Friday, May 27, 2022

The Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie Game

A truck. That's it. How cruel can we be! Of course, there are two men in the picture but good luck trying to figure out who they are. The truck has mud splattered on it, too....if that helps.

As always, if you are not familiar with the rules of The Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie game or the prize, click here!


Congratulations to Damsbo for cracking this hard nut! This is a screenshot from the Jayne Mansfield film "The Wayward Bus" ( 1957 ) which tells the story of a group of passengers ( including Joan Collins and Dan Dailey ) whose lives change when they take a rundown old bus through the desert. In this scene, character actor Will Wright ( Old Ben on "The Andy Griffith Show" ) is getting out of the truck and about to enter the diner.  

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Announcing The MGM Blogathon!

Get Ready to Roar! 

To celebrate one of the greatest film studios of Hollywood, the grand-daddy of them all, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Silver Scenes will be hosting The MGM Blogathon that will take place right smack In the Good Ol' Summertime - June 26-28th, 2022

It will be a three-day event celebrating the great stars, character actors, films, and behind-the-scenes personnel from the golden age of MGM: 1925-1959. Between these years when Leo the Lion heralded a film, audiences knew they were in for a treat. 

From the fledgling days of MGM, through the wonder years of Irving Thalberg, on up until the collapse of the studio system in the late 1950s, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer made its mark in the film industry with quality productions, a galaxy of stars covering all ages, and publicity campaigns that were like no other. Poignant romances ( Waterloo Bridge, Camille ), ambitious spectacles ( Marie Antionette, The Good Earth ), and entertaining musicals ( Rose Marie, Million Dollar Mermaid ) shot out of the studio at lightning speed and set the mark for other studios to follow. 

As has often been noted, MGM never made a "B" film. There were secondary flicks such as The Thin Man or Calling Dr. Kildare, but no matter how low the budget, all films proudly bore the MGM stamp of excellence. A studio with such standards deserves a whale of a good celebration and what better way to celebrate than through the written word.

The MGM Blogathon will take place during that Strange Interlude between the start of summer and the Fourth of July: June 26-28th. You can submit as many posts as you'd like for we'll be gathering a Random Harvest of MGM-themed articles. And, just to show we have Sporting Blood, we're going to select a random participating blogger and award them with an original vintage MGM photo from the Silverbanks Pictures Archives.

Note: Only posts submitted between June 26-28th will be eligible for the award.

Are there any rules to this blogathon? Heck no! Listen Darling, you can write about any topic you want just so long as it has to do with MGM. If you want to write about an experience/memory watching an MGM film that is alright too. But since it's going to be a Big Parade and we'd like to cut down on the Greed, we have this one request to make: no two participants can write about the same film or star. Make your choices quickly then, for when a topic is gone, it's Gone with the Wind.

Why, we're so generous with the rules that if you want to join in on the fun AFTER the blogathon ends, you're welcome! If Winter Comes and we're still getting submissions we'll be happy. There are no Forbidden Hours nor forbidden bloggers. All are welcome...the Bad and the Beautiful, Freaks, and even Laughing Sinners. No Invitation is needed, no topic is Too Hot to Handle and there are No Questions Asked ( but all will be answered ). We want to create a spot for classic film fans to find great posts on their favorite MGM films, all in one place. The celebration will be lasting all year long!

If you want to join in on the fun: just click on the comment box below and leave your name, blog site and the topic you would like to write about. You can also email us at silverbankspictures at gmail ( you know the rest ).

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced some of the greatest films in cinema's history; featured more stars than there were in the heavens; and had some of the most talented directors, producers, screenwriters, and technicians the world has ever known....but just in case you can't think of any ideas at the moment, here are some suggestions:

Stars: Greta Garbo, Elizabeth Taylor, Gene Kelly, Judy Garland, Van Johnson, Frank Sinatra, Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Lana Turner, Norma Shearer, John Gilbert, Mickey Rooney, Deborah Kerr, Ava Gardner, Robert Taylor, Jane Powell, John Barrymore, Lon Chaney, Spencer Tracy, Fred Astaire, Myrna Loy, William Powell, Jean Harlow, Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy.

Films: The Women, Gigi, Ben-Hur, Singin' in the Rain, When Ladies Meet, A Date with Judy, Mogambo, Mrs. Miniver, Elephant Walk, National Velvet, State of the Union, The Three Musketeers, Daddy Long Legs, An American in Paris, Chained, Dinner at Eight, Manhattan Melodrama, Queen Christina, The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Grand Hotel, He Who Gets Slapped, Naughty Marietta, Waterloo Bridge, Camille, The Good Earth.

