CineSavant Column

Tuesday November 19, 2019


The jokes may be thin today, but that’s a Tuesday for you.

Contributor – advisor Gary Teetzel often sends little trade paper clippings from the past that illuminate some aspect of a favorite movie. Some are more essential than others… I mentioned that I wanted to borrow a new disc of the Corman / Kramarsky The Beast with a Million Eyes for a possible review, and he sent me this clipping. It’s a thin joke, but as I say, it’s early in the week.

There’s something so desperate about that joke, that it appealed. It’s as if the writer was told, find something to write about with this title. And mind you, it was an exclusive to The Daily.


Gary also stays on the prowl for amusing links, or real-life news stories that seem too much like old movie scripts. This one certainly has a great title:

Russian Researchers Find A Secret Nazi-Era Arctic Weather Station   by Tom Hale.

But Gary expresses understandable frustration:

“Sure, this story sounds cool at first, but what a letdown. Did the Russian Researchers discover everyone had been wiped out by a Nazi science experiment gone horrifically awry?   No.   Did they find that they killed each other off after becoming paranoid that people were being possessed by a shape-shifting alien?  No.  Did the Nazi accidentally awaken an ancient Lovecraftian being?  No.   Did they cross paths with a Russian vampire, an upyr that patriotically defended its homeland?  No.   They just ate tainted polar bear meat.”


And finally, I’ve been communicating with the filmmaker and movie collector extraordinaire Mike Siegel about our shared extras on the upcoming German Major Dundee disc. Mike has interviewed almost everyone who ever worked on a Sam Peckinpah picture, and he’s always ready with something unusual — like this photo of himself with star Mario Adorf, just to make me jealous.

Yes, that’s what was available for the column today. So what’s in the hopper for upcoming reviews?  Two Criterion Bette Davis movies have come in, one of which I haven’t reviewed in a while. I’m looking at a couple of Warner Archive discs, and a lot of Kinos, and Charlie Largent has The Magic Sword on the way, maybe for Saturday. I shall consult the stars for guidance… and better links, maybe.

Wait! A last-minute legit link. I just finished reading John McElwee’s scholarly Greenbriar report (November 18) entitled with the question Early Instance Of Blockbuster Mentality?   It’s about the road-show distribution of a single film in 1940, the Bette Davis vehicle All This and Heaven Too. Despite not exactly being CineSavant genre fare, John’s in-depth coverage is fascinating… it puts you right in the middle of the exhibition business, two summers before America entered the war. And I like that past-tense blurb in the dialogue balloon: “How dared you!”

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson