Monday, February 24, 2014

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...In the mail from my dad: GOING MY WAY: BING CROSBY AND AMERICAN CULTURE, edited by Ruth Prigozy and Walter Raubicheck, published by the University of Rochester Press in 2007. This collection of 19 essays looks very interesting, with topics ranging from "A Couple of Song and Dance Men: Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire" to "Bing Crosby, Walt Disney, and Ichabod Crane" to "Bing's Entertainment and War Bond Sales Activities During World War II."

...Joan Fontaine's longtime secretary Susan shared thoughts on the late actress in a letter to Lara of Backlots.

...Criterion recently announced its May lineup of releases, which includes RED RIVER (1948). I'm curious what sort of sales reaction Criterion is having to their releases this year only being available in more expensive Blu-ray/DVD combination sets.

...Speaking of Criterion, Glenn Erickson just reviewed the new release of the heist film RIFIFI (1955).

...Here's a trailer for UNBROKEN (2014), the upcoming film on Olympian/war hero Louis Zamperini, directed by Angelina Jolie. And here's an L.A. Times story on Zamperini I first linked to back in 2011.

...Season One of L.A. Law finally comes out on DVD in the U.S. tomorrow, to be followed by Season 2 in May. Some cast members recently reminisced about the show with Susan King of the L.A. Times.

...Regular readers know that I always enjoy sighting Bess Flowers, the greatest extra and bit player in movie history. Scott Feinberg just gave Flowers some welcome attention in The Hollywood Reporter. He writes that she bought many of the outfits she wore in movies, so she was always ready with her own wardrobe for the countless party and nightclub scenes she appeared in over the course of her long career.

...This week's YouTube find: MURDER ON FLIGHT 502 (1975), a TV-movie with a cast including Ralph Bellamy, Laraine Day, Dane Clark, Walter Pidgeon, Robert Stack, Fernando Lamas, Hugh O'Brian, Theodore Bikel...and Farrah Fawcett. Should be fun!

...The flat which was the office of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger during much of the '40s was just honored with a blue English Heritage plaque. Director Martin Scorsese and Powell's widow, editor Thelma Schoonmaker, were there for the ceremony.

...Robby's got a terrific new post up at Dear Old Hollywood on the L.A. locations seen in the very entertaining CITY OF FEAR (1959). He did some terrific detective work!

..."When, Exactly, Does Watching a Lot of Netflix Become a 'Binge'?"

...There's a new Classic Series underway at the Cinemark theater chain. ON THE WATERFRONT (1954), which was shown yesterday, screens again on Wednesday, February 26th, at Cinemark theaters nationwide. Click here for the list of participating theaters. REAR WINDOW (1954) follows on March 2nd and 5th. THE GRAPES OF WRATH (1940) plays March 16th and 19th.

...Raquel's latest "Warner Archive Wednesday" post is all about MGM's DR. KILDARE film series, just released by the Warner Archive.

...I've been meaning to buy THE ASTRONAUT WIVES' CLUB by Lily Koppel for my Kindle. (Although ironically, it appears the paperback is currently cheaper!) I recently read it's going to be a TV series.

...My thanks to reader "Crocheted Lace" for passing on this link to a New York Times review by Jeanine Basinger of A LIFE OF BARBARA STANWYCK by Victoria Wilson and AVA GARDNER: THE SECRET CONVERSATIONS by Peter Evans. Basinger is one of my favorite film historians so her comments were of interest. Basinger shares my view that the book needed an editor, saying there's so much information in the book that Stanwyck "almost becomes a supporting player in her own story."

...At Cinematically Insane, Will McKinley presents an entertaining rant about the incorrect aspect ratios he recently confronted as part of the in-flight entertainment while on a business trip.

...Reviews, reviews, and more reviews: Karen writes on Robert Taylor and Van Heflin in JOHNNY EAGER (1941) at Shadows and Satin...Ivan writes about UNION DEPOT (1932), with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Joan Blondell, for ClassicFlix...Colin shares thoughts on THE HANGING TREE (1959) with Gary Cooper at Riding the High Country...Mark discusses the "B" film END OF THE ROAD (1944) at Where Danger Lives...and Deb took in JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT (2014) which I really enjoyed last month.

...I was always sorry Veronica Cartwright left the TV series DANIEL BOONE. In an interview with Rick at Classic Film and TV Cafe, she explains what happened, as well as what it was like to work with William Wyler and Alfred Hitchcock.

...It's hard to believe it's been five years since Natasha Richardson died after a skiing accident. Liam Neeson was recently interviewed about coping with the loss of his wife.

...Notable Passings: I was saddened to learn earlier today of the passing of actor-writer-director Harold Ramis, whose GROUNDHOG DAY (1993) is one of my favorite films. In addition to directing the movie, Ramis also had a scene as the doctor, seen here. The Los Angeles Times noted that GROUNDHOG DAY was added to the National Film Registry in 2006...Maria von Trapp has died at the age of 99. She was the third-oldest of the children of Captain Georg von Trapp; her stepmother was also named Maria. When the Trapp Family Singers' story was fictionalized in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, all of the children's names were changed; Maria became "Louisa"...Mary Grace Canfield, who played Angelica in POLLYANNA (1960) and appeared on GREEN ACRES, has passed away at the age of 89.

Have a great week!


OpenID shadowsandsatin said...

Hi, Laura! Thanks so much for the mention. So sad about Harold Ramis -- I just stared at my computer in disbelief.

Looking forward to reading about Bess Flowers!

3:54 AM  
OpenID vienna said...

Great round-up as usual. Thanks for the links on Bess Flowers and for Jeanine Basinger 's reviews of the Ava Gardner and Barbara Stanwyck books.
Sorry to hear Criterion is only doing blu-Ray/DVD combis on new releases. I won't be bullied into going into blu-Ray .

7:13 AM  
Blogger barrylane said...

Laura, they should not have any trouble selling Red River. Most of us want a decent copy of the 'Hawks' preferred version. Looking forward to it. Just had a look at the 'new' Foreign Correspondent last evening, and while I could have done with just the Blu or conventional DVD, it was good to have something.

9:01 AM  
Blogger MC said...

Really enjoyed the book reviews by Jeanine Basinger. Thanks for linking to the article.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Caftan Woman said...

The Crosby book looks interesting. His career covered such a large time period of changing tastes and mores, yet he remained a success.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

I used to love LA Law - might be tempted to get hooked all over again on DVD. Some great links here, as ever, Laura.

2:20 PM  

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