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Ruined by the guest star
The reason that Episode 10, "All the Best Diseases Are Taken," from November 1965, fails is for one reason, and for that, there are numerous contributors.
Gidge & LaRue (Lynette Winter) decided to protest when their local movie theater raises its ticket prices only for the Friday & Saturday evening showing that most of Gidget & her high school pals attend.
Gidge get protesting, folk singing hero Billy Roy Soames to join the cause.
However, in the end, Soames, who is staying Gidget & Prof Lawrence (the wonderful Don Porter) splits just before the rally, proving to be little better than a wandering bum to whom an actual commitment means nothing.
The episode's problem: As written by Tony Wilson, and as directed by journeyman E.W. Swackhamer, and as played by future cult film director Henry Jaglom, Soames is so thoroughly unlikable that the episode is ruined.
He's rude, crude, manner-less,and completely self-centered. He's disgusting and who can root for someone like that? And because of that, who can really enjoy this episode? What a shame.
Had guest Martin Milner in an earlier episode, "The Great Kahuna," played his legendary surf bum like that it would have ruined what is one of the show's finest episodes.
Filmed at the Arboretum
All of the outdoors exterior scenes of this episode: "Murder, She Wrote," "The Scent of Murder" (Season 11, Episode 12, that aired January 9, 1995), were filmed on the 127-acre grounds of the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia, CA.
The productions crew used the waterfall at the base of Tallac Knoll, the Old Fashioned Rose Garden, the Celebration Garden, the Herb Garden & the Tropical Greenhouse.
What wasn't used in this episode is the Lagoon and the landmark Queen Anne Cottage (originally built in 1885), which was used in the November 1989 episode, "Night of the Tarantula" with guests Hurd Hatfield, Ji-Tu Cumbuka, John Rhys-Davies & Shani Wallis. The Lagoon & Cottage are best known for their extensive use as Mr. Rourke's (Ricardo Montalban)home on "Fantasy Island" - Rourke's diminutive right-hand man, Tattoo (Hervé Villechaize)filmed his now-iconic, "de plane, de plane!" from the Cottage's bell tower.
Arcadia is just east of Pasadena in the San Gabriel Valley, approx. 20 miles east of Downtown Los Angeles. The Arboretum is directly across the street (Baldwin Ave.) from on of horse racing's finest tracks, Santa Anita.
It should be noted that filming began at the Arboretum in the early 30s when the Lagoon was used for the Johnny Weissmuller-Maureen O'Sullivan "Tarzan" adventures, including "Tarzan Escapes" in 1936.
As it happens, I did public relations/publicity & promotion at the Arboretum in the mid-80s.
Fairfield Road (2010)
We've heard the title song before
I'm just starting to watch Hallmark's "Fairfield Road" (2010). I only got to the credits before one thing became obvious: I've heard this title song before.
"Fairfield Road's" composer is listed as Ian Thomas and this film is his only IMDb credit.
However, it must be noted that the music to his instrumental theme song is, in fact, "Durham Town (The Leavin')," a 1969 written and performed by Kenyan/British singer-songwriter and musician Roger Whittaker. The song hit #12 in Great Britain when it was first released in 1969. When it was re-released in 1976, it hit #8 in Canada and #23 on Billboard's Easy Listening chart (now called the Adult Contemporary chart).
Death Race 2000 (1975)
The greatest B film ever?
Paul Bartel's "Death Race 2000" could very well be the Best B Film Ever.
It has every exploitation feature necessary; everything a low-budget flick needs to be considered a classic of the genre: beautiful gals flashing a nifty amount of nudity/T&A, really fun violence, a fast-moving plot, zooming action & hilarious characters delivering their lines with great zest.
Stallone's pre-"Rocky" Rocky is howl; Carridine plays it straight to perfection; B Queens Mary Woronov & Roberta Collins chew up the scenery & have a sexy blast; pre-Gopher on "Love Boat" & pre-Congressman Fred Grandy shows an unexpected side.
And the three TV broadcasters, the legendary "Real" Don Steele, Joyce Jameson and little known-but-terrific Carle Bensen are a scream! It's tongue-in-cheek farce at its finest! Man, I love this movie!
