The Classic/Retro TV Thread

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by The Old Mixer, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    That's not Cheyenne, that's a guest character. Does she look anything like Clint Walker?

    Good news for you, but that doesn't bode well for H&I getting WWW again anytime soon. I just checked their site, there's no sign of New Year's lineup changes...but they don't announce them in advance as conspicuously as Me always did.


    51st Anniversary Viewing


    Selections from Billboard's Hot 100 for 51 years ago this week:

    Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
    Originally aired December 18, 1966

    This is one of those other Christmas specials, the ones that I haven't really sat down and watched since I was a kid...and despite the fact that I devoured Dr. Seuss books when I was a young reader, I recall not having been that big into it back then. But as it synced up with 51st anniversary business, I decided to give it a shot. Not bad...the ending, while clearly owing to Dickens, touched that sappy part of my heart that comes out this season.


    The Rat Patrol
    "The Last Harbor Raid: Episode I"
    Originally aired December 19, 1966
    The first installment of a three-parter that includes guest Claudine Longet in Episodes II and III. The series finally gets some proper running time to sink its teeth into a story...let's see how it does. And alas, Dietrich isn't in any of the installments! Such a waste. Gudegast must have been busy playing a Nazi on some other show.

    The teaser consists of nothing but a narrated bit about the bombing and a failed attempt at a mass POW escape, led by a currently uncredited John Anderson.

    The extra time gives the story the luxury of a briefing scene back at Allied HQ, which seems to be a relative rarity, and includes at least one extra speaking role (Harry Landers, a.k.a. Dr. Coleman, "Turnabout Intruder"). Here we get a story point of the Patrol being ordered to wear their standard uniforms on the mission, so they'll be treated as POWs rather than spies if captured. Maybe somebody on the show back in the day got the memo that the classic black commando outfit look just wasn't their thing.

    This episode definitely plays out at a slower pace despite the continued use of expository narration. The Patrol get smuggled into the area of the operation by a boat captain who gets killed; then make a shady Arab contact (Stanley Adams), who lends them a German car and German uniforms. (So much for not being treated as spies!) The episode ends with them arriving at the German officers' club where the boat captain's daughter (Longet) works as a singer, which, we're told, causes her to be seen as a collaborator by her own people. Next week: Claudine sings! (I wonder if she's packing in this one...?)


    "Christmas and the Hard-Luck Kid"
    Originally aired December 22, 1966
    And they couldn't have picked a more Christmasy guest--Tommy Phillips is played by Christopher (Linus Van Pelt) Shea!

    This year he's playing a tree instead of a shepherd:

    Ann narrates a story from three Christmases ago (which would be 1963), when she was still living with her parents and teaching at a boys' school.
    The school won't let her take Tommy home for Christmas, so she stays with him at the empty school; she also gets stuck doing the caretaker's job so he can go home for the holiday, though not much comes of that story-wise.

    Early on, she promises him a Christmas Eve snow and it rains--Looks like this year's forecast here!

    Ya think?

    TOS guest: John Fiedler (Hengist, "Wolf in the Fold")

    "Oh, Donald" count: 1

    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
  2. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    Not even a little bit. :rommie:

    I love Dr Seuss. Theodor Geisel is one of the most original creators of the 20th century.

    And did you know that The Grinch was the only thing Boris Karloff ever got an award for?

    This is where it all started for her.....

    Which would be just as bad these days. :rommie:
  3. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator


    50th Anniversary Viewing


    The Ed Sullivan Show
    Season 20, episode 15
    Originally aired December 17, 1967
    As represented in The Best of the Ed Sullivan Show

    From a Best of installment largely consisting of material from this episode and next week's / tomorrow night's Christmas Eve broadcast, we get these two acts...

    Spanky & Our Gang, "Lazy Day": This seems like mostly prerecorded audio, but with some differences from the single version, including a bit of a live component in some of the background singing. Performed on a brightly colored stage adorned with giant, fake flowers, this is an enjoyable rendition of the single that's spending its last week on the Hot 100. Although not part of the Best of episode, tells me that the gang was really there to plug their spankin' new single, which I wasn't planning to cover in the weekly selections list when it charts:

    "Sunday Mornin'"

    (Charted Jan. 6, 1968; #30 US; #39 AC)

    I dunno...I didn't intend to dig that deep for their stuff, but my arm could be twisted to add that one to my collection....

