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6/10
Life is made up of choices
23 September 2019
This Christian based film is actually a thought provoking vehicle. You don't have to be a born again to know that life is made up of choices and those we make can have a ripple effect on us and all around us.

David Garrett is our title character and he's a promising treating and research oncologist. He thinks he's found a way to cure the stuff although I can't vouch for scientific theories presented. What happens is that his first guinea pig pateint turns out to be the father played by Jeff Joslin who abandoned him and his mother and Garrett never knew him.

There's also a romantic angle with Garrett and Kendra Carelli. And there is a heart tugging performance from Matt Godson as a child cancer patient.

If you think you know what happens, you don't. There's a big old joker hidden in this plot. He's who makes you think.
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5/10
Refuge on the docks
22 September 2019
I wouldn't be surprised if MGM allowed poverty row Masacot Pictures to shoot a lot of this film at the waterfront sets they used for Anna Christie. Waterfront Lady had a bit of the same look.

Young Frank Albertson a gambler has been taken into partnership by the owner of a big gambling boat Charles C. Wilson. Soon after in a fight Wilson kills a a complaining customer. When Alberrtson tries to get rid of the gun the cops tag him as the shooter..

Albertson takes refuge at the docks on a houseboat owned by J.Farrell MaDonald and his daughter Ann Rutherford. It's pretty plain and getting more obvious Albertson ain't no sailor. But Rutherford starts to fall for him anyway, much to the chagrin of Grant Withers who has staked out a claim.

This was a nice B film from one of the Poverty Row studios and apparently it wasn't butchered after being sold to television. Lack of production values is apparent. But it's a decent story with attractive players.
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5/10
The Daisies are not in season
22 September 2019
Please Don't Eat The Daisies was inspired by the book Jean Kerr, wife of Herald Tribune theater critic Walter Kerr wrote about her domestic bliss. The movie had Doris Day writing a play and David Niven reviewing it, the plot emerges from there.

Mark Miller is an English professor and Pat Crowley is your suburban housewife raising 4 boys and a sheepdog who looks like a cousin of Tiger from the Brady Bunch and Tramp from My Three Sons. Nothing special in terms of the episodes that you didn't see from other family comedies

This was a typical role for Doris Day. But for Pat Crowley most unusual since she usually was playing sex kittens. Mark Miller was a pleasant enough man, but up against David Niven strictly out of his league.

The series was nice, but see the movie.
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Daktari (1966–1969)
6/10
The 60s never touched this show
22 September 2019
Spun from the movie Clarence The Cross Eyed Lion, Daktari gave us the further adventures of vetrinarian/scientist Marshall Thompson and his daughter Cheryl Miller.

The years of Daktari were those of the escalation of the Vietnam War among other things. It was fascinating how the times just never affected Thompson and Miller. Thompson was all about the work and the 60s counterculture never touched Miller.

But it was Africa in its first post colonial years and that part of Daktari was quite real. Interesting to learn the show was shot at a safari ranch and they never set foot in Africa.

The usual situations for a family oriented animal show are present here. Made for fine family viewing.
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6/10
Crimefighters
22 September 2019
The North Avenue Irregulars has Reverend Edward Herrmann, a widowr with two kids coming to town to accept the new post as pastor of the North Avenue Presbyterian Church. Trying to make a big splash he commits a grievous blunder and puts Patsy Kelly in charge of the church's bank account and she gives it to her degenerate gambler husband Douglas Fowley.

Fowley puts it on a horse that doesn't make it and guess what bookie Alan Hale,Jr. doesn't give it back. Bookies are like that.

But that inspires Herrmann to go on a crusade against the bookies. And who does he use for help, his church ladies. All this upsets the straightlaced church secretary Susan Clark.

Dean Jones must not have been available because the reverend was certainly a part Disney Studios would have earmaked for him. Herrman does fine though.

How does it work? The women are earnest but they are also wives and mothers an d not exactly schooled in their mission. That provides laughs for the audience and heartburn for T-Man Michael Constantine.

Funniest in the film are oldtimers Kelly and Fowley. But there are lots of laughs all around in this fine Disney feature.
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6/10
Amusing and fun
21 September 2019
The best thing I like about Clarence The Cross-Eyed Lion is that it shows Africa as it is and not Africa as Hollywood made it up in the 30s and 40s. This is the newly emerging independent Africa and the white folk you see here are ruled by the governments of the new countries.

