Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Night at the Movies: "Topper"

Based on the book "Topper"(1926) by the wonderful Thorne Smith, Topper (1937) is the story of a staid banker who is haunted by the ghosts of a free-wheeling life-loving couple, George and Marion Kerby. It has a stellar cast, Roland Young, Cary Grant, Constance Bennett, and Billie Burke.

Topper was such a hit that it spawned two film sequels, a radio series, "The Adventures of Topper," in 1945, a television series in the fifties (1953-1955), a later TV pilot (1973), and a TV movie remake in 1979.

A new film version of "Topper" is reported in production starring Steve Martin as Cosmo Topper.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons - "All's Well" and "Falling Hare"

From 1941 Max and Dave Fleischer's lesser-known character, Gabby, in "All's Well."

And wartime Bugs Bunny meets his match - a troublesome gremlin - in Bob Clampett's "Falling Hare" (1943).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Old Time Radio - Lux Radio Theater - "Sitting Pretty"

Broadcast on February 14th, 1949 this episode of the long-running Lux Radio Theater stars Clifton Webb, Maureen O'Hara, and Robert Young. "Sitting Pretty," was based on the novel "Belvedere" by Gwen Davenport, and introduced the enduring character of Lynn Belvedere to the world. (You may remember the Mister Belvedere television series starring Christopher Hewett in the eighties.)

"Sitting Pretty" inspired two film sequels, "Mister Belvedere Goes to College," and "Mister Belvedere Rings the Bell." Clifton Webb played the character of Mister Belvedere in all three films.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Doctor Who 2010 - Confirmed for Easter

Here is the new promo for the upcoming series of Doctor Who featuring new 11th Doctor, Matt Smith, and produced under the supervision of new showrunner, Steven Moffat. This promo was produced especially for 3D theatre screens.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Night at the Movies - "The Mole People"

Released in 1956, "The Mole People" stars John Agar and Hugh Beaumont and was directed by Virgil W. Vogel. It's one of the Universal series of horror films and is introduced by Doctor Frank C. Baxter, lecturer and professor of English at USC. Baxter was perhaps best known for the Bell Science Lab series of educational films he made with Frank Capra ("Our Mister Sun, Hemo the Magnificent, etc.)

I have to admit this was a real favorite of mine when I was a boy.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons: "Secret Agent" and "A Date With Duke"

From 1943, the last of the seventeen technicolor Superman adventures, "Secret Agent:"

From 1947 George Pal's Puppetoons have "A Date with Duke."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Old Time Radio - Dangerously Yours - "The Highwayman"

From 1944 Victor Jory in the Vick's sponsored romance series, Dangerously Yours. This is the second episode, "The Highwayman."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday Night at the Movies: The Love Nest (1923)

A film for those who find themselves pining for lost love on this Valentine's Day, Buster Keaton's The Love Nest. Buster elects to give up women altogether and embark on an ocean voyage to forget his troubles.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons: "The Underground World" and "Tulips Shall Grow"

From June 1943 the penultimate installment of the Technicolor Superman series, The Underground World:

And here is the most famous of George Pal's Puppetoons. From 1942 the beautiful Tulips Shall Grow:

A more complete copy of this short lives here at Europa Film Treasures.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Old Time Radio: Have Gun, Will Travel - "Strange Vendetta"

Paladin, a former army officer and graduate of West Point, a polyglot, and student of history and classical literature lived in the Carlton Hotel in 1870s-1880s San Francisco. That is, when he wasn't earning his keep through the newspaper ad he ran that stated "Have Gun, Will Travel."

Those that remember Paladin remember the CBS Television show that ran from 1957 to 1963 and starred the amazing Richard Boone. Few know that between 1958 and 1960 106 episodes of Have Gun, Will Travel- the radio show ran on the CBS Radio Network. The radio series starred John Dehner.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Night at the Movies: Detour

Considered a film noir classic, Detour (1945) was written by Martin Goldsmith and directed by Edgar G. Ulmer. It stars Tom Neal and Ann Savage. It's a story of blackmail, hatred, and murder shot in six days for pennies (anywhere from 5k to 20k depending on your source.) Time Magazine picked Detour as one of its All-Time 100 Movies, and Roger Ebert called it "the guilty soul of film noir."

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons: "Jungle Drums" and "The Mascot"

From March 1943 the technicolor Superman Cartoon, "Jungle Drums:"

From 1933 Ladislaw Starewicz's "The Mascot" a classic of early stop motion animation:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Old Time Radio: CBS Radio Workshop - "Brave New World"

From January, 1956 the first episode of the CBS Radio Workshop, "radio's distinguished series to man's imagination," Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World." The episode stars announcer William Conrad, and Narrator Aldous Huxley, with music by Bernard Herrmann. This is Part one. I'll post Part two tomorrow.

Listen to Brave New World, Part One.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Writing News - February 2nd, 2010

- J.D. Salinger has died. Here is his obituary from the New York Times, and a well-worded followup from The Onion.

- Amazon stopped selling MacMillan's Books over a price disagreement. Then Amazon relented.

- Writers Beware! warns of the return of an unscrupulous "literary agent."