Classic movie site with rare images, original ads, and behind-the-scenes photos, with informative and insightful commentary. We like to have fun with movies!
Archive and Links
Search Index Here

Monday, May 29, 2023

Film Noir #24


Noir: The Big Caper, A Bullet for Joey, and The Chase (1946)

THE BIG CAPER (1957) --- Momentarily back to B’s for pearl found in oyster that is crime output of the fifties, prolific a word to but barely describe ocean of output from when drive-ins dominated party that was filmgoing still a habit among those not passively sat hearth-side. The Big Caper was independently produced by Pine-Thomas, as in not William Pine, who had passed in 1955, but his son Howard Pine, who joined with dad’s old partner Bill Thomas to continue in company tradition of cheapies done always for half or less than what they'd expect from wickets, source being pedigree that was crime specialist Lionel White, who also wrote The Killing and The Money Trap before/after, plus tough paperbacks to propel drug store spinner racks. White's name in Big Caper credits assured I would stay for whole of 84 minutes. Did it matter who directed?, and yet Robert Stevens did, him otherwise TV focused. Knowing more of the medium would enable greater praise, so I'd cede to those conversant on Alfred Hitchcock Presents which Stevens directed lots of. I applaud conviction Rory Calhoun brings to robber/badman here, Rory having served serious time in youth for car-stealing, knocking over at least one jewelry store, etc. He was real stuff of darkest noir, Calhoun’s past part of trade made with Confidential magazine (George Nader too) to let Rock Hudson alone. No harm however, as Rory like Errol Flynn earlier on got enhance for “scandal” attached now to his name. Fun fact: Fed-up wife and mother of three of his daughters Lita Baron finally sued Rory for divorce, listing seventy-nine women he had done adultery with. “Heck, she didn’t even include half of them,” responded Rory. The Big Caper kept me hot-wired throughout, twisty and not a little twisted all the way. James Gregory, Robert H. Harris, Paul Picerni, and seriously creepy Corey Allen are along for the crime. I fairly tripped over The Big Caper at Amazon Prime … for which much glad, as I can't recommend it enough. Viewing tip: Blow up the full-frame image and settle in for nice and intended 1.85.

A BULLET FOR JOEY (1955) --- The trailer spoke it all. Scarface and Little Caesar were back, rest of us to back off in face of their fury. Near-twenty-five years previous these credits were, yet Little Caesar was in theatres just a year before as partner to Public Enemy, as was Scarface, which played near continuous via state’s rights distributors from whom the 1932 gangbanger was always in demand. Raft flipped his coin as in old for footage specially shot for Joey’s trailer, and violent quotient was up, or seemed so, happy mayhem back as when Robinson/Raft ruled a thirties roost. Up-to-dating makes Red spies source for villainy, and as before with badmen put to choice between crime and country, it’s either fight for good of himself or safety of us all. Easy choice as formula dictates, Raft and Robinson in third-act debate over mankind at mercy of foreign plotters. Latter are worse than either of us ever were, argues Eddie, but wasn’t this reprise of stand taken ten years before in face of Axis threat? Raft is a mobster deported to Lisbon, snuck back to Canada, arranging now to re-enter the US in exchange for kidnapping an atomic expert. Otherwise, he is our George of past pleasures, as is Eddie dynamic as before on side with the law (see Vice Squad). Circumstance of both actors made modesty of the vehicle an expected if not OK thing, Raft at setting sun of stardom, Robinson sustaining in self-described “B’s” amidst fellow traveling he was assumed guilty of. I frankly enjoy the pair more in A Bullet for Joey than in fancy work for bloated studios (like GR lost in crowd that was Fox’s Black Widow), or even E.G. jammed into The Ten Commandments. Funny that this one came but a season before Robinson/Raft backlog dropped as large lot onto televisions, otherwise I’d say A Bullet for Joey was chance for us all to capture fun of late shows again on paying basis, like with Some Like It Hot (Raft again) or any number of past stars “themselves” again for sake of nostalgia. Remember Eddie being Eddie even unto late sixties, and for Disney yet? Or George doing commercials where in prison garb he protests for Alka-Seltzer? Great personas never died.

