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Oberon on TCM: Actress with Mystery Past Wears Men's Clothes, Fights Nazis

Merle Oberon movies: Mysterious star of British and American cinema. Merle Oberon on TCM: Donning men's clothes in 'A Song to Remember,' fighting hiccups in 'That Uncertain Feeling' Merle Oberon is Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month of March 2016. The good news: the exquisite (and mysterious) Oberon, whose ancestry has been a matter of conjecture for decades, makes any movie worth a look. The bad news: TCM isn't offering any Oberon premieres despite the fact that a number of the actress' films – e.g., Temptation, Night in Paradise, Pardon My French, Interval – can be tough to find. This evening, March 18, TCM will be showing six Merle Oberon movies released during the first half of the 1940s. Never a top box office draw in the United States, Oberon was an important international star all the same, having worked with many of the top actors and filmmakers of the studio era.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Oscar Film Series: Death and Music in Melodrama Saved by Crawford

'Humoresque': Joan Crawford and John Garfield. 'Humoresque' 1946: Saved by Joan Crawford Directed by Jean Negulesco from a screenplay by Clifford Odets and Zachary Gold (loosely based on a Fannie Hurst short story), Humoresque always frustrates me because its first 25 minutes are excruciatingly boring – until Joan Crawford finally makes her appearance during a party scene. Crawford plays Helen Wright, a rich society lush in love with a tough-guy violin player, Paul Boray (John Garfield), who happens to be in love with his music. Fine support is offered by Paul's parents, played by Ruth Nelson and the fabulous chameleon-like J. Carroll Naish. Oscar Levant is the sarcastic, wisecracking piano player, who plays his part to the verge of annoyance. (Spoilers ahead.) Something wrong with that woman The Humoresque scenes between Paul and his mother are particularly intriguing, as the mother conveys her objections to Helen by lamenting, "There's something wrong with a woman like that!
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

‘Inner Sanctum’ features some solid acting amid a tonally awkward presentation

Inner Sanctum

Written by Jerome T. Gollard

Directed by Lew Landers

USA, 1948

Two travellers, strangers to one another, meet on a train. One is a young, attractive, if tempestuous woman named Marie (Eve Miller), the other a much older man, Dr. Valonius (Fritz Leiber). The man has an uncanny ability to read the future with alarming accuracy, demonstrating his skill with simple predictions that impress his new traveling companion. He then shares a story he knows about a woman with the same personality as Marie. The story begins with a man named Henry Dunlop (Charles Russell) getting off a train at a small town only to be hysterically accosted by his current lover. Henry inadvertently kills the woman and, in a state of panic, dumps the cadaver on the balcony of the last cart just as the locomotive departs. Stuck in a tiny town on a rainy night, Henry finds
See full article at SoundOnSight »

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
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Dark Horse announces ‘Skultar’

  • Comicmix
There’s something about barbarian swordsmen that lends itself to parody that can often outstrip the original– think Cerebus, Groo, and Maureen Birnbaum, Barbarian Swordsperson. And now we have Skultar, a new comic from M. J. Butler (Munden’s Bar) and Eisner Award–winning artist Mark Wheatley (Ez Street, Lone Justice, Mars) appearing in Dark Horse Presents #7, on sale this December.

In an age before recorded history, in a brutal world ruled by myth, magic, and monsters, a hero rises to fight for the oppressed.

His name is Skultar.

Unfortunately, he dies shortly after our story begins . . .

In his place, another rises up to be mistaken for Skultar, to claim the riches and reputation his legend brings. Similar to Skultar in strength, and nothing else, he nevertheless must stumble his way through his adventures, aided by Skultar’s right-hand man. If Skultar’s enemies ever find out he’s an impostor,
See full article at Comicmix »

Jeffrey Catherine Jones, 1944 – 2011

  • Comicmix
Noted illustrator and sometime comics artist Jeffrey Catherine Jones died yesterday of complications from emphysema.

In comics, her work appeared in Heavy Metal, the various Warren magazines, Epic Illustrated, and many, many others. Committing herself to illustration in general and expressionism in specific, she was a member of the legendary Studio along with Michael Kaluta, Barry Windsor-Smith and Bernie Wrightson. Jones’ illustrations graced a great many science fantasy novels (Michael Moorcock, Dean Koontz, Fritz Lieber, Andre Norton, and others) and magazines as well as publications such as The National Lampoon.

