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harrygbutler keeps reading in 2018 — 1

This topic was continued by harrygbutler keeps reading in 2018 — 2.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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1harrygbutler
Dec 28, 2017, 9:48pm Top



Hello, I’m Harry, and this is my third year in the 75 Books Challenge. By training I'm a medievalist, by occupation an editor; my taste in reading runs to Golden Age and earlier mysteries, pulp detective and adventure fiction, Late Antique and medieval literature, westerns, and late nineteenth and early twentieth century popular fiction, among others. I also have a fondness for collections of cartoons and comic strips. I usually have a few books going at once.

My wife Erika and I live in eastern Pennsylvania with three cats — Elli, Otto, and Pixie — and a dog, Hildy. Our pets occasionally make an appearance in my thread. My other interests include model railroading, gardening, and birding, so you'll sometimes see something related to them as well.

I’ll be spending time this year building model railroad kits. The boxes for these kits often are good examples of mid-century commercial art design, and I’ll be using scans of some of these as thread toppers.

Two new projects will likely be features of my threads in 2018 as well: a weekly pulp magazine read and some sort of account — if only a bare record — of the movies I’ll be watching (I’m aiming to average one a day over the year). These will likely have an impact on my book totals for the year.

I try to provide some sort of comment on the books and magazines I read, but they aren't really reviews.

2harrygbutler
Edited: Jan 12, 9:55pm Top

Books completed in the first quarter of 2018

1. Gold Brick Island, by J. J. Connington
2. Tales of Our Coast, by S. R. Crockett, Gilbert Parker, Harold Frederic, Q, and W. Clark Russell
3. Circus, by Alistair MacLean
4. Poisoned Arrow, by Ibn-e Safi
5. Katzenjammer: A Selection of Comics, by Rudolph Dirks and Harold H. Knerr
6. Vintage Murder, by Ngaio Marsh
7. Cows of Our Planet, by Gary Larson

3harrygbutler
Edited: Jan 8, 10:40am Top


Argosy kicked off the pulp magazine era with its April 1894 issue, and it remained a major pulp until it became a slick-paper magazine in the 1940s.

After years of reading reprinted stories and novels from the pulp magazines, last November I picked up a number of the original magazines, and I’ve decided to try reading approximately one a week. I don’t intend to include them in my book count, so I’ll be tracking them separately here. If all goes well, I should read about 50 over the year.

Magazines completed in the first quarter of 2018

1. Short Stories, September 10, 1947

4harrygbutler
Edited: Jan 15, 10:57pm Top



Several years ago I challenged myself to view 500 movies in a year. I was successful, but I did find it fairly difficult to manage. I haven’t been watching many movies recently, and I’d like to change that. For 2018, I am hoping to average a movie a day over the whole year, for a total of 365 or thereabouts. I haven’t yet decided how I’ll approach posting about them in my thread, but I do plan to keep a list.

Movies watched in the first quarter of 2018

1. After the Thin Man (1936) — viewed Jan. 1
2. Doctor in the House (1954) — viewed Jan. 2
3. Lawless Valley (1938) — viewed Jan. 3
4. Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation (1939) — viewed Jan. 4
5. Unknown Island (1948) — viewed Jan. 5
6. All Over Town (1937) — viewed Jan. 6
7. The Case of the Howling Dog (1934) — viewed Jan. 7
8. Seven Keys to Baldpate (1947) — viewed Jan. 8
9. A-Haunting We Will Go (1942) — viewed Jan. 9
10. Oklahoma Blues (1948) — viewed Jan. 10
11. The Falcon's Brother (1942) — viewed Jan. 11
12. The Man They Could Not Hang (1939) — viewed Jan. 12
13. Bringing Up Baby (1938) — viewed Jan. 13
14. Air Hawks (1935) — viewed Jan. 14
15. Blackbeard the Pirate (1952) — viewed Jan. 14
16. Charlie Chan at the Race Track (1936) — viewed Jan. 15

5harrygbutler
Dec 28, 2017, 9:49pm Top

Next one is yours!

6thornton37814
Dec 28, 2017, 10:11pm Top

Hope your year is filled with fabulous reading!

7msf59
Dec 28, 2017, 10:36pm Top

Happy New Thread, Harry! Look forward to following you around in the New Year.

8harrygbutler
Dec 29, 2017, 6:12am Top

>6 thornton37814: Thanks, Lori! I'll try to round up some photos of the pets to add by the new year.

>7 msf59: Thank you, Mark! Birds will certainly make an appearance.

9msf59
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 7:07am Top

Morning, Harry. 18 today. I hope this feels better, than it has been. I hope your Friday goes smoothly.

10harrygbutler
Dec 29, 2017, 7:58am Top

>9 msf59: Good morning, Mark! We're somewhat warmer -- a high of 24, though it is only 12 degrees outside at the moment.

11drneutron
Dec 29, 2017, 8:46am Top

Welcome back!

12harrygbutler
Dec 29, 2017, 9:07am Top

>11 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

13richardderus
Dec 29, 2017, 10:11am Top

Argosy and Munsey were fascinating forces in the cultural landscape of the US 20th century. I can see 50 issues of a pulp magazine's lifetime being a fascinating reading project. But 365 movies?!? Wowza.

You and YouTube will be besties forever at that rate. I subscribe to the CaptainBijou.com channel and see weird old stuff like Sangaree, which I had the ancient mass-market edition of and watched the film after I'd read it.

That was interesting.

14mstrust
Dec 29, 2017, 11:04am Top

I'm looking forward to your pulp reviews. Have a great year of reading and viewing!

15harrygbutler
Dec 29, 2017, 4:23pm Top

>13 richardderus: Hi, Richard! As I've been reading the stories in some of the pulp magazine issues I picked up last November, I have found remarkably few duds. Their popularity makes sense.

I'd like to tackle some of the slicks the same way, but they seem to be thinner on the ground than old pulps.

YouTube may get some traffic, and Amazon Prime certainly will. Amazon seems to have added a package of British quota quickies recently, so I'll be watching some minor British mysteries, I suspect. But I'l also lean heavily on our collection of movies on DVD: about 1,500 or so recorded (chiefly from Turner Classic Movies) years ago when I had a DVD recorder, and probably 500-odd on commercial discs.

16harrygbutler
Dec 29, 2017, 4:24pm Top

>14 mstrust: Hi, Jennifer! Thanks for stopping by!

17richardderus
Dec 29, 2017, 4:27pm Top

Speaking of YouTube, I watched a couple Basil Rathbone Sherlocks and was really, really disillusioned. They seemed so cool when I was a tadpole. Now they're mannered and ridiculous but not in the fun way.

18harrygbutler
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 4:36pm Top

>17 richardderus: I remain a fan, but I think the series doesn't rank as highly in my estimation as it used to, in part because I've gotten exposure to more of the competing mystery series.

I do wish there were more surviving episodes of the radio show in which Rathbone and Bruce starred as Holmes and Watson for Petri Wines.

19richardderus
Dec 29, 2017, 4:52pm Top

That'll be one tough find. I've never seen it anywhere.

20harrygbutler
Dec 29, 2017, 6:00pm Top

I've got a CD that contains some, but there could very well be others hidden in collectors' hoards.

21richardderus
Dec 29, 2017, 6:05pm Top

Wish you luck dragging bait for those dragons. The Museum of Television in Manhattan was always on about getting people to turn loose of Kinescopes of rare shows. Lots of DuMont Network stuff is hidden out there, like Broadway First Night stuff, and who knows how it'll get preserved.

22harrygbutler
Dec 29, 2017, 6:46pm Top

Yeah, I just don't understand that aspect of the collecting impulse -- at least now that the risks involved in making copies for preservation are relatively low. But I've seen something similar play out with regard to some pulp stuff; the collector said that if he couldn't get what he valued some stuff at, he'd dump it in the landfill instead. And those people in a lot of fields are having to confront the fact that there just aren't many new people entering their hobbies, and the prices won't hold for anything but the rarest items.

23Crazymamie
Dec 29, 2017, 7:39pm Top

Dropping a star, Harry. You got me with the pulp magazines and the movies. As if your reading interests wouldn't be enough. Looking forward to following your adventures.

24richardderus
Dec 29, 2017, 7:50pm Top

>22 harrygbutler: That attitude just flummoxes me. I do not *get* that kind of greed. It's actually repugnant to me.

>23 Crazymamie: ...uh oh...Harry, watch this one...she's *super* high maintenance, requires constant infusions of fine wines and ingests perfectly astonishing quantities of the very best comestibles...

25Crazymamie
Dec 29, 2017, 7:53pm Top

>24 richardderus: *grin* Yes...but on the other hand, I am completely charming, and I don't mind sharing.

26harrygbutler
Dec 29, 2017, 8:06pm Top

>23 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie! Thanks for stopping by!

>24 richardderus: Thanks for the warning. I don't generally have much in the way of wine on hand, as my tastes run to Old Fashioneds, Sazeracs, and Manhattans, but I'll see what we can do.

>25 Crazymamie: Well, in that case, welcome, welcome! :-)

27richardderus
Dec 29, 2017, 8:08pm Top

>26 harrygbutler: *sigh*

Well, it *is* your new thread, so here we go:

28Crazymamie
Dec 29, 2017, 8:12pm Top

Oh! Cheers!

29harrygbutler
Dec 29, 2017, 8:14pm Top

>27 richardderus: Merci!

>28 Crazymamie: Such service he provides!

30Crazymamie
Dec 29, 2017, 8:18pm Top

>29 harrygbutler: He's a keeper, for sure.

31richardderus
Dec 29, 2017, 8:26pm Top

L'amuse-bouche est arrive.

32swynn
Dec 29, 2017, 8:32pm Top

Dropping a star, and looking forward to hearing about your pulp discoveries!

33harrygbutler
Dec 29, 2017, 10:26pm Top

>30 Crazymamie: >31 richardderus: Food as well. :-) Quite a big party over on your thread, Mamie!

34harrygbutler
Dec 29, 2017, 10:27pm Top

>32 swynn: Hi, Steve! Thanks for stopping by!

