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Flipper: Flipper's Hour of Peril (1965)
A real nail-biter
Flipper has been in trouble before, he's been stolen (Dolphin For Sale, Sn. 1-6), scheduled for dissection (Countdown For Flipper, Sn. 1-8) and almost sent away for scientific experimentation (The Lady and the Dolphin, Sn. 1-12 & 13).
But this time he's inches from disaster. There seems to be no way to save him and something ingenious will have to be thought up soon.
There's usually some kind of tension in Flipper as it's basically an adventure show. But this episode pushes it to the max. More than any episode I can remember this one has you wondering if Flipper will get out of it alright. Aptly titled as " Flipper's Hour of Peril".
Burt Reynolds guests in two-parter
The 25 minute time limit was difficult for dramatic shows because things had to develop and be wrapped up so quickly. The writers at Flipper broke out of this limitation by creating two-part stories that could do so much more with twice the time.
The Ricks family takes time out to camp on Turtle Island for the weekend but trouble arrives in the form of tough guy Burt Reynolds, who gets quite a bit of screen time and of course is great at playing a bad guy.
The episode also develops the characters of Sandy and Bud further with Sandy showing a notable scientific bent and Bud being a bit exasperated with him in typical brotherly fashion.
Flipper: Flipper and the Mermaid (1965)
Introduces new character Ulla Nordstrom
Nice opening for Season Two introduces Ulla Nordstrom, a take charge oceanographer who creates tension in the idyllic world of Coral Key Park.At one point it seems like Bud and Flipper will be separated for the whole summer!
But Flipper saves the day for everyone as usual, feelings are smoothed over and harmony is restored to Coral Key. Viewers do need to remember that the show was filmed in the mid 60's and reflects the values of that time.
The very beginning is an extended scene of Flipper in his undersea world, the special photography the show was known for. So glad they decided to film Flipper in color despite its cost.
The Europeans (1979)
While not on the level of Howard's End and other Merchant/Ivory films at their later peak, this film is where they truly took off in presenting period films. the look and details are excellent as has been commented on here. The cinematography is particularly wonderful in capturing a beautiful New England autumn, especially the sunlit buggy-ride with Robert Acton and the baroness. What is serendipitous is that the company wanted to film in May and June, when the book is set but filmed in Fall because that's when they got the money. The autumn here is practically a character in itself, and were the film set in a very green June, would look less like New England and might have been anywhere, and the constant reminder of the puritanical background of old New England would have been lost.
The casting is also very good. I take issue with some earlier views in that I find Lee Remick excellent as the Baroness. Faye Dunaway would haveseemed too aristocratic, and Jane Fonda still a bit too young, at leastin looks. Lee Remick is a bit too good looking to be the Baroness of thebook who is a plain looking woman who carries herself as if she is abeauty. Wesley Addy is a perfect Patriarch and Felix was played with much youthful gusto by Tim Woodward, who also looked perfect for the part.
It is not always considered fair or useful to compare aspects of a literary adaptation And its source book but in this case it's so literal that it is valid to an extent. Two major differences do stand out and add to the overall film.
The role of Clifford ,the young son is expanded and brought more forward in the film, especially his comic visits to the Baroness. Tim Choate did a wonderful job of creating his awkward, smiling,humorous young Yankee who in the novel seldom gives more than "a growl" to any question.
The addition of the big party scene at the Acton house(there is none in the book) was a wonderful inspiration. A period piece like this needs a scene to really show off how everyone would look at their best and the attention to detail of dance and music was obviously great. As the Baroness says, "They're quite exuberant"
The problem many people may have with the film is that the characters' motives and desires may seem a bit unclear, this despite almost all the dialog being taken directly from the novel. But this is not one of those later Henry James novels where three pages of exposition of thought and motive precedes each spoken sentence but rather a short and simple book which is faithfully recreated here on film.
The Baroness finds what she is looking for (money) but feels not enough passion from the man ("I am admired in Europe")and not enough to enjoy in the staid community ("She has grown tired of us" She leaves but most everyone else finds exactly what they were looking for.A fine film.
Flipper was a great show growing up in the 60's.
