Sunday, October 27, 2013

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...The recently released Twilight Time Blu-ray of John Ford's DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK (1939) has received rave reviews from Glenn Erickson ("a real stunner") and Lou Lumenick ("jaw-droppingly gorgeous"); there's more on the film from Aubyn Eli at ClassicFlix. This movie, which stars Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert, was a childhood favorite, certainly the first John Ford film I ever saw; since our living room TV's unexpected demise last weekend has forced us to buy a high-definition TV, I ordered DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK in order to check out what a familiar film looks like on Blu-ray in high definition. I hope to review it in the near future.

...The past week of TV shopping has introduced all sorts of previously unknown words into my vocabulary: "Smoothing," "motion judder," "refresh rate," and "soap opera effect," to name a few. I was horrified when we first saw my SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954) DVD on a high-definition TV, but thanks to all my reading and a lot of tips from kind friends I think we've figured out how to make sure our movies aren't transformed into looking like TV soaps. If you'd like to learn more about this, here are some starter articles I recommend.

...Have you seen today's "Google Doodle" celebrating costume designer Edith Head?

...Partway through a "Complete Howard Hawks" Festival in New York, my friend Will McKinley had seen 20 of the 26 films shown, a rather impressive stat. He gives a rundown on his viewing; as someone who's become a huge George O'Brien fan this year I'd love to see him in Hawks' PAID TO LOVE (1927).

...Filmgoers in New York will have another great festival to enjoy when the Film Society of Lincoln Center presents 49 George Cukor films beginning this December.

...Over at 50 Westerns From the 50s, Toby takes a look at COW COUNTRY (1953), an Edmond O'Brien Western I really enjoyed. It has nice roles for Peggie Castle and James Millican.

...New York Times DVD columnist Dave Kehr, who's also run a blog, has been named Adjunct Curator in the Film Department at the Museum of Modern Art. He plans to discontinue blogging due to his new responsibilities.

...Here's Kimberly Lindbergs of the TCM Movie Morlocks on "In the Kitchen With Vincent Price."

...Lara at Backlots, who I had the pleasure of meeting at the TCM Classic Film Festival, had the wonderful opportunity to interview Joan Fontaine, who just turned 96 last week. My updated birthday tribute to Fontaine, which contains links to reviews of many of her films, can be found here.

...The Hallmark Channel is kicking off its Countdown to Christmas on November 2nd, with original Christmas movies airing each weekend until Christmas. The first film in line, airing on the 2nd, is actually a Thanksgiving film, THE THANKSGIVING HOUSE (2013), which has a cast including longtime TV favorites Lindsay Wagner and Bruce Boxleitner.

...Glenn Erickson of DVD Savant says that the "presentation is almost perfect" on the new Fox Cinema Archives release of CRY OF THE CITY (1948). I reviewed this great film, which stars Victor Mature and Richard Conte, in 2012 and was very fortunate to see it on the big screen in 35mm at this year's Noir City Film Festival. I suspect the print might have been readied for the Fox Film Noir line but never released; I'm looking forward to owning this one in a beautiful print.

...My daughter came across this interesting Curbed Los Angeles piece on filming at Leo Carrillo State Park. This beach, which recently celebrated its 60th anniversary, was named for the actor Leo Carrillo, who was also a conservationist.

...The exhibit "From Philadelphia to Monaco: Grace Kelly - Beyond the Icon" has opened at the Michener Art Museum in Philadelphia. There's a brief video welcome by Grace's son Prince Albert on the museum website, and the London Daily Mail has photos of Albert and his wife Charlene attending the exhibit opening.

...Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream sandwiches? Yes, please! The recipe is at Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

...There's a new biography of Patrick Leigh Fermor, the travel writer who passed on in 2011. His WWII exploits were portrayed in the film ILL MET BY MOONLIGHT (1957) starring Dirk Bogarde. Christopher Benfey of the New York Times discusses the new book.

...George Clooney's THE MONUMENTS MEN (2014) is one of just three new movies I've hoped to see this coming holiday season, the others being Disney's FROZEN (2013) and SAVING MR. BANKS (2013). Alas, THE MONUMENTS MEN was unexpectedly pushed back to 2014, apparently to complete work on special effects. The new release date is February 7th.

...I was delighted when Jessica featured CENTENNIAL SUMMER (1946) in her "Musical Monday" column at her blog Comet Over Hollywood. As I recently mentioned, at the moment this 20th Century-Fox film can be found on YouTube.

...This week's YouTube find: Rory Calhoun and Peggie Castle in THE YELLOW TOMAHAWK (1954).

...THE HITCH-HIKER (1953), directed by Ida Lupino and starring favorites Frank Lovejoy and Edmond O'Brien, is now out from Kino in a remastered edition on DVD and Blu-ray. Matt Hinrichs reviews it at DVD Talk.

...Free shipping at Amazon now requires a $35 purchase, up from the longtime threshold of $25. Or you could just pay for a year of Amazon Prime for $79, which includes two-day shipping and Amazon Prime Instant streaming -- but I have to wonder if the price for that will be increased next.

...Royalty Watch: Here are lots of photos from last week's christening of cute little Prince George, and an additional photo of the smiling baby with his parents was released this weekend.

...Leonard Maltin had a pair of interesting articles on his site this week, one on the Lone Pine Film Festival, which my husband and I hope to attend in a future year, and another on the new John Ford set from the TCM Vault Collection. Maltin worked on extras for the Ford set.

..."Lessons From Living in London" made me want to return to my favorite city!

