Monday, August 10, 2015

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...Last summer I reported that Twilight Time had planned to bring out the much-wanted Jerome Kern musical CENTENNIAL SUMMER (1946) on Blu-ray, but in the end the project was tied up by continuing issues over film rights. I don't have an update on the Blu-ray, but I do have some good news for the movie's fans: a limited edition restored CD of the film's musical numbers is now available at Screen Archives Entertainment. The SAE website says the music was "transferred from the 1/4" archival elements in the Twentieth Century-Fox vaults and lovingly restored by Mike Matessino." There are only 1000 copies of the CD available so those interested should not delay. My copy has just arrived!

...Olive Films continues to bring out very interesting films on DVD and Blu-ray. Recent releases include THE ETERNAL SEA (1955), starring Sterling Hayden and Alexis Smith, and HELL'S FIVE HOURS (1958), starring Stephen McNally, Vic Morrow, and Coleen Gray. I anticipate reviewing the latter film here in the fairly near future. (Update: Here's my review of HELL'S FIVE HOURS.)

...Speaking of interesting releases, last May I mentioned that VCI was bringing out a set of Royal Canadian Mounted Police films starring Russell Hayden. Western expert Boyd Magers has just reviewed the set at the ClassicFlix site, and it sounds quite interesting. Jennifer Holt is the leading lady in two of the films, and Hedy Lamarr lookalike Inez Cooper is the leading lady in the other two.

...At 50 Westerns From the 50s Toby reviews a new Blu-ray release of INFERNO (1953), starring Robert Ryan, Rhonda Fleming and William Lundigan. I was fortunate to see INFERNO at the World 3-D Film Expo a couple of years ago.

...Speaking of the lovely Rhonda Fleming, happiest birthday wishes on her 92nd birthday today!

...Over at Speakeasy, Kristina has just reviewed a book which looks quite interesting, TEENAGE CONFIDENTIAL: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN TEEN.

...Susan King recently interviewed Ben Mankiewicz of Turner Classic Movies for the Los Angeles Times.

...Another interesting story from the Times, on the ways Amazon is working to whittle down delivery times to next to nothing. Amazon has also run into a spot of controversy over changes to how households can use Amazon Prime.

...I'm delighted that one of my favorite musicals, SHE LOVES ME, returns to Broadway early next year. Hopefully it will tour and play in Southern California! (But Playbill questions whether the show is "dated.") I had a great experience seeing SHE LOVES ME on stage in both L.A. and Orange County in the late '80s, starring Pam Dawber, Joel Higgins, and Gary Sandy.

...Just published: A beautiful updated edition of KNOTT'S PRESERVED, a pictorial history of the "other" famous local amusement park.

...LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE star Melissa Gilbert has announced she is running for Congress in Michigan. Gilbert, a Democrat, served two terms as President of the Screen Actors Guild. She and her husband, actor-director Timothy Busfield, made his native Michigan their home base after their marriage. An issue which could make Gilbert's campaign problematic: it was revealed the IRS has filed a lien against her for $360,000 in back taxes.

...18 historic spots in danger of disappearing from the Southern California landscape.

...My friend Lindsay has written a guest post on YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN (1950) for the Black Maria site. The movie stars Kirk Douglas, Doris Day, and Lauren Bacall. Lindsay's musical background as a trumpeter and interest in jazz on film add up to a most interesting post.

...Another friend, Karen Burroughs Hannsberry, has written "Noirs You Should Know" for ClassicFlix. Karen is the editor of the Dark Pages film noir newsletter and blogs at Shadows and Satin.

...The detective work which takes place at the "Mostly Lost" workshop at the Library of Congress' Packard Campus sounds fascinating, as film buffs and scholars work to identify snippets of silent movies. "The 125 films screened over three days in June were mere fragments — five- to 10-minute clips — mostly from movies so obscure that even top film archivists could not decipher the titles, name the actors, or determine the year they were made."

...Mexico at Midnight, a series of Mexican film noir shown last month at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, sounded rather interesting. I really enjoyed seeing an Argentinian film noir and hope to have the chance to try some of these films in Los Angeles someday. Here's the Self-Styled Siren commenting on the series. The still seen at the right is from THE KNEELING GODDESS (1947) starring Maria Felix.

