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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Watch List For 4/30/13

BUGS BUNNY --- SUPERSTAR (1975) --- I remember this in the theatre, a compilation of pre-48 Warner funnies with bridging stuff of Bob Clampett explaining cartoon craft with input from past colleagues. Now it's available from Warner Archive in a spiff DVD where they replaced shorts with pristine restored work done since '75. Best thing about the new release is audio commentary by Larry Jackson, who was the brains and workhorse behind BB --- Superstar and tells its production backstory from initial idea to opening night. Jackson should go on lecture tour with this fascinating data, as he had me gripped for the entire ninety minutes, and audio chats seldom achieve that hereabouts (do cartoon enthusiasts gather anywhere, like film collectors used to?). Jackson really gets beneath skin of personalities he dealt with, including the cartoonists Clampett, Tex Avery, et al, but also Orson Welles and several fathead studio execs who couldn't see what a visionary idea the young producer proposed. Jackson was well ahead of time in knowing there was intense boomer interest for old cartoons and adult willingness to buy tickets. Bugs Bunny --- Superstar was a hit then and even more fascinating now, a highly recommended Archive buy.

ISLE OF FURY (1936) --- Clearly-labeled B off Warner assembly that assumes added interest for Humphrey Bogart's early lead with what looks for all the world like a clip-on mustache and a performance you'd never think to presage greatness. Even icons needed periods of adjustment, Bogart anchored that much more by flaccid dialogue and a story thrice told in any given year by both majors and cheapies off Poverty Row, from which origin Isle Of Fury seems to have sprung (actually, it was a Somerset Maugham story adapted earlier by WB as The Narrow Corner, but changed much here). None of this takes from fun, however, of Bogie hitching his pants, pointing to make points, and straddling thin line between a stage juvenile he'd been and the tougher persona he'd become. Warners frankly doubted at times this guy could deliver (see internal memos), and Isle Of Fury goes ways toward making their argument. It's much to Bogart's credit that he rose above pics like this, but when else would he get opportunity to don diving gear and fight an octopus that made Bela's aquatic opponent in Bride Of The Monster look documentary-real? Wonder if Bogart in housebound final days caught Isle Of Fury when it began showing up on Los Angeles tee-vee in latter half of 1956.

DANGEROUS YEARS (1947) --- Growing one-time child stars take wrong paths and rob a warehouse under influence of rottenest apple "William" Halop, former Dead End Kid whose abandonment of "Billy" is tip-off to pathological bent in this Sol Wurtzel independent venture for 20th Fox release. A community rallies 'round misguided youth as softer ones (Darryl Hickman, Dickie Moore) are encouraged to rat out those less salvageable. A third-act twist tightens morality screws and table is laid for noble sacrifice to install halos above all heads. Initial scenes at a "bad" roadhouse are fun, and look out, Marilyn Monroe is a sassy waitress in her first on-camera appearance. Things degenerate to courtroom wrap relieved but fitful by flashbacks putting blame for delinquency on Bad Dads. Pretty soon, a nun shows up from the orphanage to help us understand how gun-crazed Halop went outlaw through little fault of his own. Lots of goodies sprinkled here and there --- Fox's On-Demand DVD is a pip.

GEORGIE PRICE IN "DON'T GET NERVOUS" (1929) --- Were there Georgie Price fans, or more accurately, a Georgie Price fan? His mother, perhaps? Georgie came among hordes of vaudevillians who'd not be recalled at all but for Warner Archive's release of another Vitaphone Varieties DVD set, which after eighty-four years, enables Georgie to shine, if briefly, again. He was another who traded in song and snappy patter, and must have taken ten thousand jokes with him when he died (1964). Price came up in hardest conceivable ways (see IMDB) and was what stage managers in those days called a "pro." These Vita shorts are richer by spades once you've read a little background on artists involved. Such vaude vets seem to have sprung from American variation on Dickens novels. Don't Get Nervous is unique for taking us behind scenes at WB's Brooklyn factory where earliest talking shorts were made. There's even 24/7 shift directing Bryan Foy, of later producing everywhere fame (inc. House of Wax), here in person to bandy with Georgie (as above left), and doing so expertly (after all, Brynie was himself a trodder of boards). Performers like Georgie Price must have been a pleasure to watch then, and for my money, still are. Keep them coming, Warners!