35fuzzi
Dec 30, 2017, 12:46am Top

I finally got over here to read your new thread, harrygbutler, though I did star it yesterday.

Your movie challenge is ambitious! Do you have any structure or plan for how to pick your choices?

36harrygbutler
Dec 30, 2017, 8:01am Top

>35 fuzzi: Glad to have you!

I haven't decided on a plan yet. I'll probably loosely assign genres to particular days of the week (something like mysteries on Mondays and Thursdays, comedies on Tuesdays and Saturdays, adventures and westerns on Wednesday, science fiction on Friday, and musicals, dramas, and the rest on Sundays). I'll certainly be watching a lot of series movies (e.g., Charlie Chan or The Falcon in mystery, George O'Brien or The Three Mesquiteers in western, Andy Hardy or Maisie in comedy), and if I opt to try to watch them in order, that should keep me motivated to continue.

37FAMeulstee
Dec 31, 2017, 10:58am Top

Happy reading in 2018, Harry!

38harrygbutler
Dec 31, 2017, 10:59am Top

>37 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita!

39The_Hibernator
Dec 31, 2017, 12:35pm Top



Happy New Year! I wish you to read many good books in 2018.

40harrygbutler
Dec 31, 2017, 2:08pm Top

>9 msf59: Thank you, Rachel! Happy New Year to you as well!

41mstrust
Dec 31, 2017, 5:10pm Top

42harrygbutler
Dec 31, 2017, 5:30pm Top

>41 mstrust: Thanks, Jennifer! The band is ready to play:

43harrygbutler
Dec 31, 2017, 5:51pm Top

The last book to arrive in 2017 (it came around midday today) — Katzenjammer: A Selection of Comics — will likely be among my first reads in the New Year. I've always liked The Katzenjammer Kids and The Captain and the Kids, so I was glad to pick up this collection of reprints from comic books featuring the two strips.

44fuzzi
Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 7:48pm Top

45harrygbutler
Dec 31, 2017, 7:51pm Top

>42 harrygbutler: This LP is great. We use it every year. You start one of the sides 12 or 13 minutes before midnight, and that way "Auld Lang Syne" plays as the New Year starts.

46harrygbutler
Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 11:18pm Top

To prepare for tomorrow's movie (After the Thin Man), and to end the year with a guaranteed good film, tonight we watched The Thin Man, easily one of the best and most fun movie ever.

47thornton37814
Dec 31, 2017, 11:24pm Top

My mom always had to watch Guy Lombardo, and after the ball dropped, we went to bed . . . even if it wasn't the new year in Central Time. When I got to my teen years, I sometimes stayed up until midnight Central. Now that I'm in Eastern Time zone, I don't have to worry about that! Of course, I don't like the way they do the ball drop in New York now so I usually watch the local Gatlinburg ball drop.

48harrygbutler
Dec 31, 2017, 11:30pm Top

>47 thornton37814: We always stayed up and watched Guy Lombardo. I never really adjusted to the Dick Clark New Year's Eve show, and now the programming has even less appeal, so we just play the record when the time comes and leave the TV off.

49thornton37814
Dec 31, 2017, 11:43pm Top

>48 harrygbutler: Sounds like a much better plan.

50harrygbutler
Jan 1, 12:40am Top

>49 thornton37814: Indeed it was.

51harrygbutler
Jan 1, 12:41am Top

Happy New Year, everyone!

52PaulCranswick
Jan 1, 3:59am Top



Happy New Year
Happy New Group here
This place is full of friends
I hope it never ends
It brew of erudition and good cheer.

53karenmarie
Jan 1, 8:40am Top

Hi Harry! Happy new year and happy first thread of 2018.

Wow. A movie a day. Good luck.

William Powell is one of my favorite actors ever, my favorites being Mister Roberts, My Man Godfrey, and Life with Father.

54msf59
Jan 1, 9:12am Top



^Morning, Harry! The juncos are busy again this A.M. I am curious where the finches have gone?

55harrygbutler
Jan 1, 9:37am Top

>52 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul!

56harrygbutler
Jan 1, 9:40am Top

>53 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen! I've managed to average a movie a day before, but never while also setting targets for my reading, so I'm hopeful but won't be surprised if I end up short in one area or another.

I really like William Powell myself, and those are all great movies. It is quite likely that one or more of them will show up sometime throughout the year. :-)

57harrygbutler
Jan 1, 9:43am Top

>54 msf59: Hi, Mark! Our feeders are quiet at the moment, though I thought I saw a junco moving around just now. Maybe the finches are more inclined to stay hunkered down? I know the mourning doves seemed to spend practically the whole day puffed up to twice their size and sitting without moving yesterday.

58harrygbutler
Jan 1, 9:48am Top

I'm not much of one to do "best of" or "favorites" lists, but I saw this on a couple threads, and I decided to take a stab at it with last year's books.

Describe yourself: The Eye in the Museum

Describe how you feel: Much Obliged, Jeeves

Describe where you currently live: Rudder Grange

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Favorite Haunts

Your favorite form of transportation: The Blood Bay Colt

Your best friend is: Galusha the Magnificent

You and your friends are: Step-Sons of France

What’s the weather like: Gone North

You fear: The Destroying Angel

What is the best advice you have to give: "Keep on Laughing"

Thought for the day: Why Shoot a Butler?

How I would like to die: Blind Date with Death

My soul’s present condition: The Holy War Made by King Shaddai upon Diabolus, To Regain the Metropolis of the World

59thornton37814
Jan 1, 11:00am Top

>58 harrygbutler: Great meme answers! I think I used your same "thought for the day" one year.

60richardderus
Jan 1, 11:09am Top

>58 harrygbutler: I love the soul's-present-condition one the best. Heh.

61harrygbutler
Jan 1, 2:37pm Top

>59 thornton37814: Thanks, Lori! That reminds me: did you ever get those Pek Gunn books from the library?

>60 richardderus: :-)

62harrygbutler
Jan 1, 2:48pm Top

Sketching out some reading plans for the month.

The Complete Adventures of Feluda I: mysteries by famed Indian filmmaker and writer Satyajit Ray. This first volume contains sixteen stories and novellas. I read the first today and will aim to tackle one every two days for the rest of the month, though I'll accelerate the pace if the opportunity offers.

Katzenjammer: A Selection of Comics: reprints from comic books of Katzenjamer Kids/the Captain and the Kids comics. No particular pacing in mind for these, but I know I'd like to spread them out a bit.

This week's pulp magazine will be the August 10, 1947, issue of Short Stories.

I've just started a J. J. Connington mystery, Gold Brick Island, which I received for Christmas.

63richardderus
Jan 1, 3:30pm Top

Good gravy, Tom Tiddler! Another of my mother's loves was Connington. I haven't read one as a regular government-issue adult. My county's libraries are bereft of same, sadly.

64alcottacre
Jan 1, 5:15pm Top

Happy New Year, Harry. I look forward to dodging tons of book bullets on your threads this year :)

65harrygbutler
Jan 1, 5:30pm Top

>63 richardderus: I've only read a handful of Connington mysteries so far, but I've liked nearly all of them. Coachwhip Publications, a small press that was in Penna. and now is in Ohio, has reprinted a number of them; there may be some available as e-books. Too bad your library system lacks them!

66harrygbutler
Jan 1, 5:31pm Top

>64 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia! I'll see what I can do to keep up a barrage! :-)

67alcottacre
Jan 1, 5:31pm Top

>66 harrygbutler: I am sure you will manage :)

68harrygbutler
Jan 2, 10:27am Top

69Crazymamie
Jan 2, 10:30am Top

>68 harrygbutler: Ha! Morning, Harry!

70harrygbutler
Jan 2, 10:40am Top

Good morning, Mamie! And that's why I don't go out of my way to see movies based on books I've read, or vice versa. :-)

71thornton37814
Jan 2, 11:37am Top

>68 harrygbutler: Sadly that's the way it often is.

72fuzzi
Jan 2, 1:04pm Top

>51 harrygbutler: ouch, poor pig!

I've never seen The Thin Man, but I love My Man Godfrey. It's one of the first DVDs I ever bought (I don't have a large collection).

73mstrust
Jan 2, 1:10pm Top

I loved The Thin Man, both the book and the movie, but have yet to pick up the sequels. What's the movie for today?

74harrygbutler
Jan 2, 1:11pm Top

>72 fuzzi: The New Year cards that feature pigs are often among the strangest, but there are plenty of other odd ones.

The Thin Man is a terrific movie. Powell and Loy have great chemistry.

I quite like My Man Godfrey, too.

75harrygbutler
Jan 2, 2:08pm Top

>73 mstrust: Agreed, Jennifer, both book and movie are very good. The sequels are good, though they aren't quite as fresh.


By MGM - Source, Public Domain, Link


After the Thin Man was last night's flick. An effective movie with some real fun elements, and interesting twists, though Elissa Landi is a bit of a dud. It includes an early appearance by Jimmy Stewart.

Tonight is probably Doctor in the House, Dirk Bogarde's smash comedy hit from 1954, but we may not decide until this evening.


By Source, Fair use, Link


76richardderus
Jan 2, 2:11pm Top

>75 harrygbutler: Doctor in the House was a fun, fun film. Ralph Thomas kept the pace spanking and the actors gave such satisfyingly un-mugging comedic performances.

77harrygbutler
Jan 2, 2:18pm Top

>76 richardderus: I'm looking forward to it. I've a VCI DVD collection of all the Doctor movies (the four with Bogarde and three others), and I expect I'll end up watching many of them this year. I may have seen one or two in the distant past, but if so I have no recollection of them.

78libraryperilous
Jan 2, 3:31pm Top

Oh, wow, I didn't know Satyajit Ray had written mysteries. Must add to the TBR.

The Thin Man is one of my all-time favorite films. It's a rare example of a film I prefer to the book. The first sequel is good, too, especially Stewart's character.

79harrygbutler
Jan 2, 4:10pm Top

>78 libraryperilous: Hi, Diana! Thanks for stopping by.

These English translations of Ray's mystery stories are less than two decades old, and the Penguin edition I'm reading came out in 2015.

