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Children will enjoy it! Adults beware!
Jack and The Beanstalk is of course from the 1950s, but the message about bullying still rings true. Jack (Joel Grey) lives with his mother on a farm. Their neighbor, (Billy Gilbert) is a bully. One day, Jack goes to town to sell the family cow. He is bullied by other boys and saved by the girl next door. She is in love with jack, but he just thinks she is a nice neighbor. While on his way to sell the cow, he meets The Peddler (Cyril Ritchard) tricks Jack by distracting him. He takes the cow but leaves the beans behind. When Jack comes home and tells his mother what happened, she accepts it and says that Jack is weak, just like his father. Jack falls asleep on a haystack and dreams that he is not a weakling, but a brave man. He climbs a giant beanstalk and conquers the giant bully (Billy Gilbert again). Arnold Stang has a hilarious role in the dream as almost a Wizard Of Oz character, but his role is undefined. I suppose in a dream, things don't have to make sense. The special effects are amazing considering when this show was produced. The songs are okay, but not very memorable. Young kids will enjoy it.
Peetr and Judas meet Lucifer while waiting for Jesus to return to Earth
I first read this play in high school. I didn't understand it very well. I then listened to an original cast recording featuring E.G. Marshall, Bert Lahr, and Kurt Kasznar. I purchased a copy of this production and now I think I understand it. Estragon, played by Zero Mostel is obsessed with a tree and hanging. I think he is a metaphor for Judas. Vladimir, played by Burgess Meredith is Peter. I say this because Vladimir has met Godot but forgets what he looks like. Peetr denied knowing Jesus. While they are talking, they encounter Pozzo (Kurt Kasznar) who mentions that they are on his property. I think Pozzo is Lucifer, because he dpesn't care if they stay on his land or not. Also, he beats Lucky, a human treated as a horse. Supposedly, Lucifer beats the sinners although here in a sense of black humor, the unfortunate man is called Lucky. Alvin Epstein's speech is too garbled for me. Maybe it is a bad copy, but the others speak clearly. Jack Gilford makes such a brief appearance that I am surprised to see him credited. There is an old Jewish story about the Messiah telling a rabbi that he will appear tomorrow. The same theme runs through this play. A boy arrives to announce each day that Godot will show up tomorrow. The physical humor between Meredith and Mostel is hilarious. They partially imitate Laurel and Hardy, but in a subtle manner.
Shower of Stars: High Pitch (1955)
Dang Yankees with Cole Porter's music
Ted Warren (Tony Martin) is an egotistical baseball player for the Brooklyn Hooligans. An opera singer who is mad about baseball buys the team and falls in love with red. Ted thinks she is friendly only as long as he keeps hitting home runs. The Hooligan's coach and his wife William Frawley and Vivian Vance play cupid. Mel Allen plays himself, adding an air of credibility during the filmed baseball scenes. Marguerite Piazza is wonderful as a Brooklyn girl who just also happens to be an opera singer. Her two arias from La Boheme and Carmen are wonderful. Yma Sumac appears too, but she doesn't have much to do. Tony martin is all charm and talent. He really makes the production fun. It's also interesting to see William Frawley and Vivian Vance together, although really they're playing the Mertz's with different occupations. The best part is where the opera singers are watching their first baseball game. The ending is weak, but it's worthwhile watching because everyone puts their all into it.
Calypso Heat Wave (1957)
The Guy Can't Help It!
I recently saw this film mainly because of Johnny Desmond. Johnny got his start with the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band during World War 2. After the war, he became a television favorite, appearing on "The Breakfast Club" and dozens of other variety shows. Here he plays Calypso Johnny, a popular singer whose partners in a record company are being bullied by a jukebox owner gangster. Hmm. About the same time this film was made, Frank Tashlin directed "The Girl can't Help It", a story about a gangster strong-arming a musician to make his girlfriend a star. Another coincidence is the appearance of the great Treniers in both films. Joel Grey is very good in this film. It's also a treat to see a young Alan Arkin and his group The Tarriers perform the original "Banana Boat Song" which he wrote. it would make a fun compilation to show these films back to back.
A Bullet Is Waiting (1954)
Zounds! It's Shakespeare's "The Tempest" once again.
