CineSavant Column

Saturday September 12, 2020


Trailers from Hell promoted a fun ‘R’ rated trailer just yesterday for Allan Arkush & Joe Dante’s goofy-unbelievable Hollywood Blvd., which I remember seeing several years later at the New Beverly. The slightly beat-up print that Sherman Torgan showed captured the correct grindhouse feel perfectly. When is Criterion going to recognize this ‘Miracle Pictures’ monument to cinematic genius?  It’s got Dick Miller in it, what more do they want?  Producer Jon Davison provides the salutory/confessional TFH Trailer commentary, reminding us that the movie was literally made ‘on a bet’ with boss Roger Corman, a man that rarely lost a bet.

And I’m eager to see the extras on Kino’s new disc of Rouben Mamoulian’s 1932  Love Me Tonight,  a still- hilarious, still- amazing musical romance that blends cinema and songs in at least four different, wholly innovative ways. I’m especially interested in finding out the content of (several) little dialogue trims to the movie, that were cut out and lost forever when Paramount had to clean up the show for reissue after the enforcement of the Production Code. On earlier copies of the film, whenever the minx-like Myrna Loy (not the lady above, that’s frisky Jeanette MacDonald) is about to say something outrageously naughty, a splice shows where the offending comment was yanked out. Perhaps someday the missing material will reappear. The Special Edition Blu-ray will be out in seventeen days, on September 29.

… and correspondent Louis Helman just wrote to say that Kino has also announced Billy Wilder’s 1945 The Lost Weekend for November 24. That will almost complete the Wilder filmography on Blu — all that’s missing will be The Spirit of St. Louis, Buddy Buddy, The Emperor Waltz and Mauvaise Graine.

At first it sounds ridiculous department: If you’re like most people, you’ve probably spent many a sleepless night tossing and turning, wondering to yourself: “How did good old Dick Jones climb through the ranks at OCP to become a top executive?”   Well, your troubles may soon be over, as MGM is working on a TV series about that very subject with original screenwriter Ed Neumier.

The title of this Moviehole article by Drew Turney says it all: MGM working on RoboCop series focusing on young Dick Jones. Think back 33 years — Dick Jones was the nasty corporate hatchet man memorably played by Ronny Cox in the first Robocop. He didn’t continue in the sequels due to an unfortunate business dispute ‘best resolved from a great height.’

Will ‘The Old Man’ appear — except as The Middle Aged Man, since it’s set in the past?  Will there be a gripping episode where Jones finally earns the key to the executive washroom, where he can eavesdrop on co-workers scheming against him?  Since MGM also owns the movie version of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, why not combine the two properties, replacing J. Pierrepont Finch with Jones, and World Wide Wickets with OCP, but keeping all the musical numbers?

Actually, the new idea sounds like something that the sci-fi satirist Ed Neumeier might make VERY memorable — his venomous hatred for business corruption & political slime might result in yet another wicked takedown of the malevolent corporate ethos. What is RoboCop after all, if not Dilbert with machine guns?

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson