Subject: Kenny Baker and Frances Langford on sale for limited time




TODAY'S SPECIAL

Hit Parade of 1941 (1940)
Starring Kenny Baker and Frances Langford

Beautiful print and will play in all DVD players.
In this musical, the second entry in a five-film series, a thrift shop owner sells his business and buys a small time radio station. He begins looking for sponsors. He finds one with a department store owner who will only lend him the money if he will allow his daughter, an aspiring tap-dancer and singer, to perform on the air. This is unfortunate as she is tone-deaf. To compensate, the owner hires a real singer to dub the daughter's voice. The singer and the owner's nephew fall in love and mayhem ensues.
Director: John H. Auer
Writers: Bradford Ropes, F. Hugh Herbert, Maurice Leo, Sid Kuller, Ray Golden

Stars: Kenny Baker, Frances Langford, Hugh Herbert, Mary Boland, Ann Miller, Patsy Kelly, Phil Silvers, Sterling Holloway, Franklin Pangborn, Six Hits And A Miss, Borrah Minevitch and His Harmonice Rascals, Jan Garber
Academy Awards, USA 1941

Nominee

Best Music, Original Song
Jule Styne (music)
Walter Bullock (lyrics)
For the song "Who Am I?"

Best Music, Score
Cy Feuer

Songs include:

Swing Low, Sweet Rhythm
Written by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Walter Bullock
Sung by Frances Langford

Who Am I?
Written by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Walter Bullock
Sung by Kenny Baker and Frances Langford

In the Cool of the Evening
Written by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Walter Bullock
Performed by Six Hits and a Miss with the Jan Garber Orchestra

South American Ballet
Music by Jule Styne and Walter Scharf
Danced by Ann Miller

Frances Langford dubbed Ann Miller's sining voice in addition to her own.
Republic intended to make this picture as a follow-up to its 1937 film The Hit Parade, but production was delayed several times. The picture was originally intended as a starring vehicle for Phil Regan, the star of The Hit Parade, with Alison Skipworth, Polly Moran and Max Terhune as his co-stars and Colbert Clark acting as the film's producer. Regan's contract disputes with Republic were one of the reasons for the film's delay. A May 5, 1939 Hollywood Reporter news item reported that production was stalled because none of the desired big bands were available, while a June 1939 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that the picture had been taken off the production schedule in order to delete from the script "the WPA theme over which difficulties arose." On September 29, 1939, Hollywood Reporter reported that Republic president Herbert J. Yates had postponed production in the hope that "war conditions" would have settled by January 1, 1940, the proposed starting date of filming.
According to Hollywood Reporter news item, in the fall of 1939, Ralph Murphy was slated to direct the picture, and Republic negotiated with Twentieth Century-Fox to borrow the Ritz Brothers, although the comedians refused to appear in the film. According to Hollywood Reporter and New York Times news items, Lionel Stander was originally set for the role of "Charles Moore," but was removed from the picture after he "was subpoenaed to testify before the Los Angeles County Grand Jury in what the District Attorney's office termed a 'fifth column expose.'" Stander was replaced by Phil Silvers, who was borrowed from M-G-M. The New York Times article noted: "Republic explained the replacement by saying they feared Stander might be called to testify further during production. The studio paid him $3,000 to break their commitment."
Order this rarely-seen and hard-to-find classic today for the low price of $5.99.
New Additions At Zeus:
Blotto (1930)

Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Anita Garvin

In this especially amusing Laurel and Hardy short, the boys are planning a night on the town. Standing in their way is Mrs. Laurel (Anita Garvin). Ollie telephones Stan with a scheme: Stan will send himself a bogus telegram, calling him away on "business." Unfortunately for the duo, Mrs. Laurel hears all on the extension and upon learning that they intend to take the bottle she's been saving, comes up with a scheme of her own. She takes the bottle, pours out the liquor and replaces it with every disgusting thing she can find in her kitchen -- spices, hot pepper sauce, etc. Stan and Ollie take this concoction to the Rainbow Club and proceed to have a grand time, impressed by the fire of their brew. They find out the truth -- and suffer instant sobriety -- when Mrs. Laurel shows up to tell them the bottle's actual contents...and brandishes a shotgun. While Blotto was originally three reels long, several scenes have been lost, shortening its length by a few minutes. It was shortened even further in the late 1990s, as well as colorized, for the cable TV "Laurel & Hardy Show". This is also one of Laurel and Hardy's films that was made when foreign versions of Hollywood pictures were commonly shot. In Blotto's foreign versions, the night club scene is extended, with several added acts, including a balloon dancer, and showing the boys singing a drunken rendition of "The Curse of an Aching Heart".

