Sunday, January 19, 2014

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...I'm very happy that some other bloggers decided to use my "10 Classics" idea and make their own individual lists of classic films they'd like to catch up with this year. Please visit the 10 Classics lists posted by Raquel at Out of the Past, MC at Happy Thoughts, Darling, and Lindsay at Lindsay's Movie Musings. Update: And here's a list from KC at Classic Movies!

...The other night I wrote about attending a lecture and book signing by Robert Matzen, author of the new book on Carole Lombard, FIREBALL. Lou Lumenick interviewed Matzen for today's New York Post.

...Here's John Greco on WHIPLASH (1948) at Twenty Four Frames. I enjoyed this Dane Clark-Alexis Smith film at the Noir City Festival a couple of years ago.

...I enjoyed these side by side photo comparisons of London in 1927 and 2013. It's fascinating how little has changed in some cases!

...Over at The Stalking Moon, Jeff's been enjoying getting to know George Montgomery's Westerns, just as I have over the past year. Jeff writes about GUN BELT (1953) and THE LONE GUN (1954).

...Danny reviews Ginger Rogers and Frances Dee in FINISHING SCHOOL (1934) at Pre-Code.Com. I'm definitely one of those he refers to who was a little slow on the uptake regarding the big plot development in the last part of the movie. Not being so familiar with pre-Codes several years ago, it simply hadn't occurred to me as a possibility. The second time I saw the film, I wondered how I'd missed it!

..."End of Film: Paramount First Studio to Stop Distributing Film Prints." Sigh.

...Here's Leonard Maltin on the Warner Archive's Classic Shorts From the Dream Factory: Volume 2 (1929-1946). I was thrilled to receive this from a kind friend at Christmas, and it's wonderful to have so many interesting shorts gathered in one place, including Ann Rutherford and Dennis Morgan (aka Stanley Morner) in ANNIE LAURIE (1936), Rutherford and Henry Brandon in CARNIVAL IN PARIS (1937), Virgina Grey and George Murphy in VIOLETS IN SPRING (1935), and Grey and Dorothy Dandridge in SNOW GETS IN YOUR EYES (1938). Plus Judy Garland and Deanna Durbin teamed for the first and only time in the famous short EVERY SUNDAY (1936).

...Thanks to the Self-Styled Siren for Tweeting this fun YouTube link to Fred and Ginger presenting at the Oscars in 1967. What a team.

...A great deal at Amazon: A 5-Film Bing Crosby collection currently sells for as little as $2.99 plus shipping from some vendors. (Tuesday Update: The vendor offerings change daily and that price is now good just for used sets, but there are still great prices available for new sets, considering the set includes so many movies!)

...It's interesting to note that the upcoming TCM Vault release of Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth in THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI (1947) is following the lead of the Criterion Collection and being released as a DVD/Blu-ray combination package. I wonder how frequently that might happen in the future; it's hard to imagine combination releases occurring with sets, for example. THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI will be out on January 27th.

...This week's Ann Blyth post by Jacqueline at Another Old Movie Blog focuses on episodes of WAGON TRAIN and THIS IS YOUR LIFE.

..."Anticipatory shipping"? The latest interesting Amazon news.

...NBC has announced that its next live musical production, following THE SOUND OF MUSIC, will be PETER PAN.

...New on Blu-ray from Twilight Time, available at Screen Archives Entertainment: Edmond O'Brien and Audrey Totter in MAN IN THE DARK (1953). The Blu-ray includes a 3-D viewing option. I reviewed the movie last year.

...Cliff reviewed some interesting random titles at Immortal Ephemera; I enjoyed learning that Chester Morris and George E. Stone worked together many years before they were "Boston Blackie" and "the Runt"! Grant Mitchell, who's in a couple of the titles he writes about, turned up today as the movie studio head when I watched THE CORPSE CAME C.O.D. (1947).

...Brilliance seen at ThinkGeek: A STAR TREK "red shirt" stuffed dog chew toy!

...More found via Twitter: The Official John Wayne account Tweeted a link to a very interesting article on actor Joe Sawyer. Saywer's one of those actors you're always glad to see show up in a cast; IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (1953), seen at the left, was one especially notable role, and THE KILLING (1956) was another. Sawyer also cowrote and produced a Lippert docudrama I really enjoyed, OPERATION HAYLIFT (1950).

...Notable Passings: A bit of my childhood TV memories faded away last week, with the passings of Dave Madden of THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY and Russell Johnson of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND. As noted by Toby and company at 50 Westerns From the 50s, Johnson's film career was more memorable for some of us than his famous TV role, as he costarred in Westerns such as LAW AND ORDER (1953) and sci-fi classics including IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (1953). Johnson is seen here with Joe Sawyer in a scene from the latter film.

...Additional Notable Passings: British actor Roger Lloyd-Pack passed on at 69; the BBC offered a look at his career in photographs...Ruth Robinson Duccini, one of the last surviving Munchkins from THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939), has died at the age of 95.

Have a great week!


Blogger Jerry E said...

Thanks for this nice roundup, Laura. Lot of interesting snippets there. I went in and had a look at those 1927 to 2013 comparisons of London. Great, aren't they? Since I retired, my wife and I spend quite a lot of time in our capital, enjoying and soaking up many of the scenes depicted.

3:34 AM  
Blogger Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Thanks so much for including me.

