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Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole (1972)
Susan Hayward's Swan Song.
Susan Hayward was a star. She was a huge star. Why she is not better remembered today is a mystery. If nothing else, this 1972 TV movie, which would prove to be Hayward's swan song, reminds us of how great a screen presence she was. In "Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole" Hayward commands the screen no matter if the material is somewhat routine. The viewer is unable to take their eyes off her. She truly is magnificent. She gets strong support from Darrin McGavin and, especially, Jeanette Nolan. This film is becoming hard to find and is rarely televised but it is definitely worth viewing. "Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole" demands a DVD release if for no other reason than as a historical testament of the final film appearance of Susan Hayward and to remind audiences of today that she was one of the great American movie stars.
A Taste of Evil (1971)
Classic Chiller with Parkins and Stanwyck in Top Form
I just found a copy of this classic 1970's chiller on ebay. To my surprise, it is just as effective watching today as I remember seeing it as a child. There are many genuine thrills and chills as Barbara Parkins plays a young woman returning to the creepy mansion where she was traumatized as a child. Barbara Stanwyck plays her mother. Both actresses, fresh off their respective 1960's TV series' "Peyton Place" and "The Big Valley," give excellent performances. Parkins was an underrated actress and is truly memorable in her role of the terrorized girl. She is also very beautiful. Stanwyck is dignified and elegant and this film is a reminder of the great talent that was hers. This movie is a forgotten gem. It would be great to see it released on DVD someday.
Backstory: Valley of the Dolls (2001)
VALLEY OF THE DOLLS has the last laugh!
This American Movie Classics special is a fascinating look back at a cult classic, 30 years after it's release. Critics were unmerciful when "Valley of the Dolls" was originally released in 1967. VOD, however, has had the last laugh. It has stood the test of time and is remembered today while many of the critic's darlings of 1967 have long been forgotten. This special attempts to tell why.
The segments on Sharon Tate and Judy Garland are sad reminders of what might have been. The real treats here are the up to date interviews with the movies two stars, Patty Duke and Barbara Parkins.
Ms. Duke appears to be finally enjoying her legacy with "Valley of the Dolls." She has proven herself to be an accomplished actress many times over as her Oscar and multiple Emmy Award wins will attest. However, when all is said and done, she will always be linked to and remembered as Neely O'Hara.
It is doubly exciting to see Ms. Parkins who has been absent from the movies and TV for too long. She is as beautiful today as she was in 1967. She still has that magical voice that melts your heart.
I hope they include this 30 minute special on the eventual DVD release of "Valley
Law of the Land (1976)
Don Johnson and Barbara Parkins bring glamour to the old west.
This who dunnit set in the old west is enhanced by the beauty of Don Johnson and Barbara Parkins in their youthful prime. Parkins is cast as a prostitute targeted as the next victim of a serial killer. Johnson is a drifter who becomes a hero. Parkins is beautiful. She is one of the most underrated actresses of the 1960s and 70s. Johnson went on to Miami Vice and stardom. The rest of the cast, including Darleen Carr and Jim Davis, do a fine job as well. Although in many ways, this is a routine Western. There is nothing much original in the plot. However, the top-notch cast makes Law of the Land memorable. I think I read somewhere that this movie was a pilot for a proposed series that never took off. Too bad. It is highly watchable and has long been a favorite of mine. It would be nice to see Law of the Land receive a DVD release.
This bio is as campy as anything Jacqueline Susann ever wrote.
This bio is as campy and trashy as anything jacqueline Susann ever wrote. Michele Lee does an excellent job in her impersonation of Susann. Unlike Bette Midler's recent performance as Jackie in the movie "Isn't She Great", Lee is believable and makes the audience care. As an added treat, Barbara Parkins show up as Susann's book editor and gets to mutter the line, "Where is Barbara Parkins?" as she watches a scene from "Valley of the Dolls" be filmed. Whether you are a Jacqueline Susann fan or not, this one is worth checking out.
Susann would have loved it!
Forget Me Never (1999)
Mia Farrow gives an excellent performance
Mia Farrow gives an excellent performance in this rare TV outing. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her role as a woman suffering from the onset of Alzheimer's disease. It is so realistic that, at times, it is difficult to watch but the viewer is rewarded with a satisfying conclusion. I highly recommend this film.