    Next up from this week's episode is Patti Page doing an up-tempo cover of "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" that sucks the character out of the song, turning it into a generic lounge number. Here's the studio version from her then-current album, which sounds less like it's being rushed through than the Sullivan performance does:

    I inadvertantly misadvertised covering a Richard Pryor segment (from a different Best of installment) as part of this episode. I haven't been able to positively identify its date, but taking a second and closer look, I now have stronger reason to believe that it's from a later year. (I've since edited last week's 50 Years Ago This Week post accordingly.)


    Mission: Impossible
    "The Photographer"
    Originally aired December 17, 1967
    Guesting Anthony Zerbe as the titular character, who's a foreign agent. The episode also gives us a magazine publisher who collaborates with the IMF, but isn't on the team. Cinnamon worked for her in her modeling days, which allows her to play herself in this operation, but with a fictitious marriage to Jim's character and a fake new career as a biochemist.

    The plot develops a massive hole when Cinnamon claims that knows of a plan for a US nuclear strike on the country that the spies are working for, and the spies think it's up to them to come up with a preemptive strike plan for the country they're working for...which is all treated as such a surefire thing that the IMF scheme of faking the nuclear strike revolves around it! I try to roll with the far-out schemes on this show, but this one was TMFU-level stupid.

    What country are the spies working for, anyway, that explicitly isn't the USSR or China but has limited nuclear strike capability in 1967 and is enough of an enemy of the US to threaten a biological warfare strike?

    Despite the nonsensical plot, the episode went by well and kept my interest.


    The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
    "The Maze Affair"
    Originally aired December 18, 1967
    Open Channel Dang, There's Two Trek Guests Right in the Episode Description! Montaigne seems a bit young for his character to be impersonating an Army general.

    Alas, even in its eleventh hour, this show never strays too far from formula: After being left for dead in the desert, Solo stumbles upon a random female guest of the week who's sleeping in her car. She winds up going on a desert Trek with him in a pink evening dress.

    This one has a decent twist when it's revealed at the end of Act III that Marshall's character was with THRUSH all along, and that the weapon that UNCLE is trying to keep out of THRUSH's hands is actually THRUSH's latest attempt at getting a bomb into UNCLE HQ.

    It's a sad retro-week when TMFU's plot makes more sense than M:I's....


    "The Ogg Couple"
    Originally aired December 21, 1967
    Is this the third time we get the unseen band of Cossacks and Egghead riding on the mule? Yeesh, what a mess this would-be three-parter turned out to be.

    This being intended as an earlier part of the trilogy makes more sense out of Egghead and Olga working together in the first place, as the sword that she wanted was stuck in a giant gold egg. And the dastardly duo escape at the end of this installment, only for O'Hara to tell us in the coda how they were apprehended offscreen...that definitely seems like a continuity bandage. Plus, didn't Mongols factor into one of the previous episodes? Here we get a bit of exposition about them up front...
    Tied-up Batgirl doing the sabre dance was a sexy bit.


    "Girl in the Night"
    Originally aired December 21, 1967
    Guesting a pixie-haired Susan Saint James as the singer, Elaine; and Donnelly Rhodes as our main bad guy, a shady club owner. TOS guest Sarah Marshall also makes an appearance.

    This one takes Team Ironside to Vegas, and doesn't start out as a murder mystery, though it turns into one. After Ed is knocked out while on a date with Elaine, she disappears and her trail is conspicuously covered up. Team Ironside's investigation includes extensive use of testimonial flashback from various characters, including Ed.

    Sign o' the times: Elaine has a stereo cabinet with a reel-to-reel player in the top. I wonder if we'll ever see one those pop up on M:I...?


    "'Twas the Night Before Christmas, You're Under Arrest"
    Originally aired December 21, 1967
    Quite a contrast to the previous year's more heartfelt Christmas story, here we get one of those absolutely ridiculous sitcom premises--Ann and Donald moving not just the presents, but all of the Baumans' valuables into Ann's apartment and attempting to hide them.

    TOS guests: Ed Peck; William Bramley

    Peanuts guests: None

    "Oh, Donald" count: 1


    Star Trek
    "Wolf in the Fold"
    Originally aired December 22, 1967
    Stardate 3614.9

    See my post here...or not. I mean, it's not like I'm holding a phaser to your head or anything.


