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Vashon: The Father--My favorite episode.
The four part Vashon series are some of my favorite Hawaii Five episodes. Of this four part series, Vashon, the Father, is my favorite. After Christopher Vashon is killed by McGarrett during an armed robbery attempt, the father and grandfather seek revenge.
A contract killer is hired to kill McGarrett. He almost succeeds. It is stated in the goofs section that this hit man didn't use the charging handle on the AR-15 or M16 rifle to chamber a round. I watched the episode and he did. After this hit-man got rid of the police women, he immediately went to his rifle and fired it (no silencer?). I would have waited for a few minutes to make sure she was gone.
In the 3d Vashon episode, when Harvey Matheson Drew stated at McGarrett's trial that he wasn't sure that the gunshots may have been backfires, the defense should have objected stating that Drew was not an expert in that area. To me, a weakness in this story.
Phony gas chamber con job. Head games.
This particular Mission Impossible episode gives a rather realistic presentation of a gas chamber execution, but with some minor mistakes.
A phony gas chamber is built by the Mission Impossible team in order to convince a mob hit-killer that the MI team kidnapped that he only has a couple of hours to live unless he turns states evidence. Martin Landau, a member of the Mission Impossible team, portrays a prisoner going to this prop gas chamber just ahead of the mob contract killer. Landau gives a phony, yet rather convincing performance by begging and pleading while being dragged into this phony gas chamber. In the meantime, this contract killer is taking it all in and is slowly being convinced that this is all on the level, since both their cells are close to each other. Also, this M.I. episode could not take place in California, since that state uses a two-seat gas chamber. Also, I don't think there were enough cyanide pellets used in this M'I, episode. I think that 12-16 ounces are used, instead of just four pellets(eggs). I'm basing this primarily on the 1958 movie: "I Want to Live," with Susan Hayward.
I detected several minor mistakes. First, where's the priest? Second, I believe that gas chamber prisoners go in their bare feet, not their stocking feet. Socks might trap cyanide gas, thus being dangerous to the prison staff. Third. The tube that's connected to the prisoner's stethoscope is fed through one of the gas chamber's windows. Wouldn't this create an air leak? With cyanide gas, you had better have an airtight seal.
Trivia: Peter Graves plays a reversal in roles in this M.I. episode. In the 1954 movie, "Black Tuesday," Graves portrays death row inmate who killed a cop and robbed a bank of $200,000, is offered a 10 day reprieve moments before his scheduled execution if he will give up the bank's money that he stole. In this M.I. episode, Graves is the one who offers the reprieve to this mob contract killer if he will confess and turn states evidence.
The 1958 movie, I Want to Live, with Susan Hayward, from my own layman's viewpoint, gives a surprising accurate, detailed, realistic and believable presentation of a gas chamber execution.
36 Hours (1964)
36 Hrs (1965), (B&W), is a fairly plausible, World War II espionage drama dealing with the impending Allied invasion of Europe just prior to D-Day in June, 1944.
U.S. Army Intelligence Officer Major Jeffery F. Pike (James Garner), who has accurate and detailed information of this invasion, is drugged and kidnapped by the Germans about five days prior to this invasion.
Pike then wakes up in a bogus, but convincing, U.S. military hospital created by the Germans in an attempt trick Pike into thinking it's six years later, that war is over and that he has amnesia hoping that he'll reveal the information he has about the pending invasion.
Instead, it's really June 2,1944, one day after Pike's kidnapping.
U.S. Army Medical Doctor, Major Walt Gerber, MD (Rod Taylor), who is assigned to Pike's case, is actually a German military officer who speaks perfect English with no accent because Gerber spent the first sixteen years of his life being raised in the United States.
Gerber tries to convince Pike that he might regain his memory if he discusses the details of this invasion. The German SS has given Gerber 36 hours to get the information from Pike, but due to a communications delay, Gerber now only has about 24 hours to get this information before the German SS takes over the interrogation.
