Jlewis

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Everything posted by Jlewis

  1. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    Seen this twice but it has been a while and will have to see it again. George Stevens often had women who were stronger than the men in his films. I am thinking of I Remember Mama and Giant off the top of my head. Well... maybe Hudson and Dean could hold their own against Taylor in the latter but she was still "one tough Texan". Also handled Hepburn in Alice Adams.
  2. Jlewis

    A Shortie Checklist: Paramount

    This set of posts feature an alphabetical list of the Paramount short films. I know… I know. Those of you reading will ask “Are you nuts?!” Yes I am. I will even start with a little itty bitty introduction. On the other now-defunct forum (CMU), I had been making chronological “lists” of each studio’s live-action “shorties” since 2010. These lengthy blogs have… sometimes… received up to 8000 “views”. (I guess I am not the only shorties “geek” online?) This past year or two, I have been adding some of this material to the Wikipedia site and previously to the imdb.com site, but have only covered the bulk of Warner’s shorts so far. These are listed alphabetically. When you line up the titles chronologically, Paramount’s live action shorts intriguingly had three distinct “periods”. Burton Holmes was their most prolific producer; his travelogues following a previous “Paramount Travel Pictures” series of 1915. Arriving two years later was the mighty Mack Sennett whose enormously popular 2-reel comedies of the period brought a huge boost to the corporation’s income. His top star, Fatty Arbuckle, was made head of his own short comedy unit before graduating to features (and some… um… scandal as well), all co-starring newcomer Buster Keaton.Then, rather abruptly, Paramount decided to stop making shorties all together early in 1922. With rare exceptions, the company merely distributed others’ product (and the mid-twenties was a golden age for Pathé, Educational and smaller distributors keeping theaters well stocked) and focused just on their features for a while. When MGM announced in 1926 that they were entering the shortie business by distributing for UFA and (a year later) Hal Roach, Paramount hopped on the bandwagon again by starting up a newsreel and acquiring Al Christie’s comedies from Educational. With some of their features also being done at the Astoria facilities (NYC) in addition to Hollywood, the 1928-32 era was a particularly rich period for testing new talent emerging on Broadway in the 6-20 minute format. This second period of Paramount shorts production spanned exactly 30 years, parallel to the Paramount Newsreel shown in theaters twice weekly. Once the newsreel ended in February 1957, so did the live-action shorts, although animated cartoons with Popeye and Casper continued uninterrupted. Then, in 1960, Leslie Winik’s A Sport Is Born became an unexpected hit and Oscar nominee; thus awakening interest in a THIRD unbroken boom in live-action shorties, mostly of the sport or travelogue kind, that lasted through the 1968-69 season… and there have been a few occasional “one shots” since (like The Absent-minded Waiter). Again, these listed titles are all live-action and do not include animated cartoons, even though the “Speaking of Animals” series do feature cell-animated mouths implanted on live animal footage frame by frame. (Remember the talking camels in Bob Hope and Bing Crosby’s Road to Morocco?) Of course, Paramount has been making plenty of ‘toons ever since John R. Bray’s studio began adding “inserts” to the “Paramount Pictograph” series. Most famous of its animation producers was Max Fleischer, who has a building named after him on the Paramount lot in Hollywood despite his cartoons being made in NYC and later Miami. Apart from his early work under John Bray, he started releasing through Paramount in 1927 (after operating independently with Red Seal distribution) and, by the time he and his brother Dave left their animation studio in early 1942, Paramount’s cartoon line-up succeeded very well indeed as the Number Two cartoon factory just behind Walt Disney… with Ko-Ko, Betty Boop, Popeye and Superman, along with the features Gulliver’s Travels and Mr. Bug Goes To Town. After taking charge of the Fleischer studio