NICK CARTER --- MASTER DETECTIVE (1939) --- Beginner director Jacques Tourneur shows what eager talent can bring to B mystery-making, this a first of two Nick Carters that were as much calling cards for the neophyte helmsman as for star Walter Pidgeon and a pulp gumshoe they brought to life (a third Carter was made, sans Tournear). Spies afoot at aerodromes was likely a worse problem in actuality than presented here, so I wonder how we got anything off the ground without foreign agentry stealing it first. War being imminent lent urgency to Nick's mission, and though words aren't spoken to that effect, tensions are palpable, and that's a boost toward excitement. Suspects range across central casting. Could we have had it better than days when line-up included Stanley Ridges, Martin Kosleck, Frank Faylen, Milburn Stone --- believe me, I could go on. There's two junctures at which nitrate film is set afire, which surprised me as the pic industry was better served keeping quiet celluloid's potential hazard. Pidgeon teetered upon major stardom as Carter, so three was his limit ... too bad. Tourneur set fog machines on high, combines process screening and location so that intrepid Carter can tommy-gun shipboard smugglers from cockpit vantage point, a highlight that must have sent kids into paradoxyms of joy. A good one.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Warner Archive Instant Watch List

I'm a hound for streaming services because that's where so much HD is. Movies known via TV syndication, then VHS, and eventually DVD, are viewable now in glory of High-Def, the trick in locating them that way. Between Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, Vudu, and a handful of others, there's access to hordes of vaulties till now province of TCM or standard DVD, at best. Warner Archive has lately introduced its new streaming arm, Warner Archive Instant, offering movies (mostly vintage) for $9.99 a month. Of these, a number are HD, which was impetus for my signing on. It takes a Roku box to watch on home screens. Hooking up, signing on, etc. involved time, but was worth it. Features I've watched run smooth. None had come my way before in high-def, so it was like seeing all for a first time. You could argue that, until advent of HD, we really weren't experiencing these shows at all. I'm no good at tech matters, can't operate an electric can opener properly in fact, but as Pike Bishop said in The Wild Bunch, What I Don't Know, I Can Sure as Hell Learn. For quality to be had at Warner Instant, time and modest expense is repaid (how many under $10 tickets can be bought for a single movie nowadays?). The first four screened so far, all HD and gorgeous, make up today's Watch List:

DESPERATE JOURNEY (1942) --- I tried this on Ann two nights after she enjoyed Objective, Burma, so why the huffy walkout after only ten minutes? (I just can't watch this). Sober reflection put blame on ceaseless banter among bomber crew Errol Flynn, Ronald Reagan, Alan Hale, et al, that renders many a modern sit intolerable. We don't need the laughs so much as did taut-nerve '42 crowds who had kin in the service. These made weekly or more desperate journeys to theatres where relief could hopeful be got, a chuckle or more tonic for bad news always a mere Western Union telegram away. To watchers today: Get with the wisecrack program if you expect to enjoy this Desperate Journey, rewards being great for the adjustment, as this is one of the joys of a war fought on boy's own terms with no quarter given to reality. Action is taut and profuse, director Raoul Walsh and help anticipating smirky actioners decades down the line. You could break Desperate Journey into six parts and have a corking cliffhanger, a chapter per week doled out to Saturday satisfaction. Kid stuff this was in many ways, but what dynamism and pell-mell pacing! Warners led for combat using model aircraft made excitingly real thanks to overlay of quick edits and Max Steiner music-embellishment.

WAGON MASTER (1950) --- The John Ford western said to have been a "break" for him between cavalry pics, but seems to me JF was bidding here to make stars of young folk under contract to the director's Argosy Pictures, a venture Ford engaged with producing pal Merian C. Cooper. It had to rankle the old man to know profits were assured only when John Wayne was aboard as lead. Did I say "old man"? Well, that's how everyone referred to Ford from after the war, but he was only 56 when Wagon Master was made. That's younger than me, and I don't regard myself an old man just yet. Being on-set curmudgeon had lots to do with the tag, Ben Johnson and Harry Carey Jr. regarding Ford as Methuselah, as did undoubted others. Could JF launch vital young players in such an old-fashioned western as Wagon Master? Johnson/Carey clicking might have given Argosy assets to stay afloat years longer (as it is, the company folded not long after Wagon Master's release), and Ford/Cooper could at least have loaned their new-mint stars after profitable Selznick example.

