Creature from the Black Lagoon Blu Ray Set
Note about the image quality on the set
The Creature from the Black Lagoon set is the runt of the litter when it comes to the Universal "Complete Legacy Collection" series. While the other monster collections contain six, seven or eight films in their sets (for example, the Frankenstein collection features eight movies), the Creature set only has three. Not surprising, since there were only three made in that Universal series: Creature from the Black Lagoon, Revenge of the Creature, and The Creature Walks Among Us.
Typically, all of the sets (Wolfman, Dracula, Frankenstein, Mummy, Invisible Man, and Creature) are priced the same amount, despite the varying number of titles in each set, which makes Creature with its mere three films the most expensive set on a "per film basis."
Interestingly, the titles in the sets overlap each other, e.g., the movies House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula are both verbatim in the Dracula, Frankenstein and Wolfman sets. The "House" films were called "monster rallies" back in the 1940's during their original run, and since they feature Count Dracula, the Wolfman, and the Frankenstein Monster, they logically make the three different sets complete by duplication.
Notes on The Creature set films:
1. Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) - Julia Adams and the Gillman made this film a huge hit in 1954, with references about the Gillman showing up in the rest of pop culture in numerous ways, from Marilyn Monroe in Seven Year Itch ("I felt so sorry for the Creature ... he wasn't all bad. I think he just craved a little affection...") to parodies of the Creature on the cover of comic books.
The 2D version of Creature (the set also contains a 3D version) is sharp and shows attention to restoration and the scanning into the HD format for Blu Ray. White highlights are crisp and the contrast is overall best meant for a theatre (or dark home theater).
2. Revenge of the Creature (1955) - This film stars Universal monster movie pro John Agar and Universal utility star Lori Nelson. The quality of the picture is easily the best I've ever seen for Revenge (compared to VHS and DVD) but it looks like a minimum of attention was given to the film to get it into HD Blu Ray format. The titles are blurred on the edges, the sharpness of a really good HD film transfer isn't here, and the contrast and general appearance is average. Still, I've not seen better anywhere else for this title. There is also a 3D version of the film on disc, too. Review of the film on this site.
3. The Creature Walks Among Us (1956) - Unlike Revenge, Walks Among Us shows better attention to transfer and restoration has taken place with film titles clear and sharp and overall picture quality much better than Revenge (but not as sharp and clean as the original Creature from the Black Lagoon). Though this film ends with an open-ended finis that made a fourth film in the series possible, this was the last one made for the Creature of the Black Lagoon series. Review of the film on this site.
Republic World - Article about the locations used for the three Creaure of the Black Lagoon films.
Bleeding Cool - Article about The Creature from the Black Lagoon 1992 pinball machine.
Coming classic film titles from Kino
Films are released October 20, 2020
Outside the Law - A Lon Chaney 1920 silent film with Priscilla Dean. Directed by Tod Browning. The disc release contains commentary, trailer, and an alternative ending version. Also has film soundtrack by Anton Sanko.
The Ape - A Karloff film from 1940. Disc contains two different commentary tracks, trailer, and optional subtitles in English.
Drifting (1922) and White Tiger (1922) - Two Tod Browning directed silent films. Drifting features Priscilla Dean and an 18 year old Anna May Wong with a soundscore by Anton Sanko. Disc contains also a fragment of remaining footage from the Tod Browning/Priscilla Dean "lost" film from 1919 The Exquisite Thief. Disc also contains film commentary tracks for both Drifting and White Tiger. Musical score for White Tiger by Andrew Earle Simpson.
October and the The Universal Monsters Challenge
“If you include the silent “Phantom of the Opera,” there are 31 original Universal Monster Movies. There are 31 days in October. I’m doing it.”
Article at the Greenville Sun
Films about isolation
...host Frank Stasio and film experts Marsha Gordon and Laura Boyes discuss the various forms isolation takes on screen and why ideas about being lost, bereft, and alone are so relevant in COVID culture.
47 minute audio discussion which includes thoughts on films like Cast Away and the 1957 sci-fi film The Incredible Shrinking Man at wunc.org
Five Soviet silent movie masterpieces
Article at Russia Beyond about Aelita (1924), Battleship Potemkin (1925), Mother (1927), Man with a Movie Camera (1929), and Earth (1930).
New book about classic era Character Actors
Celeste Holm Syndrome: On Character Actors from Hollywood’s Golden Age
Book is by David Lazar - Comes out October 1, 2020.
3 Days of the Condor page updated (art added)
Update to Mara Corday page (art added)
Boy on a Dolphin page updated (new, edited text)
Bedazzled - 1967
Stanley (Dudley Moore) is a hamburger-flipper at a fast food place called Wimpey's, working in silent anguish because he doesn't have the nerve to talk to the waitress (Eleanor Bron) that he is infatuated with. In despair, he attempts to hang himself in his tiny apartment, only for it to miserably fail, bringing down a water pipe, spraying liquid everywhere, when in walks George Spiggot (Peter Cook), dressed like a stage magician in black and red, with an offer to exchange Stanley's soul for seven wishes.
More Bedazzled 1967
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From former screen legends who have faded into obscurity to new revelations about the biggest movie stars, Valderrama unearths the most fascinating little-known tales from the birth of Hollywood through its Golden Age.
Winner of the 2020 Peter C. Rollins Book Award
Longlisted for the 2020 Moving Image Book Award by the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation
Named a 2019 Richard Wall Memorial Award Finalist by the Theatre Library Association
Original Page November 23, 2020 | Updated slightly on April 4, 2021