Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fox Movie Channel in July: Highlights

Classic films have been growing more scarce on Fox Movie Channel in recent months, but there are still several good films in Fox's July lineup.

Here are some of this month's interesting titles:

...On July 2nd there are a pair of good-looking Westerns, TWO FLAGS WEST (1950) with Joseph Cotten, Linda Darnell, and Jeff Chandler, and SIEGE AT RED RIVER (1954), with Van Johnson, Joanne Dru, and Richard Boone.

...Jacques Tourneur's ANNE OF THE INDIES (1951) airs on July 5th. The cast includes Jean Peters, Louis Jourdan, Herbert Marshall, and Debra Paget.

...Mitzi Gaynor plays entertainer Lotta Crabtree in GOLDEN GIRL (1951). Dale Robertson, Dennis Day, and Una Merkel costar. It will be shown July 7th.

...I'm especially intrigued by the title IT SHOULDN'T HAPPEN TO A DOG (1946) which has a cast of favorites including Carole Landis, Allyn Joslyn, and Harry Morgan. It's on July 9th.

...Gregory Peck is THE MAN IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SUIT (1956) on July 11th. Jennifer Jones costars.

...TONIGHT WE RAID CALAIS (1943) sounds interesting. It's a relatively minor WWII film starring John Sutton, Annabella, and Lee J. Cobb. It's on July 12th.

...The excellent PANIC IN THE STREETS (1950) returns to Fox Movie Channel on July 14th. Richard Widmark and Paul Douglas try to prevent the spread of a lethal disease in New Orleans.

...The Western WHITE FEATHER (1955) stars Robert Wagner, Debra Paget, Jeffrey Hunter, and John Lund. It will be shown July 16th.

...I very much enjoyed THREE BRAVE MEN (1956) last year. It stars Ray Milland, Ernest Borgnine, Frank Lovejoy, and Nina Foch. It's on July 18th.

...July 19th Claudette Colbert stars with Sessue Hayakawa in the WWII film THREE CAME HOME (1950).

...MR. 880 (1950) stars Edmund Gwenn, Dorothy McGuire, and Burt Lancaster, and it airs on July 20th.

...Betty Grable is a PIN-UP GIRL (1944) on July 23rd.

...KISS THEM FOR ME (1957) is one of the relatively few Cary Grant movies I've never seen. It's shown on July 24th. Suzy Parker and Jayne Mansfield also star.

...July 27th two favorites, Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney, star in a fun movie, THAT WONDERFUL URGE (1948).

Happy viewing!

Friday, June 29, 2012

TCM in July: Highlights

It's hard to believe it's almost July, my favorite month of the year!

There are lots of great things on the Turner Classic Movies schedule this month.

The TCM Star of the Month is Leslie Howard; I'll be incorporating some of those titles into this post rather than doing a separate Star of the Month post for July.

Here's some of the most interesting titles airing on TCM in July:

...My dad recently loved the Harold Lloyd film A SAILOR-MADE MAN (1921), airing on July 1st. Sounds like a fun movie, which is only 47 minutes long.

...TCM made a last-minute change to the schedule on July 3rd to honor the late Ann Rutherford. It's a marvelous lineup of 10 films, including LOVE FINDS ANDY HARDY (1938), FOUR GIRLS IN WHITE (1939), PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1940), WASHINGTON MELODRAMA (1941), THIS TIME FOR KEEPS (1942), and TWO O'CLOCK COURAGE (1945). The tribute ends with GONE WITH THE WIND (1939), which simultaneously kicks off the first evening of films celebrating Leslie Howard as Star of the Month.

...After GONE WITH THE WIND, the Leslie Howard films continue on July 3rd with some very interesting titles, including STAND-IN (1937), a movie studio comedy with Joan Blondell and Humphrey Bogart; THE FIRST OF THE FEW (1942), also known as SPITFIRE, a WWII film which Howard directed and starred in, along with David Niven; and THE GENTLE SEX (1943), a British "homefront" morale-boosting film which Howard co-directed.

...The Independence Day lineup is much the same as last year; the standouts in the lineup include John Ford's DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK (1939), with Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert; and THE GLENN MILLER STORY (1954), an old favorite which is part of an evening of movie celebrating American composers and conductors. Jimmy Stewart, of course, plays Glenn Miller, with June Allyson as his wife.

