Saturday, June 30, 2012

Look Back In Nastiness

Ed here: Olman's Fifty has become one of my preferred sites for reviews. The man is intelligent, even-handed, seems to have no particular axe to grind and is damned informative. Here's a recent sample. This was especially interesting to me because when I was in my teens I thought the protagonist was a pretty cool guy. But when I saw it again recently I realized he's a phony, lazy, self-pitying jerk and not at all representative of what of what the so-called Angry Young Men were about.

Look Back in Anger by John Osbourne

This is the play that really started the whole Angry Young Men movement that took place in Britain in the 50s and brought us such classic movies as This Sporting Life, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner and Saturday Night, Sunday Morning (also known as Kitchen Sink cinema). This is the story of a couple and their friend who all live on a small working class flat. The husband, Jimmy, is lively, intelligent and bitter with resentment to the point that he is almost constantly abusive to his upper-class wife (who married him against her parents's wishes). They live with a third friend, Cliff, who is a simpler, calmer soul and puts up with Jimmy's tirades against the upper classes, society in general, Alison, her family, her friends.

As a stand-alone story or theatre piece, I wasn't really sure what to make of it. In context, with my limited knowledge of the period and the books and films that came out of it, I get what is being conveyed here. This play launched a new voice and a new representation of what England was going through at the time and it caused a lot of controversy. But by itself, it did seem just kind of depressing. The guy is such a jerk! I mean, I get his frustration and the shittiness of the system and the culture in Great Britain back then. But he has an attractive wife who irons and makes tea and all he can do is shit on her because her parents are socially uptight. I guess that's just my modern perspective speaking. There is also a strange element where Jimmy is constantly railing against the rich and is a total jerk, but of course gets the hot upper class babe and then gets her friend as well. And once he gets them, all they do is iron and make tea and try and understand and tolerate why he is treating them like shit all the time. The 50's - they were bugging.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Classic Hollywood Quotes from Actors - Dean Brierly

Neville Brand (1920-1992)

A beautiful mug.

“With this kisser, I knew early in the game I wasnt going to make the world forget Clark Gable.

Ed here: Dean Brierly always does a great job with his movie article. This is an especially good one. To read all of it go here:

Joseph Cotten (1905-1994)

Talented beyond a shadow of doubt.

“Orson Welles lists Citizen Kane as his best film, Alfred Hitchcock opts for Shadow of a Doubt, and Sir Carol Reed chose The Third Man — and Im in all of them.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Forgotten Books:American Cinema by Andrew Sarris

Andrew Sarris, 1928-2012

The influence of Andrew Sarris’ film crticism has become so omnipresent it is now invisible, part of the received wisdom of how we approach and watch movies. This has only become clearer after his death last week at the age of 83. You can see his mark in the marketing of the upcoming “Hitchcock Masterpiece” Blu-Ray collection from Universal, and in every movie review that even mentions the name of the director. The auteur theory will be his legacy, regardless of how often it is misinterpreted as some kind of iron law rather than the policy of “perpetual revaluation” that he proposed it as. Enough has been written about auteurism though, and not enough about the constant sense of discovery in reading his seductively winding prose. He approached films like an explorer, traveling down a multitude of paths, be it historical, stylistic or even personal, searching methodically for flashes of insight or originality, whether from the director or any of the film’s collaborative artists. His sentences would gather long strings of actors, colors and themes, as list-happy as in The American Cinema, seemingly sussing out his opinion along the way – a perambulating, open-air kind of criticism where interruption, digression and contradiction are welcome.

Ed here: I'm letting Mr. Sweeny do the heavy lifting here so I can get to some illuminating quotes about Andrew Sarris. As I've written before I wasn't alone in finding some of Sarris' opinions bizarre. He never did find much worht inthe films of Billy Wilder to name just one his failings. I always wondered if Sarris had been influenced by all the bad personal press Wilder got. He was certainly an arrogant prick no doubt about it but if that's the measure of worth half the directors in Hwood would be out of work. Come to think of it that might not be a bad idea. No Michael Bey sounds pretty good to me.

