Friday, January 4, 2019

CMBA Profile: Cracked Rear Viewer

Gary Loggins' Cracked  Rear Viewer is a treasure chest filled with pop culture: movies, television, books, music, comic, etc. Exploring Cracked View Mirror is trip worth taking no matter what you are in the mood for. There's something there for everyone.

What sparked your interest in classic film? 

Being a “Monster Kid” of the 1960’s, my first love has always been horror movies. I’d catch the classic Universal Horrors on TV, and low-budget spectacles like “War of the Colossal Beast” and “Bride of the Monster”, things I’d read about in Forry Ackerman’s Famous Mosters magazine. The Three Stooges shorts sparked an interest in early comedy teams like Laurel & Hardy, and from there it was an easy leap to the films of Bogart, Cagney, Harlow, and Flynn.  

What film genre(s) do you favor? 

– Besides those monster movies and classic comedies, Westerns have always been a favorite. I really think
 it gets neglected in the classic film conversation, and have tried to put the spotlight on sagebrush sagas as much as possible on my blog. Then there’s gangster films, noir, war movies, fantasy… I’ll watch just about anything!

What makes a film “classic” in your opinion? 

– There’s definitely a distinction between a “classic” and an old movie. For me, a film is truly classic if it has believable acting, solid script and direction, innovative camerawork, and a story that engrosses the viewer. It has to stand the test of time, not just fall into the category of being made during the studio era. “Stagecoach” is a classic film; “The Outlaw” is not.

Your blog began as a film blog, but you quickly expanded your horizons covering a wide variety of pop culture: TV, books, music, and more. Was this planned or organic?: 

 I think it just evolved as a natural progression to write about things that interest me, and hopefully the reader, too. TV and films are linked for me, because that’s where I discovered the world of classic movies. I received good feedback, and began initiating some semi-regular series on things other than film: ‘Confessions of a TV Addict’ and ‘One Hit Wonders’. I also began a series called ‘Rockin’ in the Film World’, where I explore the marriage of movies and rock’n’roll. It’s just things I like, and I find my readers have been very receptive, although my main focus remains movies from the 1930’s to the 80’s.

One non-film question. Since you write about books and music, would you tell us who are a few of your favorite authors and musicians?

Mystery and crime novels have always been my go-to reads. I discovered the hard-boiled books of Mickey Spillane, Ed McBain, and Raymond Chandler early on, and today my favorite is James Lee Burke, who in my opinion is the best living American writer today. I also follow Lee Child, Janet Evanovich, Michael Connelly, and John Sandford. As for music, I have pretty diverse tastes: rock, blues, jazz, big band, country, Americana. But if you put me in a corner and demanded I name my favorite, it would undoubtedly be The Rolling Stones (with Stevie Ray Vaughn a close second!).  

What do you find the most rewarding thing about blogging? 

The interaction between readers and myself. It’s going on four years, and I still can’t believe people are reading my stuff – and liking it! It gives me a sense of validation as a writer, even though (like many writers, I suppose) I’m never quite satisfied with the finished product. It blows my mind that people take the time out of their day to read ‘Cracked Rear Viewer’, and I’m very grateful to all of them.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

CMBA Profile: Outspoken and Freckled

CMBA profiles one or two members every month. This edition features Kellee Pratt blogs at Outspoken and Freckled.

Kellee’s blog covers a wide range of film from the silent to today. A multitasker who teaches film classes, writes a monthly column, The Funny Papers, for The Classic Movie Hub, Co-hosts a series of annual blogathons and still finds time to attend the annual TCMFF. Read on…

What sparked your interest in classic film? 

At a young age, I watched comedy classics on Saturday mornings at a local arts center/ theatre in Taos, New Mexico. They screened sure-to-please greats like Laurel & Hardy, Our Gang, and Mack Sennett shorts. My grandmother was also an early influencer who introduced me to jazz, mid-century modern style, and classic films such as A SHOT IN THE DARK, IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD and WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION.  

Friday, November 2, 2018

CMBA Profile: Viv and Larry

CMBA profiles one or two members every month. This edition features Kendra Bean who blogs at Viv and Larry. 

Kendra Bean’s Viv and Larry is a treasure trove of information on Vivien Leigh and Sir Laurence Olivier. Launched in 2007, Viv and Larry is the go to website for everything you need to know or want to know and discuss about these two immortals. But wait, there’s more! Kendra is an author, historian and museum curator. She is the author of Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait and co-author with Anthony Uzarowski of Ava Gardner: A Life in Movies. There’s more to say about this California girl now living in England, but I will let her tell you.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Outlaws - The 2018 Fall CMBA Blogathon is a Wrap!