...The annual July 6th celebration of Janet Leigh's birthday includes a film I'm unfamiliar with, STRICTLY DISHONORABLE 91951). She's cast opposite opera singer Ezio Pinza. My DVR is set!

...THE STEEL TRAP (1952) reunited Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright, who had costarred in Hitchcock's classic SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943) nearly a decade before. I recently recorded this film but haven't had time to see it yet. Another opportunity to see it comes on July 8th.

...One Douglas Fairbanks Jr. is good, but are two better? He plays twins in THE CORSICAN BROTHERS (1941), costarring Ruth Warrick and Akim Tamiroff. It will be shown July 9th.

...CAUSE FOR ALARM! (1951) is a very interesting little 74-minute "housewife noir" film, with deranged Barry Sullivan trying to frame wife Loretta Young for his death. It airs July 10th.

...Also showing on the 10th: TOO MUCH, TOO SOON (1958) with Errol Flynn and Dorothy Malone as John and Diana Barrymore. Efrem Zimbalist Jr. costars.

...Zimbalist also turns up in FEVER IN THE BLOOD (1961), costarring Angie Dickinson and Jack Kelly. It was directed by longtime Warner Bros. director Vincent Sherman. The air date is July 12th.

...July 14th it's Fred MacMurray night, with half a dozen films including THE PRINCESS COMES ACROSS (1936) and NO TIME FOR LOVE (1943).

...July 17th one of my favorite actors, Robert Montgomery, costars with Joan Crawford in UNTAMED (1929). I just got this title in a remastered DVD from the Warner Archive, but this is a great opportunity for any Montgomery and Crawford fans who don't own the DVD.

...Later on the 17th, one of the Leslie Howard films airing is OUTWARD BOUND (1930), a fantasy costarring Douglas Fairbanks Jr. It was later remade with John Garfield as BETWEEN TWO WORLDS (1944).

...On July 18th my eye was drawn to an obscurity titles ALL-AMERICAN CO-ED (1941), starring Frances Langford. I really enjoyed her in THE BAMBOO BLONDE (1946).

...Ruth Hussey is excellent in the "B" movie WITHIN THE LAW (1939), shown as part of a day of "Women in Prison" films on July 19th.

...An evening of Barbara Stanwyck pre-Codes on July 20th includes SHOPWORN (1932), an interesting film costarring Regis Toomey.

...I'm very fond of TWO GIRLS AND A SAILOR (1944), which made a star out of June Allyson. Van Johnson, Gloria DeHaven, and Tom Drake costar. It airs Sunday, July 22nd.

...I was really looking forward to seeing Jane Russell in UNDERWATER! (1955) last summer but my DVR went on the blink and I missed it. I was happy to see it return to the schedule on July 24th. Russell costars with Gilbert Roland; it was directed by John Sturges.

...One of the Leslie Howard films I especially look forward to this month is BERKELEY SQUARE (1933), a romantic fantasy which was memorably remade by Tyrone Power as I'LL NEVER FORGET YOU (1951). It airs later on July 24th.

...I'm always happy when a new-to-me Loretta Young film turns up on the schedule! BIG BUSINESS GIRL (1931) costars Frank Albertson and Ricardo Cortez; it airs July 25th as part of an evening of half a dozen Young films.

...An Ann Rutherford film I've never seen is slated for Friday, July 27th: THE GHOST COMES HOME (1940), with Frank Morgan and Billie Burke

...Among the adventure films airing on Monday, July 30th: FIVE CAME BACK 91939), an ultra-creepy "B" movie directed by John Farrow, starring Chester Morris, Lucille Ball, and an excellent supporting cast; ISLAND IN THE SKY (1953), with John Wayne attempting to keep his crew alive until help arrives when their plane goes down in the Canadian North; and PLUNDER OF THE SUN (1953), an Aztec treasure film with Glenn Ford, Diana Lynn, and Patricia Medina, who passed away in May. PLUNDER OF THE SUN, like FIVE CAME BACK, was directed by John Farrow.

