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 Posted:   Dec 12, 2013 - 11:13 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

We're all familiar with the movie title songs sung by Frankie Laine, but Laine also appeared onscreen in a number of films, usually as himself. 1951's SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET finds him in his first lead role, starring as the host of a television variety show, which gives him and the other stars plenty of chances to sing. The soundtrack includes such songs as the title tune, plus "Pennies From Heaven," "Let's Fall In Love," I Get a Kick Out of You," and many others, all under the musical direction of George Duning.

SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET is slated for airing by TCM on Monday, December 16th, at 2:30 PM ET. The film, which has never been available on home video, has only been seen by insiders in recent years in black-and-white, but TCM is promising to run a print in its original SuperCineColor glory.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 12, 2013 - 2:31 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

Getting close to that 10,000 mark, whoopee [ha-ha]

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 26, 2014 - 11:00 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

On Monday, April 28th, beginning at 7:50 PM ET, GET-TV will be showing three of the German-produced westerns based on the books of Karl May. May was a popular German writer, noted mainly for adventure novels set in the American Old West (best known for the characters of Winnetou and Old Shatterhand, aka Old Surehand). With one exception, Columbia Pictures released this series of films in the U.S. None of the three films being shown is available on Region 1 DVD.

First up at 7:50 PM is 1962’s THE TREASURE OF SILVER LAKE. Lex Barker plays Old Shatterhand and Pierre Brice plays Winnetou. This film, like the other two, has a score by Martin Böttcher.



At 10:20 PM comes 1965’s RAMPAGE AT APACHE WELLS. This time Stewart Granger plays Old Surehand with Brice again playing Winnetou.



Finally, at 12:20 AM is 1964’s FRONTIER HELLCAT, with Granger and Brice.



Although all three films were shot in widescreen CinemaScope, THE TREASURE OF SILVER LAKE is being shown panned-and-scanned, and the other two are broadcast in a modified 1.78:1 ratio.

Other films in the Old Shatterhand series are Apache Gold (1963), Shatterhand (1964), Last of the Renegades (1964), The Desperado Trail (1965), Half-Breed (1965), and In the Valley of Death (1968) all starring Lex Barker. Stewart Granger also played Old Surehand in one additional film, Flaming Frontier (1965).

 
 
 Posted:   May 10, 2014 - 2:28 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

On Wednesday, May 21st, at 6 PM ET, Turner Classic Movies will be showing the 1965 comedy-drama THE BATTLE OF THE VILLA FIORITA. The film, which was written, produced, and directed by Delmar Daves, was based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Rumer Godden. Maureen O'Hara stars as a middle-class British housewife who falls in love with an Italian concert pianist (Rosanno Brazzi). The film has never been released on any home video format.

 
 
 Posted:   May 10, 2014 - 5:52 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

Tonight/ early morning/MAY 10/11, TCM will show 2 obscure genre films BLUE SUNSHINE-77.Directed by JEFF LIBERMAN[SQUIRM] A tale that deals with psychedelic drugs, it got a limited theatrical release and since has been a rare item on TV. Even more rare is the other feature HAUSU-77- Another limited theatrical release film. Which has barely ever been shown on TV, free or cable.

 
 
 Posted:   May 16, 2014 - 12:42 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

TCM will show DEATH BY INVITATION-71 on SATURDAY MAY 17. now this is what one would call a real obscure film. WHY?. It had barely any known theatrical release when it was new. IT never appeared on NETWORK TV it as far as I know never got put into any syndication packages over the years. it seemed to have never been on cable TV. No record of even being put on VIDEO OR DVD or on YOU TUBE. For genre film experts it seems the only knowledge of this effort has come from genre film research books which listed it as being made and completed. then lying in limbo.

 
 
 Posted:   May 16, 2014 - 2:09 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

TCM will show DEATH BY INVITATION-71 on SATURDAY MAY 17. now this is what one would call a real obscure film. WHY?. It had barely any known theatrical release when it was new. IT never appeared on NETWORK TV it as far as I know never got put into any syndication packages over the years. it seemed to have never been on cable TV. No record of even being put on VIDEO OR DVD or on YOU TUBE. For genre film experts it seems the only knowledge of this effort has come from genre film research books which listed it as being made and completed. then lying in limbo.