and moving the animators back to NYC, Paramount renamed it Famous Studios (later Paramount Cartoons) and kept chugging away through November 1967 with more Popeye, as well as Little Lulu, Little Audrey, Casper, “Noveltoons”, “Modern Madcaps”, etc. (Jerry Beck profiles at cartoonresearch.com the season-by-season saga of the animation studio that all animation buffs publically loathe but secretly love, since many later catoons are an acquired taste. Never allow an impressionable young mind watch Herman and Katnip in Mice Meeting You without proper supervision.) Among the later (cell-animated) independent releases distributed were Gene Dietch’s Munro (Oscar winner, 1960) and “Nudnick” series (1964-67) and a trio of John & Faith Hubley productions (1966-69), including another Oscar winner and two nominees. Meanwhile, during 1940-47, George Pal made his stop-motion Technicolor “Puppetoons” in Hollywood (previously running a factory of full color puppetoons in Holland since 1934). He eventually graduated to special effects live-action features. (Ray Harryhausen got his start working with Jasper, another character of “acquired taste” although I find Jasper And The Watermelons more oddly charming than insulting.) Although Pal was Paramount’s primary stop-motion producer, two earlier releases also had frame-by-frame figurines in motion: Lulu In Love was a 1936 re-edit of a Wladyslaw Starewicz production made in France, and Wild Oysters (February 14, 1940 release), which was made by longtime cartoon veteran Charles Bowers. Paramount sold their pre-1950 titles to the U.M. & M. TV Corporation in 1957, which altered many of the titles with their own logos, using the original prints. However, only we eagle-eyed movie fans can detect the difference. Harvey Comics apparently received (according Jerry Beck) both the ’50-59 cartoons AND the live-action Sportlights, Pacemakers and Toppers as well. I am assuming that Paramount kept their VistaVision travelogues and anything kept after 1960, some of it made available to schools on 16mm. After being taken over by Viacom, much of the pre-1950 product was re-acquired (excluding Popeye and Superman which Time-Warner eventually got). Kino Lorber released on DVD a sampling of late ‘20s through Robert Benchley ‘40s materal. Shield Pictures currently owns the rights to the Jerry Fairbanks productions and did air many of these on AMC in the 1990s when that network resembled TCM: http://www.shieldspictures.com/ I need to acknowledge my references for these lists and you folks can let me know of my many boo-boos that need corrected… preferable on another thread. (Also I am not sure how many edits I am “allowed” to make here.) BoxOffice Magazine (scans available online for a while, but a bit harder to access in recent years), Film Daily and Motion Picture Herald Magazine back issues (both found on the Internet Archive), with the IMDb.com site have all been a great help. (I had added many Warner shorties to that latter site.) Equally important are the Library of Congress copyright listings Motion Pictures 1912-1939 (1951), Motion Pictures 1940-1949 (1953), Motion Pictures 1950-1959 (1960) and Motion Pictures 1960-1969 (1971). Also Edwin M. Bradley’s The First Hollywood Sound Shorts, 1926-1931 (McFarland & Company, 2005). Unfortunately the later Paramount shorties are poorly documented, even in the periodicals of the period. So it is good that many Treasure Searchers have been digging up missing prints and additional information (and a few even pop up on youtube if you hunt well enough) in the years since I began posting these silly posts as a naïve Treasure Searcher myself. Anyhoo… this is the basic set up for each film listed: Title of film (producer and/or director) If you see (---), it means I don’t have director information… yet. black & white (bw) or color “approximate” running time in minutes (m) or running time in reels (1 reel is under 11 minutes, 2 reels under 25 minutes) since I couldn’t find an exact time frame here Series Title in () with a key star (a.k.a. name above the title) listed in [] release date or copyright © date and sometimes a filming date in () (any awards) brief description… and I do keep it brief. Additional cast members are also listed here. And now... a salute to the most prolific short film producer for this company:
  3. Jlewis

