Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hometown gossip

I have just returned from my appointment with the oncologist—and though I didn’t state as such in yesterday’s post, I deduced that it was merely window dressing for further study/tests to be conducted elsewhere. (I had my choice between Emory University in Atlanta or Augusta; I chose Emory because it’s about an hour-and-a-half from Rancho Yesteryear—Augusta is two hours. They’ll call me to let me down when my appointment will be.) The doctor I saw seems to be a pretty good fellow, though—he provided me with a copy of the hospital’s pathology report which makes for darn good reading…once you get past the medical jargon.

Kliph Nesteroff of Classic Television Showbiz e-mailed me this morning and the words “Larry Storch” were in the subject header. Once again, there was a tightening of the Yesteryear sphincter because I was afraid it was going to be bad news…thankfully, it was not. No, Kliph had the rare pleasure of being able to chat with the man who would be Corporal Randolph Agarn (one of nature’s noblemen—and one of the funniest characters in the history of the television sitcom). My favorite part of the conversation was hearing of Storch’s high regard for the writing talents of Nat Hiken; he also mentioned Fred Allen and Larry Gelbart in the same breath and I’m curious if Storch knew that Hiken used to work for Allen on his radio show in the 1940s.)

I don’t know if I’ll get the opportunity to see this film—Deux de la Vague (2009; aka Two in the Wave)—but I’d sure like to. This New York Times review makes the documentary (directed by Emmanuel Laurent) about the relationship between French filmmakers François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard sound like something that should not be missed. (Admittedly, my education with regards to foreign film has always been a tad deficient, so Wave would probably help me out immeasurably in that regard as well.) It’s almost serendipitous—the latest issue of Film Comment (I picked up a copy on Saturday along with the latest FilmFax…unfortunately I haven’t had time to open up either magazine) has an article on the 50th anniversary of À bout de souffle (1960; aka Breathless) and TCM On Demand is spotlighting Les quatre cents coups (1959; aka The 400 Blows).

Speaking of foreign film, here’s a nifty quiz for your edification at Dennis Cooper’s DC—and we have Dennis Cozzalio at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule to thank for directing traffic DC’s way. Again—as a foreign film neophyte I’ll take a pass on taking the test (I glanced at the posters and could only correctly identify one right off the bat)…but I will heartily endorse Dennis’ latest post about classic movies and those great Universal-International westerns of the late 1950s—something a little more my meat.

David Greenstreet at the blog is announcing that Flicker Alley will be releasing the 1927 silent film Chicago to DVD July 6th. This movie—thought to be a lost film until a perfect print turned up in the private collection of uncredited director Cecil B. DeMille and restored by UCLA’s Film and Television Archive in 2006—formed the basis for the 2002 Oscar winner for Best Picture…not to mention William A. Wellman’s Roxie Hart (1942). I’d really like to check this one out since I’ve only seen the 1942 version (yes, that’s right—I haven’t seen the 2002 movie…are you surprised?). ClassicFlix also has an update on that The Monster and the Ape (1945) DVD release from Cheezy's been rescheduled for June 29th.

In TV-on-DVD news, it appears that if you want a television favorite to appear on disc that you need to turn to our good neighbor to the North. announces that Toronto-based Visual Entertainment Incorporated is bringing the second season—no, that’s not a typo—of NBC Sunday Mystery Movie fave McMillan and Wife to DVD, though there’s no mention of a solid release date. Universal Studios Home Entertainment released the first season of the show on DVD back in August 2005…and that pretty much seemed to be it. So I guess this means VEI is the winner of this week’s “Bullwinkle” award for resurrecting what appeared to be a “one-and-done” TV-on-DVD candidate. does have a pre-order listing for another VEI release due July 20th—Gimme a Break!: The Complete Series will be available for interested parties (both of you) in an eighteen-DVD set that will contain all six seasons (1981-87) of the Nell Carter sitcom…all 137 episodes. Now, although I agree with my good friend Jaime Weinman that there are TV series out there with fan bases that deserve DVD exposure…is there anyone in the TDOY audience really interested in owning the entire Gimme a Break! oeuvre? (I realize that this sounds funny coming from a guy who owns the entirety of That Girl, The Doris Day Show and Family Affair on DVD…but seriously—how did Break manage to stay on the air for six seasons?)

If you haven’t yet read this review of Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake (1942) by the Self-Styled Siren—then I don’t know why you wasted all that precious time reading this post. Go forth and sin no more. And while you’re at it, TDOY pal Stacia at She Blogged by Night dissects Smart Money, the 1931 Edward G. Robinson-James Cagney teaming that Mom and I saw not too long ago. (Stacia would also like to know if anyone out there in Yesteryear Land has a copy of Incendiary Blonde [1945], the Texas Guinan biopic starring Pam’s bête noire Betty Hutton. No reward is mentioned but if you play your cards right she might send a few cans of Spam your way.)

Don't forget: you have until midnight tomorrow to enter the great Thrilling Days of Yesteryear Nick Carter, Master Detective giveaway (details here). You can't win if you don't enter!

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Stacia said...

Hey, thanks for passing along my request! You can see "Incendiary Blonde" online but, unless you keep the screen quite tiny, it's almost impossible to watch.

I am so excited about the silent "Chicago"! I knew a print was found but for whatever reason thought it was really bad or incomplete; maybe I took initial speculation as fact, I don't know. Between that and "Metropolis", I am tickled pink.

And why isn't John Hoyt on the cover of "Gimme a Break"? He was the reason we watched the show. Dad was a sucker for irreverent old men.

Edward Copeland said...

Every time I hear that a complete series such as Gimme a Break is coming to DVD, my indignity over the lack of similar treatment for The Larry Sanders Show grows larger and larger.