the coo-coo nut grove

Saturday Morning Cartoons: The Coo-Coo Nut Grove (1936)

It’s a lovely moonlight night, and everyone who’s anyone is making the scene at the Coo-Coo Nut Grove, the hottest nightspot in town. Ben Birdie is leading the band, the rat fink gossip columnist Walter Windpipe is looking for a scoop, and the mood is just right for stargazing. Or, at the very least, for enjoying a…

andy hardy

Remembering Mickey Rooney.

Labeling Mickey Rooney a “legend” of the screen feels something of an understatement. Though he reached the height of his fame relatively early in his career, Rooney maintained an acting career for almost nine decades–an unparalleled record that is unlikely to be matched any time soon. He began performing when he was still in diapers, and…

zachary scott

Book Review: Zachary Scott: Hollywood’s Sophisticated Cad (2013)

Zachary Scott: Hollywood’s Sophisticated Cad Ronald L. Davis Release Date: July 24, 2013 (Reprint); February 27, 2006 (Original printing) University Press of Mississippi  Softcover, 238 pages Last summer, the University Press of Mississippi reprinted Ronald L. Davis’ biography of character actor Zachary Scott, subtitled Hollywood’s Sophisticated Cad, in paperback. As today marks the centennial of Scott’s…

gerald mcboing-boing

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Gerald McBoing-Boing (1950)

When it comes to theatrical animation in the 1950s, there were no greater innovators than the talented artists at United Productions of America. UPA’s highly stylized, modern aesthetic was visually appealing; the cartoons were creative and fresh, with entertaining characters and funny, unexpected new ways of storytelling. One of those new characters came directly from…

shirley temple

Remembering Shirley Temple

When I was ten years old, my parents gave me a long-awaited Christmas gift: a small television for my bedroom. A TV of my very own? I was thrilled. I could finally watch what I wanted without having to fight with my younger brothers for control of the remote. For a budding pop-culture junkie, there…

kid auto races at venice

100 Years of Chaplin’s Tramp

On February 7, 1914, one of the most iconic characters in the history of film made his first appearance onscreen: an odd, unnamed figure who was initially introduced to the world in the Mack Sennett-produced Keystone comedy Kid Auto Races at Venice. The creator of the “Tramp” persona, Charlie Chaplin, was as green a film performer…