    A Shortie Checklist: Paramount

    Oooooh I wish it was so easy. Hopefully this post will help not just you, but others, in starting your great archeological dig. Yup... it will be quite a dig! Yet don't give up. The more you discuss a film of interest online, the more observant eyes will be around to guide you in the proper direction. I used to get so many questions about the Paramount shorts of the forties and fifties, in particular. One of the quickest responses I can give is to always keep your eyes open on eBay because so many vintage shorts were made available on 16mm and can easily be "digitalized" by old movie enthusiasts, especially films that the major entertainment companies don't think are worth battling over for copyright status. The UCLA archive has quite a few vintage Paramount shorts from multiple decades and I hear they sometimes make DVD copies for a fee. It is always worth emailing them to find out. First, of course, you have to check if your title is in their search engine. Sadly yours was not, but something else of great interest to you could still pop up there: https://cinema.library.ucla.edu/vwebv/searchBasic According to Jerry Beck on the Cartoon Research site, Harvey Comics (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Films) not only acquired their fifties cartoons, but also the bulk of the live-action subjects from the same period. Yes, these would likely include your title, if it is still available. Over the years, they have been owned by different mother-companies, the latest being Dreamworks Classics/NBC Universal and I guess this is one place to start emailing questions: http://classics.dreamworksanimation.com/ They did release many old Casper shorts on DVD through Sony in 2006 since there was enough interest in them. Paramount did regain the rights to many old shorts, but it will require much pushing and shoving to get them as motivated in dusting off the vaults since fewer modern Americans are excited over Pacemakers as they are Jack Ryan. On the plus side, they are doing a great job with Republic Pictures' library and have released some interesting stuff through Olive Films like the ol' Betty Boops. Kino Lorber (https://www.kinolorber.com/) put out a cluster of the late-'20s-'30s material on DVD over the years. The Jerry Fairbanks reels of 1935-49 are owned by Shield (http://www.shieldspictures.com/index.html) which put a few titles on iTunes.
  4. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    Back in the eighties and early nineties (a.k.a. MGM's When The Lion Roars came out shortly after that one), I got pretty comfortable seeing all of these veterans interviewed about working-at-the-studio, whatever studio it was. Now I miss them all since they have joined all of the other stars up in heaven. Going off topic, my favorite series will always be the James Mason narrated and Ken Brownlow and David Gill directed Hollywood (mostly compiled in 1978-79), which successfully "canned" for posterity so many veterans of five to seven decades back. This included those who knew Valentino before he "became" Valentino. I especially loved Colleen Moore in all of hers, especially the one where she imitates a strongly accented buddy of hers ("oy oy oy") commenting on her first talkie tests and speech lessons.
  5. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    Interesting that you are choosing three of their lesser known vehicles instead of the obvious "Big Four" (Adam's Rib, Pat & Mike, State Of the Union and Guess Who) plus Desk Set. Unfortunately I could not find AMC's old documentary The Republic Picture Story online. Last saw it in the '90s, but it would be so much fun seeing it again. It probably didn't include clips of the four you recently detailed, since the focus was on the titles that average movie buffs (those who bother with the '30s-50s, that is) were more familiar with.
  6. Jlewis

    Nudist Camp Films

    Different situation with Tarzan The Magnificent, but I will allow you to investigate the YouTube montage "Tarzan (Gordon Scott) loincloth malfunctions" on your own to determine if he is magnificent or not. In movie theaters, nobody noticed at 24 frames per second, but VHS, laserdisc and DVD prompted a whole new audience of investigative eyes with the ability to freeze-frame. The Disney company, in particular, panicked when it made other discoveries on The Rescuers (1977) and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988).
  7. Jlewis

