Sunday, June 30, 2013

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...In my mailbox from John DiLeo: AND YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW CLASSIC MOVIES: 200 QUIZZES FOR GOLDEN AGE MOVIE LOVERS. This 1999 book by John was just reissued, including in a Kindle edition. It's filled with fun quizzes; I appreciate that John's book isn't aimed at those with only a superficial knowledge of some classic films, but instead is targeted for film fans who really know their movies. If you can name the movies in which Van Johnson, Herbert Marshall, Arthur Kennedy, and Ida Lupino were blind, then this book is for you! I've enjoyed John's previous books, including SCREEN SAVERS, SCREEN SAVERS II, and TENNESSEE WILLIAMS AND COMPANY: HIS ESSENTIAL SCREEN ACTORS, and I appreciated receiving the review copy of his reissued book!

...I really enjoyed a two-part article at Greenbriar Picture Shows on the wonders of being a classic film fan in this day and age. The look back at RCA videodiscs particularly struck a chord -- they seemed like such a great idea, but were almost unplayable, skipping like crazy.

...Kim of GlamAmor recently had the marvelous opportunity to inspect Elizabeth Taylor's 1950 wedding gown designed by Helen Rose, which sold at auction last week for over $188,000. Rose also designed gorgeous real-life wedding gowns for Ann Blyth and Grace Kelly.

...THE COME-ON (1956) with Sterling Hayden and Anne Baxter sure sounds like fun. You can read about it at Where Danger Lives.

...A WWII propaganda film from Monogram with a flashy title, WOMEN IN BONDAGE (1943), was recently released by the Warner Archive. Gail Patrick plays a German wife who comes to realize Nazi-ism is scary stuff. The movie was just reviewed by Glenn Erickson at DVD Savant.

...It is possible Fox is finally realizing how badly their "manufactured on demand" program is blowing it, in terms of releasing widescreen films in pan and scan? I hope this bit of industry gossip proves to be true.

...The annual Hallmark ornament Dream Book is available online. I was surprised to learn that Hallmark has lost the rights to Barbie ornaments; the rights are now held by American Greetings, and based on this post they are rather unattractive. Well, at least it will save me money and I don't need to worry about ending up with more ornaments than will fit on my Barbie tree! Westerns fans: Last year's RIO BRAVO John Wayne ornament was followed up this year with an ornament based on THE SEARCHERS.

...Last week the Guardian ran an interesting interview with movie dubber extraordinaire Marni Nixon. (Via KC at Classic Movies.)

...The L.A. Times had an interesting article this weekend on apps which allow neighbors to help one another and make some money, cutting more expensive service providers out of the loop. I'd never heard of DogVacay or TaskRabbit and found the concepts quite interesting. DogVacay has an interesting website; you can check out people in your area who will board your dog and read reviews.

...Notable Passings: Screenwriter and novelist Richard Matheson has passed away at the age of 87. Matheson wrote for many TV series, including TWILIGHT ZONE and LAWMAN; his novel BID TIME RETURN became the much-loved SOMEWHERE IN TIME (1980) with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour...Actor Elliott Reid, seen here in a photo, has died at 93. One of his earliest films was MGM's YOUNG IDEAS (1943). He's perhaps best known for GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953). Other films included SIERRA (1950) and VICKI (1953).

Have a great week!


Blogger Kevin Deany said...

Thanks for the link on the Fox MODs Laura. That is encouraging news. Do you know if those ever go on sale anywhere? I usually only buy the Warner Archive titles when there's a sale.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Kevin! Last summer there was a Fox Cinema Archives sale at Amazon for $10.99 a movie. Those sales seem to be few and far between so far.

Best wishes,

10:43 AM  
Blogger Kevin Deany said...

Thanks, Laura. I'll be on the lookout for such a sale.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Blake Lucas said...

Richard Matheson should be remembered most of all for writing THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (1957), which gets my vote as the best science-fiction movie of all time and a world away from all the others. Jack Arnold, who deeply imprinted the genre with films you yourself have liked despite not being a sci-fi fan (IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE, CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON) directed this, and very beautifully. It is on every level a masterpiece. And Laura, it's a crisp 81 minutes long.

The main reason I am mentioning it now is that it too is on TCM this month, this coming Sunday 8:00 pm ET and 5:00 in Southern California. A good chance to catch it for those who haven't.

Yes, I know I beat the drum a lot for this one but it deserves it.

12:13 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks so much for sharing all this info, Blake! THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN definitely sounds appealing and I'm glad you pointed out to everyone that it's on TCM in a few days!

Best wishes,

8:12 AM  
Blogger Vienna said...

The Incredible Shrinking Man is one I like a lot, a deeply moving film and a great performance from Grant Williams.
Don't miss it.
I saw The Come-On last year and was very disappointed - terrible part for Anne Baxter.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks very much for your feedback on both films, Vienna -- always appreciated, especially as so many of our tastes coincide.

Best wishes,

12:14 AM  

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