DEATH BY INVITATION premiered in St. Louis on 20 October 1971, but didn't open in Los Angeles until 17 May 1972. Reportedly, gray market vendor Something Weird Video released the film on tape back in 1994, from a black-and-white print source, and then on a DVD-R in 2006 from a color print. A year ago, it received a formal release on a Vinegar Syndrome double feature DVD, from a 2K master of a mostly clean 35mm print.

http://www.amazon.com/Dungeon-Harrow-Death-Invitation/dp/B00BYGTN7A/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1400214971&sr=1-1&keywords=death+by+invitation

 
 
 Posted:   May 16, 2014 - 2:33 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

TO BOB- Thanks, that is what I thought, never came to the east coast and most of the world and no TV , grey market video, and then finally after all those years DVD .thanks again. Anything on TILL DEATH-77- A low budget genre film that got shown on WOR-tv in New York in the late 70's and seems to have vanish from sight since. Neat little film.

 
 
 Posted:   May 16, 2014 - 7:31 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

TO BOB- Thanks, that is what I thought, never came to the east coast and most of the world and no TV , grey market video, and then finally after all those years DVD .thanks again. Anything on TILL DEATH-77- A low budget genre film that got shown on WOR-tv in New York in the late 70's and seems to have vanish from sight since. Neat little film.


According to one source, TILL DEATH was shot in 1974, but not released until four years later, in February 1978. Where it ever played, I couldn't say. It's available on video from some gray market sources, such as Trash Palace.

http://www.trashpalace.com/collectorsmovies/horror2.htm

 
 
 Posted:   May 16, 2014 - 10:21 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

TO BOB-Thanks for info.

 
 
 Posted:   May 17, 2014 - 5:24 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

TCM on MONDAY MAY 19 will show THE EXTRAORDINARY SEAMAN-69- starring FAYE DUNAWAY, ALAN ALDA, AND MICKEY ROONEY. it has been giving rare exposure on free tv and cable over the decades.Got a CBS showing way back in the 70's .

 
 
 Posted:   May 17, 2014 - 5:24 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

TCM on MONDAY MAY 19 will show THE EXTRAORDINARY SEAMAN-69- starring FAYE DUNAWAY, ALAN ALDA, AND MICKEY ROONEY. it has been giving rare exposure on free TV and cable over the decades. Got a CBS showing way back in the 70's .

 
 
 Posted:   May 18, 2014 - 12:49 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

I’ve never seen THE EXTRAORDINARY SEAMAN, but it’s one of so many films that assembled loads of talent, yet somehow went awry. This was director John Frankenheimer’s next film after GRAND PRIX. Deciding to do something different, he chose a World War II comedy about an eccentric British Captain whose barely seaworthy wreck of a ship is beached on a small island in the Philippines. When four misfit American sailors, who were lost at sea, wash up on the island, they help the Captain repair his ship with the aid of a female trading post owner.

You can’t argue with the talents of the cast, which was headed by David Niven, and included Faye Dunaway, Alan Alda, Mickey Rooney, and Jack Carter. Hal Dresner (THE EIGER SANCTION) co-wrote the screenplay, and Frankenheimer’s GRAND PRIX composer, Maurice Jarre, did the score.

But the production faced one obstacle after another. After failing to find locations in the Philippines, Frankenheimer settled on a remote Mexican location on the Gulf Coast, a literal backwater far from civilization, where equipment and supplies had to be trucked in through the jungle. Faye Dunaway recalls "nearly daily tropical downpours" that "could drive anyone to the brink of madness." The rain sent the film over schedule while, according to Frankenheimer, misunderstandings with the script supervisor (hired from the local Mexican industry, where they did things a little differently) left them with significantly less material in the can than they assumed.

Faced with a film well under feature length, to pad out the running time Frankenheimer interspersed clips of newsreels and classic wartime movies through the film, played as ironic counterpoint to the incompetence of the characters on screen. Even with the inclusion of about 10 minutes of black-and-white 1940s footage, the film only runs 80 minutes.

"We decided we could really use this premise to make an anti-war statement," Frankenheimer told Gerald Pratley in 1968, after the film was completed but before it was released. "I think we did, and it terrified MGM." Maybe, but MGM was certainly promoting the film to its exhibitors, along with its other big pictures, in this 1967 promotional reel. See the sequence from 09:55 to 11:15:




In the end, however, MGM was scared off after a string of dismal screenings for exhibitors and critics, where the response was tepid at best. "Light comedy, parodying as satire, does not seem to be [Frankenheimer's] particular art," read the Hollywood's Reporter review, one of the less hostile reviews. Leonard Maltin is more succinct in his Movie Guide, rating the film a “bomb.” MGM held up the film for two years, and then gave it a nominal release in early 1969. I seriously doubt that the film ever had a legitimate “first run,” but was probably offered as a second feature for drive-ins and other second run situations. As Dan mentions, the film first came to widespread public attention as part of the CBS Late Movie package, where it made its network debut in 1972.

