Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy 120th b-day, El!!

Today marks the 120th birthday of Elmer Goodfellow Brendel, born March 25th, 1891. What better way to celebrate than posting some rare pics from his career and maybe watching "Just Imagine" later on!!!

This photo comes from the April 1924 issue of Theater Magazine and shows El in one of his vaudeville routines. I have some reviews reporting the "broom" act went over extremely well with audiences.

El and Polly Moran from the sadly lost film "Hot For Paris" (1929).

street candid, circa 1933-'34

This is the first still of El I ever bought. From 1940's "If I Had My Way".

with Sue Carol from another lost film, "The Golden Calf" (1930)

with Joan Wheeler from some film magazine touting El's latest Vitaphone short. Eventually "Hill Billy" would be released in 1934 as "Radio Scout".

This is certainly a rare one. Judging by El's appearance I would date this to be from the late 50's. I don't know if this was a radio show he was on or just performing on stage. Nothing is written on the back of the still so I have absolutely no info on this one.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

CINEFEST : MARCH 17th - 20th!!!!

Every March I can usually count on two things. One, that I have to get my taxes in order and two, I will have an ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL time at Cinefest in Syracuse, New York. For the past 31 years the Syracuse Cinephile Society has been hosting what, for me, is one of the best film festivals in the world. The mix of rare films and the ability see good friends keep me coming back year after year (I think this is my 8th time making the journey!).

Although the Society has chosen to neglect the genius of El Brendel this year (darn!) they have offered up ANOTHER great series of flicks, so let’s go through some of the ones I am really looking forward to:

WHAT PRICE GLORY? (1926) with Victor McLaglen, Edmond Lowe

I had seen this a number of years ago at the Harvard Film Archive and loved it, so this time shouldn’t disappoint either.

STOLEN HEAVEN (1931) with Nancy Carroll, Phillips Homes

Early sound Paramount’s usually rock so we’ll see if this one joins the ranks.

THE DEVIL’S LOTTERY (1932) with Victor McLaglen, Elissa Landi

I LOVE EARLY FOX TALKIES! There is said it. Don’t know why but I can’t get enough of them. I have never seen this one and am REALLY looking forward to this!

THE WOLF SONG (1929) with Gary Cooper, Lupe Velez

The inclusion of Lupe Velez in the credits makes certain that my ass will be firmly attached to a seat in the screening room.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1931) with Ruth Gilbert, Ralph Hertz

I guess this is an independent production of the Lewis Carroll classic filmed in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Should be interesting to see and compare it to Paramount’s 1933 version.

FOILED (1930) William J. Burns detective short

These Educational shorts are among the best of the worst and HIGHLY enjoyable. Cinefest has been running this series for a while now and just when you think the well has run dry, another comes to light.

SUNSHINE DAD (1916) with DeWolf Hopper, Max Davidson

An early film with Max Davidson. Nuff said.

LONESOME (1928) with Glenn Tryon, Fay Holderness

I have heard about this film for years (in fact, my bud Rich Finegan says it’s one of this top favorites of all time) and this will be a 35mm print restored by the George Eastman House. Maybe the highlight of the weekend??

THE STORY OF TEMPLE DRAKE (1933) with Miriam Hopkins

This is a film which I have always enjoyed. I've had a “collectors” copy of for years and it always looked TERRIBLE. Well, MoMA restored it and it premiered at the Turner Classic Movies Festival last year so see this clear and sharp as tack should be a revelation.

POOR JAKE’S DEMISE (1913) with Lon Chaney

A Chaney film I haven’t seen yet, so I’m there.

FLAMING YOUTH(excerpt) (1926) with Colleen Moore, Milton Sills

See above but substitute Colleen Moore!

LESSONS IN LOVE (1921) with Constance Talmadge

I have never seen a bad film with Constance and I’m sure this one won’t disappoint either!

There are a bunch of other pictures I’ll be seeing during the 3 ½ days of movies but the above is just a sampler. Cinefest also has dealers of movie posters, stills, books, DVD’s, and just about everything else you can think of that is movie related for you to spend your dough on. If you got the time, I suggest you take the time to come out this year, it’s gonna be a GREAT time!