Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cash Cab Hoboken


: (agonized) See! You don't understand!

Jarring music starts up and multicolor lights flash on cab's ceiling

: You're in the CASH CAB!

CHARLEY: I tried to keep you in good with Johnny.

BEN: It's a tv game show that takes place in my taxi!

TERRY: You don't understand! I could've been a conten...

BEN: I'm going to ask you some general knowledge questions all the way to your destination!

TERRY: I could've been...

BEN: The questions start off easy and get harder as we go!


BEN: As long as you keep answering the questions correctly, you'll win cash money!

TERRY: ... I could've had class and been somebody. Real class. Instead of a bum, let's face it, which is...

BEN: Hey, guys! What are your names?

TERRY: ... which is what I am. It was you, Charley.

BEN: Charley? Are you ready to win some money on CASH CAB?

This week on... TCM (February 27 - March 4)

Sunday, February 27, 2011
Mildred Pierce (1945) 8:00 PM
Morning Glory (1933) 2:00 AM - 'A stage struck girl travels to New York determined to make it on Broadway. Starring Katharine Hepburn.'

Monday, February 28, 2011
Test Pilot (1938) 4:00 PM - 'An irresponsible test pilot's wife and best friend try to get him to grow up. Starring Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy.' Wasn't this movie called Manhattan Melodrama?
Arthur (1981) 8:00 PM - I'm hoping to learn what really happens when you get caught between the moon and New York City.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956) 2:45 AM - And I like Paul Newman.

Thursday, March 3, 2011
Shall We Dance (1937) 6:00 PM - The three greatest words in the English language: Edward! Everett! Horton!
The Broadway Melody (1929) 12:30 AM - I think we all know the story of Queenie Mahoney and Jock Warriner's tragic love affair. I just wonder if Francis Zanfield can one-up Florenz Ziegfeld.
The Star (1952) 2:15 AM - 'A faded film star fights to hold on to her past glamour despite failing finances. Starring Bette Davis' - Apparently this week's theme (besides 31 Days of Oscar) is 'Deja Vu: Recycled Plots and Typecast Actors'.

Friday, March 4, 2011
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) 6:00 PM - The UPS man knocks once, but he'll probably leave the package even if you don't answer the door.
Road Games (1981) 2:00 AM - 'A truck driver's attempt to find a vanished hitchhiker leads police to suspect him of her murder. Starring Jamie Lee Curtis' - It turns out she's not dead. She just isn't wearing any make-up. I think this marks the return of TCM Underground's Friday night B-movie craptacular.

Life goes on, day by day.. As I posted to my Twitter, The Hallmark Channel ('when you care enough to watch the very best') will have an Empty Nest marathon today (Saturday 2/26). Empty Nest, if you'll recall, was a popular spin-off of Golden Girls (less remarkably, Hallmark will have a Golden Girls marathon on Sunday). I always liked Empty Nest for some reason. I liked Richard Mulligan and that big dog who seemed comatose half the time. Then there was wacky Kristy McNichol and his other really depressing daughter. And David Leisure (aka Joe Isuzu)! On my Twitter, I suggested that David Leisure should have a reality show called 'Life of Leisure'. Or, if he frequently finds himself in court, 'Leisure Suits'. However, it looks like he's busy playing three different characters on three different soap operas. I guess his is not a life of leisure after all!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

This week on... TCM (February 20 - 26)

Sunday, February 20, 2011
Blow-Up (1966) 4:15 AM - Michelangelo Antonioni's suspense thriller set in Swinging London. Stars David Hemming as a fashion photographer who may have inadvertently captured a murder on film and Vanessa Redgrave as the potential murderess. With a cool psychedelic soundtrack including The Yardbirds in the party scene. Also features Jane Birkin. This movie was remade several years later as Blow Out with John Travolta. He may or may not have heard a murder. A 2012 remake called Blow-Dry is in preproduction. It stars Mark Wahlberg as a hairstylist who may or may not have smelled a murder.
In Cold Blood (1967) 12:45 PM - Excellent neo-noir based on a true story. I highly recommend the Truman Capote book. You don't get a lot of noirs that take place in rural Kansas, do you?
The Third Man (1949) 3:15 PM - One of Orson Welles' finest works.

Monday, February 21, 2011
The Bad Seed (1956) 3:30 PM
State Fair (1945) 8:00 PM - I saw this Rodgers & Hammerstein musical for the first time this year, and I really enjoyed it.
The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946) 10:00 PM - I'll finally watch this.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Limelight (1952) 8:45 AM - A movie about aging silent film actors.
The Red Balloon (1956) 7:15 PM

Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) 6:45 AM - My favorite Tennessee Williams-based movie. Katharine Hepburn might be at her finest!
You Were Never Lovelier (1942) 12:30 PM - Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth musical.
You Can't Take It With You (1938) 10:00 PM
Amarcord (1973) 3:30 AM - Fellini

Thursday, February 24, 2011
Fellini's 8 1/2 (1963) 6:00 AM - Another Fellini. Marcello!
Doctor Zhivago (1965) 4:30 PM - Okay, I'm not really going to spend my birthday watching a depressing Russian epic.

