Saturday, November 03, 2018

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...The annual November Criterion Collection sale is now underway at Barnes & Noble! The sale began yesterday, November 2nd, and runs through December 3rd. During a recent 24-hour flash sale at the Criterion site I stocked up on a few titles including MOONRISE (1948) and the Eclipse Collection Ingrid Bergman's Swedish Years.

...Happiest birthday wishes to Diana Serra Cary, otherwise known as silent film star "Baby Peggy." Diana celebrated her centennial birthday last week on October 29th. At September's Cinecon Festival the audience was recorded singing "Happy Birthday" which was to be sent to her for her birthday.

...And happy birthday to Rachel Ames, who turned 89 yesterday, November 2nd. Ames, seen here with her longtime GENERAL HOSPITAL costar John Beradino, made her film debut in the very enjoyable sci-fi film WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE (1951), which coincidentally costarred future GH star Peter Hansen. Ames' parents were busy classic-era character actors Byron Foulger and Dorothy Adams; she was married to actor Barry Cahill, who died in 2012.

...Imagine being a lifelong fan of THE LITTLE MERMAID (1989) and having Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel, show up to sing "Part of Your World" as a surprise at your wedding reception. It happened to one bride, caught on video.

...At her blog Flickin' Out Diana continued her celebration of William Holden's centennial by interviewing Eddie Muller of the Film Noir Foundation and Turner Classic Movies about Holden's noir titles.

...Thanks to author Jim Lochner for making me aware of his brand-new book THE MUSIC OF CHARLIE CHAPLIN, just published by McFarland. "Drawing on numerous transcriptions from 60 years of original scores, this comprehensive study reveals the untold story of Chaplin the composer and the string of famous (and not-so-famous) musicians he employed." I had no idea that Chaplin composed the melody for the song "Smile," first popularized by Nat King Cole in 1954.

...A previously unpublished novel by director Frank Capra, CRY WILDERNESS, has just been published by Rare Bird Books. It's set at Silver Lake in the Eastern Sierra Nevadas. I found that particularly interesting since Capra wrote the story which inspired the screenplay for WESTWARD THE WOMEN (1951); he seems to have had a fondness for Western settings which he didn't get the chance to express on film. (Via Raquel.)

...Additional Capra news: This week Olive Films will release MR. CAPRA GOES TO WAR: FRANK CAPRA'S WORLD WAR II DOCUMENTARIES.

...I enjoyed a brief report by Paul Bishop on a "Young Riders of the Range" event hosted by Rob Word at the Autry a few weeks ago. Former child actors Johnny and Billy Crawford were among those in attendance.

...Attention Hallmark Christmas movie fans! Hallmark has released a Christmas movie app which lets viewers track their viewing, sign up for reminders, watch trailers, and more. It's a rather clever and useful marketing tool! I've installed the app and checked it out and can recommend it.

...Late last month my all-time favorite restaurant, El Cholo, celebrated its 95th birthday. El Cholo was founded in Los Angeles and has a handful of other Southern California locations including a great restaurant in La Habra which is as old as I am. El Cholo celebrates its centennial in 2023!

...It's always a treat to visit the lavishly illustrated Greenbriar Picture Shows. One of the posts I especially enjoyed in recent weeks was on a minor Olivia de Havilland film, GOVERNMENT GIRL (1943), and a very special lobby card from that movie. Check it out here.

...Several new films I've reviewed here this year are coming to Blu-ray and DVD this month. Look for INCREDIBLES 2 (2018) and CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (2018) this week on November 6th, THE MEG (2018) on November 13th, and CRAZY RICH ASIANS (2018) on November 20th.

...Ron Hutchinson of The Vitaphone Project recently wrote an interesting article on early widescreen movies for Classic Movie Hub. I found it particularly interesting since I just saw THE BIG TRAIL (1930), filmed in Grandeur widescreen, at the Lone Pine Film Festival.

...Attention Southern Californians: UCLA has a wonderful lineup of films coming in December. A 4K restoration of LITTLE WOMEN (1994) kicks off the month on December 1st, followed by IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) in 35mm on December 8th, MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944) in 35mm on December 9th, and a 35mm nitrate print of A LETTER TO THREE WIVES on December 14th. I hope to attend as many of these as my holiday schedule will allow.

...Notable Passings: Longtime TV production supervisor and producer John G. Stephens died last month at 89. His credits included MY THREE SONS, FAMILY AFFAIR, and TV's HOW THE WEST WAS WON, starring James Arness. Stephens was briefly married to actress Merry Anders in the mid-'50s, then was married to actress Joan Vohs from 1959 until her passing in 2001. (Both actresses were first known to me as guest stars on my favorite TV series, MAVERICK.) After Vohs' passing Stephens married former child actress Carol Nugent who was the widow of Nick Adams...Character actor James Karen, seen at the right, has died at 94. His TV and film career stretched for a solid seven decades, from 1948 to the present day, with his best-known roles including THE CHINA SYNDROME (1979) and POLTERGEIST (1982). On TV he turned up in THE ROCKFORD FILES, LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, and many more programs.

...A reminder for those who are inclined to do so: Please sign the Save FilmStruck petition. It has climbed from 17,000 to nearly 21,000 signatures just since last evening.

For more recent links on classic movies and more, please check out my October news roundup.

Have a great week!


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