Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Best of Ozzie & Harriet - Classic TV

The Nostalgia Merchant is currently working on a new release.. The Best of Ozzie and Harriet Collection.  Now, we know there's lots of Ozzie and Harriet collections on the market. But this one will be very different. All of the episodes in this collection will include the original network commercials. That's right, you'll get to see these shows as they were actually broadcast in the 1950s on TV. Sponsors like; Listerene, Kodak, Quaker Oats, and more. These shows are all complete right done to the public service announcements and network logos. And one more thing, we've checked the other collections out there and we're fairly certain you get few or no repeats with this collection. Quality you ask? Answer: Great. This collection is due for release on Jan 10, 2009. Check back often for more information. The Nostalgia Merchant, your home for rare, classic TV shows and movie.

The Best of Jack Benny Collection - Classic TV

The Best of Jack Benny is a collection of rare classic TV shows starring, of course, Jack Benny. The television version of The Jack Benny Program (which never used the sponsor's name) ran from October 28, 1950 to 1965. The show appeared infrequently during its first two years on TV, then ran every fourth week for the next two years. For the 1953-1954 season, half the episodes were live and half were filmed during the summer, to allow Benny to continue doing his radio show. From 1955 to 1960 it appeared every other week, and from 1960 to 1965 it was seen weekly. Here are 32 episodes of this classic TV show in one collection. Perfect for gift giving. For more information and a list of episodes in this collection visit The Nostalgia Merchant web site or go straight to the Jack Benny Collection.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Four Star Playhouse - Classic TV

The Four Star Playhouse Collection of 32 rare, classic TV shows is now available on DVD from The Nostalgia Merchant. This is the largest, most complete collection of Four Star Playhouse we've ever seen. There are 8 DVDs in this collection with four episodes per disc. The quality on a scale of 1 - 10 is a solid 9. These intriguing stories range from comedy, to mystery, suspense, and drama.The first episode on Disc 1 is "The Lost Silk Hat," a comendy, starring Ronald Coleman as an Englishman who calls on his love, gets into a quarrel with her and leaves without his hat. He faces the dilemma of returning for it or being seen in the street bareheaded. Another interesting episode is "The Girl on a Park Bench," starring Joan Fontaine as a beautiful, intelligent, and politically savvy young woman takes up residency in the city park to protest the Mayor's decision to end rent control on apartments. The comically ornery mayor seems to have met his match! Sparks fly as the Mayor dispatches the city's handsome attorney in an attempt to oust the young woman, who gives her a friendly warning that she will get evicted and lose in court. The tables get turned as the woman proves she is also good at law, but after some very interesting negotiations, all's well that ends well. Here's a sample of drama and suspense in this collection: Episode title: "The Gun," on Disc 4. Synopsis: A police detective (Dick Powell) returns home to his family one morning only to have his meal interrupted by a constant stream of people: the milkman, his neighbor, the postman, the grocery boy, and a salesman. Afterwards, he finds that his gun is missing. In a panic that slowly turns to paranoia, he realizes that each of the visitors had said something that makes them a suspect. Or, how about "The Bomb" with David Niven. Synopsis: Three members of a romantic triangle are trapped in a cellar with an unexploded bomb. Great Classic TV! Some of these rare episodes have the original sponsors commercials. Singer Sewing Machines was one of the main sponsors of Four Star Playhouse. You'll love every minute of every hour of this rare collection. You can view an episode of this collection on the Nostalgia Merchant's video link. Or click on Four Star Playhouse. For a complete listing of episodes in this collection CLICK HERE!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Joe. E. Brown Movie Collection

The Joe E. Brown Collection is the utlimate compilation of 6 rare classic movies. Joe E. Brown was one of America's funiest comedians. The collection includes the following hilarious movies: "Alibi Ike," "Shut My Big Mouth," "Earthworm Tractors," "Flirting With Fate," "Wide Open Faces," and "The Gladiator." Add this one to your collection for easy-going, lighthearted humor. Available from The Nostalgia Merchant.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Classic TV - COPS and Detectives Collection

