Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ronan Farrow makes cruel joke about wounded soldier

Ronan Farrow made this joke on Twitter:
Cory "struggles on the left side." Congress relates.
Maybe not "cruel", but how is it funny?

Cory is a seriously wounded Afghan war veteran. Right-wingers on the internet are pretending to be outraged.

The rubes have been gushing about how witty Ronan is because of his "jokes" about his sister allegedly being molested, and apparently that went to Ronan's head. Now he thinks he can do no wrong. He thinks he's another Woody Allen.

Now that he's an MSNBC host, he's making it harder for other MSNBC hosts to pretend to be outraged at Fox News. Alec Baldwin got fired for that.

And, personally, I don't like the fact that he's smiling in his little picture on Twitter, like he laughing at his own lousy jokes.

He's self-destructing, falling apart before out eyes.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Daily Beast article on Woody Allen; Mia, Dylan and Ronan Farrow

There's an interesting article about the Woody Allen-Mia Farrow-Dylan/Malone-Satchel/Ronan business by Robert B. Weide:

There are things I knew, some things I didn't about the events of twenty years ago.

Also some more recent events I found surprising:
Moses Farrow, now 36, and an accomplished photographer, has been estranged from Mia for several years. During a recent conversation, he spoke of “finally seeing the reality” of Frog Hollow and used the term “brainwashing” without hesitation. He recently reestablished contact with Allen and is currently enjoying a renewed relationship with him and Soon-Yi.
Weide lists misconceptions he keeps seeing in people's comments on-line:
Every time I stumble upon this topic on the internet, it seems the people who are most outraged are also the most ignorant of the facts. Following are the top ten misconceptions, followed by my response in italics:

#1: Soon-Yi was Woody’s daughter. False.

#2:  Soon-Yi was Woody’s step-daughter. False.

#3:  Soon-Yi was Woody and Mia’s adopted daughter. False. Soon-Yi was the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and AndrĂ© Previn. Her full name was Soon-Yi Farrow Previn.

#4:  Woody and Mia were married. False.

#5:  Woody and Mia lived together. False. Woody lived in his apartment on Fifth Ave. Mia and her kids lived on Central Park West. In fact, Woody never once stayed over night at Mia’s apartment in 12 years.

#6:  Woody and Mia had a common-law marriage. False. New York State does not recognize common law marriage. Even in states that do, a couple has to cohabitate for a certain number of years.

#7:  Soon-Yi viewed Woody as a father figure. False. Soon-Yi saw Woody as her mother’s boyfriend. Her father figure was her adoptive father, AndrĂ© Previn.

#8: Soon-Yi was underage when she and Woody started having relations. False. She was either 19 or 21. (Her year of birth in Korea was undocumented, but believed to be either 1970 or ’72.)

#9:  Soon-Yi was borderline retarded. Ha! She’s smart as a whip, has a degree from Columbia University and speaks more languages than you.

#10:  Woody was grooming Soon-Yi from an early age to be his child bride. Oh, come on! According to court documents and Mia’s own memoir, until 1990 (when Soon-Yi was 18 or 20), Woody “had little to do with any of the Previn children, (but) had the least to do with Soon-Yi” so Mia encouraged him to spend more time with her. Woody started taking her to basketball games, and the rest is tabloid history. So he hardly “had his eye on her” from the time she was a child.
Let me add this: If anyone is creeped out by the notion of a 55-year old man becoming involved with his girlfriend’s 19-year old adopted daughter, I understand. That makes perfect sense. But why not get the facts straight? If the actual facts are so repugnant to you, then why embellish them? 
I suppose I should stop calling their relationship a "quasi-common-law marriage".

I'll again repeat John Baxter's point, that a lot of the problem was from Eric Lax's biographies of Allen which idealized his relationship with Farrow, presented as something even better than a marriage. It was why the break-up came as such a shock and why assumptions were made about Allen's relationship with Mia's children.

