Saturday, June 19, 2021

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...Wonderful publishing news: Hayley Mills' autobiography, FOREVER YOUNG: A MEMOIR will be out this September. That's a pre-order purchase for me.

...Born June 19, 1932: Twin sisters Pier Angeli and Marisa Pavan. Angeli died in 1971, while Pavan, who is the widow of Jean-Pierre Aumont, turns 89 today.

...The South Coast Repertory here in Orange County will be streaming a production of a new musical, HAROLD & LILLIAN, inspired by the 2015 documentary I reviewed in 2017. Husband and wife Michael McKean and Annette O'Toole star.  (Fun trivia: I saw O'Toole in a stage production of VANITIES at the Westwood Playhouse in the early '80s.  Meredith Baxter Birney and Shelley Hack costarred.)

...Good news from the Warner Archive Collection: July Blu-ray releases will include the minor crime films STEP BY STEP (1946) and I WOULDN'T BE IN YOUR SHOES (1948). I wondered if the days of WAC releasing these types of lesser-known movies might be over and am absolutely delighted. I reviewed STEP BY STEP, which stars Lawrence Tierney and Anne Jeffreys, in 2014. I WOULDN'T BE IN YOUR SHOES stars my kind of cast: Elyse Knox, Don Castle, and Regis Toomey. Can't wait!

...Also coming next month from the Warner Archive: Blu-rays of TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME (1948) starring Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Esther Williams, and OBJECTIVE, BURMA! (1945) starring Errol Flynn.

...Speaking of Esther Williams, the 100 Years of Esther Williams Blogathon celebrating Williams' centennial is coming this August, hosted by Michaela of Love Letters to Old Hollywood.

...Coming to Blu-ray from Kino Lorber on September 21st: Steve Martin in DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID (1982).

...And here's some fantastic news just announced today by Kino Lorber: Dennis O'Keefe's THE DIAMOND WIZARD (1954), which I reviewed here after seeing it via Amazon Prime back in 2014, has had a 3D restoration by the 3D Film Archive and is coming to Blu-ray "soon." O'Keefe starred, co-wrote the story (using his pen name Jonathan Rix), and co-directed with Montgomery Tully.

...At The Hollywood Revue, Angela has written interesting book-to-film comparisons of the pre-Codes RED-HEADED WOMAN (1932) and 42ND STREET (1933). They've been reviewed by Angela as part of the 2021 Classic Film Summer Reading Challenge hosted by Raquel at her blog Out of the Past.

...I haven't participated in the Summer Reading Challenge for the last few years due to the press of other writing commitments, but since I have a significant stack of books I'm committed to review this summer, I'm in! I anticipate that my first reviews posted will be of the new Christina Rice bio of Jane Russell for the University Press of Kentucky and SUMMER MOVIES by John Malahy, from TCM and Running Press.

...The publication of the Jane Russell book will be celebrated in a free Zoom event with author Christina Rice, hosted by Larry Edmunds Cinema Bookshop on Monday, June 21st. June 21st is the centennial of Russell's birth.

...At Hometowns to Hollywood Annette Bochenek takes a look at significant places in the life of Robert Taylor.

...Thanks to social media I learned that the 110th anniversary of Taylor's birth will be celebrated August 20-22 in Taylor's hometown of Beatrice, Nebraska.

...Leonard Maltin has given a thumbs up to the new Disney-Pixar film LUCA (2021), which debuted on Disney+ yesterday. He says "LUCA doesn't look or sound like any film Pixar has made before" and calls it a "wonderful, disarming film." Justin Chang calls LUCA "funny and enchanting" in the Los Angeles Times. I anticipate reviewing it here on the blog sometime this summer. The trailer is here.

...Leonard Maltin has also recently written about Ben Model's Silent Comedy Watch Party, which has been streaming online every Sunday since March 2020. Ben accompanies the films with live music as they play.

...June 22-27 is "Cinema Week," welcoming movie-goers back to theaters.

...I was delighted to see that Steve of Mystery File has recently given a thumbs up to 36 HOURS TO KILL (1936). I really enjoyed that movie in 2017. It stars Brian Donlevy and Gloria Stuart and is especially appealing viewing for fans of "train movies."

...I've now watched the first two episodes of the newest Disney+ Marvel series, LOKI (2021), and am quite enjoying the return of Tom Hiddleston as the God of Mischief. He has excellent chemistry with costar Owen Wilson. Nerdist has a thorough rundown on all the series' "Easter eggs" and connections to the original comics which is updated as each episode airs.