Her work has been reprinted in a number of albums, most recently Idw’s Jeffrey Jones: A Life In Art. This ironically titled tome was released at the beginning of this year.

Jones married Mary Louise Alexander (now Louise Simonson) in 1966 and had a daughter, Julianna, the following year. In 2001 Jeffrey had gender reassignment surgery. In recent years she suffered from numerous ailments,
See full article at Comicmix »

Shadow Chaser by Alexey Pehov – review

  • Boomtron
With Shadow Chaser, Alexey Pehov once again delivers the goods. His sequel to Shadow Prowler is a fantasy novel full of action, adventure, swords and sorcery, and the peerless thievery of the hero of The Chronicles of Siala series, Shadow Harold. This time, though he likes to work alone, the only way he can fulfill his promised Commission to the king and bring back the Rainbow Horn is to rely on the help of the small retinue of warriors (the Wild Hearts) and magic users that the king has assigned him. To accomplish his goal, he must use the Crimson Key and journey to the underground palaces and labyrinths of Hrad Spein, where ogres, orcs, elves, and men have buried their fallen warriors. Easier said than done, when the Key has been wrested from his control by men working for the Nameless One, who is stirring after centuries of relative peace,
See full article at Boomtron »

A Tale Of Two Cities Review – Ronald Colman d: Jack Conway

A Tale Of Two Cities (1935) Direction: Jack Conway Cast: Ronald Colman, Elizabeth Allan, Edna May Oliver, Reginald Owen, Basil Rathbone, Blanche Yurka, Donald Woods, Lucille La Verne, Henry B. Walthall, H. B. Warner, Walter Catlett, Fritz Leiber, Isabel Jewell, Tully Marshall, Mitchell Lewis, Robert Warwick Screenplay: W. P. Lipscomb and S. N. Behrman; from Charles Dickens' novel Oscar Movies Highly Recommended Jack Conway's A Tale of Two Cities Although not as widely known as other Old Hollywood spectacles, David O. Selznick's film production of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, set during the time of the French Revolution, is far, far better than most of the other period dramas made during the studio era. Starring former silent-screen heartthrob Ronald Colman; featuring respected supporting players such as Edna May Oliver, H. B. Warner, and Basil Rathbone; directed by MGM's reliable and unfairly forgotten Jack Conway, by
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Lost Hieroglyph: “Adventure Never Looked This Good”

“The Near Future…As It Used To Be”

What if the world of today, the early 21st Century, looked the way our predecessors thought it would, back in 1949?

What if Mars were the world imagined by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ray Bradbury and Robert Heinlein? And what if America’s most fun and famous couple flew to Mars in search of a missing brother and became embroiled in interplanetary intrigue, local wars, desert dangers and lost Martian civilizations?

This was the concept for The Lost Hieroglyph, the first of several “Brackett & Burroughs Adventures” set in an imaginary retro-future Solar System inspired by the great pulp science fiction stories and art of yore.

A lifetime’s affection for 20th-Century pop culture (of the sort now made huge by Comic-Con) eventually percolated into a sudden document in the late 1990’s. The concept lay dormant, with occasional proddings to see if it still breathed,
See full article at Famous Monsters of Filmland »

Conversations with the Weird Tales Circle

New from Centipede Press, Conversations with the Weird Tales Circle is a massive, oversize, celebration of the lives of H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, Frank Belknap Long, Seabury Quinn, E. Hoffmann Price, Henry Kuttner, C.L. Moore, Lee Brown Coye, Hannes Bok, August Derleth, Edmond Hamilton, Manly Wade Wellman, Fritz Leiber, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, Donald Wandrei, Mary Elizabeth Counselman, and many others.

Each writer has their own section in the book, complete with a custom drawing of the author by noted artist Alex McVey. 

The sections contain letters and essays by the writers, with many interviews and memoirs about the writers, often by other writers from the Circle.

