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This is my favorite episode of this series. The great Jack Albertson plays the last human alive in a world populated by computers. He plays Sam an actor. The reason he is kept alive by the computers is they can't understand how Sam can act with such style which these logical computers can't copy. They don't understand how emotion can bring about a staged performance. They gave SAM a computer wife who tries to make his like tolerable but she is programed to love him, it's not natural. He has a big fight with his wife and kills her and he is arrested.
But as it turns out they are more interested in how Sam gives a performance than his killing his wife. The arresting officer even says, "To murder your wife is one thing, a wife can always be patched up or replaced. But refuse to give information to the Central Information Bank, that's very serious Sam, that's a felony". Sam then escapes from the police and finds refuge in an old theater, when a small boy shows up, who seems to know one of Sam's old routines. Sam is curious of the boy and suspicious. I don't want to spoil the rest of the episode for anyone, but the ending of the show is very memorable
This is a very interesting episode, almost like a Twilight Zone allegory. I must of watched the one show like 200 times and it's never bored me. Jack Alberson gives the best performance of his career and he's given many great ones. If it ever shows up anywhere I think it's required viewing.
Everything's Ducky (1961)
A childhood favorite
This was a favorite of mine growing up. I watched many times whenever it cropped up on a local TV station, and even went to see it when a local church showed it one Saturday morning. It's plot is about two misfit sailors (Mickey Rooney and Buddy Hackett) who become friends with a talking Duck named Scuttlebutt. The duck was a favorite of a brilliant scientist, he decided to speak just like his scientist friend. Now the Navy after the scientist's death need to find a formula the late scientist had developed and realize that the duck might have the formula in his brain and want to kill him to read his brain. So our two sailor heroes try to save Scuttlebutt from that fate.
Yes, it is as silly as it sounds, but the actors and direction by Don Taylor actually make it somewhat believable. There is a wonderful scene with Rooney alone on a park bench, where two other sailors and their girls are making out on each side of Rooney. Rooney plays the scene well and it's very funny. After watching it again today i can see why I loved it so much as a young boy, and it's still fun for me today. Don't expect a great movie here, but if you are a fan of Rooney's or Hackett's, they are in fine form and show the promise of a great comedic team, just like they did a few years later in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. I wish that they actually made more films together. But as i said it is worth a look, especially if you have small children around.
A Christmas gem that deserves to be seen again
For years I only remembered bits of this special, but I also remembered how heartwarming it was. It was about how a Jewish congregation decided to help there Christian neighbors by that over their jobs on Christmas eve, so the Christians could have the evening off. I remember clearly Howard Gould volunteered his son, Barry Pearl, to take Wolfman Jack's place as DJ for the evening. Then his son who didn't want to be be volunteered, didn't show up, Gould himself took over, But the son, after hearing his dad's disc patter, decided to come down and do the job himself. I also remember a couple taking over a local pub, where the regular customers loved the Christmas stew that was always served. But an accident happened, and they only have a small amount of it. But the wife recognized the stew as some Jewish dish and made replacement stew and everyone was happy.
I would really like to see this special again, especially around Christmas. Maybe Halmark will finally release their old specials on DVD. I can only hope.
The Paper Chase: War of the Wonks (1984)
Kingsfield Vs. Machine, guess who wins
This is one of the funniest episodes of the entire series. When the head of the Law Review, Gerald Golden, has his parking space taken by a computer geek, called a wonk, he has the wonk's car stolen This starts a war between the law review and the wonks. The war reaches the high point when the wonks takes over all of the law reviews hours on the schools mainframe, as well as the wonks dismantling Golden's car and putting it back together inside the law review office. That's when Professor Kingsfield takes over and challenges the wonks, him versus the computer. If he wins the law review gets their hours back.He also comments that Golden's left front tire needs some air. Will Kingsfield win and get the precious hours back so Golden can finish this months edition of the Law review, or will he lose. That's all the fun in the episode. The performances are wonderful, especially Michael Tucci as Golden. His despair and almost falling into madness are wonderful to watch. I just love it when they lose all access to the computer mainframe, so he walks over to his car, closes the windows and then screams.
There also is a nice subplot between first year law student Soloway, (Steben Peterman) falling in love with a wonk girl, and having both sides trying to pull them apart. A wonderful gem of an episode is just one gem in an excellent series, that should be put on DVD one of these days, as more people should know how great this show is.
I wish I could see this childhood favorite again.
I saw this when I was like 8 and 9. It was about a District Attoney played by Fred Clark, who died shortly after this film aired, who decides that Mother Goose is a bad influence on our nation's youth and is prosecuting into baning Mother Goose from our country. Mother Goose then appears and changes him back into a child and then sends him off to Mother Gooseland where he meets and interacts with all the characters and stories. All the mother Goose characters are played by stars, but the only ones I remember are the 3 Stooges, Moe, Larry, And Curly Joe who play the 3 men in a tub. We also see all the guest stars as real people at the beginning at the trial where they are mad at Fred Clark for what he is doing.
This aired as a 2 part episode of the '60's ABC series Off To See The Wizard which featured classic MGM family films cut to two parts with wraparound animation of Dorothy, Toto, The Wizard, The Scarcrow, Tin man, and Cowardly Lion. This aired twice and then a year later as a movie in syndication. But I haven't seen it since.