Colonialism goes and independence comes but the work of widower Marshall Thompson and widow Betsy Drake goes on. Thompson has a veterinary clinic for jungle animals and he lives there with his teen daughter Cheryl Miller. Drake is an anthropologist and she studies the primates like Dian Fossey on whom her character is modeled.

The running gag in this film is the lion who's the Ben Turpin of the jungle and has double vision. Which makes him a lousy hunter and he would have doubtless died in the jungle had he not been discovered and taken in by Thompson and Miller and fed like a pet.

Named Clarence he's a gentle soul, but he causes a lot of mischief. In the end though he deals well with Maurice Marsac who leads a band independent soldier of fortune guerrillas.

This is a nice family film and it led to the Daktari TV series.
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Skippy (1968– )
6/10
The bush kangaroo
21 September 2019
Really taken from the American series Flipper this Australian series is set in one of their national parks. The ranger in residence is Ed Deveraux and his two sons Ken James and Garry Pankhurst. There's an assistant ranger who flies a helicopter played by Tony Bonner.

Young Pankhurst has a pet who is our title character. Skippy is one smart roo and like Flipper was constantly rescuing the kids and occasionally the adults from one kind of predicament or another.

No doubt that Skippy was ripped off from Flipper but I think it was good that it was broadcast in the USA. We got a look at Australian wildlife and we could appreciate what they did to protect it. Puts America to shame.

Nice show for kids and adults.
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Lassie (1954–1974)
7/10
Beautiful collie
21 September 2019
After years making money for MGM in feature films Lassie the collie moved to the small screen where she ran seemingly forever on Sunday night under various owners. Her viewers and fans were intergenerational.

She first shows up on a farm with widow Jan Clayton, her son Tommy Rettig, and father-in-law George Cleveland playing one of those lovable and irascible codgers. That was for the first few seasons. But with Tommy Rettig growing up and George Cleveland dying a whole new family was introduced. Jon Provost became the new kid and his parents were John Shepodd and Cloris Leachman. But then the actors playing the parents were replaced with Hugh Reilly and June Lockhart. This combination lasted for about a decade.

When the family relocated to Australia and couldn't take Lassie, the collie became the property of forest ranger Robert Bray. Finally a pair of rangers ended up with a dog that had more years on television than dogs usually have in a lifetime. Her final masters were rangers Jed Allan and Jack DeMave.

This was one of the wholesomest shows on television. Nobody ever tired of seeing the kids or the rangers get in trouble and Lassie go get help if not be the help.

Lassie was an indelible part of growing up in the 50s and 60s.
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Mystery 101: Words Can Kill (2019 TV Movie)
6/10
Three mysteries for a group of mystery writers to solve
21 September 2019
Big doings over at the college where Jill Wagner teaches, there's a College Book Festival going on and a bunch of writers are coming. But the college's own Robin Thomas is the real star of the show. He taught the class in mystery writing that his daughter Wagner teaches now.

For all these professional sleuths three murders happen during the course of the event. A stalker, a publisher, and a rival of Thomas's in many things from the old days.

There are as usual no shortage of suspects. But one of these three does not fit with the other two. Once the team of Wagner and Kristoffer Polaha figure that one out, the solution for the other two takes a quantum leap forward.

A good one for this series.
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4/10
Hair trigger mobster
20 September 2019
I only got to see about 55 minutes of the 70 minutes running time of The People's Enemy.. It was butchered for TV viewing. As it was an independent production and most likely one of the first films acquired by TV for viewing I doubt we'll see a director's cut.

What we did see is longtime racketeer sent up for a tax evasion rap who apparently is not all that bright and thinks with his trigger finger. Preston Foster is someone I could hardly believe rose to the top in his profession. Next to him is William Collier, Jr. who makes Foster look like a Greek philosopher.

Foster becomes convinced that his lawyer Melvyn Douglas sold him out. No, but he's easily convinced of the fact. Douglas is rethinking representing mob figures. It pays well, buy........

One place he is double crossing Foster is that he's taken up with his long estranged wife Lila Lee. That could and does cause problems.

Big mistake making Foster the lead character. The People's Enemy should have had Douglas as the lead. I think a major studio might have recognized that.

