The Family Next Door (1939)

the family next door 1939

Comedy about the misadventures of the Pierce Family. George Pierce calls himself the one trip plumber. He and wife have two boys, Rufus and Sammy and two daughters, Susan and Laura. It slides by for an hour and is some hokey fun. Nothing to make a bee line to see. The curious may want to check it out because of Hugh Herbert, one of the top comics of the 30’s and 50’s.

Laura (Joy Hodges) is waiting for her date Harold Warner. He’s a science student. While waiting she practices singing. Rufus can’t stand her shrieks while doing scales and turns on his favorite science radio program. They argue back and forth until Mom gets some kind of peace.

George (Hugh Herbert) comes home from his shop. His wife wants to make an impression on Harold so she tells him to move the car from in front of the house. The family sits down to dinner when Sammy comes home. He says he just saw Harold at the gas station and he’s not coming over. He’s having dinner at the Dean’s house.

Sammy is all excited that his rich friend Bill Trevis let him know that the railroad is building a sub station outside of town. He wants George to sell bonds he’d been saving so Sammy can buy the land and make a killing selling it to the railroad. George doesn’t want to take a chance.

To try and impress Blil, George takes up golf. Things aren’t going well. At the country club George and Bill are going to play a round. Rufus is the caddy. It ends up being five bucks a hole. Bill makes a nice tee shot. Lucky for George it starts to rain and the game is off. Inside the club, spoiled rich girl Jane tries to impress Bill. Outside she invites him to a party at her house. Laura sends mother to the rescue. She says a party has been scheduled at her house. Too bad Jane can’t make it because it’s the same night as hers.

At the bank Sammy and Mom spot rich Cora Stewart making a ten thousand dollar withdrawal. She’s Bill’s aunt. Mom reluctantly agrees to sell the bonds so Sammy can buy some land before Cora gets it all. Mom makes Sammy promise not to tell George.

It’s party night. Mrs.Pierce has gone all out to impress Bill and Cora. She’s rented expensive furniture and a new piano and even hires a maid named Blossom for the event. Rufus and Susan aren’t happy they have to stay out of the way upstairs and go to bed. Rufus has plans.

The guesst are wearing funny hats and playing musical chairs. While Blossom is getting some glasses from a cabinet Rufus sneaks in with a box and takes a lot of food. He’s having a party of his own upstairs as his friends come through the window. The noise can’t be heard downstairs but Susan hears it and joins them. They aren’t happy but she and the family dog are there to stay. Of course things get out of hand…way out of hand.

To make matters worse the land is found to be quicksand.  The family is in real trouble now. It has the usual feel good resolution but that’s how these movies always go.  All in all not that bad and it does follow the formula of nice family gets into hopeless situation and it’s always darkest before the dawn.

Benny Bartlett as Rufus is up to no good

Benny Bartlett as Rufus is up to no good

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The Genius Hits The Road/The Genius Sings The Blues/The Genius After Hours/Genius + Soul=Jazz-Ray Charles 2 CD’S

CD 1:
01. Alabamy Bound (Remastered) (1:51)
02. Georgia On My Mind (Remastered) (3:33)
03. Basin Street Blues (Remastered) (2:42)
04. Mississippi Mud (Remastered) (3:21)
05. Moonlight In Vermont (Remastered) (2:59)
06. New York’s My Home (Remastered) (3:01)
07. California, Here I Come (Remastered) (2:09)
08. Moon Over Miami (Remastered) (3:17)
09. Deep In The Heart Of Texas (Remastered) (2:24)
10. Carry Me Back To Old Virginny (Remastered) (1:58)
11. Blue Hawaii (Remastered) (2:54)
12. Chattanooga Choo Choo (Remastered) (3:01)
13. Early In The Morning (Remastered) (2:45)
14. Hard Times (No One Knows Better Than I) (Remastered) (2:52)
15. The Midnight Hour (Remastered) (2:58)
16. (Night Time Is) The Right Time (Remastered) (3:21)
17. Feelin’ Sad (Remastered) (2:47)
18. Ray’s Blues (Remastered) (2:52)
19. I’m Movin’ On (Remastered) (2:10)
20. I Believe To My Soul (Remastered) (2:58)
21. Nobody Cares (Remastered) (2:37)
22. I Got A Break Baby (Remastered) (2:45)
23. Worried Life Blues (Remastered) (2:57)
24. I Wonder Who (Remastered) (2:47)

