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  1. Top News Stories

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    • Fall/Winter 2005 Remakes

    • Whether the inspiration is to make a contemporary hit of an American classic or to translate a foreign smash into a domestic success, remakes always have the shadows of their progenitors looming over them.

      Even high-profile directors like Steven Spielberg can stumble when trying to recreate the magic somebody else originated; his Always failed to add much to A Guy Named Joe. Nonetheless, 16 years after that disappointment, Spielberg remade The War of the Worlds to much greater critical and commercial success.

      Then there are the vanity projects, such as Gus Van Sant's fairly inexplicable, almost frame-for-frame (but in color) remake of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. But then again, Hitch himself also tried his hand at remakes by retooling his own The Man Who Knew Too Much.

      Following on the heels of a summer that saw revivals of The Longest Yard and The Bad News Bears, the more serious fall schedule has its own plundering to do.

      Let's look ahead through our crystal ball to see what's in store from the irrepressible Jane Austen, a Pulitzer prize-winning political tale, and one really big ape:

      King Kong

      What makes the original a classic? The amazing craft of Willis O'Brien. The mark of his hands lives forever as the ripples on Kong's fur. Even beyond the stop-motion animation, the optical special effects are still amazing, 75 years later. All this is in service to a wonderful story that has inspired filmmaking nerds for decades.

      What could a remake possibly have to offer? The easy answer is "better" special effects, if you prefer the cold hard look of digital compositing to the human touch. But the real answer is "director Peter Jackson." Fresh off his career-defining Lord of the Rings trilogy, he has both everything and nothing to prove. He may need to prove that there's life after Gollum, and yet he can also rest on his laurels and only choose projects that genuinely inspire him. Let's hope the combination strikes a happy balance. Also on the bright side, nobody named De Laurentiis was involved in this production and no real 25-foot apes were harmed during the making of the film.

      What will the remake probably get wrong? Even in Peter Jackson's hands, there's still the possibility that special effects will trump the story.

      The Producers

      What makes the original a classic? The musical numbers that were so peppy and on-target that even their horrific lyrics couldn't drag them down. How about the perfect-fit personalities of Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder as Bialystock and Bloom? Then there was the perfect comedic form, with an ending both "tragic" and funny.

      What could a remake possibly have to offer? For one, it's based on the Broadway stage version, and not the movie. Is a remake of a remake more independent? Will it be less likely to disappoint? Director Susan Stroman, and stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick are hoping so.

      What will the remake probably get wrong? Feeling like a filmed stage show. It'll have to take on a life and logic of its own, as Chicago did, in order to connect with the film-going crowd. As the skillfully-crafted movie version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera proved, a boffo Broadway box office does not guarantee a line at the cinema. It all depends on how nimble director Stroman is at dancing from the Great White Way to the silver screen.

      Pride and Prejudice

      What makes the original a classic? Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier play Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, and Edna May Oliver is perfect as Lady Catherine. It's a straightforward, faithful adaptation of Austen's novel, unlike the recent Bollywood charmer, Bride & Prejudice.

      What could a remake possibly have to offer? A tough question. With Jane Austen movies a dime a dozen in the 1990s, it's hard to imagine anyone daring audiences to sit through two more hours of proto-feminist romance. And yet, reviews from Europe say that this version, while still straighforward and faithful to the book, is still worth seeing. So perhaps audiences can make room for one more.

      What will the remake probably get wrong? Nothing. It can't afford to. One false step and Austen-infatuated audiences would turn away.

      All The King's Men

      What makes the original a classic? It's a celebrated drama, winning 1949's Best Picture Oscar, based on an equally celebrated, Pulitzer prize-winning novel.

      What could a remake possibly have to offer? Timeliness. The story's focus on the abuse of power is relevant in today's political climate and the recent rash of scandals. Also, director Steven Zaillian has a solid resume that includes his screenplay for Schindler's List, and Sean Penn should make a great Willie Stark.

      What will the remake probably get wrong? Finger-pointing. The greatest risk would be alienating either the Ultra-Liberals or Ultra-Conservatives. But, even so, controversy can be golden and, given the pedigree of the cast and crew, if they play their cards right, both affiliations will use the movie as an argument against the other.

      The Pink Panther

      What makes the original a classic? Two words: Peter Sellers.

      What could a remake possibly have to offer? A different comedian's take on some classic material? Roberto Benigni tried it with Son of the Pink Panther and it didn't work. And earlier Alan Arkin attempted the role in Inspector Clouseau (1968) with disastrous results. It certainly doesn't offer a new story: at one point entitled The Birth of the Pink Panther, this supposed "prequel" mines familiar turf: The legendary buffoon Inspector Jacques Clouseau investigates a murder and diamond theft.

      What will the remake probably get wrong? For starters, the age of a younger Clouseau. Steve Martin is already 22 years older than Sellers was while making the first Pink Panther. At the peak of his stand-up career, Martin might have been able to pull this off, particularly with his "naive American" schtick that worked so well. But his comedy star is waning (even if his art and playwriting stock is soaring), and the brutal physical comedy of the original movies would seem to be out of his range now.

      The Fog

      What makes the original a classic? Director John Carpenter, known for horror and action films with a brain.

      What could a remake possibly have to offer? Carpenter's version was a good idea that had some basic problems that kept it from scaring audiences like Halloween did. A remake could potentially improve on Carpenter's tale.

