I know we've been away from our battle stations for a little while, but a healthy dose of Jury Duty and catching up afterwards will do that for you. Nonetheless, I have read several things lately around the ol' Shelf Community and our neighbor bloggers and friends and found many things worth reading. Some of the best commentary and film history is right here at your fingertips with a few clicks of the mouse. Allow me to highlight a few; it's time for another edition of The Shelf's Passing Parade.
Big Hollywood is big time for sure, so congratulations are in order to John Nolte (formerly Dirty Harry) and Andrew Breitbart. While it is a daily read, two articles in particular are wonderful gems:
First up, one of our favorites, Robert Avrech, of the great Seraphic Secret, posted an article today on the story of silent film actress Alma Rubens and her rise and fall and all too brief life. It is perfect companion to our various discussions about the Hollywood of the silent and pre-code era. Wonderful piece.
Second, Noel Anenberg gives a very interesting take on the classic western High Noon and how it is analogous to our present political situation.
Those of you who may have seen the documentary Warners at War on last year's Homefront Collection DVD, or even have read Hollywood Goes to War or various biographies of the Warner Brothers, have heard of Warner's 1943 effort at propaganda called Mission to Moscow. It's a now little-seen film which Warners produced in 1943 starring Walter Huston as an ambassador to the USSR; ostensibly based on the real life story and book of the actual ambassador. It was an effort at boosting relations between our wary ally and our wary selves, but it only really gave Warners headaches over the years. TCM ran it on their schedule recently and the awesome Self-Styled Siren has seen and wrote a great review of the film and discussed it's impact and place among classic films. Please go check out her post and tell her Uncle Loophole sent ya'. It's been one of my favorite posts in recent memory.
There is another great post on a now little known actress whose career spanned decades on stage and screen: but chances are many people have seen her and never really knew who she was. Remember the chain smoking lady from the afterlife office in Beetlejuice? Well her name was Sylvia Sydney and she worked with many of the greats including Fritz Lang (in one of my favorite little Lang films he did in the US- Fury with Spencer Tracy) and Hitchcock. Moira Finne has penned an extensive portrait of this fascinating woman and her equally fascinating life over at TCM's Movie Morlocks.
Speaking of TCM, have you been attending TCM U during the 31 Days of Oscar? You should be- just click on the TCM ad at the top to go over and check out the schedule.
And finally, make sure to check in with the DVD Savant Glenn Erickson and his new feature at film.com every month: Glenn's Guide for the Classics Collector.
Hope you've enjoyed this addition of the Passing Parade and will enjoy the articles. Be sure to check them out and stay tuned for more of the Shelf.
People gotta talk themselves into law and order before they do anything about it. Maybe because down deep they don't care. They just don't care.