Friday, March 31, 2023
RIP: THE CAREER OF BRUCE WILLIS (1980-2023)
Sunday, March 26, 2023
CELEBRITY ADS: BUSTER KEATON
I am not sure what the year is on this print advertisement, but I would guess to be late 1950s or early 1960s. The great Buster Keaton is selling malt liquor! It is interesting what the stars would put their name to!
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
THE BOX OFFICE STARS: 1947
Friday, March 17, 2023
HISTORY OF A SONG: A PRETTY GIRL MILKING HER COW
The song was sung by Jack Jones the teenage son of Anne Jones the publican of the Glenrowan Inn (Victoria, Australia) while it was under siege by the Kelly Gang. The siege was broken by the Victorian Police on the morning of Monday June 28, 1880. Jack Jones died of injuries sustained during the police assault on the hotel.
Percy Grainger recorded an English language version on wax cylinder from Joseph Leaning of Lincolnshire in 1906, which has been digitised and can be heard online. In 1907, the Austrian ethnologist Rudolf Trebitsch used the same technology to record an Irish language version in County Kerry. Some time in the early 1900s, the famous uilleann piper Patsy Touhey was recorded playing a version, which is available on the Irish Traditional Music Archive.
It enjoyed a revival when an updated swing version sung by Irish-American singer/actress Judy Garland was featured in the 1940 film Little Nellie Kelly. The updated version is true to the original musical air, and incorporated original lyrics by MGM Musical Director Roger Edens, and featured Garland singing the song to George Murphy using some of the original Gaelic lyrics in the first chorus, which was true to the traditional air, before moving into an up-tempo swing version typical of the era.
The song was released as the B-side of the more popular Garland song It's A Great Day for the Irish by Decca Records in 1940. It became a popular song for Irish-Americans during St Patrick's Day celebrations. It remained a popular number for Garland throughout her career, and most notably she sang it live in its original Irish language version in July 1951 at her Theatre Royal concerts in Dublin, Ireland. A Dublin review stated: "Remember the song she sang in "Nellie Kelly" – "The Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow." Judy is providing herself with the Irish version – "Cailin Deas Cruidte na mBo" while in Ireland". Later in 1951, she included the song in her first record-breaking appearance at New York's Palace Theatre, although this time reverting to the new version that combined both English- and Irish-language lyrics. The song is also featured on Garland at the Grove on Capitol Records, recorded live in 1958 at the Coconut Grove in Hollywood. I always thought the song was written for Judy Garland. It was not, but she made it sound like it was!
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
GUEST REVIEW: PATHS OF GLORY
It was always just one more offensive over the top charging into automatic weapon fire that would break the other guy. Just such an offensive was planned one day in 1916 against a German stronghold dubbed the ant hill.
General George MacReady, promised a promotion by his superior Adolphe Menjou, orders a beaten and tired battalion to charge the ant hill. The attack flops and MacReady looks for scapegoats. He decides after coming down from shooting 100 men to a selected three drawn by lot. The unlucky three are Joseph Turkel, Ralph Meeker, and Timothy Carey.
Except for Spartacus, Kirk Douglas rarely plays straight up heroic types in film. Even his good guys have an edge to them, a dark side. But as Colonel Dax, Douglas is at his most heroic. He may be one dimensional here, but he's great. Especially in that last scene with Adolphe Menjou when he tells the man off in no uncertain terms, mainly because Menjou has misread Douglas's motives.
The enlisted men are a good bunch also. They're kind of like the posse in The Oxbow Incident, just an ordinary group who become ennobled in martyrdom as they go to the firing squad for the sake of politics.
Paths of Glory is one of the best anti-war films ever made. It ranks right up there with All Quiet on the Western Front which showed the war from the German point of view. Both will be classics 200, 300, a thousand years from now...
