Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Odds and ends

Well, once again I must resort to a potpourri of short takes because the post that I had originally scheduled still isn’t complete. I just thought you might enjoy these random bits from many of the fine blogs who link to this one despite being threatened with ostracization from their country clubs and places of worship.

“Uncle” Samuel Wilson has a nice write-up of the Scott-Boetticher-Kennedy-Brown B-oater Comanche Station (1960) at his award-winning blog Mondo 70: A Wild World of Cinema. What struck as so interesting about this particularly post is that Sam has particularly high regard for Station, even rating it higher than Buchanan Rides Alone (1958) and Ride Lonesome (1959), whereas I prefer those last two features in lieu of Station (not that I’m saying Station isn’t a fine flick, it’s just that I find it a bit derivative of Lonesome). But this is why some folks likes vanilla and some folks likes chocolate (John DiLeo, in his book Screen Savers: Forty Remarkable Movies Awaiting Rediscovery, also thinks Station is the crème de la crème of the Scott-Boetticher features) and while I may disagree on one or two points with Sam I still think it’s well worth the time to read.

Kate Gabrielle at Silents and Talkies is a bit of a nosy parker—and I say that purely in jest. She’s curious as to what your favorite screwball comedy is, and to tempt you into spilling the beans she’s offering a copy of the Sony release Icons of Screwball Comedy, Volume 2 as a giveaway from now until August 17, 2009. This box set contains four Columbia feature films: Theodora Goes Wild (1936—worth buying the box alone), Together Again (1944), A Night to Remember (1942) and The Doctor Takes a Wife (1940). While a good many people came together to make this set and Volume 1 (which contains If You Could Only Cook [1935], Too Many Husbands [1940], My Sister Eileen [1942] and She Wouldn't Say Yes [1945]) come to light, special kudos go out to my Facebook pal/classic movies mentor Michael Schlesinger for pushing these classics releases…even if he is misinformed about Gus Schilling and Dick Lane’s Ain't Love Cuckoo? (1946—an extra on Volume 1). All you have to do is name your favorite screwball romp in Kate’s comment section and you’re entered to win…so what are you waiting for?

RGJ at Television Obscurities has a nice blurb about the 1967 cult television series Mr. Terrific—which I was surprised to learn has actually been released to DVD…in Germany, that is. So if you count yourself among the show’s fan base (and have a region-free DVD player) you can score a copy at Amazon.de for 18,95 euros (about $27.29 American—and that does not include s&h); it has an option that allows you to listen to it in its original English-language form.

I finally found some spare time to finish “Professor Severus Snape’s Sorcerer-Tastic, Muggalicious Mid-Summer Movie Quiz” at Dennis Cozzalio’s Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule—where I learned that Blogger has apparently installed a “filibuster breaker” in its comments section now to discourage spammers (but that trick never works); comments are now limited to no more than 4,096 characters (something we probably don’t need to worry about here) per posting. So even though you’ll have to break up your answers into two separate posts, it’s still worthwhile to take the test—there are no right or wrong answers, only creatively snarky ones.

Greg Ferrara at Cinema Styles has a post up that really hit close to home in light of this recent post about how Facebook is slowly putting me in a hypnotic trance that compels me to do its bidding and neglect my blog. And frequent TDOY commenter Doc Quatermass sent me a nice link to an interview with Bob “Archie Andrews” Hastings, who is still going on strong at the age of 89. Again, if you’re reading this post you most certainly have enough free time to read those as well, so please do so at your earliest opportunity.

Finally: I changed the Thrilling Days of Yesteryear banner the other day as a reminder that Turner Classic Movies’ Summer Under the Stars Festival continues tomorrow with one of my all-time favorite screen performers…the incomparable Harold Lloyd. I’m really stoked about getting some me time to watch some of the offerings (although if I miss some it won’t be a total loss—I have the Region 2 box set) but I wanted to point out that for those of you who bought The Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection a while back Turner Classics is going to show a film that isn’t on that set: Lloyd’s first talkie, Welcome Danger (1929) at 9:30pm EDT. (The Region 2 set does have the film…which is why I splurged and bought one.) I know it’s probably not possible to watch/record all of the Lloyd shorts and features tomorrow – people do have to work and occasionally eat and go to the bathroom – but if I were going to pick a few must-see’s I’d go with Safety Last! (1923, 10:30am), Girl Shy (1924—it’s a bit un-P.C. with regards to Lloyd’s stuttering character but its exciting climax may very well be the best film chase sequence of all time; 1:15pm), The Freshman (1925, 3:45pm), For Heaven's Sake (1926, 5:15pm) and The Kid Brother (1927, 6:30pm).


Frank Loose said...

Nice article. I love the Randolph Scott westerns. Another good one is A Lawless Street, though it is probably not as good as the titles you mentioned.

It has been awhile since I've seen those movies. Which one starts off with the the camera tracking a close-up shot of a boot in the saddle stirrup as the rider and horse make their way into town? Great opening shot. I'm pretty sure it's a Boetticher film.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

I'm drawing a blank on the western you've named but I will offer my support for your mentioning of A Lawless Street (1955)--a film directed by one of my personal favorites, Joseph H. Lewis (Gun Crazy, The Big Combo). Street is going to be on TCM this month as part of Angela Lansbury Day, and since it's been a while since I've seen it I look forward to catching it again.