Let's see, a father and a daughter in a remote location. They are visited by strangers who arrived their by a transportation accident and stranded by a storm. The daughter falls in love with one of the men. One of the men is from a wealthy community some distance afar. Is this "The Tempest" or is it the prequel to "Forbidden Planet?" Jean Simmons can't help being beautiful even though she lives on a sheep farm in the mountains. Rory Calhoun is fine as an accused murderer. He has that Robert Mitchum style of beast and human schizophrenia. Brian Donlevy is also fine, though his part is brief and yet pivotal to the plot. The dialog is well written, and just when you think you've got it all figured out, a twist emerges.
Going Steady (1958)
A Possible Sit-com in the making
Bill Goodwin and Irene Hervey Doran make this movie fun. It is a harmless slice of small town life. Bill Goodwin spent years on radio reacting to comedians. His work in "The Jolson Story" is exceptional. Here he is in fine form as your typical harassed father of a teen-age girl. He knew enough not to overplay the part when he finds out that not only is his daughter married, but pregnant too. Irene Hervey is always a delight (see Honey West.) This film could have been clichéd by making the parents hysterical, or having the kids forced to move to another town. Also, due to movie timing, the graduation speech actually holds up better today than do most others.
This film is a pleasant time-filler.
Millie The Cabaret Singer (see Felix The Calypso Singer)
Newlyweds take a one-day honeymoon to Rome. The wife is in first class, and the husband is in the Economy class. Mr. Beauchamp is on the flight, evaluating the girls' performance. Millie allows the bride to use the telephone to speak with her husband until Beauchamp interferes. He also intercepts some wine the bride asks Millie to give to her husband. later, the girls arrive at their hotel in Rome. The city is filled with a dental convention. The newlyweds have no place to go. tender-hearted Millie gives them their room, without telling Maggie, who is exhausted and wants some sleep. Millie suggests that they go sight-seeing. She knows a café that's open late. The girls eat a nice dinner and dance with men of all ages, including a Romeo type. Maggie is still exhausted, but Millie is all energy, leading everyone in several choruses of songs until finally they burn out. Meanwhile, Mr. Beauchamp discovers the husband in the girls' room and jumps to conclusions. Millie tells Maggie the truth. They find a park bench to spend the night, but are awakened by the Romeo who's pinching their bottoms. They have to catch the morning flight back to England, and are tired. Millie tries to make the announcements without warning; they serve rum -infused punch to some nuns, and while carving a rib roast, Millie accidentally carves a passenger's briefcase. The next day Mr. Beauchamp is scolding the girls. He is reading the customer comments cards which are mainly negative. As long as the cards in his possession, he must place them in the girls' performance file and fire them. I won't spoil the rest of the story. This story though, reminds me of the Odd Couple episode called "Felix The Calypso Singer/" It's a shame that these four didn't get together, as there definitely would be some cute and musical opportunities.
Nice work if you can get it. A Cute episode.
Movie star Greg Phillips is crazy about Millie.He drank too much during the flight, and photographers snapped a picture of Millie helping him off the airplane. The caption indicated that Millie was his latest flame. Greg knocks on the girls' door. He is a gentleman after all. He got Millie a present from Medico City because she was so nice. He wants to treat the girls to breakfast. Uncle Burt barges in. He demands explanation. Burt is suspicious. Millie explains that they meet men all the time. Burt wants her to quit. It's a bad life. Millie invites Burt to fly to Rome with them and see how it's like. Against his wishes, he's on the plane. Incidentally, the plane is held up because they are waiting for Greg Phillips to embark. He is throwing a real party in Rome later that night. Greg invites them to his bash. Millie tries to calm Burt. They get a suite and Uncle Burt is distrustful of every man he sees. Burt wants a nap. The girls receive an invitation to a costume party aboard Greg's yacht.Millie feels guilty about leaving Uncle Burt alone, and Maggie won't o without her. Maggie has a scheme to get Burt drunk after dinner. He'll sleep and they sneak out. Millis goes costume shopping. They come back from dinner. the girls pretend to be tired, but Burt is a dynamo until he discovers the magic fingers attached to the bed. He inserts the coins, and falls asleep on the massager. They push the bed into the nest room. Burt wakes up and tells Millie he is sorry for doubting her. He then goes back to bed. Millie has a guilt trip, but goes to the yacht party. Millie is mad at Greg. She slaps him and goes back to the hotel. She wakes Uncle Burt. Millie's conscience bothered her. Greg and Maggie come by to make things right. Greg apologizes to Burt and invites him to come to the party as a chaperon. They end up having a grand time.
