Yet Another Journal

Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.

 Contact me at theyoungfamily (at) earthlink (dot) net

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» Monday, March 21, 2005
DVD Transfer Diary
I was so ticked off at last night's news that I didn't post this, although I'm sure nobody would care. Didn't get much done yesterday afternoon for hopping from one drugstore to the next trying to find vitamins on sale.

Christmas stuff again:
  • Mercy Mission with Scott Bakula and Robert Loggia. I've written about this film in my holiday blog, so won't repeat. (Those are pretty neat links in there, though.)
  • Twilight Zone: "The Night of the Meek" with Art Carney as a disillusioned, drunken hired Santa Claus who would just once want to bring some happiness and hope to the impoverished people around him--and gets that chance. Oh, look, it's John Fiedler again!
    and, sorta Christmas, as it ends with a Christmas celebration:
  • Little Lord Fauntleroy, the Ricky Schroeder/Sir Alec Guinness version, which I like much better than that insipid Freddie Bartholemew film. Yeah, yeah, I know the FB version is a classic--I don't care. I saw a review somewhere--Amazon? IMDb?--that put their finger on it: this story is filmed with the reverence usually accorded to a Biblical epic. The soft focus on Dolores Costello Barrymore even makes her look like the Madonna. It's very stagy.

    This isn't saying the Schroeder version is perfect. They have chosen to make "Dearest," who in the book is strong-willed while managing to remain ladylike, into a feminist wannabe in order not to alienate the women watching. This might have worked with a softer actress, but Connie Booth isn't the type. (And I like Connie Booth!) Cedric, who isn't the wimp most kids forced to read Fauntleroy think he is, was brought up as a gentleman even though he lived in a slum; they kept giving Schroeder slang to spout ("Well, I'll be jiggered!") until it became silly. But the movie is gorgeously filmed, Schroeder is a real kid rather than a wax doll, and the story follows the Earl's thaw from martinet to human being excellently.

    I was surprised while watching when Wilkins, the groom spoke--it sounded like Patrick Stewart. I looked closer and checked the IMDb. Darned if it wasn't Patrick Stewart...

    Another thing: I tried to fit something else after Fauntleroy, a hideously edited copy of "The Little Christmas Tree," a black-and-white Corey Stuart-era Lassie episode. It wouldn't fit, even though Discovery Kids has pared these things down to 22 minutes! I went back to check the movie. Darned if I hadn't forgotten that back when Fauntleroy was filmed one actually got more than 90 minutes of movie in a two-hour time slot!!!! The film was 102 minutes; there would have been only...gasp!...18 minutes of commercials in it! And no bugs at the bottom of the screen, no crawls, no promos popping up...

    Forgive me if I do say "Those were the days!"