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Found 16 results

  1. I have to put "American" in quotes, since the body of this gorgeous car was done in Italy (by Scaglietti of Maranello, who did coachwork for Ferrari race cars). Only three of these beauties were ever made - the backstory of the third car (pictured below) is detailed here on conceptcarz.com: "This is one of three 1959 Corvette chassis sent to Carrozzeria Scaglietti in Maranello, Italy, to get lightweight alloy bodies. The new design by Sergio Scaglietti was the project of three Texas-based racers - Gary Laughlin, Jim Hall and Carroll Shelby - who where trying to beat Ferrari at their own game; they wanted to create an inexpensive lightweight sports racing car with Chevrolet power. Their intention was to race these cars against the likes of the Ferrari 250 GTOs and the 250 SWB Berlinettas. Scaglietti's biggest customer, Enzo Ferrari, was not pleased. Consequently, the car took more than two years to complete and the project failed. This is perhaps the Cobra that should have been, but the Texas trio eventually turned their attention to other cars including Carroll Shelby's hugely successful AC Cobra project. The concept was to use an inexpensive, reliable American drive train mated with an exotic Italian body. Shelby acquired three corvette rolling chassis. One with a four-speed transmission the others with the powerglide, all had the standard 283 cubic-inch engine. With the help of American Perter Coltran, of Modena, Italy a connection was established with coachbuilder Sergio Scaglietti. His design incorporated many features found on the Ferraris being built at the same facility at the time. Progress on the three cars went very slowly, taking 18 months to complete car number 1. Cars #2 and #3 were completed in the USA. This is the 3rd and last Scaglietti Corvette."
  2. Most people of a certain age know that George Reeves played "Superman" in the original television series. Many people know that he died of suicide, by a suspicious gunshot. But who knew that he spoke the very first lines in "Gone with the Wind?!"
  3. Listen Up! I'm writing this comment six months after writing this post (on Nov 17, 2014). If anyone has any ambition to go through the entire series of The Twilight Zone, do yourselves a favor and buy "The Twilight Zone Companion" by Marc Scott Zicree before you start - I just got my copy yesterday after having already gone through 150 episodes (I didn't know it existed before), and I can assure everyone that it is indispensable - it is *the definitive* reference guide, and the paperback cost me something like $11.96 with free shipping on Amazon Prime. Trust me and buy this book before you begin - you'll thank me after only one episode. I cannot believe I watched this entire series without it - don't make the same mistake I did. *** SPOILER ALERT: Assume that all episode links contain them *** The Twilight Zone - Season 1 (Oct 2, 1959 - Jul 1, 1960) 1.1 - "Where Is Everybody?" - Oct 2, 1959 - <--- The books in this rack are all entitled, "The Last Man on Earth." Directed by Robert Stevens (Directed 44 episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents"), Written by Rod Serling (Writer of "Requiem for a Heavyweight" on "Playhouse 90") Featuring Earl Holliman (Sergeant Bill Crowley on "Police Woman"), James Gregory (Senator John Iselin in "The Manchurian Candidate," Dr. Tristan Adams in "Dagger of the Mind" on "Star Trek"), Garry Walberg (Hansen in "Balance of Terror" on "Star Trek" (2)) 1.2 - "One For The Angels" - Oct 9, 1959 - <--- "A most persuasive pitch, Mr. Bookman - an excellent pitch." Directed by Robert Parrish (Academy Award Winner for Best Film Editing for "Body and Soul"), Written by Rod Serling (2) Featuring Ed Wynn (Academy Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor as Albert Dussell in "The Diary of Anne Frank," Army in "Requiem for a Heavyweight" (2) As Himself in "The Man in the Funny Suit" on "Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse"), Murry Hamilton (Dr. Stafford in "The Swan Bed" on "Route 66," Mr. Robinson in "The Graduate") 1.3 - "Mr. Denton On Doomsday" - Oct 16, 1959 - <--- "The gunner and me, we're gonna have a showdown here." Directed by Allen Reisner, Written by Rod Serling (3) Featuring Dan Duryea (Mike McKay in "Don't Count Stars" on "Route 66," "Waco" Johnny Dean in "Winchester '73," China Smith on "China Smith"), Martin Landau (Andro in "The Man who was Never Born" on "The Outer Limits," Rollin Hand on "Mission: Impossible," Academy Award Winner for Best Supporting Actor as Béla Lugosi in "Ed Wood") [Martin Landau making Mr. Denton sing for his drink reminds me of Paul Dano's unspeakably heinous taunting scene from "12 Years A Slave" - maybe I'm wrong, but I think at least an indirect influence is there.] 