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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. Message #3001 of 3124 Sep 4, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
    Rustifer

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    Episode Revisit
    "Family Skeleton" (S2E36)

    Opening Scene: Phil Staunton (Walter Reed) is returning home from work and gets whacked by two goons wearing masks and is whisked off for ransom. Thus begins the caper.

    Stu and Jeff escort Suzanne to dinner at Dino's--ostensibly to see which one of them end up with her for the night. Being truly French, Suzanne doesn't care--either one will do. Making it easier to decide, Stu gets called away by Staunton's doctor, who reveals Phil has been kidnapped, but unknown to anyone, has an illness which requires an injection every 24 hours or he'll die (cue some dire music).

    So here's the cast of characters: Phil's wife Terry (Gail Robbins)--a singer and ex girlfriend of gangster Bennie Cannon (Frank Gerstle), Phil's young sister Luanna (Yvonne Craig), and secretary Diane (Suzanne Storrs). Luanna's hotter than a Miami sidewalk and enjoys martinis. Diane seems to be a sincere and dedicated employee. Stu asks questions, crinkles his brow and smokes cigarettes as he ponders this list of possible suspects. Wifey Terry shows up and berates Diane and Luanna for feeding Stu too much information about the family:
    "You stupid, law-abiding little fools!" she screams. You gotta give the writer credit for getting that line past any sensible journalistic scrutiny. Terry's lipstick application looks as if she's just polished off a jug of Welch's Grape Juice. We're learning there's more than one skeleton in the Staunton closet. Gangsters, murders and ransom--oh my!

    [​IMG] upload_2019-9-4_9-57-45. upload_2019-9-4_9-58-20. upload_2019-9-4_9-59-8.
    Gail Robbins; Yvonne Craig*; Suzanne Storrs; Walter Reed

    Meanwhile, the clock's ticking on Phil's kidnapping and illness. Stu enlists the help of Roscoe and Kookie. Jeff is unavailable, apparently still enveloped in Suzanne's aromatic embrace. Stu is threatened by a couple of Bennie's goons, who advise him to stay away from the Staunton case. As I've reported many times before, this ill-thought tactic only serves to heighten rather than discourage the investigation. You'd think they'd teach that in gangster school. Kookie is sent to watch over Luanna, who makes his job more interesting by sashaying around in a flimsy robe and sucking down double martinis. She professes foggy interest in Kookie's stick shift.

    Is Terry's ex Bennie interested in helping her find Phil, or is he behind the whole affair? How about Staunton's secretary Diane--is she really as helpful and innocent as she seems? And how about young sis Luanna? She's a stone cold be-atch, for sure. My money at this point is on the doctor--but damned if I know why. Stu and Luanna deliver the ransom, which is wrapped up like a deli brisket. Who wouldn't take a good corned beef any day as payment? Phil is released and we finally learn who's behind the whole scheme. Well crap, it was right in front of me the whole time.

    Notes:
    Following up a clue leads Stu to a bar called "The Dry Martini". The name suggests a classy joint, but turns out dive with a belligerent bartender. Stu beats him up just for the hell of it. I guess he didn't know how to mix a decent martini.

    In the IMDb overview, Louis Quinn's character is identified as Pete Roscoe. Huh? Do they know something the rest of us never knew??

    Although Walter Reed's father was an Army sergeant, he is in no way related to the Walter Reed of the renown military medical facility.

    *I tried to find a pic of Yvonne apart from any of the 12,645 I've already posted of her...
     
  2. Gary16

    Gary16 Screenwriter

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    Great review of course but the photo is not Suzanne Storrs. That’s Merry Anders. This is Ms. Storrs:
    upload_2019-9-4_10-57-16.
     
  3. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Gary, Gary, Gary--you know by now I purposely make these mistakes just to give you the opportunity to point them out and make me look dumber than a bag of hammers.
     
  4. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Gary is the master of identifying actresses, Russ...in the Mr. Novak thread where I featured my reviews and screen caps taken from my home made DVDs, I posted some pictures of a lovely young platinum blonde who I bemoaned was uncredited in an extensive scene despite her having at least 3 spoken lines...Gary quickly identified her as Janet Landgard, much to my astonishment!
     
