(from the Internet Archive database collection of scanned Photoplay Magazine - August 1930 issue)
Just dropping in on a very busy week for a couple of items (and to share the cool vintage Lifesavers ad from 1930.
Around Ye olde blogging neighborhood:
I am pleased to let you know Ivan at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear is mending and has actually pulled himself away from the nurses long enough to check in at his blog. Drop in and wish him well. We've missed ya, Ivan.
Still a fairly new link at the Shelf Community clubhouse: Golden Age Comic Book Stories, has been a wonderful retreat for me from the dreariness of politics as of late. Mr. Door Tree (as he calls himself) scans and posts the beautiful artwork from children's books of days gone by. You will find yourself enthralled.
John McElwee reviews the new second edition of Richard Barrios’ look at the birth of the sound era, A Song In The Dark at Greenbriar Picture Shows. The book just shot up to the top ten of my read-when-I-get-a-moment-to-breathe list.
Leonard Maltin has had some great articles on his Movie Crazy site lately (Leonard, I love ya, but your old site was much better) : He reviews the long awaited DVD release of The African Queen, discusses Great Movies still not out on DVD, and discusses a man by the name of David Pierce, who is developing an online website project called Media History Digital Library, which aims to be "A major conservation and access project for historical printed materials related to cinema, broadcasting and recorded sound." Very cool and I hope he succeeds.
The alluring Self-Styled Siren has had some great articles as always. Of particular interest: A post on the topic of adultery in classic films- followed by a great discussion thread. Also - I would be remiss if I didn't direct you to a couple of wrap-up/follow-up posts on the results from last month's For the Love of Film Blogathon. Thanks to Ferdy and the Siren, all the participating bloggers (of which I was proud to be one) and all those who donated to the cause, enough money was raised for the National Film Preservation Foundation, to restore a feature comedy and a cartoon. Awesomely done, oh awesome ones. Hopefully, this will be an annual event. We expect to hear the titles of the film and cartoon announced in coming months.
Laura at her self-titled Miscellaneous Musings has been throwing quite a few pre-code films in the DVD player in the last few weeks and has reviewed them, causing me to continue to add even more titles to my already busting-at-the-seams must-see list. Two recent films of interest: 1934's Desirable and 1932's Faithless. Even the titles are all "pre-code-y" goodness.
And sure, if ye be a true classic film fan, ye have watched a wee bit of The Quiet Man this past St. Paddy's day. And what of John Ford's other "Irish" film? What? You didn't know that Ford made another film set in Ireland (well, I guess, aside from The Informant?). Well, until I read Moira Finne fine examination of John Ford's The Rising of the Moon, I really didn't realize it either.
Shortly after this posting, I saw news about the passing of actor Robert Culp. This was very sad for me especially for having grown up on watching him guest star on everything, but also from starring in one of my all-time favorite shows, The Greatest American Hero as take no prisoners FBI agent Bill Maxwell. And of course he will always be remembered for his role along co-star Bill Cosby in the great I Spy. You can read some excellent tributes at Laura's Miscellaneous Musings, Thrilling Days of Yesteryear and Big Hollywood. Mr. Culp will definitely be missed- and it has been an especially sad first quarter of 2010 for losing so many excellent actors and actresses.
Two mini-reviews of new releases this week:
Speaking of The African Queen- I have picked up my copy and my intial reaction is "WOW" - Paramount has really out done themselves with this release. The Commemorative Box set is the way to go for the classic movie fan, if nothing else, than for the bonus disc of the Lux Radio Theater adaption of the film and the copy of Katharine Hepburn's book on her experience on the making of the film (which has been out of print for a while). A neat little extra is also what they are calling a Collectible Senitype. It has three separate film frames in the three separate Technicolor colors- then one frame bringing them together to see for yourself the basic idea of the Technicolor process. Very, very neat. The film itself is fantastic and the digital and audio restoration is superb. Do not hesitate to pick it up - we give it a very enthusiastic 5 stars!
Also released this week, but perhaps flying under the radar: John Woo's epic film of Chinese History, Red Cliff. You can purchase the US theatrical version, but don't. You want to pick up the Internation version with parts I and II. Woo's filmed version of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms tells the story of end of the Han Dynasty in China and the infamous battle that took place in 208 A.D. which changed the entire course (and scale) of the country. The film is subtitled of course, but, grow up- you can handle it. You don't want to miss the entire performance of the actors. The cast is incredible and the film is wonderful- and a bit of a departure for fans used to John Woo's action films. Oh don't misunderstand- there is action, but there is so much more. US fans of Asian cinema have been looking forward to this, and if all you know of asian films is Jackie Chan (no disrespect, cause I love the Chan-man too), broaden your horizons- treat yourself to this visual feast of an epic film. 5 stars!
That's all for today Shelfers- stay tuned for more Shelf-y goodness.
Truth and illusion are often disguised as each other.