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  1. Top News Stories

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    • The Creature from the Black Lagoon Legacy Collection on DVD

    • For decades, Universal was the horror studio. Starting with the success of 1931's Dracula it continued to frighten eager audiences with hugely popular films based on literary sources (Frankenstein's Monster, the Invisible Man), legends (the Wolf Man) and newsworthy concoctions (the Mummy). Eventually, the studio ran short on inspiration and started teaming their stars in increasingly threadbare productions until finally throwing most of their characters into outright comedy with 1948's Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.

      A few years later, viewer tastes and movies had changed. When Universal decided the time was right for more horror films it left the past alone and went with a new creation, the Creature from the Black Lagoon. He's called The Gill Man by characters in the films which is so much less threatening that it's easy to see why the movie bears the more familiar name. Whatever the inspiration, the Creature turned out to be an audience-grabber and after the original 1954 film there were sequels in each of the next two years. Now all three have been collected in Creature from the Black Lagoon: The Legacy Collection. It includes crisp transfers of the films, a historical documentary and commentary on each by noted historian Tom Weaver and on two Bob Burns as well.

      The first film, called simply Creature from the Black Lagoon, was one of the era's earliest science fiction monster movies though it now seems fairly typical of the type. Viewers so inclined could point out the hunky hero, his window-dressing girlfriend, the monster that's all too obviously a man in a rubber suit, the Eisenhower-era fascination with and dread of science, the King Kong-derived Beauty and the Beast theme and similar elements. But that's missing the point of what still remains a fairly entertaining film. After all it begins with the Dawn of Creation (explosions, flying rock and a sonorous narrator), tosses in mysterious jungles, a colorful boat captain, pontificating scientists, a babe in a swimsuit and a surprising number of violent deaths. It's odd today to see that though Julia Adams was nominally the cheesecake and attraction for the Creature it's the two scientists (Richard Carlson and Richard Denning) who continually bicker like a stereotypical married couple while frequently clad in nothing but shorts. The battle between the Creature and the scientists trapped in the lagoon is often unpredictable and reasonably tense though the blaring horns whenever the Creature swims near the camera eventually become too grating.

      If you're curious about the occasional objects that head straight towards the camera--such as the fossilized hand at the opening--that's because this was originally filmed in 3-D. However anybody who's seen Creature in that format can attest that the filmmakers didn't go wild with the format, though some of the underwater scenes that seem way too long in 2-D actually made more sense in 3-D.

      Revenge of the Creature (1955) appeared the next year (also in 3-D) and picks up perhaps that same amount of time after the original film. The boat captain is back, taking more scientists and adventurers (including John Agar) to the lagoon. This time they succeed in capturing the Creature and bring him back to a Sea World-styled aquarium in Florida where in a typical '50s move he's put on public display and also subjected to bizarrely sadistic "scientific" experiments. As you might suspect this can't turn out well.

      The sequel received (or suffered depending on your view) the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment in 1997 episode of that show and in fact Revenge is a bit more creaky than the first film. The opening sequences are too much a rehash of the lagoon trip while the middle aquarium sequences tend to be both tedious and implausible. The finale, though, is fairly taut monster-movie hide-and-chase though you have to supress any thoughts about how the fresh-water Creature could survive in salt water. Keep an eye out for a very young Clint Eastwood as a scientist.

      The series came to a close with 1956's non-3-D The Creature Walks Among Us though in some ways it's not exactly a Creature from the Black Lagoon film. The usual team of scientists head off to a swamp where the Creature has been reported and immediately locate him. However, a fire burns much of the Creature and an experimental medical procedure gives him a lumpish, quasi-human look that only partly resembles the Gill Man we've come to know and love. Possibly this was a budget issue since the make up is significantly reduced (no full-body suit) and there's much less underwater filming. Still, the change does point out his trapped-between-two-worlds alienation since he's no longer able to breathe underwater and makes him a much more clearly sympathetic character than previously. The Creature Walks Among Us benefits from a suprisingly solid secondary plot about an aggressive but lonely wife of the most driven, perhaps even mad, scientist.

