77 Sunset Strip / Hawaiian Eye, etc.

criblecoblis

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Gary, I can't possibly thank you enough for your posting the listing for "Anything for Money," the first pilot for 77 Sunset Strip. These old TV Guide listings are veritable historical documents that are of immeasurable value here.

Now if someone could come up with an actual copy of this episode. . . .
 

Rustifer

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Episode Commentary
Hawaiian Eye
"Satan City" (S3E1)

Well I'm pretty rusty at commentaries since I've been on hiatus during these viral times. But this big trove of Hawaiian Eye eps has been burning a hole in my Plex collection--screaming to get heard. So here goes.

Hilda Barton (the wonderful Virginia Gregg), a famous authoress having written the spicy novel "Satan City", is now toying with a new manuscript besmirching her publisher Paul Hoyt (Arthur Franz) whom she believes stole half the proceeds from her novel. After Paul craps his pants hearing about the concept, something must be done. While Hilda is vacationing in Hawaii with her daughter Cathy (Ann Whitfield), the manuscript goes mysteriously missing. Hilda's kind of a snake, and although she enjoys the publicity of her missing missive, she blames the police for their laxity. The cops don't really think she's lost the manuscript but using them as an additional publicity stunt. Did I mention she's a snake?

Daughter fusses and flits around, decrying her mother's nasty antics but has seemingly little power to change her course. Hilda shows up at the HE office to hire them to investigate, but gets stuck with Greg MacKenzie (Grant Williams) who displays half the charm of partners Tom Lopaka or Tracey "Pencil Thin Moustache" Steele. He's sort of a second hand addition similar to Richard Long in 77 SS. Gregg is reluctant to help Hilda find her script as he considers her to be...well, a snake. She writes him a $500 check, and he's suddenly galvanized to pick up the pace. He heads out to Hilda's house to flush out the scent and runs smack dab into Paul Hoyt--the prime suspect for stealing the manuscript. He's certainly suspicious enough and has ample motive, not to mention oily hair.

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Ann Whitfield, Virginia Gregg, Arthur Franz, Grant Williams

So far, this story is moving at the speed of a Nash Metropolitan on two flat tires. Greg convinces Hilda to put up a $5,000 reward for the return of the manuscript in hopes of flushing out the thief. Meanwhile, overweight tourists wearing straw hats and Hawaiian shirts are milling about the lobby of the Hawaiian Hilton as if to the cement the authenticity of the location rather than the reality of it being the Warner Bros. stage in Burbank where the series is filmed.

So the crux of this story centers on discovering who took the manuscript. Big Hint: Paul Hoyt and Cathy have been bumping uglies together for some time now. There's a vested interest in Cathy protecting Paul's somewhat slimy reputation. At this point, Greg's efforts have been worth about a tenth of the fee he's been paid. Fortunately, he has access to the episode script and is able to figure it all out. It's all a big excuse to hang out at the swank hotel office of the detectives that features tiki lamps, a swimming pool and more ferns than the Everglades.
It's an unfortunately slow story with plot holes as frequent as found in the pavement of a country road. Still, I enjoyed the nostalgia of it.
 
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Mysto

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marv long
Episode Commentary
Hawaiian Eye
"Satan City" (S3E1)

Well I'm pretty rusty at commentaries since I've been on hiatus during these viral times. But this big trove of Hawaiian Eye eps has been burning a hole in my Plex collection--screaming to get heard. So here goes.

Hilda Barton (the wonderful Virginia Gregg), a famous authoress having written the spicy novel "Satan City", is now toying with a new manuscript besmirching her publisher Paul Hoyt (Arthur Franz) whom she believes stole half the proceeds from her novel. After Paul craps his pants hearing about the concept, something must be done. While Hilda is vacationing in Hawaii with her daughter Cathy (Ann Whitfield), the manuscript goes mysteriously missing. Hilda's kind of a snake, and although she enjoys the publicity of her missing missive, she blames the police for their laxity. The cops don't really think she's lost the manuscript but using them as an additional publicity stunt. Did I mention she's a snake?

Daughter fusses and flits around, decrying her mother's nasty antics but has seemingly little power to change her course. Hilda shows up at the HE office to hire them to investigate, but gets stuck with Greg MacKenzie (Grant Williams) who displays half the charm of partners Tom Lopaka or Tracey "Pencil Thin Moustache" Steele. He's sort of a second hand addition similar to Richard Long in 77 SS. Gregg is reluctant to help Hilda find her script as he considers her to be...well, a snake. She writes him a $500 check, and he's suddenly galvanized to pick up the pace. He heads out to Hilda's house to flush out the scent and runs smack dab into Paul Hoyt--the prime suspect for stealing the manuscript. He's certainly suspicious enough and has ample motive, not to mention oily hair.

