Thursday, March 31, 2022

TCM in April: Highlights

It's time for a look at the April schedule on Turner Classic Movies!

The April Star of the Month is Errol Flynn. Over 40 Flynn films will be shown on Mondays beginning on April 4th. I'll have a post with the Star of the Month schedule and review links up prior to the start of that series. (Update: Please visit my post TCM Star of the Month: Errol Flynn.)

With the conclusion of March's 31 Days of Oscar schedule, the usual monthly franchises return to TCM in April, including Noir Alley. This month's Noir Alley titles will be PITFALL (1948) on April 2nd and 3rd, BOB LE FLAMBEUR (1956) April 9th-10th, NIGHT AND THE CITY (1950) April 16th and 17th, THE WINDOW (1949) April 23rd-24th, and JOHNNY ANGEL (1945) on April 30th and May 1st.

The TCM Spotlight on Thursday evenings is focused on "Time," and the Special Theme on Wednesdays looks at films on "Addiction and Recovery." There's another special them on April 8th and 15th focused on baseball.

Additional special events in May include a centennial tribute to Doris Day on April 3rd, a two-night tribute to the late Peter Bogdanovich on April 22nd and 23rd, and two evenings of British classics with special guest Juliet Mills, on April 19th and 26th.

Below are just a few of the many interesting things airing on TCM this month. Please click on any hyperlinked title to read a complete review.

...A birthday tribute to Debbie Reynolds on April 1st includes the delightful GIVE A GIRL A BREAK (1953), costarring Bob Fosse and Marge and Gower Champion.  It's one of those "little" films which always delights me and I wish were better known.

...The Saturday morning lineup on April 2nd includes George O'Brien and Virginia Vale in the RKO "B" Western LEGION OF THE LAWLESS (1940).

...The Doris Day centennial tribute on April 3rd will include favorite films such as ON MOONLIGHT BAY (1951) and CALAMITY JANE (1953), along with some Doris Day TV programs.

...Later in the evening on April 3rd, there's a film directed by Yasujiro Ozu I've never seen before, AN INN IN TOKYO (1935).

...April 5th Alicia Malone will celebrate her new book GIRLS ON FILM with a lineup which includes THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952) and GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953).

...A day of '60s films on April 6th includes the very enjoyable COME FLY WITH ME (1962), focusing on the romantic adventures of a trio of stewardesses, and the mavelous French musical THE YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHEFORT (1967).

...I love that TCM is devoting a day to Virginia O'Brien on April 8th. (She was born April 18th, 1919.) TCM is showing seven films, including THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946).

...April 9th and 10th the theme is "Weekend in Paris." There are some great titles that weekend but the best news, as far as I'm concerned, is that TCM is showing the delightful comedy MIDNIGHT (1939) on April 10th. MIDNIGHT stars Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, John Barrymore, Mary Astor, and Francis Lederer.

...The theme on April 11th is "On the Run," including Stewart Granger, Cyd Charisse, and Wendell Corey in THE WILD NORTH (1952).

...On April 12th TCM's Scott McGee will be the guest for a night on stuntmen, tying in with his brand-new book DANGER ON THE SILVER SCREEN. Films shown will include STAGECOACH (1939).

...April 13th is a birthday tribute to Howard Keel. The entire lineup is great, including KISS ME KATE (1953) and SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954).

...Another great day of musicals is on April 15th, when TCM celebrates director Charles Walters. Films will include favorites such as GOOD NEWS (1947) and SUMMER STOCK (1950). GOOD NEWS stars June Allyson and Peter Lawford, with Gene Kelly and Judy Garland starring in SUMMER STOCK.

...There's more Judy Garland on Easter Sunday, April 17th, when TCM will host its usual screening of EASTER PARADE (1948). Fred Astaire and Ann Miller costar.

...A lineup of Robert Mitchum films on April 20th includes the very funny JOHNNY DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE (1944), starring Simone Simon. The little film deserves to be better known.

...The time travel theme on April 21st includes Dick Powell and Linda Darnell in Rene Clair's delightful IT HAPPENED TOMORROW (1944).

...April 22nd is a day of Westerns! Films will include the excellent ROUGHSHOD (1949), starring Robert Sterling, Gloria Grahame, and Claude Jarman Jr.