I was a big fan of Flipper since I saw the first film as a thirteen year old in 1963, and continued to follow Flipper in the second film and on TV. It's portrayal of an almost idyllic life for a boy and his pet dolphin was a wonderful fantasy for a boy who was about the same age as Sandy (Luke) at the time. The first film was a little more serious than the second: just look at that tiny fisherman's cottage the Ricks family lives in, and the dangers of the fisherman's life portrayed. The second film, despite featuring escaped convicts and a kidnapping plot is definitely light fare - the villains are stock characters and the tone is light enough to include an idyllic 'Eden" sequence much like a music video as Sandy and the girl he befriends tour the island.
The TV series, debuting in September, 1964 offered a lot of changes, mostly for reasons of budget or the target audience. Sandy's mother is now officially dead (she appeared in the first film and wasn't mentioned in the second) probably for budgetary reasons. In an era of stay-at-home moms she would have had to be in most episodes, but because Flipper was an action/adventure show and not a family sitcom, she would have had little to do.
The really big change was that Sandy now had a little brother, Bud (played by Tommy Norden). This was probably because the producers and network (NBC) aimed the show at kids, and felt they needed a younger character with whom they could identify. Even the balance of the character mix was changed: the movies had been pretty much all Sandy (Luke Halpin) who was in virtually every scene. Now Bud seemed to be the principal character, and most of the plots either were centered on him or were created by his mishaps.
The almost idyllic world depicted - a world where you ran around in nothing but shorts all day and swam around with a dolphin between adventures was irresistible to me and I sure would have wanted to be their friend.
Speaking of friends,where were their friends? Another element lost to the budgetary ax no doubt. Both Sandy and Bud were personable boys and it is often mentioned that they go to school,but the never seem to be with any friends,even though they have a house right on the ocean and a pet dolphin! A few friends would have made them seem less isolated.
Even Flipper himself changed dramatically between the movies and the TV series. His intelligence grew enormously. In the first film he does little more than play "fetch" with Sandy, and his dancing is a mere spin in the water, not his famous Tail Dance. In the second film he's adept at throwing various objects to shore.
But in the TV series there's practically nothing he can't do. He can follow the most amazingly complicated instructions, find people without being told where they might be, and even discern bad guys when everyone else believes them to be good. Well I guess it's as Bud and Sandy say in "Flipper's Treasure": "You can't fool Flipper!"
You could say that in the movies Flipper was a pet but in the TV show he became more like a Guardian Angel.
A wonderful classic TV show.
Her Twelve Men (1954)
Spin & Marty fans should see this film
I grew up in the 50's and like most kids my age was a big fan of the Mickey Mouse Club.In it's first season one of the segments was Spin & Marty.It was a serialized story about two boys at a western summer camp - who even got to ride horses thus becoming the envy of every boy watching. Spin (the All-American boy) was played by Tim Considine,and Marty (the snobby rich kid) by David Stollery.It became a HUGE hit & the sensation of that first season.Both boys appear in Her Twelve Men,and met there.Tim originally tried out for the part of Marty,but was offered Spin instead.Disney still needed a Marty and Tim told them he had recently worked with a boy who would be just right for the role,David Stollery from Her Twelve men!So this film was somewhat responsible for the ideal casting of that well-loved Disney serial.This information was related by Tim & David in the interview feature of the Disney Treasures DVD Box Set that came out a couple years ago.
Song of Scheherazade (1947)
A film that is more fun than one would expect
I am glad to see that at least a few other people know and remember this film.It's always been hard to find,and I doubt that it will ever come out on DVD.I became acquainted with it in the early 60's when it would crop up time to time on the Four O'Clock Movies,which my friends and I used to watch after school.It took me years to find out the title,and years more to find the actual film.It's wonderful Hollywood Technocolor Hokum,and always fun to see.Aumont plays Rimsky-Korsakov with great warmth(seemingly in great contradiction to any portraits I have ever seen of the composer.)The music is exotic and wonderful of course,as Rimsky-Korsakov was a master of lush orchestration and beautiful Romantic themes.But the real gem is Eve Arden's droll performance which
lifts the film above the ordinary.Inspired silliness,and the addition of the spectacular Russian concert finale is nice.