The article goes into detail discussing the molestation allegations against Allen and the reason investigators rejected them. Among them was the fact that Mia videotaped Dylan making the accusation, turning the camera off and on, apparently editing in camera. A nanny said that it was recorded over a period of days during which Dylan was coached.

He brings up the fact that Mia gave permission to the Golden Globes to use a film clip of her in The Purple Rose of Cairo, something she didn't have to do. She freely allowed her image to be used in the tribute to Woody Allen, a tribute she later tweeted was an insult to all abuse victims. 

He mentions Mia's friendship with Roman Polanski, the fact that she testified for him in a libel suit against Vanity Fair, the magazine which ran the recent article on Farrow which included the statements by Dylan and Farrow's claim that Frank Sinatra could be Ronan's father. Polanski won the lawsuit. 

But don't listen to me. Read the article.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Paul McCartney needs a beard again

I watched just a few minutes of the Grammys. I'll tell you this. Paul McCartney should take a page from Ringo's book and grow a beard. Just stubble would do the trick. Sir Paul looks old and a beard covering some of that up can do wonders. He dyes his hair, so it's not that he's above concealing signs of aging. It could be that he doesn't want to have to dye his beard, too. He does have a nice head of hair. 

Paul had a beard long ago. It didn't look terribly good. That may be what turned him off to it. I don't know.

I was watching episodes of Wallander, both the British and the Swedish versions. It was different seeing aging actors from a countries where plastic surgery isn't the norm. Kenneth Branagh is in the English version. I don't know who the Swedish actor is. But they both have the good sense to go unshaven even though they're playing cops and the Swedish police presumably have some kind of dress code.

Did Sir Paul have a nose job? His nose seems smaller, which makes him look like an old lady. A beard could be a solution to a lot of problems.

Chekov's The Seagull

I watched a DVD of an old PBS broadcast of Anton Chekhov's play, The Seagull. It was from 1975, back when we called public broadcasting "educational TV". It was part of a series hosted by Hal Holbrook. It had Kevin McCarthy from Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

The thing was pretty long. Two hours. I was surprised at how much it was like a Woody Allen movie. I've seen it said that Allen was imitating Checkhov in the movie September. They got that right. Everyone trying to be a writer or a an actor, and apparently all it took to become an actor was to run off to Moscow and declare yourself an actor. Maybe that's how it was back then. Most of the population was illiterate so there was a lot less competition.

A young Frank Langella plays Konstantin who is going to put on an experimental play he's written, performed by his girlfriend, just for a tiny audience of friends and family. Chekhov wrote the play in 1895, but he already had the idea for "Smell-o-vision". During the play-within-a-play (but presumably not in the play itself), they release the smell of sulfur which makes the playwright's mother complain which makes Konstantin throw a hissy fit and run off. 

With Lee Grant, and Olympia Dukakis among others.

I'm not a critic. I can't judge these things. But I kept wishing they'd quit acting and just say their lines.

I've seen this in other plays performed on TV or on film. The actors perform as if they're on stage. In some movies like The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, the actors would bellow out their lines as if they were trying to be heard in a large theater. In one scene, Eve Arden bellows at the top of her lungs, telling her husband not to tell her sister something. Her sister was in the next room and would have heard every word she said.

On the other hand, you recently had Carrie Underwood underplay it in The Sound of Music Live! and that didn't work out so well. So what do I know.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

"The Help" question again

I said this before and I'll say it again. How did the maid know that her fecal matter baked into a pie wouldn't be noticeable when she fed it to her obnoxious employer?

Why all the scatological stuff in that movie?

The thing's on TV in the next room. That's why I ask.

Turns out Justin Bieber is innocent

I felt bad when Justin Bieber was arrested. Now I feel bad that he's probably innocent.

The car rental agency has devices to monitor the speeds the cars were driven and they say they were going under 40 mph. They weren't racing. The boy's blood alcohol level was .014, far below the legal limit. The cop's claim that he was reeking of alcohol was clearly false. Miami Police have serious credibility problems anyway.

