Monday, July 31, 2023

Film Albums: Palm Springs Weekend ( 1963 )

This month's film album is a fun one. Even if you haven't seen Palm Springs Weekend, you will enjoy this album, which perfectly captures the frolic of a weekend in Palm Springs ( not that I have ever been there, but if I did go, this music would be playing! ). It's a catchy mixture of a brass, swing, surf music and some youthful stars doing their darnest to try to sing. Troy Donahue's voice is not half bad and he had a minor hit with "Live Young". Connie Stevens, of course, had quite a big record career. "What Till I Tell Him" never charted but it is a pleasant song. The Palm Canyon Bossa Nova is the best song on the album with its laid-back Manciniesque vibes.

The music was written by Frank Perkins, who also composed Mary, Mary, The Incredible Mr. Limpet and music for television series such as Hawaiian Eye, Bourbon Street Beat, and 77 Sunset Strip.

Palm Springs Weekend-The Soundtrack was released in stereo by Warner Bros. Records ( SB-1054 ) and could be heard on CD or on Youtube here

Track Listing

Side One

Troy Donahue– Live Young 
"Palm Springs Weekend" Orchestra– Hurricane Twist 
Modern Folk Quartet*– Ox Driver 
"Palm Springs Weekend" Orchestra– Shilly - Shally 
Connie Stevens– What Will I Tell Him 
"Palm Springs Weekend" Orchestra– Palm Canyon Bossa Nova - Hurricane Twist 

Side Two

"Palm Springs Weekend" Orchestra– Go, Go-Devil 
Ty Hardin, Jerry Van Dyke– Bye Bye Blackbird
"Palm Springs Weekend" Orchestra– Palm Springs Scramble
"Palm Springs Weekend" Orchestra– Prescription For Recovery
 Bob Conrad (3)– A Little Bit Of Give
"Palm Springs Weekend" Orchestra– Live Young-Closing

Top Music Picks: Live Young, What Will I Tell Him, Palm Canyon Bossa Nova

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Check it Out! Vintage Hollywood Commissary Menu Prints

There is a store for just about everything online. A few days ago I was thinking how interesting it would be to track down an original menu from a Hollywood studio commissary and, after doing a quick online search, came across this gem of a business: Vintage Menu Art. 

Someone already took the time and money to collect menus from the studio commissaries ( as well as lots of other great Los Angeles area menus ), scanned them, and is now offering them as prints to frame on a wall. What a neat idea! This would make for excellent kitchen wall decor. ( Click on the images below to view at a larger size.)

Menus were so much simpler in the 1940s-1950s. They didn't have pages and pages of food to choose from. Usually, one page featured it all, and hamburgers, cream of tomato soup, steak, cottage cheese, and bacon and eggs could be found on just about every menu. Paramount Pictures had a nice selection of more unusual items however, like Scotch Lamb Broth with Barley Soup, Veal Goulash and Swiss Bratwurst, Sweetbreads (!!), and a really nice choice of 10-cent desserts. That helps to emphasize their menu's slogan, "Eat, drink, and be merry for ye shall be a long time dead."

Below you will find the links to the studio commissary menus that Vintage Menu Art has to offer. But it is well worth checking their other menus out as well. Ozzie's Seafood sounds especially appetizing!

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Broken Arrow ( 1950 )

The Legends of Western Cinema Blogathon is taking place this week celebrating great Western films, television series, and stars of Westerns. Our choice for this event is a review of the classic James Stewart western Broken Arrow, released in 1950. 

This was the first dramatic western that James Stewart ever made and he was so well suited to the genre that he went on to star in sixteen more westerns within the next 25 years. The story is one of friendship, love, and cultural understanding set against the backdrop of the tumultuous Apache Wars in the Arizona Territory in 1870.

James Stewart portrays veteran scout Tom Jeffords who is tired of the warfare between the whites and the Apaches. He reasons that intelligence and understanding must be used in putting a halt to the war. He learns the Apache language and their customs and then rides into their camp to prevail upon their leader Cochise to allow the overland mail riders to pass unharmed. This is a small step in what Tom hopes will be the beginning of peace negotiations. 

Jeffords slowly gains the trust of Cochise who agrees to talk peace terms with General Oliver Otis Howard who is acting as an ambassador to the "Great White Chief", President Ulysses S. Grant. Cochise eventually agrees to "break the arrow" with the white people, a symbol of the Apaches to stop fighting, but there are men on both sides who resist extending the olive branch of peace. 

"To talk of peace is not hard. To live it is very hard."

If you enjoy action-packed westerns, then Broken Arrow is not for you. It meanders along like a gentle brook and the only tension to be had is in wondering whether the peace treaty will be broken by either party before they have a chance to cement their relationship. However, the story is so engrossing that action is not needed. It is a touching and thought-provoking film. When Tom first enters Apache territory, he expects to encounter a hostile warrior and isn't even certain he will leave the area alive. Instead, he finds a man as tired of war as he is. Cochise admires Jeffords courage in approaching his camp and is touched that he took the time and effort to learn the Apache language and way of life. In turn, Jeffords comes to respect Cochise and the care he has for his people. A strong bond is forged between him and Cochise, one built on mutual admiration. 

