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Tobor the Great

Robot roll call! This also-ran robotic fantasy from the 1950s is precisely the kind of movie one would expect from Republic, a two-fisted anti-Commie tract for juveniles. The studio comes up with an impressive robo-hero, but short-changes us when it come time for action thrills. Still, as pointed out in Richard Harland Smith’s new commentary, Tobor filled the the kiddie hunger for sci-fi matinees, at least until Robby the Robot came along.

Tobor the Great

Blu-ray

Kl Studio Classics

1954 / B&W / 1:85 widescreen / 77 min. / Street Date September 12, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: Charles Drake, Karin Booth, Billy Chapin, Taylor Holmes, Steven Geray, Hal Baylor, Alan Reynolds, Peter Brocco, Robert Shayne, Lyle Talbot, William Schallert

Cinematography: John L. Russell

Production Design: Gabriel Scognamillo

Special Effects: Howard and Theodore Lydecker

Film Editor: Basil Wrangell

Original Music: Howard Jackson

Written by Philip MacDonald, Carl Dudley

Produced by Richard Goldstone

Directed by Lee Sholem
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February 14th Blu-ray & DVD Releases Include Arrival, Stake Land II

  • DailyDead
Valentine’s Day is bringing horror and sci-fi fans numerous gifts this Tuesday in the form of a ton of great Blu-ray and DVD releases. One of my favorites from 2016, the Academy Award-nominated Arrival, hits 4K Blu-ray, as well as traditional Blu-ray and DVD formats, this week courtesy of Paramount, and Universal Studios Home Entertainment has given the cult sci-fi classic It Came From Outer Space the HD treatment as well.

Other notable home entertainment titles arriving on February 14th include Stake Land II, Star Trek: Enterprise: The Complete Collection, Blood Brothers, Creature Lake, Freshwater, The Horde, and The Crooked Man.

Arrival (Paramount, 4K Blu, Blu/Digital HD & DVD)

When mysterious spacecrafts touch down across the globe, an elite team - led by expert codebreaker Louise Banks (Amy Adams) - is brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and
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It Came From Outer Space 3-D

Are you 3-D capable? This classic-era Sci-fi is one of the better '50s films ever designed for 3-D, and the restoration on this much-coveted new release is excellent. Meteors explode in your face! A rockslide in your lap! Bizarre superimpositions! Ray gun blasts! And don't forget Ray Bradbury's feel-good sense of wonder speeches, from wide-eyed Richard Carlson. It Came from Outer Space 3-D 3-D Blu-ray Universal Home Video 1953 / B&W / 1:37 Academy / 82 min. / Street Date October 4, 2016 / at present a Best Buy exclusive Starring Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush, Charles Drake, Joe Sawyer, Russell Johnson, Kathleen Hughes Cinematography Clifford Stine Art Direction Robert Boyle Makeup and Special effects Jack Kevan, Bud Westmore, David S. Horsley, Milicent Patrick. Film Editor Paul Weatherwax Original Music Irving Gertz, Henry Mancini, Herman Stein Written by Harry Essex from a story by Ray Bradbury Produced by William Alland Directed by Jack Arnold

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
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Valley of the Dolls

High camp or just plain trash? A cultural-cinematic swamp in perfectly rotten taste, this adaptation of Jacqueline Susann's supermarket 'dirty book' seeks out tawdry sleaze like no American movie had before. Junk beyond belief, and great entertainment if you're in a sick frame of mind. Valley of the Dolls Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 835 1967 / Color / 2:40 widescreen / 123 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date September 27, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Barbara Parkins, Patty Duke, Paul Burke, Sharon Tate, Susan Hayward, Tony Scotti, Martin Milner, Charles Drake, Alexander Davion, Lee Grant, Naomi Stevens, Robert H. Harris, Jacqueline Susann, Robert Viharo, Joey Bishop, George Jessel, Dionne Warwick, Sherry Alberoni, Margaret Whiting, Richard Angarola, Richard Dreyfuss, Marvin Hamlisch, Judith Lowry. Cinematography William H. Daniels Film Editor Dorothy Spencer Conductor / Music Adaptor John Williams Written by Helen Deutsch, Dorothy Kingsley Jacqueline Susann Produced by Mark Robson, David Weisbart Directed by Mark Robson

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

I
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Alien Invasion Movies To See Before Independence Day: Resurgence

Opening on June 24th is director Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day: Resurgence.

We always knew they were coming back. After Independence Day redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

The film stars Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe, and Sela Ward.

Looking for some otherworldly films to check out before you head out to the cinemas on Friday? Have a look at Wamg’s list for Alien Invasion Movies To See Before Independence Day: Resurgence!

