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77 Sunset Strip / Hawaiian Eye, etc.

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Frank Soyke, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. criblecoblis

    criblecoblis Supporting Actor
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    Russ, that would be some pub crawl! Of course, the Crescendo was gone by the time I came into town. Later, it became the hippie hangout The Trip.

    I think it would have been interesting, if the show had lasted the ten seasons it deserved, to have seen how the show handled the drastic cultural changes the Strip underwent during that time. Then again, it would have been difficult to get new establishing shots after the Mary Webb Davis building became the Tiffany Theatre.
     
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  2. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    The Tiffany Theater didn't open for business until late 1966. I wonder if 77 SS had remained a top draw on TV past 1964 whether the Mary Webb Davis building might have survived a little longer. Not knowing the politics of real estate along the Strip, I would think that perhaps if the building remained an important icon to the show that WB could have put an offer on it. Of course, since no actual filming ever took place inside the place, and coupled with a replica already constructed on a sound stage, that would have been money questionably spent.

    At least Dino's lasted sometime into the 80's, as did the breezeway drive-through even when the Tiffany Theater was constructed. Establishing shots could have continued with a bit of cropping.

    upload_2019-5-15_8-38-58.

    It's true...I didn't want anything to change on that portion of the block for all eternity.
     
  3. Gary16

    Gary16 Screenwriter

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    Well I retimed my print of “Girl on the Run” using an external frame counter/timer and the total running time is 76:51 so that matches the timing we’ve found in various sources.
     
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  4. criblecoblis

    criblecoblis Supporting Actor
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    Russ, of course you're correct. After reading your post, it occurred to me that something similar happened to The Man from U.N.C.L.E. The backlot set used for the tailor's shop that served as the undercover entrance to the New York headquarters, including the surrounding street sets. was lost in a fire during the show's run, and they managed to shoot around it, using file footage when necessary.

    So WB would certainly have coped with the loss of the Mary Webb Davis building in a similar manner, as you say.
     
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  5. Message #2745 of 3137 May 17, 2019
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
    criblecoblis

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    Following on from my last post, I did some wool-gathering. I got some infinity stones and snapped my fingers. . .

    Back before my slight internal modification, on 8-5-18 (post #1794), Mike Schlesinger posted the following regarding S5E35 "The Checkmate Caper":

    I think Mike's observation is manifestly sensible, and I took it as my starting point for an alternate timeline for our beloved show.

    In this timeline, "The Checkmate Caper" airs as S5E15 or thereabouts. Jack Warner watches the episode, and realizes that he's made a mistake in listening to the people who had convinced him that giving 77SS the Stirling Silliphant socially-aware crepe-hanger treatment had been a disaster.

    So he gives Jack Webb different marching orders. He tells him to return the show to its traditional comedy-leavened tone, and build upon the events of "Checkmate Caper" to break the show out of its doldrums. He does the following.

    Bailey & Spencer stumbles badly after the public embarrassment in the aftermath of the events of "Checkmate Caper." They lose their ongoing corporate accounts with the likes of Pacific Orient Insurance, and ultimately lose their lease at the 77 Sunset Strip offices by the end of the fifth season. The firm is disbanded.

    The beginning of the sixth season still finds Stu on his own at the Bradbury building, with Roscoe in tow. Jeff has taken a job with the state Attorney General's office as a special investigator; Kookie has signed on with the county DA's office as an investigator. JR reverts to valet duty at Dino's, and Suzanne is still in her place, now working for Legs Diamond, who has taken over the old Bailey & Spencer offices. Hannah is in attendance at the start of the season.

    The doings back at the old digs with Suzanne, JR and Legs (King Donovan, from The Kookie Caper, and referred to in The Office Caper) would be a frequent sidebar to the show, to keep the title relevant during this time.

    During the sixth season, Stu works to get his career back on its feet. At first, we only see him, Roscoe and Hannah on a regular basis, with the rest of the gang checking in from time to time to consult with Stu and throw work his way. Lt. Gilmore is still in evidence, but he has to keep Stu at arm's length officially because of pressure from above.

    As the season progresses, Stu's fortunes and reputation gradually improve. At the end of the season comes a long story arc that eventually involves all the old gang working together again. This arc concludes with the last episode of the season in a spectacular and public victory for Stu and the gang.

    The seventh season begins, newly-titled simply Sunset Strip, with Bailey & Spencer reconstituted and back in business, a scant half-block west of the old offices, in the building housing the Playboy Club, right next to the Crescendo, which as I mentioned was soon to become the hippie club The Trip. The show is still in black-and-white, because it's on ABC, but it will go to color for its eighth season. The theme's lyrics would have to be slightly altered to reflect the new title, of course. Alternatively, the theme could now just be entirely instrumental, as the end theme already was in the fifth season.

    And what about Hannah? She's the firm's new secretary, because Suzanne and Jeff are now married. If you look carefully at the last shot of her in "Checkmate Caper," you can see that this was inevitable.

