Vautrin

Get Your Kicks, Etc. On Route 66

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13 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

**Wonderful cinematography in this episode by Ernest Haller who, believe it or not, won the Academy Award for "Gone with the Wind". So It's no wonder that Tod and Buz  in that Corvette look so good on Route 66!

Most people don't realize it, but the Corvette is a light blue.  It was picked because it photographed better. 

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16 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

Buz and Tod looking good!

Definitely. Looks like they're tooling around somewhere in the southwest. I remember A Lance of Straw a little bit. What often makes me laugh are some of the lame pick-up lines Tod and Buz use in various episodes. Even back in the early 1960s they must have sounded a bit on the corny side. In 2019 some are LOL +. 

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Watched Ep. 7 from season 3 last night. "Across Walnuts and Wine."  Episode after "Lizard's Leg..." Very serious episode with little humor.  Tod and Buz working at a paper mill (Crown Zellerbach) in Oregon.  The first mill scene is a quickie in the "wood room" where they began cutting logs into what becomes very small chips to go into digestors to make pulp.  Wood room was actually most likely a very large 2-3 story building.  Digestors are huge vats about 2-3 stories high as well.

I worked in a paper mill while in college.  Tod questions why Buz got a "clean" job checking meter readings and he got one moving rolls of paper when they came off the paper machine.  In real world, Buz would not get one of those clean meter reading jobs as that paid higher and would go to a worker with more seniority.  I was often the guy moving paper rolls when they came off the machine, among many others.  Overall, it was very educational as I got to work almost everywhere eventually.  Also convinced me to stay in college. 

This is one of the less likely situations in most of the shows.  The boys fall into nice, clean, high paying jobs in dirty industries after just walking in off the street.  Of course, the industry "donating" the work sites may have had something to do with where they would be shown working.

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Just watched this episode a little while ago. Fetv cuts about 7 minutes out of each episode so they must have cut out all the paper mill scenes because there are none. The concentration is on the very dysfunctional family. This one has more old time movie stars than you can throw popcorn at--Betty Field, Nina Foch, James Dunn and a very young Robert Walker, Jr. There's even a Rhoda Penmark mini-me. Nina Foch comes for a visit. She is a school teacher who is supposedly taking time off. I thought there might be one of those Blanche Dubois situations, but at the end we find out there isn't. James Dunn is a gentlemanly bum who sits around and reads the paper. Betty Field is his wife. Walker actually owns the house so he doesn't have to pay attention to what they are telling him. He is also being chased by three guys who want to beat him up because he was making out with one's sister. Macho men Tod and Buz want him to stand and fight like a man, but Walker keeps on running away. Nina has a breakdown, lamenting about being an old spinster schoolmarm all alone in the world. For some reason, this makes Walker go out the front door and confront the three guys. It would have been more fun if he went up into the upper floor, pulled out a rifle and blew these three guys away. But that was never going to happen. This was a pretty claustrophobic episode, somewhat of a second rate Tennessee Williams' play. Pretty depressing throughout. I had some distant relatives in Staten Island who had a house that was way spookier than this one. Really spooky.

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Route 66, season 1, episode 3, The Swan Bed

Soldiering on I've hit the third episode with a motherload of fine actors, but a very convoluted plot. The episode is called " The Swan  Bed" and if they had just stuck with that one concept that would have been confusing enough.

First we have the actress Betty Field, a fine actress, who is well known as being the girl who was  strangled by Lon Chaney Jr in "Of Mice and Men." Drunken and embittered, Betty is living in a shack at the New Orleans Waterfront with her young beautiful daughter Zina Bethune. Apparently Betty stayed there because it was near a deserted nightclub where she met the love of her life. He bought her one thing and that was the bed with the swans on top.

Zina Bethune was a young popular actress on television, one of my mother's favorite soap stars. Zina starred in the female answer to the TV doctor epidemic of the early sixties, "The Nurses".

We got the Stars and the plot, but then it just keeps piling on.

