Thursday, January 5, 2012

Now Playing: 5 JAN. 1962

From Lewiston, ME: the sleeper hit of 1961 -- all three hours of modern Italian decadence -- arrives for the first weekend of the year.

Federico Fellini's film was a high-water mark of the European invasion of American screens in the postwar era. According to the October 17, 1961 issue of Show Business Illustrated, La Dolce Vita had been the number-two film at the U.S. box office over the previous week, surpassed only by The Guns of Navarone. Does that say something about the American movie audience of fifty years ago, compared to us? For the record, Astor also released Plan 9 From Outer Space. I couldn't find a trailer for the Astor release, but here's a rhythmic montage of still images from the Italian trailer, as uploaded to YouTube by UmbrellaEntAU.

Meanwhile, opening in Youngstown, OH is a film probably better known now for its theme song than its actual content. Like La Dolce Vita, this one was dubbed "adult" entertainment.The second feature You Have To Run Fast is a crime picture from the redoubtable Edward L. Cahn, a director better known


I'll let Paul Frees explain Town Without Pity, with help from lookprettyappealing's YouTube channel.

On to Pittsburgh, where the ancient custom of promoting dance crazes with movies, a practice that would go out with the Lambada, is honored with one of at least two Twist movies circulating through the country.

Chubby Checker himself testifies to the nationwide extent of the craze in this movie clip uploaded by JohnnyKidd1966.

Look out for more attractions this weekend.

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