Renegade Negroes, and Others

Pictured above is a piece of concept art — undated and apparently unused — that’s currently on display in a must-see exhibit, “The Birth of Promotion: Inventing Film Publicity in the Silent-Film Era,” at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. My guess is that it’s from the 1930 [...]

Cukor x 2

I’m glad to have George Cukor’s 1964 “My Fair Lady” on Blu-ray, even if it does seem to be a tired-looking transfer of the Robert A. Harris restoration from 1994, but I’m more grateful to the Warner Archive Collection for remastering Cukor’s often overlooked late work “Travels with My Aunt,” a frequently brilliant adaptation [...]

Overlooked Arthur

Here’s another odd but welcome release from TCM’s Vault Collection — four also-ran titles from Jean Arthur’s Columbia years, presented under license from Sony in excellent transfers from the camera negatives held by the Library of Congress. “The Public Menace” is a gangster comedy — probably meant as a quick follow-up to Arthur’s star-making [...]

Two Minds without a Single Thought

It’s hard to believe, but a generation has passed since the Laurel and Hardy sound shorts, as well as the features controlled by Hal Roach Studios, have been in general circulation, which may account for the sad state of the world today. But now they’re back, in an extraordinarily well produced and reasonably priced [...]