Earth Vs
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Wright Was Earliest Surviving Best Supporting Actress Oscar Winner

Teresa Wright: Later years (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon.") Teresa Wright and Robert Anderson were divorced in 1978. They would remain friends in the ensuing years.[1] Wright spent most of the last decade of her life in Connecticut, making only sporadic public appearances. In 1998, she could be seen with her grandson, film producer Jonah Smith, at New York's Yankee Stadium, where she threw the ceremonial first pitch.[2] Wright also became involved in the Greater New York chapter of the Als Association. (The Pride of the Yankees subject, Lou Gehrig, died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in 1941.) The week she turned 82 in October 2000, Wright attended the 20th anniversary celebration of Somewhere in Time, where she posed for pictures with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. In March 2003, she was a guest at the 75th Academy Awards, in the segment showcasing Oscar-winning actors of the past. Two years later,
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Wright Minibio Pt.2: Hitchcock Heroine in His Favorite Movie

Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt': Alfred Hitchcock heroine (image: Joseph Cotten about to strangle Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt') (See preceding article: "Teresa Wright Movies: Actress Made Oscar History.") After scoring with The Little Foxes, Mrs. Miniver, and The Pride of the Yankees, Teresa Wright was loaned to Universal – once initial choices Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland became unavailable – to play the small-town heroine in Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt. (Check out video below: Teresa Wright reminiscing about the making of Shadow of a Doubt.) Co-written by Thornton Wilder, whose Our Town had provided Wright with her first chance on Broadway and who had suggested her to Hitchcock; Meet Me in St. Louis and Junior Miss author Sally Benson; and Hitchcock's wife, Alma Reville, Shadow of a Doubt was based on "Uncle Charlie," a story outline by Gordon McDonell – itself based on actual events.
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Madonna, Jennifer Lawrence and Anne Hathaway Eyed for Valley of the Dolls Remake

Madonna, Jennifer Lawrence and Anne Hathaway Eyed for Valley of the Dolls Remake
20th Century Fox is gearing up to remake the 1967 cult classic Valley of the Dolls, with the studio eyeing actresses such as Madonna, Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway and Emmy Rossum for starring roles.

The original movie, based on Jacqueline Susann's novel, starred Barbara Parkins, Patty Duke and Sharon Tate as starlets Anne Welles, Neely O'Hara and Jennifer North, with the story charting their rise and fall in the movie and theater industry. The remake, which is being written by Paul Rudnick (The First Wive's Club, In & Out), is centered on the modern-day music business in Hollywood, particularly centering on Neely O'Hara's fall from grace. The remake is being conceived as a dark comedy.

Madonna is being courted to play Broadway star Helen Lawson, a role originally portrayed by Susan Hayward which was initially intended for Judy Garland. Jennifer Lawrence is being eyed to play Jennifer North, Anne Hathaway is
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Dangerous Davis Schedule

Bette Davis movies: TCM schedule on August 14 (photo: Bette Davis in ‘Dangerous,’ with Franchot Tone) See previous post: “Bette Davis Eyes: They’re Watching You Tonight.” 3:00 Am Parachute Jumper (1933). Director: Alfred E. Green. Cast: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Bette Davis, Frank McHugh, Claire Dodd, Harold Huber, Leo Carrillo, Thomas E. Jackson, Lyle Talbot, Leon Ames, Stanley Blystone, Reginald Barlow, George Chandler, Walter Brennan, Pat O’Malley, Paul Panzer, Nat Pendleton, Dewey Robinson, Tom Wilson, Sheila Terry. Bw-72 mins. 4:30 Am The Girl From 10th Avenue (1935). Director: Alfred E. Green. Cast: Bette Davis, Ian Hunter, Colin Clive, Alison Skipworth, John Eldredge, Phillip Reed, Katharine Alexander, Helen Jerome Eddy, Bill Elliott, Edward McWade, André Cheron, Wedgwood Nowell, John Quillan, Mary Treen. Bw-69 mins. 6:00 Am Dangerous (1935). Director: Alfred E. Green. Cast: Bette Davis, Franchot Tone, Margaret Lindsay, Alison Skipworth, John Eldredge, Dick Foran, Walter Walker, Richard Carle, George Irving, Pierre Watkin, Douglas Wood,
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Forget Hitchcock's Vertigo: Tonight the Greatest Movie About Obsessive Desire

