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Danger Man Season One (1960-1961)

250px-Danger_Man_titles_screenshot.jpg

British spy/adventure series, with 39 half-hour episodes. Patrick McGoohan stars as John Drake, an American operative working for NATO. He travels all over the world on various missions, everything from rescuing high-profile kidnapping victims to thwarting drug rings and smuggling operations, from stopping assassins to solving public health crises. He often goes undercover, adopting the guise of the loud, obnoxious Ugly American type to lower the guard of his enemies. He generally eschews the use of guns, and is positively chaste compared to the womanizing James Bond stereotype. I thought McGoohan was very good in the lead, an unusual mix of honorable man-of-action and quick-witted malcontent. The stories got pretty monotonous by the end of the season, with many of the set-pieces repeated, and the guest cast reappearing as different characters.

Danger+Man+01+%252866%2529+copy.jpg

The guest cast features many performers who would later appear in the James Bond films, including Lois Maxwell, Donald Pleasence, Robert Shaw, Honor Blackman, Charles Gray, Zena Marshall, Nadja Regin, Walter Gotell, Burt Kwouk, and Anthony Dawson. Other notable guests include Barbara Shelley, Hazel Court, Sam Wanamaker, Mai Zetterling, Nigel Green, George Coulouris, Bevely Garland, Jackie Collins, Judy Carne, Hermione Baddeley, Jack MacGowran, and William Marshall. 

MV5BMjM1NTUxNDg1NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTM3

The spy adventure was one of the signature genres of the 1960's, and many cite Danger Man as ground zero for the phenomenon. It wasn't the first, but it was the impetus that led to The Avengers on TV, to the James Bond films, as well as the shows The SaintThe Man from U.N.C.L.E.Mission:Impossible, and more. However, this first (and technically only...but more on that in a moment) season wasn't very well received when it aired in the U.S. on CBS, and the show was ended. McGoohan was the first choice to play James Bond in the films, but he thankfully turned it down (too much sex!), and it went to Sean Connery. Meanwhile, after the genre exploded in popularity by the middle of the decade, Danger Man was revived, although changed a great deal. It went to an hour-long format, the character was made a British agent (although the John Drake name was kept), and the US title was held over: Secret Agent, while also adding the hit theme song "Secret Agent Man".  This series eventually led to The Prisoner and cult immortality, but that's a story for another day...

Source: Amazon Prime

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45 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Danger Man Season One (1960-1961)

This series eventually led to The Prisoner and cult immortality, but that's a story for another day...

In fact, it's often hinted that No.6 was the retired John Drake, but McGoohan was beginning to weary of the earlier series, and would have none of such theories.

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9 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Danger Man Season One (1960-1961)

250px-Danger_Man_titles_screenshot.jpg

British spy/adventure series, with 39 half-hour episodes. Patrick McGoohan stars as John Drake, an American operative working for NATO. He travels all over the world on various missions, everything from rescuing high-profile kidnapping victims to thwarting drug rings and smuggling operations, from stopping assassins to solving public health crises. He often goes undercover, adopting the guise of the loud, obnoxious Ugly American type to lower the guard of his enemies. He generally eschews the use of guns, and is positively chaste compared to the womanizing James Bond stereotype. I thought McGoohan was very good in the lead, an unusual mix of honorable man-of-action and quick-witted malcontent. The stories got pretty monotonous by the end of the season, with many of the set-pieces repeated, and the guest cast reappearing as different characters.

Danger+Man+01+%252866%2529+copy.jpg

The guest cast features many performers who would later appear in the James Bond films, including Lois Maxwell, Donald Pleasence, Robert Shaw, Honor Blackman, Charles Gray, Zena Marshall, Nadja Regin, Walter Gotell, Burt Kwouk, and Anthony Dawson. Other notable guests include Barbara Shelley, Hazel Court, Sam Wanamaker, Mai Zetterling, Nigel Green, George Coulouris, Bevely Garland, Jackie Collins, Judy Carne, Hermione Baddeley, Jack MacGowran, and William Marshall. 