Slow-meo and Juliet
A few years ago ITCproduced a compilation set, and included this episode. Why, I'll never know. The girls have very little to do in this episode.
The story begins with Millie and Maggie shopping in their friend Rudy's fashion boutique. A telegram arrives, informing Rudi that his late uncle left him a castle in Italy. The girls are interested in visiting a castle, so they convince Rudy to claim his inheritance. They have a holiday coming up. Rudy is going on their prodding. They board a bus and he sits very close to a beautiful girl. He falls in love with her at first sight. Her name is Lisa Vespucci. He wants to see her again, but there is a code involved in making arrangements. The girls and Rudi check into an inn. His last name Maestroanni causes a stir. An undertaker and a priest come in and size Rudi up. Then the estate lawyer comes in and explains that there is a vendetta between the Vespuccis who swear to kill all Maestroannis. Vespucci walks in. He is a big strapping guy. After midnight, they can fight. The funeral for Rudy's Uncle Luigi takes place. Both parties race to the graveyard. They slow down when they meet the priest who leads them solemnly. Rudi sees Lisa, and they are pulled apart. Rudi won't leave without seeing Lisa. He is willing to give up the castle to see her. The girls go with him to Vespucci. Vespucci won't talk to him. Rudi calls for Lisa. Millie climbs up the wall of the Vespucci's castle but falls. They go back to the inn. Rudy won't leave without speaking to Lisa. He goes to the villa. The girls plan to do something. Millie entices a bull to knock down the villa's door. They get Lisa who fells them it is all madness. Lisa goes and meets Rudi. Lisa won't come inside. There is a penalty. Millie pushes them in and locks the door. She won't tell Maggie what the code is. Vespucci comes in looking for Lisa. They run out towards Maestroannis. Rudi opens the door and they burst in. Both Rudi and Lisa are grabbed and forced to marry.
How the girls met
Yvonne is a new girl in training. She makes a mistake in announcing an in-flight message. Millie tries to help her. Yvonne is also clumsy. Maggie calms her by telling her how inept Millie was when they first met. In a flashback, Millie's father, who objects to her wanting to be a flight attendant drops her off at the flight school. Maggie is Millie's instructor. Millie meets her roommate, Edie who is horrible at math. Millie spends many nights helping Edie, but losing sleep at her own expense. During the Deportment class, the girls learn how to walk with books balanced on their heads. Millie is late for the next class, microphone announcements. Just as Millie tries the announcement Mr. Beauchamps walks in. As he addresses the group Millie snores loudly. She is called into his office. Her first and only warning is to wake up! Millie fumbles through the diaper changing class. Then, Mr. Beauchump volunteers to be a first-class passenger. Millie grabs the pillow meant for him ans snoozes. Millie is fired. Her father has a snit. He didn't want her to be a flight attendant, but is now mad that someone would fire his daughter. He barges into Beauchump's office and realizes that they know each other. Millie is given one more chance because Beauchanp blames her incompetence on her father. Millie has insomnia again. Millie takes 2 vitamin pills and becomes super-hyper. During life raft training. Millie stabs a hole in the raft with her radio antenna. She is fired once more, but Maggie rushes in to her defense. Maggie explains how helpful Millie is and she deserves a second chance.
Don't jump to conclusions.