But I still remember the joy I felt reading America Cinema for the first time back in college. Here were the directors and the movies I'd grown up with that reviewers paid so little attention to. Crime and suspense and westerns, too, and even some of the B comedies. Sarris not only wrote about them, he exalted them and had little good to say about many of the big stuffy star-driven A movies that got all the attention. So he was always my hero and never less though as the years went by I disagreed with him more and more. I felt sorry for him when Pauline Kael became the critic of choice for intellectuals and psuedo-intellectuals alike. Kael was good but she also knew how to market herself. She was four-inch heels to Sarris' Hush Puppy loafers.

With the death last night of Nora Ephron, two major players in two major eras of film have passed on. Botn Andrew Sarris and Nora Ephron gave me many hours of pleasure and I thank them for it.

Here's a little more from Mr. Sweeny and friends. For the whole TCM Movie Morlocks article go here:

Guest Selections of Sarris’ work

Tom Gunning, A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, Department of Art History, Department of Cinema and Media Studies

Entry on Ernst Lubitsch (Pantheon), The American Cinema:

For Lubitsch, it was sufficient to say that Hitler had bad manners, and no evil was then inconceivable.

Besides showing how concise and precise he could be, it shows Sarris’ ultimate values. In an era when it was claimed films were valuable only if they had Big Ideas (e.g.. Ingmar Bergman) or made Big Statements (e.g. Stanley Kramer), Sarris upheld film style, not simply as a decorative function, but as the true means of expressing a judgement on the world and the people in it. He showed that the great directors of American cinema were great because they had style. Sarris had style. -Tom Gunning


Adrian Martin, writer, film critic, teacher

Q&A at the University of Washington, 1987 (transcription at Film Comment):

People talk about Platoon being a great war film. A great war film is Madame de… – the Stendhalian battle of love.


Miriam Bale, editor of Joan’s Digest, freelance critic and programmer

Review of Robert Aldrich’s …All the Marbles (Village Voice, 1981):

I cannot explain my feelings exactly, but when I left that theater of gutter trash, The National Theater, after a showing of …All the Marbles, I felt cleansed, exhilarated, almost sanctified.


Michael J. Anderson, Ph.D. candidate at Yale University, proprietor of the blog Tativille

Entry on John Ford (Pantheon), The American Cinema:

A Ford film, particularly a late Ford film, is more than its story and characterizations; it is also the director’s attitude toward his milieu and its codes of conduct. There is a fantastic sequence in The Searchers involving a brash frontier character played by Ward Bond. Bond is drinking some coffee in a standing-up position before going out to hunt some Comanches. He glances toward one of the bedrooms, and notices the woman of the house tenderly caressing the Army uniform of her husband’s brother. Ford cuts back to a full-faced shot of Bond drinking his coffee, his eyes tactfully averted from the intimate scene he has witnessed. Nothing on earth would ever force this man to reveal what he had seen. There is a deep, subtle chivalry at work here, and in most of Ford’s films, but its never obtrusive enough to interfere with the flow of the narrative. The delicacy of emotion expressed here in three quick shots, perfectly cut, framed and distanced, would completely escape the dulled perception of our more literary-minded critics even if they designed to consider a despised genre like the Western. The economy of expression that Ford has achieved in fifty years of film-making constitutes the beauty of his style. If it had taken any longer than three shots and a few seconds to establish this insight into the Bond character, the point would not be worth making. Ford would be false to the manners of a time and a place bounded by the rigorous necessity of survival.


Gina Telaroli, filmmaker and video archivist

Review of Psycho (Village Voice, August 11, 1960):

Psycho should be seen at least three times by any discerning film-goer, the first time for the sheer terror of the experience, and on this occasion I fully agree with Hitchcock that only a congenital spoilsport would reveal the plot; the second time for the macabre comedy inherent in the conception of the film; and the third for all the hidden meanings and symbols lurking beneath the surface of the first American movie since “Touch of Evil” to stand in the same creative rank as the great European films.