This had some potential, but butchered on the cutting room floor.
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The Virginian: The Brothers (1965)
Season 4, Episode 1
7/10
A Disagreeable manhunt
20 September 2019
The focus is on Clu Gulagher in this season 4 opener on The Virginian. Deputy Emmet Riker has a disagreeable manhunt to make. He's on the trail of Robert Lansing, law abiding rancher and good friend of Riker who went and broke his brother Andrew Prine out of the army stockade the night before he was scheduled to be hung for desertion of guard duty when Ghost Dance observing Sioux broke out. Only Lansing kills a guard.

A military patrol is also looking for the brothers who are taking Lansing's wife Jan Shepard and son Kurt Russell along that's headed by Sergeant Myron Healey who was good friends with the man killed by Lansing.

The story focuses on Lansing, a straight arrow type who feels he must stand by his brother no matter what. Prine is a lot less than truthful though.

In any event they all have to face up with those selfsame Ghost Riders.

Nice story with the action centering on Lansing and Prine.
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The Virginian: We've Lost a Train (1965)
Season 3, Episode 30
6/10
Those Texas Rangers
20 September 2019
This Virginian story served as the pilot episode for Laredo. It begins when Trampas is sent to buy a bull for Shiloh ranch and has to go to Mexico. Which means passing through the rough border town of Laredo.

That's where Trampas runs into William Smith, Peter Brown, and Neville Brand and their patient captain Phillip Carey. How he meets them is straight out of the 3 Musketeers. But when they get a mission about stopping stolen guns to the Yaqui Indians, that's when Doug McClure proves invaluable.

Such folks as Fernando Lamas, Rhonda Fleming, and Ida Lupino giver the Laredo series an all star sendoff.

So our first meeting with the rollicking Rangers from Laredo.
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Target (1985)
7/10
Dad was a spy?
20 September 2019
For reasons not really explained Gayle Hunnicutt decides to go to Europe on her own, leaving husband and son somewhat at sea. But when Gene Hackman and Matt Dillon get a call from the French Consulate that Hunnicutt has gone missing from her tour group.

Hackman is a middle class conservative person who is rather staid and boring. Among those who see him that way is his son. But Dillon gets the shock of his young life when he finds out that Hackman was in the CIA and that he has been living like he was in witness protection program.

And Hackman hasn't slowed up a bit. He still has the moves and the instincts. But the puzzle is that they're seem to be two groups, one who has the wife and one who wants to kill him. A puzzlement.

Hackman, Hunnicutt, and Dillon cast as a good family unit. They are given good support by the rest of the cast. I think you will figure out early on who is the bad guy.

Nice location cinematography in France and Germany. Pace of the film is also good. You will like it.
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5/10
Lawyers divorced and wed
20 September 2019
After seeing Two Heads On A Pillow I'm certainly glad we have Tracy&Hepburn to give us a much better film on the subject. This is hogs liver next to the filet mignon of Adam's Rib.

Neil Hamilton and Miriam Jordan play a bickering couple who get divorced. One fine day lawyer Hamilton gets a big surprise. The ex-wife has gone back to school, passed the bar and she too is now a member of his profession. I think you can see where this is going.

Spence&Kate were sooooooooooooo much better.
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The Virginian: Old Cowboy (1965)
Season 3, Episode 28
7/10
Past his prime
19 September 2019
For a guy who when he was a leading man in the 30s and 40s did most of his work in evening attire, Franchot Tone scores very well as the grizzled old cowboy past his prime. But he doesn't believe it and neither does grandson Billy Mumy.

The Virginian hires Tone somewhat reluctantly and it's proven over and again that the man is past his prime. In the meantime Mumy has befriended Trampas and that makes Tone only more jealous.

Loved this episode. Franchot Tone is remarkable in this part.

As another cowboy hero said, 'man's got to know his limitations'.
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Murder, She Wrote: The Big Show of 1965 (1990)
Season 6, Episode 16
7/10
JB goes cold case
19 September 2019
Jessica Fletcher is not all that crazy being part of a reunion show where an unsolved murder of a guest star was committed in his dressing room. But agent Jeff Yagher is most persuasive and she goes to the studio where the show is being rehearsed.

