The Man Who Never Was (1966-67)

the man who never was

Spy drama that should have lasted more than one season. Robert Lansing is Peter Murphy. He’s an exact double for a multi millionaire.

1966 pilot episode: Peter gets on a ferry and gets some pictures from a contact in East Berlin. When the man leaves he’s gunned down. Peter makes a few karate moves and the killer is in the water where there’s a boat waiting to pick him up and get him away.

Peter gets his girlfriend and tells her they have to get through the wall to the West. The gunman spots them and the chase is on. Their luck runs out when the girl is killed. Peter runs into a bar and sees a man who looks just like him. He runs up to the roof and sees his double gunned down. He puts his ID on the body.  A chauffeur approaches him and asks if he’s okay. Peter passes out.

He wakes up in a luxury hotel suite. A woman comes in and berates him about his behavior and reminds him of an appointment they have that night. Meanwhile his boss, Colonel Forbes (Murray Hamilton) learns of the killing.  Forbes knows that Peter is an exact double of Mark Wainwright. He tracks him down to the hotel suite. He tells him it’s the perfect cover since Wainwright knows everyone in politics and business and Peter can get a lot of knowledge the country needs. Peter agrees to the deception and becomes the man who never was.

The woman is Marks’s wife Eva (Dana Wynter). She’s had it with his playboy behavior. They’re to see a lawyer that night. In the elevator going up she asks him who he really is. He tipped her off by showing her courtesy like opening her car door and she knew that’s not Mark. In front of the lawyer she signals Peter not to sign anything. It’ll have a negative effect on his business.

Both agree to the deception and a show is born.

This was a good one even though the premise is out there but shows like this are supposed to skirt reality and that’s part of the fun.

Robert Lansing-Dana Wynter

Robert Lansing-Dana Wynter

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Mr.Belvedere Goes To College (1949)

mr belvedere goes to college 1949

Clifton Webb reprises his role as the stuffy genius Lynn Belvedere. He played the part in 1948’s “Sitting Pretty.” Shirley Temple is a college senior and Alan “Wilbur Post” Young is a college sophomore. This is a fun movie that along with the comedy makes a point about judging people. Jeff Chandler has a bit part toward the end as a cop. Shirley Temple was twenty-one when she made this.

Mr.Belvedere is a successful novelist. His success brought a number of libel suits and he’s almost broke. He’s won an award that will get him ten thousand dollars. One requirement is that the winner must have a college education. He says he only spent two weeks in kindergarten. He says he’s a sell taught genius.

The president on Clemson college says he’ll admit him if he can pass the entrance exams. Belvedere says he’ll complete the four years in one., He sails through the tests and is now a student. His roommates are freshman Corny and sophomore Avery Brubaker (Alan Young). He’s a sophomore and says freshmen are the lowest form of life on campus and he’s going to make sure he follows campus traditions.

Belvedere has to get a job so he has some income. He goes to the employment office and meets Bill Chase (Tom Drake). Before he gets there he runs into Ellen Baker (Shirley Temple). She works for the school paper and wants to become a journalist. She wants to interview him for the paper but he turns her down. They’re both at the student employment bureau. Bill is more than interested in Ellen. There are only three jobs left. Belvedere takes one as a hasher at a sorority. He’ll have to wait tables and work with the cook.

Bill’s mother is the house mother for the girls. Belvedere gets along great with Marta the cook. Avery works there too so they’ll have to have peace between them. Bill introduces Ellen to his mother who thinks she’s from a rich family and wants the girls to rush her for membership. Belvedere takes over and gets the girls to stop being so sloppy and to follow rules.

It’s whisker week and freshmen are required to grow beards. Belvedere has to go before the sophomore council because he shaved. He’s sentenced to wear a false beard. Ellen is outside the window and takes a picture of him.  An article appears in the paper complete with quotes from Bevedere that aren’t complimentary to the college.

He goes to see Ellen and meets three year old Davy. Turns out he’s her son. He refuses to give her permission to write a story about him for a national magazine. Later it’s the freshmen versus the sophomores in an athletic competition. Belvedere wins it for the freshmen with a pole vault beating Avery.

Ellen invites Bill to her apartment and that’s when he finds out she’s a war widow. He has a tough time handling it and leaves in a hurry. There’s more crisis to come between Ellen and Bill’s mother and also Belvedere. This is a good one to catch up with and it features good performances from Webb, Temple,Drake and Young.

