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FREE BOOKS on specified days
CLICK THE LINKS ABOVE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE BOOKS FROM AMAZON KINDLE ON THE FOLLOWING DAYS:
February 28, plus March 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2015: 50 of the Finest Films Hollywood Ever Made
February 7 and 8: 50 Best "B" Westerns Hollywood Ever Made
February 14, 15 and 21: More New Light on Movie Bests
February 21 and 28; plus March 7, 14 and 21: More Light on Hollywood Publicity Stills, Photos and Cards in the 1940s & 1950s
March 7, 14, 21 and 28, plus April 4, 2015: Horror, Fantasy, Sci-Fi DVD
Free days will be posted here shortly: Behind the Scenes Publicity Photos and Other Vintage Movie Stills
February 14, 21 and 28, plus March 7 and 14: Great Movie Musicals on DVD
February 14, 15 and 16, 2015: 140 All-Time Must-See Movies for Film Lovers
February 21 and 28, plus March 7, 14 and 21: MYSTERIES for Movie Lovers (and Fans of Film Noir).
Free days will be posted here shortly: : Almost the Best: 50 Movies That Just Missed Awards or Audience Applause.
February 28, plus March 7, 14, 21 and 28: 50 of the Finest Films Hollywood Ever Made
February 14, 15 and 16, plus March 14 and 28: John Howard Reid presents A Hollywood Classics Movie Musical Sampler
February 7 and 8: Classic Movie Posters from Hollywood's Golden Age
To be posted shortly, 2015: Almost the Best: 50 Movies That Just Missed Awards or Audience Applause.
February 14, 15 and 21: More New Light on Movie Bests
February 7 and 8: History in Movies Hollywood Style
February 14, 15 and 16, 2015: 140 All-Time Must-See Movies for Film Lovers
Some of JHR's latest books are at present available only as e-books at Amazon Kindle. However, you can download to any device! You don't have to use a Kindle. And if you miss out on the FREE days, the normal price varies from only 99 cents to $3.99 tops! (There are now print editions of some of these books. Please click the Kindle link for that information). Also, if you buy a printed edition OR HAVE PURCHASED A PRINT EDITION IN THE PAST OF ANY OF JHR'S BOOKS from Amazon, you can in most cases download the Amazon Kindle version FREE of charge!
All these books are also available at Amazon U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, India, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, China, Australia and Japan; but you will need to do a title search.
CLASSIC MOVIES ON DVD:
A GUIDE FOR FANS OF VINTAGE FILMS
"Horror, Fantasy & Sci-Fi DVD" is available in all e-book formats, but only at Amazon Kindle. The price for this 253-page book is only $3.95. However, as outlined above, this book will be available free of charge on March 7, 14, 21 and 28, plus April 4. Please click one of the links above.
For a listing of the top box-office movies and most popular films in America 1921 through 1970 (based on initial USA and Canadian gross motion picture rental receipts) please click this link: http://filmindex.0catch.com/boxoffice.htm
For details of other movie books as illustrated above from Amazon, please click: http://classicmovieposters.exactpages.com
The above e-book, "140 All-Time Must-See Movies for Film Lovers" will be available for the present only at Amazon Kindle. The Kindle price is $3.95. But on February 14, 15 and 16, you can download this book from Kindle FREE OF CHARGE! Also if you buy (or have purchased in the past) the regular super-sized 267-pages print edition from Amazon, you can download the Kindle version FREE OF CHARGE at any time. Please click one of the links above. (The print version is also available at Barnes and Noble and other stores). The regular print edition of MUSIC, THRILLS, MYSTERY, COMEDY & SUSPENSE ON VIDEO & DVD is also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony, etc. Here is the link for the $2.99 Kindle e-book:
If you prefer the $2.99 Barnes & Noble NOOK: NOOK Music
SILENT MOVIES & EARLY SOUND FILMS ON DVD: NEW EXPANDED EDITION has recently been updated.
MYSTERY, SUSPENSE, FILM NOIR AND DETECTIVE MOVIES ON DVD:
A Guide to the Best in Cinema Thrills.