Jeff Chandler gives a wonderful and dignified performance as the wise warrior. He was such a handsome man and had a natural flair for acting. With his expressive face, minimal dialogue was needed for him to convey a message, making him an ideal actor for this role. Cochise was a man who used actions instead of words. Chandler was nominated for an Academy Award for his role and - according to Kim Newman, author of "Wild West Movies" - he established Cochise as the "1950s model of an Indian hero."

James Stewart also gives a sensitive performance as the weary scout. Jeffords is a middle-aged man who has been alone all of his life. Now that he is getting older, all he wants is peace and the settler's life he never had. When he enters Apache Territory the last thing he expects to find is romance, but he falls in love with the beautiful Sonseeahray (16-year-old Debra Paget making her screen debut ) the moment he sees her and asks Cochise for her hand in marriage. 

"It won't be easy for you both....You will go far away, always to new places but your eyes will never see anything because they will always be turned backwards...towards home."

Also in the cast is Basil Ruysdael as the "Christian General", Jay Silverheels as Geronimo, and Frank McGrath. Delmar Daves does a wonderful job directing the film and creating a compelling narrative. This was the first western he directed and it inspired a genre of "pro-Indian" films in the 1950s. The cinematography is also beautiful and captures the breathtaking beauty of the American Southwest with its desert landscapes and majestic mountains. 

Broken Arrow was based on the 1947 novel "Blood Brother" by Elliott Arnold which, in turn, was based on a true occurrence between Cochise and frontier scout Tom Jeffords, who was also the superintendent of the overland mail in Arizona Territory in the 1860s. The film was notable at the time for being one of the first Westerns to show a compassionate view of the Native Americans. 

Shortly after filming wrapped, James Stewart began work on Winchester '73 directed by Anthony Mann. This would be the first of six westerns he would make with Mann in the 1950s. Broken Arrow and Winchester '73 were released within two months of each other in the summer of 1950 and both were box-office hits. Broken Arrow was nominated for three Academy Awards and also earned a Golden Globe for Best Film Promoting International Understanding.

Broken Arrow is available on DVD and for free through streaming via the Tubi and Roku apps. You can also watch it online at

Be sure to check out more great reviews and other fun Western theme posts from the Legends of Western Cinema Week being hosted by Hamlette's Soliloquy, Along the Brandywine and Meanwhile in Rivendell. 

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Book Review: Gone But Not Forgotten by Patricia Fox-Sheinwold

The 1970s and 1980s were great decades for movie-related books. Some of the best books on cinema history, the stars, and Hollywood in general were released during this time. Perhaps it was because so many actors from Hollywood's "Golden Era" of the 1930s and 1940s were still alive and freely talked about the past to any writer willing to interview them. It certainly seems like freelance writer Patricia Fox-Sheinwold had no trouble at all digging up tidbits of juicy information because she filled Gone But Not Forgotten with lots of behind-the-scenes info on the great stars of Hollywood....not to mention some great rare photos. 

I came across this book last week at a flea market in Litchfield and almost passed it by because, at first glance, the content looked like short magazine articles on the same stars you find in most old Hollywood books: Grouch Marx, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Mae West, etc. Instead, I bought it because the pictures intrigued me. But then I brought it home and couldn't stop reading it. Patricia Fox-Sheinwold has a laid-back style of writing that is reminiscent of radio interviewers of the 1950s. She covers a lot of territory in a short amount of space and manages to include some fascinating bits of trivia I never knew. For example, did you know that John Barrymore climbed Mount Blanc? That Spencer Tracy refused to wear makeup, that Humphrey Bogart named his son Stephen after the character he played in "To Have and Have Not", and that Betty Grable kept her figure for years by playing bowling and golf?

Gone But Not Forgotten includes 22 biographies, not only of comedians, actors, and actresses but musicians like Duke Ellington and Guy Lombardo and two "originals" ( Alfred Hitchcock and Walt Disney ). If you happen to find it at an antique shop or a second-hand book shop, the book is well worth adding to your film library. 

Gone But Not Forgotten was published by Bell Publishing in 1981 and later republished by Random House in 1988, so there are two editions available to find. 

Friday, July 14, 2023

From the Archives: Blacke's Magic ( 1986 )

Hal Linden strikes a debonair pose in this publicity photo from the short-lived NBC television series "Blacke's Magic" ( 1986 ). Linden portrayed magician Alexander Blacke who, along with his con artist father ( Harry Morgan ) solved mysteries using trickery and illusion to capture the culprit. 

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, July 8, 2023

The Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie Game

It's summertime - and that means it is the season of band concerts in the park! Almost every city in America has a gazebo in the city park where band concerts are still taking place. This is a tradition that dates back quite a number of years, as you can see in this screenshot. Now the question is, what film is this from?

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 guessing this very blurry screenshot from the film "Ah, Wilderness" ( 1933 ) starring Eric Linden and Lionel Barrymore. In this scene, the band is playing in the park just after announcing some special festivities for the upcoming Fourth of July celebration.