Sunday, December 31, 2023

TCM in January: Highlights

Happiest New Year wishes to all for a wonderful 2024!

It's time for a detailed look at the January 2024 schedule for Turner Classic Movies.

Robert Mitchum will be the January Star of the Month, with over 40 of his films shown on Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings. I'll be posting the complete Star of the Month schedule with review links here on January 2nd.  (Update: Here is my post!)

The January Noir Alley titles will be PICKUP (1951) on the 6th and 7th, I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES (1955) on January 13th-14th, STAGE FRIGHT (1950) on January 20th and 21st, and WOMAN IN HIDING (1950) on the 27th and 28th.

The TCM Spotlight will focus on the centennial of Columbia Pictures every Wednesday, while this month's Special Theme, on Thursdays, is The Power of Film.

It should be noted that as I write this there are still a handful of "TBA" blanks on the schedule, so there may be a surprise or two in store as the month goes on.

Here's a look at some of the many interesting movies being shown on TCM this month. Please click any hyperlinked title for a full-length review.

...TCM's celebration of the Columbia Pictures centennial kicks off on January 3rd with titles including the Oscar-winning Frank Capra films IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934) and YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU (1938).

...A Jane Wyman birthday tribute on January 4th includes THE DOUGHGIRLS (1944), costarring Ann Sheridan, Alexis Smith, and Eve Arden.

...January 5th brings us "Movies on Ice," including three films starring Belita: SILVER SKATES (1943), costarring fave Patricia Morison; SUSPENSE (1946) with Barry Sullivan and Bonita Granville; and THE HUNTED (1948) with Preston Foster.

...Speaking of wintry movies, don't miss the very fun SNOWED UNDER (1936) on January 7th. George Brent, Genevieve Tobin, and a great cast make for perfect January viewing.

...Sunday evening on the 7th there's a terrific Charles Boyer double bill consisting of HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT (1937) and CLUNY BROWN (1946). Both are gems. Recommended!

...I'm excited about January 8th, when TCM will show two films for the first time, the newly restored THE JOHNSTOWN FLOOD (1926), starring George O'Brien and Janet Gaynor, who would later costar in the classic SUNRISE (1927), and ANNIE LAURIE (1927), starring Lillian Gish.

...The second evening of Columbia Pictures films, on January 10th, includes the classic Rita Hayworth-Glenn Ford film GILDA (1946) and the "Ranown" Western RIDE LONESOME (1959), my favorite of the films Randolph Scott and Budd Boetticher made together.

...January 11th is Rod Taylor's birthday, which will be celebrated with a seven-film Taylor lineup on TCM. I especially recommend one of my favorite romantic comedies, SUNDAY IN NEW YORK (1963). I'll always be grateful I got to see Robert Osborne introduce it at the TCM Classic Film Festival -- on a Sunday, no less!

...Eight SAINT mysteries (1938-43) are playing on January 12th. I believe I've seen all of them, and I find it a most enjoyable series.

...BABY BOOM (1987) is playing on TCM in prime time on January 14th. It's a film I especially love, as I wrote about here; this Diane Keaton comedy is a "newer" film with a classic film sensibility, while also being a fascinating '80s time capsule.

...There are several very good, underrated 1950s musicals playing on January 16th, including KISMET (1955), LOVELY TO LOOK AT (1952), TWO WEEKS WITH LOVE (1950), and EASY TO LOVE (1953). This is a particularly great day to relax on the sofa and enjoy TCM!

...HOMECOMING (1948) is an excellent, underrated film about wartime relationships which stars Clark Gable, Lana Turner, and Anne Baxter. It airs on January 18th.

...George O'Brien and a young Laraine Day, billed as Laraine Johnson, star in the "B" Western ARIZONA LEGION (1939) on the 20th.

...I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING (1945) is a movie which offers pure joy no matter how many times you've seen it. It will be shown January 21st.