    The Prisoner
    "Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling"
    Originally aired December 22, 1967 (UK)
    I thought this was going to be a fairly pointless episode, but the description was a bit misleading. Six's memory of who he is isn't gone while he's in the other man's body...just of his experience in the Village. He's basically woken up in a strange body with a year of his life missing. As a result, we get an intriguing look at elements of his past life...though I read that the relationship central to this story doesn't line up with things established about his past in other episodes.

    The episode also does a bit of format-breaking, starting with a teaser, and then proceeding into a shorter intro that doesn't have the dialogue with Number Two.

    Alas, the episode gives us our worst case yet of the show going to silly lengths to keep people from speaking Six's real name who have no reason not to.


    Get Smart
    "Classification: Dead"
    Originally aired December 23, 1967
    The TOS guest mentioned in the description comes to us the night after he appeared in "Wolf in the Fold". I'm not particularly familiar with the shows that the description mentions, but it seems that the claim of parody is legit this time.

    The best gags in this one are from people assuming that Max is already dead, e.g., the undertaker showing up at his apartment and his shoe phone being disconnected. Add the denouement when Max gets the bill for the antidote.


    I'll cover The Graduate in a future post, as I'm planning to get around to watching it sometime during the holiday week. It will be in theaters for a bit, won't it?


    Think I might have heard tell of that before.

    Whether or not her character uses a gun, notice that she seems to have a thing for appearing on war shows....

    Actually, it was more innocent than that. The school had no problem with the principle of her taking the boy to Christmas at the Marie home, but forbade it for insurance reasons...he had to stay within 10 miles of the school while the school was responsible for him. This factored into part of the story that I didn't mention...he winds up going to spend Christmas Day at the home of another student who lives closer to the school...the comedic twist being that the family turns out to be Jewish.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Presumably one of the various generic People's Republics that would be used as enemy countries in later seasons. There are maybe half a dozen or more USSR stand-ins over the course of the series.
  5. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator


    50 Years Ago This Week

    Selections from Billboard's Hot 100 for the week:

    Leaving the chart:
    • "I Can See for Miles," The Who
    • "Lazy Day," Spanky & Our Gang
    • "Pata Pata," Miriam Makeba
    • "Please Love Me Forever," Bobby Vinton
    • "Yesterday," Ray Charles

    New on the chart:

    "She's a Rainbow," The Rolling Stones

    (#25 US)

    "Tomorrow," Strawberry Alarm Clock

    (#23 US)

    "We're a Winner," The Impressions

    (#14 US; #1 R&B)

    "Bottle of Wine," The Fireballs

    (#9 US)

    And new on the boob tube:
    • The Ed Sullivan Show, Season 20, episode 16, featuring Arthur Godfrey & the Muppets, Bobbie Gentry, George Carlin, and Virgil Fox
    • The Monkees, "The Monkees' Christmas Show"
    • The Man from U.N.C.L.E., "The Deep Six Affair"
    • Magical Mystery Tour
    • Batman, "The Funny Feline Felonies"
    • Ironside, "The Fourteenth Runner"
    • That Girl, "A Friend in Need"
    • Star Trek, "The Trouble with Tribbles"
    • The Prisoner, "Living in Harmony"
    • Get Smart, "The Mysterious Dr. T"

    Hmmm...I suppose that if it became an established part of the show's M.O. I just thought that as they'd gone out of their way to establish that it wasn't one of the communist superpowers, they might have had another specific country in mind as the template.

    A bit of Googling establishes that I was on the money in my understanding of the situation...only five nations officially had nuclear weapons 50 years ago this week...the other two being the UK and France, both US allies. And China had only had them since 1964! In addition, Israel is believed to have had nuclear weapons since late 1966. That there had been such recent cases of proliferation actually supports what the show may have been going for in that area...the idea that any country could have been next.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    No, certainly not. At the time, censorship was really tight and shows had to avoid any hint of political controversy. Naming any real country as the villain in a TV episode would've been too controversial, so either they left the country nameless and let the audience infer that it was the USSR/China/whatever, or they made up some imaginary country name as a surrogate. Early seasons of M:I tended to do the nameless route -- the Voice on Tape often went through ridiculous verbal convolutions to avoid naming the country where Dan or Jim was being instructed to go, leaving us to wonder how the hell they figured out their destination -- but I think around season 4 they started using names like "the Eastern European Republic" or "The United People's Republic" or the like quite a bit.

