Fitzwilly (1967)

The holidays may be almost over, but there’s still time to talk about one of my favorite Christmas movies, “Fitzwilly.” As usual, this post contains spoilers. This probably won’t be a problem for you, though, as “Fitzwilly” is a notoriously difficult movie to find. Released briefly in 1998 on VHS, never on DVD, and only…

In Memoriam

Monday was the premier of TCM’s annual memorial reel, “TCM Remembers.” The reel is now available on the TCM website here. As always, it’s a beautiful memorial. Sadly, I learned today of the passing of John Harkness, film critic, author, poker player, and music reviewer. John was someone I knew on Usenet for over a…

Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)

Like most of my film entries, this post contains spoilers. “Robinson Crusoe on Mars” is a science fiction adaptation of the Daniel Defoe classic. Set sometime in the future, it’s a surprisingly modern and compelling imagining of space travel between the Earth and Mars. The Criterion Collection DVD of this film was released in September;…

El Brendel

Much of my information came from online sources (listed below) and the book pictured here, Anthony Slide’s Eccentrics of Comedy. Originally, my plan had been to thrill you all with a quick one-two punch, er, I mean series, of El Brendel-related posts. That is, until my plans were waylaid by an uncooperative fact that involved…

Turner Classic Birdman

Well, hello there, handsome! Before I begin, I’d like to call attention my new layout, if you haven’t noticed it already. This terrific blog design is courtesy Kathy at Moxie. They’ve designed several blogs I enjoy, and were kind enough to take my little personal blog as a client. I couldn’t be happier with the…

Just Imagine (1930)

In July I participated in the 2007 Blogathon for charity. During the 24-hour Blogathon I “live blogged” two movies, one of which was “Just Imagine” (1930). I didn’t finish it that night, so I decided to finally do the film justice and finish it here. You can read my two Blogathon entries about “Just Imagine”…

Sullivan’s Travels (1941)

“Sullivan’s Travels” (1941) is an unconventional comedy directed by Preston Sturges. Not a great hit in its day, the movie has since seen a renewal of interest and is considered by many to be one of Sturges’ greatest films. I, however, consider it to be a confusing mess. Like most of my movie posts, this…

The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon was, of course, a novel before it was a film. Written by Dashiell Hammett and published in 1930, the novel was used as the basis of a film three times between 1931 and 1941. The first film, “The Maltese Falcon” (1931), starred Ricardo Cortez and Bebe Daniels, two mainstays of the silent…

Gloria Grahame

Much of my information on Gloria Grahame comes from the excellent book Suicide Blonde: The Life of Gloria Grahame by Vincent Curcio. I definitely recommend this book for fans of Grahame. It’s out of print, but used copies can be found online in several stores. Grahame was a beautiful, troubled actress with a unique style…

The Big Heat (1953)

The Big Heat (1953, dir. Fritz Lang) is the quintessential classic 1950s film noir. The film begins, as they say, at the beginning: The suicide of a police officer and his hard, greedy widow looking to cash in while the body is literally still warm. She reads the cop’s suicide note and calls crime boss…