...A day of films set on California's Catalina Island, airing January 23rd, includes Doris Day and Rod Taylor in THE GLASS BOTTOM BOAT (1966). TCM's creative theming never disappoints!

...TCM will celebrate the birthday of Joan Leslie on January 26th with a seven-film lineup. I've seen most of the films and they're all worthwhile, but I'll particularly highlight THE SKY'S THE LIMIT (1943), the underrated musical she made with Fred Astaire. It has a wonderful Mercer-Arlen score including "One For My Baby" and "My Shining Hour."

...TCM will celebrate the January 28th birthday of Colleen Moore in prime time with a lineup which includes the TCM premiere of THE SCARLET LETTER (1934).

...There are several fun little movies about artists airing on January 29th, including THE GIRL FROM JONES BEACH (1949) starring Ronald Reagan and Virginia Mayo. I found it quite entertaining.

...The Columbia Pictures series ends on January 31st with a collection of "newer" films all being shown on TCM for the first time ever, including CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON (2000).

For more on TCM in January 2024, please check out Quick Preview of TCM in January and TCM Star of the Month: Robert Mitchum, along with TCM's online schedule.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all!

Here's Janis Paige in a 1947 publicity still to help us ring in the new year. She turned 101 in September!

Best wishes for a very happy, healthy 2024!

Previous classic film New Year's photos: Joan Leslie, Anita Louise, Dorothy Patrick, Mona Freeman, Joan Caulfield, Esther Williams, Ann Blyth, Doris Day, Ann Miller, Loretta Young, and Dorothy Lamour.

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) at Classic Movie Hub

My latest Western RoundUp column has just been posted at Classic Movie Hub!

This month I continue my occasional series looking at Wyatt Earp films, reviewing GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL (1957). It was my first time to see this version of the famed Western tale.

GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL stars Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp and Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday, supported by a strong cast. It was directed by John Sturges.

Please click over to Classic Movie Hub to read my review, and as always, thanks for your support of my column!

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; March 2022; April 2022; May 2022; June 2022; July 2022; August 2022; September 2022; November 2022; November 2022 (No. 2); January 2023 (No. 1); January 2023 (No. 2); March 2023; April 2023; May 2023 (No. 1); May 2023 (No. 2); June 2023; July 2023; September 2023; September 2023 (No. 2); October 2023; November 2023.

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...There's a great deal of news to cover, as it's been four weeks since my last roundup. We'll dive in with Kino Lorber's recent announcements. Although I'm not a horror fan, I'm very intrigued by BACK FROM THE DEAD (1957), which is "coming soon" from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. It stars two favorite leading ladies, Peggie Castle and Marsha Hunt.

...Additional "Coming Soon" titles from Kino Lorber Studio Classics include MR. BUG GOES TO TOWN (1941), THE CRUEL SEA (1953), GAS-OIL (1955), and FRANCES (1982).

...Coming from Kino Lorber February 6th, a better-looking version of their 2014 release of WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (1958). Additionally, several interesting titles have now been announced for release on February 13th: LET'S DANCE (1950), MAN-EATER OF KUMAON (1948), BLOOD ON THE SUN (1945), and ALASKA SEAS (1954). Please click any of these titles for Kino Lorber's announcement Tweets with cast and extras info.

...The final bit of Kino Lorber news is that the Dark Side of Cinema XVII Collection is coming on February 27th. It will feature a trio of films starring Edgar G. Robinson, VICE SQUAD (1953), BLACK TUESDAY (1954), and NIGHTMARE (1956).

...I've preordered the UK StudioCanal release of CIRCLE OF DANGER (1951). This very enjoyable film, starring Ray Milland and Patricia Roc, will be released in February. Extras include interviews with film historians Imogen Sara Smith and Christina Lane.

...Coming to Blu-ray and DVD this March from Classic Flix: A restored edition of the public domain film MEET JOHN DOE (1941). It will be sourced from the "best available materials" at the Library of Congress.

