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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. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    You West Coasters! I repeat...I wish I lived there.

    Okay...Back to business now the holiday has come to an end. I have reviews to do with my usual mordant slant, but always with a song in my heart.
    Buckle your spats, straighten your garters, loosen your belt, rub a toad for luck. It's time to move this thread into 200 pages.
     
  2. criblecoblis

    criblecoblis Supporting Actor
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    We're all looking forward to it, Russ!

    I'm doing my best to do my part! I'm hoping to try my hand at an actual episode review when I can find the time.
     
  3. Rustifer

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    As a quick aside, I was watching La La Land (for the third time)--and for those of you residents on this thread, there's a really good scene of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling strolling around the WB back lot and studios. A lot of recognizable buildings we've described many times here.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Episode Revisit
    "Six Superior Skirts" (S2E2)

    Hey kids--Let's put on a show at Dino's! We'll infest the party with six spiffy models, make them wear a jillion dollars in jewels, hire the guy who plays Sugarfoot on TV to host, and then have the whole event go to hell in a handbasket. Sounds fun, right?

    So, this charity event seems to be held less in Dino's as much as it's in the parking lot, gaudily festooned in vinyl pennant flags. Ahhh, the enticing aroma of shrimp puffs, plastic and asphalt.
    Stu Bailey, along with Roscoe and Kookie, are on hand to protect the jewels which are on loan from famed Halveny's. There's also a nurse inexplicably hired to tend to any of the girls' potential infirmities. After all, some of the models are just a bit past their sell by date.
    Also patrolling the event is known jewel thief Phil Aston (William Hudson), about as welcome as a tapeworm in your spleen at such an affair.

    Miss Boston (Diane McBain) suddenly drops in a diabetic coma. Her expensive diamond necklace is missing! Let the hijinks begin. To offset the theft, Roscoe works the gaming tables, Kookie plays footsies with Miss Augusta (Kaye Elhardt) and Stu paces furiously looking freaked.
    upload_2019-7-10_9-38-18. upload_2019-7-10_9-38-45. upload_2019-7-10_9-39-44.
    Will Hutchins and Stu check the script for typos; Kookie explains gel to Miss Augusta; Stu feels just awful about losing the necklace

    Lt. Gilmore shows up, mainly because somebody has to take charge. But as long as alcohol is being served, none of the guests give a crap about the models being interrupted. Plus, they get to listen to Mary Kaye sing and play a guitar the size of a small sedan.*

    Within 10 minutes of the theft, a ransom note appears for the missing necklace. Who stole it? How was it stolen? Where is it now? Again, the guests don't care--another round of martinis, please! Stu eventually finds the diamond camouflaged in a jar of water--a diamond is clear, water is clear...anyone buying this?

    Okay, despite my snarkiness--I really like this episode for it taking place on the premises, even though it's the studio set--not actually Dino's (which would have been awesome). It followed "The Kookie Caper", and heralded a promising start to Season 2.

    Notes:
    Dino's dressing lounge has all the charm of a strip mall hair salon.

    The outside door to Stu's office has a slotted vent panel top and bottom as if it once stood as the entryway to the utilities room. Classy.

    Suzanne has an odd small part, wearing what appears to be my high school madras shirt. It's tough to make that gal look plain, but there it is.

    Army Archerd, famous columnist for Variety, shows up in a cameo role. I suspect he just happened to be on the set at the time and was quickly stuck in for kicks.

    *Mary Kaye (not of the cosmetic empire) generally played a custom Fender Stratocaster guitar. Her trio is credited with popularizing the Las Vegas "lounge" act in its early days.
     
  5. criblecoblis

    criblecoblis Supporting Actor
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    Russ, great as usual. You know, I had a Viewer's Guide to this episode half-written when I went in for my operation; I figured I'd finish it when I got back home. But as you know, it was months before I could write again, and so it just sat there half-finished.

    I found it again about a month ago, and resolved to make it over into a review. That's what I was referring to earlier. I actually have a great deal to say about this episode in particular. For some reason, however, I have a mental block against writing reviews, so it will take me a while to finish it.

    It's a D'Angelico New Yorker, apparently the guitar she played before she got the Fender sponsorship.

    This episode made me a Mary Kaye fan, by the way. I went out and got some LPs from this period. She was a fine musician, although much of their lounge act involved Frank Ross' interrupting of the performance. He doesn't come off well in the episode, but he was a pretty funny comedian.
     
  6. Rustifer

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    Finish that review, Rob!
     
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  7. criblecoblis

    criblecoblis Supporting Actor
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    Thanks, Russ. I'll do my best.
     
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  8. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    That is a really cool little tidbit, Rob. Being somewhat of a guitar nut, I've never heard of that brand. I shall research.
     