      This Legacy Collection has strong supplemental material that at times is more interesting than the films. The 40-minute documentary Back to the Black Lagoon effectively describes the making of each film and their cultural place. Far from being a fluff piece there are fascinating accounts of the differences in the Creature costumes, an astutely honest examination of the music (an uncredited Henry Mancini contributed to the first film), the workings of 3-D and even solid textual analysis. For the films, historian Tom Weaver contributes densely detailed audio commentaries that run from crew backgrounds to shooting locations to the production history. Though occasionally it might have been nice if he was a bit more in sync with what is happening on the screen, his commentaries are top-notch efforts that can withstand being heard again, something that can be said of very few DVD commentaries.

      For more information about The Creature From the Black Lagoon Legacy Collection, visit Universal Home Video. To order The Creature From the Black Lagoon Legacy Collection, go to TCM Shopping.

      by Lang Thompson

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  1. New Books

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    • Elizabeth and Michael

    • By Donald Bogle

      One of the country's leading authorities on popular entertainment presents an eye-opening and unique biography of two larger-than-life legends--Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson--and their unlikely yet enduring friendship.

      From the moment Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson met, they were hooked on each other. He peered into her violet eyes and was transfixed; she, in turn, was dazzled by his talent, intrigued by his sweet-tempered childlike personality, and moved by the stories she had already heard about his troubled early life. Soon a deep friendship blossomed, unexpectedly unlike anything either had ever experienced. Through thick and thin, through their various emotional upheavals, through the peaks and valleys of their careers, through their personal traumas and heartaches, through the unending health issues and extreme physical pain that each experienced, and through the glare of the often merciless public spotlight, their bond held them together, and their love for each other endured.


      Donald Bogle skillfully recreates the moving narrative of Taylor and Jackson's experiences together and their intense emotional connection, without shying away from the controversies that swirled around them. Through interviews with friends and acquaintances of the two stars, as well as anonymous but credible sources, Elizabeth and Michael emerges as a tender, intimate look at this famous "odd couple" and a treasure to their millions of fans.

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    • Robert Wagner's I LOVED HER IN THE MOVIES: Memories of Hollywood's Legendary Actresses

    • By Robert Wagner and Scott Eyman

      In a career that has spanned over sixty years, Robert Wagner has witnessed the twilight of the Golden Age of Hollywood and the rise of television, becoming a beloved star in both film and TV. During this time, he became acquainted, both professionally and socially, with many of the greatest female screen personalities of all time. I LOVED HER IN THE MOVIES: Memories of Hollywood's Legendary Actresses (On-sale: 11/15/16) by Robert Wagner, with co-author Scott Eyman, provides an intimate and revealing account of the charisma of these women on film, why they became stars, and how their specific emotional and dramatic chemistries affected the choices they made both as actresses and as women.

      I LOVED HER IN THE MOVIES offers a privileged look behind the scenes at some of the most well-known women in show business. Among Wagner's subjects are Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Gloria Swanson, Norma Shearer, Loretta Young, Joan Blondell, Irene Dunne, Rosalind Russell, Dorothy Lamour, Debra Paget, Jean Peters, Linda Darnell, Betty Hutton, Raquel Welch, Glenn Close, and the two actresses whom he ultimately married, Natalie Wood and Jill St. John. In addition to offering perceptive commentary on these women, Wagner examines topics like the strange alchemy of the camera--how it can transform the attractive into the stunning, and vice-versa--and how the introduction of color brought a new erotic charge to movies--one that enabled these actresses to become aggressively sexual beings in a way that that black and white films had only hinted at.


      Robert Wagner is the star of such films as A Kiss Before Dying, The Longest Day, The Pink Panther, and most recently, the Austin Powers franchise. On television, he starred in It Takes a Thief (with Fred Astaire), Switch (with Eddie Albert and Sharon Gless), and Hart to Hart (with Stefanie Powers). He has recently appeared on Two and a Half Men and NCIS. He is married to actress Jill St. John.

