Classic Movies

“Why bring that up?”

The end of October brought forth another volume in Alpha Video’s Ultra-Rare Pre-Code Comedies series, and friend of the blog Brian Krey was good enough to aim a screener for Volume 4 screener in the direction of Rancho Yesteryear.  “A collection of six racy, hilarious, and often politically incorrect shorts from the anything-goes pre-Code era!”… Continue reading “Why bring that up?”

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Classic Movies

Buried Treasures: It Ain’t Hay (1943)

When Universal Studios Home Entertainment began releasing the cinematic oeuvre of Bud Abbott & Lou Costello to DVD in 2004—ultimately resulting in four separate volumes, many consisting of two discs featuring eight movies—one of the duo’s Universal romps was conspicuously missing: 1943’s It Ain’t Hay.  Hay was based on a short story by Damon Runyon, “Princess O’Hara,”… Continue reading Buried Treasures: It Ain’t Hay (1943)

Classic Movies

“Well, I like it—I don’t dig it…but I like it.”

In Guide for the Film Fanatic, movie historian Danny Peary describes the 1978 biopic American Hot Wax thusly: “Floyd Mutrux's affectionate facts-out-the-window tribute to the late Alan Freed, regarded as the first white deejay to play black music, has as flimsy a storyline as those fifties "B" rock 'n roll movies in which Freed appeared.”  Go, Johnny Go! (1959) was… Continue reading “Well, I like it—I don’t dig it…but I like it.”

Classic Movies

Grey Market Cinema: Give Out, Sisters (1942)

Professor Chester Woof (Charles Butterworth) was only interested in learning the conga…and yet, he was somehow persuaded to purchase the dance school, courtesy of a fast-talking sharpie named Gribble (Walter Catlett).  That school is now swimming in a pool of red ink, but its financial salvation might come in the form of a student (and Western… Continue reading Grey Market Cinema: Give Out, Sisters (1942)

Classic Movies

Grey Market Cinema: Strictly in the Groove (1942)

The first thing I wondered out loud during the opening scenes of Strictly in the Groove (1942): “What the hell is Ozzie Nelson still doing in college?”  (The second question I asked was “Where is Mrs. Nelson (Harriet Hilliard)?”  Maybe she was picking up David and Ricky at school.)  Because the plot of this Universal B-musical finds Oz still matriculating in the… Continue reading Grey Market Cinema: Strictly in the Groove (1942)