Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'Doug McClure'.
Found 3 results
It's funny how knowledge builds upon itself - I was looking at "The Man in the Funny Suit," which somehow led me to "The Balance of Terror," which led me to "The Enemy Below," and I noticed that this was Doug McClure's film debut (this post could just as easily go in the Film Forum). I knew the name Doug McClure well, but I didn't know why, so I went to his Wikipedia page, and started reading - although he's most famous for his role in "The Virginian," I've never watched TV westerns (not even "Gunsmoke"), so that wasn't it. But I kept reading, and lo and behold, he played in "Mr. Denton on Doomsday." Until recently, I'd never watched TV since I was in high school (I don't even have one plugged in), but I'm becoming more-and-more convinced that Rod Serling is one of the most important figures in television history. I've done a fair amount of reading about him, and he was on the front lines of race equality, but was stymied by Hollywood bureaucracy, and had to walk a fine line between doing what he wanted, and towing the party line - it's amazing how much his scripts were destroyed in the process: 03/27/08 - "Uncensored: 'Twilight Zone' Creator's Script on Emmett Till Case" by William Cates on washingtonpost.com Anyway, Doug McClure, as Mr. Grant, played only a small role late in the episode, but I encourage anyone wanting to watch a representative "Twilight Zone" episode to see that one (it's not "the best" or anything, but it's quite good, and it will make you feel sorry for Mr. Denton (Dan Duryea) within the first three minutes) - it's available for free to Amazon Prime members.
Just as "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" (1962) fell into an obscure sub-genre of films being produced around the early 1960s called "Psycho-Biddy" - essentially old, famous actresses cast in new movies as "old ladies gone mad," "Satan's Triangle" (1975) falls into a cluster of films around the mid-1970s - including "The Exorcist" (1973), "The Omen" (1975), and "The Devils" (1971) that I would term, "Catholic Horror." I've never heard of this sub-genre before, but I remember an unusually high concentration of "Priest and Devil" films that came out right when I was transitioning from child to teenager (the exact time in someone's life when these would scare one the most). And "Satan's Triangle" scared the beejesus out of me when I saw it on TV, so much so that I've spent my entire life thinking it was one of the scariest films I've ever seen. However, I saw it last night for the first time in 42 years (!), and although parts are very creepy (if you watch it, make sure to stick with it until the very end), it just isn't all that terrifying, and although the actors themselves are extremely talented (Kim Novak, Doug McClure, Michael Conrad, Alejandro Rey), the film itself just doesn't bring out their very best. I also recently rewatched "Duel" (1971), Steven Spielberg's first feature-length film, which I saw when I was ten years old, and that film has not only withstood the test of time, but I enjoy it almost as much as a 56-year-old, as I did as a 10-year-old - Spielberg takes an almost painfully simple plot, and nearly impossibly turns it into 90-minutes of genuine, nail-biting thrills - I urge everyone reading this to click on that link and to watch "Duel." As for "Satan's Triangle," it isn't "dated" so much as I've grown up - any teenager who doesn't question the existence of God would probably still be scared by it, but I've turned into such a cynic that it just doesn't do as much for me. However, I can still be scared by a good, old-fashioned Catholic Horror film, if it was done well-enough; this particular one just isn't there. It's perhaps worth watching, and there are currently two free versions on YouTube which I cannot recommend (and won't even link to), as the quality is mediocre-to-poor (I made the mistake of watching one of these, and the quality of the presentation *really* diminished the experience). The one I watched even got worse in quality as it went along - if you're going to watch it, pay a few bucks and rent it: This might be the difference between "scary" and "not scary."
I watched "Roots" when I was fifteen years old, having absolutely *no* real-life experience to lend the series context - I lived in a sheltered, upper-middle class suburb, and had absolutely no exposure to any of this, except what I was taught in school. Having recently watched movies such as "Django Unchained," "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" "Do the Right Thing," and "12 Years a Slave," I thought it was high time for *me* to do the right thing, and get back to the roots of all these movies - the original 1977 miniseries, which caused an incredible stir when it was released. It was hard to watch then, and I suspect it will be even harder to watch now that I have life's experiences behind me. I remember very well, about twenty years ago, a Jewish friend of mine watched all of "Shoah" - no small task - because he promised himself that he would, as a Jew, in order to educate himself and remember what happened to his people. For a similar - but opposite - reason, I'm watching Roots: Not because of what happened *to* my people, but because of what my people did *to* another race of innocents. Do I feel *personally* responsible for what occurred? I wasn't born yet, so how could I? Do I feel a responsibility for what occurred? Of course I do - primarily because it's still going on. A successful television broadcast is now considered to be about 10 million viewers - even though Roots got off to a relatively slow start, episode #1 was the only episode of the 8 - which ran every day for a week - that pulled in less than 30 million. It was remarkably successful, and well-received by both critics and the general public alike. Roots won 9 Emmy Awards with 28 nominations, and 1 Golden Globe Award with 2 nominations. Maybe I'm being a touch dramatic, but I hope this post inspires others to rewatch this important series. Amazon has the first episode for free, hoping to reel in viewers who will purchase the entire series for $34.99. I refuse to pay this, and am wondering if anyone knows where it can be viewed for less money. Alex Haley wrote the book (see below for additional information), and is implicitly credited as a Writer in all six episodes. There are simply too many stars in this series to do anything but add simple links for them - refer to their Wikipedia links for all the other work they've done - this would be a fool's errand for me to attempt. Jan 23 - Jan 29, 1977 - Episode List and Timetable Episode 1 - Directed by David Greene (Director of "Sebastian"), Written by William Blinn (Screenwriter of "Brian's Song") and Ernest Kinoy (Writer of "I Wouldn't Start from Here" on "Route 66") Featuring Edward Asner, O.J. Simpson, Ralph Waite, Ji-Tu Cumbuka, Maya Angelou, Moses Gunn, Thalmus Rasulala, Hari Rhodes, William Watson, Renn Woods, Levar Burton, Cicely Tyson, Ernest Thomas, Rebecca Bess, Henry Butts, Episode 2 - Episode 3 - Episode 4 - Episode 5 - Episode 6 - When the first episode ended, the first thing I thought of was the 9/11 attacks by Al-Qaeda: A few *morons* with letter openers brought down the World Trade Center, killing thousands in the process. It takes so little to do so much damage, and although slavery was a large institution, the protagonists in Episode 1 were just a few dozen idiots. Ironically, the victims of this crime against humanity were Muslim. I'm not sure how historically accurate that is (Alex Haley was caught plagiarizing parts of his book), but in Ghana, i,e., Northwest Africa, it's not impossible. "Miniseries: Roots Special" on pbs.org May 27, 2016 - "Roots: Behind the 1977 Series that Started a National Conversation" by Alynda Wheat on people.com