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Beginning in the mid-1940s, the bleak, brooding mood of film noir began seeping into that most optimistic of film genres, the western. Story lines took on a darker tone and western films adopted classic noir elements of moral ambiguity, complex anti-heroes and explicit violence. This “noir western” helped set the standard for the darker science fiction, action and superhero films of today, as well as for acclaimed TV series such as HBO's Deadwood and AMC's Breaking Bad.


Join us in welcoming David Meuel, the author of the new book, The Noir Western: Darkness on the Range 1943-1962 (McFarland, 2015) to The Silver Screen Oasis for a discussion of this intriguing development in film during the mid-20th Century. The dates are Friday July 24 and Saturday July 25 (which, incidentally, has also been designated the 11th Annual Day of the Cowboy).


Since TCM's "Summer of Darkness" project screens films noir every Friday in June and July this summer, 12,000 students have signed up for the online film noir course taught by Richard Edwards from Ball State University on Canvas, and the free course has sparked much renewed interest in the genre. Perhaps a series on Meuel's The Noir Western: Darkness on the Range 1943-1962 might be the next logical step in further focusing on film noir.


This past April, Meuel was a featured speaker at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco for its film series, Dark Horse: Film Noir Westerns.


A lifelong student of films, he is also the author of Women in the Films of John Ford (McFarland, 2014), an in-depth examination of a fascinating, but often overlooked, facet of the iconic director’s work. Meuel lives in Menlo Park, California, and has also published two volumes of poetry.



Immortal Ephemera:

Review of Women in the Films of John Ford:


Review of The Noir Western: Darkness on the Range, 1943-1962: http://immortalephemera.com/57851/tcm-preview-april-2015/



Barnes and Noble link to The Noir Western: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-noir-western-david-meuel/1120828019?ean=9780786494521


The Evening Class Blogspot has an excerpt from The Noir Western: http://theeveningclass.blogspot.com/2015/04/book-excerpt-noir-western-darkness-on.html


The National Day of the Cowboy: http://nationaldayofthecowboy.com/wordpress/


Christy Putnam's review of Women in the Films of John Ford: http://www.examiner.com/review/women-the-films-of-john-ford


TCM and Ball State's Online Film Noir Course: https://www.canvas.net/browse/bsu/tcm/courses/film-noir


David Meuel's author page: http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3ADavid%20Meuel


Special note from Moira Finnie:


David Meuel is an astute and engaging writer. If interested, you can see David Meuel's take on Shirley Temple, the TCM Star of the Month, in his quite original interpretation of her role in Wee Willie Winkie (1937) at the link below. This piece was drawn from his first book Women in The Films of John Ford (McFarland, 2014). The article also features more of David's non-cinematic writing too:



Our upcoming guest discusses Two Myths about John Ford in a youtube posting here:


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  • 2 weeks later...


I hope all of you who enrolled in the online film noir course offered by TCM and Ball State University enjoyed the Summer of Darkness as much as I did. The last email I received concerning the course indicated that certificates of completion will be mailed to your inbox on August 17.


The Summer Under The Stars program has a fascinating lineup. I thoroughly enjoyed Friday's Michael Caine celebration. If you haven't visited the site, here's the link:http://summer.tcm.com/day-8



Keep in mind that the September announcement concerning the TCM Film Festival 2016 is in the works, just around the corner, and (one more cliche) soon to be revealed. ;-)


(TCM traditionally announces in late September or early October when the TCM Film Festival will take place, and when we can purchase passes to the TCM Film Festival. Passes to the festival usually go on sale in November. )

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Enhance your Summer Under the Stars viewing experience! Tomorrow is Robert Mitchum's celebration, and 1948's "Blood on the Moon" screens at 12:30 p.m. Central. Here's a little background info to help you relish the moment: https://suesueapplegate.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/robert-mitchum-the-first-noir-cowboy/







Robert Mitchum and Barbara Bel Geddes in 1948's Blood on the Moon....

