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Showing posts from January, 2017

The Turtles: All The Singles

I could easily state that I don’t just listen to music, I consume it. Music is perhaps the one thing in my life that is closest to an addiction. I listen to incredible amounts of it, buying records makes me happy, and I talk about it a lot. Part of my musical obsessions is one with the music of the 1960s. There are many bands of the ‘60s that are vastly overlooked and underrated--for a number of reasons, mostly generated by “holier than thou” attitudes at rock rags in the ‘70s.
There’s the idea rock music didn’t really come to fore till The Beatles arrived, and/or that music was lame until The Beatles got high. I get where these attitudes come from, but I don’t hold much salt in them. However, attitudes like these are why some really great groups of the era have been regulated to their place in history--by some--based only on the merits of their biggest hit song or songs. There are numerous bands that I feel deserves more cred, praise, and appreciation. One band in particular that is l…

His Girl Friday

It’s easy to get overwhelmed looking at the filmography of director Howard Hawks. There are numerous films in the Hawks catalog that any director would be happy to have one of. Out of forty six films, Hawks has nine on The National Film Registry. Hawks was a genre master, tackling and succeeding in screwball comedy, musicals, drama, western, film noir, and even sci-fi. 
If the name Howard Hawks doesn’t immediately ring a bell with you, odds are good you’ve seen at least one of his bigger films: “Bringing Up Baby,” “The Big Sleep,” “Rio Bravo,” “To Have and Have Not,” “Red River,” “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” and the film which this week’s column is about, “His Girl Friday.” Released in 1940 by Columbia Pictures, “His Girl Friday” stars Cary Grant & Rosalind Russell, and is based upon the 1928 stage play “The Front Page” written by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur.
Grant plays Walter Burns, the determined and hard-boiled editor of “The Morning Post,” who learns his ex-wife and forme…

Wait Until Battleground

2017 is getting off to a robust start for blu-ray releases, for as much goodness that Warner Archive brought to HD last year, this year gets started with four titles. “Battleground,” “Wait Until Dark,” “Bells are Ringing,” and “Bad Day at Black Rock” all get Blu-Ray debuts this month, I’ll be talking about the former two this week. One is a film I hadn’t seen before, and the other is one of a handful of films that I find truly terrifying (standing in such great company as “Baby’s Day Out”).

Released in 1949 MGM’s “Battleground” was the first major film about World War Two produced after the war had ended. MGM head Louis B. Mayer initially had hesitation about producing the film--which went on to be MGM’s largest grossing film in five years--feeling that audiences wouldn’t want a war movie so close to World War Two having ended. Where “Battleground” differs from most war films is that it’s more of a human story than a war story. A film with very little action sequences. Focusing more on…