Saturday, March 11, 2023
SIDNEY KIBRICK: THE LAST LITTLE RASCAL
Kibrick was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 2, 1928. He attended Mount Vernon Junior High. Kibrick made a brief non-dialogue appearance as an extra in the feature film Dead End, observed as one of three or so children huddled together during one of the river dock scenes. He made his uncredited film debut in Out all Night (1933), and after a few more uncredited roles was cast in 1935 in Our Gang, from 1937 to 1939, in that series he portrayed "Woim" (a vernacular pronunciation of "worm"), the sidekick of the neighborhood bully "Butch", played by Tommy Bond.
Thursday, March 9, 2023
WHY I DISLIKE CONNIE FRANCIS
I have a You Tube channel that I started in 2014. I do it for fun - I do not make any money on it whatsoever. I created initially to share my favorite music with the world, and I want to connect more younger fans of this type of music together. Connie made a album in 1969 called "Connie & Clyde: Music Of The 1930s". The album was spectactular, and the crowning recording in this gem is "Brother, Can You Spare A Dime". At the time, the album was not available anywhere so I posted that recording from the album.
In about a days time, I received notification from You Tube that the agent of Connie Francis flagged my upload, and wanted it deleted from the channel. The agent went so far as to report me to You Tube to get my channel shut down, but this was my first offense, and You Tube has a three strike rule. So You Tube put me on probation for six months - which I was successful to work through. I wrote to the agent to explain that I did not make money from my channel, and I was just uploading the video to help keep the memory of Connie Francis and her contemporaies alive. My only response I got was that if I disputed the access, I would be taken to court.
As a result, I got rid of all my Connie Francis records and CDs, and I only listen to her if her voice comes on as part of a movie soundtrack. At one time she was one of my favorite songbirds, but as a result of this action, Connie as flown the coup as one of my favorites. I rarely talk about this, but I cringe when I read about her. For this reason, I dislike Connie Francis...
Wednesday, March 8, 2023
RECENTLY VIEWED: HISTORY OF THE WORLD - PART 2
- Wanda Sykes as various characters
- Nick Kroll as various characters
- Ike Barinholtz as various characters
Sunday, March 5, 2023
GUEST REVIEW: ROUGHLY SPEAKING
The late Bruce Kogan returns to this blog with memories of this Rosalind Russell film that I never saw...
Based on a true story, someone had the genius over at the Brothers Warner to shell some bucks out for the services of Rosalind Russell for the lead. She really is so right for the part of Louise Randall Pierson a woman who through time and circumstance is forever reinventing herself. A little like Mame Dennis who lives to the fullest and like Molly Brown, she maybe down, but she ain't licked.From Donald Woods she gets her four kids, but they are incompatible and divorce. She then marries Jack Carson who has ideas, but he's content to be a Vice President with his dad's flower nursery firm. Roz kick starts the ambition in him and their lives are quite the rollercoaster, but they are happy. And the kids are completely accepting of him
The image we have of Jack Carson in most of his roles is the lovable blowhard. But he had a really never appreciated talent for taking it down however many pegs necessary to achieve a great serious performances in a lot of serious roles. He and Russell work well together in Roughly Speaking.
It still holds up well as good entertainment...
Thursday, March 2, 2023
THE TRUE SIDE OF BETTY HUTTON
Here are some of the comments I got via my blog or to my email that I wanted to share:"I saw the Betty Hutton interview on TCM, when it first aired. Knowing first hand, from one of the countless people who tried to help her, what a delusional, self-centered egotist she could be, seeing her decades later was just more of the same. She never took any responsibility for the grief she had caused herself and others, instead, whining that the cast of ''Annie Get Your Gun'' hated her. That is just one example. There are people who have had horrible role models, but rose above the chaos and misery to become fine human beings. Betty Hutton chose to be a professional victim to the end. There are enough stories told by her peers in Hollywood to more than suggest that she cared for nobody but herself. She may have gotten away with that while she was riding high and making big money, but it caught up with her before long. Her daughter were probably trying to avoid any more heartache at her hands. And, in the end, she got precisely what she deserver." - Phil Lindholm, 10/21/2019