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77 Sunset Strip (1958)
The late 50's early sixties
What a time it was! Between Elvis and the Beatles. I guess you could call me a "tweener". Too young to go to Woodstock and too old to be a computer yuppie. I came across these shows (this show, FBI, Hawaiian Eye, Surfside 6) on Hallmark channel. What a travel back in time. Back to when I was two to three years old. Well as they say (George Harrison) "life goes on within you and without you".
F Troop (1965)
Great show - too short of a run
My favorite episode of this show, which ran way too short of its potential was the episode where Agarn managed The Bedbugs (which were actually an L.A. band called The Factory which included Lowell George and Ritchie Hayward, later of Little Feat) and then in order to convince Agarn back into the service, F.Troop had its own band, The Termites, that had some of F.Troop in hilarious wigs, compete with the Bedbugs for the Playbrave Club circuit, and at the end of the show, The Termites do "Mr. Tambourine Man! What a riot! There are other episodes just as hilarious, too many to mention. I also think Gilligan's Island got screwed, mainly because Bill Paley wanted Gunsmoke (a true TV dinosaur already at that time) to continue, but Gilligan's Island was in its time slot that year. What a shame that two great shows got canceled way before their time.
The Doors: Dance on Fire (1985)
My first VCR tape was Doors Dance on Fire
I bought my first VCR in 1985, and this is my first pre-recorded VCR tape. I still watch it a lot. All the clips are top notch, especially The Unknown Soldier, which I first saw on a Hy Lit show (people from Philly and N.E. PA remember this show) and Touch Me, that came from a broadcast of The Smothers Brothers show in 1969 which I saw on TV live when I was nine years old. My videotape is very worn now, from so much play. This is a great experience for all Doors fans.
The Dick Cavett Show (1968)
I have fuzzy memories of watching this show when I was 8-10 years old when I was allowed to stay up late. I remember seeing Janis Joplin on the show and I thought she was great, a true expression of American freedom. A few years ago when my cable company offered VH-1, I taped a show that was recorded right after the Woodstock festival with the Airplane, Stills, Crosby (who I think is a reincarnation of Christ), and Joni Mitchell. What an priceless, incredible show. Recently I went to a Target store and found a DVD of Jimi Hendrix's appearance on the Cavett show with Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox. Very tempting to buy. A lot of people dis the sixties, but seeing what is going on now with all this greed and death, I think we need a revival. Peace.
Highway Patrol (1955)
Fond memories of this show during a difficult time
I remember watching reruns of Highway Patrol with my mother back in 1973 that aired from Philadelphia, PA on a syndicated station at 9:00 every morning. I loved seeing Broderick Crawford (who was from Philadelphia) and his gravely voice and those lovely jet black patrol cars, in glorious black and white. Right after this show was over we switched the channel to the Senate Watergate hearings which were fascinating, to say the least.
Every now and then this movie will pop up on cable and part of it was filmed in Allentown Pennsylvania at Dorney Park which at that time was a quaint amusement park with a merry-go-round and a roller coaster and other rides. This movie makes me remember what life was like back then when people weren't so jaded and cruel to each other (although the Vietnam debacle was fully in progress).
Nowhere Man (1995)
Best show of the 90's
This is the only show that I looked forward to watching in the 90's. I was sad to see it go off the air. This show did not have to rely on violence to do good stories. The stories were so good, they were kind of an amalgam of "Fugitive", "Prisoner" and "Twilight Zone". I hope the whole series becomes available on videotape or DVD, like Twin Peaks did, another TV classic. Violence is destroying our society. You don't need violence to get people into movie theaters or to watch television. Why can't we all get along?