Cooper at left, Ford at Right, But Who's The Guy in the Middle?
An interesting aspect of Wagon Master for me is Patrick Ford's credit as co-writer. Pat apparently came up with the idea for the film and would work with experienced Frank Nugent to complete the script. He's been dubbed a loser, the ordinary son of an extraordinary father, but was his in fact a talent, admittedly modest in comparison with Dad's, that just couldn't hope to measure up? Pat drank, they say, as did senior Ford (heck, the whole family, apparently), and there's indication JF treated him badly. It's not unlike sadness of the Creighton Chaney story ... sons doomed to live in a father's long shadow. Seems from watching Wagon Master that Pat (with Nugent) borrowed Joanne Dru's Red River character to reprise here. Howard Hawks' epic had to be influence on writers/directors doing westerns from there on, just as Anthony Mann's 50's work had much impact, I think, on John Ford's approach to The Searchers. Wagon Master is easygoing for the most part, although there's a whipping scene, with its victim tied to a wagon wheel, that I'm surprised got by the Code. Everyone thinks of Monument Valley as Ford headquarters, but this was shot at Moab, another picturesque Utah site.

BACK TO BATAAN (1945) --- Here was screen payback for the fall of Bataan and resultant death march, the latter dramatized in flashback that must have got blood boiling on eve of Allied victory (Back To Bataan released 5/45). Atrocity stuff was increasingly discouraged by the OWI as war wound down, a mission to win the peace within sight. In that sense, BtB harked back to Slap The Jap mindset of 1942-43 output. Did we need reminding of what provoked revenge taken here? Never was enemy force mowed down with such gusto; like ninepins they fall. Violence limit was relaxed during WWII --- otherwise, we'd be shocked when a thrown knife penetrates the back of a Japanese officer's neck and comes out the front (cue then-patronage cheers). One stunt that shocks has John Wayne (himself, not a double) blown out of a shell hole. I had to replay that a couple of times to confirm what eyes beheld. Director Edward Dmytryk was said to have appetite for such violence, more than satiated in BtB. The picture was rushed through to keep up with headlines, flashback structure permitting focus on then and (right) now. Dmytryk spoke later to nerve-wracking effect of constant story revision, this a must as dispatches poured in from in-progress liberation of the Philippines.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Curse Of The Werewolf Afterthought

A minor point, but on my mind since yesterday. This 1961 ad for Curse Of The Werewolf represents the first LA run. Note that there are as many drive-ins as hard-tops playing the film (Los Angeles having been called the "drive-in hotbed of the country" by mainstream Saturday Evening Post). With ozoners' greater capacity for crowds (larger lots could accommodate from 1000 to well over 2000 cars), it's a safe bet that more people saw Curse Of The Werewolf outdoors than in. Is this any way to watch a Hammer horror classic, especially for a first time? It's how I came to initial viewings of Brides Of Dracula and Curse Of Frankenstein, at our Starlight Drive-In. Sound as rendered by then-speakers was transistor radio lite. Here's where movies needed captioning like they now have on DVD's. A reason so many LA outdoor venues got Curse Of The Werewolf and like first-runs was formidable Pacific Drive-In Theatres' chain, which operated over three dozen car parks for movie watchers in the LA vicinity. Pacific power was such as to outbid hardtops for newest product, giving them premiering privilege day-and-date with palaces downtown and in Hollywood. Pacific was spread all over LA plus surrounding environs to reach a far wider patronage than indoor housing could hope to service. They were the ones who pioneered Cinerama as a drive-in attraction and would end up owning Cinerama negatives. The point of foregoing is just this: It seems to me we're better off with DVD's (let alone streaming HD) of Werewolf than audiences in 1961, or over interim since, could hope to be. What they got for a most part, at least in Los Angeles, was horns tooting, crummy sound, headlights bleaching screens, and distraction from corndogs or what went on in back seats. Just another instance of those Good Old Days being maybe less idyllic than lots want to remember.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Watch List For 4/25/13

CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (1961) --- Among televised shocks to senses: I'm more reading than paying attention one late-80's night to Curse Of The Werewolf on syndicated UHF, and in comes Yvonne Romain for a stab at Anthony Dawson that till then barely registered thanks to censorship of both the US theatrical and TV prints. Now all of a sudden she's plunging a dagger-like wall sconce over and again into his withered frame with blood spattering this way and that. Had any audience for Curse ascended to such Hammer heaven? Put-back cuts kept coming ... a blood squib burst when the werewolf was climactically shot, with colors enhanced from fading and pink that had cursed Werewolf's Eastman 1961 processing. Now there is Curse Of The Werewolf on Vudu's HD stream line, a best-ever rendition to convert a merely good Hammer into something approaching their best.

