Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Columbia "Blondie" film series

Recently, Turner Classic Movies aired the first six Blondie movies. Starring Arthur Lake as Dagwood, Penny Singleton as Blondie, Larry Simms as Baby Dumpling and Jonathan Hale as Mr. Dithers, these high quality films are a cornerstone of the family sitcom genre, and hold up very well, with classic comedy that is as funny today as it was in the 1930s and 40s.   It was great to see them on television again, but I'm disappointed TCM aired the edited TV prints. When AMC aired the Blondie film series about 15 years ago (back when AMC was an alternative to TCM and likewise didn't air commercials), many of the films were restored with the original Columbia titles and a couple minutes of footage that was edited out of the TV prints.

I hope Sony Pictures (Columbia's parent company) and King Features (or its parent company Hearst) will team up to restore all 28 Blondie movies to their original state, with the Columbia titles and missing footage restored, and release it in HD in a Blu-ray box set.

Icing on the cake would be to include bonus discs of all 14 episodes of the short lived Blondie color TV series from 1968 starring Will Hutchins as Dagwood, Patricia Harty as Blondie, Jim Backus as Mr. Dithers, Pamelyn Ferdin as daughter Cookie, and Bruce Lee as a guest star in one episode.

And perhaps some extra bonus features could be the 1954 Blondie TV pilot starring Hal Leroy as Dagwood and Pamela Britton as Blondie (the complete 1957 series with Arthur Lake returning to play Dagwood opposite Britton will be released on DVD by ClassicFlix in September 2018), plus Meet The Family, Arthur Lake's own 1954 Blondie-inspired color pilot co-starring his real life wife and kids, and may be a few of Lake's silent two-reel shorts from the 1920s.  

You can voice support for such a project by emailing Hearst/King Features at
and Sony/Columbia at

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