Thursday, August 8, 2013

FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE NO. 73


Subtitled, "The Magazine for Film Lovers", FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE bears the sweet and wistful fragrance of nostalgia. At once purposeful and unapologetic, it succeeds with its intent in the most tastefully unassuming of manners. For 73 issues (this one dated Summer 2013) readers have immersed themselves in content that is rooted deeply in the films of yesteryear, and that, my friends, is not a bad thing at all.

The issue begins with Editor Bob King's recollection of his nearly lifelong quest to watch a movie he'd seen only once before and thought lost. After many years he eventually was provided with a 16mm print of HOME SWEET HOMICIDE. Disappointed to find it in various stages of decomposition, it was literally unwatchable in some sections. But, like many of us Monster Kids' memories of a movie that scared the beejesus out of us, watching it again years later didn't quite have the same effect. Mr. King's narrative is an entertaining, even adventurous read, mainly because, while the outcome may not be the same in all cases, we've nevertheless all shared the excitement of trying to track down a favorite film from our younger years.

The biggest surprise of the issue for me was reading the article entitled, William Boyd Before the Legend. Having reached legendary status once in his early acting days as a hard-drinking tough guy, he later became famous all over again playing a cowboy by the name of Hopalong Cassidy. Author Diane Jarrett does an excellent job of recounting a story and career that spanned many years.

Another substantial article covers the personality of Mickey Rooney, and there is also a lengthy interview with Leo Gorcey Jr., whose dad was one of the characters in the famed comedy team The Bowery Boys (you know, the ones who met Bela Lugosi and the Brooklyn Gorilla).

Genre fans will be delighted to read Ken Dennis' Forever Dr. Watson, an excellent remembrance of the much-loved Nigel Bruce. To top things off, a series titled Forgotten Faces includes a page on Spanish-American beauty Ramsay Ames, who played Amina Monsouri in 1944's THE MUMMY'S GHOST and in a Universal Inner Sanctum pic, DR. DEATH. There is more biographical info on this elusive actress here than I have so far seen in one place.

On occasion, articles on monster movies or a horror actor have been featured. But, if you are looking for wall-to-wall monsters, you won't find them here. At best, you get tidbits and crossovers and degrees of separation live I've just described. However, if you are looking for the magazine version of a trip down old Hollywood Boulevard, then this is the one to get. Each article is loaded with photographs and written by someone who obviously cares deeply for this art form.

More information on FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE can be found HERE.

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