...Dick Foran Day in June was a real treat, with a mix of obscure titles and well-known film noir. July 31st is a similarly fun day, celebrating Marjorie Reynolds, best known for HOLIDAY INN (1942), MINISTRY OF FEAR (1944), and the '50s series THE LIFE OF RILEY. The Reynolds tribute day includes Tim Holt and George O'Brien Westerns, entries from the Mr. Wong and Bowery Boys series, and MEET ME ON BROADWAY (1946), a musical that looked like fun but didn't record in its entirety last time it aired due to a TCM scheduling snafu. I so appreciate TCM making obscure films such as these available.

For more titles airing in July, including a Classic Adventures Films series running all day every Monday in July, please consult the complete online schedule.

Happy Independence Day, and enjoy July viewing on TCM!

Gone Fishing...

...but Laura's Miscellaneous Musings won't be on vacation!

It's that time of year, and our family is headed to the High Sierras, where we'll be camping in our usual spot outside our favorite little town, Bridgeport, California.

Our plans include celebrating an old-fashioned small-town Independence Day, such as I described in a post in 2010.

While I'm spending the week enjoying Bridgeport, nature, and catching up on my reading, things will still be busy here at Laura's Miscellaneous Musings. I've prescheduled several posts to run in my absence, including the usual monthly look at upcoming highlights on Turner Classic Movies, so please check back regularly for new content.

Till next time!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dear Nora Ephron: Thanks for the Happy Memories

Very sad news this evening: Writer-Director Nora Ephron has passed away at the age of 71.

Ephron wrote and directed two great modern classics, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE (1993) and YOU'VE GOT MAIL (1998). Both films starred Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

YOU'VE GOT MAIL in particular is a very special film which is beloved by my entire family. I vividly remember the first time I saw it; I cried at the end, simply because the movie had made me so happy!

YOU'VE GOT MAIL has become part of the thread of all our lives, prompting my daughter to watch THE GODFATHER and my husband to send me daisies. My kids can all quote from it at length. When our daughter was away at college, we had to get a duplicate copy of the film so that we could each have a copy of the movie on our shelves at all times! It's a "go to" comfort film, the kind of movie that stays on the screen until it finishes if someone stumbles across a showing on TV, and more often than not someone in the family can be heard reciting the dialogue along with the characters.

As I wrote back in 2007, I also have Ephron to thank for introducing me to my favorite Nat King Cole album, LOVE IS THE THING. Cole's rendition of "Stardust," which appears on the soundtrack of SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, came from LOVE IS THE THING, and Ephron identified the album in her DVD commentary. That album was the beginning of my very large collection of Nat King Cole CDs.

Ephron also wrote the classic, and very quotable, WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (1989), starring Ryan and Billy Crystal. Is there a more perfect film to watch on New Year's Eve?

I've always been fond of an older film Ephron wrote, HEARTBURN (1986), starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. Although the overall plot trajectory, the breakup of a marriage, was a downer, the film has a very engaging, watchable quality, and I've seen it multiple times. It's interesting to note that food -- especially key lime pie -- was a theme in HEARTBURN; over two decades later Streep would star with Amy Adams in an Ephron film where food was the main focus, the excellent JULIE AND JULIA (2009).

Nora Ephron's parents, Henry and Phoebe Ephron, were also screenwriters, with their credits including the charming '40s comedies BRIDE BY MISTAKE (1944) and WALLFLOWER (1948), along with the '50s musicals DADDY LONG LEGS (1955) and CAROUSEL (1956). The Ephrons also wrote the Hepburn and Tracy office comedy DESK SET (1957); the workplace environment, with a "family" of coworkers finding their careers impacted by encroaching change, would later be echoed somewhat in their daughter's YOU'VE GOT MAIL.

Incidentally, BRIDE BY MISTAKE was a remake of a Norman Krasna script, THE RICHEST GIRL IN THE WORLD (1935). The Ephrons' updates included changing the name of the heroine from Dorothy to...Nora.

Nora Ephron had been working on a fantasy, LOST IN AUSTEN, and a biography of Peggy Lee. It is filmgoers' great loss that there will not be any more Nora Ephron movies to enjoy. She was a treasure, and I feel deep gratitude for the happiness that her work added to our lives.

Laura's Miscellaneous Musings at MovieFanFare

My recent review of TWO SMART PEOPLE (1946) has been adapted and reposted at MovieFanFare.