...Twitter News: It was fun to have actress Dana Delany respond to one of my Tweets on MOONRISE (1948) last week, and I also discovered I'm now one of the 3,000 or so accounts being followed by actor Ron Perlman. My husband and son got a kick out of that, as they watch him in SONS OF ANARCHY, but for me, Ron Perlman means BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a series I never missed during its 1987-1990 run.

...My latest article at ClassicFlix is a profile of actress Coleen Gray, with recommendations for some of her films which are available on DVD...and be on the lookout for my review of the new Criterion release of THE UNINVITED (1944) which should be posted there sometime in the next few days. (Update: Here it is!)

...There are additional reviews of THE UNINVITED by Jennifer Garlen at Virtual Virago and Lou Lumenick at the New York Post. Lou also reviews the new release of I MARRIED A WITCH (1942) in the same column.

...Farran Smith Nehme, aka the Self-Styled Siren, wrote an excellent essay on THE UNINVITED for a booklet which accompanies the Criterion release. It can also be read online at the Criterion website.

...Notable Passings: Stuntman-Actor-Director Hal Needham has died at 82...Marcia Wallace of THE BOB NEWHART SHOW has passed on, age 70...Singer-Actor Noel Harrison, son of Rex, has died at the age of 79.

...There are many Disney-related links in my recent Disney News roundup.

Have a great week, and Happy Halloween!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the mention of my Fontaine interview! Here is the link for anyone who wants to read it:

11:18 PM  
Blogger Vienna said...

Lots to digest. I appreciate all your information. Loved interview with Joan Fontaine. Most of all,the article on the Lone Pine Festival. Must get there some day.

12:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link, Laura.

All the Hawks films at the Museum of the Moving Image are in 35mm (except one, in 16mm) and the Cukor festival at the Film Society of Lincoln Center you mentioned is also entirely on film (except for one of the 49, which is on DigiBeta). The current preservation festival at MoMA is entirely (or almost entirely) on film as well.

I wonder if the "Film is Dead" concept is making these museums and film societys work extra hard to keep it alive (to the extent they can) for the people who care. I hope so.

8:30 AM  
Blogger James Corry said...

(LOL) Laura, I've gotten kind of used to the "soap opera effect" on my Sharp HD-TV (of course I know that I'll be "tarred-and-feathered" for saying that but I think it's kind of neat!)!
Also, "The Yellow Tomahawk" is a color film from UA but, unfortunately, all the sources I've seen on this title (including the one on YouTube) are B&W....I hope the color isn't "lost" forever....


2:46 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

You're very welcome, Lara, and congratulations on a great interview. What a wonderful opportunity!

Thank you so much, Vienna, I'm delighted to know you've enjoyed exploring the links. Lone Pine is a wonderful place. QWe've previously enjoyed the museum and hunting down some locations but it would be great to attend the festival as well.

You're very welcome, Will! It's really wonderful you can explore the work of great directors in such detail, and especially in 35mm!

Brad, you're definitely not alone because the salesmen seemed perplexed at my horrified "Make it stop!" attitude, LOL. They all seemed to think it looked cool that way, but I like my movies to look like movies. :)

Really appreciated the info on THE YELLOW TOMAHAWK, that's very disappointing to hear it should be in B&W. I'll be watching for a color version to come along!

Best wishes,

3:29 PM  
Blogger LĂȘ said...

All the links are wonderful! I especially love the YouTube findings.
Unfortunately, Brazilian Google didn't have the Edith Head doddle. Boo.
I remember ron Perlman from Beauty and te Beast, too, but I only saw commercials of this TV series.

4:39 PM  
Blogger SimpleGifts said...

My husband and I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Lone Pine Film Festival this year. As Leonard Maltin wrote, the panel with Mariette Hartley and L.Q. Jones after the screening of RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY was incredibly emotional and moving. I didn't expect these two actors to remember much of this film they made 50 years ago yet they were both moved to tears throughout the screening and the panel. I wept at their response. They spoke eloquently of the power of the film, its morality tale, the interweavng with their own lives at the time, the crazed brilliance of Sam Peckinpah and the integrity of Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea. The next day, my husband and I met Hartley and Maltin and they both spoke of how special and touching the evening had been. It's why I love the movies and a night I'll not forget. - Jane

9:34 PM  
Blogger Aubyn said...

Thanks so much for the plug, Laura, it's very sweet of you. Drums Along the Mohawk is a gorgeous thing to look at and I was really surprised to realize how low this film is on the classics radar, despite being John Ford's first Technicolor effort. And thanks for all these other wonderful links. The Joan Fontaine interview was a real treat.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

I recently saw 'Drums Along the Mohawk' on TV and thought it was great - enjoy that blu-ray! Great round-up, Laura.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Jane, that experience at the Lone Pine Festival sounds absolutely amazing. I would have loved to hear them discussing McCrea and Scott, especially. Thank you so much for taking the time to share about it! I hope we're able to go to the Festival before too long -- maybe next year!

Le, I'm glad to know you've enjoyed the YouTube things I've come across!

Aubyn, you're very welcome! Really enjoyed your post. My DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK Blu-ray arrived today so I hope to have the chance to see it and write about it over the next week or two.

Judy, I'm glad you were able to enjoy the movie! I have such fond movies of watching it on TV regularly as a child. I later found the book in my junior high school library and enjoyed it too. It's still in print and I gave it to my daughter as a gift a few years back.

I'm really delighted to know when readers have enjoyed the roundup, thank you all so much for your comments!

Best wishes,

12:34 AM  

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