1.4 - "The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine" - Oct 23, 1959 - <--- "There you are, Jerry ... there you are. You look so young." Directed by Mitchell Leisen, Written by Rod Serling (4) Featuring Ida Lupino (Mrs. Helen Chernen in "The Hard Way," Director of "The Hitch-Hiker" (The first female ever to direct a Film Noir)), Martin Balsam (Milton Arbogast in "Psycho"), Jerome Cowan (Miles Archer in "The Maltese Falcon," Thomas Mara in "Miracle on 34th. Street"), Ted de Corsia (Randolph E. Branch in "The Inheritors" on "The Outer Limits") [The "aging actress" is Ida Lupino, who, by this episode, was all of 41 (my how times have changed).] 1.5 - "Walking Distance" - Oct 30, 1959 - <--- "Martin, I only wanted to tell you that this is a wonderful time of life for you." Directed by Robert Stevens (2), Written by Rod Serling (5) Featuring Gig Young (Academy Award Winner for Best Supporting Actor (2) as Rocky in "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"), Ron Howard (Academy Award Winner for Best Director for "A Beautiful Mind"), Irene Tedrow (Lucy Elkins on "Dennis the Menace"), Frank Overton (Sherrif Heck Tate in "To Kill a Mockingbird," Elias Sandoval in "This Side of Paradise" on "Star Trek") [I'm writing this 28 episodes into Season 2 because I only recently realized that The A.V. Club reviewed The Twilight Zone episodes. The reviewer, Todd VanDerWerff, positively raved about this episode - so I took it seriously, and watched the second half of "Walking Distance" again, and I liked it a *lot* more than I did on first viewing. Maybe it's because that, as a whole, I don't like the series quite as much as I remember as a teenager, but regardless, I really did see things in "Walking Distance" on the second viewing that I missed in the first. A *very* young Ron Howard (five years old!) is in this episode, as is Irene Tedrow, who plays the mother, and who also appears in Season 2's "The Lateness Of The Hour" - many, many actors appeared in multiple episodes.] 1.6.- "Escape Clause" - Nov 6, 1959 - <--- "You deed to me your so-called 'soul,' and in exchange, I give you immortality." Directed by Mitchell Leisen (2), Written by Rod Serling (6) Featuring David Wayne (Sam Jacoby in "One More Mile To Go" on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (2), Andrew Anderson in "The Thirty-First of February" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," Ralph White in "The Three Faces of Eve," The Mad Hatter on "Batman," Dr. Charles Dutton in "The Andromeda Strain," Dr. Mill in "The Diary" on "Night Gallery"), Thomas Gomez, Virginia Christine (Model in "Salvage" and Secretary in "The Long Shot" in on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (3)) 1.7 - "The Lonely" - Nov 13, 1959 - <--- "No, but you don't understand: She's not a robot; she's a woman!" Directed by Jack Smight (Directed 4 episodes of "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (2)), Written by Rod Serling (7) Featuring Jack Warden (Juror #7 in "12 Angry Men," 3 episodes of "Route 66," Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Performance as George Halas in "Brian's Song," Academy Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor (2) as Lester Karpf in "Shampoo" and Max Corkle in "Heaven Can Wait"), Jean Marsh (4 episodes of "The Saint," Co-Creator and Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series as Rose Buck on "Upstairs, Downstairs"), John Dehner, Ted Knight (2-time Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series as Ted Baxter on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show") [This is one of Ted Knight's very first roles in Hollywood. Surprisingly, he also plays the prison guard who guards Norman Bates at the end of "Psycho" (*** MAJOR SPOILERS are at this link, which is the end of "Psycho" ***) 1.8 - "Time Enough At Last" - Nov 20, 1959 - <--- "Books! Books! All the books I'll need!" Directed by John Brahm (Director of "The Lodger" (1944 version), 10 episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (3), and 5 episodes of "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour"), Written by - Teleplay: Rod Serling (8), Story: Lynn Venable Featuring Burgess Meredith (The Penguin on "Batman," Dr. Diablo in "The Torture Garden," Dr. William Fall in "The Little Black Bag" and Charlie Finnegan in "Finnegan's Flight" on "Night Gallery" (2), Academy Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor (3) as Harry Greener in "The Day of the Locust" and Mickey Goldmill in "Rocky," Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie as Joseph Welch on "Tail Gunner Joe") [Not to nitpick, but I seriously doubt there would be a source to provide enough water pressure to make a ruptured hose spray up into the air.] 1.9 - "Perchance To Dream" - Nov 27, 1959 - <--- "Do you want to know how many hours I've been awake? 