MovieFanFare, for those who aren't already familiar with the site, is part of Movies Unlimited. The site does a nice job sharing the work of other classic film fans; I've found some new blogs to enjoy thanks to MovieFanFare. Check out additional posts via the blogroll link in the lefthand column under "DVD News and Reviews."

I appreciate MovieFanFare sharing my post with their readers!

Previous MovieFanFare posts: ANGEL AND THE BADMAN (1947), WESTBOUND (1959), TAMMY AND THE BACHELOR (1957), A YANK IN THE R.A.F. (1941), Gail Russell: Gone Too Soon, and a movie still From My Collection.

Monday, June 25, 2012

South Pacific (1958) Coming to the Egyptian Theatre

There's another wonderful event coming to the Egyptian Theatre, a screening of a restored 70mm print of Rodgers & Hammerstein's SOUTH PACIFIC (1958).

The screening will take place Sunday evening, July 15th. Cast members including John Kerr (Lt. Cable) and France Nuyen (Liat) will be present for the event, which will make it an especially "enchanted evening."

Of the five most significant Rodgers & Hammerstein Broadway musicals, SOUTH PACIFIC had perhaps the weakest translation to screen. The movie was filmed by one of the all-time great Technicolor cinematographers, Leon Shamroy, but the use of colored lenses has always struck me as an unfortunate decision.

That said, there is much to admire about this film, including the performances of Mitzi Gaynor and Ray Walston, the location filming on Kauai, and the superb orchestrations.

I've always had a special affinity for this movie, despite its flaws, since I played the role of Nellie in a school production of the show. The American Cinematheque provides members with free movie passes in their birthday month, and I'm hoping to use mine for this screening!

Related post: A South Pacific Reunion.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...Last month I shared the exciting news about the debut of the Fox Cinema Archives, a manufactured-on-demand (MOD) program akin to the Warner Archive. There doesn't appear to be a central website with information on the Fox releases, but several titles are now available at Amazon, including Gene Tierney and Henry Fonda in RINGS ON HER FINGERS (1942), Tyrone Power and Loretta Young in SUEZ (1938), Randolph Scott as Wyatt Earp in FRONTIER MARSHAL (1939), Maureen O'Hara and Rex Harrison in THE FOXES OF HARROW (1947), Tyrone Power as a DIPLOMATIC COURIER (1952), and WAY OF A GAUCHO (1952). I'm especially excited about the latter film, which stars Gene Tierney and Rory Calhoun; it's been on my wish list for a while now.

...I previously reviewed FRONTIER MARSHAL in 2006, RINGS ON HER FINGERS in 2008, and DIPLOMATIC COURIER in 2010. FRONTIER MARSHAL is an especially fascinating film as it helped serve as the basis for John Ford's MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (1946).

...SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN (2012), starring Ewan MacGregor and Emily Blunt, was well reviewed but came and went from local theaters so quickly I never had a chance to see it. It will be out on DVD July 17th.

...I was sad to learn that the Cinementals website, which debuted earlier this year, suddenly went dark this week. Will, Jill, Carley and all the contributors were doing a fine job, and I hope that perhaps the site will return at some point in the future. One of the last posts, contributed by Ivan of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear, was an article on one of my top faves, Dick Powell.

...Colin's been blogging up a storm at Riding the High Country. His recent reviews include a Dick Powell favorite, THE TALL TARGET (1951); Audie Murphy's HELL BENT FOR LEATHER (1960), which sounds really interesting; and THE BIG COMBO (1955), an important noir title which I had the pleasure of seeing at a great old Los Angeles movie palace earlier this year. There's a fun discussion of film noir in the BIG COMBO comments, too. Anyone who loves Westerns or film noir should be sure to pay regular visits to Riding the High Country.

...I also love to hang out and enjoy the posts and great discussions at 50 Westerns From the 50s. Where else could you see a heck of a great publicity still like this one?! I immediately arranged to borrow RIDE CLEAR OF DIABLO (1954). Dan Duryea makes any movie better.

...Caftan Woman has a marvelous tribute up to "Richard Conte, King of Noir." Love to see the appreciation for this somewhat underrated actor, seen here with Susan Hayward in a still from HOUSE OF STRANGERS (1949).

...Another favorite, Ida Lupino, received a lovely tribute from Moira at Skeins of Thought earlier this week.

...John Nolte has an excellent review of the MAVERICK DVD set posted at Breitbart. I like the distinctions he makes between Bret Maverick and Jim Rockford.