    There were a couple of M:I episodes that were pretty unambiguously set in Berlin, what with the German accents and signage and the fact that the city was divided between democratic West and socialist East, but they never mentioned it by name, only referring to the "East Zone" and the "West Zone." Oddly, "The Bank" does this in dialogue even though there's on-camera signage explicitly naming Berlin.

    You see this in The Man from UNCLE too. By making UNCLE an international organization that includes US and Soviet agents, and making them partners in the fight against non-state terrorist groups, the show avoided addressing Cold War politics directly and thus skirted controversy. And when they did feature enemy agents of specific countries, those agents would refer only to "my country," never actually mentioning it by name.
  7. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    I'm not familiar with that one, but it's pleasant enough.

    Yeah, not the best interpretation.


    Some guys have all the luck.

    It would have taken a superhuman effort for Yvonne Craig to not look sexy.

    I don't even remember this episode. I wonder what the purpose was. Patrick McGoohan on vacation? Sick? Thinking about quitting?

    I get a kick out that, though. :rommie:

    I've never heard of Run For Your Life, but D.O.A. is a classic that's been ripped off many, many times.

    Never cared for that one.

    Ah, nice.

    Good Stones psychedelia. :D

    I don't think I've ever heard this, but it's not very memorable.


    This one, though, is a favorite. :rommie:
  8. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator


    50 Years Ago This Holiday Season

    "Snoopy's Christmas," The Royal Guardsmen

    "What Christmas Means to Me," Stevie Wonder

    "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," Lou Rawls


    Yet still better than what she did to the song on Sullivan, FWIW.

    Doom would have slain Zerbe and his partner for the sheer impudence of assuming that it was up to them to decide when he should use his nukes...or for suggesting that he should use something as common and banal as a nuclear weapon at all, when he's got so much Kirby-Tek at his disposal.

    According to the episode's Wiki page, he was in America filming Ice Station Zebra.

    Run for Your Life is the one of the pair that I have heard came up in discussions in the Other Thread about shows with a fugitive premise.

    That's a bit surprising, considering its soundtrack. Is it for lack of empathy with Ben? That's understandable. I read that Roger Ebert later retracted his original, contemporaneous review of the movie, saying that he'd come to sympathize more with Mrs. Robinson.

    Anyway, I watched it last night, but I may not get around to writing it up until after the holiday, as I took enough notes to write a damn college essay if I were so inclined! I'll try to keep it shorter than that, though.

    It's more listenable than a lot of what's on that album. I prefer "2000 Light Years," though.

    That was a case of digging a little deeper than Top 20 to get another single to rub together with the band's one hit. It's a bit underwhelming, but contributes in its small way to the immersive era vibe.

    Now this...while I wasn't familiar with it before I got it, I appreciate it as a Civil Rights-themed song like their 1965 classic "People Get Ready," but with a more upbeat and very optimistic vibe. And you can dance to it.

    Yes, this would be the one very familiar oldies radio staple in this batch.

    Next week will have a rather short list of new entries, but with one bit of business of particular interest to this thread that I discovered lurking around below the Top 40....


    ETA: Have H&I on in the background...OMG, I did know Ed Ames from something...! :lol:


    ETA: I did just come across one odd little New Year's change in H&I's lineup--They're replacing The Rat Patrol, quiet and lonely as its late-night Sunday time slot was, with more Swamp Thing episodes. I've got all of Season 1 now, but it looks like I won't be coming back to Season 2 unless the series shows up elsewhere. Sucks that they didn't even get through a full run of the series this time around.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  9. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 24, 2006
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    You recall that by the time Marvel Superheroes premiered, the plots in the FF comic were dead serious sci-fi / superhero dramas, most notably, "The Coming of Galactus" (the overall story arc) starting March of that year. Further, the title had already gone chest deep in that direction. Not much funny business there.

    But the series content was based on comics' serious content, which is how Marvel was defined at the time, hence the reason their titles became so popular with college students, who saw Marvel as the more mature option to DC. Adapting Cap stories where he's suffering from depression, and what is now called PTSD, Nazis (even if not named that on screen), or Hulk stories where Banner is suffering from fairly dark, Stevenson-esque identity issues (with a militaristic, Cold War backdrop), did not fit the goofy MSH theme songs.

    One of the great tracks from the Rolling Stones' brief experimentation with pop-psychedelia, made a classic by the always innovative Brian Jones' melodic creations on the Mellotron.