Color and creative use of it was this company's gift. Doorways, lamp-lit corners, most of all costuming here, vibrate with reds, greens, deep blues and blacks --- Hammer was never just application of gore as then-critics accused. Universal kept subcontracting the UK firm to do horrors because none made stateside could approach style so in evidence at Hammer, and given results like these at such bargain price ... well, why not continue making them? Ancillary markets, especially television, made Hammers US-viable even when revenue slipped otherwise, which it did, and continued doing, right from the first Uni/Hammer partnership, Horror Of Dracula, their summit of domestic theatrical revenue. Curse Of The Werewolf was said to have disappointed in a '61 summer market with co-feature Shadow Of The Cat, and fault was laid on lack of names familiar to Hammer following, though now we count fortunate the casting of neophyte Oliver Reed at full and dynamic strength.

Cruel content of Curse might lay some low --- it admittedly kept me away from repeat-viewing to same degree of all-time favorite Brides Of Dracula, but Anthony Dawson as decaying remnant of corrupt aristocracy does compel for sheer flesh-picking decadence --- was Hammer social commenting here? Looking at this and an opening reel of their Hound Of The Baskervilles from two years previous (not to mention Hell-Fire clubs to come in Plague Of The Zombies, others), you'd think so. To topic of censorship, peruse closely these stateside-issued stills for Curse Of The Werewolf, and note discreet airbrushing of Yvonne Romain's cleavage both in portraiture, and her notorious confront with would-be diddler Dawson. Hammers were scrubbed safe for school's out consumption that '61 summer, both onscreen and at theatre entrance displays.

FELIX SAVES THE DAY (1922) --- I've been reading about the Felix cartoons (that's how much time is on my hands) and still await conclusion that he's a wonderful, wonderful cat (recalling a theme song for revamped Felix of the early 60's). Yes, the silent ones are primitive, and how, but they're said to get better going along, so I need to forbear criticism till much deeper into a long and incredibly prolific series. Here's the remarkable and largely forgotten thing about Felix: He was Number One cartoon star of the 20's, supplanted only by talkies (owner Pat Sullivan didn't want to be bothered with sound) and arrival of Mickey Mouse, latter among few instances of a cat truly gotten the better of by a mouse. Felix as animated here doesn't flow; he sort of jerks along. Saves The Day nuttily combines live action with cartooning, but not in ways Disney and others eventually would. Well, these things had to begin somewhere. Really early drawings on the move are always a curiosity, but be warned to apply in moderation. Excess of Felix could do psychic damage.

GIRL WITHOUT A ROOM (1933) --- Wacky artists' colony goings-on in Paris, dabbed with Paramount precode paint, and cast with lookers Marguerite Churchill and Grace Bradley as rivals for affection of Charles Farrell. The latter's voice was somehow better by this juncture --- improved recording technique? His had been the speech John Gilbert was ridiculed for having. Churchill/Bradley are oft-unclad or barely so, as observed by humor support Charles Ruggles as unlikeliest of bohemians. Girl Without A Room sums up Paramount as vessel of Euro-sophistication, maybe not at Lubitsch-level, but there's fun enough, and precode stripes are earned. Plentiful swipes are aimed at pretensions of the art community, Farrell's canvas a success only when it's displayed upside-down. TCM Archives should team with Universal to disc-release this offbeat pleasure.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

At The Printers --- Showmen, Sell It Hot!

Greenbriar has a book coming out, and soon, called Showmen, Sell It Hot! (the exclamation point goes with the title, not the fact that it's about to be published). I hadn't said anything during progress for fear I might chicken out and not actually deliver. Now the train's left the platform and Showmen will arrive no matter trepidations I have over a first-ever berth between two covers. There have been Greenbriar articles published before, most recently in Monsters From The Vault about selling Bride Of Frankenstein in 1935, but Showmen, Sell It Hot! is 304 pages with my name emblazoned thereon, and that's scarier than Brides, Sons, and Ghosts put together. A book, I've learned, is that thing where if you write something stupid, you're hung with it for all time. With Greenbriar at least, I can make quick edits to clean up a mess. Not so with the printed page. A rest of my life would have been spent proofing had publishers not wrested the final manuscript away.

First copies will arrive to Cinevent in Columbus over Memorial Day weekend (May 24-27) and we'll have them at our customary dealer's table. After that, Showmen, Sell It Hot! will be available from GoodKnight Publishing at a discount before going Amazon route later this summer. Say what you might about the author's prose, and while I'm reticent to toot my own horn, there's no hesitation at singing praise for design and layout performed by GoodKnight's artist crew, their outcome a visual stunner with all-color pages and image reproduction second to few (their previous achievements were Errol Flynn Slept Here and Errol and Olivia, both knockouts). I don't know beans about publishing, and made but few specific requests, one being to generate a book that would lay flat whatever page you're on --- nothing aggravates me more than holding recalcitrant binding down with one hand whilst trying to eat with another --- that's how pimento cheese and oatmeal made inroads into my own library. We didn't want the book to be too big or heavy either, so avoided being literary Von Stroheims by hopefully judicious editing. The end result is intended to be not unlike walks through entrance of a vintage theatre to see pics discussed within, stills, ads, and ephemera to light the way.

Chapters are for the most part adapted from articles that have appeared at Greenbriar since 2005, all embellished by clean-up and addition of info dug up since initial airing. You could say that Showmen, Sell It Hot! is a motion picture (in this case, book) adapted from the TV series (webpage) that is Greenbriar Picture Shows, but this is not altogether a  Man From U.N.C.L.E paste-up. A lot of content is fresh, and certainly a visual upgrade beside results to be had online. Goodnight's page for Showmen, Sell It Hot!, with more info about the book, is here. As I said, there will be copies at Cinevent. It'll be for others to determine if the thing is any good. I did the best I could with it, as has been the case here at Greenbriar over a last (going on) eight years. If GPS has suited you, then you'll probably enjoy Showmen, Sell It Hot! and hopefully spread the word. So many books come out nowadays as to get lost in a shuffle, so Greenbriar will update now and then to keep up awareness of Showmen, Sell It Hot! When GoodKnight has it ready to ship, I'll mention that, as well as specific date when Amazon gets theirs in stock.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Era Of Annette

Mouseketeers used to troll about talk shows during the 70's when Disney revived the old series for a last round of syndication. There was assumption that we were nostalgic for mousey doings from twenty years before, thus renewal of roll calls and effort at recognition of mice obscured by passage of time. One such reunion was on Tom Snyder's NBC owl hour, called Tomorrow. He was too old to have drunk the potion we'd had (b. 1936), and so went for cocked-brow irony which was part and parcel of late-nighting while Standards/Practice watchdogs slept. Being stuck with lower-tier Mouseketeers got Tom restless, so he live-called the princess of these dwarfs, Annette Funicello, knowing it was her we'd all know and most fondly remember. A generation's dream date answered, the thing pre-arranged I assume (but maybe not), and took questions from Snyder she'd been asked over countless looks-back. The ringer not expected came when TS made leering reference to fill of Annette's Mouska-shirt of yore, increasingly so through a run of the show, mention of which got dead air from his unseen guest. The other mice cringed --- they knew Snyder had stepped in it --- but he went blithely on. Obviously, Tom didn't know Annette like they did.

I didn't grow up with the "crush" on AF that loyalists lately speak of. Too young for one thing. My yearn was for age-appropriate Karen Pendleton, though what rankled was Cubby O' Brien's daily access to her and a 3000 mile distance that precluded my beating his time. Even if I could make the trip out, it would be too late to interpose myself between them, being age five making the hill higher to climb. Annette was strictly background and occasional lead in boring serials I wished the Mickey Mouse Club would bounce in favor of more cartoons. And what did youngest of us care about making pottery from clay? Disney tutelage beyond mere Donald Duck-ing was mixed blessing to proud illiterate that was me, Huck Hound and other Hanna-Barbera character's timely bow a respite from further such enrichment.

