Riley worked in an aircraft plant in California, but viewers usually saw him at home, cheerfully disrupting life with his malapropisms and ill timed intervention into minor problems. His ... See full summary »
If, in 1940, you had a lobotomized aunt, an institutionalized father, a racist mother, and were the only gay kid on the block, what do you think the odds would be that you'd end up a Tony ... See full summary »
The famed slugger is played by Bendix, who resembles Ruth slightly in looks and not at all in baseball ability. The film traces the "life and times" of Ruth, including his famous "called ... See full summary »
Roy Del Ruth
Stories of the journeys of a wagon train as it leaves post-Civil War Missouri on its way to California through the plains, deserts and Rocky Mountains. The first treks were led by gruff, ... See full summary »
Ex-baseball player Bill Johnson (William Bendix'), failing at many jobs when his ball-playing days are over, reluctantly takes the advice of his father-in-law, Jonah Evans (Ray Collins), a ... See full summary »
Charming and wise Lily Ruskin lives with her daughter and son-in- law who, along with her close friend Hilda Crocker, are always trying to find suitable older marriageable companionship for... See full summary »
Riley worked in an aircraft plant in California, but viewers usually saw him at home, cheerfully disrupting life with his malapropisms and ill timed intervention into minor problems. His stock answer to every turn of fate became a catch phrase: 'What a revoltin' development this is!" Written by
Viewers of this classic comedy were guaranteed to hear that immortal line when any of Chester A. Riley's schemes had gone astray which they inevitably did.
Bill Bendix created The Life of Riley on radio where Riley became the originator of all those father is an idiot family situation comedies. Riley's phenomenal success on radio gave Bendix stardom and placed him a cut above other fine character actors in films and right into the same money making area as some of the screen's leading men.
I remember this show on television and television in its infancy took a lot of its original programming ideas from radio. As a kid I loved to see lovable, bumbling Riley with all these schemes constantly screwing up and yet his family was there for him no matter what.
What I didn't appreciate then was this TV series had an incredible
array of some of the finest character actors ever to grace the small screen. Any film that would have the likes of Tom D'Andrea, Sterling Holloway, Henry Kulky, Emory Parnell, and Douglass Dumbrille we would consider a classic. All these appeared semi-regularly on The Life of Riley.
We would have to wait 40 years until Burt Reynolds' Evening Shade debuted to have such a company of talent under one roof.
Chester A. Riley, native Brooklynite, transplanted Californian, chaser of the American dream, blue collar hero and family man extraordinaire, we salute you.
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