THE CHASE (1946) --- A Cornell Woolrich pretzel and rare occasion for having no idea how it'll unravel. When Robert Cummings wakes up from his crazy dream, I thought we both were cracked, but I'll say no more so as not to spoil fun if you've not seen this wonky independent released in a year noir took off in sometimes bizarre direction. Woolrich may have been a (the?) richest source for screen stories. His name stands always for something singular. To think he made magic in shared hotel digs with elderly mum, drink and torment largely to propel him. Brilliance has its price they say, Woolrich paying his thrice-size. The Chase was for years down sinkhole of hard access. I barely heard of it, let alone saw a frame till the restoration Kino got out on Blu-Ray. Producing was Seymour Nebenzal, his own shingle which was usual case. He got stars via free-lance or borrowing, none top-of-marquee but reliable. Spending looks lush but probably wasn’t, Nebenzal like independent kin knowing how to make a little go long ways. Novelty and maybe word-of-mouth was enough to garner $958K in domestic rentals and $403K foreign, so something like profit seems likely. “You’ll Be Gasping for Air at the End of The Chase,” cried Chicago’s first-run ad at the Oriental, their “Big Gay Musical Revue” to restore breathing perhaps. Robert Cummings as compromised hero (psychic war wounds) reduce certainty things will turn out well, tandem villainy of Steve Cochran and Peter Lorre eroding prospect for an upbeat finish. Cochran as cruel was how audiences initially liked him, but how to graduate from meanness to leads? Cummings had too to deal with expectation he’d be funny or at least light stepping, The Chase nice departure and not a little like Saboteur for him. Arthur Ripley as director lends visual flair, him in midst of journey from editing Foolish Wives to right-hand for Harry Langdon, later to helm Thunder Road, finally to teaching at USC. Wish I could have been one of his pupils.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Following a Ten-Year Hiatus ...


Greenbriar's Watch List Returns

THE HUNTERS (1958) --- Another from the 50's where jet flight was celebrated, but unlike previous Strategic Air Command and Jet Pilot, there are dog fights done at sonic speed and never mind flaccid love triangle among Robert Mitchum, May Britt, and Lee Phillips (latter late of Peyton Place). The Hunters was produced/directed by Dick Powell, who'd have a run at mid-50's features done with quiet competence. Seen in Cinemascope, ideally HD enhanced, The Hunters breaks through curtain of color fading, cropped image, all such gremlins that undercut early wide-screeners for a past half-century. Jet flight is especially enhanced by screen width: we need it to properly see warriors whizz across. The Hunters was 20th Fox's answer to flight plans filed by rivals: Yes, we can do these better, and indeed they did. Old tropes are reliably repeated, the Red Chinese have their own Red Baron called "Casey Jones," whom Mitch expectedly shoots down. Korea is the war, Bob admitting he doesn't know what scrap is about, but will fight anyhow because that's his trade.

Movies were still a decade ahead of questioning military wisdom, and besides, who'd supply shiny aircraft in event they did? Among a mostly male cast is Robert Wagner as hipster flyboy with patter even cool-cat Mitchum can't translate, this fount for fun that TV star Edd Byrnes used for 77 Sunset Strip, premiering within weeks of The Hunters open. Atrocities are reliably committed by Red opponents: at one point, they shoot an adorable and age five Korean girl in the back. Mig planes are easier brought down cause their piloting is as rotten as Communist ideology they swear by. Korean fight was well over by time The Hunters came out, so the hard-sell is surprising, but as cold war was still warm, no one was for portraying Reds as human. NBC premiered The Hunters 4/29/63 on their Monday night movie, and from there it spent decades looking lousy on the tube. A 20th Fox DVD has since come to relieve, and Vudu offers the show on HD streaming.

THREE GODFATHERS (1948) --- Purely personal reaction to this John Ford Technicolor western with John Wayne: I get nervous where a baby is subject to peril, even when it's comedy like when Laurel and Hardy adopted an infant and we're scared something bad will happen to it because they bungle so. Three Godfathers is much the same, Wayne, Pedro Armendariz, and Harry Carey, Jr. trekking across desert with a newborn in arms, the chance continual that they'll collapse and crush the kid, or latter will roast in the sun. No, I'll take repeat of the cavalry trio over this, at least from point Three Godfathers becomes Three Bad Men and a Baby. Up to then, it simmers well on harsh location, the outlaws fleeing from bank holdup and headed off at water holes by pursuing posse. Three Godfathers was Ford's first since the 30's using Technicolor, and result surely stunned in 1948. This is one of the most beautiful to look at of films he made.