I'd say I prefer the movie version of The Thin Man myself. As for After the Thin Man, Stewart does a good job. I enjoyed Joseph Calleia and future Blondie Penny Singleton (billed then as Dorothy McNulty), too.

80thornton37814
Jan 2, 4:49pm Top

The old movies look good. I vaguely remember Doctor in the House.

81harrygbutler
Jan 2, 6:17pm Top

>80 thornton37814: Thanks, Lori. I recall a time when a fair assortment of British movies showed up on TV, so if I ever saw Doctor in the House, it would have been then, but it has been years.

82thornton37814
Jan 2, 9:40pm Top

>81 harrygbutler: A friend collects British movies, and I'm pretty sure I watched it with him and his mother.

83cbl_tn
Jan 2, 10:02pm Top

I've dropped a star so I can follow your progress with the books and movies! I love the Thin Man movies. Haven't read the book yet, although I have it in a collection of Hammett's novels.

84msf59
Jan 3, 7:05am Top

Morning, Harry! I hope the work week is going well. I have not seen any mourning doves in awhile. I am not sure if they migrate south or not. I will have to research.

85harrygbutler
Jan 3, 8:50am Top

>82 thornton37814: It can be nice to have a focus for collecting like that.

86harrygbutler
Jan 3, 8:52am Top

>83 cbl_tn: Hi, Carrie! Thanks for stopping by. It has been a long time since I read Hammett's novel, but I'm slowly working my way through an omnibus of his novels, so I may get to it again this year.

87harrygbutler
Jan 3, 8:53am Top

>84 msf59: Good morning, Mark! The shortened week is going well so far. We'll see whether it drags by the end. :-)

Our mourning doves stick around, though they don't seem all that happy at the moment.

88cbl_tn
Jan 3, 9:02am Top

>86 harrygbutler: Omnibus! That's the word I was too tired to think of last night. I have one of those Hammett omnibus collections, too!

>87 harrygbutler: Should mourning doves be happy? Somehow it doesn't sound appropriate...

89Crazymamie
Jan 3, 9:04am Top

Morning, Harry! I loved the Thin Man movie, but the book I found disappointing. Perhaps if I had read the book before seeing the movie...BUT I LOVE The Maltese Falcon - both the book and the movie. This year I am hoping to read more Hammett. In fact, the last time I went in to the library to peruse the new fiction shelves, I did a happy dance because I found this:



It has all 28 stories and the two serialized novels starring the Continental Op!!! *squee*

90harrygbutler
Jan 3, 9:06am Top

>88 cbl_tn: Oh, good point about the doves! I didn't even notice that when I posted. :-)

91harrygbutler
Jan 3, 9:13am Top

>89 Crazymamie: Nice, Mamie! I've read all the Continental Op stories, I think, but it has been a while. I should see whether our library has that, as I don't think I have a collection around anymore.

The Maltese Falcon is next up in my rereading of Hammett's novels, and I'll almost certainly be watching the movie again sometime this year. It's one of those movies I consider nearly infinitely rewatchable.

92karenmarie
Jan 3, 9:26am Top

Hi Harry! Happy Wednesday to you!

My feeders are hopping this morning - finches, cardinals, jays, even saw a mourning dove on the ground.

The movie talk is interesting!

93rosalita
Jan 3, 9:34am Top

Hi, Harry! I'm catching up belatedly to say I enjoyed your meme answers. "Gone North" for the weather forecast is certainly appropriate right now!

94harrygbutler
Jan 3, 9:45am Top

>92 karenmarie: Good morning, Karen! Still quiet here, but I do now see one mourning dove perched on a fence and one or two juncos moving around. Yesterday I did see a blue jay visiting.

I expect there'll be plenty of movie talk this year if I manage to stick to my plan.

95harrygbutler
Edited: Jan 3, 9:47am Top

>93 rosalita: Thanks, Julia! That's certainly so here. It's the sort of weather that makes it clear we live in a 100-year-old house.

96harrygbutler
Jan 3, 9:50am Top

1. Gold Brick Island, by J. J. Connington



Newlyweds Colin and Jean Trent come to stay on the Scottish island of Ruffa for some quiet after a whirl of travel. Thought the visit starts peacefully enough, it soon becomes clear that something strange is going on. Chemist Cyril Northfleet, whom Colin knew at school, is on the island birdwatching — but his ignorance on that score is palpable, so why is he there? Also staying on the island are a Mr. Arrow and his niece, Hazel; their dwelling is walled and protected by armed guards. Then one night, Colin discovers an injured man in the darkness, and a small gold ingot near him. Could someone on the island be mining gold? Retrieving it from the Spanish galleon rumored sunk nearby? Recommended.

First sentence: “The tiny motor boat, piled with suitcases in the bow, had left the coast and turned its nose toward the bank of heat haze which screened its destination.”

Music:

97libraryperilous
Jan 3, 9:57am Top

Gold Brick Island sounds like grand fun.

re: Hammett, I need to read The Glass Key. It's my favorite film adaptation of his novels.

98harrygbutler
Jan 3, 10:13am Top

>97 libraryperilous: The Glass Key is indeed an enjoyable movie. Thanks for reminding me about it; I'll have to see about watching it again — maybe after I revisit the novel myself.

99richardderus
Jan 3, 10:39am Top

That mummybutt edition of all the Continental Op works calls my name....

Now I need to source the Connington book since you recommend it. *grumble* I might be more absent than present on this thread. It's hazardous to my financial health and goddesses know I don't need any TBR additions!

100harrygbutler
Jan 3, 10:52am Top

>99 richardderus: I think the best of the Conningtons that I've read so far was probably Murder in the Maze, which is more of a straight mystery than a thriller like this one. The only one I haven't really cared for is Grim Vengeance (Nemesis at Raynham Parva).

101richardderus
Jan 3, 10:58am Top

...hmmm...what...can't see the blurry blue things....

103richardderus
Jan 3, 11:03am Top

Gracious goodness me! More blurry blueness, whatever could that mean. I suppose I'm just as happy NEVER KNOWING.

104harrygbutler
Jan 3, 11:08am Top

It's best to get those cataracts checked out.

105harrygbutler
Jan 3, 11:58am Top

Movie 2. Doctor in the House



Doctor in the House was last night's movie, the second for the year. A smash hit in 1954 (#1 for the year) that cemented Dirk Bogarde's place at the top of the heap in British cinema in the 1950s, it's a comedic tale of medical students — Simon Sparrow, played by Bogarde, who begins school at the start and finds congenial companions in repeating students Grimsdyke (Kenneth More), Benskin (Donald Sinden), and Evans (Donald Houston). It moves at a good clip, with five years of medical school covered in the film's 87-minute running time, and successfully blends some touching moments with lots of humor. Bogarde is an engaging and sympathetic lead, and More is a hoot as a perpetual student. George Coulouris has a fun role as a patient who reappears periodically throughout the movie.



We watched the movie on a DVD from the VCI set of all seven "Doctor" movies, including three more with Bogarde. I don't know how soon we'll dip into the set again, but I'm looking forward to giving them a try at some point.

Recommended.

106thornton37814
Jan 3, 2:49pm Top

>96 harrygbutler: It's good your first book of the year was a winner!

107harrygbutler
Edited: Jan 4, 7:01am Top

>106 thornton37814: Yes, that's always a good thing. Here's hoping my luck holds!

108harrygbutler
Jan 4, 8:04am Top

2. Tales of Our Coast, by S. R. Crockett, Gilbert Parker, Harold Frederic, Q, and W. Clark Russell



Tales of Our Coast is a collection of diverse stories loosely connected by their subject matter (doings along the shoreline somewhere in Great Britain), published toward the close of the 19th century and featuring authors of importance then, though largely forgotten today, such as Scottish writer S. R. Crockett and important Canadian author Gilbert Parker.

Crockett’s story leads off the volume. “The Smugglers of the Clone” is a lighthearted tale told by a narrator with a high opinion of himself, but the strong element of dialect (or perhaps obsolete terms for cargo and such) occasionally made it rough going. Parker’s “‘There Is Sorrow on the Sea’” is an epistolary account by an exile of the doings the night he fled his home pursued by the coast guard, with an unexpected twist in the reply letter from his cousin and a pleasing ending. Harold Frederic’s “The Path of Murtogh” was a grim story of how a particularly unpleasant watercourse got its name; it wasn’t a favorite. Likewise, the bitter humor of W. Clark Russell’s “‘That There Mason’,” the story of a man whose attempt at salvage goes awry, didn’t really appeal to me. The highlight of the volume, certainly, was “The Roll-Call of the Reef,” an eerie tale of shipwreck, the friendship of the two survivors, a ghostly vision, and the marshaling of the dead. Recommended.

Music:
God Save the King

109karenmarie
Jan 4, 8:31am Top

Good morning, Harry! The birds are desperate here with no food on the ground since the ground is covered in 2.5" of powder snow. Fun watching day here, looks like you're still getting lots of snow.

110harrygbutler
Jan 4, 8:36am Top

>109 karenmarie: Hi, Karen! Our snow didn't start until this morning, so I think we'll be watching it come down for several hours yet. The birds are eager at the feeders; I even saw one junco eating from the suet cage feeder.

111karenmarie
Jan 4, 8:59am Top

A junco at the suet feeder!?! Wow. I just put a tray of bird food on the ground for the ground feeders.

112harrygbutler
Edited: Jan 4, 9:03am Top

Yep. It has a cage so it had a place to perch, but I don't know how successful it was in getting anything to eat. I'll put some seed out on the back porch soon, and then refill feeders later this morning, I expect. There are some planters where I put the seed on the porch, and the ground feeders seem happy enough eating out of those, presumably because there's enough resemblance to the actual ground. (We don't plant anything in them anymore, but we let whatever seeds sprout just grow and provide a little cover, too.)

113msf59
Jan 4, 10:24am Top

Morning, Harry. Just spotted a couple of robins, for the first time in several weeks. Most migrate south but a few hardy souls stick around.

114harrygbutler
Jan 4, 10:32am Top

>113 msf59: Hi, Mark! We usually have a few robins around in the winter, too, but I don't know that I've seen any recently. Like you, I'm also not seeing the house finches. But this morning I did see a couple white-throated sparrows below the feeders, I think.