View attachment 72946 View attachment 72947 View attachment 72948 View attachment 72949
Ann Whitfield, Virginia Gregg, Arthur Franz, Grant Williams

So far, this story is moving at the speed of a Nash Metropolitan on two flat tires. Greg convinces Hilda to put up a $5,000 reward for the return of the manuscript in hopes of flushing out the thief. Meanwhile, overweight tourists wearing straw hats and Hawaiian shirts are milling about the lobby of the Hawaiian Hilton as if the cement the authenticity of the location rather than the Warner Bros. stage in Burbank where the series is filmed.

So the crux of this story centers on discovering who took the manuscript. Big Hint: Paul Hoyt and Cathy have been bumping uglies together for some time now. There's a vested interest in Cathy protecting Paul's somewhat slimy reputation. At this point, Greg's efforts have been worth about a tenth of the fee he's been paid. Fortunately, he has access to the episode script and is able to figure it all out. It's all a big excuse to hang out at the swank hotel office of the detectives that features tiki lamps, swimming pool and more ferns than the Everglades.
It's an unfortunately slow story with plot holes as frequent as found on the pavement of a country road. Still, I enjoyed the nostalgia of it.
Nice to see ya back buddy. Missed you.
 

Mysto

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Thanks, Marv. Trying to get back to normal. Whatever that is.
Yes, it really is a PITA and I don't see it changing this year (at least for us). We just stay at home - get groceries delivered - we do meet with our next door neighbors on the driveways at 6 feet or more and drink.
I don't think anyone really is good with this and the reality is us older folks are stuck - I certainly am not going "back to normal" mask or no mask.
At least we can get in some quality TV and Movies.
 

Rustifer

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Russ,

I envy your having access to a large number of HE episodes. I only have two. Keep up the reviews, so I can enjoy the eps vicariously.
Hey there, Rob--
Long time not talk to! I must admit that my collection is mostly just relegated to seasons 3 & 4, and all of second or third transfer quality-- making them rather sketchy to watch. But once I hear the opening theme song, I'm more than ready to endure the blurriness just to recapture my excitement of the series.
 

Rustifer

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Episode Commentary
Hawaiian Eye
"The Kapua of Coconut Bay" (S3E1)

Rumors are flying that there's a monster (a "kapua") in Coconut Bay. Cricket Blake (Connie Stevens) and Kim (Ponce Ponce) are firm believers. Tom Lopaka (Robert Conrad), not so much. An investigation is in order.

The story begins with Tom having a meeting with developer Martin Kingsley (Arch Johnson) aboard his giant ego-boosting yacht. Kingsley wants to build a big new city in Hawaii. Where, you ask? Why, in Coconut Bay. You can feel the plot thicken like navy bean soup. But here's the rub--the one tract of land that Kingsley can't get his mitts on is owned by old Mama Mahina (Anne Seymour--who's about as Polynesian as I am). It's said that Mama is 500 years old. I put her around 475.

Kingsley hires Tom to secure the land since he's had a long relationship with Mama and could possible get the old bat to sell. It's a prospect as relishing to Tom as crotch rash--but a buck's a buck. Mama lives in a rickety grass hut on the beach, which means she probably has to pee and poop in the nearby ferns. This can make walking up to her place kinda messy (not mentioned in the script, just pondering on my part).
Meanwhile, cohorts Bert Jackson (the "professor" Russell Johnson) and Dorothy Winters (Mari Blanchard) are itching to discover where Kingsley is going to build his city in order to get a head start on profiting over the location.

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Arch Johnson; Anne Seymour; Mari Blanchard--proving all her neighbors own binoculars; Russell Johnson

Before the story can continue, we must suffer through a couple of island-ish songs from Ponce Ponce while folks sit around the beach fire roasting marshmallows and pineapple-stuffed kielbasas. Mama shows up to spout a whole raft of her homespun lore, which probably originated from several bottles of rum Mama keeps in her cupboard--for medicinal purposes, of course. Tom dutifully sits at her feet and soaks up her wisdom like a Bounty paper towel. This, in turn, inspires Cricket to warble out a tune while the guests sit around trying to suppress gaseous farts from the consumed kielbasa.

Over at the hotel, over martinis, Bert and Dorothy are concocting a clever way to wrest the land from Mama, thus holding the one enormously important chunk of property needed in Kingsley's scheme. Martinis can fuel a lot of crazy ideas. I know this for a fact. They're both practically drooling dollar signs into the drinks. Tom arranges a meeting between Mama and Kingsley. It generates a discussion that begins about as productive as a diet plan for Fatty Arbuckle. But eventually Kingsley convinces Mama to give him the land. But later on, Mama sees the image of kapua, freaks out, and promptly reneges on the deal. Turns out that Bert and Dorothy had devised a fake kapua image--a sort of horned devil--to flash at Mama and redirect her attention. So now the deal is completely fouled up.

