Blogger KC said...

It's so funny, that "Little House on the Prairie" cover brings back so many memories, but none of them are of the story! I can't remember a thing. I do remember my mom reading it to us though. Looks like I'm going to have to read it again.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Blake Lucas said...

riLaura, are you really the sweetest and most gracious person in the whole blogosphere?

I just loved what you wrote about Toby and 50 Westerns from the 50s. He deserves it and as always you said it so well.

My favorite Andy Devine role is in THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE--and I say that as one who always likes him. Laura will know that in the concluding part of my piece "Saloon Girls and Ranchers' Daughters: The Woman in the Western" I unhesitatingly described as "sublime" the acting of both Devine and Vera Miles in a key early scene of that great movie.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

You're very welcome, Jacqueline! I'm so glad to know that you and Dorian are both Elizabeth Montgomery fans as well. :)

Thank you for the kind words, Classic Maiden, I'm happy to know you enjoy the link roundups!

Toby, it's my pleasure, thank *you* for creating a site I enjoy visiting so much!!

Thanks so much for that link, Dorian! I haven't seen THE FALLEN SPARROW yet. So glad to hear from another Morison fan!

KC, when your children are old enough the LITTLE HOUSE books make great read-alouds! For that matter, they remain good reading for adults. As I've revisited them over the years I find I see the books from new perspectives, for example as an adult I marvel over what Caroline Ingalls had to cope with as a wife and mother!

Blake, you are so kind, I am blushing as I read your note! Thank you. As you say, Toby entirely deserves praise and I hope more folks will enjoy his site, as well as the Westerns we all enjoy so much!

I think one reason I've been reluctant to see LIBERTY VALANCE again is it's so melancholy. I think it was at Toby's site that I recently heard Edmond O'Brien was in the movie, which amazed me as I had zero memory of that. Between that and your beautiful description of Vera Miles in the film, and her interaction with Andy Devine, I'm going to have to pull that one off the shelf and revisit it. Like you, I love the Ann Rutledge theme! I think the fact that it's originally associated with a Ford film of decades earlier lends the film an added layer of poignance.

Thanks to you all!

Best wishes,

8:37 PM  
Blogger Irene said...

Thanks to your post and a revisiting of your review of Miranda, I've placed on order for it on Amazon. Our library does not carry it. I have a vague recollection of seeing it on TV years and years ago and am looking forward to owning it :). Also, all my photo albums for my Disney Cruise are now up on Facebook a long with some videos. Your daughter can go to my Timeline and bring them up for you if you'd like to see them.

9:05 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Irene! That's wonderful about MIRANDA, do let me know what you think, I hope you'll enjoy seeing it for the first time in years!

Many thanks also for letting me know about the photos, I'll be sure to have her show them to me in the near future. Looking forward to seeing them!

Best wishes,

9:13 PM  
Blogger Jim Lane said...

I want to second your kudos to Glynis Johns in Miranda -- what a charmer, actress and movie! (And let's not forget Googie Withers and Margaret Rutherford in the same picture.) I discovered it on TV in the '50s and couldn't have been happier when it finally came out on DVD.

And what a pleasure to hear that Patricia Morison is still with us. I urge your readers to check out the 1958 TV production of Kiss Me, Kate with Alfred Drake, which (thank heaven!) survives on DVD. It's a rare case where we can see two Broadway stars repeat their signature performances on live TV.

3:01 AM  

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