It's been reported that he said he got the prescription drugs from his mother. What were they? I'm going to guess that his pediatrician prescribed them for a perfectly legitimate medical need.

Still, I think the young fellow should be living with his mother, he should start getting his tattoos removed, and he should drive probably either a Prius or a late-'80s Volvo. Something conservative, slightly underpowered, with an automatic transmission so he can focus on his driving. He shouldn't have friends in the car to distract him.

No more prostitutes, strip clubs or marijuana. He should take a few Community College classes. Does he have a high school diploma?

Well, good for him, standing up to those thuggish lying Miami cops!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Dinesh D'Souza indicted

Aging Christian swinger Dinesh D'Souza has been indicted for violating federal election laws.

He's charged with having other people contribute thousands to a woman's Senate campaign and reimbursing them. In this way, he donated $20,000 when the limit under federal law is $5,000.

His supporters don't deny he did it. They're just claiming that he's been "singled out" because he made a movie attacking Obama, claiming that the fact that Obama didn't know his father meant that his father had an even a GREATER influence over him. D'Souza then claimed that the fact that he didn't get an Oscar nomination meant that Hollywood liberals were persecuting him.

He spoke years ago at the University of Oregon, then wrote a piece for the local newspaper claiming he had been censored---not because anyone had done anything to stop him from speaking, but because some students questioned what he said.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Poor Justin Bieber

I was surprise how sad I was to hear the news. Justin Bieber had been arrested. The boy had been driving drunk, had smoked marijuana and taken prescription drugs and was racing on a residential street in Miami. He was in a Lamborghini and was racing a Ferrari.
They used a couple of SUVs the block the street so they could race.

"I ain't got no fucking weapons," Bieber told the police officer. "Why do you have to search me? What the fuck is this about?"

Why wasn't I glad the little puke got arrested?

He smiled for his mug shot, but looked more plaintive in the profile shot.
I've never listened to his music, never heard any song of his to the bitter end. I saw him in a skit at the end of an episode of Saturday Night Live and watched him being gunned down on YouTube.

I just hope they take his license before he kills somebody. He's being advised to check into rehab even if he doesn't think he needs to. I think he should move back home with his mother. And see a dermatologist about tattoo removal. I wonder if the court can order him to drive only a slightly underpowered mid-size sedan.
On CSI pretending to have his hands cuffed behind his back.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The North Star

I'm sitting here with the pro-Soviet Hollywood movie The North Star on TV, written by Lillian Hellman, produced during World War Two. You want to know what's weird. Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network kept showing this movie when it first started broadcasting. Ayn Rand denounced it before House Un-American Activities Committee as Communist propaganda because it showed Russians smiling. Russians smile in Soviet propaganda, she explained, and they smiled in this, so, obviously... (Actually, they were Ukrainians.)

It was propaganda, of course. The U.S. government asked Warner Brothers to produce it for that purpose.

Kids are now singing a song they made us sing in grade school. I knew the Communist origins of This Land Is Your Land, but not this. Man, I hated that song.

I did see another pro-Soviet American movie. There were women snipers in the Soviet Red Army including Lyudmila Mykhailivna Pavlichenko who was credited with killing 309 Nazis including 39 German snipers. The Soviets only gave you credit for killing a Nazi if someone else witnessed it, so she very likely killed twice that many. She had been wounded more than once and was pulled out of combat the last time. Here's Woody Guthrie's song about her.

There were around 2,000 women snipers in the Soviet Red Army, and only a quarter survived the war.

The movie was a comedy. I don't remember who starred in it----it was Eve Arden as the Russian sniper. She was completely unconvincing as a Russian. It was inspired by Pavlichenko's visit to the U.S. during the war. She jokes about how many Nazis she killed. Her mother would kill a dozen before breakfast.