...The British films guest hosted by Juliet Mills on April 26th will include Hitchcock's great THE LADY VANISHES (1938).

...A birthday tribute to Lionel Barrymore on April 28th will include YOUNG DR. KILDARE (1938).

...The month wraps up on Saturday, April 30th, with INDIAN AGENT (1948), starring Tim Holt and Nan Leslie (seen together at left). I saw it at the 2019 Lone Pine Film Festival.

As a reminder, the TCM Classic Film Festival returns to Hollywood from April 21st through the 24th. The schedule went live this week, and I'll have a detailed look at it here in the near future.  (Update: Here are my picks from the festival schedule!)

For more on TCM in April 2022, please visit my Quick Preview of TCM in April, TCM Star of the Month: Errol Flynn, and TCM's online schedule.

Happy movie viewing!

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Tonight's Movie: Silver Queen (1942) - A ClassicFlix DVD Review

Lovely Priscilla Lane stars in SILVER QUEEN (1942), available on DVD from ClassicFlix.

Lane plays Coralie Adams, who's attracted to gambler James Kincaid (George Brent) at a New York charity dance.

Coralie is already engaged to Gerald Forsythe (Bruce Cabot), an apparently upstanding society gentleman, and soon Coralie will be dealing with more pressing issues than her love life: The death of her father (Eugene Pallette) and paying off his creditors. It seems that her father lost everything in a stock market crash but hid the bills as long as he could.

Coralie leaves New York for San Francisco, where she runs the Silver Queen gambling palace. She sends money to Gerald to pay off her father's debts, but he embezzles the funds. Fortunately James re-enters her life...

SILVER QUEEN is simultaneously pleasant and a bit strange. As I found when I first saw the film in 2014 thanks to a fairly rare airing on Turner Classic Movies, the film's main problem is a rather weak script, by Bernard Schubert and Cecile Kramer, based on a story by William Allen Johnston and Forrest Halsey. Major problems hinge on poor communication, and the way the film handles the passage of time is also rather unbelievable.

An additional issue is that while I'm second to no one in my love for the sweet and warm Priscilla Lane, those adjectives are also what make her a questionable choice for the lead role. A society woman tough enough to leave all she knows to run a gambling house for years needs to be played by someone with more of an edge, like an Ann Sheridan.

That said, the casting wasn't up to me, and since I do love both Priscilla and George Brent, I enjoy this film despite its deficiencies. One or the other of them is onscreen most of the movie, and that's just fine with me.

Lloyd Bacon directed this 80-minute United Artists release. The black and white cinematography was by Russell Harlan. Victor Young received an Oscar nomination for Best Score.

The film also received an Oscar nomination for Best Black and White Art Direction. A note regarding the film's look: in one interior scene set in a large room, it's pretty clear that the entire back half of the scene is a painted backdrop.

The large supporting cast includes Guinn "Big Boy" Williams, Lynne Overman, Marietta Canty, Janet Beecher, and Sam McDaniel.

SILVER QUEEN is available from ClassicFlix as No. 16 in its Silver Series line. The Silver Series releases focus on making hard-to-find films available for home viewing, without major restoration or subtitles. Examples of other Silver Series releases I've reviewed within the past year include THE CRYSTAL BALL (1943), THE DUKE OF WEST POINT (1938), and YOUNG AND WILLING (1943). These are all films which should not simply fade away and be lost to time, and I'm grateful ClassicFlix has made them available.

The print is somewhat soft, particularly in the early going, but as the film goes on the picture settles down and is quite acceptable, with no major flaws. The sound, while adequate enough to get by, is on the "mushy" side, with a bit of background noise; I got most of the dialogue but it was iffy enough at times that I wished subtitles were available.

Despite not being a completely ideal film and print, I appreciate that ClassicFlix has made this film with two of my favorite stars easily accessible for home viewing.

Thanks to ClassicFlix for providing a review copy of this DVD.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Tonight's Movie: National Velvet (1944) - A Warner Archive Blu-ray Review

The Warner Archive has another Blu-ray winner with its release of the MGM classic NATIONAL VELVET (1944).

Two of the dramatic subgenres MGM specialized in were "Americana" and "Britain Made in Hollywood" classics.

