Tuesday, June 29, 2021

New Horror Films With Their Own Soundtracks -- June 29, 2021

Vampirella 51, 1976

When I was young, I read Warren Publishing magazines like Famous Monsters of Filmland and Vampirella. The magazines always carried ads for back issues, posters and movies. I didn't have a film projector, so I read the ads with envy. Eventually, I got a Super-8 projector, but I didn't have enough money to buy any of these films. A friend had Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein and I was fascinated by the way it had been cut down to less than 20 minutes.

They offered a selection of films with sound. A 33rpm record came with each movie. Synchronization would have been iffy. This group includes two movies cut down from Hammer's Curse of Frankenstein, Horror of Dracula and two Fu Manchu movies. I can't find a movie named The Horror of Fu Manchu. All movies featured Christopher Lee. 




Monday, June 28, 2021

Gilda Radner 75 -- June 28, 2021



Gilda Radner would have been 75 today; she was born on 28-June-1946. I remember her as one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live. I enjoyed the movies she made with her husband, Gene Wilder. I admired the way he talked about her after she died so young.


Sunday, June 27, 2021

American Theater, Butte, Montana -- June 27, 2021


Motion Picture News, 04-June-1921

The American Theater in Butte, Montana featured Sessue Hayakawa in The First Born. The advertising reflected common elements of anti-Asian prejudice. "Hop Joints" are opium dens.
"A Gripping Story of Frisco's China-town!"
"Chinese Gamblers"
"Chinese Crooks"
"Hop Joints"

Great Falls Tribune, 21-August-1921

Friday, June 25, 2021

Norma, Natalie, Buster and Constance -- June 25, 2021


Motion Picture News, 25-June-1921

Buster Keaton married Natalie Talmadge on 31-May-1921. Her two sisters, Norma and Constance were big stars. People direct a lot of prejudice against Natalie, but I suspect that Buster was a hard person to live with at that time. The bride and groom look thrilled.

Motion Picture News, 11-June-1921

"Until Keaton came East over a month ago he had not seen his fiancée in two years. They had corresponded frequently and he had proposed and been accepted by telegraph."

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

William S Hart, 75 Years -- June 23, 2021

Moving Picture World, 21-October-1916

Western start William S Hart died 75 years ago today, on 23-June-1946. Hart was a Shakespearean actor who had played Messala in the original 1899 stage production of Ben-Hur.  In 1914, at the age of 49 or 50, he started acting in movies and quickly became one of the first big western stars.  He often played what was called a good-bad man, a criminal who reformed because of the love of a good woman. 

Bad guys quickly learned not to mess around with William S Hart.  Hell's Hinges is one of his easiest movies to see.  It is not what one would call a laugh riot. 

Fritzi of Movies Silently dedicated the month of December, 2014 to Bill Hart to honor what would have been his 150th birthday.:

Motion Picture News, 11-June-1921

Motion Picture News, 25-June-1921

Monday, June 21, 2021

Judy Holliday and Jane Russell 100 -- June 21, 2021


I was surprised to learn that Judy Holliday and Jane Russell were born on the same day 100 years ago, 21-June-1921. 

Jane Russell was an actress who overcame a lot of jokes about her appearance to have a good career as an actress and a singer.
Some years ago a San Francisco theater revived her only 3-D movie, The French Line. I remember seeing all the peoples' heads ducking when she turned around. Sorry Ms Russell, I had to repeat that story.



Judy Holliday was wonderful in Born Yesterday and Bells are Ringing. She often played stupid, but she was exceptionally intelligent. She died far too young.


Sunday, June 20, 2021

Happy Father's Day, 2021 -- June 20, 2021


Happy Fathers' Day to all my fellow fathers. I miss my dad. And I miss my father-in-law. I haven't had anyone for whom to buy a card for a long time. I am lucky to have a great daughter and son-in-law.

When I read the book To Kill a Mockingbird and then saw the movie, Atticus Finch reminded me of my father.  My dad rarely lectured about what was right or how to do things.  He mostly led by example.  His example showed me how to be honest and brave and to try to do the right thing.   I hope I have come close to setting a similar example as a father. 

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Oscar Micheaux -- Symbol of the Unconquered -- June 19, 2021


Omaha Monitor, 23-June-1921

Oscar Micheaux was a pioneer in producing what were known as race films. His fourth feature film was Symbol of the Unconquered. For some reason, the film is mentioned twice in the same column in the Omaha Monitor, an African-American owned newspaper.

Omaha Monitor, 23-June-1921

On June 17, 2021 President Joe Biden signed a law making Juneteenth a national holiday. 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

They Are Filled With What the Name Suggests -- July 17, 2021


Motion Picture News, 04-June-1921

Marcel Perez was probably born in Spain and began appearing in films for Pathé Frères in France. In 1910, he signed with Ambrosio Films in Turino, Italy. The first set of films includes five films he made for Ambrosio. He played a character called Robinet. The movies are fun and Perez shows a nice goofy quality. "Robinet's White Suit" works a nice series of variations on an old gag. After Italy entered World War One in 1915, Perez went to America and starred in films and directed there. This was unusual because most people who starred in film comedies in Europe did not succeed when they moved to America.

Perez did very well, appearing under a variety of character names including Bungles, Tweedledum, Twee-Dee, Tweedy and Dweedledum.

Mirth is a good name for a company that makes comedies.

Back in 2016, Undercrank Productions, producers of the Accidentally Preserved and Musty Suffer series, made The Marcel Perez Collection, a tribute which includes movies from all the countries where he worked.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Ned Beatty, RIP -- June 16, 2021



Actor Ned Beatty has died. He was good in everything I saw or heard him in.


