In which we journey into the distant entertainment past, through the magic of old radio shows preserved on vinyl... The sun set on the Golden Age of Radio roughly two decades before I was even born. By the 1970s, the warm glow of the living room radio dial had long been washed out in a cathode ray bath. I'm not going to lie and say that I feel I missed out on a special time in American entertainment -- I'm more of a classic TV man -- I have to admit there is something compelling about what is now known as Old-Time Radio. So, inspired by a recent 75th anniversary broadcast of Orson Welles' War of the Worlds, I decided to blow the dust off a radio time machine I've had for years -- my six-record collection called Jack Benny Presents the Treasury of Golden Memories of Radio. It was iss
The storytelling device of the Nazi hunter in search of German war criminals scattered to the four winds after World War II has been around so long, it's hard to imagine a time when it was really fresh. And so it must have seemed especially visceral for audiences to watch Orson Welles' 1946 film noir classic The Stranger, released just 17 days after the first anniversary of V-E Day. The central plot of The Stranger concerns Mr. Wilson (the ever-brilliant Edward G. Robinson) of the United Nations War Crimes Commission and his hunt for the infamous Nazi war criminal Franz Kindler. Wilson releases a German prisoner and confederate of Kindler, Konrad Meinike (Konstantin Shayne), in the hopes that he will lead him to Kindler. Before long the story shifts to the bucolic New England town o
In light of Charlie Sheen (he of the fiery fists, tiger blood, and Adonis DNA) being in the midst of a full-blown public meltdown, I thought I'd recycle this post from March 24, 2008. If nothing else, it proves that Sheen is just the latest in a long line of celebrities acting with less than proper decorum. Now that Easter's over (well, one of them anyway), I thought I'd take a few minutes to celebrate anger. Not the kind of anger that starts wars or incites mindless violence, but rather the kind of anger that causes people in the public eye to make complete asses of themselves. In other words, the kind of anger we can all enjoy. So I've spent at least 20 minutes scouring YouTube for some prime examples of celebrity rage. Mind you, I'm not attempting to judge anyone here. I doubt the...
Due largely in part to a recent tweet from Roger Ebert, I decided to check out The Third Man recently. It's apparently considered to be pretty good, as evidenced by its inclusion on AFI's original list of the 100 best American movies of all-time (it was at #57, but was cut from the most recent list). I also wanted to check it out because I haven't really taken the time to explore film noir as much as I'd like, and also I figured it had to be good since it had pre-puffy Orson Welles. Score one for social networking, because it definitely is an enjoyable film and has held up fairly well since it was released in 1949. So what's it all about? The film takes place in post-World War II Vienna, a defeated city divided into four occupied zones (American, British, French, and Russian), a