The classic film community suffered a serious loss this Saturday with announcement that Maureen O’Hara, the Irish beauty who starred opposite John Wayne in several films, passed away at 95. There’s no denying O’Hara lived a full life, introducing a screening of How Green Was My Valley (1941) just last year at the TCM Classic Film Festival. A full obituary can be found at The Hollywood Reporter. TCM will honor the actress on November 20th with a full 24-hour tribute of films, including her most famous works – The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), The Quiet Man (1952), and McLintock! (1963). You can also see the new TCM Remembers video tribute to O’Hara below. I was fortunate to hear O’Hara’s introduction to How Green in 2014, as well as see her sail past me in the crowd. It’s a moment I’ll never forget. Do you have any Maureen O’Hara memories or a favorite film?
TCM announced an ambitious new project Tuesday. The TCM Wine Club will be a subscription based service providing members specially curated wines inspired by classic films. The first bottles will be themed towards director Francis Ford Coppola (from his own vineyard), John Wayne’s True Grit (1969), and the TCM Essentials series. The inaugural offer gives members fifteen bottles, of which the above will be included, with twelve bottles going out every quarter thereafter. Honestly, the TCM Wine Club means nothing to me. I’m not a drinker, of wine or beer, so there’s no value for this to me. However, I know many people who enjoy relaxing with a Merlot and a TCM movie, so there’s definitely an audience for this. You can sign up at the TCM Wine Club official website, although I’ve been told that many territories aren’t eligible.
I know there’s a lot of channels competing for your Halloween eyeballs this Saturday, but if you have a chance to break away from TCM, head on over to MeTV where Svengoolie host Rich Koz is hosting Sci-Fi Saturday Night beginning at 6pm with airings of The Adventures of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman leading up to the Svengoolie screening of Frankenstein (1934). You can watch a brief promo here. I’m a devout Svengoolie fan, so I’ll be checking in and watching Frankenstein.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
Warner Archive: Warner Archive’s big release this week is the ninth volume of their Forbidden Hollywood series. This edition has five saucy pre-Codes – Joan Blondell in Big City Blues (1932), Richard Dix in Hell’s Highway (1932), The Cabin in the Cotton (1932) starring Bette Davis, Myrna Loy in When Ladies Meet (1933), and Ann Dvorak in I Sell Anything (1934). Other Warner’s titles debuting this week: The Chief (1934), It’s In the Air (1935), Man-Proof (1938) also starring Loy, and Hotel Paradiso (1966). You can order all of these on-demand via Warner Archive.
TCM Vault: The TCM Vault unveiled a double feature containing Barbara Stanwyck in The Night Walker (1964) and Leslie Nielsen’s Dark Intruder (1965). This marks the first time either film has seen a DVD release.