      What will the remake probably get wrong? Video director Rupert Wainwright directed Patricia Arquette in a horror film called Stigmata, which, at best was a guilty pleasure for critics. If John Carpenter wasn't smart enough to get this movie right, it's hard to imagine Wainwright doing any better.

      Poseidon

      What makes the original a classic? Well, "classic" may be too strong a word, but the original was one of the blockbusters of its day, cashing in on the Airport disaster movie craze and opening the floodgates for other Irwin Allen "classics" such as The Towering Inferno and The Swarm.

      What could a remake possibly have to offer? Better special effects. Peterson has loads of experience making movies about boats (Das Boot) and big movies featuring big action set pieces.

      What will the remake probably get wrong? Peterson has adopted American action movie formulas too wholeheartedly (see Troy for an example). Hopefully this one will go back to Peterson's roots and focus on everyday characters facing genuine conflict instead of action-movie villains who want to take over the world. In spite of the watery setting, be wary that this might be an Air Force One instead of a Das Boot.

      Yours, Mine and Ours

      What makes the original a classic? Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball (in her second-to-last movie), for starters. Two single parents, he with ten kids, she with eight, cram 20 people into a house. No doubt the inspiration for The Brady Bunch and Eight is Enough, it gets Leondard Maltin's seal of approval as a "wholesome 'family' picture" while still being well-written.

      What could a remake possibly have to offer? How about a less naive, more modern take on family life? With Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo it could go that direction. And director Raja Gosnell's Never Been Kissed with Drew Barrymore found just the right amount of sweetness.

      What will the remake probably get wrong? Judging by director Gosnell's critical flops Home Alone 3, Big Mama's House, and Scooby-Doo, we may not be able to hope for more than cheap laughs and easy sentimentality.

      Fun With Dick and Jane

      What makes the original a classic? It's something of a 1977 time capsule. George Segal and Jane Fonda play it for laughs as they find themselves $70,000 in debt after Segal's character suddenly -- and without warning -- loses his job. They begin robbing drug stores to maintain their comfortable lifestyle.

      What could a remake possibly have to offer? A contemporary spin. With people filing for bankruptcy at a record rate as the national laws change, this is another remake that can play off the "timeliness" factor, hopefully for laughs. With the movie being released Christmas week, Carrey and Leoni could make this tale of a married couple up to their eyeballs in debt a happy holiday hoot. Also, the opportunities for a biting social commentary, perhaps sugar-coated, are most certainly there.

      What will the remake probably get wrong? Jim Carrey. If it follows in the footsteps of Bewitched, which turned into just another generic Will Ferrell movie, then this one will be just another madcap Jim Carrey movie. Also, look for a turn-off if they go for gross-out laughs instead of aspiring to something a bit smarter and situational.

      by Marty Mapes & Matt Anderson

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  1. New Books

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    • Must-See Sci-Fi: 50 Movies That Are Out of This World


    • By Sloan De Forest

      Spanning nine decades and branded by the most trusted authority on film, Turner Classic Movies: Must-See Sci-Fi showcases 50 of the most shocking, weird, wonderful, and mind-bending movies ever made.

      From A Trip to the Moon (1902) to Arrival (2016), science fiction cinema has produced a body of classics with a broader range of styles, stories, and subject matter than perhaps any other film genre. They are movies that embed themselves in the depths of the mind, coloring our view of day-to-day reality and probably fueling a few dreams (and nightmares) along the way.

      In Turner Classic Movies: Must-See Sci-Fi, fifty unforgettable films are profiled, including beloved favorites like The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) and Fantastic Voyage (1966), groundbreaking shockers like Planet of the Apes (1968) and Alien (1979), and lesser-known landmarks like Things to Come (1936) and Solaris (1972). Illustrated by astounding color and black-and-white images, the book presents the best of this mind-bending genre, detailing through insightful commentary and behind-the-scenes stories why each film remains essential viewing. A perfect gift for any film buff or sci-fi fanatic!


      Sloan De Forest is a writer, actor, and film historian who has written about film for Sony, Time Warner Cable, the Mary Pickford Foundation, and Bright Lights Film Journal. She has contributed essays to the books Natalie Wood: Reflections on a Legendary Life by Manoah Bowman and Grace Kelly: Hollywood Dream Girl by Jay Jorgensen and Manoah Bowman. She lives in Hollywood-mentally, spiritually, and geographically.

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    • Hooked on Hollywood: Discoveries from a Lifetime of Film Fandom


    • by Leonard Maltin

      Leonard Maltin is one of the world's most respected film critics and historians. From his thirty-year tenure on the hit TV show Entertainment Tonight to his annual paperback reference work Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide (and its companion volume, Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide), Maltin stands without equal as a thought leader on Hollywood's past and present.

      On July 2, 2018, Maltin - a New York Times bestselling author several times over with over 7 millions books sold - will release a gorgeously produced 400-plus page trade paperback, HOOKED ON HOLLYWOOD: Discoveries from a Lifetime of Film Fandom. This newest work of Maltin's will be released by GoodKnight Books, an award-winning boutique American publisher, which in recent years has become well-known for their expertly curated catalog of biographies and non-fiction books about Hollywood's Golden Era (including the 2016 bestseller, Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe by Robert Matzen).