Clifton Webb-Shirley Temple

Clifton Webb-Shirley Temple


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Hollywood And Vine (1945)

hollywood and vine 1845

Comedy that forgets to be funny and relies on a trained dog to keep you interested. It’s just a way to waste an hour. Along the way there’s a cameo by Michael Romanoff owner of the famous restaurant that bears his name.

Reporters are interviewing multi millionaire Pop Barkley (Emmett Lynn) about how he became successful. The movie goes into flashback mode.

Pop ran a hamburger stand near Hollywood. Martha Manning (Wanda McKay) wanders in on her way to what she thinks is stardom. The next customer is Larry Winters (James Ellison).  He’s taken with Martha in seconds. He plays “The Emperor Waltz” on the jukebox.  A small dog (Daisey) appears and starts dancing. While Larry is distracted Martha sneaks out. Larry thinks the dog is hers and tries to find her.

Martha goes to see her friend Gloria Devine. She lives in a bungalow at a place called Chateau La Rue. Gloria gave her the impression it was a mansion. Martha also discovers that Gloria isn’t an actress but a stand in. Martha still wants to be a star but things aren’t going well. She takes a job at a drug store at Hollywood and Vine run by Reggie (Franklin Pangborn).

Larry goes to Lavish Studios. He was hired by studio head B.B.Lavish in New York where Larry had a successful play he wrote on Broadway. B.B. tells him maybe they’ll do the play adaption later. For now he wants him to write a script about people trying to break into the movies. The difficult Ceddric Boris will direct.

Larry goes to Hollywood and Vine to do some research. While talking with a newspaper seller the movie does have a funny moment. One of the sellers pals comes by with a Collie. He tricks tourists into thinking the dog is Lassie. Larry spots Martha heading home from work and follows her. That gets the door slammed in his face.

Emperor shows him the vacancy sign that says dogs are welcome. The studio gave him a house complete with a butler named Jenkins but Larry takes a bungalow. He tries to return the dog to Martha but she lets him know he doesn’t belong to her. The ice melts between them and she gets him a job behind the counter at the drug store. He’s calling himself Larry Summers.

Martha doesn’t know that Larry has already presented the script of his play to Lavish and she takes it over to the studio. B.B’s brother  knows right away what the script is and tells his brother who has been searching for Larry. To get publicity he planted an article in the paper that the studio’s star Ann Mason and Larry are getting married.

Emperor sneaks into a studio where Borris is auditioning dogs. Emperor does his stuff and Borris wants to sign him. Emperor ran out and got back into Martha’s car. B.B., Borris and Ann find Larry at the drug store. Ann goes to the Chateau and tells Martha about their engagement and she takes off. Larry goes after her. Nothing doing.

Borris puts Emperor’s picture in the paper in an effort to find him. He’s offering five hundred bucks to whoever brings him in. Gloria is walking him and buys a paper. Then it’s off to the studio.

Emperor becomes a huge success. Abigail Whitehouse files a half million dollar lawsuit saying she’s the actual owner of Emperor. At the trial Pop is called as a witness. Charles “Ming The Merciless” Middelton plays a lawyer named Wilson.

This is pretty bad despite the appeal of Wanda McKay.

The dog was discovered in an animal shelter and originally named Spooks because he was afraid of everything. He ended up playing Blondie and Dagwood’s dog Daisey in the movie series.

James Ellison-Franklin Pangborn

James Ellison-Franklin Pangborn


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Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes-50 Favourites-Gisele MacKenzie 2 CD’S

[2:20] 1. Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes
[2:28] 2. Hard To Get
[2:08] 3. Le Fiacre
[2:48] 4. Adios
[2:39] 5. The Lady Is A Tramp
[1:36] 6. How D’ya Like Your Eggs In The Morning
[2:05] 7. Change Partners
[2:23] 8. Learning The Blues
[1:47] 9. Love Is Just Around The Corner
[1:28] 10. The Loveliest Night Of The Year
[2:44] 11. My Favourite Song
[2:06] 12. My Old Flame
[1:29] 13. Bella Bimba
[2:36] 14. What’ll I Do
[2:07] 15. Misty
[1:59] 16. Shine On Harvest Moon
[3:11] 17. Embrasse
[2:00] 18. Lipstick, Powder ‘n’ Paint
[2:04] 19. Getting To Know You
[2:57] 20. A Lovers’ Waltz
[2:13] 21. Jolie Jacqueline
[2:27] 22. Please
[2:21] 23. Let’s Take The Long Way Home
[2:42] 24. How Blue The Night
[3:07] 25. Till I Waltz Again With You
[2:28] 26. Love Makes The World Go ’round
[2:55] 27. My Greatest Love
[1:45] 28. Charlie Is My Darlin’
[1:59] 29. Water Can’t Quench The Fire Of Love
[2:13] 30. Souvenir De Mon Roman
[1:45] 31. Smile
[1:59] 32. The Second Time Around
[2:07] 33. Lollipop’s And Roses
[2:06] 34. Seven Lonely Days
[2:32] 35. On Rosary Hill
[1:32] 36. Button Up Your Overcoat
[2:27] 37. Sweetheart
[2:41] 38. The Toorie On His Bonnet
[1:51] 39. You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You
[2:27] 40. Vaya Con Dios
[2:41] 41. A Walkin’ Tune
[1:57] 42. Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing
[2:02] 43. My Buick, My Love And I
[2:09] 44. You Make Me Feel So Young
[2:00] 45. Zing ! Went The Strings Of My Heart
[3:02] 46. Could It Be You
[2:56] 47. Fairyland
[1:59] 48. From This Moment
[2:10] 49. Gigi
[2:34] 50. J’attendrai

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The Big Surprise (1955-57)

Lorraine Rogers gets the insurance question

Lorraine Rogers gets the insurance question

Quiz show first hosted by Jack Barry and then Mike Wallace. Since “The $64,000 Question” was such a big hit the geniuses decided to rush out an imitation. At least they offered more money…a hundred thousand bucks..  Miss an easy question and you’re out. Miss a tough one and you lose half your winnings. To prevent a total loss there were a couple of insurance questions. During the show’s run only three people won a hundred grand.

February 5,1957 episode – Special guest is Errol Flynn. Mike Wallace hosts  – Mrs Margo Reeman of New York City is back as contestant.  Her category is From Basin Street To Boogie Woogie. First question: For a thousand bucks name four musicians from the Benny Goodman Orchestra between 1936-38 who formed their own bands and what instruments did they play. She got Lionel Hampton, Teddy Wilson, Harry James and Gene Krupa.

For two thousand bucks: Name the unusual recording from two members of the Bob Crosby band. It’s Big Noise From Winnetka by Bob Haggart and Ray Bauduc. For three thousand bucks: Of all the Jazz groups of any era, only two hit the height of popularity by being identified by their initials alone. The initials are ODJB and NORK. She also had to name the cornet playing leaders. She got it right by answering the Original Dixieland Jazz Band with Nick LaRocca and The New Orleans Rhythm Kings led by Paul Mares. She’ll be back next week to try for ten grand.

Now it’s time for Errol Flynn who chose ships and the sea for his category. This is a thirty thousand dollar question. Flynn talks about a trip to Mexico he took with his son on a treasure hunt.  Rather than risk the twenty thousand he’s already won he decided to go for an insurance questions. Out comes Lorraine Rogers to the insurance chest. He has to identify four words from a sailor’s dictionary….Burgee (a small pennant), Gimbals (something of brass to secure an item like a compass), Luff (spill the wind out of the sails) and Roadstead (something to help park a boat near the shore). He gets it right. That insures his twenty grand and now it’s time to go for thirty grand.

If a ship is listed as missing by Lloyd’s of London but turns up a bell is struck once at Lloyd’s,what is the bell called and in the past eight years only one ship has arrived after being posted missing then Mike names three missing ships. Errol has to identify their country of origin and what body of water they disappeared in.  The ships are the Sao Paulo (Brazil-North Atlantic)), the Kobenhavn (Denmark-South Atlantic) and the Waratah (British-South Atlantic or Indian Ocean). He has a few seconds to think it over. The bell is called Lutine. The thought to a missing ship was the Red Rock out of Glascow. He gets it right. He’ll be back next week to try for a hundred grand.

Next up is Nils T.Granlund,a Broadway show producer. His category is The Roaring Twenties. First he has to plug a show he’s putting together in Las Vegas. He’ll stop with ten grand and Lorraine brings out a bank book with his name on it.

The next contestant is pro wrestler Ed “Strangler” Lewis. His category is The New Testament.  Time’s up. He’ll be back next week.

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It Shouldn’t Happen To A Dog (1946)

it shouldn't happen to a dog 1946

Mildly amusing comedy about a reporter trying to bring down a racketeer. He gets help from a Doberman named Rodney.

Henry Barton (Allyn Joslyn) has returned to the paper where he was a crime reporter. While he was away that job went to Bess Williams. Editor Mitch Mitchell (Roy Roberts) makes him the science editor. He doesn’t have a clue about anything scientific.

Henry wants to work on the case of Mike Valentine (Reed Hadley). He wants to find Olive Stone. She’s the girlfriend of Chester Frye (Whit Bissell). He prepared Valentine’s income tax and the cops want him to testify. He’s nowhere to be found.

