Classic Movies · Stuff You Should Know

The plot against Harry

The following passage kicks off the chapter on comic legend Harry Langdon in Smileage Guaranteed: Past Humor, Present Laughter, the invaluable reference tome written by film historian/friend of the blog Richard M. Roberts: All right...that’s it—hey, you!  Yes, you—come here!  It’s time for a heart-to-heart, mano a mano.  Now I know there’s a lot of… Continue reading The plot against Harry

Classic Movies

“Ah…the vastness of it all…”

One of my Facebook chums and I were having a chinwag about the latest DVD release from our friends at Kit Parker Films/The Sprocket Vault: Charley Chase at Hal Roach: The Talkies Volume Two 1932-33.  This two-disc collection, which “hit the streets” in mid-July this year (July 16), makes available the 15 two-reel comedies that funnyman… Continue reading “Ah…the vastness of it all…”

Bad Movies · Classic Movies

Adventures in Blu-Ray: Noir Archive Volume 2: 1954-1956

It seems like it was just last April—come to think of was last April—when I borrowed some bandwidth on the blog to talk about a collaborative Blu-ray effort between Mill Creek Entertainment and Kit Parker Films/The Sprocket Vault featuring nine movies previously released to MOD DVD as part of Sony’s Choice Collection.  That compendium… Continue reading Adventures in Blu-Ray: Noir Archive Volume 2: 1954-1956

Classic Movies

Adventures in Blu-ray: Noir Archive Volume 1: 1944-1954

In Jacobellis vs. Ohio (1964), a U.S. Supreme Court case addressing the First Amendment (an Ohio movie theatre banned the 1958 Louis Malle film Les Amants because they believed it to be “obscene”), Justice Potter Stewart made a famous observation about obscenity that has become a colloquial expression today.  “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I… Continue reading Adventures in Blu-ray: Noir Archive Volume 1: 1944-1954

Classic Movies

“Thanks to you/Skies are blue…”

On the ninth of October—a little less than two weeks from today—one of my DVD Holy Grails will finally be released.  If you’ve been making regular visits to this humble scrap of the blogosphere—even before I packed up and moved in October of 2017 because there was more off-street parking and the schools were better—you’re… Continue reading “Thanks to you/Skies are blue…”

Classic Movies

“At last—America’s most beloved ‘Funnies’ family on the screen!”

This November 24, the longest running comic strip currently being published in the United States will celebrate its centennial birthday.  Technically, Gasoline Alley is the second-longest running strip of all time; the champion remains The Katzenjammer Kids, who enjoyed a staggering 109-year run in “the funny papers” (1897-2006) and is still in syndication today (though… Continue reading “At last—America’s most beloved ‘Funnies’ family on the screen!”

Classic Movies · Stuff You Should Know

“That’s liable to happen to anyone!”

In May, I received an e-mail from ClassicFlix asking me to contribute the back liner notes for a DVD collection that I knew would generate waves of enthusiasm throughout the classic film and movie comedy communities I associate with on Facebook.  All 21 of the two-reel Hal Roach Studio comedies starring Thelma Todd and Patsy… Continue reading “That’s liable to happen to anyone!”

Classic Movies · Stuff You Should Know

Adventures in Blu-ray: Topper (1937)

In the 1930s, Hal Roach’s success as an independent producer of short movie comedies was threatened by events completely beyond his control.  His “Lot of Fun” had cranked out one- and two-reelers since 1915 and introduced the ticket-buying public to such popular film comedians as Harold Lloyd, Charley Chase, and Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy. … Continue reading Adventures in Blu-ray: Topper (1937)