      In HOOKED ON HOLLYWOOD, Maltin opens up his vast and illustrious personal archive to take readers on a fascinating journey through film history. A pioneer of "self-publishing," Maltin began interviewing greats of Hollywood as a precocious teenager in 1960s New York City. At only thirteen-years-old he became a regular contributor to the magazines Film Fan Monthly and The 8mm Collector (known today as Classic Images), as well as publishing his own humble journal called Profile - "literally cranked out by a mimeograph machine," he reveals. He has since gone on to enjoy a prolific freelance writing career with regular bylines in publications including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Esquire, Smithsonian, and Playboy magazine (where he served as film critic for six years).

      Featuring over 200 rare photos and a veritable treasure trove of never-before-seen material, HOOKED ON HOLLYWOOD is divided into four key sections:

      "Hollywood Featurettes" - key feature articles from Maltin's Movie Crazy newsletter are shared for the first time, providing new perspectives on such topics as the masterful soundtrack subtleties of Casablanca and Hollywood's long standing love affair with remakes.

      "Early Interviews" - which shines the spotlight on teenaged Maltin's interactions with movie stars, directors, and movers and shakers in Hollywood's Golden Age, including Warner Bros. sexy, wise-cracking pre-Code siren Joan Blondell, Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated actor Burgess Meredith, early screen heartthrob George O'Brien, and Cecil B. DeMille's right-hand-man Henry Wilcoxon, among others.

      "Later In-Depth Interviews" - where Maltin shares first-hand stories of working with Orson Welles, how Buster Keaton forged a new career for himself in the television era, and what life was like under Louis B. Mayer, Jack Warner, Harry Cohn, and other titans of Tinseltown through seven carefully selected conversation transcripts with some of Hollywood's most significant behind-the-scenes players.

      "The Forgotten Studio" - an eye-opening look at RKO Radio Pictures, which gave us such classics as King Kong and the many dance musicals of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

      Leonard Maltin's love of movies and vast knowledge of their history shines through from HOOKED ON HOLLYWOOD's first page to the last, which is sure to prove as wildly entertaining to readers as it does deeply informative to future film scholars.


      Leonard Maltin is one of the world's most respected film critics and historians. He is best known for his widely used reference work, Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide and its companion volume Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide, as well as his thirty-year run on television's Entertainment Tonight. He teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, appears regularly on Turner Classic Movies, and hosts the weekly podcast Maltin on Movies for the Nerdist network with his daughter Jessie. His books include The 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen, Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons, The Great Movie Comedians, The Disney Films, The Art of the Cinematographer, Movie Comedy Teams, The Great American Broadcast, and Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia. He served two terms as President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, votes for films to be selected for the National Film Registry, and was appointed by the Librarian of Congress to sit on the Board of Directors of the National Film Preservation Foundation. He hosted and co-produced the popular Walt Disney Treasures DVD series and has appeared on innumerable television programs and documentaries. He is the recipient of awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, American Society of Cinematographers, the Telluride Film Festival, George Eastman House, Anthology Film Archives, and San Diego's Comic-Con International. Perhaps the pinnacle of his career was his appearance in a now-classic episode of South Park (or was it Carmela consulting his Movie Guide on an episode of The Sopranos?)

      He holds court at www.leonardmaltin.com. Follow him on Twitter (@LeonardMaltin) and Facebook (/LeonardMaltin).

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    • Herbert Marshall - A Biography


    • by Scott O'Brien

      Herbert Marshall - A Biography (BearManor, 2018) details the unique twists and turns in the career of a man who reluctantly became an actor. "My father was responsible for making me dread the theater," he admitted. After being sacked as an office boy for a London accountant, Bart Marshall (as friends called him) finally followed in his father's footsteps. That is, until King and Country stepped in during WWI. "I was a Lady from Hell," he mused years later. "The London Scottish, a kilted infantry regiment." On the Western Front, shrapnel destroyed Bart's knee. His leg was amputated. What Marshall brought to the screen was rooted in the unforeseen consequences of this traumatic war injury.

      Film historian/author Kevin Brownlow (who wrote the book's Foreword) notes how Marshall played subtlety with audiences emotions. Norma Shearer rhapsodized, "The first time I ever saw Mr. Marshall on screen ... I thought I had never seen a lady so thoroughly and convincingly loved." Her sentiments were echoed by Garbo, Dietrich, Colbert, Stanwyck, Crawford, Bette Davis--all clamoring for his service as leading man. Off-screen, Bart was seduced into a scandalous affair with Gloria Swanson. Marshall's forte, as director Edmund Goulding pointed out, was having "the most seductive voice on the screen." Marshall could coax moonlight into champagne for the Lubitsch classic Trouble in Paradise (1932). He was equally adept at stripping away one's sense of security, playing the menace in Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent (1940).

      Not to be overlooked is Marshall's dedication helping hundreds of amputees and vets during WWII. He was more candid about himself in these situations, and made a tremendous hit with the men. While Marshall cast his spell on moviegoers, he was adamant about one thing. "I am not a gentleman," he insisted. "To me the term implies artificiality--a studied pose, and I'm damned if I'm artificial!" As the late Robert Osborne aptly stated, "Marshall's personal story is a fascinating one."


