Saturday, March 20, 2010

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...Immortal Ephemera and Hollywood Dreamland both blogged about THE THIN MAN (1934) last week.

...Jim Hill saw a preview of TOY STORY 3 (2010) at the ShoWest convention in Las Vegas and pronounces it "a triumph...brilliant." He also said that the "hardened industry professionals" and "jaded theater owners" were "openly weeping" near the film's conclusion.

...Jacqueline analyzes THE HEIRESS (1949) and INVITATION (1951) at Another Old Movie Blog. I've never seen INVITATION, which stars Dorothy McGuire and Van Johnson; it sounds quite interesting.

...Last week I made the Pioneer Woman's Chicken Pot Pie recipe. It was my first pot pie, and happily it was a big success, though I need more practice working with pie crust! I did leave out peas and increased the carrots and celery; the only thing I'll tweak next time is cutting the amount of onion used in half, and perhaps I'll try adding some diced potato. The recipe doesn't seem to be available on line, but it's in Ree Drummond's book THE PIONEER WOMAN COOKS. Another review of the recipe is here. The recipe makes two pies. (Update: Thanks to Dana for a great tip about the film rights to Ree's love story being purchased, with Reese Witherspoon interested in playing the lead. Here's the info from the Pioneer Woman site.)

...50 Westerns from the 50s has a pair of marvelous photos of Western sculptures by actor George Montgomery. There's lots of interesting info about Montgomery's artwork out there on the Internet, including this 1991 article published at the time of an exhibition of his art at the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum.

...FALL GIRL: MY LIFE AS A WESTERN STUNT DOUBLE by Martha Crawford Cantarini sounds interesting. It will be published May 25th. (Update: Many thanks to the author for emailing a link to her website. There are some great photos and a filmography.)

...I suspect I'm in the minority on this, but I couldn't understand the fuss over Farrah Fawcett being omitted from the Oscars memorial tribute montage, given that she was almost entirely known for being a TV star. (The only one of her films I can name is SOMEBODY KILLED HER HUSBAND.) And why on earth did they include non-movie star Michael Jackson? On the other hand, I feel the Academy really blew it in leaving out a former Best Actor nominee, Richard Todd. Todd's nomination was for THE HASTY HEART (1949). He had a substantial film career, including starring in a trio of Disney films made in Britain and appearing in A MAN CALLED PETER, THE LONGEST DAY, and DAM BUSTERS. Shouldn't Academy acting nominees, of all people, be included?

...I didn't realize until a few days ago that Vic Damone published his autobiography last year.

...Actress Danica McKellar, author of two books demystifying middle school math, takes on algebra in her next math book, due on August 3rd. McKellar's first book, MATH DOESN'T SUCK, was a great help to one of our daughters at a point when she was struggling with math; don't care for that title, but love the book! (P.S. Our daughter now does fine in math and will be taking an advanced combination Algebra II/Trigonometry class next year.)

...Angels Flight, the little Los Angeles railroad seen in CRISS CROSS (1949) and other classic films, reopened last week.

...A mini-review of CAUGHT (1949) at FilmsNoir.Net calls it "the most elegant and romantic noir melodrama you will ever see." It stars James Mason, Robert Ryan, and Barbara Bel Geddes. Last week I ordered it on Region 2 DVD from Amazon UK. (Update: Here is my review.)

...There's a search on for a camera lost 86 years ago on Mount Everest.

...She Blogged by Night reviews the Kay Francis films I LOVED A WOMAN (1933) and LIVING ON VELVET (1935).

...Flying Down to Hollywood features a great YouTube clip of Ricardo Montalban and Cyd Charisse dancing in ON AN ISLAND WITH YOU (1948). Montalban was a graceful dancer, and his numbers with Cyd Charisse in this film, FIESTA (1947), and THE KISSING BANDIT (1948) are wonderful to watch.

...What marketing angle will they think of next? You can now order M&Ms customized with Disney characters printed on the candy.

...Dodger fans everywhere had a scare when 82-year-old Vin Scully was hospitalized this week after falling and hitting his head. Happily Vinnie is now fine and will be back at work Sunday. As Bill Dwyre writes in the L.A. Times, we are all "blessed."

Have a great weekend!


Blogger Dana said...

Laura, I just read today that Ree Drummond's autobiographical love story re her romance with her hub and subsequent life has been optioned as a movie...potentially starring Reese Witherspoon. It's nice to see an industrious homeschooling mom and genuinely nice person make good. And the chicken potpie looks yummy, too!

5:26 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

That's fascinating, Dana! Reese Witherspoon seems like a great choice. I hope they make the movie! Her love story is a real page-turner (or maybe I should say mouse-clicker...although I read she'll be publishing it in book form!).

Thanks for sharing the info!

Best wishes,

6:14 PM  
Blogger Sally said...

Thank you for mentioning my blog!

9:07 PM  
Blogger Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Thanks for the link. That "Fall Girl" book sounds interesting. Looking forward to that.

5:15 AM  
Blogger panavia999 said...

Pie Crust: It think people can't believe that pastry crust is so easy, they fuss too much and make it tough. Start with ice water and frozen shortening. Grate the frozen shortening (Crisco, butter, lard, etc) into the flour with a box grater. (That idea came to me in a lazy moment, but it really works.) Handle the crust as little as possible.
Don't try to make it crimped and pretty like in a photo - that happens with practice. It's better to have a messy but flaky crust.
Like with flaky biscuits and scones, less handling = better texture. You don't want to start the glutens when making crust, ergo lots of fat, little water and minimal handling of dough. Pie crust is so simple & delicious I like to encourage people to make their own. yum

10:34 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

You're welcome, Sally and Jacqeline!

I agree, FALL GIRL should be an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the making of some good movies.

Best wishes,

11:08 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for sharing your suggestions on pie crust, Panavia. I ultimately went for "messy" the other day as I was having a bit of trouble getting the crust onto the pie in one piece (grin) -- decided it was better to just plunk it down in pieces than keep working it. At least I know from past cooking experience that I'll figure things out better with more practice! :)

I've used a box grater for butter when making biscuits and agree it worked very well.

Thanks for the encouragement!

Best wishes,

11:11 AM  

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