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Looking Back at 2016 and The Road to Hollywood

Another year come and gone and I’m still having fun with this extension of my movie crazed collecting and knowledge so I hope those of you who drop in are finding some enjoyment as well. Maybe even learning a thing or two or discovering something that sounds like a must see yourself. If I’ve triggered a dormant gene that now has you collecting movie memorabilia than all the better. Just let me have first dibs on the Charles Bronson collectibles.

Am I slowing down? Could be as I’ve taken the odd night off from posting an article/review as of late. I actually went over 30 months, never missing a day of sharing something out here. I’d probably still be on that pace if it hadn’t been for a tweak in my job at a car dealership where I’ve worked for 20 years this April.

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Without a doubt the highlight of this year was attending the TCM Festival via media credentials by TCM itself. A feather in my cap and one I don’t take lightly. A huge thank you to the folks at TCM and click here for news on the upcoming 2017 fest. Don’t be shocked when you see that first pic pop up but yup, that’s me. My 15 minutes of fame direct from the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. When you’ve been more than a casual film fan since you were a kid and hoarded both VHS tapes, DVDs and now blu rays along with hundreds of posters, lobby cards, film books and other items, you wonder or perhaps nervous is a better word if anyone will take you seriously out here.  Thankfully those of you who have become regular readers have been kind and sometimes comical in your comments. Thank you.

For a collection of links to my TCM Festival articles, just click here.

Collecting? Yes the movie room got a new shelf added in and a restructuring as well.

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As always a special thank you to Kristina over at Speakeasy for contributing in our joint project of The Mad Movie Challenge and showing me the ropes around the TCM fest that she too attended this year. Please visit her Speakeasy site if you haven’t already as she has some great insight to movies from the pre-code era and pitches in on organizing plenty of blogathons. Of all the excellent assignments she threw at me this year, Hobson’s Choice was probably my favorite.

My most read posting of the year? It’s a “take” I posted in March of 2015 still going strong, Castaway during my run of Oliver Reed flicks. Of all the posting I put on line this year, The Man In the Wilderness was the most popular and that would be due to The Revenant being released last year at this time. Revenant is a reworking of the Richard Harris movie for those unaware.

man-in-the-wilderness

Joining in on Blogathons celebrations can be a fun way of contributing as well as learning from other writers about some great films that have either passed you by or just want to revisit. Some of the ones I joined in this year included Kirk Douglas’ 100th birthday of which I featured Posse. For the ever popular festival of villains, I went with the absurdity of Gregory Peck actually playing a vile screen nasty in The Boys From Brazil. This proved to be the most read posting I did in all the blogathons this year. There were plenty of others I joined in on but one that stands out for sheer amusement was a chance to revisit Don Knotts as both Barney Fife and his role as Luther Heggs in a childhood favorite, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. Always time well spent. Thank you to one and all who take the time to put on these events.

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A special thanks to the Noir Magazine/newsletter The Dark Pages that allows me to continue as a contributor. In late 2015 they published my “take” on the western remake of The Asphalt Jungle known as The Badlanders starring Alan Ladd and Ernest Borgnine.

Life imitating art got a bit dicey on my run of horror flicks during the Halloween season when number two son Kirk joined in the fun as I featured an original one sheet poster from my personal vault of titles.

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Posting galleries of movie posters connected to a featured theme or film star is one thing I still love to do. Stars like Sidney Poitier, Gary Cooper and Cornel Wilde. Themes such as Tarzan posters and a gallery salute to stars and their St. Bernard friends in remembrance of my own big guy Samson.

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Once again I found myself featuring key actors and actresses for a night or two. Folks like Kirk Douglas, Rita Hayworth, Elliott Gould, Olivia de Havilland, Bruce Dern and even Canada’s own Leslie Nielsen in a couple of his early roles.

Gems I stumbled into for the first time that I’d recommend? How about Missing with Jack Lemmon, Trouble Man, Eyes Without a Face, The Whip Hand, Wait Until Dark, Try and Get Me and To each His Own.

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Rewatch faves that you need to see or like me see once again, Jaws on a big screen, Olivia de Havilland in both The Strawberry Blonde and The Heiress, 1957’s 3:10 to Yuma, I Married a Witch, Bob Hoskins’ incredible work in The Long Good Friday and a pair of Terence Stamp titles, The Hit and The Limey.

While attending the TCM Festival I was gifted the opportunity to see so many films on the big screen. Among those that stand out were Colbert and Barrymore in Midnight, He Ran all The Way, Dietrich in The Shanghai Express, The Fallen Idol and the long forgotten Warren Oates rediscovery, Personal Property which made a strong impression on those that attended.

oates in provate property

I frequently attend a small festival of classic horror films near Pittsburgh on a yearly basis to sit in on some thrilling titles and collect some memorabilia. Sitting in on a makeshift drive-in set up was a highlight as a bunch of fans watched Tim Holt battle The Monster That Challenged The World.

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More recent titles I sat in to watch that left me telling friends to check them out include, The Salvation, Lone Survivor, IP Man, Remember and Moonwalkers.

The always popular subject of some of the worst films I viewed include Jack Palance and Angelina Jolie in Cyborg 2, David Carradine in the ultra low budget Warlords and for high camp, get yourself a copy of Viva Knievel and William Shatner as a gigolo/killer in Impulse.

It was a slow year for my “live takes” but I did have fun with the Charles Bronson starter kit which gathered plenty of interest. If you missed it, give it a go.

Happy New Year to all of you and may fortune smile on you in 2017.  I invite you to continue to visit and for all of you who do drop by, I encourage you to speak up and leave a message. After all, I do love to talk movies.

16 Comments »

  1. Happy New Year, sir! Son #2 wants to bash you on the head for not having a Blood and Black Lace poster. I’ll need to see that similarly titled impostor one of these days. Good thing he wore those big sunglasses indoors, as it was a swing and a miss!

    • I’d grab one of those if I could, but those Bava titles are kind of pricey if you can find them. He’ll have to get over the fact he won’t be inheriting one and put down the damn hammer. All the best my friend and a happy new year too.

  2. Happiest of New Years, Mike! What a neat video…never knew that ‘From Noon Till Three’ was a comedy! My first-ever Bronson film was ‘Breakout’, which I saw with my Dad at the drive-in back in 1975; haven’t seen it since, so I’m not sure how it stands up today, but at the time I thought it was pretty cool. And why no mention of ‘Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus’? It’s a Christmas-themed version of ‘Death Wish’, right?

    • Happy New Year! Breakout represents a good role for Charlie. Very tongue in cheek. The film is so so and one wonders what may have happened if John Huston had directed it as opposed to appearing. Most people have never heard of the Virginia flick so kudos to you.

  3. Happy New Years Mike ! your blog for the last year has brought me back to a simpler happy time in life, Great memories flooding back, and anticipation of seeing which movies I can add to the watch list. I look forward to 2017 when I’ll have more time to revisit the Past!

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