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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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    Bob,

    I think we all agree with that. It was strange, and highly irregular.

    If you read through the thread, you'll find we've discussed this particular episode at length. In fact, it's central to some posts I'm working on right now.
     
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  2. criblecoblis

    criblecoblis Supporting Actor
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    Randall,

    Paula Raymond definitely matured like a fine wine.
     
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  3. Bob Goughan

    Bob Goughan Stunt Coordinator

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    I actually did read thru the entire thread some time ago before I posted anything. However memory failed on that point. Sorry.
     
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  4. criblecoblis

    criblecoblis Supporting Actor
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    No need to apologize! I was just pointing out that we here tend to think of "The Checkmate Caper" as a pivotal episode. I would say that the consensus is that the episode was filmed much earlier in the season, just after it was announced to the cast that the ax was falling for everyone but EZ, and it was held back to the end of the Orr-produced shows as a last farewell.

    That's actually the assumption that I am basing my coming posts upon.
     
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  5. Bob Goughan

    Bob Goughan Stunt Coordinator

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    Interesting. I will tell you it was awful good with two Chambord Manhattans.
     
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  6. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Atta boy! 77 Sunset Strip and cocktails go together like Michelangelo and marble.
     
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  7. Message #3067 of 3224 Oct 4, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
    Flashgear

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    77's Jacqueline Beer in the MGM feature film The Prize...this big budget movie started filming in mid May of 1963, and was thus the first thing that lovely Jacqueline filmed after she left 77 Sunset Strip...starring Paul Newman, Edward G. Robinson, Elke Sommer, Carol Baker, Micheline Presle, Kevin McCarthy, Leo G. Carroll and others...my screen caps from the Warner Archive DVD...
    Beer 2.JPG
    Beer 4.JPG
    Beer 5.JPG
    Beer 7.JPG
    Beer 10.JPG
    Beer 11.JPG

    She did like to wear her very long hair in an up-do...as seen also in Daniel Boone season two, Gabriel (Jan. 6, 1966)...
    Beer 32.JPG
    Beer 34.JPG
    Beer 35.JPG

    With her hair down in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. season two The Re-Collectors Affair, (Oct. 22, 1965)...
    Beer 18.JPG
    Beer 19.JPG
     
  8. Message #3068 of 3224 Oct 4, 2019
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    Rustifer

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    Great topic, Randall!
    I've always been a bit ambivalent over Jacqueline Beer's looks and consider her to be somewhat of a female chameleon. I never thought of her as particularly sexy--as is Elke Sommer in this movie, who fairly smolders with her feminine oomph. Jacqueline--especially with her hair done up-- is terrifically elegant but not exactly night fever centerfold stuff. Other times she can be downright librarian-ish or secretarial. Her demeanor seemed to me perennially upbeat and sweet with no undercurrent of dark desires and fantasies. She's more beautiful than cute, more brainy than bubble-headed.
    I think I'd put her more in the Ingrid Bergman or Grace Kelly category rather than with some of her contemporaries like Diane McBain (Surfside 6), Lola Albright (Peter Gunn) or Eileen O'Neill (Burke's Law).

    upload_2019-10-4_11-42-6. upload_2019-10-4_11-42-47. upload_2019-10-4_11-43-29.
    When does the Rolls arrive? Pass the library paste, please; No, dammit...Mr. Bailey is NOT in the friggin' office...

    One thing for sure...there just was never a good or complete repository of photos of her. I suspect she was/is a very private person.
     
  9. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    I never found Ingmar Bergman sexy, either.
     
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  10. Bob Goughan

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    Ok. It is Ingrid. I read it and still didn't catch it until your post. Then I laughed at your post and at myself for not catching it..
     
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  11. Bob Goughan

    Bob Goughan Stunt Coordinator

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    She is still with us I believe and I agree with the post of Rustifer on her charms/appeal.
     
