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Mike Gold: The Ghost Who Rocks!

  • Comicmix
People have been arguing the “who was comics’ first costumed hero” question for decades. Some feel it was Mandrake the Magician, by Lee Falk and Phil Davis (1934), others cite the truly obscure Red Knight created by John Welch and Jack McGuire, and still others prefer to credit E.C. Segar’s Popeye (1929). But I think it’s safe to say that most comics fans and scholars bestow that honor upon The Phantom, created by Lee Falk and Ray Moore 80 years ago this past week.

Neither Mandrake nor Popeye are “costumed heroes.” They perform their feats of daring in their regular work clothes. Whereas the Red Knight got his start in 1934 as a guy named Bullet Benton, he did not don the Red Knight costume and, therefore, the costumed hero persona until April of 1940. I suspect somebody at the Register and Tribune Syndicate took a gander at the McClure Syndicate’s success with Superman.
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Station West

Army investigator John Haven is out to catch some crooks using stealth, his wits and a limitless supply of marvelous hardboiled dialogue. Dick Powell trades a trench coat for a cowboy hat, while luscious Jane Greer swaps a .38 snubnose for a dance hall dress. A great cast, a witty script and Burl Ives' singing voice make this a delightfully different noir-inflected oater. Station West DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1948 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 80 min. / Street Date January 12, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Dick Powell, Jane Greer, Agnes Moorehead, Burl Ives,Tom Powers, Gordon Oliver, Steve Brodie, Guinn Williams, Raymond Burr, Regis Toomey, Olin Howlin, John Kellogg, Charles Middleton, John Doucette . Cinematography Harry J. Wild Film Editor Frederic Knudtson Original Music Heinz Roemheld Written by Frank Fenton, Winston Miller Produced by Robert Sparks Directed by Sidney Lanfield

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Want to discover a 'different,' fun '40s western with clever plotting?
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 9

Depraved convicts ! Crazy Manhattan gin parties! Society dames poaching other women's husbands! A flimflam artist scamming the uptown sophisticates! All these forbidden attractions are here and more -- including Bette Davis's epochal seduction line about impulsive kissing versus good hair care. It's a 9th collection of racy pre-Code wonders. Forbidden Hollywood Volume 9 Big City Blues, Hell's Highway, The Cabin in the Cotton, When Ladies Meet, I Sell Anything DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1932-1934 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 63, 62, 78, 85, 70 min. / Street Date October 27, 2015 / available through the WBshop / 40.99 Starring Joan Blondell, Eric Linden, Humphrey Bogart; Richard Dix, Tom Brown; Richard Barthelmess, Bette Davis, Dorothy Jordan, Berton Churchill; Ann Harding, Robert Montgomery, Myrna Loy, Alice Brady, Frank Morgan; Pat O' Brien, Ann Dvorak, Claire Dodd, Roscoe Karns. Cinematography James Van Trees; Edward Cronjager; Barney McGill; Ray June Written by Lillie Hayward, Ward Morehouse, from his play; Samuel Ornitz, Robert Tasker, Rowland Brown
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Two-Time Oscar Winner Cooper on TCM: Pro-War 'York' and Eastwood-Narrated Doc

Gary Cooper movies on TCM: Cooper at his best and at his weakest Gary Cooper is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 30, '15. Unfortunately, TCM isn't showing any Cooper movie premiere – despite the fact that most of his Paramount movies of the '20s and '30s remain unavailable. This evening's features are Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Sergeant York (1941), and Love in the Afternoon (1957). Mr. Deeds Goes to Town solidified Gary Cooper's stardom and helped to make Jean Arthur Columbia's top female star. The film is a tad overlong and, like every Frank Capra movie, it's also highly sentimental. What saves it from the Hell of Good Intentions is the acting of the two leads – Cooper and Arthur are both excellent – and of several supporting players. Directed by Howard Hawks, the jingoistic, pro-war Sergeant York was a huge box office hit, eventually earning Academy Award nominations in several categories,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Leigh Day on TCM: From Southern Belle in 'Controversial' Epic to Rape Victim in Code-Buster

