Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday’s sticky note

I’ve got a “Coming Distractions” post in the works that will highlight some of the goodies headed our way in January 2013 on The Greatest Cable Channel Known to Mankind™…but until that’s done, I thought I’d bring a few odds and ends to your attention.

Ben Model e-mailed all the backers for his “Accidentally Preserved” Kickstarter pledge drive yesterday to let them know…that the project has been 102% funded!  (Golf clap) As of this post, $4,165 has been raised (the goal was $3,600) so if you were able to drop a few shekels into Ben’s tambourine—good on ya.  But if you haven’t contributed yet, you can still do so—there’s six days left in the drive and every little bit helps; excess fundage will go towards future AP projects, don’t ya know.

My BBFF Stacia almost made me choke on a cream-cheese-and-jelly bagel this morning when she gave me a shout-out regarding the Dick Tracy: The Complete Serials Collection giveaway currently underway here at TDOY.  (By the way—the response to this has been tremendous: this post has the details on how to enter.)  Here’s the part of her post that made me break out in giggles:

Meanwhile, at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear, Ivan is asking readers to help decide which serial he’s going to do next for Serial Saturdays! See, he is a normal human being, which is why in the time it’s taken me to finish Phantom Creeps, he’s done three serials, maybe four, plus wallpapered the hallway and dug up a few old stumps in the back yard. Braggart.

In my defense, part of the reason why this is so is because I have abandoned all serious pursuits of cinema, preferring to spend my copious free time watching reruns of The Underdog Show.  (I wish I could say I was making that up…but it’s true.)  Stacia’s the serious film scholar in the family, and I offer into evidence Exhibit A, a well-done piece on one of my favorite oaters, 3:10 to Yuma (1957).  (It’s compared with the 2007 remake—which I have not seen and don’t plan to make room for anytime in the future.)  Other exercises in fine Stacia film writing that might interest the TDOY faithful include her takes on Quatermass and the Pit (1967), Greetings (1968) and The Green Slime (1968).  (Okay, maybe I should have excised that last one.)

There’s a couple of upcoming classic TV-on-DVD releases that might be of interest to readers of the blog, beginning with a definite date for the Wagon Train: Season 6 set I mentioned in passing here.  Wagon Train: The Complete Sixth Season will be available for purchase on March 5, 2013…and the eighth and final series of the hardy western perennial will be out sometime in the summer of that same year.  If you’re curious as to why Timeless Factory Video seems to be skipping a season, it’s because the seventh season has already been released to disc as Wagon Train: The Complete Color Season in 2008.

Timeless Factory Video has also announced that another oater from the television of yesteryear will be released to stores on February 19th: it’s The Restless Gun: The Complete Series, an 8-DVD set (priced at $59.97 SRP) containing all seventy-seven episodes of the western series starring John Payne that ran on NBC-TV from 1957 to 1959.  (The TSOD blurb doesn’t mention this information, but I suspect that the show’s Schlitz Playhouse of Stars pilot will also be included, seeing as how it was present and accounted for on a previously released “Best of” 3-disc collection in 2007.)  I mentioned this show in a write-up I did on Timeless’ The Classic TV Western Collection in December of last year, and having enjoyed the episode of Gun that was included (“Cheyenne Express”) was kinda sorta hoping they’d tackle a complete series set.  (Fans of the show know that the program was loosely based on the short-lived but excellent old-time radio drama starring James Stewart, The Six Shooter.)

On a final Timeless Factory note…TSOD has a snapshot of the cover art for the box set The Loretta Young Show – The Best of the Complete Series: 100th Birthday Edition here.  (The set is scheduled for release on February 12.)