Much Better than La Cage Aux Folles II
While I liked La Cage Aux Folles II I was a little disappointed that instead of focusing on the characters that made the first one so good, they focused on stock plot number 9: getting our heroes involved in a spy plot.
This go-around Renaldo is having money problems with La Cage and all his hopes in pinned on Alban's inheritance from a rich Scotish uncle. The problem is that Alban can only inherit his uncle's fortune if he marries and has a child within a year. After engaging a matchmaker and other problems, they mean an unwed mother who is willing to marry Alban. Will Alban marry the girl and they and Renaldo live happily ever after, and what about Renaldo's in-law Deputy Charrier? Watch and enjoy. This film will fill you with a lot of laughter.
Keep the Faith (1972)
I wish that I could get a copy of this on DVD
This was a failed pilot that aired twice on CBS in the spring and Summer of 1973. It was about Rabbi Miller (Convy)trying to establish himself at his first synagogue. Giving him advice is his mentor, and older Rabbi Mosman (enjoyably played by Howard Da Sliva. Miller has his first problem when he fires the temple's caretaker, Rosenthal (Henry Corden, the second voice of Fred Flintstone). Rosenthal is related to members of the temple's board, especially the pretty Miss Ross (March). Miller then makes things worse by hiring the completely incompetent Mr. Pink (Milton Seltzer, in an hilarious performance). It was very funny funny with a lot of funny dialoge which I still remember so many years later.
La Petite Parade (1959)
One of my all time favorites
This was a favorite cartoon from my youth. I not only remember seeing it on TV but also one night at our local drive-in. For years I feared that I'd never see it again. Just my memories of the little matchmaker in front of various officials, recreating the morning parade, "Every morning at 7, Rattatata rattatata, rattatata, tam Ze King, rattatam La premier, rattatatam the lord ministers, boom boom, ratatatam the army, ratatam navy, ratatatam, the department sanatair, boom plop, Filthy, disgusting".
Then about 8 years ago I got it when the Family channel had a daily showing of Harveytoons one. I taped it every morning, getting a bunch of Herman and Katnups, Little Audreys, and Casper's when one morning they showed, a modern Madcap called, "La Petite Parade". More recently I transfered this gem to DVD so I can always have it.
Wish this was on DVD
Bob Hope was planing a big special called "Bob Hope: The Road To Hollywood", which was the title of his latest book, that he co-wrote with Bob Thomas. This special was to be hosted by his friend Bing Crosby, and to be filled with clips and all of Hope's friends. When Bing suddenly died on a golf course, Hope delayed that special and instead quickly put together this special. Which is filled with clips from a lot of Crosby's appearances from previous Hope Specvails. Not just clips mind you but the full sketches. We have Hope renting Crosby's home while his own house is being painted. Then after Crosby makes Hope sign a lease and pay rent, he gets a call from a realtor saying that a couple want to come over to buy the house and now Crosby has to get rid of Hope before the couple shows up. Then there is a spoof of Bonanza where Crosby plays Pa Cartwheel, Hope plays all 3 sons and Juliet Prowse shows up as a traveling saleslady. We also see Hope fighting champ Rocky Marciano at the new Madison Square Garden with Crosby as the referee. Wealso have them doing the old routine they used to do at parties and even sing each other's songs. There also is a number of clips from the Road movies. It all ends with a clip of Crosby singing, "Have you heard what I heard" and then Hope's final rememberences about his good friend. It was a wonderful special, and one of the best TV tributes of a star that I ever saw. I wish the Hope estate will finally release his old specials especially this one.
Dramatic pilot for McHale's Navy
This episode served as the original pilot for McHale's Navy. But don't expect Tim Conway nor Joe Flynn here. In fact Lt. Commander Quinton McHale (Ernest Borgnine) is the commanding officer of the navy PT boat island base, Taratupa. In the late spring of 1942 the Japanese bombed the base, when it was over it was devastated, only out 150 men, 18 survived. They kept in hiding of Japanese patrols, till Lieutenant Durham (Ron Foster) parachutes onto the island. His job is to get Taratupa back into action, but it's an up-hill job.
The men have gone native and one of them has even started a native laundry service, and McHale has a still and makes moonshine for the men and the natives too. McHale is buddy buddy with the native chief and even bathes with him.McHale is afraid of losing any more men, he's just concerned about their survival and getting rescued. That is till they receive orders about protecting a Marine battalion pinned on a beach and an enemy cruiser is planning to attack the beachhead in the morning. They are ordered to use all boats they have to protect the beachhead. But since the Japanese has sunk all their boats, what McHale does capture a Japanese PT boat, who has come to patrol the island. McHale doesn't plan to use the boat to evacuate the battalion, but to attack and destroy the Japanese cruiser. His plan is that since they're on a Japanese boat, flying a Japanese flag, that they can get close enough to torpedo the cruiser.
This is a dramatic war story interlaced with humor. Only the relationship with the local native chief, and their still and laundry businesses are retained in the show that eventually made it on the air as "McHale's Navy". Beside Borgnine the only other actors that made it to the series were Gary Vinson as Christy and John Wright as Willy. Other than those three actors this is a completely different cast. It's very good and while the show it will eventually be is an old favorite of mine, I wonder why this pilot didn't get picked up. It would have made an interesting series.