87 hours." Directed by Robert Florey (Co-Director of "The Cocoanuts"), Written by Charles Beaumont (Co-Writer of the Screenplay for "The Masque of the Red Death") Featuring Richard Conte (Tony Bergdorf in "Ocean's 11," Don Emilio Barzini in "The Godfather"), John Larch (Chief of Police in "Dirty Harry"), Suzanne Lloyd (Featured in 6 episodes of "The Saint") ["Perchance to Dream" comes from Hamlet's "To Be, or Not To Be" speech.] 1.10 - "Judgment Night" - Dec 4, 1959: Directed by John Brahm (2), Written by Rod Serling (9) Featuring Nehemiah Persoff ("Little Bonaparte" in "Some Like it Hot," Jack in "First Class Mouliak" and Vladia Dvorovoi in "Incident on a Bridge" on "Route 66"), Patrick MacNee (John Steed on "The Avengers"), James Franciscus (Ben Kendall in "Summer Shade" on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (4), Mike Longstreet on "Longstreet") [Note: And yes, it's James Franciscus.] 11. "And When The Sky Was Opened" - Dec 11, 1959: Written by Richard Matheson (Writer of "The Enemy Within" on "Star Trek" (xx), "Duel," The Big Surprise" and "The Funeral" on "Night Gallery" (xx)) [Note: One of the reasons this first season comes across as very dated (so far) is that 4 of the first 11 episodes (#1, #8, #10, and #11) deal with post-WWII military paranoia - with 3 of the 4 involving sheer terror. They're very good episodes, but there's no question that they haven't survived the test of time (and are perhaps a bit overacted as well). These definitely play into peoples' fears in the late 1950s - the Cold War took a brutal psychological toll on the American public, and that is represented here in full force.] 12. "What You Need" - Dec 18, 1959: 13. "The Four Of Us Are Dying" - Jan 1, 1960: Directed by John Brahm (Director of "The Lodger" (1944) and "Zzzzz" on "The Outer Limits"), Written by: Teleplay - Rod Serling (12), Story - "All of Us Are Dying" by George Clayton Johnson (Writer of "Ocean's Eleven," "Logan's Run," and "The Man Trap" on "Star Trek" (??)) Featuring Harry Townes (Three episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," Dr. Clifford Scott in "O.B.I.T." on "The Outer Limits," Reger in "The Return of the Archons" on "Star Trek" (??)), Ross Martin (Artemus Gordon on "The Wild, Wild West," Mr. Gingold in "Camera Obscura" on "Night Gallery" (??), Bradley Meredith in "The Other Way Out" on "Night Gallery" (??)), Phillip Pine (Leonard O'Brien in "The Incredible World of Horace Ford" on "The Twilight Zone" (??) Colonel Phillip Green in "The Savage Curtain" on "Star Trek" (??) Theodore Pearson in "One Hundred Days of the Dragon" on "The Outer Limits" (??), Dudley Grey in "Log 123: Courtroom" on "Adam-12"), Don Gordon (Luis B. Spain in "The Invisibles" on "The Outer Limits" (??), Dave Crowell in "Second Chance" on "The Outer Limits" (??)) [Well, maybe they listened to me - two episodes in a row now having nothing to do with the military. However, with only one exception (okay, 1 1/2 if you include "The Lonely"), all thirteen episodes are very white-male-centric - it's as if Rod Serling was portraying himself, complete with cigarettes (Serling was a four-pack-a-day smoker).] 14. "Third From The Sun" - Jan 8, 1960: 15. "I Shot An Arrow Into The Air" - Jan 15, 1960: [Note: They shouldn't have shown #14 and #15 back-to-back for obvious reasons. And we're back to the (para-)military episodes again - these two make 6 out of 15. "I Shot An Arrow Into The Air" is from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "The Arrow And The Song," and this is a genuinely great title for this episode.] 16. "The Hitch-Hiker" - Jan 22, 1960: [Note: I'm pretty sure that I'd seen all 16 of these episodes at some point in my life, and unlike Star Trek (either TOS or TNG), they're just not all that wonderful to see a second time. The acting is sometimes poor (refer to the gentleman above with his thumb out), and the plots hinge on "a moment" that's generally worth waiting 30 minutes for (especially when you're a teenager), but not worth another viewing - for example, if you don't figure out "The Hitch-Hiker" in the first 5 minutes, you simply need to watch more plays, movies, or television (I never thought I'd say that). However, Dan Duryea (who played Mr. Denton in episode #3) really stands out to me, acting-wise - when he's forced to sing "How Dry I Am," it is genuine pathos which evokes quite a bit of viewer sympathy.] 