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Posts posted by rayban

  1. 0374 of 1300


    William Bendix was a character actor who made a name for himself in Hollywood playing tough guys. It was an image he lampooned in comedies. He did several light-hearted films for Hal Roach-- they were part of a series of streamliners (stories that were only 45 minutes long). At Paramount the material was much darker. He earned an Oscar nomination for his role in WAKE ISLAND; then was paired with Alan Ladd in thrillers like THE GLASS KEY and THE BLUE DAHLIA. In THE BLUE DAHLIA, he was cast as a returning serviceman suffering from post-traumatic stress. In the late 40s and early 50s, he was back to making comedies. He starred as the title character in the big screen version of LIFE OF RILEY (a part he did on radio and television), then had a fun turn in Columbia’s KILL THE UMPIRE. His output slowed in the 50s & 60s, but there were still good roles in films and on television. A later assignment reunited him with pal Alan Ladd in THE DEEP SIX; and there was work on TV’s The Untouchables. By the mid 60s, a series of health problems began to sideline the actor. Near the end, he was hired by producer A.C. Lyles for a low-budget Paramount western.


    William Bendix present and accounted for..!

    I could never forget him in "Lifeboat" or "The Blue Dahlia".

    • Like 2
  2. Today, on MeTV, on "Gunsmoke", an absolutely gripping episode about a young Indian who became obsessed with killing the man (Neville Brand) who had murdered his father and sister.


    The young Indian was played - beautifully - by Teno Pollick - and nearly in the nude, too.


    Teno Pollick was one of the more serious loves in Tony Perkins' life.


    Teno was extremely protective of his relationship with Tony and could become easily jealous of any looming liasions.


    Tony's mother, who liked Teno, promised to leave him a great deal of money in her will.


    It is generally believed that she was trying to keep Teno in line.


    But, when she died, she left Teno nothing.


    He felt very betrayed by Tony's mother.


    Anyway, Teno was memorable in this "Gunsmoke" episode.



    • Like 1
  3. One of the problems is that TCM does not show her films. Every so often, the William Holden picture turns up (and it's a real charmer). But I don't think SORROWFUL JONES has ever aired on TCM. 

    "Father Was A Bachelor" does sound like a charmer. 

    • Like 1
  4. 0373 of 1300


    Mary Jayne Saunders was a child star who made movies in the late 1940s and 50s. Her debut film was a big hit—she played the little orphan girl in Bob Hope’s classic comedy SORROWFUL JONES. It was a remake of LITTLE MISS MARKER, with Mary Jayne taking Shirley Temple’s old role. The following year, she appeared in FATHER WAS A BACHELOR with William Holden. She also costarred with Rosalind Russell in A WOMAN OF DISTINCTION. Most of the films she did were family comedies. She took a break during the mid-50s to focus on her schooling, but returned to the big screen in 1959. That time, she was featured in THE REMARKABLE MR. PENNYPACKER as one of Clifton Webb’s daughters. During the early 60s, she could be seen on TV sitcoms and westerns, usually as characters much younger than herself. In 1967, she gave up show biz when she married a professional baseball player and became a mother.


    Mary Jayne Saunders present and accounted for..!

    I just do not remember her.

  5. I was speaking to Jarrod about the lack of any overt sex on this show.


    Jarrod brought up the topic of Standards and Practices at the time of "Gunsmoke".


    So, it is very interesting to me that Roger Ewing (as Thaddeus or Thad) is developed - quite openly - as a "male virgin".


    It probably could not have happened on any other show.


    But Ewing's "virginity" is very appealing.


    I am not being negative about it.

    • Like 1
  6. The casting of Charles Briles (Eugene Barkley) must be one of those rare instances in which a TV show had cast just too many characters - and then decided to get rid of one of them.


    It's too bad, because he was an appealing performer.


    Quite obviously, this first season is making the most of Lee Majors, though.


    Everybody behind the camera seems to be betting on Heath as the breakthrough character.


    And Heath is obviously very tied into Nick Barkley as his "lifeline".


    So, when Nick attacked Heath yesterday, because he thought that Heath was fooling around with his girl, it was a terrible, terrible wrenching out of the developing warmth between Heath and Nick.


    But, in the process, Nick was almost paralyzed - and suffered lots of pain, too.


    But the girl in question was sent "packing", as it were - because the love between brothers is very important.


    In this kind of circumstance, "a mere girl" does not stand a chance.