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  12. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Ha! Good catch! Fortunately the edit function allowed me to correct it.
    I'm obviously not a candidate for the Proofreader's Hall of Fame.
     
  13. Message #3073 of 3224 Oct 6, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
    criblecoblis

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    SAVING THE STRIP: PART 1

    Before I commence, let me review the genesis of this post. Some time back, I posted a brief discussion of how I would have changed the trajectory of the show to save it and carry it forward for more glorious seasons.

    As I recall, Russ responded by asking me what cars I would have assigned the characters in my alternate scenario. In working that out, I ended up doing a much longer treatment, which I think I eventually abandoned because it was long, detailed, and breathtakingly nerdy. I was afraid it would be yet another thread-killer.

    But now we need content. So in the following several posts, I have cannibalized my original post and combined it with the post that never was, and then I put a finer point on it all. And, without further ado, here it is. . . .

    ~ ~ ~

    Way back on July 20, 2018, in post 1644, Rustifer posted his review of S5E35 “The Checkmate Caper,” which engendered an ongoing discussion of the episode.

    On 8-5-18 (post 1794), Mike Schlesinger (“cadavra”) posted the following:

    “I watched it the first time it re-aired, and everything about it just screamed that it was filmed much earlier in the season and had simply not been aired. Why, after a mostly grim season, would they suddenly go out with a comedy?”
    Mike had a good point! And in a post that I regrettably cannot now find, someone’s take on this question was that the episode was created as a response to the upcoming mass firings, which were likely announced internally several months before the end of that season’s production. The episode was conceived as one last fling in the old spirit, and held back to the end of Orr’s run as head of production as a valediction for the old show.

    This had such a resounding ring of truth to me that I was inspired to take it as a starting point for an alternate timeline for our beloved show. Imagine the following. . .

    Jack Warner watches a screening of “The Checkmate Caper” upon its completion, and loves it so much that he realizes he’s made a mistake, that in listening to the people who had convinced him to give 77 Sunset Strip the Stirling Silliphant socially-aware crepe-hanger treatment, he had himself driven the show into the ground.

    So he calls Jack Webb into his office and issues new marching orders. He tells him to keep everyone on and move the show back to its original concept and tone, using “The Checkmate Caper” as the starting point. Webb does the following.

    The season unfolds unchanged through “The Checkmate Caper,” but S5E36 “Never to Have Loved” is (mercifully!) not produced. In its stead is the episode “The Checkmate Caper, Part 2.” The public reaction engendered by the fiasco makes the firm a public laughingstock, leading to the wholesale loss of their client base, including all their corporate accounts such as Pacific Orient Insurance. Stu and Jeff are forced to cash out to avoid a catastrophic bankruptcy, and the agency is disbanded.

    The episode ends with JR removing the brass “Bailey & Spencer” plaque from the wall, and handing it to Stu. Stu then hands it to Suzanne, and says, “Suzanne, you’ve been with me as long as I’ve been on the Strip. Hold on to this until I’m back.”



    Sixth Season (1963–64)

    Here is where all the characters have landed after the breakup of the agency.

    Stu is in business for himself, with an office in the Bradbury building downtown. Hannah is present, but at first only as a pool stenographer whom Stu uses to take dictation.

    While Stu is not the gruff Philip Marlowe clone that he was at the beginning of the actual sixth season, he is by no means a happy man. He is not bitter, because he knows he has no one to blame for his troubles but himself, but he is rather humiliated, having taken the brunt of the public ridicule.

    Nevertheless, he strives to keep his chin up, as well as his right shoulder, and is quite aware that he has to walk a very narrow path for the time being, and he has to walk it alone.

    While he and the gang parted as good friends, he knows that the best thing he can do for Jeff and Kookie is to stay away from them until he can get out from under his cloud. For their part, Jeff and Kookie are ready to be there whenever Stu needs them.