The eight biggest box office failures

Something called Wall St. Cheatsheet ran a list of the eight biggest money-losing movies. I never heard of most of them. Movies that cost a fortune to produce and some grossed quite a bit at the box office but had no chance of making back their massive investment:

Ron Howard's production of The Alamo came in second place. Adjusting for inflation, it lost only half a million dollars less than Cutthroat Island. It had a total cost of $145 million. Ron Howard was going to direct, but he wanted to spend $200 million on it and they wouldn't give it to him. They made it for less than half that, then spent millions more on distribution. Maybe if they had spent that extra hundred million dollars it would have been a smashing success but I can't imagine it.

The "martyrs" of the Alamo were fighting mainly for slavery. You already knew how the thing was going to end. John Wayne directed a version in 1960 and it was a massive failure.

Looking at, there were a lot of Texans who loved the movie and thought they were being persecuted because nobody else liked it. There is a political component to it. Texas is now full of idiot secessionists, some of them criminal scum, some of them Tea Baggers. You can't take the movie completely out of that context.

Others on the list included a $122 million romantic comedy.

Of course, there's plenty of low budget failure. People spend $25 thousand making a movie which ends up being shown at a few film festivals and then disappears having been seen by no more that a hundred people.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Another double feature idea

With home video, you can make your own double features. The trick is to find two movies that will complement one another, which have similar themes but approach them in different ways. I've suggested other double features over the years. Here's one more:

Woody Allen's Match Point --a working class Irish tennis pro marries into a wealthy British family.


The Sweet Pie and Pie, (1941) Three Stooges short where three heiresses marry the Stooges while they (the Stooges) are in prison awaiting imminent execution. The heiresses have to marry in order to collect their inheritance. But moments after the wedding and before the execution, news arrives that the real killers confessed and the boys are pardoned, released and go home with their horrified brides.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Russell Johnson, Dave Madden, RIP

Russell Johnson--Professor Roy Hinkley from Gilligan's Island--has died at age 89. He was a bombardier on a B-24 during World War Two, shot down and injured in the Philippines on one mission. The main things I remember seeing him in, beside Gilligan's Island, were the movie MacArthur, an episode of The FBI where he played a son of a wealthy patriarch taking charge when a family member is kidnapped, and there were the old science fiction movies, This Island Earth and Attack of the Crab Monsters. He sacrifices himself to save the others in those movies.

But he has a long list of credits. I missed him in an uncredited appearance in Three Days of the Condor.

And Dave Madden has died at age 82. Perhaps best known as Ruben Kincaid on The Partridge Family. He was regarded as the nicest actor in Hollywood. According to the made-for-TV movie about the making of the Partridge Family, Madden became close with Danny Bonaduce, taking him home on weekends as the cast tried to protect him from his abusive father. He appeared on Laugh-In, was a regular on Alice, I remember seeing him on Married with Children.

Madden couldn't stand Marty Ingels, Shirley Jones' husband. Oddly, this keeps turning up in biographies of him for some reason. Ingels probably is a bit intense.

Woody Allen's Match Point

I finally watched Woody Allen's Match Point. Covered much the same territory as Crimes and Misdemeanors and Cassandra's Dream but was probably better than either. It was a little like The Talented Mr Ripley except Mr Ripley killed such obnoxious people.

Allen couldn't afford music for Match Point. He wound up making a deal with a British record company that put out a CD of public domain recordings of classical music. The music clearly came from old records.

I read recently that Allen generally gets music for his movies from his record collection. He pays for it obviously. But this means he had a record of Zamfir, the master of the pan flute. They were selling Zamfir's records on TV for a while (I think it was before CDs). Allen used Zamfir's music for the made-for-TV version of Don't Drink the Water.