There is John Wayne permitted to "act" via drawn-out recital of events taking place off-screen, Ford reprise of Henry Fonda Drums Along The Mohawk speech as Wayne reward for Red River perhaps, the latter finished, but not yet released, as Three Godfathers went into production. I'm guessing Hawks gave Ford a peek and satisfied him that Wayne could handle a demanding slew of pages. The one who got severest thesping lesson was Harry Carey, Jr., used also in Red River, but Ford liked to imagine he was discoverer of the son of past teammate Carey, Sr. Abuse heaped on the boy by his director has been recounted elsewhere and in grueling detail. Suffice to say, you have to wonder if Carey's ordeal was worth it, considering how he kowtowed to Ford from there on. JF stock players are on and off to varying degrees of satisfaction, Ward Bond outstanding, Mae Marsh his wife, but then comes Jane Darwell too broad as a man-hungry desert rat to whom you want to say, Yes, thanks, that will be enough. What Ford puts over brilliantly is what it is to thirst. I always wonder why desert crossers throw away canteens once they're empty, as does Wayne and companions here. What if they come across another water hole? There'd be nothing to refill ...

SAYONARA (1957) --- Lavish recount of illicit love during the Japanese occupation and slam upon US military policy of parting personnel from Nippon wives/lovers. These concerns are whole of a 147 minute show where uniforms and jet planes are but background to issue of whether our boys should date their girls. That alone made plenty heat for patronage impacted by the less-than-decade-past war, sayonara said to $13.9 million by ticket-buyers worldwide. US makers had gone over to photograph post-conflict Japan before (recently as with RKO’s Escapade In Japan), others using second-units along line of 1949's Tokyo Joe, but here was vista way past postcard capacity to show what beauty the defeated empire could boast. Wide process Technirama was sort of VistaVision and then some, an astounder to pull folk away from TV at home. Sayonara was part of increasing trend toward stars slicing from whole of pies, in this case Marlon Brando's 10% off the top (his Pennebaker Productions involved), then producer William Goetz, director Joshua Logan getting theirs after Warner distrib share and recoup of production $ the company fronted. Logan, who would own a fourth of Sayonara's negative, spoke up for Brando's lush take: "I believe creative talent should get the biggest cut of profits."

Using a Japanese actress as co-lead with Brando was also a first, Logan having offered the role to Audrey Hepburn, who came near accepting, but in the end blanched at notion she could convincingly play an Oriental. Brando was scarcely less convincing as a deep-fried Southerner with accent thick to challenge Orson Welles' impenetrable Dixie talk in The Long, Hot Summer. New WB contractee James Garner told in his book of grabbing a key support part from under auditioning nose of players that included John Smith, all but cast until Garner proposed himself to Logan as the better candidate, which he was. Sayonara launched for Christmas 1957 with two million Warner dollars behind promotion, which was record for the firm, even as they otherwise entrenched on ad/pub spending elsewhere. Sayonara would by-pass a network TV run, go direct to syndication in 1964, and afterward revert to United Artists and successors for distribution since. Nice HD transfers are had at varied streaming spots.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Category Called Comedy #1


5/15/2023: Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton, Boy's Ranch, and Cross My Heart