Series: Andy Hardy, Tarzan, Maisie, The Thin Man, The Little Rascals, The Fast Series, Dr. Kildare, Tom and Jerry, Lassie.

Behind-the-Scenes: Louis B. Mayer, Irving Thalberg, Douglas Shearer, William Tuttle, Cedric Gibbons, Helen Rose, Dorothy Jeakins, James Wong Howe, Natalie Kalmus, Victor Fleming, Clarence Brown, Busby Berkeley, George Cukor, Arthur Hornblow Jr., Irving Berlin.
Wikipedia also has a small sampling of MGM films listed here, and if you really want to be The Prince of Adventurers then you can head on over to and stay up to The Thirteenth Hour perusing their list of MGM titles.


Now that you've heard the Good News, it's time to Get Happy and join The Band Wagon! Beg, Borrow, and Steal an idea if you have to ( although we don't recommend stealing Personal Property ) but let's celebrate this monumental studio in style!

Banners are available below, so please post them on your site and help promote this roaring good event!


Saturday, May 21, 2022

Dell Movie Classics: The Lost World ( 1960 )

In the 1950s, Dell Comics launched a fantastic movie tie-in series that featured comic books of current hit films. The majority of the titles they chose for this series were aimed at children, so Walt Disney titles often graced the cover of their comics, but also a good number of action and adventure films ( e.g. Hatari, Dr. Who and the Daleks, Jason and the Argonauts ). One favorite was Irwin Allen's The Lost World ( #1145 ).

This colorful comic cost a mere 10 cents when it was first released in 1960 and featured color photos from the film on the cover as well as black-and-white photos on the inside cover. The comic story follows the film quite closely and boasts some great artwork by Gil Kane. 

David Hedison and Jill St. John don't quite look like their normal selves, but he captured a good likeness of the dinosaur lizards mauling each other. 

Today, this comic sells for $20-$50 which may be a bit steep for the casual film fan, but if you are an Irwin Allen enthusiast, then it is well worth the buy. 

Friday, May 20, 2022

Film Albums: The Great Race : Music from the Film ( 1965 )

Blake Edward's classic zany comedy The Great Race featured a great cast of actors ( Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Jack Lemmon, Peter Falk, etc ), great location filming, great set design, AND a great none other than Henry Mancini. This talented composer was at his peak in the 1960s and, as is evident by the prominence of his name on the cover of this album, was a top-selling recording artist in the music industry. 

Mancini's score for this film is as memorable as the movie itself and as you listen to this soundtrack recording you'll find yourself mentally picturing all the scenes in the movie. Hans Fantel's liner notes succinctly describe the score as a musical "slapstick memoir of an era when motorcars always backfired and all the bands went oom-pah!" 

Track Listing: 

Side One: 

Overture (He Shouldn't-A Hadn't-A, Oughtn't-a Swang On Me!; The Sweetheart Tree (Choral); The Great Race March) (03:35)

Push the Button, Max! (02:52)

The Royal Waltz (01:37)

Night, Night Sweet Prince (02:58)

They're Off! (01:28)

Side Two:

The Sweetheart Tree (Choral) (01:55)

The Great Race March (A Patriotic Medley) (01:48)

He Shouldn't-A, Hadn't-A, Ought'n'T-A Swang On Me (03:05)
    Vocal by Special Guest Star Dorothy Provine

Music To Become King By (02:33)

Cold Finger (02:24)

Pie-In-The Face Polka (02:21)

Top Music Picks: Overture, The Sweetheart Tree, He Shouldn't-a, Hadn't-a, Ought'nt-a Swang on Me

The Sweetheart Tree is an especially lovely piece with lyrics by the legendary songwriter Johnny Mercer. The choral version not only features wonderful vocals but a great player piano intro. 

Friday, May 13, 2022

From the Archives: Paula Prentiss in "Man's Favorite Sport?"

This beautiful headshot of Paula Prentiss was taken to publicize the Universal film "Man's Favorite Sport?", which was released in 1964. Paula played alongside Rock Hudson in this fun comedy set at a campground in California. 

From the Archives is our latest series of posts where we share photos from the Silverbanks Pictures collection. Some of these may have been sold in the past, and others may still be available for purchase at our eBay store :

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Classic Horse Racing Comedies

It's that time of year...the grass is growing green, the magnolias are in bloom - and the horses are racing! Look at 'em go! 