MV5BMjM1NTUxNDg1NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTM3

The spy adventure was one of the signature genres of the 1960's, and many cite Danger Man as ground zero for the phenomenon. It wasn't the first, but it was the impetus that led to The Avengers on TV, to the James Bond films, as well as the shows The SaintThe Man from U.N.C.L.E.Mission:Impossible, and more. However, this first (and technically only...but more on that in a moment) season wasn't very well received when it aired in the U.S. on CBS, and the show was ended. McGoohan was the first choice to play James Bond in the films, but he thankfully turned it down (too much sex!), and it went to Sean Connery. Meanwhile, after the genre exploded in popularity by the middle of the decade, Danger Man was revived, although changed a great deal. It went to an hour-long format, the character was made a British agent (although the John Drake name was kept), and the US title was held over: Secret Agent, while also adding the hit theme song "Secret Agent Man".  This series eventually led to The Prisoner and cult immortality, but that's a story for another day...

Source: Amazon Prime

1289963837_1.jpg

I watched this as a kid, but always remember it with the "Secret Agent Man" title theme music, I'm assuming that the original series had just the harpsichord theme that you here just after the Johnny Rivers song? or maybe not. 

"The stories got pretty monotonous by the end of the season, with many of the set-pieces repeated, and the guest cast reappearing as different characters."

Agree with you there.

 

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Backlash (1947) A body in a burned car at the bottom of Mulholland Drive, is believed to be that of a criminal lawyer. When it's discovered that the car was in first gear and was likely pushed off the road the police suspect murder. The lawyer's wife, his partner, and an ex-convict are suspected of the crime. But the body was incorrectly identified. Again another time waster with Jean Rogers, Richard Travis, and Larry J. Blake. 

Backlash Poster

6-6.5/10

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I watched a lot (but not all) of TEA AND SYMPATHY (1956) because I always do.

Ironically, VINCENTE MINNELLI was not the right director for this. MINNELLI was a good director, but he was not an honest director. He is all about the facade- the colors, the sets, the red in Kerr's hair- I bet you he even personally replanted her flowergarden on the soundstage set in Culver City every day...with Minnelli, the actors and the script rank in importance somewhere below whether or not to use Forsythia blossoms in a scene even though the film is set in the Fall.

my mind goes back to that OBVIOUSLY GAY CHOREOGRAPHER character in DESIGNING WOMAN, who MINNELLI has avow his heterosexuality ("I have two children...") in spite of the fact that in the climactic fight scene he throws some leg kicks and demi-entrechants that would make MOIRA SHEARER envious....

every time i see it, I just can't help but think "Gurl..."

Watching TEA AND SYMPATHY I found myself constructing a scenario where, in the hazy process of contracts and legalities, FRITZ LANG found himself assigned to direct instead of Minnelli.

In his version, now called SISTER BOY, I see neon signs blinking and an air of sleaze, I see SISTER BOY stabbing the hooker/waitress and ensnaring Kerr into his web like a femme fatale. I see the husband taking the fall for a crime he did not commit and someone gets an ice pick to the sternum in the final scene.

(at least it's a more honest film that what we have now...)

EDIT- kee-ripes! I think I fixed all the misspellings of "MINNELLI." All apologies, if one is going to be critical of someone (even lovingly) one should get the name spelled correctly!

EDIT EDIT: NOPE. MISSED ONE! JEEZ!

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I hate to nitpick Lorna, (as you are probably on your phone) but there are 2 Ns in Minnelli.

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4 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I hate to nitpick Lorna, (as you are probably on your phone) but there are 2 Ns in Minnelli.

DANG IT.

I halfway thought so but in my old age, I am getting too lazy to google; gimme some credit for remembering the "e" at the end of VINCENTE (which I only remember because I used to live in LA and took SAN VICENTE BLVD everywhere)

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5 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

I'm assuming that the original series had just the harpsichord theme that you here just after the Johnny Rivers song? or maybe not. 

No, it was a loud, brassy jazz theme. Here it is below:

 

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Thanks, never saw that opening, now it makes me think that all I've seen were the hour long shows.

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I never got into Secret Agent Man, as I knew the show, as a kid. But when it came to British TV imports I sure liked Roger Moore as Simon Templar in The Saint, as well as The Avengers during the two seasons that featured Diana Rigg as Mrs. Emma Peel.