Zina's only neighbor on the dock is a rummy of an old man who lives on his houseboat with his parrot. He may be the only friend she has and sometimes he lends her money.

The Dockside rummy is played by the great actor Henry Hull, well known as "The Werewolf of London"  So writer Stirling Silliphant gives this old actor soliloquies, opportunities to wax philosophic while the girl or Buz look at him in awe.

But Henry's is important to the plot as he's involved in parrot smuggling with a group of mobsters.

Then Murray Hamilton pops up out of nowhere. He's a City Health officer who is discovering a number of local deaths associated with parrots-- parrot fever from the smuggled Birds.

That's pretty much the whole plot. Tod meets Zina downtown where she works and hooks up with her, while Buzz reacquaints himself with an old girlfriend. Buz's girlfriend happens to be a stripper who has a gimmick of working with-- you've already guessed it-- a parrot.

Yes, enough said that somehow this is a one-hour dramatic plot.

Zina gets mixed up with the mobsters when she borrows money from Henry's drawer, but it's really belonging to them.

The result is they go after her and Buz and Tod protect her. Or I should say Buz finishes them off single-handedly-- two or three times.

Silliphant manages to give us a happy ending with Buz's girlfriend not dying from parrot fever, with Betty and Zina moving out of the dump into a better life and with Henry not being murdered by the mobsters.

That was a lot even for Tod and Buz to handle-- not to mention the TV viewer.

But as always, the boys leave with everyone in New Orleans a little happier than they were before.

 

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On ‎7‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 7:20 PM, darkblue said:

God said to Abraham "kill me a son".

Abe said "man, you must be puttin' me on".

God said "Abe", Abe said "what?"

God said "you can do what you want, but next time you see me comin', you better run".

Abe said "where you want this killin' done?"

God said "out on highway sixty six".

 

Bob sure could write back then, couldn't he?

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This is the kind of episode plot that could only happen on TV. Tod and Buz and Buz's date for a wedding are all at the Cleveland train station waiting for the girl who Tod is going to escort to the wedding who is coming in from Chicago. Also at the station is a police detective who is escorting a sadistic murderer, played by that great thespian Mr. Rod Steiger, to prison. Steiger keeps on whining that he wants to see his brother who lives in the area. The detective, played by that great thespian Mr. Ed Asner, finally gives in and out of all the people in the station asks Tod to go get the brother and dumb old Tod, who is due at the wedding in a few hours, agrees! It turns out the brother is not really Steiger's brother but one of his criminal employees. He shoots Lou Grant and Lou Grant wounds him. To make sure he cannot be traced Steiger wastes his fellow bad guy and takes Tod hostage. For some reason Steiger takes Tod to the wedding but they only stay a little while. Buz is suspicious and writes down the license number of the car and the police find it in front of the house of Steiger's bad guy. Rod takes the bullets out of his gun goes outside and commits suicide by police. He leaves a note explaining what a dumb bastard he is. See not only is Steiger a sadist he's one of those criminals who enjoys telling people about himself in long dull monologues. Just shoot me already, please. For the most Steiger manages to keep his inner Lee J. Cobb in check, but the whole idea behind this is so absurd that it really doesn't matter. Tod also has one of his worst pickup lines. He has a picture of the woman he is supposed to meet at the train station and looks at a few women to see if he can recognize her. After he has an extended conversation with one who is not the woman he apologizes for his mistake then adds That's a mistake I would like to make for the rest of my life. Shoot him, please. 

