Friday, December 30, 2022

The Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie Game

"Calling in the New Year, calling in the New Year, are you there?"

"Hello, Old Year! New Year here. Getting ready to arrive and sending you my best wishes!"

This woman might not be connecting the Old Year with the New Year but she is certainly hooking someone up on the switchboard. We'll be kind and give you a hint about this screenshot: don't spend too much time trying to identify these two gals, they appeared only briefly in this musical. Good luck guessing....and Happy New Year to all our readers! 


Congratulations to The Tactful Typist for correctly identifying this scene from "Sun Valley Serenade" ( 1941 ) starring John Payne. This scene takes place just after the opening credits when John Payne and Glenn Miller and his orchestra arrive at the recording studio to audition. 

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Holiday Television Specials on Tubi

There has been a bevy of classic Christmas movies playing on television this year so you probably had no shortage of films to watch, but if you wanted to watch some classic singers crooning Christmas tunes, you may have to hunt a little further away from the mainstream channels and turn on your Roku instead. There, on the Tubi app ( also available for viewing online at ), you will find some delightful Christmas programs to watch, a few of which we have spotlighted below: 

The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour - Christmas Special ( 1970 ) - Country music legend Glen Campbell showed his audience a goodtime in this 1970 Christmas special that guest-starred Anne Murray and George Gobel. 

The King Family Color Christmas Celebration ( 1967 ) - The King Family aka "America's First Family of Song" gathered together for this colorful Christmas celebration that showcased the King sisters, the King cousins, Alvino Rey, and all the little Kings. 

Spend the Holidays with Liberace ( 1954 ) - If you want to enjoy some splendid piano music, then check out this special with the ivories-maestro Liberace, who is joined by his brother George Liberace in a celebration of holiday music. 

Andy Williams Best of Christmas ( 2001 ) - This fun feature first premiered on PBS nearly two decades ago and features clips from The Andy Williams Show over the years, all of which are introduced by Andy himself. 

Pat Boone & Family Christmas Special ( 1979 ) - If you want some laughs, check out this special, which has very little to do with Christmas. Pat Boone sent out invitations to 300 guests for a Christmas party and nobody wants to attend - except the Ropers!

The Bing Crosby Color Christmas Show ( 1965 ) - Bing Crosby made several Christmas specials over the years ( the 1970 show with Robert Goulet is a real treat ) but this show is actually an episode from The Hollywood Palace that Bing hosted. Guest stars include the cast of Hogan's Heroes and Dorothy Collins. 

Christmas with Lorne Greene ( 1966 ) - The star of one of television's most popular western series, Bonanza, Lorne Greene dons the beard of Santa and joins the UNICEF children's choir in this lost black-and-white classic from 1966. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Check it Out! Mary Costa Performs The Ukrainian Carol

We have a special treat to share with you today: Mary Costa performing The Ukrainian Carol ( set to words ) on Bing Crosby's The Sounds of Christmas television special filmed in 1970. The lovely opera singer is best known for providing the voice of Aurora in Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty ( 1959 ), but she had a long career on stage performing operas all over the world, including La Traviata and Candide

We were unable to find a clip of this beautiful performance so instead, this links to the entire The Sounds of Christmas special. Mary Costa performs at the 18:20 minute mark ( it should begin right away if you are watching via this link )....and be sure to check out Robert Goulet's fantastic version of "Do You Hear What I Hear?" while you are it. That begins at the 5:50 minute mark. 


Saturday, December 17, 2022

King of the Jungle ( 1933 )

A young boy is raised by a pride of lions in Africa after his parents are killed while on a safari. He loves the lions and speaks to them as friends. Years later, a group of hunters captures "the lion man" as he is now known, and along with his lions, they ship him to San Francisco to be exhibited in a circus. The Lion Man ( Buster Crabbe ) quickly escapes and finds refuge in the apartment of two startled women - one of whom takes a fancy to this strange two-legged creature. With her guidance, the lion man is soon tamed, taught to speak, and eventually goes on tour with the circus.....but his heart remains in Africa and his one dream is to buy back his lions so that he can free them in the wild again. 

When MGM premiered the jungle adventure Tarzan the Ape Man in 1932, it became an overnight sensation and, not wanting to be outdone by their rivals, Paramount Pictures quickly put into production their own version of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan - Kaspa the Lion Man in King of the Jungle. In place of Johnny Weismuller, they starred Buster Crabbe, the 1932 Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer whose virile presence could rival Weismuller's in any jungle. 

Buster Crabbe was an ideal man to portray Kaspa, a wonderful wild man who had never seen "civilization" before. Buster had a boyish innocent face and a physique that made him seem twice the size of any man next to him. Just like when Dr. Banner turned into the Hulk, Crabbe's clothes looked like they would split at any moment if he flexed his muscles. 

Not surprisingly, Kaspa quickly found a mate for himself when he arrived stateside - the lovely Frances Dee. He sneaks into her apartment to eat the porkchop dinner she left on the table and within ten minutes she was by his side and off to the circus with him!

King of the Jungle runs for only 73 minutes but it is filled to the brim with excitement. The jungle scenes, as well as some of the circus scenes, are not for the faint of heart. Back in the day, Paramount was able to put a lion in a cage with a tiger and just film them brawling, a practice that animal leagues would definitely not approve of today. While the fight scenes are frightening, what is most amazing is how many lions they were able to film in the wild. It would be nice to think that large prides of lions are still roaming in Africa like this. 

Buster Crabbe learned how to train lions while making King of the Jungle so in many of the scenes where he appears with the lions, that is Crabbe himself doing his own stunts. Impressive. 

The film also boasts a strong cast of supporting players including Sidney Toler ( not playing Charlie Chan ), Nydia Westman, Robert Barrat and Patricia Farley. 

King of the Jungle is available on DVD as well as on Youtube here

Friday, December 9, 2022

From the Archives: All This and Heaven, Too ( 1940 )

Bette Davis looks properly prim in this scene from All This and Heaven, Too ( 1940 ), the Warner Brothers' classic where she stars as Mlle. Henriette, a much-loved French governess who falls in love with her distinguished employer, played by Charles Boyer. 

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 :