What’s the in the news this week: Another Hollywood passing, a remake no one wants, Universal removing a piece of Hollywood history, what’s coming up on a few classic TV stations, events, and what’s new on DVD and Blu-ray.
School’s back in session and that means we’re officially nearing the end of the year! September is the last gasp before the onslaught of holiday themed films so let’s try to get as far away from those as we can since, come October, we won’t be escaping them.
Before today Philip Marlowe was Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep, and his ultra-masculine, hardboiled take on the character set a high precedent for me. You can’t fault the studios for feeling equally wary in 1944 about casting song and dance man Dick Powell, two years before Bogart took the reins, purely because it’s hard fathoming such an ebullient figure in a dark role. Murder, My Sweet, while not topping the pure star talent of The Big Sleep, is a cynical and sarcastic film noir where Powell proves he can do more than tap his shoes.
What you were reading this week: More tributes to TCM’s Summer Under the Stars, the return of an old favorite, and a rather random assortment of stray reviews.
Today’s film is adapts the successful stage play directed by George Cukor. It’s a Who’s Who of actors telling a story about the society…and yet I was left bored. I’m all for high-society ensemble films but Dinner at Eight is like a long-winded play filled with characters I had little interest in. Harlow plays a scheming adulteress, and while it’s pre-Code it’s not nearly as risque nor does it revel in its own debauchery like Red Dust. Instead, the end plays like a cautionary tale about the rich and famous.
What’s in this week’s update: News on an upcoming SAG recipient, more TCM documentaries coming to DVD, pricing changes for ClassicFlix members, and what’s coming to DVD and Blu-ray.
Watching the Rocky series was a good decision, as it helped me see how inspired it was by the golden era of pugilist propaganda. The problem is, if you’ve watched one boxing drama you’ve watched them all. Each one follows a tried and true method of delivery and characterization with little deviation from the norm. The only fluctuation is the individual actor’s work outside the ring. Somebody Up There Likes Me is a more mediocre, by the numbers take on boxing with a performance by Paul Newman both laughably watchable and terribly tragic.