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11 hours ago, Vautrin said:

This is the kind of episode plot that could only happen on TV. Tod and Buz and Buz's date for a wedding are all at the Cleveland train station waiting for the girl who Tod is going to escort to the wedding who is coming in from Chicago. Also at the station is a police detective who is escorting a sadistic murderer, played by that great thespian Mr. Rod Steiger, to prison. Steiger keeps on whining that he wants to see his brother who lives in the area. The detective, played by that great thespian Mr. Ed Asner, finally gives in and out of all the people in the station asks Tod to go get the brother and dumb old Tod, who is due at the wedding in a few hours, agrees! It turns out the brother is not really Steiger's brother but one of his criminal employees. He shoots Lou Grant and Lou Grant wounds him. To make sure he cannot be traced Steiger wastes his fellow bad guy and takes Tod hostage. For some reason Steiger takes Tod to the wedding but they only stay a little while. Buz is suspicious and writes down the license number of the car and the police find it in front of the house of Steiger's bad guy. Rod takes the bullets out of his gun goes outside and commits suicide by police. He leaves a note explaining what a dumb bastard he is. See not only is Steiger a sadist he's one of those criminals who enjoys telling people about himself in long dull monologues. Just shoot me already, please. For the most Steiger manages to keep his inner Lee J. Cobb in check, but the whole idea behind this is so absurd that it really doesn't matter. Tod also has one of his worst pickup lines. He has a picture of the woman he is supposed to meet at the train station and looks at a few women to see if he can recognize her. After he has an extended conversation with one who is not the woman he apologizes for his mistake then adds That's a mistake I would like to make for the rest of my life. Shoot him, please. 

Watched this one yesterday and I don't recall Lou Grant in it?  Wasn't he in Minneapolis at that time running a TV station newsroom?  Yes I know Asner played Lou Grant, but couldn't resist.

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7 hours ago, TheCid said:

Watched this one yesterday and I don't recall Lou Grant in it?  Wasn't he in Minneapolis at that time running a TV station newsroom?  Yes I know Asner played Lou Grant, but couldn't resist.

Maybe he was between jobs at The Detroit Free Press and WJM. I find it hard to believe that any police detective even back then would allow a murderer to have his "brother" visit him in a room in a train station on the way to prison. The whole thing happened so fast it was a little confusing at first what had gone down.

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4 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

Maybe he was between jobs at The Detroit Free Press and WJM. I find it hard to believe that any police detective even back then would allow a murderer to have his "brother" visit him in a room in a train station on the way to prison. The whole thing happened so fast it was a little confusing at first what had gone down.

Ah, the joys or reversing.  It was a little too stagy as the partner used Tod's body to block Ed Asner from getting to his gun in time.  Or at least that is the perception I get.   Of course no police officer would have sent a stranger to pick up the "brother" and bring him back.  Then let both of them walk in without frisking them.

I also thought Rod Steiger's character was too mean to actually walk out into a hail of bullets with no bullets of his own.

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1 hour ago, TheCid said:

Ah, the joys or reversing.  It was a little too stagy as the partner used Tod's body to block Ed Asner from getting to his gun in time.  Or at least that is the perception I get.   Of course no police officer would have sent a stranger to pick up the "brother" and bring him back.  Then let both of them walk in without frisking them.

I also thought Rod Steiger's character was too mean to actually walk out into a hail of bullets with no bullets of his own.

That one scene really needed a slow-mo replay. Steiger certainly was shown to be a very nasty and sadistic character. I figured he knew his time was up and didn't want to spend the rest of his life in prison so he choose suicide by cop. Though up to that point you wouldn't have been surprised if he decided to go out shooting at the cops in a blaze of glory. 

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7 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

That one scene really needed a slow-mo replay. Steiger certainly was shown to be a very nasty and sadistic character. I figured he knew his time was up and didn't want to spend the rest of his life in prison so he choose suicide by cop. Though up to that point you wouldn't have been surprised if he decided to go out shooting at the cops in a blaze of glory. 

But the bride got married and lived happily every after and had a good honeymoon with the money Steiger gave her.  And Tod and Buz got to date a couple of bridesmaids.

