Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Some Old Posts For a New Hiatus

While I'm in non-blogging mode for the next week or so, here are some previous posts of mine that I like and want to re-direct your attention to. Comments and destructive criticism still welcome:

1. My series of posts on "Lost Starlets of the '60s" -- movie actresses who should have been big stars, but -- due to the almost complete lack of good women's roles in America in the '60s and early '70s -- never got to do anything more than serve as decoration. This post deals with Pamela Tiffin, Angie Dickinson, Ann-Margret and Paula Prentiss; there are posts about Marianna Hill and Stella Stevens, and this post is about the good work some of these actresses did with director Howard Hawks. This is probably near the top of subjects I'd like to turn into a book someday, but probably won't.

2. "The Synthetic Musical Comedy" --
On why the musical version of The Producers really wasn't all that.

3. "Anatomy of a Sitcom Revision" --
I was embarrassed to post this because it was my 99,000th post in the space of a week about '60s sitcoms and the first season of "Bewitched" in particular, but I still like the post: It compares an unused first draft of a first-season script (by a freelancer) to the final version that aired (rewritten by producers Jerry Davis and Danny Arnold), to show, point by point, how a bad sitcom story can be re-worked into an effective one. It's sort of my amateur-night version of a how-to screenwriting post.

4. "Putting the Record Straight" --
About the autobiography and career of John Culshaw, one of the very few classical record producers who can be considered an auteur. (Some people still feel that the Solti recording of Wagner's Ring is really Culshaw's recording, with Solti conducting to Culshaw's specifications -- and if you watch the documentary about the making of the recording, there may be something to that.)

5. "Frank Doyle, 'Archie''s Comic" --
A post about comic-book writer Frank Doyle, who wrote hundreds of surprisingly sophisticated and funny stories for "Archie" comics.

6. "Obscure Plays: Darkness At Noon" --
I need to get back to writing some posts about obscure older plays (I'm still trying to put together that Elmer Rice's Dream Girl post I've been promising to write for years). Here's an older post about playwright Sidney Kingsley's well-crafted but flawed attempt to turn Arthur Koestler's novel into a Broadway stage play.

7. "Bugs Bunny vs. America" --
About the strange and wonderful Bugs Bunny cartoons of director Robert McKimson, particularly the truly demented "Rebel Rabbit."

8. "Harold Arlen On Broadway, Part 1" and "Harold Arlen On Broadway, Part 2" --
A two-part post on the uneven but often very successful Broadway musical work of one of the great popular song composers, Harold Arlen.

9. "Dickens and the Dead" --
My latent English-major side takes over as I try to figure out why Charles Dickens' characters keep dying for no particular reason.

10. "Original Screen Played" --
On why the role of the screenwriter in the success of a movie may have gone from being underrated to being overrated.

Happy holidays, all!

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