115harrygbutler
Jan 4, 12:00pm Top

Movie 3. Lawless Valley (1938)



Likeable George O’Brien was a star of silent films — appearing perhaps most notably opposite Janet Gaynor in F. W. Murnau’s Sunrise — who made the transition to sound chiefly performing in westerns. He was star of a well-regarded string of westerns at RKO at the end of the 1930s. Lawless Valley was one of these: an efficient little B with a dollop of humor. The plot, based on a story by pulp writer W. C. Tuttle (who has a story in the pulp magazine I’m reading this week), sees parolee Larry Rhodes (O’Brien) return to his hometown to discover who framed him and his father (reportedly a suicide) for a stagecoach robbery. Suspicion centers on Tom Marsh and his son Jeff (played by real-life father and son Fred Kohler Sr. and Fred Kohler Jr.); the elder Marsh is also guardian of Larry’s sweetheart, Norma Rogers (Kay Sutton), and aims to have her marry his son instead. The plot may be a familiar one, but there were a few surprises along the way.

We watched this as part of the Warner Archive’s George O’Brien Western Collection, which I received for Christmas. I’ll be glad to revisit the set from time to time.

Recommended.

116harrygbutler
Jan 4, 12:30pm Top

The tiki mugs in Jennifer's (mstrust's) thread, and specifically a post by Berly showing a Chewbacca mug (http://www.librarything.com/topic/279176#6296619), led me to see whether there was a suitable choice for Erika, who collects tiki mugs. Her favorite Star Wars character is Yoda, and I was pleased to find a Yoda tiki mug available. After a false start (the first one arrived chipped), we now have one on hand:


117richardderus
Jan 4, 3:22pm Top

an efficient little B with a dollop of humor

...damned with faint praise, or achievement unlocked...

118harrygbutler
Jan 4, 4:32pm Top

>117 richardderus: No condemnation intended. It did its job and was entertaining: a good film, not a great one, and unlikely to have too much to offer those who aren't fans of westerns.

119harrygbutler
Jan 5, 7:59am Top

4. Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation (1939)

Peter Lorre returns as John P. Marquand’s sleuth in Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation, one of a series of eight such mysteries starring the actor released in the later 1930s. This time around the agent of the international police seeks to protect an archaeological treasure, the crown of the Queen of Sheba, from criminal mastermind Metaxa. Moto again shows his mastery of disguise — appearing initially as an Austrian archaeologist — and of martial arts — in a couple fights, including a climactic battle with the villain. Lionel Atwill has an entertaining turn as a museum curator.



We watched the movie on a DVD from Mr. Moto Collection: Volume 2, a good quality set.

Recommended.

120harrygbutler
Jan 5, 8:05am Top

My first new book of the year is Poisoned Arrow, by Ibn-e Safi, one of four related volumes from Blaft in Safi's Jasusi Dunya series.



From the back of the book:
In an unnamed city somewhere in Hindustan, a man is killed by a poisoned arrow outside a popular nightclub. The subsequent investigation, led by the intrepid Colonel Faridi and his assistant, Captain Hameed, opens up a shadowy underworld network of pimps, drug dealers, and foreign spies. But who is behind it all? The diminutive Goan named Finch The beautiful yet mysterious Tara Nayadu? Or the enigmatic American arch-criminal, Doctor Dread?

I'll probably start reading it this weekend.

121karenmarie
Jan 5, 8:31am Top

Good morning Harry!

I haven't seen any robins, but neighbor Louise says she saw about 10 of them briefly yesterday. Before I really became interested in birds, I remember seeing huge flocks of them settle in our pastures. Now that I'd love to see them, they're avoiding our property, apparently.

122harrygbutler
Jan 5, 9:05am Top

Hi, Karen! Have there been changes in the use of the fields or nearby that might have affected their stopping places?

123karenmarie
Jan 5, 9:08am Top

Yes, actually. We turned my lovely fields into pastures for the horses that we no longer have. Sigh. I'd just as soon tear the barns and fencing down and go back to fields, but the value of the property increases significantly by being a horse farm.

124harrygbutler
Edited: Jan 5, 9:28am Top

>123 karenmarie: That's probably the explanation for the change, then: different use, different characteristics.

Did you get anything unusual while you still had horses?

125Crazymamie
Jan 5, 9:42am Top

Morning, Harry! The Yoda tiki mug made me smile. I remember seeing some of those Mr. Moto movies ages ago - I had completely forgotten about them. LOVE Peter Lorre, so I might have to track one of those down just for fun. I'll be awaiting your thoughts on Poisoned Arrow.

126drneutron
Jan 5, 11:02am Top

Poisoned Arrow looks fun, but why is Robin Hood on the cover? 😂

127harrygbutler
Jan 5, 11:17am Top

>126 drneutron: I don't know at the moment, Jim! Nor can I explain why a young Shelley Winters is featured. :-)

128richardderus
Jan 5, 11:36am Top

It's a bit chilling that the founder of Pakistan's nuclear programme is quoted as praising the book.

129harrygbutler
Jan 5, 11:41am Top

>125 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie! Peter Lorre is great, and it's good to see him in the lead role, even if the movies are minor. I think one of them, Mr. Moto's Last Warning, is available via Amazon Prime, and possibly on YouTube as well, as it seems to have fallen into the public domain. It also has John Carradine in an early role.

130harrygbutler
Jan 5, 11:41am Top

>128 richardderus: Perhaps he was famous also as a fan of Urdu detective fiction?

131richardderus
Jan 5, 11:59am Top

...we shall never know the secrets of the ancients...

132harrygbutler
Edited: Jan 6, 6:17pm Top

5. Unknown Island (1948)


By Source, Fair use, Link

Virginia Grey heads the cast in the Lost World picture Unknown Island. Carole Lane (Grey) and fiancé Ted Osborne (played by Phillip Reed), charter the ship of brutal Captain Tarnowski (Barton MacLane) to visit an island Osborne had seen while a Navy flier during World War 2, and which he thinks inhabited by survivals from the age of dinosaurs. Tarnowski and his first mate, Sanderson (Dick Wessel), bring along as well John Fairbanks (Richard Denning), sole survivor from a sloop that had wrecked on the island, whose story of monsters had not been believed. The trip is nearly prevented by a rebellious crew, but the brutal Tarnowski suppresses the mutiny, and the expedition reaches the island, which indeed is inhabited by dinosaurs, dimetrodons, and a “giant sloth” (Attention, lyzard!), which is perhaps most vicious of all (albeit it doesn't look much like a giant sloth).

MacLane makes an entertainingly villainous captain, but the leads were fairly uncharismatic. The waddling tyrannosaurs were a hoot! Mildly recommended.

133harrygbutler
Jan 6, 1:38pm Top

>131 richardderus: At least without a ouija board.

134richardderus
Jan 6, 3:48pm Top

>132 harrygbutler: Seen it. It had other titles (eg, King Kong) but still...seen it.

>133 harrygbutler: Heh. Let me know how that works out.

135harrygbutler
Edited: Jan 6, 9:00pm Top

>134 richardderus: It does share some of the characteristics of the genre.

136karenmarie
Jan 7, 10:53am Top

Hi Harry!

No different birds with the horses, just blasted horse flies and more than the usual number of regular flies.

I hope you're having a wonderful Sunday so far.

137harrygbutler
Edited: Jan 7, 11:07am Top

Movie 6. All Over Town (1937)


By NBC Television - Original text : eBay item
photo front photo back
archived links), Public Domain, Link


Vaudevillians Ole Olsen & Chic Johnson were in their third decade as an act when they made this slight film for Republic Pictures — and their biggest success, the Broadway hit Hellzapoppin, still lay in the future. In All Over Town, Olsen and Johnson, with their trained seal Sally, set out to help a theater (rumored haunted) put on a show so the owner can escape the demands of her creditors. Matters get complicated when a murder occurs during a rehearsal, and the duo must come up with a way to save the show.

All Over Town isn’t exactly a good movie, and a lot of the jokes fall flat, but there are so many, and the team has such charm, that both Erika and I enjoyed it. I’ll be looking to watch their other movies when I get a chance.

Mildly recommended.

For those who’d like to give it a try, it’s available for viewing via the Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/AllOverTown_OlsenJohnson.

138msf59
Jan 7, 10:55am Top

Morning, Harry. Happy Sunday. With things warming up, I hope to get out again on a couple of walks.

I also need to get out and fill up my main feeder. The birds have been busy.

139richardderus
Jan 7, 11:05am Top

>137 harrygbutler: Mild recommendations float past me In The Sea of Time.

140harrygbutler
Jan 7, 11:07am Top

>136 karenmarie: Hi, Karen! Well, horse flies are practically large enough to be birds. :-)

A chilly day, but I'll spend some of it reading and some of it watching movies. Now that Epiphany is past, it's time to box up the Christmas decorations, but I won't take them up to the unheated attic until the weather warms up later this week.

141harrygbutler
Jan 7, 11:26am Top

>138 msf59: Hi, Mark! Our birds haven't been all that busy since the snow, but I probably should replenish a couple feeders myself.

I don't think we have any walks planned at the moment, but we might take a drive looking for birds next weekend if the weather cooperates.

142harrygbutler
Jan 7, 11:27am Top

>139 richardderus: Good morning, Richard. I'm sure there will be some stronger recommendations at some point. :-)

143lyzard
Jan 7, 5:49pm Top

Hi, Harry.

I was wondering if, in your travels, you have noticed copies of the magazines Real Northwest Adventures or Complete Northwest Novel?

I've been trying to read the series by Captain Trygve Lund featuring Richard Weston of the Mounties, but I'm going to have to stop, as the last three entries were published in the magazines only and never in book form. However, I thought I would check in with you about those three, as the magazines in which they appeared apparently contained whole novels rather than serialising them.

I would be grateful if you would keep an eye open while browsing magazines for yourself, though please don't go out of your way to find any of them.

