Bad Movies · Classic Movies

Mr. Bojangles

Southerner Jean Stratton (Anise Boyer) is willing to go to any lengths to find work in Harlem—even making a wish under the legendary “Tree of Hope” (the story goes that an actor did this under the same tree and learned upon returning to his boarding house a producer had a part for him).  Unfortunately, a… Continue reading Mr. Bojangles

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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)

Classic Movies

Grey Market Cinema: Honeymoon Lodge (1943)

Bob and Carol Sterling (David Bruce, June Vincent) have bought a one-way ticket to Splitsville.  The two of them are getting a divorce, mostly due to those petty annoyances that are known to drive wedges into movie marriages; he has a chain-smoking habit, she munches on crackers…in bed.  But of course, Mr. and Mrs. Sterling are still… Continue reading Grey Market Cinema: Honeymoon Lodge (1943)

Classic Movies

On the Grapevine: Glorifying the American Girl (1929)/Dixiana (1930)

Back in May of this year, Grapevine Video offered those customers who previously purchased a double feature collection of the early talkie musicals Glorifying the American Girl (1929) and Dixiana (1930) an opportunity to upgrade their copies because they had improved the image quality on the earlier discs.  And on the off chance you had not previously purchased the 2-DVD set…well, now… Continue reading On the Grapevine: Glorifying the American Girl (1929)/Dixiana (1930)