Another new feature to recur at Greenbriar, ads, images, discoveries made along comedy lines: Bells are ringing among Laurel and Hardians as Flicker Alley announces 1927 output of the team for Blu-Ray, this result of the lot passing into Public Domain. Likelihood is balance of silents to follow as 28-29 tick by, goal being entirety of voiceless L&H fresh-disced after years unavailable but for long OOP DVD with quality below what is promised for these. Satisfactory seemed silents when content was half as old as now, fifty years’ time enough for expectation to rise and nothing short of worldwide excavation to suffice. Fans will parse these like Chaplin Mutuals when Blu-released, Keaton shorts the same. I can hear, What about that shot where Stan walks through the door? --- It was in my 1968 Blackhawk print --- why not here? For myself, whatever comes from Flicker Alley will do. No way will this team of L&H archivists muck a job they’ve waited most of lives to engage. Michelangelo did not climb off his scaffold till perfection was reached … I suspect same mentality prevails here. Will best quality in ninety-six years make the comedies play better? Perhaps for late-coming lookers-on. For me, there could be no substitute for The Second Hundred Years arriving by post from Davenport, Iowa and flashing first on a window shade-turned-screen, marvel no more to be recaptured than any event that made being fourteen-years-old unique. What pleases is this as evidence that Laurel and Hardy are here to stay at least a little longer, hopefully as long as I last anyway, and past that, who cares? Several of this first selection exists only on 16mm, or so I’m told. Has Flicker Alley made discoveries we don’t know about? Reason enough to buy will be mere seeing what miracles they’ve come up with.

--- Growing (perceived) old found Buster Keaton wisdom on a  range of topics, here as page filler re comedy other than his own from around time The Buster Keaton Story skunked up cinemas in 1957. Press attention was good toward Buster getting TV work plus invites to live-perform, though he was never out of demand, could in fact have worked past one hundred had we been so fortunate to keep him longer. Some of comic preferences have been cited in bios, but here they are in whole, and I was happy to come across this piece on reverse side of a theatre ad for The Pride and the Passion. BK’s all-time favorites are Fields, Chaplin, and Harry Langdon. How known was Langdon by 1957? Not very (at all?) by youth at least (this article likely pre-dated The Golden Age of Comedy, which did notice Langdon and make him visible to '57-58 viewers). Bill Fields had been gone nearly long as Langdon, his best work in talkies and many of those still around. I wonder when Buster would last have watched Harry, probably not in years. Comparative youngsters cited are Jerry Lewis, Red Skelton, and Lou Costello, two for which Keaton wrote gags at MGM. Someone told me Skelton ducked questions re Buster’s influence upon him. True? Marie Dressler and Lucille Ball are the top comediennes on Keaton’s list, Dressler by 1957 turning up on late shows, Lucy undisputed queen bee of TV. “Light comics” Hope, Benny, Rooney … check, but who’s this Walter C. Kelly other than Grace’s uncle? Vaudeville recall might help, let’s just say Walter’s stuff wouldn’t survive thirty seconds on a stage today for reasons research will explain. Is there film anywhere on this utterly forgotten artist? Ditto dialect talents, names few but elder Buster would have known (Joe Welsh done since 1919, while Smith and Dale performed into the 1960's).

BOY’S RANCH (1946) --- Did you know audiences cried when five-year-old Jackie “Butch” Jenkins waved at passing trains in The Human Comedy? He was what we fought for, apart from Betty Grable. Jackie stayed a star for handful of years, never eager to act and the less so as he got older. Boy’s Ranch was among few per se vehicles for Jack. Till then he was support for grown-ups and bigger moppets. Bloodhounds won’t locate Boy’s Ranch online, and Warner Archive has no disc. TCM uses it, but spottily. Why should I or anyone bother? Maybe obscurity itself supplies an answer, MGM smacking another ball at fence that was Boy’s Town, historic hit from 1938 that saw greater profit than anything so modest done since. Boy’s Ranch was customized to amuse and warm hearts. Success at that warm coffers as well, failures less recalled, if not objects for scorn. More such misfires are strewn in studio libraries. Jack was likeable without Margaret O’Brian’s genius, his back-up in Boy’s Ranch a reliable Darryl Hickman the same year he did not witness Martha Ivers killing her aunt with a walking stick. Then there is Skippy Homeier for vinegar, rotten-to-core sort he’d stay for much of adult career to follow. James Craig was putative adult lead, did four pictures with Jack, small detail mattering oddly to me. So does seeing Boy’s Ranch, especially after impression of Chicago’s La Salle ad selling it as “Human, Hilarious Drama of Real People.” Talk about management putting in a workday … open at 7:45 AM, last show at 12:45 AM. Were there bunks upstairs upon which to crash with Boy’s Ranch fatigue? Imagine Chicagoans seated at barstools past midnight, one of them says, Hey. Let’s go see Boy’s Ranch. There’s a 12:45 show! … and off they all go.

