On "No Down Payment": Anne said...This is what makes me wonder if Jeffrey Hunter and Patricia Owens'scharacters had even consumated thier marriageThe kid's got a broken radio, Jeff pulls out a screw driver and sets to work.Tony Randall gets smarmy with Jeff's wife and he's a frozen bystander...if Tony was mashing a radio, I think Jeff's character would have sprun into action. March 9, 2013
On "Trooper Hook": Vienna said...Wonderful review ! I haven't seen TROOPER HOOK for a long time but hope it becomes available on DVD. You describe Joel and Barbara's characters so well. An unusual role for Barbara. I guess she chose to do it for that reason. March 11, 2013
Anne said...Thank you for writing about this little gemOne can see this film on the encore west channel now and then and it's astonishingly good. With a budget not enough for a modern office pastry cart, it shows what can be done with excellent writing and acting....and directing. I love how we see the tiny stage from afar, then we see it though Nanches legs, we are right behind him, and we now know he's on their trail...it makes him almost a gonzilla of a threatChildren: let Mr. McCrea and Ms Stanwyck show you how it's done.They are hotter across a dusty feed store than many buck necked couples in love scenes today.March 7, 2013
On "Any Number Can Play": Vienna said...I love this film. Great cast, though I hate seeing Audrey Totter so totally wasted. All Audrey seemed to do was stand around with a glass in one hand and cigarette in the other.I thought Alexis Smith did well ,playing a woman whom I 'm sure was meant to be older than Alexis who was probably about 30 at the time.Great to see Mary Astor though,again, what a small role. And Marjorie Rambeau is always a joy.It could have been a play, with the only sets the gambling club and Gable's house.An unusual role for Gable and he was convincing.March 1, 2013
On Anita Sharp-Bolster: Vienna said...I've just see Anita in THE LONDON BLACKOUT MURDERS and she is so good as another battle-axe character , but with a touch of comedy . Nice tribute. Thanks.http//:dancing lady39.wordpress.com February 2, 2013
On Victor Jory - On Stage and Screen: Vienna said...Thanks for great tribute to Victor Jory whom I like, especially in a couple of films where he isn't the villain! In FIGHTING MAN OF THE PLAINS, Victor does his best to help Randolph Scott and becomes a good friend to Scott's character. Such a contrast to Victor's usual roles. I also liked him in a little B, THE UNKNOWN GUEST where he is the leading manI had no idea Victor and Alexis Smith did two plays together - thanks for the information. Oh to have seen them!January 24, 2013
On And Then There Were None: Ryan said...I bought this years ago on DVD, and it's still my favorite movie version of this story. The cast was perfect, and to tell you the truth, though I love the book, I almost prefer this ending. I think it's the hopeless romantic in me.February 19, 2013
The Majestic Theater in West Springfield, Massachusetts thrives not through nostalgia, but through adaptation. Once a neighborhood second-run movie house, the Majestic is now one of the best places in western Massachusetts to see live theatre.
Because of the coincidental overlapping of blog subjects, this post will be featured on all three of my blogs this week precisely because it conveniently (for me) dovetails the purposes of discussion of old movies (Another Old Movie Blog), New England history (New England Travels) and theater in New England (Tragedy and Comedy in New England).
At the informative Cinema Treasures site, the Majestic is noted as opening in the 1920s. The ads here are for second-run films in the 1940s when the Majestic continued to be a popular neighborhood movie house. The top ad for “Brewster’s Millions” on a double bill with “Alias Billy the Kid” is from April 1946. Note how though the war has ended, we are still encouraged to buy war bonds.
The ad for “Good Morning Judge” and “Gorilla Man” is from October 1943. Note the “vermillion rose dinnerware for the ladies” at the top. For our past discussion on Depression glass and movie “dish night” please see this post from February 2008.
The third ad features Gary Cooper in “The Westerner”, along with “The Mummy’s Hand” and a “The Adventures of Red Ryder” short. This is from January 1941
The Majestic re-opened as the Paris Cinema in the 1960s showing foreign films, and became the Elm Cinema in the 1980s, but the mid-1990s brought its most drastic, and welcome, change. Danny Eaton, who brought his Theater Project to a new home here in West Springfield, became the founder and artistic director of a re-born Majestic Theater.
Later this month, their production of William Inge’s “Bus Stop” opens.
Nostalgia for the past is a wonderful thing, but without the vibrancy of modern purpose, we are left with little more than an entertaining scrapbook, as fun to look at but as out of date as these movie ads. We’ve seen on this blog how many old-time theaters are demolished. It is pleasing when some can be converted to modern use either as movie theaters or as small businesses.
But when they can be successfully transformed into theaters for stage plays, then the theater building becomes more than a beloved town relic. The production of stage plays involves a lot of people. People working on and off stage, people spending, people volunteering, a community that comes together when people are the engine that drives the product. People have always been the business of show business.
Meet Me in Nuthatch - A publicity stunt to attract tourists to a small dying town results in the entire community turning the clock back to 1904. It is local Christmas tree farmer Everett Campbell’s idea, after watching the film “Meet Me in St. Louis,” his young daughter’s new favorite movie. What begins as half practical joke and half desperate ploy initiates the rebirth of Nuthatch, Massachusetts. Tourists do come, along with the media. To Everett’s dismay, his campaign to save their community results in also attracting representatives of a chain of theme parks who want to buy Nuthatch 1904. Everett now stands to lose his town in a way he never imagined, and the community is divided on which alternate future to choose. A local drug dealer, the longtime enemy of Everett, may hold their future in his hands unless Everett can pull off his most spectacular, and dangerous, practical joke.
“…a comforting, pleasant read that stays with you even after the last page is turned. After finishing the book, I found myself still musing about the relationships and how they'd changed and progressed. This book was a nice, hot chocolate sort of read.” Grace Krispy, "MotherLode" blog book review.
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