Friday, February 25, 2011
Bus Stop (1956) 6:00 PM
On The Waterfront (1954) 8:00 PM - This is my birthday present to myself. Marlon Brando.

Saturday, February 26, 2011
The Maltese Falcon (1941) 3:30 PM - Best movie ever made, right? Yup.
It Happened One Night (1934) 8:00 PM
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975) 10:00 PM
The Silence Of The Lambs (1991) 12:30 AM - Never seen this. Maybe I'll watch it.
Frances (1982) 2:45 AM - Frances Farmer biopic. I read the book. Tragic.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mrs. Moore Is A Gift To Shut-Ins

What did the world do before Amy Sedaris taught the depressed, sickly, and downtrodden the gentle art of crafting? They turned to Mrs. Alice Moore who made it her living to visit shut-ins to teach them crafts that would hasten them along the rocky road to recovery. Mrs. Moore's expertise included simple basketry, cloth weaving, bookbinding, wood carving, linoleum cutting, jewelry making, and woolly toy animals. Mrs. Moore can be sent to ailing friends in lieu of flowers or other gifts. 'When this is done she walks into the sickroom with her cheery smile, and, for fun, an attractive gift card of her own design dangling from her lapel.' Mrs. Moore is a fun gift not just for the female shut-in, but 'recuperating youngsters and menfolk' also benefit from her services because both are known for becoming difficult when they're nearly well.

[Article from Woman's Home Companion (March 1948) - Article by Sarah Lindsay and illustration by James Valenti - Click image for enlarged scan!]

Sunday, February 13, 2011

This week on... TCM (February 13 - 18)

Sunday, February 13, 2011
Coney Island (1943) 4:00 PM - A musical starring Betty Hutton (not to be confused with the part of 'On The Town' that takes place at Coney Island)
Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) 12:30 AM
A Room With A View (1985) 4:00 AM - Mr. Beebe insists!

Monday, February 14, 2011
The Talk Of The Town (1942) 12:00 PM
The Philadelphia Story (1940) 4:00 PM
Victor/Victoria (1982) 2:15 AM - I'll definitely be watching this one again!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Mon Oncle (1958) 12:30 PM
Radio Days (1987) 4:30 PM - Worth watching just for the Re-Lax jingle!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Swing Time (1936) 6:15 PM

Thursday, February 17, 2011
Irma La Douce (1963) 5:30 PM
12 Angry Men (1957) 8:00 PM
Room At The Top (1959) 12:15 AM

Friday, February 18, 2011
On The Town (1949) 11:45 AM - Right as I was posting this, I just found out that Betty Garrett died. Not only was she one of the best parts of this movie (one of my favorites!), she was also great on Laverne & Shirley as Laverne's father's girlfriend. She was 91. RIP.
It's Always Fair Weather (1955) 1:30 PM
The Producers (1968) 5:00 PM
It Should Happen To You (1954) 6:30 PM

PLUS Monday through Wednesday is the Jeopardy! event: Ken Jennings versus the Computers. I'm sure I'll be blogging about that every day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Totally Tubular '80s Toys

Totally Tubular '80s Toys by toy expert Mark Bellomo (Krause Publications, 2010) is, so far, the most complete 1980s toy bible on the market. When I spotted this hefty hardcover on a display rack and viewed a few sample pages, I knew that this was the 1980s toy book that I had been searching for. The 1980s is a decade known for some of the greatest cartoon/figure tie-ins and some of the most creative toys ever made. As well, children of the 1980s were lucky to experience the last decade where toys were designed to spark creativity and imagination rather than passively entertain them whilst relying on flashing lights and electronic noises.

Thoroughly Modern Miltons

This week marks the anniversaries of two pop culture icons.

On February 8, 1960, the all-star Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled at an official groundbreaking ceremony. It has been erroneously reported that Joanne Woodward was the first celebrity to have been honored with a plaque. In actuality, there was no 'first star'; the tourist destination debuted a few years earlier with a handful of stars already studding the walkway. Joanne Woodward was one of the lucky stars and was among the first to pose with her name, which probably contributed to the propagation of the legend. Since 1960, Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street have become home to over 2,400 celebrities. Here half-forgotten names of the silent era mingle with some of today's so-called celebrities, and icons of the stage, screen, radio, and television merge in an odd constellation called Fame. Everyone from PET Milk's favorite radio star, Jessica Dragonette, to Pee-wee Herman have now been cemented into the shared history of Hollywood. Who are some of the most notable personalities to have been immortalized on the Walk? Big Bird, Spring Byington, Bennett Cerf, Wally Cox, Phyllis Diller, Betty Garrett, The Harlem Globetrotters, Bob Keeshan, The Lennon Sisters, Liberace, Bob Newhart, and TCM's resident heartthrob, Robert Osborne!