The Fugitive (1963)
The best television series ever
I am fortunate enough to have been around when this series first aired although too young to stay up and watch it. I really discovered the series in the 70's on a PBS station in Pennsylvania that aired the series. Then in the early 90's a cable network aired the entire run of the show two or three times. I taped nearly all the episodes and I really enjoy watching them because 99.9% of TV that is not news these days is crap. I have seen the movie and a couple of the new shows (now cancelled). The movie and newer series were good, but why mess around with a classic. This was like re-painting the Mona Lisa. The original series, especially the black and white episodes were first rate television-noir. There is one and only one Fugitive - David Janssen. He left us way too soon. Check out his filmography - a few of his made-for-TV movies are very good, particularly S.O.S. Titanic and High Ice. I wish that some network would show the Harry-O series someday, another Janssen classic.
Rat Race (2001)
It was okay
This movie was very funny in spots, hilarious in fact a few times. Judging from the feedback so far, you either loved it or hated it. I'm kind of in-between. I didn't care for the guy with the pierced tongue because you couldn't understand a word he said. And John Cleese's teeth were too white to be real. I had a hard time watching both of them, honestly. The rest of the characters were good, Cuba Gooding was a riot with the Lucy's, the squirrel gag was great, and Jon Lovitz with his family were good. Overall the movie was okay. The ending was kind of dumb and long but it gave a good message - greed is bad! I'd give it a 7.5 out of 10. Good mindless entertainment.
Twin Peaks (1990)
One of the best ever
As a child growing up in the sixties, Twin Peaks is to me one of the most clever shows ever made. It combines the mundane (Andy Griffith Show, which by the way is one of the greatest shows ever made)with the supernatural (Twilight Zone, Outer Limits), suspense (Alfred Hitchcock) and crime drama (The Fugitive) that I have ever seen. Some of the characters, ie Gerard, the one-armed man, deputy Andy, to name only a couple of characters, refer to my most beloved TV characters of the sixties. And the subplots involving Enda trying to pick up boys at the high school, or when the Icelanders visited Twin Peaks, are just hilarious. The reuniting of Peggy Lipton and Clarence Williams III (from Mod Squad)in the cafe is just priceless. Another classic reunion was Richard Beymer and Rusty Tamblyn (from West Side Story). Or when David Duchovny played the transvestite police detective. This show is timeless, I could go on and on. David Lynch created one of the best TV shows ever made. I wish I would have taped all of them. I only have a handfull on tape. I like The X-Files, but I like Twin Peaks more. They are two different shows. X-Files is mainly science fiction. Twin Peaks is everything. I also liked the show Nowhere Man. That show was a combination of The Fugitive and The Twilight Zone/Outer Limits. But it had such low ratings that Paramount network had to cancel it. What a shame.
One of my many regrets in life is not being old enough to have seen performers like Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Janis Joplin etc. perform live. But thanks to video, one can see what it was like it the late 60's-early 70's, to have gone through all the turmoil that was going on back then. The world as a whole is a better is not only a place, but only exists because of dreamers like Jimi Hendrix, David Crosby and John Lennon. The list goes on and on. This is a great movie, probably not his (Jimi's) best performance ever, although I consider it a great performance, it is still so moving because he (Jimi) passed away so soon after this movie was filmed. I revere Jimi, Jim, Janis, Keith, Duane, Berry, and all who have gone before us to give us the music that inspires and moves us every day of our lives.
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
one of the best
I saw this movie for the first time when it was re-released back in 1989 in an art-house movie theatre which no longer exists. I was chilled to the bone. Frank Sinatra, I really never cared too much for his singing (I grew up in the rock and roll era) but his acting in this movie was just supererb, as he was in numerous movies I have seen him in. He is truly one of my favorite actors of all time. This movie is so relevant, in that it suggsets that the right-wing can and probably is influenced by people and ideas that they cannot stand, but if it gives them absolute power, then that would be justification for their means. That is why the right-wing of this country is so dangerous to our way of living, because their end justifies the means.
