...Actor Stanley Tucci has a new cookbook that looks really interesting, THE TUCCI COOKBOOK. Back in October the New York Times published a very interesting article which includes video of Tucci cooking with his wife and parents.
...Robert Osborne was interviewed by USA Today about his favorite Christmas movies, but curiously he mentions that TCM will be showing I'LL BE SEEING YOU (1944) for the first time this year -- yet it didn't make the final lineup of TCM's Christmas movies for this month.
...Critic and historian Mick LaSalle muses on trying new movies during the holiday season. (Via Nathan Cone on Twitter.) Mick also wrote about Christmas movies back in 2006. I like this, about MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947): "Strangely, even in the late 1960s, 1947 looked as far away as it does today, and there was something indescribably cozy and reassuring about seeing people from long ago preparing to celebrate the very same holiday I was anticipating. I can't quite analyze this feeling. It was just nice to be part of some ongoing celebration across time."
...Another Old Movie Blog looks at women in the armed services during WWII, with discussion of KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY (1945) and CRY HAVOC (1943). I haven't seen CRY HAVOC, which looks like an emotionally challenging film to view, but I really enjoyed KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY, which I reviewed in 2009.
...Netflix has a big new deal with Disney, although it doesn't start until 2016.
...Karen's Pre-Code of the Month pick at Shadows and Satin is the very entertaining NIGHT NURSE (1931), airing on Turner Classic Movies on December 27th. You can also read my 2008 review here.
...Here's a promo trailer for Season 3 of DOWNTON ABBEY, due to air in the U.S. next month. Season 4 begins filming in February, and let's hope that season airs simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic. The world is now way too small to prevent plot spoilers!
...OCEAN'S 11 alum Matt Damon may join the cast of George Clooney's MONUMENTS MEN (2013), based on a true WWII story by Robert Edsel.
...I was very sorry to be notified this week that Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine has been discontinued. I used more recipes from this handy little publication than any other cooking magazine.
...The CD soundtrack for the upcoming film version of LES MISERABLES (2012) will be released December 26th.
...There's lots of great discussion of Universal Westerns and more in this thread at 50 Westerns From the 50s.
...Kevin's Movie Corner reviews THE SUSPECT (1944), starring Charles Laughton and Ella Raines.
Out of the Past for the tip on this upcoming book, TWENTIETH CENTURY-FOX: THE ZANUCK-SKOURAS YEARS, 1935-1965. It's due out in March from the University of Texas Press; the author is Peter Lev.
...Royal Watch: Cheery news from Britain this week with the announcement that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their first child. I know from a similar experience with my firstborn that the 'round-the-clock sickness is very tough going; hope Catherine is feeling better soon!
...It boggles the mind that new U.S. Common Core "educational standards" will lead to the removal of classics such as TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD from the high school curriculum, in favor of "technical reading" -- which many citizens will feel is propaganda for certain causes. Heaven forbid our students continue to be inspired by great literature, let's make sure they can read governmental pabulum instead...sigh.
...Notable Passings: Boot Hill reports the death of actress Carolyn Conwell, who was 82. Best known for the soap THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, she also had a small role in Hitchcock's TORN CURTAIN (1966)...Boot Hill was also the source for the news that dancer Susan Luckey has died at 74. Luckey played Louise in CAROUSEL (1956) and Zaneeta in THE MUSIC MAN (1962), pictured at the left...Music fans surely already know that this week saw the passing of legendary jazz pianist Dave Brubeck at the age of 91.
Have a great week!