The Beat Generation (1959)

the beat generation 1959

Some of the most asinine dialogue ever. I don’t know if Ray Danton ever lived down the beyond absurd things he had to say. Anyone who was a legit beatnik had to have been offended by the portrayals of their ilk. The dialogue coach was Jackie Coogan and the script was co-written by SF master Richard Matheson. On the plus side there are a couple songs from Louis Armstrong and his All Stars. You’ll also get a chance to see Vampira without all the make up as she embarrasses herself as a beat poet. The basic story line is about a cop tracking down a serial rapist nicknamed the aspirin kid.

At an L.A. Jazz club Louis Armstrong sings the main theme. Then Stan Hess (Ray Danton) starts the movie’s incredibly horrific dialogue as he reads philosophy. It’s so bad you may even forget about watching any more. Stan’s father shows up to introduce him to his fifth bride. He’s twice her age. All this had made Stan a woman hater.

Stan goes to a musician’s apartment knowing he’s out of town.  Before he gets there the scene has the wife working out on a hula hoop. He tells the mans’ wife Joyce that he borrowed some money from her husband and he’s there to pay it back. He calls himself Arthur Garrett.  She invites him in. He says he has a headache and brings out a box of aspirin and asks for a glass of water. While she’s in the kitchen he puts on a pair of gloves and then attacks her.

Out on the street he’s clipped by a car. The driver offers him a lift. He’s L.A. police Lt.Dave Culloran (Steve Cochran). Hess lies and says his wife is in a nearby hospital. After Culloran drops him off Hess writes down his name and address.  Culloran goes home to his wife Francee (Fay Spain). He gets a call from his partner Jake (Jackie Coogan) to tell him about the attack on Joyce.

The next morning at Joyce’s apartment Culloran doesn’t buy her story. He’s a woman hater because his first wife was a tramp and he can’t get over it despite his devoted second wife Francee. Joyce’s doctor is played by singer Billy Daniels. Culloran bears down on her and asks who stayed for breakfast. She insists no one was with her. She’s shocked to see the table was set for two.

A few days later Culloran and Jake are at the beach with their wives and Jake’s three kids. Jake’s wide is Marie (Irish McCalla getting away from her pin up roles). A beach patrol calls and says they have a suspect that looks like a composite drawing of the aspirin kid. It turns out be be wise guy Art Jester (James Mitchum doing an awful acting job and also forced to spew the horrendous so-called beat talk).

He’s put in a line up at police headquarters. Joyce can’t ID him. No one knows that Art is a friend of Stan’s and knows all about what he’s doing. While Culloran is dealing with Art he gets a call from Stan. He says he’ll meet hm that night and confess all. While Culloran and Jake wait at the club Stan goes to Culloran’s place and assaults Francee.  Later she finds out she’s pregnant.

Stan makes Art pose as the aspirin kid and go to Georgia Altera’s (Mamie Van Doren) apartment. Before he can attack her, ex husband Harry (bandleader Ray Anthony-Mamie’s real life husband) shows up and Art gets out of there posing as someone who borrowed money from an employee at Harry’s business.

There’s a portion of the movie that deals with Francee wanting an abortion. Culloran tells her it’s against the law and she can’t do it. She consults with Jake’s wife Marie wh0 introduces her to Father Dinelli (William Schallert).

The investigation continues as Culloran believes one of the victims will be approached again. He picks out Georgia as the likely target and follows her around.  She’s not happy but they eventually end up at a table in the club. Louis Armstrong is featured doing “Someday You’ll Be Sorry.”

The wrap up starts later at the club in another absolutely insulting segment featuring the “beatniks” doing a disgustingly awful song and dance number with Dick Contino taking part. There’s also some real stupidity with Maxie Rosenbloom as a wrestling beatnik. There’s also a brief scene of dumbness with Charles Chaplin,Jr. making a phone call.

Earlier in this mess you’ll spot Sid Melton as a cop.

This was Jim Mitchum’s second credited movie role which may explain why he was so awful. As most everyone knows by looking at him his father was Robert Mitchum.

Cathy Crosby appears as a singer. Her song is a useless waste of time and tough on the ears.


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An Introduction To The Guitar Genius-Django Reinhardt

[3:16] 1. Minor Swing
[3:04] 2. After You’ve Gone
[2:45] 3. Miss Annabelle Lee
[2:45] 4. St Louis Blues
[3:03] 5. You Rascal You
[3:21] 6. Liebestraum No 3
[2:32] 7. I’ll See You In My Dreams
[2:50] 8. My Serenade
[2:54] 9. Improvisation
[2:17] 10. Mystery Pacific
[2:53] 11. Swinging With Django
[2:38] 12. Rhythm Futur
[2:45] 13. Swing 42
[3:59] 14. Bolero
[3:01] 15. Dinette
[2:34] 16. Belleville
[3:17] 17. Porto Cabello
[2:46] 18. Djangology
[3:04] 19. Nuits De Saint-Germain-Des-Pres
[3:14] 20. Nuages
[3:20] 21. Blues For Ike

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The Wayward Bus (1957)

the wayward bus 1957

Lost gem packed with good performances especially from Joan Collins as the alcoholic wife of bus driver Rick Jason. A small group of passengers ride Jason’s junker of a bus on a fifty mile run from Rebel Corners,Southern California to the mission at San Juan. If you’re looking for a good drama then definitely check this one out.