...Also coming in March, from Arrow Films in the UK: THE SHOOTIST (1976). It's a 2K remaster from the original 35mm camera negative and comes loaded with extras.

...March is a big release month! The Criterion Collection announced ALL THAT MONEY CAN BUY (1941), aka THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER. Extras details are here.

...The Film Noir Foundation announced its schedule for its 21st Noir City Festival in the Bay Area. The festival takes place in Oakland from January 19-28, 2024. The double bills will pair English-language film noir titles with foreign films, including HARDLY A CRIMINAL (1949), an Argentinian film I enjoyed at Noir City nearly a decade ago. The schedule is always interesting as a preview of some of the titles which may play in Hollywood later in the year. P.S. It's fun that the great historian Imogen Sara Smith, who now edits the Film Noir Foundation's magazine, is this year's Miss Noir City!

...Thanks to reader Christine for letting me know about the upcoming two-year renovation of the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro.

...The January Criterion Channel streaming lineup will including a tribute to Ava Gardner and a collection of cat movies. I'm intrigued that Criterion was able to license Disney's THAT DARN CAT! (1965) and THE CAT FROM OUTER SPACE (1978) for the series, which also includes CAT PEOPLE (1942) and RHUBARB (1951).

...Coming to UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater from January through March: A 13-film Greta Garbo series. Tickets are free, on a first-come, first-served basis with no advance reservations.

...Fathom Events announced its 2024 Big Screen Classics lineup, which includes THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939), MY FAIR LADY (1964), GONE WITH THE WIND (1939), and REAR WINDOW (1954). For the second year, each screening will be introduced by Leonard Maltin.

...Southern California historian Chris Nichols has written about Harold Lloyd's legendary Christmas tree for Los Angeles Magazine.

...The basic version of Amazon Prime Video streaming will be coming with commercials beginning January 15th. Those who don't want commercials will have to pay an additional $35.88 a year. Streaming continues to morph back into a form of commercial television we thought we might be leaving behind, as libraries are reduced and commercials are added by multiple streaming services.

...Older Angel City Press books which have recently caught my eye: HOLLYWOOD RIDES A BIKE by Steven Rea and BUNKER HILL LOS ANGELES by Nathan Marsak.

...Leonard Maltin's "New and Notable Film Books" for this month includes several titles I've purchased, reviewed, or will be reviewing in the future. A very interesting list which I recommend perusing. While you're at it, check out Andy Wolverton's list of the dozen books on film he enjoyed most in 2023.

...I found Maltin's review of FERRARI (2023) intriguing and might try it. It made his list of his favorite films of 2023.

...I've heard nothing but good things about THE BOYS IN THE BOAT (2023), an Olympics-themed film directed by George Clooney, and I definitely plan to see it. Here's a review by Pete Hammond for Deadline.

...I'm intrigued by a biography of Jean Peters coming in March from the University Press of Mississippi. JEAN PETERS: HOLLYWOOD'S MYSTERY GIRL is by Michelangelo Capua. It will hopefully provide interesting insights not only on Peters but on her one-time husband, Howard Hughes.

..."20 Classic Los Angeles Restaurants Every Angeleno Must Try," from Eater Los Angeles. I'm glad to say I've eaten at a number of them.

...Kim Luperi has a wonderful, photo-filled post on visiting Greer Garson's New Mexico ranch at I See a Dark Theater.

...I loved Colin's "10 of the Best" Western Women column for Riding the High Country.

...Here's Todd Gilchrist of Variety on the success of the 4K release of OPPENHEIMER (2023) in a world where retailers are removing physical media from shelves. I've seen movies disappear from my local Target.

...Glenn Erickson's latest CineSavant reviews for Trailers From Hell include two releases from Australia's Viavision Imprint, DIAMOND HEAD (1962) and Essential Film Noir Collection 5. The latter has some really interesting titles: ISLAND OF DOOMED MEN (1940), THE RED MENACE (1949), THE BURGLAR (1957), and 13 WEST STREET (1962). I'll add that it was lovely to find my name in Glenn's "thank you" Christmas list of correspondents.

