Awards Weekend at Greenbriar
I don’t know where The Dardos Awards began, but Greenbriar Picture Shows has recently won three of them from fellow bloggers and is most pleased and proud. According to what I’m told, The Dardos Award is given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing. The object is to promote fraternization between bloggers (and) gratitude for work that adds value to the Web. I’m all for open lines among bloggers. A lot of them have been kind and helpful to me by way of links and favorable mentions. None of us get read lest someone spreads the word, and I’m grateful to those who’ve plugged Greenbriar at their own fine sites, many of which I check daily and much enjoy. Winning a Dardos means spreading the award to favorites of your own, per these rules: 1) Accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person that has granted the award and a link to his/her blog.
Greenbriar’s awards came from three varied locales who’ve served the blogging community with perceptive writings and arresting imagery. All are experts in their respective fields of interest and I admire (and envy) their knowledge and erudition:
1): Frankensteinia … is just what the name implies. A history and ongoing celebration of all things Frankenstein, and goodness knows how Pierre Fournier comes up with such rarities! He recently found a comic book Son Of Frankenstein (published 1939) that I never knew existed and followed that with a thoughtful career overview of main man for many of us, Colin Clive. I love his site’s design and presentation as well.
2): Operator 99’s blog is dedicated to The Screen Stars Of The Twenties and Thirties and Their Alluring Images. In fact, his banner reads simply Allure, and is surely that for me and all fans of a great era in movie history. He writes about people I like (especially precode ones!) and has an unerring eye for gorgeous photos culled from magazine covers and collectibles of the day. I’ve saved lots of Allure from this wonderful site --- in hopes perhaps that some of it may rub off on me?
3): One Way Street is Alan Rode’s Sporadic Takes on Film Noir and Other Aspects of Pop Culture, but there’s nothing sporadic about Alan’s talent for ferreting out jewels concealed along darkened byways of Noir. His favorites are mine as well, and what a gift he has for appreciating them! Alan’s writings are second to none, as witness a recent biography of actor Charles McGraw that is a must for all students of Noir. Oh, and he recently interviewed Ernest Borginine … and paid tribute to Ricardo Montalban … and … well, just go there!!
OK, back to The Dardos Rules:
2) Pass the award to another five blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgement, remembering to contact each of them to let them know they have been selected for this award. I’m going to bend policy here by naming sites a bit outside the strict blog category, but ones I find invaluable and clearly products of intensive effort and enthusiasm on the part of those who administer them. I’ll try contacting who I can, even as identities among some winners remain a mystery while others are products of group effort. Anyway, here goes my five:
1): The Classic Horror Film Board: This is the Miracle Mile of online discussion groups. Sometimes I'll go down that rabbit hole and not come out for hours. It’s like stumbling across a thousand issues of Castle Of Frankenstein you never knew existed. All the big name monster experts are here. I learn lots from them every time I visit, often emerging bleary-eyed from spirited debates as to who actually wore the Gill-man suit for underwater as opposed to dry land sequences in Universal’s three Creature (From The Black Lagoon) features, or say, why was there cardboard on that lamp shade during a bedroom scene in Dracula? Some might think we're plain nuts to care. Those who understand are likely reading the CHFB at this moment. Bravo to them and this paradise for monster mavens!
2): Nitrateville: Bless you, Mike Gebert, for giving silent and early sound enthusiasts such a warm place to hang their coats. I feel positively Lilliputian beside the assemblage of masterminds who contribute here. Where did they learn all this stuff? Yesterday, I got immersed in speculation over something Norma Talmadge might have said to a fan outside a restaurant back in 1934. You see, this is just the sort of thing my girlfriend’s been complaining about! Someone might better do a Nitrateville intervention on me, but in the meantime, and after the fashion of Will Hays at the Don Juan premiere, I offer my felicitations and sincerest appreciation to the silent era’s most generous and accomplished latter-day friend.
