Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hey, kids—it’s Shameless Self-Promotion Corner!

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.

Tomorrow at 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.

But one review that is already up at the RS blog is 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.)

At ClassicFlix, I thought I’d contribute something appropriate for the Halloween holidays with a "Where's That Been?" look at 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.

Finally, last week Jill at Sittin’ on a Backyard Fence asked me if I could contribute to The Black Maria’s Monstravaganza, a week-long celebration of horror films and the like; I recycled some previous writing from here on the blog (I am nothing if not dedicated to recycling) and put together a piece on Thriller, the classic TV series hosted by TDOY idol Boris Karloff.  (Even though I was reworking previous essays, I had to spend a little time re-watching some of these repeats to kind of stoke the dormant memory banks—and I’m not sorry I did, because it reminded me of how wonderful some classic shows like “The Devil’s Ticket” and “Guillotine” can be.)  My distinguished colleague Terence at A Shroud of Thoughts will also have an essay up at the Maria (I was going to use the initials…and then I realized B.M. would not be appropriate) on old-time radio horror later on this week, so keep an eye peeled for it.

1 comment:

Terence Towles Canote said...

Thanks for the shout out! I really enjoyed your post on Thriller. It may be my 2nd favourite anthology show of all time (after Alfred Hitchcock Presents).