Subject: Freddie Bartholomew and Billy Halop on sale for limited time


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TODAY'S SPECIAL

Junior Army (1942)
Starring Freddie Bartholomew and Billy Halop

Beautiful print and will play in all DVD players.
Several veterans of the "Dead End Kids" series are prominently featured in the Columbia programmer Junior Army. Grown-up child star Freddie Bartholomew acquits himself nicely as Freddy Hewlitt, newly arrived at a strict military academy. Freddy tries to set a good example for hell-raising cadet Jimmy Fletcher (Billy Halop), but Jimmy soons alienates everyone around him-even his old pals Cowboy (Bobby Jordan) and Bushy (Huntz Hall). Eventually, however, Jimmy comes through with flying colors when he helps Freddy and his buddies smash a gang of saboteurs. While Billy Halop, Bobby Jordan and Huntz Hall would continue appearing in films well into the next decade, Freddie Bartholomew eventually abandoned acting to become a successful advertising executive.
Director: Lew Landers
Writers: Albert Bein (story), Paul Gangelin (screenplay)

Stars: Freddie Bartholomew, Billy Halop, Huntz Hall, Bobby Jordan, Peter Lawford, Boyd Davis
One of the most popular child actors in film history, Child superstar Freddie Bartholomew was born Frederick Cecil Bartholomew in Harlesden, London, the son of Lilian May (Clarke) and Cecil Llewellyn Bartholomew. From age three, he grew up in the town of Warminster under the care of his father's unmarried sister Millicent. A precocious lad, Freddie was reciting and performing on stage at three years of age, and was soon singing and dancing as well. By age six he had appeared in his first movie, a short called Toyland (1930). Three other British film appearances and the recommendation of his teacher Italia Conti led him to be cast in the MGM film David Copperfield (1935), as the title character, resulting in a seven-year MGM contract and a move to Hollywood with his aunt. The illustrious, star-studded and highly successful David Copperfield (1935) made Freddie an overnight sensation, and he went on to star in a succession of high-quality films through 1937, including Anna Karenina (1935); Professional Soldier (1935); the riveting Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936); Lloyds of London (1936); The Devil Is a Sissy (1936); and Freddie's biggest success, Captains Courageous (1937), opposite Spencer Tracy.
Following the success of Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936), Freddie's birth parents, who were strangers to him, stepped in and attempted for seven years to gain custody of him and his fortune. His aunt Millicent attempted to offset these legal expenses and payouts by demanding a raise in Freddie's MGM salary in 1937. Another slew of court cases ensued, this time over the MGM contract, and Freddie missed a critical year's work and some golden film opportunities. By the time he resumed acting work in 1938, he was well into his teens, and audiences grew less interested in literary period pieces as World War II erupted in Europe. Following Kidnapped (1938), many of his ten remaining films through 1942 were knock-offs or juvenile military films, and only two were for MGM. The best of the films after Kidnapped (1938) were Swiss Family Robinson (1940), Lord Jeff (1938), Listen, Darling (1938), and Tom Brown's School Days (1940). His salary soared to $2,500 a week making him filmdom's highest paid child star after Shirley Temple.
In 1943, Freddie enlisted in the U.S. Air Force for a year to work in aircraft maintenance, exiting with both a back injury and American citizenship.
The additional time away from the screen had not done him any favors, though, and efforts to revive his career on film were unsuccessful. His efforts performing in regional theaters and vaudeville did not spark a comeback either. Aunt Millicent left for England when Freddie married publicist Maely Daniele in 1946 against her wishes. Freddie toured a few months in Australia doing nightclub singing and piano, but when he returned to the U.S. in 1949 he switched to television, making a gradual move from performer to host to director, at New York station WPIX. In 1954, re-married to TV cookbook author Aileen Paul, he moved to Benton & Bowles advertising agency, as a television director and producer. He remarked at the time that the millions he had earned as a child had been spent mostly on lawsuits, many of which involved headline court battles between his parents and his aunt for custody of young Freddie and his money. "I was drained dry," he said.
Order this rarely-seen and hard-to-find classic today for the low price of $5.99.
New Additions At Zeus:
A Day At The Races (1937)

Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx

A Day at the Races was the Marx Brothers' follow-up to their incomparable A Night at the Opera. Groucho Marx is cast as Hugo Z. Hackenbush, a veterinarian who passes himself off as a human doctor when summoned by wealthy hypochondriac Emily Upjohn (Margaret Dumont) to take over the financially strapped Standish Sanitarium. Chico Marx plays the sanitarium's general factotum, who works without pay because he has a soft spot for its owner, lovely Judy Standish (Maureen O'Sullivan). Harpo Marx portrays a jockey at the local racetrack, constantly bullied by the evil Morgan (Douglass Dumbrille), who will take over the sanitarium if Judy can't pay its debts. After several side-splitting routines--Chico selling Groucho tips on the races, Chico and Harpo rescuing Groucho from the clutches of femme fatale Esther Muir, all three Marxes conducting a lunatic "examination" of Margaret Dumont--the fate of the sanitarium rests on a Big Race involving Hi-Hat, a horse belonging to the film's nominal hero, Allan Jones. Virtually everything that worked in "Opera" is trotted out again for "Races", including a hectic slapstick finale wherein the Marxes lay waste to a public event. What is missing here is inspiration; perhaps this is due to the fact that MGM producer Irving Thalberg, whose input was so essential to the success of "Opera", died during the filming of "Races". Even so, Day at the Races made more money than any other previous Marx Brothers film--the result being that MGM, in the spirit of "they loved it once", would continue recycling Races' best bits for the studio's next three Marx vehicles.
A Dog Of Flanders (1935)

Stars: Frankie Thomas, O.P. Heggie, Helen Parrish

Dog of Flanders, the durable novel written in 1872 by the author who signed herself Ouida, was filmed three times, first in 1924 with Jackie Coogan. The second filmization, produced in 1935, stars child actors Frankie Thomas, Helen Parrish and Richard Quine as three poor Flemish youths whose lives are interconnected by a handsome German shepherd (played by "Lightning"). The threesome nurse the abandoned dog back to health; soon afterward, the dog rekindles the creative spark of a reclusive artist, whose painting of the noble hound wins a hefty cash prize. Richard Quine, the third juvenile lead of Dog of Flanders, grew up to become an important Hollywood writer/director of the 1950s. Quine did not, however, work on the 1959 remake of Dog of Flanders--which starred another future filmmaker, David Ladd.
A Family Affair (1937)

Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Cecilia Parker, Eric Linden

Based on Aurania Rouveyrol's Broadway play Skidding, A Family Affair is a gentle comedy/drama centering around the Hardy family of Carvel (a small, idealized American town). Judge Hardy (Lionel Barrymore) hopes to be re-elected, but his campaign is put in jeopardy by his opposition of a wasteful public works program. The Judge's position is also threatened by his daughter's (Julie Haydon) unexplained separation from her husband. In the supporting cast, incidental to the plotline, was Mickey Rooney as Judge Hardy's teenage son Andy, Spring Byington as the Judge's wife, and Cecilia Parker as his younger daughter Marian. MGM head Louis B. Mayer sensed series potential in A Family Affair, and the result was the long-running and profitable "Hardy Family" series. Julie Haydon's character was written out of all subsequent "Hardy" films, Lewis Stone and Fay Holden replaced Lionel Barrymore and Spring Byington as Judge and Mrs. Hardy, and Mickey Rooney was elevated from the supporting cast to full leading man status as the effervescent Andy Hardy.
A Fine Madness (1966)

Stars: Sean Connery, Joanne Woodward, Jean Seberg

Sean Connery attempted to make a clean break from his "James Bond" image in the boisterous comedy A Fine Madness. Connery plays Samson Shillitoe, a Brendan Behan-like poet with a mile-wide misogynistic streak. Try as he might to complete his latest masterpiece, Shillitoe is constantly interrupted by the women in his life. Driven to a nervous breakdown, he seeks help from the medical establishment -- and ends up a babbling shell of his former self. The film takes scattered potshots at a repressive society that forces the truly creative among us into near-madness; at times, it is sidesplittingly funny, though never quite as potent as the Elliot Baker novel upon which it is based. Sean Connery is brilliant, but the public wanted James Bond to behave himself, thus the film didn't do as well at the box office as it should have.
CHRISTMAS MOVIES!!
Miracle On 34th Street (1973)