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  9. Message #2889 of 2962 Jul 13, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
    Rustifer

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    Episode Revisit
    "The Treehouse Caper" (S2E7)

    Thief "Shorty" Adams (Don Barry) escapes from prison via archived footage from any one of a dozen different WB gangster films and corrals Jeff Spencer in his office after a date late at night. Wounded and sweaty, Shorty confesses to where he's buried a quarter of a million dollars in diamonds that were never recovered--under his daughter Vicky's old treehouse. He drops dead directly after confessing.
    After making a deal with the insurance company for a reward of $40K, Jeff somewhat greedily heads to the woods of Arcadia to find said treehouse. Unfortunately, the property is all burnt up and unrecognizable. One of Smokey the Bear's failures, I guess. Jeff has no luck and returns home to glumly discuss with Lt. Gilmore.

    Jeff decides it might be best to fly Vicky out to help locate the tree, and sends Kookie to pick her up at the airport. We're expecting a 13 year old girl. Vicky (Bunny Cooper) turns out to be a stunning grown-up--in all the right places. Jeff whisks her back to Arcadia, but she just can't remember where the treehouse once was. Jeff is ready to gnaw through tree bark in frustration. More about that later.

    upload_2019-7-13_11-22-32. [​IMG] upload_2019-7-13_11-30-39.
    Jeff and Vicky, Don "Red" Barry, Jeff and Kookie plot with Lt. Gilmore

    Gilmore cooks up an idea to make Jeff and Vicky a couple out on the town and encourage publicity photos to be printed in the paper in hopes of drawing out Shorty's never-caught partner Lenny Paris. Nights at Dino's, coffee at Chez Paulette's (where proprietor Max cannot end a sentence with out adding "...man"), the two paint the town.
    The publicity pays off--Lenny is soon on Jeff's trail. A fake box of jewels is planted on the property to make it look as if Jeff and Vicky have been successful in digging up the loot. Lenny shows up to take over, but is thwarted by a cop assigned to guard Jeff. Oops, the cop turns out to be a double cross, and Vicky isn't Vicky at all, but an imposter. Nice twists. No wonder she didn't remember where the treehouse was. A fight ensues and all bad guys are captured. But the diamonds are never found, and Jeff is out 40 grand. Kookie returns to the airport to pick up the 'real' Vicky--a 13-year old pigtailed waif in hopes of meeting movie stars. Bummer.

    Directed by george waGGner, this episode is fair-to-middling in script and acting--but still a good representation of the series.

    Notes:
    There's an interesting sequence where Kookie wakes up apparently bald and drives to the office in his jammies--causing hysterical doubletakes from Stu, Jeff and Suzanne. It's just a skull cap he wears at night to keep his scalp healthy, he admits.

    In one scene, Jeff tries to pin a corsage on Vicky over her very prominent breast swell. He opts to pin it on her purse instead.

    There's almost no info on Bunny Cooper. Essentially, she made this one 77 SS episode, and one Bourbon Street Beat--then left acting and got married to a writer.
     
  10. rjd0309

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    A shame that there don't seem to be any decent photos of Bunny Cooper.

    But hey, when all else fails, you can always post a photo of gorgeous Ruta Lee or Sherry Jackson...

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Gary16

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    Bunny Cooper

    [​IMG] StellaStar

    [​IMG]

    Bunny Cooper was a pretty girl who never amounted to much in Hollywood, but found her true calling after marrying a noted writer and sharing a life of family, adventure and research with him.

    EARLY LIFE
    Berna Anne Cooper was born on June 9, 1931 in Newton, Massachusetts, to Benjamin Austin Cooper and Bernardine McDade. Her father was a college educated engineer. Her mother was born in Canada and a naturalized US citizen.

    The family moved around, first to Connecticut where her younger brother Benjamin was born on September 30, 1933. In the late 1930s, they moved to New York. Bunny attended high school there and afterwards got married and divorced before going for Hollywood.

    CAREER
    Bunny appeared in only one film in her career, the Lana Turner vehicle Diane – what to say about this movie? It’s starts as a promising story of Diane de Poitiers, the 16th century noblewoman who became the mistress of the french king Henry, but falls int the favorite trap of so many epic movies – too much money, too little soul. The sets, the costumes, the musical score, almost everything in fact, is stupendous, done meticulously and lavishly. But the story? The characters? Do we root for them? Do we see than as real flesh and blood people? Well… No. They just “drown” in all the splendor around them, and become secondary in the whole affair. Lana Turner is also worth discussing – she was by no means a good actress, and despite getting better with age, she never achieved a high level of thespian skill. Despite this, I find her interesting and actually enjoy watching her movies. She had a better filmography than many other more talented actresses. Also worth noting is the male lead, played by Roger Moore way before he became James Bond. You can see the same elegance and virility that would make him such a popular 007 in his later years. Bunny plays Lana’s lady in waiting, a glamorous but small role.