The COPS and Detectives Collection. The greatest collection of classic TV cop and detective shows ever produced. Many of these shows are extremely rare. For example "Manhunt" and "Margin of Fear." The collection also includes several pilot shows that never made it to television. You get eight disc with 4 shows per disc. That's an incredible 32 shows in this collection. Here are a few titles: Richard Diamond "Picture of Fear," State Trooper "Another Chance," Margin of Fear with Brodrick Crawford: Rocky King "Murder In Advance," Public Prosecutor "Case of The Man Who Wasn't There." for a complete list of titles visit COPS.

Classic Movies - Forgotten Noir - Vol. 5

I love classic movies, especially those I've never seen. VCI and Kit Parker films have released several new movies. I suspect most of these are public domain, although they have a renewed copyright notice on them for the "special contents" of this edition. Special contents include some interviews and commentary, a photo gallery, etc. Anyway just to review a couple of them... Well, the DVD has only two movies. FBI Girl, interesting title and it stars Cesar Romero, George Brent and Raymond Burr. Plot: a state governor hires Raymond Burr to steal a file from the FBI that has fingerprint evidence proving he previously was a wanted criminal. A clerk in the FBI office is killed, and Ceasar Romero is hot on the case. Pretty good flick release in 1951 by Jedgar Productions. "Tough Assignment" is the second movie on the menu..Plot: a newspaper reporter pursues a modern-day rustling gang whose "truck driving cowboys" are more dangerous than their horse riding counterparts. Well, the plot speaks for itself. Reminds me of one of those old Roy Rogers or Gene Autry movies where there's a mixture of cowboys, horses and modern vehicles. Anyway the quality is excellent on these movies and you can purchase them on The Nostalgia Merchant web site.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Blondie Collection - Classic TV

This is The Blondie TV Collection. Starring Arthur Lake and Pamela Britton, this rare TV show was on the air for only one season. There were a total of 25 original episodes and we’ve managed to put together 20 of these delightful shows for you. Other collections claim to have 36 episodes, but 11 of these are reruns and there were 5 shows we were unable to salvage from the original assets. Included in this collection is the original Blondie movie that started it all. It first aired on January 4, 1957 on NBC. Although Penny Singleton had starred in most of the Blondie movies, producers chose Pamela Britton for the title role, with Arthur Lake playing the role of Dagwood Bumstead as he had in the Blondie movie series. Available on DVD from The Nostalgia Merchant.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fibber McGee & Molly - Classic TV Shows

The Fibber McGee and Molly TV shows are now available from The Nostalgia Merchant. Fibber McGee and Molly, starring Marian and Jim Jordan, was a radio show that played a major role in determining the full form of what became classic, old-time radio. The series was a pinnacle of American popular culture from its 1935 premiere until its end in 1959 and was one of the longest-running comedies in the history of classic radio in the United States.

The Jordans also portrayed their characters in four movies. In the early years of the radio show, they were supporting characters in the 1937 Paramount film This Way, Please, starring Charles "Buddy" Rogers and Betty Grable. Once the show hit its stride, they had leading roles in the films Look Who's Laughing (1941), Here We Go Again (1942), and Heavenly Days (1944). See Radio In The Movies.

The first two movies are generally considered the best, as they co-star fellow radio stars Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Harold Peary also appears in both as Gildersleeve, with Arthur Q. Bryan, Bill Thompson, Harlow Wilcox, Gale Gordon, and Isabel Randolph appearing in both their show roles and as other characters. "Look Who's Laughing" (1941) and "Here We Go Again" (1942).