...I love that POKEMON CONCIERGE on Netflix uses stop motion animation. Here's a trailer.

...KC of Watching Classic Movies recently discussed Veronica Lake in a podcast with Brian Brown of UCLA.

...I was excited to learn via Toby at The Hannibal 8 that Film Masters is releasing "B" films on DVD. Recent releases by Film Masters include CONVICT'S CODE (1939), which Toby wrote about, and LIGHTHOUSE (1947), which I reviewed after it was shown on TCM last summer. I urge readers to support these releases so we get more of them!

...Tim Millard of The Extras podcast has reviewed the year with the Warner Archive's George Feltenstein. I'm looking forward to seeing what 2024 brings!

...Vulture recently featured an enjoyable joint interview with Hallmark stars Andrew Walker, Tyler Hynes, and Paul Campbell.

...This week Notable Passings, covering the past month, may be found in a separate post.

...I have a few more odds and ends which I'll save for next weekend, as this week's column is long enough! For additional recent links of interest to classic film fans, please visit my December 2nd column.

Notable Passings

A number of filmmakers and other significant people who worked in and around the entertainment industry have passed on since my last news roundup on December 2nd, so I'm going to pay tribute to them separately from my new Around the Blogosphere This Week column, coming later today.

...Actress Marisa Pavan has died at the age of 91. She outlived her twin sister, actress Pier Angeli, by over half a century. Pavan was the widow of actor Jean-Pierre Aumont, who died in 2001; when they married in 1956, Aumont was the widower of actress Maria Montez, who had died in 1951. Pavan films reviewed here include DOWN THREE DARK STREETS (1954), THE BIG LAND (1954), DIANE (1956), and THE MIDNIGHT STORY (1957).

...Ellen Holly, a pioneering black actress best known as Carla Hall on the soap opera ONE LIFE TO LIFE (1968-1985), has passed on at the age of 92.

...Longtime GENERAL HOSPITAL costume designer Bob Miller, a multi Emmy winner whose work included several memorable wedding gowns for the show's leading actresses, has died of cancer. His designs included the wedding gown Felicia (Kristina Malandro Wagner) wore when she married Frisco (Jack Wagner), seen here.

...Tom Smothers of the Smothers Brothers has passed on at 86. Survivors include his brother Dick and his wife, Marcy Carriker Smothers, a Disney historian who is the author of EAT LIKE WALT: THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY FOOD and WALT'S DISNEYLAND: A WALK IN THE PARK WITH WALT DISNEY.

...Jack Hogan, who appeared in countless TV guest roles over a 35-year span, has passed away at 94. His parts included a recurring role as a judge in a dozen episodes of JAKE AND THE FATMAN (1989-90). Hogan also worked as a casting director for MAGNUM, P.I. in the early '80s.

...Actor Richard Romanus, in films from 1968 to 2003, has passed away at 80. One of his best-known roles was as a loan shark in Scorsese's MEAN STREETS (1973).

...Actor Ryan O'Neal has died at 82. He was buried next to Farrah Fawcett at Westwood Village Memorial Park. Survivors include his daughter, actress Tatum O'Neal.

...Actress Casey Kramer, the daughter of producer-director Stanley Kramer, has died at 67. Survivors include her stepmother, actress Karen Sharpe-Kramer, and her sister, actress Kat Kramer.

...Norma Barzman, who was an uncredited cowriter of the screenplay for the classic twisty noir THE LOCKET (1944), has passed away at 103. She also wrote the story for NEVER SAY GOODBYE (1946), which starred Errol Flynn and Eleanor Parker.

...Tap dancer Maurice Hines has died at 80. His film work included Francis Ford Coppola's THE COTTON CLUB (1984) alongside his brother, the late Gregory Hines.