For those who want to watch the film at their leisure, although it has never been released on home video, it is available on YouTube.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 8, 2014 - 11:02 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

DELETE

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 8, 2014 - 2:57 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

Sorry folks, this is now dated I was going to mention that TCM was going to show FACE OF FIRE-59- JAMES WHITMORE, this month, but I see it was on this morning. However maybe they will show it again soon. This effort has not been on TV in decades, worth checking out , oh well next time.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 9, 2014 - 10:48 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

SAYONARA (1957) is not an obscure film, but it's still hard to find. The production was originally released by Warner Bros, but was originally copyrighted by Goetz Pictures, Inc. & Pennybaker, Inc. (Marlon Brando's company). Its video rights have bounced around over the years, to HBO and M-G-M among others. In 2001, M-G-M issued the film on DVD, but that disc now fetches about double its initial price on the secondary market.

SAYONARA will be broadcast by Turner Classic Movies on Monday, August 11th, at 12:30 PM ET. Although the old DVD was in widescreen, it did not have an anamorphic transfer, so you'll be no worse off watching the film on TCM.

SAYONARA had an interesting genesis. Several months before James Michener’s novel “Sayonara” was published, and before a serialized version appeared in McCalls magazine (Oct-Dec 1953), Paramount, M-G-M and Twentieth Century-Fox were bidding for the rights to make the film. Michener insisted on a seven-year lease and no sequel rights.

Then, in September 1953, Michener withdrew “Sayonara” from the film market in order to secure a stage production, a dramatization by Joshua Logan and Joseph Mankiewicz. A group headed by Logan, who had produced Michener’s “South Pacific” on the stage, and Irving Berlin acquired stage and film rights to “Sayonara” and planned to produce the property as a musical first, with book by Logan and score by Berlin. David Merrick, stage designer Jo Mielziner, and Michener had spent several weeks together in Japan two years earlier and, at that time, Logan had suggested the idea of a story using Japanese theatrical companies.

The three bidding companies and independent film producer William Goetz considered filing suit, on the grounds that they had already come to an agreement with Michener over the property. M-G-M, Fox, and Goetz were preparing a joint lawsuit against Michener to enjoin the sale to Logan and to force Michener to sell to one of the three plaintiffs, which was possibly the first time an author was sued to force a sale elsewhere than his choice.

A joint-action breach of contract suit was filed with the Supreme Court in New York by Fox, Goetz, and Loew’s, Inc. against Michener, Logan, and Michener’s agent, the William Morris Agency. The plaintiffs claimed that the film rights were offered for a $150,000 down payment and an additional $100,000 if the film’s gross reached $5 million, that Michener was to pick from those companies who agreed to the terms by a specific deadline, and that the three parties had agreed to the terms. Although Michener made a motion to have the case dismissed, the judge upheld the contention of the plaintiffs, ruling that “the communication made on behalf of…Michener constituted an offer rather than an invitation to bid” and that the sale to Logan was illegal.

Negotiations to settle the action were still in motion when Warner Bros., which had registered the title with the MPAA Title Registration Bureau, became connected to the property. Logan had recently signed a non-exclusive producer-director deal, which called for four films in six years, with Warner Bros. M-G-M and Fox then dropped their claims, and William Goetz produced the film for Warner Bros. release. Logan directed.

Paul Osborn was already working on the book for the musical and was signed to do the screenplay. Joshua Logan mentioned that Truman Capote read the script and “made a few suggestions,” although his input was minimal. Marlon Brando requested that the ending of Michener’s novel be changed to a happy ending. Reportedly, it was Brando’s idea to make his character a Southerner, which he was not in the original novel.

Brando also requested that a Japanese actress fill the lead role. Goetz had difficulty finding a Japanese actress who could master the English language in time for the production and he was seriously thinking of casting Audrey Hepburn or Jennifer Jones. Hepburn read the script several times, but refused the role, according to Logan, because she was terrified of acting and thinking like an Oriental. Miiko Taka, who was cast, was a Los Angeles-born Nisei and, at that time a non-professional. According to Logan, it was “the biggest chance we took.”

Portions of the film were shot in Tokyo, Isaka, Hami Airbase, Takamatsu Island and Kyoto in Japan. Jet plane sequences were shot at Lockheed Airport in Burbank, CA.