TV version of the 1935-57 radio show debuted on NBC on September 15, 1959 and was cancelled on January 19, 1960. The Fibber McGee and Molly TV series never caught on, probably because it didn't have Jim Jordan and Marian Jordan, the original stars of the classic 1935-1959 radio show. People remembered the Jordans too well and could not accept other actors in the roles of Fibber and Molly. Starring: Bob Sweeney, Cathy Lewis, Barbara Beaird, Roy Norris Elisabeth Fraser, Harold Peary. Purchase 5 episodes of this TV Classic from The Nostalgia Merchant.

Casey Jones - Classic TV shows

The thrilling adventures of engineer Casey Jones as he rides the rails of the Midwest and Central. Alan Hal, Jr. starred as the engineer of the steam-engined powered "Cannonball Express." Lots of train action scenes in these wonderful rare episodes. You can view an episode of Casey Jones on The Nostalgia Merchant video site and at VEOH.

Alan Hale Jr. played the legendary railroad engineer, alongside his wife Alice (Mary Lawrence) and his son Casey Jr (Bobby Clark). Dub Taylor portrayed Casey's fireman Wallie Sims, while Eddy Waller portrayed conductor Red Rock.

Only shot for one season, in part due to Hale's commitment to filming episodes of The Texan, it ran for 32 half-hour black and white episodes The Nostalgia Merchant has ten episodes of this series in excellent quality on three disc.

Amos 'N' Andy All-Time Favorites Collection

The Amos 'N' Andy All-Time Favorites Collection contains 16 of the very best shows ever produced on one DVD. BEAUTIFUL QUALITY AND SOUND on all of these shows. This collection comes on 4 DVDs in one case for easy storage. It's shrinked wrapped and ready for gift giving. Here are the titles: "The Rare Coin"; "Income Tax"; "The Girls Upstairs"; "Kingfish Goes To Work"; "The Engagement"; "The Broken Clock"; "Superfine Brush"; "Kingfish Finds His Future"; "The Antique Shop"; "Kingfish At The Ball Game"; "Kingfish's Last Friend"; "Seeing is Believing"; "Kingfish Gets Drafted"; "The Gun"; "Call Lehigh 4-9900"; and their wonderful "Christmas Story." We promise you'll love this All-Time Favorites Collection. If you wish to purchase all of the shows we also sell the complete collection of 71 shows, the movie "Check and Double Check" and 2 cartoons, The Lion Tamer and Rasslin' Match. Available from The Nostalgia Merchant.

Annie Oakley - Classic TV Collection

Twenty four action-packed episodes are in the Original Annie Oakley Collection. This popular wild-west adventure series featured thrilling stories of the legendary sharpshooter Annie Oakley. Chasing outlaws from the saddle of her trusty horse, Target, Annie keeps law and order with Deputy Sheriff Lofty Craig in the town of Diablo. Her little brother Tag is always eager to help solve the exciting mysteries. So sit back in your easy chair and enjoy Annie Oakley. Purchase this collection from The Nostalgia Merchant. Annie Oakley is an American Western television series which fictionalized the life of famous sharpshooter Annie Oakley. It ran from January 1954 to February 1957 in syndication. ABC showed reruns on Saturday and Sunday daytime from 1959-1960 and from 1964-1965. It ran for three seasons, for a total of 81 black and white episodes, each 25 minutes long. The show starred Gail Davis in the title role, and co-starred Brad Johnson as Deputy Sheriff Lofty Craig and Jimmy Hawkins, as Annie's brother, Tagg. He had a pinto pony names Pixie in the series. Gail Davis had been discovered by Gene Autry, who cast her in several of his movies, then in his own series, The Gene Autry Show, in which she played a variety of characters. He then spun her off into her own show.