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In honor of tonight's screening of The Making of Gone With The Wind, Vivien Leigh's Summer Under The Stars Celebration, and Gone with the Wind, I've updated my photo collection from the Harry Ransom Center Exhibit concerning "The Making of Gone With The Wind" from September 9, 2014, to January 4, 2015: http://bit.ly/1Jgbxyp


Enjoy Vivien Leigh's celebration!

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Sue Sue with some of her classic film loving crew in Houston...


Tonight, I spent the evening at Rydell High with Eve Arden, Sid Caesar, Dodi Goodman, Joan Blondell, Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta, Stockard Channing, and more. The Turner Classic Movies: TCM / Fathom Events screening of Grease was so much fun! When Ben Mankiewicz came on the screen, the audience clapped and screamed. The place was packed with a very enthusiastic audience.








For those of you who didn't graduate from Rydell High, but studied somewhere else this summer:


I hope everyone who has participated in the Summer of Darkness and the free online film noir course offered by Ball State and TCM which was taught by Dr. Richard Edwards, has received an online certificate. "Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir" saw more than 12,000 students register and learn more about an important period in film history that continues to influence the entertainment industry at all levels. Congratulations to TCM for such an innovative experience for TCM aficionados who now have concrete proof of their dedication to classic film.

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Ingrid Bergman's Summer Under The Stars Celebration is August 28, and I thought I would share this Dan Callahan article link from Roger Ebert.com as Callahan interviews Ingrid's three daughters, Isabella, Ingrid, and Pia: http://www.rogerebert.com/interviews/you-must-remember-this


Here's the link to the TCM SUTS Celebration for Ingrid Bergman: http://summer.tcm.com/day-28/ingrid-bergman/bio

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Jonathan Melville (L) with author Preston Neal Jones in Club TCM during the TCMFF 2015, where Bogart's Gin flowed like, well, wine....


Scottish Arts, Entertainment, and Film Journalist and TCM Film Festival friend Jonathan Melville has a new book coming out, and a special event happening in Edinburgh, Scotland.


If you love sci-fi, you might find plenty to love about Jonathan's new book ....


"A throwback to the kind of sci-fi B movies that had long gone out of fashion, Tremors was a box office flop that became a home video phenomenon, spawning multiple sequels and a short-lived TV series.



"Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors" is the first book to go beneath the surface of the Tremors franchise, featuring new interviews with more than 50 cast and crew members, including stars Kevin Bacon and Michael Gross, director Ron Underwood, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, and the monster makers who brought the Graboids to life.



With newly-discovered photos from the Tremors set, storyboard excerpts and commentary on every episode of the TV series, plus a look at the 10-year journey from script to screen of the latest sequel, 2015’s Tremors 5: Bloodlines, Seeking Perfection is the ultimate, 100% unofficial, guide to Tremors!"



Jonathan Melville has been to several Turner Classic Film Festivals, and last year he was singled out as crederntialed media to work the Red Carpet Rumba featuring The Sound of Music cast and many more celebrities. He is no stranger to A-list celebrities, international travel, and schmoozing with the glitterati.



If Jonathan attends the next TCMFF, please be sure to take a few moments and visit with him about his fascinating globe-trotting experiences, his love for TCM and classic film, and his new book!


Here is a link to his Tremors website: http://tremorsguide.com/the-book/

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TCM Film Festival dates have been announced in The Hollywood Reporter by Scott Feinberg at 7 a.m. this morning: April 28-May 1!


Here is a link to his article:http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/tcm-classic-film-fest-reveals-817607


The theme this year is "Moving Pictures".....

The magic of movies isn’t just motion, it’s emotion. As we watch cinematic stories play out, they feel like our own. In 2016, the TCM Classic Film Festival explores MOVING PICTURES—the ones that bring us to tears, rouse us to action, inspire us, even project us to a higher plane. In the heart of historic Hollywood we’ll gather to share the big-time emotions of big screen stories, from coming-of-age pictures to terminal tearjerkers, from powerful sports dramas we feel in our bones to religious epics that elevate our spirits. These are the films that that set our love of cinema in motion.