...British actor Tom Wilkinson has passed on at the age of 75. I just rewatched him in his Oscar-nominated role in MICHAEL CLAYTON (2007) a few weeks ago.

...I was saddened to learn of the death of film historian Cari Beauchamp, author of several books including WITHOUT LYING DOWN: FRANCES MARION AND THE POWERFUL WOMEN OF EARLY HOLLYWOOD.and JOSEPH P. KENNEDY PRESENTS: HIS HOLLYWOOD YEARS. Beauchamp, who was a press secretary for California governor Jerry Brown before turning to writing, was 74. She was a regular presenter at the TCM Classic Film Festival; TCM paid tribute to Beauchamp on Twitter. I interacted with her from time to time on Twitter, where I found her friendly and informative.

...A longtime Twitter "mutual," TV interviewer Bobby Rivers, sadly died on December 26th at age 70. The news came as a shock to the Twitter classic film community, where he had last Tweeted December 18th. Again, TCM paid tribute in a Tweet. Bobby's friendly presence and film knowledge will be greatly missed on Twitter.

Friday, December 29, 2023

Tonight's Movie: Wish (2023)

The latest animated Disney film, WISH (2023), came out a month ago, but I was too busy to see it then due to work and vacation.

Reviewer responses were somewhat tepid, but I was still curious to check it out for myself and had the opportunity to do so today.

I found WISH to be something of an oddball film. Over the years Disney has featured evil queens among its villains, but a DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER type allegory about a king who sells his soul to the devil nonetheless struck me as an odd story choice, especially for children.

Chris Pine voices Magnifico, who founded the kingdom of Rosas on a Mediterranean island. Magnifico is a sorcerer who receives his subjects' most heartfelt wishes when each turns 18; he then locks them away, with each person forgetting what they wanted. Magnifico doles out the granting of one innocuous wish a month to some lucky citizen, while keeping most for himself...forever.

Young Asha (Ariana DeBose, Oscar winner for WEST SIDE STORY) initially aspires to serve as Magnifico's apprentice, but when she interviews for the job she realizes the darkness behind Magnifico's methods.

Feeling isolated with her surprising realization that Magnifico is not the benevolent ruler he seems to be, Asha wishes on a star -- which comes to earth to help her. But Magnifico sees the star's arrival and views it as a threat which must be eliminated. He turns to a book of dark sorcery, after which there's no turning back.

WISH is a pleasant 95 minutes but not much more than that. It's a film without much of a point, but what there is, as with GODZILLA MINUS ONE (2023), seems to be a libertarian message of trusting in self and others rather than the "government," which doesn't have citizens' best interests at heart.

For the most part the film feels rather "by the numbers." Like Moana, Raya, Mirabel, and other heroines of recent years, Asha is a non-white heroine, which is part of Disney's ongoing efforts to offer greater inclusivity; of course, that's not an issue in and of itself -- and indeed, Mirabel in particular is one of my very favorite Disney heroines -- but at this juncture it's simply become a very predictable, non-creative creative choice.

The same can be said for Asha's circle of friends; one can imagine the artists working down a checklist of differing "types," rather than creating truly unique characters that come from their hearts.

The film's overarching theme has also become typical, as a courageous young girl works to improve her life and community from the existing status quo. I'd like to be done for a while with the bold heroine who sees the world more clearly than others and accomplishes what adults can't.

I did appreciate the character of Queen Amaya (Angelique Cabral), who I found more original, not always going in the expected directions. Amaya stands out among most of the lifeless characters as someone worth figuring out. (I did wonder about her seeming lack of grief near the end...)

The film is "stardusted" with countless nods to Disney's animated past, up to and including drawings of numerous past Disney characters illustrating the end credits, but it feels as though the film is standing on that legacy rather than its own two feet, so to speak.

