LAST UPDATE February 24, 2020

Reviews of Classic Film, with artwork and news

Diana Serra Cary has died - the silent film star known as "Baby Peggy"

She was 101. Story at Hollywood Reporter

Sophia Loren comes out of retirement for new film role

Appearing in The Life Ahead, an adaptation of the Romain Gary novel “La vie devant soi,” which was previously filmed as Madame Rosa in 1978. Loren plays a holocaust survivor in Italy who takes on the care of a young boy who has been abandoned.

Story at Algemeiner

Kirk Douglas leaves whole fortune to charity

Story at UK The Sun Kirk Douglas

Various headlines say "Kirk Douglas will goes full Sparticus, leaves all of his money to charity"

Actress Ana de Armas from Cuba cast as Marilyn Monroe for biopicture

Story at

The plight of aging talent in Hollywood

"In Hollywood, people tend to wear the clothes they bought the last time they had real money, which means you can always tell where someone is in his career by calculating the age of his wardrobe."

Story at Commentary Magazine

Criterion announces May 2020 titles

The Great Escape - 1963 - Steve McQueen - Criterion Page

Here's the bonuses on the Criterion Blu Ray disk:

  • 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
  • Two audio commentaries: featuring director John Sturges and composer Elmer Bernstein (1991); James Coburn, James Garner, and Donald Pleasence (2004)
  • Interview with critic Michael Sragow
  • “The Great Escape”: Heroes Underground, a four-part 2001 documentary film about the real-life escape from the Stalag Luft III prisoner-of-war camp during World War II, including interviews with POWs held there
  • The Real Virgil Hilts: A Man Called Jones, a 2001 film on the United States Army Air Forces pilot David Jones, the inspiration for Steve McQueen’s character in the film
  • Return to “The Great Escape,” a 1993 film featuring interviews with Coburn, Garner, actors David McCallum and Jud Taylor, stuntman Bud Ekins, and McQueen’s son, Chad McQueen
  • Original trailer
  • Essay by critic Sheila O’Malley

Dance, Girl, Dance - 1940 - Maureen O'Hara and Lucille Ball - Criterion Page

Here's the bonuses on the Blu Ray disk:

  • Restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction by critic B. Ruby Rich
  • Sselected-scene commentary featuring film historian Cari Beauchamp
  • Essay by critic Sheila O’Malley

Beau Geste 1939 - Gary Cooper on Blu Ray

Kino has a Blu Ray coming April 7th - Kino Page - New 4K Master

Other coming titles from Kino:

Lives of the Bengal Lancer - 1935 - Gary Cooper - Kino Page - Audio Commentary by Film Historian Eddy Von Mueller - April 7, 2020

Outcast of the Islands - 1952 - Kino Page - Directed by Carol Reed - Audio Commentary by Film Historian and Critic Peter Tonguette - April 28, 2020

Orson Bean - 1928 - 2020

Orson Bean


Born July 22, 1928 - Died February 07, 2020 (age 91)

United Press - Actor Orson Bean dead at 91 Feb. 8

Washington Post - Orson Bean, droll actor, comedian and raconteur, dies at 91

MSN News - Orson Bean’s death on Los Angeles street sparks mourning, concern over pedestrian safety

USA Today - Veteran actor Orson Bean, 91, struck and killed by car while walking in Los Angeles

New York Times - Orson Bean, Free-Spirited Actor of Stage and Screen, Dies at 91

Variety - Orson Bean, Character Actor Known for ‘Being John Malkovich’ and ‘Dr. Quinn,’ Dies at 91

Academy Award 2020 winners

List at Oscars Go

Memorium section at Oscars did not include Orson Bean and Robert Conrad

Story at NBC News on Oscar presentation

Feb 9, 2020

Errol Flynn

Errol Flynn

Mr. Flynn is famous in a variety of ways, not all good. But as a working professional actor he has yet to be bested as Robin Hood (and there have been dozens of competitors amid the many, many remakes).

He had many other fine roles in films of very good to not-quite-good quality, but whatever the case he did that thing actors from his generation seem to always do - play the role to the best of their ability, no matter what is lacking on the screen all around them.

Kirk Douglas passes at age 103

Obits at:

Broadway World - Photo Flashback: Remembering Kirk Douglas 1980s

Vulture - Mourning Classic Hollywood (with emphasis on Kirk's role in Ace in the Hole)

Hollywood Reporter - Indomitable Icon of Hollywood's Golden Age

Time Magazine - Remembering Kirk Douglas, One of the Last Surviving Links to Old Hollywood

NBC News - Kirk Douglas helped end the Hollywood blacklist

USA Today - Kirk Douglas was forever changed after surviving a tragic 1991 helicopter crash

UPI Press - Hollywood icon Kirk Douglas dies at 103

Chicago Tribune - I was not a tough guy. I just acted like one

I Love You Again - 1940

Myrna Loy - Love You Again

I Love You Again - 1940 - Amnesia and returned memory dramatically changes Larry Wilson into George Carey in I Love You Again. Larry has spent eight years frustrating his young wife (Myrna Loy) because Wilson is a penny-pinching "stuffed shirt" despite being a respected pillar of the community of Habersville, Pennsylvania. Fed up with him, convinced everything he does is a vain pose to impress the town, she is done with Larry and they are in the last days of marriage before a divorce.

While on a trip at sea without her, Larry (William Powell) gets conked on the head, and George Carey (also, of course, William Powell) emerges from the cocoon of Larry Wilson. It turns out George Carey, con-artist, was who Larry Wilson, stuffed-shirt, was before getting conked on the head back in 1932. It may seem hard to keep straight, but ace comedy director W.S. Van Dyke makes it simple. He worked with Loy and Powell on many of their The Thin Man movies and the trio together are comedy experts, making the issue of double-identity and not being too sure what you've been doing for eight years just more tools in the screwball toolbox.

Awakened as if from a coma, con-man George has to ask what year it is and who is the current president, and then he trims his old-fashioned mustache. This has the interesting effect of transforming Powell,who looks more than a bit like Powell's later role of Clarence from the film Life With Father from 1947, which featured Powell as an 1890s dad, into the younger, sleeker, more familiar art-deco William Powell of the 1930s. Now in a fashionable suit of clothing and hair slicked back, George is ready to pick up where he left off eight years earlier.

George then enlists a small-time crook from the boat trip (Frank McHugh as 'Doc' Ryan) and they come up with a plan to return to Larry's town and fleece the place using Larry's sterling reputation and contacts. But then George gets a look at Larry's wife...


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