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"The Monkees" Monkees Mind Their Manor (1968)

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Directed by Peter Tork

5/10
Author: kevin olzak (kevinolzak@yahoo.com) from Youngstown, Ohio
2 February 2014

Broadcast no. 55 (Feb 26 1968), "Monkees Mind Their Manor" is clearly a throwback to the first season, with the added distinction of being directed, for the first and only time, by Peter Tork, whose birth name is 'Peter Halsten Thorkelson' (the 'H' in 'Thorkelson' being silent). Davy returns to England to claim his inheritance, the estate of eccentric Lord Malcolm Kibbee, provided he remain for five years; otherwise, the nearby townspeople will lose their homes to the Kibbee nephew, drunken sot Lance (Jack Good). Hardly working for his commission is hard working Sir Twiggly Toppin Middlebottom (Bernard Fox), who tries to foil the group's attempts to save the estate by holding a medieval fair. Laurie Main spends more time on floors than Jack Good, an actor better known as producer of SHINDIG! (who later wrote and produced 33 1/3 REVOLUTIONS PER Monkey, Peter Tork's farewell to the band). Short but funny turns also come from Billy Benedict, previously seen in "Monkee Mayor," and Jack H. Williams, who banters with Davy about doing double duty in front of as well as behind the camera, ending with a Dean Martin tribute that doesn't go unnoticed by mummy Micky. Longtime Hollywood Britisher Reginald Gardiner, who started out in Hitchcock's "The Lodger" in 1927, here garners a few laughs playing the nearsighted butler, in his very last role. This would be the fifth and final appearance of Goffin-King's "Star Collector," the lone song featured, while snippets of "Greensleeves" and "Iranian Tango" (Davy's second song) made the rounds on vinyl bootlegs over the years. As a director, Peter Tork is less experimental than Micky, and worked with a more conventional script as well; his final verdict on his work was that his pacing was just too slow. Perhaps he just wanted to try his hand behind the camera one time, for he never actively pursued a career outside music. 56th in production, filmed Dec 5-7 1967, next up- "Some Like It Lukewarm."

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