The Classic Movie Blog Association sponsored its 2018 Fall Blogathon, Outlaws, from November 15th to 19th. Outlaws of all types were featured: gangsters, cowboys, bikers, rural outlaws, con men and more were. Links to member contributions are listed below, by date posted...

Participating member blog entries posted daily, Nov. 15 - 19. Be sure to check back: 

Thurs. Nov. 15th
A Person in the Dark: The Producers (1967)
Make Mine Film Noir: The Prowler (1951)
Anybody Got a Match: The Petrified Forest (1936)
Strictly Vintage Hollywood: The Eagle 1925 

Sat. Nov. 17th
Classic Film Obsession: Warpath (1951) 
Film Fanatic: China 9, Liberty 37 (1978)
Speakeasy: Four Guns to the Border (1954)

Sun. Nov. 18th
Twenty Four Frames: Point Blank (1967)
Four Star Films: Pretty Poison (1968) 
The Lady Eve's Reel Life: Underworld (1927)
Hometowns to Hollywood: Talk of the Town (1942)

Mon. Nov. 19th
Once Upon A Screen: The Career of Yosemite Sam
Stardust and Shadows: Wild Boys of the Road (1933)
Outspokened and Freckled: Three Godfathers (1948)
Le Critica Retro: I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932) 
Stars and Letters: The Gunfighter (1950)
Film Noir Archive: High Sierra (1941)

Monday, October 22, 2018

Coming Soon! CMBA's 2018 Fall Blogathon

The Classic Movie Blog Association is proud to present its 2018 Fall Blogathon. The Subject is  Outlaws. Outlaws of all types are acceptable: gangsters, rural outlaws, thieves, cowboys, anyone who lives outside the law. Keep in mind that the same film cannot be submitted by more than one blogger. So, plan to have a backup. Its first come, first served. Get your thinking caps on! The blogathon will run from November 15 - 19.

An official invite via email will be sent out later this month asking for submissions.

Below are some banners you can now post on your blogs for the event.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Introducing the winners of the Classic Movie Blog Association's 2018 CMBA Awards. Links to the winning entries are included. Thank you to all members who participated in the awards competition, every entry was exceptional! And thanks, too, to all members who voted.

Best Film Review/Drama: The Beautiful Refugees of Casablanca by Silver Screenings

Best Film Review/Musical or Comedy: "On the Town," in Celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s Centenary by Lady Eve’s Reel Life

Best Profile of a Performer: A Mesmerizing Talent: The Life and Career of Conrad Veidt by Silent-ology

Best Classic Movie Article: Fascism, Nationalism and the Banned Films of Marlene Dietrich by Lady Eve’s Reel Life

Best Classic Movie Blog Event: The Food in Film Blogathon co-hosted by Silver Screenings and Speakeasy

Best Classic Movie Series: Olivia de Havilland vs. FX: Backlots at the Courthouse by Backlots 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018


The final ballot for the 2018 Classic Movie Blog Association (CMBA) Awards has gone out to all members, and the nominees for this year's awards are listed below. Congratulations and best wishes to everyone nominated!

Monday, October 1, 2018

CMBA Profile: 4 Star Films

CMBA profiles one or two members every month. This edition features Tynan Yanaga who blogs at 4 Star Films.

Tynan Yanaga’s blog 4 Star Films is not just a celebration of classic films, he dives in deep as the blogs sub-title states (Looking Deeper at the Best Classic Films). Like many of us, the more he looks the more films he find. But it’s more than that, and I am going to let Tynan speak for himself. The following is from his introduction page.

“True, I want to preserve a love of film as an art form, understand their historical context, and acknowledge their value as pure entertainment. But most importantly, there’s the human component to movies that is so important. I’m constantly drawn back to them, like so many others, because they bring us together and act as an imperfect reflection of our imperfect lives.”

Saturday, September 8, 2018


It's CMBA Awards time again and an email went out to all members last night soliciting awards submissions. Entries are due by the 15th of September. Preliminary voting should be done by the end of the month and the final ballot will follow. If any member hasn't received last night's email, please advise by commenting here. Thanks!

~ Sept. 16: The deadline for entries has closed. Thanks to members for participating!  ~

Thursday, September 6, 2018

CMBA Profile: Cinema Crossroads

CMBA profiles one or two members every month. This edition features Julia Ricci who blogs at Cinema Crossroads.

Julia Ricci’s  Cinema Crossroads is both smart and entertaining. Take a look at her review of the cleanest condemned film in history, The Moon is Blue.  One of my own favorite post's is Julia's take on  J.D. Sheldrake, the villainous womanizer in Billy Wilder's The Apartment.  In 2017, Julia, like many other CMBA members, attended the TCM Film Festival (she returned again in 2018). Julia is also a Film Programming Coordinator for Heartland Film in Indianapolis, Indiana, but I will let her tell you more about that in the interview below.