...A postscript, Marvel's THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER (2021) debuted at a busy time for me and I've only seen a couple episodes so far. I'll finish it but it hasn't grabbed me like Marvel usually does. I think my main issue is I've never been interested in the character Bucky (Sebastian Stan), aka the "Winter Soldier." My initial impression is that the show is pleasant but Sam (Anthony Mackie) probably could have been given a stronger story. Wyatt Russell costars; in a fun connection, his father Kurt costarred in Marvel's GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (2017). Wyatt is a third generation actor; his grandfather was character actor Bing Russell.

...Glenn Erickson's latest CineSavant reviews at Trailers from Hell include Kino Lorber's release of LARCENY (1948), while his colleague Charlie Largent has reviewed the ClassicFlix release The Little Rascals Volume 1. I've seen LARCENY several times and like it more than Erickson did, but I always enjoy checking out his takes. Largent describes the Little Rascals restorations as "splendid," also saying "the detail is dazzling." I'll be reviewing both releases here in coming weeks.

...New fall cookbooks being published between September and November: TREASURES OF THE MEXICAN TABLE by Pati Jinich, TRISHA'S KITCHEN: EASY COMFORT FOOD FOR FRIENDS & FAMILY by Trisha Yearwood, and LIDIA'S A POT, A PAN, AND A BOWL by Lidia Bastianich.

...I enjoyed this Robert Lloyd piece in the Los Angeles Times: "John Stamos is One of TV's Most Underrated Actors." Stamos is from my area and went to nearby Kennedy High School in La Palma, California; I remember him going back to his GENERAL HOSPITAL days in the early '80s. (He's seen here on GH with Janine Turner, who went on to success -- with much shorter hair -- on NORTHERN EXPOSURE.) I'm planning to check out his new Disney+ series BIG SHOT at some point.

...Notable Passings: Ned Beatty has passed away at the age of 83. I especially remember him as Dr. Gibbs in the wonderful 1977 TV production of OUR TOWN and of course as Otis in SUPERMAN (1978)...Soap star John Gabriel, best known for a decade on RYAN'S HOPE, has died at 90. He also played sportscaster Andy Rivers in several episodes of THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW. Survivors include his wife of 52 years, ALL MY CHILDREN actress Sandy Gabriel...Frank Bonner, who played Herb Tarlek on WKRP IN CINCINNATI (1978-82), has passed on at 79...Actor-Director Dennis Berry, the widower of Jean Seberg and more recently Anna Karina, has died at 76. In 2016 I saw him introduce HE RAN ALL THE WAY (1951), directed by his father John, at the TCM Classic Film Festival.

...For additional recent links of interest to classic film fans, please check out my June 12th roundup.


Blogger Vienna said...

Gosh, what a full Blogosphere this week! Great reading ,and thanks for the links. I’ll watch out for that Dennis O’Keefe film. I enjoyed your review and noticed Margaret Sheridan was in it. I always liked her in The Thing From Another World. Surprisingly she only made a very few films.

12:08 AM  
Blogger dfordoom said...

At The Hollywood Revue, Angela has written interesting book-to-film comparisons of the pre-Codes RED-HEADED WOMAN (1932) and 42ND STREET (1933).

Book-to-film comparisons are one of my current obsessions. They can be lots of fun and very revealing.

At Hometowns to Hollywood Annette Bochenek takes a look at significant places in the life of Robert Taylor.

A very underrated actor. One of my favourites.

4:56 AM  
Blogger Jerry Entract said...

You and I are in a club with Laura where Robert Taylor is concerned, dfordoom. A very underrated actor indeed. He left a fine body of work for us all to still enjoy.

7:56 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Vienna, Glad to know you enjoyed all the links! There really was a lot of news this week! Like you I love Sheridan in THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD. I've seen a couple other of her films -- as you note, there weren't many -- but that one is certainly the standout. I hope you'll enjoy THE DIAMOND WIZARD!

DforDoom, glad to know you also enjoy book-to-film comparisons, Angela did a great job breaking down how the books were translated to those pre-Code classics, it was quite interesting.

I join Jerry in saying that Robert Taylor is very special indeed. Incidentally, I decided to write about the portion of my recent trip which relates to WESTWARD THE WOMEN location shooting for my Classic Movie Hub column -- should be posted there by the end of the month.

Best wishes,

11:58 PM  
Blogger Hamlette (Rachel) said...

Oh, I'm so excited about Hayley Mills' autobiography! A definite preorder for me too. Thanks for that heads-up! I'm such a fan of hers :-)

When I was in my late teens, my family went to see Hayley Mills onstage starring in The King and I. She was dazzling, and I have treasured that memory always. It was my first time seeing a big theater production as well!

10:50 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Delighted to share the good news about Hayley Mills' book, Rachel! How wonderful you got to see her in THE KING AND I. That's marvelous.

Best wishes,

10:40 PM  

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