Dark Shadows (1991); Review by Robin Franson Pruter

Originally aired 13 Jan 1991 – 22 Mar 1991 (NBC)
Created by Dan Curtis

Starring Ben Cross, Jean Simmons, Joanna Going, Barbara Steele, Lysette Anthony, Roy Thinnes, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

My rating:  ★★ stars

A vampire love story/gothic romance that never engages our emotions.

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Announcing the Mystery Mania Blogathon!

The game is afoot! It’s time to exercise your little grey cells. From Nancy Drew to Scooby Doo, from Poe to Poirot, from the country houses to the urban night world, we love a mystery here at Pop Culture Reverie. We’re celebrating the whodunnits, the private eyes, the locked rooms, alibis and clues, everything mystery with a blogathon, 29-31 March 2019.

1) Topics may include movies, novels, video games, and TV. You may also write about general mystery topics like subgenres or tropes. Or, you can choose to study a particular detective or author.

2) No true crime or documentaries. However, docudramas of true stories (such as David Fincher’s Zodiac) are allowed.

3) Due to the abundance of potential topics, no duplicates will be allowed. Stories in different formats do not count as duplicates. For example, if someone does a novel, the movie version is still fair game.

4) No more than three entries per blog.

5) If you don’t have a blog on your own, I can post your entry on my blog.

6) New entries only. No old posts.

So grab your magnifying glass and join the hunt. Search for the evidence, interrogate the suspects, ferret out the villain, and join the fun.


Pop Culture Reverie: Cut & Run, by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux (2008); Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None PC game (2005)

Various Ramblings of a Nostalgic ItalianMurder by DeathThe Private Eyes (1980)

Musings of a Classic Film Addict: The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)

Silver Screen ClassicsRebecca (1940)

Realweegiemidget: The Return of the World’s Greatest Detective (1976); Deathtrap (1982)

Thoughts All SortsThe Last of Sheila (1973)

Movie Rob:  The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959); Who Done It?Death on the Nile (1978)

The Stop ButtonThe Maltese Falcon (aka Dangerous Woman) (1931)

Overture Books and FilmYou’ll Find Out (1940)

It Came from the Man Cave!I Am Not a Serial Killer (2016)

In the Good Old Days of Classic MoviesThe Spiral Staircase (1946) and Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)

dbmoviesblogGosford Park (2001)

Screen DreamsLaura (1944)

The Lonely CriticCharade (1963)

18 Cinema LaneMurder, She Wrote (1984) 3 episodes TBD

Silver Screenings: The Lady Vanishes (1938)

The Mystery Buff: Recurring actors and characters on Murder, She Wrote (1984)

Cinematic Scribblings: A Canterbury Tale (1944)

The Midnite Drive-InSherlock (2010)

Critica RetroMy Name Is Julia Ross (1945)




The Mad Miss Manton; Review by Robin Franson Pruter

Originally released 21 Oct 1938
Screenplay by Philip G. Epstein from a story by Wilson Collison
Directed by Leigh Jason

Starring Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda

My rating: ★★ stars

Romantic screwball mystery misses the mark of a true classic but offers fine performance by Stanwyck.

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Mad About Music; Review by Robin Franson Pruter

Originally released 27 Feb 1938
Screenplay by Bruce Manning & Felix Jackson from a story by Marcella Burke & Frederick Kohner
Directed by Norman Taurog

Starring Deanna Durbin, Herbert Marshall, Gail Patrick, and Arthur Treacher

My rating: ★★ stars

Wholesome, overly sweet Durbin vehicle lacks appeal for modern viewers.

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The Made in 1938 Blogathon Is Finally Here!

My mom in 1938. Isn’t she the cutest thing?

Someone very special is having a birthday today. My mom, Margaret. I decided to dedicate a blogathon in honor of her, focusing on the year she was born: 1938. My fellow blogger Crystal at In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood is joining me in co-hosting this blogathon to honor her grandmother, Audrey, who was also born in 1938.