Vivien Leigh ca. late 1940s. Vivien Leigh movies: now controversial 'Gone with the Wind,' little-seen '21 Days Together' on TCM Vivien Leigh is Turner Classic Movies' star today, Aug. 18, '15, as TCM's “Summer Under the Stars” series continues. Mostly a stage actress, Leigh was seen in only 19 films – in about 15 of which as a leading lady or star – in a movie career spanning three decades. Good for the relatively few who saw her on stage; bad for all those who have access to only a few performances of one of the most remarkable acting talents of the 20th century. This evening, TCM is showing three Vivien Leigh movies: Gone with the Wind (1939), 21 Days Together (1940), and A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). Leigh won Best Actress Academy Awards for the first and the third title. The little-remembered film in-between is a TCM premiere. 'Gone with the Wind' Seemingly all
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Marx Bros. Wreak Havoc on TCM Today

Groucho Marx in 'Duck Soup.' Groucho Marx movies: 'Duck Soup,' 'The Story of Mankind' and romancing Margaret Dumont on TCM Grouch Marx, the bespectacled, (painted) mustached, cigar-chomping Marx brother, is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 14, '15. Marx Brothers fans will be delighted, as TCM is presenting no less than 11 of their comedies, in addition to a brotherly reunion in the 1957 all-star fantasy The Story of Mankind. Non-Marx Brothers fans should be delighted as well – as long as they're fans of Kay Francis, Thelma Todd, Ann Miller, Lucille Ball, Eve Arden, Allan Jones, affectionate, long-tongued giraffes, and/or that great, scene-stealing dowager, Margaret Dumont. Right now, TCM is showing Robert Florey and Joseph Santley's The Cocoanuts (1929), an early talkie notable as the first movie featuring the four Marx BrothersGroucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo. Based on their hit Broadway
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On TCM: Conservative Actress Young in Audacious Movies

Loretta Young films as TCM celebrates her 102nd birthday (photo: Loretta Young ca. 1935) Loretta Young would have turned 102 years old today. Turner Classic Movies is celebrating the birthday of the Salt Lake City-born, Academy Award-winning actress today, January 6, 2015, with no less than ten Loretta Young films, most of them released by Warner Bros. in the early '30s. Young, who began her film career in a bit part in the 1927 Colleen Moore star vehicle Her Wild Oat, remained a Warners contract player from the late '20s up until 1933. (See also: "Loretta Young Movies.") Now, ten Loretta Young films on one day may sound like a lot, but one should remember that most Warner Bros. -- in fact, most Hollywood -- releases of the late '20s and early '30s were either B Movies or programmers. The latter were relatively short (usually 60 to 75 minutes) feature films starring A (or B+) performers,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Several of Grant's Best Films Tonight on TCM

Cary Grant movies: 'An Affair to Remember' does justice to its title (photo: Cary Grant ca. late 1940s) Cary Grant excelled at playing Cary Grant. This evening, fans of the charming, sophisticated, debonair actor -- not to be confused with the Bristol-born Archibald Leach -- can rejoice, as no less than eight Cary Grant movies are being shown on Turner Classic Movies, including a handful of his most successful and best-remembered star vehicles from the late '30s to the late '50s. (See also: "Cary Grant Classic Movies" and "Cary Grant and Randolph Scott: Gay Lovers?") The evening begins with what may well be Cary Grant's best-known film, An Affair to Remember. This 1957 romantic comedy-melodrama is unusual in that it's an even more successful remake of a previous critical and box-office hit -- the Academy Award-nominated 1939 release Love Affair -- and that it was directed
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Mike Gold: More Superhero Movies of the Ancients

  • Comicmix
Last week, I taunted you with visions of ancient superhero movies – serials, as they were called back then. Today we’d call them really low-budget webcasts. Here’s a few more worthy of your consideration, and this time we’re delving into a trio of iconic heroes from the pulps and newspaper strips – and now, of course, comic books.

