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News Blog

R.I.P. The Bronze BuckarooMay 28, 2014
Herb Jeffries, the first singing cowboy in Black-cast films, passed away May 25th at the ripe old age of 100. Known as the Bronze Buckaroo to his fans, his career included not only movies, he also made Jazz recordings with the likes of Earl Hines and Duke Ellington.

Norman Jewison... who knew?May 3, 2014
Who knew that Norman Jewison, the talented director of films as diverse as In the Heat of the Night, The Thomas Crown Affair, Fiddler on the Roof, A Soldier's Story and Moonstruck (among many others) is now making maple syrup in his retirement. A friend of mine was traveling north of Toronto when he stumbled on Jewison's Putney Heath Farms, a 200-acre spread in Caledon, Ontario. The farm itself is named for Putney Heath, southwest of London, England, where Norman and his wife purchased a Victorian home previously owned by Sean Connery.

Jayne Mansfield and those milk bottlesApril 29, 2014
The Girl Can't Help It. Parts of this 1956 movie play like a Tex Avery cartoon, especially when Jayne Mansfield's assets are in motion. No surprise that director Frank Tashlin got his start in animation. It's hard to believe that this scene made it past the censors.

Early Hammer HorrorFebruary 12, 2014
Most people associate Hammer Horror with the films of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in the 1950s and 1960s. But here's a much earlier example of a Hammer film. Produced in 1936, it was one of the very first productions from the fledgling studio. It was released in the U.K. as The Mystery of the Marie Celeste, based on one of the greatest unsolved maritime mysteries of all time.

The Granddaddy of Outlaw Biker Flicks!February 11, 2014
Here's a very scarce 3-sheet billboard for The Wild One, the granddaddy of outlaw biker films. Brando plays the leader of the Black Rebels, and Lee Marvin heads the rival gang the Beedles. Several sources have cited this is as the inspiration for the Beatles naming their band. But I think the story is apocryphal. On several occasions Lennon and McCartney have explained the name as an homage to Buddy Holly and the Crickets; plus the Wild One was banned in England until the mid-1960s. Still, it makes for a nice story, and Marlon Brando in his Wild One character is featured prominently on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

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