    The only one of the old gang that Stu has brought along with him is Roscoe, who proved his worth in “The Checkmate Caper.” Remember, if it hadn’t been for Roscoe, the Carmichaels would have gotten away with all that jewelry, and Stu might well have ended up in prison. So Stu feels a debt to Roscoe, and does his best to give him work.

    Above all, Stu is just seeking to get some wins under his belt, and so he throws himself into his work with a no-nonsense attitude, as if he were back with the OSS behind enemy lines.

    Jeff, who is publicly viewed as a victim of Stu’s bad judgment, 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.

    S6E1 opens at the 77 Sunset Strip offices. We see that where the Bailey & Spencer plaque once was, there is a plaque reading “Legs Diamond Detective and Talent Agency.”

    Legs (King Donovan, from S2E2 “The Kookie Caper,” and referred to in S3E4 “The Office Caper”), has since we last saw him led a charmed life. He has managed to cobble together a surprisingly successful career for himself by dint of a little hard work and a great deal of luck; now that he has taken over the lease, his reputation has been burnished by the entirely spurious public impression that he is somehow the successor to Bailey & Spencer.

    We pan over to the switchboard, where we Suzanne in her usual place. She’s talking with JR, who’s standing at the counter.

    JR says, “Well, I guess it’s just the two of us holding down the fort now.”

    Suzanne sighs sadly and says, “Yes. It all happened so fast.”

    JR replies, “You’re not kidding. Well, at least Jeff landed well, running that task force for the Attorney General.”

    Suzanne’s eyes sparkle. “Yes, and I’m so proud of him! Have you heard from Kookie?”

    “Oh, sure, we talk all the time. He just got a job as an investigator for the District Attorney’s office.”

    “How does he like it?”

    “Oh, you know Kookie, always cool as a cucumber. But I figure it’s got to be a step down for him. He did tell me his boss is always on his back, a real ramrod. . . Hey, have you heard from Stu lately? I haven’t seen him since. . . well, you know.”

    Suzanne replies, “He’s doing pretty well, considering. He’s set up his own agency downtown. I offered to go with him, but he said no. To tell you the truth, I think he’s trying to do us all a favor by staying far away.”

    JR, looking downcast, replies, “You’re probably right. Poor Stu.” He mulls things over for a moment, then brightens and says, “Well, he’ll be back on his feet soon. You can’t keep a guy like him down for long.”

    We then dissolve to a sequence much like the credit sequence for the actual sixth season, with Stu making his way through the lobby of the Bradbury building, up the elevator, and along the hall to his office, which he enters. He is the only one there. He sits at his desk, pulls a bottle of Bourbon out of a drawer, pours himself a shot, and sips it contemplatively.

    Roscoe soon bustles in, and says, “Hi, Stu! Got anything for me?”

    “Not yet, Roscoe. I’m just waiting for the phone to ring.”

    On cue, the phone rings. It’s his first case, a wealthy man who hires Stu to investigate his wife’s past. It is in fact a retelling of The Double Take, the very first Stu Bailey novel Roy Huggins wrote (and the basis for the film I Love Trouble). The story unfolds over two episodes, and at the end of the second episode we first meet Hannah. We see right away that Stu is getting nowhere with her, which only adds to his humiliation.

    Over the next several Stu episodes, we revisit a few of the original Stu Bailey cases written by Huggins before he went into screenwriting, concluding with “Anything For Money,” a retelling of the first 77 Sunset Strip pilot. The tone of these episodes is invigoratingly Noirish, but not oppressively so.

    Then, the Feds call him in on an overseas espionage case, and its successful conclusion lightens his mood, and that of the show as well. At the end of this episode, Stu takes Hannah on as a full-time employee. She immediately brings order and polish to Stu’s practice, despite its seedy location.

    Interspersed among these first several Stu episodes are episodes featuring Jeff and Kookie at their new jobs. We observe that, while both Jeff and Kookie find aspects of their new jobs to like, they both chafe at being part of a big department, with a lot of management above them and strict policies to follow.