Stars: Sebastian Cabot, Jane Alexander, David Hartman

The 1947 film comedy Miracle on 34th Street starred Edmund Gwenn as a bearded gentleman named Kris Kringle, who was convinced that he was the genuine Santa Claus. The earlier Miracle was good enough as it stood, so why remake it? Still, the full-color 1973 Miracle on 34th Street has the considerable advantage of Sebastian Cabot, his trademarked beard dyed snowy white, as Kringle, so it isn't as bad as expected. The story, which involves the commercial and legal ramifications of the "real" Santa taking a job as a department store Santa at Macy's, was barely updated for the 1970s, meaning that several of the plot devices--including a nasty psychiatrist who has Kringle committed--were somewhat anachronistic. The uplifting final scene, wherein a cynical little girl becomes a true believer of Santa Claus (as do the adults in the story), still works well in the remake, even though Suzanne Davidson isn't in the same league as the original Miracle's Natalie Wood. The TV-movie version of Miracle on 34th Street wasn't too successful, but that didn't stop John Hughes from churning out a second remake in 1994.
A Smoky Mountain Christmas (1986)

Stars: Dolly Parton, Lee Majors, Bo Hopkins

Smoky Mountain Christmas is the sort of fare that always seems to pop up exclusively during the Yuletide season: an original made-for-TV musical fantasy. Dolly Parton plays a country-music star (imaginative casting, this) who finds herself stranded in the Tennessee backwoods with taciturn mountaineer Lee Majors. Parton also touches base with seven orphaned young'uns...and a witch (Anita Morris). John Ritter makes an uncredited cameo appearance as the judge who presides over the inevitable climactic adoption proceedings. First broadcast December 14, 1986 (directly opposite the ratings-grabbing The Promise), A Smoky Mountain Christmas was directed "con brio" by Henry Winkler.
A Christmas Memory (1966)

Stars: Geraldine Page, Donnie Melvin, Lavinia Cassels

Its the last Christmas together in Depression era Alabama of a sensitive boy and his elderly cousin who was his closest friend. The two raise enough money to buy the ingredients for 30 fruit cakes, sent mostly to strangers like FDR. They spend Christmas day flying the kites they made for each other while Capote's voice over explains their separation, followed by their dog's passing, and a few years later her's.
An Old-Fashioned Christmas (1965)

Stars: John Raitt, The Columbus Boychoir, Jacques d'Amboise

Martha Scott, opens with a tableau set in a small town in 1909. Townspeople gradually leave their still-frame poses, coming to life to sing holiday tunes. Melissa Hayden, as the Snow Queen, and Jacques D'Amboise, as the Prince, perform the "Snow" pas de deux from "The Nutcracker," with music by Tchaikovsky. The ensemble of singers perform carols in "Grandma's house," followed by a Christmas message from Frederick R. Kappel. A church scene with the Columbus Boychoir singing "Adeste Fideles," "The First Noel," and "Carol of the Bells". Martha Scott reads a biblical passage from Luke. Gianna d'Angelo and the Boychoir close singing "O Holy Night" and "Silent Night".
A Trip To Christmas (1961)

Stars: Jane Wyatt, Bil Baird, Cora Baird

Hosted by Jane Wyatt with performances by singers John Raitt and Jane Morgan, Soprano Phyllis Curtin, Soprano Lisa della Casa, The Lennon Sisters, ballet dancers Edward Villella and Violette Verdy, AT & T chairman Frederick R. Kappel and The Schola Cantorum. Highlights: Lisa della Casa sings "Gesu Bambino". Edward Villella and Violette Verdy performs in the Nutcracker ballet. Phyllis Curtin sings "O Holy Night". The Lennon Sisters perform "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". Earl Wrightson and Lois Hunt sing traditional carols in a Victorian setting ,a scene which is capped off by the Columbus Boychoir filing indoors in a procession and singing three carols. Jane Wyatt closes the progam with a reading of "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus".
Christmas Miracle In Caufield, USA (1977)

Stars: Mitch Ryan, Kurt Russell, Andrew Prine

This made-for-TV film concerns the true story of striking coal workers who are imprisoned in a collapsed mine on Christmas Eve, 1951.
Holiday Inn (1942)