Blow-Up (1966)

Stars: David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles

Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni's first English-language production was also his only box office hit, widely considered one of the seminal films of the 1960s. Thomas (David Hemmings) is a nihilistic, wealthy fashion photographer in mod "Swinging London." Filled with ennui, bored with his "fab" but oddly-lifeless existence of casual sex and drug use, Thomas comes alive when he wanders through a park, stops to take pictures of a couple embracing, and upon developing the images, believes that he has photographed a murder. Pursued by Jane (Vanessa Redgrave), the woman who is in the photos, Thomas pretends to give her the pictures, but in reality, he passes off a different roll of film to her. Thomas returns to the park and discovers that there is, indeed, a dead body lying in the shrubbery: the gray-haired man who was embracing Jane. Has she murdered him, or does Thomas' photo reveal a man with a gun hiding nearby? Antonioni's thriller is a puzzling, existential, adroitly-assembled masterpiece.


Blue Denim (1959)

Stars: Carol Lynley, Brandon De Wilde, Macdonald Carey

A surprisingly serious and well-acted major studio variation on the "teens in trouble" films that AIP and Allied Artists cranked out in the 1950's, Blue Denim stars Brandon De Wilde and Carol Lynley as Arthur and Janet, a pair of high school sweethearts who find in each other the love and understanding they don't receive from their emotionally distant parents. However, teenage romance leads to adult consequences when Janet finds herself pregnant; neither of the teens can broach the subject with their parents, and since they're regarded as too young to get married, they're forced to seek out an illegal abortion before Janet is no longer able to hide her condition. While time has dated the story, Blue Denim still comes off as sincere and well-crafted (the sequence where the teen lovers meet the abortionist is still a bit spooky all these years later), and was considered quite frank in its day.


Blue Hawaii (1961)

Stars: Elvis Presley, Joan Blackman, Angela Lansbury

One of Elvis Presley's most successful post-Army vehicles, Blue Hawaii casts Elvis as scion to a Hawaiian pineapple fortune. His snooty mother Angela Lansbury wants Presley to take over the management of the family business, but he'd rather make his own way in the world. He lands a job at a tourist agency, and incidentally finds time to dally with such lovelies as Joan Blackman and Nancy Walters. Steve Brodie, as ever, is on hand to inveigle Elvis into an outsized brawl. Among the songs featured in the film are the title number (originally written in 1937 for Bing Crosby) and "Can't Help Falling in Love."
The Bat (1959)

Stars: Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead, Gavin Gordon

This fourth film version of the Mary Roberts Rinehart-Avery Hopwood stage chestnut The Bat is so old-fashioned in its execution that one might suspect it was intended as "camp" (though that phrase wasn't in common usage in 1959). Agnes Moorehead plays mystery novelist Cornelia Van Gorder, whose remote mansion is the scene for all sorts of diabolical goings-on. The "maguffin" is a million dollars' worth of securities, hidden away somewhere in the huge and foreboding estate. Vincent Price is seen committing a murder early on-but he's not the film's principal villain. Others in the cast include Gavin Gordon as an overly diligent detective, and former Our Gang star Darla Hood as a murder victim. The Bat was adapted for the screen by its director Crane Wilbur, himself a prolific "old dark house" scenarist and playright.

Blue Planet (1990)

Stars: James Buchli, Toni Myers


On several Shuttle missions, Earth has been portrayed from places that nobody else could reach. We also get shown the different locations and the environmental problems mankind created there because of our wish to exploit our planet for our own benefit.

James Garner

Rock Hudson

George Abbott

Rodolfo Acosta

Eddie Acuff

Alfred Adam

Ken Adam
As a production designer, you offer a form of escapism that is often more exciting than reality.

Ronald Adam

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