      Scott O'Brien's biographies on Kay Francis, Virginia Bruce, Ann Harding, Ruth Chatterton, George Brent and Sylvia Sidney made the "Best of the Year" category in various publications. Herbert Marshall - A Biography is illustrated with 170 photos from the actor's private life and professional career.

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    • Wayne and Ford: The Films, the Friendship, and the Forging of an American Hero


    • By Nancy Schoenberger

      For over twenty years John Ford and John Wayne were a blockbuster Hollywood team, turning out many of the finest Western films ever made. Their most productive years saw the release of one iconic film after another: Rio Grande, The Quiet Man, The Searchers, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence. But by 1960, the bond of their friendship had frayed, and Wayne felt he could move beyond his mentor with his first solo project, The Alamo. Few of Wayne's following films would have the brilliance or the cachet of a John Ford Western but, taken collectively, the careers of these two men changed movie making in ways that endure to this day. Drawing on previously untapped caches of letters and personal documents, Nancy Schoenberger dramatically narrates a complicated, poignant, and iconic friendship, and the lasting legacy of that friendship on American culture.


      Nancy Schoenberger is a professor of English and creative writing at the College of William and Mary. She is the author of Dangerous Muse: The Life of Lady Caroline Blackwood, and coauthor with her husband, Sam Kashner, of books on Oscar Levant, George Reeves, and the relationship between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. She lives in Williamsburg, Virginia.

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  1. DVD Reviews

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    • Dick Dinman Salutes the Scott/Boetticher Blu-ray Collection!

    • DICK DINMAN SALUTES THE SCOTT/BOETTICHER BLU-RAY COLLECTION: British home video label Indicator/Powerhouse has just released FIVE TALL TALES: BUDD BOETTICHER & RANDOLPH SCOTT AT COLUMBIA BLU-RAY COLLECTION and to celebrate this long-awaited occasion legendary western star Randolph Scott is saluted along with the director of seven of Scott's finest cinema classics Budd Boetticher. Dick Dinman's guests are Michael Dante who costarred with Scott in a Boetticher directed western and has some great stories to tell, as well as Senior Vice President In Charge Of Restoration for Sony Pictures Entertainment Grover Crisp who describes the arduous and time-consuming process it took to bring the Scott-Boetticher cinema milestones to home video.

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

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    • Dick Dinman & Bob Furmanek Survive the Horror of the 3D MAZE!


    • DICK DINMAN & BOB FURMANEK SURVIVE THE HORROR OF THE 3D "MAZE"!: With their amazingly immersive 4K 3D Blu-ray release of the terror-filled chiller THE MAZE (distributed by Kino Lorber Entertainment) the 3D Film Archive continues their acclaimed tradition of painstakingly restoring the original 50's 3D classics to their visual sensation-inducing brilliance and to celebrate the occasion the 3D Film Archive's head honcho Robert Furmanek rejoins producer/host Dick Dinman with his account of the challenges inherent in restoring not only 3D picture but 3 Channel Stereo Sound to this much requested creep-fest.

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

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    • Dick Dinman & Eddie Muller Dispense a Double Dose of Dana!

    • DICK DINMAN & EDDIE MULLER DISPENSE A DOUBLE DOSE OF DANA: The Warner Archive has just released on Blu-ray legendary director Fritz Lang's last two American-made edge-of-your-seat thrillers WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS and BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT in their original wide screen SuperScope incarnations and popular film noir author and TCM host Eddie Muller rejoins producer/host Dick Dinman as they both salute the unjustly underrated star of both films, Dana Andrews.

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

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    • Dick Dinman & Jane Russell Revisit a Controversial "Outlaw"!

    • DICK DINMAN & JANE RUSSELL REVISIT A CONTROVERSIAL "OUTLAW"! Kino Lorber's KL Classics division adds a new 2K Blu-ray restoration of Howard Hughes' incendiary and controversial western epic THE OUTLAW to their impressive list of film classic home video releases and to celebrate the occasion producer/host Dick Dinman revisits his previous chat with the late OUTLAW sensation Jane Russell which is presented uncut and unedited for the very first time.

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

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    • Dick Dinman Salutes Gary Cooper's Blu THE HANGING TREE!

    • DICK DINMAN SALUTES GARY COOPER'S BLU "THE HANGING TREE": Producer/host Dick Dinman and Warner Home Video's Senior Vice President of Classic and Theatrical Marketing George Feltenstein celebrate the Warner Archive's lustrously restored Blu-ray release of THE HANGING TREE one of legendary superstar Gary Cooper's most unjustly forgotten masterworks and actress Joan Leslie (who at the tender age of 16 costarred with Cooper in SERGEANT YORK) and acclaimed director Michael Anderson (who directed Cooper's final two films) regale Dick with their praise of Cooper's uniquely invisible acting technique.

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

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  1. Press Release

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    • Web Reviewer Glenn Erickson Launches 'CineSavant'


    • Web reviewer Glenn Erickson, aka 'DVD Savant' has established a new home under a new identity, 'CineSavant.' Reviewing independently since 1998, the Savant database has grown to over five thousand reviews and articles, and become one of the most respected and sought-out review pages on the web for news and opinions about classic films on disc. Readership boomed when the page Trailers from Hell picked up Glenn's reviews as featured content in 2015.