Stars: Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds

Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire star in Holiday Inn as a popular nightclub song-and-dance team. When his heart is broken by his girlfriend, Crosby decides to retire from the hustle-bustle of big city showbiz. He purchases a rustic New England farm and converts it to an inn, which he opens to the public (floor show and all) only on holidays. This barely logical plot device allows ample space for a steady flow of Irving Berlin holiday songs (including an incredible blackface number in honor of Lincoln's Birthday). Oddly enough, the most memorable song in the bunch, the Oscar-winning White Christmas, is not offered as a production number but as a simple ballad sung by Crosby to an audience of one: leading lady Marjorie Reynolds. Fred Astaire's best moment is his Fourth of July firecracker dance. Ah, but what about the plot? Well, it seems that Astaire wants to make a film about Crosby's inn, starring their mutual discovery Reynolds. BING briefly loses Reynolds to Astaire, but wins her back during the filming of a musical number on a Hollywood soundstage (eleven years earlier, BING enjoyed a final clinch with Marion Davies under surprisingly similar conditions in Going Hollywood). As with most of Irving Berlin's "portfolio" musicals of the 1940s, the song highlights of Holiday Inn are too numerous to mention. This delightful film is far superior to its unofficial 1954 remake, White Christmas.
Christmas Holiday (1944)

Stars: Deanna Durbin, Gene Kelly, Richard Whorf

Don't be fooled by the title. Christmas Holiday is a far, far cry from It's a Wonderful Life. Told in flashback, the story begins as Jackie (Deanna Durbin), marries Southern aristocrat Robert Monette (Gene Kelly). Unfortunately, Robert has inherited his family's streak of violence and instability and soon drags Jackie into a life of misery. When her husband commits murder, Jackie is compelled by Robert's equally degenerate mother (Gale Sondergaard) to cover up the crime. When Robert is arrested, Jackie, tormented by the love she still holds for her husband, runs away from the family home, changing her name and securing work as a singer in a New Orleans dive. Robert escapes from prison and makes his way to Jackie's dressing room. Holding a reporter hostage, he threatens to kill both Jackie and the waylaid sailor who has been listening to her story. An astonishing change of pace from Deanna Durbin's usual lightweight musical fare, Christmas Holiday (based, believe it or not, on a story by W. Somerset Maugham) is one of the bleakest film noirs of the 1940s. Durbin is merely adequate in her role, but Gene Kelly gives a disturbingly convincing portrayal as a man virtually devoured by his inner demons. Robert Siodmak directs with his usual flair, using a taut, suspenseful screenplay by Herman J. Mankiewicz.
Holiday Affair (1949)

Stars: Robert Mitchum, Janet Leigh, Wendell Corey

A disarming little trifle, Holiday Affair has in the years since its original release become a Yuletide perennial on television. War widowJanet Leigh hasn't the money to buy the model train that her son Gordon Gebert wants for Christmas. Robert Mitchumoverhears the boy's plight, and offers to purchase the train for him, even though it will deplete his own money supply. This little gesture of kindness from Mitchum snowballs into a series of comic complications, thanks in part to the unwelcome intervention of Leigh's stuffed-shirt attorney boyfriend Wendell Corey. Harry Morgan shows up towards the end as a flustered night-court judge who helps tie some of the loose plot ends together. Based on a short story by John D. Weaver, A Holiday Affair didn't do too well at the box office, but its afterlife has been most satisfactory.
Desperately Seeking Santa (2011)

Stars:  Laura Vandervoort, Nick Zano, Paula Brancati 
 
Jennifer, a young, ambitious executive running promotions at a failing Boston mall comes up with a genius promotional gimmick to save her workplace and position herself for advancement: hold a "Hunky Santa" contest to replace the old Mall Santa. David, a local man trying to save his family's pizzeria, ultimately wins the contest and sparks fly between him and Jennifer. However, complications ensue when it comes to light that the company Jennifer works for is the same one trying to run David's family out of business.
Tony Curtis

Victor Mature

William Holden

Keir Dullea

Burt Lancaster

Margaret Field

John Payne

Carolyn Jones

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