Director Clarence Brown excelled in both these types of films, having previously directed THE WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER (1944) and THE HUMAN COMEDY (1943). Mickey Rooney gave his finest screen performance in the small-town WWII film THE HUMAN COMEDY, meriting an Oscar nomination.

It was thus perfect for Brown to direct Rooney in NATIONAL VELVET, which like THE WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER was set on the British coastline.

The screenplay by Helen Deutsch and Theodore Reeves was based on the classic book by Enid Bagnold, which I read many times growing up. Other than reducing the four sisters in the book to three in the film, as far as I recall the movie is a fairly faithful adaptation.

Rooney plays Mi Taylor, a young drifter who arrives in the village of Sewells seeking Mrs. Brown (Anne Revere), whose name was written in his late father's notebook. Mrs. Brown doesn't immediately inform Mi of her connection to his father, but suggests to her husband (Donald Crisp) that they give Mi a bed in the barn and put him to work in the family butcher shop.

Velvet (Elizabeth Taylor), the youngest of the Brown sisters (also played by Juanita Quigley and Angela Lansbury, seen above with Taylor), is a dreamy, ultra-emotional, and horse-obsessed young girl.

We eventually learn that Mi's father coached Velvet's mother to swim the English Channel...and when Velvet wins a horse in a raffle who's a remarkable jumper, it's time for the next generation, as Mi coaches Velvet on racing her horse in the Grand National.

There's a lot of buzz these days about "girl power" films featuring strong heroines, but the reality is such films go way back. In fact, in Velvet and her mother NATIONAL VELVET features not one but two female characters who courageously broke "men only" boundaries.

Anne Revere won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance as Velvet's mother, whose ultra-calm disposition is the exact opposite of her young daughter's. Velvet is given to fainting from extreme excitement, but her overly emotional affect conceals the inner strength that allows her to chop off her hair and ride her horse alongside men. MULAN, move over!

The entire cast is excellent, particularly Donald Crisp as Velvet's blustery yet very kindhearted father. Reginald Owen as the original owner of Velvet's horse is similarly uncliched; he's exasperated by the horse's destructive antics but delighted to bet on him racing in the Grand National.

Jackie "Butch" Jenkins, who played Rooney's little brother Ulysses in THE HUMAN COMEDY, plays Velvet's young brother. I find Lansbury and Quigley quite delightful as Velvet's sisters; although the film runs 123 minutes, I would have liked to see a little more of them. Quigley had been in films for a decade at this point, with the appearances in her debut movie year including the classic IMITATION OF LIFE (1934). Lansbury was 18 when this was filmed. Her mother, Moyna MacGill, had a bit part.

The cast also includes Arthur Treacher, Arthur Shields, Norma Varden, and Terry Kilburn (Tiny Tim from the 1938 version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL).

As was common for films of this era, most of the cast doesn't bother with a British accent, but it doesn't really seem to matter.

Until I sat down to watch NATIONAL VELVET I was under the impression I'd previously seen it, but chunks of it were unfamiliar, and I discovered it's not in my viewing records. Occasionally I missed listing a film I watched growing up, but in this case it happens that I've owned a record album of the 1947 Lux Radio Theater production starring Taylor, Rooney, and Crisp since I was quite young; I think I listened to it so many times that perhaps I convinced myself I'd actually watched it! The movie made for a delightful afternoon's viewing.

The Warner Archive Blu-ray, which used a 4K scan of the original Technicolor camera negatives, shows off the lush cinematography of Leonard Smith to perfection. (The seaside location shooting, incidentally, took place in the Monterey area.) Sound quality is also excellent.

The lone extra on the disc is the trailer.

NATIONAL VELVET is a lovingly crafted family film which looks superb on this Blu-ray. Recommended.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray. Warner Archive Blu-rays may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection Amazon Store or from any online retailers where Blu-rays are sold.

Iverson Movie Ranch at Classic Movie Hub

My new Western RoundUp column is now available at Classic Movie Hub!

This month I take readers on a photo tour of Iverson Movie Ranch, where hundreds of Westerns were filmed in the ranch's heyday.

WILD STALLION (1952) and THE OKLAHOMA KID (1939) are among the movies recently reviewed here which filmed scenes at Iverson.

