Saturday, January 02, 2021

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...Concerning news for fans of the Warner Archive as we head into 2021: George Feltenstein, the founder of the line and the man responsible for running it, has been downsized out of his job and will leave the company in February.  This follows last month's news, reported here, that longtime WAC team member Matt Patterson was laid off.  This would not seem to bode well for the future of the program, which by all accounts was already efficiently run with a very small staff.  We shall see.

...The Warner Archive will release a DVD reissue of Bob Hope and Virginia Mayo in THE PRINCESS AND THE PIRATE (1944) on January 26th.  And coming the previous week, on January 19th, a reissue of BALL OF FIRE (1941).

...Recent Blu-ray releases from VCI Entertainment: Buck Jones in the serials GORDON OF GHOST CITY (1933) and THE PHANTOM RIDER (1936).

...Another serial coming from VCI in February: GANG BUSTERS (1942), starring Kent Taylor, Irene Hervey, and Robert Armstrong.

...Dennis Liff's great Iverson Movie Ranch blog takes a look at the location's appearance in Season 2 of THE MANDALORIAN.  Given Iverson's history appearing in so many Westerns, sci-fi films, and serials, its use in an episode of THE MANDALORIAN was perfection.

...California's See's Candies celebrates its centennial in 2021.

...NBC's recent showing of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) was a ratings winner.  Great to hear.

...From Katie Orphan last year at the CrimeReads site: "Searching for James M. Cain's Los Angeles."  How interesting to learn that Mildred Pierce's daughter Kay was said to be buried at Forest Lawn Glendale, which we visited last month.

...Coming from Kino Lorber in 2021: THUNDERBOLT (1929), with George Bancroft, Fay Wray, and Richard Arlen.

...Notable Passing: Former Disneyland executive Ron Dominguez has passed away at the age of 85. Ron's story is unique in that his family home growing up was located where the Pirates of the Caribbean ride is today; his family moved out in 1954 as Disneyland was starting to be built around them.  Ron was an opening day cast member in 1955, and he eventually rose to be the West Coast Executive Vice President of Attractions.  He was named a Disney Legend in 2000.  His tribute window on Disneyland's Main Street U.S.A. is labeled "Orange Grove Property Mgt.: We'll Care For Your Property As If It Were Our Own."

...More Notable Passings: Dawn Wells, beloved for her role as wholesome Mary Ann on GILLIGAN'S ISLAND (1964-67), has died at 82...Writer-director Joan Micklin Silver, whose films included CROSSING DELANCEY (1988), has passed away at 85. I'm due for a CROSSING DELANCEY rewatch...William Link, a co-creator of COLUMBO and MURDER, SHE WROTE, has died at 87...Phyllis McGuire, the last surviving member of the singing McGuire Sisters, has passed on at 89...Eugene Wright, a bassist with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, has died at 97.

...For additional recent links of interest to classic film fans, please check out my December 26th roundup. Additionally, for those who haven't yet come across it, my annual review of the year's movie viewing may be found here.

Have a great week!


Blogger barrylane said...

Warner Archive must now, as TCM appears to be, headed in a direction that I personally do not care for, but one I do not even understand. George has been wonderful, and this is mind-blowing.

5:52 PM  
Blogger john k said...

Happy New Year Laura,
Let's hope 2021 is a better year for all of us.
Certainly grim news if Warner Archive no longer continues,however there are stacks of re-issue imprints that would love to do a deal with Warners. So many Warners,MGM,RKO and Allied Artists titles that need good restorations.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

It's definitely concerning, Barrylane. It seems as though a lot is changing in a short time, including possibly the Warner Archive.

John, I like your positive thought that if WAC does come to an end, there are other lines who might be able to strike deals to continue bringing the films out.

Happy New Year to you both!
Best wishes,

8:41 AM  
Blogger john k said...

Trying to be positive,not easy these days,there are three 2021 films that I would love to see in cinemas that is if this dreaded plague permits. I rarely go to the cinema these days and of course now in London it's not possible anyway. However in pre plague times over the last couple of years the only films I have seen at cinemas are as follows and needless to say I loved them all more or less;the films are THE MULE,STAN & OLLIE,ONCE APON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD and RICHARD JEWELL.
Now already there are three 2021 films that I hope I am able to get to see in cinemas.
LET HIM GO Diane Lane and Kevin Costner which is described as a "Neo Western" and is getting rave reviews. I,ve always liked Diane Lane ever since CATTLE ANNIE & LITTLE BRITCHES all those years back.Our dear friend Walter is the only other person I know that admires this wonderful Western,now on Blu Ray from Kino Lorber,I might add.
THE MARKSMAN Liam Neeson The trailer looks great as Neeson plays a grizzled ex marine sniper protecting a young Mexican lad from drug cartel goons,needless to say they don't stand a chance.Liam looks his age in this one and perhaps he and Costner should team up as the ultimate grizzled action duo.THE MARKSMAN is directed by ex Eastwood associate Robert Lorenz who several years back directed Eastwood's Baseball picture TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE.
CRY MACHO Eastwood back in front of the camera again in what's also described as a Neo Western. CRY MACHO also features a young Mexican lad and country star Dwight Yokum is also involved. The surprise this time is that the DOP is Londoner Ben Davis who normally shoots films like Marvel's Avengers and CAPTAIN MARVEL certainly a change of direction for Eastwood at least.
So there it is three films on my 2021 "must see" list and it's only January 3 current events permitting of course.
Sorry to invade your blog Laura it's just that there is so little good news these days.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi John!

Always love to "talk movies" and get your thoughts on movies old and new. "Invade" anytime!

I was very interested in LET HIM GO but a friend who's seen it (and loved it) warned me the violence is probably too much for me. I checked an online description and agree I probably can't see this one which is a bummer given how much I like the leads. When you see it by all means please share your thoughts!

I hadn't heard about THE MARKSMAN but it sounds like it would probably be my kind of movie. I typically quite enjoy Neeson's PG-13 action films and as a matter of fact, just before I sat down here I received an Amazon delivery of his HONEST THIEF which played theaters here briefly last October. I enjoyed the trailer and am looking forward to it! Thanks so much for the interesting info on Robert Lorenz.

I also didn't know about CRY MACHO. I have a DVD of THE MULE in my "watch" stack, based in part on your recommendation!

Please keep me posted if you're able to see any of these and what you think.

Best wishes for a great New Year!!!

11:23 AM  
Blogger Hamlette (Rachel) said...

Ooooooh, thanks so much for linking to that post about the filming location for The Mandalorian! It looks fascinating :-D I no doubt will mention it (and you, for pointing me to it) when I review that ep after I've seen it another time or two.

5:25 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Delighted to share the MANDALORIAN locations article!

Best wishes,

7:18 PM  

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