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Vic Morrow question


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You completely misunderstood my posts. I never said I didn't like Morrow or enjoy his work. I'm a big fan of the Combat series. My point has been and still is that he just doesn't have enough of a legacy as a first tier movie actor to be given a tribute by TCM. He also wasn't a character actor so a tribute like the one yesterday for Mary Boland wouldn't work with Morrow IMO.

 

 

 

 

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I'd love to see a SUTS for Vic Morrow. If not, at least TCM should try to get some of those 1950's films he was in - or early 1960's films. There are quite a few you can't find on DVD which I'd love to see. Blackboard Jungle is probably his best film - but he did make many others.

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  • 6 years later...

I've been watching, on Roku, a lot of old Combat! episodes, which I used to watch on TV as a kid in the '60s.  I'm struck by how effortless and understated Morrow's acting was.  It reminds me of Steve McQueen: the ultimate in coolness.  While McQueen is a justifiable star, Morrow never hit those heights, but I feel he projected the same quiet intensity, which is a difficult trick.

Combat! was filled with action and great character vignettes, but relentlessly downbeat and anti-war...not exactly John Wayne stuff.  One of the best tributes to Morrow's acting (found on his Wikipedia bio) is by pop cultural critic Gene Santoro, who says of the Saunders character: "at times you can see the tombstones in his eyes." 

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47 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

And too, Morrow directed a couple of COMBAT's better episodes.  Just don't know the episode titles to help you out .

Sepiatone

Gee, I wonder if Morrow might have directed that episode where during a firefight, one German soldier after another stands up from his entrenched position in order to get a better shot at one of our intrepid American squad of regulars, but only to be shot down himself instead?

(...oh...wait...that was pretty much in ALL the episodes wasn't it...and so I suppose there's is a pretty good chance Morrow might have directed it, huh) 

;)

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3 hours ago, Dargo said:

Gee, I wonder if Morrow might have directed that episode where during a firefight, one German soldier after another stands up from his entrenched position in order to get a better shot at one of our intrepid American squad of regulars, but only to be shot down himself instead?

(...oh...wait...that was pretty much in ALL the episodes wasn't it...and so I suppose there's is a pretty good chance Morrow might have directed it, huh) 

;)

You're right about all those German soldiers conveniently getting shot down.  For me, though, the actual combat scenes are secondary to the character vignettes, stories, and gritty atmosphere.

One episode he directed (again, per Wikipedia) is a two-parter called Hills Are For Heroes which his co-star Rick Jason (Lieut. Hanley) called "one of the greatest anti-war films I've ever seen."

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On 10/4/2007 at 7:17 PM, JoeLynn said:

Is Blackboard Jungle available in color? I don't mind black and white but it would be nice to see it in color.

Since it was filmed in black & white, that's the only way to watch it.  In 1955, some of the exteriors of the high school in Rebel Without a Cause were originally filmed in black & white.  But when Blackboard Jungle was released, Warner Bros. realized Rebel would look too similar, so they made the change to color.  Hence, James Dean's black leather jacket became a bright red jacket.  So if you want to watch a teen rebel movie in color, try Rebel Without a Cause.  Otherwise, I would stick to the b&w version of Blackboard Jungle.

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3 minutes ago, filmnoirguy said:

Since it was filmed in black & white, that's the only way to watch it.  In 1955, some of the exteriors of the high school in Rebel Without a Cause were originally filmed in black & white.  But when Blackboard Jungle was released, Warner Bros. realized Rebel would look too similar, so they made the change to color.  Hence, James Dean's black leather jacket became a bright red jacket.  So if you want to watch a teen rebel movie in color, try Rebel Without a Cause.  Otherwise, I would stick to the b&w version of Blackboard Jungle.

Did you realize that the post you're replying to is from 2007? 

Anyhow,   my take is that for a film like Blackboard Jungle,  B&W is a better "fit" than Color.     There is just a more gritty,   hard,  almost "dirty"  look that reflects the school and neighborhood  that these kids and their teachers are living day-to-day.       Color tends to brighten thing up and that is contrary to what such a film is about.

(of course as filmnoirguy,  you know what I'm getting at!).

 

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Ironically, I met both Rick Jason and Vic Morrow when I was producing TV commercials in L.A. in the 1970s.  I cast Rick Jason as the voice/over talent for a 3M commercial.  One of the nicest guys I ever worked with in La La Land.   A few years later, I sat next to Morrow at a local watering hole and had a fun conversation about Combat! which was one of my favorite TV shows.  And I'm sure we must have talked about Blackboard Jungle---I only wish I had written down the conversation in a notebook!  Little did I know both of these guys would meet with tragic deaths.

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2 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Did you realize that the post you're replying to is from 2007? 

Anyhow,   my take is that for a film like Blackboard Jungle,  B&W is a better "fit" than Color.     There is just a more gritty,   hard,  almost "dirty"  look that reflects the school and neighborhood  that these kids and their teachers are living day-to-day.       Color tends to brighten thing up and that is contrary to what such a film is about.

(of course as filmnoirguy,  you know what I'm getting at!).

 

Yes to 2007, but since TCM has it on its front page today, I thought I'd take a stab at it anyway.  And yes, I get it!  Give me a good old gritty, dirty black & white any day.

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16 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

A guy I knew in high school had such a close resemblance to Rick Jason that those of us who knew him would call him "Hanley".  He hated that.  ;)

Sepiatone

Hmmmm...unless with your added little wink emoji there you were implying your high school chum actually liked the comparison Sepia, I don't know why he would've objected to that. Rick Jason was pretty good-looking guy, wouldn't ya say?!

I mean it's not like you told him he looked like Ernest T. Bass, right?!

(...and a '60s TV character who looked a lot like a guy that I went to school with...and heck, he even acted like him TOO sometimes)

LOL

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I'm not really sure of the guy's objection Darg.   Was probably just tired of it after a while.    Personally, I've often been called "CAJE" since I was little.  Sadly though, it had nothing to do with the COMBAT character (Peirre Jalbert)  but more or less a shortening of my first two initials(K G)  B)

Sepiatone

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21 hours ago, filmnoirguy said:

Ironically, I met both Rick Jason and Vic Morrow when I was producing TV commercials in L.A. in the 1970s.  I cast Rick Jason as the voice/over talent for a 3M commercial.  One of the nicest guys I ever worked with in La La Land.   A few years later, I sat next to Morrow at a local watering hole and had a fun conversation about Combat! which was one of my favorite TV shows.  And I'm sure we must have talked about Blackboard Jungle---I only wish I had written down the conversation in a notebook!  Little did I know both of these guys would meet with tragic deaths.

Those must be two good memories, meeting Jason and Morrow. I read that Jason was despondent over personal issues, and it's such a shame he took his life.  Evidently it was soon after a Combat! cast reunion, and I wonder if he planned it that way.

As far as Morrow goes, like someone else said, he was practically the whole show.  (Although one of my favorite episodes, about some French villagers who were hung by the Nazis, starred Jason.)  Morrow's interpretation of the Sgt. Saunders character is just so powerful.  He was a rock of strength and integrity, and I've always felt that, whether on a battlefield or in an office, I'd want someone like "Sarge" leading me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I loved the show "Combat" and Vic Morrow was such a great actor.   He was underrated, but should have gotten an award for Blackboard Jungle.

He was in a few tv show guest spots....like an episode in Alfred Hitchcock Presents.     I think Combat tv show is where he really shined.

He was extraordinary as Sgt. Saunders.

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