Classic Movies

Grey Market Cinema: Swiss Family Robinson (1940)

Pastor Johann David Wyss’ novel The Swiss Family Robinson (Der Schweizerische Robinson), first published in 1812, has served as inspiration for several motion pictures and television adaptations (the series Lost in Space, for example, functions essentially as a “Swiss Family Robinson in the cosmos”) with perhaps the best-known adaptation emanating from the Walt Disney Studios in 1960.  The… Continue reading Grey Market Cinema: Swiss Family Robinson (1940)

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Classic Movies

Grey Market Cinema: Black Tuesday (1954)

Convicted racketeer Vincent Canelli (Edward G. Robinson) has a date with “Old Sparky” (in layman's terms, the electric chair).  He’s not, however, going out alone; the state has a doubleheader planned that evening in that they’ll also be frying Peter Manning (Peter Graves), a man who robbed a bank of $200,000…but unfortunately, killed a cop… Continue reading Grey Market Cinema: Black Tuesday (1954)

Classic Movies

Grey Market Cinema: Here Come the Nelsons (1952)

Beginning on radio in 1944 and continuing until the popular sitcom telecast its last episode on the small screen in 1966, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet was one of show business’ greatest misnomers.  Ozzie and Harriet Nelson—“America’s favorite young couple”—may have been involved in the radio/TV endeavors…but their weekly visits into the homes of American listeners/viewers were… Continue reading Grey Market Cinema: Here Come the Nelsons (1952)

Classic Movies

Gray Market Cinema: The Wedding March (1928)

During the brief period The Great DISH Austerity Program was in effect here at Rancho Yesteryear, I was kind of bummed missing out on one particular “Summer Under the Stars” presentation on The Greatest Cable Channel Known to Mankind™.  Their August 4 daylong tribute to Fay Wray was going to yield a pair of rarely… Continue reading Gray Market Cinema: The Wedding March (1928)

Bad Movies · Classic Movies

Grey Market Cinema: The Canary Murder Case (1929)

The website Harry’s Stuff describes 1929’s The Canary Murder Case as “the film that destroyed the career of Louise Brooks.”  The author goes on to note: “Depending on which view you take, it is either a manifestation of a ruthless Hollywood money machine crushing a great talent that it was too ignorant to recognize, or the self-destruction of an actress… Continue reading Grey Market Cinema: The Canary Murder Case (1929)

Classic Movies

Grey Market Cinema: Night World (1932)

The best way to describe the pre-Code motion picture Night World (1932) is that it’s “Grand Hotel in a speakeasy.”  That speakeasy is owned and operated by ‘Happy’ MacDonald (Boris Karloff), a charmingly sinister host with clear ties to unsavory underworld elements.  His wife Jill (Dorothy Revier) is having a little clandestine what-have-you with Klauss (Russell Hopton), the man choreographing the… Continue reading Grey Market Cinema: Night World (1932)

Classic Movies

“…on the dotted line!”

To the Fisher family, he’s known as “The Show Off.”  Every clan has or knows someone like Aubrey Piper (Ford Sterling), a brash, obnoxious individual with a braying laugh that sets on edge the teeth of any poor soul unfortunate to be within earshot.  Aubrey is only a thirty-dollar-a-week clerk in the offices of the Pennsylvania Railroad—but… Continue reading “…on the dotted line!”