Here's a link to the official festival announcement: http://filmfestival.tcm.com/img/pdfs/TCMFest2016_Dates-Theme.pdf


What films might be on my list?


Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison--with stars Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum, directed by John Huston.

Christopher Mitchum or Anjelica or Danny Huston would be great to intro the film.


The Wild Bunch--with maybe Bo Hopkins introducing it. I love his interstitial TCM has been running concerning lately when Hopkins discusses Director of Photograply Lucien Ballard.


The King and I --with an intro by Rita Moreno.


The Opposite Sex---with Joan Collins introducing the film. I thoroughly enjoyed her Guest Programmer choices.


Dear Ruth---One of William Holden's early roles with Joan Caulfield and BIlly De Wolfe.


and more later.....

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It's Gary Cooper's Summer Under The Stars Celebration today! Please find some time and enjoy my homage to Coop, Ingrid Bergman, and New Orleans for Kristen Lopez's Summer Under The Stars Blogathon on Journey's in Classic Film:https://suesueapplegate.wordpress.com/2015/08/29/gary-cooper-peaches-and-champagne-in-the-middle-of-the-day/

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Participants were announced today! Illeana Douglass will interview Cari Beauchamp, Allison Anders, and others! Here's the link to the Variety article posted today at 9 a.m.: http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/turner-classic-movies-women-in-film-la-illeana-douglas-trailblazing-women-1201583848/#


Cari Beauchamp most recently published MY FIRST TIME IN HOLLYWOOD: http://www.amazon.com/First-Time-Hollywood-Cari-Beauchamp/dp/1940412145/ref=sr_1_1/179-7804197-7174449?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1441231452&sr=1-1&keywords=cari+beauchamp


Allison Anders has had an extensive writing and directing career, most recently directing episodes of Murder in the First: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0025978/


Here’s the complete schedule for “Trailblazing Women”:

Oct. 1: Film Pioneers with Cari Beauchamp
Oct. 6: Studio Directors from the Dawn of Sound into the 1970s with Cari Beauchamp
Oct. 8: Independent Classics with Allison Anders
Oct. 13: The 1980s: A Step Forward with Amy Heckerling
Oct. 15: Essential Docs with Connie Field
Oct. 20: 1990s: Mainstream Hits with Amy Hecklering
Oct. 22: African American Independents with Julie Dash
Oct. 27: International Breakthroughs with Cari Beauchamp
Oct. 29: A New Generation with Cathy Schulman

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I was thrilled when Dame Joan Collins was a Guest Programmer this July and introduced "The Opposite Sex," "The Women," "Gilda," and "Boom Town." One of her earlier MGM vehicles was as Bess Throckmorton in "The Virgin Queen," and I have always been fascinated by Tudor monarchs and films featuring the Elizabethan Age like "Young Bess" with Jean Simmons and Stewart Granger, as well as "The Private LIves of Elizabeth and Essex" with Bette Davis and Errol Flynn.


Queen Elizabeth II is now the longest reigning British monarch.



Queen Elizabeth I's childhood home, Hatfield House, in Hertsfordshire (from Sue Sue's personal archive)


Please enjoy my latest article highlinting some of the more interesting aspects of Queen Elizabeth I's 482 years of fame: http://www.examiner.com/list/fascinating-facts-celebrate-queen-elizabeth-i-s-482-years-of-fame

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Rest in Peace, Mr. Dickie Moore.


Margaret O'Brien, Dickie Moore, and his wife, Jane Powell at the TCM Film Festival Vanity Fair Party in 2011. Mr. Moore and his wife, Jane Powell, were personable, kind, and welcomed fans to the party. They signed autographs and posed for photos. (Photo from my personal archive.)


Here is the accompanying obituary from Legacy.com:


Dickie Moore, the former child star best known for his appearances in the Our Gang comedies has died, according to Deadline.com. He was 89.


The husband of famous actress Jane Powell, Moore began his long career in show business when he was only 11 months old, playing John Barrymore as an infant in the 1927 silent film "The Beloved Rogue." He would go on to appear in more than 100 films during the next 30 years.