    • Like 1
  7. 0372 of 1300


    Stuart Whitman started doing uncredited parts in movies during the early 50s. He quickly gained experience and a reputation as a dependable performer. The roles increased in stature, though he would not really hit his stride until the late 50s, when he had a good part in DARBY’S RANGERS at Warner Brothers. He also appeared in Warners’ remake JOHNNY TROUBLE, where he played the title character alongside Ethel Barrymore in her last film. Soon he moved over to 20th Century Fox, and in 1960 he had his first lead in the gangster picture MURDER INC. There were many hits for him in the 60s at Fox, including roles in THE COMANCHEROS; RIO CONCHO and SHOCK TREATMENT. He also was cast against type as a child molester in the message drama THE MARK, which brought him an Oscar nomination. By the mid-60s, he was appearing on television just as much as he was in the movies. He had his own weekly western series, the 90-minute Cimarron Strip that aired from 1967-68. In the 70s, his movie career was in decline, but he remained in demand on the small screen. He would continue working until his retirement in 2011. By that time, he had amassed over 200 screen credits.


    Stuart Whitman present and accounted for..!

    He was very good in "The Mark" - and such fun in "The Story Of Ruth".

    • Like 1
  8. Today, on MeTV, on "The Big Valley", there was a terrific episode with Diane Baker as a young woman who was going to marry Nick, but had a terrible weakness - her need to be desired by good-looking men.


    In the end, she was forced to face up to it - and Nick was forced to accept it, too.


    Lovely work by all, and Eugene was even involved too, scampering off with the line, "I'm going back to school."


    We hear you, Eugene, those big brothers can be a pain in the neck! 

    • Like 1
  9. Support The Warwick Rowers Annual Calendar crowdfunding project.


    Today is the last day for contributions.


    Go to [..]





    • Like 1
  10. "Dante's Cove", that gay, campy supernatural thriller is hoping for a 4th Season via a Kickstarter campaign.


    The total cost is $300,000 or $50,000 per episode.


    Yes, they are planning a six-episode arc.


    If you would like to contribute - as I have done - there are any number of options - and prizes, too - go to -






    • Like 1
  11. Definitely one of the best episodes of season 1. Dehner was truly despicable-- probably one of the best villains on this show. A few years later he played Doris Day's silly boss on her sitcom, proving how versatile he was as a performer.


    Silas has a lot to do in the first season. But he's virtually absent in season 2 (only three episodes) because supposedly minority groups objected to the character, which they considered to be written like a slave.

    Jarrod -


    When are you going to write your book on the history of episodic TV in the 50's and 60's?  

    • Like 1
  12. Today, on MeTV, on "Gunsmoke", there was an extraordinarily beautiful young actor by the name of Roger Ewing, who looked so much like James Arness that I am wondering if he actually was the son of James Arness.


    Would anybody know?


    Young Mr. Ewing was given superb support by the great character actor, Jack Elam, who was such a despicable human being that he seemed to have "a warning sign" on him.


    And it looks like Mr. Ewing's character,  Thaddeus, is going to become a regular.

    • Like 1
  13. Today, on MeTV, on "The Big Valley", there was an interesting drama about a no-good family of home invaders who went after Victoria, Audra and Heath and were going to kill them.


    Strangely enough, this could have been an incident for Victoria to rise and shine, but the focus - mistakenly, I think - was put on an ailing Heath and the adopted daughter of the threatening clan.


    Still, Heath and the girl, who was played by Yvonne Craig, were interesting to watch.


    The genuinely disgusting "father" of the clan was played superbly by John Dehner.


    Even the butler, Silas, got caught up in the action.  

    • Like 1
  14. 0370 of 1300


    Helmut Dantine was employed by Warner Brothers in the 1940s, usually in war films or post-war thrillers. The Austrian-born actor was quickly typecast playing Nazis. He costarred in CASABLANCA and EDGE OF DARKNESS, before he was given meatier roles. He headlined HOTEL BERLIN with Faye Emerson, where he appeared in a more vulnerable and more romantic role.  There were other Hollywood films after this, but he was back to playing a villain in Eagle-Lion’s hard-hitting noir WHISPERING CITY. In the 50s, he did stage productions and television before becoming an executive for a motion picture production company. In later years, he was still acting on screen, usually in minor roles in the films he produced. In one of those later pictures, Sam Peckinpah directed him.


    Helmut Dantine present and accounted for..!

    He was such a handsome man!


    I always remember him in "Mrs. Miniver".

    • Like 2
  15. Decades showed Honey West which featured John Ericson with Anne Francis. 


    This was written by my friend Gloria and her how deceased husband Forrest E. “Skip” Fickling.


    One can Google her on the show You Bet Your Life on Youtube.   