      A varied background helps add perspective to Glenn's reviews; from the UCLA Film School he worked in special effects, and then moved on to TV commercial work, and trailers for The Cannon Group. A long stint with MGM/UA Home Video led to editing large-scale DVD extras and other special projects. He began writing for the web in 1997 as 'MGM Video Savant.' Working with the film curators at MGM, Glenn helped detect and produced the restoration of the original ending of the film noir classic Kiss Me Deadly. Glenn has published two books of reviews, and has been writing and researching for TCM since 2004.

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    • TCM Remembers Tab Hunter

    • Turner Classic Movies pays tribute to Tab Hunter on Friday, July 20 with the following festival of films. This program will replace the previously scheduled movies for that day so please take note.

      The new schedule for Friday, July 20 will be:
      6:00am - The Steel Lady (1953)
      7:30am - Return to Treasure Island (1954)
      9:00am - Lafayette Escadrille (1958)
      10:45am - Operation Bikini (1963)
      12:15pm - The Golden Arrow (1964)
      2:00pm - The Girl He Left Behind (1956)
      4:00pm - The Burning Hills (1956)
      5:45pm - The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)



      Tab Hunter passed away on Sunday, July 8 in Santa Barbara, California just a few days shy of his 87th birthday.

      Hunter parlayed his all-American blond good looks and wholesomeness into screen stardom, becoming an idol for 1950s teenagers who adored his boy-next-door persona and physique. He was cast in Joseph Losey's "The Lawless" (1950), despite having no previous acting experience, and earned his first starring role in 1952's "Island of Desire" opposite Linda Darnell. He went on to play the ingénue for the likes of Raoul Walsh ("Battle Cry," 1955), William Wellman ("Lafayette Escadrille," aka "Hellbent for Glory," 1958) and Sidney Lumet ("That Kind of Woman," 1959). He also launched a recording career, and had a hit record in 1957 with the song "Young Love," which appeared at #1 on the Billboard charts for six straight weeks and sold over one million copies. Hunter appeared in "Gunman's Walk" (1958), as well as performed the song "I'm a Runaway" in the film. Later that year he delivered his memorable portrayal of long-suffering Washington Senators fan Joe Hardy in George Abbott and Stanley Donen's Faustian musical, "Damn Yankees," and appeared opposite Geraldine Page in the Emmy-nominated "Portrait of a Murderer" installment of "Playhouse 90." In the 1960s, he starred in pictures such as "Operation Bikini" (1963) and "Ride the Wild Surf" (1964), and appeared in Tony Richardson's "The Loved One" (1965). During this time, he also starred in his own series on NBC, and, in 1964, performed on Broadway opposite Tallulah Bankhead in the Tennessee Williams play "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore."

      Hunter returned to the big screen in the 1970s with John Huston's "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean" (1972), then attempted to reinvent himself in parts running counter to his popular image. He also had a regular role during the last year of the syndicated soap send-up "Fernwood Tonight/Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman." Perhaps his finest performance was as the lonely Venice Beach psychopath of Curtis Hanson's directing debut, "The Arousers" (1973), but he also acted in three movies with Divine, most notably John Waters' "Polyester" (1981). Hunter produced Paul Bartel's Western spoof "Lust in the Dust" (1984), as well as starred opposite Divine, and picked up a story credit for David Hemmings' "Dark Horse" (1992). In recent years, he has been featured as an interview subject in documentaries about Hollywood figures, including "Wild Bill, Hollywood Maverick: The Life and Times of William A. Wellman" (1995) and "I Am Divine" (2013), and on TV in "Sophia Loren: Actress Italian Style" (A&E, 1997) and "Natalie Wood: The E! True Hollywood Story" (1997). In 2005, Hunter released his autobiography, "Tab Hunter Confidential," which became a New York Times bestseller. The book was the basis for a documentary film in 2015, produced by Allan Glaser and directed by Jeffrey Schwarz, which premiered at the South by Southwest festival and subsequently played at a number of other festivals and screenings, and received a theatrical release in October of that year.

      (Biographical data courtesy of TCMDb)

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    • Vic Damone (1928-2018)

    • Vic Damone, the legendary singer who came up in the big band era and saw his popularity as a crooner develop into a long career as a recording artist, nightclub entertainer, actor and radio-TV presenter, died February 11, 2018 in Miami Beach, FL at the age of 89.

      No less a figure than Frank Sinatra once proclaimed singer Vic Damone as possessing the "best pipes in the business," which he parlayed into a popular recording career in the late 1940s and 1950s with such hits as "You're Breaking My Heart," "Again" and "My Heart Cries for You," among many other lush romantic ballads. Damone also enjoyed a secondary career as an actor, largely as lovestruck youth in such Hollywood musicals as Deep in My Heart (1954) and Kismet (1955). Like many pop crooners, Damone was unmoored by the rise of rock-n-roll in the early 1960s, though he segued successfully into the casino circuit in the 1970s, where he remained active and in fine voice until his retirement following a stroke in 2001. Though never a cultural institution like Sinatra or Nat "King" Cole, Vic Damone's rich baritone provided him with a slew of hits in the 1950s and a career on stage that compared with and even outlasted many of his contemporaries.