    Nudist Camp Films

    I have been away too long and didn't realize we had threads like this. Not surprised at all that it got far off topic, since this isn't something many posters like discussing with any seriousness. Did cover some of this topic on the "time line" on page 3 of this thread: To be honest, nudist films were seldom very good or even cinematic. It is difficult to determine which director or cameraman involved in these was worthy of Hitchcock or Welles status. Actually hard core pornographic films of the 1970s are much more interesting, not so much because they are more explicit but because there was more skill in camera work and story telling involved... at least during its brief "golden age" before stay-at-home-and-watch VHS focused ALL attention on The Act itself and nothing else. The earliest nudie docs were apparently made by the major German companies; I think Variety reviewed one UFA import around 1927 but I can't remember the title off hand. The emphasis was more on female nudity than male, but the men were dropping trou in a couple mainstream dramatic films made in Europe during the late twenties and early thirties with little fuss. Some like G.W. Pabst's Kameradschaft (1931) and Jean Vigo's Zero De Conduite (1933) even had fleeting P-P shots. As expected, it was distributors in the United States and other non-European countries that were the prudes. (Japan didn't even allow kissing in their films before 1947.) This Nude World (1933) was the most popular of the American releases, getting plenty of attention from the press when it succeeded in a few major theaters just before the Production Code took over. The narrator was a radio familiar (and voice in many thirties Warner Brothers shorts) Leo Donnelly. You can buy it cheap from Alpha Video or view a murky copy online. For its time, it isn't all that bad and actually shows quite a bit of nudity, mostly from the back end. Garden Of Eden (1954) was the first in color, the first to get advertised in BoxOffice magazine and other periodicals and eventually the first to get past all of the censorship laws. It all ended with one final court case held on the federal level in 1957 that ruled that nudity by itself in films was not "obscene". Then came the mass flood of copycats, followed by those of Russ Meyer (i.e. The Immoral Mr. Teas, 1959) that added a plot and the humorous label of "nudie cuties". ("Roughies" involved less nudity but more questionable violence and were shown in the same drive-in "dives" that kiddies weren't permitted.) The first American nudist documentary to show full nudity without volleyballs covering the private parts was John Lamb's The Raw Ones, which opened in a few inner city theaters starting December 1965, right around the time that Andy Warhol was starting a fuss with his New York City exclusives such as My Hustler. Speaking of Warhol, you also have to parallel the history of nudist docs with the long stretch of avant garde experimentals that were uncensored by The Code because they were shown exclusively at film festivals to an "art crowd" and not to Middle America. These range from Willard Maas' Geography Of The Body (made in 1943) to the early works of James Broughton such as The Bed (filmed in 1967 but shown February 1968 exclusively in San Francisco for a while) and were not in the same class as the 16mm and 8mm "blue movies" sold under the counter in camera stores for bachelor parties in the 1950s and '60s.
  8. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    Yeah, "shmoodle" wasn't often used although "making woo" was, often in animated cartoons of the period. Speaking of cartoons, Vera Vague was, as Barbara Jo Allen, a popular radio personality who appeared in some nifty Columbia comedy shorts of the forties along with her character actress work in features AND occasional cartoon voices, particularly later in her career for Disney. She did the voice of Fauna in Sleeping Beauty.
  9. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    I remember Jane Frazee as one of a trio of Alices in those wonderful Joe McDoakes 1-reelers that Warner Brothers released alongside their Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies in the forties and fifties. She only appeared in a few titles and lacked a bit of chemistry with star George O'Hanlon, but was also far less aggressive than Jane Harker. Then again, I was probably biased towards both actresses because I absolutely adore Phyllis Coates (still living today in her nineties) who was briefly married to the series director Richard L. Bare and I think he found her his "muse" in her marriage on screen to O'Hanlon.
  10. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    Granted, she isn't the first Bond gal to meet her doom since Sean Connery's 007 also had sex with Jill Masterson (Shirley Easton) and, despite Goldfinger being my personal favorite of the franchise, I always felt Sean should have shed a few tears for her. At least here we know George Lazenby's Bond feels emotion over his loss. I think it is because she is played by Diana Rigg, a counterpart action-gal from The Avengers. This was the same series that featured Honor Blackman, whose P-Galore instantly wiped out his memories of both Masterson sisters in Goldfinger. (Even if he didn't exactly score with Mustang-driving Tilly, he certainly wanted to.) I agree that this 007 runs on too long and can use the snippers, but several others are equally guilty of this. I have sat through Thunderball three times and twice I started snoozing during the underwater scenes in the second hour. Yet a lot of effort went into that film's stunts as with this one and the producers wanted enough of it left in-tact on screen. Because of the stunts, I think this one had a longer than usual filming period (October 1968 through June 1969) than most of the others.
  11. Jlewis

    Those Innocent, Bygone Days!

    Not strange. The illusion doesn't match the reality. Marilyn Monroe wasn't that great of an actress either, despite how much I love her in Niagara, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Some Like It Hot. She tried to be a "method" performer too but Bus Stop was pretty broad and over the top. Probably the most famous image of her is the flying dress scene in The Seven Year Itch, which may be her most boring movie apart from that scene. She was great at displaying emotional depth and maternal affection though, which is why she is still greatly loved. Yet she and Jimmy dominate 20th century pop culture as products of that great decade of empty headed consumerism: the 1950s. Acting skills were less important than what Clara Bow equally displayed back in an earlier decade of empty headed consumerism, the 1920s... "IT" appeal. Their images were manufactured across the globe like Mickey Mouse and Coca Cola because of what they represent as illusions. One interesting aspect about Dean was his strong curiosity for cameramen and directors. I could potentially see him becoming or attempting to become a future Clint Eastwood, Warren Beatty or Robert Redford taking on directing. However, like Monroe, he wasn't at all disciplined. Both had very scattered and mercurial personalities that sometimes stressed the production crews.
  12. Jlewis

    Those Innocent, Bygone Days!

    I too visited Griffith once, but the Observatory was temporarily closed for maintenance. Also visited Warner's in Burbank the same day and saw the buildings where some of the indoor scenes would have been shot. Yeah... Rebel was very much on my mind then.
  13. Jlewis

    Those Innocent, Bygone Days!