I'll add here that the film even borrows from non-Disney films like SUPERMAN (1978). Nods to other films are usually appreciated by me, as I mentioned yesterday in my GODZILLA review, but in the case of WISH it's not so much a case of paying tribute, but a lack of originality. One example: As wishes rose in the sky I could only think of the lanterns in TANGLED (2010).

It doesn't help matters that the score by Benjamin Rice, Julia Michaels, and J.P. Saxe is bland and mostly unmemorable. Unlike the great Broadway-style scores of FROZEN (2013) and older Disney animated films, such as those scored by Alan Menken, the WISH score is missing catchy tunes which stay with the viewer after the movie has ended. I felt the song "This Wish" was the strongest, followed by "Knowing What I Know Now." A stronger score would have gone a long way towards making the film something closer to a success.

Finally, I was also disappointed with the film's overall look. While there are some very pretty moments, most of the town of Rosas has the same blandness as the music, with the characters dressed in dark pastels. Perhaps I shouldn't compare the film's look to the exquisitely colorful ENCANTO (2021) but it can't be helped. I suspect the dark backgrounds and costumes might have been to better set off the character of the "star," but it's unfortunate.

In the end I found WISH moderately entertaining, but unfortunately it was a film where I spent more time picking apart what was wrong with it than enjoying it.  Disney fans may find it worth catching, but I'm hoping for more from the company next time out.

WISH was directed by Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn, with a screenplay by Jennifer Lee (FROZEN) and Allison Moore.

Update: WISH will be released on Blu-ray on March 12, 2024.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Tonight's Movie: Godzilla Minus One (2023)

The most unexpected theatrical viewing pleasure of 2023 for me will probably end up being GODZILLA MINUS ONE (2023).

I'd never even heard of the film until a few weeks ago, and when the title initially crossed my radar screen I had no intention of seeing it, given that I've never seen a single Godzilla film.

My husband and daughter each saw the film separately and were quite enthused, suggesting that I just might find it to be my kind of movie after all, given my love for Japanese cinema and the absence of graphic violence. And it turned out they were right!

GOZILLA MINUS ONE is a gripping story of an atomic-powered monster in postwar Japan. The title has been interpreted various places online as referring to the fact that Japan was already seemingly at its nadir after the atomic bombs, but the advent of Godzilla knocks the country down to the level of "minus one."

In the years immediately after the war Koichi Shikishima (Ryunosuke Kamiki) carries enormous guilt. He had abandoned a kamikaze mission near the end of the war, instead landing on a small island which was promptly attacked by the monster Godzilla.

Shikishima was asked by the island's head mechanic, Tachibana (Munetaka Aoki), to shoot the monster with the machine gun in his plane but he froze, after which everyone but Tachibana was killed by the monster.

Back home Shikishima finds his parents dead, but he unexpectedly finds companionship when he takes in an orphaned young woman, Noriko (Minami Hamabe), and the orphaned baby girl she's caring for, Akiko (Sae Nagatani).

Time passes and the couple build a family of sorts, with Shikishima working on a mine-clearing team to support Noriko and the baby, but he's unable to commit to marrying Noriko due to his survivor's guilt.

And then Godzilla returns to attack Japan...and Shikishima and his coworkers find themselves in the thick of a desperate civilian effort to save the country.

I really enjoyed this film, which was written and directed by Takashi Yamazaki. It might have stood shaving off a couple of its 124 minutes for a slightly leaner running time, but that's my only complaint. It plays like the best of '50s sci-fi films, and the postwar setting adds to that feeling.

The film is well-written and performed, with the story developing logically -- if a monster film can do that -- and the characters engaging our sympathy; at times it's deeply affecting. It's a film which I believe will stand up to repeat viewings, allowing the viewer to dig deeper into its themes and symbolism.

The movie resonates in the best way with connections to other films, old and new; it most reminded me of what's perhaps my favorite sci-fi movie, THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS (1953), which featured a similarly rampaging beast. In that film it's up to sharpshooter Lee Van Cleef to shoot the monster with a radioactive isotope; here it will be up to Shikishima to finally take out the very radioactive Godzilla. But will his nerve hold this time?

