On Johnathan Franklin being back with the team in a non-playing role:
"It's great to have Johnathan back. I hope so (he'll be back)."
On finding a role for Franklin:
"You like all your guys to be involved. He's as fine as a man as we've had in my time here."
I really try and look at this team without Green N' Gold glasses. But when I hear stuff like this, I can't help but be proud to be a fan of this team. What a cool thing to do. Let's hope Franklin enjoys whatever his role is.
Welcome to another edition of Fedya's "Movies to Tivo" thread, for the week of July 28-August 3, 2014. There's still more than five weeks to go until we get meaningful Packer games, so why not enjoy those weeks with some good movies? We're about to enter the beginning of August, which means TCM's annual "Summer Under the Stars", in which each of the 31 days of the month is given over to 24 hours straight of one star. More on that later. All times are in Eastern, unless otherwise mentioned.
Actor James Garner died last weekend, as you all know since you read the obituary posts I put up religiously. TCM has decided to set aside a day of its previously scheduled broadcasting to do a 24-hour salute to Garner, all day and night Monday. Among the Garner movies TCM is showing is The Thrill of It All at 8:00 PM. Garner stars as Dr. Boyer, a middle-class obstetrician with a middle-class wife (Doris Day) and two children. One of Dr. Boyer's patients (Arlene Francis) is a daughter-in-law of a dish detergent magnate (Reginald Owen), and when the old guy meets Mrs. Boyer, he wants her to do a commerical for the company. Much to everybody's surprise, the commercial turns out to be a hit, and the company signs up Mrs. Boyer to do a series of weekly spots live from the Boyer home, much to the consternation of the good doctor, who finds that he no longer quite wears the pants in the family. This being a Doris Day comedy, you know they'll save their marriage, but the fun is seeing how it all happens.
Maureen O'Hara gets one final night of her movies as TCM's Star of the month on Tuesday, with this week's movies including Spencer's Mountain at 10:00 PM. This is the movie version of what, several years later, would be turned into the TV show The Waltons, except that here, the action is contemporary, not the 1930s, and it's set out in the Rockies instead of West Virginia. Maureen O'Hara plays the matriarch of the Spencers, a farm family with a whole bunch of children; the father is played by Henry Fonda. Much of the action deals with the family struggling against various hardships, as the eldes son, Clay-Boy (instead of "John-Boy", and played by James MacArthur) finishes high school and is smart enough to go to college if they can scrape the money together. The other main plot invovles Clay Sr. wanting to build his dream house for his wfie atop the mountain. It's a bit sentimental at times -- there's even a bit where everybody says goodnight to each other that you'll recognize immediately if you've ever seen an episode of The Waltons -- but it's well done.
Lee Grant is in the spotlight on Wednesday night, and one of her movies that I don't think I've recommended before is Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell, a comedy which comes on at midnight Thursday (or 11:00 PM Wednesday LFT. Mrs. Campbell is actually played by Gina Lollobrigida; she's a woman in a small village in Italy with a daughter of about 20 (Janet Margolin) and no husband. She's told her daughter that the father was an American soldier in the war but died, leaving her a war widow. The fact of the matter is that Mrs. "Campbell" actually had relationships with three GIs, none of them named Campbell. And all three of them think they're the father of the child, and have been supporting her surreptitiously all these years because they've got wives in America. Things get really complicated when the soldiers' old outfit from the war decides to get together for a 20-year reunion, and our three soldiers and their wives (Phil Silvers married to Shelly Winters; Peter Lawford married to Marian Moses; and Telly Savalas married to Lee Grant) show up and meet Mrs. Campbell.
If you liked Judith Anderson last week, you're in luck, as she shows up again this week as the bright spot in the RKO B movie Lady Scarface, which is on TCM at noon Thursday. She plays the title character, the female head of a gang, but the movie is just as much about the cop (Dennis O'Keefe) who's trying to get them after the commit a big robbery. He, of course, doesn't realize that the gang is being led by a woman. Worse, he's got a girlfriend (Frances Neal) who's a reporter, and trying to get the story. Eventually, the action leads to a hotel where they're spying on a newlywed couple that got mixed up in all of this. There's a bunch of bad humor in this, and the lady reporter gets a chance to be the heroine of what is a thoroughly clichéd movie, except for the presence of Anderson who, despite being cast in a clunker, gives it her all.