Please click over to Classic Movie Hub for my article and photos, and thanks for reading!

Previous Classic Movie Hub Western RoundUp Column Links: June 2018; July 2018; August 2018; September 2018; October 2018; November 2018; December 2018; January 2019; February 2019; April 5, 2019; April 30, 2019; May 2019; June 2019; July 2019; August 2019; September 2019; October 2019; November 2019; December 2019; January 2020; February 2020; March 2020; April 2020; May 2020; June 2020; July 2020; August 2020; September 2020; October 2020; November 2020; December 2020; January 2021; February 2021; March 2021; May 2021; June 2021; June 2021 (No. 2); July 2021; August 2021; September 2021; November 2021; December 2021; December 2021 (No. 2); January 2022; February 2022.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Tonight's Movie: Wild Stallion (1952) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

WILD STALLION (1952) is an enjoyable 70-minute Western available on DVD from the Warner Archive.

In recent years the Warner Archive has been focusing on releasing beautiful Blu-rays, but film fans should also keep in mind the long list of interesting titles which continue to be available from the Warner Archive via manufactured-on-demand DVDs.

WILD STALLION, a Monogram Pictures Western first released by the Warner Archive in 2013, is the story of Dan Light (future Oscar winner Ben Johnson).

When Dan is a child (played by Orley Lindgren) his parents (John Halloran and Barbara Wooddell) are killed by Indians; a white colt they're raising escapes into the hills.

A kindly horse trapper (Edgar Buchanan) finds Dan burying his parents and takes him to the nearby fort, where he's raised by Major Cullen (Hayden Rorke).

The major's daughter Caroline (Susan Odin) grows into a lovely young lady (future Oscar nominee Martha Hyer); she and Dan love each other, but before Dan can settle down to marriage and a career in the cavalry, there's something he must do: Find and tame the stallion he calls "Top Kick." Until that connection to his past is resolved, Dan is unable to move on with the rest of his life.

The story, written by Western specialist Daniel B. Ullman, is simple, but it's nicely executed and briskly paced, maintaining interest throughout. It's a good mix of action with what might also be termed a "psychological Western," as Dan deals with his lost childhood. It's an enjoyable hour and ten minutes.

The supporting cast includes Hugh Beaumont, I. Stanford Jolley, and Don Haggerty. Classic TV fans might enjoy seeing a trio of well-known TV faces in the cast in Buchanan (PETTICOAT JUNCTION), Rorke (I DREAM OF JEANNIE), and Beaumont (LEAVE IT TO BEAVER).

The film was directed by Lewis D. Collins and shot in Cinecolor by Harry Neumann. I particularly enjoyed that most of the film was shot in two places I've visited, Iverson Ranch and Corriganville.

The fort in the film was originally constructed at Corriganville for John Ford's FORT APACHE (1948); there are photos of the area in a column I wrote on Corriganville last year for Classic Movie Hub.  (Update: And here is a link to a brand-new Classic Movie Hub column on Iverson Ranch!)

The Warner Archive DVD is a nice-looking print; some Cinecolor films can look "off," especially due to the passage of time, but this print looks and sounds good. There are no extras on the DVD.

I also wrote about this film here in 2015. I think it says something positive about this little film that I wanted to go back to it just a few years after my first viewing!

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive DVDs may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection Amazon Store or from any online retailers where DVDs are sold.

Tonight's Movie: Shakedown (1950) - A Kino Lorber Blu-ray Review

SHAKEDOWN (1950), the story of an amoral news photographer (Howard Duff), is being released on Blu-ray this week by Kino Lorber.

I really enjoyed this movie from Universal Pictures at the 2019 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival and was happy to revisit it thanks to the new Blu-ray. The Blu-ray print is beautiful, and I'm delighted this film is now available for home viewing.

It was pointed out at the festival that SHAKEDOWN predates the much better known, similarly themed ACE IN THE HOLE (1951) by a year.

Howard Duff plays Jack Early, an ambitious man who'll stop at nothing to get the best, most lucrative photos. Jack's ability to be "just passing by" breaking news eventually starts ringing alarm bells for his colleagues at the paper (Bruce Bennett and Peggy Dow).