    While Jeff does have some autonomy as the head of a special task force investigating cases of official corruption, he can no longer take long lunches at Dino’s or sit and read Playboy at his desk; he has to account for all his time to management.

    Kookie is back at the bottom of the totem pole, and most of his work at first is quite mundane: locating witnesses, serving subpoenas, and the like. His boss is a gruff, demanding old-school type (I’m thinking of Richard X. Slattery), and takes an instant dislike to his hipster patois. Kookie finds himself in constant trouble by exceeding the scope of his assignments.

    We check in frequently with Suzanne and JR back at the old digs; many of the shows open with them. This serves to keep the show’s title relevant, and provides a back channel for Stu, Jeff and Kookie to keep tabs on one another.

    As the season progresses, Stu begins to get his career back on track. Lt. Gilmore comes back into the picture, as Stu begins to feel comfortable with re-establishing that friendship (and the useful connection). Gil is still Stu’s good friend, but he has to keep Stu at arm’s length officially because of pressure from above; he strives to give Stu whatever help he can on the Q. T.

    Meanwhile, Kookie’s boss does begin to see Kookie’s abilities, and gives him more to do. In one episode, he works with old friend Rex Randolph, now a county prosecutor, providing protection for the star witness in a murder trial.

    Then, Jeff issues an official request for Kookie’s assistance in an undercover drug investigation involving street gangs and crooked judges, and Kookie’s excellent work leads to his being attached to Jeff’s task force on furlough from his position with the county DA Investigator’s office.

    Stu’s fortunes and reputation continue to recover, with everybody but Hannah, who continues to keep him at arm’s length. And Stu has begun to develop a real affection and growing respect for Roscoe, who has more or less become Stu’s sidekick and operative. Not that Roscoe is any more respectable on the outside, but his self-respect is beginning to increase, along with his skills as an operative.

    At about this time, Jeff and Kookie stop by the old offices to visit. Kookie goes off with JR, while Jeff takes Suzanne to lunch at Dino’s. At first they talk about Stu and his improving prospects, but they soon move on to talking about each other. From then on, the two get together more frequently, with lunches evolving into dinners.

    In one mid-season comic homage to Montgomery Pittman, Stu and Legs (who was a Pittman creation) work together at the instigation of Suzanne on a Pacific Orient case. Stu does all the work, and Legs gets all the public credit, but privately it is known in many quarters that the credit is all to Stu, with the end result that Pacific Orient starts throwing work Stu’s way again, soon to be followed by other of his old clients.

    The cloud over Stu’s head has dissipated to the point where he can once again hold his head high, and he begins to emerge from his self-imposed exile. He sends out tentative feelers to Jeff and Kookie, who respond warmly. Communications among the old partners are thus restored; they talk frequently, consulting one another on cases, and they begin getting together after work—but not at Dino’s. Stu’s not ready for that yet.

    And let’s not forget about Hannah. She’s still there, acting as a constant check upon Stu’s confidence. The interactions among her, Jeff and Kookie are interesting, but while she is friendly to them, she nevertheless keeps her distance. We’re starting to get the idea that Hannah has a pretty hard shell.

    Towards the end of the season, Stu takes on a client who turns out to be involved in one of Jeff’s investigations as a victim of a corrupt official, and a story arc ensues in which all three, and in fact all the old gang, work together with official sanction over a half-dozen episodes. Its successful conclusion results in official commendations to them all.

    The public reaction restores Stu’s reputation, earns Kookie an offer of a permanent position with the Attorney General, and engenders serious talk of drafting Jeff to run for Attorney General himself, because the current AG, Stanley Mosk, has just been appointed to the Supreme Court.

    But Kookie and Jeff have tired of government work. Stu, for his part, is tired of working alone. So they decide to get the band back together. They have a big dinner at Dino’s to celebrate; the whole gang is in attendance, including Suzanne, Gil, Roscoe, JR and Hannah.