  5. Gary16

    Gary16 Screenwriter

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    Thanks guys. I hope to continue to hold our standards high.
     
  6. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Gary:
    I vaguely remember many pages ago a discussion we had regarding one of the series' guest stars, Joyce Meadows. You discovered she was still around and established an email connection with her? Did anything ever come of that? Just curious.
     
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  7. criblecoblis

    criblecoblis Supporting Actor
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    That's a real howler! I love IMDb, but for some reason the 77SS entries are plagued with misinformation.

    Speaking of Roscoe's full name, I don't know what you all have noticed, but as far as I have seen he is never called anything but "Roscoe" or "Mr. Roscoe." Then again, I've never seen an unedited episode. . . .
     
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  8. criblecoblis

    criblecoblis Supporting Actor
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    Russ, I deeply appreciate your resolution to keep the conversation going, and I am going to do my best to contribute as much as I can.
     
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  9. Gary16

    Gary16 Screenwriter

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    This is a perplexing situation. After I made initial contact with her I bought a couple of her autographed items to sweeten things. An email I received from her in July of last year said the following in part:
    “I have been gone and trying to catch up. I will give answers to your questions but please be patient.
    Thank you so kindly for your comments and support.”

    Unfortunately that’s the last time I heard from her. I even sent her one of those online cards on her birthday hoping it would remind her to contact me again (I did get confirmation that she looked at it). I hope this doesn’t mean she’s ill or otherwise unable to communicate.
    So I’ll still hold out hope that I’ll hear from her. I’m not giving up.
     
  10. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Thanks for the update, Gary. I, too, hope she's okay. It would be so great to hear any comments that she's willing to share.
     
  11. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Rob, I think that the writers of the series purposely never revealed any more than just "Roscoe" as a signature endearing mystery.
    After conjuring up a name like Gerald Lloyd "Kookie" Kookson III, they most likely exhausted the energy to embellish Roscoe's name.
     
  12. Message #3012 of 3124 Sep 6, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
    MartinP.

    MartinP. Supporting Actor

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    ^^^

    You mentioned the IMDB page had his first name as Pete. Something to look out for in subsequent viewings!
     
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  13. Message #3013 of 3124 Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
    Rustifer

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    Episode Revisit
    Who Killed Cock Robin? (S2E19)

    It is always worth a watch when the series spilled itself into the Hollywood scene of the era, which was never often enough for me.The mash-up between two unreal worlds--private investigators and actors--just sets the olive in my martini all aquiver.

    Jeff Spencer strolls into the office and greets Suzanne with a sick grin, as if each had just departed one another an hour earlier to clean up after a sweaty night of making the beast with two backs. Tom Lopaka (Robert Conrad) of Hawaiian Eye is waiting in Jeff's office to introduce him to Wilson James (Jacques Aubuchon). This is the slender connection that WB uses to shamelessly self-promote its sister detective show with nary an effort to create a logical confluence in the story. Wilson James is as blind as a coat hanger and needs Jeff to accompany him to the reading of the estate will of his colleague, studio mogul J. Cedric Usher (Jack Mather).

    Of course, there's a whole host of other characters to attend the will reading--headed up by Barnaby Allson (Donald Barry), an ex-assistant director who's in charge of the proceedings. Included in the cast is Hamilton the butler (Neil Hamilton), alcoholic Lynn Wells (Myrna Fahey), her set decorator hubby Robin (John Holland), dyspeptic method actor Walter Legal (Richard Rust), his mousy sister Amelia (Susan Crane) and retired movie star Clara Moore (Fay Wray). They're all asked to sit through a film produced by Cedric Usher to be seen post-death. The kicker: he's hidden a million dollars somewhere in his creepy mansion. The participants get a set of clues and 6 hours to find the treasure. All the rooms in the house are styled after Usher's movies: the homesteader's cabin, Cleopatra's bedroom, the wax figure museum--well, you get the idea.

    upload_2019-9-9_11-44-26. upload_2019-9-9_11-45-45. upload_2019-9-9_11-47-18. upload_2019-9-9_11-48-8.
    When Fay was a looker; When Myrna was a looker, too; Don "Red" Barry; John Holland

    Suzanne, who had driven Jeff and Wilson James to the estate to drop them off suddenly returns due to a bad storm. Jeff's hoping they can continue their earlier activities in her room, the African Safari suite. You know--Me-Tarzan-you-Jane kind of monkey business. But tipsy Lynn Wells wastes no time batting her eyes at Jeff and asking him to kill her husband Robin, who walks in announcing "I'd like to change clothes before we all drink dinner." Witty fellow. Jeff does a spit take with his bourbon.