    The same year, Bunny appeared in two TV series, Bourbon Street Beat and 77 Sunset Strip, got married and left acting.

    PRIVATE LIFE
    Berna Ann Cooper, as she was known then, married Peter you.

    Bunny’s ticket to Hollywood was Joan Crawford, whom she met via her brother, Ben, who was a regular in Hollywood by that time. Joan liked Bunny and asked her to try he hand at movies. Despite her slim career, Bunny ended in Hollywood and her life would have been totally different if she had not.

    [​IMG]In Hollywood, Bunny dated Sterling Hayden, the funky blonde giant of an actor, previously married to Madeleine Carroll and Betty Ann de Noon. They were pretty serious for a time in the 1956. In 1957, she was often with Gene Nelson, just divorced from Miriam Franklin. Like many a times when a man is freshly divorced, it did not work.

    Then, in mid 1959, Bunny met THE man of her life – writer Hank Searls. They wed on December 19, 1959, after knowing each other for only five months.

    Searls was married once before and had two children, Courtney Searls and Henry “Hank” Searls, bron in the late 1940s.

    After living in Malibu when their children were small, they gave up the comfy life and the “rat rate” to live on a boat so Hank can do research to write a book, Outbound. So, in February 1972, they left San Diego for Pitcairn island. All in all, they lived for three years on a boat, ending up in New Zealand. They gave extensive interviews about the experience afterwards. It wasn’t an easy life, especially after the encountered one of the New Zealand gales, and three days later they were both seasick, lost their engine, had a bad leak, had no radio. In this less than stellar situation, Bunny proved to be a true survivor as she took the sextant and learned to navigate the good old fashioned way. Bunny also had to cook on a old three burner alcohol stove with an oven and when the weather got rough, she was tied with a window washer’s belt in the gallery.

    The experience, with two people alone on the boat, with nothing but the elements around them, served to cement the Searls marriage for keeps. They sold the boat when they stopped in New Zealand, but continued to sail for rest and recreation afterwards.

    For the next twenty years, Bunny became her husband’s assistant, researching with him every and each one of his novels. Their close relationship is very touching and is a true and true companionship between two people who truly love and understand each other.

    For a time after their return to the States, they lived in a cozy, two-bedroom condo overlooking a golf course in Newport Beach. They enjoyed the local social life and played tennis frequently. The Searls moved to Washington state in the 1990s. They are active member so of the local community, donating money to charitable causes and holding the Authors’ Workshop for budding writers in the city.

    Bunny Searls lives with her husband in Gig Harbor, Washington.


     
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  12. criblecoblis

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    A fun re-visiting of an episode that I tend to forget about.

    It seems odd to consider Arcadia, one of the cities to the east of Pasadena (after a puzzling corridor of unincorporated territory), as having any substantial undeveloped areas so late. It was fully developed by the time our family moved to this area in the mid-Sixties. It's mostly known for being the home of the Santa Anita horse-racing track, so I'm sure Roscoe went there a lot.

    Another interesting little sidelight on this episode is that it is one of the few for whom we know the identity of the bassist in the Frankie Ortega Trio: Carl Tandberg (1910-1988). According to IMDb, he is also in "Mr. Paradise" and "The Widow Wouldn't Weep."

    He worked with a number of big names, such as Bunny Berigan, out of New York before moving to Los Angeles in 1948. He then worked with the Frankie Ortega Trio for 11 years in Vegas and Newport Beach. Later, he worked with Glen Campbell for a time.

    When he retired from music, he worked for a private security company at local station KTTV, and was later the gate guard at Bob Hope's home in Toluca Lake.

    Wikipedia has more on Tandberg.
     
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  13. criblecoblis

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    Thanks, Gary, for all the in-depth information on Bunny Searls. She has certainly had an interesting and productive life!
     
  14. Message #2894 of 2962 Jul 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
    Rustifer

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    I watched "Gidget" (1959) yesterday and was reminded of why I desperately wanted to live in Southern California when I was an 11-year old kid. Growing up in Indiana, I had no friends named Moondoggie or Big Kahuna. No beach flecked with tiki lamps, surfboards or bikini-clad chicks. No Malibu "shacks" dotting the coastline, or chrome-festooned hot rods roaring up and down the PCH. No bands crooning about their little surfer girl.
    All we had was a freaking big race track where once a year mostly redneck guys drove in circles for 500 miles.

    It just wasn't the same.
     
  15. Rustifer

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    I didn't realize Carl was with Frankie for so long. It seemed every time the trio was featured on a 77 SS episode, Walt Sage and Frankie were always on board, but the bassist seemed to change regularly.
    Odd post-music employment he held after retirement.
     
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  16. Message #2896 of 2962 Jul 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
    criblecoblis

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    I've noticed that too, and always thought it odd. I'd love to know why that is so, and now I also want to know why Tandberg just didn't stay with the trio to get all that lovely exposure. I assume it was because he found studio gigs more lucrative. Working with Glen Campbell suggests he was involved with the Wrecking Crew, which was a pretty cool group of musicians to be around.

    It occurs to me that his retirement from music may have been forced by some sort of physical disability that rendered him unable to play. But at least being the gate guard for Bob Hope was a pretty cool gig in that line.
     
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  17. Message #2897 of 2962 Jul 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
    Rustifer

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    Episode Revisit
    "Secret Island" (S2E10)

    A plane crash. A deserted island. Tuesday Weld. Damn, I love this episode. I applaud the writers for figuring out a way to incorporate the era's insane fear of the atom bomb into the show.

    Stu is transporting a prisoner Pierre D'Albert (Jacques Bergerac) from the Phillipines to Hawaii in a commercial prop DC-7. I could have predicted the plane wouldn't make it. A DC-7 should only fly 60 feet above ground in perfect weather--even then it's a 50-50 proposition. If in bad weather, fasten your seat belts, put your head between your legs, and kiss your ass goodbye.

    So down it goes, along with Stu, Pierre, Dave Connell (Grant Sullivan), his wife and daughter Amanda and Barrie (Catherine McLeod, Tuesday Weld), and secretary Carole (Kathleen Crowley). Crash landing on an isle, they barely miss the S.S. Minnow and a volleyball named Wilson. Three lovely women in very wet clothes. And three guys--but who cares about them.
    They begin a steady diet of fish and coconuts, not yet finding Mr. Howell and Lovey's stash of champagne and caviar. But, by gosh, there's a great big tower sitting in the middle of the island, along with a nice comfy shack underneath and boxes of food and supplies. If it wasn't for that big target painted on the beach, it would be a nice Sandals-type vacation spot.

    upload_2019-7-16_10-27-2. upload_2019-7-16_10-27-15. [​IMG]
    Tuesday, Kathleen, Jacques

    Well crap, Stu points out...This is the island targeted for an H-Bomb test! Everyone suddenly needs to change their underwear while contemplating this proclamation. Not much to do now but bang on metal stuff and set fire to beach debris in hopes of being discovered. In the meantime, some kissy-face bingo takes place under the cover of dense vegetation. Kathleen Crowley bats her eyelashes and loosens a few buttons on her blouse. The island's lovely flora and fauna cannot compete. I feel it necessary to point out that all the women miraculously maintain Beverly Hills salon-style hair and manicures during the whole ordeal.

    Stu finds an old radio and proceeds to fix it up, but can only get a station playing Roy Orbison songs and a Reds/Cubs game. The radio proves to be useless, despite Roy's timeless music and Ernie Banks' batting prowess. Let's just go back to pounding on stuff and reflecting flashes in the sky. Well shivver me timbers, it works! Just in the nick of time.

    Directed by george waGGner, this one really veers off the beaten path with a great cast--making it one of the series' more unique episodes.

    Notes:
    Boy-toy Jacques Bergerac was married to Oscar-winning actresses Ginger Rogers (as the fourth of her five husbands, he was 26 years old, 16 years her junior, when they were wed) and Dorothy Malone (as the first of her three husbands). After leaving the film business in the late 1960s, Bergerac, a naturalized U.S. citizen since 1963, became an executive with the Revlon Cosmetics company, where his older brother, Michel, was president and chairman and very useful in getting Jacques his job.
    He finally went to that great big quiche in the sky at age 87.
     
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  18. Rustifer

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    Hmmmm. Things have slowed down in here.
    As so often happens, I get wrapped up in binge-watching stuff not related to this thread. I'm currently stuck in Grey's Anatomy, and thus now casually familiar with every disease known to mankind.
    As soon as I can shake myself loose from Katherine Heigl, I promise to get back to some revisited 77 SS episodes.
     
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  19. criblecoblis

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    We've been re-acquainting ourselves with Remington Steele, which is of course related to 77SS. The first season is as good as I remember, but it's a lot more gruesome than I remember.
     
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  20. MartinP.

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    Happened to see this on someone's Flickr Account:
    Taken on October 20, 1962, the day after the episode "Leap, My Lovely" first aired.

    [​IMG]
     

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