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Next episode. Tod and Buz are now working construction for a well-off Serbian-American played by Jack Kruschen. Kruschen was on TV quite a bit at this time, often playing an excitable ethnic character who wasn't afraid to get angry or let the teardrops flow in the same episode. Hey, whatssa matter with youse. This America, such a crazy country, etc. The boys get off on the wrong foot with Jack and his son but Jack invites them home of dinner and they make up. There is also a daughter, played by Madlyn Rhue. Dad wants the boys to take her out and show her a good time, which they are happy to do. She goes for Buz instead of Tod. She's a bit on the moody side and keeps on getting headaches, which says to any veteran TV watcher brain tumor or something along those lines. No surprise that she has a medical condition and is expected to live for only a few more months. After much yelling and screaming, and Buz being trapped by her brother riding an earth mover, she decides to see if something can be done about her condition by the medical profession. These folks are prosperous. They all ride around in Caddies with big old tail fins. But what use is a Caddy if you're going to die soon. Okay episode but nothing special. After so much melodrama you kind of become immune to it. 

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You just watched Episode 9 from Season 3.  Congratulations!  

"After so much melodrama you kind of become immune to it."  Don't expect a lot different for the next several episodes. If you have not seen them, watch them.  Ep. 15 set in Hernando MS is somewhat better.  Tod is on his own in Ep 13 and following.  Ep. 14 has the return of Julie Newmar.  Ep. 23 has the introduction of Lincoln Case as Tod's traveling partner. 

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1 hour ago, TheCid said:

But the bride got married and lived happily every after and had a good honeymoon with the money Steiger gave her.  And Tod and Buz got to date a couple of bridesmaids.

Until the feds traced the money to them and they had to pay it back with interest. They did get those two dates, even if Tod had to wait another three hours before going back to the train station to meet his. 

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1 hour ago, TheCid said:

You just watched Episode 9 from Season 3.  Congratulations!  

"After so much melodrama you kind of become immune to it."  Don't expect a lot different for the next several episodes. If you have not seen them, watch them.  Ep. 15 set in Hernando MS is somewhat better.  Tod is on his own in Ep 13 and following.  Ep. 14 has the return of Julie Newmar.  Ep. 23 has the introduction of Lincoln Case as Tod's traveling partner. 

And in the next episode Tod and Buz jump the shark, well sort of. I may have seen the one with Julie Newmar but I don't remember for sure. Yes, it's time to cue up September Song for Buz because he's getting near his final episode.

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17 hours ago, Vautrin said:

Until the feds traced the money to them and they had to pay it back with interest. They did get those two dates, even if Tod had to wait another three hours before going back to the train station to meet his. 

I thought about that, but then we really never heard where the money came from and they would have to prove it was related to a specific crime.

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5 hours ago, TheCid said:

I thought about that, but then we really never heard where the money came from and they would have to prove it was related to a specific crime.

The whole plot was so outlandish that who knows what could have happened. That was mostly a joke about the feds coming after the newlyweds. I don't think it's made clear exactly what crime Steiger got the money from so it might have been difficult for anyone else to be held responsible. 

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Tod and Buz jump the shark and live to tell about it. Not really. They find work as assistants to a research scientist played by Leslie Nielsen in his pre-comedy days. Nielsen is out on the ocean catching sharks to see if they can help in lowering cholesterol in humans. I think that's the basic idea. There is also a sexy assistant along for the research. The trouble is he is so dedicated to his work he is neglecting his wife and young son. The wife feels frustrated, the son misses his dad. Joanne Linville plays the long suffering wife, a role she often had on TV shows of the time, in addition to the plain jane who is looking for love. The son is played by that famous child thespian Ronny Howard a.k.a. Opie Taylor. After much tumult and sour glances, Leslie sees the error of his ways and in the finale comes to see the importance of family. Buz and, to a lesser degree Tod, both take their shots at the sexy assistant, but she is more interested in ocean sharks than those on land. Average episode to which the sharks give a little added interest. I'd think Ronny Howard was too busy on The Andy Griffith Show to be a guest star on another show but maybe he was a little tired of Mayberry and wanted to see California. 