      Born Vito Rocco Farinola on June 12, 1928 in Brooklyn, NY, Vic Damone was one of five children and the only son of electrician Rocco Farinola and his wife, Mamie Damone, both of whom were immigrants who hailed from Sicily. Music was an important component of Damone's life from an early age; his mother taught piano, while his father played guitar. However, he drew his greatest inspiration from Frank Sinatra, whose meteoric rise to pop stardom inspired the younger man to take singing lessons. These were cut short when his father suffered a serious injury in a work accident, prompting Damone to drop out of school and work as an usher and elevator operator at the Paramount Theater in Manhattan. While bringing Perry Como to his dressing room following a performance at the theater, Damone asked the singer if he would hear him sing in order to judge if he had talent. His rendition of "There Must Be a Way" impressed Como, who referred Damone to a local bandleader. After adopting the stage moniker of Vic Damone, he made his professional debut as a singer in early 1947 with a performance on WHN radio in New York shortly before capturing first place on "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts" in April of that year. This in turn led to regular appearances on the Godfrey show, where he met Milton Berle. The comic helped to broker a contract for Damone to perform at the La Martinique and Aquarium nightclubs, which afforded him major exposure. By the summer of 1947, Damone had signed with Mercury Records, which released his debut single, "I Have But One Heart." The record reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, as did its immediate follow-up, "You Do."

      Damone was soon hosting his own radio program, Saturday Night Serenade, while playing live dates at major New York theaters such as the Copa and even his previous employers, the Paramount. In 1948, he scored four Top 30 singles, including a duet with Patti Page on "Say Something Sweet to Your Sweetheart," before returning to the Top 10 with the million-seller "Again" in 1949. His next release that year, "You're Breaking My Heart," became his first and only single to top the pop charts, though he would visit the Top 10 on several occasions in the late '40s and early '50s, most notably with a 1950 cover of "Tzena, Tzena, Tzena," an Israeli folk song adapted by the Weavers, and "My Heart Cries for You," which reached No. 4 in 1950. That same year, he signed a film contract with MGM, which led to his screen debut as an amorous Frenchman in pursuit of Jane Powell in Rich, Young and Pretty (1951). After scoring one more Top 5 hit with "My Truly Truly Fair" in 1951, Damone was inducted into the Army, where he served until 1953. Mercury kept him in the spotlight during this period by releasing a steady string of material recorded by Damone prior to his tour of duty, including the Top 10 hits "Here in My Heart" (1952) and "April in Portugal" and "Ebb Tide," both in 1953.

      Upon his return from military service, Damone resumed his film career, enjoying featured or co-starring roles in major musical productions like Hit the Deck (1955) and the screen adaptation of Kismet (1955). His singing career, however, entered the doldrums, prompting him to leave Mercury for Columbia in 1956. That year, Damone would score a No. 4 hit with "On the Street Where You Live," from the musical "My Fair Lady," but the single would prove his final visit to the Top 10 pop charts. Though his albums performed well, Damone had lost his ground on the singles chart to the growing rock-n-roll movement, and by 1961, he had left Columbia for Capitol. The label attempted to groom Damone into a mature balladeer with 1962's "Linger Awhile with Vic Damone" (1962), which, like its five follow-ups, earned him critical acclaim but few record sales. From 1962 to 1963, he hosted an NBC variety series called "The Lively Ones," which featured an impressive array of jazz and folk performers.

      Damone again changed labels in 1965, moving to Warner Bros., where he earned a Top 30 hit with "You Were Only Fooling." It also reached No. 8 on the adult contemporary charts, where he would consistently place in the Top 40 for the next half-decade, until earning his final U.S. chart hit with "To Make a Big Man Cry," which reached No. 31 on the adult contemporary charts in 1969. Damone's finances took a downward turn in the early 1970s, forcing him to declare bankruptcy. But after staging a major concert in Las Vegas in 1971, he became a staple of the casino and nightclub circuit, which returned him to solvency. Damone soon became such a popular figure in this arena that he expanded his touring to the United Kingdom, where he was received warmly by audiences. Damone's popularity overseas prompted him to return to recording, issuing several albums through RCA between 1992 and 1995. He remained active until 2000, when a minor stroke brought his stage career to a close with a farewell concert in Palm Beach, FL. In 2009, he penned his autobiography, Singing Was the Easy Part, shortly before breaking his retirement with a special one-off performance in 2011.

      by Paul Gaita

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    • Cinecon 54 - Aug. 30-Sept. 3 in Hollywood, California


    • For more than half a century Cinephiles have gathered over Labor Day Weekend to celebrate the movies at the annual Cinecon Classic Film Festival. Cinecon is where archivists, authors, collectors and film fans come together for five days of classic film screenings, special programs, celebrity guests, and the best movie memorabilia show in the nation. Cinecon is dedicated to showcasing unusual films that are rarely given public screenings.

      The five-day festival will revive dozens of rare and recently-restored films--some in limbo for decades--at the historic Grauman's Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. The event will also honor the film careers of several actors and filmmakers from Hollywood's Golden Age. Schedule updates and complete information may be found at
      www.cinecon.org
      and
      www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-of-Cinecon-Classic-Film-Festival/318809389544

      Among this year's Cinecon honorees are Academy Award winning actress EVA MARIE SAINT, who will attend on Friday August 31, 2018 to receive the CINECON LEGACY AWARD. Ms. Saint's prolific career in films, television and stage has spanned more than 70 years and has included such iconic films as On the Waterfront, North by Northwest, Exodus, Grand Prix and Raintree County among many more.