17. "The Fever" - Jan 29, 1960: 1.18 - "The Last Flight" - Feb 5, 1960 - <--- "We had no idea you were so advanced." Directed by William Claxton (Director of "Sheba" on "Route 66" (xx)), Written by Richard Matheson (xx), Featuring Kenneth Haigh (Brutus in "Cleopatra"), Simon Scott (General Bronson on "McHale's Navy," Arnold Slocum on "Trapper John, M.D," ), Alexander Scourby (Mike Lagana in "The Big Heat"), Robert Warwick (Major Henry in "The Life of Emile Zola") [Note: Yes! The best episode to date - perhaps the first great one - *and* it was even military in nature. This reminded me of Star Trek. [interesting - after I posted this, I read on Wikipedia: "This episode is similar to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Yesterday's Enterprise.] A couple of these episodes I'd seen in the past, but there's a detail or two I didn't remember, and I'm glad I didn't remember everything about "The Last Flight." If you want to watch *a* Twilight Zone, but don't feel like watching *every* Twilight Zone, start here. "Time Enough At Last" is perhaps the most famous of the first eighteen episodes, and may be just as good as this, but I'd seen it several times, so it lost a bit of luster for me.] 19. "The Purple Testament" - Feb 12, 1960: 20. "Elegy" - Feb 19, 1960: [Note: Clunk. My least-favorite episode to date. And with #18, #19, and #20, this makes 9 out of 20 (para-)military episodes. I don't remember if this turns away from military and space, and more into other aspects of science fiction, or not. Well, I guess we'll see.] 21. "Mirror Image" - Feb 26, 1960: [Note: It really is amazing just how many of these episodes were reused in Star Trek - maybe not "reused" so much as "borrowed and transformed." "Mirror Image" is a prime example, and this is about the third or fourth time it's happened - that said, this was an extremely weak episode, parallel (no pun intended) to "Mirror, Mirror" in TOS Season 2.] 1.22 - "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street" - Mar 4, 1960 - <--- "Charlie, you killed him - he's dead." Directed by Ronald Winston (Director of "Banning"), Written by Rod Serling (xx) Featuring Claude Akins (Seaman "Horrible" in "The Caine Mutiny," Joe Burdette in "Rio Bravo"), Barry Atwater (Craig in "A Time Out of War," Dr. Jonas Temple in "Corpus Earthling" on "The Outer Limits," Surak in "A Savage Curtain" on "Star Trek," Alec Brandon in "The Doll of Death" on "Night Gallery," Janos Skorzeny in "The Night Stalker"), [Note: A classic. Like "Time Enough At Last," I'd seen it a few times so it lost its luster, but still, a classic. Claude Akins is unyielding with his reason, but ultimately not persuasive enough to stop the monsters.] 23. "A World Of Difference" - Mar 11, 1960: Directed by Ted Post (Director of "Sleep on Four Pillows" on "Route 66," "Beneath the Planet of the Apes," and "Magnum Force") [Note: Ah, finally! It took 23 episodes before I found one where I hadn't seen the entire thing - somehow, I vaguely remembered the beginning (after "it" happened), but didn't remember the ending at all.] 24. "Long Live Walter Jameson" - Mar 18, 1960: [Note: You just get the sense that the show is beginning to mature, and come into its own, with episodes like this.] 25. "People Are Alike All Over" - Mar 25, 1960: Directed by MItchell Leisen (Director of "Death Takes a Holiday" and "Murder at the Vanities"), Written by: Teleplay - Rod Serling (xx), Story - Paul W. Fairman (Founding Editor of "If" Magazine) Featuring Roddy McDowall (Cornelius and Caesar in the "Planet of the Apes" franchise, Gerald Musgrove in "The Gentleman Caller" and George in "See the Monkey Dance" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," Peter Vincent in "Fright Night," Jeremy Evans in "The Cemetery" on "The Night Gallery") Susan Oliver (Annabel Delaney in "Annabel" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (xx) 3 Episodes of "Route 66" (xx), Vina in "The Cage" and "The Menagerie" on "Star Trek" (xx)), Paul Comi (Modeer in "The Crimson Witness" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (xx), Lieutenant Stiles in "Balance of Terror" on "Star Trek" (xx)), Byron Morrow (Admiral Komack in "Amok Time" and Admiral Westervliet on "For the World is Hollow, and I have Touched the Sky" on "Star Trek" (xx), Vic Perrin (3 episodes of "Star Trek" (xx), Everett Jones in "Citizens All" on "Adam-12" (xx)), Vernon Gray (John Fraser in "To Paris with Love") [Note: Why is it that, unlike both Star Trek series that I've watched, The Twilight Zone hasn't skipped a single week? Yes, that's Roddy McDowall.] 26. "Execution" - Apr 1, 1960: [Note: Albert Salmi, who will appear in later episodes, is adept at playing unremorseful bastards.] 27. "The Big Tall Wish" - Apr 8, 1960: [Note: I suspect Rod Serling had "The Big Tall Wish" up his sleeve from day one. To quote Serling, "Television, like its big sister, the motion picture, has been guilty of the sin of omission... Hungry for talent, desperate for the so-called 'new face,' constantly searching for a transfusion of new blood, it has overlooked a source of wondrous talent that resides under its nose. This is the Negro actor." This is the first time I remember anyone of color in a Twilight Zone episode, and it's fantastic that it wasn't even referenced; nevertheless, this was a tough pill to swallow. As an aside, who knew that an athlete named Bo Jackson would be seriously injured after watching Bolie Jackson?] 28. A Nice Place To Visit" - Apr 15, 1960: [Note: Boy, I don't know if the other seasons will have this many "classic" episodes, but this first season has several. How can anyone see PIP as a child and not remember him (especially us latchkey children who were occasionally subjected to watching the awful Family Affair?).] 