Saturday, March 06, 2021

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...This week there's excellent new DVD news from ClassicFlix: June 15th will be the Silver Series releases of THE CRYSTAL BALL (1943), starring Ray Milland and Paulette Goddard, and THE DUKE OF WEST POINT (1938), starring Louis Hayward and Joan Fontaine. I quite enjoyed THE CRYSTAL BALL a decade ago and have long wanted to see THE DUKE OF WEST POINT, so I'm delighted by this news.

...Coming from Kino Lorber in May: Marion Davies in LIGHTS OF OLD BROADWAY (1925), with a commentary track by Anthony Slide.

...Alamo Drafthouse movie theaters declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week.

...A hopeful note from the Lone Pine Film Festival: They are currently planning for the festival to be an in-person event this October and advise booking hotel rooms. My hotel reservation was held over from 2020, and it would certainly be a thrill to be back in Lone Pine for the festival this fall, so let's hope it happens! (April Update: The festival dates have been updated to October 7th through 10th, rather than ending on the 9th, as seen in this photo.)

...I was interested to learn that Karl Malden's daughter Carla is an author; her latest book is a novel for young adults.

...The Warner Archive has announced its April Blu-ray releases, a nice selection of titles which will include DOCTOR X (1932), ANOTHER THIN MAN (1939), EACH DAWN I DIE (1939), BROADWAY MELODY OF 1940 (1940), GREEN DOLPHIN STREET (1947), and ANNIE GET YOUR GUN (1950). DOCTOR X, directed by Michael Curtiz, will feature a new commentary track by Curtiz biographer Alan K. Rode.

...CineSavant Glenn Erickson recently reviewed the Warner Archive Blu-ray release of SHOW BOAT (1951) for Trailers From Hell. I'll be reviewing it here in the near future. (Update: Here is my review.)

...Former Los Angeles Times classic film reporter Susan King has written a tribute to Doris Day for the Turner Classic Movies Tumblr page.

...This month Annette Bochenek writes about buildings associated with actress-dancer Lucille Bremer in her "Classic Movie Travels" column for Classic Movie Hub.

...Netflix has purchased Liam Neeson's latest action film, THE ICE ROAD (2021), costarring Laurence Fishburne. Given that I enjoy Neeson's films, most recently UNKNOWN (2011), this thriller about a rescue operation at a collapsed diamond mine sounds like something I'd enjoy.

...Walt Disney's first animation studio in Kansas City may become a museum.

...I read a number of titles in the "Wagons West" series of novels by Dana Fuller Ross beginning in the late '70s. Paperback Warrior has an interesting history of the series for any of my readers who might also be familiar with these books.

...Few shows could have been more appropriate for our current times than WANDAVISION (2021), the Disney+ series I have previously praised here. This weekend's finale was haunting, mixing sadness with a touch of optimism. CNN has an article titled "The Emotional Catharsis of WANDAVISION in a Year of Grief": "For all its fantastical trappings, WANDAVISION is perhaps the Marvel project most rooted in reality. Its depictions of trauma, of grief and loss...are moving and resonant." I've been extremely impressed by the way the writers layered Marvel film and comic book history, classic TV sitcoms, and even plentiful references to THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) into a mystery which was ultimately powerful and profound. Some of the writing, including "What is grief, if not love persevering?" has already joined the culture and will not be forgotten.

...Attention Southern Californians: Retroformat is hosting a drive-in screening of Buster Keaton in STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. (1928) at the Hollywood Legion Post 43 Drive-In on March 27th. Live music will be provided by Cliff Retallick. Tickets may be purchased here, and they're going quickly! I attended a drive-in screening of Harold Lloyd in THE FRESHMAN (1925) last November, which also had live music by Retallick, and had a grand time. I'm looking forward to returning for this event.

...Notable Passing: Actress-Singer Joan Weldon has passed away at the age of 90. A family obituary was published by, and a short biography may be read at Masterworks Broadway. Weldon's film career included the sci-fi classic THEM! (1954) and several Westerns, including THE STRANGER WORE A GUN (1953) and RIDING SHOTGUN (1954) with Randolph Scott, THE COMMAND (1954) with Guy Madison, GUNSIGHT RIDGE (1957) with Joel McCrea, and DAY OF THE BADMAN (1958) with Fred MacMurray. I first knew Weldon from her guest starring role in one of my favorite MAVERICK episodes, "Plunder of Paradise" (1958); she's seen here with Jack Kelly. Weldon rarely had the chance to sing on screen, with MGM's DEEP IN MY HEART (1954) being one example, but her stage career included a three-year tour with Forrest Tucker in THE MUSIC MAN.

...More Notable Passings: Nicola Pagett, who played Elizabeth in the early seasons of UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS, has died at the age of 75...Geoffrey Scott, who played Mark Jennings on TV's DYNASTY, has passed on at 79.

...For additional recent links of interest to classic film fans, please check out my February 27th roundup.


Blogger barrylane said...

In case I have failed to mention it, Duke of West Point is my favorite film, all time. Love it and, of course, relate to Steven Early

3:24 PM  
Blogger DKoren said...

WandaVision was so good. It started out kind of like what is this? But each episode was better than the previous one and built on the whole. I admit, that finale made me tear up. Can't wait to rewatch now that I know the whole arc.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Barrylane, I remember you mentioning how much you like THE DUKE OF WEST POINT but I didn't recall it was your favorite. I'm really looking forward to this release!

Deb, the structure of WANDAVISION was fascinating, wasn't it? So creative. I'd love to have been in the "writer's room" when they were putting together all the details. Few recent TV shows have caused me to spend so much time pondering what I just saw...I loved the weekly release schedule, too, with time to mull over the previous episode and guess what might happen next. I linked to another article on the show in my March 13th roundup.

Best wishes,

10:40 AM  

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