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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

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    Interesting to note that the con for the boat--that is, the steering and controls--are on the upper deck. Never in my recollection of the series was the boat ever unmoored and taken out on open water. Instead, the upper deck was transformed into the bar area--a modification which I heartily support. Although at high noon in Miami, iced martinis on the open deck may have been an nearly impossible feat.
    I was also fascinated by the large picture windows on each side and on the prow of the boat--all sporting decorative window boxes with plants. This was not a vessel designed to ever hit the high seas. At best, it could perhaps float a few feet to a new mooring spot.

    Still, I would've given my eye teeth to spend some time on it.
     
  2. Bob Goughan

    Bob Goughan Stunt Coordinator

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    Agreed this boat sat there or moved very little which is more than the houseboat in the show did. Your memories are correct Dave and Kenny never took that sucker out.
     
  3. MartinP.

    MartinP. Supporting Actor

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    I posted this once two years ago, but I think it's worth a re-post.
    Stewie from "Family Guy" takes on the theme song:



    Here's a full recorded version of the theme with all the lyrics.
    (Played on a "record player," whatever that is. Heh!)



    Lucy & Desi visited the area in 1956 and filmed some exterior shots for two episodes there, including Eden Roc, where they stayed. Notes say it had opened that year.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1997-09-21-9709210024-story.html
    ^^^
    This 1997 article talks about the owner of that boat, Larry Vita, and he says over the two years the show was on they filmed location footage of the boat several times and that even though there was an identical set of the houseboat's first floor (deck), they did film some scenes in it and that he would move to the second deck when this was happening. If his memory is correct!

    You should've come to our store in Studio City! (Or two other locations. Video West.) If it was available we'd find it for you. Lots of the research departments or production companies at studios used our stores for such things.
     
  4. criblecoblis

    criblecoblis Supporting Actor
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    WOW! What a glorious explosion of traffic lately! I've been off working on some contributions of my own, but I'll catch up ASAP.
     
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  5. Message #3125 of 3259 Oct 14, 2019
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    Rustifer

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    I did some considerable research about this houseboat at one time--I often use vast sums of idle time doing inanely non-productive things (as my wife will attest to anyone who asks), and I recall the article about Lara Vita among my research.

    Additionally, before the boat was used as the setting for Surfside 6, it was the broadcasting spot for Larry King's radio show on WAHR in Miami. Many of his notable guests traipsed on and off that vessel. It was obviously destined for a notable history.
    The boat went through several renovations and locations, but eventually ended up as a rather sadly mediocre floating restaurant--hardly recognizable and more of a curiosity than a reliable eatery. It has since been ignominiously scrapped and sunk.

    [​IMG]
    The last known iteration of the famous houseboat

    Brace yourselves--I've got some more Surfside 6 and Hawaiian Eye commentaries coming this way. I might even throw in some 77 SS revisits just to keep things hopping.
     
  6. Bob Goughan

    Bob Goughan Stunt Coordinator

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    What a sad end to a glorious barge.
     
  7. Message #3127 of 3259 Oct 16, 2019
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    Rustifer

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    Episode Commentary
    Hawaiian Eye
    "Malihini Holiday" (S1E1)

    Mavis and her husband Peter are pulling up to the island in a giant liner when she takes a face plant off the deck and into the ocean. Is her husband trying to kill her? Read on.

    Tracy Steele (Anthony Eisley) receives a call from Stu Bailey asking for his help in looking after his friend Mavis, whom Stu believes may be in danger while visiting the island. No fee is discussed because, well, they're friends and helping publicize each other's show.
    The Purcells are staying at the Garrison's beach house--an island couple of some status. They all hang out on the lanai sucking down mai tai's and puttering with flower arrangements. Tracy shows up in an impeccable white linen suit from the Sidney Greenstreet Collection in order to meet Mavis and her husband, who is an artist of some repute. Mavis is a no-show though, off swimming in a restricted area of the beach that has a tendency to toss people violently against the rocks, thus pulverizing them into sea pizza. Somebody had covered up the "No Swimming" sign. Shameful. Lucky she wasn't killed. This time.

    At this point we're introduced to Cricket Blake (Connie Stevens), Hawaiian Hilton's official photographer by day and star attraction at the Shell Bar at night. Neither job seems to pay much, as she also dogs after Tracy and Tom Lopaka (Robert Conrad) as sort of their Girl Friday and convenient arm candy. Their other sidekick is Kim (Ponce Ponce), a cab driver with an ever present ukelele who will break out in song at the drop of a dime in his hat. Since this is the series' first episode, it's important to give a hoot as to who these people are.