Black Saddle - Classic TV Show

The Black Saddle Collection is now available from the Nostalgia Merchant. This complete series includes all 44 episodes from two seasons and the pilot episode aired on the Zane Grey Theater. Black Saddle is a Western TV series that ran on NBC from January 10, 1959, to May 6, 1960 and stars Peter Breck as Clay Culhane, a former gunfighter who turned into a lawyer after his brothers were killed in a shootout. Clay Culhane has one problem U.S. Marshal Gib Scott, (Russell Johnson) doesn't quite believe that Clay has given up the gun for good. Since most of his clients want to hire his fast gun drawing skills rather than his lawyering skills. This collection comes in two albums on 12 DVDs. You can view an episode of Black Saddle at VEOH.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Classic TV and Movies - Nostalgia Merchant logo

A few customers have complained about our small NM logo appearing on the video they have purchased. The reason we do this is to protect years of work in collecting our video assets, the hours of production time involved in the transfer process, preparing an interactive DVD menu and then enhancing the video and audio of the rare films whenever possible. Not because we want to deny someone access to a PD title. Our Lum and Abner Collection is a good example of this. We have collected 16 mm films of these titles for years and we're not about to leave our video assets unprotected. We try to make the logos in our videos as unobtrusive as possible. But enough with the complaining about our little logo... look at all the junk on your TV screen every time you watch something. If you can deal with that you can deal with our NM logo. Thanks for your business and look for new releases on this blog.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Classic TV - Four Star Playhouse - Dick Powell

More television classics are being released by The Nostalgia Merchant. Four DVDs of Four Star Playhouse are coming out this month. Four Star Playhouse starred Dick Powell.

Born in 1904, Dick Powell was one of the most versatile and handsome movie stars of his or any other generation. His early work saw him as one of Busby Berkeley's favorite crooners in musical classics such as 42nd Street (1933), Dames (1934) and Golddiggers of 1937 (1936). In the late 1940s, Powell reinvented himself as a hardboiled wit in such film noir outing as Murder, My Sweet (1944) and Johnny O'Clock (1947).

Powell's role as a television actor-producer magnate began with the formation of Four Star Productions in 1952. The debut offering of what would become a persuasive and powerful force within the newly developing television industry was the anthology series, "Four Star Playhouse" (1952-1956). Powell oversaw production and appeared as various characters along side alternating stars Charles Boyer, David Niven and Ida Lupino. At the time of this death in 1963, Powell had directed five feature films, Split Second (1953), The Conqueror (1956), You Can't Run Away From It (1956), The Enemy Below (1957) and The Hunters (1958).

Four Star Playhouse - Vol 1: "The Test," "Interlude," "The Lost Silk Hat," "Welcome Home."

Vol. 2: "The Listener," "The Devil to Pay," "Vote of Confidence," "Tusitala.

Vol. 3: "The Girl on the Bridge," "The Gift," "Shadowed," "The Gun."

Vol 4: "Girl on the Bench," "A Place of His Own," "The Adolescent," "The Bomb."

A complete description of these new releases is available on The Nostalgia Merchant web site. Your source for Classic TV and Movies.. Nostalgia Merchant.

Classic TV - Western Ranch Party

Three more DVDs of the TV classic Western Ranch Party have just been released by The Nostalgia Merchant. These are 60 minute episodes with the great stars of country and western music. Vol. 2 stars Tex Ritter, Johnny Cash and Ray Price, Vol 3, stars Tex Ritter, Johnny Cash and Smiley Burnett. Vol. 4 stars Tex Ritter, Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline. More memorable moments in classic television from The Nostalgia Merchant. Vol 1 of Western Ranch Party, released by The Nostalgia Merchant in 2007 stars Tex Ritter, Jim Reeves, Hank Snow and the Sons of the Pioneers. You can purchase all of these great country western videos from The Nostalgia Merchant.

