Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cleaning out my inbox

Thrilling Days of Yesteryear BBFF Stacia is officially on her yearly summer vacation…and while in the past this has constituted marathon sessions of watching The X-Files and Futurama until she needs corrective lenses, this year is totally different.  Stacia has made tracks for the beach and plans to soak up the rays until, as she said in an e-mail, “I’m one of those brown M&Ms that everybody eats last.”* She was even nice enough to send me a picture…

…if you count about twenty-five rows back and five kids over (including the one with the melted Drumstick ice cream cone) you’ll see her standing alongside Mr. Stacia…who’s apparently fashioned a sculpture detailing part of the male anatomy with sand, bucket and shovel.  (Probably should have stuck a “NSFW” in there…oh well.)  During her absence, she’s asked a number of highly esteemed writers/bloggers who’ve passed a background check to contribute essays to She Blogged by Night, and I was positively delighted when she chose something I scribbled down to start the hiatus rolling.  It’s a little sightsee into the mysteries of SBBN…and because I’m reasonably sure Sir Paul McCartney has better things to do than check up over here I’ve dubbed the piece “The Magical Mystery SBBN Tour.”  (I’ll bet that numbnut who whistle blew to PayPal is probably on the phone with Paulie right now.)

I received an e-mail from Kino last night that the company is running a clearance sale on their two Film Noir box sets: 24.95 each for Film Noir: The Dark Side of Hollywood (Volume 1) and Film Noir: Volume 2 (Five Classics from the Studio Vaults).  I purchased the first volume many, many years back for a little less than that advertised price (some online store had it marked down special) but even for $24.95 you can’t go wrong because the set contains Hangmen Also Die (1943), The Long Night (1947), Railroaded (1947), Behind Locked Doors (1948) and Sudden Fear (1952)—five noir classics for about $4.99 apiece (thank you, Mr. Calculator!).

In Volume 2, you’ll get Contraband (1940), Scarlet Street (1945), Strange Impersonation (1946), They Made Me a Fugitive (1947) and The Hitch-Hiker (1953)—and the only reason why I’m not jumping on this deal (well, besides the fact that I’m broke) is that I already had four out of the five titles (the exception being Fugitive, and I grabbed that the last time it was on TCM).  Three of the titles on both sets—Railroaded, Locked Doors and Impersonation—are also on sale individually for $7.99 apiece…but I’m sure I don’t have to tell you which is the better deal.

It’s a bad time to be broke in the Classic City; Cine Athens’ yearly Summer Movie Series is underway and if I had the cash I’d take in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre on the big screen, which is being shown at the Cine from July 15-21.  Other films programmed include The Blue Angel, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and Grease—and on July 22 they’ve scheduled a “special archival reel-to-reel print” showing of Ernst Lubitsch’s Cluny Brown, introduced by Flagpole’s Dave Marr.  (They can’t guarantee you a seat to this one, so I’m going to have to beg off.)

With that out of the way, I’ll devote the rest of this post to giving a birthday shout-out to devoted TDOY reader and pal ClassicBecky, who celebrates her (mumble mumble…and I do mean mumble mumble) natal anniversary.  Fondly known as “Errolette” to her…well, now that I stop and think about it I’m the only one who calls her that (she’ll know better next time to make such suggestions); Beckers is indeed fortunate to share a birthday with such distinguished company as poet Francesco (Petrarch) Petrarca, impressionist painter Max Liebermann, and mountain climber Sir Edmund Hillary.  But here in the TDOY universe, there are far more important people who’ll be splitting a cake with the Beckster—take a look for yourself!

Verna Felton (1890-1966) – TDOY character actress goddess known for her outstanding radio work with such greats as Jack Benny, Red Skelton and Abbott & Costello; best-known on the cathode ray tube as conniving neighbor Hilda Crocker on both December Bride and Pete and Gladys

Muriel Evans (1910-2000) – Silent and sound film actress best remembered as a leading lady in a number of B-westerns but revered here for her work in many of Charley Chase’s two-reel comedies including Arabian Tights and Nature in the Wrong

Cindy Walker (1918-2006) – Country music singing-songwriting legend who penned such classics as Cherokee Maiden, Take Me in Your Arms and Hold Me, You Don’t Know Me and Distant Drums

Mary LaRoche (1920-1999) – Stage, screen and TV character actress whose oeuvre includes Run Silent Run Deep, Gidget, Bye Bye Birdie and TV’s Karen

Elliot L. Richardson (1920-1999) – Lawyer and politician who served as U.S. Attorney General in the Nixon administration until he resigned when the President ordered him to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox

Harry Endo (1922-2009) – Film and TV character actor best known as forensic scientist Che Fong on the long-running crime drama Hawaii Five-O

Thomas Berger (1924-     ) – American novelist whose works include Little Big Man and Neighbors

Lola Albright (1925-     ) – Stage, screen and television actress-singer whose feature film appearances include Champion, The Good Humor Man, The Killer That Stalked New York and A Cold Wind in August…but achieved TV immortality as “Mother’s” chanteuse Edie Hart on TV’s Peter Gunn

Sally Ann Howes (1930-     ) – Truly scrumptious English singer-actress whose oeuvre includes Dead of Night, Pink String and Sealing Wax, Nicholas Nickleby and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Nelson Doubleday, Jr (1933-     ) – Book publisher and one-time owner of the New York Mets

Buddy Knox (1933-1999) – Rockabilly singer and songwriter whose biggest hit was the classic Party Doll but who also recorded Hula Love and Rock Your Little Baby to Sleep

Cormac McCarthy (1933-     ) – Novelist and playwright whose works include Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West, All the Pretty Horses and No Country for Old Men