While the arrivals of these special women were clearly the most important things to happen in 1938, the year was full of notable events, many of them sadly in anticipation of World War II, which would begin the next year. 1938 was also the year the USA experienced two alien invasions. In May the man from Krypton flew into comic books for the first time, and in October Orson Welles’s martians attacked through our radios. Ballpoint pens and Teflon were introduced. Seabiscuit beat War Admiral in the “Race of the Century” at Pimlico. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president, and, in acknowledgement of our Antipodean co-host, Joseph Lyons was Prime Minister of Australia.

The year in movies began with a smash holdover from 1937 with Walt Disney’s first animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs reigning atop the box office in the first weeks of January. However, 1938 would produce its own share of hits, with Alexander’s Ragtime BandTest PilotBoys TownThe Adventures of Robin Hood, and You Can’t Take It with You leading the box office. The last of these would go on to win the Oscar for Best Picture, while Boys Town‘s Spencer Tracy would win Best Actor (for the second consecutive year) and Bette Davis would take home her second Oscar, this time for Jezebel.

Notable people born in 1938 include Natalie Wood, Jon Voight, Ted Turner, Connie Francis, Joyce Carol Oates, Rudolf Nureyev, Kofi Annan, Gordon Lightfoot, King Juan Carlos of Spain, Stephen Breyer, Shashi Kapoor, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Wolfman Jack, Paul Verhoeven, and Judy Blume.

Come and explore the pop culture made in 1938!

Thank you to all the participants in this blogathon!

THE SUBMISSIONS (will be updated as they come in):

Love Letters to Old Hollywood considers Carefree:

Caftan Woman examines If I Were King:

Talk about Cinema talks about Disney Studios’ work in 1938:

Various Ramblings of a Nostalgic Italian pays tribute to Rich Little, Wolfman Jack, and Christopher Lloyd, who were all born in 1938.

Credit: Gage Skidmore; CC BY-SA 2.0

The Midnite Drive-In studies Flash Gordon’s Trip to Mars:

Classic Comedy Corner contemplates Dreizehn Stühle/13 Chairs:

The Story Enthusiast offers a tribute to Natalie Wood:

Credit: Allan Warren; CC BY-SA 3.0

The Flapper Dame looks at Vivacious Lady:

The Stop Button sails in with The Buccaneer:

Cinematic Scribblings writes about The Masseurs and a Woman:

Critica Retro examines Angels with Dirty Faces:

Movie Movie Blog Blog rings in with Room Service:

The Wonderful World of Cinema reviews Merrily We Live:

Pop Culture Reverie examines Mad About Music:

Taking Up Room takes up Test Pilot:

Portraits by Jenni looks at The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse:

18 Cinema Lane asks “What Makes a Shirley Temple Movie a “Shirley Temple Movie”?“:

Shirley Temple in 1938 with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt

Movie Rob offers another perspective on Room Service:

Silver Screen Classics studies Bette Davis’s Oscar-Winning performance in Jezebel:

Wide Screen World meditates on Rawhide:

Movie Rob returns with Three Comrades:

Carole & Co. reflects on Carole Lombard’s work in 1938:

Carole Lombard in 1940

Love Letters to Old Hollywood explores The Saint in New York:

Movies Meet Their Match rides in with The Cowboy and the Lady:

Overture Books and Film chimes in with another perspective on Carefree:

In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood contends with The Sisters:




Wonder Woman; Review by Robin Franson Pruter

Originally released 2 Jun 2017
Written by Allan Heinberg from a story by Zack Snyder & Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs
Directed by Patty Jenkins

Starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Saïd Taghmaoui, and Eugene Brave Rock.

My rating: ★★★★ stars

The best superhero film ever made.

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Riverdale, S01E01: The River’s Edge; Review by Robin Franson Pruter

Originally aired 26 Jan 2017
Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Directed by Lee Toland Krieger

Starring KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Marisol Nichols, Madelaine Petsch, Ashleigh Murray, Mädchen Amick, Luke Perry, Casey Cott, and Sarah Habel

My rating:  ★★ stars

A series with potential, yet a misguided start.

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