...It's almost time for the third O Canada! blogathon, hosted by Kristina of Speakeasy and Ruth of Silver Screenings. The blogathon takes place next weekend, February 3rd through 5th. I'll be writing about TRAIL OF THE YUKON (1949), the first in the Kirby Grant and Chinook "Mountie" series released by Monogram. (Update: Here is my blogathon post!)
...Happiest birthday wishes to Dorothy Malone, who is 92 today. I paid tribute to Malone on her birthday in 2015.
...Kimberly Lindbergs pays tribute to a favorite actress of mine, Joan Bennett, at TCM/Filmstruck's Streamline blog. Lindbergs focuses on Bennett's collaboration with director Fritz Lang.
...There are many interesting new classic film releases on the horizon from Kino Lorber! The Buster Keaton films THE GENERAL (1926) and THREE AGES (1923) will be released in a "double feature" set on DVD and Blu-ray February 7th, followed by a set with STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. (1928) and COLLEGE (1927) on February 21st. Both sets include numerous extras; I anticipate reviewing the sets in February. I had a wonderful time seeing STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. with a live orchestra at the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival and look forward to revisiting it!
...There are numerous other intriguing releases on the way from Kino, including A GAME OF DEATH (1945) which is a remake of THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME directed by Robert Wise, starring Audrey Long and John Loder; the restored disaster film DELUGE (1928) starring Peggy Shannon (SOCIETY GIRL); Tyrone Power in PRINCE OF FOXES ( 1948), upgrading the DVD with a new commentary track; James Stewart's NO HIGHWAY IN THE SKY (1951) with a new commentary track; and even more.
...Please visit my new article on June Allyson at the ClassicFlix site!
...Over at Out of the Past, Raquel has one of her terrific roundups of upcoming classic film books. Interesting new titles include HE'S GOT RHYTHM: THE LIFE AND CAREER OF GENE KELLY by Cynthia and Sara Brideson, from the University Press of Kentucky, and HOLLYWOOD AT PLAY by Stephen X. Sylvester, Mary Mallory, and Donovan Brandt. Also of note: STYLING THE STARS, a photo book by Angela Cartwright and Tom McLaren, will be reissued this spring in a much less expensive paperback.
...Colin has been blogging up a storm over at Riding the High Country! Check out his posts and the ensuing discussions of interesting movies such as Howard Hawks' sci-fi classic THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951), Randolph Scott in TALL MAN RIDING (1955), and Joel McCrea in FORT MASSACRE (1958).
...Christmas week I bought an Instant Pot on sale at Amazon. I'd seen a lot about this electric pressure cooker on social media and decided to give it a try. I was interested to learn from this article on the Instant Pot's "viral marketing" success that it's the number one product sold by Amazon. (Postscript: I've been busy trying out new slow cooker recipes this month but plan to try out the Instant Pot in February! There's a bit of a learning curve involved but the prospect of being able to make meals quickly, even with meat from the freezer, sounds interesting.)
...At 50 Westerns From the 50s, Toby shares a list of the Top 10 DVDs and Blu-rays of 2016, as voted by his readers.
...And speaking of Westerns, you can read about Joel McCrea in THE OUTRIDERS (1950) at Jeff Arnold's West.
...Attention Southern Californians: A joint memorial service for Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher has been scheduled for March 25, 2017, at the Freedom Theater at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills. Todd Fisher invites the public to attend and celebrate the lives of his mother and sister. Seating is first come, first served, and screens will be available outside if there are overflow crowds.
...At I See a Dark Theater, Kim Luperi reprints an article she wrote for the American Cinematheque about Debbie Reynolds' 2013 Q&A appearance at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.
...Liza Minnelli has moved her mother Judy Garland's remains from a New York cemetery to Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. Hollywood Forever also happens to be the final resting place of Garland's frequent costar, Mickey Rooney.
...Notable Passing: Character actor Miguel Ferrer has passed away at 61. A memorial service was held at Paramount Studios last Saturday, where he was eulogized by his first cousin, George Clooney. Ferrer was the eldest of Jose Ferrer and Rosemary Clooney's five children; he was also the brother-in-law of singer Debby Boone. He was a busy working actor for decades; he voiced villain Shan-Yu in Disney's MULAN (1998) and appeared in series like TWIN PEAKS, CROSSING JORDAN, and NCIS: LOS ANGELES, to name a few. His first screen appearance was on MAGNUM P.I., in a memorable episode in which he and Anne Lockhart appeared in flashbacks as characters played in present day by their parents, Jose Ferrer and June Lockhart.
...More Notable Passings: Oscar-nominated actor John Hurt died at 77. I saw him last month costarring in JACKIE (2016)...Mildred Knott, widow of Russell Knott, has died at 98. Russell Knott was the son of Knott's Berry Farm founders Walter and Cordelia Knott...Vienna has put together a very nice photo tribute to the late Barbara Hale.
...For even more classic film links, please visit my January 17th roundup.
Have a great week!