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Everything posted by exapno

  1. The host for the January Friday Night Spotlight: Neil Simon will be.....(drumroll)...Ken Levine Who's Ken Levine, you might ask? Ken Levine (pronounced La- VINE, not La Veen), is a veteran TV writer/director, whose credits - usually with partner David Isaacs pretty much cover the cream of the late 70s/80s sitcom crop. Levine and Isaacs produced/story edited the Silver Age of MASH after Larry Gelbart left. They were the prime writing force for the initial (and series defining) season of CHEERS, and after leaving there, still contributed many, many fine scripts for that show. they also wro
  2. My 80 yr old was born in Missouri...then moved to Kansas - the real family home. She spent her life from age 12 on in Salina, Ks. I got to spend several summers out there as a kid (Im from Orange Co NY), so I always try to catch Picnic whenever TCM shows it, as several scenes were shot in Salina. The very beginning of the movie, with William Holden hopping of the freight train, and the grain elevator scenes were shot there - in fact, if you look closely you can see a grain elevator with 'Salina' on it! And all the scenes in the 'rich' part of town were done at Salina, where the well off pa
  3. Joe Adamson's classic, GROUCHO, HARPO, CHICO, and SOMETIMES ZEPPO, sums up pretty well the difficulty surrounding the production of COCOANUTS (proper 'improper' spelling) - which included the idea that no one had any clue how to make a musical! Also somebody at Paramount concluded that they needed to feature Oscar Shaw and Mary Eaton more than the Marxes - to the point of giving THEM the fade out!. And lets not forget that, the brothers were still on Broadway with ANIMAL CRACKERS, so, they were shooting COCOANUTS during the day, and then running to the 44th St Theater to do ANIMAL CRA
  4. Just about all the kids in A Christmas Story were real good - and the adults too. And I will make the obligatory Natalie Wood in Miracle on 34th St reference before anyone else! Only the Barone kids of Everybody Loves Raymond were shown less than poor Larry Mathews in TDVDS.... Edited by: exapno on Nov 14, 2012 11:07 PM
  5. Love thelittle programmers RKO used to do with nothing but character actors in it. Stuff like the 1937 THE LIFE OF THE PARTY, that has as its 'stars' : Joe Penner (that should be enough right there), Gene Raymond, Harry 'Parkyakarkus' Towne, Harriet Hilliard (pre-Ozzie), Victor Moore (of course), an at best 14 year old Ann Miller, Billy Gilbert - because they needed an orchestra leader, Franklin Pangborn, and best of alll - the one and only Margaret Dumont. Several thoughts occur viewing that list 1. Yes, Joe Penner and Parkyakarkus do schtick together - a sight most memorable.. 2
  6. *Capuchin:* The only things they did with the reworked was: Replaced all the flybys with new ones, instead of having the same old fly by and orbit shots, there are slightky different ones for each show - and even then they pretty much followed what had been there before - only done better. all of the space effect shots of course - things like the Fesarius in the Corbomite Maneuver are subtly awe inspiring now A lot of the old matte paintings were upgraded - in Requiem for Methusalah, they had reused the fortress from The Cage, but now its a grand original palace for Mr Br
  7. .*UniversalHorror:* Are seriously comparing Ray Harryhausen's work to the stuff done by Hollywood optical houses like Westheimer and Cinema Research?? I have found it amusing that some Trek fans have been so...inflexible in their thinking about the CGI upgrades in these episodes - to the point of not even TRYING to watch one or two see what they are like! I think Roddenberry would be horrified that some of his 'people' have grown to be so intolerent of change and so set in their ways, they could not even try and look at one or two, Considering that it was supervised by people that
  8. A good use of CGI in 'helping' an old piece out was in the recent reworking of the original *Star Trek* series. The original model effects in the show were at best OK - even for 1966/7/8/9, so any reworking of then would have been helpful, but there are certain episdes where there was marked improvement to the point of making the episodes even better. The classic case of this was the already superb episode, "The Doomsday Machine", where instead of a crude sock for the title machine, and an AMT model kit for the crippled starship Constellation, you now get a fully realized and SCARY machin
  9. John Landis in his heyday seemed particularly fond of the 'curtain call' end credit sequence. In *Trading Places*, the shot used for each performer was one where there were breaking up or smiling at the end of a take - all except Don Ameche. And in *Animal House,* if you did not stay to the end of the credits, you missed the wonderful bit where they added on to the 'When in Hollywood, visit the Universal Studio Tour', with 'ask for Babs'! And of course, the Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker team practically put a patent on the 'inserting funny asides into the end credits' thing, the first, for *Ai
  10. I remember Tony Martin mainly from TV shows like Dean Martin and The Hollywood Palace while I was growing up then, of course, as the "composer" of the Tenement Symphony in Four Flats from THE BIG STORE. RIP BTW-I think you're right about him being the final Marx movie survivor. Bruce Gordon was in LOVE HAPPY and he died in 2011. Other than the uncredited kids from THE BIG STORE furniture department, there's no other possibilitiies. Maybe some of the kids in the Punch and Judy segment of MONKEY BUSINESS.might be around. The last writer was Irving Brecher, who passed in 2008
  11. No Margaret Dumont? Actually, the challenge would be to schedule her day without overloading on the Marxes....but it is doable...I think....