A wonderful riff on the importance and joys of repeat viewings, with my favorite movie as the subject. -Gina Telaroli


C. Mason Wells, IFC Center

Entry on Buster Keaton (Pantheon), The American Cinema:

The difference between Keaton and Chaplin is the difference between poise and poetry, between the aristocrat and the tramp, between adaptability and dislocation, between the function of things and the meaning of things, between eccentricity and mysticism, between man as machine and man as angel, between the girl as a convention and the girl as an ideal, between the centripetal and the centrifugal tendencies of slapstick.


Brynn White, film researcher and writer

Review of Marnie (Village Voice, July 9, 1964):

Eisenstein may be spinach, pure iron for aesthetic corpuscles, and Dreyer high protein for the soul, but Hitchcock has always been pure carbohydrate for the palate

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Books: Murder of A Beauty Shop Queen by Bill Crider

Bill Crider Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen

As much as I'm a child of books, movies and comic books, I am also a child of radio. Growing up I probably heard several hundred hours of radio shows of all types from adventure to suspense to western to comedy to even a few soap opera (when my Mom had them on).

Most of the shows had one thing in common. They created worlds for me to inhabit with my imagination. I loved living in those worlds. Sergeant Preston of The Mounties, The Shadow, Superman and the comedies. They were y favorites. The Great Gildersleeve, Fibber McGee and Molly and best of all Jack Benny--I loved being in Benny's household with all his goofy friends, listening to him lose all most if not all of his duel of wits with Rochester, trying to understand the scatterbrain dialogue of Dennis Day--and going down to the vault in the basement. I loved the sound effects. The vault seemed to be a mile deep. I painted it with cobwebs and treacherous, lapping water with the stone steps clinging to the wall. And I couldn't wait to hear the vault itself screeching open.

I mention all this by saying that when I read a certain kind of mystery I want it to give me a world I can inhabit the same way--only this time the author does all the heavy lifting. He or she paints all the pictures for me.

Clearview, Texas is one of my favorite worlds to visit because Bill Crider and his Sheriff Rhodes make it so much fun while giving it real depth by quietly noting, generally with amused compassion, some of the foibles being human entails.

In Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen Rhodes--while simultaneously dealing with a goat who is in a bad mood and a thief who can't be accused of great aspirations--tries to unravel the murder of a fetching young thing whose day job was working at The Beauty Shack but whose night time job appeared to be getting to know an impressive number of men.

In addition to his skills with characterization and milieu, Crider is a master plotter of fair clue mysteries. I say this with abiding envy. One of the many reasons I enjoy and admire his work so much is that I always pick up a few pointers when I read his books and stories..

A final point. He show Yankees a Texas we rarely see or hear or read about. An average small town with average small town people. Decent, hard working people with all the mixed good and bad most of us have, making their way through lives that few outside their circle of friends and coworkers pay much attention to. Crider makes them interesting and entertaining and memorable. No small feat. And he does it with skill and grace.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Joseph Lewis


Joseph Lewis

I watched Gun Crazy last night and was struck as always by the folk tale power of the story and the bravado with which it was directed. Mystery writer Mike Nevins has written a long and to me definitive piece-interview on Lewis' career and through it I came to understand Lewis' notion that to have suspense you first need to have characters who are slightly askew. You never quite understand their motives so you never quite know what to expect from them.

Most evaluations of Lewis' career speculate what he would have done with A picture budgets. He ended up doing a lot of TV work. He made a good deal of money but presumably wasn't as satisfied with his Bonanza stories as he was with his more personal work. He started in westerns and finished in westerns.

As for what he would have done with A-picture money...who knows. But there's at least a chance that he was most comfortable working with the money he was given. Hard to imagine that pictures as gritty as Gun Crazy and The Big Combo could have been shot the way he wanted them to be in an A-picture environment. These are films that took no prisoners and Hwood, especially in those days, wasn't real keen on grim movies.

