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Movie Crazy All Over Again

Leonard Maltin By Leonard Maltin | Leonard Maltin October 2, 2010 at 5:00AM

Dooley Wilson as Sam, the movies’ most famous piano player (who couldn’t really play) in Casablanca.
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Dooley Wilson as Sam, the movies’ most famous piano player (who couldn’t really play) in Casablanca.

It’s been far too long since I produced the last issue of my newsletter, Leonard Maltin’s Movie Crazy…but issue 28 is now a reality. In fact, it’s already been mailed to our subscribers. (You can learn more HERE.) The lead story is my exploration of the music of Casablanca; it’s my all-time favorite movie, but until recently I never thought about all the many and varied musical compositions that make up its soundtrack. If you think Max Steiner simply strung together strains of “As Time Goes By,” think again: you’ll hear music by everyone from Cole Porter to Eubie Blake, each piece chosen with great purpose. Film music experts weigh in along with me on this surprisingly rich subject. I learned a lot researching the story.

My interview subject is the late George Sidney, who worked his way from studio office boy to MGM director, and has fascinating tales to tell about every step of his journey—from walking around the studio lot with Louis B. Mayer to—

—finding the best way to deal with stars, from Clark Gable to Judy Garland. You’ll also see some rare behind-the-scenes photos and a gallery of pictures taken by Sidney himself, a famous Hollywood shutterbug.

As always, the issue is fleshed out with rare memorabilia—including a boxed set of cards and score pads for playing bridge as if your partner is Greta Garbo, and a series of face masks from the 1930s intended to promote the stars of Universal Pictures, including the late Gloria Stuart.

This journal is my labor of love, a newsletter for people who love old movies and want to read something fresh and unusual about the era we all cherish. If you haven’t seen an issue, or subscribed as yet, I hope you’ll give it a try. I can’t adhere to a regular publishing schedule, but I can promise you that every issue is produced with tender loving care.

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