    Overblown explains Giant correctly but that is exactly why I enjoy it so much and have sat through it so many times in the past four decades. Reminds me of an early version of Dallas. Actually Liz Taylor is even less convincing than James Dean as she "ages" with fake gray hair and make-up, but I truly luv her so unconditionally in that movie since she is oh so luvable. Although Rock Hudson may not exactly "wow" here like he would in his more demanding later performances such as Seconds, he still gives us a taste of his future straight-man adventures with equally rambunctious Doris Day. Carroll Baker is also nice and sultry in her small scenes wooing Jimmy, a foretaste of Baby Doll. There is so much to luv in Giant, but... as you know... I have peculiar tastes. Oddly Rebel is the movie I try the hardest to like and Natalie Wood makes it easy for me on some levels. All of the women in Dean's films are quite energized. I do agree with Lawrence that it is more a time capsule piece and you enjoy it more for nostalgia. I've always liked Raymond Massey, although I think he was so much better in his earlier masterpieces (Things To Come, Abe Lincoln In Illinois, A Matter Of Life And Death, among others). Don't think he is better or worse than Jimmy in East Of Eden except that I keep thinking of his earlier performances when watching him. He isn't much of a Charles Laughton here stretching himself prior to the stroke scene.
  14. Jlewis

    Those Innocent, Bygone Days!

    Yeah, I know Heath is probably a weaker comparison due to a more prolific output, but I was thinking of his career cut short and being toted as a posthumous legend before his career reached its full potential. Also count me in as another fan of Giant, even if I felt Liz Taylor and Mercedes McCambridge gave better performances in that one.
  15. Jlewis

    Those Innocent, Bygone Days!

    I especially agreed that he was over rated when I first watched his movies on TV. Worst performance, in my opinion, is Giant in which he mumbles even more than Marlon Brando. Yet I have appreciated his talent more as time progressed and re-watched his primary trio multiple times. I think his acting in East Of Eden is excellent up until the last act when the script requires him be maudlin in his daddy reconciliation and Julie Harris pretty much has to take over. This is a disappointing aspect to 1950s American cinema always playing safe and requiring a happy resolution before "The End". He was very young when he died, so all we can do is speculate how well he would have progressed. Heath Ledger is a good comparison to him. He may well be as equally over rated had he not challenged himself a bit more than his contemporaries with Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight.
  16. Jlewis

    Those Innocent, Bygone Days!

    Far too many. No secrets left to tell. I recall an interview with Sal Mineo taken by the Griffith Observatory location in the 1970s in which he keeps discussing Jimmy's ghost visiting him. Sal was still obsessed with him (and talking to him constantly) after some seventeen years or so. Of course, biographies of Jimmy published before Ellen's "Yup, I'm Gay" Time magazine spread (i.e. when it was finally no longer taboo if you were like Rock Hudson off screen) would only drop nebulous hints here and there. Instead there was so much focus put on his short-lived, but certainly genuine, love affair with actress Pier Angeli. Since the 1990s, however, it is a foregone conclusion that "yup, Jimmy was bi". Of course, I think the spectrum has gone too far in the other direction in recent years, suggesting he was more into guys than gals which isn't accurate either. Intriguingly, he did a lot of pornographic drawings involving male body parts but it seems like he was more obsessed with his own, even taking pictures of himself naked. Had he lived into the post-MPAA era, there is little doubt he would have gone full monty on screen simply because he loved being naked.
  17. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    Sometime you should check out the old Dan Peary Cult Movies books, which include an in-depth article on this one. Not sure which of the three books (all published in the '80s) can be read online.
  18. Jlewis

    What's the name of this short

    If it was in black & white and shown on TCM, it might have been Screen Actors, part of a series put out by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences and distributed by the individual studios during a two year period. Sometimes these are listed under the heading "The Movies and You". This particular title included shots of Reginald Denny, Gail Patrick, and Dan Duryea. It was distributed by MGM with Hal Elias credited as supervisor and released May 13, 1950. Others in the series: Twenty Years Of Academy Awards (RKO, Carey Wilson) / April 1, 1948 (this one was a two-reeler) Let's Go To The Movies (RKO, Tholen Gladden) / December 31, 1948 Movies Are Adventure (Universal-International, Jack Hively) / January 31, 1949 This Theatre And You (or This Theater And You) (Warner Bros., Felix Jacoves) / June 1, 1949 The Sound Man (Columbia, Aaron Stell) / December 24, 1949 History Brought To Life (Paramount, Jerry Hopper) / March 15, 1950 The Costume Designer (RKO, Tholen Gladden) / July 13, 1950 The Screen Writer (20th Century Fox, Jerry Webb) September 13, 1950 Moments In Music (MGM, Carey Wilson) / November 13, 1950 The Cinematographer (MGM, Jerry Hopper) / January 13, 1951
  19. Jlewis

    Those Innocent, Bygone Days!