  12. *http://tinyurl.com/c6688av* {font:Verdana,Geneva,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif}{size:16px}Not many left, are there? Without having to do much research, almost a certainty that he was the last living participant in any Marx Brothers film...unless there is someone I am unfamiliar with. {font}
  13. In Horsefeathers, Groucho, as papa Quincy Adams Wagstaff, is only 11 years older than 'son' Zeppo.....but who expects realism from the Marx Brothers?
  14. Million Dollar Legs would have been perfect to show to honor the Olympics...
  15. Ham: Since the 1945-52 Occupation, English has been freely mixed in with Japanese in commercial usage. Look up some Japanese commericals on YouTube, and you will see what I mean. The Japanese pro baseball leagues using English on their uniforms is another good example. Actually just about every product in Japan uses English on its packaging in some ways. My brother in law has traveled over there a few times for work (he is a cartoonist/caricaturist), and even knowing just a small smattering of Japanese symbols, found it fairly easy to get around there.
  16. Speaking of music, the writer forgot to mention how wonderful Akira Ifukube's score is - moody...atmospheric, and about as good a score as you will find in this or any genre.
  17. On Friday evening, TCM is showing the original, uncut, Japanese verison of the first entry in the Godzilla series, known as *Gojira*. For those who are used to the bastardized American version with Raymond Burr, this could be be quite a shock, as it is quite a serious and somehow more scary version of you might used to from your basic Japanese monster movie. No punches are pulled, as American atomic testing is openly blamed for Godzilla/Gojira's appearence, the implications of the 'solution' are much much clearer. There is a great article on the TCM website: http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/5567
  18. One of the important things that early (1950's/60's) television did was give regular work to the character actors, and sometimes made them close to being real stars - people like Bill 'Fred Mertz' Frawley, William 'Uncle Charlie' Demarest, Edgar 'Uncle Joe' Buchanan had all had relatively OK careers doing character bits in films, but TV made them celebrities. It was also mentioned about Jack Webb and his little in-house troupe of actors/drinking buddies/friends. Even after the 60's version of DRAGNET died in 1970, a lot of these people still showed up in its semi-spinoff ADAM-12, and ADA
  19. Polecat: There were little items about 10 years ago that Danny DeVito was shopping around a Marx Brothers pic.....but, as the saying goes, who the heck would you get to actually play them?
  20. What is easy to forget about Mr Howard, is that he was a known quantity in Hollywood BEFORE TAGS. And he worked every hiatus on at least one movie. I think Billy (LOST IN SPACE) Mumy has said more than once that he was always everyone's second choice if Howard wasn't available. And it certainly was a big plus that his dad AND mother were very Hollywood savvy, and also insisted that he could have a semblence of a 'normal' kid life; making sure he could play Little League, do Cub Scouts, etc. And being around Andy Griffith, Danny Thomas and Sheldon Leonard also was a big plus, as THEY were
  21. There are several factors in regards to HDTV which come into play; 1. Type of screen 2. Stated Resolution (i.e. 1080i or 720p) 3. Signal source and believe it or not 4. Manufacturer This is the set up in our house; Downstairs living area : A Vizio 50 series 1080i Mother's room: a Philips 43 series 1080i My room: A Sony 43 series *720p* We have TW HD service, all three rooms also have a Philips Hard Drive SD recorder - all of which connect using a S-video or component wire to the TVs. I also have a Roku HD streaming box, which connects vi
  22. The big myth is, of course, is that nothing interesting happened in Rock n Roll in the early 60s. What REALLY happened was that there was no one/two/three acts that DEFINED the period. Buddy Holly was dead, Elvis got drafted, and when he got out, the first thing Parker did was put him on TV with Frank and Dino, so that KILLED a lot of his street cred. Chuck Berry got railroaded on that bogus Mann Act thing, Little Richard started preaching, etc, etc. There was plenty of good music around, just no one sustainable trend or act(s) to keep one focused. The best term to describe 1962/63 in mus
  23. In case one is interested, there is apicture of Ms Bittman about 3/4 of the way down this page: http://www.ozonline.tv/Georgia/Oz/Oz6-1/featurestory.shtml
  24. Ah yes, MAD...was there ever a bigger influence on pop culture? Beyond the humor, MAD legally set the precedent of parody being a legal form of self expression - that alone has saved many many creators in varying forms. But when you figure that MAD was the foirst to brilliantly skewer MADison Ave -especially on cigarette ads (ironically, the MAD offices ended up BEING on MADison Ave). Not to mention the inaneaty of network televison (even more irony - the aforementioned offices were in the old CBS office building,!) I would LOVE to be able to see their subscription list from the mid 60's, th
  25. I don't think there was ever as many of the WB Studio Stores as there were Disney Stores. However, I think they made up for it by having showcase stores in the bigger cities. For example, they had a HUGE store on Fifth Ave in NYC, right net to FAO Schwartz, which was like five stories!! All the stuff was very high quality, and its a shame that somebody in the Warners executive suite decided that they were not making enough of a profit on them, and started shutting them around 2000 or so....
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