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An alcoholic episode. Tod and Buz are working in some kind of quarry and living in an apartment in a working class section of St. Louis. One of their neighbors is a guy who plays piano at a faux 1890s bar and his son. The guy is an alki who largely subsides on a steady diet of boiler makers. Dad is also involved with a group of guys who want to rob a factory payroll and need a wheelman. Why anyone would want a drunk to be their wheelman is a puzzler. Buz connects with the son through their love of playing the drums. Dad keeps on drinking boilermakers, but backs out of the robbery. The son cannot accept that daddy likes to soak up the booze like a sponge. Buz takes him to a version of junior AA but he can't take it and runs away and ends up climbing near to the top of the quarry where Tod and Buz help to get him back down to terra firma. Dad finally knows he need to stop boozing so sonny boy will have a better life. The end. Harry Guardino plays the dad and one of those child actors of the time plays the son. As drunks go, Guardino is not bad, not like those whiny self-pitying alkis you'd like to hit over the head with a full bottle of Cutty Sark.

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12 hours ago, Vautrin said:

An alcoholic episode. Tod and Buz are working in some kind of quarry and living in an apartment in a working class section of St. Louis. One of their neighbors is a guy who plays piano at a faux 1890s bar and his son. The guy is an alki who largely subsides on a steady diet of boiler makers. Dad is also involved with a group of guys who want to rob a factory payroll and need a wheelman. Why anyone would want a drunk to be their wheelman is a puzzler. Buz connects with the son through their love of playing the drums. Dad keeps on drinking boilermakers, but backs out of the robbery. The son cannot accept that daddy likes to soak up the booze like a sponge. Buz takes him to a version of junior AA but he can't take it and runs away and ends up climbing near to the top of the quarry where Tod and Buz help to get him back down to terra firma. Dad finally knows he need to stop boozing so sonny boy will have a better life. The end. Harry Guardino plays the dad and one of those child actors of the time plays the son. As drunks go, Guardino is not bad, not like those whiny self-pitying alkis you'd like to hit over the head with a full bottle of Cutty Sark.

Haven't watched it in a long time, but remember it as fairly depressing.

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8 hours ago, TheCid said:

Haven't watched it in a long time, but remember it as fairly depressing.

It is pretty depressing as most shows involving alcoholics are. The ending is upbeat since Guardino has seen the error of his ways and is ready to move forward without the help of boilermakers.

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Curtains for Buz? Likely. Tod and Buz are in a nightclub where a mentalist/spiritualist predicts the future in her act. She tells Tod that in a few days he will kill Buz. At first Tod doesn't think much of it and Buz just makes jokes about it. Spending more time with the woman, Tod comes to believe in her psychic powers and starts to freak out while Buz keeps laughing it off. The woman has a father who is one of those investigators who is skeptical of the supernatural. Maybe she is partly reacting against dad, like the preacher's kid. Tod gets more and more kooky as some events seem to lead to the prophecy's fulfillment. At the end Buz survives though it was a close call. Hard to think that an Ivy League wiseacre like Tod would be dumb enough to take it seriously, but he does. This might be George Marharis' last appearance. He does not appear in the two Sunday episodes though he still gets billing in the opening credits. In one of these episodes Tod makes a reference to Buz being in the hospital again as he was in some of the later second season episodes. Funny that in Buz's last episode he was predicted to die.

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52 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

Curtains for Buz? .....This might be George Maharis' last appearance. He does not appear in the two Sunday episodes though he still gets billing in the opening credits. In one of these episodes Tod makes a reference to Buz being in the hospital again as he was in some of the later second season episodes. Funny that in Buz's last episode he was predicted to die.

Actually he shows up one more time five episodes later. Episode 17, A Gift for A Warrior.  Supposedly he was hospitalized in Cleveland and Tod has scenes where he is talking to him on the phone, but you only hear Tod's side.  After Episode 17 he is gone for good and I don't think ever mentioned again.  Tod meets and eventually pairs up with Lincoln Case (Glen Corbett) in Episode 23, Fifty Miles From Home.

The solo Tod episode are actually fairly good and a good contrast to the ones where he is part of a duo.

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