UPDATE! FIRST LOOK AT ‘MAGNIFICENT 7’ REMAKE!
This trailer is almost twice as long as the one I
posted oon Facebook a week ago – check it out!
RENEWED FOR SECOND SEASON!
America’s original series about the Underground Railroad, the secret channels
that transported runaway slaves to the North in the pre-Civil War days, has
been picked up for a second ten-episode season.
Averaging 3 million viewers per episode, it’s the most successful new
cable show of the season, and the most popular scripted series in the network’s
history. Produced by John Legend,
UNDERGROUND was created by Misha Green (SPARTACUS, SONS OF ANARCHY) and Joe
Pokaski (CSI, DAREDEVIL). The series
stars Jurnee Smollet-Bell from TRUE BLOOD, and Aldis Hodge from STRAIGHT OUTTA
COMPTON and TURN, as slaves running from a Georgia plantation. Airing
on Wednesdays, this one flew under my radar, so all I’ve seen so far is a few
minutes of episode 2, which looks very good.
But it’s available through Amazon, and presumably other platforms, and
before the season finale on May 11, WGNA will rerun the entire season, so we
can catch up!
Thursday April 28th
through Sunday May 1st, the great cinema event of the year, the TCM
Classic Film Festival will once again take over Hollywood! Movies will be screening at the Chinese
Theatre, the Egyptian Theatre, several screens at the Chinese Multiplex, plus a
few other venues. With five movies
generally showing at a time, you can’t see everything, but you can see a
ton! There will be special guests
introducing films, including Alec Baldwin, Carl Bernstein, Francis Ford Coppola
– who’ll get his footprints in cement at the Chinese, James Cromwell, Faye
Dunaway, Elliot Gould, Darryl Hickman, Angela Lansbury, Gina Lollobrigida, Marlee
Matlin, Carl Reiner, Eva Marie Saint, Adam West, and many more.
Most of the pass
packages, which cost as much as $1,649, are sold out, but there’s still the
Palace Pass for $299, and happily there are tickets for individual movies. Those are $20 a pop, and all the pass-holders
are let in before they sell tickets for any remaining seats, so study the
schedule, and have a second choice in mind in case your first choice is
Few Westerns are on the
schedule this year, but the ones that are there are well worth seeing on a big
screen. On Saturday, see THE YEARLING
(1946), based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings,
starring Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman as parents who have doubts about letting
their son (Claude Jarman Jr.) raise a young deer. The film won Oscars for Art Direction and
Cinematography, and Jarman himself will be in attendance.
On Sunday, see LAW AND
ORDER (1932) starring Walter Huston as Wyatt Earp (with a name change), in a
script by his son John, from a novel by W.R. Burnett. It’s a tough but at times sweet pre-code
Western, featuring Harry Carey, and a moving performance by Andy Devine.
Unless you’re cried out
from THE YEARLING, see OLD YELLER (1957). Walt Disney’s heartwarming but uncompromising
story of a frontier family, who comes to love and depend on a big-old dog, is
from the Fred Gipson novel. It’s the
perfect Disney family – mother Dorothy Maguire, father Fess Parker, sons Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran. There’s a lot of joy and tragedy in this story, beautifully performed by the cast, including the neighbor-girl played by Beverly
Washburn, who will be in attendance.
Keith Carradine will introduce John Ford’s SHE
WORE A YELLOW RIBBON (1948), and if you read the Round-up, you probably know
more about the film than I do.
The Festival is a
wonderful event; one of the highpoints is meeting so many people from around
the world who have the same passion for and knowledge of film as you do. And did I mention they’re showing a movie in
Smell-o-vision? To learn more, visit the
website here: http://filmfestival.tcm.com/
‘DISH’ PUTS INSP BACK ON AIR!
I told ya – raising a stink can have a fragrant
effect! DISH, who April Fooled their
yanking INSP, and its 50 hours of westerns per week, has
reinstalled the network, at least for now.
Thanks to everyone who sent snarling and snarky emails, Facebook comments
and Tweets! Nice to
know the powers that
be actually listen!
‘STRANGE SANCTUARY’ –
LIVE TV WESTERN STARS MICHAEL RENNIE, CESAR ROMERO
Alpha Video has come up
with a fascinating oddity from the early days of TV, a 1957 hour episode from
the CLIMAX anthology series, STRANGE SANCTUARY.
Live shows from the early years of TV are rarely seen today because the
quality of image is less than people are used to today. Unlike today’s dramatic shows, where stories
are shot and assembled like movies, live TV dramas were performed like plays,
from beginning to end, and broadcast live.
They were preserved as Kinescopes, films shot off of a TV monitor, and
lack the sharpness we expect, but there is a treasure-trove of high quality story-telling
out there that has been ignored for too long.
STRANGE SANCTUARY is
the moving story of a pair of outlaw partners, Irish Michael Rennie and Mexican
Cesar Romero, who are on the run after a bank robbery. Planning to start new lives in California,
things go wrong when they decide to stop at a convent to retrieve Romero’s
daughter. The strong supporting cast
includes future Oscar-winner Rita Moreno, Noah Berry Jr. as the sheriff, Osa
Munson, and John Ford stalwart Hank Worden.
It’s directed by Buzz Kulik, who would go on to helm several GUNSMOKE
and HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL episodes, as well as the Emmy-winning BRIAN’S SONG. It’s worth remembering, during shootouts,
that while we’re used to seeing them in movies, assembled from dozens of
individually shot pieces of film, here the staccato action happened live – it’s
very nice work.
Also on the disk are a
pair of half-hour Western episodes of another anthology series, SCHLITZ
PLAYHOUSE. NO COMPROMISES (1953) stars
Stephen McNally as a Texas Ranger transporting outlaw Robert Strauss, who would
be Oscar-nominated that same year for playing Animal in STALAG 17. Although very contained – virtually all of it
takes place on a train, director Arnold Laven, who would go on to produce and
direct THE RIFLEMAN and THE BIG VALLEY, makes it entertaining. THE LONG TRAIL (1957) has a very similar
set-up, with Anthony Quinn trying to take a fugitive back to Texas, but even
with KING KONG’s Robert Armstrong along, it’s a tedious talk-a-thon with zero
action. STRANGE SANCTUARY is available for $5.95 at oldies.com.
It’s been one of those
strange and wonderful periods where I’ve been so busy doing interesting things
that I haven’t had time to write about them – interviews with Earl Holliman,
Constance Towers, Rafer Johnson, Chris Mitchum – visits to film sets, the Santa
Clarita Cowboy Festival, and now TCM at the end of the week! Details soon!
All Original Contents
Copyright April 2016 by Henry C. Parke – All Rights Reserved