    Such a classic TV Christmas episode for all of the clever, in-joking scripting reasons that made season two so great.
  10. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    I have a Monkees sources vary as to whether "The" precedes "Monkees" in the episode titles; and title cards don't appear in the episodes themselves, which is what I go by when available. I've started generally leaving "The" off if the title reads better without it. Is there an official scoop on this?
  11. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Premium Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    The Old Mixer likes this.
  12. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    ^^ Love Tom Lehrer. :rommie:

    Merry Classic Christmas, folks. [​IMG]

    Nice. Of course, if it was made today, it would end with Snoopy being tried and executed for treason.

    Not sure if I've heard this before, but it's nice.

    This is also nice, but it's a song that's hard to kill. :rommie:

    "Nobody pushes the button but DOOM!"

    Knew there had to be a reason. :rommie:

    Then, technically, I have heard of it. I never saw it or heard it referenced anywhere, though, that I recall. I do recommend D.O.A. if you ever come across it.

    That's pretty much it, although it's been so long that all I remember is my dislike of it, but no details. I remember cringing at the banality of the characters and their lives.

    Interesting. I'll listen to it again with the lyrics up.

    Yeah, this used to get a lot of play.

    Well, that sucks. I never did care for that Swamp Thing show. The MeTV email didn't mention it, but who knows?

    It wasn't a comedy, but it was high adventure, with characters who never got beaten down. Even Ben, who sometimes succumbed to dark depression (notably right after Galactus in "This Man, This Monster," possibly my second favorite FF story), would always bounce back. It was adult drama, but with a very positive vibe, unlike the improperly branded adult dramas of today.

    Everything you say is true, but the dichotomy never bothered me. I just never really thought about it, actually.

    IMDB is probably as official as it gets without buying the DVDs-- but I agree, looking at the title list, that they read better without it.
  13. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator


    That's surprising...I thought that was one that had gotten around over the years.

    I think a lot of that is deliberate, though...the point of the story. I was going to post this with my review, but I stumbled across the following video while looking for a good trailer of the film, and found it insightful regarding what the film was going for prior to viewing it. I'm not sure I agree with everything that the reviewer says, but it got my thought process churning while watching the film. There really is a lot going on in it.

    I'm not sure there's anything deeply meaningful going on in the lyrics, but it's a context that one has to keep an ear open for listening to R&B/Soul of this era. What might just sound like a nice, general message of empowerment is coming from a very specific historical context.

    I neglected to note that the Fireballs were the same band (then billed as Jimmy Gilmer & the Fireballs) that had given us this classic earlier in the decade:

    "Sugar Shack"

    (Charted Sept. 21, 1963; #1 US the weeks of Oct. 12 through Nov. 9, 1963; #1 R&B; #1 song on Billboard's 1963 Year-End Chart of Pop Singles)

    They had one other Top 20 hit, "Daisy Petal Pickin'" (#15), the immediate follow-up to "Sugar Shack". "Bottle of Wine" will be their last chart hurrah.

    Part of me is relieved. If they'd continued through Season 2 (which they just got into this week, playing the first two of the twelve episodes that I'd gotten off of Decades and already reviewed), I could have "caught up" with the show by the anniversary of the last episode, but only by watching two Season 2 episodes a week when they started getting into the ones that I haven't seen...which, together with my Season 1 viewing, would have meant three Rat Patrol episodes a week for a few months. Now I can just focus on the Season 1 episodes at their original pace and keep an eye open for the opportunity to finish the series someday.

    I don't know about that...I've caught plenty of inaccuracies on IMDb...which might be getting their info from DVD packages, but that info can be wrong, too. Sometimes a mangled version of a title can perpetuate through multiple online sources, when there's an onscreen title card right there in the episode that it's all contradicting! This has happened a time or three with Tarzan episodes.

    ETA: Also 50 Years Ago This Holiday Season...
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
  14. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    I'm on my way out, so no time to read or reply, but somebody just sent me this:

  15. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    Interesting...looks like that was an immediate follow-up to "Monster Mash," entering the Hot 100 the week of Dec. 8, 1962 (while MM was still on the chart), and peaked at #30 the week of Jan. 5, 1963. It also reached #18 on the R&B chart.
  16. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    Nice. I didn't get a chance for any photography yesterday, but there was a lot of variety-- driving rain in the morning, followed by white-out blizzard conditions, followed by sunshine.

    Oh, it was absolutely the point. But at that age and the type of kid I was, it was just more painful to watch than enjoyable. It may be different if I watched it now, but I have no real desire to.