A wonderfully fun curio loaded with favorite actors
In a way, "Lured" is actually George Zucco's film. Why? Because of his counter-casting, even though there has never been any doubt that this great mostly-unknown English actor (except to horror & comedy-mystery fans) would have pulled it off with his usual style & class, and here, humor (remember, he was a hoot in "After the Thin Man" & "Topper Returns").
It's a fun whodunit with a really solid cast from top to bottom, including favorites Alan Mobray, Gerald Hamer, Joseph Calleia, Charles Coburn,and Alan Napier (Alfred the butler on "Batman").
"Lured" is about a lady killer on the loose in London, and includes a cast with such leading stars as Lucille Ball, George Sanders, Sir Cedric Hardwicke and George Sanders - but it's Zucco who always demands that the viewer watch.
Horror legend Boris Karloff shows up in as a crazed dress designer. His moment is priceless.
Hopefully, one or two of the terrific new retro networks will add this to their rotations.
A real movie
"Murder, She Wrote: South By Southwest," is a title that's an obvious homage to Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 classic suspenser, "North By Northwest," This is because while a great portion of the Hitchcock classic takes place aboard a train, so does this thriller - and a thriller, it is! I loved Angela's "Murder, She Wrote, series - but this is so much more competent; so much more professional - it's production so much more stylish; so much more like a motion picture.
I'm watching this for the first time right now as I type this because I was drawn to record a wonderfully positive review. On my on screen TV guide, some igno gave it one star...one lousy star! I'm sorry, but this is a full three-star mystery! This is one of the finest, if not the finest, Jessica Flether "murder, She Wrote" mysteries of them all!
Phantom Killer (1942)
It's Mantan not Rochester
This is directed to the guy who gives the kudos in "Phantom Killer" to Jack Benny's valet/chef/chauffeur/right-hand-man Eddie "Rochester" Anderson. You got it wrong, fellow. That was not Rochester playing Nicodemus, the janitor who sees a man talk who can't talk. Nope. It was the great Mantan Moreland.
BTW, this low budget Monogram 2-reeler is fun, especially if you're a fan of the dozens of Old Dark House mysteries that were produced in the 30s & 40s.
Mantan, who died in 1973 at age 71, is probably best remembered these days as Birmingham Brown, Charlie Chan's driver and cohort to Charlie's Numbers One, Two & Three sons in 14 Charlie Chan movies from 1944-1949.
Mantan also had solid roles in "King of the Zombies" (1941), "Dressed to Kill" (1941) with Lloyd Nolan as shamus Mike Shayne, "The Strange Case of Dr. RX" (1942) with another great, Lionel Atwill and many other fun films. He acted into the 1970s when he appeared in such TV series as "Love, American Style" and "Adam-12."
Mantan has deservedly been remembered in beloved fashion by many and needs to be recognized here.
Super 8 (2011)
A fun homage
I have no idea what director JJ Abrams style is. Why not? Because "Super 8" might very well have been directed by its producer, Steven Spielberg. This IS a Spielberg-style film - and that ain't bad.
Hectic family life; dysfunctional family life; families in crisis, Spielberg trademarks one and all are all here.
Overall, the film is an wonderful homage to 50s B movie drive-in "classics" albeit with $50 million worth of today's finest effects.
As others have written, it's "The Goonies"-meet-"ET"-meet-"Close Encounters." And let's not forget "Alien." Heck, there's even a fun tribute: an electric company guy doing his best "Close Encounters" Richard Dreyfuss as Roy Neary, complete with identical yellow truck, yellow hardhat and sideburns.
But there's also touches of Spielberg's "War of the Worlds." Young heroes working to solve a mystery, a la the four 1939 Warner Bros. Nancy Drew mysteries with Bonita Granville & Frankie Thomas, as well as Disney's 1964 "Emil & The Detectives" have been around for decades and this is yet another fun addition.
The CG crashes are, as expected, too over-the-top (as they are in most blockbusters today), and the ending just doesn't come together in anything close to a satisfying fashion. And to be honest, there is a slight tendency to get frustrated waiting & waiting to finally see the mysterious "whatever." Face it, there are a lot of unanswered questions or unsatisfactory plot stuff, like the upside down folks, the cubes, the missing pooches, the tower and how it all comes together at the end (what was that?).
