Saturday, March 21, 2020

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...Following last week's terrific news on upcoming Blu-rays from the Warner Archive Collection, there was a trio of exciting announcements of three-film sets coming from Kino Lorber's Studio Classics line. All titles have had previous DVD releases, but they're being released by Kino on Blu-ray with new commentary tracks. All three collections will be released on June 9th. The sets are:

*Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema III collection features ABANDONED (1949), THE SLEEPING CITY (1950), and THE LADY GAMBLES (1949), with new commentary tracks by Samm Deighan, Imogen Sara Smith, and Kat Ellinger, respectively. I highly recommend ABANDONED, great "L.A." noir which should be better known, and THE SLEEPING CITY is very good also.

*Western Classics I includes WHEN THE DALTONS RODE (1940), THE VIRGINIAN (1946), and WHISPERING SMITH (1948). The leading men of these films are a trio of great stars: Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, and Alan Ladd. The commentary tracks are by Toby Roan, Lee Gambin and Rutanya Alda, and Simon Abrams, respectively.

*The Deanna Durbin Collection has the titles ONE HUNDRED MEN AND A GIRL (1937), IT STARTED WITH EVE (1941), and THREE SMART GIRLS GROW UP (1939). The commentaries are by Stephen Vagg (ONE HUNDRED MEN AND A GIRL) and Samm Deighan (IT STARTED WITH EVE); THREE SMART GIRLS GROW UP will apparently not have a commentary. You can't ever go wrong with Deanna Durbin films!

...Last weekend silent film accompanist Ben Model livestreamed a pair of silent shorts with live music. This week he's put a link on his site for a William S. Hart silent Western he's scored. Ben says the print quality isn't good enough for his Undercrank Productions Blu-ray and DVD line, but everyone can enjoy it at his blog.

...My friend Chris Yogerst recently reviewed two film books by Mark Vieira, FORBIDDEN HOLLYWOOD:THE PRE-CODE ERA (1930-1934) and GEORGE HURRELL'S HOLLYWOOD, for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

...One of the latest reviews at Jeff Arnold's West is GUN DUEL IN DURANGO (1957) starring George Montgomery; he terms the film "a whole heap of fun." I reviewed it here back in 2013.

...TAIL SPIN (1939), just reviewed by Jessica at Comet Over Hollywood, has a great cast including Constance Bennett, Alice Faye, Nancy Kelly, Charles Farrell, and Jane Wyman. It's available on DVD from Fox Cinema Archives.

...Due to these strange times, Disney has postponed the release of the latest Marvel film, BLACK WIDOW (2020), from its May 1st release date. They also postponed the live-action version of MULAN (2020) from its March 27th release. Disney-Pixar's animated film ONWARD (2020), which only played a few days before theaters shut down, is now available for digital download and will debut on the Disney+ streaming service on April 3rd.

...The new version of LITTLE WOMEN (2019), which I reviewed in late December, arrives on Blu-ray and DVD April 7th...JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL (2019), also reviewed here at the end of last year, was released last Tuesday.

...The return of drive-in movie theaters?

...Thanks to writer Paul Bishop's blog, I learned of the Los Angeles Police Museum (seen here), which currently has exhibits on TV's DRAGNET and ADAM-12. I'd love to visit it on a future trip to Los Angeles!

...Small businesses are going to be particularly vulnerable to the current shutdowns. Readers can support independent cinema bookseller Larry Edmunds Bookshop with phone orders. Free shipping! The store, located in walking distance of the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, will be missing out on one of its biggest weeks of the year with the cancellation of this year's TCM Classic Film Festival, not to mention the cancellation of the Noir City Festival at its midpoint.

...Those who love cookbooks may want to support Now Serving L.A., an independent store in the Chinatown district of Los Angeles. Click "Shop" at the upper left of the home page for categories of book titles. Be aware that California stores may not be shipping right now due to the State's "lockdown" order, but you can support them as soon as business resumes!

...Notable Passings: Stuart Whitman (seen here), who worked his way up from bit roles to leading parts in films such as THE COMANCHEROS (1961) and RIO CONCHOS (1964), has died at 92. Whitman was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for THE MARK (1961). He starred in TV's short-lived CIMARRON STRIP (1967-68) and was also a frequent guest performer in episodic television over the years...Lyle Waggoner, a regular on THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW from 1967-74 and later Lynda Carter's costar on WONDER WOMAN (1975-79), has passed on at 84. He also founded the well-known company Star Waggons, which rents trailers to TV and film production companies...Country music superstar Kenny Rogers, who was also a pretty good actor, has died at 81. I'm quite fond of his TV-movie COWARD OF THE COUNTY (1981). Dolly Parton has recorded a tribute to her regular duet partner.

...For additional recent links of interest to classic film fans, please check out my March 14th roundup.

Have a great week!


Blogger Seth said...

Great roundup. Thanks for that article about drive-ins. There's one in nearby Fort Collins that's only open for the summer, and I keep meaning to go. This year I'll definitely make it.

I'm still not sure whether I'll come out to LA mid-April, but just in case, I've been looking at the Roadside America website for ideas of quirky places to visit. Wouldn't you know it, that's where I also discovered the Police Museum.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Seth! Always great to hear from you. Would love to hear about your drive-in experience if you're able to go. I don't think I've been to one since I was a little kid in the early '70s. :)

What fun that you also recently learned of the LA Police Museum! Looks really interesting.

Keep me posted on your plans!

Best wishes,

11:07 AM  

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