CROSS MY HEART (1946) --- The combination of Betty Hutton with Sonny Tufts may not seem an entirely cheerful prospect for some, yet here they were, and remaking True Confession from but nine years before, which itself did not call for an encore, let alone redoing by lesser talent than Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray. Tufts drank and had become surly over being a star. Word is he and the wife drove down Hollywood Blvd. to observe his name on marquees, point at which Sonny exited the vehicle to warn customers not to go in and watch his rotten movie. Apparently he did this on occasion of several Sonny Tufts movies. Paramount had odd ideas for screen teams, comedy left in hands of Veronica Lake and Eddie Bracken for instance, and enhancement to neither. Those plus Cross My Heart are seen so seldom as to make you think they never even existed, ads prepared for a sort of bizarro universe of film dreamed up but never made. Betty Hutton after the war was needed less, her energy too energetic now that peace was won and everyone was ready to calm down and go out less. Paramount felt the pinch worse for owning so many theatres sitting fallow, unkindest cut inflicted by a seeming ingrate government wanting to divorce studios from their exhibition venues. Look at all that help and propaganda movies supplied to the fight, and this was thanks they got? Well, what have you done for us lately, replied Uncle Sam. 1946 when Cross My Heart came out was still a banner year at least, Hollywood’s best so far, as in ever, but sage observers knew that wasn’t going to last, especially where product was no better than Cross My Heart. Would it amuse even slightly if somehow we were able to see it?

Monday, May 08, 2023

Book v. Film Being Contest To Never End

Did Best-Sellers Make Best Movies in 1939?

Heard of 1939’s Disputed Passage? Based on a best-selling novel from that year, it went largely unseen till recent when Kino issued a Blu-Ray. Disputed Passage author Lloyd C. Douglas was recognized as truth teller in print, a fisher of men whose The Robe and Magnificent Obsession were musts among thinkers plus seekers after entertainment. Readers emerged from Douglas spiritually whole, his repeated theme science as augment to the soul, but no substitute for it. Douglas evangelized from his Sunday pulpit in addition to writings sold quick wherever tendered. Books start hot, cool fast, it seems, more than music or film of past times. To review texts as consumed in 1939 is to know what today is barely known, top ten as follows: Rebecca (Daphne de Maurier), Wickford Point (John P. Marquand), Escape (Ethel Vance), Disputed Passage (Lloyd C, Douglas), The Yearling (Margorie Kinnan Rawlings), The Tree of Liberty (Elizabeth Page), The Nazarene (Sholem Asch), and Kitty Foyle (Christopher Morley). Which ring familiar? I submit those adapted to movies, the balance obscure. Who has read any of the lot, this not argumentative, but honest inquiry. Peruse of Rebecca might follow a view of Selznick/Hitchcock’s adaptation for purpose to compare, but consuming 135,285 words after 130 minutes spent already with the screen? That’s a lot of Rebecca, so much as to classify as research rather than recreation, done toward earning some degree or other. And what of the rest? There is The Yearling and Kitty Foyle, known if by comparative few as writing or pictures, The Yearling regarded once as gift to youth and parents besides, but who of latter will bestow it upon children in 2023? Of The Tree of Liberty, Wickford Point, and The Nazarene, I will defer comment for total ignorance across respective boards.

Question is which survives better, novels or movies? I chose 1939 for its being banner year for film, so say many. Think of all that still entertains from then. Better yet, list them, if not on paper, at least in your head. Use paper, cause chances are it will be a long list. Now do the same with books from same vaunted year. What of these have you read? Answer as to me: none … at least so far. Many call out movies for being “dated.” To that argument, I submit Escape, by Ethel Vance, an anti-Nazi novel that became an anti-Nazi film, sugared to extent by Norma Shearer and Robert Taylor, shown still by TCM and sold by Warner’s DVD Archive. For every modern having watched Escape, I’ll wager not one ever read the book. Latter beyond best-selling in 1939 became a Photoplay edition in 1940, reprinted in 1942, softbound for revive during the sixties, otherwise gone. Was Escape ever assigned to students of literature? Not that I’m aware of, having checked surveys of twentieth-century writing, bare, if that, mention of Ethel Vance (a nom-de-plume) or her actual name, Grace Zaring Stone. Let’s never mind movies a moment and consider music. What of a Hit Parade from 1939 remains viable? I checked an online list from which many if not all were recognized. Where the title failed to register, a quick excerpt did, as in Oh, yes, that one. As proposed before, music sticks longer in large part because it goes down smoothest, certainly in shortest time.