The missing novels (all from 1937):
Beyond The Barrens
Blood In The Snow
Red-Coated Law

144rretzler
Jan 7, 6:13pm Top

Hi, Harry, just dropping by. I'm happy to discover that you are a Golden Age fan, a cat fan and also an old movie fan. Movies from the 30s, 40s, and 50s are some of the best made, IMO. The stories and the acting are magnificent, without all the special effects. Not that I don't love a good contemporary action or sci-fi movie - my husband introduced me to action movies, and I introduced him to the classics!

The Thin Man is a classic and I love Mr. Moto too.

Speaking of birding, a day or two before Christmas, we were excited to see 4 or 5 Eastern Bluebirds in the trees in our backyard. We've lived here for 20 years and this is the first time that we have ever been visited by bluebirds. We've had tons of other birds, but the bluebirds seem to have passed us by. We haven't seen them since - but I don't think we've restocked our feeders, either.

145karenmarie
Jan 8, 6:34am Top

Good morning, Harry!

I still have boxes of Christmas decorations downstairs waiting to go up to the unheated space behind the guest bedroom closet. Brrrr.

I hope you have a wonderful day.

146harrygbutler
Jan 8, 8:00am Top

>143 lyzard: Hi, Liz! I don't recall seeing those magazines, but I might not have noticed them at the pulp con, if they were sorted by title, as I have been fairly focused. I'll try to keep them in mind for the future. Would you be fine with a reading copy or desire something in better shape?

147msf59
Jan 8, 8:15am Top

Morning, Harry! I took the day off, so I am planning on getting out for a walk, to take an advantage of the milder temps.

Hope your Monday goes smoothly.

148harrygbutler
Edited: Jan 8, 10:26am Top

>144 rretzler: Hi, Robin! Thanks for visiting!

I grew up on older movies and have always remained a fan. Though I have enjoyed more contemporary films, and they may end up making an appearance this year, most that I'll watch will be from the 30s through the 50s.

Have you been to Cinevent in Columbus? We went a couple times, but the schedule over Memorial Day weekend isn't the best timing for us.

That's cool about the bluebirds! We're in town, so we don't get them by our place.

149harrygbutler
Jan 8, 8:20am Top

>145 karenmarie: Good morning, Karen! I'd leave the totes down indefinitely, but we want to use the space. :-)

150harrygbutler
Jan 8, 8:20am Top

>147 msf59: Hi, Mark! I hope you get some good birds on your walk.

151harrygbutler
Jan 8, 9:54am Top

"Of all things"

152harrygbutler
Jan 8, 3:24pm Top

Movie 7. The Case of the Howling Dog (1934)


By Source, Fair use, Link


The success of Erle Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason stories saw the character come to the movies rather quickly. Long before Raymond Burr essayed the role, Warren William played the wily attorney in four movies for Warner Brothers. In The Case of the Howling Dog, a wealthy man comes to Mason, begging him to do something about a neighboring nuisance, a dog that has howled through the night, and also asking him about handling his will. He gives Mason a $10,000 retainer. The next day, the client has disappeared, and the will differs in an important particular from that discussed before. When a murder occurs, Mason acts to protect the beneficiary of the will and uncover the truth behind the crime. Recommended.

153swynn
Jan 8, 4:10pm Top

Is that knee-waisted Bigfoot in the lower right of the poster the "giant sloth"? Oh, I want to see that!

154richardderus
Jan 8, 4:27pm Top

>152 harrygbutler: I liked Warren William as Perry but haven't seen that one. Good-oh! *troops off to source moldy goldy oldy*

155lyzard
Jan 8, 6:48pm Top

>146 harrygbutler:

Reading copies would be excellent! - but as I say, please don't go out of your way. It's just if you happen to come across a cache of those magazines.

And actually...I have another one for you! This one may be of interest to yourself (unless you've already managed to score a copy of what I believe to be a very rare book):



The Body In The Safe is the American title of Gregg's The Murdered Manservant, the first in his lo-oo-oo-ong Inspector Higgins series, and pretty much impossible to find under either title.

>132 harrygbutler:

I am very familiar with both the film and the {*cough, cough*} "sloth". :D

156rretzler
Jan 8, 11:28pm Top

>148 harrygbutler: I've never been to Cinevent. We are usually out of town on Memorial Day weekend - these days for soccer tournaments and prior to that we went to visit my mother at her lake house for the long weekend. I can't remember the last time we were in town for Memorial Day!

157harrygbutler
Jan 9, 7:49am Top

>153 swynn: Oh, yes, that's it, though usually that costume is used for gorillas. Here's a lobby card image I just found with a close-up:


Source: Four Color Comics sale page

158harrygbutler
Jan 9, 7:51am Top

>154 richardderus: There's a complete collection of the Warner Brothers Perry Mason movies available on DVD, but they may also be available via the Warner Archive streaming service.

159msf59
Edited: Jan 9, 7:54am Top



^Not many birds yesterday but I did see several red-bellied woodpeckers and a few cardinals. Going again, later this A.M.

Morning, Harry!

160harrygbutler
Edited: Jan 9, 5:54pm Top

>155 lyzard: I'll keep an eye out for that one, too, Liz — though it would be a toss-up to decide which would be of more interest. I have a great deal of fondness for northerns and Mountie stories. The stories by James B. Hendryx about Black John of Halfaday Creek and Corporal Downey of the Mounted Police are favorites, and I've liked plenty of others. (ETA: I should also add that Challenge of the Yukon is one of my favorite radio shows.)

Yep, I used scare quotes on its description for a reason. :-)

161karenmarie
Jan 9, 7:59am Top

Hi Harry! >152 harrygbutler: I think that would be a fun one to watch. I love old-timey LA stuff, being from there myself, and the Perry Mason books were the first 'adult' mysteries I read, starting when I was about 11. Of course I realize now how much went over my head, but they were great for all of that. My mother never placed restrictions on my reading, bless her heart. I have The Case of the Howling Dog on my shelves, perhaps time for a reread some time soon.

162thornton37814
Jan 9, 8:03am Top

>161 karenmarie: I also read the Perry Mason mysteries at an early age. I also watched all the TV cop/detective shows.

163harrygbutler
Jan 9, 8:05am Top

>156 rretzler: We went when we did because we were able to combine it with a visit to my aunt and grandmother, and usually to my parents (who live up by Sandusky) as well. It gets a bit exhausting watching movies all day for three days running.

164harrygbutler
Jan 9, 8:07am Top

>159 msf59: Good morning, Mark! Nice to get the woodpeckers, even if the overall walk was quiet. I'm seeing a lot of movement outside now that the temperatures have moderated a bit, so I'm sure I'll need to refill feeders today.

165harrygbutler
Jan 9, 8:16am Top

>161 karenmarie: Hi, Karen! I've read one or two of the Perry Mason books (more of Gardner's non-Mason short stories, I think) and have a couple on the shelves to get to eventually. I'm not sure what my first grown-up mysteries were: maybe some Agatha Christies, but possibly some Ross Macdonald Lew Archers, or some of the hard-boiled stuff my dad preferred — pretty much whatever was around the house was fair game.

166harrygbutler
Jan 9, 8:20am Top

>162 thornton37814: Good morning, Lori! I've seen some episodes of the TV show, and I think some of the much later TV movies, and enjoyed them, but nothing like all of them.

167harrygbutler
Jan 9, 8:42am Top

3. Circus, by Alistair MacLean



The CIA recruits circus aerialist and mentalist Bruno Wildermann for a daring mission behind the Iron Curtain: He will enter the Lubylan prison and research facility via an electric power line from the nearest substation, memorize and then destroy plans for an antimatter device, and escape back to the West with the memorized information. Two murders right at the start reveal the mission has been compromised, but the devastating power of the invention makes it necessary to press forward, while attempting to keep the traitor, and thus the opposition, in the dark about the actual operation. I had my suspicions of the traitor fairly early, and I found Wildermann a bit difficult to warm to, but I thought the action moved at a reasonable clip. Perhaps not first-rate MacLean, but good nonetheless. Recommended.

First sentence: “‘If you were a genuine Army Colonel,’ Pilgrim said, ‘instead of one of the most bogus and unconvincing frauds I’ve ever seen, you’d rate three stars for this. Excellently done, my dear Fawcett, excellently done.’”

168harrygbutler
Edited: Jan 11, 1:52pm Top

Movie 8. Seven Keys to Baldpate (1947)



Earl Derr Biggers’ Seven Keys to Baldpate is a fun novel that I first read during my teens, when I found a copy by chance. It was turned into a hit play by George M. Cohan in 1913, and Cohan also starred in the first film version, in 1917. During the sound era, RKO owned the rights, and the studio filmed the story thrice: in 1929, with Richard Dix in the lead role; in 1935, with Gene Raymond, the best of the sound films; and in 1947, with Phillip Terry. All three RKO films have been released in a single set by Warner Archive.

We watched the 1947 version last night and found it rather a disappointment. Lead Phillip Terry, better known to me as for a time Mr. Joan Crawford, mugs painfully through the whole movie, and so much of the film depends on him that it ends up flat, despite a good performance by Eduardo Ciannelli as a menacing criminal. Not recommended, save for completists.

169fuzzi
Jan 9, 12:51pm Top

>167 harrygbutler: Circus is next on my list (I've had a bit of a reading funk this past week).

170harrygbutler
Jan 9, 1:00pm Top

>169 fuzzi: Sorry to hear about your reading funk. I hope you get past it quickly!

I'm in the middle of some long books, so it feels as though I'm not making much progress. I think I'm going to have to slip in some shorter or faster reads while the others continue.

171fuzzi
Jan 9, 1:02pm Top

>170 harrygbutler: I think I'm in the process of curing the funk, by rereading some favorites. Thanks.

172harrygbutler
Jan 9, 1:39pm Top

>171 fuzzi: Oh, good!