      Among the films being scheduled for Cinecon 54:

      HELEN'S BABIES (1924, Sol Lesser Prod.)
      Shades of "Family Affair!" In this silent comedy Edward Everett Horton is a young bachelor, Uncle Harry, who suddenly finds himself saddled with raising two precocious little girls: Jeanne Carpenter and Baby Peggy, who at the time this film was released was the second most popular child star (after Jackie Coogan of Chaplin's THE KID) in all of moviedom. The girl's antics drive him crazy at first, but then he begins to warm to them. 19-year-old Clara Bow is the local girl who enters into Uncle Harry's life.

      Baby Peggy's real-life father, Jack Montgomery was stand-in and stuntman for cowboy star Tom Mix and Baby Peggy grew up to chronicle Hollywood's early history in a series of wonderful books under the pen name of Diana Serra Cary. She turns 100 this year.

      Diana is a long-time friend to Cinecon, and this year's Opening Gala, will be honoring her milestone birthday with the PREMIER of a NEW RESTORATION of HELEN'S BABIES from The Library of Congress, featuring newly discovered footage unseen since the film was originally released. It will be accompanied LIVE by THE FAMOUS PLAYER'S ORCHESTRA with new original score compiled and lead by maestro Scott Lasky!

      OUTSIDE THE LAW (1920, Universal)
      The great Lon Chaney, "The Man of a Thousand Faces," shows off his acting chops when he plays two roles in this silent crime drama. He plays both "Black Mike" Sylva, a cruel gangster, and, in his remarkable make-up, he plays Ah Wing, a kindly Chinese servant. Directed by Chaney's frequent collaborator, Tod Browning, this was their second film together. With popular actress Priscilla Dean as the daughter of a crime boss who is thinking of going straight thanks to the influence of the Chinatown community. Look for an uncredited Anna May Wong in a small role.

      LAUREL AND HARDY AT CINECON
      Two classic L&H shorts newly restored by UCLA and UCLA's head of restoration (and friend of Cinecon) Scott MacQueen:
      BRATS (1930, Hal Roach Studio)
      The boys play their own children in this special effects extravaganza.
      HOG WILD (1930, Hal Roach Studio)
      Mrs. Hardy wants to get China on their radio, so Stan and Ollie attempt to erect a new antenna on the Hardy's roof.

      THE APE (1940, Monogram)
      So... how often do you get a chance to see a Monogram film on the big screen in a sparkling new 35mm print? That's what we thought when we were looking for this year's tribute to the late night Creature Features we grew up with, and George Willeman of the Library of Congress told us that they had a newly minted print of THE APE. "Now we can clearly see how bad this movie really is!" one of our board members said. Love it or hate it, horror icon Boris Karloff gives his all as an outcast scientist stuck in a rural California desert town, looking for a cure for Polio. And neither an escaped circus gorilla nor murder will stop him! Creaky, but with some great scenes of vintage circus acts.

      GOLDIE (1931, Fox)
      The politically incorrect comic tale of salty sailors and the women they tattoo. An uncredited remake of Howard Hawks' silent "A Girl in Every Port," when this pre-code was submitted for a re-release in 1937 a storm of protest came from the Hayes Office which sited its "vulgarity and low-tone." Sounds good, no? A sailor, Spike (Warren Hymer), keeps meeting women who carry the signature tattoo of the mysterious Bill (Spencer Tracy) another sailor. When he finally meets the legendary Bill, the two become fast friends. Then Spike falls for a carnival high-diver named Goldie (Jean Harlow). She also has Bill's signature tattoo...

      ASEGURE A SU MUJER (INSURE YOUR WIFE!) (1935, Fox)
      Foreign-language versions of early talkies were not uncommon, but this zany farce was so racy that the Breen office forbade Fox to make it in English! Raul Roulien (also in IT'S GREAT TO BE ALIVE) plays a ladies' man with a Big Idea: Infidelity Insurance! If a man's wife cheats on him, the company has to pay him damages. It's a big success... until it unexpectedly blows up in his face. Also in the cast are such familiar faces as Antonio Moreno, Mona Maris, Barbara Howard, Carlos "Spanish Dracula" Villarias and Luis Alberni - who's even more over the top in Spanish than he is in English! Directed by Lewis Seiler, this was recently preserved by Academy Film Archive and 20th Century Fox. (Subtitled, of course).

      THE GOLDEN HORDE (1951, Universal)
      Marvin Miller, star of the popular 1950's television show THE MILLIONAIRE is Genghis Khan, attacking the country of Samarkand in 13th Century Central Asia. Ann Blyth is the country's Princess Shalimar who is busy welcoming a group of English Crusaders who want to defend the country from the invading Golden Horde! With Henry Brandon as Genghis Khan's son, Juchi. And with George Macready, Richard Egan and Peggy Castle. Filmed in Death Valley in Technicolor.

      KING SOLOMON OF BROADWAY (1935, Universal)
      New York gangster "Ice" Larson (no relation!), is owner of the Broadway nightclub, Solomon's Palace, but he's doing time in Sing Sing. Meanwhile his debonair associate, "King" Solomon (Edmund Lowe), is running the joint. One night during a card game King loses the nightclub to Ice Larson's main rival and he has only three days to come up with $64,000 to get the club back before Ice finds out. There follows a car accident, a new girlfriend, her rich uncle, a kidnapping, a gun fight and a number of night club acts!

