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The Screwy Genius of Tex Avery: A Double Dose of Droopy

True Classics Posted by on Sep 29, 2013

“Hello, all you happy people. You know what? I’m the hero.” In the 1943 animated short Dumb-Hounded, Tex Avery debuted a new character, a laconic, quick-witted, slow-talking hound dog. Originally dubbed “Happy Hound” (though this is never explicitly mentioned onscreen), read more

The Screwy Genius of Tex Avery: Red Hot Riding Hood (1943)

True Classics Posted by on Sep 28, 2013

Photo credit: http://www.toonaday.co.uk The 1943 animated short Red Hot Riding Hood begins innocently enough: the insipid narration of an unseen storyteller introduces us to little Red, her sweet grandma, and the big, bad wolf who’s stalking her through the forest. But before the tale can get read more

The Screwy Genius of Tex Avery: Blitz Wolf (1942)

True Classics Posted by on Sep 26, 2013

When Tex Avery moved from Warner Bros. to MGM in 1941, he announced his arrival with a timely parody that not only took on current world events, but also outright challenged the predominant Walt Disney model of animation.  Blitz Wolf, released on August 22, 1942, was not the first cartoon that Avery read more

The Screwy Genius of Tex Avery: A Wild Hare (1940)

True Classics Posted by on Sep 25, 2013

On July 27, 1940, an unassuming gray rabbit was born in Brooklyn. And from those humble beginnings, he would go on to become one of the most famous anthropomorphic animals to ever grace the silver screen, a legend on par with longtime rodent rival Mickey Mouse. Bane to clumsy hunters, diminutive mus read more

The Screwy Genius of Tex Avery: I Love to Singa (1936)

True Classics Posted by on Sep 24, 2013

When Tex Avery began directing animated shorts at Warner Bros. in 1935, he jumped headlong into a demanding production schedule. Though Avery’s was not the only unit producing cartoons for the Warner studio–two other units were headed by Jack King and Ben “Bugs” Hardaway (at read more

The Screwy Genius of Tex Avery

True Classics Posted by on Sep 23, 2013

“Animation is the art of timing, a truth applicable as well to all motion pictures. And the most brilliant masters of timing were usually comedians: Keaton, Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, Langdon–and Fred ‘Tex’ Avery.” –Chuck Jones, in the introduction to John Canemak read more

The Truly Classic Cartooning of Tex Avery (Plus: Win an Awesome Prize Pack!)

True Classics Posted by on Sep 22, 2013

This week, True Classics will be dedicated to one Frederick Bean Avery, better known to the world at large as seminal cartoonist “Tex” Avery. Much like our week-long tribute for Chuck Jones’ centennial last year, once again we will turn our site over to one of the most talented and read more

“Very little respect for the press around here”: Journalism in His Girl Friday (1940)

True Classics Posted by Brandie on Sep 21, 2013

There’s a brilliant bit of dialogue in the middle of Howard Hawks’ 1940 screwball masterpiece His Girl Friday that succinctly sums up the film’s derisive views on the profession of journalism. [At this point, I should probably go ahead and warn you that this post will be chock-full read more

Book Review–Still: American Silent Motion Picture Photography (2013)

True Classics Posted by Brandie on Sep 20, 2013

Still: American Silent Motion Picture Photography David S. Shields Release Date: June 19, 2013 The University of Chicago Press Hardcover, 401 pages In the opening pages of his recent book on American silent film photography, Still, David S. Shields estimates that over eighty percent of the silent fe read more

Book Review: The Elephants of Shanghai (2013)

True Classics Posted by Brandie on Sep 11, 2013

Jack Hunter made a name for himself as “Action Jack,” star of a series of adventure flicks in the 1930s. But by 1942, the world is at war, he’s retired from the screen, and he’s living on a ranch with his fellow survivors from a previous jungle adventure: his wife, Max; her n read more

Tragic Love in the Latin Quarter: Lillian Gish and La Bohème

True Classics Posted by Brandie on Sep 9, 2013

Giacomo Puccini’s 1896 Italian opera La bohème has seen many forms in the century since its first performance in Turin. The story–itself borrowed from Henri Murger’s 1851 collection Scènes de la vie de bohème–has been retold in many forms, with and without the music. It’ read more

“A Most Remarkable Fellow”: Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor (1936)

True Classics Posted by Brandie on Sep 7, 2013

By 1936, Popeye the Sailor had become even more popular than a certain storied mouse. Produced by Max Fleischer and directed by his brother, Dave, the theatrical cartoon series, adapted from the beloved comic strip by Elzie Segar, became the studio’s main bread-and-butter after the production read more

State of the Blog: September 2013

True Classics Posted by trueclassicsblogstaff on Sep 3, 2013

Like Stany, we’ve been writing up a storm lately … August was a great month of blogging, particularly due to the TCM SUTS blogathon hosted by our pals Jill and Michael. Between the four of us, the True Classics crew was able to contribute seven posts to the blogathon (plus two more from read more

“All Sorts of Hunger in the World”: Mogambo

True Classics Posted by Brandie on Aug 25, 2013

Two decades after burning up the screen with Jean Harlow in Red Dust (1932), Clark Gable returned to the material that had made him one of the preeminent leading men of the 1930s when he starred in Mogambo (1953). This time around, the action–shot on location and brought to life in splendid read more

“If I didn’t think you meant so well, I’d feel like slapping your face.”

True Classics Posted by Brandie on Aug 20, 2013

Sandra Kovak (Mary Astor) is a world-class pianist, playing to adoring fans all over the world. On an impulse (and in a drunken haze), she marries Peter Van Allen (George Brent), not realizing that her divorce from her previous husband was not yet valid. Peter is secretly relieved that the marriage read more

Reflections on Natalie Wood: Two of Her Best Roles

True Classics Posted by Carrie on Aug 18, 2013

With all of the posts we do here at True Classics, I had honestly never thought about doing a post about Natalie Wood. I have no idea why, but I haven’t. Today, TCM’s Summer Under the Stars will be featuring twenty-four hours of her films, and suddenly it makes sense for me to offer some read more

“You can see all of Pittsburgh from here, but Pittsburgh can’t see you.”

True Classics Posted by Nikki G on Aug 15, 2013

Several years ago, I was flipping through the TCM listings for films to record and came across The Valley of Decision (1945), with a star-studded cast featuring Greer Garson and Gregory Peck, and decided to give it a shot. I am so glad I did. The film opens in 1873 as Mary Rafferty (Garson), Irish read more

Bette Davis’ Emotional Victory

True Classics Posted by Sarah on Aug 14, 2013

“I’ve never taken orders from anyone. As long as I live, I’ll never take orders from anyone. I’m young and strong and nothing can touch me.” Dark Victory (1939) is a prime example of the power of a Bette Davis performance. Playing the part of terminally-ill heiress Judi read more

Orson Welles, Mary Wickes, and Too Much Johnson

True Classics Posted by Brandie on Aug 7, 2013

You know how sometimes you read something, and then something tangentially related to what you’ve only recently finished reading pops up somewhere, and you think, “My, that’s an odd coincidence?” That was the feeling I had earlier when I caught sight of an LA Times article read more

“By the time you read this letter, I may be dead.”

True Classics Posted by Brandie on Aug 6, 2013

“If this letter reaches you, believe this – that I love you now as I’ve always loved you. My life can be measured by the moments I’ve had with you and our child. If only you could have shared those moments, if only you could have recognized what was always yours, could have f read more