I found this evaluation of Lewis by David Thomson, my favorite film critic:

"There is no point in overpraising Lewis. The limitations of the B picture lean on all his films. But the plunder he came away with is astonishing and - here is the rub - more durable than the output of many better-known directors...Joseph Lewis never had the chance to discover whether he was an "artist," but - like Edgar Ulmer and Budd Boetticher - he has made better films than Fred Zinnemann, John Frankenheimer, or John Schlesinger." - David Thomson (The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, 2002)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

John Fraser: John McPartland


John Fraser--John McPartland

Dear Ed,

McPartland deserves the attention. He seems rather to have slipped through the critical net, maybe
because he didn't deal in the to my mind rather cliched noir depressiveness,
with the inevitable failure of love. I'm glad you yourself have been onto

He can really SCARE you, can't he?



John Fraser has a very readable and wise website devited to books of various kinds.

John McPartland by John Fraser

John McPartland

She was the kind of woman a man noticed, mostly because of her eyes. Dark, almost black pools, they had a warmth that I felt could turn to fire. She had turned her head, looking over the shoulder of the man she was with, and we looked at each other. The third or fourth time it happened he noticed it and I paid some attention to what he was like.

He was a type. You find guys like him driving ten-wheeler transport trucks, or flying, or sometimes as chief petty officers in the Navy, on a sub or a destroyer. Square-built, tough tanned skin, big hands with knuckles that are chunks of stone.The type—what makes him recognizable as a wanderer, a fighter, sometimes a killer—shows in his face.

Big white teeth, yellow a little from cigarettes like his fingers, and he smiles with his teeth closed, talking through them when he’s angry. A thin line of short black hairs for a mustache, sideburns of curling hair, hair black and curly, a face that is rough and yet young, and it won’t change much if he lives to be fifty. The eyes are fierce, amused, hard.

It’s a special breed of man, and the breed are men. Maybe a mixture of German, Irish, French-Canadian, with a streak of Comanche, Ute, or Cheyenne in there about three generations back. You meet men like this one in the truck-stop caf├ęs along U.S. 40, with the diesels drumming outside; or you meet them walking toward the plane on the airstrip; or in jail, still smiling, still ready for a fight.

This guy was laughing as he swung off the bar stool. He was still laughing as he walked over to me.

The Face of Evil (1954)

McPartland is that rarity, a writer of tough novels who feels tough himself. (Was Spillane a barroom brawler? If so, did he win?)

McPartland was one of the Gold Medal blue-collar writers; had served in Korea; obviously knew the black-market milieu of that war; came back and wrote raw, rugged, at times very powerful novels; obviously drank, lived with a mistress and illegitimate kids before it was OK to do so; and died young of a heart attack. He was the kind of person who knew what it meant to be in trouble with the law, doing dumb impetuous things, getting into fights.

What comes across again and again in his novels is his understanding of power, the hard masculine will to dominate others, break them, destroy them. His bad guys are some of the most frightening in thriller fiction: Southern rednecks, syndicate “troopers,” the Mob. His fights are fights in which the loser can get hurt very badly.

When a black-marketing non-com says he’s going to scramble someone’s eggs with his combat boots (crush his testicles), or the middle-echelon syndicate enforcer Whitey Darcy tells the fixer Bill Oxford, “We’re going to make you cry, feller,” or when Buddy Brown, the twenty-year-old petty crook in Big Red’s Daughter (1955) tells Jim Work that he’s going to make him crawl, we know that’s just what they intend to do.

They are hard men.

King McCarthy in The Face of Evil (1955) is a natural fighter. Buddy Brown wins his first two fights with the hero—knocks him down with a sucker punch; gets a painful lock on his knuckles and punches him in the throat while they’re sitting drinking beer in a barroom booth. And the Syndicate, the Mafia, punish offenders ruthlessly. Oxford knows what it will be like to go to prison and have your kidneys smashed by an inmate, crippled with pain for the rest of your life every time you pee. Johnny Cool’s end in The Kingdom of Johnny Cool is dreadful.

However, in most of the novels there isn’t just violence, there’s also love, and things work out all right in the end for the hero and heroine. They very easily couldn’t, though. A strong, focussed counter-energy on the part of the heroes is necessary.

McPartland’s best book is The Face of Evil, about the fixer Bill Oxford, who’s been on the long downward slide of compromise, complicity, corruption, and has been sent to Long Beach by the PR agency to which he’s attached to ruin a genuinely decent reform candidate, upon pain of being stripped of all his high-living perks and slammed into prison. It is tense and well-made throughout.