3): Silent Comedians. Com: Here is comedy’s glorious counterpart to Nitrateville. I go here for any and all questions about the greats of voiceless clowning. These people always have the answers. For those who’d claim knowledge of Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, etc., it’s a mightily humbling address, but they don’t call (most of) this crowd The Silent Comedy Mafia for nothing. Just mention one of Buster’s leading ladies you thought everyone had forgotten and an hour later one of these folks will have produced her birth certificate (if not dental records!). There’s no richer soil to till than that of a slapstick era a lot of us grew up collecting. Here is its clubhouse we always dreamed of joining.
4): Those Who Toil At The IMDB: Well, maybe toil is a misnomer. These people, and I don’t know who they are, clearly love to write and are often brilliant at it. Some post multiple comments throughout a day, with inspired observation seeming to roll off tips of their quills … dispensing insight while a schlub like me barely manages once a week appearances. Their identities are perhaps as guarded as that of masked heroes at Republic, but I salute them and you might too upon introduction to such prodigious output: ecarle, telegonous, majikstl, swanstep, and artihcus022 are just a few voices amidst the IMDB universe. There are undoubtedly lots of others, maybe some (lots?) as good as these, but where does one get the time to keep up (hundreds contribute at IMDB)? Suffice to say they write for the joy of expression and I’m always happy to revisit them.
5): DVD Savant: F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that not a half dozen men have been able to keep the whole equation of pictures in their heads. Well, here’s one DVD reviewer who can and does. Glenn Erickson’s twice weekly coverage of disc releases (mostly vintage ones) is always original, sometimes provocative, and never less than the best of any and all DVD critiquing on the Web. I go to Savant's archive to get his slant on whatever pic I’ve just watched, and never come away shy of insight I’d not considered. He’s prolific and been at it a long time, thus a mile-high backlog with just about all the essential titles. You never get the sense of his having to look things up. He just knows. Not many have that depth of knowledge nor ability to mine background and context so adroitly. Savant should write a book (wait a minute, he has --- and it’s terrific).
Numerology and bouquet tosses behind me, I’d now submit images shown here which have turned up since earlier postings on various features, some dating back a year or two, and others more recently. Do click on these titles in case you missed the past stories, and consider what’s here as supplement … footnote … whatever.
1): Psycho: This is the New York first-run ad I hoped I’d come across eventually. Notice Hitchcock’s personalized policy statement for these two Manhattan venues. This was a make-or-break engagement for the great gamble of AH's career up to that time. You really get a sense of his showman’s genius here, and one can imagine newspaper readers’ excited response upon checking this out in June 1960.
2): The Maltese Falcon: This was a splashy first-run at the famed (and still there) Chicago Theatre. Did (undoubted) throngs crowd in to see Bogart, or live wire on-stage Martha Raye? Note the Cappy Barra Boys also billed. They were a harmonica act that earlier did a specialty in 1938’s Mad About Music with Deanna Durbin. One of them actually called me years ago in response to an ad I ran in the old Film Collector’s World paper (he bought my 16mm film and assured me that Deanna was a sweetheart).
3): Dr. No: These are the ads for New York’s Premiere Showcase opening and subsequent wide saturation that I referred to in recent James Bond posts. This was how the city first came to know 007 on movie screens (and yes, ads for Irma La Douce were lots bigger).
4): The Marx Brothers: Here’s an article you must click and enhance. It’s news coverage about material for Go West being tested on patrons at the Chicago Theatre in May 1940. The Marxes did a seventy-minute act for those coming to see Warners’ It All Came True. I’d heard Go West was road-tested prior to production. Here is confirmation.
The remaining stills are various Academy Award recipients you’ll recognize. Laurel and Hardy are holding an Honorable Mention certificate from the Academy for The Music Box, which I don’t quite get, as I’d always understood it won for Best Short Subject that year (1932). This photo of them is one I’ve not seen before and came from a British publication of the time. Kirk Douglas receiving his award is actually a scene deleted from The Bad and The Beautiful prior to release in 1952.