But it's still one hell of an entertaining old-style Spielberg popcorn flick! But the young cast is terrific, especially Riley Griffiths as amateur film director Charles. Riley made his film debut here, and as I type this it's the only film or TV work listed his his IMDb bio page. That should change.
Other young actors Joel Courtney (also making his film debut), Ryan Lee and Elle Fanning are each terrific! All the kids in the film are terrific.
I know that as soon as I complete this and send it on for approval I'll think of another dozen films that possibly/probably intentionally influenced portions of this highly entertaining movie.
A fun homage, 9 June 2011 Author: estabansmythe from Azusa, CA
Matchmaker Santa (2012)
I loved this!
The Hallmark Channel produced a dozen new made-for-TV Christmas movies for the 2012 holiday season. I've seen a few. They're alright.
However, when it comes to this one, "Matchmaker Santa," I am not the least bit shy about confessing that I loved it! Yes, it's not deep & it really has no antagonists nor any real conflict that's essential to most plots - but so what!
And yes, we all know very well who Lacey Chabert is going to end up with, but with all the rotten things facing us out there in real life, this is exactly what the doctor ordered!
This Christmas romance fits like a glove! It is quite wonderful! The Christmas atmosphere of the fictitious small town of Buford Falls (a possible nod to "It's a Wonderful Life's" Bedford Falls), courtesy of Art Director Vahn Armstrong & Set Decorator Linda Louise Sheets is so rich, so warm - so charming & wonderful.
And the supporting cast of veterans Florence Henderson & Lin Shaye as active local businesswomen; and John Ratzenberger as Budford Height's easy-going mechanic & town mayor; and Donovan Scott, who has made a fine career out of playing Santa, are all so friendly that before long it hits you that you'd love to have these folks for neighbors. In fact, you'd love to live in Bedford!
"Matchmaker Santa" is a marvelous, indeed, magical new Christmas movie, and this comes from a guy who loves the old classic holiday films and TV specials, but who has never been overly impressed with the new ones.
I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I always do whenever I see it.
Capra's take on The Prisoner of Zenda
I'm actually sort of surprised that no one has noted that the marvelous "Dave" is a remake of "The Prisoner of Zenda," about a commoner who impersonates his look-alike prince-crowned-king while falling in love with his princess to be. The only change in story is that while "Zenda's" hero lives happily ever after, alas, it's not with his princess.
Under Ivan Reitman's sure-handed blend of subtle comedy & drama, and backed by James Newton Howard's melodic score, Kevin Kline is aces as average guy/everyman Dave, who is plucked from Small Town, USA, to assume the position of the most powerful man on earth. Equally up to the task is Frank Langella as his evil, rotten, power- hungry Chief of Staff.
The co-stars, including Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Dunn, Ving Rhames, Charles Grodin & Ben Kingsley,are each finely cast.
Three sound versions of "Zenda" were filmed: in 1937 with Ronald Coleman in the dual role & Douglas Fairbanks Jr. as his adversary; in 1952 with good guy Stewart Granger vs. baddie James Mason; and finally in 1979 - the least impressive version - with Peter Sellers, in his third to last role, fighting evil Stuart Wilson.
"Dave" matches up a lot closer with those earlier two versions than with the Seller's take. The shot of Dave heading back home over the hill, his job done, is a marvelous re-do of the Coleman version.
BTW, In 1968, Don Adams wrote a take-off on "Zenda" as well as its 2- part sequel in '69, but that's another story, so to speak.
The Best of the '50s Bif Dinosaur Monster Movies: it's great!
When I was a kid growing up in Inglewood, CA, a local Los Angeles TV station, KHJ-9 (now KCAL-9) aired its popular "Million Dollar Movie." This programming format gave viewers the chance to see one movie nine times in one week, seven nights a week at 7:30pm and again on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Among the movies on its schedule were "The Monster From Green Hell," about giant wasps in a valley in Africa; and this genuine classic '50s monster movie, "The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms." My pals and I saw it all nine times. And I'm happy to report that it still holds up beautifully! It is the finest of all the '50s monster movies, putting to shame the likes of "Gorgo," "Konga," "Tarantula," and especially, the pitiful "The Giant Gila Monster" and "The Giant Claw." The only monster movie to rival it at the time was the original "Godzilla." Ray Harryhausen's skills were still being developed when he made this in 1953, but they were still certainly good enough to make his monster believable, and genuinely scary, be the viewer a kid or an adult.
