Monday, May 05, 2014

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...My latest article for ClassicFlix is on a favorite Western star who was also a talented artist, George Montgomery.

...Leonard Maltin reviews his Warner Archive Instant experience.

...I was in recovery mode from the TCM Classic Film Festival when the Great Villain Blogathon started up, but I've started reading and enjoying some of the many posts it generated. There was also a great Romantic Comedy Blogathon which started last week. Lots of marvelous reading there too!

...This looks interesting: WOMEN IN THE FILMS OF JOHN FORD by David Meuel for McFarland.

...There's a wonderful list of Underrated Westerns by Blake Lucas at Rupert Pupkin Speaks.

...Brian has started another great series at his Rupert Pupkin site, Underrated Mysteries and Detective Movies. Look for my post there at a future date!

...Jessica recently had the wonderful opportunity to interview actor James Best, which she shares at Comet Over Hollywood.

...Amazon news: With Prime Pantry, Amazon Prime members can now fill "virtual boxes" of groceries and have them shipped for a flat $5.99 per box...that same $5.99 will now buy Prime members same-day delivery in several cities, including Los Angeles. Order by 12:15 and it's in your hands by 9:00 p.m.

...ROADSHOW! THE FALL OF FILM MUSICALS IN THE 1960S is a new book from Matthew Kennedy, the author of JOAN BLONDELL: A LIFE BETWEEN TAKES.

...This photo of the new (old) STAR WARS cast at a script readthrough quickly went viral last week. There's also a lot of disappointment out there that the "extended universe" from the Timothy Zahn books such as HEIR TO THE EMPIRE has apparently been discarded. The movie starts filming this month. I count the original trilogy among my favorite films and have found they provide endless viewing pleasure -- indeed, I think THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (1980) in particular is one of the really great movies ever -- but the more recent trilogy was such a disaster I have trouble feeling much interest in Disney's reboot.

...Vienna's Classic Hollywood looks at black and white films with Technicolor sequences, such as IRENE (1940) which I watched last weekend.

..."The First Year of Widescreen Production" by Bob Furmanek at the 3-D Film Archive.

...Coming to theaters on the 4th of July: a restored and remastered 50th anniversary reissue of A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (1964). I like the music a lot, but the trailer gives the impression the movie is basically a longer forerunner of a music video. Is there an actual plot?

...The LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE cast recently had a 40th (!) anniversary reunion on the TODAY show.

...Cliff has lots of great info on Jessie Matthews films at Immortal Ephemera.

...Along with releasing the Fifth and final season of MAVERICK, the Warner Archive has released the '80s TV series BRET MAVERICK, which ran for a year. It couldn't compare to the original show, of course, and the show also changed a couple aspects of Maverick's character for the worse. That said, any time with James Garner is a good time, and it's at least worth a look-see.

...Last week's May 2 opening of Tioga Pass in the Sierras was the earliest in 26 years.

...California Chrome, the horse which won the 140th Kentucky Derby last Saturday, trained for the race at the nearby Los Alamitos Race Course. When I drove past the track yesterday I noticed that the sign now proudly proclaims "Home of Kentucky Derby Winner CALIFORNIA CHROME." It was the first California-bred horse to win the race in over half a century.

...Notable Passings: Patty Thomas, a dancer who toured with Bob Hope during WWI, has died at 91...Herbert Hyman, the founder of the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf chain, has passed on at the age of 82.

I've still got quite a backlog of news to share, after taking last weekend off, but I'm going to wrap up this week's edition!

Have a great week!


Blogger Mythical Monkey said...

Is there an actual plot?

The plot of A Hard Day's Night as summed up by "Grandfather" (Wilfrid Brambell):

"Look, I thought I was supposed to be getting a change of scenery. But so far, I've been in a train and a room, and a car and a room, and a room and a room."

I think Ebert's review of A Hard Day's Night pretty much nails it:

"It was so joyous and original that even the early reviews acknowledged it as something special. After more than three decades, it has not aged and is not dated; it stands outside its time, its genre and even rock. It is one of the great life-affirming landmarks of the movies."


6:21 AM  
Blogger Silver Screenings said...

"The Women in the Films of John Ford" looks really interesting. I just bought his bio in a second-hand bookstore recently, and this would be a good companion.

6:41 AM  
Blogger DKoren said...

A Hard Day's Night is a family favorite. It never gets old no matter how many times we watch it (which is an awful lot), and it's just so much sheer delightful fun, full of dialogue we quote all the time. I've seen it in the theater before, but will happily go back and see it any time.

Looking forward to checking out the Villain blogathon!

7:27 AM  
Blogger Jerry E said...

I very much enjoyed your George Montgomery Profile on Classicflix, Laura. We are of one mind where Mr.M is concerned, are we not?

Western Clippings seems to have some interesting facts about the way his US film career rather petered-out. Seems he made waves when his TV series was mismanaged and powerful people told him he would not work in Hollywood again. Interesting.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Mythical Monkey and Deb, thanks very much for sharing your love for HARD DAY'S NIGHT. I may have to give it a try when it has its 50th anniversary release this summer. :)

Silver Screenings, I'm looking forward to that John Ford book too! Cliff tells me that he'll be reviewing the book at Immortal Ephemera later in the month.

Jerry, I have loved discovering George Montgomery's Westerns over the past year and am so glad you are a fellow fan! That's very interesting about the TV series, I hadn't read that. I picked up his show CIMARRON CITY at a good price a while back but haven't cracked it open yet. The guest star list for that show is impressive!

Best wishes,

9:48 AM  
Blogger Kristina Dijan said...

thanks for linking to the Villain Blogathon!

So much great stuff collected here as usual, agree that Ford book sure looks interesting. I would read that with the time gained by ordering groceries from Amazon!

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for link to my Fade To Color post.
I'll look out for that new John Ford book on the women in his films.
Lots of good Blogathons just now. I loved the one on Villains.

12:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was 10, I went nuts about movies. It was probably Jaws that did it.

When I was 12, I became a card-carrying Beatle geek and saw A Hard Day's Night for the first time on the afternoon movie. It was the best of both worlds: a movie (black and white even!) with The Beatles.

As others have said, it exists outside time. It's fresh and fun and perfect. Wish I could watch it right now.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Blake Lucas said...

Thank you for linking my contributed to Underrated Westerns, Laura, and for our kind words about it. This is especially appreciated because I don't have my own blog so couldn't just post a link myself. It was a pleasure to do a piece there especially because you and Colin and Toby had all made great selections for your own and written so well on them (and liked your Underrated Mysteries too that I read last night).

Also, thanks for inform us about that book "Women in the Films of John Ford." As someone who has engaged this subject in some of my own pieces, I'm really glad someone has given a whole book to it and am putting it on my must-read list.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Kristina, it was my pleasure to share the blogathon link! I think a lot of us want to read that Ford book. (I LOL re the grocery shopping!) It's a great topic.

Vienna, thank you for an interesting post! I like the idea of collecting a list of films which were both color and B&W. Wasn't the Villains blogathon good?

Toby, I loved your comment. I like the Beatles well enough thanks to my husband, a big fan, but have never been gung-ho. If I'm able to go see HARD DAY'S NIGHT in a theater this summer I will make it a point to do so, after the glowing reviews by you and everyone else. Thanks!

Blake, I'm so glad I could share your list! In fact I just realized I hadn't commented there but you know how much I enjoyed it! :) Thank you for the kind words on my Detective & Mysteries list. Brian does us all a great service with these series, I get lots of new ideas!

I would really love to know what you think of the new John Ford book when you get to read it!

Best wishes,

1:30 PM  

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