Joan Fontaine movies: ‘This Above All,’ ‘Letter from an Unknown Woman’ (photo: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine in ‘Suspicion’ publicity image) (See previous post: “Joan Fontaine Today.”) Also tonight on Turner Classic Movies, Joan Fontaine can be seen in today’s lone TCM premiere, the flag-waving 20th Century Fox release The Above All (1942), with Fontaine as an aristocratic (but socially conscious) English Rose named Prudence Cathaway (Fontaine was born to British parents in Japan) and Fox’s top male star, Tyrone Power, as her Awol romantic interest. This Above All was directed by Anatole Litvak, who would guide Olivia de Havilland in the major box-office hit The Snake Pit (1948), which earned her a Best Actress Oscar nod. In Max Ophüls’ darkly romantic Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948), Fontaine delivers not only what is probably the greatest performance of her career, but also one of the greatest movie performances ever. Letter from an Unknown Woman
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Bogart and the Stuff That Both Dreams and Nightmares Are Made Of

Humphrey Bogart movies: ‘The Maltese Falcon,’ ‘High Sierra’ (Image: Most famous Humphrey Bogart quote: ‘The stuff that dreams are made of’ from ‘The Maltese Falcon’) (See previous post: “Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall Movies.”) Besides 1948, 1941 was another great year for Humphrey Bogart — one also featuring a movie with the word “Sierra” in the title. Indeed, that was when Bogart became a major star thanks to Raoul Walsh’s High Sierra and John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon. In the former, Bogart plays an ex-con who falls in love with top-billed Ida Lupino — though both are outacted by ingénue-with-a-heart-of-tin Joan Leslie. In the latter, Bogart plays Dashiel Hammett’s private detective Sam Spade, trying to discover the fate of the titular object; along the way, he is outacted by just about every other cast member, from Mary Astor’s is-she-for-real dame-in-distress to Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nominee Sydney Greenstreet. John Huston
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One Henreid, a Couple of Cigarettes, and Four Davises

Paul Henreid: From lighting two cigarettes and blowing smoke onto Bette Davis’ face to lighting two cigarettes while directing twin Bette Davises Paul Henreid is back as Turner Classic Movies’ Star of the Month of July 2013. TCM will be showing four movies featuring Henreid (Now, Voyager; Deception; The Madwoman of Chaillot; The Spanish Main) and one directed by him (Dead Ringer). (Photo: Paul Henreid lights two cigarettes on the set of Dead Ringer, while Bette Davis remembers the good old days.) (See also: “Paul Henreid Actor.”) Irving Rapper’s Now, Voyager (1942) was one of Bette Davis’ biggest hits, and it remains one of the best-remembered romantic movies of the studio era — a favorite among numerous women and some gay men. But why? Personally, I find Now, Voyager a major bore, made (barely) watchable only by a few of the supporting performances (Claude Rains, Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nominee
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This Month TCM Pays Homage to Beautiful, Talented, and Unjustly Forgotten Oscar Nominee

Eleanor Parker Now on TCM Palms Springs area resident Eleanor Parker, who turns 91 next June 26, is Turner Classic Movies’ Star of the Month of June. One of the best actresses of Hollywood’s studio era, Parker isn’t nearly as well-remembered today as she should be despite three Best Actress Academy Award nominations (Caged, 1950; Detective Story, 1951; Interrupted Melody, 1955), a number of box-office and/or critical hits, and a key role in one of the biggest blockbusters of all time (The Sound of Music). Hopefully, the 34 Eleanor Parker movies TCM will be showing each Monday this month — beginning tonight — will help to introduce the actress to a broader 21st-century audience. Eleanor Parker movies "When I am spotted somewhere it means that my characterizations haven’t covered up Eleanor Parker the person. I prefer it the other way around," Parker once said. In fact, the title of Doug McClelland’s 1989 Eleanor Parker bio,
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Old Ass Movies: The Marx Brothers Spend ‘A Night in Casablanca’

Your weekly fix of great movies made before you were born that you should check out before you die. This week’s Old Ass Movies celebrates the nonsense of the best American comedians of all time. Groucho, Harpo and Chico move in on Bogart’s territory by setting up camp at a hotel in Casablanca, mocking Nazis, playing with a toupee, and remembering to set their watches. A Night in Casablanca (1946) Directed By: Archie Mayo Written By: Joseph Fields & Roland Kibbee Starring: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Sig Ruman, Lisette Verea, Lois Collier, and Charles Drake Selling someone on watching a Marx Brothers movie should be as easy as standing on the street corner offering free bacon, but A Night in Casablanca isn’t the typical Marx movie. It certainly shouldn’t be the first a newcomer should see, since that distinction goes to Duck Soup. It shouldn’t even be the second or third film
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