...The pace of the announcements for the TCM Classic Film Festival has been picking up as April nears. Most recently it was announced that the opening night screening will be a restoration of the Todd-AO version of OKLAHOMA! (1955) with star Shirley Jones in attendance. The soundtrack has also been restored. I'm especially hoping to see Kim Novak at a screening of BELL BOOK AND CANDLE (1958), Margaret O'Brien at MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944), and Maureen O'Hara at HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (1941). Over at Out of the Past Raquel has put together a list of all the festival announcements to date.
...Raquel recently wrote about enjoying MEET ME IN LAS VEGAS (1956) which I reviewed in 2010. I'm always delighted when someone likes one of my beloved MGM musicals!
LADDIE (1940) with Tim Holt, Virginia Gilmore, Joan Leslie, and Joan Carroll (Agnes in MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS), based on the book by Gene Stratton-Porter. I loved the book and am so happy to have the chance to see the movie, in just about any condition.
...Former homes of Deanna Durbin and George Sanders are for sale...photos at the links. And while we're checking out celebrity homes of the past, here's an Architectural Digest spread on Joan Fontaine's Brentwood home, lost in the Bel-Air fire disaster of 1961.
...One of my daughter's favorite professors at USC was the legendary Drew Casper, who has taught for over four decades at the School of Cinematic Arts. Given that, I really loved this column by a former student on how Dr. Casper helped to turn his fiancee into a classic film fan. For more on Dr. Casper, visit "A Day in the Life of Dr. Drew Casper" posted in 2012 on the School of Cinematic Arts website.
TCM Vault Collection. Extras include an introduction by Robert Osborne, radio interview excerpts, and stills.
...The B&B from GROUNDHOG DAY (1993) is for sale.
...My friend Constance offers a list of "What to Read in a Blizzard or During the Long Winter." Ah, the happy memories of Carolyn Haywood's SNOWBOUND WITH BETSY! Speaking of children's literature, here are two articles on BETSY-TACY author Maud Hard Lovelace and her connection to Claremont, California.
...I'm intrigued by Kristina's review of Mark Stevens in TIME TABLE (1956) at Speakeasy. Stevens also directed.
Kristina for linking to these amazing new Hitchcock posters by Laurent Durieux. I especially love the one for VERTIGO (1958), seen here.
...The entire seven-film FRANCIS THE TALKING MULE series is being released on DVD this April. The first four films were previously released in a Volume I set, but to my knowledge the final three films have not been released on DVD.
...Here are fascinating pictures of the early days of Venice, California, when it was filled with canals which are now paved streets.
...A film on Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn is in the works. Just leave me to my memories of WOMAN OF THE YEAR (1942)...
...One of my favorite Westerns last year was PANHANDLE (1948) with Rod Cameron. It was previously released by VCI as part of the set Darn Good Westerns Volume I. It's being reissued in March as a single title, along with several other Westerns and Hammer film noir titles which were previously out in sets.
...FIVE FINGERS (1952), a WWII suspense film starring James Mason and Danielle Darrieux, has just been released by the Fox Cinema Archives line.
...A recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie. Must try this...
...The Criterion Collection edition of Hitchcock's FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (1940) will be out this Tuesday, February 18th. Be sure to check out this neat six-minute video giving an overview of Criterion's work to restore the film; there's also a look at the creation of the DVD cover art.
...Attention Southern Californians: The exhibit "A Royal Passion: Queen Victoria and Photography" runs through June 8th at the Getty Center. The Getty is also showing a series of films on Queen Victoria, including Anna Neagle in VICTORIA THE GREAT (1937) on February 22nd.
Ann Carter has passed away at the age of 77. Best known for THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE (1944), she was in a number of other films including a brief but notable appearance as Veronica Lake's daughter in I MARRIED A WITCH (1942), playing Loretta Young as a child in AND NOW TOMORROW (1944), and appearing as Humphrey Bogart's daughter in THE TWO MRS. CARROLLS (1947).
...More Notable Passings: Baseball player and manager Jim Fregosi has passed away after a stroke at the age of 71. Fregosi guided the "Yes We Can!" California Angels to their first division championship in 1979...John Markulis, the owner of Puritan Bakery, has died at the age of 83. Puritan provides In-N-Out Burger with their hamburger buns...Bob L. Harris, the father of Ed Harris, has died at the age of 91. He was a member of the Ray Charles Singers and appeared in three of his son's movie and TV projects, including POLLOCK (2000), the Oscar-winning film which he'd suggested Ed should consider making...Character actor Richard Bull, best known as Mr. Oleson on the long-running LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, has passed on at 89. LITTLE HOUSE star Melissa Gilbert Tweeted a tribute, saying "working with you was such a joy."
Have a great week!