Miscellaneous bits of news and fun stuff from around the internet...
...Attention Westerns fans: This 10-film Western set is currently a fantastic deal at Amazon, just 50 cents a movie at the time of posting. Some of the titles in this set sell separately at $20 or so apiece. The prints are beautiful. I've seen a majority of films in the set and while there's one dud (WHEN THE DALTONS RODE), there are so many good films in the set it's really a "must buy." Enjoy!
...Here's Lara on the opening night of Noir City San Francisco at Backlots. The first night's screenings were WOMAN ON THE RUN (1950) and BORN TO BE BAD (1950).
...I really enjoyed Kendahl's new article for ClassicFlix, "Ladies in Exotic Exile." It's all about pre-Codes with ladies stranded in jungles, on islands, and the like, including SAFE IN HELL (1931), RED DUST (1932), and MANDALAY (1934).
...I was delighted that Cliff has written about PERSONS IN HIDING (1939) at Immortal Ephemera. I reviewed it last summer and considered it one of the top couple dozen new discoveries I saw in 2014. While the film fits in with the '30s gangster cycle, Patricia Morison's fresh, edgy performance seemed ahead of its time; this is a movie which would make a great double bill with GUN CRAZY (1950). I would love to see a restored copy shown at a Noir City Film Festival. As a side note, critic Lou Lumenick said on Twitter he's lobbied TCM to show PERSONS IN HIDING and the three other "J. Edgar Hoover" films released by Paramount, including PAROLE FIXER (1940), reviewed here last week.
...There were 10 million new Amazon Prime subscribers during the holiday shopping season.
review of KISS ME DEADLY (1955) was the source of some good discussion both here and on Twitter. I've been interested to learn I'm not the only one who was disappointed in the film. Kristina just took the film apart at Speakeasy as part of the Contrary to Popular Opinion blogathon, hosted by Sister Celluloid and Movies Silently.
...Be sure to check out the many other interesting Contrary to Popular Opinion blogathon links; I especially enjoyed Silver Screenings' take on THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (1946), as I found it rather a disappointment myself, and I was also interested to learn that Caftan Woman doesn't care for CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (1945). I wish I'd had time to participate in this blogathon as it was a great idea.
...More from Kristina at Speakeasy: A Helen Gilbert photo gallery and a review of Gilbert's ISLE OF MISSING MEN (1942), which sounds like a lot of fun.
...I really enjoyed Marc Myers' interview with singer-actress Peggy King at JazzWax. Here is Part 1 and here's Part 2. Loved the information on her time at MGM! I first knew King from the MAVERICK episode "The Strange Journey of Jenny Hill" (1959).
...Classic Reel Girl joins the fun with her list of 10 films to see in 2015.
...There's been concern about the future of the classic "Googie" style Norm's Restaurant building on La Cienaga, but for now it appears all is well. Norms was just declared a Historic Cultural Landmark.
...I came across a review of a book which sounds interesting for anyone who loves American history: THE HIDDEN WHITE HOUSE: HARRY TRUMAN AND THE RECONSTRUCTION OF AMERICA'S MOST FAMOUS RESIDENCE by Robert Klara.
Bright Lights Film Journal on the career of actor-director Norman Foster, whose work encompassed the Peter Lorre Mr. Moto series, Disney's DAVY CROCKETT, and film noir. Foster's WOMAN ON THE RUN (1950), also mentioned near the top of this post, was recently restored by the Film Noir Foundation; I hope to see it at this year's Noir City Film Festival in Hollywood.
...Here's a free online film history course coming next month from Wesleyan University: "The Language of Hollywood: Storytelling, Sound, and Color." Visit the link for the course description and details on how to sign up.
...There are more interesting titles coming to DVD from Olive Films this spring; Toby describes two of the films, THE QUIET GUN (1956) and STRANGER AT MY DOOR (1956), at 50 Westerns From the 50s.
...Raquel just reviewed ON BORROWED TIME (1939), a Lionel Barrymore film I've never seen, at Out of the Past. It sounds really different.
special screening of LIBELED LADY (1936) hosted by the Black Maria website at the Silent Movie Theatre on January 30th. I appreciate the invitation, and I'll be reporting on the evening here!
Have a great week!