    Indeed, and it got right past me.

    I didn't realize that. I like "Sugar Shack," too, but "Bottle of Wine" really makes me laugh.

    Yeah, that's why I said "as it gets." If the DVD packaging is wrong, I don't know where we'd go. Presumably that is coming right from the source.

    I wonder if there can actually be multiple versions extant, if something gets changed at the last minute or something-- just like there can be multiple prints of a movie with different titles. Presumably, if something gets "officially" changed after a print has been made, what we see onscreen could actually be what's wrong. But who knows?

    Looks like they did some other stuff in the same vein that I need to check out, too.
  17. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 28, 2011
  18. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator


    Kitchen Sink / 51st Anniversary / Catch-Up Review Business


    Selection's from Billboard's Hot 100 for 55 years ago this week:

    12 O'Clock High
    "Show Me a Hero, I'll Show You a Bum"
    Originally aired October 25, 1965
    As previously mentioned, H&I skipped two episodes here for whatever reason. I'll roll with it.

    So Gallagher and the rest of the bomber's crew get shot up, and it falls to Komansky to land the plane. Where's Burt Reynolds when you need him?
    Oh, there he is! I'm not familiar with how big a name he was in this era, but it's surprising that he got opening credits billing given how relatively small his role was. He plays a rival sergeant who teases Komansky about his publicity in a couple of scenes.

    We get some P-51 stock footage action in the teaser...makes you wonder why they're not escorting the bombers more often.

    I noticed that Richard Donner directed this episode; I hadn't noticed that he also did three previous episodes, the first of which was the season premiere.

    Sandy feels undeserving of the PR because he was motivated by self-preservation...and the threat of being pushed into a field commission also provides some angst, given his anti-officer background. Sandy's being used by the correspondent who's pushing him as a hero, but some emotional entanglement develops between them.

    We learn here that Sandy is short for Alexander. Also, to revisit a previous point, Overton's character, Major Stovall, is formally referred to as "Adjutant" during Komansky's Silver Star ceremony.


    Selection from Billboard's Hot 100 for 51 Years Ago This Week:

    The Rat Patrol

    "The Last Harbor Raid: Episode II"
    Originally aired December 26, 1966
    Voiceover guy earns his keep here, delivering a recap that's much more concise than we get in M:I or Tarzan multi-parters. But despite the longer story time, they still use him in the middle of the episode to take a significant story shortcut.

    Longet is singing in French in the first scene of this one ("Auprès de ma blonde"). At the German officers' club, they've got Hitch bandaged up so that he doesn't have to talk...which is preferable to Troy's non-attempt at a German accent. We're told that the Patrol being smuggled in and her father being killed happened "earlier this evening"...guess they've got a ticking clock, but it seems like a lot to have happened the same night while it's still daylight.

    Longet's character, Marianne, claims to have been using her job at the club to pass info to her father, but even the Patrol doesn't fully trust her.
    Nothing wins a girl over like refusing to leave her apartment and threatening to kill her! Hitch holds a knife to her throat when she has to answer the door.

    I couldn't understand half of Longet's lines, and there was no closed captioning for the episode.

    John Anderson gets a speaking scene this episode. His character is understandably skeptical of the Patrol's plan, since they have neither the explosives nor the boats that they need yet.

    El Gamil (Stanley Adams) gets killed helping the Patrol secure some explosives. There's an attempt at pulling the heart strings, as his children witness his execution while hiding on nearby rooftops.

    They really blew the budget on credited guests this episode--Three, necessitating not one but two blink-and-miss-them cards in the end credits...Longet gets her own "Guest Star" card, while Anderson and Adams share a "with". turns out that somebody's got full-episode RP videos on YouTube that haven't been taken down in four years. It's not my usual M.O., but if I'm ever going to finish Season 2, I'd prefer to do it in 50th anniversary sync, so if H&I's dropping the show....But first I have a couple of episodes to catch up on.

    "The Fifth Wheel Raid"
    Originally aired December 11, 1967
    This episode has four credited speaking guests, again necessitating two cards in the end credits, but no Dietrich. And a briefing scene. In general, the episode takes its time setting up the mission, playing up the drama surrounding Colonel Jameson's loyal Sikh aide, Sgt. Kabir, who accompanies the Patrol. Kabir learns that the Patrol suspects the colonel and may have to kill him; while the Patrol suspects Kabir of being in collaboration with the colonel. Ultimately it falls to Kabir to deal with Jameson when the colonel has the Patrol at gunpoint. The emphasis on drama over action elevates this above emptier "sneak in and get something" episodes like "The Hide and Go Seek Raid".

