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I always enjoyed this series
I remember watching this series when I was about 10-11 years old with my parents every Friday night at 9:00 on MYSTERY. Ever since that time, whenever I think of Tommy and Tuppence, I think of Francesca Annis and her male actor friend, as I truly loved this series and all of the lush period detail. The only downside was the effect the series had on my late mother, possibly more profound than I believed when she was still alive. Every time we were together in the family care and she saw a period automobile, she would cry: "Oo, look, Anthony! A Tommy and Tuppence car!" Despite this, PARTNERS IN CRIME has remained amongst my favorites of the original MYSTERY! TV series.
The Man Who Never Was (1966)
The title is something of a misnomer
This series involves the adventures of a spy named Peter Murphy who is found out and forced to assume the identity of a millionaire playboy named Mark Wainwright who has been mistaken for him and shot dead. Each episode is 30 minutes long; only the first is on Youtube - put there by LansingFan1 - and from what I could tell, the values were all excellent; having Dana Wynters as the female lead was a wonderful idea; her last appearance was as Robert Ironside's wife Katherine in THE RETURN OF IRONSIDE, a character written to replace that of the Commissioner in the original series. The main problem is that the title is a misnomer, as the premise of the series is the exact opposite of the classic movie of the same name: the dead man, Mark Wainwright, is still legally alive.
The Floorwalker (1916)
I have actually seen outtakes from this film in UNSEEN CHAPLIN.
I have actually seen outtakes from this film in the TV miniseries UNSEEN CHAPLIN, and separately as a boy. It is one of the Tramp's finest performances, bar none, and features my favourite situation, a case of mistaken identity. The Tramp enters a huge department store and is mistaken for the title character, who is his exact double except for the fact that he is taller than him - and I'd like to know how Chaplin managed that! Eventually, of course, everything is straightened out, and the thieving floorwalker is arrested. One of the few times where Chaplin portrayed a villain, this is among the best of the short comedies he directed over the years.
Captain Kangaroo (1955)
I remember this show very vividly
I haven't seen this show for many years, but I remember it vividly. My favourite skit was the Captain's and the Town Clown's retelling of Jack in the Beanstalk, with the silent Clown in charge of the sound effects. As I recall, there were different bits of dialogue for each of the characters ("Hello, my name is Jack!" for Jack, which the clown repeats throughout Captain Kangaroo's retelling of the story, and "Fee Fi Fo Fum" for the giant, and something like "Hello, who's there?" for the Giant's wife and Jack's mother)which appear to come out of the three cups on the table that the clown is using. As usual with the Town Clown, everything went wrong at the end, probably because Keeshan and the shows producers realized that Jack would never say "Hello, my name is Jack!" to his own mother.
3-2-1 Contact (1980)
I loved the Bloodhound Gang
The best part about the show 3-2-1 CONTACT was the part featuring the Bloodhound Gang - Vicki, Richardo and Skip - who always solved cases using science with the aid of their mentor, the mysterious James Bloodhound, the owner of the Bloodhound Detective Agency where they worked. I loved the antics of Richardo in particular, as he wanted to be a magician and loved performing magic tricks. Last year, I looked up the show at this site and discovered the actor playing Richardo was dead and that I had outlived him by more than twenty years! My favourite episode was the one featuring Sally Starfire, an actress who was supposedly haunting her mansion, whose contents were being itemized by her brothers; the gang was called in by Sally's niece and were able to clock her "husband" - Texas Worthington Beauregarde III - as having walked a long distance even though he was supposed to have broken his leg and required a wheelchair to move. Tex is revealed to be Sally, who is in fact alive. This bizarre turn of events, meant to explain the photograph of the ghost taken earlier by Sally's brother, was probably a replacement for the original ending which was scrapped before the actual production of the story began (because Tex and Sally are portrayed by the same person), because Sally's death is carefully described by Tex in the first or second part of the story and her escape from death is never explained properly to the viewer.
The Nude Bomb (1980)
THE NUDE BOMB is the first theatrical GET SMART film.
