Julius Moomer, a talentless self-promoting hack who dreams of becoming a successful television writer, uses a book of magic to summon William Shakespeare to write dramatic teleplays that ...
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Julius Moomer, a talentless self-promoting hack who dreams of becoming a successful television writer, uses a book of magic to summon William Shakespeare to write dramatic teleplays that Moomer will pass off as his own. Shakespeare becomes irritated by Moomer's lack of appreciation and is even more appalled when he discovers the changes wrought on his plays by cynical television executives.Written by
William Shakespeare (John Williams) quotes lines from his plays nine times with a trumpet flourish sounding each time, and most of the time, him telling what play, act, and scene the quote came from. Three from 'Romeo & Juliet,' two from 'Twelfth Night,' and one each from 'Troilus and Cressida,' 'As You Like It,' and 'A Mid-Summer's Night Dream', plus a partial one from 'Hamlet' (cut short when Shakespeare forgets the end of the "To be or not to be" line. See more »
The bus driver spends far more time watching Julius than would be considered safe. Also if a bus driver throws everyone off for acting weird he would have very few passengers, which may explain why there are so few other passengers seen. See more »
[WS has just spelled out what he thinks of Rhodes's revisions to his script]
... So what have you got against Stanislavsky?
*You*, that's what.
[He punches out Rhodes, then faces Julius]
And to you, Mr. Moomer, as they say... LOTS OF LUCK!
[He turns away and walks out]
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Having seen "The Bard" in a TV edited version back in the mid-80's, I only felt it fair to try it again. Having just finished a complete viewing, I regret to say that my initial impressions were confirmed: "The Bard" is as hopelessly padded, deadly dull and lethargic in its pacing, and UNFUNNY as just about anything I can recall watching.
Were all of the script revisions in the summer of '62 responsible for it's utter lack of focus? Each of Serling's scenes goes on FAR too long for its material. Did director David Butler even attempt to liven things up, or did he just phone it in? Or was Serling, in the final analysis, just NOT a comedy writer? (Of all his TZ comedies, only "Showdown with Rance McGrew hits the mark; it is truly funny in its whimsical way).
Like "Rance McGrew", one would expect Serling's relationship with TV's corporate mindset to explode, not merely dribble, across the screen. The satirical element--the skewering of the TV industry--- is certainly present in the script, and the overall concept is rich in possibilities. But the final product is so painfully slow and contrived. What a wasted opportunity.
Even the great Fred Steiner contributed to the fiasco--- the brilliant musical mind that could create the "Perry Mason" theme and the beautifully elegiac score for TZ's "The Passersby", to name just a few (as well as "Rance McGrew's" goofy Western violin/guitar theme), only made things worse in "The Bard" with his silly Mickey Mouse-style musical buffoonery. I guess you can't blame him; I'm sure that's what Serling and company demanded.
The THREE highlights for me: 1.) The performance of Henry Lascoe as Mr. Hugo, who manages to deliver a restrained and deftly characterized performance, while all those around him are significantly over-the top. This is all the more remarkable (and ironic) since Mr. Lascoe had a lengthy stage career---and it's usually the theatrical actors who overdo it in front of the camera. 2.) Burt Reynold's excellent send-up of Brando and all that he represented as an actor in the '50's, 3.) the scene on the bus, which was filmed on location and neatly documents the feeling and look of the times.
One of the very worst, and an unfortunate way to bury TZ's half-hearted 4th season. LR
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