The Rin-Tin-Tin Serials on DVD

The Rin-Tin-Tin serials are now available on DVD from Nostalgia Merchant. "The Lone Defender," (1930) 12 Chapters in a 2-DVD set, "The Lightning Warrior," (1931) 12 Chapters in a 2-DVD set, "The Law of the Wild," (1934) 12 Chapters in a 2-DVD set, "The Adventures of Rex and Rinty," (1935) 12 Chapters in a 2 DVD set. A more complete description of these new releases are available on the Nostalgia Merchant web site. Packaging may vary on these items depending on distributor.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Green Hornet Serials - DVD - Classic TV

The Green Hornet serials are coming to DVD from The Nostalgia Merchant. The original serial, "The Green Hornet," based on the popular radio program was released to theaters in 1939. Story line as follows: Faced with rising crime and increased racketeering activity, intrepid newspaper editor Britt Reid (Gordon Jones) becomes the crime fighter the Green Hornet. Donning a disguise, the Hornet and his brilliant inventor/sidekick Kato (Key Luke) fight an infamous racket that's menacing their city. The second Green Hornet serial, "The Green Hornet Strikes Again," was released in 1940. Both these serials are in the public domain. The Nostalgia Merchant has uncovered some excellent video assets and is currently transferring them from the analog to digital format. They will be available by the end of December. Be sure to look for postings on this site for the exact release date. You'll find more serials available on DVD from Nostalgia Merchant.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

They Went Thataway!!

Though it has been imitated all over the world, it is truly and American phenomenon. The Western.

It began in the movies, with Bronco Billy Anderson, William S. Hart, Tom Mix, Buck Jones, Hoot Gibson, Tim McCoy; then along came Gary Cooper, Randolph Scott, Jimmy Stewart, and many others, who added a touch of class and sophistication to the oaters.

When television came on the scene, the easiest thing to do was cannibalize the movies (and radio, which had also latched onto the western). So television's first cowboy heroes were Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and The Lone Ranger.

Gradually, however, television began to create it's on characters, and in 1955 it was ready to put it's on brand on the western. These television westerns were to be called "adult westerns." Previously, westerns had been primarily aimed at children, telecast during the day and early evening. But beginning in 1955 television wanted to attract grownups in the audience. So a new brand of westerns began galloping across the screen... uh.. the plains—Wyatt Earp, Matt Dillon, (Gunsmoke), Paladin, (Have Gun, Will Travel), Lucas McCain (The Rifleman), Bat Materson. By 1959 there were thirty-two different westerns on television. Hour after hour of pounding hooves, gun fire, street brawls, barrroom fights, showdowns and dauntless heroes. All over America, youngsters were practicing their fast draws and playing cowboy games.

But the adult westerns were not all gunplay. In fact some purists complained that they did not have enough action. "Too much talk," said Gene Autry, "Television westerns drive me nuts. To slow."

In the early film westerns it was all so simple—the white hats vs. the black hats and no problem that could not be solved with a six-shooter. But in television it was different. You never knew what color hat the good guy would be wearing. And that trusty shootin' iron... many was the week when it never left the holster.

I tend to agree with Gene Autry on some of those early TV westerns.. "too much talk." I was watching an episode of "The Restless Gun," with John Payne recently and noticed it was a little to talky for me. And Bonanza was always to talky... frankly Bonanza never really appealed to me. I always opted for one of those great detective or police drama's, like "Hawaii Five-O" or "The FBI."

Speaking of Bonanza.. it was extremely popular with television audiences. It became the most popular television show on the air. And Gunsmoke kept running forever.

In recent years it seems the western has pretty much disappeared from our television screens. You know, I wonder if Hollywood has forgotten how to make them. Because when they do make a western for film or television these days they're just not very good. "Brokeback Mountain,"released in 2005 about two gay cowboys it proof that Hollywood has lost the art of making a good westerns. Talk about a piece of junk! Actually Brokeback Mountain isn't a westerns at all, it's really just another porn movie! If John Wayne were alive today, he would probably have thrown up at the thought of gay cowboys.