...Notable Passing: Noted film critic Andrew Sarris has passed on at the age of 83. I greatly enjoyed his book YOU AIN'T HEARD NOTHIN' YET: THE AMERICAN TALKING FILM, HISTORY AND MEMORY: 1927-1949 which was a gift from my father years ago. Sarris's book THE JOHN FORD MOVIE MYSTERY has been shelved with my Ford collection for more years than I want to count.

...Susan King profiles actor John Amos in the Los Angeles Times. I have a nice memory of Mr. Amos as, thanks to someone on our campus knowing him, he came and spoke to my high school history class, a couple of years after he appeared in ROOTS (1977). I particularly enjoyed him in THE WEST WING.

...While I'm going down memory lane, here's a random fun fact: when I was growing up actor Michael Constantine, then best known for ROOM 222 (1969-74), was said to live in walking distance from my house, though I don't recall ever spotting him myself! His many other credits include PRANCER (1989) and MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (2002).

...As she prepares for her upcoming wedding, Raquelle has been posting photos of long-married Hollywood couples at Out of the Past, including Robert Preston and Catherine Craig, James and Lois Garner, and Ricardo Montalban and Georgiana Young. The beautiful photo of the Montalban family seen here comes from A Certain Cinema.

...Will cookbooks become extinct?

...The Johnny Depp remake of THE THIN MAN (1934) might be on hold, which would be a great relief to Powell-Loy fans everywhere.

...A very happy 1st bloggiversary to Karen at Shadows and Satin! Karen is also the editor of the wonderful film noir newsletter The Dark Pages.

...Attention Southern Californians: This summer the Academy is sponsoring a neat series with a depressing title: The Last 70mm Film Festival. Titles include two of my all-time favorite movies, SLEEPING BEAUTY (1959) and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965), which I was privileged to see in 70mm last month at the Egyptian Theatre.

...Speaking of SLEEPING BEAUTY, Disney has begun filming MALEFICENT (2014), with Angelina Jolie starring in the title role.

...Cliff Aliperti has researched the life of actress Cecilia Parker, better known as Andy Hardy's sister Marian. You can read his interesting post at Immortal Ephemera.

...Over at Tales of the Easily Distracted, Dorian reviews HUDSON'S BAY (1941) with her trademark whimsy and good humor. HUDSON'S BAY stars Paul Muni, Gene Tierney, John Sutton, and the inimitable Laird Cregar.

...Ordered from Amazon for vacation reading next week: VANITY WILL GET YOU SOMEWHERE, an autobiography by Joseph Cotten.

...Finally, just for fun, here's a new photo of our cat Lila. Isn't she sweet?

Have a great week!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tonight's Movie: In Search of the Castaways (1962) at the Walt Disney Studios

June has been the month to catch up with previously unseen Hayley Mills Disney movies. A few weekends ago I enjoyed Hayley in THE MOON-SPINNERS (1964), a light mystery set in beautiful Crete.

Today I caught an earlier Hayley film, IN SEARCH OF THE CASTAWAYS, at a sold-out screening on the Disney Studios lot. The movie was shown as part of D23's ongoing Fifty and Fabulous series.

I very much enjoyed THE MOON-SPINNERS, but unfortunately IN SEARCH OF THE CASTAWAYS wasn't made with the same polish. Hayley and Maurice Chevalier give the movie their best light touches, but they can't counteract the leaden screenplay by Lowell S. Hawley, which was based on the book by Jules Verne. What's more, George Sanders is completely wasted as the villain of the piece.

As our story begins, Mary Grant (Mills) and her brother Robert (Keith Hamshere) attempt to speak to Lord Glenarvan (Wilfrid Hyde White), the owner of the shipping line which employed their father, Captain Grant (Jack Gwillim). Captain Grant has been long missing, but a gentleman named Jacques (Chevalier) has miraculously found a bottle with a note giving clues to their father's location.

Mary, Robert, and Jacques persuade Lord Glenarvan and his teenage son John (Michael Anderson Jr., THE SUNDOWNERS) to help them search for Captain Grant and his crew, and the adventure is on.