A Mother's Day Weekend tradition, the 148th Kentucky Derby once again takes place this evening so why not get in the spirit of this classic American tradition by watching some horse racing films? In a previous post, we've shared our top picks of the 1940s and 1950s, but this time around we are going to stick with the funnies. Betting on the horses can be frustrating but it also makes great fodder for comedy. Here are our winning sillies about fillies: 

Three Men on a Horse ( 1936 ) - Frank McHugh stars as a meek salesman who has an uncanny ability to pick horses. For that skill alone, a group of gamblers decides that he's a man worth kidnapping. Joan Blondell and Guy Kibbee also star in this Mervyn LeRoy film. 

A Day at the Races ( 1937 ) - This certainly ranks as one of the wildest comedies about the track - and who best to star in it than a trio of real-life horse betters : The Marx Brothers! In this classic Groucho plays a veterinarian posing as a doctor who, with the help of a misfit racehorse, tries to save a New York sanitarium from bankruptcy. 

Straight Place and Show ( 1938 ) - If you thought A Day at the Races was zany, then check out the Ritz Brothers. Their comedy routines weren't as rollicking as the Marx Brothers, but it is still a good rule not to eat peanuts while you watch. In this picture, they take up jobs as wrestlers to raise money to help a young man train his first racehorse. 

Scattergood Rides High ( 1942 ) - Guy Kibbee starred in a whole slew of Scattergood films during the 1940s, so naturally the small-town philosopher ended up eventually visiting a horse farm. Jed Prouty and Dorothy Moore also star in this 4th entry in the series. 

It Ain't Hay ( 1943 ) - Bud Abbott and Lou Costello often used their own material, but on occasion they resorted to an old script, which was the case with this film. Princess O'Hara ( 1935 ) was a Jean Parker/Chester Morris comedy that perfectly suited the hijinks of the Universal boys. Lou plays a street vendor who finds his nag has been replaced with a thoroughbred. In no time at all, he is off to the tracks!

So You Want to Play the Horses ( 1946 ) - This one isn't a feature film, but a gem of a short film that can't be passed up while we are mentioning horse racing comedies. George O'Hanlon made an excellent series of "So You Want to...." comedy shorts featuring his Joe McDoakes character, and this one covers the ins and outs of the betting game.  

The Fabulous Suzanne ( 1946 ) - This amusing Republic quickie features a young Barbara Britton ( best remembered for playing the scatter-brained Mrs. Brown in the television series My Favorite Martian ) as a waitress with a surefire "system" for winning at the racetrack. Otto Kruger and Rudy Vallee also star.

Easy Come, Easy Go ( 1947 ) - Also known as Easily Seen, Easily Forgotten.....but while you watch it is fun. This Sonny Tufts comedy features one of the largest Irish casts in any film - Barry Fitzgerald, Arthur Shields, Frank McHugh, and Allen Jenkins to name just a few. Frank Faylan and Diana Lynn also star.

The Return of October ( 1948 ) - This is a silly but engaging family comedy about a trainer ( James Gleason ) who loved horses so much that he swore he would come back to life as a horse. His niece ( Terry Moore ) believes he did just that and Professor Bassett ( Glenn Ford ) finds her to be an excellent subject for his upcoming thesis.

Sorrowful Jones ( 1949 ) - Sorrowful Jones may sound like the name of a horse, but it is really Bob Hope's character, who is a cheap bookie who is stuck playing nursemaid to a little girl after a man leaves her as a marker for a bet. Lucille Ball also stars in this comedy and the twosome of Hope and Ball were reunited in three more films, including Fancy Pants just a year later.

Francis Goes to the Races ( 1951 )
- Francis may be a mule, but he enjoys a good race just like any horse. Here, Francis gives Peter ( Donald O'Connor ) some hot insider tips "straight from the horse's mouth" that come in handy when Peter attempts to help his gal ( Piper Laurie ) and her grandfather repay debts they owe to a racketeer.

Money from Home ( 1953 ) - If Abbott and Costello can make a racing picture, so can Martin and Lewis. This one has veternarian Virgil ( Jerry Lewis ) donning a jockey outfit and racing to the finish on an underdog, much to the surprise of Dean Martin, Mara Corday and Pat Crowley.

The March Hare ( 1956 ) - This colorful British comedy is set in Ireland and stars Cyril Cusack as a drink-loving trainer who whispers a "magic word", obtained from the fairy queen, to his horse before each big race. A sideline romance between Terence Morgan and Peggy Cummins, and a slew of great British character actors ( Martita Hunt, Wilfred Hyde White ), make this a gem.