173harrygbutler
Jan 9, 6:16pm Top

Pulp 1. Short Stories, September 10, 1947



The September 10, 1947, issue of Short Stories offers a good mix of stories. The cover story, the novel “The Key to Admiralty,” relates how an imperfect protagonist fulfills a promise to a dead man; one of the villains seems to have been modeled on some of Sydney Greenstreet’s more menacing characters. “The Loot of the Lazy A” was part of the Hashknife and Sleepy series by western author W. C. Tuttle, concerning the exploits of two range detectives; a solid actioner, with a fairly obvious ringleader for the criminal element. T. T. Flynn’s “Smart Guy” I found an interesting story of a man trying to clear himself of a false murder accusation. “Bush Freighter,” a tale of underhanded competition between bush pilots in northern Canada, gave the impression it might be part of a series starring the character Cockeye McDonald. Hugh B. Cave’s “Hideout” was a short short with the sort of twist one comes to expect from such economical little tidbits. “Spring Cleaning” was a so-so tale of the thwarting of a slaver in Africa; I’m a fan of Quinn’s occult detective, Jules de Grandin, and the long-running series of stories that appeared in Weird Tales, but this non-series story didn’t really stand out. Better was Walt Morey’s “A Fight for Tony,” about the last bout of a former boxing champion, its lead-in and aftermath. “Brother at Law” showcased how a crime lab professional could take apart a false accusation, reveal that fingerprints can lie, and lend support to an implicated prisoner’s plea of innocence. The final story in this issue, “Rock in a Weary Land,” is a minor story in which a failed preacher ends up — somewhat inadvertently — bringing aid to some hard-up folk and destruction to a gambling den. Recommended.

174richardderus
Jan 9, 6:25pm Top

My, that cover image is lurid. Imagine a novel a fortnight magazine coing out today! The world would be deforested in a matter of weeks.

175harrygbutler
Jan 9, 6:46pm Top

>174 richardderus: Certainly not the best in pulp magazine cover art. It's credited to A. R. Tilburne. There's an online profile here: https://www.pulpartists.com/Tilburne.html.

I think that still goes on, just not here in the U.S. So far as I know, Rajesh Khumar is still writing and publishing three novels a month. See http://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/From-pocket-novels-to-films/article1462851... and https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/69-rajesh-kumar-king-tamil-pulp-fiction-still-it.

176richardderus
Jan 9, 7:28pm Top

And there's a biweekly Perry Rhodan novella, has been since 1961, and no sign of stopping. That's amazing to me. The Perrypedia is just amazing.

177swynn
Jan 9, 10:41pm Top

>173 harrygbutler: I don't recognize any of these authors, characters, series or maybe-series, which makes me a little sad. I'm looking forward to future reports, and inclined to try digging up a "Jules de Grandin" story.

>176 richardderus: Weekly, actually, which is twice as amazing.

178karenmarie
Jan 10, 7:43am Top

Good morning, Harry! Any bird activity? As things have warmed up here and the snow mostly melted, the birds aren't quite so frenzied. But I must replenish the feeders today.

179harrygbutler
Jan 10, 9:33am Top

>177 swynn: Some of the authors are only recently familiar to me, and some weren't really recognizable. Seabury Quinn was reputedly the most popular author with the readers of Weird Tales, and the Jules de Grandin series has 90-odd entries, if I recall correctly, including one novel first serialized in the WT.

I first ran into the Jules de Grandin stories in some reprint volumes published by Warner Books back in the 1970s, such as The Hellfire Files of Jules de Grandin.

There were six of them, but they are long out of print. George Vanderburgh's Battered Silicon Dispatch Box brought out a high-quality hardcover reprint edition a number of years ago, but they may be out of print.

However, a new edition is coming out from Night Shade Books. If you are interested, I'd suggest getting the first volume (there's a Kindle option) and trying it sooner rather than later, because I've found in the past that once Night Shade editions go out of print, their cost rises quite a bit: I was able to get three of their volumes of Manly Wade Wellman's weird and horror fiction for the reasonable prices they put on the books, but the two I had missed ended up costing me three or more times their nominal price.

180Crazymamie
Jan 10, 9:45am Top

Morning, Harry! Thanks so much for the info in >173 harrygbutler: and >179 harrygbutler: - I snagged the Kindle edition of volume one. And your mention up there of Sydney Greenstreet up there in the review of the title story from the pulp magazine made me smile BIG - one of my favorites!

181harrygbutler
Jan 10, 9:49am Top

>178 karenmarie: Hi, Karen! No, it's actually extremely quiet. I have to fill some feeders, too, but there is some food out there.

182swynn
Jan 10, 9:55am Top

>179 harrygbutler: Hook. Line. Sinker. I now have The Horror on the Links on my phone. Now to get around to it ...

183harrygbutler
Jan 10, 11:29am Top

>180 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie! Greenstreet is great — have you heard him as Nero Wolfe in the radio show The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe?

>180 Crazymamie: >182 swynn: I think I may have convinced myself to get the new editions, too. :-)

184harrygbutler
Edited: Jan 11, 1:52pm Top

Movie 9. A-Haunting We Will Go (1942)


Link


Laurel and Hardy may have been past their prime by the 1940s, but they remain a welcome presence in a film. A-Haunting We Will Go opens with the duo being warned to leave town after a night in jail, and to accomplish that, the down-on-their-luck boys take a job escorting a coffin to Dayton, Ohio. Unbeknownst to them, the coffin is being used to smuggle a notorious criminal there to claim an inheritance, with the rest of his gang proceeding there by plane. On the trip they are duped out of their money, but Dante the Magician comes to their rescue. He later provides them with jobs in his show, which is disrupted by murder! As seems quite common for them, the movie ends on a weird note. We enjoyed it, but this wouldn’t be the best place to start with Laurel & Hardy.

185Crazymamie
Jan 10, 11:57am Top

>183 harrygbutler: I have not - I will have to see if I can track that down. He would be great as Nero Wolfe!

And yes, I think you should also get the new editions.

186rretzler
Jan 10, 9:15pm Top

>184 harrygbutler: I've never seen that one. My aunt is a big Laurel and Hardy fan and I thought she had most of them - especially one set in Dayton, OH!

187msf59
Jan 11, 6:51am Top

Morning, Harry. Sweet Thursday. Not much to report on the bird front. I am attending a night owl walk tonight, if it isn't cancelled due to weather. Fingers crossed.

188harrygbutler
Jan 11, 8:52am Top

>185 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie! I agree; I think I'll be ordering at least the first one today.

You can find the Greenstreet Nero Wolfe radio show on archive.org: https://archive.org/details/OTRR_New_Adventures_of_Nero_Wolfe_Singles

189harrygbutler
Jan 11, 8:54am Top

>186 rretzler: Hi, Robin! That one is available on DVD in a set from Fox: The Laurel & Hardy Collection, Vol. 2.

190harrygbutler
Jan 11, 9:01am Top

>187 msf59: Good morning, Mark! Erika and I went on an owl prowl a number of years ago. It was great; I think we saw four or five different species total, including at least one (a long-eared owl, if I recall correctly) that we would never have even seen without help.

191Crazymamie
Jan 11, 9:09am Top

>188 harrygbutler: Thank you so much, Harry!

192harrygbutler
Jan 11, 9:15am Top

>191 Crazymamie: I hope you enjoy it, Mamie!

193karenmarie
Jan 11, 10:05am Top

Good morning, Harry! I love Laurel and Hardy. One of my favorite scenes is them dancing while sweeping in the French Foreign Legion.

194richardderus
Jan 11, 10:12am Top

Laurel and Hardy films were standard fare on the Dallas movie channel we got when cable arrived in Austin in, what, 1967 or so? Maybe later? Anyway, channel 11 had Laurel and Hardy films every Friday night. My friend Mike and I watched the first Laurel and Hardy then switched to San Antonio's movie channel for Project Terror's fright-fest. Fun way to get laughs and scares.

195harrygbutler
Jan 11, 10:31am Top

>193 karenmarie: Hi, Karen! I definitely like the musical interludes. Flying Deuces is a fun movie.

196harrygbutler
Jan 11, 10:33am Top

>194 richardderus: That does sound like a good mix, Richard. I remember a few different horror movie shows and hosts.

197CDVicarage
Jan 11, 1:07pm Top

I remember one Christmas the best programme on TV was a Laurel and Hardy film in which they had to deliver a piano up a steep hill with some steps. It was so simple, and you could see the jokes coming a mile off, but so funny.

198harrygbutler
Jan 11, 3:48pm Top

Hi, Kerry! That short, "The Music Box," is a real delight. It won an Academy Award for Best Short Subject.

199harrygbutler
Jan 11, 3:49pm Top

Movie 10. Oklahoma Blues (1948) — viewed Jan. 10


Fair use, Link


Jimmy Wakely appeared in a number of movies in the 1940s, chiefly westerns, including a stint starring as a singing cowboy for Monogram. In Oklahoma Blues, Jimmy, thought to be gun-slinging desperado The Melody Kid, is recruited to fill in for an injured lawman to put an end to banditry and secure a town’s bid to become the county seat. He does fairly well, until a bogus marshal arrests him for murder! A couple songs add to the proceedings. Mildly recommended.


Source: IMDB

200richardderus
Jan 11, 4:20pm Top

>199 harrygbutler: Oh dear. "Mildly recommended" = "widest possible berth given"

201harrygbutler
Jan 11, 4:35pm Top

>200 richardderus: It was a pleasant little movie, but there's certainly no reason to seek it out unless one is a fan of that sort of thing.

202richardderus
Jan 11, 4:41pm Top

One is most assuredly not. Thanking you for the assessment!

203rosalita
Jan 11, 5:09pm Top

>199 harrygbutler: A gun-totin' tune star! I love mid-20th century slang.

204lyzard
Edited: Jan 11, 5:40pm Top

Are you familiar with the serial, Ace Drummond? - wherein the titular hero is referred to as, "The singing G-man of the air"? :D

Anyone could be a singer back then! - and never mind that Ace only knows one song...

205harrygbutler
Jan 11, 7:20pm Top

>202 richardderus: For me, "mildly recommended" tends to mean it's fine for fans of the genre or the star(s) but of limited appeal otherwise. The next level down is probably a recommendation with specific qualifiers, and below that would be "not recommended."

206harrygbutler
Jan 11, 7:30pm Top

>203 rosalita: It's the cat's meow!

207harrygbutler
Jan 11, 7:37pm Top

>204 lyzard: I certainly do. It's a fun enough chapter play, though the song is indeed a trifle repetitive. :-)

I think John King got more variety when he became "Dusty" and joined the Range Busters at Monogram.

