Monday, July 25, 2016

Streaming Streams No Mortal Ever Dared to Stream Before: Caught (1949)

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, streaming streams no mortal ever dared to stream before. --Edgar Allen Not
Welcome to what I hope will be a regular feature, to venture forth into the abyss of streaming TV to pull out something from the flotsam and expose it to the light.

I recently acquired this newfangled thingy called Fire TV at a greatly reduced price during a members-only day of being incentivized to spend money. It's a flat black box and somehow they crammed at least a bazillion different movie and TV shows into it. I don't know how they accomplished that awesome feat and I don't care. I also don't know where the Fire is, but hopefully it won't burn the house down. So far, I love this thing.

I have cruised the listings to find some interesting and obscure movies to add to my watchlist and I will be sharing my discoveries with you, for good or ill. Join me in my folly.


Today's adventure in streaming TV leads us to a film directed by Max Ophüls from 1949. This one caught my eye  because it has Barbara Bel Geddes, whose performances I enjoyed in Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Vertigo. I didn't recognize James Mason by name, but by his familiar accent as Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Philipp Vandamm from North by Northwest. Although Robert Ryan has appeared in many movies, this will be the first one in which I've seen him. Natalie Schafer, who I remember as Mrs. Howell on Gilligan's Island, plays a very small part as charm school teacher, Dorothy Dale. Also appearing briefly as a "store customer in flowered hat" is Barbara Billingsley, the well known mom from Leave it to Beaver. The picture and sound quality on this film is pretty decent, likely due to the involvement of UCLA Film Archives. I am giving this a fairly thorough treatment, which means you may not need to watch the movie if you read to the end. I'll give you fair warning before I get there. Here's the description given on Amazon:
After marrying a millionaire, a young woman eventually realizes his abuse and exploitation are symptoms of insanity. When she tries to obtain a divorce, he demands custody of their child. Desperate, she plots his murder.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Dark Shadows Again?

I have been reliving the past in Dark Shadows. I was born in 1967, so was not at an age to watch the show during its first run. I have a few fuzzy memories of seeing the show back in the 1970s when it was shown in reruns. The first time I truly watched Dark Shadows was some time back in the first decade of the millennium, when I began borrowing the MPI Home Video DVD volumes from brother John. Those discs began with Episode 210, when handyman Willie Loomis discovers and opens the coffin of the vampire Barnabas, and included a brief summary of the beginning episodes. After watching to the end of the show's run, the beginning episodes were made available, and after watching those I knew that some day I would want to watch the entire show again from beginning to end, as they were originally seen. That day has come. It will be the last time I watch the entire collection of episodes from Dark Shadows before I die.

Monday, July 4, 2016

TV Time Portal: Dark Shadows

On Monday, June 27, 1966, Dark Shadows premiered on ABC to the delight of many teenagers who rushed home from school to watch. The daytime drama portrayed the lives of the Collins family in the fictional town of Collinsport with tales of supernatural horror. The show became immensely popular after vampire Barnabas Collins was released from his chained coffin on April 18th, 1967. It was one of ABC's first popular daytime shows and ran for 5 years.