Part of the reason Jack gets great photos is he makes a financial deal with gangster Nick Palmer (Brian Donlevy), who gives him tips. Jack uses one such tip to blackmail Harry Colton (Lawrence Tierney), then he double-crosses Nick and conspires with Colton to get the biggest picture of them all.

This is an absorbing story on ethics and the news business, well played by an excellent cast. Duff is so fearless in playing a complete jerk that it could become hard to watch, but the fast 80-minute pace and the rest of the cast compensate for his annoying sleaziness, as he displays a complete lack of gratitude for the people who have helped him. When I saw the movie at the film festival, the audience actually applauded Jack's eventual comeuppance, which was quite fun.

Dow, Bennett, and even Donlevy are sympathetic as the people Jack uses on his way up, and Tierney is always a scary villain. The cast also includes Anne Vernon (TERROR ON A TRAIN and THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG) as Donlevy's wife, with small roles played by Rock Hudson, Peter Virgo, and Charles Sherlock.

This was the first film directed by Joseph Pevney, who made many enjoyable films; he also has a small uncredited role. The black and white photography was by Irving Glassberg. The script was written by Martin Goldsmith and Alfred Lewis Levitt, based on a story by Nat Dallinger and Don Martin.

Kino Lorber's great-looking Blu-ray is from a brand-new 2K master. Sound quality is also excellent.

Extras consist of a five-film Kino Lorber trailer gallery and a commentary track by Jason A. Ney.

For the sake of completeness I'll also mention that SHAKEDOWN has no relationship to the 2020 Kino Lorber release THE SHAKEDOWN (1929), directed by William Wyler. This 1950 film is not a remake; the movies simply have similar titles.

We've been really fortunate to have a number of "never on DVD" films released by Kino Lorber over the last couple years, including this one. I'm always excited to learn what they'll be working on releasing next!

Thanks to Kino Lorber for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Tonight's Movie: Man's Favorite Sport? (1964) - A Kino Lorber Blu-ray Review

MAN'S FAVORITE SPORT? (1964), a romantic comedy starring Rock Hudson and Paula Prentiss, has just been released in a Special Edition Blu-ray by Kino Lorber.

Hudson plays Roger Willoughby, who works for a sporting goods store and is a best-selling author on fishing.

In reality Roger has never been fishing in his life; his writing was based on tips cobbled together from clients. Which means he's in trouble when his employer (John McGiver) agrees to a suggestion from Abigail Page (Prentiss): Roger will compete in a fishing tournament at her friend's lodge, providing both the lodge and the store with publicity.

Roger arrives at the lodge and, having confided the truth to Abby and the lodge owner's daughter "Easy" (Maria Perschy), they try to find a way to get him out of competing. He ends up in the tournament anyway, having a wild series of escapades...and he also finds himself "strangely attracted" to the accident-prone, giddy Abby.

I first saw the film a number of years ago, before I was blogging, and at that time I wasn't particularly impressed; I was curious to return to the movie for a fresh look, especially as I enjoy both Hudson and Prentiss. And I did like it quite a bit better this time, while still acknowledging that it's on the flimsy side.

This was one of the last four films directed by Howard Hawks, and it's not one of his better films; he also wasn't above stealing from himself when it comes to a memorable gag involving a torn dress from his film BRINGING UP BABY (1938) decades before. Considering Hawks remade a couple of his own films, I suppose I should let redoing a single gag slide!

The movie also borrows liberally from LIBELED LADY (1936), directed by Jack Conway, in which William Powell plays a would-be fishing expert who ends up having similarly riotous fishing misadventures.

The script, written by John Fenton Murray and Steve McNeil, based on a story by Pat Frank, has a terrific premise but is overstuffed with too many characters, including both Easy and John Screaming Eagle (Norman Alden), an annoying con man. The film would have played better if some characters had been dropped and the two-hour running time had been pared down by 15 or 20 minutes.

That said, the film is quite congenial company thanks to its two leads, who play well opposite each other and are fun to watch. I had a good time watching it and, having revisited it, I'd be happy to watch it again in the future. It's the type of pleasant, undemanding movie which is enjoyable to watch while relaxing on a lazy weekend.