If monster movies are your thing, "The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms" is one you don't want to miss.
The Last of Sheila (1973)
My co-favorite whodunit: It'll have you playing along
"The Last of Sheila" is my favorite whodunit (along with the 1945 version of "And Then There were None").
It is definitely one of the most involving & intricate whodunits I've seen.
And to think it was all devised by old New York pals Anthony Perkins and Stephen Sondheim - brilliant! Witty, sarcastic, sadistic, funny ... brilliant! And brought to the screen in such lively fashion by Broadway vet Herb Ross, who keeps it moving at a crackerjack pace.
The casting is terrific! Only Raquel Welch comes off as a tad superficial & unsure of herself.
I confess that I've been a fan of James Coburn since I was a little kid, and my God, was he ever in his element as a fun-loving yet cutting & mean-spirited producer on a very serious mission.
The bottom line is this: if you enjoy whodunits, then "The Last of Sheila" should be on your list of must-see movies. You'll love it!
Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
Still too much Jack Black in so-so film
A few things can definitely be recommended about "Kung Fu Panda 2" in 3D and none of them have anything to do with Jack Black. Overall, the film gets mixed grades.
The artwork, the visuals and computer graphics are simply stunning. The production team gets a tip o' the Dodgers cap. Seriously, it's the only reason to see the movie.
Having just raved about the visuals, it's got be be said that at least 10 minutes of the bombastic kung fu fight scenes could easily have been cut.
Why? Because it was nothing but ridiculous overkill, i.e., filler to flesh out a weak and mostly empty script so that the studio could deliver a 90-minute film & justify charging $10-15.
I read that star Jack Black is taking credit for re-writing much of his part. Ten-year-olds loved the results. I'm not sure that many over-10-ers did. Face it, the real Jack Black seems to be nothing more than a big overgrown 10-year-old, so it figures.
Not being a fan of his, a little Jack Black goes a very long way for me. I pretty much think that the guy is minimally talented & basically one of the luckiest, most fortunate people in Hollywood. I do not get his mega-fame.
BTW, John Powell & Hans Zimmer's score stands out in several places.
As for the rest of the big-name cast, octogenarian James Hong as Yoda and Gary Oldman as the chief Blue Meanie are darned good.
However, the rest just don't stand out at all. You could tell me that Jean-Claude Killy voiced Master Croc, not Jean-Claude Van Damme, and I wouldn't have known the difference.
The story & script: Since this is so obviously a kids flick, why did writers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger get so deep into the philosophy of finding peace that was what the whole movie was about? This plot went nowhere with the kids I went with & talked to. It was way over their heads.
No, overall, "Kung Fu Panda 2" was a hodgepodge of good & bad. Good visuals, stunning even - and bad everything else.
Master of the World (1961)
A serious American International Pictures period adventure (and it's good!)
I remember seeing this escapist gem, "Master of the World" (1961)after Sunday School one morning when I was 10 or 11. I loved it! AIP's Big Gun, Vincent Price is a thoughtful & gentlemanly, I'll call him, anti-hero rather than bad guy or madman. This is because while he does indeed blow up ships, killing countless men, he's on a quest to end war and thus, the only people he kills are those who make war.
Thinking back, this film's presentation of its writer, Jules Verne's, anti-war philosophy may have made a rather large impression upon me as I started reading about our war in a far-off place called Vietnam, circa 1965 or 1965. Who knows? Anyway, this is a rare motion picture: a serious American International Picture (AIP) film with a serious message.
The film provides Charles Bronson with one of his earliest leading man/hero roles. He handles the role perfectly.
Director William Whitney, who began his career directing Republic cliffhanger serials; and legendary horror/sci-fi/fantasy writer/screenwriter Richard Matheson and their cast play it seriously - as it should be played, the exception coming via Vito Scotti's fun, harried cook. AIP's in-house music director Les Baxter's score is also appropriate for the action.
