Subject: The Merry Macs and Anne Gwynne on sale for limited time


Melody Lane (1941)
Starring The Merry Macs and Anne Gwynne

Beautiful print and will play in all DVD players.
Director: Charles Lamont
Writers: Bernard Feins (story), Hugh Wedlock Jr. (screenplay)

Stars: Judd McMichael, Ted McMichael, Joe McMichael, Mary Lou Cook, Leon Errol, Anne Gwynne, Robert Paige, Billy Lenhart, Kenneth Brown
Songs include:

Cherokee Charlie
Written by Norman Berens and Jack Brooks
Sung by The Merry Macs
(Judd McMichael, Ted McMichael, Joe McMichael and Mary Lou Cook)

Peaceful Ends the Day
Written by Norman Berens and Jack Brooks
Sung by The Merry Macs

Caliacabu (Let's Go To Calicabu)
Written by Norman Berens and Jack Brooks
Sung by The Merry Macs

Listen to the Mocking Bird
Music by Richard Milburn
Lyrics by Septimus Winner
Sung by The Merry Macs

Swing-a-bye My Baby
Written by Norman Berens and Jack Brooks
Sung by The Merry Macs and Robert Paige

Changeable Heart
Written by Norman Berens and Jack Brooks
Sung by Robert Paige and Anne Gwynne (dubbed)

If It's a Dream
Written by Norman Berens and Jack Brooks
Sung by Robert Paige and Anne Gwynne (dubbed)

Since the Farmer in the Dell
Written by Norman Berens and Jack Brooks
Performed by Billy Lenhart and Kenneth Brown
Well, here is one of the innumerable six-reelers produced by Universal in the early 1940's. The threadbare story - about a swing band being brought to New York to play on a radio program - serves as the framework for 1. A collection of very nice tunes, none of which, surprisingly, were published; 2. An opportunity for Leon Errol to do his famous drunk pantomime; 3. Yet another chance for audiences to smile back at cutie-pie Baby Sandy. Judge for yourself if this last attribute is, indeed, a virtue. Pint-sized Universal stock players Butch and Buddy get off a few laughs, though some of their musical footage was trimmed - at least based on the surviving music tracks. Bob Paige and Anne Gwynne make a great couple and Paige is in very fine voice. But it's the Merry Macs who steal the show with a basket of tunes, most notably "Cariacabu" - a rhythmic ditty that never saw a studio cover.
Order this rarely-seen and hard-to-find classic today for the low price of $5.99.
New Additions At Zeus:
Ben-Hur (2016)

Stars: Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Rodrigo Santoro

In this adaptation of Lew Wallace's 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ (previously brought to the screen in 1925 and 1959), a Jewish prince (Jack Huston) spends years toiling in slavery after an old friend, now an officer in the Roman army occupying Jerusalem (Toby Kebbell), falsely accuses him of a crime. In time, he wins his freedom and competes against his betrayer in a violent chariot race, but an encounter with Jesus Christ (Rodrigo Santoro) teaches him the importance of mercy and compassion. This version of Ben-Hur was penned by Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave scribe John Ridley, and directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter). Morgan Freeman co-stars.
Aarti (1962)

Stars: Ashok Kumar, Meena Kumari, Pradeep Kumar

Aarti (Meena Kumari) is a dedicated and hard-working doctor, who believes that her skills should be used for the welfare of patients only. In contrast her fiance, Dr. Prakash (Ashok Kumar) believes in the opposite. Then one day, Aarti's is saved from drowning by a poor, unemployed youth, Deepak (Pradeep Kumar), and both eventually fall in love. Although her dad is opposed to her having any relationship with Deepak, they marry, and Aarti moves in with Deepak and his family: his brother, Niranjan (Ramesh Deo), Niranjan's wife, Jaswanti (Shashikala), three of her children; and Deepak's dad (Gajanan Jagirdar). Dr. Prakash is enraged and humiliated, and vows to avenge this. He gets married to Ramona, but is unable to get Aarti from his mind, and he keeps in touch with Aarti, and does succeed in bringing a discord in their marital life, so much so that Deepak asks Aarti to leave, and she moves in back with her dad. Then Deepak has an accident, and Dr. Prakash is the only surgeon who can operate on him, and he agrees to do so on condition that Aarti surrenders herself to him forever.
Behind Office Doors (1931)

Stars: Mary Astor, Robert Ames, Ricardo Cortez

A pompous executive has a hard time admitting that his hard-working, devoted secretary is really the one pulling the strings in his office and is behind his promotion to company president. As a result, he takes her for granted until she falls in love with another up-and-coming executive. Romantic fireworks ensue before he is able to rectify the situation.
Beyond Victory (1931)