The Shadow is the best-known of all the classic pulp heroes, and for a very good reason: many of the more than 300 stories published were quite good. Walter B. Gibson created something magical – a series with a lead character who had plenty of secrets but no secret identity, aided and abetted by a slew of agents who had no idea who their master was. The character’s popularity was enhanced massively by a highly successful radio series, one that gave The Shadow an alter-ego and a female companion and took away most of his agents.
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‘Strangler of the Swamp,’ Prc’s best film

Strangler of the Swamp

Written by Frank Wisbar and Harold Erickson

Directed by Frank Wisbar

USA, 1946

“Old legends – strange tales – never die in the lonely swampland. Villages and hamlets lie remote and almost forgotten. Small ferryboats glide between the shores, and the ferryman is a very important person. Day and night he is at the command of his passengers. On his little barge ride the good and the evil; the friendly and the hostile; the superstitious and the enlightened; the living and – sometimes – the dead.”

In Frank Wisbar’s Strangler of the Swamp, townspeople mourn the loss of members of the community who have died via strangulation. The deaths have caused a rift in the community. Some believe the rational explanation that people have died as a result of their own foolhardiness in the swamp. Others know better. They suspect that “The Strangler,” a ghost of an innocent man the town hanged,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

McDaniel TCM Schedule Includes Her Biggest Personal Hits

Hattie McDaniel as Mammy in ‘Gone with the Wind’: TCM schedule on August 20, 2013 (photo: Vivien Leigh and Hattie McDaniel in ‘Gone with the Wind’) See previous post: “Hattie McDaniel: Oscar Winner Makes History.” 3:00 Am Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943). Director: David Butler. Cast: Joan Leslie, Dennis Morgan, Eddie Cantor, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn, John Garfield, Ida Lupino, Ann Sheridan, Dinah Shore, Alexis Smith, Jack Carson, Alan Hale, George Tobias, Edward Everett Horton, S.Z. Sakall, Hattie McDaniel, Ruth Donnelly, Don Wilson, Spike Jones, Henry Armetta, Leah Baird, Willie Best, Monte Blue, James Burke, David Butler, Stanley Clements, William Desmond, Ralph Dunn, Frank Faylen, James Flavin, Creighton Hale, Sam Harris, Paul Harvey, Mark Hellinger, Brandon Hurst, Charles Irwin, Noble Johnson, Mike Mazurki, Fred Kelsey, Frank Mayo, Joyce Reynolds, Mary Treen, Doodles Weaver. Bw-127 mins. 5:15 Am Janie (1944). Director: Michael Curtiz. Cast: Joyce Reynolds, Robert Hutton,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

10 actors who achieved immortality in just one movie

Many film actors have become box office stars thanks to one character, but while Sean Connery and Christopher Lee managed to break away from 007 and Dracula, Anthony Perkins’ was forever overshadowed by his infamous alter ego Norman Bates. For some actors, one film role was enough to give them lasting cinema immortality; if it hadn’t been for their performances as the Wizard of Oz and Ming the Merciless, Frank Morgan and Charles Middleton would have been long forgotten.

The following ten actors achieved their cult status in the horror and fantasy genre on the strength of one film. Although these working actors appeared in a variety of movies, it is that particular character and their well received performance that has pushed any other notable film work into the background!

Max Schreck (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens – 1922)

Rafaela Ottiano (The Devil-Doll – 1936)

Margaret Hamilton (The Wizard of Oz – 1939)

Stanley Ridges (Black
See full article at Shadowlocked »

Looking back at Mike Hodges’ Flash Gordon

To celebrate the release of the 1980 Flash Gordon movie on Blu-ray, Mark Pickavance takes a timely look back at that film and the classic 30s serial…

In my own mind, Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon was always the part of a slew of science fiction concepts, encompassing a Gulliver-like adventure where the ordinary man and intergalactic peculiar collide head-on. Technically, the 30s comic book appearance came after Buck Rogers, but I'd also say they both were heavily influenced by the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and specifically John Carter Of Mars.

