Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mad about the boy.

Noel Coward. NYPL.
Via a Noel Coward Foundation grant, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts has digitized photos from numerous Coward productions. View them in this Web exhibition. (Richard Chamberlain in Blithe Spirit? Tallulah Bankhead in Private Lives? Broderick Crawford in Point Valaine?)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Before John Huston: Satan Met a Lady (1936).

Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon has been filmed three times. Satan Met a Lady (1936, dir. William Dieterle) is the second version (preceding John Huston's 1941 version).

Monday, November 25, 2013

Grammar gaffes in the legal world.

In the newly posted Journal of Law 3.2 (2013, pp. 323–43), Bryan A. Garner provides a roundup of 2012 grammatical goofs in law reviews and other usage-related matters in the legal world, including the following:
• A Brooklynite contesting a parking ticket via interpreting the preposition to

• Facing the dire prospect of Texans losing their accents

• A British man pursuing a Campaign to Stamp Out Awesome

• A lawyer who presented an amicus brief as a comic strip

• Parsing the meaning of the NJ parking sign with the hours "from 8 am to 8 am"

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ngaio Marsh speaks.

In an episode from the program The Vault, Radio New Zealand featured historical recordings of Ngaio Marsh talking about her long association with the theater and offering some insight into her approach to mystery writing. "Detective fiction," she said, "has to be written with the very greatest economy."

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Terror Street (1953).

An American officer (Dan Duryea) is accused of killing his wife in her London flat and has limited time to prove his innocence.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Want to study Lovecraft?

Joshi's I Am Providence: The
Life and Times of H. P. Lovecraft
Hippocampus P
The Brown Library blog brings word of an upcoming research opportunity, the S. T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship, which will provide $2500 to a researcher planning 6 weeks of work in the collections on horror master H. P. Lovecraft in Brown University's John Hay Library. Application details are expected to be released in fall 2014. The fellowship is named for Joshi, who has done much work on Lovecraft and is a Brown graduate.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

John Creasey's Gideon's Day now on DVD.

As this NYT review discussed, the new John Ford boxed set from Turner Classic Movies includes Gideon's Day (aka Gideon of Scotland Yard, 1958), the film of John Creasey's important police procedural (1955) that features Jack Hawkins as Chief Inspector George Gideon, Anna Lee as his wife, and Anna Massey as his daughter. Cyril Cusack and Miles Malleson (cousin of mystery author Anthony Gilbert) also appear in the film.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Crime Wave (1954).

In Crime Wave, Gene Nelson plays a former criminal wanting to go straight, but police lieutenant Sterling Hayden does not believe it when the man's former associates escape from prison. The screenplay is by Crane Wilbur, a cousin of Tyrone Power.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The debut of Sesame Street, 1969.

The Paley Center for Media recalls that Sesame Street debuted today on public television in 1969. Enjoy this episode, "Law and Order: Special Letters Unit," in which the redoubtable squad is on the trail of the elusive letter M.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

ABA Journal: Ten trials that changed the world.

Clarence Darrow, 1915
Library of Congress,
Prints & Photos Div.
The November issue of the ABA Journal discusses "10 trials that changed the world," including the Nuremberg trials, Parliament's trial of King Charles I, the trial of Susan B. Anthony for voting, and the trial of defense attorney Clarence Darrow (known later for the Scopes "monkey" trial and his defense of Leopold and Loeb) on the charge that he bribed jurors. See also the October letters to the editor on the journal's "25 Greatest Law Novels" list from the August issue, with additional suggestions of works by authors such as Sarah Caudwell, Michael Connelly, and Michael Gilbert.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Mysterious California (2008).

The 38-minute film Mysterious California looks at that state as a setting for fictional crime through the eyes of four authors: Laurie R. King, Kirk Russell, Nadia Gordon, and Nina Revoyr. Pamela Briggs, one of the filmmakers, also made the film Women of Mystery (on Sue Grafton, Marcia Muller, and Sara Paretsky).

Monday, November 04, 2013

More on "Best of" lists.

On the Times Literary Supplement blog, Michael Caines discusses the
Amelia B. Edwards, from
Harper's Magazine. NYPL
100 Best Novels list from 1898 that was created by editor-critic Clement K. Shorter, placing it alongside David Bowie's more recent list (Bowie's selections include Truman Capote's In Cold Blood and Edward Bulwer Lytton's Zanoni). The privileging of dead authors over living ones on such lists also is discussed.
There are quite a few books on Shorter's list that may provoke head scratching among today's readers, but Shorter does include the following:
• Gothic milestones The Castle of Otranto and The Mysteries of Udolpho (by Horace Walpole and Ann Radcliffe respectively)

Catherine Crowe's Susan Hopley (maidservant solves crime; see also Dante Gabriel Rossetti's drawings of characters from this work)

• Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White

Sheridan Le Fanu's Uncle Silas

• Amelia B. Edwards's Barbara's History (Edwards was a successful novelist before she became a cofounder of the Egypt Exploration Fund and an inspiration for Elizabeth Peters's Amelia Peabody Emerson)