Cinema: Back to the Funny Papers

Columbia Pictures announced last week that a neighborhood favorite was being retired. The "Blondie" series, based on Chic Young's comic strip, could no longer survive in a sagging movie market.

"Blondie" had earned her rest. In 28 feature-length movies since 1938, lunkheaded Dagwood (Arthur Lake) and his indulgent wife (Penny Singleton) had returned Columbia a 33⅓% profit on a gross of close to $12 million. Even "Daisy," the family dog, had made some $500,000 for its owner.

To take some of the sting out of "Blondie's" passing, Columbia planned to reissue six of the...

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