    As long as Burt Lancaster isn't mentioned, the leaves will remain on the trees. That discussion involved a little more excitement than this messageboard is used to. I heard he waited until enough of the stars passed away before spilling the truth (if it is the truth). A couple decades from now, nobody will care whom these stars "bonded" with.
  20. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    I think I have seen the Shirley Jones TV movie... or part of it. Otherwise these are all titles I am not all that familiar with, even though I have seen plenty from the late sixties. Of course, when I think of this era, I think of the big films that revolutionized "New Hollywood" and made all of the movie reference books. You know, Camille 2000, Goodbye Columbus, A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Valley Of The Gwangi... yeah, I do have peculiar tastes myself.
  21. Jlewis

    Those Innocent, Bygone Days!

    Believe it or not, a lot of boys didn't even wear swimwear (even in high school and college sports) back in those golden olden daze. On to another subject. Any thoughts of TCM adding this one to their documentary line-up after it runs its course in theaters? One thing that tickles me is all of the "public domain" footage borrowed for movie documentaries from all over the place. At the point where we hear the line of "a network of folks waiting for somebody like Scotty to come along", there is a scene that eerily resembles a vintage 1910-12 Vitagraph film with somebody looking suspiciously like comedian John Bunny fixing his tie. If this film clip is as old as I think it is, those gentlemen needed to wait an awful long, long time for Scotty, since he didn't get started until after the second big war.
  22. Jlewis

    "Sunday Bloody Sunday"

    Schlesinger is merely returning to his British roots where it is "business as usual". Midnight Cowboy showcased how the Yanks deal with all of this mysterious same gender attraction situation: everybody is slinking into movie theaters with rocket-ships on screen symbolizing stuff we are not permitted to see on screen, Joe must defend John Wayne being a "cowboy" and a devoutly religious sixty-something business man is thankful he stays "good" after taking Joe to his hotel... only to get strangled by Joe with a phone. Oh... and Joe only hugs Rico after he is dead on the bus. Yet the Brits are... well, it is legal now and nobody is persecuted anymore and we have all gotten used to Oscar Wilde, so... whatever. Let's move on. Again, I was watching Four Weddings And A Funeral for the umpteenth time and trying to think of any mainstream American rom-com filmed in 1993 that featured a gay couple among The Friends, even if they were associated more with The Funeral than The Weddings. Yet the only ones I can think of from that era are either "indies" made by gay filmmakers exclusively for LGBT film festivals or a star vehicle with Tom Hanks dying of AIDS. In Mike Newell's world, a gay couple are just another part of the population and nobody is gayer than Simon Callow bellowing "It's bloody Brigadoon!" before he collapses.
  23. Jlewis

    Random Alerts!

    He did three covering The Golden Girls that were quite enlightening.
  24. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    In Dan Peary's Cult Movies books of the '80s, On Her Majesty's Secret Service was the one 007 that got much of the belated praise despite not having the star everybody favored. I enjoyed it a lot because it seemed less cartoon-ish than the others. Apart from some silliness here and there that is typical of 007, much of what happens can conceivably happen in real life. This was also made at the peak of the sixties race car craze and much of the camera work on snowy roads aped everything else on screen at the time. George Lazenby comes off as a more ordinary man who works as a spy rather than an indestructible super hero. I especially like the opening scenes when he comments on his attack by others not happening to that other guy (have to find the exact quote, because I am basing it on failing memory) since both the actor and producers knew fully well that he would be unfavorably compared to Sean Connery.
  25. Jlewis

    Grant Williams

    The book on him doesn’t show sympathy for the killers. It just gives background information leading up to the incident, including Paul’s ferocious temper, being unemployed and struggling, his homophobia, etc. The sad part is that crimes against gays back then were treated far more lightly than even today, as if “they deserve it for their deviant lifestyle”.

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