    Honey West and Sam Bolt - they deserved a longer life -



  16. 0369 of 1300


    Butterfly McQueen is known for her role as Prissy the maid in David Selznick’s GONE WITH THE WIND. Though her performance in the film is somewhat overshadowed by Hattie McDaniel, who played Scarlett O’Hara’s other devoted servant. After GONE WITH THE WIND, Butterfly McQueen’s most recognized performance is probably the one she did as a housekeeper for Joan Crawford in 1945’s MILDRED PIERCE.  A year later, Selznick would use her again for his epic western DUEL IN THE SUN. But her screen appearances were sporadic, and in the early 50s, she was focusing on television work. After 1957, she remained mostly off screen, until she had a bit of a comeback in the 1970s.  Her last motion picture was the 1986 thriller THE MOSQUITO COAST starring Harrison Ford.


    Butterfly McQueen present and accounted for..!

    Her presence was - startling, to say the least.

    • Like 2
  17. 0368 of 1300


    People usually associate Buddy Ebsen with his iconic TV roles. He is remembered for playing oil millionaire Jed Clampett on the long-running CBS sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies or as a crime investigator in the Quinn Martin production of Barnaby Jones. In both series, he played down-to-earth folksy characters that audiences loved. But Buddy had started as a song-and-dance man on screen in the 1930s. He had a memorable turn for Fox in BANJO ON MY KNEE; as well at MGM, where he danced with his sister Vilma in several BROADWAY MELODY musicals. In 1939, he was cast as the Tin Woodman in THE WIZARD OF OZ, but an allergic reaction to the makeup sidelined him and he lost the role. By the early 40s, he was at RKO, making musical comedies. And later on, he was cast as a cowboy sidekick in Rex Allen’s B westerns at Republic. By the mid-50s, he was appearing mostly on television, but there were still important film roles ahead—such as Audrey Hepburn’s rural suitor in BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S.


    Buddy Ebsen present and accounted for..!

    His dancing style at MGM was - idiosyncratic. 

    • Like 2
  18. Today, on MeTV, on another "Gunsmoke" episode, Ben Cooper returned as - Breck Taylor, I believe.


    He shared the episode with Ken Curtis - as Festus, right?


    They became involved in what appeared to be a "bushwacking" case - but, which turned out to be something else entirely.


    Anyway, Breck and Festus caught the supposed criminals, brought them back to Dodge City and had to contend with a lynching mob.


    Ben Cooper and Ken Curtis worked very well together, I thought, because the two of them are so very different from each other.


    Their scenes together were miracles of subtle underplaying.


    At the end of the episode when Marshal Dillon returned to town, he said to Breck that he thought that Breck was going to keep peace in the town.


    So, they must have been planning on Breck Taylor as a new kind of law and order in Dodge City.


    Ben Cooper was such an engaging performer - well, as I said, he should have become a regular.

    • Like 1
  19. Today, on MeTV on "The Big Valley", there was an interesting episode about Nick Barkley who was bitten by a rabid wolf and then went to a doctor who told him that, if he managed to live beyond 60 days, he was going to be fine.


    Nick decided to use that time to look up a lost love, who, he found out, had died.


    Instead, he met an unmarried woman with a child, who was played by Ronnie Howard.


    When she was dying, she wanted to marry Nick so that her child would have a name.


    On her deathbed, he married her.


    He sent the child back to his mom's Massachusetts roots.


    There was some very interesting interplay with Nick and Heath, who now seem to care deeply for each other.


    In fact, their scenes together had a very homoerotic undercurrent.



  20. This isn't exactly it, but an example I see in film is the plot where everyone in the film hates a character just because they are from a certain family. Like where a parent tells their child not to associate with another child because he's from a specific family and everyone in that family is considered bad. Or, one of the parents committed some wrong, and everyone assumes that their children are the same way. I've seen the theme in a lot of 50s movies in particular; it's not the exact "bad seed"  evilness theory, but it does show that idea of "if the parent was bad, then the kid is automatically bad too".

    Yes, this is a theme that appears in a lot of American films.

  21. I liked the Breck-Landau friendship too. I wrote about it in my review on the IMDb:



    Season 1's The Way to Kill a Killer


    This episode is satisfying to watch. It has a good combination of real-life details, related to the history of diseased animals and immunizations.


    Another plus is the way we see the merging of the Anglo and Latino cultures in California during the late 1800s, which I think is a good thing. Specifically, we watch a meaningful friendship develop among Nick and the ex-thief Mexican (played by Martin Landau).


    The plot is not too rushed, nor is it really dragged out like some of the show's other stories. Before the end of the episode, the Barkley family must be willing to sacrifice their own prized bull in the name of science. It's a risky episode, but it pays off...it not only entertains, but it educates us too.

    Jarrod -


    Do you think that there was some backstory with Charles Briles?


    Maybe he was difficult.


    Or had gotten too much money.


    Suddenly, after more or less ignoring him, they make him an important part of this episode.


    When this sort of thing happens, it usually denotes backstage difficulties.

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