I watched, off and on, all six seasons of The Saint (it took me two and a half years to get through the DVD box set) recently. The show is okay, but Moore's smoothness and aplomb is the best thing about the show. The writing is rather ordinary.

The Mrs. Peel Avengers episodes had far more imaginative story lines, some of them more than a little bizarre and "out there" but often with an endearing self spoofing sense of humour that was lacking in The Saint. Mrs. Peel in tight black leather outfits was the stuff of some very pleasurable dreams for me as a teen.

pan-of-Emma-Peel-in-leather-animated-gif

And, yes, sometimes it got a little kinky

giphy.gif

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3 minutes ago, TomJH said:

I never got into Secret Agent Man, as I knew the show, as a kid. But when it came to British TV imports I sure liked Roger Moore as Simon Templar in The Saint, as well as The Avengers during the two seasons that featured Diana Rigg as Mrs. Emma Peel.

I'll be watching a lot of that stuff as I move through the 60's. I have the rest of Secret Agent and The Prisoner, plus The Saint, available through Amazon Prime. I have the Emma Peel seasons of The AvengersThe Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Mission: Impossible on DVD to watch. Unfortunately, I don't have access to the earlier seasons of The Avengers, and I know that most of the first season episodes are lost.

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8 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

I'll be watching a lot of that stuff as I move through the 60's. I have the rest of Secret Agent and The Prisoner, plus The Saint, available through Amazon Prime. I have the Emma Peel seasons of The AvengersThe Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Mission: Impossible on DVD to watch. Unfortunately, I don't have access to the earlier seasons of The Avengers, and I know that most of the first season episodes are lost.

I've seen a few of the earlier Avengers, with Patrick Macnee and Honor Blackman and found them incredibly dull with very routine stories, and little, if any, of the humour that so distinguished the far more stylish later episodes once Diana Rigg entered the series. Of course, the Blackman Avengers also look quite visually primitive, which doesn't help, done on now faded video tape, I believe, before later switching to 35mm film by the time that Mrs.Peel had entered the series.

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Yes, I've seen some too. Pretty dull and talky. The series didnt really catch fire until Mrs. Peel (Diana Rigg) joined the team.

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59 minutes ago, TomJH said:

I never got into Secret Agent Man, as I knew the show, as a kid. But when it came to British TV imports I sure liked Roger Moore as Simon Templar in The Saint, as well as The Avengers during the two seasons that featured Diana Rigg as Mrs. Emma Peel.

I watched, off and on, all six seasons of The Saint (it took me two and a half years to get through the DVD box set) recently. The show is okay, but Moore's smoothness and aplomb is the best thing about the show. The writing is rather ordinary.

The Mrs. Peel Avengers episodes had far more imaginative story lines, some of them more than a little bizarre and "out there" but often with an endearing self spoofing sense of humour that was lacking in The Saint. Mrs. Peel in tight black leather outfits was the stuff of some very pleasurable dreams for me as a teen.

pan-of-Emma-Peel-in-leather-animated-gif

And, yes, sometimes it got a little kinky

giphy.gif

 

LOL. Emma as the Queen of Sin, I believe, in one of my fav. episodes (don't ask). I think there were 3 seasons (at least in the U.S.) with Peel. I totally lost interest after Rigg left. Linda Thorson was sadly lacking and I couldnt stand that Mother character they added to the show.

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7 hours ago, Hibi said:

 

LOL. Emma as the Queen of Sin, I believe, in one of my fav. episodes (don't ask). I think there were 3 seasons (at least in the U.S.) with Peel. I totally lost interest after Rigg left. Linda Thorson was sadly lacking and I couldnt stand that Mother character they added to the show.

I wanted to be Emma Peel, and my sister, our friends, and I would act out Avengers episodes in the backyard, and I would always insist on being Emma Peel.  Unfortunately, I still can't put on eyeliner and at 5'1" would never look good in a catsuit.  Regarding Patrick McGoohan, there may have been other things I may have wanted to do.... Oh, that stoic, sexy Scotsman!  I went from watching the 9 Lives of Thomasina crying over the cat and the little girl in my childhood to lusting after the father in my adolescence.

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MISSING LINK (2019) *Score: 5/10*

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Thompson. 