Mitch tells Henry to stick with science but he can’t help himself. He goes to Olive’s rooming house. She’s gone and the rent’s due. Henry says he’s a lawyer and has ten grand for Olive. While waiting to see if she’ll come back he rents her room. In a dresser drawer he finds a picture of Olive. He shows it to the owner-bartender of Nick’s. Overhearing it all is Gus Rivers (Harry Morgan), a gunman for Valentine.

Drinking at the bar is beat patrolman Joe Parelli. It’s April Fool’s Day and the anniversary of when he started on the force twenty years ago. Into the bar walks Julia Andrews (Carole Landis) with her Doberman Rodney. She wants to know if Nick has any scraps for him. He tells her to get out. Rodney is upset and Nick gets him some bones. When she leaves the lights go out. Nick is missing seventy bucks. Julia and Rodney are gone. Henry thinks he has a hot story about a dog robbing a bar. Mitch tells him to run with it. The story makes the front page.

The only problem is…Joe admits to pulling a joke on Nick. He’s the one who put out the lights. He gives Nick his money back. Now Henry’s got a fake story. Joe tells Henry to steal the dog until the story blows over. Posing as a phone man he goes to Julia’s apartment and manages to steal Rodney.

Julia confronts him and he says the dog ran away. He has Rodney stashed in his room.  Gus is waiting for him. He says Valentine wants to see him. Rodney looks on but when Gus pulls a gun Rodney jumps him. Now Henry has the gun and Gus has to leave but not before Henry gives him Rodney.

Julia sees the story and tells Henry she’s going to arrest him if he doesn’t get her dog back. Turns out she’s a cop.  Gus likes the story and robs a bar using Rodney. Henry goes to Valentine’s hotel room. Valentine offers him money to find Frye. As he’s leaving he spots Gus coming out of the elevator with Olive. Valentine’s men won’t let him interfere. Henry sees Julia in the lobby and blows her cover as a cop.

They then see one of Valentine’s men, Benny Smith (John Ireland) take off in a cab with Olive. They grab a cab and follow. While Julia holds a gun on Benny, Olive escapes and runs off. Henry can’t catch her. Now romance blooms between Julia and Henry and they work on the case together. Henry finds Rodney back in his room. Joe comes in to arrest him. Rodney stops that.

It’s a diverting B comedy that’s worth checking out. No big laughs but it has some fun moments.

Allyn Joslyn-Carole Landis-Rodney

Allyn Joslyn-Carole Landis-Rodney

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What Do You Want? (Unaired Pilot 1961)

Betty and Beth Lawrence and cats along with George and Groucho

Betty and Beth Lawrence and cats along with George and Grouchoo

Forerunner of “Tell It To Groucho” (1962). The show only lasted five months,. Once again, George Fenneman was his announcer. Groucho interviews guests who want something. They’ll also get a chance to win some money. Groucho was his usual funny self.

First guest is practical nurse Margaret Krebs. She wants to see a female president. She says she ran as a write in candidate in 1960 and got five votes. She spent five hundred dollars and got $13,75 from friends for stamps. Groucho asks some funny questions and then it’s time for the quiz. If she chooses not to answer she’ll get four hundred dollars. If she gets the right answer she wins a thousand dollars. If she gets it wrong she gets nothing. She has to name the bachelor King of Belgium. She says Beudouin. She’s right.

Next up is Beth Lawrence and her daughter Betty. Beth is an assistant buyer for a department store. The ladies want husbands. They have to meet specifications. They must love cats, music and have at least five thousand dollars. They have fifteen cats at home and have brought eight. George has a tough time bringing some of them out. The question is to name who ousted Lumumba from power and took over the Republic of Congo. They take the four hundred as they couldn’t come up with Mobutu.

The final guest is L.A.Police Chief William H.Parker. Typical Groucho as he asks him if he got to be Chief through bribery. He also asks if he ever calls on TV detectives for help. He says they’ve used Jack Webb once in a while. He says he wants more cops. Groucho asks if he can give him a thousand dollars for future favors. Parker says the quiz money will go to the L.A. Police Relief Fund. Parker has an officer come out to do the quiz. The officer can’t come up with the name of the athlete from Tennessee who won three Olympic gold medals in 1960. He took the four hundred since he couldn’t come up with Wilma Rudolph.

George closes the show giving previews of coming weeks including a female bagpipe troupe.

When “Tell It To Groucho” started airing George wasn’t available as he was hosting the show “Your Surprise Package.”

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