I also especially loved seeing Roscoe Karns in a substantial supporting role as one of Hudson's clients, Major Phipps. He only made a couple of films after 1948, and indeed, this was his last role in either films or television. He's very funny, especially in his final scene where he convinces Roger's boss not to fire him.

The cast also includes Charlene Holt, James Westerfield, Regis Toomey, and Forrest Lewis. In a nice touch, John McGiver's secretary was played by Margaret Sheridan, the leading lady of Hawks' classic THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951). It was Sheridan's first film in a decade, and it was also her final movie.

The movie is attractively filmed in widescreen by Russell Harlan, with a score by Henry Mancini and costumes by Edith Head.

Kino Lorber's Blu-ray looks and sounds terrific. The disc extras include the trailer; a four-film Rock Hudson trailer gallery; and a commentary track by Michael Schlesinger, with "select remarks" incorporated from Paula Prentiss and her husband Richard Benjamin.

Thanks to Kino Lorber for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray.

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...There were new TCM Classic Film Festival guest announcements last week, including Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore attending the opening night screening of E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982) and Margaret O'Brien appearing at LITTLE WOMEN (1949). The complete list of guests is at the festival site, and links to all my 2022 festival coverage to date may be found at the end of this post. Please note that the TCM website indicates that Frank Marshall, listed as a guest in the accompanying graphic, will no longer be appearing.

...Sterling Hayden was born March 26, 1916. Please enjoy my centennial tribute of a few years ago, which is filled with photos and viewing suggestions.

...Here's cover art for Kino Lorber's The Dark Side of Cinema VII collection, due out on June 7th.

...The Hollywood Forever Cemetery was just designated as a Los Angeles historic and cultural monument. I've shared photos from visits here and here.

...I was curious about CRY OF THE HUNTED (1953) when I saw it listed on an upcoming TCM schedule. Barry Sullivan and Vittorio Gassman star, with William Conrad in support. Colin has just written about it at Riding the High Country.

...Victoria Mature has created a cabaret act which combines her singing talents with film clips of her father. Thanks to technological magic there are even some movie moments where Victoria appears to talk to her father onscreen.

...Donna Hill of Strictly Vintage Hollywood reviews BEVERLY OF GRAUSTARK (1926), a new Marion Davies release from Ben Model's Undercrank Productions. Last month Undercrank also released Davies' ZANDER THE GREAT (1925).

...Out this week from Angel City Press: GOOGIE MODERN: ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGS OF ARMET DAVIS NEWLOVE by Michael Murphy and Alan Hess.

...Toby Roan reports at 50 Westerns From the 50s that Explosive Media, a German company, will be releasing a Blu-ray of HELL BENT FOR LEATHER (1960) starring Audie Murphy. It's a very good film which I wrote about for Classic Movie Hub earlier this year. It's great to hear that it will have a Blu-ray release!

...When I first visited the Academy Museum last fall, I expressed surprise at the absence of anything regarding the film industry's "founding fathers," studio moguls such as Louis B. Mayer, Carl Laemmle, and more. The erasure was curious, to say the least, especially at a time when anti-Semitism has been rearing its head anew. I previously linked to a Forward article by Sharon Rosen Leib questioning why Hollywood's Jewish history did not appear in the museum. The Academy has previously announced there will be a temporary exhibit on the studio heads opening in 2023, but it's now been announced the exhibit will instead be permanent. Jonathan Greenbatt and Bill Kramer discuss the issue for the Hollywood Reporter.

...Glenn Erickson has reviewed a new Viavision region-free Blu-ray of Ida Lupino's OUTRAGE (1950). I very much appreciate that Glenn included a link to my 2018 review of the film, seen at the UCLA Film & Television Archive, at the end of his review.

...Glenn also reviewed Kino Lorber's new release of SHAKEDOWN (1950), which I was fortunate to see at the 2019 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival. I'll be reviewing the new Blu-ray here soon.

...Marc Myers has some great George Chakiris dance clips in his latest JazzWax column.

...My friend Aurora lost her beloved mother last December; she shares memories of her mother and the films they loved watching together at her blog Once Upon a Screen. Her tribute is both funny and touching.

