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There Once Was a Man From Nantucket…

True Classics is three years old! (!!!!!!!!) In the blogging racket, three years is an ETERNITY. I raise my bottle of Boone’s Farm to the entire True Classics crew: Brandie, Nikki, Carrie, and Sarah. Thanks for being amazing classic film ambassadors and all-around awesome-y!  To celebrate the occasion, the ladies are hosting a limerick contest! Below are my entries for the event.

 

With vision that’s doubled and blurry
She visits Doc Brent in a hurry
Her prognosis was bleak
She’d die in 12 weeks
He withheld though, to not make her worry

Inspired by Dark Victory (1939)

Why’d Ms. Timberlake stop to think?
She should’ve been in the pink!
Before they retired
Philip desired
To give her That Touch of Mink 

Inspired by That Touch of Mink (1962)

Sheriff Bart took the job no one wanted
The townspeople, their hatred was flaunted
With a tip of his hat
“Where the white women at?”
With his cunning and wit, he taunted

Inspired by Blazing Saddles (1974)

Macaulay was quite a swell guy
He stuttered  uh…uh well… I…
He’s the voice of doom
The drunk in the room
Sipping champagne and rye

Inspired by The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Alicia was loose and unfit
Uncle Sam, for she’d commit
With a tinge of hate
“Alex is my playmate”
Jealous, said Dev, “just skip it.”

Inspired by Notorious (1946)

 

Two “friends” named Randy and Cary
Many women they courted to marry
On the beach in their socks
Shorts tight on their cocks
Of women, claimed Hedda, they’re wary

Inspired by Hollywood tabloid trash and salacious “biographies”
(For the record: I love Hollywood tabloid trash and salacious “biographies”)

 

The man Kelly was known for his class
for women he bowed when he’d pass
When he yelled “Gotta Dance!”
All fell in a trance
Admiring his luscious firm ass

Inspired by Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
(and every other Gene Kelly performance)

 

TCM Classic Film Festival: No Sleep, No Food, Good Times

Count me now on the list of jerks who’s been to the TCM Classic Film Festival. To say that my experience was incredible is a complete understatement.

I arrived in California on Wednesday evening. After a lovely, relaxing dinner with some close friends, I traveled up to Hollywood from Orange County to check into my hotel. Little did I know, that meal would be the last one for quite a while. After finally meeting some of my Twitter friends in person for the first time, I settled in for a good night’s sleep. It would be the last one of those too. I quickly learned there is no place for eating or sleeping at the festival. After all, “sleeping is giving in, no matter what the time is.”

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The Hammer Vault: Treasures from the Archive of Hammer Films

Courtesy of Titan Books
Courtesy of Titan Books

It all began in 1954. The film was The Quatermass Xperiment, an adaptation of a BBC television production that aired in 1953. This was the first television-to-film production by Hammer Studios, and they rated it ‘X’–which proved to be successful in the marketing of this and future films. Sex, violence, and sheer terror were the common elements of the typical Hammer Horror film.The Hammer Vault: Treasure from the Archive of Hammer Films is written by the official Hammer Films historian Marcus Hearn. The book provides detailed production information on the studio’s films, from 1954 to 2010. It also briefly mentions the new Hammer release The Woman in Black (2012), starring Daniel Radcliffe.

In 1956, Hammer Studios produced the first of its Gothic horror films: The Curse of Frankenstein, starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. This was Cushing’s first film for the studio, and before long his name became synonymous with Hammer Horror, along with Lee’s. Many of the films made for the studio featured the same actors and actresses, including Ralph Bates, Andrew Keir, Michael Ripper, Veronica Carlson, and of course Cushing and Lee. However, famous Hollywood stars contributed to the Hammer canon as well.

One of my favorite anecdotes from The Hammer Vault involves one of Hollywood’s finest.  In 1967 Bette Davis made the film The Anniversary for Hammer. The production methods at the studio were much different than Hollywood’s. A living legend like Bette Davis, who was accustomed to doing things her way, could not and would not work under their typically strict filming style.

Seven Arts Productions in Hollywood had a partnership with Hammer, and were involved in Davis being cast for the film. When producer Jimmy Sangster found himself mediating a battle between Davis and the director of The Anniversary, he contacted Seven Arts for assistance. Their response was: ”The Anniversary wasn’t an Alvin Rakoff film, neither was it an Anthony Hinds or Jimmy Sangster film. And, if push came to shove, it wasn’t even a Hammer film. It was a Bette Davis film” (100).

The Hammer Vault: Treasure from the Archive of Hammer Films is an excellent guide to the horror films that made the studio so famous. Complete with colorful artwork, posters, notes from stars like Peter Cushing, and Hearn’s insights, the book is a nice film companion piece. If you are a fan, The Hammer Vault is a must have for your collection.

The Hammer Vault: Treasures from the Archive of Hammer Films
ISBN: 9780857681171
Titan Books
December 2011
176 pages

Full Disclosure: I received a copy of The Hammer Vault: Treasures from the Archive of Hammer Films directly from the publisher Titan Books. I thank the publisher for the opportunity to review this book.