But, as well syndicated as the Flash Gordon comic strip was, it was the three serial films starring Buster Crabbe as Flash, the first appearing in 1936, that really lit the rocket on this particular character. The amazing longevity of these serials meant that I saw them as a child in Saturday morning cinema screenings, and they regularly appeared on
See full article at Den of Geek »

Relocation: Phil Down Under | Celebrity Big Brother: Live | Empire of the Seas | Latin Music USA | Watch this

Relocation: Phil Down Under | Celebrity Big Brother: Live | Empire of the Seas | Latin Music USA

Relocation: Phil Down Under

7.30pm, Channel 4

Tough times for Phil Spencer of late, but he doesn't seem too worried. Possibly it's because he has inherited his Australian wife's enthusiasm for Australia, its lifestyle and its property market, all of which are the cornerstones of this Relocation spin-off. Kirstie and her open plan kitchen-diners are back in blighty, so tonight Phil hits Melbourne to help two former UK residents with their resettlement plans, and along the way meets a Brit-made-good in property.

Celebrity Big Brother: Live

8.30pm, Channel 4

Davina ascends the windswept platform one last time to welcome the celebrity finalists back to earth. Just for the vision of Stephen Baldwin forcibly shoving the lord-his-god down Alex Reid's meaty neck, this series has been worth it. And for Stephanie Beacham's slow-dance with Sisqó.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Review: 'Flash Gordon' #1

Full disclosure: I had edited a Flash Gordon comics series at one point in my life. It was the third greatest nightmare in my professional life. Not the part about working with the talented and understanding Dan Jurgens; Dan’s a class act and a fine storyteller. No, working with King Features Syndicate was akin to Sisyphus’s task, except the big rock was a huge boulder of shit and pushing it up that mountain happened in the dead of the hottest summer in the innermost circle of hell. And I’ve lightened up on this over the years, too. And so, on with the show.

There may be no greater icon in comic strip history than Flash Gordon. Sorry, Buck Rogers. You came first but Flash had better art and story, and a much, much better villain. Creator/artist Alex Raymond is generally regarded as the greatest craftsman in the field; so great,
See full article at Comicmix »

Hollywood History Auction Huge Success

  • WENN
A Hollywood auction featuring Michael Keaton's Batman costume and dinosaurs from the Jurassic Park franchise has proved a huge success - raising a staggering $4.1 million (GBP2.05 million).

The 31st Profiles In History auction's top seller was a rare King Kong six-foot film poster, one of only three known to exist, which sold for $345,000 (GBP172,500) - over $100,000 (GBP50,000) more than the reserve price.

Other hits at the event included the Batman costume worn by Keaton in Batman Returns, which was snapped up by a superhero fan for $103,500 (GBP51,750), with Charles Middleton's Ming The Merciless cape from 1936 movie classic Flash Gordon selling for $115,000 (GBP57,500).

And movie monsters were another hit of the day, with one collector paying $126,500 (GBP63,250) for a leaping Alien Warrior figure from Aliens, and a Velociraptor from The Lost World: Jurassic Park Ii was sold under the hammer for $115,000 (GBP57,500).

The auction took place on 27 and 28 March in Los Angeles.

Batman's Costume To Go Under The Hammer

  • WENN
Michael Keaton's Batman costume and dinosaurs from the Jurassic Park movies are to go under the hammer with the first-ever Irving G. Thalberg memorial Oscar at the 31st Profiles In History Hollywood memorabilia auction.

The $4 million (GBP2 million) Los Angeles auction, which takes place on 27 and 28 March, also features a rare King Kong six-sheet movie poster - one of only three known to exist - and Charles Middleton's Ming The Merciless cape from 1936 movie classic Flash Gordon.

The Batman costume is expected to be the auction's highlight, and is estimated to fetch between $60,000 (GBP30,000) and $80,000 (GBP40,000).

Meanwhile, the Thalberg Oscar producer Darryl F. Zanuck won in 1938 is set to be one of the auction's high-priced items.

To this day, the Thalberg Memorial Award is the rarest and most prestigious honour bestowed by the Academy. It is only given an average of once every other year.

There have only been 36 recipients, and the accolade has not been bestowed on anyone since 2000, when movie mogul Dino De Laurentiis was honoured.

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