29. "Nightmare As A Child" - Apr 29, 1960: [Note: Hey! We skipped a week! I'm pretty sure Rod Serling was a "change the world" liberal relative to his day, but was also smart enough to bide his time and win over the Good Old Boys first. Here is another episode that might be considered "modern" by contemporary standards, one in which the power of a woman defeats the strength of a man. Nothing too radical, and nothing I even noticed when I first posted this, but maybe a little bit.] 30. "A Stop At Willoughby" - May 6, 1960: [Note: Only 2 of the past 10 episodes (#22 and #25) have used (para-)military or space-age paranoia as premises, so that makes only 11 out of 30 - a much more reasonable number. Also 2 out of the past 4 (#27 and #29) episodes have dealt with people of color or the strength of females - the show is definitely settling in and teaching us something rather than merely entertaining us. That said, the female character in "A Stop At Willoughby" was, just like in "A World Of Difference," a stereotypical harpy - the type of person anyone would despise. You can easily see how they chose Howard Duff to play the lead in "A World Of Difference" - his eyes and his eyebrows are perma-fixed in this kind of confused-looking stare. I've never seen a facial expression that changed so little over the course of a thirty-minute show - it's almost funny although it's not meant to be.] 31. "The Chaser" - May 13, 1960: [Note: Well, here it is: The very first episode in Season 1 that I hadn't seen any of. What a refreshing point of view to have, not having the foggiest notion of what is to transpire, and not recognizing it when it does. This episode - comic to the point of being laugh-out-loud funny at times - but also tense (in an "Arachnophobia" type of way - not knowing if an innocent mistake might kill you) - was very nearly outstanding, and gave me the "thrill of first sighting" once again, and for that, this whole endeavor has been worth it. This gives me hope that there will be others, perhaps numerous others, and this exercise is like a little treasure hunt. "The Chaser" is absolutely a comic episode, but the acting, particularly by the Clara Bow-like Patricia Barry, is fantastic - Barry plays two distinct roles here, and transitions from being a stand-offish dream-girl to "every guy's worst nightmare" in an instant, and she performs the dichotomy seamlessly. Because of the hilarity of this episode, her excellent acting could easily be overlooked, but it would be a mistake to do so. You should watch this if you haven't - I'd love to see your thoughts.] 32. "A Passage For Trumpet" - May 20, 1960: [Note: There are many inside jokes in Twilight Zone episodes, and a really clever one here is when Jack Klugman walks out of the bar just after selling his trumpet: The bar is named "Bandwagon," and that's just perfect. Between these playful little jokes, and some of the ingenious titles, there was a very clever person at work here - maybe more than one - but I suspect one of them was named Rod Serling. "A Passage For Trumpet?" Think about that title for a second.] 33. "Mr. Bevis" - Jun 3, 1960: [Note: Hey! We skipped a week for the second time in a month! What gives? Baseball season? Why do I feel like I just watched my own biography? Mr. Bevis is the way I want to be. Yeah, it would nice to have wealth, fame, idolizing fans, all that good stuff, but at the end of the day, all that's important is who cares that you're gone, what your children develop into, the character of your grand-grandchildren ... all that stuff that can't be put onto a corporate balance sheet. I know all of this, and to the best of my knowledge, I've yet to walk in ... to ... The Twilight Zone. (Although, honestly, sometimes it seems like I've come pretty close.)] 34. "After Hours" - Jun 10, 1960: [Note: A surprisingly weak episode after a long run of strong ones. Well, every series is entitled to some clunkers, and this was theirs. Weak acting, a weak storyline, a weak plot, very little consequence, very little at stake, just all-around weak and very little.] 