Saturday, June 3, 2017

My new book

From the Introduction:

I’m not old enough to remember Saturday matinees. But I grew up in a pre-cable TV era when local channels showed a pretty cool selection of movies and television re-runs. I became familiar with excellent TV shows such as Combat, The Untouchables and Gunsmoke. Saturday afternoons brought me Creature Feature with Doctor Paul Bearer, which provided me with a well-chosen selection of classic black-and-white horror and monster films. Charlie Chan films could be seen on Sunday afternoons, while a smattering of B-westerns along with films starring Bogart, Cagney and other greats of yesteryear would air on other nights. 

So I was able to develop impeccable taste in movies while growing up. In addition to this, the last great effort by network radio to tell dramatic stories (CBS Radio Mystery Theater) was playing weekday evenings, helping to give me an appreciation for that form of storytelling. This was enhanced by the acquisition of an LP containing two episodes of The Shadow and a local radio stations re-runs of The Lone Ranger.

I can still remember the thrill and wonder of seeing movies such as The Thing from Another World, G-Men, All Through the Night and The Lone Ranger and the City of Gold for the first time. These are precious memories for me. 
As an adult, this has led to my publishing several books on pre-digital pop culture and writing a blog with a small but loyal readership. As a Christian, I appreciate the ability to enjoy films, classic TV and old-time radio without having to worry about crass content.

So this small ebook is yet another way for me to geek out over the sort of entertainment I love. But I hope it serves another purpose. Anyone reading this is probably a fan of classic films already—otherwise, you’re not likely to be reading it at all. So this list is meant to be a guide for watching movies you might not have gotten around to seeing yet or haven’t re-watched in far too long. The list contains both films that are considered true classics and older B-movies that I believe provide us with entertaining and worthwhile stories. 

I’ve purposely organized the list in an unusual way. There are 52 Double-Features, so each the entry for each week includes two movies along with a brief essay about each film. That gives you one double-feature for each week of the year. Don’t make plans for Saturday afternoons for the next year. I’ve got it covered for you.

Each pair of movies is chosen because both fall under whatever bizarre category I came up with for that week. I did this because I simply had fun doing it AND because it might get you to think about a particular film in a new and hopefully entertaining way. 

All the movies here are, I think, family friendly. A few of the war movies and horror films do have high body counts and/or scary moments, so any parents using this list are urged to give each of these films careful thought before enjoying a Saturday matinee with your kids. There is no graphic, blood-spurting violence, though. Nor is there cursing or graphic sex. These movies all simply tell their stories well, with no dependence on shock value or prurience to keep your interest.

ebook for Kindle or Kindle app: $1.25--click HERE
Paperback: $5.50--click HERE


  1. You bet I'm getting this one! This is sorely needed by families now. I really appreciate your taste and I know I'm going to love it.

    Your reference to CBS Radio Mystery Theatre brought back memories. I used to listen regularly when I was in college. E.G. Marshall was a great host. It introduced me to a lot of great literature. The one I remember most is "The Prisoner of Zenda." I really miss radio dramas like that.

    1. Thank you. I appreciate both your always worthwhile comments here and another sale for my book.

  2. The book arrived earlier this week. It's very intriguing to flip through the pages and discover either old favorites, unfamiliar surprises, or films I've heard about or read about but never really thought much about until now. I appreciate the spectrum of sci-fi, mystery, noir, B movies, A movies, famous movies, obscure movies, comedies, Westerns, Disney adventure flicks, swashbucklers, etc. It's quite an impressive grab bag, and one of the effects it has on me is to cause me to think "Yeah, and what about this one? And what about this one?" It gets me remembering movies I had long since forgotten.

    I, too, grew up in the era of great old movies on TV on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. I really think our modern youth, by having access immediately to recent films, are deprived of the exposure to these old classics. It could be, of course, that we were closer enough in time to these films to still be able to appreciate them, and maybe a majority of modern kids just wouldn't give a hoot. But I sincerely hope that there are families who will take a book like this to heart and start sharing some of these treasures with their kids.

    1. I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the book and I appreciate the kind words about it.

      I think one problem today is the sheer amount of choice youth have today. Between a zillion TV channels and a growing number of streaming services, a lot of good stuff gets lost in the shuffle. The irony is that it easier than ever to watch the classic films whenever you want, but they don't really stand out in the crowd. Since newer films get the most publicity, that's what most people move towards.


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