The special effects team (Tim Baar, Wah Chang, Pat Dinga,Gene Warren) do very nicely working within AIP's usual '60s budget constraints.
The movie flows, it entertains, it even makes you think. This is a good movie!
The Pink Panther (1963)
A brilliant stylish comedy classic
This original 1963 "Pink Panther" is unique. It's as stylish and sophisticated as it is slapstick.
Only "Panther" #2, "A Shot in the dark," come close in style and glamor. The rest of the series - filmed after a 14-year break, are all slapstick while completely lacking in charm and glamor.
From the first "ting, ting ting" of the triangle at the beginning of composer Henry Mancini's suave, adult & sophisticated score to the classy, upscale locales, this is a classy film.
And amidst it all, we have Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau, a serious detective who is desperately, frustratingly in love with his wife, the ravishing Capucine, who frustrates him no end with her array of put-offs.
BTW, Capucine plays slapstick almost as well as Sellers, unique and surprising for such a strikingly beautiful actress.
The contrast between the incredible locations, the settings, the beautiful clothes and beautiful sophisticated people with that of Clouseau's innocent bumbling ineptitude is sheer brilliance.
This is one of the finest - most brilliant - comedies ever! Too bad so many of its viewers & IMDb reviewers can't grasp it's inspired four-star classic brilliance.
Ghostbusters II (1989)
This is MacNichol's film
Ghostbusters II belongs to one actor: Peter MacNichol! His hilarious creepy weirdo, Janos, is priceless. Every move, every utterance is hilariously nuanced! His is a classic character of comedy cinema and I wish he had gotten more recognition for his work here.
Honestly, he should have gotten a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his Janos but the Academy rarely acknowledges brilliant comedic performances. In this instance, what a shame.
As sequels go, Ghostbusters II is a dandy (it'll be interesting to see how Ghostbusters III will fare 21 years after II and 26 years after the original).
Everything works in GB II for the first four-fifths of the film. Alas, the ending stinks. The ending is just B...A...D.
I mean, animating the Statue of Liberty by playing Jackie Wilson's "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher"! Please. And then having the painting of evil Prince Vigo wiped clean and replaced by a Romanesque painting of the four Ghostbusters. Blah! By the for 80% are funny as hell and Murry is again a hoot, and Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis are also good; and Rick Moranis is again funny as their classically clueless nerd attorney. Fourth Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson has absolutely nothing to do; he's wasted.
But if you want to see a brilliant comic performance, see Ghostbusters II for Peter MacNichol.
The Mummy's Hand (1940)
What a great Mummy movie! (How come Lipton doesn't market Tana Leaf Tea?)
Tana leaves were the Red Bull of ancient Egypt.
Nine leaves brought our Man Bout Town, "Mr. First Nighter," Karis the Mummy to life. More than than and he gets a tad unruly. In fact, he becomes an immortal uncontrollable monster.
Universal's killer "The Mummy's Hand" (1940) is not a sequel to their 1932 Karloff classic. Not no how, no way.
But that doesn't mean it's not great - it is! It's a 10 on the Fun Scale! A 10 on the Pure Entertainment Scale!
Everybody's fave, the great George Zucco brought his A Game to this one as the head of the Cairo Museum who moonlights as The High Priest of Karnak. Personally, I'd rather be a game show host.
Zucco is understated, underhanded, clever, slimy ... in other words, he's the Great George Zucco! Cowboy star Tom Tyler is terrific as Karis, especially with those hollow eyes! Wow! He is one bad mamma-jamma!
Tyler acted in nearly 200 westerns going back to 1924, including playing Stony Brooke in Republic's fun "Three Mesquiteers" cowboy series about three heroic pals who lived, ranched & saved damsels & town folk alike along the Mesquite River. This was a role he inherited first from Bob Livingston & then from the Duke himself, John Wayne, who played Stoney eight times in 1938-39.
The same year this film was produced, 1949, Tyler found popularity as Captain Marvel in the Republic cliffhanger serial of the same name. In 1943, he was another comic book hero in a Republic cliffhanger serial, "The Phantom."
As the hero, archaeologist Steve Banning, singing cowboy star Dick Foran has been given a raw deal here by some reviewers. He is just fine: appropriately heroic and also fun, serious, knowledgeable and romantic at all the right times.
