Saturday, May 29, 2021

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...June Blu-ray releases coming from the Warner Archive include MADAME CURIE (1943), ZIEGFELD FOLLIES (1946), CHAIN LIGHTNING (1950), and IT HAPPENED AT THE WORLD'S FAIR (1963).

...Kino Lorber Studio Classics has a pair of 1967 films with MARY POPPINS (1964) costars Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke coming out in August. Van Dyke's FITZWILLY (1967), a favorite of some of my kids, releases August 17th, while Andrews' THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE (1967) comes out on the 24th. As usual for Kino Lorber, both films will have commentary tracks.

...Not a good idea: The CW Network plans to remake the classic TV-movie THE HOMECOMING (1971), which (unbelievably!) is a half-century old this year. Richard Thomas, the original John-Boy Walton, replaces the late Earl Hamner as the Narrator, but the rest of the cast is all new.

...The Lady Eve's Reel Life shares her thoughts on one of my favorite films, I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING! (1945).

...A new Disney history book coming from Dave Bossert in November: CLAUDE COATS: WALT DISNEY'S IMAGINEER: FROM TOAD HALL TO THE HAUNTED MANSION AND BEYOND. It's on my list as a "must buy"! Thanks to reader Seth for sending me the information.

...The It's a Wonderful Movie site has a nice list of Hallmark Christmas films with a patriotic theme. I really enjoyed A VETERAN'S CHRISTMAS (2018) last November; while not on the same level, I also liked USS CHRISTMAS (2020). And THE CHRISTMAS CARD (2006) is a Hallmark classic.

...Jessica has written about EVERYBODY'S HOBBY (1939) for her blog Comet Over Hollywood. I just recorded this "B" film, which stars reliable character actors Henry O'Neill and Irene Rich, and I look forward to checking it out. Frequent Western leading lady Peggy Stewart is in it as well, along with fave supporting actor John Ridgely.

...I haven't regularly watched GENERAL HOSPITAL since the '90s, but I loved it for years and thus recently recorded the show's tribute to the late John Reilly, who played Sean Donely back in the day. The cast reunion of actors who in some cases have been playing their characters for over four decades was very moving. It included all-time favorites Finola Hughes, Tristan Rogers, and Genie Francis. Kimberly McCullough, who joined the show at about six or seven years old, is now in her 40s, gulp!

...I have no idea what the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical IN THE HEIGHTS (2021) is about, other than brief descriptions, but it's certainly getting good reviews, from the Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and Nerdist, among others. I'll be watching to learn more. It opens June 11th and will simultaneously be available to HBO Max subscribers.

...Rachel paid tribute to John Wayne on the recent anniversary of his birth at Hamlette's Soliloquy. Her post caused me to remember celebrating his centennial at USC back in 2008.

...Glenn Erickson has reviewed a new Blu-ray edition of Wayne's HELLFIGHTERS (1968), one of a surprisingly long list of Wayne films I've never seen (at least all the way through). My younger daughter loved that movie as a teen, saying "Sometimes I just feel like watching things blow up!"

...At Once Upon a Classic Aurora has written about a favorite 20th Century-Fox musical, DOWN ARGENTINE WAY (1940), starring Betty Grable and Don Ameche. I love her description of how the movie transfixed her as a child, and still does today.

...I visited Frank Sinatra's gravesite at Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California, in 2017. I was sorry to read that there have been some strange goings-on regarding the marker, which was destroyed a few months ago and replaced with a new marker which seems to have been commissioned by his children rather than his wife Barbara.

...Notable Passings: Two important forces in children's literature have passed away. Author-Illustrator Eric Carle (THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR) has passed on at 91, while CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM illustrator Lois Ehlert has died at 86. Their work will continue to delight generations of children...Someone else who has delighted children for years is Samuel E. Wright, the voice of Sebastian the Crab in Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID (1989). He's passed on at 74. I wrote of the movie: "I marvel at the creative minds behind a movie like this; who dreams up a composer-conductor who's a Jamaican crab?" Wright was absolute perfection voicing the role...Actress Lois De Banzie, a familiar face on TV for decades, has died at 90. She was also a Tony-nominated actress for MORNING'S AT SEVEN.

...A late update: Just after I hit "publish" I learned of the passing of Gavin MacLeod at the age of 90. While best known for TV's THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW and THE LOVE BOAT, when I think of him the first thing that comes to mind is one of my favorite comedies, OPERATION PETTICOAT (1959), in which he appeared in a supporting role with Cary Grant and Tony Curtis.

...For additional recent links of interest to classic film fans, please check out my May 22nd roundup.


Blogger Seth said...

Thanks for the heads up on the Blu-rays. I enjoyed FITZWILLY when I saw it last Christmas, and IT HAPPENED AT THE WORLD’S FAIR is a favorite—as a boy, my dad and grandparents went to the fair, and a few years ago on a trip to visit my sister while she was living in Seattle, he and I rode the monorail and went up the Needle. I believe I’ll need to add both to my collection.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Glad I could share info that was useful to you, Seth! I should be reviewing IT HAPPENED AT THE WORLD'S FAIR this summer -- have not seen it before so looking forward to it.

Best wishes,

7:27 PM  

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