CD 2:
01. The Genius After Hours (Remastered) (5:26)
02. Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Remastered) (5:38)
03. Dawn Ray (Remastered) (5:05)
04. Joy Ride (Remastered) (4:41)
05. Hornful Soul (Remastered) (5:27)
06. The Man I Love (Remastered) (4:28)
07. Charlesville (Remastered) (4:55)
08. Music, Music, Music (Remastered) (2:53)
09. From The Heart (Remastered) (3:38)
10. I’ve Got News For You (Remastered) (4:31)
11. Moanin’ (Remastered) (3:20)
12. Let’s Go (Remastered) (2:42)
13. One Mint Julep (Remastered) (3:06)
14. I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town (Remastered) (3:43)
15. Stompin’ Room Only (Remastered) (3:46)
16. Mister C (Remastered) (4:34)
17. Strike Up The Band (Remastered) (2:36)
18. Birth Of The Blues (Remastered) (5:13)

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The World Of Wooster (1965-67)

the world of wooster

Funny show based on the stories of P.G.Wodehouse. Ian Carmichael plays the rich and wacky Bertie Wooster and Dennis Price is Jeeves the butler.

January 4,1966 episode: “Jeeves And The Delayed Exit Of Claude And Eustace” – Bertie’s irresponsible cousins Claude and Eustace call on him. They just got back from a scavenger hunt. They brought with them a box with four cats, a hat and the handle from a tram car. Jeeves handles it before Bertie comes downstairs.

Bertie wants them gone because Sir Humphrey Wardour is coming over. He’s stuffy and Bertie wants to make a good impression on him because he has his eye on his daughter Marion.

Sir Humphrey arrives and makes himself comfortable. He tells Bertie he heard a cat. Not knowing what his cousins left he says he doesn’t have a cat. Sir Humphrey tells him that earlier that day someone snatched the hat off his head while he was in his car. Of course he comes across the hat and the cats. Bertie may not have much of a chance with Marion after all that.

Bertie’s Aunt Agatha stops by. She wants Bertie to put up Claude and Eustace for the night. The next day they’re supposed to take a boat to South Africa. Uncle Oliver is there with Agatha. He doesn’t say a word but keeps trying to track down some booze.

The show revolves around how Claude and Eustace make Bertie’s life miserable including at a nightclub where he’s with Marion.

What makes this show is the acting of Carmichael and Price. There aren’t too many episodes available but any that are left are worth checking out.

 

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Dr.Cyclops (1940)

dr.cyclops 1940

Fell asleep numerous times during this insomnia cure. Every time I woke up….nothing had changed. This is one of the worst ever and that’s probably why you should attempt to sit through it. There are some laughs because of horrible acting and prenatal dialogue. Fans of “Mary Hartman,Mary Hartman (1976-77) will spot Victor Kilian as Steve  Baker. On the show he was Mary’s grandfather Raymond Larkin.

The greatest living biologist anywhere is in the Amazon jungle. He’s Dr.Alexander Thorkel Albert Dekker). Of course you knew that from your high school biology class. The genius is losing his sight and can longer peek into his microscope. Help is on the way.

Dr.Rupert Bullfinch (who hasn’t heard of this genius?), Dr. Mary Robinson, Bill Stockton,a mineralogist and mule handler Steve Baker are all on the way to join him. The docs have traveled ten thousand miles to spend time with the great man. The docs check out Thorkel’s microscope slides. He’s ecstatic about what they’ve seen. He’s so happy he tells them that’s all he needs now is to hit the road. After all they’ve been there almost an hour. That order doesn’t go over well.

