Categories
E-Bikes

E-Biking Crystal Lake on Friday the 13th

Source: TCM

Serendipitous is not the right word to use when you find yourself riding your bike alone in the woods around Crystal Lake on Friday the 13th. Fortunately, this was not Camp Crystal Lake, the stomping grounds of infamous axe-murderer Jason Voorhees. That’s up in north Jersey.

This Crystal Lake Park is near Bordentown in central Jersey. The park is mostly farm fields, with some steep wooded areas along the bluff overlooking Crystal Lake. To get to the park, you do have to drive down Axe Factory Road. I saw no actual axe factory, nor, I’m happy to say, any axe-wielders.

Into the Woods.
Source: TCM
Source: TCM
Categories
Jazz Age Adventurers Movies

One-Take Woody: Behind the Scenes Photos of Classic Movies

Director W.S. Van Dyke had a reputation for getting things right the first time. Two movies he directed in the 1920s were shot on location in Tahiti. For Trader Horn (1931), he spent seven months filming in East Africa. His best known movies, however, are The Thin Man (he also directed three of the sequels), Tarzan the Ape Man (filmed in Hollywood, it used stock footage from Trader Horn), and several Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy films. ClassicMovieHub.com has several behind-the-scenes photos of Van Dyke at work.

Filming Trader Horn. Source: Horning into Africa, by W.S. Van Dyke, 1931/erbzine.com

W.S. Van Dyke with Myrna Loy & William Powell on the set of After the Thin Man  (1936). Source: classicmoviehub.com.
W.S. Van Dyke with Jeanette MacDonald and a lamb. Source: classicmoviehub.com
Categories
Music

Rhythm on the River

We’re overdue for some Bing on this page. Crosby not only sings, he provides percussion for Rhythm on the River, from the 1940 film of the same name.

Categories
Culture Movies

The Ancient Greek Inspiration for the Legendary Leg Lamp?

Does the Royal Ontario Museum have the real inspiration for the Leg Lamp from the classic movie A Christmas Story?

Source: A Christmas Story/www.achristmasstoryhouse.com

The lamp in the movie was allegedly inspired by a Nehi soda advertisement, but the original source must be this Archaic Greek leg vase, on view at the Toronto museum.

For the more recent history of the leg lamp, see A Christmas Story House.

Yes, I post this every December.

 

 

Categories
Equipment

The Shovel is my Pick

Pick the right tool for the job:

From Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)

Categories
Culture Jazz Age Adventurers

Mercy, the Mummy Mumbled: the 1918 African American Silent Film

With Halloween approaching, here’s a shoutout to an early mummy movie. Mercy, the Mummy Mumbled, is an all-black silent film from 1918. Several silent movies featured mummies as plot devices; The Egyptian Mummy, for example, was released in 1914 but Mercy is likely the only one made by African-American filmmakers for African-American audiences.

The plots of the two films are very similar: a mad scientist is willing to pay big bucks for a mummy to experiment on; a young man needs money to marry his girlfriend; a fake mummy is created. Mercy adds two Egyptian secret agents tracking down their country’s stolen artifacts to the story, all within an 11 minute run time.

Mercy, the Mummy Mumbled was released by the short-lived Ebony Film Corporation  of Chicago and is included in Pioneers of African-American Cinema box set (but Mercy is only on the Blu-ray collection, not on the DVD collection) by Kino Lorber. The five discs include movies from as early as 1915 and as late as 1946.  See the New York Times review for more details: Black Filmmaking Aborning. Much of the film can also be viewed on YouTube, and stills from Mercy can be seen at the DAARAC site. The Egyptian Mummy, released by the much larger Vitagraph company, can be streamed on Amazon Prime.

Categories
Music

“It takes a monster from outer space, to make my baby want my embrace”

The Diamonds sing about the positive effect of monster movies. The Canadian quartet recorded Batman, Wolfman, Frankenstein or Dracula in 1959. The song was written by Roy Alfred, who also wrote the lyrics for The Hucklebuck, as well as several songs that tried to hop on the rock and roll craze for singers like Kay Starr (The Rock and Roll Waltz), Tennessee Ernie Ford (Rock, Roll, Boogie), and Nat “King” Cole (When Rock and Roll Come to Trinidad).

Categories
Archaeology

The Ancient Greek Inspiration for the Leg Lamp in A Christmas Story

Greek Ceramic Leg Vase, ROM

The famous leg lamp from the classic film A Christmas Story was created by the movie’s production designer, Reuben Freed. But how could it not have been inspired by this Archaic Greek leg vase, created in the early sixth century B.C. and on display in the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto?

Categories
Culture

Sword Fight Start to Finish in 60 Movies and less than 4 Minutes

 

Assembled by Clara Darko.

Categories
Culture

James Garner, 1928-2014.

 

James Garner Kim Novak
James Garner and Kim Novak in Boys’ Night Out (1962)

“pure affability, clever, charming and confident” (Richard Corliss on James Garner)