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.
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!