Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Undersea Kingdom (1936) │Ray 'Crash' Corrigan

My Dear Aunt Martha and I decided that it was about time to feature another action serial from the 1930s.  There is none finer than "The Undersea Kingdom" starry Ray 'Crash' Corrigan, along with his youthful side kick, the child actor Lee Van Atta.  It is an amazing serial filled with death rays, robots, rockets, a jet-propelled submarine, and all kinds of other mechanical contraptions.  In this edition of Endyr's Movie Theater we are featuring the first chapter of this incredible sci-fi thriller.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Night Of The Living Dead

"Night Of The Living Dead" was produced in 1968 by director George Romeo for the paltry sum of $114.000, which is really miniscule compared to the budgets of films made now-a-days.  It remains a classic of the horror film genre, and has spawned numerous remakes and clones.  Night of the Living Dead entered the public domain because the original theatrical distributor, the Walter Reade Organization, neglected to place a copyright mark on the prints.  In 1968, United States copyright law required that a proper copyright notice for a work be included on it to maintain a legitimate copyright.  The producers of "Night Of The Living Dead" failed to do this when they renamed the film from "Night Of The Flesh Eaters" to "Night Of The Living Dead".  Because of this legal error you can watch the complete "Night Of The Living Dead" for FREE by clicking on the video widget below.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's Intermission Time At Endyr's Movie Theater With Betty Boop

In this edition of Endyr's Movie Theater we are featuring an intermission special with Betty Boop, starring in "Cinderella".

Friday, June 17, 2011

Junior G-Men (1940)

The plot of "Junior G-Men" is very simple:  A group of saboteurs are trying to undermine the government by kidnapping several prominent scientists, including the father of a local street gang member. The gang teams up with the FBI and the "Junior G-Men" in order to stop the saboteurs.  How is that for awesome simplicity and and a lot of action?  This serial is in twelve parts and stars The Dead End Kids, also known as The Little Tough Guys.  In this edition of Endyr's Movie Theater, we are presenting the first chapter in this very exciting serial.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Porcelain Unicorn

"Porcelain Unicorn" is that one-of-a-kind film short, that manages to break the heart in the least amount of time.  It won a first place prize in the "Philips’ Tell It Your Way", film-making contest, for American director Keegan Wilcox.  The plot of "Porcelain Unicorn" was inspired by the real-life, traumatic World War II experiences of Wilcox's grandfather.  It is a true story, and an extremely moving one at that.  Trevor Teichmann is completely stunning, and captivating as the Hitler Youth who discovers a young Jewish girl who is hiding from the Gestapo.  His face tells complete stories of its own.  He is now involved in the filming, and production, of the theatrical version of "Porcelain Unicorn".  Trevor, who is a model, has a wonderful career as a movie actor ahead of him.  I can watch "Porcelain Unicorn" over and over again with complete enjoyment.  The conclusion of this film is completely magical, and wonderful.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hawaii Calls (1938)

Bobby Breen, was born on November 24, 1927 in Canada, and was considered to be the finest treble voice of the late 1930s.   It is astonishing, but he started to perform in night clubs at the age of four!  Bobby then went on to become a leading child actor in Hollywood, and he appeared in many movie musicals in the 1930s, and 1940s.  Bobby's vast repertoire included not only popular standards, but also classical music, including opera.  He was an eclectic child star, and was the first to create a certain mystique in the eyes of the movie going public.  It is not widely known, but Bobby is one of the people that The Beatles admired, and he is pictured on the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album cover.  Bobby is in the front row, right in-between George Harrison and Marlene Dietrich.  Now that was quite an honor, and goes to show you just how highly esteemed the music of Bobby Breen was, and still is, because at the time of the writing of this post, Bobby Breen is alive and well, and lives in Tamarac, Florida.  In 1938, Bobby starred in "Hawaii Calls", which was the name of a very popular radio show, featuring authentic Hawaiian music that was hosted by the legendary Webly Edwards. The show was broadcast live from Waikiki Beach, by KGMB, a radio station in Honolulu, and later distributed by "electrical transcription (an early type of  recording device that used acetate/aluminum disks)" throughout the continental United States.  Please remember that at this time Hawaii was still a Territory Of The United States, and there was no technically reliable way to transmit a radio show "live" to the mainland.  Most of "Hawaii Calls" was filmed in Honolulu, and Bobby's co-star was a Hawaiian boy who went by the name of Pua, which means flower in the Hawaiian language.  Not only that, but scores of Hawaiian, and hapa haole (half Hawaiian) children, were used as extras in the film.  In "Hawaii Calls", Bobby sings a beautiful operatic piece called "Macushla", accompanied by a full symphony orchestra, and also a novelty number called "That's The Hawaiian In Me" that was composed by Hawaiian entertainers, Johnny Noble and Margarita Lake.  I find it interesting, though, that on the side wall of the now defunct Waikiki Theatre (it opened on August 20, 1936 and closed in November of 2002), located in Waikiki of course, there is a huge full-color movie poster of "Hawaii Calls".  It makes me smile whenever I see it.  In this edition of Saturday Matinee At The Movies, we are featuring the complete movie of "Hawaii Calls".  Please join my Dear Aunt Martha and I, as we watch this incredible movie.  Bring out the popcorn, candy and soda!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Charlie Chan - Charlie Chan's Secret (1936)

 Photo of Detective Chang Apana and Warner Oland taken during the filming of "The Black Camel (1931)" in Honolulu.