The movie starts out well, wasting no time plunging viewers into the story, but it quickly falls apart. The scattered script requires a willing suspension of disbelief more times than can be counted, but it doesn't provide enough magic to make the audience willing to buy in to the bizarre situations. For example, when the searchers are high in windy, snowy South American mountains, they're clad only in woolen ponchos; no gloves, no hats, no heavy coats, and yet they're all perfectly comfortable. Likewise, the characters stand right next to an erupting volcano without appearing the least bit warm.

Our intrepid heroes are also confronted with a landslide and a flood, miraculously -- and surprisingly calmly -- surviving both. And then there's the condor... Peter Ellenshaw's special effects are impressive for the era, but they're also obvious, especially in service to such a weak story.

Just a couple of years later director Robert Stevenson would have a far better experience mixing the ordinary and the magical in MARY POPPINS (1964), which I consider Disney's greatest live-action achievement. Likewise, while the songs the Sherman Brothers wrote for IN SEARCH OF THE CASTAWAYS are immediately forgotten, they would win Oscars for Best Song and Best Score for MARY POPPINS. George Sanders would also fare better in a later Disney film, voicing Shere Khan in THE JUNGLE BOOK (1967).

The film holds the attention for its 98 minutes, in part due to Hayley Mills and in part because just when it seems as though the movie can't get any sillier, it does. I'm glad I saw it so that I could check another Disney film off my list of movies to see, but it must be said it's a waste of many talents. One has to wonder why George Sanders is even in the film, given that he appears in a mere handful of scenes late in the movie.

Although the film was a disappointment, it's always a treat to set foot on the historic Disney Studios lot in Burbank. The small lot feels more like a college campus, with its orderly walkways lined with shade trees. The Studio Theatre is an impressively plush venue, with deep cushioned chairs, not to mention a brief overture and light show as the screening began. The movie was preceded by the Donald Duck cartoon CONTRARY CONDOR (1944), which was perfectly themed to be shown with the main feature.

IN SEARCH OF THE CASTAWAYS is available on a DVD which is available for rental from Netflix or ClassicFlix. The movie also had a VHS release, and it can be streamed via Amazon Instant Video.

Related Posts: Tonight's Movie: Waking Sleeping Beauty (2009) and a Visit to Walt Disney Studios; Tonight's Movie: Tangled (2010) at the Walt Disney Studios; Tonight's Movie: One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) at the Walt Disney Studios; Tonight's Movie: The Absent Minded Professor (1961) at the Walt Disney Studios.

Friday, June 22, 2012

UCLA Celebrates Director Budd Boetticher

Last summer UCLA had an excellent series of Robert Mitchum Westerns. This summer UCLA has another treat in store: Ride Lonesome: The Films of Budd Boetticher.

Although I've seen many of the films in this series, I've never seen a single one on the big screen, and I'm hoping to have the opportunity to catch at least a couple at UCLA in July or August.

The series opens Friday, July 13th, with one of my very favorite Randolph Scott movies, SEVEN MEN FROM NOW (1956). The film costars Gail Russell and Lee Marvin, and it was shot in beautiful Lone Pine, which I'll be driving through at the end of next week! From its opening moments, SEVEN MEN FROM NOW is simply unforgettable.

SEVEN MEN FROM NOW is on a double bill with DECISION AT SUNDOWN (1957); John Carroll and Karen Steele costar with Scott.

The next night, July 14th, the double bill consists of two more Scott Westerns, THE TALL T (1957) and BUCHANAN RIDES ALONE (1958). Scott battles wits with a very evil Richard Boone in THE TALL T, which also stars Maureen O'Sullivan; he costars with Craig Stevens in BUCHANAN RIDES ALONE.

Two more Scott Westerns are shown the 21st, RIDE LONESOME (1958) and COMANCHE STATION (1960). RIDE LONESOME costars Karen Steele and Pernell Roberts, while Nancy Gates and Claude Akins appear with Scott in COMANCHE STATION.

There's a wonderful opportunity to see the unique, memorable BULLFIGHTER AND THE LADY (1951) on July 22nd. This movie, starring Robert Stack, Gilbert Roland, Katy Jurado, and Joy Page, was produced by John Wayne. It's being shown in the "director's cut" as restored by UCLA in 1987.