This superb book was chosen by the judges as one of the best books of the year in the 2011 Readers Favorite Awards. It is now on sale at Amazon and other stores. Amazon's price is only $20.50! Or you can purchase a Kindle edition for only $3.99. Yes, that's right only $3.99 (including Amazon's wireless delivery charge) and REMEMBER if you buy OR HAVE BOUGHT IN THE PAST the print edition from Amazon, you can download the Kindle edition FREE OF CHARGE!!!Here is the link:
This e-book is also now on sale at Barnes and Noble, Apple, Sony and other retailers. Here is the link for Barnes & Noble's super-special $4.97 NOOK edition (a bit more because this special edition exclusively for B&N has many more photos): NOOK MYSTERY
Please use the third or fourth of the links below to take you straight to Amazon's Kindle store. Don't have a Kindle? Like to know more about the latest devices? Please click one of the Kindle links.
BRITISH MOVIE ENTERTAINMENTS ON VHS AND DVD is also available both in printed form and at Kindle. The Kindle edition is free if you buy the printed edition or have bought it in the past from Amazon. You save $2.99:
Please use this link for Barnes & Noble NOOK: NOOK BRITISH
For the regular print edition of BRITISH MOVIE ENTERTAINMENTS ON VHS AND DVD, please click one of the Amazon links below:
Yes, "Wings" is featured on the cover of the first of my Guides to Classic Movies on DVD. This book has now been released in an up-to-date Kindle edition for only $3.99! (Please click the Amazon link next to the big reproduction of the book's cover above). The e-book as well as the traditional printed edition are now on sale in online stores throughout the world including Barnes & Noble, Apple and Sony. The price for the lavishly printed 320-page book is only $17.50. Over 175 movies are detailed, and illustrated with over 100 photos. If you take advantage of only ONE of my 178 DVD suggestions, you will save more than the price of the book. And if you buy the printed edition from Amazon, you can download the Kindle edition FREE OF CHARGE!
I'm now working on other books in this series. The second, as noted above, has also been published and won a 2011 Readers Favorite Award. It deals with MYSTERY, SUSPENSE, FILM NOIR AND DETECTIVE MOVIES ON DVD (see details below).
The third deals with WESTERNS.
When I commenced work on SILENT FILMS & EARLY TALKIES ON DVD, I thought I'd be lucky to find 200 feature films that were (or had been) available. To my amazement, the total is now closer to 2,000. Of course, these include collections of shorts, and there are duplicates. Three or four versions of some popular public domain titles can be purchased for prices ranging all the way from bargain basement to premium. I've looked at them all, and selected the best, regardless of price. And would you believe that MANY of the cheaper discs are superior in quality to the more expensive? ALPHA and GRAPEVINE are the front runners so far as SILENT MOVIE CLASSICS are concerned. Sometimes, the Grapevine pressing is the better disc, but just as often the inexpensive Alpha version is superior, so I've also provided a quality rating. 10/10 represents a perfect, indeed an outstanding DVD transfer. "Sunrise" from Fox is an excellent example of a 10/10 DVD.
Here are just 3 sample entries from over 175 published in SILENT FILMS & EARLY TALKIES ON DVD:
First, the cast list: Pauline Frederick (Jane Vale), Laura La Plante (Dorothy Vale), Malcolm McGregor (Robert Elliott), Tully Marshall (Scotty), Wanda Hawley (Lucy), Helen Lynch (Kate Brown), George Cooper (Mugsy), Arthur Lake (party guest who dances with Jane), Bert Roach, Bobby Mack, Frank Newburg, Billy Gould, Rolfe Sedan, Jack McDonald, William Orlamond (committee members).
Then, the technical credits: Director: CLARENCE BROWN. Screenplay: Sada Cowan, Howard Higgin, Melville W. Brown. Titles: Dwinelle Benthall. Story: Sada Cowan, Howard Higgin, Margaret Deland. Photography: Jackson Rose. Film editor: Edward Schroeder. Art directors: Leo K. Kuter, E.E. Sheeley. Assistant director: Charles Dorian. Executive producer: Carl Laemmle.