      Scott Eyman is the author of eleven books about the movies, including Lion of Hollywood: The Life of Louis B. Mayer (which the Wall Street Journal called one of the five best books ever written about Hollywood), Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille, and more recently, John Wayne: The Life and Legend.

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    • King of Jazz: Paul Whiteman's Technicolor Revue

    • King of Jazz: Paul Whiteman's Technicolor Revue tells the story of the making, release, and restoration of Universal's 1930 Technicolor extravaganza King of Jazz. Authors James Layton and David Pierce have uncovered original artwork, studio production files, behind-the-scenes photographs, personal papers, unpublished interviews, and a host of other previously unseen documentation. The book offers a richly illustrated narrative with broader context on the film's diverse musical and theatrical influences. The story concludes with an in-depth look at the challenges Universal overcame in restoring the film in 2016. Additionally, the book's appendix provides a comprehensive guide to all of the film's performers, music, alternate versions, and deleted scenes.

      King of Jazz was one of the most ambitious films ever to emerge from Hollywood. Just as movie musicals were being invented in 1929, Universal Pictures brought together Paul Whiteman, leader of the country's top dance orchestra; John Murray Anderson, director of spectacular Broadway revues; a top ensemble of dancers and singers; early Technicolor; and a near unlimited budget. The film's highlights include a dazzling interpretation of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," which Whiteman had introduced to the public in 1924; Walter Lantz's "A Fable in Jazz," the first cartoon in Technicolor; and Anderson's grand finale "The Melting Pot of Music," a visualization of popular music's many influences and styles. The film is not only a unique document of Anderson's theatrical vision and Whiteman's band at its peak, but also of several of America's leading performers of the late 1920s, including Bing Crosby in his first screen appearance, and the Russell Markert Dancers, who would soon become Radio City Music Hall's famous Rockettes.


      James Layton is Manager of the Museum of Modern Art's Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center. Prior to this he worked at George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, where he curated two gallery exhibitions and the website Technicolor 100. Layton has also acted as Cataloguer and Workflow Coordinator at the East Anglian Film Archive in Norwich, UK, and is co-author of the Image Permanence Institute's informational poster Knowing and Protecting Motion Picture Film (2009).

      David Pierce is an independent film historian and archivist. He was formerly the Head of Preservation and Curator of the National Film and Television Archive at the British Film Institute. His articles have appeared in numerous journals, and his report on the survival of American silent feature films was published by the Library of Congress in 2013. He founded the Media History Digital Library, providing free online access to millions of pages of motion picture magazines and books.

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    • THE ESSENTIALS: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter

    • By Jeremy Arnold
      Forward by Robert Osborne

      Since its inception on Turner Classic Movies in 2001, The Essentials has become the ultimate for movie lovers to expand their knowledge of must-see cinema and discover or revisit landmark films that have had a lasting impact on audiences everywhere.

      Based on the hit series, THE ESSENTIALS by Jeremy Arnold showcases 52 must-see movies from the silent era to modern times. Readers can enjoy one film per week, like on the show, for a year of great viewing, or indulge in a movie-watching binge-fest. Each film is profiled with entertaining discourse on why it's an Essential, and running commentary is provided by TCM's Robert Osborne and Essentials guest hosts past and present: Sally Field, Drew Barrymore, Alec Baldwin, Rose McGowan, Carrie Fisher, Molly Haskell, Peter Bogdanovich, Sydney Pollack, and Rob Reiner.

      Featuring full-color and black-and-white photography of the greatest stars in movie history throughout, THE ESSENTIALS is the ultimate curated guide to 52 films that define the meaning of the word "classic."


      Jeremy Arnold, a writer and film historian, is the author of Lawrence of Arabia: The 50th Anniversary, a coffee-table book companion to that film's Blu-ray release. In addition to his work for numerous film trade publications, he has written over five hundred programming articles for the Turner Classic Movies website and contributed audio commentaries and historical essays to the DVD and Blu-ray releases of classic films.

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  1. DVD Reviews

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    • Dick Dinman & Eddie Muller Explore THE ASPHALT JUNGLE!