However, there's no fooling Tom Lopaka, who exposes Bert and Dorothy's scheme in the end. It's a nicely atmospheric episode that makes me somewhat sad knowing none of it was actually filmed in Hawaii. Especially since just a few years later Hawaii 5-0 and Magnum P.I. would have the facilities and budget to film entirely on the islands--which added greatly to their appeal.

Note:
Considering Robert Conrad's physique and glowing healthy image, its a little incongruous to see him working with a cigarette dangling from his mouth.
 

criblecoblis

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Hey there, Rob--
Long time not talk to! I must admit that my collection is mostly just relegated to seasons 3 & 4, and all of second or third transfer quality-- making them rather sketchy to watch. But once I hear the opening theme song, I'm more than ready to endure the blurriness just to recapture my excitement of the series.
Yes, I am quite accustomed to Nth-generation copies, where N approaches infinity.
 

MartinP.

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Before the story can continue, we must suffer through a couple of island-ish songs from Ponce Ponce while folks sit around the beach fire roasting marshmallows and pineapple-stuffed kielbasas.
Do they really say "kielbasas" in the episode, which are "Polish" (so am I) sausages, but when I was in Hawaii a couple times they really like their Portuguese sausages, or linguiça!

Definition:
In Portugal, these style of pork sausages with vinegar, black pepper, garlic and paprika are known as linguiça and chouriço. They were brought to Hawaii during the late 19th century by Portuguese immigrants—more than 10,000 of which came to work the sugar plantations, and are popular to this day.

Now I want some! I'd also like to be in Hawaii. Or even on the backlot of Warner Brothers.

Love your humorous reviews, Russ! Thanks!

P.S.: In Hawaii there's a Coconut Island in Kāne'ohe Bay. Maybe that's how the writers came up with Coconut Bay. Incidentally, Kāne'ohe means Bamboo Husband. (?) (Maybe Mama Mahina knows something about that.) And also, incidentally, Coconut Island was the island you see in the Season 1 credits of Gilligan's Island. If this series brought up kapuas...do you know if they also might've brought up Menehunes at some point?
 

Rustifer

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Do they really say "kielbasas" in the episode, which are "Polish" (so am I) sausages, but when I was in Hawaii a couple times they really like their Portuguese sausages, or linguiça!
Kielbasa was never mentioned (or eaten) in the episode, Martin. Nor was any kind of sausage. I could have substituted bratwurst, knockwurst or any other sort of weenie--but 'kielbasa' just sounded funnier to me. I don't think there's such a thing as a pineapple-stuffed sausage simply because...well, who would eat it?
I blame Hawaiians (right or wrong) for inventing pineapple on pizza. It's an abomination almost beyond human comprehension as to the history of poor culinary decisions.

Yes, I am quite accustomed to Nth-generation copies, where N approaches infinity.
Ain't it the truth! Even more reason for MeTV to air original episodes of Hawaiian Eye and Surfside 6 so us oldsters can revel in visual clarity.

Good to see you guys out and about...at least, here on the HTF! Hang in there, we'll get through this. Meanwhile, we need more Hawaiian Eye reviews, Russ - stat!
Fear not, Jeff. I've gone into training so as to revive my incessantly silly commentaries and inflict them on all of you. My wife believes it's the only truly productive activity in which I engage during my many days of slothful and sedentary retirement.
 

MartinP.

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I blame Hawaiians (right or wrong) for inventing pineapple on pizza. It's an abomination almost beyond human comprehension as to the history of poor culinary decisions.
I'm going to have to disagree with you, Russ. Whoever* started it, I happen to like pineapple on a pizza! If I could watch Hawaiian Eye with a pizza in hand...mmmm.

Here's a Washington Post article from a year ago you might like: Pineapple on Pizza is Easy to Hate — At Least in Theory

According to some research:
*Greek-Canadian Sam Panopoulos claimed that he created the first Hawaiian pizza at the Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario, Canada in 1962. (Maybe he was watching Hawaiian Eye!) According to lore, in 1962, he spread ham and pineapples onto a standard cheese pizza at his restaurant, the Satellite Diner, and then named the pie for the brand of canned fruit that he used.

Germany has something similar called Hawaiian Toast. From the little research I just did, it seems that when Hawaii became a state, a lot of people, at least in the U.S., came up with all sorts of "Hawaiian" themed dishes, many using pineapple, that Hawaiians are now blamed for. LOL!

How do you feel about anchovies? I like those, too. But not with pineapple.

Do they ever eat "poi" in Hawaiian Eye? From what I remember, I don't recall. Now poi is just...ugh.
 