A Laika Studios film about an explorer, Lionel Frost (Jackman), whose goal is to search for the elusive Sasquatch and bring back proof of its existence to London, so he can join a local prestigious gentlemen's club. 

I try to make an effort to support some of the "little guys" in theaters, since Disney doesn't necessarily need my money to survive. I typically really enjoy Laika's films, but this one kind of fell short, in my opinion. I much prefer "Coraline" and "ParaNorman..." The animation style and overall tone of the film were definitely on point, though, and fit the theme of the rest of Laika's repertoire. I liked this one, but I won't be buying it for my personal collection. 

Image result for missing link 2019

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9 hours ago, rosebette said:

I wanted to be Emma Peel, and my sister, our friends, and I would act out Avengers episodes in the backyard, and I would always insist on being Emma Peel.  Unfortunately, I still can't put on eyeliner and at 5'1" would never look good in a catsuit.

Ah, Mrs. Peel, Mrs. Peel. There will always be a place in my heart for this bright, impudent, stylish, sexy lady. I'm happy to say that, having seen her two seasons with The Avengers a couple of years ago on DVD, the shows holds up quite well.

It's a shame that Diana Rigg wanted to move on to other things and left the series as soon as her contract allowed her to do so. She and Patrick Macnee brought a suave touch of sophistication to the show which has endured the years in tact, no matter how incredibly silly and implausible the story lines may be at times (we forgive the silliness because of the show's wink-wink at the audience sense of humour).

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e678fb3287712e848c858d846acbb917.gif

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The Gold Rush (1925) 7/10

One of Chaplin's most highly regarded films and this was the first time I saw it. It seemed to me to be several great comedy bits strung together more than one coherent story. And the best bits are hilarious- eating the shoe, mirage of the chicken, dancing with rolls and the house on the edge.  

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20 hours ago, TomJH said:

I never got into Secret Agent Man, as I knew the show, as a kid. But when it came to British TV imports I sure liked Roger Moore as Simon Templar in The Saint, as well as The Avengers during the two seasons that featured Diana Rigg as Mrs. Emma Peel.

I watched, off and on, all six seasons of The Saint (it took me two and a half years to get through the DVD box set) recently. The show is okay, but Moore's smoothness and aplomb is the best thing about the show. The writing is rather ordinary.

The Mrs. Peel Avengers episodes had far more imaginative story lines, some of them more than a little bizarre and "out there" but often with an endearing self spoofing sense of humour that was lacking in The Saint. Mrs. Peel in tight black leather outfits was the stuff of some very pleasurable dreams for me as a teen.

pan-of-Emma-Peel-in-leather-animated-gif

And, yes, sometimes it got a little kinky

giphy.gif

In one word-

YUM!

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On 4/17/2019 at 9:05 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

I watched a lot (but not all) of TEA AND SYMPATHY (1956) because I always do.

Ironically, VINCENTE MINNELLI was not the right director for this. MINNELLI was a good director, but he was not an honest director. He is all about the facade- the colors, the sets, the red in Kerr's hair- I bet you he even personally replanted her flowergarden on the soundstage set in Culver City every day...with Minnelli, the actors and the script rank in importance somewhere below whether or not to use Forsythia blossoms in a scene even though the film is set in the Fall.

my mind goes back to that OBVIOUSLY GAY CHOREOGRAPHER character in DESIGNING WOMAN, who MINNELLI has avow his heterosexuality ("I have two children...") in spite of the fact that in the climactic fight scene he throws some leg kicks and demi-entrechants that would make MOIRA SHEARER envious....

every time i see it, I just can't help but think "Gurl..."

Watching TEA AND SYMPATHY I found myself constructing a scenario where, in the hazy process of contracts and legalities, FRITZ LANG found himself assigned to direct instead of Minnelli.

In his version, now called SISTER BOY, I see neon signs blinking and an air of sleaze, I see SISTER BOY stabbing the hooker/waitress and ensnaring Kerr into his web like a femme fatale. I see the husband taking the fall for a crime he did not commit and someone gets an ice pick to the sternum in the final scene.

(at least it's a more honest film that what we have now...)

