Yes, as the sands move through the hourglass…these are the days of my life. Today is my birthday, although the celebration began rather prematurely yesterday evening.
I had dinner with sister Kat, her pal Katie and my Mom and Dad—better known to faithful TDOY readers as “the ‘rents.” Kat took charge of some bee-yoo-ti-ful rib eye steaks on the patio grill and mi madre supplemented this fine repast with baked potatoes, rolls & butter and a first-rate Caesar salad. She explained after this feast that she didn’t have time to get a birthday cake (and she didn’t want to deal with the hassle of people whining: “I don’t like chocolate…”) so dessert consisted of cheesecake with fresh strawberries…and it was positively delicious. (She and my faddah will be stopping by Rancho Yesteryear around noon-ish for a birthday lunch and while no mention was made as to where that might be, I could go for a cheeseburger and O-rings…with a glass of iced tea or two to wash it down.)
As it so happens, I’m sharing my birthday with the 60th anniversary of the release of the immortal White Heat (1949), a film which Ed Copeland asked me to write an essay about on his blog, and which I was only too happy to acquiesce…though I will admit I kind of cut it close with the deadline. It’s here if you want to take a gander at it.
A couple of TV-on-DVD announcements that were publicized yesterday after Thrilling Days of Yesteryear went to press include the official announcement that the fourth season of Alfred Hitchcock Presents will be released this November 24th—I had mentioned in a previous post that it would probably be out in October as a Halloween tie-in so it looks as if I goofed badly on this one. Still, I’m not complaining because it’s nice to see the company continue with the season releases; Rick Brooks remarked over at Cultureshark that this was “especially good news given that, as far as I know, RTN [sic] still doesn't show anything past the third season." (By the way, the esteemed Mr. Brooks also left a comment on RTV’s Facebook page asking that they consider showing the programs already on the cable network in a skilled and proficient fashion before adding any of that early 1990s crap; as frequent TDOY commenter Doc Quatermass once mused, the network’s slogan should be “Competency is not our priority.”)
There’s also been a change in the release date for the third season of Virgil Films and Entertainment’s third season DVD of The Donna Reed Show: the new date is now November 3rd, and will also contain some nice bonus features like a taped interview with Paul Petersen and Mary Owen (daughter of Reed and husband Tony Owen), a salute to Donna’s appearance in It's a Wonderful Life (1946), an episode of This is Your Life and collected letters from G.I.’s during WW2. They’ve also got an early look at the box art for the collection, visible to your right.
Taking advantage of a birthday gift coupon for Amazon.com, I see the Internet behemoth has a listing up for the seventh volume in Sony’s Three Stooges collections, which will contain those shorts from 1952-54. I’m not certain if I’m going to commit to buying this set (I received Volume 6 Saturday, along with the first season of Here’s Lucy) because the mid-to-late ‘50s shorts don’t have much to recommend—the only ones in the bunch that I’m really fond of are A Missed Fortune (1952—the Shemp remake of 1938’s Healthy, Wealthy and Dumb), Listen, Judge (1952—a remake of both An Ache in Every Stake  and They Stooge to Conga ), the hilariously funny Gents in a Jam (1952) and Up in Daisy's Penthouse (1953—remake of 3 Dumb Clucks ). The set will also include 2-D and 3-D prints (with 3-D glasses even!) of the shorts Spooks! (1953) and Pardon My Backfire (1953)—for those of you who are convinced that seeing Moe, Larry and Shemp in 3-D is the ne plus ultra of comedy. (Amazon’s price tag for this collection is a bit more than what they usually offer for a pre-order; I guess they had to factor in the cost of the glasses.)
In closing, I want to thank everybody that sent me birthday wishes either on Facebook or here at the blog, effectively reminding me that I’m another year older and deeper in debt, as the Ol’ Pea Picker used to sing. Marking off another birthday gives one a renewed sense of purpose, and I hope to be channeling that energy into TDOY for many years to come.