Rustifer

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I'm going to have to disagree with you, Russ. Whoever* started it, I happen to like pineapple on a pizza! If I could watch Hawaiian Eye with a pizza in hand...mmmm.
I like dill pickles on my peanut butter sandwiches, so there's absolutely no accounting for taste.

How do you feel about anchovies?
I am an anchovy enthusiast--and had an anchovy pizza last night as a coincidence. I've been known to open a tin and pick out the salty little devils with a toothpick and eat them as is. The ones rolled up around a caper are a real treat. I have no competition from anyone in my family for these tidbits. No one.

Do they ever eat "poi" in Hawaiian Eye? From what I remember, I don't recall. Now poi is just...ugh.
Good question. I don't recall ever seeing an episode where anyone is enjoying the beaten pulp of the taro root. I have heard it's one of those proverbial "acquired" tastes.
 

Mysto

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marv long
I like dill pickles on my peanut butter sandwiches, so there's absolutely no accounting for taste.


I am an anchovy enthusiast--and had an anchovy pizza last night as a coincidence. I've been known to open a tin and pick out the salty little devils with a toothpick and eat them as is. The ones rolled up around a caper are a real treat. I have no competition from anyone in my family for these tidbits. No one.


Good question. I don't recall ever seeing an episode where anyone is enjoying the beaten pulp of the taro root. I have heard it's one of those proverbial "acquired" tastes.
I'm sorry to say that now I know you are a lover of "the little fishies" I have lost all respect for you. (OK I didn't have that much to start with) But only in the area of culinary delights. I still enjoy your reviews and comments. (But you're not cooking for me!!!) ;)
 

Rustifer

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Episode Commentary
Hawaiian Eye
"Moon over Mindanao" (S3E3)

I've got to hand it to Anthony Eisley, a man who purposely groomed himself to look like a matinee idol from the 1930's yet still survived showbiz in the 1960's. Jimmy Buffet's "I Wish I Had A Pencil Thin Moustache" was probably inspired by Eisley. I've had a moustache for 50 years but look more like Walt Disney than a star of a TV series. Facial hair can be a cruel mistress.

Tracy Steele (Eisley) is in Manilla making woo with Alicia (Diana Millay), a beautiful and buxom blonde from Port Huron, Michigan, and trying to convince her to hang around longer before going back home--for a couple of obvious reasons. As if anyone would willingly rush back to Port Huron anyway. Tracy is in Manilla to retrieve for his client a priceless pearl (the Moon Over Mandanao). You can guess this transaction will not go smoothly. The agent from whom he's to receive the gem, Chang, is murdered before the exchange can take place. Murdered in a Manilla alley. How occidentally humiliating. Searching the body for the pearl, Tracy only finds a pocket full of lint, which is not useful to this story.

Cut to the Shell Bar at the Hawaiian Hilton where Cricket Blake (Connie Stevens) is bravely lip-syncing "If I Love Again", seemingly in the throes of orgasmic glory. Thank god she hits all the high notes. Tom Lopaka (Robert Conrad) has the unfortunate task of informing the pearl's purchaser, Mr. Welker (no screen credit), that his prize has been stolen. Welker, not a man to be trifled with, reads Tracy the riot act and threatens him to within an inch of his moustache if he doesn't retrieve it. Fortunately, Chang has left a clue that indicates it might be on the ship on which he crossed over to Manilla.

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Diana Millay decides to go commando; Anthony Eisley; the piano player happily gets a glimpse up Connie Steven's skirt

Upon boarding the ship, Tracy finds it packed full of tourists for the annual Phineas Fogg tour, which probably helped coin the phrase
"ship of fools". With about 1000 passengers on board, Tracy stupidly quizzes the ship's steward as if he's noticed anyone suspicious. Incredibly, the purser seems to recall each tourist as if they were his next door neighbor and thus identifies two possible suspects.
Tracy takes over Chang's cabin and quickly become obnoxious in questioning his suspects, which isn't exactly on the Phineas Fogg agenda of ship activities. And guess who else in on board--our bountiful Alicia, whose role so far is to expose as much cleavage as TV censors will allow. She and Tracy engage in some serious tonsil tickling but are interrupted by someone falling overboard, a reason why cocktails should never be served on deck.

Turns out the unfortunate fellow is one of the pearl theft suspects. Did he have the pearl when he jumped ship? Did he wait an hour after eating before entering the water? Well, if you haven't figured out who has the pearl by now, you don't belong on the Phineas Fogg tour. We learn that lovely Alicia has more to reveal than her perfect heaving fun bags. Not to mention one of the ship's maids, who appears out of nowhere with a story of her own.

A budget-saving episode since most of it is filmed on a fake ocean liner set with static seascape backdrops. Still, it's a Hawaiian Eye episode fer cryin' out loud!
 
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