Variety was the watchword in December, as movie and TV bloggers saw out the year with articles that celebrated high points and colorful personalities ranging from early 20th century cinema to the final days of television’s golden age.

“Aurora” of the Once Upon a Screen blog offered an eye-catching collection of vintage posters celebrating Paramount Pictures’ first half-century of production.

“RGJ” of the Television Obscurities site tuned in on little-known 1941 TV news coverage of the Pearl Harbor attack.

Prolific film writer David Cairns offered a brief appreciation of beloved character actor Walter Connolly, right, at The Chiseler site.

Eric Grayson of Dr. Film’s Blog rhapsodized on his favorite (unlikely) Christmas film, Val Lewton and Robert Wise’s delicately offbeat 1944 fantasy The Curse of the Cat People.

David Cairns returned for an encore with an incisive look at Rod Serling’s rarely seen TV drama Carol for Another Christmas on The Forgotten blog.

Climb aboard and celebrate the new year by clicking on these bombshell links.

December 30, 2012 · Posted in Legends  

Lovers of movies both old and new should carve out some time for a lingering look at   Woodcuttingfool, a blog run by writer/artist “Loren,” who’s been posting eye-catching woodcut portraits of stars and other film-related images for the last year and a half.

His images are uniformly strong and confident, and all are accompanied by brief but lively biographical essays that include personal reminiscences of some of the more contemporary figures. The portraits range from atmospheric straightforward likenesses like the fine rendering of Boris Karloff, above, to strikingly impressionistic pieces like this wonderful rendition of Jack Palance:

Take a leisurely browse through this lovingly constructed site – and if a particular image strikes your fancy, take note: Prints of Loren’s work are for sale through his blog.

December 6, 2012 · Posted in Legends  

American Presidents have been portrayed on film since the early days of the last century, and even the most obscure has had his few seconds of celluloid life. Some actors have played the man of the White House more than once and to some acclaim, others have performed their Presidential cameos in films so nearly forgotten that photographic record of their historical gigs seems to have vanished altogether. Here’s one lineup of film Presidents from Hollywood and points east – on both the big screen and small – featuring the usual suspects, more than a few rarities, and probably a surprise or two.

George Washington (Alan Mowbray)

John Adams (Paul Giamatti)

Thomas Jefferson (Ken Howard)

James Madison (Jefferson Mays)

James Monroe (Morgan Wallace)

John Quincy Adams (Anthony Hopkins)

Andrew Jackson (Charlton Heston)

Martin Van Buren (Nigel Hawthorne)

William Henry Harrison (David Clennon)

John Tyler (Paul Ford)

James K. Polk (Ian Wolfe – not shown in character)

Zachary Taylor (Robert Barrat)

Millard Fillmore (John McRostie – not shown in character)

Franklin Pierce (Porter Hall – not shown in character)

James Buchanan (Peter Carlisle)

Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day Lewis)

Andrew Johnson (Van Heflin)

Ulysses S. Grant (Jason Robards  Jr.)

Rutherford B. Hayes (John Dilson – not shown in character)

James Garfield (Francis Sayles – not shown in character)

Chester A. Arthur (Emmett Corrigan – not shown in character)

Grover Cleveland (Pat McCormick)

Benjamin Harrison (Roy Gordon – not shown in character)

William McKinley (Daniel Burnley)

Theodore Roosevelt (Sidney Blackmer)

William Howard Taft (Victor Buono)

Woodrow Wilson (Alexander Knox)

Warren G. Harding (George Kennedy)

Calvin Coolidge (Ed Flanders)

Herbert Hoover (Larry Gates)

Franklin D. Roosevelt (Ralph Bellamy)

Harry S. Truman (Gary Sinise)

Dwight Eisenhower (Tom Selleck)

John F. Kennedy (William Devane)

Lyndon Johnson (Donald Moffat)

Richard Nixon (Frank Langella)

Gerald Ford (Alan Fudge)

Jimmy Carter (Fred Travalena – not shown in character)

Ronald Reagan (Richard Crenna)

George Bush (James Cromwell)

Bill Clinton (Dennis Quaid)

George W. Bush (Josh Brolin)

Barack Obama (Christopher B. Duncan)

December 4, 2012 · Posted in Legends