Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...Actress Patricia Morison will turn 100 years old on Thursday, March 19th. Susan King of the Los Angeles Times interviewed Morison in honor of the occasion. The Pasadena Playhouse celebrates Morison's birthday on March 15th at the University Club in Pasadena.

...Morison was the original star of Broadway's KISS ME KATE and also had a long run opposite Yul Brynner in THE KING AND I. Before she was a Broadway star she appeared in a number of movies; she was electric in her early film PERSONS IN HIDING (1939), a film which anticipates GUN CRAZY (1950) with its portrait of a woman who manipulates a man into a life of crime. Other Morison films reviewed here are THE ROUNDUP (1941) and LADY ON A TRAIN (1945). Her film THE FALLEN SPARROW (1943), also starring John Garfield and Maureen O'Hara, will be shown at the Noir City Film Festival in Hollywood on April 16th.

...Alan Rode mentioned at the UCLA Festival of Preservation last weekend that actor Wally Cassell turned 100 on March 3rd. Cassell's many films included appearing as one of John Wayne's crew members in William Wellman's ISLAND IN THE SKY (1953). Cassell has been married to Marcy McGuire (HIGHER AND HIGHER) since 1947. (June 2015 Update: Wally Cassell passed on shortly after this was written, on April 2, 2015, though his passing wasn't reported in the media until late May. According to Marcy McGuire, Cassell's age at the time of his passing was actually 103!)

...Great news: Tom Selleck will return in a new JESSE STONE TV-movie! The franchise moves from CBS to the Hallmark Channel. This will be the ninth film in an excellent series.

...Fans of '50s Universal Pictures films will want to check out Colin's review of an excellent Western, THE BATTLE AT APACHE PASS (1952), at Riding the High Country; and Kristina has reviewed a movie I'd love to see, THE LOOTERS (1955), at Speakeasy. THE BATTLE AT APACHE PASS starred Jeff Chandler, John Lund, and Susan Cabot, while THE LOOTERS stars Rory Calhoun, Julie Adams, and Ray Danton. Great casts!

...Will McKinley reviews Ann Sothern and Gene Raymond in SMARTEST GIRL IN TOWN (1936) at Cinematically Insane. I enjoyed it a few years ago.

...Olive Films is releasing a documentary, DREAMING THE QUIET MAN (2012), and Leonard Maltin has details.

...Just out from McFarland: THE NOIR WESTERN: DARKNESS ON THE RANGE, 1943-1962 by David Meuel. The author also wrote last year's WOMEN IN THE FILMS OF JOHN FORD which I've heard good things about.

...Some of Glenn Erickson's latest reviews at DVD Savant: Criterion's RIDE THE PINK HORSE (1947), the 3-D Blu-ray KISS ME KATE (1953), and a new collection of musicals on Blu-ray.

...Notable Passing: I was very sorry to learn yesterday of the death of romance writer Cathie Linz. I got to know Cathie when we were both very active on the Prodigy service back in the early '90s, and my name appears in the acknowledgments of her 1995 book BABY WANTED. Although we gradually fell out of touch as the years passed, I have very fond memories of what a lovely person she was. She gave one of her heroines the same name as my youngest daughter and sent me an autographed copy of the novel when it was published. My deepest condolences to Cathie's family and her many friends.

...Although I've attended a couple of evenings at the UCLA Festival of Preservation thus far, I wasn't able to attend the festival's opening night this year, as I did in 2011 and 2013. Kim was there for the screening of Anthony Mann's MEN IN WAR (1957) and reports on it at her blog I See a Dark Theater.

...The appearance of Around the Blogosphere This Week will be a bit more erratic than usual over the coming month or so, thanks to my attendance at a plethora of film festivals here in Southern California. The schedules for both the TCM Classic Film Festival and the Noir City Hollywood Festival have been announced over the past couple of days, and I'll be going over them here in detail in the near future.

...For even more classic film links, please visit last week's roundup!

Hope everyone is having a great week!


Blogger mel said...

You mentioned, peripherally, the relatively obscure but bubbly Marcy McGuire. I didn't realize that she is still around, having just turned 89 last month.

For me, her presence - however short - in such movies as Seven Days' Leave, Higher And Higher, Sing You Way Home, It Happened I Brooklyn and all of twenty seconds in Jumping Jacks brightened up these movies with her unique personalty.

It's our loss and a great pity that Hollywood didn't use her more (and more effectively) in musical comedy films.

3:02 AM  
Blogger Caftan Woman said...

I highly recommend "Dreaming The Quiet Man" which we caught at the Toronto Irish Film Festival a couple of years ago.

Pleased to hear about a new Jesse Stone movie.

6:32 AM  
Blogger Kristina Dijan said...

Thanks for the mention, saw Wally Cassell in Highway 301 recently-- nice to see him and Morison celebrating such big birthdays. Glad to see another Jesse Stone movie too. Best!

9:27 AM  
Blogger Jerry E said...

Hi Laura,
You obviously have a very busy (and enviable) month's viewing ahead.I shall look forward to your writings on the subject.

Above all, have fun!

3:30 PM  
Blogger john knight said...

Thanks so much for sharing the Patricia Morison interview
with us Laura.
I LOVED the Brynner tale and the Jolson comment was most
interesting too.
I always felt that had Patricia's film career been handled
better she would have been the greatest Femme Fatale
in screen history.
Still,the Great Lady seems to have had no regrets and
Hollywood's loss was Broadway's gain.
Very interesting regarding Mr Cassell,like Kristina I love
HIGHWAY 301 and the scene where Wally and Steve Cochran
are hiding among the egg crates in the truck is real white
knuckle stuff.
I might add that Laura and Colin's "to be viewed" stacks
are beyond giving me sleepless nights to the point where I
now need therapy. :)
I DO hope that both of you move HIGHWAY 310 to the top of
the heap!

5:35 AM  
Blogger john knight said...

Interestingly,another Piscean Patricia also has a birthday on March 19th.
Patricia Laffan will be a mere 96 on that date.
Patricia is best known for "cult" Britflick DEVIL GIRL FROM MARS,but also had good
roles in QUO VADIS,ROUGH SHOOT (Shoot First) and 23 PACES TO BAKER STREET,among others.

7:33 AM  

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