Rod Alexander’s “The Birth of the Blues” dance number rediscovered 3

Dance · Film
Please, please God, don’t let the world blow up before Sunday night. Because Sunday night at 9 pm, I get to see choreographer Rod Alexander‘s brilliant dance number, “The Birth of the Blues” from THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE (20th Century-Fox 1956), at CINECON Classic Film Festival — in a new 35mm print, ...

Nicholas Brothers ballistic on silver screen 1

Dance · Film
Joy to the world, the place to be at 4:30 this afternoon was the balcony of the Egyptian Theater, a spot that offered prime viewing, on opening day of CINECON Classic Film Festival, of DOWN ARGENTINE WAY (1940). The über-fun Betty Grable/Don Ameche technicolor south-of-the-border extravaganza from 20th Century-Fox was Grable’s first headlining role at ...

Marian the Librarian to tell all at CINECON 1

Film
We just learned that the lovely Academy-Award winning actress Shirley Jones will be honored at the 49th annual Labor Day-weekend event, Cinecon Classic Film Festival. The five-day foray into classic film-mania — with an accent on rarely seen movies and silent film — that hook or by crook rolls out annually at summer’s end for ...

Charles Chaplin covered the waterfront — in China

Film
It’s kind of an ongoing  joke in Los Angeles that every neighborhood boasts a building or location that Charles Chaplin supposedly built, or invested in. Alternately, in that place, Chaplin lived, shot a movie, or (most probable) partied. The guy got around! He was at every social event, every film opening, each great hostess’s soiree. He was L.A.’s ...

Jane Withers charms CINECON in “This is the Life” 2

Film
She wasn’t as pretty as her compatriot at 20th Century Fox, Shirley Temple. Both girls had high energy and talent to burn. But child star Jane Withers had something extra: disarming credibility. Appearing in person at a screening of her surprisingly moving film, “This is the Life” (Fox, 1935, dir: Marshall Neilan), Withers approached the microphone ...

Don Murray held Marilyn Monroe close in “Bus Stop”

Film
Read this story on The Huffington Post. We passed the Labor Day weekend inhaling the Egyptian Theater’s popcorn-soaked oxygen during  the 46th annual CINECON — a festival of the weird, the wonderful, and the rarely viewed. Cinecon is a connoisseur’s festival; and the key word is rare — movies that for whatever reason haven’t been ...

Charlie Chaplin to reappear at Cinecon

Film
I’m looking forward to attending the 46th annual Cinecon Classic Film Festival at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood California over Labor Day weekend, September 2-6, 2010. The big event at this year’s festival is the screening of a previously lost Charlie Chaplin film, “A Thief Catcher” from Keystone Studios, 1914. Film collector Paul Gierucki found ...