Allen has gotten more conventional since Don't Drink the Water. That one was made during his period where scenes were all done in one long take, usually with a handheld camera. It didn't work very well. Hollywood Ending and Manhatten Murder Mystery had the same problem. I think he started that crap with Husbands and Wives in which he went way overboard with the handheld camera. You had to close your eyes once in a while to keep from getting motion sick.

Match Point is about a working class Irish tennis pro who marries into an upper-class English family. Maybe it should have been about a working-class Brit who marries into an upper-class Irish family. I'm not sure how I feel about movies vilifying members of the lower classes who find themselves among the upper crust but it seems to be a common theme. There was a brief spate of made-for-TV movies, The Billionaire Boys Club and The Preppie Murder, both about young men from working class families who got into exclusive private schools on academic scholarships and ended up in prison.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Okay, just one last Ronan Farrow thing

From The Advocate:
I believe Ronan sincerely wants any conversation involving him to focus more on his interests in policy, equality, and justice, and less on his celebrity. But it gets hard to reconcile that belief with the tweet bomb he dropped during the Golden Globes. “Missed the Woody Allen tribute — did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?” Cue the mushroom cloud.

Ronan was referring to ’90s accusations by Allen's daughter, Ronan's sister, that the director molested her. I feel for anyone who's endured the trials the Farrow family has, but to discuss a subject like that in such a public forum and yet remain conspicuously silent on whether or not you're gay gives me bad pre-2012 Anderson Cooper flashbacks. Ronan doesn't need to fly a banner over Times Square or turn his MSNBC show into the last season of Ellen, he just need not shrink from it (I, in my Advocate capacity, unsuccessfully reached out to Ronan a few times via Twitter).

On a vaguely related note, I would say that the Woody Allen-Mia Farrow fiasco is a point in favor of same-sex marriage. Look at those two. They weren't married, they lived across Central Park from one another, but they still somehow regarded themselves as a family, Woody Allen even declaring himself the father of some of the adopted children even though he knew pretty much nothing about them. Mia was sleeping with her ex-husband, Woody was believed to have been sleeping with Mia's sister, but who knows.  He was her boyfriend. Her elderly New York millionaire boyfriend. The kids should have called him "Uncle Woody", not "Daddy".

How much of this stuff would have happened if they had been legally married? If any of it did, we could at least condemn them unequivocally. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Godard's Film Socialisme

I don't pretend to be a movie critic. I don't know what to say about these things. But I watched Jean-Luc Godard's Film Socialisme (2010) now available for instant viewing on Netflix, and thought it was pretty good.

I'm looking at the description on Netflix. They say it's a "character-driven drama".

Really? It was a drama? Those were characters? I didn't follow it at all, then. The weird abbreviated subtitles weren't much help.

It was filmed on the cruise ship the Costa Concordia two years before it wrecked off the coast of Italy.

Watch it and see if I'm an idiot for not recognizing the drama.

Well, Godard's okay. Didn't he have a 35mm movie camera made for him that was as easy to use as a Super 8 camera, all automatic? Cannon had its Canon Scoopic, a 16mm movie camera built like a Super 8 camera, with built in zoom lens, automatic exposure, automatic threading, intended as a newsreel camera. For Film Socialisme, Godard used digital video.

It's all static camera shots which Godard used in the last few movies of his I've seen, and it worked very well. The movie looked great. Filming everything static camera is so much nicer than filming everything with a handheld camera.

I wish he didn't leave in all the wind noise, though.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What does Moses think?

Poor Moses Farrow. As a kid, he was in a different age group from all the other kids, too young for the older kids and too old for the younger kids. He was isolated within the family. He was the only one without a father---the older ones had Andre Previn, the younger ones had Woody Allen. Moses was adopted by Woody Allen, but not until he was twelve or so.

But even now, pretty-boy Ronan, (formerly Seamus, formerly Sean, formerly Satchel,) gets all the attention.

Moses is now a marriage counselor. He's the one who ought to be commenting on this, on Mia Farrow sleeping with her married ex-husband at the same time she was in a relationship with Woody Allen, even falsely naming Allen as the father of her illegitimate spawn. What would a marriage counselor say about this?