Visit the Official Hollywood Walk of Fame page and this comprehensive site which includes information on every single star on the Walk.

Four years later, a tastier and toastier star was born: America's favorite toaster pastry, Kellogg's Pop-Tart. Apple Currant, Blueberry, Brown Sugar Cinnamon, and Strawberry found immortality and edibility as (unfrosted!?) Pop-Tarts first hit market shelves this week in 1964. It took Kellogg's three more years to introduce the frosted variety we all know and love. Originally produced to compete with Post's Country Squares, Pop-Tart's long-forgotten predecessor, Kellogg's quickly overtook the fledgling toaster pastry market with its snappier name evoking the youthful craze for all things POP!: soda, music, art, and now.. Tarts! Even hotter than a freshly popped Tart was their spokesman, Milton the Toaster, who was, I'm sure, the brand's main allure. To this day, its Pop-tartularity has endured, proving once and for all that it really is 'hip to be square.'

Watch a Pop-Tarts commercial starring Milton the Toaster!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

This week on... TCM (February 6 - 12)

TCM continues to celebrate the 31 Days Of Oscar with various Oscar-nominated scheduling. The series wraps up on Thursday, March 3. TCM has posted their movie schedule as a handy PDF (warning: clicking that link will launch a PDF).

Sunday, February 6, 2011
Viva Zapata! (1952) 3:45 PM - Marlon Brando plays Emiliano Zapata in one of his better movies.
Short Film: How To Sleep (1935) 9:40 PM - Robert Benchley teaches the audience how to sleep despite interruptions.

Monday, February 7, 2011
Libeled Lady (1936) 12:00 PM - Everyone loves William Powell in this excellent comedy also starring Spencer Tracy, Jean Harlow, and Myrna Loy!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Gaslight (1944) 8:00 PM - A cruel Charles Boyer sends Ingrid Bergman into madness. The last time I saw this, I wasn't feeling well, and I ended up feeling a bit shaken myself!
Glory (1989) 12:00 AM - Excellent performances from Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick

Wednesday, February 9, 2011
What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962) 12:00 AM - I hope, if nothing else, this movie won for 'Best Makeup'!

Thursday, February 10, 2011
Anchors Aweigh! (1945) 2:30 PM - This is the one where Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly are sailors on leave who both fall in love with Kathryn Grayson.
Annie Get Your Gun (1950) 8:00 PM - Some call this one of the worst musicals of all time!
An American In Paris (1951) 10:00 PM - This one, however, is s'wonderful.

Saturday, February 12, 2011
Wuthering Heights (1939) 2:00 PM
Gone With The Wind (1939) 10:00 PM - Will this be the time I finally break down and watch this? Only time (a long, long, long time) will tell.

Elsewhere on the dial:

'Alex, I'm afraid I can't do that..' Later this month, we'll finally be able to welcome back one of the greatest minds of our time, Mr. Ken Jennings, who will return to our televisions in a special Jeopardy! event! Ken will return to beat two robots: the firearms-loving Brad Rutter (his creepy knowledge of weaponry is the ONLY reason he managed to beat Ken in the last championship!) and Watson, an IBM computer solely constructed to defeat humans at Jeopardy! The commercials for this inane event liken the significance of Watson to the moon landings and other important scientific achievements. All the excitement will begin February 14 and continue until February 16. Since I am a long-time Ken fan (we call ourselves Kenatics!), I'm sure I'll be blogging about the championship right here. Make sure you root for the right humanoid.

For Black History Month, TV1 has been airing Way Black When and marathons of retro (1970s mostly) comedy shows. Way Black When is a veritable who's-who of African-American personalities we knew and loved in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. If you love exclaiming, 'I remember so-and-so!' at your tv screen, then you will surely delight at all the familiar faces! Of course, the Nickelodeons and BETs regularly air your standards: The Cosby Show; its spinoff, A Different World; The Jeffersons; and Good Times, but TV1's marathon is showing some rarely seen classics. My favorite is the Flip Wilson Show, which I had never seen before, but now I can't live without! Also of note, they're showing The Richard Pryor Show, which I had also never seen before but is truly fantastic. While I've been enjoying Richard Pryor's standup, I'm mostly intrigued by his inventive and, sometimes, Chaplinesque sketches. Now I understand why he is so respected, both as a comedian and as a true artist. Both shows also had a fantastic array of supporting actors who went on to become famous, including a young Robin Williams, and a lot of fun guest stars. George Carlin was sure in high demand in the 1970s! I highly recommend checking your local listings and watching both shows. I love seeing their different styles, and it's sad to think that it only took about a decade to destroy America's sense of humor! Because it was still going strong in the 1970s!