Then, the release details: Copyright 25 November 1924 by Universal Pictures. New York opening at the Piccadilly: 30 March 1925. U.S. release: 18 January 1925. 8 reels. 7,356 feet. 80 minutes.
SYNOPSIS: Middle-aged female factory owner falls in love with one of her young male employees.
NOTES: Re-made by Warner Bros.-First National in 1933 (without acknowledgment) as Female with Ruth Chatterton, George Brent and Ferdinand Gottschalk in the roles here played by Pauline Frederick, Malcolm McGregor and Tully Marshall.
Then, the Comment and DVD release details:COMMENT: Blessed with outstanding performances from the entire cast and excellent production values including astute direction from Clarence Brown, here's a romantic drama that holds audience interest from first to last, despite its somewhat familiar plot. The acting is both natural and sympathetic and the plot is cleverly augmented with numerous incidents (the dismissal notices that Scotty is always so happy to produce; the showdown on the factory floor; the rope breaking at the cliff edge; Arthur Lake whirling Miss Frederick across the dance floor) that keep our involvement at a consistently high level. In fact, Pauline Frederick is such a magnetic personality, it's impossible to take our eyes from the screen. [DVD from Sunrise Silents is a nice tinted print. Quality rating: 9 out of ten].
to right: Helen Lynch, unknown player, Malcolm McGregor, Arthur Lake, Laura La
Plante, Pauline Frederick in Smouldering Fires.
OTHER VIEWS: Although she is little-known today, Pauline Frederick was once the most famous actress in the whole world. (By "actress", I mean just that, not "show business personality"). It was a position she achieved by hard work. "People who think the path of a chorus girl is strewn with roses, have a lot to learn," she once declared. "I knew going on the stage would entail hardships. but I now venture to say that a man with a pick and a shovel has a much easier time!"
It was due to her stage reputation, however, that Pauline Frederick was offered the leading role in her first film, The Eternal City (1915). She continued to play the leads in another 56 movies, right up until 1929. In 1931 she graciously accepted a co-starring role for the first time ever in This Modern Age as a personal favor for Joan Crawford and Irving Thalberg at M-G-M. She was billed second to Joan Crawford. For the rest of her 65-movies career, Pauline Frederick generally played the third lead (never less than fourth), and was top-billed in Monogram's Self-Defense (1933).
George O'Brien (a farmer), Janet Gaynor (his wife), Margaret Livingston (a vacationer), Bodil Rosing (maid), J. Farrell McDonald (photographer), Ralph Sipperly (barber), Jane Winton (manicurist), Arthur Housman (masher), Eddie Boland (mister obliging), Gibson Gowland (angry driver), Sidney Bracey (fun fair official), Gino Corrado (barber shop manager), Phillips Smalley (waiter), Clarence Wilson (money lender), Barry Norton (dancer), Sally Eilers (girl in dance hall), Fletcher Henderson (performer), F.W. Murnau (man in street), Bob Kortman, Harry Semels.
Director: F.W. MURNAU. Screenplay: Carl Mayer. Based on the 1917 short novel, "The Journey to Tilsit", by Hermann Sudermann. Titles: Katherine Hilliker, H.H. Caldwell. Photography: Charles Rosher, Karl Struss. Film editor: Harold D. Schuster. Art directors: Rochus Gliese, assisted by Alfred Metscher and Edgar G. Ulmer. Special effects: Frank Williams. Music: Hugo Riesenfeld. Stills: Frank Powolny. Cameramen: Stuart Thompson, Hal Carney. Assistant director: Herman Bing. Executive producer: William Fox.
Copyright 12 June 1927 by Fox Film Corp. New York opening: 23 September. U.S. release: 4 November 1928. 8,729 feet. 97 minutes.
SYNOPSIS: Vacationing vamp from the city induces a gullible farmer to murder his wife.
NOTES: Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted this picture ahead of Chang and The Crowd for "Artistic Quality of Production." Janet Gaynor won the award for Best Actress (in conjunction with her performances in Seventh Heaven and Street Angel). Rosher and Struss were voted the year's best photographers for their joint cinematography of Sunrise. (Two cameras were used, Rosher operating one, and his friend, Struss, the other).