The host was Donald O'Connor a Milton Berle like comedian and among others coming back is a sister act Anne Francis, Elaine Joyce, and Connie Stevens. They all have some interesting stories.

Some creepy things happen and soon enough there's fresh case of murder of director Gavin MacLeod. Of course it relates way back to the other murder.

I really enjoyed the performance of Sheldon Leonard as the retired detetive who had the original case that went cold. Michael Cole is the detective on the current case and he's not crazy about having Leonard around.

Leonard and Angela Lansbury are great together, reason enough to see this.
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6/10
The Henderson family camping trip
19 September 2019
The Henderson family of Seattle and I say that because this film was shot in Washington State are on a camping trip and heading home when John Lithgow hits something. Turns out to be a sasquatch, a really big Big Foot. They do exist.

What to do but the Hendersons bring him home quite unconscious. Since nobody has any history of dealing with them it takes awhile but Lithgow, Melinda Dillon, Margaret Langrick, and Joshua Rudoy;.all develop some rapport with Harry as they've taken to calling him.

Big as he is he's also not exactly house broken. The neighbors are bad enough, but the Hendersons also have to deal with a professional hunter in David Suchet. They get help from a retired scientist in Don Ameche.

Harry And The Hendersons is a nice if somewhat unbelievable fantasy. If Big Foot is out there I doubt he'll run into any of our species as nice as the Henderson family.

7'4" Kevin Peter Hall plays Harry and the makeup job they did on him earned an Oscar for the film. With all that makeup Hall gives a great performance with the camera catching differing expressions with his eyes. It's a great performance, better than the other players playing to an animated creation for instance.

Harry And The Hendersons is a nice fantasy and holds up well after 30 years.
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7/10
The bulls and bears
19 September 2019
With all the money that JB Fletcher makes with her novels it seems natural that she would be investing. The place she is investing with is a firm headed by partners Jerome Calvin and Farley Granger.

Calvin is the son of the original partner of the firm and he is getting in over his head a lot. But he has a good secretary in Lela Ivey whom he keeps trying to make, but her heart is loyal to her blue collar boyfriend Joe Maruzzo.

But when Calvin's head gets bashed in one night, the cops in the person of Detective Kenneth Tighe zero in on Ivey and Maruzzo. Of course it's not and that's when Angela Lansbury goes to work.

Good ensemble performances, singling out Edd Byrnes who has risen from parking cars on Sunset Boulevard back in his salad days to a too smooth broker. He's got a few angles he's working all by himself.
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The Virginian: Dangerous Road (1965)
Season 3, Episode 26
7/10
Two Murders In Coulter Station
18 September 2019
Trampas gets deputized and asked to bring Bob Coulter,Jr. back to Coulter Station on a warrant for homicide. Coulter is played by Robert Pine and the town is named after his dad Simon Oakland who runs the local Ponderosa. Pine is accused of killing a girl while in a drunken stupor.

When Trampas gets to town with his prisoner he finds a very nervous deputy Tom Simcox holding down the fort as the sheriff has also been killed. There are a lot angry people in the town, friends of Oakland and friends of the family of the victim.

Forensic evidence wasn't a science then, but Doug McClure finds forensic evidence that identifies the real killer.

Nice performances by the ensemble cast.
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Murder, She Wrote: Town Father (1989)
Season 6, Episode 11
5/10
A dirty election in Cabot Cove
18 September 2019
The gossip among the denizens of Cabot Cove's beauty parlor is got some juicy items to discuss. Lee Purcell has arrived in town claiming that Mayor Richard Paul is the father of her two kids out in Wyoming. This is when Basil Hoffman is running against him for mayor. The issues are some zoning changes and some outside folks are backing Hoffman. Julia Adams Cabot Cove's real estate broker has also tossed her hat in the ring. Some want Angela Lansbury to run as she's the most well known figure from town. Even William Windom was asked.

Then Purcell is murdered and the blackmail scheme against Paul falls apart.

It's rather obvious who is behind all this, but I think it was silly to have Ron Masak and Angela Lansbury spending a lot time tracking down beauty parlor gossip.

Not one of the better MSW episodes.
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6/10
It was a round trip
18 September 2019
The old folks who left earth with the Antareans in Cocoon have decided to return with an Antarean mission to rescue another cocoon. The six couples from the previous film have three days to do their visiting with old friends and family.