    Stu says to Suzanne, “Remember to give Legs your two weeks’ notice.” Jeff responds, “She already has.” Stu shoots Jeff an inquiring look. Jeff picks up Suzanne’s left hand, points to a half-carat diamond solitaire on the third finger, and says, “Well, I can’t have my wife working for Legs Diamond, can I?” Stu orders another round of champagne.

    The sixth season concludes with the wedding of Jeff and Suzanne. Stu is best man; Jeff’s sister from Ojai is matron of honor.

    The ratings for the sixth season are a bit wobbly at first, but at about the time of the first Stu espionage episode, they begin a slow, steady increase until the end-of-season arc commences, when the increase starts to accelerate. The season finale, Jeff and Suzanne’s wedding, garners the highest ratings for the show since the fourth season, and the show is renewed.


    Next: the seventh season.
     
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  14. Bob Goughan

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    Brilliant. Can't wait for season #7.
     
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  15. Gary16

    Gary16 Screenwriter

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    I will save this to read leisurely this afternoon. Looking forward to it.
     
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  16. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Super imaginative, Rob! I think you've skillfully woven in all the characters' traits into this very believable recast of Season 6. The addition of 'Legs' Diamond as successor to the agency is a great idea--and I could see how he maybe decides to work at cross purposes to Stu and Jeff in Season 7.
    Great fun reading this!
     
  17. Message #3077 of 3224 Oct 8, 2019
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    criblecoblis

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    Thanks, Russ! And here I must point out my own huge error in my post. We were just watching "The Kookie Caper" again last night, and I discovered to my dismay that Leg's last name is not Diamond, but Carson. Legs Carson. Oops. I try so hard to do my research, and then I lay this huge egg. . . .

    I haven't really considered what I would do with Legs in season seven, although I did work out more for his character in season six than I mentioned. I took the cue from "The Office Caper," where at the end the irate customer whom Suzanne sends away says something like, "I'm taking my account to Legs Carson!", indicating that his agency has come up in the world.

    I decided to go with this, utilizing Legs and his ludicrous ascendancy as a much-needed source of Pittmanesque comic relief in season six. His lucky streak begins at the end of "The Kookie Caper," when he takes on the representation of Carrie (Sherry Jackson), and subsequently signs her to WB to do Sugarfoot (as we are led to believe at the end of the episode). This gives him a desperately-needed infusion of cash, and improves his reputation significantly.

    In season six, we learn that since we last saw him, he's gotten fat feeding off of the overflow from Bailey & Spencer: rejected cases, the odd disgruntled client, etc. As I mentioned, he benefits spectacularly by the failure of Bailey & Spencer, but I haven't taken his story arc into season seven. After reading your excellent idea, however, I will add it in, and we can develop it together.
     
  18. Message #3078 of 3224 Oct 9, 2019
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    Rustifer

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    Episode Commentary
    Hawaiian Eye
    "Waikiki Widow" (S1E2)

    So, I'm justifying this commentary on two fronts--first, Hawaiian Eye is actually part of the subject matter of this thread, even though the constellation of posts to date have focused almost entirely on 77 SS. Second, this particular episode guest-starred Paula Raymond, who we just recently discussed in the Clay Pigeon episode a few posts ago. I dusted off my old VHS tape of the few HE episodes I own and thought it might be a good time to launch a commentary now that 77 Sunset Strip has been retired to that big MeTV film vault in the sky.

    We begin with a scene in the Hawaiian Hilton's Shell Bar--all WB detective series sported a some sort of watering hole (Boom-Boom Room of Surfside 6 Miami's Fountainebleau Hotel, Dino's Lounge of 77 Sunset Strip, Old Absinthe House of Bourbon Street Beat) that served as a frequent backdrop to the dramas. The Shell Bar established some important show features--Drinks served in coconut shells, thatched grass roofing, tiki lamps and Cricket Blake (Connie Stevens), the hotel's local photographer, singer and cute-as-a-bugs-ear sidekick of detectives Tom Lopaka (Robert Conrad) and Tracy Steele (Anthony Eisley). Both these dudes operated out of the Hilton Hotel, their office craftily situated on the deck of the swimming pool.