    [​IMG] upload_2019-10-16_9-42-58. upload_2019-10-16_9-44-30.
    Tracy tries out for the Annual Errol Flynn Look-Alike Contest; Proof that Nair does not remove chest hair; After too many Mai Tai's

    Well, to make a short story long, it seems that Mavis' husband Peter is aptly named as he's boinking his model in between cleaning his palette. This has the tendency to piss off the model's boyfriend into a frothing jealousy. Mavis is no Mother Theresa either, as she's having an affair with her mainland boyfriend--both of whom are plotting to kill off Peter. Say, who's zooming who here?
    Peter's model turns up dead, supposedly in place of Mavis--thus causing Tracy's Errol Flynn moustache to bristle in suspicion.

    Too bad, but nasty people seem to get what's coming to them. As Mavis and her lover try to set up a fatal accident for Peter, she takes another face dive--this time down the lanai's cement steps. There's no getting up from this one. DOA. Cut to Tracy, Tom and Cricket drinking heavily out of coconut shells around the hotel pool. Life is good.

    Notes:
    Connie sings "Let's Do It, Let's Fall In Love" and slings in the word "Ginchiest" to the lyrics. It's necessary to establish a Kookie connection of some sort, apparently.

    This first episode aired Oct. 9, 1959--almost exactly 60 years ago.
     
  8. Bob Goughan

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    A fun start to the venerable series. The cross-promotion was useful to WB and always cool to me as a younger viewer. The drinks were interesting. I remember my parents having beer, some wine and what they called hi-balls surrounding their Saturday night pinochle games with friends and relatives, but fruit juice for rum drinks were never in our house. I'm not sure they sold rum in Philly except perhaps at the Kona Kai. Didn't get there until I was in college. I ordered a drink in a coconut shell....and thought of Cricket.
     
  9. Rustifer

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    Yeah, I kinda screwed up by writing about the second episode first back on page 154.
    Sometimes my brain is so small I could stick it in a jelly jar and it would still rattle around like a golf ball in a boxcar.
     
  10. Bob Goughan

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    Two good reviews of just ok episodes. The series picks up soon. Enjoy the reviews.
     
  11. Message #3131 of 3259 Oct 16, 2019
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    criblecoblis

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    Saving The Strip: Seventh Season, 1964–65

    Part 1: The Setup

    Jack Warner is able to negotiate a nice increase in the program fee for the seventh season, because the sixth season’s weekly ratings held steady once the reruns began, indicating that the renewal of interest in the show would carry into the next season.

    About half of the increased budget goes into raises for the regular cast. He signs them all to new one-year contracts with only modest increases, with the promise that if the ratings continue to rise in the seventh season as they did in the sixth, the next contracts will include compensatory bonuses.

    The three stars decide that if they are expected to make this investment in the show's future, then they should rightly have a say in it. Each of them demands, and receives, certain concessions from Warner
    regarding the show’s production.

    William T. Orr is back as executive producer, with Jack Webb having left Warner Brothers Television after ten short months. Webb left behind him a roadmap for the seventh season, and had already initiated production before he left, with the first ten episodes in development. On the other hand, Webb also left some pressing problems, as we shall see.

    Orr’s marching orders are to use as much of Webb’s work as possible, fix the problems Webb left behind, update the depiction of the Strip, and build bridges back to the events of the first five seasons to re-establish the show’s original tone after the diaspora of the sixth season. His overall directive is to ensure that the show be as fresh and exciting in 1964 as it was in 1958.

    Orr has a great deal to do in a short time, but he does inherit a strong start to the season from Webb, ten good teleplays which he utilizes nearly verbatim (except for a reworking of the premiere episode to expand the opening segment). This gives him time to put off addressing the more complicated issues until after the season is underway.

    Next: the season premiere.
     
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  12. Rustifer

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    Yes! Marvelous start of your idea about Season 7! Love the interplay between William Orr and Jack Webb as the set up for how the season will unfold. Truly looking forward to this saga continuing...
     
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  13. criblecoblis

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    Thank you, Russ.
     
  14. Message #3134 of 3259 Oct 17, 2019
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    criblecoblis

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    Saving The Strip: Seventh Season, 1964–65

    Part 2: The Season Premiere


    S7E1, “Business As Usual,” begins with a cold open. We see a one-shot of Hannah, in jeans and a work shirt, with her normally perfectly-coiffed hair tied up in a bandana, holding a clipboard and looking a bit frazzled. She blows a stray lock of hair off her forehead.

    We cut to a wider shot, and we see that she is in Stu’s office in the Bradbury building, only now there are four desks crammed in there. The desks are completely bare, except for one that has four filing boxes on it. A couple of moving men come into the office; Hannah tells them, “Okay, these last four boxes go into Mr. Bailey’s office. I’ll be about 20 minutes behind you; I’m going to make a quick stop for some breakfast.”