    In one scene, an uncredited enemy soldier speaks Comic Book Nazi 101 that anyone at home can follow: "Wunderbar--Mach schnell!" Perhaps an "Ach--Dummkopf!" or "Schweinhund!" was cut for syndication.

    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  19. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator


    The Rat Patrol
    "The Two if by Sea Raid"
    Originally aired December 18, 1967
    Yes, another German-held lighthouse story. Obviously they decided to get the most use out of whatever lighthouse / lighthouse sets they had access to.

    Moffitt gets a cyanide capsule for this mission, though the threat of using it doesn't come up, as it gets taken away from him when he's captured. The rest of the Patrol is back in commando black for this one. The operation involves staging that Moffitt was killed in the first attempt so that the escaping electrician unknowingly takes him back to the lighthouse in his truck and tells the Germans that Moffitt didn't have a chance to share any information; and from there I guess the plan was to make sure the lighthouse signaled the German ships into the Allied ambush and then kill everyone at the lighthouse to prevent them from stopping it.

    This one has five credited guests, including Walter Brooke (D.A. Scanlon, The Green Hornet; Mark Roberts, The Incredible Hulk; see also below) as a German naval captain...but no Dietrich.


    The Graduate
    Released December 22, 1967
    A bit of personal disclosure, touching upon something that I'm sure I've mentioned in these parts at some point in the past...I'd previously seen this film once with my ex, not long after I'd gotten together with my her. I was curious to see it as, in addition to all of the other odd pop cultural references to the film that I'd been exposed to over the years, the ex is 16 years older than I, and I was in my 20s at the time, so there were some "Mrs. Robinson" cracks at the time from her family.

    The odd little thing that I just learned upon reading up a bit on the film: Anne Bancroft was only 35 when the film was made, and only six years older than Dustin Hoffman. Likewise, she's supposed to have met Mr. Robinson in college, but Murray Hamilton was eight years older than her; and Katharine Ross, who played her daughter, was just three years younger than Hoffman.

    Other actors include William Daniels as Ben Braddock's father; and Walter Brooke as the guy who's trying to get Ben into plastics (shades of Sam Wainwright in It's a Wonderful Life).

    Particularly noteworthy to the thread, this film was co-written by Buck Henry, co-creator of and writer on Get Smart.

    Delving into the sounds like Ben had a pretty distinguished college example of somebody who peaked early?

    Picking up on the symbolism outlined in the video that I posted upthread...if the fish tank is symbolic of Ben's confinement by people's expectations of him...Mrs. Robinson throwing the keys in the fish tank (shown in the video but not directly commented upon) must represent her making a splash in his life at that point. And (as was mentioned in the video) it's after the parallel pool scene that Ben follows up on Mrs. Robinson's invitation. Also note how he escapes into the pool when his mom threatens to make his worlds collide by inviting the Robinsons over; and we find Ben looking wistfully into the fish tank after the affair is exposed. In the scene when his father confronts him about making plans for his future, he describes himself as "just drifting, here in the pool."

    Ben seems comically dense about Mrs. R's initial moves. And symbolically speaking, I think it's no accident that she first undresses for him in Elaine's room. Decades was obviously editing out some of Ben's exclamations in that scene and in the climax at the church. Yet they didn't have a problem showing the stripper twirling the tassels on her pasties....

    I got the impression from his early scenes that Mr. Robinson knew what was going on between his wife and Ben, but I guess it was just supposed to be comic irony that he was unknowingly goading Ben on into sewing his wild oats even as his wife was seducing Ben.

    The first-person scene of Ben in the diving suit in which we can only hear his breathing was reminiscent to me of the soon-to-come 2001. I think there's likely a deliberate parallel between that and everyone's (oft parodied) soundless reactions to Ben's actions from across the glass in the climactic church scene.

    When Ben has his first hotel rendezvous with Mrs. R, he sees lots of same-age couples coming and going, first older, then younger...underscoring the awkwardness of what he's getting into. He acts like someone's who's committing a crime when he checks in.

    Mrs. R does a brilliant bit of goading him into it by bringing up the topic of inadequacy.

    He doesn't find any fulfillment in the relationship. Clearly there's no emotional connection between him and Mrs. R.