    I think that would set the show up nicely for several more seasons. It would be back in the position it was in at the beginning, with its finger on the pulse of what was happening on the Strip. It would be funny to see how Kookie would interact with hippies: "I was cool when you kids were still munching Wheaties and watching the Mickey Mouse Club!"
     
  6. Gary16

    Gary16 Screenwriter

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    Wow! That was great.
     
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  7. Gary16

    Gary16 Screenwriter

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    7B12BEA4-E47F-453B-90C0-69A6F71C7E88.
     
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  8. Tom St Jones

    Tom St Jones Supporting Actor

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    Wish the studio would/ could, if nothing else, at least release (directly or via 3rd-party) "GIRL ON THE RUN" on DVD or Bluray, if just to test the waters.. Sure, some restoration work may be needed. Sure, there may be music clearance expenses but atleast it's just one film, as opposed to a whole season/ series.

    (I understand there does exist a DVD of a film by this same title, but which is completely unrelated.)
     
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  9. Message #2749 of 3137 May 18, 2019
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
    Rustifer

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    Beautifully crafted, Rob! I was easily visualizing all your story lines while I was reading them. Awesome ideas!
    Now, if I may humbly encroach upon your thoughts with an addition that I'm surprised you omitted: Cars.

    Let's assume that the series drops its affiliation with Ford, thus opening up a whole new array of character-defining vehicles. For example, as Stu's fortunes advance (as you describe), I can see him selling off his beloved T-bird and moving more into a Bond-ish arena with an Austin Healey (3000 MK III) or Alfa Romeo (Spider or Giulia). Certainly appropriate for such a suave, International-flitting guy. Even Hannah would be impressed.

    Jeff Spencer, now with the staid Attorney's Office (as well as fixed income), is a bit more conservative in a Lincoln Continental convertible (still a Ford, I guess) or a Cadillac Coupe DeVille. A fitting vehicle for he and stunning wife Suzanne in attending various ritzy social events.

    It almost goes without saying that Kookie would have ditched his funky hot rod (perhaps permanently donating it to JR) and his clunky Ford Falcon, graduating into the muscle car genre with a GTO Judge--so appropriate for chasing bad guys as the DA's investigator.

    Roscoe? He would have to drive a two-toned Nash Metropolitan. It goes so well with his hat.

    What do you think? Do you see these fitting into your excellent scenario?
     
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  10. Gary16

    Gary16 Screenwriter

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  11. criblecoblis

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    Oh, you've opened up a whole can of worms. Yeah, cars are an important consideration. Let me cogitate upon this and get back to you.
     
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  12. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Awww, shucks! I was hoping I was spot-on with my car selections. But it's your scenario so you definitely need to weigh in--I'm looking forward to your thoughts. You're more car-centric than I am so I'm sure your choices will fit like a glove.
     
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  13. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Gotta love a movie poster with a bunch of half-clad girls and no-name actors. The best kind! It probably earned about $134 at the box office.
     
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  14. criblecoblis

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    Russ, I loved your post! I just didn't have the time to reply at length right then. I want to flesh out my scenario a bit to include the cars.

    You know, my impression is that you are more knowledgeable about '60s cars in general than I am. I pretty much only know FoMoCo, and to a lesser extent Chrysler Corp.

    As far as how your choices match the characters, I think that in every case your choice of the type of car is great; the specific car of each type is more or less a matter of taste. For example, if Jeff is going to get a huge convertible, for some reason I see him as more of a Fury type of guy. I think he's still too young for a Caddy or Continental, at least in his own self-image. Plus, he has a wife to support.

    Kookie--yes, a GTO is a great choice. Or an Olds 4-4-2, if he wanted something that at least looked a bit more sedate for professional purposes. GM pretty much dominated the early muscle car segment.

    Stu--Well, if I were Stu, I'd want a big Healey, or a Sunbeam Tiger, but if he's going to go the foreign convertible route, I see him more in a Jaguar E-type. It's far more refined. What I really see him in is a big Mercedes convertible, but with his OSS background he may be averse to German cars.

    Regarding Roscoe, I don't think I can improve on a Metropolitan. It is a perfect reflection of his character.

    I'm on a big writing project right now, but when I have time I'll tell you my choices.
     
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  15. Message #2755 of 3137 May 20, 2019
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
    Rustifer

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    Rob, I think I agree with you regarding my car choices for Jeff Spencer. Initially I thought that a Cadillac or Lincoln would be a touch too pretentious, but I couldn't think of a good "in-between" American car. Your idea of a Plymouth Fury might be a little too far on the other side of pretentious in my mind. How about something kind of unique, like a Studebaker Avanti? A Buick Riviera?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I like your idea of a Jaguar for Stu, and I agree that a Mercedes might be taboo for an ex-OSS guy. Besides, I don't think that Mercedes in the 60's had the same cache as it does today.

    Also, much luck on your writing project!
     
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  16. criblecoblis

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    Yes, I agree that a 1964 Fury was a bad choice. I hadn't realized that the model was mid-sized and mousy at the time. I had in mind one of the massive, squared-off Furys of the late Sixties. We had a 1968 Fury III sedan, and you could stand in the trunk to load it.

