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4 items from 2017


More 4th of July Escapism: Small-Town Iowa and Declaration of Independence Musicals

4 July 2017 11:58 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

(See previous post: Fourth of July Movies: Escapism During a Weird Year.) On the evening of the Fourth of July, besides fireworks, fire hazards, and Yankee Doodle Dandy, if you're watching TCM in the U.S. and Canada, there's the following: Peter H. Hunt's 1776 (1972), a largely forgotten film musical based on the Broadway hit with music by Sherman Edwards. William Daniels, who was recently on TCM talking about 1776 and a couple of other movies (A Thousand Clowns, Dodsworth), has one of the key roles as John Adams. Howard Da Silva, blacklisted for over a decade after being named a communist during the House Un-American Committee hearings of the early 1950s (Robert Taylor was one who mentioned him in his testimony), plays Benjamin Franklin. Ken Howard is Thomas Jefferson, a role he would reprise in John Huston's 1976 short Independence. (In the short, Pat Hingle was cast as John Adams; Eli Wallach was Benjamin Franklin.) Warner »

- Andre Soares

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Review: "Bad Day At Black Rock" (1955) Starring Spencer Tracy; Warner Archive Blu-ray Release

28 May 2017 6:03 AM, PDT | Cinemaretro.com | See recent CinemaRetro news »

“Unwelcoming Committee”

By Raymond Benson

Although the picture takes place a couple of months after the end of World War II in the year 1945, Bad Day at Black Rock is really a western. The setting is a desert town that’s barely a whistle stop for a train that hasn’t halted there in four years; the main street looks as if it’s right out of Dodge City, and the opening credits are designed in big, colorful, bold words that spread across the wide CinemaScope screen. Even director John Sturges is primarily known for his many westerns.

Good Guy Spencer Tracy rides into town—on that train—and is met with inexplicable hostility from everyone he meets. All he wants is to find a guy named Komoko—a Japanese farmer who supposedly lives just out of town. Most of the residents seem afraid to help Tracy. The ones who »

- nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro)

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Tom Hanks' film debut was a drama about Dungeons & Dragons

28 March 2017 6:14 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Ryan Lambie Mar 29, 2017

Mazes And Monsters provided the first feature role for a young Tom Hanks in 1982 - and warned against the perils of Dungeons & Dragons...

Where there's great popularity, there's sometimes an equal and opposite backlash. Pokemon has occasionally been accused of promoting everything from Satanism to animal cruelty. The book Why Knock Rock, published in 1984, warned of the morally corrosive dangers hidden in the music of Judas Priest, Kiss and Led Zeppelin.

Before all this, there was the moral panic surrounding Dungeons & Dragons. From humble beginnings, the role-playing game quickly became a phenomenon in the 1970s, taking the company behind it - Tactical Studies Rules, founded by Gary Gygax - from a tiny cottage industry to a 600-strong firm by the end of the decade.

Dungeons & Dragons' brilliance lies in its freeform design; with only a few raw materials - dice, counters, a rulebook - the game conjures »

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I Remember Debbie

17 January 2017 12:50 AM, PST | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

A friend of mine told me this story about her memories of Debbie Reynolds, and I was so touched that I am writing it here:

Of course I saw “Singing in the Rain”, Debbie Reynolds’ first film. I don’t think anyone could ever forget that movie. And I loved “Tammy and the Bachelor” and can still sing “Tammy’s in Love” by heart. But the one that I loved the most was the one I most identified with when I was 10 and saw “Susan Slept Here”. I was struggling with my own pre-teen “jv” secret wishes. Growing up in what was a pretty anti-semitic Culver City neighborhood, I really wanted to be a “pachuca.” And with my own lack of a father-figure since my father died when I was eight, I fell in love with Dick Powell. And I fell in love with the green dress Tammy wore as »

- Sydney Levine

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4 items from 2017


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