208thornton37814
Jan 12, 8:00am Top

Checking in here. Looks like the movies are going well for you.

209harrygbutler
Jan 12, 8:08am Top

>208 thornton37814: Hi, Lori! Thanks for dropping by. Yes, so far, so good with the movies, though of course it's early days yet. And so far they don't seem to be hindering my reading; rather, they are displacing some evening computer time.

210karenmarie
Jan 12, 8:24am Top

Hi Harry and happy Friday to you.

>206 harrygbutler: The bee's knees, too.

211harrygbutler
Jan 12, 8:52am Top

212harrygbutler
Jan 12, 11:00am Top

Movie 11. The Falcon’s Brother (1942)


By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, Link


Real-life brothers George Sanders and Tom Conway star in The Falcon’s Brother, one of a series of entertaining little mysteries from RKO. After a few years in such films playing first Simon Templar, the Saint, and then Michael Arlen’s similar (at least in the movies) Falcon, Sanders wanted out, and this film was the last in which he appeared. Most of the burden of detecting falls squarely on Conway, who does well in the role of the Falcon’s brother, Tom Lawrence. The series continued with Conway for another nine movies and did quite well for the studio. Recommended.

213rretzler
Jan 12, 11:22pm Top

>189 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry. That might make a good present for my aunt, and of course, we can all visit with her and watch it!

I can't say I'm matching you in the quality of movies, but Keegan was sick on Wednesday and we watched Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, which was actually better than I thought it was going to be (which isn't saying much) , The Corpse Bride (I'm a big fan of Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, and Helena Bonham Carter, but I was slightly underwhelmed) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (third viewing.)

214karenmarie
Jan 13, 8:54am Top

Hi Harry and happy Saturday to you.

>211 harrygbutler: I really liked that, thanks for sharing. "A vitamin pill with legs."

215harrygbutler
Jan 13, 3:49pm Top

>213 rretzler: Hi, Robin! It's always nice to give gifts that you can later share. :-)

I didn't even know there was a Captain Underpants movie. I've seen the books in shops, but that's it. Erika was a big fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas, so we watched The Corpse Bride back when it came to DVD, but thought it was only OK. I'm not sure where we stopped with the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. But you'll definitely see plenty of not-so-good movies through the year here — stay tuned!

216harrygbutler
Jan 13, 3:51pm Top

>214 karenmarie: Hi, Karen! Glad you liked it. Betty Hutton can be a bit too much sometimes, but I thought that was good.

217harrygbutler
Jan 13, 5:56pm Top

Movie 12. The Man They Could Not Hang (1939)


Link


Boris Karloff is Dr. Henryk Savaard, a scientist who invents a mechanical heart device to permit operations while a patient is clinically dead and the subsequent revivification of the patient. However, interference in the first experiment on a human being results in the test subject's death and Dr. Savaard's prosecution for murder. He is condemned to hang, but faces the situation without fear. Then those who convicted him begin to die...

This is one of a few similar horror films that Karloff made, and Karloff as usual delivers solid entertainment. Recommended.

218richardderus
Jan 13, 6:14pm Top

>217 harrygbutler: A hit! A palpable hit! *bustles off to search up Karloffy goodness*

219lyzard
Jan 13, 8:11pm Top

You cannot have too much Karloff... :)

220harrygbutler
Jan 13, 9:44pm Top

>218 richardderus: Our copy was part of the Sony Pictures "Icons of Horror: Boris Karloff" collection.

221harrygbutler
Jan 13, 9:46pm Top

>219 lyzard: I would agree with that, Liz. I think we have nearly his entire post-1931 filmography on DVD — not quite all, but close. :-)

222lyzard
Edited: Jan 13, 9:46pm Top

>220 harrygbutler:

I've got that! :D

223harrygbutler
Jan 13, 9:48pm Top

>220 harrygbutler: Excellent! I did lose track of new releases over the last couple years, so if anything has come newly to DVD in that time, we may have missed it, but we snapped up most of these sorts of sets when we saw them.

224karenmarie
Jan 14, 7:20am Top

'Morning, Harry, and happy Sunday to you.

225harrygbutler
Jan 14, 7:28am Top

Yesterday's book arrivals:


The Horror on the Links, the first of the new collection of Jules de Grandin stories from Weird Tales being published by Night Shade Books


The Rumble Murders, by Henry Ware Eliot, Jr., brother of T. S. Eliot, originally published in 1932


The Owner Lies Dead, by Tyline Perry, originally published in 1930


Seven Dead, by J. Jefferson Farjeon, originally published in 1939

226harrygbutler
Jan 14, 7:29am Top

>224 karenmarie: Good morning, Karen! Off to a quiet start here.

227msf59
Jan 14, 7:32am Top

>225 harrygbutler: Hooray for the book haul!

Morning, Harry! Happy Sunday. With the frigid weather back, it looks like I will not get out for any bird strolls, on my days off. I am bummed, but I hope to spend a little time watching my own feeders during daylight hours.

Enjoy your day!

228harrygbutler
Jan 14, 7:36am Top

>227 msf59: Good morning, Mark! Thanks!

I'm hoping the return to cold temperatures here will mean a revival of activity at our feeders, as they've been very, very quiet this week.

229drneutron
Jan 14, 9:56am Top

The Quinn collection looks great!

230harrygbutler
Jan 14, 10:42am Top

>229 drneutron: This volume covers the first four years of de Grandin stories, 1925–1928. I'm thinking that will be my short story collection reading for February, Jim. I'm pretty sure I've read them all before, but at first blush the format of this edition seems likely to be more comfortable to read than the edition I already own, so I want to try it sooner rather than later to know whether to get the rest.

231harrygbutler
Jan 14, 11:27am Top

4. Poisoned Arrow, by Ibn-e Safi



As Ibn-e Safi’s Poisoned Arrow opens, a man asks Captain Hameed of the Intelligence Bureau for protection, promising him information. But Captain Hameed thinks the man drunk and refuses his aid. Moments later, the man is murdered, slain with a poisoned arrow. A gas grenade drives everyone back from the body, and when the smoke clears, the corpse is naked, and so swollen that it is unrecognizable. Elsewhere that same night, Hameed’s superior, Colonel Faridi, is working with another agent to investigate a situation in which roses are used to establish contact between people involved in some sort of criminal conspiracy. The cases soon overlap, and Faridi and Hameed find themselves apparently dealing with competing criminal gangs.

I didn’t exactly warm to the characters of Faridi and Hameed, but I’m interested in seeing how the overarching story plays out in the remaining three parts of this story arc in Safi’s Jasusi Dunya series. Will the American arch-criminal Dr. Dread make an appearance? He was mentioned in this tale, but thus far not clearly implicated.

Mildly recommended, and perhaps a better choice to sample Safi’s work than the Imran stories.

232richardderus
Jan 14, 2:55pm Top

>225 harrygbutler: Excellent haul!

233harrygbutler
Jan 14, 7:12pm Top

>232 richardderus: Thanks, Richard! I'm looking forward to reading them.

234harrygbutler
Jan 14, 7:13pm Top

Movie 13. Bringing Up Baby (1938)


By RKO - Transferred from en.wikipedia by SreeBot source, Public Domain, Link


Last night’s movie was easily the best of the year so far. Bringing Up Baby is a delightfully funny movie, a screwball comedy starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant that as always had me laughing out loud often. After paleontologist Grant meets Hepburn by accident, she sets her sights on him, dragging him with her to help take care of a leopard (the Baby of the title) and embroiling him in assorted mishaps with scarcely a moment for breath. Charlie Ruggles adds to the appeal of the film with an amusing turn as a big game hunter who has mastered animal calls as well.

Highly recommended!

235fuzzi
Jan 15, 7:16am Top

>234 harrygbutler: that's one that's been on my "to watch" list for a while.

236karenmarie
Jan 15, 7:23am Top

Good morning, Harry!

I absolutely adore Bringing Up Baby and most screwball comedies of the 30s and 40s.

237harrygbutler
Jan 15, 8:18am Top

>235 fuzzi: Good morning! It's well worth seeking out. It's available on DVD as part of a few different collections.

238harrygbutler
Jan 15, 8:20am Top

>236 karenmarie: Hi, Karen! Madcap mirth...and of course nearly anything with Cary Grant, especially in a comedic role, is going to be very enjoyable.

239msf59
Jan 15, 8:22am Top

Morning, Harry. Woke up to snow. Boo! At least I don't have to traipse around in it today. Yah!

240harrygbutler
Jan 15, 8:33am Top

>239 msf59: Hi, Mark! The snow should mean active feeders — at least that's the way it seems to work around here.

241Crazymamie
Jan 15, 11:30am Top

>234 harrygbutler: One of my favorites!

Morning, Harry! All of the Karloff love (me, too, by the way) is making me think of Arsenic and Old Lace - have you seen that one? Cary Grant plays the main character, and his creepy older brother is played by Raymond Massey. Peter Lorre plays the surgeon hired by the older brother to disguise his looks. Unfortunately, Lorre's character had slept too little and drank too much, so he makes him look like Karloff, who he had recently seen in a movie. Another of those screwball comedies that Karen mentioned.

242harrygbutler
Jan 15, 12:26pm Top

>241 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie! Arsenic and Old Lace is a terrific movie. We even got to see it once in an old movie theater.

That joke must have been even more effective in the original Broadway show, with Boris Karloff in the Jonathan Brewster role.

243harrygbutler
Jan 15, 7:29pm Top

Movie 14. Air Hawks (1935)


By Source, Fair use, Link


Air Hawks is one of a number of movies in the 1930s involving an invention — usually some sort of ray — that can bring down airplanes. Here it is used by a rival to try to force the upstart Independent Transcontinental Lines, led by Ralph Bellamy, out of business. The minor film’s claim to fame is the brief presence of famed aviator Wiley Post, first aviator to fly around the world solo; the movie was filmed just months before Post met his death with humorist Will Rogers while trying to establish a mail and passenger route from the U.S. West Coast to Russia. Mildly recommended.