    • DICK DINMAN & EDDIE MULLER EXPLORE "THE ASPHALT JUNGLE": Producer/host Dick Dinman welcomes back the "Czar of Noir" himself Eddie Muller as both celebrate the Criterion Collection's pristine release on Blu-ray of John Huston's THE ASPHALT JUNGLE which remains conceivably the greatest "heist/noir" masterwork ever committed to celluloid. (It's early in the year but its difficult to conceive that any home video outfit in the ensuing year will be able to top the astonishing "special features" included on this sensational disc.)

      PLUS: Show opener "Dick's Picks" salutes the Criterion Collection's recent Blu-ray releases of Robert Altman's McCABE & MRS. MILLER, Marlon Brando's ONE EYED JACKS and Howard Hawks' HIS GIRL FRIDAY.

      COMING SOON: DICK DINMAN & EDDIE MULLER ARE "ON DANGEROUS GROUND"!

      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 Air Hero Jimmy Stewart!

    • DICK DINMAN SALUTES WW2 AIR HERO JIMMY STEWART: The dual releases of Olive Films stunning Blu-ray incarnation of the James Stewart air power classic STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND as well as author Robert Matzen's awe inspiring book MISSION: JIMMY STEWART AND THE FIGHT FOR EUROPE, which for the first time ever reveals the truth about Stewart's dangerous bombing missions over Germany, give producer/host Dick Dinman ample motivation to salute the spectacular military career of screen icon Stewart and Dick is joined by returning guest Robert Matzen as they marvel at the courage, skill and fortitude of this certifiable American hero.

      The opening DICK'S PICKS segment salutes Olive Films and their latest Blu-ray releases of not only STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND but Orson Welles' MACBETH (two versions!), HOUDINI, THE PRIVATE AFFAIRS OF BEL AMI, VILLA RIDES. ONE OF OUR AIRCRAFT IS MISSING and two new 4k releases of THE QUIET MAN and JOHNNY GUITAR (first time in original widescreen format on 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 & Eddie Muller Salute Ultra-Rare Noir Classics!

    • DICK DINMAN & EDDIE MULLER SALUTE ULTRA-RARE NOIR CLASSICS: Producer/host Dick Dinman and Film Noir Foundation's Czar of Noir Eddie Muller wax poetic about the first-rate Blu-ray releases of three rarely seen film noir gems: Flicker Alley's dark and deadly duo of two heretofore thought virtually lost noir thrillers TOO LATE FOR TEARS and WOMAN ON THE RUN and KL Studio Classics 99 RIVER STREET about which Dick and Eddie have a rare major disagreement regarding the validity of what some consider the most memorable two scenes in the film.

      PLUS: A preview of KL Studio Classics upcoming noir Blu-ray release CRY OF THE CITY.

      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 & Kathleen Hughes Return to 3-D "Outer Space!"

    • DICK DINMAN & KATHLEEN HUGHES RETURN TO 3-D "OUTER SPACE": Kathleen Hughes, whose breakout appearance in Universal-International's first 3-D blockbuster inspired the media to dub her the "first feminine sensation created by 3-D" rejoins producer/host Dick Dinman to salute Universal Pictures Home Entertainment's wonderfully immersive 3-D Blu-ray release of IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (immaculately restored by the 3-D Archive) and shares priceless memories about her career from her very first film ROAD HOUSE (just released on Blu-ray by Kino's KL Studio Classics) to her time as a contract star at Universal and 3-D Archive's Robert Furmanek chats about the challenges inherent in restoring this certifiable sci-fi classic to its current eye-poppingly spectacular 3-D grandeur.
      PLUS: OPENING "DICK PICKS" SEGMENT SALUTES UNIVERSAL'S "THE MARX BROTHERS SILVER SCREEN BLU-RAY COLLECTION." AND A PREVIEW OF THE UPCOMING KINO RELEASE OF THE 3-D ARCHIVE'S "THOSE REDHEADS FROM SEATTLE".

