A decade ago I launched a newsletter for old-movie buffs. I’ve had a ball doing it, but I haven’t been able to maintain a regular publishing schedule. Last month I vowed to catch up a bit, so now there aretwo new issues hot off the press, #29 and #30. My leading story is a two-part exploration of how the 1941 Warner Bros. movie Blues in the Night came about. I wondered if it was screenwriter Robert Rossen’s attempt to tell the story of jazz, or if the great Harold Arlen-Johnny Mercer song of the same name inspired it. I learned the answers to those and many other (unasked) questions as I pored over the Warners production files held at the
Issue 29 also features the conclusion of my long-ago interview with director George Sidney, who discusses everything from working with the Our Gang kids to rigging a camera to film underwater with Esther Williams. Among the visual odds and ends you’ll find some rare behind-the-scenes photos and an array of vintage movie collectibles. (Do you think Jimmy Cagney and Yvonne DeCarlo knew how to thread a 16mm projector? Wait and see.)
Issue 30 wraps up the story of Birth of the Blues and presents part one of a lengthy conversation with veteran actress Peggy Webber, a radio stalwart in her teens who worked with the likes of Basil Rathbone and Herbert Marshall and became a favorite of directors ranging from Orson Welles to Jack Webb. There are anecdotes I reckon you haven’t read before. And again I’ve fleshed out our pages with collectibles from the silent era onward, including promotional blotters and a Charlie Chaplin puzzler.
Because of the erratic nature of our publishing schedule, I feel it’s wrong to accept subscription money anymore, so we’re going to sell each issue individually. You can get all the relevant information HERE, as well as a rundown of our back issues. PayPal is available, but we also take old-fashioned checks by mail.
People inevitably ask me why I continue to work on a printed publication when I have a website already. Call me old fashioned (go ahead!) but I still like the feel of a magazine in my hands, and the ability to pick it up and put it down at will. If you agree, I hope you’ll give Leonard Maltin’s Movie Crazy a try.