35. "The Mighty Casey" - Jun 17, 1960: Directed by Robert Parrish (Academy Award Winner for Best Film Editing for "Body and Soul") and Alvin Ganzer (Directed 14 episodes of "Police Woman"), Written by Rod Serling (xx) Featuring Jack Warden (xx), Robert Sorrells (Charlie Guthrie in "Bound for Glory"), Abraham Sofaer (Arch on "Demon with a Glass Hand" on "The Outer Limits" (xx), Haji on "I Dream of Jeannie," The Thasian on "Charlie X" on "Star Trek" (xx)) [Note: Gosh, I hate to say it, but my least-favorite Twilight Zone episode so far has been about baseball. This could have been a classic; instead it was just a big dud. If you're a Twilight Zone fan *and* a Sports Fan, you'll be bitterly disappointed in this - the combination couldn't have been worse. That said, I've seen a lot of online comments about this episode, and not one of them mentioned that this was shown just one year after west-coast baseball began, and there's kind of a "cutting" comment at the very end regarding the West Coast - I'm wondering if this is something of a metaphor for teams (the Dodgers and Giants, to be exact) moving west of Kansas City - note that the Giants *shellacked* the Zephyrs after Casey got his heart, but that the manager moved the Zephyrs to the West Coast shortly afterwards and dominated, because he got the robot blueprint. I also read, in one comment, that the gentleman who originally played the manager of the Zephyrs passed away just before filming ended, and they had to reshoot all of his parts with Jack Warden - and they had to do it in short order - that, too, can explain a lot that went wrong. Warden was a fine actor, but he didn't give a good performance in this episode (notice how silly the opening "handshake" scene is).] 36. "A World Of His Own" - Jun 24, 1960: [Note: Season one is now a wrap, and it went out on a high note - with a comedy, yet. The ending of "A World Of His Own" was wonderful, with two back-to-back surprises (I'm not sure what this second technique is called). I'm so glad I went through this entire season because it not only lent a perspective to things, but also solidified how a series matures over time and gains its own personality. I'm very much looking forward to beginning season two. My remembering how much I enjoyed The Twilight Zone wasn't just childhood reminiscing; it's actually a really good, absolutely groundbreaking series. I believe The Outer Limits may be superior (I'd need to revisit all shows from both series to make that judgment, but hey, I've got "time enough at last," as Burgess Meredith would say). Please allow me to pat myself on the back, feeling and enjoying a small but significant sense of accomplishment.]
  4. "Dragnet" (1951 TV Series) Main Cast Series created and directed by Jack Webb Jack Webb as Detective Sergeant Joe Friday Ben Alexander as Officer Frank Smith The theme song, with its well-known four-note opening, is from the 1946 film, "The Killers," and was composed by Miklós Rózsa. Season 1 (Dec 16, 1951 - Jun 19, 1952) (available in the public domain) 1.1 - "The Human Bomb" - Dec 16, 1951 - Written by Jack Webb and James E. Moser (Emmy Nominee for "Best Written Dramatic Material" for "White Is the Color" on "Medic") Featuring Barton Yarborough as Sergeant Ben Romero (Doc Long in "The Devil's Mask"), Raymond Burr as Deputy Chief Thad Brown (Lars Thorwald in "Rear Window," Perry Mason on "Perry Mason," Robert T. Ironside on "Ironside") , Stacy Harris as Vernon Carney (Jim Taylor on "This is Your FBI"), Herbert Butterfield as Lieutenant Lee Jones (The Commissioner on "Dangerous Assignment"), Barney Phillips as Sam Erickson (Haley in "Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?" on "The Twilight Zone") [In the opening, Sergeant Friday is describing Los Angeles, and mentions that it has two-million people. A particularly cruel note: three days after this episode aired, and the day after the second episode was filmed, Barton Yarborough died of a heart attack (Yarborough did spend three years co-starring in the radio version of Dragnet, which aired from 1949-1957). Yarborough's character, Ben Romero, is the first name ever mentioned in the televised Dragnet series. "The Human Bomb" is the first of 448 televised episodes of the "Dragnet" franchise (to go along with 314 episodes on the radio, for a total of 762). Furthermore, it influenced the terrific Adam-12 series (174 episodes). This was a star-studded, exciting half-hour of television, and was surely one of the first-ever shows working in quasi "real-time" - it has to do with a man wielding a bomb in Los Angeles City Hall, and they have about 25 minutes to stop him. Even though this episode is 66-years old, it provides riveting, never-a-dull-moment entertainment, and you'll get to see Raymond Burr before he went on to great fame in "Perry Mason" and "Ironside," not to mention "Rear Window." Barney Phillips is also a man you may recognize, especially from "The Twilight Zone" episode, "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?" Given the historical importance of "Dragnet," watching the first-ever episode will certainly not be a waste of your time - note, however, that there's currently a YouTube video (<--- don't watch this) that's labeled as "The Human Bomb," but isn't; the episode can be found, as of today, on Vimeo (<--- do watch this). Some parting words about the final moments: The lighting as Friday falls down is terrific, inciting a split-second of panic in the viewer; the first line of dialog after he falls is a legendary, "No shit, Sherlock," moment, and the final word spoken in the episode is laugh-out-loud funny.]