So if you want to watch a western... a real western... guess you'll have to shop the internet for some old favorites... Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Allan 'Rocky' Lane, Tim Holt, Randolph Scott, John Wayne and more. Real Westerns, available from The Nostalgia Merchant.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

We Love Old Movies

VCI Entertainment has released some great collections recently, specifically the Forgotten Noir Collections. One of my favorites is Collection 4. There are nine movies in this collection. I've been looking for a good quality transfer of "Mr. District Attorney" for years and this collection has an excellent quality copy. I purchased a DVD several years ago from Thomas Classic Films and the quality was terrible. VCI claims to own the rights to this movie or at least to their version (digitally remastered it says) of this rare flick. Anyway, you an purchase this collection from their website or from The Nostalgia Merchant. This collection also includes "Counterspy Meets Scotland Yard," based on the radio program of the 1940s, "Counterspy." Then there are several rare, but obscure movies that nobody's ever heard of from Weiss-Global Enterprises. Kit Parker Films supposedly recently acquired the rights to these losers from the 1950s. Looks like all of these films were produced in Hollywood and repackaged for England by a British distribution company. Most of the films indicate this in the opening credits. "Motor Patrol" is a pretty good flick to began with and then loses it's steam about mid-way.

Here is the complete list of titles in this collection with the stars:

COUNTERSPY MEETS SCOTLAND YARD: Howard St. John, Ron Randell, Amanda Blake, Lewis Martin, June Vincent, Charles Meredith
RADAR SECRET SERVICE: John Howard, Adele Jergens, Tom Neal, Myrna Dell, Sid Melton, Ralph Byrd
MOTOR PATROL: Don Castle, Jane Nigh, Reed Hadley, William Henry, Sid Melton, Richard Travis
MR. DISTRICT ATTORNEY (1941): Dennis O’Keefe, Peter Lorre, Florence Rice, Stanley Ridges, Minor Watson, Charles Arnt WESTERN PACIFIC AGENT: Kent Taylor, Sheila Ryan, Mickey Knox, Morris Carnovsky, Robert Lowery, Sid Melton
HIGHWAY 13: Robert Lowery, Pamela Blake, Michael Whalen, Dan Seymour, Clem Bevans
TREASURE OF MONTE CRISTO: Glenn Langan, Adele Jergens, Steve Brodie, Robert Jordan, Michael Whalen, Margia Dean ROARING CITY: Hugh Beaumont, Edward Brophy, Richard Travis, Joan Valerie, Wanda McKay
SKY LINER: Richard Travis, Pamela Blake, Rochelle Hudson, Steven Geray, Greg McClure

Beulah TV and Radio - Classic TV from the 1950s

The Beulah Show was the first television sitcom to star an African American. The Beulah Show ran on radio from 1945 to 1954. The Beulah TV show ran concurrently for three seasons, Tuesday nights at 7:30 ET from October 3, 1950 to September 22, 1953, on ABC. Beulah is a housekeeper and cook for the Henderson family: father Harry, mother Alice and son Donnie. Most of the comedy in the series is derived from the fact that Beulah, referred to as "the queen of the kitchen,", has the ability to solve the problems that her white employers cannot figure out. Other characters included Beulah's boyfriend Bill Jackson, a handy-man who is constantly proposing marriage, and Oriole, a befuddled maid for the family next door.

Originally portrayed by Caucasian actor Marlin Hurt, Beulah first appeared in the early 1940s as a supporting character on the popular Fibber McGee and Molly radio series. In 1945, Beulah was spun off into her own radio show, The Marlin Hurt and Beulah Show, with Hurt still in the role. After he died of a heart attack in 1946, he was replaced by another Caucasian actor, Bob Corley, and the series was retitled The Beulah Show. African American actress Hattie McDaniel took over the role in 1947, continuing in The Beulah Show until she became ill in 1952 and was replaced by Lillian Randolph, who was in turn replaced for the 1953-1954 radio season by her sister Amanda Randolph.