Graham Greene might profitably have turned his laser on Annette the way he had (to disastrous for him effect) on Shirley Temple back in the 30's, for here was but variation on truth Greene spoke to that earlier fan-base. Annette was a sex symbol, with potency the more for Disney efforts to mask it. It's said that boys premature-leaped into puberty just for weekday-watching of her. Sameness of obits by those four-eight years older than myself would seem to confirm it. Do any of these secretly wish Annette had stayed on after the Beach Party series to do scurvier AIP's? (imagine her in The Glory Stompers or Mary Jane), or better yet, as consort to James Bond or Matt Helm.

Being on Disney payroll through 1970 prevented that. As pop culture was increasingly debased, Annette rose like soap that floats to sell peanut butter in guise of homemaker and constant reminder of what Uncle Walt had done for her. Former Mouseketeer Paul Petersen approached Annette to help "trim the ears off" Disney for a 1977 memoir, Walt, Mickey, and Me, Petersen the chronicler as to hard luck of those stood in her shadow over years with the Mouse Club. Annette got tentative upon realizing where Paul was headed, for how could she acknowledge star status the rest of them never achieved? An awkward, but probing, and ultimately enlightening, interview ... and welcome tonic after years (ones before and to follow) where Annette dutifully toed the company line.

Fact is, Annette tried to break the Disney contract back in 1959, arguing that "the pact was inequitable and that she was without an agent or legal counsel when she signed it." The news story, dated 12/18/59 from The Los Angeles Times (and unearthed by Paul Petersen) said Annette began with $100 a week at Disney, and was, as of court filing date, receiving $325. Just think of profits Disney was accruing by 1959, the year they got my first-ever dime to the Liberty for The Shaggy Dog, a very peak of Annette's career-wise hotness. Merciful heavens, I think Jack Warner paid more than $325 to Troy Donahue. And did she work for it, the Mouse Club but opener bell on features, records, fashion spreads, mag layouts. Most fascinating among the latter are innumerable profiles in Walt Disney's Magazine, chock-full of Annette joined by others under contract (were they getting even $100 per week?). Covers promised Annette's "True Story" within, camera coverage of fictitious "dates" she had (oft-with Tommy Kirk), and glimpse inside her own photo album. There was scarce time for much education, Annette "graduating" high school on stage at the Radio City Music Hall ("Mr. Disney made me appear there," she told Petersen).

Premiering at the Hall for this occasion was Pollyanna, its star an attraction Disney pushed harder --- Hayley Mills. Annette may have been a biggest noise on weekday TV, but stardom for her wouldn't translate to big screens where Mills and higher favored ingĂ©nue Janet Munro got plum feature parts. Was Annette blamed for the disappointment that was 1961's Babes In Toyland? I'd guess The Horsemasters and Escapade In Florence were intended for theatres, there were Euro bookings, though both ended up on US television as two-parters on Disney's Sunday night series. In any case, Annette seemed at an impasse, from which Merlin Jones foolery emerged (a pair, neither noteworthy but for Annette singing with The Beach Boys under credits to the second), plus loan-out to American-International for its Beach Party series. Imagine Walt Disney and Sam Arkoff hammering out details of that deal. If Annette ever became a movie star, it was in these for AIP, not at Disney's. Mid-sixties trades are rife with her joining Sam and Jim Nicholson to push the Beach pics at exhibitor cons, with Vincent Price often as not pulling M.C. duty. What fun those events must have been! The Beach group was fine for what they were, but a teen base that enabled them would turn like snakes once it became more fashionable to mock the formula, which even AIP did when re-packaging its lot for dusk-to-dawn drive-in bookings circa 1973 (above at right).

Annette kept dignity by not upending her image, a temptation that must have been hard to resist what with cash invites to demolish so much sweetness and light. A 1995 memoir, published by Disney, was called A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes, the title itself company-owned. "Not one truly unkind word" could be found in the book, said one critic, so rose-colored nostalgists were pleased (21 out of 24 Amazon reviews are Five Star). The MS announcement in 1992 took Annette largely out of public life, other than limited appearances in connection with the book and to fund-raise on behalf of MS awareness. Tributes showed respect for her brave fight and lifelong fans were grateful for Annette having stayed on message about a Disney past that she and they knew was idealized, but held precious still by a generation that wanted their memories, and Annette, to remain forever pristine.
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