One of the problems with this show is the lack of original plots. As far back as "I Love Lucy" and "The Honeymooners", the use of jumping to a conclusion has been used over and over. While Mr. Beauchump is dictating a letter, he is bothered by two flies. Millie over hears him saying how he'd love to get rid of those two flying pests, after recommending that Maggie's contract be renewed. Back at their apartment, Maggie is making coffee. Millie comes in upset. Millie is looking through the want ads. She doesn't tell Maggie what's wrong. Millie says she heard Mr. Beauchump is firing Maggie. Now Maggie is upset. Millie writes a resignation letter. Maggie helps write it. Millie mails it. later that day, Mr. Beauchump comes by their apartment to tell Maggie that her contract is being extended. Millie walks in. Maggie tells Millie she's being extended. Millie is confused because she mailed the letter. They ask the postman if they can have their letter back. He can't help. The next day Beauchump is showing his secretary a rare butterfly. Millie come sin with a present to hopefully break the ice. Her gift, a paperweight smashes the prized butterfly. Millie tries all sorts of schemes to get into Mr. Beauchumps's office and get the letter. Millie sees the window cleaner's cable and devises a plan where she'll use the scaffold to break in to the office while Maggie distracts him. Millie is caught on the window ledge. Beauchump thinks she is going to commit suicide. He talks her into coming back inside and says she can keep her job. Millie is stuck with vertigo. Beauchump walks out on the ledge to help. He has a fear of falling from high places. Millie sneezes and jumps. He does too. Millie keeps her job but gets a scolding.
Jealousy once more is used as a story line.
I suppose jealousy has been a theme since the days of "My Friend Irma." This time around,Millie is jealous because her boyfriend George likes Maggie better. The whole thing begins when Maggie shares a cab with Mr. Hamilton, a regular passenger. Maggie thinks all men are animals. Millie has a date with George. Maggie goes to a movie. George treats Millie politely. Millie tries to get closer to him. They play Scrabble. Maggie comes home early. George makes a play for Maggie. Millie is jealous. She accuses Maggie of throwing herself at George. They start bickering. They end up fighting. First, their fight is verbal. Then, it becomes visual, involving hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, food preparation, and cleaning the dishes. Their fight carries over to a flight, where the passengers take sides, and the pilot and a third stewardess are caught in the middle of the mêlée. Millie comes in and packs. Maggie does the same. They fight over their possessions. Then they realize how much they mean to each other. George comes by and explains that Millie reminds him of his mother, while Maggie reminds him of a girl he knew from Hamburg. The fight on the plane is the best sequence.
Who's got a secret?
The girls have been friends and roommates for one year. Millie wants to celebrate, while Maggie claims she is too tired. As it turns out, Maggie and the other stewardesses are planning a surprise dinner. Millie has a surprise for Maggie. She noticed how Maggie is fascinated by all the family trees the British people have, so Millie ordered one for her. Much to her and Mr. Beauchump's surprise, they discover that Maggie is related to royalty. Beauchump examines the chart, and since he is knowledgeable about royalty points out all the blood-thirsty killers Maggis is *SPOILER ALERT* supposedly related to. Millie has second thoughts about Maggie now, and so does Uncle Burt. Burt finds Maggie with a carving knife, not knowing she'll be using it for the surprise dinner. Once again an over-used story line is presented. You have to give the cast credit because they give the script a sense of urgency.
Nothing original here
Once again, an over-used story line is used. This time, it's Millie's Uncle Burt and Mr. Beauchamp's cousin, Mrs. B. The story begins when Frank wants to take the girls for a ride in the country. Uncle Burt has been there for a week. He doesn't seem to want to do anything, and the girls wait on him hand and foot. Meanwhile Mr. Beauchamp's cousin from America is coming to live with him. Ms. B is a helpful person, much like Millie. She causes some damage to the airplane trying to help a fellow passenger and then the stewardesses. She then tries to help Mr. Beauchump's secretary. Maggie thinks maybe Burt and Ms. B might get along. Burt likes to be helped, and Ms. B likes to help people. Beachump isn't sure about the idea until his secretary complains about his cousin's helpfulness. Beauchamp agrees to arrange a meeting. Ms. B tries to help Burt play solitaire, but in the end he complains that she's too old for him. The girls get Beauchump to pay for his cousin to have a make-over. Later, they talk Burt into going out to a fancy place for dancing and dining. When Ms. B walks in, he doesn't recognize her at first, but soon falls in love. If you've seen "Petticoat Junction" and "Bridget Loves Bernie", then you know what's going to happen.
