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Marion Davies: A Second Look

In this very special episode of “The Online Movie Show,” we offer a new appreciation of the much-maligned actress Marion Davies, who is now receiving a long overdue reconsideration thanks to the re-release of three of her long-unseen silent features on DVD and Blu-ray. Film historian and composer Ben Model joins us to celebrate the beauty and talent that Marion Davies brought to the silver screen.

The episode can be heard here.

“The Online Movie Show” is produced at the Platinum Wolfe Studios.

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The Bootleg Files: A Free Ride

BOOTLEG FILES 602: “A Free Ride” (the oldest surviving extant pornographic film made in the United States).

LAST SEEN: It can be found on Wikipedia.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: It was included in at least once porn anthology and a documentary on erotic cinema.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: The difficulties in releasing this type of film back in the day.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Eh, you can watch it online for free.

One of the most historically significant films in the development of the American cinema is also one of the most mysterious and obscure. And if you never heard of the silent short film called “A Free Ride,” do not consider yourself ignorant – this is not the kind of film that you will see in a college film appreciation class or in a TCM showcase.

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When Knighthood Was in Flower (1922)

Barely seen since its 1922 theatrical release, this silent epic is a major surprise: a charming, entertaining adventure that contradicts the long-held prejudices by film scholars against the costume dramas starring the much-maligned Marion Davies and produced by her lover, publishing mogul William Randolph Hearst.

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The Twisted Doll (2017)

Ultimately I am a big fan of the revenge picture, but “The Twisted Doll” is the victim of too much story and not enough run time. “The Twisted Doll” by director Andrew de Burgh feels like he had an initially larger scope story in hand and kind of reduced it for a nine minute movie. I wouldn’t say “The Twisted Doll” is a bad movie, as it’s a solidly written picture with some good performances, I just wished I knew more about the characters to understand their motivations.

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Francis X. Bushman: King of the Movies

100 years ago, Francis X. Bushman was one of the top stars of the movie industry. Today, he is either mostly forgotten or only remembered for his least characteristic role as the villainous Messala in the 1925 version of “Ben-Hur.” On this episode, film historian Lon Davis recalls Bushman’s turbulent film career – which was full of amazing scandals – and his late-life comeback on TV, including appearances on “You Bet Your Life” and “Batman.”

“The Online Movie Show” is produced at the Platinum Wolfe Studios.

The episode can be heard here.

The Longest Daycare (2012)

The-Simpsons-Longest-DaycarBasically, “The Longest Daycare” is a much more advanced and intricate sequel to Maggie Simpson’s adventures in daycare that pays homage to Looney Tunes while also giving the character Maggie some depth. We only saw a portion of it in the episode “A Streetcar Named Marge,” where Maggie united her fellow babies to reclaim her pacifier in the spirit of “The Great Escape.”

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The Bat (1926)

bat1926Batman creator Bill Finger cites 1926’s silent crime thriller “The Bat” as one of the primary inspirations for Batman. And it’s easy to see where he draws his influences from. The Bat in this film is actually a criminal and a master one who steals from the rich. Like Batman he has a bat beacon, he brands all of his calling cards with a bat shaped symbol, The Bat dresses up like a giant bat with a cape and all, and rather than a utility belt, he wields a utility bag where he stores his tricks and supplies including a bat shaped grappling hook. The similarities just don’t stop there. The Bat climbs tall buildings with his ropes and uses the rooftops as his stalking grounds, lurking in the darkness.

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Vintage Erotica Anno 1960 (DVD)

vintageeroticaWith the release of “Vintage Erotica Anno 1960,” Cult Epics unleashes twelve underground 16mm short porn films that not only show the free wheeling fun loving of the early sixties but the evolution of the porno film before our very eyes. As the smut and taboo material of threesomes and orgies became ever more frequent in the underground smut circuit, we saw the beginnings of the classic porn formula where it was less about voyeurism and teasing the audience as it was about rough hardcore sex.

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