Moses must have chosen this field for a reason.

From The Daily Beast:

Moses Farrow, now 36, and an accomplished photographer, has been estranged from Mia for several years. During a recent conversation, he spoke of “finally seeing the reality” of Frog Hollow and used the term “brainwashing” without hesitation. He recently reestablished contact with Allen and is currently enjoying a renewed relationship with him and Soon-Yi. 

This post was written before Moses spoke publicly about it. Here's another entry posted after:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Woody Allen innocent--Mia a monster--and Ronan's just a mess

Ronan Farrow
Frank Sinatra

It's like Peyton Place.

Mia was sleeping with Frank Sinatra, an elderly married man in the first stages of senile dementia. This while she was in a quasi-common-law marriage with Woody Allen. She tags Woody as the father of Sinatra's love child. She gets Woody to adopt a few of her children, but, perhaps because she's sleeping with Frank Sinatra and God knows who else, Woody senses that they're growing apart. So he turns to her adopted daughter, Soon-yi. They go to basketball games, and he takes pornographic Polaroids of her.

And now, Ronan----like Russ Tamblyn in the original Peyton Place----is locked in an Oedipal nightmare. Kind of a one-sided Oedipal conflict since I can't imagine Woody Allen checking Twitter to see what Frank Sinatra's illegitimate bi-sexual son thinks.

I find it rather odd that Ronan puts all his comments about Woody allegedly molesting his (Ronan's) sister in joke form. And why would any mother retweet jokes about her daughter being molested? Is this what they've been doing around their rent-controlled apartment all these years, sitting around making incest jokes? How exactly should Dylan (now "Malone") feel about this?

Woody and Soon-yi's marriage has lasted longer than both of Mia's marriages combined. Her marriage to Frank lasted, what, a year or two? She broke up Andre Previn's first marriage, married him, then dumped him like a sack of potatoes.

Now it turns out that Mia lied in court, naming Allen as Ronan's father when her conduct was such that it could have been any bum off the street.

Sinatra was human garbage with his ties to the mafia. He bragged about hanging around with murderers, and Mia loved it. She was cackling on the phone when Sinatra called and offered to have Woody murdered.

Woody is innocent after all

During the whole Woody-Mia break-up, I just kind of assumed Woody was guilty of the molestation thing. Now I rather doubt it.

If it were true, would Mia keep defending Roman Polanski? Would she be retweeting Ronan's jokes about it? Would Ronan be joking about it on Twitter unless joking about it was normal in his family? And would it be normal in his family if it were true?

And on top of that we have Mia suddenly announcing that Frank Sinatra is probably Ronan's father. Either she's lying now or she's been lying about it for the last twenty-five years. If Sinatra was Ronan's father, then Mia lied in court and fraudulently collected a fortune in child support from Allen.

As Allen has said, why would he wait until he was in the middle of a custody battle to suddenly become a child molester?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Golden Globes, Woody Allen, Ronan Farrow

I guess he does look a little like Frank Sinatra.

I'm sitting here watching The Golden Globes. I've seen nothing and I only identify with the losers. I have to use Google to figure out the gags.

Tina Fey stopped in the middle of some scripted quip and said, "I can't do this", which turns out to be a cruel reference to Hollywood millionaire Michael Bay getting panicky and fleeing the stage at some event celebrating a new Samsung television. Which I can understand, but why on earth did he get up there in the first place? He's fabulously wealthy. Surely he didn't need the money. He explained on his blog that he's just enthused over the TV.

Woody Allen, Diane Keaton

They seem to have bleeped Diane Keaton talking about Woody Allen, when she said "God damn it". You can say "damn it" on TV, but not "God damn it" because that's actual blasphemy. To me, it was fitting since the first time I had seen this bleeped out on TV was when Woody Allen said "Fly, goddamnit, fly!" in an early scene in Sleeper.

