CineSavant Column

Saturday August 19, 2023



Weather break, anxiety level 2.5. This is a photo taken at 7 a.m. from CineSavant Central, and as you can see it’s a beautiful August morning in Los Angeles. It’s sunglasses and sandals weather. Yet we’re assured that by tomorrow, a major tropical storm called Hilary will be here, coming from due South. We’re told that said storm *could* be stronger than anything that’s hit in my lifetime.

We already spent part of yesterday puttering around, doing preparatory things. We’re basically in good shape. We don’t normally worry about the weather around here too much, not being in a fire or flood zone, or on an iffy hillside like some of our good neighbors. In a big rain storm our only weakness is drainage — will the pumps keep up?  The thing that scares out-of-towners to death is our earthquakes, which come every twenty years. At present we’re late for a killer quake by ten years.

The other thing is California weather guilt . . . we have some of the worst fires, but our weather is generally kind and forgiving. The national news makes it look as if entire states are being wiped out on a daily basis, washed down raging rivers or blown away by typhoons or tornados. Everything is a shock, a bolt from the blue. Maybe we need a new way to report weather news … if everything is ‘unprecedented,’ shouldn’t ‘unprecedented’ be the new default state?

Los Angeles is never ready for anything so I’m curious as to how we’ll react if we get a dose of the punishment dished out elsewhere. I will also start practicing my, ‘ah I wasn’t worried’ attitude.



Next up, it’s another web radio show in the series DVD Classics Corner On The Air, the interview/variety/review site hosted by the esteemed Dick Dinman.

This week Dick delves into Criterion’s new 4K release of the 5 Columbia ‘Ranown’ Westerns starring Randolph Scott; the expert host along to introduce them is author Jeremy Arnold. Jeremy is a contributor to the disc set and an authority on the films’ director, Budd Boetticher.

CineSavant recently reviewed the Ranown-Boetticher-Scott 4K western box as well.



To finish up, advisor and all-around knowledgeable film expert Gary Teetzel usually sends links, but today he sends along something he heard on his daily work commute, Instead of music or an audio book, it’s an old radio show. Gary was listening to . . . aw, I’ll let him tell it:

I was listening to an episode of the Burns & Allen radio show from August, 1940 on the way to work this morning. George says that the producer Joe Pasternak is coming to consider him for a part in a movie, so that leads to this exchange with Gracie, who kids him that the offer is going to his head.

I’ve abridged the exchange slightly:

    GEORGE: Remember, when Joe Pasternak gets here, I run the show!  I come up with the idea!  I write it, direct it, produce it and star in it!
    GRACIE: OK, Orson.
    GEORGE: You don’t even know who Orson Welles is!
    GRACIE: I do so. He’s making a picture for 21st Century Fox.
    GEORGE: Don’t you mean 20th Century Fox?
    GRACIE: By the time he’s finished making it–
    GEORGE & GRACIE (in unison): –it’ll be 21st Century Fox!

Pasternak does appear on the episode as himself, commenting that he’s currently producing Seven Sinners with Marlene Dietrich. He doesn’t bother mentioning the male lead, John Wayne. — Gary

Orson Welles fans ought to see the joke as significant — it acknowledges that in 1940, a whole year before the debut (and accompanying ruckus) of Citizen Kane, the national media had tagged the boy genius Orson as a fussy artist, and a procrastinator.


Thanks for reading — see you Tuesday, God willing and the river don’t rise. — Glenn Erickson