Friday, December 14, 2018

Sondra Locke, RIP -- December 14, 2018
Actress and director Sondra Locke has died.  I enjoyed her work in movies like The Gauntlet and Bronco Billy.  Most of the articles about her devote more time to her relationship with Clint Eastwood than her

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Broncho Billy Rag -- December 13, 2018

Gilbert M Anderson, Broncho Billy, was the first western star. With George K Spoor, he had founded Essanay (S and A). In 1914, Nell Wright Slaughter published "The Broncho Billy Rag," a charming tune. I can't find much information about the composer except that she lived in Texas and was also known as Nell Wright Watson.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Tom Mix, Master of the Plains -- December 11, 2018

Moving Picture World, 21-December-1918
100 years ago this month, many of the short films of Tom Mix were being rereleased.  "Series of Sixteen Two-reel Western Comedy-Drama Re-Issues..."

Motion Picture News, 21-December-1918
"It was announced this week that Exclusive Features, Inc., of 126 West Forty-sixth street, New York, has bought outright all negatives of the Tom Mix comedy dramas formerly owned by Selig Polyscope Company."

Moving Picture World, 21-December-1918
"Tom Mix does good work in both of these offerings, and there are several excellent riding scenes."

Moving Picture World, 28-December-1918
Since the Selig shorts were being rereleased, Fox decided to rerelease the shorts that Tom Mix had made for his studio.

Motion Picture News, 28-December-1918
"...the Fox Film Corporation...intends to release its two-reel Tom Mix comedy subjects, which, as part of the Foxfilm Comedy brand, were among the most popular comedies...The Tom Mix two-reel comedy releases will be started January 12, a Tom Mix comedy being released every other week alternately with a Fox-Lehrman Sunshine Comedy."

Moving Picture World, 21-December-1918
Meanwhile, Fox continued to release new Tom Mix features like "Treat 'Em Rough."

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Coliseum a Credit to San Francisco -- December 9, 2018

Motion Picture News, 21-December-1918
In late 1918, the so-called Spanish Flu, which killed between 10 and 20 per cent of the people it infected, caused many states, including California, to force movie theaters to close. The opening of the new Coliseum Theater on San Francisco's Clement Street was delayed for a couple of weeks by the influenza-inspired theater ban. It was finally able to open on 22-November-1918.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Air Force -- December 7, 2018
77 years ago a sneak attack by forces of the Japanese Empire sank much of the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor in the territory of Hawaii. The Japanese Empire came to regret doing this.

Air Force was a Warner Brothers' movie released in 1943.  The story follows the crew of Mary-Ann, a B-17 being delivered to Hawaii from the mainland.  They arrive during the attack.  They are able to refuel, but have to leave immediately for Wake Island.  They arrive at Wake while it is under attack.  The Marines ask the crew to take their dog, Tripod.

They move on to Clark Field in the Philippines, which is also under attack.  Harry Carey, the crew chief, learns that his son has been killed.  Mary-Ann is damaged trying to attack Japanese ships, and the pilot is badly injured.  He orders the crew to bail out, but John Garfield, who had washed out of pilot training, brings Mary-Ann back to the base.  I cry during the scene where the crew is with the dying pilot in the hospital and they go through a takeoff procedure.

They rush to repair the airplane, defying an order to burn it.  They take off for Australia, but spot a Japanese fleet.  They radio their position and keep track of the fleet until allied bombers arrive to attack.

At the end, surviving members of the crew are preparing to go on a mission to bomb Tokyo.

I watch this movie every chance I get.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Don Ameche 25 Years -- December 6, 2018
25 years ago today, on 06-December-1993, versatile actor and inventor of the telephone, Don Ameche, died. I have always loved his work with Frances Langford playing The Bickersons on the radio.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Who Said -- No More War Pictures! -- December 5, 2018

Moving Picture World, 07-December-1918
The United States joined the First World War in April, 1917. Learning from the British, the United States put its propaganda efforts into the hands of one organization, the Committee on Public Information, also called the Creel Committee, after its chairman, George Creel. The Creel Committee produced the "Official War Review," a series of weekly one-reelers about war subjects. 100 years ago, World War One had paused because of the Armistice on 11-November-1918, but the ad says "Official War Review ... will not be discontinued, but will be released weekly by Pathe for some time to come."

Moving Picture World, 14-December-1918
One of the conditions of the Armistice was that the German High Seas Fleet would be surrendered to the Allies and held until the final peace terms were agreed upon.  This became a popular theme for movies.

Moving Picture World, 21-December-1918
An interesting variety of scenes, including Italians with flamethrowers and Germans shelling a Red Cross hospital.

Moving Picture World, 21-December-1918
People often forget that Allied troops occupied Vladivostok, Russian during the Russian Civil War.

Motion Picture News, 21-December-1918
The Battle of Château-Thierry was the first large-scale action by the American Expeditionary Force, made up of Army and Marine Corps units.  "Who Said -- 'No More War Pictures!'"  There was a reaction coming against war films.

Moving Picture World, 21-December-1918