    So anyway, clues are dispensed and bickering between the participants gets elevated to out-and-out nastiness. After all, this is LA--a city of thick air and deep disquiets where even the shadows have fidgets. Almost immediately after the search begins, Robin is mysteriously killed. This initiates excessive drinking among the guests. As we well know, alcohol induces volubility where no thought goes unspoken and no secret unshared. Thus, the bickering increases. Lynn now drunkenly professes her love for Robin and would trade in her entire liquor fund to have him back. Ignoring Robin's death, the guests begin to go through their assigned clues like a chainsaw through fruitcake. Most of the clues are about as useful as swim fins on a cat, as the majority of guests exhibit minds that lack any sort of intellectual clench. Suzanne and Amelia seem to be showing the most promising progress, Hamilton lurks in dark corners, Walter complains about the plasticity of life and Jeff displays a somewhat unhealthy obsession with aging Clara Moore. He's seen her movies at least three times.

    In the end, the treasure is found, but with an unusual twist. And Jeff is able to steal a kiss from the ancient yet still-horny Clara.
    A good script by Montgomery Pittman and a large cast of talented actors makes this a must-see, fun episode.

    Notes:
    One of the guests searches around a wax figure that is obviously a replica of Jeff Spencer

    Jeff displays a proficient talent of juggling billiard balls. Impressive

    Fay Wray, even is this 1960 airing, is sill quite a handsome woman

    Jack Mather's J. Cedric Usher character is particularly styled after Cecil B. DeMille.
     

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  14. Gary16

    Gary16 Screenwriter

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    Great review. Keep em coming. Since Myrna sadly died so young I think it’s safe to say she was always a looker.
     
  15. criblecoblis

    criblecoblis Supporting Actor
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    Russ, as you can imagine this is one of my favorite episodes, a real Pittman goodie. What a fantastic cast! Neil Hamilton was never better, and Fay Wray is so very charming, still a pretty woman at that age. And Richard Rust is perfect in this role.

    I haven't noticed the wax dummy that looks like Jeff; I'll have to watch it again. Wifey and I have just begun watching the whole run again in order. And Jack Mather is absolutely intended to be Cecil B. DeMille!
     
  16. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    As far as I know, the "Pete" reference lasted about as long as an honest official in the Trump Administration. It was the only time and place I've ever seen it.
     
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  17. Message #3017 of 3124 Sep 12, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
    Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Oops, duplicate post...
     
  18. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Yeah....I too missed the Spencer wax figure the first couple of times I saw this episode. It's not a very tight likeness.
     
  19. Message #3019 of 3124 Sep 13, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
    Rustifer

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    Boy, nothing like a small political comment to virtually kill the forward movement of a thread. I promise to stick to episode commentaries going forward.
     
  20. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Your post was more like a benign, mildly sarcastic political joke, Russ...no blood was drawn... and from what you post here on HTF, I wouldn't think you have a mean bone in your body...Funny bones you have, aplenty...I'm Canadian, we too have our own two fisted politics up here in America's attic...blood is sometimes drawn here too...but we quickly check to see if it's maple syrup from this morning's heaping portion of flapjacks and Canadian bacon and eggs...the breakfast none of us leave home without, this being 1960...hey, it's an election year! At least in my mind it's always 1958-64...

    And thus, I succumb to your taunts for more action in this thread...

    Our hero with singer/actress Connie Francis in front of our favorite LA nightclub,1960...Cathi Hayes (?) performing that week...Connie Francis was starring in her first movie, Where the Boys Are that year...a big box office success in 1960...and of course she sold a few million more albums than Edd...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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