The movie was also nominated for Art Direction.
Number 7 in the Film Daily's annual poll of U.S. film critics.
One of Mordaunt Hall's selections for the Ten Best Films of 1927.
Herman Bing, the assistant director, is also the well-known character actor.
COMMENT: Simply one of the best movies ever made, Sunrise is both an invigorating and heart-warming, yet sometimes comic and intensely dramatic experience.
It seems to me that it would be hard to go past George O'Brien [pictured] for the year's Best Actor and F.W. Murnau for Best Director, yet both men were not even nominated. The scene in which O'Brien's besotted farmer tries to murder his wife must surely rank as the number one dramatic moment in the whole history of the cinema. It is absolutely terrifying, and yet the sheer horror of this moment is brilliantly modified and translated into the charmingly frenetic comedy that follows.
Full marks also to Struss and Rosher for their incredible, superbly atmospheric photography. (Interestingly, Struss was the official cameraman for the Awards Ceremony at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on 16 May 1929, so he had the job of photographing himself). And it is no surprise to find the designer of the movie's absolutely breathtaking sets as a nominee.
I certainly won't question Janet Gaynor's accolades either, but there is another player in the film who deserves a special recognition: Margaret Livingston. Her role is vital and she plays it with utter conviction.
Yes, as other reviewers have already noted, the movie is heavily Germanic in style, mood and presentation. Murnau's camera is moody, oppressively fluid, realistic, scarifying and intrusive as it draws us inevitably and inexorably into his "Song of Two Humans."
AVAILABLE on DVD through Fox. Quality rating: Ten out of ten.
Julanne Johnston and Douglas Fairbanks in "The Thief of Bagdad"
STAR SPOTLIGHT: DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS
To judge by the number of his current DVD releases, Douglas Fairbanks still rates as the number one male movie star of the 1920s. No fewer than six of his major films are reviewed, rated and discussed in SILENT FILMS AND EARLY TALKIES ON DVD, including Don Q, Son of Zorro (I think you'll be surprised to see which DVD release receives my coveted 10/10 rating, not only because of its superlative print quality but its excellent music score); The Mark of Zorro (another 10/10 transfer); Robin Hood (also 10/10); Taming of the Shrew (also, most surprisingly, 10/10); The Thief of Bagdad (illustrated above, and no surprise to find a 10/10 DVD for this popular title); The Three Musketeers (the best DVD quality I could find for this title I'd rate 9/10, but that's still pretty close to excellent).
SILENT FILMS AND EARLY TALKIES ON DVD is now available both as a regular book and in a Kindle edition which costs only $3.99! This e-book edition is also now on sale at Barnes & Noble, Apple and Sony. To buy the lavishly printed trade paperback edition for $17.50, please use this link: http://www.lulu.com/content/1988702
BESTSELLING, AWARD-WINNING BOOK
Here is a mammoth, award-winning 468-page guide to well over 700 suspense/film noir/mystery movies now available on DVD. Over 1,200 DVDs were viewed in the course of writing this book. YOU WILL SAVE THE $24.50 COVER PRICE OF THIS BOOK BY FOLLOWING JUST ONE OF THE HUNDREDS OF ADVICES NOT TO BUY AN INFERIOR DVD DISC. On the other hand, you will be thrilled that the DVD discs you do buy are every bit as good in visual and sound quality as the book indicates. Whether you enjoy them or not, of course, is a matter of individual preference. At least the reviews and other details will guide you in the right direction. If you can't stand Dana Andrews, for instance, no way will you buy "Laura" or "Zero Hour", no matter how much I recommend them.
"MOVIE WESTERNS" BOOK NOW PUBLISHED! The title has been changed to "WESTERNS: A Guide to the Best (and Worst) Western Movies on DVD". Please click on the first link below for the traditional print edition and on the second link (the one with no price) for Amazon's Kindle edition which costs only $2.99! The e-book edition is also available at Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony, and other online stores.
"This interesting and highly informative book should be on the library shelves of every Western fan!" writes Ross Adams in the May 2011 issue of "Dress Circle" magazine.