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This was one of my favorite television programs when I was a child. I was delighted when I recently found some episodes on home video. It holds up well. Wally Cox does a magnificent job of portraying a loner with a deeply romantic soul. I found something melancholy about his performance that I certainly didn't see when I was a child. The film was based on a series of short stories by Paul Gallico, written in the late 1930's, in which Hiram Holliday fought Nazis. The character in the book was described as slightly overweight, and seemed much less of a bookwork than the character Wally Cox portrayed. I would like to see a feature film remake with Kevin Spacey in the lead, but I'm sure it will never happen.
I also remember somewhat vaguely "The adventures of Hiram Holiday", they were excellent for their time and really wonder if they would stand up to the test of present time. Memory is a funny thing, something like this is generally best left as a hazy memory than revisiting them and being extremely disappointed. In this case I feel confident I am not wrong and would very much like to locate a copy on video or if possible on DVD. I don't know if there are any archives of this programme /series available to down load or purchase or to which direction I could be pointed so as to revisit this childhood film / TV memory. I seem to remember Hiram Holiday always had an umbrella with him, which on more than one occasion managed to help him out of some dangerous situation. I look forward to hearing from any others who can help revive these memories. Mark
I'm surprised that nobody has done a remake or theater version of it. I think it would be perfect for David Hyde-Pierce. If Hiram was updated, he could be working for the CIA or Homeland Security. As I recall, he was an absolute master of languages & dialects & a martial arts expert (if you can accept a rolled-up umbrella as a weapon). Maybe the country isn't ready yet for a spoof of our semi-sacred national security establishment but I always think that a little black humor can be a tonic for the soul. It might even work into a video game format, although it was probably too tame for current tastes. Maybe it is better to leave it in the past when times were simpler.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Crikey, was it really so long ago? I'm obviously shooting from a much
longer memory that I care to measure. However, I recollect the small,
thin bespectacled bloke with a girlish voice quite clearly.
Here, he got into all manner of bizarre adventures, but unlike the more typical Alpha males, used wits and knowledge to effect an escape or solution. Wally Cox had the character to perfection, in my childish eyes. He was the American equivalent of our then Charlie Drake, whose physical dimensions and voice had a striking similarity. Except that Drake played a buffoon.
He had a straight, sardonic side-kick played by Ainslie Price and one might wonder what the bond was that sustained their relationship. In the 1950's, it was perfectly usual for men to have companions or buddies or whatever, as with 'Batman' 'The Lone Ranger' 'The Range Rider' and so on. Nobody seemed to question their sexual orientation. But repeat-screened today, this effeminate little pixie would likely be a cult gay hero. Such are the times.
I guess any recordings are long since gone. As indeed are the actors.
There is an episode of it on YouTube.
What is weird about this show, even though it didn't even last a season, it went into syndication in the early sixties.
That is where I saw it and according to Wikipedia was one of the first American shows broadcast daily in the UK.
I thought it was great when I was a kid and the episode on YouTube is very funny.
What a great premise, a nerd superman and just perfect for Wally Cox who plays him perfectly.
Why it didn't catch on is a mystery to me.
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