The day started peaceful until Johnny Chicoy (Rick Jason) and his wife Alice (Joan Collins) argue about her love of booze and money. They run a small cafe and Johnny drives an independent bus on the run to San Juan. This will be his last trip as a major company is taking over the route.

Another bus drops the passengers off. They’re novelty salesman Ernest Horton (Dan Dailey), stripper Camille Oakes (Jayne Mansfield), uptight married couple Elliot (Larry Keating) and Bernice Pritchard along with their daughter Mildred and the self important local Van Brunt. Also along for the ride are counter girl Norma who wants to get into the movies and Ed “Pimples” Carson, a college kid who has been helping around the cafe.

It doesn’t rake long for Elliot to start hitting on Camille. He thinks she looks familiar. He doesn’t get anywhere since he has to join Bernice at a table. Johnny and Alice are fighting in another room and he packs a bag like he won’t be back,  Camille makes a phone call about her next gig when she’s informed there’s a magazine with an expose about her. She finds a copy on the magazine rack. She tells everyone she’s a nurse in a dentists office.

Despite a warning over the radio about a bad storm in the area Johnny drives the bus anyway. Ernest flirts with Camille and Mildred flirts with Johnny. Things are going okay until a mudslide nearly wipes them out. The highway patrol flies over in a chopper and lets Johnny know the road to San Juan is closed. At a general store Johnny calls Alice to make amends only to find her drunk. He decides to go fifteen miles out of the way to head for San Juan. The road is nicknamed washboard because that’s what it feels like to drive over it.

Johnny comes to a bridge that has had it in the rain and overflowing river. This is a great sequence as the passengers walk to the other side while Johnny tries to navigate over the bridge. Thanks to help from Carson he makes it. Meanwhile back at the cafe the helicopter pilot is trying to make it with Alice. She’s having none of that.

Johnny walks two miles to a farmer’s place to get a tractor to pull the bus out of the mud. A note on the door says he won’t be back until five. He waits in the barn and then in walks Mildred. Back by the bus more drama unfolds among the passengers. There’ll be a surprise waiting for Johnny when he gets back.

Good adaption of the John Steinbeck novel. It also has some excellent special effects during the rainstorm sequences.

Rick Jason is best known to TV fans as Lt.Gil Hanley on “Combat” (1962-67).

Larry Keating was Harry Morton on “The George Burns And Gracie Allen Show” and next door neighbor Roger Addison on “Mister Ed.”



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Four Sided Triangle (1953)

four sided triangle 1953

Early Hammer film that’s based on the novel by William F. Temple. This is well worth seeking out. Three childhood friends return to their home village. Two are scientists and the other hasn’t succeeded at anything. They work together on a revolutionary experiment.

The movie is told via flashback by local doctor Harvey (James Hayter). Everyone calls him Doc. Robin (John Van Eyssen), Bill (Stephen Murray) and Lena (Barbara Payton) are all best friends growing up. Robin is from a rich family. Bill’s father was the village drunk before getting killed in a pub brawl. Doc becomes his mentor and Lena is taken to America. After that Robin and Bill are off to Cambridge where they major in science.

All three end up back in the village. Robin and Bill have taken over a barn for their experiments. Lena comes back depressed. Doc talks her into being a ministering angel to the guys. Robin’s father Sir Walter gave them a thousand pounds so they could work. Now he’s cutting them off since nothing has happened. Doc goes into his savings and the work continues.

Time to unveil their invention. It’s called a reproducer. It’ll duplicate absolutely anything. They demonstrate by making an exact copy of Doc’s pocket watch. Now they get Sir Walter on their side when they reproduce a blank check he signed. To avoid any misuse of the reproducer they’ll work with the government. At a party celebrating their success Bill asks Doc to talk to Lena. He’s always had it bad for her and he wants to find out where she stands. That’s when Robin and Lena walk into the room and announce their getting married. Bill is shaken but maintains control.

Robin and Lena head for London on their honeymoon. Bill goes back to the reproducer and experiments on small animals. Doc helps and eventually they succeed. Lena comes back from London while Robin is working out agreements with government officials. Bill takes her aside and confesses how he’s always felt. Then he asks her if he can duplicate her. After a short while she agrees.

The experiment works. Bill calls the duplicate Helen. She has all of Lena’s memories from the time of her creation. The two go off on a two week vacation and everything’s fine. Doc has some nagging doubts. Turns out he’s right as there are things they all knew but never considered.

Even though the term clone has been around since 1903 it was never used in the movie.