Two-three minutes I gave following tunes to refresh memory, and each clicked: Cherokee (Charlie Barnet), Sunrise Serenade (Glen Gray), And the Angels Sing (Benny Goodman), In the Mood (Glenn Miller), more. These play Spotify as I write, thirty songs heard in time it would take to watch one feature, let alone what was needed to get through mere portion of a novel. Does listening trump watching, which itself trumps reading? Music in relaxed state is passive engagement, while movies require focus to best enjoy, a book more so (most books anyway). How often do we “read’ a page, reel in attention drifted elsewhere, then start paragraphs over for having wandered? That happens with music too of course. Think of a song that just ended and you don’t recall what it was, especially one heard incessant over widening expanse of years. What movie have any of us have seen a thousand times, let alone a book as oft read? Songs surely lead among arts for sheer repetition alone. Singles bought young on 45 RPM, then had on cassette, disc, now online. How many times have I listened to this or that song over such haul? --- surely a number beyond calculation. To finish any book is considered by most an accomplishment. I’m always proud to close one. Meaningful post-credits to Disputed Passage: Lloyd C. Douglas at his desk inscribing a copy of the source novel to Paramount, thanking the company for integrity they preserved of his novel. Fidelity to literature was Hollywood aim, at least the suggestion of it. They knew true art was understood to be a singular endeavor. Film as collectively created was for that reason alone a disqualification. Art is art for one person having generated it. From conviction as to that came the auteur theory. What of any group offering is respected a same? Think absurdity of present-day Disney writing by cooperative committee (regular meetings of a dozen or more to compose a script), or seeming sci-fi of AI scripting, except here is robotic reality already arrived. Filmmaking sufficiently corporate wants singular and single-minded creatives about like they want snake bite.

Painted to Illustrate a Magazine Story, But Who'd Not Call It Art?

Can any artist who needs help still be called an artist? Architects perhaps, famous enough ones. Think Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, or Egyptians that dreamed up pyramids. They got credit for being in charge, but where does that leave quarry help or them what dragged stone across deserts? Art created for commercial purpose remains suspect, which is why Illustration Art got short shrift till collectors showed a hidebound establishment how much they were willing to spend for privilege of owning it. Now Illustration Art hangs in galleries (note use of caps ... product of my being a fan). Pity so much got tossed once publishers had their use of it. Artists too popular will be underestimated. Humorists too were told to get serious if they wanted respect. The heavier a novel, the better. Rachel Field’s All This and Heaven Too best-sold in its day, Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath close behind, the latter still lauded, if not read. Ms. Field’s offering at 608 pages was elephantine enough for Bette Davis to step out of a book tall as she and co-star Charles Boyer for Warner Bros. ads. Picture makers sought prestige because this, plus stars and enough gloss, spelled money to make bend-over-backwards worthwhile. Selznick prospered for adherence to mammoth selling Gone With the Wind and then Rebecca. He knew better than to let Alfred Hitchcock make an Alfred Hitchcock movie out of what was understood to be a Daphne de Maurier movie. I intend to ask the next academic encountered if any 1939 novel is taught anywhere. I bet none, and that includes toniest of the lot, The Grapes of Wrath. Prestige of latter led then and still would over one like Kitty Foyle, but her story sold a million copies during 1939, cash recipients caring less over which novel got more plaudits.