    A 1964 Riviera is a much better idea. That design was definitely a few years ahead of its time. My only objection is that it wasn't available as a convertible. But it fits Jeff well!

    And I had forgotten all about the Studebaker Avanti, one of my favorite car designs of the Sixties. I actually think that it would be ideal for Stu (no pun intended), because it like the T-Bird was a "personal luxury" car, if it had been available as a ragtop.
     
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  17. criblecoblis

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    I finally watched the truncated Me-TV print of "Girl on The Run." The vastly increased resolution compared to the Dailymotion print has revealed to me that there is an uncommon amount of local location shooting, all (as far as I can determine) occurring in Burbank. Burbank City Hall stands in for Westport City Hall, and I'm fairly sure that the LA nightclub we see Erin O'Brien's character singing in is the Smoke House, right across the street from the studio. While the exterior looks nothing like that now, the interior is recognizable, and I'm almost sure I see a Smoke House neon sign in the background of one shot of the parking lot.

    In another scene, we see the sign of a Sav-On drug store, presumably also in Burbank.

    These are perhaps not sexy locations, but they are at least locations.

    I'll try to go through it with a fine-toothed comb, as time allows.
     
  18. Rustifer

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    So great that you can recognize the actual locations! It puts 77 SS history in a more recognizable dimension when you can see where the filming took place. That's one of the reasons a sooo wanted to live in LA when I was growing up.
    About the only thing recognizable here in Indy is a very large race track. Which is going to get a lot of use on this particular day, by the way.
     
  19. criblecoblis

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    Russ,

    Yes, that is a cool aspect of growing up in LA, recognizing filming locations. In our late teens, a good friend and I used to go all over town in search of filming locations for the Three Stooges and Laurel & Hardy, having vaguely recognized them. It's a rite of passage here to find the Music Box steps.

    Here is a fantastic Web site dedicated to finding and documenting silent film shooting locations. John Bengston is absolutely forensic in his work. The friend I mentioned above with whom I went location-searching knows Bengston, the lucky dog.

    Most of the Burbank locations I scoped out in "Girl on The Run" were inferential; the Smoke House was the only one I specifically recognized, and there are a few street names that crop up. But Burbank has a certain look, and we've actually seen it a huge amount on screen in our lifetimes--especially in Disney live-action productions.
     
  20. Rustifer

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    Episode Revisited
    "Switchburg" (S2E16)

    When you really have nothing better to do (as I often have), it's time to mix an improving cocktail and watch some old favorites. If memory serves, I've already done an episode commentary on "Switchburg" some time ago--so this just represents some stuff I jotted down that I may or may not have missed in the first go-around. They're mainly half-thoughts and details as opposed to well-thought out comments. They may be interesting to you. Or not.

    upload_2019-5-28_11-49-38.

    • When Stu asks the hotel clerk to point out the scruffy sheriff of Kingsley, the clerk comments "Not much like Dan Troop, is he..." (WB loved to cross-reference their properties)
    • Stu spends almost the entire episode dressed in white levis (no belt) with ankle-length boots overlapping the cuffs and a western-style denim shirt. Not much different than what I wore most days in junior high
    • Coffee in the Switchburg cafe costs .25 cents--and by the look on Stu's face upon sipping, not worth it
    • Stu runs into the old lady clerk from the courthouse (Charity Grace) in the bar, where she blithely orders a double whiskey
    • I had just watched a Maverick episode, and noticed the same Western town the he's riding out of is the same setting used in Switchburg
    • Some really good closeups of Stu's Thunderbird. Funny scene with gas station attendant trying to find the gas cap location (behind the license plate), and being astounded that the hood opened back-to-front.
    • The inside of the Switchburg Hotel could well have been the same interior used for Miss Havisham's house in Great Expectations if it was filmed at the same studio (which it wasn't).
    • Stu gets to the second floor of the hotel by climbing up the elevator shaft. The hotel was supposedly deserted in 1916, which I assume it was built long before that. Were there elevators back then?
    • The crooked sheriff remarks "My friends live and work in this musty, humorless town." Pretty erudite language from the chawbacon sheriff. Not to be outdone, Stu quips "If the business is so impecuniary, why keep at it?"
    • Can one ever get enough of William Fawcett as the ubiquitous tattered old ranch hand?
    • Stu encounters a skeleton in one of the rooms--an office sign designated it as H.H. Osborne--General Practice. A doctor's office in a hotel? Maybe not so unusual back then.
    • Not a damn thing wrong with Dolores Donlon, who played twins Nan and Ann Polly:
    upload_2019-5-28_11-59-18. upload_2019-5-28_12-0-42.

    I think what made this Monty Pittman episode one of my favorites was the atmospherics. The mysterious lights in the creepy hotel, a near-deserted town, peculiar characters at every turn, etc. Almost like a Hardy Boy mystery.


    Next:
    I'm going to go back over some of the dreaded "international" episodes that I've avoided to see if I change my mind like I did with Season 6. Stay cool, stay dry, stay tuned...
     

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