His memorable movie performances included starring roles in "Oliver Twist," "Sergeant York" and "Heaven Can Wait." But he probably is best remembered for his appearances in the Our Gang comedies and as the boyfriend who gave Shirley Temple her first screen kiss in the 1942 film "Miss Annie Rooney."


In 1932, producer Hal Roach recruited him for Our Gang, where he worked with Spanky, Stymie and the kids for a year before resuming his career in feature films, including "The Life Of Emile Zola" with Paul Muni and "The Bride Wore Red" with Joan Crawford, among others.


His last film was "The Member Of The Wedding" in 1952.


His 1984 book, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," is an autobiographical account of his childhood in the movie business that looks at the hardships that many child actors face growing up in front of the cameras.


Besides his wife, he is survived by his sister, publicist Pat Kingsley; his son, Kevin Moore; and numerous grandchildren, stepchildren and step-grandchildren.

- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/ns/dickie-moore-obituary/175798918#sthash.zTdhvpmS.dpuf

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With all the fun we have had during TCM's Summer of Darkness, I wanted to share my latest review about The Noir Western, by David Meuel:http://www.examiner.com/review/the-noir-western-darkness-on-the-range-by-david-meuel-settles-the-dust




If you enjoy film noir and how the Old West changed in Hollywood, you'll enjoy Meuel's latest book, The Noir Western: Darkness on the Range, 1943-1962.

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Our favorite movie channel is now available on live streaming! Will McKinley writes about the latest TCM press release concerning the new accessibility on Amazon Fire TV, how the TCM App is expanding services, and much more in his latest article on Cinematically Insane: https://willmckinley.wordpress.com


Also the new TCM Classic Film Emojis App can now be added to your Android or Iphone! Visit the App store and get it today!

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Get ready, podner! Those "Trailblazing Women" are coming round the bend in October!

Writer Cari Beauchamp begins the fun October 1!


I was privileged to chat with Cari Beauchamp this morning about her upcoming hosting experience for this ground-breaking month of Women Film Pioneers, and she is excited about all the movies that TCM has lined up on the schedule.


Here's an excerpt from her overview for the series on TCM in October:


"Women Behind the Camera

by Cari Beauchamp


"Several months ago, Vanity Fair ran an article claiming Ida Lupino was the first woman director. That is an oft-repeated mistake for there were dozens of women who preceded her in that role, but most have been erased from history. TCM is doing their part to correct those misconceptions and set the record straight by creating a month-long festival in October entitled “Trailblazing Women: Behind the Movies, Ahead of Their Time.”


In point of fact, Alice Guy was the first woman director, and one of the very first film directors period. In 1895, she was the secretary to camera maker Léon Gaumont and together in Paris they attended the first ever public screening of a movie, Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory. Inspired, Alice asked if she could try her hand at making films and Gaumant agreed, as long as her clerical duties didn’t suffer. Her after-hours creations became the first narrative films and they were so successful she was made the head of Gaumont’s newly formed production company in 1897. Over the next decade she directed more than 1000 short films. When she moved to America in 1910 with her husband, the cameraman Herbert Blaché, she formed Solax in Fort Lee, New Jersey. In spite of having two children, she kept pace with the output of D.W. Griffith, who was directing his films nearby in lower Manhattan."


Here's the link to the rest of her overview:http://trailblazingwomen.tcm.com/themes/

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The Silver Screen Oasis is pleased to welcome Scott Nollen this weekend on Saturday, Sept. 26th and Sunday, Sept. 27th to participate in an online Q & A about his latest book, Glenda Farrell: Hollywood's Hard-Boiled Dame (Midnight Marquee Press).




