Lord (poster for hats, 1930)
Funny how something as simple as a fedora ad can appear menacing in these art deco illustrations. I've really got to make the next installment that creepy toothpaste ad...
From the 1927 Paramount release book
"Never has a star leaped into instant popularity as has Eddie Cantor with his marvelous comedy performance in 'Kid Boots.'Love Letters would eventually surface as Special Delivery, directed by none other than Roscoe Arbuckle under his pseudonym "William Goodrich" with a cast that included William Powell and Harold Lloyd's frequent costar Jobyna Ralston (also soon to be Mrs. Richard Arlen). Sadly, I haven't seen Special Delivery, but I have seen Kid Boots, which is surprisingly funny, considering how important Cantor's vocal personality was to his act; on stage, radio and in his later sound films for Goldwyn. His silents are a promising start, to be sure.
The masses of movie fans have taken him to their hearts. In answer to unanimous demand from exhibitors and the public, Paramount now presents eddie Cantor in his second elaborate comedy production -- 'Love Letters.'
The hilarious adventures of a letter carrier who gets love letters mixed up with surprising results, packed with the inimitable Cantor gags."
for the series: Selling the Silents
Great Expectations (Alec Guinness as Herbert Pocket, John Mills as Pip Pirrip)
(David Lean, 1946)
The consumate British actor, Sir John Mills, whose work with Anthony Asquith, Carol Reed, Noel Coward and, most importantly, David Lean, added up to one of the screen's more consistent film careers, died on Saturday at 97.
As you might expect, the BBC obituaries and tributes offer the best coverage of Mills' passing at this point.
for the series: Obits
Harpo at Work (1958)
I initially meant this series to represent what ever outre piece of vinyl I happened to pick up over the past week, but I couldn't resist posting this particular cover, a rare colour photo of everyone's favourite mute clown, the highlight of what is otherwise a fairly innoccuous collection of harp instrumentals.
Besides, this week's find, a collection of fascist Italian songs called "Il Duce!" released in the early '70s via "Oakleaf Ventures" seems a dubious prospect for online veneration (unless someone really wants to see it).
I'm still on the lookout for this disc's predecessor, Harpo in Hi-Fi. One of these days...
for the series: Stacks o' Wax
Jerry Beck's Cartoon Brew pointed me towards this eBay auction for a 1958 MGM Studios commissary menu. His main interest was the fact that it used familiar MGM cartoon characters a year after the studio had closed its animation studio, but I was more fascinated by the celebrity dishes. I guess by this point Louis B. Mayer's beloved fin & hattie was no longer a commissary staple...
Confidential (Nov. 1955)
Other stories of note:
"Memo to Gloria de Haven--Remember when you were misbehavin' with Jeff Chandler? (It's pretty tough to be discrete with a car as flashy as a tan and cream convertible--or a man as huge as prematurely-grey Jeff Chandler!)"
"The inside story of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis...Broadway's $5,000,000 Brush-Off! (Broke and scared, Jerry cried like a baby, and begged for a job. But once he and Dean were teamed up, the two madcaps tied a can to the man who gave them their start.)"