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Tom Mix -- The Amazing Tale of Three Strange Comrades -- June 15, 2021


East Oregonian, 07-June-1921

100 years ago this month, Tom Mix was appearing in The Untamed, "The Amazing Tale of Three Strange Comrades -- a Man, a Horse and a Dog."

Albuquerque Evening Herald, 14-June-1921

Tom drives a stagecoach in A Ridin' Romeo. "The Romance of a Cowboy Who Tried to Do Right but Always Got Wrong."

Imperial Valley Express, 17-June-1921

Tom Mix means business in A Ridin' Romeo.

Clovis News, 09-June-1921

Tom and dog in The Road Demon. I wonder if it is the same dog who appeared with Tom and Tony in The Untamed.

Albuquerque Evening Herald, 14-June-1921

I thought Tom might not mind if I threw in a contemporary western star and a kid. Art Acord appeared in many silent films, but did not make the transition to talkies. He served in France during World War One and was decorated for bravery. "That Wonderful Boy," Breezy Eason was B Reeves Eason Jr, son of director B Reeves Eason Sr.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Flag Day, 2021 -- June 14, 2021



Happy Flag Day, everyone. Jacqueline Wells began appearing in silent films as a child. After a substantial career in talkies, Warner Brothers asked her to change her name so she would appear to be a fresh face. She chose Julie Bishop. The Black Cat with Karloff and Lugosi is a wonderful movie.



Sunday, June 13, 2021

Harold Lloyd -- A Star Who is Sold 100% to the Public -- June 13, 2021


Motion Picture News, 11-June-1921

Here we have a two-page trade ad for "Among Those Present." I like the rabbit. On the second page, Harold poses with Mildred Davis, who he would marry in 1923.

Topeka State Journal, 11-June-1921

I like the caricatures in these ads for "Now or Never."

Washington Evening Star, 18-June-1921

Friday, June 11, 2021

Roscoe Arbuckle -- Crazy to Marry -- June 11, 2021


Motion Picture News, 11-June-1921

100 years ago, Roscoe Arbuckle appeared in a lot of movies in a short time. He appeared in five features released during 1921. Crazy to Marry would be his last feature film released before the dreadful events of September, 1921. 

The big ugly guy whose skull Roscoe is about to drill is Bull Montana. Roscoe is going to perform a lobotomy to remove the "crime bump" from Bull's brain. 

Motion Picture News, 25-June-1921

Lila Lee was Roscoe's leading lady.

Indiana Daily Times, 04-June-1921

Roscoe's earlier feature The Travelling Salesman was still in release. I like the caricature.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Zane Grey Week -- The Man of the Forest -- June 9, 2021

Motion Picture News, 21-May-1921

Zane Grey was a popular Western novelist in the first half of the Twentieth Century. I had read about movies made from his stories, so I took a few novels out from the Anza Branch Library. It turns out that he was not a very good writer, but he did produce interesting characters and descriptions.

I thought I might join with producer Benjamin B Hampton and have a Zane Grey Week. Why did producer Benjamin B Hampton have a Zane Grey Week? It was to help promote his production of The Man of the Forest, the third of his six adaptions of Zane Grey novels.

The Photodramatist, September, 1921

Hampton must have been an interesting guy. He published A History of the Movies in 1931. He was editor and publisher of Hampton's Magazine, which he founded in 1908 and stopped publishing in 1912. He wrote a column in The Photodramatist.

Chicasha Daily Express, 23-June-1923

The Man of the Forest starred Carl Gantvoort. I don't think I have ever heard of Carl Gantvoort, whose IMDB entry lists only nine films. Jean Hersholt later became a well-known actor and a dedicated philanthropist.

Indiana Daily Times, 04-April-1921

Washington Evening Star, 01-February-1932
Benjamin B Hampton died in 1932 at the age of 57. If I ever do another Zane Grey Week, I should write about his movies. 

Thank you to everyone who visited Zane Grey Week.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Zane Grey Week -- Riders on Television -- June 8, 2021

Motion Picture News, 21-May-1921

Zane Grey was a popular Western novelist in the first half of the Twentieth Century. I had read about movies made from his stories, so I took a few novels out from the Anza Branch Library. It turns out that he was not a very good writer, but he did produce interesting characters and descriptions.

I thought I might join with producer Benjamin B Hampton and have a Zane Grey Week.

One of the books that I read was his most popular, Riders of the Purple Sage. It introduced Lassiter, a classic Western hero. Aside from some startling anti-LDS business, Riders of the Purple Sage has a good story. 


The fifth and to-date last production of Riders of the Purple Sage appeared on TNT (Turner Network Television) on 21-January-1996. If I had known it was going to be shown, I would have tried to watch it. Ed Harris would be good as Lassiter. The film was shot in Utah and Arizona. The villainous religious group was not identified as Mormon, but there were some heavy hints. Fox had nothing to do with it. 

I would not be surprised to learn that another remake is being planned.

Publishers Weekly, 21-May-1921
Tomorrow: The Man of the Forest

Monday, June 7, 2021

Clarence Williams III, RIP -- June 7, 2021


I was sad to learn that actor Clarence Williams III, who starred in The Mod Squad on television has died. Co-star Peggy Lipton died in 2019, so that leaves Michael Cole as the only living member of the team. 

Clarence Williams III was the grandchild of  composer/pianist/publisher/producer and band leader Clarence Williams, whose name is all over early jazz and blues recordings, and jazz and blues singer Eva Taylor. 

I remember the show only vaguely, but "The Odd Squad" in June, 1969 was one of my favorite Mad Magazine television satires. You could always tell which actresses Mort Drucker really liked.