Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Two Times the Bowery Boys

Started out a late morning with two classic Scooby Doo episodes that were included with the Franken Creepy DVD. "A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts" from the original series' first season takes the gang to a spooky castle that seems to be haunted by half the monsters on the planet, from a wolf man to a vampire! They gypsy they encountered on their way to the castle and the jewels they find later may be the key to solving this case.

"To Switch a Witch," the Halloween episode from the early 70s show, has one of the series' more interesting back stories. A friend of theirs just inherited an old house in Salem, Massachusetts, but is being driven away by a superstitious caretaker and a witch who looks just like her. It turns out that one of her ancestors was burned at the stake...and now the townspeople think she's possessed with her ancestor's spirit. While the rest of Mystery Inc tries to prove otherwise, Scooby Doo and Shaggy attempt to go trick-or-treating, but run afoul of the townspeople's wrath instead.

After the shows finished, I briefly went online. I was delighted when I saw the 1943 and 1953 versions of The Desert Song go on sale at the Warner Archives. I dubbed the 1953 version several years ago, but rights issues has kept the 1943 movie from circulation for decades. I'm dying to see Dennis Morgan (Christmas In Connecticut) and Irene Manning (Yankee Doodle Dandy)  have a go at the score and an updated plot that factors the Nazis in. At the very least, I'm hoping the charming Morgan will be a little less stiff than Gordon MacRae and Nelson Eddy in later versions.

(And hey Warner Archives, since we're clearing out Desert Songs, how about we get to restoring the 1929 version next? I'd really love to see John Boles and Myrna Loy have fun with the original plot.)

I also finally grabbed the 1936 Show Boat. I have the 1951 movie, but this is the one everyone talks about. Just Paul Robeson's clip singing "Ol' Man River" on the sales page can give you a hint of the awesomeness on display here. Actually, my favorite part of this particular Show Boat is Robeson and Hattie McDaniel singing the hilarious "Ah Still Suits Me," which I've never seen used in any other revival of the show. I have seen this one on TCM, but not in many years, so this will be a treat.

It was almost 1PM by the time I headed to the Oaklyn Library. It wasn't the nicest day for a walk. The skies were gray, and it was cool, humid, and windy. The Library was fairly busy for the small building. I got there in time to organize the adult and kids' DVDs, but not much else. They close at 2. I was out by 1:30. I stopped by WaWa for a small turkey hoagie, iced chai, and milk.

When I got home, I ran the Bowery Boys while I ate lunch and baked Cranberry-Apple Granola Bars. They're gonna Dig That Uranium when an old friend (Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer) sells them equipment to gather the radioactive mineral from a mine in Nevada. It turns out when they arrive that the mine has no uranium and the owners of the hotel suspect them of knowing where a vein of ore is to be found. Sach's hilarious "Lone Disarrangers" dream sequence and Louie's poker game with the guys at the hotel are by far the best parts of the Boys' second western.

I messed around online and read stories for a while. I got so caught up, it was past 5 when I made it out to the laundromat. I really couldn't put it off. I had a ton of laundry to do this week, including towels. Maybe I should go late more often. The laundromat was, except for two other people who were in and out, quiet the entire hour or so I was there. It was mostly just me and the CBS Evening News.

When I got home, I had just enough time for baked home-made chicken fingers, leftover Chinese Beans and Pepper, and more Bowery Boys. Slip thinks they're Master Minds when they discover Sach can predict the future thanks to his toothache. Sach's newfound powers attract a lot of customers at the local fairgrounds...but they also attract a mad scientist, who thinks Sach's brilliant brain would be perfect for his half-human, half-monster creation!

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