Classic Movies · Stuff You Should Know

Coming (Ma)clean

No sooner has silent film accompanist Ben Model (the hardest working man in the ebony-and-ivory business) recovered from the huzzahs and favorable plaudits for his Undercrank Productions DVD release The Alice Howell Collection than he’s back in the Kickstarter business, with a campaign that got underway yesterday.  As a lifelong fan of silent film comedy,… Continue reading Coming (Ma)clean

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Classic Movies

Go Ask Alice

It wasn’t quite a year ago today (and admittedly, I’m a little late with this review) but in April of last year silent film historian/accompanist Ben Model—the hardest working man in the 88 keys business—launched a Kickstarter campaign to produce a DVD showcasing the work of silent movie mirthmaker Alice Howell.  Howell, described on the back of the… Continue reading Go Ask Alice

Classic Movies

“The Movie Man/The Movie Man can…”

Back in October 2016, I reviewed a Grapevine Video collection of Lupino Lane shorts that brought a great deal of pleasure into my occasionally dismal existence.  Lane was an acrobatic film comedian (whose antics could rival those of Buster Keaton) who made a most entertaining series of two-reel comedies for Educational Pictures beginning in 1924; he… Continue reading “The Movie Man/The Movie Man can…”

Classic Movies · Stuff You Should Know

I Lost it at the movies

Since 2012, the Library of Congress has hosted an annual workshop known to film fanatics as “Mostly Lost,” in which movie mavens from all walks of life—writers, scholars, activists, filmmakers...and really, just about anyone with a passion for film and its preservation—gather together 'round June at the LoC’s National Audio-Visual Conservation Center (in beautiful downtown… Continue reading I Lost it at the movies

Classic Movies

Absolutely Sweet Marie

Fickle Gertie Darling (Marie Prevost) is returning from a French vacay and, as a title card tells us, “wherever she went she brought back something.”  That “something” is a fiancé, Algernon “Algy” Brooks (Franklin Pangborn), who is completely clueless about a hint of scandal in Gertie’s past.  His best bud, lawyer Ken Walrick (Charles Ray), was once engaged… Continue reading Absolutely Sweet Marie

Bad Movies · Classic Movies

“Possessed of an instinct keener than man, Wolfheart suspects evil doings…”

Last month, as I was entertaining myself with the two-reel comedies on The Sprocket Vault set Thelma Todd & ZaSu Pitts: The Hal Roach Collection 1931-33, I spotted one of the blog’s favorite character actors, Guinn “Big Boy” Williams, in two of the Thel-Zase entries.  In Catch-As-Catch-Can (1931), Guinn is the lovable lug of a… Continue reading “Possessed of an instinct keener than man, Wolfheart suspects evil doings…”