Thursday, November 21, 2019

2020 TCM Classic Film Festival Tickets On Sale


The much anticipated 11th annual Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival is now gearing up, set to happen in Hollywood April 16 - 19, 2020. The year's theme is "Grand Illusions: Fantastic Worlds on Film" and tickets are on sale now at several price points:

Spotlight $2449
Essential $999
Classic $749
Palace $349

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Joyce Compton, What a Character!

This is my entry for the fabulous What a Character! blogathon hosted annually by Once Upon a Screen, Outspoken & Freckled and Paula's Cinema Club...check these blogs for links to entries from all participating blogs.


In perhaps her best remembered scene in a classic film, Leo McCarey's screwball masterpiece The Awful Truth (1937), Joyce Compton delivered a most memorable performance as a dizzy nightclub singer with an equally dizzy act:

She would be typecast in this sort of role for much of her career, but there's more to Joyce Compton's story than her turns as scatterbrained, Southern-fried blondes.

Saturday, November 9, 2019


Parlez vous French noir? 

Three years ago I discovered French film noir thanks to Don Malcolm and his annual "The French Had a Name for It" film festival in San Francisco. Don heads MidCentury Productions and since 2014 MCP has presented yearly - and, lately, more frequent - noir screenings at the city's Roxie Theater. This month brings "French 6," the last in MCP's series of French noir fests 'til further notice.
Le dernier tournant (1939), the postman always rings...
My introduction to French noir came with "The French Had a Name for It 3" in November 2016. It was there that I watched the rarely seen first film version of James M. Cain's scorching 1934 pulp sensation, The Postman Always Rings Twice. This was Pierre Chenal's 1939 adaptation, Le dernier tournant (The Last Turn), which, though lacking the glitter and gloss of MGM's 1946 version with Lana Turner and John Garfield, wanted for nothing in the way of style, a script faithful to Cain's book, and a superb cast, top to bottom. It was also at "French 3" that I saw the 1939 Marcel Carne/Jean Gabin masterpiece Le jour se leve (Daybreak) on the big screen for the first time and was introduced to the eccentric and edgy films of actor/director Robert Hossein. I was hooked.