They’re not going anywhere until they find out what the world’s greatest biologist is up to.  Maybe it has something to do with the uranium deposit in his backyard. Yes it does. He can shrink anything.  Just ask his local man of all work Pedro. He can’t ride his pony anymore. He can put it in his hand if he feels like being wacky.

While the group is in the lab Thorkel breaks in and is so steamed he feels he has no choice but to shrink them all. There they go. Yes, that’s them way down there. Careful where you step.  They may be small but they’re not putting up with this crap. They escape. For the rest of the movie they all run around as Thorkel freaks trying to catch them.

Whenever I can’t sleep I have this standing by.

The great escape

The great escape

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The Baby Game (1967-68)

the baby game

Singer Richard Hayes hosts the show claiming to look for the cutest baby in America. The prize is a fifteen thousand dollar college education. The show is overloaded with commercials and is one of the dumber ideas for a game show. They really reached on this one. The first game involved babies and then the kids get a bit older.

Typical episode: Two couples are the contestants, The Morrises, George and Caroline and The Waltons. Round one is Romper Race time. They have to guess who can cross the finish line first in a playpen. Three babies compete. Primateme Mist commercial and one for Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee with Joe E. Ross making a pizza are next.

Gloria and Lloyd Walton win. Now it’s a ring toss game. Before they guess it’s time for a commercial for Glory Rug Cleaner.

Now the game begins.  Both teams get some points. Another commercial. This one is for  Sarah Lee Frozen Banana Cake.

The prizes for the panel get gifts for being there. They get the Hoover Shoe Polisher, five pairs of Red Ball Shoes when the announcer Chet Gould blows the copy. Now it’s a kids eye view of the world.  The contestants have to write down what they were talking about. Time for a Whistle Cleaner commercial by Vanish Bathroom Bowl Cleaner.

One of the kids was talking about a hippie. Now it’s round four. It’s the baby game bakery. The kids are in charge of the three layer cake machine. How many of the kids will actually make three layer cakes? Two of them do it. Commercial for Whisk and Phase Three Soap.

Gloria and Lloyd win. They also get living room furniture, decorator clocks, Eureka Vacuum Cleaner and an assortment of after dinner mints. Their kids get the World Book Encyclopedia. The whole package is worth eight hundred bucks.

The competing babies are shown and Richard closes the show.

Hayes was also a talk show host in New York and then Philadelphia. In 1952 he recorded “Babalu” with Xavier Cugat. The song was closely associated with Desi Arnaz. Woody Allen used the Hayes version in “Radio Days.” Hays said he never got paid for it and tried repeatedly to get in touch with Woody during his weekly appearances at a New York Jazz club. He eventually gave up in frustration.

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Gunn (1967)

gunn 1967

As a fan of the TV series (1958-61) I have to say this is a huge,huge,huge disappointment. Craig Stevens seems uninterested and is the only cast member to show up from the original series. Lola Albright (Edie), Herschel Bernardi (Lt.Jacoby) and Hope Emerson (Mother) wisely sit this one out. A very grown up Sherry Jackson who gained fame as a kid on “Make Room For Daddy” shows up and at the very end Carol Wayne who made frequent appearances on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson” makes a quick appearance.

In spire of it all Ed Asner gives an excellent low key performnce as Lt.Jacoby

The Henry Mancini soundtrack is lame. He makes a blink and you’ll miss him appearance as….a piano player. Laura Devon as Edie tries to sing a couple songs. Bad decision. Towards the end a group called The Gordian Knot is just awful doing a song that sounds a lot like The Vogues hit “Five O’Clock World.”

The boring script was written by series creator Blake Edwards along with “Exorcist” author William Peter Blatty. So much time is wasted trying to show that Gunn is hip and there’s not a woman on the planet who can resist him. There’s an embarrassingly bad sequence in a so-called hipster club called The Monkey Farm where everybody calls everybody “Man.”

