Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...Thanks to reviews by Raquel at Out of the Past and Jessica at Comet Over Hollywood I learned about a recent documentary on Rod Taylor, PULLING NO PUNCHES (2016). I hope to review it here in the near future. A trailer may be seen here. The documentary also has a page on Facebook.

...Here's another post from Jessica, on Anthony Mann's THE BAMBOO BLONDE (1946), a musical starring Frances Langford. I agree it's a charmer. It's available from the Warner Archive.

...Belated congratulations to Toby at 50 Westerns From the 50s, who achieved 2 million blog hits last month! It's also been great to have Toby's commentary tracks regularly turning up from Olive, Kino Lorber, and VCI; the latter is a brand-new release of ONE MILLION B.C. (1940). Toby's ONE MILLION B.C. commentary received an excellent review from the esteemed DVD Savant, Glenn Erickson -- whose reviews will now be found at his new site CineSavant. I just updated the blogroll at the left with the new site, while leaving the old DVD Savant link up for now as well.

...Coming to the Warner Archive next month: Alan Ladd in HELL ON FRISCO BAY (1955), costarring Edward G. Robinson and Joanne Dru. According to the Warner Archive this is the movie's first-ever home entertainment release. It will be released on both Blu-ray and DVD.

...Found available to watch on the web: THE WEB (1947) starring Edmond O'Brien, Ella Raines, and Vincent Price. Universal needs to put this on DVD in the Universal Vault Collection ASAP! I'm sure many who read this would jump at the chance to purchase it.

...Speaking of Ella Raines, some episodes of her TV series JANET DEAN, REGISTERED NURSE (1954) are currently on YouTube. Wish the show would have a DVD release!

...And speaking of medical shows, last night I started watching the TV series MEDIC (1954), starring Richard Boone, out on DVD from Shout!/Timeless Media. Having seen just one episode it's too soon for me to have an opinion, but my first impression is it's the DRAGNET of medical shows, a very straightforward "just the facts" program including some medical explanations and an extended surgery sequence. Actual doctors and nurses appear on the show alongside actors.

...Netflix currently has only 43 films available for streaming which were made before 1970, a rather shocking statistic found in a Newsweek article. Interviewees including Leonard Maltin and Nora Fiore, aka The Nitrate Diva, discuss what this means as Netflix shifts from its original mission of making a wide spectrum of movies easily available to being an original content provider. Will younger viewers who rely on streaming no longer make serendipitous classic film discoveries? (PS I used to love streaming random "B" movies and Westerns on Netflix; some can still be found on Amazon Prime, and many public domain titles formerly on Netflix have moved to my cable system's "on demand" section. On the plus side, I finally started watching the Netflix original series THE CROWN and am enjoying it.)

...Incidentally it was nice to see that Maltin also liked HOME AGAIN (2017), the new Reese Witherspoon comedy which I enjoyed. I hope more people will check it out. I've heard from a couple of readers that they enjoyed it also!

...While visiting sites on my blogroll I learned that Rupert Alistair of Classic Movies Digest has just published an e-book on Jeanne Crain, GIRL NEXT DOOR: THE LIFE AND CAREER OF JEANNE CRAIN. Alistair interviewed three of Crain's children and received access to some unique photos. I purchased it and my initial impression, strictly from flipping through it a bit -- as much as one can do on a Kindle -- is favorable, though I hasten to say I haven't yet read more than a few pages here and there.

...Thanks to Terry at A Shroud of Thoughts for a very nice 60th anniversary tribute to my all-time favorite TV series, MAVERICK, which debuted in 1957.

...For those looking for seasonal films to watch, here's John Greco of Twenty Four Frames on "Autumn Cinema - Six Films." It's been years since I've seen HANNAH AND HER SISTERS (1986); I forgot it was set at Thanksgiving. His mentions also include THE STRANGER (1946), reviewed here last week.

...Coming out this fall from Kino Lorber: PORTRAIT OF JENNIE (1948), starring Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotten. I anticipate reviewing it here in a few weeks.

...At Flickin' Out Diana sings the praises of the underappreciated Franchot Tone. She recently watched 22 of his movies! On Twitter I made sure to recommend one of my favorite Deanna Durbin films, which costars Tone, HIS BUTLER'S SISTER (1943). Durbin and Tone made three movies together, and this one is by far my favorite -- with one of the best closing scenes ever.

...I enjoyed reading Angela's review of the 1971 book JOAN CRAWFORD: MY WAY OF LIFE at Hollywood Revue.

...Here's Emily of The Vintage Cameo on Douglas Sirk's LURED (1947), reviewed here in 2010. It stars George Sanders, Lucille Ball, Charles Coburn, and Boris Karloff.

...Coming next month from ClassicFlix: A restored edition of Anthony Mann's great T-MEN (1947), a film I doubt I could watch too many times. Extras include a commentary by the always-interesting Alan K. Rode of the Film Noir Foundation. (Alan's big bio of Michael Curtiz is due out from the University Press of Kentucky in November!)

...Notable Passings: Character actor Harry Dean Stanton, whose TV and film career stretched from 1954 to 2017, including this year's TWIN PEAKS revival, has passed on at the age of 91...Gin Wong, who designed many famous "Googie" buildings in the Greater L.A. area, has died at 94. The "spaceship" building at LAX is just one of his accomplishments...Producer-Director-Writer George Englund, who was once married to Cloris Leachman, passed away at 91. I fondly recall his TV-movie A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER (1978), a Depression-era film starring Eva Marie Saint and Jason Robards. It seems to have had a VHS release but I've never seen it available on DVD.

...For additional recent links on classic movies and more, please visit my September 11th link roundup.

Have a great week!


Blogger Bill O said...

Hell on Frisco Bay produced by Alan Ladd, now controlled by his heirs. A good retro flick with Ladd back in trenchcoat, Edw G. Robinson Little Caesaring it.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Vienna said...

That's great news about HELL ON FRISCO BAY.
Thanks for YouTube link to Ella Raines's TV series.
That Rod Taylor docu looks interesting.
Thanks as always for your Blogosphere roundup.

11:54 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Really looking forward to HELL ON FRISCO BAY, glad I could share the good news!

And glad you enjoyed the roundup!!! Thanks so much for letting me know. :)

Best wishes,

8:49 PM  

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