As for the Antareans Courtney Cox looks up Steve Guttenberg who was so helpful in the last film that she's sure he'll be willing again. For a redblooded male like Guttenberg, Cox could convince me. But they're too late the cocoon has been taken from the ocean floor and a scientific institute has it now and they are sawing it open to get the living thing they saw with x-ray.

The first Cocoon movie was a wonderful fantasy that worked on our imaginations. The second is entertaining, but sadly comes off as a routine science fiction. And you better have watched the first because you won't understand the sequel.

Best in this film is Jack Gilford who stayed behind when the rest of his 60+ something friends went. He's still the same whiner and complainer, but there's an endearing quality to him.

I think most will like Cocoon: The Return. But leftovers aren't as good as the first meal.
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Prairie Law (1940)
6/10
Bad guys buy the law and order
17 September 2019
In this RKO western George O'Brien stars as a cattleman bringing a herd home and when he gets there he finds a bunch of homesteaders on what was public land. It's been sold to them by agent Paul Everton who's a real sharp sort.

This is an argument used in westerns like the Sea Of Grass and McLintock where land used for buffalo and cattle does not have the rich soil deep enough to support agricultural crops. Everton knows it, O'Brien knows it, and soon the suckers who bought the land will. And Everton's also the town judge.

In any event the herds are stalled ripe for a little nickel and dime rustling another of Everton's schemes. The steers are butchered and the meat sold to town butcher Cy Kendall who really operates with a low overhead and a wide profit margin.

When the sheriff J. Farrell MacDonald investigates he's killed by Kendall and that spurs George O'Brien into action as MacDonald was his uncle.

I have to say that Everton was a truly crafty villain. Takes a lot to bring him down.

Enough gunplay to satisfy any western fan.
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6/10
Fast shootin' doc
17 September 2019
Johnny Mack Brown stars in this western for Monogram that has a bit more plot than your average B film. He plays a newly arrived doctor in the town who has a secret. His secret is that he's a fast gun with an accurate aim at what he shoots at.

This is one lawless town and saloon owner Harry Woods wants to keep it that way. The town brings in tamer Douglass Dumbrille and appoints him marshal with carte blanche. But to finish the job he will need Brown and those colts he carries in his doctor's bag.

Being a law and order marshal in a western is not a role I ever thought to see Dumbrille in. But he does carry it off.

Joan Woodbury has the role of Woods's partner in the saloon. She's in charge of the entertainment at the establishment and PeeWee King and his group who are in this film play at the saloon and work for her. She's also carrying a big secret which we don't learn until the end.

Enough gunplay to satisfy any western fan.
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Friends (1994–2004)
8/10
Defining comedy for the millenials
17 September 2019
This was one interesting show, essentially it defined comedy for the millenial generation.

Three men, three women typical of young people as they like to see themselves decide to room together in New York City, rents being what they are. The women were Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston,and Courtney Cox. The guys are David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, and Matt LeBlanc.

With six characters from different backgrounds there was a chance to bring in girlfriends, boyfriends, relations of all kinds in a whole range of plot situations for episodes. One of the reasons the show clicked.

The bigger reasons was however the chemistry between the six. You can never tell, you just hope you make the right casting and the audience likes the ensemble. That's sheer luck at times.

I know my nieces of the younger generation really dug this show as they entered their teen years. I kind of liked it myself
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6/10
What some kids carry around.
17 September 2019
That Was Then, This Is Now is the story of two working class youths who look like they are on a street to nowhere in their lives.

After his parents killed themselves, Emilio Estevez is taken in by his best friend Craig Sheffer and his mom Barbara Babcock. The two of them get in all kinds of trouble. But Sheffer is starting to think that may be if I grow up their just might be a future for him.

Estevez is carrying a lot around, many of us do and we react to it in different ways. Estevez is on the road to career criminality. He gets involved in deeper and deeper and threatens to bring Sheffer in with him if Sheffer does not heed the better angels of his nature.

The key scene is when we learn as Estevez confides to Scheffer just what it is he's carrying inside. Some of the best acting in both their careers.

Hollywood has done very well with S.E. Hinton novels. That Was Then This Is Now is right up there with Tex, Rumblefish. and The Outsiders. This one managed to get done without Matt Dillon.

I recommend it highly.
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