Stars: William Boyd, James Gleason, Lew Cody

A troubled production that suffered from both severe cuts and retakes under a different director (Edward H. Griffith), this World War I melodrama fell far short of becoming another All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) as had obviously been the original intention. Told in flashbacks, the antiwar drama stars William Boyd as Sergeant Bill Thatcher, the head of an American battalion fighting for control of a French village. As Thatcher listens, three wounded soldiers under his command recall how they came to the battlefields of World War I: A farm boy, Bud (Russell Gleason), defied his mother (Mary Carr) and enlisted despite being the family's sole breadwinner; a New York playboy, trapped between two women, Ina (Marion Shilling), his newest conquest, and a former mistress, Lew (Lew Cody), sought the easy way out by enlisting; finally, Private Jim Mobley (James Gleason) tells the heartfelt story of how his wife, "Mademoiselle" Fritzi (ZaSu Pitts), a carnival knife thrower, got very upset when he decided to escape housekeeping duties by joining the army. Back on the battlefield, Jim finds Bill at the machine gun, where the latter finally tells his own story of how he came to hate his German-born fiancée, Katherine (Lissi Arna), when she warned him of the futility of war. Before blowing up a railroad bridge, Bill admits to Jim that he now fully understands Katherine's sentiments. Wounded in the battle, both soldiers end up in a German Red Cross hospital where Bill is reunited with Katherine.
Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ (1925)

Stars: Ramon Novarro, Francis X. Bushman, May McAvoy

The advertising tag "four years in the making" is usually so much press-agent puffery. In the case of the 1926 silent version of Ben Hur, it was the unvarnished truth--and the filmmakers had the scars to prove it. The story behind the film is now part of Hollywood folklore: the cast and production crew changes (star George Walsh summarily dumped in favor of Roman Novarro, director Charles J. Brabin replaced by Fred Niblo, writer-supervisor June Mathis-who'd spearheaded the project in the first place-abruptly fired); the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on the troublesome location shooting in Italy--money that was lost when most of the footage proved unusable; the extra expenditure of refilming in Hollywood; and the huge chunk of the film's profits eaten up by the 50% royalty deal set up with theatrical producers Klaw and Erlanger, who controlled the rights to General Lew Wallace's novel. The end result reflected the turbulent production conditions: Ben Hur is an extraordinarily uneven experience, with moments of cinematic brilliance and pulse-pounding thrills alternating with long stretches of stagey boredom. The film follows the original Wallace story to the letter: Judah Ben-Hur (Novarro), a wealthy Jew living under the reign of the Caesars, is betrayed by his best friend, ambitious Roman centurion Messala (Francis X. Bushman). Ben-Hur's family is sent to prison, while he himself is condemned to the galleys. During a violent sea battle, Ben-Hur saves the life of galleon commander Quintus Arrius (Frank Currier). The grateful commander adopts Ben-Hur as his son and bankrolls his desire to become a champion charioteer. Thirsting for revenge, Ben-Hur agrees to race against his old nemesis Messala. The latter is fatally injured during the race; with his dying breath, Messala reveals that Ben-Hur's family, previously reported dead, are actually alive--but living as lepers. The story is subtitled A Tale of the Christ because, at various junctures in his life, Ben-Hur has been touched by the hand of Jesus. Ben-Hur must totally embrace Christ's edict of love and forgiveness before he can be reunited with his family. As Jesus is crucified in Jerusalem, Ben-Hur's mother (Claire McDowell) and sister (Kathleen Key), having also embraced the Christian philosophy, are miraculously cured of their leprosy. Most of these plot elements, together with the romance between Ben-Hur and the lovely Esther (May McAvoy), reappeared in the 1959 remake of Ben-Hur--which, fortunately, did not include the ridiculous subplot involving the alluring Iras (Carmel Myers), who attempts to seduce Ben-Hur just before the big race. The film's highlights--the sea battle, the now-legendary chariot race--were produced on a far grander scale than in the 1959 version; unfortunately, both highlights took place in the first half of the picture, leaving the viewers with a rather dreary, drawn out denouement (the remake wisely placed the sea battle in part one, and the race in part two). The Technicolor Nativity sequences were condemned in 1926 as being in poor taste, but when seen today are beautifully handled and restful on the eye (oddly, no one complained about the nude female revellers during a later Technicolor pageant scene!) Ben Hur cost $4 million and grossed $9 million on its first release. The aforementioned royalty arrangement left MGM with only a $1 million take.

Big Business Girl (1931)

Stars: Loretta Young, Frank Albertson, Ricardo Cortez

Loretta Young briefly contemplates using her sexual allure to get ahead in business in this sometimes frank but ultimately old-fashioned comedy-drama from Warner Bros. Packing her new husband, bandleader Johnny Saunders (Frank Albertson), off to Paris, Claire McIntyre (Young) sets her sight on her boss, wolfish advertising maven Robert J. Clayton (Ricardo Cortez). The latter's clumsy attempt to seduce the girl is interrupted by an enraged Johnny, however, and Claire comes to her senses. But Clayton doesn't take no for an answer and concocts a plan to sabotage the union. Big Business Girl was based on a College Humor magazine story by Patricia Reilly and H.N. Swanson.
Keir Dullea

Tony Curtis

Kay Francis

Thelma Todd

George Montgomery

Marie Windsor

Joan Crawford

Bette Davis

Elizabeth Montgomery

Lili Damita

Anna May Wong

Dawn Wells

Lizabeth Scott

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