Franz Waxman’s score for the film incorporates the song “Sayonara Goodbye,” which was written by Irving Berlin when the property was being considered as a Broadway musical. The rights to the song were sold to Goetz for one dollar. Months before the film’s opening, sheet music for the song was selling at a rate of one thousand copies a day. The song was recorded by several artists, among them, the Ames Brothers.

SAYONARA won Academy Awards for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration and Best Sound Recording. Red Buttons, performing in his first dramatic role, and Miyoshi Umeki, a Japanese nightclub singer who marked her American film debut, won Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor and Actress, respectively, for their portrayals of “Joe Kelly” and “Katsumi.” The film was also nominated for Best Picture (losing to “The Bridge on the River Kwai” ), Best Film Editing, and Best Cinematography. Brando was nominated for Best Actor and Logan for Best Director, but they lost to Alec Guinness and David Lean, respectively, both for “The Bridge on the River Kwai.”

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2014 - 11:23 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

It’s rare when Turner Classic Movies runs a movie made for television, but on Friday, August 15th, at 9:30 AM ET, they will do just that when they show COLD SASSY TREE, starring Faye Dunaway, Richard Widmark, and Neil Patrick Harris. The film is based upon a 1984 historical novel by Olive Ann Burns. Set in the U.S. state of Georgia in the fictional town of Cold Sassy (based on the real city of Harmony Grove, now Commerce) in 1906, it follows the life of a 14-year-old boy named Will Tweedy, and explores themes such as religion, death, and social taboos.

In 1989, director Joan Tewkesbury (OLD BOYFRIENDS, 1979) filmed the book for Turner Network Television. Tewkesbury, who co-wrote the teleplay, refocused the film more on the adult characters rather than the young boy. Brad Fiedel scored the film. COLD SASSY TREE has appeared on VHS and laserdisc, but has never been released on DVD. Here’s a preview of the film:




 
 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2014 - 11:29 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Amazingly, one of the best films Fox ever produced is still unavailable on domestic DVD or Bluray:



http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article.html?isPreview=&id=1019003%7C1008286&name=A-Bell-for-Adano

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2014 - 11:14 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Early Saturday morning, August 16th, at 4:30 AM ET, Turner Classic Movies will be showing the little seen film A PLACE FOR LOVERS. This 1969 Italian production boasts some big names. It stars Faye Dunaway and Marcello Mastrioanni. It was produced by Carlo Ponti. And it was directed by famed Italian director Vittorio De Sica (BICYCLE THIEVES, TWO WOMEN, MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE). The film, about doomed lovers, was filmed in the Italian Alps.

But the film has fallen off the map, having never received a video release in any format. This is undoubtedly due to the fact that the film was unanimously rejected by the critics when MGM opened it in the U.S. on 22 August 1969. Roger Ebert called it “the most godawful piece of pseudo-romantic slop I’ve ever seen.” Looking at the cast and director, Roger Greenspun of the New York Times labeled the film “the worst movie of their respective careers.” The Los Angeles Times’ Charles Champlin called A PLACE FOR LOVERS “the worst movie I have seen all year and possibly since 1926.” Time magazine found the film to be “woefully inept,” and New York’s Judith Crist declared that “Even a director who had made no movies would have a hard time making one as bad as this.”

The film’s music, by the director’s son Manuel De Sica, also came under fire. De Sica composed a title song (with lyrics by Norman Gimbel) that was sung by Ella Fitzgerald. But Variety’s “Rich” found the song to be “merely adequate and a bit mushy.” And Charles Champlin found the underscore itself to be “louder, longer, more insistent, and annoying than a dentist’s drill.” (The score has never been released.)

Now’s your chance to see the film that everyone’s talking about. The film is buried in a 4:30 AM timeslot not only for its obscurity and presumed awfulness, but also because of its [R] rating.

The principals all survived the shellacking they took on this film, particularly Vittorio De Sica, who two years later would win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film with THE GARDEN OF THE FINZI-CONTINIS.


 
 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2014 - 1:06 AM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Incidentally, just a little postscript to the history of SAYONARA. Waxman wrote a typically masterful score, but he was no more happy to have to include the Irving Berlin title song than Max Steiner had been to incorporate "As Time Goes By" into CASABLANCA. At least, (if memory serves), Waxman was able to segregate the song without having to make it part of the whole fabric as Steiner had been obligated to do with the Hupfeld tune. But please forgive me if I'm wrong about that, I haven't listened to the score in a long time.

 
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