    Cricket is admirably lip-syncing a song to adoring tourists gathered in the bar sucking down over-priced rum libations and rumaki appetizers while wearing shirts with prints of palm tress and parrots. Good friend Sally (Judy Dan) bursts in all atwitter over her brother Chuy's suspicious skin diving 'accident'. Tracy and Tom visit the lad in the hospital, where there seems to be about as much diagnostic and medical equipment as one might find in my garage. The boy is doomed to die, but before he goes he leaves a cryptic clue: Tea, Tiger, Dragon. No one has the slightest idea what this means, but Tracy bravely goes about seeking information. He starts with some native elders, who seem more concerned with cooking up tofu ala bok choy than providing any answers about tea, tigers or dragons.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Other than her singing, there's other reasons to visit Cricket in the bar; Lopaka's never shy to go shirtless, Tracy dares moire patterns

    The closest thing to a follow up is with Lady Blanche Carleton (Paula Raymond), a widow who hangs out with some shady characters and likes to watch her pet Siamese tiger fish eat almost anything tossed into its aquarium. Somehow, the whole mystery centers on a string of mythical rare black pearls that were seemingly owned by Chuy's grandfather. Trying to tie in tea, tigers and dragons gets rather murky and muddled, so the story switches to another series' sidekick, Ponce Ponce, who's in front of the hotel with his ukelele doing a Louis
    Armstrong imitation that causes hotel patrons to maybe reconsider their reservations and return hastily to the mainland.

    Well, to make this long story short, the whole affair ends in a shootout on the airport tarmac. In today's environment, this would've caused at least a 12 hour delay for all flights, but in 1959, a mere 5 minutes pass by before boarding begins. Black pearls are recovered but prove to be...gasp...fake! One should never trust department store jewelry departments.

    Notes:
    The majority of this series was filmed in Los Angeles and so used rear projection, or "plates", for Hawaiian landscapes that were instantly recognizable due to their jumpiness and grainy-like texture.

    You might remember Judy Dan as the girl who always looked like she was carrying the weight of the world in her eyes--in The King and I and Flight to Hong Kong.

    Unlike Jeff Spencer of Stu Bailey, Tracy Steele kept his snub nose pistol in the glove compartment of his Oldsmobile--helpful only if he happens to be hanging around his car during a gunfight.
     
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  19. criblecoblis

    criblecoblis Supporting Actor
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    Russ,

    I'm jazzed you've gone into Hawaiian Eye here! And no need to justify it; the show is just as on-topic as 77SS. It's even in the thread title!

    And your post is very timely for me, because Wifey and I just watched this episode for the first time this past weekend. And I'll be honest—after the first ten minutes or so, I said to Wifey, "How did this show ever go four seasons?" Happily, the plot caught a huge updraft right about then, and became wonderfully labyrinthine. It kept me guessing, incorrectly, until the very end. I love when that happens!

    A huge bonus for us was the presence of Robert McQueeney, one of our favorite 77SS guest stars. And it's oddly appropriate that he portrays a priest here, because that's what he ended up being in real life.

    As much as I liked this episode, I must say, now that I've seen the first two episodes of Hawaiian Eye, that I'm not buying Anthony Eisley as a lead actor, and Robert Conrad isn't showing up as anything more than beefcake. Connie Stevens, on the other hand, is, as you say, as cute as a bug's ear. I can only assume that Eisley and Conrad settle into their roles quickly hereafter.

    And don't think I missed that remark about moiré patterns. I laughed out loud!
     
  20. Bob Goughan

    Bob Goughan Stunt Coordinator

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    Hilarious review. Loved it.
     
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