The movie opens with the murder of gangster Julio Scarlotti on his boat. He sees another boat approaching his and thinks it’s from the Coast Guard.  Gunn goes to his funeral and is told by Nick Fusco (Albert Paulsen) that some changes will be made. Scarlotti had saved Gunn’s life and Lt.Jacoby (Ed Asner) warns Gunn not to do anything. Fusco is suspected of the hit.

That night Gunn goes to Mother’s to see his girlfriend Edie (Laura Devon). Mother (Helen Traubel) says Fusco is raising the rates of his protection racket and Daisy Jane, owner of an exclusive bordello is also getting a raise in rates. Daisy wants Gunn to take Fusco out for ten grand.

Showing up in Gunn’s apartment is Samantha (Sherry Jackson) She says she had to meet him. Bad timing. Edie is headed up the steps to the apartment. Gunn almost gets her out when Samantha is heard screaming. A hit man came into the apartment. Gunn chases him and bullets are exchanged. Lt.Jacoby is outside and kills the hit man., Edie’s discovery of Samantha doesn’t go over well.

Gunn goes to see alkie Tinker (J.Pat O’Malley). He gives him a lead to follow. Later he dies when he drinks his wine that someone laced with cleaning fluid. He whispers a name before expiring. Gunn also goes to a club called The Monkey Farm (see above). In an arcade in the back is The Bishop (Regis Toomey). He says the name sounds like a waterfront Marine Hardware store.

Through it all it seems he can’t get rid of Samantha. He’s finally successful and drops her off in town. He goes to Mother’s to make peace with Edie. She gives him a hard time until he manages to get into her dressing room. Before everything can be sweetness and light an explosion occurs in the club. Some one put dynamite under the club. Mother is seriously injured.

Outside Gunn gets in his car. Someone sticks a gun in his neck. Samantha watches them drive away. He’s taken to an athletic club where Fusco likes to play racket ball. Gunn is forced to go into a court where Fusco is playing with one of his minions. He tells Gunn to get up against the wall and the game begins. Gunn is knocked down. Fusco says if he doesn’t find out who is responsible for killing Scarlotti he’ll end up in the river.

The movie drops some of its silliness but it’s too little too late. The supposedly shocking ending has been done several times before. This is a total waste of time. It really trashes the Peter Gunn character. All the smoothness is gone as he comes across as a cardboard cutout of himself.

J.Pat O'Malley-Craig Stevens

J.Pat O’Malley-Craig Stevens

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Isn’t It Romantic-Capitol Sings Rodgers And Hart-Various Artists

[1:51] 1. Susan Barrett – Manhattan
[2:27] 2. June Christy – You Took Advantage Of Me
[2:32] 3. Vic Damone – I Could Write A Book
[2:37] 4. The Dinning Sisters – Where Or When
[2:49] 5. Nancy Wilson – Little Girl Blue
[3:09] 6. Mel Tormé – Blue Moon
[3:04] 7. Margaret Whiting – Lover
[2:18] 8. Sarah Vaughan – Have You Met Miss Jones
[3:30] 9. Gordon MacRae – My Funny Valentine
[2:38] 10. The Andrews Sisters – My Romance
[2:41] 11. Peggy Lee – My Heart Stood Still
[2:28] 12. Nat King Cole – This Can’t Be Love
[4:56] 13. June Christy – Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered
[2:42] 14. Margaret Whiting – Thou Swell
[3:15] 15. Dean Martin – It’s Easy To Remember
[2:49] 16. Nancy Wilson – It Never Entered My Mind
[2:34] 17. Dolores Gray – Isn’t It Romantic
[2:08] 18. Vic Damone – The Most Beautiful Girl In The World
[4:10] 19. Sarah Vaughan – Glad To Be Unhappy
[2:31] 20. Peggy Lee – The Lady Is A Tramp
[3:43] 21. The Four Freshmen – Spring Is Here
[2:58] 22. Dinah Shore – Falling In Love With Love
[2:26] 23. Jane Froman – With A Song In My Heart
[5:57] 24. Les Brown & His Band Of Renown – Slaughter On Tenth Avenue

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