Thursday, May 20, 2010

A little bit of Soap…and other points of interest offers what they call a “Daily Deep Deal”—and while I was composing this post, they changed the offering from Soap: The Complete Series to NewsRadio: The Complete Series. But both of these collections can still be had for $23.98 a pop—needless to say, they were put into a shopping cart posthaste. (Score one for classic TV-on-DVD!)

Back in January 2009, I wrote a review of the DVD box set The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour: The Best of Season 3 and when longtime Thrilling Days of Yesteryear pal Bill “You kids have stepped on your last lawn” Crider mentioned seeing them in concert I found it quite difficult to conceal my envy. This prompted Kliph Nesteroff of Classic Television Showbiz notoriety to observe that Tom and Dick tour quite frequently, and that I probably wouldn’t have any trouble seeing them in a nearby venue in the future. Well, all bets are off— reports that the Brothers have packed away their singular brand of subversive humor and folk music and will live out quiet lives in retirement (and probably getting schnockered on the product from their vineyards). Another missed opportunity. (A generous doff of the TDOY chapeau to Mr. Crider for pointing me to this story in the first place, by the way.)

I got a nice e-mail from Steve Lewis of Mystery*File fame—Steve described himself as “a lurker on your blog for a long time,” which sort of made me chuckle—and he pointed me in the direction of an interesting checklist by David Vineyard entitled “Amnesia in the Movies.” As you might deduce from the title, it’s a list of films in which the famed temporary forgetfulness malady plays a crucial role, and I had a lot of fun going through the candidates and mentally noting which ones I had seen…and which ones I need to see. (You might do the same, when you have a free moment or two.)

Turner Classic Movies will kick off its popular Essentials, Jr. series beginning in June with a showing of the timeless Disney weeper Old Yeller (1957). You can checkout the remaining offerings here; but it’s nice to see TCM offering up the likes of longtime TDOY faves like Duck Soup (1933, June 13), The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. (1953, June 27), Speedy (1928, July 11), Buck Privates (1941, July 25), The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939, August 1) and Road to Morocco (August 8)—particularly the emphasis on classic comedy. (My longtime online compadre Pam still thinks TCM should schedule these films at an earlier hour, however.)

Eric D. Snider of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer online asks “What’s the big deal?” about another TDOY classic fave, Chinatown (1974). Fortunately, he gets the right answer in a really well-written appreciation for the film.

I had planned to write a short piece on the exciting news that comedian Charley Chase’s part-talkie feature Modern Love (1929)—newly restored!—is going to be shown at the 2010 Slapsticon festival in Arlington, VA (July 15-18) after my Facebook chum Yair Solan trumpeted the news via his website, The World of Charley Chase. (The festival will also showcase a silent Chase, Fluttering Hearts [1927], and three sound shorts—Fallen Arches [1933], Teacher's Pest [1939] and the rarely-seen South of the Boudoir [1940].) But now I don’t have to—John McElwee at Greenbriar Picture Shows has agreed to do the heavy lifting…and it’s only fitting, since he’s planning on attending and I can’t. (I hope John doesn’t mind that I swiped the Modern Love poster shown at the right but his weblog is so consistently fantabulous I don't see how he could object.) If you’re curious, check out the lineup of films to be unspooled at what promises to be one of the classic movie events of the year (again, I’m so envious that I can’t go!).

Finally, I saw this over at the Kino/Lorber weblog, and decided that it was too good not to pass on:

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