The first version of the TV show GET SMART to be released to theaters, THE NUDE BOMB was made in 1980, and its parachuting and airplane scenes were combined for the new GET SMART movie. Don Adams returns as that indefatigable secret agent, Maxwell Smart, and this time his mission is to save the world from a spoof of the atomic bomb, the Nude Bomb. It is no wonder that this element of the plot made viewers uncomfortable when this movie appeared in theaters all those years ago, and this may have resulted in the movie being panned and becoming only a modest success. The camaraderie between the Chief and Max is missing here, but I feel that that could not be helped, since Ed Platt, the original Chief of CONTROL, had already died and (SPOILER!) the Chief is revealed here to be an impostor, a recently cloned double agent who is reporting Max's every move to KAOS HQ. There is a wonderful chase scene through the old Universal Studios back-lot involving the Jaws and Battlestar Galactica (correct me if I'm wrong) areas, neither of which are around anymore (at least, to my knowledge). The wonderful gadgetry and beautiful anamorphic widescreen photography (this was originally intended as a TV movie) help overcome the somewhat meandering plot, and the character of Agent Twenty-Two also adds character to the movie (I wonder why Agent Ninety-Nine wasn't brought back). All in all, a most satisfying mystery movie with a most satisfying ending.
The Dark Knight (2008)
I watched the movie to honor Heath Ledger
I have just returned from watching THE DARK KNIGHT, which is in the last week of a six-week engagement at the Coliseum near where I live. I purposely watched the movie to honor Heath Ledger, which I said I would do in an earlier post that seems to have been rejected - the first posting ever made about this movie, in fact. Ledger was a talented man who would have made many more movies if he had lived. The movie was totally bizarre, but the plot was well-structured and Heath gave a convincing performance as the mad Clown of Crime, a scarred madman who is hired by Gotham City's mobsters to destroy the Batman and bring down Harvey Dent, the city's visible public crusader.
Grandma's Boy (1922)
The grandfather's suit is a very clever running gag.
One of the most clever visual running gags used in silent film comedy has to be in this movie, when Grandma gets Grandpa's suit out of mothballs for her grandson Harold and he wears it for the rest of the movie, even during the climactic fight scenes! When we first see him visit his sweetheart wearing his grandfather's suit, the butler comes to the door in an identical garment, giving the viewer additional laughs as well as a look as what the people in service were wearing at the time. (Harold is wearing his grandfather's suit because his own suit has shrunken to child size after he was pushed down the well by his rival at the start of the movie, but by the movie's end, he finds the strength to fight back and push him down that same well!)
Bingo Crosbyana (1936)
Warner Brothers had a defense against Bing Crosby.
This cartoon from 1936 shows Warner Brothers animation in its original prime. The title character, Bingo Crosbyana (it should have been Bingo Crosbyan0, but that doesn't matter), is introduced a few minutes into the short, and he proves to be a fly with a sombrero and a voice that sounds very much like that of Bing Crosby. When a spider attacks, he panics and jumps in a jam jar until the other male flies rout the spider and drop him into fly paper. When he climbs out of the jam jar, the other flies catapult him into a coffee cup! Bing Crosby apparently sued the studio for "basing a cowardly character on his voice and image," and I can easily guess what Warner Brothers's defense would have been: the male flies were all based on one animation chart, and the ladies on another. Bingo Crosbyana's appearance was based on the chart for the male flies, so technically he is not a caricature. And, as for the voice and the sombrero, Bingo Crosbyana is a parody of a Latin lover such as Rudolph Valentino, down to the sombrero and guitar. And the message he sky-writes precedes the one in THE WIZARD OF OZ by about three years.
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
Robin Hood is a wow
THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD - one of two motion pictures with a more lengthy than usual preproduction period from the late thirties - is, as has often been stated, the best Robin Hood movie of all time. So what if it is missing the scenes that explain King Richard's return? It has the right cast - even though the voice of Eugene Palette as Friar Tuck is unsuited for such a period picture - and a cracking good story. There are even cameos for the original silver screen Robin Hood and Maid Marian - Robert Frazer and Barbara Tennant - as the parents from whom the beautiful blonde girl is stolen by the Normans in the scenes where Robin Hood's men fight their brutality (The original silver screen Friar Tuck, Guy Oliver, had already died of cancer by the time this movie was finally made).