  5. UCLA scored 35 unanswered points on Saturday to defeat Texas A&M, 45-44, in the second-biggest comeback in NCAA football history. That said, I believe if their final touchdown was reviewed correctly (or, at all), it *might* have been overturned: Only one foot landed in-bounds, and the ball was in the process of sliding out of the receiver's hands until it was stopped by his leg. There probably isn't enough conclusive evidence to overturn the call, but I think that if it wasn't for his leg, the ball would have slipped through the receiver's hands. Judge for yourself: "LOOK: Was UCLA's Game-Winning TD Pass vs. Texas A&M Actually Incomplete?" by Ben Kercheval on cbssports.com <--- Scroll down. The key issue is: If the receiver had control of the ball when his right leg came down, then it's a touchdown. One way of looking at the sequence is: 1) Right leg lands in the end zone. 2) Ball is slipping, but is stabilized by leg. 3) Left leg lands out-of-bounds. And unless he had "control of the ball" at the time #1) occurred, it's not a touchdown. An alternative way of looking at it is: 1) Receiver catches ball over his head, and has control at that point. 2) Right leg lands in the end zone. 3) Ball starts slipping out *after* the right foot landed. In which case it's a touchdown. Looking at it from this point of view, you can't overturn the call. This is a tough one, but unless it's definitive, the call must stand. I've watched this probably 100 times, and I can't tell for sure, but it seems to me like: 1) Receiver catches ball over his head, and has control at that point. 2) The ball hits the receiver's right rib cage, and the ball is jarred loose. 3) About 1/100th of a second after that, the receiver's right leg lands in the end zone. 4) The receiver stabilizes the ball with his leg. 5) Left leg lands out-of-bounds. Only God knows for sure what happened, but I think the analysis immediately above is correct. In other words, he didn't have control, but you can't possibly overturn this call. You'll need to watch the video loop 20 times just to clearly see the time difference between #2) and #3). To me, the most interesting thing is that, if the play was ruled incomplete, there wouldn't be enough conclusive evidence to overturn that call either - so either way it was called, the call must stand. Whew! (Don't forget, even if the pass was called incomplete, it would have been only 2nd down, so UCLA would have had 3 more chances.)
  6. Well, it looks like right now, I'm in a minority of one. I did some research into the 'Best Westerns of All-Time," and "Rio Bravo" is on many, if not most, lists. I love John Wayne as an actor in Westerns, and have enjoyed several films by Howard Hawks, notably "His Girl Friday" and "Bringing Up Baby" - two screwball comedies that are archetypes for "rapid-fire dialogue" - a technique that was employed around 1940. After one viewing, this is my least favorite of the five John Wayne films I've written about here on donrockwell.com, but I just can't reconcile my views of this film with seemingly every other critic ... except for one. Before the rise of the celebrity American film critic, there was Leslie Halliwell - a British critic known for his impossibly huge book of film capsules. Member Number One and I jokingly used to call him "The Prick," because we could never remember his name, and he was incredibly hard on films - particularly ones which rehashed old material. Halliwell was my reference-standard critic in the days before the internet, and for older films, he's still an exceptionally important voice for me. Halliwell is the only major critic I can find who jibes with my first viewing of "Rio Bravo," saying it's a "cheerfully overlong and slow-moving Western," but was "very watchable for those with time to spare." That's about how I see it. Nevertheless, I've been fooled by great works of art before after only one viewing, so I went so far as to purchase "Rio Bravo" by Robin Wood, and am going to read it before watching the film a second time. On a superficial level, it seemed to me like Hawks was in over his head with the Western genre (I know he directed "Red River" in 1948). I'm hoping for more out of this film, so I'm going to give it a second pass after reading Wood's book about it. Neither "His Girl Friday" nor "Bringing Up Baby" had much going for them other than star power, Howard Hawks, and the rapid-fire dialogue fad (which I could never really get into), and to be honest, I have yet to see anything by Hawks that I've loved. Here's hoping that's going to change after my second viewing.