No one seems to mention a man responsible for a lot of the film's fun, that wonderful character actor Cecil Kelloway (who, by the way, was eaten in 1953 by Ray Harryhausen's "Beast From 20,000 Fathoms" and who, as Mr. Wichwacker, accidentally killed the three astronauts who landed on his cemetery planet in a classic episode of "The Twilight Zone.")
No, the killjoy reviewers here could not have misinterpreted "The Mummy's Hand" in a more off-base fashion.
"The Mummy's Hand" is a genuine Universal monster movie classic and is such marvelously fun entertainment!
Hot Dog... The Movie (1984)
Entertaining T&A "B" flick
First came "Birth of a Nation," "Intolerance" & "The Battleship Potemkin," and stars like Fairbanks Sr., Valentino, Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo & Chaplin.
Next came sound and with it "Gone With the Wind," "Citizen Kane," & "Ben Hur." Garbo wanted to be alone, but Gable, Tracy, Cooper, Bogart, Wayne & Hepburn didn't.
Cinema was evolving. An art form was created.
Then came "Hot Dog ... The Movie."
David Naughton wasn't Paul Muni, John Garfield or Claude Rains, but he was like-ably talented.
And incredible babes Tracy Smith, Shannon Tweed and Crystal Smith weren't in the Myrna Loy / Claudette Colbert / Jean Arthur ranks - but then these gorgeous girls d a lot more, and show a lot more than Myrna, Claudette or Jean ever dreamed.
It's good vs. evil plot pitting the hero vs. the bad guy is classic - and, in it's own incredible T&A B movie fest, so is "Hot Dog...The Movie."
The Graduate (1967)
A great & fascinating film
"The Graduate" is not a comedy per se, regardless that it's brain trust of Director Mike Nichols & Screenwriter Buck Henry are from the world of comedy - and most of it totally zany comedy, at that. Zany, it isn't.
Yes, it has occasional comic overtones and light amusing overtones; and as Benjamin, Dustin Hoffman plays the part of the young, inexperienced graduate initially in a haltingly often amusing manner, this film is a drama, not a comedy.
Some reviewers here go so far as to call it "hilarious." It's not hilarious. If I were Mike Nichols & Buck Henry I'd be ticked at anyone who thinks of it that way.
A great film? Yes. An iconic '60s classic? Yes. A comedy? Well, no.
Down Missouri Way (1946)
PRC's best film
I'm in shock! I'm watching "Down Missouri Way," from Grade Z studio, Producers Releasing Corporation, aka PRC - and what I can't believe is how much fun, how well written and acted and how professionally produced this delightful, light comedy musical actually is. This is a fun little movie.
Martha O'Driscoll owns a special mule that director John Carradine (great as a ham's ham) absolutely must have for his latest film production.
It's a thin premise, but who cares. What's important is that heroine O'Driscoll gets her guy, Producer William Wright.
PRC cowboy star Eddie Dean, in a co-starring role here gets his girl, funny gal Mabel Todd (who was married to her one-time comedy team partner Morey Amsterdam).
Happiness reigns. Fun little film guaranteed to chase your blues away.
The Alphabet Murders (1965)
Clearing up some errant comments
I believe that some commentators here are a tad off base with their assumptions.
The MGM production team for The Alphabet Murders was the same as for Margaret Rutherford's Miss Marple Series, which is why she and Stringer David had cameos. Therefore, it is highly doubtful that this was director Frank Tashlin's idea as some said.
Numerous posters here said that the slapstick comedy in this film was directly inspired by Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau. Doubtful. Sellers' Pink Panther slapstick is far broader and much more plentiful. If anything ABC's slapstick is derived from Tashlin's Bugs Bunny & Jerry Lewis days but equally from Randall himself. For my money the slapstick here is uninspired and falls flat - it's completely unnecessary.
Producer Lawrence Bachman, the screen writing team of David Pursall & Jack Seddon, cinematographer Desmond Dickinson, art director William Andrews, assistant director David Tomblin and composer Ron Goodwin (unmistakable stylist) all carried on from MGM's Marple films. More than anything this is your connection and inspiration.
Aside from some totally unnecessary slapstick, The Alphabet Murders is a light fun mystery. If you like the Marple series, you'll probably like this.