With dozens of color and black & white photographs, and many of the articles never before reprinted (several coming from 1930s and 1940s fanzines that are now very difficult to find), this is an important and illuminating look at a
See full article at Famous Monsters of Filmland »

Conversations With The Weird Tales Circle

Good news Centipede Press supporters! There are limited copies of Conversations with the Weird Tales Circle now available with the majority being released in late November and early December.

This book is a triumph of design! One of our lead titles for the Fall 2009 season, Conversations with the Weird Tales Circle is a massive celebration of the lives of H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, Frank Belknap Long, Seabury Quinn, E. Hoffmann Price, Henry Kuttner, C.L. Moore, Lee Brown Coye, Hannes Bok, August Derleth, Edmond Hamilton, Manly Wade WellmanFritz Leiber, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, Donald WandreiMary Elizabeth Counselman, and many others.

Each writer has their own section in the book, complete with a custom drawing of the author by noted artist Alex McVey.  The sections contain letters and essays by the writers, with interviews and memoirs by other writers from the Circle. With dozens of color and black & white photographs,
See full article at Famous Monsters of Filmland »

United Artists Taps Billy Ray for Conjure Wife

United Artists Entertainment, in collaboration with StudioCanal, has attached Billy Ray ( Breach ) to write and direct Conjure Wife . The announcement was made today by UA Chief Operating Officer Elliott Kleinberg, who stated, "This is one of those moments when the right filmmaker gets behind a great project. Everyone involved is excited to work with Billy to make this film a success." Based on the book by Fritz Leiber, Conjure Wife is a supernatural thriller concerning a man's discovery that all his recent successes in life are the result of his wife dabbling in witchcraft. Furious, he demands she cease, forgoing her protection and triggering an onslaught of evil forces intent on restoring the imbalance. President of Production Don Granger will oversee the...
See full article at shocktillyoudrop »

Billy Ray To Direct Conjure Wife

Billy Ray, the writer-director of the under-rated Breach and Shattered Glass, is shifting direction for his next project.He’s signed on to write and direct Conjure Wife, an adaptation of Fritz Leiber Jr’s 1943 horror fantasy novel about a college professor who discovers that all his good fortune and success is down to the magical intervention of his wife.When he asks her to stop interfering, dark forces enter his life.Ray, however, has already overhauled the plot – now his take will see one woman attempt to take over the body of another, more desirable lady. Along with his script for Len Wiseman’s Motorcade, this signals a move into a more commercial area for the talented Ray.United Artists and StudioCanal are financing the project, with UA’s Don Granger overseeing production. No word on when filming might begin, though.
See full article at EmpireOnline »

Billy Ray on Board Conjure Wife

  • Dread Central
Imagine that your life is going along fine and smooth. Then you find out a lot of your perceived luck is actually the magical interference of your wife, who is a witch. You confront her, she agrees to stop ... and all hell breaks loose.

Such is the plot of Fritz Leiber, Jr.’s 1943 novel Conjure Wife, which THR reports United Artists has just signed on Billy Ray to adapt for the big screen. Ray recently directed the FBI thriller Breach but is better known as writer of such films as Suspect Zero and Hart’s War.

This will mark the fourth adaptation of Leiber’s book (the last was 1980’s Witches’ Brew) and will see some lust and body swapping injected into the proceedings to keep things lively.

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Judge Dredd RPG Coming to Mongoose

  • Comicmix
Mongoose Publishing has outlined their 2009 releases with several new Judge Dredd games coming.

The new Dredd role playing game will use the rules from Mongoose’s Traveller game and will be accompanied by a hardcover Judge Dredd RPG Rulebook kicking off the new game in the summer. Before the year is out, campaign and sourcebooks will also be release. Judge Dredd Miniatures Game will also be released and be based on the original Gangs of Mega City One.

The new deal resulted from Rebellion, the game company that currently owns 2000 Ad and its characters, coming to Mongoose with a desirable offer. The new deal allows the publishing outfit to expand their book offerings with increased color.

According to ICv2, these are the other releases coming from the company.

Traveller

In 2009 Mongoose is expanding its science fiction RPG with a number of new core books, some of which (Scoundrel, Agent) will cover characters,
See full article at Comicmix »

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