Movie 15. Blackbeard the Pirate (1952)


Movie poster image from IMDB


The second movie yesterday, Blackbeard the Pirate, was heaps better, with quintessential pirate Robert Newton in the title role. The plot is a bit of nonsense about a man going undercover as a ship’s doctor in an effort to prove that Sir Henry Morgan, though ostensibly reformed, is still a pirate. A woman on the run, with a secret, also figures in the story. But all that pales in comparison to Newton as cunning, treacherous, gleefully wicked Edward Teach, so boisterous and unrepentant a blackguard that one almost roots for him. Recommended.

244swynn
Jan 15, 10:27pm Top

More love here for Bringing Up Baby. It gets even better the second and third time.

245harrygbutler
Jan 15, 11:02pm Top

>244 swynn: Yes, indeed it does!

246karenmarie
Jan 16, 7:01am Top

Good morning, Harry! I had lots of bird activity yesterday, including a Common Grackle. The sun was shining down on him and the iridescence of his feathers was absolutely breathtaking.

247msf59
Jan 16, 7:03am Top

Morning, Harry. I think we ended up with six inches or so of snow. It is going to be a workout today.

I hope your work day goes smoothly.

248harrygbutler
Jan 16, 7:19am Top

>246 karenmarie: Hi, Karen! Grackles are beautiful birds. We have a flock that comes around each year that includes a few red-winged blackbirds, too.

>247 msf59: Hi, Mark! That's a fair amount of snow to deal with. I hope the day goes well nonetheless.

249thornton37814
Jan 16, 11:05am Top

We're awaiting the snow's arrival here. I expect it in the next hour and a half or so. Prediction is for 2.1 inches (or was this morning).

250rretzler
Jan 17, 1:46am Top

>225 harrygbutler: Harry, I just snagged a copy of Seven Dead as well. Don't know when I'm going to get around to reading it though!

>234 harrygbutler: >241 Crazymamie: Love both those movies. Cary Grant is a favorite of mine, as is Humphrey Bogart. Back when I was in college, I would record their movies on Betamax and watch them over and over. That reminds me to add both of those movies to the list of movies I want to share with the boys.

251harrygbutler
Jan 17, 7:05am Top

>249 thornton37814: Some snow arrived here overnight, Lori. It looks like we got something in the range you were expecting, but I'll know better once it's a bit lighter outside.

252harrygbutler
Jan 17, 7:10am Top

>250 rretzler: Hi, Robin! Have you tried Farjeon's Ben the Tramp books, which are available from the HarperCollins Detective Club? I've read the first few and liked the character so well that I got the whole series. More crime thriller than detective story in those I've read so far.

As Erika says, it's hard to go wrong with a movie starring Grant. I like Bogart as well, and I'm sure he'll be making an appearance soon.

253harrygbutler
Jan 17, 7:10am Top

Movie 16. Charlie Chan at the Race Track


By Source, Fair use, Link


The Charlie Chan movies may be my favorite detective series, and Charlie Chan at the Race Track is a decent entry in the series. A racehorse owner, a friend of the great detective, writes him after an incident during the Melbourne Cup suggests the machinations of a gambling ring. On the ship (a vessel from the Matson Line, still in business today), the owner is killed, ostensibly by his own horse, though Chan finds evidence of murder. He travels aboard the ship to the mainland U.S. to investigate, accompanied by son Lee. Recommended.

254harrygbutler
Jan 17, 7:24am Top

5. Katzenjammer: A Selection of Comics, by Rudolph Dirks and Harold H. Knerr


I’ve been a fan of the Katzenjammer Kids since I was a kid myself, so I picked up this collection of comic book reprints featuring both versions of the kids—as The Katzenjammer Kids, as drawn by Harold H. Knerr, and as The Captain and the Kids, as drawn by the original creator of the kids, Rudolph Dirks (the outcome of a lawsuit that left the Hearst syndicate with ownership of the name and the right to continue the strip, but with Dirks the right to use the characters he originally created, leading to two competing versions in syndication for decades). Sadly, it was a bit disappointing. Some of the material included just wasn’t very amusing, and unfortunately the reproductions were occasionally so poor (presumably because of poor source material) that I couldn’t read the dialogue balloons or quite see what was going on. Regretfully not really recommended.

255karenmarie
Jan 17, 8:08am Top

Good morning, Harry! We've been getting some rain which is now transitioning to snow. It's supposed to snow all day. I'm sure I'll have hungry birds.

256harrygbutler
Jan 17, 8:23am Top

Ooh, a day of snow! Nice, though probably not so nice for you. And yes, the birds will almost certainly be eager for food.

257harrygbutler
Jan 17, 8:52am Top

258drneutron
Jan 17, 8:58am Top

*snerk* Mark needs to see that one.

259richardderus
Jan 17, 9:34am Top

>257 harrygbutler: Ha! Love it.

I too appreciated Bringing Up Baby and Blackbeard the Pirate.

Happy How'd-It-Get-to-be-Wednesday!

260msf59
Jan 17, 10:04am Top

>257 harrygbutler: LIKE!

Morning, Harry. Hope you didn't get hit very hard with the snow. I am still planning on going on my owl hike tomorrow afternoon. It looks like it will be clear and about 30. I can handle that. Fingers crossed.

261Crazymamie
Jan 17, 10:20am Top

Morning, Harry! Your thread is a very dangerous place! I picked up a couple of those Ben the Tramp books based on your comments to Robin.

>253 harrygbutler: I watched a lot of those movies with my Dad back in the day - you are making me want to revisit them.

>257 harrygbutler: Ha!

262harrygbutler
Jan 17, 11:35am Top

>258 drneutron: And he did, down in >260 msf59:. :-)

263harrygbutler
Jan 17, 11:38am Top

>259 richardderus: Thanks, Richard! All week I've actually felt as though it were a day later than it is.

264harrygbutler
Jan 17, 11:38am Top

>260 msf59: Thought you might, Mark. I hope conditions stay favorable for your owl prowl!

265harrygbutler
Jan 17, 11:50am Top

>261 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie! The books have some dated aspects, but Ben is an interesting and sympathetic character. I hope you enjoy them!

The other series that I remember seeing often were the Sherlock Holmes movies with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, which I still like, but perhaps not as much as I did then. I've since discovered a lot of other series (e.g., the Crime Doctor, Boston Blackie, the Lone Wolf, the Falcon) that I never saw as a child (or at least don't recall) and that I've enjoyed.

266mstrust
Jan 17, 12:10pm Top

>253 harrygbutler: What a beautifully lurid movie poster. Glad the movie was good.

267harrygbutler
Jan 17, 12:34pm Top

>266 mstrust: It is cool, isn't it? I'm getting more familiar with posters and lobby cards beyond the more common ones with this viewing project, as I'm trying to include one in my post whenever possible

268fuzzi
Jan 17, 6:53pm Top

>257 harrygbutler: hardeharharhar!

269harrygbutler
Jan 17, 8:07pm Top

>268 fuzzi: Hi! Are you out of your reading funk?

270harrygbutler
Jan 17, 8:08pm Top

Movie 17. Live Wires (1946)


Source: IMDB


The first of an incredible run of 48 Bowery Bows movies (from 1946 to 1958), Live Wires offers a mix of comedy and crime. Slip Mahoney (Leo Gorcey) loses a series of jobs because of his predilection for violence when insulted, though his long-suffering older sister tries to get him to settle down and take things easier. Slip eventually finds work at the same company where Sach (Huntz Hall) is employed as a process server, and that work leads to their involvement in tracking down criminals. Louie’s Sweet Shop features as the gang’s home base, but Bernard Gorcey (Leo’s father) is not yet playing Louie. Mike Mazurki has an amusing part as the target of a summons. Recommended.

271msf59
Jan 18, 7:05am Top

Morning, Harry! Come on owls!!

272karenmarie
Jan 18, 8:38am Top

Hi Harry and happy Thursday to you. 48 movies. Wow. I've heard of the Bowery Boys but never seen any of the movies. Now, in addition to "Too many books, too little time" I'm going to have to say "Too many movies, too little time"!

273harrygbutler
Jan 18, 9:22am Top

>271 msf59: Good morning, Mark! Good luck with the owls!

274harrygbutler
Jan 18, 9:25am Top

>272 karenmarie: Good morning, Karen! That series followed a 21-movie East Side Kids series with some of the same actors.

You're absolutely right. If I recall correctly, the peak year for Hollywood in the sound era was sometime during WW2, with well over 700 feature-length movies released. RKO alone released 48 movies in 1941 and 50 in 1942, for example, plus short subjects.

275Crazymamie
Jan 18, 9:26am Top

Morning, Harry! You are taking me back - I bet I watched all of those Bowery Boys movies when I was younger. They had a station on tv that would show old movies on the weekend, and my Dad and I would watch them together.

276harrygbutler
Jan 18, 9:43am Top

>275 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie! I remember watching them, too, but I have no idea which ones I may have seen. The Warner Archive program has released DVDs with some, or maybe all, of them, so I'm sure I'll be watching more.

277rosalita
Jan 18, 9:47am Top

I've heard of the Bowery Boys but never really knew the premise or seen any of the movies. I'm enjoying this belated education I'm getting from your movie posts, Harry.

278harrygbutler
Jan 18, 11:33am Top

>277 rosalita: Hi, Julia! I'm glad you're enjoying them so far. There'll be some more famous movies, too, but I've always had a fondness for the bread-and-butter fare, whether still moderately well-known (the Andy Hardy movies starring Mickey Rooney, for example) or largely forgotten (the 28-film Blondie series, for example, though I think I've only seen one or two of those).

279rosalita
Jan 18, 12:52pm Top

I have seen a couple of the Andy Hardy movies on late-night tellyvision back in the day. :-) "Hey kids, let's put on a show!" Good stuff.

280fuzzi
Jan 18, 1:07pm Top

>269 harrygbutler: I hope so, after rereading four (4!) CJ Cherryh books!

Circus is on my "next" list, but I didn't get to it last night.

281harrygbutler
Jan 18, 1:50pm Top

>279 rosalita: Yep, that's the ticket!

282harrygbutler
Jan 18, 1:51pm Top

>280 fuzzi: Oh, good! I just barely started my next book myself, though I have a few that are ongoing reads as well.

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