One final TV-on-DVD note: Image Entertainment is announcing the February 19th release of a 5-disc collection of Naked City shows entitled Naked City – Fan Favorites.  This shouldn’t be confused with the Madacy release due out on January 8 (Best of Naked City), even though there is duplication with eighteen of the episodes on both sets.  But the Fan Favorites collection will contain two episodes from the series’ first season (1958-59), when it ran thirty minutes: “Line of Duty” (10/14/58) and “Lady Bug, Lady Bug” (12/9/58).  To my knowledge, none of the thirty-nine half-hour installments from City’s freshman season have been released to disc…so the conundrum is: will I be willing to shell out the necessary drachmas just to get two half-hour episodes?  Well, the set is priced at $24.98 SRP…so this will indeed be a weighty decision.

Oh…one more thing…I got a nice Christmas card from the True Classics crew (Brandie, Carrie, Nikki, Sarah and Shlomo…no, wait—I think that last one’s a typo) in the mail today.  Many, many thanks for the wonderful sentiment—the ‘rents and I are most appreciative, and I would be remiss if I didn’t share it with the rest of the TDOY readership:

14 comments:

whistlingypsy said...

Hi Ivan, I just thought I’d drop by and send a few questions in your direction. My first question is regarding your Joe Penner film viewing history: have you seen any? My second question is somewhat similar, have you seen any of episodes of the Kane Richmond Spy Smasher serial? My third question is regarding the availability of both the Penner and Richmond films: does it require a massive treasure hunt at Big Lots to uncover them? My last question is regarding your bagel: was it guava jelly with the cream cheese? Thanks for any and all guidance you can provide. P.S. digging the Grinch, I watch him again last night for the first time in years (a decade?).

ClassicBecky said...

Underdog? I mean, I think it's a really funny show, but non-stop Underdog? I bet right now your Mom could make your brains into patties and serve them with syrup.

I want The Restless Gun and Naked City. Send them to me ASAP.

What a heartwarming Christmas card from the trueclassics crew! Were you born with your heart 3 sizes too small? (Or is that 4? I'll have to ask Boris.)

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

My pal ClassicBecky mocked the classic movie gods:

Were you born with your heart 3 sizes too small? (Or is that 4? I'll have to ask Boris.)

It’s 3. (Karloff have mercy on your soul.)

Then it was whistlinggypsy’s turn at the microphone:

regarding your bagel: was it guava jelly with the cream cheese?

Just strawberry preserves. (I have simple tastes.)

regarding your Joe Penner film viewing history: have you seen any?

The only two Penner films I’ve watched are Go Chase Yourself (1938) and The Day the Bookies Wept (1939). Penner is somewhat of an acquired taste; he was a popular radio comedian (one of his programs, The Baker’s Broadcast, featured a young Ozzie & Harriet) who had a very limited shtick—a catchphrase that swept the nation in “Wanna buy a duck?” Bookies is one of his better vehicles, a Damon Runyonesque tale that features a young Betty Grable back in her starlet days. In Chase Yourself, you get the benefit of Lucille Ball. I have Bookies around here somewhere (recorded it off TCM) and maybe I’ll write it up for the blog one of these days if I can lay my hands on it.

have you seen any of episodes of the Kane Richmond Spy Smasher serial?

I’ve seen the serial in its entirety. (The first time I saw it was during my video rental store days in the late 80s.) It takes a few liberties with the comic book it’s based on, but it’s considered by many serial fans to be one of the all-time best. (And it is great—action out the wazoo, which is what Republic specialized in.)

does it require a massive treasure hunt at Big Lots to uncover them?

Spy Smasher was released on VHS and laserdisc…but to my knowledge, has never been officially released on DVD. Not that you can’t locate a copy, of course; many Mom-and-Pop dealers offer it and most of them have the laserdisc version recorded to DVD. My good friend Martin Grams, Jr. has a nice copy of it at oldiedvd.com for seven bucks. (You can’t go wrong with that.)

As for Penner movies—the only one available on DVD is Go Chase Yourself, which is one of three features available in The Lucille Ball R-K-O Comedy Collection, Volume 1—a Warner Archive release. (The other two films are Next Time I Marry and Look Who’s Laughing, the old-time radio romp starring Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy and Fibber McGee & Molly.) Since Penner made the majority of his films at R-K-O, if you keep an eye peeled on TCM you might be able to record one the next time they run one.