But what is Kitty Foyle, a person, or cat or who? Everyone by 1940 knew, including Ginger Rogers who won an Academy Award for playing her. I’ll not be millionth and one to read the book but am intent on watching Kitty Foyle this very night, event to be reported upon come morning. 2:55 AM: Good enough film, if a cleansing of Christopher Morley’s novel where Kitty lies down with her beloved and gets up with child she’ll then abort, impossible content for RKO and undoubtedly a letdown for readers who attended Kitty Foyle in good faith. Patronage however knew the rules after six years of stricter Code application, so took appealing Ginger Rogers in trade for source honesty. Such was bargaining Hollywood and fanbase understood and accepted. Integrity of literature was less sacrosanct where adapted book was merely popular. The Grapes of Wrath differed for measures required to preserve what readers and certainly reviewers called important if not seminal content. Essentials of Kitty Foyle in print and on film had been done before, in fact was a precode fixture, while The Grapes of Wrath took bows as boldest statement of then-time. Novels were catnip for titles and content customers knew from word-of-mouth. You didn’t have to read a hot book to smell its sizzle, as plenty who knew text would tip you off. These were crowds Hollywood relied upon to swell attendance. Kitty Foyle in print dealt sex and profanity --- would RKO buck the system and serve those? Short answer was no. Authors deplored the sellout but kept on selling out. Literary properties industry-bought beat publishing commissions every time. What nettled was heading west at weekly fee to script your work for lots more cash only to find they owned not just the novel but the novelist. Writers could let that break them or get cynical as first checks cleared. The more sensitive fell victim and perished, Scott Fitzgerald notably, him put to smithy task not on his own creations but those of others who had not his literary gift, but knew better how to write movies that would play.
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • September 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • May 2010
  • June 2010
  • July 2010
  • August 2010
  • September 2010
  • October 2010
  • November 2010
  • December 2010
  • January 2011
  • February 2011
  • March 2011
  • April 2011
  • May 2011
  • June 2011
  • July 2011
  • August 2011
  • September 2011
  • October 2011
  • November 2011
  • December 2011
  • January 2012
  • February 2012
  • March 2012
  • April 2012
  • May 2012
  • June 2012
  • July 2012
  • August 2012
  • September 2012
  • October 2012
  • November 2012
  • December 2012
  • January 2013
  • February 2013
  • March 2013
  • April 2013
  • May 2013
  • June 2013
  • July 2013
  • August 2013
  • September 2013
  • October 2013
  • November 2013
  • December 2013
  • January 2014
  • February 2014
  • March 2014
  • April 2014
  • May 2014
  • June 2014
  • July 2014
  • August 2014
  • September 2014
  • October 2014
  • November 2014
  • December 2014
  • January 2015
  • February 2015
  • March 2015
  • April 2015
  • May 2015
  • June 2015
  • July 2015
  • August 2015
  • September 2015
  • October 2015
  • November 2015
  • December 2015
  • January 2016
  • February 2016
  • March 2016
  • April 2016
  • May 2016
  • June 2016
  • July 2016
  • August 2016
  • September 2016
  • October 2016
  • November 2016
  • December 2016
  • January 2017
  • February 2017
  • March 2017
  • April 2017
  • May 2017
  • June 2017
  • July 2017
  • August 2017
  • September 2017
  • October 2017
  • November 2017
  • December 2017
  • January 2018
  • February 2018
  • March 2018
  • April 2018
  • May 2018
  • June 2018
  • July 2018
  • August 2018
  • September 2018
  • October 2018
  • November 2018
  • December 2018
  • January 2019
  • February 2019
  • March 2019
  • April 2019
  • May 2019
  • June 2019
  • July 2019
  • August 2019
  • September 2019
  • October 2019
  • November 2019
  • December 2019
  • January 2020
  • February 2020
  • March 2020
  • April 2020
  • May 2020
  • June 2020
  • July 2020
  • August 2020
  • September 2020
  • October 2020
  • November 2020
  • December 2020
  • January 2021
  • February 2021
  • March 2021
  • April 2021
  • May 2021
  • June 2021
  • July 2021
  • August 2021
  • September 2021
  • October 2021
  • November 2021
  • December 2021
  • January 2022
  • February 2022
  • March 2022
  • April 2022
  • May 2022
  • June 2022
  • July 2022
  • August 2022
  • September 2022
  • October 2022
  • November 2022
  • December 2022
  • January 2023
  • February 2023
  • March 2023
  • April 2023
  • May 2023
  • June 2023
  • July 2023
  • August 2023
  • September 2023
  • October 2023
  • November 2023
  • December 2023
  • January 2024
  • February 2024
  • March 2024
  • April 2024
  • May 2024
  • June 2024
  • July 2024