The Perry Mason Movie Series

After some delay, Warner Archives has released a 2-disc set of all six of the Perry Mason films from 1934 through 1937. To commemorate the release, I thought I’d bring over one of my old posts from the SBBN archives, a quickie summary of all six Mason films from 2009. This was written back before…

Halloween Cheesecake: Clara Bow and Esther Ralston

That’s Clara Bow in a cute little checkered short-all outfit, hanging out with some depressed ghosts. Over the years I have collected a bunch of Halloween-themed pictures, yet at some point lost a specific set I’d collected of vintage starlets in Halloween cheesecake pics, often using the same props from one year to the next,…

The Laughing Devil in His Sneer: Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show

Dick Clark was especially cranky that August afternoon in 1966. For a decade he had been asking harmless questions of both guests and giggly teens on “American Bandstand,” but today’s silly subject irritated him, made him self conscious. A professional study had recently claimed most men within a few years would be wearing long hair….

Matter of fact, it’s all dark.

“One of these days I’m going to write a song that makes someone want to cry.” — Neil Diamond, Teen Screen Magazine, March 1967   When The Neil Diamond Collection arrived in the mail last month, I had forgotten I ever ordered it. For most of my 39-ish years, Neil Diamond was simply never on…

The Bette Davis Project #16: Wagon Train: “The Elizabeth McQueeny Story”

Bette Davis guest starred in three episodes of “Wagon Train,” and BBFF Ivan tipped me off to a rerun of her second appearance in “The Elizabeth McQueeny Story”. This 1959 episode featured Ward Bond in the lead as wagon master Seth Adams leading a wagon train to, er, somewhere in the west. I don’t really…

The Bette Davis Project #15: The Star (1952)

The Star (1952) tries so hard to be the All About Eve of film, to mix real life with cinematic license, but it never quite succeeds at its lofty intentions. It’s possible The Star was conceived as pastiche, but I truly doubt it. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a worthwhile film, because it is campy…

Bette Davis Project #13: That Certain Woman (1937)

That Certain Woman (1937) is, thus far, one of my favorite Bette films and a real delight to stumble upon during this Project. Sadly, my copy of the film is poor, which you’ll confirm by looking at my screencaps. It’s available on DVD now, so if you get a chance to see this film, do!…

Bette Davis Project #12: Front Page Woman (1935)

Front Page Woman (1935) was released a mere six weeks after The Girl from 10th Avenue, and it shows. These two programmers share six cast members and even some of the same sets. Long-time readers will remember how tired I have become of George Brent playing the guy trying to keep a woman in the…

Bette Davis Project #11: The Girl From 10th Avenue (1935)

The Girl from 10th Avenue (1935) is one of those quickie Warner Bros programmers that at times rises above its mediocre goals. But many of these Warner Bros weeklies do, truth be told, and between cost-cutting and bored actors, so many of these films just do not impress. Bette Davis is Miriam, a shop girl…

Bette Davis Project #10: The Great Lie (1941)

Why The Great Lie wasn’t made in 1933 with Kay Francis is beyond me, because this is so obviously a Kay vehicle that it’s impossible to see it any other way. The fact is, however, that it never could have been a Kay movie: it’s based on a Polan Banks novel from 1936 when both…