Though she had firmly established herself in motion pictures as America’s favorite man-chaser, it could be argued that comedienne Joan Davis really achieved major fame in radio. From 1941 to 1943 she was a regular on Rudy Vallee’s popular Sealtest variety show and when Vallee went into the Coast Guard to “do his bit” for… Continue reading What a girl, what a whirl, what a life
I’m sorry that the blog has been kind of quiet over the past week; the good folks at DISH were generous enough to give us an HBO/Cinemax freeview, and I spent a little time getting re-acquainted with some old favorites including Secretary (2002—with my gal Maggie Gyllenhaal) and The Devil Wears Prada (2006). (Prada may… Continue reading My heroes have always been in documentaries
On New Year's Eve in the Big Apple, down-and-out chorus girl Jennie Carr (Anna Lee) depends on the kindness of a stranger: mob lawyer Billy Cooper (James Pirrie), who takes the hungry woman in for some sustenance on the eve of his departure for England. In Cooper's apartment, Jennie stumbles across a transient named Henry… Continue reading Grey Market Cinema: Non-Stop New York (1937)
February 8, 1969 – Jackie Gleason plays host to another corpulent Jack (though he’s lost a bit of weight), famed insult comic Jack E. Leonard: LEONARD: Ladies and gentlemen…you’ve all heard of Frank Sinatra, The Voice…you’ve seen Jimmy Durante, The Nose… (indicating Gleason) You are now looking at The Lump… (Gleason breaks out in laughter)… Continue reading And away we go!
DISH gave us a freeview of Starz last week...and normally, this isn't a huge deal because we're still subscribed to the Starz Encore channels (the discount is supposed to end Tuesday...but I have decided to maintain radio silence only until Mom asks me why the satellite bill has suddenly gone up). A good many of… Continue reading All the Starz
Film historian/author Steve Massa released one of the most essential books on silent movie comedy back in 2013—Lame Brains & Lunatics—and in my review of this wonderful reference in August of 2016, I mentioned that his next project was going to expand on the female comediennes touched upon in Lunatics, titled Slapstick Divas. Divas hit… Continue reading Book Review: Slapstick Divas
I know October is a month that we usually associate with Halloween and other things spooky…but to the folks at Time Life, it’s an opportune time to make certain there’s plenty of classic episodes from The Carol Burnett Show available for the DVD-buying public. Why October, I hear you asking? Well, it’s because Carol and… Continue reading A Christmas Carol