Sleepy LaBeef (1935-     ) – Rockabilly musician whose hits include Every Day and Blackland Farmer

Barbara A. Mikulski (1936-     ) – Senior U.S. Senator from Maryland

Dame Diana Rigg (1938-     ) – Stage, screen and TV actress/pretend TDOY girlfriend whose oeuvre includes On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Hospital, Theatre of Blood, The Great Muppet Caper…and of course, the classic boob tube spy series The Avengers

Jo Ann Campbell (1938-     ) – Pop singer and dancer whose biggest contribution to the Hot 100 was this answer song to Claude King’s Wolverton Mountain:

Natalie Wood (1938-1981) – Stage, screen and television actress whose early moppet roles in Miracle on 34th Street and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir gave way to more mature adult turns in such films as Rebel without a Cause, The Searchers, Splendor in the Grass and Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice

Christopher Murney (1943-     ) – Film and TV character actor-voice artist who many will probably remember as Mackie Bloom on Remember WENN but who is tattooed into my brain as one of the stars of the sitcom The San Pedro Beach Bums; also voices Chester Cheetah, the mascot of those annoying Cheetos commercials

Wendy Richard (1943-2009) – Beloved English comic actress who made people laugh as Miss Shirley Brahms in the Britcom classic Are You Being Served? but also displayed fine dramatic chops on the long-running EastEnders

T.G. Sheppard (aka Bill Browder) (1944-     ) – Country music singer-songwriter who had a taste of pop music success in the 1980s with Top 40 hits like I Loved ‘Em Every One

Kim Carnes (1946-     ) – Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter whose biggest chart success was this ditty penned by Jackie DeShannon:

Randal Kleiser (1946-     ) – Film and television director-producer whose career kind of hit the skids after he helmed the movie adaptation of Grease (The Blue Lagoon, Grandview U.S.A., etc.)

Carlos Santana (1947-     ) – Rock guitarist whose self-titled band scored a number of big pop hits in the 1970s including Evil Ways and Black Magic Woman

Camille Keaton (1950-     ) – Actress granddaughter of silent comedy great Buster who probably caused the Great Stone Face to turn over in his grave when she agreed to star in the notorious I Spit on Your Grave

Thomas Friedman (1953-     ) – Well, it says “journalist” here but I’m sure that’s a typo

Lee Garlington (1953-     ) – Film and television character actress who’s appeared on such series as The Golden Girls and Friends but is primarily remembered as Claire the waitress in the pilot for the sitcom Seinfeld…who disappeared when the producers wrote her out of the show

Donna Dixon (1957-     ) – Film and television actress whose best-known TV gig was as Sonny Lumet, the object of Kip Wilson’s (Tom Hanks) affection on the sitcom Bosom Buddies; after appearing with Dan Aykroyd in Doctor Detroit she ended up marrying him and working alongside him again in such films as Spies Like Us and The Couch Trip

Billy Mays (1958-2009) – TV pitchman whom I swear appears to still be making commercials even though he passed away two years ago

Radney Foster (1959-     ) – Country music singer-songwriter who performed as a duet with partner Bill Lloyd before amicably parting and establishing himself as a solo artist with hits like Just Call Me Lonesome and Nobody Wins

Frank Whaley (1963-     ) – Stage, screen and television actor whose film work includes Born on the Fourth of July, The Freshman, The Doors and Swimming with Sharks…but who will probably be remembered forever as Brett, the guy terrorized by Samuel L. Jackson’s Jules in the opening sequence of Pulp Fiction

Dean Winters (1964-     ) – Familiar television face who had regular gigs on such series as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Oz, Rescue Me and 30 Rock

Reed Diamond (1967-     ) – Familiar television face who had regular gigs on such series as Homicide: Life on the Street, Judging Amy, Journeyman and Dollhouse

Sandra Oh (1971-     ) – Canadian-Korean actress best known for her high-profile presence on such TV series as Arli$$ and Grey’s Anatomy and films like Double Happiness and Sideways

*Okay, I’m just kidding about this.  Stacia didn’t say this, and for all I know she’s probably spending her downtime watching those El Brendel shorts I recorded for her sometime back.

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Page said...

Fun and informative! I hope Stacia has a wonderful vacation. I guess you'll have to watch old films with us for now.

A very nice birthday tribute to Becky. Our birthday's are just two days apart. And on the cusp of Cancer and Leo, whatever good or bad that is.

Wishing you tons of summer fun and great television viewing.

ClassicBecky said...

Marlo(n)! (I think I'm the only one who calls YOU that -- you should't have given me the idea! You sweetie pie! I feel honored to have my birthday announced on your blog -- boy do I share it with some great people! And, to top that, man first walked on the moon on July 20 (different year of course!) I am one of the movie-lovers who is unfortunate enough to be broke at this great time to buy! But I don't care -- having a great birthday, especially nice because of you!

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Page spoke up:

A very nice birthday tribute to Becky. Our birthday's are just two days apart.

(Calculating nefariously evil scheme) Mwha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha...

ClassicBecky said...

Uh oh, Page, we may be in trouble. But just remember - being on the cusp, we have characteristics of both sweet, loving Cancer and Leo the lion. That means we can roar! Bring on the evil scheme, Ivers!

Page said...

Rut Roh,
I'm not worried and those aren't my teeth you hear chattering. Will be waiting for Ivan to divulge his birthday if he wants his 'special' cake.

ClassicBecky said...

Or, Page, how about a pie for his birthday. A big pie with lots of whipped cream on top -- you know movies always do with those!!!

Stacia said...

Ah, dang. I watched both The X-Files AND Futurama today. I've been busted!

Stacia said...

P.S. I'm sorry Mr Stacia's art has scarred you for life.