The Kingdom of Johnny Cool is his other best novel. When it appeared, I wrote to Ross Macdonald (a total stranger, but he’d done a Ph.D. in English himself) to ask him to review it for a student journal I was co-editing. He declined, saying that it seemed to be simply Spillane-type melodrama. He was wrong.

The novel is a powerful account of a Sicilian criminal’s rise and fall in America—a more interesting one than W.R. Burnett’s Little Caesar (1929)—and it takes us into dark cold waters full of predators. McPartland was on to the Mafia as a subject twelve years before The Godfather, and his attitude towards it is far healthier than Puzo’s sentimental power worship. There’s nothing cute or admirable about McPartland’s Italianos.

Ed here: From Time Magazine‘s Milestones : “Died. John McPartland, 47, husky, bushy-haired chronicler of suburban sex foibles (No Down Payment), successful freelance journalist; of a heart attack; in Monterey, Calif. McPartland, who once wrote, “Sex is the great game itself,” lived as harum-scarum a life as any of his characters, had a legal wife and son at Mill Valley, California, a mistress at Monterey who bore him five children and who, as “Mrs. Eleanor McPartland,” was named the city’s 1956 “Mother of the Year.” Later, McPartland’s legal widow submitted the daughter of an unnamed third woman as one of the novelist’s rightful heirs. (9/14/58)”

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Brave Hearts by Carolyn Hart

Oconee Sprit Press continues to publish the early Carolyn Hart novels and does a fine job of it. Brave Hearts, the newest one, is for me the strongest so far.

Maybe because American Diplomat Spencer Cavanaugh plays so well into my suspicions about diplomats in general, his first appearance has almost as much dramatic effect as the ward going on in 1941. A truly unappealing guy because of the way he deals with his wife Catherine--master and slave--and the way he uses the war (or hopes to) to advance his career. She doesn't want to follow him to Manilla but has no choice. The plantation boss has spoken.

But it is there she meets story-tramp Jack Maguire, a reporter of some standing who comes equipped not only with pencil and paper but also wit and compassion. She is smitten from their few first minutes together at a ball.

The hallmark of this novel is Hart's handling of the history involved. Here she deals with the Japanese assault on the Philippines. For all the romance of the story, there is brute realism in the war scenes. I'd put the chapters aboard a ship--With Catherine and some German women aboard and the possibility of an enemy submarine--up against anything in macho war novels. Really great craft and fascinating interplay with the Germans.

Another big winner from Carolyn Hart and Oconee Spirit Press.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Forgotten Books:Home Town by Simenon

Home Town is one of two short novels that appear in the book On The Danger Line. When the two stories first appeared (1944) The Green Thermos, the second of the pieces, was thought to be the superior of the duo. But time has changed some minds.

deRitter has lived on the edges of the underworld for many years. He is basically a small-time con artist who needs particularly gullible victims to be successful. For a reason even he can't understand, he returns to his home town with Leah, a prostitute, in tow. He has a fake emerald he hopes to make serious money with.

The story moves up and down the timeline. The reader sees deRitter as a boy growing up in a small, dull town--very much like the one that Madame Bovary despised--filled with and trouble. Off to war he went in his later teen years and after that he discovered how to beat the monotony of regular employment by working minor cons short and long.

In town again he sees old friends and old relatives; his strange relationship with his mother being the most disturbing. He also runs his con with the emerald and here the reader comes to see that he is not good at his work at all. And even when he scores he's unhappy. Which is where Leah the prostitute comes in.

She is plump--as he never forgets or forgives--she is ignorant in many ways and she is eager to get out of the town and back to what she consider civilization. But she also understands deRitter in ways he never understands himself.