...For additional recent links of interest to classic film fans, please check out my March 19th roundup.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Today at Disney California Adventure: A Sunny Friday

Rain is headed to Southern California in a couple of days, but you would never have guessed it on this beautiful Friday!

As a matter of fact, Anaheim broke its previous high temperature record today by one degree; it was 88 today.

We spent several hours today at Disney California Adventure, where the annual Food & Wine Festival is in full swing.

The weather on Paradise Bay was absolutely perfect. We enjoyed rides on Toy Story Midway Mania and Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind. We also picked up the complimentary reusable straws currently available for Magic Key Holders; they're pretty cute.

A gorgeous day in Cars Land! Click on any photo to enlarge it for a closer look.

My new iPhone 13 Pro Max did a great job with interior photos on Ariel's Undersea Adventure:

Springtime at Carthay Circle:

Flowers on Buena Vista Street:

We'll be heading back in a few days for the annual Easter Egg hunt!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2022

The Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival: Looking Forward and Back

As I mentioned in last weekend's Around the Blogosphere roundup, the dates were recently announced for the 2022 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival.

The 22nd festival will take place in Palm Springs from May 12th to 15th, 2022. As usual, the festival will be at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, formerly known as the Camelot Theatres, located at 2300 E. Baristo Road in Palm Springs.

Passes and individual tickets will go on sale in April, which is also when the schedule will be announced. I'm excited to learn what will be playing at this year's fest! Festival producer and host Alan K. Rode always does a stellar job selecting the films and lining up guests.

The festival usually takes place in May, but the 2021 festival took place last October; like so many things, the date was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

I covered that edition of the festival in a number of photo-filled posts which are linked at the bottom of this post, but with the announcement of this year's festival I thought I'd share additional memories and photos from last fall.

As I've written about previously, opening night was a screening of WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS (1950) with special guest Susan Andrews, daughter of Dana Andrews, seen here. Additional special guests in 2021 included Mark Fleischer (son of director Richard Fleischer), Victoria Mature (daughter of Victor Mature), and Steven C. Smith, whose most recent book is a biography of Max Steiner.

Here's Alan Rode introducing Saturday's first film of the day, THE CRUEL TOWER (1956), a "B" film I thoroughly enjoyed. My review is at the end of this post, along with reviews of two additional films.

Friday and Saturday were both four-film days at the festival! The Argentinian film noir EL VAMPIRO NEGRO (THE BLACK VAMPIRE) (1953) and the French noir QUAI DES ORVERES (JENNY LAMOUR) (1947), both first-time watches for me on Friday, were festival highlights.

Here's a great group on Friday, Pete Shaner, Victoria Mature, Jemma and Alan Rode, and Beth Accomando:

It was especially wonderful to be reunited with friends for the first time in a very long time.

Bob traveled from Wisconsin, and Theresa from New York!

Saturday featured a book signing with Alan Rode and Steven Smith... well as Eddie Muller, who also introduced some films during the festival.

Here they are seen outside the theater:

The farmer's market which takes place outside the theater on Saturday is always fun, adding some "local color" to the weekend experience.

TCM's Scott McGee was there too!  Here he is on the last day of the festival, a three-film day which included Victoria Mature introducing her father's film THE LONG HAUL (1957), seen here in a great poster.

Joan Bennett and James Mason in THE RECKLESS MOMENT (1949) in 35mm was another Sunday highlight for me.

Here's Eddie Muller introducing the highly entertaining PLAYGIRL (1954) on Sunday morning:

The Palm Springs Cultural Center, aka the Camelot, is a beautiful theater!

For anyone considering attending this year's festival, we've had good experiences staying at the Best Western Plus Las Brisas Hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott, and especially the Old Ranch Inn. There are many additional options in Palm Springs.

The Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival is a simply splendid festival which I've had the pleasure of attending several times, and I'd love to see more of my fellow film fans turn out for it this spring!

Look for additional coverage here in the coming weeks, including the schedule announcement.

Additional 2021 Festival Posts: 2021 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival Opens in Palm Springs October 21st; Off to Palm Springs!; Tonight's Movie: The Cruel Tower (1956) at the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival; Tonight's Movie: Angels With Dirty Faces (1938) at the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival; Tonight's Movie: Violent Saturday (1955) at the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival.

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