Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Movies and stuff I’ve stared at recently during my convalescence #2

The folks from UPS delivered my recent purchases from the Warner Archive Monday (after an unsuccessful first attempt on the previous Friday) and I watched a pair of them yesterday with mi Madre because she grew weary of USA’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit marathon. Mom thought Split Second (1953) was dopey but fun…but I was surprised when she declared her disappointment with The Tall Target (1951)—she explained that she didn’t care for it because it was a period piece and that there were “too many people falling off trains.” (I, on the other hand, couldn’t help but think that Target would make a swell double bill with The Narrow Margin [1952].)

We did, however, find time to watch an old Eddie G/Bogie flick, Bullets or Ballots (1936) that she thoroughly enjoyed—Robinson’s a “disgraced” cop who starts working for gangsters Bogart and Barton MacLane even though you know pretty much from the get-go that it’s all a transparent ruse to bring the bad guys to justice. I liked Bullets because I enjoyed seeing both Joan Blondell and Louise Beavers in offbeat roles as two women in charge of a numbers racket (Beavers’ character was loosely based on the real-life numbers “queen” of Harlem, Stephanie S. Clair). Since Warner Bros. 1930s social dramas seem to have a special attraction for Mom, I’m kicking around the idea of running a double feature of 'G' Men (1935) and Each Dawn I Die (1939) later on this afternoon.

I was watching TVLand’s 8th Annual Gratuitous Backpatting Awards Show Sunday night (what can I say?—I get a morbid fascination of catching up with former television stars now approaching decrepitude) and was curious as to whether anybody else has seen the newest Hallmark commercial that shows a mother rifling through Mothers’ Day cards from the past from her daughter, who’s now married and has a child of her own. It’s real-tug-at-the-heartstrings stuff…but also completely bogus, because real mothers never save any of that stuff if they have the option of tossing it…at least mine never did. TVLand was also touting heavily their newest programming travesty—a series entitled Hot in Cleveland, which will star sitcom icons Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White as the lovable old curmudgeonly senior citizen. (Am I the only one who’d prefer to see Bertinelli and White in One Day at a Time and Mary Tyler Moore Show reruns, respectively?)

Laura of Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings had the honor of contributing a guest post to Movies Unlimited’s MovieFanFare! Blog this past Monday (reviewing A Yank in the R.A.F. [1941]) and I want to take time to congratulate her as well as shamelessly self-promote TDOY because MU asked me to throw in a guest post, too. It’s my review of The Cat and the Canary (1927), which was previously posted here last October as part of a “Silent Horrors” tribute. (I want to thank Movies Unlimited again for allowing me to be in such prestigious company!)

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Jeff Overturf said...

Being a hardcore Bogie fan from wayyyyy back, "Bullots or Ballots" has long been a fun diversionary watch for me.

I swear I could watch Bogie recite teh alphabet and be entertained, so even these "pre-star" roles of his are good fun!

And no...I'd rather be watching Mary Tyler Moore reruns too. I'm thinking of having a bumper sticker made for when I'm stuck on the 405.

Stacia said...

I'm glad you're back, and hope you're recuperating swiftly!

I really want to see "Split Second", but I'm being good and not buying anymore DVDs for... well, a very long while.

Laura said...

Thank you so much for your nice words and congratulations, Ivan, and the same to you! I was delighted to see your post at MovieFanFare.

Glad you are well enough to be enjoying movies and posting!

Best wishes,

KC said...

I loved Louise Beavers in Bullets or Ballots. Though I liked Edward G., I really wanted the movie to be about Blondell and Beavers running their numbers game. Wouldn't that have been great?

Stacia said...

I finally got a chance to read your MovieFanfare article - loved it! (I had to postpone reading it for a reason I'll go into on my blog in a few days, I hope.) "Cat and the Canary" is one of those movies I have wanted to see for a decade but just never have.