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A Summer Place (1959)
Gutsy Constance Ford
I saw A Summer Place for the first time very recently, and one thing that really struck me was just how gutsy Constance Ford's portrayal of Helen Jorgenson was. Not many actors can pull off a character who has absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Most actors would pressure the director and writer into giving their characters at least a small bit of sympathy, but Ford was excellent at playing someone thoroughly bad.
I'm sure she got static for her portrayal when she visited the supermarket or whatever in her daily life.
I'm not kidding, Bruno Ganz' portrayal of Adolf Hitler in Der Untergang/Downfall was more sympathetic and likable than Constance's portrayal of Helen.
One of my favorite things about watching Perry Mason is the quality of the guest actors. From up-and-comers like Robert Redford and Ryan O'Neill to veteran character actors like Dabbs Greer and Harry von Zell, you see 'em all.
This episode featured three actors who worked with Humphrey Bogart; Elisha Cook Jr. from "The Maltese Falcon," Bruce Bennett from "Treasure of the Sierra Madre," and Ted de Corsia from "The Enforcer." That's a lot of film history represented in a one-hour series TV episode.
All three of those actors have appeared in multiple episodes of Perry Mason, but I believe this is the only episode that featured all three.
Mondo Hollywood (1967)
12-step cure for Sixties nostalgia
Mondo Hollywood is a magnificent display of Sixties self-indulgence. Timothy Leary wannabees, rootless rich kids, druggies and thrill-seekers join to make Hollywood seem like the center of the cultural universe. Too bad it's only in their addled minds.
For those who want to see footage of Jay Sebring, Manson victim, and Bobby Beausoleil, Manson family member and killer, well, look quick or you'll miss them.
There's some skin showing for fans of frumpy, dumpy, uninspiring women, and footage of Jayne Mansfield near the end of her troubled life.
There's even footage of a Ronald Reagan speech, just to cover the entire spectrum.
Oh, and if you love tedious untalented rock 'n roll, this is your flick.