    The film certainly proceeds at a leisurely pace; Elaine doesn't even come into the picture until over halfway in. There's arguably a potential leaner, meaner cut of the film in which we don't get so much moment-by-moment detail of things like Ben at the hotel and no meaning is lost. And I think that perhaps it says something that Ben's relationship with Elaine gets less screentime than his affair with her mother.

    Ironically, it's Elaine's reaction to Ben's attempt to drive her away that causes him to fall for her. Note the torrential downpoar when the affair is exposed to Elaine...symbolic of floodgates opening, complete loss of control? After that, I think that Ben becomes obsessed with Elaine specifically because everyone's telling her that he can't have her. Although based on some emotional connection between the two, his relationship with Elaine is potentially just as meaningless as his affair with her mother.

    It's a very nasty story point that Mrs. R. accuses Ben of raping her.

    Nice callback by Ben when Elaine tells him of her fiance's proposal: "It wasn't in his car, was it?" If the story has one glaring weak spot, it's that Elaine's fiance is a complete straw man. I have to question that YouTuber's assessment that Mrs. R was trying to spare her daughter the same fate as her by coming between Elaine and Ben. Was arranging a loveless marriage for her any better than a relationship with Ben based on a shaky momentary connection? It was, if anything, a good example of the sort of confining expectations that Ben struggles with.

    Ben getting into a brawl at the church and using the cross as a weapon is probably a safe bet as symbolic for all of the taboos that he breaks in the film, right down to having just taken the bride from the altar after she'd said "I do".

    Sign o' the times: Norman Fell's character (A landlord, no less!) is fixated with "outside agitators" in Berkeley.


    One of the film's most striking aspects is its Simon & Garfunkel-centric soundtrack....

    "The Sound of Silence"
    (charted Nov. 20, 1965; #1 US the weeks of Jan. 1 and 22, 1966; #156 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time)
    "April Come She Will"
    (from the 1966 album Sounds of Silence; used as the B-side of the single for "Scarborough Fair / Canticle")

    "The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine"

    (alternate version of a song that originally appeared on the 1966 album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme and as the B-side of the #25 single "The Dangling Conversation")

    "Scarborough Fair / Canticle"

    (originally released on Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme; issued as a single following its use in the film; charted Mar. 2, 1968; #11 US; #5 AC)

    "Mrs. Robinson"

    A different, more fleshed-out version was issued as a single following the song's use in the film, charting Apr. 27, 1968, reaching #1 US the weeks of June 1 through June 15, 1968, #4 AC, #4 UK, and winning the 1969 Grammy Award for Record of the Year.


    That wasn't photography on my part...just grabbing a cell phone pic through the kitchen window.

    I wouldn't assume that. DVDs were produced decades later by different hands. Where there are multiple sources getting a title wrong in the same way compared to the title that's right in the episode card, I'd assume that they were getting it from a single, wrong source such as the DVD packaging.

    I've been on the lookout for particularly zingy examples to quote...e.g.:
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  20. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    This week's MeTV email has informed me that ABC has a Get Christie Love! remake in the works-- a horrifying prospect, but perhaps it will finally inspire them to release the original on DVD.

    I love lighthouse stories. There should be an anthology called Tales From The Lighthouse. Hmm, I said that to be funny, but now I like that title.

    I first (and only) saw it on TV when I was very young, ten or eleven, and I'm sure that affected my impression of it.

    When I was in my early 20s, I had a when-she-was-in-town relationship with a woman in her mid 30s and she used to make "Mrs Robinson" references. My brilliant retorts were on the level of "Oh, come on now."

    That brought back an involuntary cringe.

    Intelligent but uninspired? Or just lacking in personality?

    It kind of amuses me, the things that trigger panic attacks when it comes to sexuality.

    Again having seen this only once almost fifty years ago, I'd say that would make the film less painful, but it's probably necessary in communicating the banality of their lives.

    Another cringe flashback.

    Brilliance. Genius. Perfection. I've mentioned before what a profound influence Simon & Garfunkel were on the young me.

    Sad and beautiful poetry.

    Not quite as random as I thought back then, but even a rant by Paul Simon captivated me.

    More beautiful poetry.

    Like Squiggy said, what any instrumental needs is words. Especially when you have lines like, "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you." :rommie:

    Hah. Well, it's a pretty picture, and I wish I had a yard like that.

    Could very well be. I have no clue how these things are produced.