Barbara Payton’s real life story kept the scandal sheets in business as she self destructed.





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Capitol Collectors Series-Ray Anthony

[3:09] 1. A Dreamer’s Holiday
[2:49] 2. Sentimental Me
[3:01] 3. Count Every Star
[2:28] 4. The Man With The Horn
[3:04] 5. Can Anyone Explain No No No
[2:32] 6. Harbor Lights
[2:45] 7. Nevertheless (I’m In Love With You)
[2:46] 8. Autumn Leaves
[2:32] 9. Mr. Anthony’s Boogie
[2:57] 10. At Last
[5:51] 11. Slaughter On Tenth Avenue (Parts 1 & 2)
[2:04] 12. Marilyn
[2:55] 13. The Bunny Hop
[3:11] 14. The Hokey Pokey
[2:50] 15. Dragnet
[2:43] 16. O Mein Papa
[2:19] 17. Skokiaan
[3:04] 18. Melody Of Love
[1:49] 19. The Peter Gunn Theme
[2:36] 20. Worried Mind
[1:15] 21. Telephone Interview

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Vice Raid (1960)

vice raid 1960

Good B movie with Mamie Van Doren as the bait to frame a vice squad cop. Barry Atwater is especially good as a sleazy hood named Phil Evans.

Getting off the bus in New York is Muggsy. He’s got a young babe in tow. Cops Whitey Brandon (Richard Coogan) and Ben Dutton know he works for racket boss Vince Malone (Brad Dexter). He runs a group of modeling agencies that are fronts for prostitution. They scare Muggsy to trade info for immunity. Brandon puts the girl back on the bus. Around the corner Dutton tells Muggsy to run for it. That allows him to shoot him down. Dutton is in Malone’s pocket.

Malone wants to frame Brandon and Detroit sends him Carol Hudson (Mamie Van Doren). Brandon poses as a photographer and hires a model from one of Malone’s agencies to come to his hotel room. They send Carol. She puts on a bathing suit and the charm. She says she needs money and he gives her twenty to keep for herself. Brandon arrests her.

The whole thing backfires on Brandon as Carol accuses him of asking her for a hundred bucks. He’s charged with extortion. At a hearing Dutton lies about what happened and Brandon is tossed off the force. Outside he runs into Dutton and braces him. Dutton admits he’s been on the take the whole time they’ve been partners.

Malone rewards Carol with a swanky apartment and tells her she’s his personal  property. Phil Evans (Barry Atwater) is Malone’s right hand. He tries to put both hands on Carol in the apartment. She tosses him out. Carol gets an unexpected visit from her younger sister Louise (Carol Nugent). She’s just graduated high school and says she’ll be staying with her for a few weeks. Brandon stops by and roughs up Carol in front of Louise.

Carol goes to report to Malone about Brandon. After she leaves Phil drops by and Louise just happens to have one of Carol’s dresses on. He is impressed. Brandon is picked up by Malone’s hoods. Brandon says he wants a piece of the action. He’s thrown out after threatening to ruin Malone by being a competitor. That night two of Malone’s boys work him over.

Brandon’s old boss, Captain Brennan, stops into the doctor’s office after Brandon’s ribs were taped up. He tells him he knows that Brandon’s sister was in the racket and killed herself at twenty-two and that’s why Brandon is obsessed with shutting the racket down. Brandon has a plan and Brennan agrees to cooperate with him.

Brandon opens his own modeling agencies and Malone’s are raided. Now he knows Brandon has more pull that he does. He sends Dutton to Brandon’s apartment to kill him. Meanwhile Phil calls Louise and tells her he has an advertising man at his apartment who wants to hire her for some modeling pictures. The eager and naive Louise goes for it.

The movie steps it up from here and is one worth checking out for fans of the black and white B crime movies.

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Ozark Jubilee (1955-61)

ozark jubilee

Half hour Country music variety show with the top stars of the day. Perfect for anyone exploring the good old days of C & W.

May 11,1957 episode: Rex Allen fills in for Red Foley and introduces special guests Sonny James and Brenda Lee. At the time Rex was starring in the TV series “Frontier Doctor.” Rex sings “Money,Marbles And Chalk.”  Rex says how great the “Ozark Jubilee” show is. Clorets commercial.

Little Miss TNT Brenda Lee sings her new record “Your Dynamite.”  Then she introduces one of the great new stars of 1957, Sonny James. He sings “Speak To Me.”  Brenda’s back for some back and forth with Sonny. She asks him to sing his million seller “Young Love.”  Beeman’s Pepsin Gum commercial.

The Marksman sing a spiritual. Rex brings out the comedy team of Aunt Sap and Uncle Sap Brasfield followed by square dancers. Commercial for Eastside Old Tap Lagar Beer.

“If You Want Some Lovin’ Just Let me Know” is sung by Norma Jean.  Now Rex closes the show and sings “The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine” with Brenda Lee.”

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