The Wild Wild West (1965)
"The Wild Wild West" might be the one series that I consider the most fun ever. If not, it's certainly ONE OF the most fun, along with "Get Smart," "The Maan From UNCLE" and "Burke's Law." How can it not be? After all, it's 007 in boots, spurs and cowboy hat. Mix in ample doses of Louis L'Amour (sort of), Jules Verne & a drop of Conan Doyle and it's easy to see why this series was such a smash for four seasons in a time when the networks were loaded with now-legendary classic shows.
Bob Conrad and Ross Martin were the perfect choices to play Secret Service agents James West and Artemis Gordon batting an incredible array of bad guys - and bad gals.
Even the music is classic! Quite simply, you really cannot do better than to choose "The Wild Wild West" when it comes time to select a TV show to watch.
BTW, after many years, "The Wild Wild West" returned to Southern California TV on May 28 at 7 pm on KDOC-TV.
A different rock n roll movie
"Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter," was filmed two years too late to have any real box office success in the US.
Then again, it wasn't anything like the loopy, goofy, rollicking Brit Invasion silliness associated with their 1966 MGM film, "Hold On." The people who expected "Hold On Again" are totally clueless about this film.
This was a small, simple, charming decidedly very British film that probably wasn't intended for much of an American release. I never saw it until a few years ago when it was on Turner Classic Movies.
The group's hits dried up here in 1967. No hits in a year was a big deal that usually meant the end of the ride. However, the group continued to hit the charts quite nicely in the UK and Europe (as the Kinks did before their American comeback in 1969). This film was for them.
And if any Americans appreciate it, all the better! It is a nice quaint little film with nice little ditties.
"It's my happening , baby, and it freaks me out!"
"It's my happening, baby, and it freaks me out!" There's just something about Russ Mayer's most popular and biggest film, 1969's "Beyond The Valley Of The dolls" that makes you watch it every time it's on IFC (Independent Film Channel).
For one thing, it's uncut and that's always a treat.
For another, it takes place in the hip, decadent, psychedelic, hippie heaven of Hollywood in 1969.
Regarding the line, "It's my happening, baby, and it freaks me out!": Mike Meyers paid tribute to this film by including that line spoken by super-hip, super weird pop group manager Z-Man (John Lazar) in "Austin Powers: International Man OF Mystery."
The sex, the drugs, the nudity, the excellent color, the cast (including Dolly Read-Martin ("Mrs. Dick Martin"), former KHJ-9 teen dance show host Michael Blodgett and Phyllis Davis)and yes, even the cheesy plot combine for a couple hours of weird yet alluring entertainment.
And that wild, wacky, way-too-hip-for-the-room dialogue demands repeated viewing. You just know that Tarantino's seen this film 50 times!
The Cheerleaders (1973)
The Greatest Drive-In Film Ever Made!
"The Cheerleaders" was the greatest drive-in film ever produced! It played at several of our local San Gabriel Valley drive-in theatres throughout the '70s. In the summer, you stood an excellent chance of finding it on a double bill on at least a monthy basis at one of our half-dozen area drive-ins.
This film had the perfect tone: a wild & wacky, tongue-in-cheeck (or somewhere) sex comedy - with tons of sex and nudity ( and oodles of over-the top comedy).
None of the knock-out babes in the cast was every going to win an Oscar, but who cares? They were certainly good enough to pull this plot off convincingly.
And the plot? The title cheerleaders decided to elect as a replacement cheerleader who got pregnant a virgin; a shy, introverted cute little wallflower (Stephanie Fondue...great name). The story takes place just before the Big Game.
So the girls figure they'd do their bit to help (anything for the team, right!) by nailing every member of the opposing team the night before the Big Game, so they'd be too pooped to play at the top of their game- and so, they'd lose.
As plots go, "The Cheerleaders" ain't Shakespeare, but it's good enough here - and it's good enough for me.
I've been thinking. If anyone of the girls was to have won an Oscar, it would have been Denise Dilloway as Claudia, the "Head" Cheerleader. She was terrific! For those of you enjoy this type or genre of entertainment, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more entertaining sex comedy! Lobg live the drive-in theatre!!!