He does not seem to know, for example, that he is afraid to let go of her. They have sex occasionally but their real bond is a version of the familial. More than girl friend she is mother/sister/consoler. And forgiver. She even manages to be amused about the occasional shame he feels for traveling with a prostitute. And she knows that the con he's running will lead to the tragedy that ends the short novel.

deRitter is a familiar figure in hardboiled crime fiction. The nickel-dime grifter that the real players use and toss away. Simenon turns the stereotype into a real human being. And his story into a bleak snapshot of self-unawareness and despair.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Political columnist Howard Fineman reviews Prometheus

Ed here: As readers of my political postings know Im not a big fan of Beltway Reporters.
Fineman's an exception because he worked ten years as a shoe leather reporter in
in Louisville and other cities before going to D.C. He's also got that little smirk
tucked into the corner of his mouth most of the time to let us know that any of
the people he covers....uh, um leave something to be desired. So it's
welcome news that he's a long time sf fan.
Editorial Director, AOL Huffington Post Media Group

Prometheus Bound and Gagged
Posted: 06/19/2012 6:45 pm
May contain spoilers.
WASHINGTON -- I didn't want to discard one of my only living heroes -- Ridley Scott -- but I had no choice after he crushed Charlize Theron with a giant flying turd.
Actually, it's worse -- and less imaginative -- than that.
In his preposterous, cynical movie, Prometheus, the brown turd in the sky is an alien spaceship full of poisonous glop. It is taking off from an alien planet for Earth when the good guys bring it down. The debris kills Theron, the ice queen villain and corporate shill who is probably an android but who cares because even if she is malware she looks terrific in her Spanks-tight onboard space wear.
What the hell happened to Ridley Scott?
I've been a reporter for forty years (thus, the few living heroes) and a science fiction fan for longer than that. I am religiously devoted to one of the greatest acts of cinematic imagination of all time, Scott's 1982 classic Blade Runner.
He's made other great films as well -- Thelma and Louise and Gladiator being two of them -- and his company has shown class and taste in projects such as the CBS Television hit The Good Wife. Scott even made one of the best, and most influential, TV ads of all time, Apple's "1984" spot introducing the Macintosh computer to the world.
So it was with great anticipation (and deliberate ignorance of the reviews) that I used three hours of vacation time today to see the 3D version of Prometheus at one of America's last great, old-fashioned, big theaters: the Uptown in DC.
Sadly, it's the same theater in which I saw Blade Runner all those years ago. Little has changed, other than the popcorn tubs being twice as large.
And Ridley Scott.
Watching the movie, I decided that Scott himself must have been taken over by one of his alien creatures: a slimy one with the brains and breath of a greedy Hollywood schlockmeister whose only interest was in making a killing, selling popcorn and setting up a sequel.
There is no other explanation. Scott was inhabited.
Yes, as in his genuinely iconic films, there were nods to Scottian "Big Questions." In Gladiator, they concern the nature of heroism and leadership; in Blade Runner, they concern the blurring line between machine-made and human experience.
This time, it was, "Where do we come from?" But the level of the discussion -- verbal and visual -- was so lazily and blandly presented as to be quickly lost as Scott resorted to livening things up with his old Alien shtick of snot-smeared tentacles bursting from bodies and inserting themselves into space helmets and bodily orifices.
You quickly forget about, and never get an answer to, the question. It's not about "Where do we come from?" but "How do we get the fuck out of here!?"
Maybe there was method in this mish-mash; you'll have to pay much more money and buy more popcorn to see sequels attempt a better answer. Scott is 74-years-old, but appears to be in good health, so it could be many more episodes before we get anywhere close to The Truth.
I had at least hoped that the flick would be visually arresting. Scott can be the most intensively pictorial of directors. In hopes of being awed by his visually metaphorical skill, and his wondrous landscapes and set pieces, I was prepared to forgive him the stale plot, which is, roughly, that cave paintings discovered in the late 21st century give us a roadmap to the planet of our ancestors, where we realize that they long ago decided that we suck, hence the glop in the turd.
But the spaceship and space "business" generally are derivative, right down to liquor the color of mouthwash, the scenery on the planet is as dull as rural Iceland (where it was filmed) and the cave of our ancestors looks like a basement full of discarded Halloween Batman suits.
Oh, but wait: Our "engineer" ancestors who hid down there in the cave on that planet play the music of the spheres on an organ-like contraption that looks eerily like a giant, hard-plastic Whack-a-Mole!
How cool is that?
The Prometheus of Greek myth was the titan who stole fire -- and a love of science and the intellect -- from the gods of Olympus. If Ol' Pro' saw this eponymous film, he might keep the fire but give the rest back.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pulp Heaven Delivered To Your Door - TALES FROM SUPER-SCIENCE FICTION

"Fans of old-fashioned science fiction will delight
in this collection of stories from a relatively
unknown 1950s pulp magazine . . .
These stories, illustrated with artwork by pulp
luminaries like Frank Kelly Freas and Ed
Emshwiller, reveal the promise of many
now-famous authors at the start of their careers."