On to Thursday night, when it's Mel Brooks who shows up on your screens on TCM in a night of his movies. There's an interview he did with Dick Cavett that's airing at 1:15 AM Friday, but as far as feature films go, I think I'll mention Silent Movie, whcih comes on at 9:45 PM Thursday. Brooks plays Mel Funn, a movie director who's seen better days. He goes to see Sid Caesar, playing a Studio Boss whose studio has also seen better days. Mel's got an idea: produce a silent movie; that'll really bring in the crowds. (Silent Movie itself is a silent movie, with one notable exception.) Caesar says yes, but only on the condition that Mel can get the stars he says he's going to get. So, with the aid of accomplices Marty Eggs (Marty Feldman) and Dom Ball (Dom DeLuise), Brooks tries to get those stars. Of course, getting the stars and making the movie isn't quite that simple.... There are quite a few cameos, most notably Marcel Marceau getting the only spoken word.
Friday is August 1, which means the first day of TCM's annual "Summer Under the Stars". This first day of August will bring 24 hours of Jane Fonda, although it's not all movies: Jane recently received a lifetime achievement award from the American Film Institute, and TCM will be running that ceremony at 8:00 PM Friday, repeated at 11:00, with the western comedy Cat Ballou in between at 9:15 PM. The day stars, however, with one of Fonda's earliest starring roles, in Tall Story, at 6:00 AM. Fonda plays June, a young woman going to college for the purpose of finding a man! And she thinks she's found that man in the form of basketball team standout Anthony Perkins. (Some casting.) Complications ensue when Perkins fails a test, and is going to be ruled academically ineligible for the big game against a Soviet team on an exhibition; it's up to Fonda to save the day. Fonda was actually pretty good at comedy, and while Perkins isn't terrible, it's clear he's too awkward to play athletes.
Up against Tall Story on FXM Retro is The Gang's All Here. But you can also catch it at 1:15 PM Thursday on FXM Retro. James Ellison plays a soldier about to go off to the Pacific Theater in World War II, and on his last night stateside, he meets and woos nightclub singer Alice Faye. Fast forward some time, and Faye and her fellow entertainers are asked by the Potters (Edward Everett Horton and Charlotte Greenwood) to provide fot the entertainment for a party for a returning war hero. The only thing is, that war hero turns out to be the soldier who romanced Faye, and he's engaged to the Potters' daughter in what both sets of extremely wealthy parents would consider a more suitable match. Actually, the plot isn't much here; you should watch for the musical numbers which are extravagant, most notably one that's got Carmen Miranda as "The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat".
Saturday brings 24 hours of David Niven to TCM, including one of his earlier performances in The Charge of the Light Brigade at 8:00 AM. Errol Flynn is the star of this one, as a British officer in India who saves the life of a local Khan, only for the Khan to repay him by, with the help of the Russians, attacking a fort and killing everybody buy Flynn and his fiancée (Olivia de Havilland). The Khan then flees to the Crimea, but the Crimean war is about to come up, so the British move soldiers there and unsurprisingly Flynn gets hmiself transferred to Crimea to go after the Khan. There's also a love triangle involving Flynn, de Haviland, and Patric Knowles, all of whom would later show up together in The Adventures of Robin Hood. Although the final battle is spectacular to watch, if ahistorical, it was also murder on the horses, which were treated inhumanely.
Sunday's star is the dependable if bland Walter Pidgeon. Catch him near the beginning of his career in The Hot Heiress, at 7:30 AM, which has Pidgeon in a supporting role. The male lead is Ben Lyon, who provides the heat as Hap, a construction worker catching hot rivets up on the girders of the high-rise that he's working on. He misses one of those rivets though, and it goes throuhg the open window of Juliette (Ona Munson), the daughter of a well-to-do family in one of those deee-luxe apartments in the sky. Hap climbs through the open window to apologize, and Juliette immediately falls for the big blue-collar guy, which isn't a surprise when her parents want her to marry a drip like Walter Pidgeon. Hap knows the relationship can't work out because of the class difference, but Juliette doesn't care. Her parents, of course, do care, and that provides the conflict.
Finally, I'll mention a couple of the shorts that TCM is running this week. First, at about 3:40 AM Wednesday, or folloowing Fire Over Africa (2:15 AM Wednesay, 81 minutes plus Robert Osborne's intor/outro) is The Golden Equatore. This is a 1956 short which gushes about the progress the country of Ecuador is making towards becoming a developed country what with its abundant natural resources. Of course, Ecuador didn't quite turn out that way. This short also could have used being filmed in color like the Traveltalks shorts -- this was from the decline of RKO, when they were trying to make more serious shorts. For hntr74, there's also Weather Wizards, which comes up a little after 9:45 AM Wednesday, after The Bride Wore Red (8:00 AM, 103 minutes). This Pete Smith short from 1939 looks at how meteorologists did their job back in the day, when they didn't have things like supercomputers or satellite imagery, or even radar, the last of which would only be developed in World War II. All in trying to kep a family orchard from getting frozen, with the orchard owners using techniques that haven't changed much in 75 years.
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