On July 29th there's another Westerns double bill, consisting of HORIZONS WEST (1952) with Robert Ryan, Rock Hudson, and Julie Adams, and THE MAN FROM THE ALAMO (1953), costarring Adams and Glenn Ford. (July 14th Update: It was announced at last night's screening that UCLA was unable to secure the print of HORIZONS WEST and will instead be showing the 1953 film SEMINOLE on the 29th.)

Westerns are left behind in favor of crime on August 6th. The evening leads off with the very good suspense film THE KILLER IS LOOSE (1956), in which police detective Joseph Cotten is on the hunt for mad killer Wendell Corey. It's paired with THE RISE AND FALL OF LEGS DIAMOND (1960) starring Ray Danton and frequent Boetticher leading lady Karen Steele.

The series come to a conclusion with a really interesting set of "B" movies, ESCAPE IN THE FOG (1945), starring Nina Foch, and BEHIND LOCKED DOORS (1948) with Richard Carlson and Lucille Bremer.

I thought BEHIND LOCKED DOORS was a terrific little movie when I caught it on a Kino DVD, and the only reason I won't be going to see it at UCLA is that I'll be at D23's Destination D that weekend!

Toby has some dandy posters from Boetticher-Scott Westerns up at 50 Westerns From the 50s.

Thanks to regular reader Jane for passing on the good word on this series, as well as the news that the Boetticher films will be followed by a series of Jean Arthur films!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Disney California Adventure: More Buena Vista Street

It's time for the final chapter -- for now! -- touring the new Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure.

The formerly dreary entrance area and Sunshine Plaza are now filled with charm and the activity of a busy town. Here, Trolley No. 623 approaches Carthay Circle from Hollywood Land:

I love the sleek look of the tower atop the Carthay Circle Theatre. The original Carthay Circle Theatre hosted the premiere of Disney's SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS in 1937.

Here's more of the beautiful tile work seen up and down Buena Vista Street and at the Carthay Circle Theatre:

One of my favorite new spots on Buena Vista Street is Clarabelle's Ice Cream, which is exquisitely detailed, from the cone-shaped lamp fixture below the sign... the lovely stained glass designs.

One of Clarabelle's specialties is hand-dipped ice cream bars, with choices of toppings including confetti (below), rainbow sprinkles, and more. I rarely eat ice cream bars but had to try one out, and it was really wonderful.

For more photos and information regarding Clarabelle's, please visit the Disney Food Blog, including an older preview post.

The offices of the Buena Vista Bugle are next to Elias & Company:

The free newspaper is available several places on Buena Vista Street.  What a fantastic idea! There are articles and vintage-style ads about the new stores, restaurants, and other attractions, not to mention a cartoon drawn by Walt Disney. Hopefully there will be future editions as time goes on.

The Trolley Treats candy shop features a model of Claude Coats' Rock Candy Mountain in the window. Coats, a legendary Disney artist and Imagineer, had originally designed Rock Candy Mountain to be part of the landscape for the Storybook Land Canal Boats and Casey Jr. Circus Train but it was never built. Decades later, Disney has honored Coats and his vision by building a miniature version of his design for all to enjoy.

The light hasn't been right yet for a good photo of Rock Candy Mountain through the glass in its display window, but I hope to have photos to share in the future. In the meantime, there's a very nice photo of the Mountain illustrating an article at MousePlanet.

Big Top Toys is under the Hyperion Bridge, which was shown in my previous post. It might seem an unusual design choice to have a bridge crossing the street, but there's a practical reason for it -- the Monorail runs across the bridge! In the park's previous life, this was the location of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The general theme of Big Top Toys was inspired by DUMBO (1941).

One more shot of the impressive exterior of Elias & Company, taken without a single guest in the picture at last week's passholder preview:

The interior of Elias & Company is filled with lovely details, such as this light fixture:

A Red Car Trolley rounds Carthay Circle, heading down Buena Vista Street into a long and happy future.

Be sure to read this excellent article from the Orange County Register on the many tributes to Disney history seen up and down Buena Vista Street. Just about every name and street number has special significance!

Previously: California Adventure: Cars Land Preview!; Cars Land Preview: Flo's V8 Cafe and Luigi's Casa Della Tires; Cars Land Preview: Radiator Springs Racers and Mater's Junkyard Jamboree; Cars Land Preview: Around Radiator Springs; Disney California Adventure: Buena Vista Street Preview (and More!).

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