A sequence when a group meets to plan how to deal with Godzilla, sharing ideas, reminded me a bit of the police report sequence in Kurosawa's HIGH AND LOW (1963). And is it possible Noriko's name is a tribute to Setsuko Hara's character name in a trio of classic postwar Ozu films, or is it simply a nice coincidence?

A train scene reminded me of this summer's excellent MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - DEAD RECKONING PART ONE (2023). There's also a crowd-pleasing moment which calls to mind World War II's Dunkirk evacuation, an event which has appeared in multiple films.

This is a good point to mention that the film has a bracingly libertarian bent, with people trusting one another as individuals, rather than looking to their government for aid.

GODZILLA MINUS ONE was filmed by Kozo Shibasaki.

Parental Advisory: This film is rated PG-13; children a couple years younger might be okay with it, depending on the individual. One of my children would have loved it at age 10, but another of my children would have had nightmares for weeks!

The movie is very violent but not graphic. Positives include characters putting others above self, in both micro and macro situations, and working cooperatively to deal with a life-threatening problem.

Anyone who loves '50s sci-fi and/or Japanese cinema should find GODZILLA MINUS ONE a very enjoyable experience.


Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Latest TCM Classic Film Festival Announcements

I hope everyone has been enjoying a very merry holiday season!

As I begin to catch up with sharing news after my extended Christmas vacation, we'll turn first to the newest TCM Classic Film Festival announcements.

Several additional titles were announced last week while I was in Florida. The films are:

*LAW AND ORDER (1932) (World Premiere Restoration)



*REAR WINDOW (1954) (70th Anniversary)

*NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) (World Premiere Restoration)

*CHINATOWN (1974) (50th Anniversary)

Please click on any hyperlinked title above to read an extended review. For the list of films previously announced for the festival, please visit last month's post.

A reminder that early bird pass pricing expires next week on January 5, 2024. The festival takes place from April 18th through 21st, 2024.

Attendees may also be interested to know that Kimberly Truhler has announced she will be presenting Fashion in Film of TCMFF 2024 at the Hollywood Heritage Museum on April 17th. 

I've attended several of Kim's lectures, including last year's talk on the fashions seen in the 2023 festival's films, and they are always very interesting and informative.

Previously: TCM Announces 2024 Festival Dates and Theme; 2024 TCM Classic Film Festival Announcements.

Updates: TCM Classic Film Festival Update; Latest TCM Classic Film Festival News; TCM Classic Film Festival Returning to the Egyptian Theatre; New Titles Announced for the TCM Classic Film Festival; The 2024 TCM Classic Film Festival Schedule; The 2024 TCM Classic Film Festival in Review.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Christmas Day Wishes

Best wishes to all my readers for a very happy Christmas!

Here's favorite Audrey Totter delivering Christmas gifts in a studio publicity shot.

Merry Christmas to all!

Previous Christmas Day photo posts: 2012 (the Lockhart Family), 2013 (Priscilla Lane), 2014 (Martha Hyer), 2015 (Andra Martin), 2016 (Betty Grable), 2017 (Loretta Young), 2018 (Alice Faye), 2019 (Marsha Hunt), 2020 (Ann Blyth), 2021 (Ann Rutherford), and 2022 (Deanna Durbin).

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Merry Christmas!

Best wishes to all for a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Around the Blogosphere This Week... taking this weekend off as I celebrate Christmas.

The column will return from its holiday/travel hiatus next Saturday, December 30th.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

TCM Remembers 2023

The annual TCM Remembers video was released today by Turner Classic Movies.

As always, TCM has done a wonderful job remembering so many who have contributed to the movies we love.  I was especially glad to see names like Margia Dean, Ted Donaldson, Noreen Nash, and Betta St. John included.

The video may also be watched on YouTube or Twitter.

Past TCM tribute posts: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.

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