In 1950 Roland Reed Productions adapted the radio show into a TV sitcom for ABC. Ethel Waters was seen in the title role from 1950 to 1952. Hattie McDaniel filled in briefly in 1952, and was succeeded by Louise Beavers the same year. Butterfly McQueen portrayed Oriole, a role similar to her character in the film Gone with the Wind. Ruby Dandridge replaced McQueen when the entire television cast was overhauled upon the arrival of Hattie McDaniel. Percy "Bud" Harris originally portrayed Bill, but walked out on the part during the first season, accusing the producers of forcing him to portray an "Uncle Tom" character. He was succeeded in the role by Casablanca pianist Dooley Wilson until until Ernest Whitman followed radio co-stars McDaniel and Dandridge to TV in April of 1952. T

Like the contemporary television program Amos 'n' Andy, Beulah came under attack from the NAACP, which accused the show of supporting stereotypical depictions of black characters.

After Beulah was cancelled at the end of the 1952-1953 television season, black characters virtually disappeared from television, with only small and infrequent roles surfacing. More Classic TV shows are available at Nostalgia Merchant.

Amos N Andy's Check and Double Check (1930)

Amos and Andy operate a bare-bones taxi service in Harlem, struggling to keep their vehicle running and their tires inflated. When their lodge-master, Kingfish, offers them a lucrative job ferrying Duke Ellington and his Cotton Club Orchestra to a gig in the Upper West Side, they jump at the chance. At the party, the two men run into an old friend, Ralph Crawford, who needs help finding the lost deed to his deceased father's house in order to prove his worth to his prospective in-laws. Amos and Andy spend a spooky night in the dead man's mansion, hoping to locate the papers that will set things right.

Check and Double Check is a rare cultural artifact from the dawn of sound film-making. Freeman F. Gosden and Charles J. Correll had already achieved radio stardom on the "Amos 'N' Andy" show, and their voices had become extremely familiar to American audiences. The two white actors had to don minstrel black-face in order to portray the duo in their first "all-talking" motion picture in 1930. Of course political correctness wasn't event a thought in the 1930s and Freeman and Charles had no thought of offending anyone. They just wanted to star in their own movie playing the characters they had created for radio. Actually, doubt if anyone gave racism much thought in the 1930s. Everybody was too busy just trying to survive. After all, other actors were playing on the stage and in movies in blackface. And there were other black characters on radio being played by whites. The Beulah show, for example. Beulah, brought to life in 1939 when Marlin Hurt introduced the character on Hometown Incorporated. In 1943, Beulah moved over to That's Life before changing employers again and finally settling in at 79 Wistful Vista, the home of Fibber McGee and Molly, one of network radio's most popular (and longest-running) programs. Marlin Hurt died unexpectedly in 1946 but his character eventually came back to radio then later to TV. In 1950 Beulah became the first ever network television series to star an African-American. (See more about Beulah).

The Amos 'N' Andy television show premiered in 1951. The show featured black actors Tim Moore, Alvin Childress, Spencer Williams, Jr. and Ernestine Wade, all hand-picked by Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Western Movies from The Nostalgia Merchant

If you love westerns, Nostalgia Merchant has some of the best. Rocky Lane, Tim Holt, and of course Roy Rogers. Speaking of Roy Rogers, we've got a superb Roy Rogers TV Show Collection. Two big volumes with 56 half-hour episodes. Back to Rocky Lane. We've got great titles like: El Paso Stampede, Desperadoes' Outpost, Frisco Tornado many more in our Westerns sections. For more information about Rocky Lane, click here. Also check out the Tim Holt westerns in this same section.

Little Rascals - New Release from Nostalgia Merchant

The Little Rascals is the television name give to the Our Gang comdies produced by Hal Roach in the 1920s and 1930s. Roach wanted a show featuring kids acting like real kids and that's exactly what he produced. My favorite Little Rascals shorts were the ones with Alfalfa, Spanky and Darla and this collection just released by The Nostalgia Merchant is great. It features all of the Little Rascals/Our Gang comedies beginning with Alfalfa's first episode, "Beginner's Luck in 1935. Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer began by playing small parts in the first few epsiodes but quickly became one of the leading stars of the Little Rascals. You enjoy this rare collection of The Little Rascals - Collection of Alfalfa's Favorites from The Nostalgia Merchant.