High Spirits in a haunted castle
The girls' neighbor Fred is a retired carpenter. He means well, but he is constantly changing their locks and furniture. The girls purchase a help wanted ad for ten pounds a week. One day, Fred comes by and tells them he got a job in Scotland, working for a Lord's castle. He invites them to visit him. Millie breaks in to Beauchamp's office to look at the flight schedule. look at the flight schedule. Maggie is supposed to be the lookout, but helps a lost passenger find the departure lounge. Beauchamp catches Millie looking at the schedule. When Maggie returns they explain about Lord Brackham and his invitation. Beauchamp is fascinated with wealthy people and wiggles an invitation to see the castle. His Lordship is an affable and gracious host. He gives a tour of the castle, mentioning a ghastly murder. Later, the spinet in the girls' room plays by itself. Millie can't sleep because the eyes of the portrait in their room are staring at her. When she and Maggie try to change the picture, the eyes blink, causing them to scream. Beauchamp rushes in, and while examining the portrait, he doesn't realize that he is standing on a revolving platform. His Lordship runs into the room to help when Beauchamp reappears, oblivious to what just happened. They retire to the living room or social hall. The men go off to look at tapestries. Maggie wants to investigate the spinet and portrait. Before she moves, a supposedly stuffed eagle lands over Millie's head. They run back to their room. Beauchamp is alone in the social hall when a suit of armor lights his cigarette for him. Beauchamp runs back to his room when another suit of armor welcome shim to the castle. Fred and his Lordship enter into the girl's room, where they confess. *SPOILER* Just as in the movie "High Spirits", Lord Beekam is running low on money. He thought that with Fred's help, he would turn the castle into a tourist attraction by rigging electronic ghosts, talking suits of armor, etc. It seems that the girls and Mr. Beauchump were the guinea pigs to see if they would be frightened enough. I won't give away the ending, but thin of "Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein". It could have been slightly better if the pacing was faster.
Alas, another failed attempt at international humor.
This story has been told and re-told by several television shows. Some times it works, as in "Cybil", "Barney Miller", and other times it falls flat "Love American Style", "The Odd Couple", "He and She." This time around, a Russian athlete who doesn't speak English drinks too much on a flight to England for a sporting event. The Russian embassy accuses the airline and England of kidnapping him, when actually he passed out in the back seat of Millie's car at the airport. Uncle Bert doesn't help matters either, except in recognizing the poor guy's hangover. meanwhile, Millie and Maggie try to sober him up and not get in trouble with the police. Let's ee, it was a Russian lady weightlifter on "Love, American Style", an Iranian football player on "The Od Couple", a sumo wrestler on "Cybil", etc. All around it was a wasted effort.
Uncle Burt to the rescue.
The girls want to see the new flight schedule. Based on merit. Ms. Lovelace is top stewardess. This is obviously a nod to Linda Lovelace. Anyway, Ms. Lovelace gives lectures and travelogues around the country, promoting the airline. Because of Maggie and Millie's less than stellar performance, the girls are split up. Maggie is to be re-assigned to Liverpool. Uncle Burt's group the Goodfellows hire the girls to entertain them. The girls' lecture is off to a boring start, but livens up when Millie leads a sing-along. The president of the Goodfellows tells Beauchamp he'll charter a flight to Italy provided that the girls are together. Millicent and Pat are excellent singers and dancers, and this episode gives them a chance to really shine.
Another Case of mistaken identity.
Mr. Beeker is a nervous passenger on a flight to Madrid. As it turns out, he is a bank teller accused of embezzling 50,000 pounds. The bank's customer, Senor Gonzalez forgot to leave the receipt. Beeker is hoping to find him and get the paperwork. because Millie commented on how Beauchamp and Beeker look similar, Beeker switches passports with Beauchamp. Beauchamp is arrested and jailed. Meanwhile, Millie and Maggie are arrested too because of interfering in a police case. Millie tries to devise escape plans while the others hope that Beeker will come through. Beeker finally turns himself in, but because he found the receipt, all except Millie are free to go.
Turnabout is fair play.
Robert Coote is at first a very jolly novelty manufacturer, much like Stubby Kaye in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit? After a few suggestive comments, he makes Millie angry and becomes a very difficult passenger. He is rude, insulting, and demanding. Unbeknownst to her, Barker is a mystery flier, checking on the customer service skills the stewardesses possess. Mr. Beauchamp did the same thing for Barker's company. Before Maggie can stop her, Millie dons a blonde wig and pretends to be Barker's girlfriend from Germany. Millicent really gets to show off her talent for people who had not seen her in "That Was The Week That Was." Her singing, dancing, acting, all are superb.It's also nice to see Robert Coote (best known from "The Rogues") to let loose.
