Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ski Party

A movie that always makes me feel good is SKI PARTY. It's NOT a good movie, though. It's a mash-up of a Frankie and Annette beach movie (Annette has a cameo), Billy Wilder's SOME LIKE IT HOT and The Beatles' HELP. The personable cast includes Frankie Avalon and Dwayne Hickman--always a fun team in spite of how bad their films could get--future Batgirl Yvonne Craig, future co-star of TV's THE MOTHERS-IN-LAW Deborah Walley, bespectacled fifties closet case TV personality Robert Q. Lewis, singer Lesley Gore and, in a most memorable cameo, James Brown, the Godfather of Soul! Brown randomly shows up with his band The Famous Flames at the whiter than white ski lodge in the whiter than white snow with the whiter than white teens! Suuure! 


Friday, February 14, 2014

Tom, Becky and Huck

As a kid, one of my favorite books was Mark Twain's TOM SAWYER. It's follow-up, HUCKLEBERRY FINN, is one of those rare cases where the sequel outdoes the original. Through the years, I've seen many movie and TV versions, both live action and animated...and in one memorable TV series, BOTH!

Yesterday, though, I got hold of these two classic versions starring two of the greatest child stars of all-time, Jackie (Uncle Fester) Coogan and my great discovery of last year (some 44 years after her death), Mitzi Green. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

R.I.P. Shirley Temple

The thing about Shirley Temple movies is that the best of them work on two levels. One, they are propaganda, pure and simple, cranked out in order to take advantage of the curly one's supernatural cuteness and innately upbeat outlook to raise hopes against all odds in the depths of the Great Depression. Two, they are, for the most part, darn fine movies as well, holding up even today and featuring some good performances from major stars including the undisputed greatest child actor of them all, Shirley herself.

Friday, February 7, 2014


When I grew up in the seventies, the blacksploitation films were always playing downtown so I ended up seeing my share even though I was a pretty whitebread kid. But I never saw Pam Grier. Oh, I had a vague notion of who she was and how important she was to the genre. But I only ever saw her a few times on television in tiny roles that seemed beneath her. Luckily, in these days of the Internet and Netflix, I'm able to rectify the omission of Pam Grier films from my movie watching experience.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

R.I.P. Gloria Leonard

Fans of my two 1970s high school journal blogs might recall that I was a regular reader of HIGH SOCIETY magazine even though I was technically too young to read it at all. Early on in my exposure to the magazine, it was taken over by porn star Gloria Leonard who seemed to be more than just a figurehead. She did sporadically continue her career for a while, though, even getting her own "autobiographical" X-rated feature, ALL ABOUT GLORIA LEONARD, one of the earliest adult films I ever saw on Beta way back in the eighties. 

Ms. Leonard suffered brain damage from a stroke over this past weekend and passed today in Hawaii.
Rest in Peace.