      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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    • TCM Remembers Robert Osborne - 3/18-19

    • Turner Classic Movies will dedicate two entire days to honor the legacy of longtime host Robert Osborne. Airing all day on Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19, the 48-hour tribute will feature an extensive collection of the long-form interviews Osborne conducted during his 23 year tenure with the network, including:
      -Memorable installments of Private Screenings and Live from the TCM Classic Film Festival.
      -Special edition of Private Screenings where actor Alec Baldwin interviewed Osborne on the host's 20th anniversary at the network
      -Robert's first-film introduction for the network of Gone with the Wind
      -Among the Private Screenings specials featured during TCM's tribute to Osborne are his interviews with such legendary stars as Debbie Reynolds, Liza Minnelli, Betty Hutton and Ernest Borgnine.
      -Installments of TCM's annual Live from the TCM Classic Film Festival featured will include Robert's intimate interviews with screen legends such as Peter O'Toole, Eva Marie Saint, Kim Novak, Alan Arkin and Luise Rainer, who was 101 at the time of the interview and without her hearing aids, a situation Osborne graciously worked around by writing each question out on a noteptad for her to read.

      TCM's loving tribute to Osborne will showcase the qualities expressed in a message from TCM General Manager Jennifer Dorian, who wrote, "Robert was embraced by devoted fans who saw him as a trusted expert and friend. His calming presence, gentlemanly style, encyclopedic knowledge of film history, fervent support for film preservation and highly personal interviewing style all combined to make him a truly world-class host."

      The complete schedule for TCM's tribute to Robert Osborne is included below:

      TCM Remembers Robert Osborne

      Saturday, March 18
      6 a.m. - Private Screenings: Robert Osborne
      7:30 a.m. - Private Screenings: Norman Jewison
      9 a.m. - Robert Osborne's 20th Anniversary Tribute
      10:15 a.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Alan Arkin
      11:30 a.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Luise Rainer
      12:15 p.m. - Private Screeniings: Liza Minnnelli
      1:30 p.m. - Private Screenings: Robert Osborne
      3 p.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Eva Marie Saint
      4:15 p.m. - Robert Osborne's 20th Anniversary Tribute
      5:30 p.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Peter O'Toole
      6:45 p.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Kim Novak
      8 p.m. - Robert Osborne introduces Gone with the Wind in his first-ever on-air appearance as TCM's host
      8:05 p.m. - Private Screenings: Robert Osborne
      9:30 p.m. - Private Screenings: Debbie Reynolds
      10:30 p.m. - Private Screenings: Betty Hutton
      11:45 p.m. - Private Screenings: Liza Minnelli
      12:45 a.m. - Private Screenings: Robert Osborne
      2:15 a.m. - Private Screenings: Norman Jewison
      3:30 a.m. - Private Screenings: Ernest Borgnine
      4:45 a.m. - Robert Osborne's 20th Anniversary Tribute

      Sunday, March 19
      6 a.m. - Private Screenings: Liza Minnnelli
      7 a.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Eva Marie Saint
      8:15 a.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Kim Novak
      9:15 a.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Peter O'Toole
      10:30 a.m. - Private Screenings: Robert Osborne
      Noon - Robert Osborne's 20th Anniversary Tribute
      1 p.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Alan Arkin
      2:15 p.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Luise Rainer
      3 p.m. - Private Screenings: Ernest Borgnine
      4:15 p.m. - Private Screenings: Norman Jewison
      5:30 p.m. - Private Screenings: Robert Osborne
      7 p.m. - Private Screenings: Liza Minnelli
      8 p.m. - Robert Osborne's 20th Anniversary Tribute
      9 p.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Eva Marie Saint
      10:15 p.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Luise Rainer
      11 p.m. - Robert Osborne's 20th Anniversary Tribute
      Midnight - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Peter O'Toole
      1:15 a.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Kim Novak
      2:30 a.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Alan Arkin
      3:45 a.m. - Private Screenings: Robert Osborne
      5:15 a.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Luise Rainer

      (All times Eastern)

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Alan Ladd: The 1940s Collection DVD
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The Ghost and Mrs. Muir DVD
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was $14.98
Hard-boiled detective Sam Spade gets caught up in the murderous...
$14.96
was $19.98
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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