In the hectic '30s this character actress broke all the rules--she tempted Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. away from a life of crime with Edward G. Robinson in Little Caesar (1931), she thought motherhood might cramp her style in Life Begins (1932), she jockeyed with Ruth Donnelly over unlikely boy-toy, Frank McHugh in Heat Lightning (1934), and she got the story first (and the marital commitment later) in several Torchy Blane films. In the '40s, Glenda could be found as a world weary gal in Johnny Eager (1941), sharing the screen for a few choice moments with Ronald Colman in Talk of the Town (1943), and stole the movie from several marquee names in I Love Trouble (1948) with her snappy way with a line and a raised eyebrow. In her five decade career, Glenda Farrell worked on film with every director from Mervyn Le Roy to George Stevens and actors as varied as Spencer Tracy (Man's Castle in 1933) and Elvis Presley (Kissin' Cousins in 1964), making her mark in every type of role and every medium.


As many of our members know who delighted in his 2014 visit to discuss Three Bad Men: John Ford, John Wayne, and Ward Bond (McFarland), Scott is a research historian with a gift for blending hard facts with humanizing detail and an abiding love for the studio era and the too-often neglected figures who gave it such zest and the lasting qualities we cherish in classic cinema. In his well-written and carefully researched books on varied topics such as Paul Robeson, Boris Karloff, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robin Hood and The Cinema of Frank Sinatra, our guest has regularly illuminated the abiding influence of people and authors who shaped popular imagination. One such individual is Glenda Farrell, an actress of considerable range and warmth, whether cast as one of a series of fast-talking dames, a hard-working reporters, brassy mob dolls or--as she proved on stage in in several memorable dramatic roles on screen--a singular actress. In her five decade career, Glenda Farrell worked on film with everyone from Spencer Tracy (Man's Castle in 1933) to Elvis Presley (Kissin' Cousins in 1964), making her mark in every type of role and every medium.




Off-screen, as the author describes, the polished performer Farrell was an intelligent, independent woman who eluded the fatal traps of the Hollywood system and managed to find monetary and artistic rewards in her career, while consistently seeking a balanced home life.


Please consider this your invitation to visit the world of Glenda Farrell with Scott Nollen this weekend!


Links to More about Glenda Farrell and Scott Nollen:


Scott Nollen Facebook Page for this book:




Scott Nollen on Amazon:




Midnight Marquee Press:




Glenda Farrell on Youtube:




Glenda Farrell In-Depth Quotes & Timeline from SSO Member Hardwicke Benthow:




Many thanks to Moira Finnie for the creation of the announcement!

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Here's a link to my short interview with Cari Beauchamp about her appearances on TCM's "Trailblazing Women" series beginning October 1:http://www.examiner.com/article/writer-cari-beauchamp-co-hosts-trailblazing-women-with-tcm-s-illeana-douglas


Cari Beauchamp has attended all six TCM Film Festivals as a special guest and presenter....

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Don't forget tonight that Diahann Carroll is Guest Programmer! I love Claudine. James Earl Jones and Lawrence Hilton Jacobs are in it, too! She was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role in this film!



She looks fabulous, by the way!


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TCM's multi-year commitment to women pioneers in the film industry begins tonight!


Join Illeana Douglas and Cari Beauchamp this evening for several films by women directors Alice Guy-Blache, Lois Weber, and Frances Marion. Then the documentary, "Without Lying Down," co-written by Cari Beauchamp, will air afterwards...



Here's a link to my latest article feature Illeana Douglas and "Trailblazing Women": http://www.examiner.com/article/illeana-douglas-does-the-math-for-tcm-s-trailblazing-women



Writer Cari Beauchamp, 2015's "My First Time In Hollywood," will be co-hosting tonight with Illeana.....


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IT'S TONIGHT!67e37826-d55f-4d4f-a4de-262053c77af8_zps

Director Allison Anders co-hosts "Trailblazing Women" tomorrow night with Illeana Douglas.

Anders will introduce Wanda (1970), directed by Barbara Loden, Girlfriends (1978), directed by Claudia Weill, Valley Girl (1983), directed by Martha Coolidge, True Love (1989), directed by Nancy Savoca, and Anders’ own film, Border Radio (1987).


I hope you will enjoy my exclusive interview with Allison Anders: http://www.examiner.com/article/director-allison-anders-co-hosts-tcm-s-trailblazing-women-thursday-october-8

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