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Monthly Archives: February 2018

REDISCOVERING THE FIRST EPIC WESTERN

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Before John Ford’s The Iron Horse, before William S. Hart’s Tumbleweeds or Raoul Walsh’s The Big Trail there was The Covered Wagon in 1923. It was a bona fide blockbuster, in terms of its budget and its enormous box-office success. What’s more, it introduced audiences to…
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ON THE RECORD: BING CROSBY AND MORE…

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This is a great time to be a Bing Crosby fan, as the singer’s estate continues to mine the Crosby vaults for rare goodies and releasing them on CD. The latest duo: a reissue of one of my favorite…
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‘EARLY MAN’ ACHIEVES ITS GOAL

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I’ve been a sucker for Nick Park’s animated work since I first laid eyes on his Oscar-winning short Creature Comforts more than twenty years ago. (Little did I know that I’d already seen some of his stop-motion work in the “Penny”…
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BLACK PANTHER SEIZES THE MOMENT

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Marvel’s Black Panther is, culturally and commercially, the right film at the right time. The significance of bringing a black superhero to the screen at this moment cannot be overstated. Nor can the importance of director Ryan Coogler turning this origin…
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CHARLEY CHASE ON DVD—AND THELMA TODD, TOO

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When I set out to write a comprehensive article about underrated comedian Charley Chase decades ago for my magazine Film Fan Monthly there was virtually nothing in print about this talented comedian. Finding copies of his films to screen was another…
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REVISITING BETTE DAVIS AND LILLIAN GISH: THE WHALES OF AUGUST

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Sometimes the saga of a film’s production is more interesting than the film itself. In the case of The Whales of August (1987) the movie is as every bit as good as its colorful backstory. That’s why the new Special Edition…
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STARS ALL AROUND: IT’S OSCAR TIME

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Who doesn’t enjoy meeting movie stars and famous filmmakers? Every year there is a window of opportunity to do this here in L.A. called awards season. You don’t just meet these awards contenders once: after a succession of luncheons,…
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