Friday, June 30, 2017

Old movies and TV: Forsaken Westerns

I've been watching something called The Forsaken Westerns on YouTube. Last night, I found a TV pilot called The Texas Ranger, featuring Dennis Morgan (Christmas in Connecticut), and today I'm watching a half-hour show called The Buckskin Rangers.


The interesting thing about the Rangers is that two of them (Crash Corrigan and Max Terhune) are two-thirds of the semi-famous Three Mesquiteers. They've changed Terhune's name from Lullaby to Alibi, but it's pretty much the same thing.

It's a shame the Ranger pilot didn't become a regular series; it had potential.

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I just found a Forsaken Western called Luke and the Tenderfoot. The story is OK, but it has a great cast. The star is Edgar Buchanan, and the supporting cast includes Leonard Nimoy, Lee Van Cleef, Michael Landon and Dabbs Greer.

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I recently found an old TV series called Laredo, and I just watched an episode on YouTube called A Matter of Policy. It's a funny western series featuring Neville Brand, Peter Brown, William Smith and Philip Carey. The first three are Texas Rangers, and Carey plays their captain.


I spend each episode thinking that the three amigos are nuts, and it's obvious their hare-brained schemes should be avoided. But things always work out at the end, and Laredo might be my all-time favorite western series (other than, possibly, Have Gun Will Travel).

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Today, I re-watched a really old movie called Bulldog Drummond in Africa, one of the better movies in the 1930s series featuring actor John Howard. I loved those movies when I was young, and it's nice to find them again.


The interesting thing about Drummond in Africa is the appearance of standout character actor J. Carrol Naish and future superstar actor Anthony Quinn.


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I just watched an old movie called Phffft. The title came from famed newspaper columnist/radio personality Walter Winchell, who wrote or said phffft when a marriage was going sour.

In this movie, Jack Lemmon and Judy Holliday are having marital problems, so Holliday decides she wants a divorce. She gets one in Reno, Nevada, but then they soon begin to realize they love each other.

The movie sort of drags until Lemmon's friend, Jack Carson, fixes him up with Kim Novak, who does a wonderful imitation of Marilyn Monroe. The highlight, though, comes when Lemmon and Holliday are dancing with other partners, but our hero and heroine wind up switching partners in mid-dance and doing one of the strangest dances I've seen.

I won't give away the ending, but that's one of the best parts of the movie; I watched it (and the dance scene) twice. I'd give Phffft four stars out of five.

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