5:12 AM  
Blogger Melissa Clark said...

Thanks for linking to my blog! I'm happy to be following your lead on this, and can't wait to see what you and the others have to say about your 10 chosen films.

The comparison of London in the '20s and today was fascinating. The cars, clothes, and people are different, but so much remains the same. Thank goodness there are places where people respect history and don't tear everything down when it gets old.

Did you mean Audrey Totter in "Man in the Dark"? For a second I got excited, thinking there was an Audrey Hepburn movie I hadn't seen yet. ;)

Have a wonderful week. :)

5:29 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you so much for the feedback, Jerry! I'm glad you enjoyed the photos and envy that you are able to spend so much time in London. My last visit was five years ago and I am longing to return!

You're very welcome, Jacqueline, I'm looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us in the future about Ann Blyth's life and career!

MC, thank you *so* much for catching my absent-minded typing of Audrey "Hepburn"!! I totally missed catching that when I read it over before hitting "Publish" and just fixed it thanks to you. :) Wouldn't it be fun if we *did* suddenly discover a new film by a favorite actor? LOL.

Aren't those photos amazing? I love London so much. :)

I was happy to link to your list and look forward to reading your thoughts on the films you chose to see this year!

Best wishes,

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rSo much of interest - looks like digital prints will soon be all cinemas can get.
I'm beginning to wonder if ordinary DVD will disappear too. I haven't bothered about transferring to blu Ray .
The London photos were fascinating. I have visited London so often over the years - mainly for musical theatre in the West End.

8:58 AM  
Blogger Jerry E said...

If you do get back to London some time, Laura, be sure to let me know. It would be nice to meet up for lunch and bore the pants off everyone else with movie talk!

9:08 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Vienna, I can count my Blu-rays on two hands at this point! :) I'm very happy with my wonderful DVD collection.

London theater is amazing -- our daughter took great advantage of it when she spent a semester there! My husband and I saw an interesting production of HIGH SOCIETY with the late Natasha Richardson as Tracy Lord on a trip in the late '80s.

Jerry, wouldn't that be so much fun?! And maybe Vienna and John K could join us too. :) Thank you for the invitation, I hope it happens one day!!

Best wishes,

9:18 AM  
Blogger Jerry E said...

It would be fun and a nice little group too. Great idea!

10:23 AM  
Blogger Caftan Woman said...

Thanks for that link to the Joe Sawyer article. He's a keeper.

Hadn't heard of that "shorts" DVD. Must start hinting for my birthday.

2:33 PM  
Blogger KC said...

Thanks for linking to my list. I've been loving the other lists as well! Now I'm going to go check out that clip of Fred and Ginger at the Oscars. That sounds amazing.

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laura, I too saw that production of High Society with Natasha Richardson . My memorable moment from that show was Angela Richards ( in the Celeste Holm part) singing an unforgettable "in the still of the Night" .
(Angela also played 'Eve' in London alongside Lauren Bacall in Applause ( musical version of All About Eve).- I saw APPLAUSE several times. Bacall was terrific.

12:39 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Caftan Woman, so glad to know someone else liked the Joe Sawyer piece, I found it so interesting. Hope you get the shorts set, it's fascinating stuff.

KC, it was my pleasure, hope you have fun watching your list! I'm hoping to see the first movie on my own list later this month.

Vienna, how neat that you saw the very same production of HIGH SOCIETY! You stirred a forgotten memory about "Still of the Night." We brought home the LP and I haven't played it in years. I should get it out and revisit it.

I envy you having had the chance to see Bacall in APPLAUSE!

Best wishes,

9:20 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I also want to thank you for linking to the YouTube clip of Fred and Ginger. I remembered that lovely entrance, the graceful spin, and the extended, richly-deserved ovation from the live broadcast. I'd always hoped to be able to see it again. Being the ancient one I am, it never occurred to me to try finding it on YouTube, so thanks heaps for bringing it to me. It's a beautiful thing.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Rick, that makes me so happy! Comments like yours and all those above are part of why I love to do this roundup each week -- there are so many fun little things out there to enjoy and share, and you just never know what will strike a chord with a reader or provide that "Eureka!" moment. :) Thanks for your comment!

Best wishes,

10:25 AM  
Blogger Jerry E said...

Laura, I was interested by the fact that you and Vienna had both seen the London production of "High Society" which featured Angela Richards singing "In The Still Of The Night". Angela had a key role in a BBCTV series years ago called "Secret Army" (1977-79) which told of a lifeline for shot-down British airmen during WWII emanating from a Brussels cafe......

8:59 AM  
Blogger Jerry E said...

.....Angela played the cafe singer and mistress of the cafe owner and sang some beautiful numbers for the German military customers. This was a serious and powerful series (3 series actually) and she had an important role which she played superbly. Never seen her again since though. Now maybe we discover where her career went to later (London stage?).

9:03 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Jerry, I was really interested to learn this additional background on Angela Richards. I saw HIGH SOCIETY in 1987 so that was just about a decade after the SECRET ARMY series started. It looks like SECRET ARMY has come out on Region 2 DVD but hasn't had a Region 1 release. I'll be watching for it, I'd love to check it out at some point! Sounds like an interesting theme.

It appears from IMDb that she has not appeared on screen since the '90s. She will be turning 70 at the end of this year.

Best wishes,

12:02 PM  

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