Keep your head in the clouds
Millie's friend is a conniving gambler. He keeps borrowing money from the girls, but he can't keep from gambling. He leaves them the sheet music and words to a song he wrote called "Head In The Clouds." Mr. Beauchamp is upset with Millie because the receipts are 29 shilling 15 pence short. In order to make up the difference, Millie and Maggie sell the song to a music producer passenger on the plane, who also happens to be a major client of Beauchamps's airline. This episode is I think, the best one because it gives both Millicent and pat a chance to show off their musical and dancing skills. of course, the song is catchy, and all the passengers join in.
Now that's a meatball
Millie is always trying to help her friends. Her neighbor is having a party for her husband's boss. Trouble begins when Millie's helpfulness results in the maid quitting her job. Then, the stove doesn't work. So, Millie invites the neighbors to use her apartment and she'll be the cook and maid. meanwhile, Maggie has invited Mr. Beauchamp over to the apartment for a dinner, because he is mad at Millie for spilling marinara sauce all over his financial statements. The plot is derivative of many earlier sitcoms; On "He and She" for example, the fireman neighbor used a ladder to get into the Hollisters' apartment. Here, Millie and her neighbor do the same thing.
marriage, Italian Style
Passengers Charles Winchester and his jealous wife have a fight on their way to a very important business meeting. The wife leaves the flight, and Charles feels he will lose his job. His client knows everything about his potential employees, and prefers a family man. Millie, ever helpful, agrees to pretend to be Ms. Winchester for one night. Problems arise when Ms. Winchester changes her mind and arrives at the dinner party. Winchester keeps his job because his prospective employer admires his stamina in keeping so many women. This plot seems like a parody of the show "Occasional Wife". Millicent Martin gets to sing a bit of an operetta tune, because Winchester's wife is a diva.
Market Warriors (2012)
Market warriors or Maltese Falcon?
When Fred Willard narrated, this show was quite amusing. Mark Wahlberg's narration is a bit too generic for this type of show. It is really a modern re-telling of The Maltese falcon without Sam Spade. You have Miller Gaffney, the southern belle who charms her way through antique dealers. Brigid O'Shaugnessy was also a femme fatale. Wilmer Cook was from New York. Kevin Bruneau is also from the northeast, and mentions sometimes that some dealers are put off by his assertiveness. Bob Richter the designer,has the style of Joel Cairo in that he wants to win but also throws his support to the others. John Bruo, the professor, is the Kasper Gutman of the bunch. besides his physical appearance, his joviality is definitely that of a Kasper Gutman. I can imagine Fred Willard picking up on this metaphor and narrating the show from Sam Spade's viewpoint. Perhaps Wahlberg will do this style for a Halloween episode.
i enjoy going to flea markets, and it is nice to discover ones from different cities. I hope that
Funny You Should Ask (1968)
A great introduction to witty people
I remember that this show introduced me to Stu Gilliam, Marty Allen, George Jessel, and Jan Murray. ***Spoiler*** The premise of the show is that celebrities would be asked questions such as Which magazine describes you best? The celebrities would give their answers, mostly humorous ones. Then, two contestants came out. They heard the question and then had to correctly guess which celebrity gave which answer. Lloyd Thaxton was the host, and he reminded me a lot of the Dick Clark/ Jimmy O'Neill disc jockey style of being a master of ceremony. The latest episode I watched also featured Dean Jones, Rose Marie, and Meredith McCrae. This show still holds up, although as with any nostalgia trip, I remember other episodes being funnier.
The Face Is Familiar (1966)
Interesting Puzzle Game
The episode I saw had Betsy Palmer and Bill Cullen as celebrity guests, and Jack Clark as host. There are seven lines to a person's face. For each correct answer given, one line is revealed. but the face is still jumbled. Players have the option of switching lines to get a better picture. It was great to see Bill Cullen as a panelist for a change. Drew Carey could easily play him if a biography is ever filmed. Betsy Palmer was bubbly and energetic, a real player. ***Spoiler*** Sophia Loren, Jack Lemmon, Robert Kennedy, and Jack Benny's faces were the featured answers to this episode. What was also fun was the interplay between Clark and Cullen, who substituted for each other on many game shows at the time.