It is not well known that Detective Chang Apana, who lived in Hawaii, was the prototype for the fictional detective Charlie Chan, created by author Earl Derr Biggers.  There a a number of  items that appear in the Charlie Chan novels that can be linked directly, or indirectly with Chang Apana. In “The Black Camel” (1929), it is mentioned that Chan’s oldest daughter is named Rose. Chang Apana’s youngest daughter was named Rose. In the “House Without A Key” (1925), the captain of detectives is named Hallet. From 1923 to 1927, a man named Kellett was the Captain of Detectives of the Honolulu Police Department. In “The Black Camel” Charlie Chan laments “…there has been upheaval in local police department…”, as a result Chan gets promoted to the rank of inspector. On February 20, 1928, Chang Apana is promoted to Detective First Grade, after a major police scandal. Before becoming a policeman, Chan worked for a wealthy white family, the Jordans. The same can be said of Apana who worked for the Wilder family as a hostler. Both Chan and Apana were excellent cooks. Apana was chef in charge of a big luau that was given for the Prince of Wales when he visited Honolulu. Chan lived on Punchbowl hill, while in 1908, Apana lived on Punchbowl near Hotel Street. Chan worked very slowly and meticulously on cases…”I have never been demon for speed…” (“The Black Camel”). The same can be said of Apana. In their respective modus operandi on cases, both Chan and Apana worked alone. Chan spent most of his time running down gamblers; that was also Apana’s major job. In “The Black Camel”, it is mentioned that Chan has 27 years of service on the job; Apana by the time of the writing of “The Black Camel”, would have served approximately the same length of time.

Chan’s method of inquiry on a case was to investigate the human heart. Apana, too, was a keen student of the human heart and character. Neither Chan nor Apana drank alcoholic beverages. Both Chan and Apana resisted many and all attempts of bribery; as Chan says “All those years on the force, beset with temptations, but always honest, always irreproachable,” (“Keeper Of The Keys”).

In two Chan novels there appears an Inspector Duff: For many years Apana worked under a Chief of Detectives named McDuffie. In “The Keeper Of The Keys”, there is a Chinese servant named Ah Sing, who spoke in a high shrill voice and used broken English. Interestingly, Apana’s given first name was “Ah Ping”, and he too spoke broken English in a high shrill voice. In appearance, Chan was fat, but Apana was slim. The device of polarity is often used by authors to disguise the original that a character is based on (see above, Rose being Chan’s oldest daughter and in actuality Rose was Apana’s youngest daughter)

It is easy to see from the items mentioned above that the similarities between Chan and Apana are more than just cursory.  In this edition of Endyr's Movie Theater I am featuring "Charlie Chan's Secret", a classic Charlie Chan film starring Warner Oland.  Safe journeys to all the fans of Endyr's Movie Theater, wherever you may be.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Alpha Beta Gamma

In this edition of Endyr's Movie Theater we are happy to present "Alpha Beta Gamma".  It is an incredible video short from Spain, starring the  young actor, Adrian Huerta.  What is amazing though, is that director Miguel Alcaide, has managed to tell a complete story in under four minutes.  By-the-way, Adrian is so much fun to watch.  I love the way he moves.  He also acts with a lot of intensity.  It is not obvious at first, but try to figure out what happens to the little chicken at the end of the video.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Phantom Empire (1935)

In this edition of Endyr's Movie Theater, I am featuring "The Phantom Empire".  It was first released in 1935, and stars Gene Autry (The Singing Cowboy), Frankie Darro, and Betsy King Ross.  It is interesting to note that "The Phantom Empire" is an eclectic mix of science fiction, movie musical, and the traditional western.  I find it to be completely charming and irresistable.  Please click on the video widget below to watch all twelve installments of this cool serial.  Safe journeys to all the fans of Endyr's Movie Theater, wherever you may be.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Spooks Run Wild (1941)

In this edition of Endyr's Movie Theater, we present the amazing East Side Kids, and the iconic Bela Lugosi in an incredible ghostly adventure called "Spooks Run Wild".   Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, and Bobby Jordan, known collectively as the East Side Kids, Dead End Kids, the Bowery Boys and other monikers, had a long run as movie stars in the 1940s.  I just love to watch the pseudo-tough guy antics of Muggs (Leo Gorcey).  By-the-way, the late, great Bela Lugosi, was one of the most underrated movie actors of all time.