They seem to have censored something else Keaton said, but I don't read lips.

I googled it and she recently said "fuck" on Good Morning America.

Ronan Farrow

Ronan Farrow tweeted:
"Missed the Woody Allen tribute - did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?" 
Ronan needs to stop this. Comments about your sister being sexually violated should never be in joke form.

If I were Ronan, I would hope Woody was my father. Frank Sinatra died at 82 and already had signs of dementia. Woody's mother died at 96, his father at 100. His father had a job when he was 90. And look at Woody himself, 78 and going strong. He'll be one of those guys directing movies at 100.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Roger Ebert's top ten lists

I went through all of Roger Ebert's Top Ten lists he put out each year from the 1967 until his death.

Read them here:

Not surprisingly, the older the list, the more movies I had seen from it.

I haven't seen any of the movies on the lists from 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006.

Saw one on 2007's list, one from 2004, two from 2001.

I saw eight from 1967, seven from 1968, six from 1969, six from 1970.

1979, I saw all ten.

I saw only four of his "Best Films of the 1980s", but seven of the "Best Films of the 1990s".

Ebert tended to give things more stars than they deserved. Especially Lone Wolf McQuade. But it's subjective anyway and you just have to know what you're reading.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Chick Chandler

That's weird. I keep turning on old movies and seeing Chick Chandler. Right now, I'm watching him play an effeminate angel in a short film from the '50s advocating the use of telephones as a decorating accessory. It's quite bad.

Watched a movie where he played a disgraced alcoholic ex-cop who has to find his kidnapped child.

He had some range there as an actor.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Rockford Files, etc

Watching old episodes of The Rockford Files.

He never finds clues or actual evidence of anyone's guilt. Just kind of figures out who was motivated by what.

Now watching an oddly anti-Armenian episode I don't remember having ever seen before. Could it be a dig at Mannix starring Armenian-American Mike Conners? I doubt it.
John Saxon

Had John Saxon in one episode. Says, "Wanna bet," at one point, an apparent reference to his role in Enter the Dragon. Roy Jenson appeared in one episode and addresses James Garner as "old stick", a reference to Jenson's role in the private eye movie Harper with Paul Newman.

Roy Jenson
Jenson was the first guy to be beaten up by David Carradine on Kung Fu.

John Saxon was offered the role of Kwai Chang Caine on Kung Fu. He turned it down and it went to David Carradine. Saxon knew the story---that the role was supposed to go to Bruce Lee, but the network didn't want a show starring a Chinese guy---a "yellow man", they called him, according to Mako.

Later, when Saxon went to Hong Kong for Enter the Dragon and met Bruce Lee, Lee told him the story about the show Kung Fu, about how the role was taken from him because if his race. Saxon wasn't sure whether to tell him he was offered the role and doesn't remember if he did tell him.

Bruce Lee was in the movie Marlowe starring James Garner as Philip Marlowe. Garner uses the same ploy on Lee that he uses against a karate guy in an episode of The Rockford Files. Accuses him of homosexuality so that he becomes enraged and throws a kick and----well, I don't want to ruin it for you.

Garner mentioned in a long interview available on YouTube that another private eye show was stealing storylines from The Rockford Files until they went over and told them to knock it off. He wouldn't say what the show was, but it must have been Simon and Simon----I watched it when it was on and noticed that they swiped a storyline.

Silly to plagiarize a current show. Always steal from an obscure source.

Lee H. Montgomery as "Cricket"
I tried to watch Charlie's Angels in the '70s, but the one episode I saw was exactly the same as an episode of The Mod Squad I hated in which a chubby autistic kid called "Cricket" (Lee Montgomery) shoots Julie and is pursued by the violent criminal whose gun he found. Will Pete and Linc find him before the criminal gets to him?

Of course, Charlies Angels and The Mod Squad were both Aaron Spelling productions.