I’ll have an edition of “On the Grapevine” up later this afternoon…and if I don’t get too lazy (like that would never happen) I’ll discuss a recent “Adventures in Blu-ray” tomorrow. But I thought I’d keep you up to speed with what’s been going on around Rancho Yesteryear in the time that I had to take a quick vacation from the blog.
the Radio Spirits blog, I’ll have a brief retrospective on the six films produced by Universal between 1943 and 1945 that cashed in on the popularity of the radio horror series Inner Sanctum Mysteries. (Don’t click on the link until Friday at 8pm EDT—because it’s not technically up yet.) If you’ve been a member of the Thrilling Days of Yesteryear faithful since the days the blog was at Salon, you know that I did a review of the 2-DVD set Inner Sanctum Mysteries: The Complete Movie Collection there back in December 2006…but ever since Salon Blogs was vaporized by the Laser Cannon of Death, the essay has only been available if you own a device that reconstructs minute particles of disintegrated blogs. Okay, I’m only slightly kidding about this—I actually stumbled onto the old piece by fortuitous luck, and I re-tweaked it here and there for the RS blog…I won’t mention where the hiding place is because I don’t want to jinx anything should I have to go digging around the ruins again.
Gildersleeve’s Ghost (1944), the last in the brief film series based on the popular radio sitcom. It’s certainly not great cinema by any measure of the yardstick but Gildy fans might get a kick out of it. The Gildersleeve movies generally used only three performers from the program—Harold Peary (Gildy), Richard LeGrand (Peavey) and Lillian Randolph (Birdie)—but Ghost does feature an uncredited Earle Ross as The Great Man’s nemesis Judge Hooker. Ghost is also worth a look-see because it has a couple of swell performances from Marion Martin (as a disappearing chorus girl) and Nick Stewart (in the role usually played either by Willie Best or Mantan Moreland), and some fairly impressive special effects for a programmer. (In addition, the RS blog features another installment in the continuing rundown of the Boston Blackie movies with 1946’s A Close Call for Boston Blackie—an entry with a heavy emphasis on comedy and featuring TDOY fave Claire Carleton.)
The Old Dark House (1932), a neglected black comedy masterpiece that probably won’t make the rounds on The Greatest Cable Channel Known to Mankind™ (from what Dr. Film tells me, the rights issues are a nightmare) so you should try and score yourself the Kino DVD (which goes on sale from time to time) if you have an opportunity. And have a potato.