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A LITTLE RASCAL GETS HIS DUE: MICKEY DANIELS OF ‘OUR GANG’

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Mickey Daniels was one of the original Our Gang kids. Freckle-faced and irresistibly likable, he helped make Hal Roach’s comedy shorts a hit in the silent-film era. He died in 1970 but decades later there was no headstone or…

BACK TO BLOGGING, AT LAST

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I feel I owe you loyal readers an explanation for my relative absence (except for movie reviews) over the past month or so. Every December I go through the same doldrums following the avalanche of new releases. I never…

REMEMBERING BURT REYNOLDS—TRUTHFULLY

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“I’d love to slug ya but there are ladies present.” That’s how Burt Reynolds greeted me the first time I met him, while covering the Western-themed Golden Boot Awards for Entertainment Tonight in the early 1980s. Determined to keep my cool, I…

MARY PICKFORD’S ‘FAILURE,’ BUSTER KEATON’S REDISCOVERY

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Talk about fun! Every year the San Francisco Silent Film Festival offers rarities, restorations, and surprises from around the world. But this year’s highlights, for me, involved two immortal stars who produced their own pictures. I’ve waited fifty years…

FROM MUHAMMAD ALI TO JIM GAFFIGAN: ADVENTURES AT SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST

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South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas  has become a “must” for my daughter Jessie and me. Originally a music event, its film component is now a launchpad for movies big and small and a gathering place for anyone…

FAREWELL TO DAN TALBOT, MY ORIGINAL MOVIE PROGRAMMER

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I grew up at the New Yorker Theater. As I succumbed to the lure of film history in my teens I spent countless days, nights and weekends at this venerable movie house at Broadway and 88th Street. I also attended…

MUSEUM HONORS ANIMATOR AND SPECIAL EFFECTS WIZARD

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When I was a kid a strange black & white movie turned up on a local television channel: The Fabulous World of Jules Verne (1958). I’d never seen anything like it before. I came to learn that there was a reason:…

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