Through a series of sessions with Gerber, Pike is convinced of his amnesia and gradually reveals information of the pending D-Day invasion until a very minor, overlooked, detail emerges that blows this whole deception.
Being shot in black and white seems to add to the effectiveness of this movie.
The Paper Chase (1978)
Paper Chase 1973 movie compared to The Paper Chase TV series.
I tend to agree with ClassicSteve about his comparison between the original 1973 movie, "The Paper Chase," and the TV series "The Paper Chase."
I found the 1973 movie to be much more powerful, intense and convincing than the TV series, which seems to pale in comparison to the original 1973 movie. In fact, I think the movie version is much more realistic and convincing than the entire TV series put together. While some of the TV episodes weren't too bad, overall, the TV series, when compared to the original 1973 movie version, appears to be watered down.
John Houseman seemed to slow down quite a bit in the TV series, especially in the later years as opposed to the movie version. Although his age may have had something to do with it, I think that lower quality scripting may have played a bigger role.
In the TV series, I think I caught at a mistake. Rita Harriman wanted to be the first president of the Harvard Law Review, but if I remember correctly, there was a woman president of the Harvard Law Review that hit Hart with her car while he was riding his bicycle during his earlier law school years.
Although I never went to law school, the 1973 movie version of the PC reminded me of my college years in acquiring my bachelor's degree. I tend to identify myself with Kevin Brooks (the guy with the photographic memory) and his inadequacies. His part reminds me so much of myself that, in real life, I think I could have been his understudy.
Anybody that wants to undertake any worthwhile endeavor should watch the 1973 Paper Chase movie. It clearly shows the weed-out process and the high price that has to be paid for success.
Good Day for a Hanging (1959)
Above average western.
I feel that "A Good Day for a Hanging," (1959) is an above average western. I was somewhat pleasantly surprised by this movie, overall. For about the first 2/3s of this movie, I thought it was leaning in the direction of the liberal left. Towards the end, however, I was thinking, "Maybe not." As it turned out, it showed how law abiding citizens can be easily duped by the wrong type of people. The killer, (Robert VAUGHN) who went to trial for murdering the marshal (Emile MEYER), wasn't very interested in his girlfriend (the new marshal's (Fred MacMURRAY) daughter) while he was holding the getaway horses while the bank was being robbed. But, when he was in jail awaiting execution, he acted very blubbery towards her, obviously, because he wanted her to smuggle in a gun to him to aid in his escape. When he hit her at the jailbreak, this may have knocked some sense into her. This killer's girlfriend then turned herself around by warning the marshal (MacMURRAY), thereby saving his life. The doctor, (James DRURY) seemed a little hard nosed for a doctor, but more in my line of thinking.
One point that wasn't stressed that , perhaps, should have been, even if Robert VAUGHN didn't actually kill the marshal, he could have been held as an accessory to murder, which would have made him equally guilty. I'm not sure how the law read back in those days.
On Trial: Lee Harvey Oswald (1986)
Oswald acted alone
As a student of the JFK assassination, I have felt, and still do, that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. There was a time when I had some trouble with the head-snap to the rear, possibly indicating shots NOT fired from the Texas School Book Depository, but that was cleared up with this trial.
As for the "Magic Bullet," I personally fired a 30 cal Carbine bullet into some pine boards at point-blank range. It was a full metal jacketed (FMJ), round nose bullet traveling about the same speed, about 2,000 fps, as the 6.5 MM Carcano FMJ round nose bullet fired by Lee Harvey Oswald's rifle. This Carbine bullet penetrated about 13" of soft pine and came out in undistorted condition, somewhat better than the "Magic Bullet," which was slightly flattened at its base.
Back in 1995, I had the opportunity to attend one of Vincent Bugliosi's lectures in which one of the topics he discussed was the JFK assassination and, while attaining his autograph, spent a couple of minutes giving my personal views why I felt that Oswald acted alone.