      SCOTLAND YARD (1941, 20th Century Fox)
      A tale of crime, romance and switched identities. A London bank robber on the run from Scotland Yard's Inspector Cork (Edmund Gwenn) breaks into the home of a drunken bank manager and his put-upon wife (Nancy Kelly). He rescues the woman from her abusive husband and escapes, taking a locket with their pictures in it as a souvenir. Later Inspector Cork learns that the robber joined the military and has died in battle at Dunkirk after serving with distinction. In reality he has been sent back to England with his face destroyed. The plastic surgeons think the photograph in the locket is the soldier, so they make him look just like the bank manager (John Loder). After recuperating he decides to take the man's place and rob his bank.

      MILLION DOLLAR LEGS (1932, Paramount)
      The tag line for this movie was "It's Insane, It's Joyous!" Both are true. Especially the "Insane" part. A truly surreal experience, if you're in the right mood, this may be the funniest film you've ever seen. W.C. Fields is the physically super-strong President of Klopstokia, a small country on the brink of bankruptcy and where every man is named George and every woman is named Angela. Jack Oakie is a tourist in the country, in love with the President's daughter (Susan Fleming). He comes up with a plan to save the country: enter Klopstokia in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics where the President can win the weight-lifting competition. "Klopstokia - A far away country - chief exports: goats and nuts." chief imports: goats and nuts - chief inhabitants: goats and nuts." With Andy Clyde, Ben Turpin, Hugh Herbert, Dickie Moore. MILLION DOLLAR LEGS was released in Los Angeles three weeks before the start of the real Los Angeles Olympics.

      INFERNAL MACHINE (1933, Fox)
      They don't come much stranger than this one. It's ostensibly a thriller about an ocean liner with a time bomb planted somewhere - but it's played largely as a screwy romantic comedy! The glittery cast - mostly playing to type - includes Chester Morris, Genevieve Tobin (no relation!), Victor Jory, Elizabeth Patterson, Edward Van Sloan, J. Carrol Naish, Mischa Auer and Arthur Hohl - plus Nat Pendleton speaking French as a Parisian street thug. Directed by Marcel Varnel, this was the hit of UCLA's 2017 Festival of Preservation. We're glad to be able to share it this Labor Day weekend with the Cinecon crowd.

      ON THE AVENUE (1937, 20th Century Fox)
      The standard "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm," was written by Irving Berlin for this musical. And watta cast! Dick Powell, Madeleine Carroll, Alice Faye and (drum roll, please) The Ritz Brothers! When a new show opens on Broadway a sketch makes fun of an important New York family. The family members happen to be in the audience for the premier that night. Insulted, the daughter (Madeleine Carroll) goes backstage to complain to the Producer/Star (Dick Powell) but sparks fly and by the next morning the two are in love. That's not such good news for the Star's Co-Star (Alice Faye) who's in love with the Star herself. She sets out to sabotage the romance... Okay, now get a load of just some of the supporting cast members: George Barbier, Alan Mowbray, Cora Witherspoon, Joan Davis, Walter Catlett, Sig Ruman, Billy Gilbert and... (gasping as I catch my breath)... Stepin Fetchit. Directed by Roy Del Ruth.

      THE SHAKEDOWN (1929, Universal)
      Once thought lost, this silent film, directed by William Wyler, was recently restored by Universal. James Murray is Dave Roberts, a low-life boxer who is part of a scam operation. He travels from town to town, ahead of his bosses, establishing himself as a boxer and local hero. Then the bosses come into town with another boxer, looking for a challenger, and a match is set up. Then Dave takes a dive and his bosses rake in the gambling profits. One day Dave arrives in a new town, meets a waitress (Barbara Kent) and her son and begins to re-think the direction of his life. He decides to turn the tables on the men who have been running his life.

      ...AND MORE!


      All announced titles are subject to final film clearances. Celebrity appearances are confirmed pending unforeseen circumstances. Please check http://www.cinecon.org for schedule updates, details on how to register, and hotel information.

      The Egyptian Theater is located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028
      Loews Hollywood Hotel is located at 1755 North Highland Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90028.

      Cinecon will also feature a movie memorabilia show at Loews Hollywood Hotel, near the Egyptian Theater. Attendees may purchase rare movie stills, posters, lobby cards and other film-related collectibles.

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To Kill a Mockingbird - 50th Anniversary DVD
$8.55
was $14.98
Out of the Past DVD
$14.36
was $17.99
Rear Window DVD
$10.47
was $14.98
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  • Wednesday, March 20, 2011

  • Removed: 10:00pm Springfield Rifle
    12:00pm Casablanca
    Added: 1:00pm Virginia City
    12:15pm Casablanca
  •  
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2011

  • Removed: 10:00pm Springfield Rifle
    12:00pm Casablanca
    Added: 1:00pm Virginia City
    12:15pm Casablanca
  •  
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2011

  • Removed: 10:00pm Springfield Rifle
    12:00pm Casablanca
    Added: 1:00pm Virginia City
    12:15pm Casablanca