EDIT- kee-ripes! I think I fixed all the misspellings of "MINNELLI." All apologies, if one is going to be critical of someone (even lovingly) one should get the name spelled correctly!

EDIT EDIT: NOPE. MISSED ONE! JEEZ!

I am sure that Vincente Minnelli knew that he was dealing with a falsified version of "Tea and Sympathy", not the already famous play that everybody said COULD NOT BE DONE.

Well, the famous play was not done - the subplot involving Laura Reynolds' husband's homosexuality was dropped.

Dropping the REAL HOMOSEXUAL from the plot meant that the screen version was now about what was happening to Tom Lee, in other words, homophobia.

On that basis, I think that Vincente Minnelli did a very fine job.

Don't forget that Mr. Minnelli was often thought to be a homosexual, too.

Yes, the indelible Minnelli trademarks are there, that is, the attention to "the facade".

Yes, Minnelli packed a watered-down version of some pretty explosive material with considerable wallop.

If he hadn't, that devastating ending - Tom, meeting the husband, the long-departed Laura and her letter - would not have hit home so hard.

Forced to work with a lot less, Vincente Minnelli delivered a "Tea and Sympathy" that was different, but no less true - the ingrained destructiveness of homophobia.  

tea+sympathy+5.png

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13 hours ago, rosebette said:

I wanted to be Emma Peel, and my sister, our friends, and I would act out Avengers episodes in the backyard, and I would always insist on being Emma Peel.  Unfortunately, I still can't put on eyeliner and at 5'1" would never look good in a catsuit.  Regarding Patrick McGoohan, there may have been other things I may have wanted to do.... Oh, that stoic, sexy Scotsman!  I went from watching the 9 Lives of Thomasina crying over the cat and the little girl in my childhood to lusting after the father in my adolescence.

Ah, Memories. LOL. Mrs. Peel really became a 60s tv icon. The show wasnt the same after she left. It's a shame she didnt stay with the series a bit longer. I dont think she realized at the time the impact she made.

The show is running on some station now. I think it's Charge. But it runs at odd times and I forget to check. Never know which actress will be on as they show all 3. I'm not interested in the other two.

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I had to check LIKE for all the Avenger posts. Loved the show and Diana Rigg as Mrs. Peel. Great chemistry between Diana and Patrick MacNee, you just knew that there must have been some hanky panky between Mr. Steed and Mrs. Peel at some point.

Glad that Honor Blackman took the role in Goldfinger, that's why she left the show. Diana was the best and was perfect in the role but I still watched when Linda Thurson showed up as Tara King and she was fine in the role. It was just different, she was more naive than Mrs. Peel, if that's the right word.  I also loved the theme song and even though I haven't heard it in years, I can still humm it. Just a great show.

There was a PBS British tv movie that was shown in many parts many years ago called MOTHER LOVE. It starred Diana Rigg and David McCallum. It was fantastic and I'm always on the search to find it.

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4 minutes ago, lavenderblue19 said:

I had to check LIKE for all the Avenger posts. Loved the show and Diana Rigg as Mrs. Peel. Great chemistry between Diana and Patrick MacNee, you just knew that there must have been some hanky panky between Mr. Steed and Mrs. Peel at some point.

Glad that Honor Blackman took the role in Goldfinger, that's why she left the show. Diana was the best and was perfect in the role but I still watched when Linda Thurson showed up as Tara King and she was fine in the role. It was just different, she was more naive than Mrs. Peel, if that's the right word.  I also loved the theme song and even though I haven't heard it in years, I can still humm it. Just a great show.

There was a PBS British tv movie that was shown in many parts many years ago called MOTHER LOVE. It starred Diana Rigg and David McCullum. It was fantastic and I'm always on the search to find it.

Laurie Johnson's score/theme was a big part of that show. It wasn't really Thorson's fault. The producers wanted a character totally different than Rigg/Mrs. Peel. But I wasn't interested in that. Or that Mother character.

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Season Two through Season Six are available on tubi: https://tubitv.com/series/2120/the_avengers

It is so many years since I have watched Season One that I remember virtually none of it. I have read that John Steed was more of a companion than the lead during that season and that Dr. David Keel was the focus. Some of IMDB.com's descriptions of the episodes seem to support this.

 

 

 

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