I recorded this 1986 trial on several VHS tapes, but one of the tapes broke right at the very beginning which left no leader. Is it possible to fix this tape? Also, is there anywhere these 1986 trial tapes/DVDs can be purchased? I would like to have the complete ~18 hours of the trial as opposed to the 5 hours presented by Showtime or the 4 hours shown by Geraldo Rivera, but will settle for the 5 hour Showtime version
My favorite Maverick episode
This episode, 'Gun Shy,' is my favorite Maverick episode, which does a satirical portrayal of the old b&w TV series 'Gunsmoke.'
The overall architecture set of Gunsmoke was spoofed in this episode.
Mort Dooley is dressed exactly like Marshall Matt Dillon down to the stag grips and correct barrel length of his six-gun.
Clyde Diefendorfer is an excellent, comedic representation of Chester Goode, including his clothes, limp and especially his voice and speaking mannerisms. As far as I'm concerned, Clyde stole the show in this episode.
Doc Adams and Kitty Russell were also portrayed in a comedic fashion. Don't forget the 'Weeping Willow' (Long Branch) saloon. I like good quality satire where you can have a good innocent laugh. "Shall I stand a little closer, Marshall?"
Nowhere to Run (1978)
Fairly plausible script
David Janssen seems about the best choice for playing Harry Adams, a lonely, but brilliant structural engineer in a loveless marriage. It might be possible to accumulate $500,000 in high-stakes black jack playing, being able to do it in 15 years or less. In fact, a BJ card counting team went into Resorts International Casino, around 1978, in Atlantic City and won $145,000 in a period of ~8-9 days and was barred.
The only thing is, I don't think any BJ player would be allowed to bring a notepad to a BJ table. This might be construed as a form of card-counting, yet was necessary for the plot.
When Herbie, the Private Investigator, needed $10,000 to pay off his gambling debts, why didn't Harry (Janssen) simply remove the $10,000 from the nearly $500,000 in BJ winnings that he had already amassed, instead of getting involved in a rather dangerous, high-stakes, back room poker game? Much simpler. To me, $490,000 would be close enough.
The Young Warriors (1966)
Its been years, maybe decades since I've seen this movie. I've never been in combat, but have talked to those who have. From what I've been told, this movie is a pretty accurate portrayal of soldiers' reactions in combat. This movie was portrayed by a bunch of young actors, which seem to add to the realism.
I had an Army Sgt tell me back in 1967 that there were some people in combat who would freeze one time and not another. This reaction seemed to rotate among different people. But this same Sgt also told me that there were those with whom you could always count on.
But the one thing I did notice was these soldiers were, more or less, working together as a unit.
BUT in the movie, PLATOON, there was a lot of fighting among within the ranks. No real teamwork. Insubordination, sleeping on guard, not trying to break in a new guy.
I was in an outfit like this one when I was in the Army back in 1967. This same outfit I was in was a carbon copy of Platoon. I think the only reason I'm still alive is that I was in training and only blanks were fired. Nobody seemed to give a damn. More of Dr. Spock's dirty work!!!
Ruby and Oswald (1978)
Ruby and Oswald Historicalaccuracy.
As a student of the John F. KENNEDY assassination, I want to point out that this movie is a very accurate portrayal of the real Jack Ruby. First of all, I strongly feel that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone--NO conspiracy. And another thing, I think that Oliver Stone's movie, JFK, stinks. It is one of the most fraudulent, deceptive piece of historical analysis that has ever been my personal displeasure to watch.
I believe that both Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby were too emotionally unstable to be a part of a conspiracy, because sooner or later they would have cracked under pressure. (Oswald once tried to commit suicide and Ruby was notorious for NOT being able to keep his mouth shut).
This movie shows Jack Ruby very accurately portrayed (for a change). Ruby was very emotionally unbalanced, unstable and was extremely fond of JFK.
For a couple of books on the JFK assassination, try "Case Closed," by Gerald Posner and "Reclaiming History," by Vincent Bugliosi (pronounced bull-YO-c).