CineSavant Column

Tuesday July 18, 2023



We’ve got some warm weather here — the mass picketing outside Paramount 4 blocks away is quite a chore for the assembled writers and actors. And a friend in Tucson Arizona reports that his AC is out, and it’s 106° in the shade.

Having been raised partly in the desert, I’m not afraid of the heat . . . but we  know enough to stay out of it. Good luck to all on that score, as we’re on our to a Philip K. Dick dystopia, the one where it’s 135° in the shade.

Some impressive links to share today!

First up, on a tangent through author David J. Skal, is an upcoming Tod Browning Criterion disc set featuring Freaks, a reconstruction of the Lon Chaney silent The Unknown (as previewed back on 10 22 22 and 10 25 22), and the seldom-seen Browning film The Mystic.

Three more ready-for-Halloween shockers are coming from Criterion, all in 4K Ultra HD: David Cronenberg’s Videodrome, Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now and Alejandro Amenábar’s The Others.



Then, correspondent “B” sends along this look at a Hollywood Property House that does special printing for the film industry. It’s said to have been established in 1915.

The video definitely held ‘B’s attention. They still have the newspaper with Professor Aronnax’s interview from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. They still have the set-up printing plate for it!  And I see a printing element for a ‘Win an RKO Movie Contract!’ poster from ‘1941.’

Where Hollywood’s Printed Props Are Made!



And Joe Dante brings back memories of an all-star car commercial for Pontiac — he points out Broderick Crawford, Mike Mazurki, Elisha Cook Jr., Lon Chaney Jr., Robert Strauss and Leo Gorcey, but says they didn’t feature a single shot on J. Carroll Naish.

It’s a great concept for a fun TV spot. I’m surprised that the ad agency didn’t take the time to dress up some nicer-looking flat cars for their freight train.

Pontiac Commercial 1969.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson