Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday’s checklist (Updated)

Good Friday afternoon to you all!  The first item on the agenda is that I want to give a birthday shout-out today to the incomparable Frank Morgan, born on this day in 1890.  He’s remembered by one and all as the titular con man of the 1939 film classic The Wizard of Oz…but he also had an extensive radio career, which I talk about in this blog post at Radio Spirits.  I am hoping (knock wood) to get at least one post up a day at my new gig, so do me a solid and bookmark this site so you can make it a regular browsing habit.

Yesterday morning (though that was techincally Pacific Time—it was afternoon by my time zone), my pal Laughing Gravy of In the Balcony fame appeared as a guest on The Michele Jennae Show on the online radio station…and for an hour and forty-five minutes, there was much hilarity (check out the picture at the left—it doesn’t lie!), music (novelty tunes and soundtracks from classic films) and gi-normous sock puppetry.  I had been sent an invite to the event via Facebook, and when I tweeted (I am such a social media hipster!) the show to let Gravy know I was keeping tabs on him he went above and beyond the call of generosity by giving TDOY a honkin’ big plug for the listening audience.  He’s good people in my book, and so is the bubbly and vivacious Michelle, whom Gravy so rightfully describes as “one of those people God puts on earth so we can endure the OTHER kind of people.”  To quote Chairman Robinson…I second that emotion. has announced that the first of two volumes (A split-season?  There’s a surprising revelation…) of the seventh season of Perry Mason will be released on August 21st…good news for fans like TDOY commenter/World O’Crap sage Chris Riesbeck; bad news for folks like myself who are waaaay behind in their Mason collecting (I still need the second half of Season 5 and the entirety of Season 6…and the funds have dried up around here just like everything else in the Jaw-ja drought).  It will be a 4-disc set and since Season Numero Siete had a total of 30 episodes it’s a safe bet that fifteen of them will comprise the first volume.  I don’t say this nearly often enough, by the way, but I’m so glad my fiancée Me-TV runs these old repeats every weeknight at 11:30pm—it is literally the perfect treat before bedtime.

CBS DVD-Paramount is also announcing the split-season release of Season Four of The Streets of San Francisco (both volumes are due out August 28th), due to shortly follow the split-season release of Season 3 this July 3rd.  This is kind of encouraging news, seeing how Streets seemed destined to come up short in terms of any further releases a while back when the company complained of sluggish sales.  Does this bode good news for any other CBS-Paramount projects that are languishing in limbo (*cough* The Phil Silvers Show *cough*)?  Probably not.  During his appearance on the Jennae Show yesterday, Gravy made a comment that I’m probably going to adopt as a future mantra: when he asked the company who owned the DVD rights to the Laurel & Hardy films why they hadn’t expressed an interest in releasing same, they told him: “People won’t buy black-and-white movies unless John Wayne is in them.”

Moira at Skeins of Thought left me a comment on an older post asking if I had heard any additional news regarding the once-announced release of The Fugitive: The Complete Series.  I apologize for not getting back to her as quickly as I would have liked...but I've not gleaned any information since they issued this recall notice back in October of last year.  I do know that there's an announcement that Yancy Derringer: The Complete Series, a box set release scheduled for August 7th, has been rescheduled for October 9th.  (I couldn't think of any other way to get this in here.)

The Mary Pickford Blogathon being hosted by K.C. at Classic Movies is already underway (scheduled for June 1-3), and the way things look right now my review of Stella Maris will either be up on the blog tomorrow or Sunday.  (I’m leaning toward Sunday only because tomorrow is Serial Saturdays, and it would be nice to have something up the following day before our weekly visit to Mayberry on Monday.)  I want to thank everybody who was nice enough to leave a comment on my entry in My Love of Old Hollywood’s “Horseathon” even though I knew going into it that the Bowery Boys aren’t always a treat for some…but in my defense, I knew this equine-based blogathon would usher in several movies starring cinematic headache Mickey Rooney: Stablemates, National Velvet, The Black Stallion, etc. so I did my share of suffering as well.  But there is a silver lining to that particular dark cloud in that Lara of Backlots and I have now bonded over our mutual distaste for the Mickster; I suggested in the comments section of her review of Velvet that a much better picture would have resulted if M-G-M had utilized the services of Elizabeth Taylor’s chipmunk “Nibbles,” who, in my treatment, would go rabid, bite Mickey Rooney and have to be put down by Judge Hardy and the rest of the clan.  (You can’t tell me you wouldn’t watch a movie like that.)

Finally, this week The Large Association of Movie Blogs announced the nominees for their annual LAMMY Awards, and I am pleased as punch to be able to congratulate The Four Horsewomen of the Classic Film Apocalypse—Brandie, Carrie, Nikki and Sarah—at True Classics for scoring three nominations as Best Classic Film Blog, Best Blogathon (Loving Lucy) and Best Running Feature (Pioneers of Animation).  The Best Classic Film Blog nominees—and I’ll freely admit, I’m a bit biased in this respect—offer some fierce competition this year around; in addition to True Classics, last year’s winner, Where Danger Lives (go Professor!), has also been nominated, as has TDOY favorites Defiant Success (go Anna!), Garbo Laughs (go Caroline!) and The Hollywood Revue (go Angela!).  The remaining nominee is a blog called Cinema Sights…and I’m not saying this to be a mean essobee or anything…but seriously, I can’t help but get the feeling that someone is putting me on.  I saw reviews for films like The Avengers and Blue Like Jazz on this site, both of which were released this year.  I’ve got no beef with James (I've covered the occasional non-classic here from time to time); he’s very passionate about movies and writes extremely well.  But I don't consider his site to be a classic film blog, and I have a sneaking suspicion he got a nod only because “Best Classic Film Blog” was mentioned in his For Your Consideration ad.  (It’s sort of like asking to be considered for “Best Podcast” when you don’t have one.)

(Update: Because I am rapidly reaching fogeydom, my memory isn't quite was it used to be...and as it turns out, I made a most grievous error in the above comment: "...I have a sneaking suspicion he got a nod only because 'Best Classic Film Blog' was mentioned in his For Your Consideration ad."  For the record, James at Cinema Sights did not submit an FYC ad, and it was a mistake to say so.  Thrilling Days of Yesteryear regrets the error.)

I thought about throwing my hat in the ring this year with regards to the FYC but talked myself out of it for a couple of reasons.  (By the way...several people did tell me they nominated TDOY, and I thank them profusely for that.  Extra sprinkles on the sundaes later.)  The first is that I’m putting out too many fires as it is to go through the arduous process of shaking babies and kissing the hands of LAMB members.  (Wait…that can’t be right.)  The second—and this is something I thought long and hard about since last year—it doesn’t seem kosher for me to campaign for this sort of thing because I'm indeed fortunate to already have a presence at the LAMB with the weekly Classic Chops feature.  (Although there’s a distinct possibility I may not have it for much longer after this post.)  The more I pondered this, the more I started to regret doing so the last time around because of the unfairness of it all.  I’m not suggesting that everyone follow my example, but there’s one blog in particular that’s shameless about this sort of thing (I probably don’t have to tell you which one it is...but if you look hard enough, there'll be a clue in this post); they asked not to be considered for a “Best New LAMB” nomination…but had no qualms about being taken into account for practically every other category.

I have sort of a prickly history with the LAMB leadership that has fostered a kind of love-hate relationship with the organization; I enjoy doing the Classic Chops because it gets a lot of the classic movie blogs more involved in LAMB, something for which I have lobbied strongly in the past (particularly after two of the individuals involved with the LAMB made public their animosity toward classic movie blogs, something that still rankles me to this day).  But the LAMMY Awards (despite the occasional instance of nominating worthy people for the awards) is, not to put too fine a point on it, a strokefest…and to be completely honest, the inclusion of some of the trophies is beyond my comprehension.  They got rid of the “Best Blog Name” prize this year (they were probably afraid Matt would win it again) and added one called “Best Community Builder/Networking LAMB”.  In a nutshell:  the person who spends the most time on Twitter wins.  (I feel the same way about this one as I do “Most Prolific”; I honestly don’t think you should be recognized for being in love with your own voice.)

Don’t let my curmudgeonly attitude rain on the parade of the people who got nominated, though…I offer my heartiest congratulations to the Best Classic Movie Blog nominees (seriously…most deserving) and also an “atta boy” to my pal Zach of The Lightning Bug’s Lair (“From the moon, baby!”) for once again being nominated as Best Horror Blog.  (I joked to Zach on Facebook that if Matt of Chuck Norris Ate My Baby also got nominated it would result in a wrestling match…so I guess with the nominations of Silver Emulsion and Old Horror Movies it will turn into a steel cage type of thing.  Also nice to see another one of my favorite blogs, The Velvet Café, snag a Best New LAMB nom.)  If your curiosity has been piqued as to who you’ll be rooting for during the voting, Duke & The Movies has a complete list for your perusal here.


Caftan Woman said...

Ha! I have "Perry Mason" season 5, volume 2. I just watched Rex Reason accused of murdering his "This Island Earth" co-star Jeff Morrow. Fun? Wow! Looks like it will be years before I catch up on season 6 before season 7.

Small world dept: I was just thinking about Yancey Derringer the other day (you'd think I'd have better things to think about, wouldn't you?) and then you spring the news.

Elisson said...

Your mentioning Perry Mason reminded me that there is, not too far from here, one Della Street.

I have no idea whether the person who named it was attempting a sly homage to Raymond Burr's iconic series.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Your mentioning Perry Mason reminded me that there is, not too far from here, one Della Street.

That is so cool.

KC said...

I'm so glad you're covering Stella Maris. If I had to pick, I'd say that is Pickford's best performance. I still need to read the Horsethon posts. I've been busy. Putting on a blogathon is a lot of work! Good thing I didn't know that before I started this crazy thing.

Jessica said...

I know you tweeted this for a different reason but I just wanted to say thank you for the kind mentioning, which I only noticed now. I'll add your blog to my feed reader now that I know about it. As you know I'm not specialized in classic movies but I like to spice up my cinematic diet with one once in a while.

Shep. Burman said...

I'd say that if you don't feel like doing the classic chops you shouldn't. However, I won't replacing you anytime soon which is kind of the subtext I feel with this post.

I felt that the best blog name I had runned its cause for a while since it has had more or less the same nominees the last three years and to me it wasn't really that much of a funny category anymore.

I've gotten both indirect and direct criticism for the Networking award but I do think its an important LAMMY category and I've heard enough praise to know it was an accurate addition.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

I'd say that if you don't feel like doing the classic chops you shouldn't.

Shep, the only reason why I've stayed with the LAMB is the Classic Chops. I thought--despite people with better sense than I telling me otherwise--that it would be an excellent way to get more classic film blogs involved with the organization. But I clearly didn't know what the hell I was thinking. Granted, there were a small percentage of legitimate classic movie blogs who contributed, but mostly it was the usual suspects who'd send in their take on a Hitchcock film they finally got around to seeing.

However, I won't replacing you anytime soon which is kind of the subtext I feel with this post.

Trust me on probably will. This post was a vote of "no confidence"--the LAMB has outlived any usefulness it once had, and only serves as a strokefest for a lucky few. I used to be one of the organization's staunchest defenders despite multiple disagreements, but the club has simply become warped and rotten. I read the defenses of the winner of the Best Classic Film Blog LAMMY all over Twitter yesterday and was positively gobsnacked...the Classic Film Award was one of the few that actually went to a blog of deserving merit, and now you've even managed to taint that with the stink of corruption.

I've gotten both indirect and direct criticism for the Networking award but I do think its an important LAMMY category and I've heard enough praise to know it was an accurate addition.

The big studio moguls had a similar system: they'd ask their employees if an idea was good and every man Jack of them agreed 100%!