  7. I can count on one hand the number of novels that left an indelible mark on my mind--literature that painted pictures so vividly that the imagery stays clearly with me years after I read the book. "The Tin Drum" by Gunter Grass is one of a handful of novels that I will never forget. Grass is an amazingly talented author. His prose is lyrical, even translated from German. To mark the 50th anniversary of the book, "The Tin Drum" was painstakingly re-translated (with a great deal of input by Grass himself) by Breon Mitchell, who made great efforts to preserve the poetic nature of Grass' prose. Earlier editions merely translated the meanings of his German words into English. This translation retains the beautiful richness and rhythm of his words. There is a very interesting chapter in the back of the book that discusses this process. If you purchase the novel, I highly recommend you get a copy with the newer translation. "The Tin Drum" is political, satirical, dark, moving, hilarious and thought provoking. There are elements of magical realism and historical fiction. I recently watched the 1979 award-winning film adaptation of this book. It is a good film, but far inferior to the novel. There is so much in this book that the movie can barely skim the surface. The casting was brilliant and the acting was great. The film touched on several of the highlights of Oskar's life, but so many of my favorite parts of the book were missing. Watching this film and thinking you know the story of "The Tin Drum" is like going to Epcot and saying you've been to Europe. ***SPOILERS FOLLOW*** Several of the most memorable scenes in the book are also in the film. But the imagery that Grass paints with his words is far more powerful than watching these somewhat shocking events play out on film. A pivotal moment in both the book and the film is when one of the major characters dies. This corresponds with the Soviet occupation of Poland. All of the details in the book are there, including Oskar's contribution to this person's death and the role of a Nazi party pin. But in the book, as the corpse lies on the cellar floor and the family scurries in panic around him, Oskar is transfixed by a trail of ants marching around the body and into a bag of sugar. With that one small detail, Grass speaks to the futility of war and the insignificance of man in the scope of the world. The addition of this one small detail makes a powerful and moving scene all the more powerful and moving. This is just one example of why the book is so superior to the film. If you love thought-provoking, exquisitely written literature, do not miss out on this fabulous book.
  8. You all should get a bang out of this. The first part of this video is *fantastic* - it shows (in great detail) John McEnroe playing Eliot Teltscher in a tight college match, then in a professional doubles tournament with Arthur Ashe, then the most detail of the 1978 NCAA Championiships I've ever seen, with McEnroe against John Sadri in the finals.
  9. This debut film by director François Truffaut is a delight to watch. Well acted and beautifully shot, this filmed charmed and moved me. Semi-autobiographical, Truffaut tells the story of a mischievous French teen. Obviously bright, but not given the proper guidance at home, his misbehavior escalates. Jean-Pierre Léaud, only 14 at the time, is wonderful in the role of Antoine Doinel. The other teen actors are very good as well, and Albert Remy and Claire Maurier are perfect as Antoine's inept parents. Truffaut was only 27 when he directed this film. "The 400 Blows" is regarded as one of his finest, and is considered one of the earliest works of the French New Wave. I love quiet, beautifully made films like "The 400 Blows," a character-driven look at a troubled boy looking for his place in the world.
  10. I especially love Billie Holiday's late recordings for Verve. This recording of "April in Paris" from 1956 was included on the wonderful collection "Lady in Autumn: The Best of the Verve Years" released in 1991, which I strongly suggest anyone who cares for singing or for jazz or for Billie Holiday should have. I believe that's the great Ben Webster on tenor sax.
  11. It pains me to say that the great German author, Günter Grass, 1999 Nobel Prize winner for Literature and author of "The Tin Drum," has passed away at age 87. "Renowned German Author Günter Grass Dies, Age 87" on dw.de (Deutsche Welle) "Günter Grass, Nobel-Winning German Novelist, Dies Age 87" on theguardian.com "Günter Grass, Who Confronted Germany's Past As Well As His Own, Dies At 87" on npr.org "Günter Grass, Nobel Prize Winner, Dies Age 87" on telegraph.co.uk "Günter Grass, German Novelist and Social Critic, Dies at 87" on nytimes.com Last year, we lost Gabriel Garcia Marquez; this year, we lost Günter Grass. Like Marquez's "100 Years of Solitude," Grass's "The TIn Drum" is one of the most important works of contemporary literature I've ever read. A giant has left us today. Please share your thoughts and feelings about this great German author - this has hit me pretty hard, and I'd love to see some discussion of his life's work. "The Tin Drum" (1959) is one of those literary works which you'll most likely find more rewarding to read before seeing the film (1979), although the film is excellent, having won a Palme D'Or and an Academy Award.
  12. I read Lansing's version of "Endurance" before I knew anything about Shackleton (about twenty years ago), and it remains the single most compelling non-fiction experience of my life. I had *no idea* what was going to happen; now, the story has been sensationalized and ruined for people. To anyone unfamiliar with the story: I urge you to buy Lansing's version, and to immediately cover up the photographs in the middle (earlier editions didn't have the photographs at all, and you're much, *much* better off without them). Do not look at them until you finish the book. Again, I consider this the single most enthralling, arguably the greatest, work of non-fiction I've ever read, but for you to say the same thing, you'll need to remain completely unfamiliar with the story throughout the book.
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