Fargo - it was okay
Fargo had some great acting in it - Frances McDormand, William H. Macy were great, but the whole story was just so repulsive, that I cannot recommend this movie. A person gets put through a wood chipper at the end of the movie. I mean, what is the redeeming quality in that? I mean our whole purpose in life is to leave this world in a better place than it was when we were born. This movie does nothing to promote that idea at all. Sure, justice was done, but did it have to come at the expense of so mant innocent people, like the guy at the parking lot. Why was he blown away? Just for entertainment? I do not find innocent people getting wasted as entertainment. I feel the same way about this movie as I do about "Silence of the Lambs" great acting but the movie dealt with a completely repulsive subject and a completely repulsive main character. I still cannot figure out why that movie won so many Oscars. I am not a right-wing puritan by any stretch of the imagination. But, I cannot recommend either of these movies to anyone. If you want to watch a Joel/Ethan Coen movie watch Raising Arizona. It is so funny. And if you want to watch a Jonathan Demme movie watch Stop Making Sense. But I still think the best concert movie of all time is Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii. Beautiful cinematography, excellent performances. But Stop Making Sense is also an excellent movie.
Pink Floyd at Pompeii (1972)
I just bought this movie today ay Best Buy, having rented it about five years ago. I am just astounded at the quality of the cinematography. If this this was just a movie it should have won an Academy Award for cinematography. But it is a documentary about one of the greatest bands of all time. Pink Floyd are the Beatles of the 1970's. This movie shows Pink Floyd at their best and happiest, in the early 70's. There is alos footage of the recording of the best album since Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Dark Side of the Moon. This band is so meticulous, and so conscious of what they put out. Their talent is so enormous, I would recommend this video to anyone. The musician-ship is so good by all members of the band, David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright. It is so great to see them perform live and to be so young and talented. I was impressed especially by Richard Wright and Nick Mason. They are so good in this movie. So are Roger Waters and David Gilmour. David Gilmour's guitar playing moves me to tears. He is so good. Roger Waters songwriting is just so excellent. I wish that all four would get back together again and tour. Thank you Pink Floyd.
Night Train to Mundo Fine (1966)
One of the best movies
This is one of the best movies I've ever seen. The story and acting are terrific. And the theme song sung by John Carradine is so touching.
Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)
I have not seen this movie in about 20 years. I hope it is on video somewhere. But any movie with Russell Johnson in it has got to be a winner. Geez, this guy was the Professor on Gilligan's Island, one of my true inspirations in life. He inspired me to go into science as a career. And he served his country in WWII. Read his book "Here on Gilligan's Island" and you will hear his whole story. At the end of this movie (Attack of the Crab Monsters) he gave his life to save others trapped on the island. He is a real hero. Roger Corman is a legend in filmmaking. All of these independent films with shoestring budgets owe it to him, and to Ed Wood. You don't need a "Titanic" budget to make a good movie.
Jane Austen's Mafia! (1998)
Funny as hell
I thought this was one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. It was non-stop from beginning to end. True, the ending did go on a little too long, but I have never laughed this hard at anything. I think this is an excellent tribute to one of my favorite actors, LLoyd Bridges, whom I used to watch on "Sea Hunt" reruns when I was 4 or 5 years old. I always wanted to become a diver because of that. Another excellent Lloyd Bridges movie is "Home of the Brave" from 1951, a WWII movie which dealt with racism. Check it out. He was good in "Tucker" also.
The D.I. (1957)
The D. I.
The D.I. was one of the best movies I saw twenty-five years ago. But now it is such as anachronism that it cannot be taken seriously. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao are all dead. They are the worst murderers in history. They were not warriors. They were all cowards because their victims were mainly innocent civilians. They should and deserve to be put on the trash heap of history. Or better yet completely forgotten and ignored. I love the military. Every day I thank my father,his generation, and John F. Kennedy for saving this planet from utter destruction. But what we need in this world is more "touchy-feely" and less militarism, greed, power, and divisiveness to take us forward. A better movie than "The D.I." is "Full Metal Jacket", especially the first half of it, where a recruit "Gomer Pyle" is so brainwashed into militarism that he shoots his own D.I. and then himself just to prove that he is a "good soldier". We can be our own worst enemy. And we are.