Stacia said...

One commenter picks your brains, the next one wants to eat them. When the zombie apocalypse finally arrives, my friend, I suggest you hide very well.

Also, LAUGHING FOREVER at that Grinch card. He just looks so damned pleased with himself.

Chris Vosburg said...

That's Chuck Jones' Grinch, if I'm not mistaken, as rendered by him for the animated sixties special, voiced by Boris Karloff.

Complete with songs, sung by Thurl Ravenscroft, perhaps best known as the voice of Sugar Frosted Flakes spokes-tiger Tony: you know the voice-- "they're grrrrrrreat!"

I mentioned a coupla weeks ago in a thread about Elvira, mistress of the dark, that I used to run into her (actress Sandy Peterson) at a bar and grill on Melrose called Nickodell's, and there's one other famous person I met there: Yep, Thurl Ravenscroft.

He sat next to me one evening at the bar, and I didn't realize who he was until I heard that inimitable Basso Profundo, and struck up a conversation, and we chatted for a couple hours, which consisted mostly of his reminisces about his career, and some regrets about where the industry seemed to be going.

I've never met a more gracious and genial example of old-school Hollywood than Ravenscroft.

The guy wore an ascot, the last time I ever saw one worn, I think.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

That's Chuck Jones' Grinch, if I'm not mistaken, as rendered by him for the animated sixties special, voiced by Boris Karloff.

Probably my favorite of all the Christmas specials (stop snickering, Becky) -- the Boris participation being the huge plus.

He sat next to me one evening at the bar, and I didn't realize who he was until I heard that inimitable Basso Profundo, and struck up a conversation, and we chatted for a couple hours, which consisted mostly of his reminisces about his career, and some regrets about where the industry seemed to be going.

Chris, you can now tell people you're two degrees of separation away from Jack Benny -- Ravenscroft was a member of Jack's Sportsmen Quartet. :-)

ClassicBecky said...

I'm not snickering, Ivers ... the Grinch is my favorite Christmas show! It wouldn't be as wonderful as it is without Boris!

Chris Vosburg said...

Oh yeah-- and his own singing quartet, "The Mellomen", and one of the stories he told me was about the work they did for "Lady and the Tramp", where the four of them spent the afternoon working up convincing dog howl voices for a "barbershop quartet" style group howl in the movie.

A swell old duck was Thurl, and I am glad I met him.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Is Ravenscroft the bass-singing bulldog ("Bom bom bom bom bom") in that (Lady and the Tramp)? It sure sounds like him.

Stacia said...

Cassandra Peterson is from Manhattan -- well, technically the nearby town of Randolph, though the original town was flooded for Tuttle Creek. In high school I ran into her on the K-State campus quite by accident. We were there for a science event and she just happened to be on campus for a promotional event. The next time I heard about her, she was making a pilot for a show about being a witch and moving back to Manhattan, KS.

I really liked her, though I got the impression that back in Kansas was the last place she wanted to be.

Chris Vosburg said...

Yeah, that's Thurl.

He was not credited in that, nor in the Grinch movie, for that matter. He told me in our chat, "I don't need a credit, everybody knows it was me."

[laughing] And he is absolutely right.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

though I got the impression that back in Kansas was the last place she wanted to be

A sentiment shared by many residents of The Sunflower State, I'm sure. (Well, with the exception of Dorothy Gale -- that one still has me puzzled.)

Brandie said...

I'm just now catching up with my Google Reader, and I'm pleased as punch that you've received your card! Something told me you'd appreciate the Grinch, in all his Grinchy goodness. :D

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Something told me you'd appreciate the Grinch, in all his Grinchy goodness. :D

Oh, I dearly love How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Boris is just tremendous, Thurl is sensational...and it's most assuredly one of Chuck Jones' finest hours in animation. (The scene with the dog looking up at the top of the mountain, realizing he's got to haul that sled up it...puts me in hysterics every time.)