Cover for                                                           TALES OF SUPER                                                           SCIENCE                                                           FICTION

400-page Hardcover

Full-color endpapers
Original interior illustrations
Smythe-sewn w/full cloth binding

Robert Silverberg has assembled a collection of
14 stories from Super-Science Fiction. S-SF
was launched during the sf boom of the mid-1950s.
Paying a princely rate of 2 cents a word the
magazine attracted fiction by Isaac Asimov,
Robert Bloch, Harlan Ellison. James Gunn,
Jack Vance, and Donald Westlake, and
featured cover art by Frank Kelly Freas
and Ed Emshwiller. Running for 18
bi-monthly issues (Dec ‘55 to Oct ‘59),
the magazine eventually devolved into
a publication capitalizing on the t
hen-current craze of “monster” stories.

Editor Silverberg traces the genesis
ofSuper-Science Fiction from it’s
beginnings as an outlet for numerous
colonization/expedition stories to its
conclusion with such stories as
“Creatures of the Green Slime,”
“Beasts of Nightmare Horror”
and “Vampires from Outer Space.”

Front endpapers TALES FROM SUPER-SCIENCE                                                           FICTION

Back endpapers TALES FROM SUPER-SCIENCE                                                           FICTION

Silverberg's                                                            Monsters TALES                                                           FROM SUPER                                                           SCIENCE                                                           FICTION Freas                                                           TALES FROM                                                           SUPER SCIENCE                                                           FICTION Slesar                                                           Spacemen TALES                                                           FROM SUPER                                                           SCIENCE                                                           FICTION

Early readers' reviews from Library
Thing can be found HERE.

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Sarah Weinman & Don Winslow on TV

I saw Sarah yesterday on Book TV talking about the industry and she did a great job as did Don Winslow on the CBS Morning show this morning. Really did themselves proud. Congratulations, folks.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The New Cinema Retro

Ed here: Flat out my favorite issue so far. The pieces on Elvis movies and the backgrounder on Night of the Following Days are definitive pieces of work.


Coverage of the Bond in Motion exhibition in England- the largest single collection of original 007 vehicles ever displayed. We take you inside the gala press event that opened the exhibit.

Dean Brierly analyzes the criminally underrated crime thriller The Night of the Following Daystarring Marlon Brando and Richard Boone

Roland Schaefli pays tribute to the John Wayne-Howard Hawks adventure Hatari! and takes us on a visit to the African locations as they are today

Tim Graves celebrates the excellent, but little-remembered psychic thriller Games starring James Caan and Katharine Ross.

Adrian Smith examines the British sex films of the 60s and 70s- and how film companies battled the censors to sneak in as many "tits and bums" as possible

Elvis on the Back Lot: Dean Sills looks back on The King's Hollywood hits- and how infrequently the exotic locations were actually filmed on location

Raymond Benson looks at the best films of 1982

Lee Pfeiffer takes a second look at the Italian Western A Minute To Pray, A Second to Diestarring Alex Cord and Robert Ryan

Gareth Owen revisits the filming of The Slipper and the Rose at Pinewood Studios

Dave Worrall looks at the films that depicted the legendary raid on Entebbe and takes us back in time to the filming of Disney's Candleshoe through unseen on-set photos

Plus the latest DVD, soundtrack and film book reviews

PLEASE NOTE: This issue arrived three weeks late in the USA due to a transport snafu in the UK that we had no control over. We apologize for the delay.


Posted by Cinema Retro in Magazine News on Thursday, June 7. 2012