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telegonus (635)


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Police Stations Etc. Back To The Original Series Revisiting Frankenstein Starting Up Again Any Thoughts On Why There Aren't More Serious Posters Here? One Vicious Movie The 7th Is Made Up Of Phantoms View all posts >


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A feature film for Hill Street would have been nice; and it might have worked. Big Problem: they'd need talent as first rate as the TV series had, and from start to finish. No, not an over-hyped big screen reboot like the MI films; or feature film sequels like Star Trek TNG. No, the real HSB, same deal, different medium. A feature film now. There'd be problems, problems, problems. Put more emphasis on Calletano? Build up Lucy? More for Lindsay Crouse to do? Money issues would hurt things. Travanti, if he deigned to appear in such a movie series, might get twice the money as Haid, Weitz and Franz; and then what? Could all this have been ironed out? It would have taken an heroic effort. I'd say yes, but with great difficulty. If a feature or two succeeded, maybe some AWOL players and writers would return. Stranger things have happened. It worked for me. The final episode, I mean. Maybe a modern Shakespeare could could have written the perfect closure for Hill Street, but neither he nor anyone with near his talent was available. Yet I wouldn't call that final episode "meh" or journeyman: the beat went on. Sort of; and that's just like life. The chief had it coming. Buntz deserved another chance. There were a lot of loose ends. Why should we expect the worst for the "ends" we're most familiar with? A Hill Street station house wouldn't be Hill Street if they let Buntz get taken out. I can see every single person, including non Buntz lovers, coming to his defense; saying, in effect, if he goes, we go. It would have been, from a realistic perspective nearly unbelievable, yet first rate TV series have been "saved", or characters in them, by unlikelier approaches. Logical response to all this: things like this don't happen in real life. Only on TV. Okay, on Hill Steet they could have pulled it off, thanks to its strong fanbase. Nah, the ending they did wasn't so bad. A lot of the much older guys survived. I mean literally, as characters, not on the Hill Street that didn't get another season. It's not like Tierney and Prosky got gunned down by teen hoods outside a diner somewhere. It didn't feel bad to me. Over, yes. That was sad, but it didn't suck. What sucked was that the Hill Street Blues we came to love was ending. Damn! I just saw the one with Maude Eburne and the Great Dane, and this (and other short sequences) add to the picture's length; and they add to the movie overall. It's a creaky old movie, but it has the goods, and it delivers them; and It's likely to ever acquire classic status. A fine sample of early sound horror It was a bit strange that the episode played out as it did. Maybe they wanted to establish a hostility between the two neighbors so as to allay suspicions; but then they were likely to be seen together sooner or later. I suppose if they'd moved away from Linvale that might have worked, but they seemed so comfortable there. It's obvious that the man and woman didn't anticipate that their behavior would be looked into (or at) at some point in the future; such poor planning for these two. And all that effort, too! Linvale was a fun, easy to take episode, Miss Margo. I watched it not too long ago and enjoyed it. There was no reaching for a higher meaning in it. I suppose above average journeyman effort would be a glib and apposite way to describe it. The actors sold it, as the almost charismatic contrasting acting styles of intense, earthy, brighter than average Gary Merrill and laid back, easygoing down home Fess Parker provided the viewer with something to think about, maybe even talk about. The digging up the dead dog part was like a bone tossed out for the viewer. It felt factitious, set up, necessary only for the irony of the ending. After all, we couldn't have the man and woman getting away with anything. In the end this one came off like a playful dark comedy, which is certainly was. Total agreement on Newman and Redford, EC. The mustache business was commented on at the time The Sting came out. Funny about that: it still wasn't clear in the early to mid-Seventies whether the 'stash was here to stay or a holdover from the Sixties "gone mainstream" (even "old guys" like Holden, Lancaster and Douglas were wearing them now and again). As things turned out, the mustache was just a post-Countercultural fad, and even Elliott Gould abandoned his after a while. Yet Redford was wearing them semi-regularly early on. Comedian Dan Ackroyd wore one but I think he gave it up after SNL. In any case, there was never going to be another Groucho or Ernie Kovacs, and that's for sure. The 'stash wasn't going to be a distinguishing trademark (as it were), as it was in the heyday of Clark Gable and William Powell; or even, for that matter, Lionel Atwill and Franklin Pangborn. True, Doghouse. Paramount was known for its "vehicles" going way back. I believe David Selznick mentioned this in some of his early memos. In this case it could be a vehicle (or property, if you will) that's especially good for a top director. At Paramount that could be DeMille, Lubitsch, Mamoulian or, later on, a Sturges or a Wilder; thus, Union Pacific was more of a DeMille pic than a McCrea or Stanwyck one. Billy Wilder pretty much owned The Major And The Minor, Double Indemnity and The Lost Weekend. Even in the latter's case the star Ray Milland having his acting chops finally recognized band winning an AA for his work in this major film. Milland's career got a boost for a couple of years but it still didn't make him a star at Cary Grant's level. Nor did Double Indemnity put Fred MacMurray into Bogart's league. Alan Ladd in Shane some years later is another case of a perfect blend of star and what turned out to be (and wasn't initially planned as) an Alan Ladd showcase, and his best film and best "vehicle" ever, with all due respect to brilliant director George Stevens, fine co-stars Jean Arthur and Van Heflin). Hi EC! Long time, no see (on the page anyway). Happy (belated) 60th birthday, Psycho! To respond more formally to your post: it does, sadly, seem that Mr. Hitchcock began his professional decline shortly thereafter, with health issues (obesity was surely a factor; and a sedentary lifestyle). The Birds is a fast ride, yet its story unfolds differently from Psycho's. The earlier film was more tense; literally "arresting" at times. There was a coiled energy at work, and not just in the writing and acting but in the way Hitchcock had the story unfold. He was a master craftsman at the top of his game when he made it. Is there another film of his that came afterward that shows the same mastery? (Frenzy has shocking moments, yet I don't get the urgency of the earlier Hitch in it, though it does show that the director was, mentally and emotionally, still highly capable). Wow, Swanstep! I was seven years old when I went to see Some Like It Hot first run with my mother and sister on Cape Cod, in Hyannis, and I remember it very well from its opening scenes to the very end, with Joe E. Brown's famous closing line. It didn't frighten me in the least, and I got what a child of seven can "get" of the comedy. I liked the goofy fun of it all; and Marilyn Monroe was an eye-opener for even a little boy, or this one anyway. Also, this and the previous year's A Night To Remember are likely responsible for my lifelong fondness for black and white films and television. Back then, black and white was still common for even major motion pictures, and this would continue through the middle Sixties (Dr. Strangelove, Fail-Safe, Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?). Maybe at this stage of the game (film history, I mean) the following list of horror films produced by Val Lewton back in the Forties are mainstream, or close enough. I won't argue the point but to say they are among MY favorite horrors, for Halloween or any other season: Cat People, I Walked With A Zombie, The Seventh Victim, Curse Of The Cat People, The Body Snatcher, Isle Of The Dead, Bedlam. They're slow by today's standards, rather quaint, a bit creaky at times, yet for the patient and thoughtful viewer they deliver the goods, and in spades, and with a minimum of "shock" moments. What makes one's flesh crawl watching these movies is how they make the viewer field. I find them darkly beautiful and downright haunting View all replies >