    We are to understand that the newly-reconstituted agency has been working here since last seen, and that today is moving day. The movers take the boxes and exit; Hannah picks up a potted plant from the windowsill, takes one last look around, sighs, turns off the lights and closes the door behind her.

    We then see a montage of her exiting a parking lot in her well-cared-for 1960 Falcon convertible and making her way northbound along Spring Street, passing the Police Administration Building (Parker Center), Old Hall of Records, City Hall and the Hall of Justice.

    She then jogs over to Main Street along Aliso Street and continues northbound past the Pico House, the Old Plaza Church and the Plaza, the historical center of town, then parks on the street and walks the short distance to Olvera Street, where she enters a restaurant. We then cut to her returning to her car and proceeding along Main to Sunset Boulevard, where she makes a left turn.

    As she proceeds westward along Sunset, We see the cityscape change gradually from shabby, to respectable, to tony, and finally to glitzy. She drives past Dino’s and the 77 Sunset Strip building, then turns left into the driveway of a new office building just down the street on the same side. It is the Playboy building.

    We then cut to a shot of elevator doors. The doors open to reveal Hannah, carrying her potted plant. We follow her through open double glass doors into a modern, wel-lit lobby. She walks to the front of a receptionist’s counter, mostly occupied by file boxes, and places the potted plant in the one unoccupied spot. The camera then pans up to the wall behind, where we see, in big brass letters:

    BAILEY, SPENCER & KOOKSON
    PRIVATE INVESTIGATIONS

    The opening credits then run. The show is now titled Sunset Strip. The opening theme is now instrumental, played by a small jazz combo in a hard-bop style reminiscent of the Horace Silver Quintet.

    After the first commercial break, we return to the new digs. We can see it is several hours later, because there are now no boxes to be seen, and Hannah has changed into her usual natty professional attire. She’s straightening up her desk as we see Roscoe stretching a big ribbon across the office doorway. Hannah thinks the whole thing rather corny, but Roscoe explains to her that it’s Suzanne’s idea, that the ceremony is very important to her.

    The elevator doors open, and Stu, Jeff, Suzanne, and Kookie, who have just come from lunch at Dino’s, exit with JR in tow. We can see that only Stu is surprised by the ribbon across the door. With great ceremony, Roscoe hands Stu a pair of scissors. Stu cuts the ribbon with a flourish, everyone enters, then Suzanne goes behind the reception desk and picks up something heavy and flat.

    She walks up to Stu, holds it out to him, smiles sweetly and says, “Just completing my last assignment.” It’s the old Bailey & Spencer plaque. Stu is confused for a second, and then he remembers.

    At first he winces a bit at the memory of how very corny his grand gesture at the end of season five was, but then he sees the tears in Suzanne’s eyes, and he melts, tearing up a bit too. “Thank you, my dear,” he manages to croak out, “It’s good to be back.”

    Then the phone rings, and the moment is over. Everyone scoots to his proper place, and we’re back to business as usual. A caper commences, involving all three of the partners. Starting with the next episode, and for the rest of the season, we see the old plaque up on the wall of Stu’s office.

    Next: catching up with the gang.
     
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  15. Bob Goughan

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    Oh, sweet Jesus you dropped a Horace Silver Quintet on us. Yeah baby!
     
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  16. criblecoblis

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    Bob,

    Darn right! And there's a great deal more to come on that front.
     
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  17. Rustifer

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    Great topical location references, Rob! As we all know, the setting is so important to this series. I love the presence of Hannah as Suzanne's counterpart. Hannah always had a more cynically-sexy demeanor than the staid Suzanne.
    This is coming along nicely!
     
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  18. criblecoblis

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    Thanks again, Russ! Yes, while Suzanne never seemed to be aware of how pretty she was, Hannah labored under no such misapprehensions.
     
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  19. criblecoblis

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    Yeah, that's what Orr added to the episode. Webb just had her approaching the new digs, but Orr couldn't resist the visual metaphor of the drive down Sunset, with its constantly-improving environs. Plus, he took the chance to show the Civic Center (the modern center of town, where Gil is) and the Plaza area (the historical center of town).

    The sequence not only reflected the magnitude of Stu's comeback, but it also gave viewers the lay of the land, and showed them every iconic public building he could manage to send Hannah by. And having Hannah stop by a Mexican restaurant for breakfast (chorizo and eggs, by the way) tells us something about her.
     
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  20. criblecoblis

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    I should add that Hannah has quite an interesting backstory. We won't learn it in the seventh season, however.
     

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