...Several of my TCM Classic Film Festival pals just attended Capitolfest in Rome, New York, which celebrated the career of Nancy Carroll. The 2016 honoree will be Gary Cooper. This sounds like a wonderful festival which I'd enjoy attending one day.

...Attention Southern Californians: The Los Angeles Film Forum is sponsoring Mush! to the Movies, including a screening of the film ESKIMO (1933), on August 15th at the Velaslavasay Panorama in Los Angeles. ESKIMO, incidentally, was just released on DVD by the Warner Archive.

...More for Southern Californians: Some of the best places to buy chocolate chip cookies in Los Angeles.

...A personal note: It's been an unusually busy summer as we prepare to head to Oregon for our daughter's wedding at the end of the month, hence the occasional absence of Around the Blogosphere This Week recently!  This column will not appear next weekend due to my attendance at Disney's D23 Expo. My hope is that Around the Blogosphere This Week will appear again in two weeks, then take another weekend off while I'm out of town. Weekly publishing should resume Labor Day Weekend.

Have a great week!


Blogger Kristina Dijan said...

Thanks for the mention!
I love Olive cover art. And I really like Inferno, happy to read that it looks so good on blu, hope people check that out.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Caftan Woman said...

"She Loves Me" is a favourite around here. Do you recall a TV version from the 70s starring Robin "Poldark" Ellis? We recorded if off of A&E (Remember when they were worth watching?!) and wore that thing to the ground.

Thanks for the news about "Centennial Summer" no go on the DVD, but ok for CD. Rights are a complicated thing.

Congratulations on the new member of your family. Have a wonderful wedding!

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the mention, Laura! And thanks for the shout-out to Rhonda Fleming -- I didn't realize it was her birthday. If I don't talk to you before, I'll be thinking all best wishes for the wedding, and looking forward to the pictures! Enjoy the day!

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love SHE LOVES ME which I discovered through being a big fan of Barbara Cook who starred in the original Broadway production, with Daniel Massey.
I've seen the 1978 BBC production with Gemma Craven and Robin Ellis. And in 1994 I finally got to see it in London, with Ruthie Henshall and John Gordon Sinclair.
The musicalisation of SHOP AROUND THE CORNER worked very well and the score is a delight.
It's great a revival is in the works.
Another musical I'd love to see revived is ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, based on the john Barrymore/Carole Lombard film,Twentieth Century. I saw it in London with Keith Michel and Julia McKenzie in 1980. Fabulous score.

2:22 PM  
Blogger mel said...

Thank you for the heads up to the Centennial Summer soundtrack, Laura. I listened to the sample of "Up With The Lark", and I think Mike Matessino did a remarkable restoration job.

If only I could get a BluRay of the movie, though...

10:29 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

You're very welcome, Kristina! Thanks for the tip on the book. :) INFERNO was a gripping movie!

How great to find fellow fans of SHE LOVES ME including people who also loved the Robin Ellis version! That is way overdue to be on DVD. For anyone interested, it's currently in parts on YouTube.

Caftan Woman, your good wishes are most appreciated! We're very happy about the fine young man joining our family. :)

Vienna, ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY was revived on Broadway earlier this year with Kristin Chenoweth but I believe it just closed a couple of weeks ago.

Mel, I agree, the samples I listened to of the CD were so crisp that induced me to purchase it, although I normally don't spend that much for a CD LOL. It does have a lovely 8-page booklet which contains many stills and lobby cards from the film which are beautifully produced, albeit quite small; I'd never seen a number of them!

Karen, glad I could spread the word on Rhonda Fleming's special day! (And I'll be thrilled to share wedding pics!)

Best wishes,

11:53 PM  
Blogger KC said...

Your daughters wedding?! Wow, we need to get caught up! I guess I knew that was coming though :-) Congratulations to her and hubs to be! Interesting Amazon links. That company is so big it scares me, but it fascinates me too.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Robby Cress said...

Congrats to your daughter on her upcoming wedding! Safe travels, and have a fun time celebrating :)

3:33 PM  

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