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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 Stunt Coordinator
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    My wife and I were re-watching "Hit And Run" (S01E13), and in it, Kookie gives his address as 18026 Valleyheart Drive. On a whim, I Googled it. It's a valid address, an apartment building at the corner of Sepulveda, right where it crosses the LA River. The apartment house appears to be decades newer than 1958, but it could have been remodeled or rebuilt.

    I can't help but think that this residence address was a purposeful character detail. Why else use an actual, or at least a possible, address?
     
  2. Rustifer

    Rustifer Supporting Actor

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    I, too, wrote down that address when I first saw "Hit and Run" but spelled it wrong (Valleyhart) and therefore could not find it on Google. Kudos that you were able to run it down. I closely pay attention to any addresses spoken on 77 SS simply to see if they really exist and what they look like today. For the most part, they are real places. Not sure why actual addresses are used for the same reason real phone numbers are never used.
     
  3. Rustifer

    Rustifer Supporting Actor

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    We all know Louis Quinn as Roscoe in 77 SS, as that seems to be his most lasting legacy as an actor. But did you know he was in "All The President's Men" playing the part of a salesman? He also did interviews that were broadcast from the Copacabana in New York.

    [​IMG] upload_2018-1-22_11-7-17.jpeg

    Louis was married to Christine Nelson, who was in a slew of 50's-60's TV shows, including several 77 SS (Long Shot Caper, Celluloid Cowboy, Clay Pigeon, etc.).
    According to his NY Times obit, Louis started out in radio as a gag writer for Orson Welles and Milton Berle before getting into television. I would say that Louis Quinn looks like the quintessential gag writer. If I didn't know that was his profession and someone asked me to guess what he did for a living, gag writer would probably be in my top five. I think Louis could have easily switched places with Morey Amsterdam in the Dick Van Dyke Show.
    Race track tout would also be up there in the top five. Surgeon--no.
     
  4. criblecoblis

    criblecoblis Stunt Coordinator
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    And for you Allan Sherman fans, Christine Nelson was Sarah Jackman.
     
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  5. criblecoblis

    criblecoblis Stunt Coordinator
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    Rustifer, I've noticed that too: most addresses given in 77 Sunset Strip are valid. That's what they call "verisimilitude."
     
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  6. 726 Jan 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
    criblecoblis

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    That's a good question, but I would say that it's a question of tradition and of privacy. An address is not private, but a phone number is, and it is traditional to set stories at known addresses or locations. Think, for example, of the film Week-end at The Waldorf. Or the fact that 77's first sister show, Bourbon Street Beat (worth watching, BTW), was set at the Old Absinthe House, a real location.

    My belief is that the attachment of an actual address to a character is a comment upon the character's essence, a clue to the character's character, as it were.

    The obvious, immediate argument here: "Okay, then, why did they use a fictitious, impossible address for the central location of the show we here commemorate?"

    Well, would you have been attracted to a show called 8544 West Sunset Boulevard?

    Okay, maybe you would have. But how do you write the theme to that address?
     
  7. Rustifer

    Rustifer Supporting Actor

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  8. 728 Jan 23, 2018
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    Rustifer

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    Rob...Funny that you mention the ridiculousness of the show being named '8544 West Sunset Boulevard'. As clumsy as that sounds, I immediately thought of '90210 Beverly Hills'. But no snappy theme songs for either of those addresses.
    I agree with you that real addresses add a certain tangible element to the show's character. For instance, Stu Bailey lived in the very tony (at that time) Sunset Villa Apartments. Fitting abode for the urbane Stu.
    Spoken or written phone numbers on TV always began with the exchange 555, which is non-viable when dialed. I guess the difference between using real addresses versus fake phone numbers simply lies in the fact that very few people, upon hearing an address on TV would jump into their car to go investigate, let alone knock on the door. On the other hand, it's much easier to just pick up the phone next to you and dial a number you just heard or saw to see who answers. Very annoying if the number had been real. Especially if a million other viewers decided to do the same thing.
     
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  9. Dan McW

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    Or, in the old days, KLondike 5-, which also is 555-.
     
  10. mark-edk

    mark-edk Stunt Coordinator

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    Maybe that's make up for the most important address - the show's title - being a phony.
     
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  11. Rustifer

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    So, while still in the throes of watching "Justified" non-stop for the past few days, I decided to take a break and return to my ever-growing MeTV recordings of 77 SS. I chose "The Office Caper" mainly because it all takes place in the office building of Bailey & Spenser (or rather the WB set of the office).
    It's our first really good look at the office directory in the lobby:

    First Floor
    Bailey & Spenser Suites 101-102-104
    Sunset Answering Service 103
    George J. Callus 106 (Really? He's right there yet we never see him...)

    Second Floor
    Hugo Womack 201 (used to be AGAMP, Inc.)
    Kordell, Ltd. 203
    J.T. Plehn & Co. 205

    Mr. Womack, supposedly a toy manufacturer, is portrayed by Bruce Gordon (Frank Nitti from the Untouchables). Bruce, I think, never had the pleasure of playing a "good guy" in TV or films.

    upload_2018-1-26_8-56-9.jpeg
    Bruce Gordon - who later in life ran a dinner theater in Scottsdale Arizona called Frank Nitti's Place

    Mr. Womack is actually in the building to kill Stu Bailey in order to prevent him from testifying in an upcoming court trail. On board to assist is hit man Richard Jaeckel and his wife--my teenage heart throb-- Sherry Jackson. Sorry, I can't resist my cheap thrill of posting more pics of her...

    [​IMG] upload_2018-1-26_9-2-26.jpeg
    Sherry Jackson--years before had played the young daughter in 'The Danny Thomas Show'

    We get glimpses of the second floor, which is illuminated by an overhead light in the shape of a Devo hat, as well as the never-seen-before office elevator. Woo-woo!
    [​IMG]

    Lots of the show's usual characters are all here...Kookie, Roscoe, Suzanne, Jeff, Frankie Ortega. A couple of great scenes:
    -Roscoe speeding down the 101 on his motor scooter with cigar firmly clamped in mouth
    -Kookie explaining to Stu that he forgot to "twist my dial" (set my watch)
    -Rex Randolph makes a brief appearance hopelessly trying to answer the switchboard
    There's a great fight scene at the end involving Sherry and Suzanne (picture that!) and Jeff against Bruce Gordon. Lots of stand-ins on this fight.
    All in all, great fun. Watch it if you can. I rate it at 2 and 1/2 martinis.

    Now...back to Raylan Givens and Justified...
     
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  12. Rustifer

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    Oops...I forgot to mention that Robert McQueeney was also a guest star in the show. Robert was an interesting guy in that during his acting career, he was also a golf pro on the circuit and later became a Catholic priest.
    upload_2018-1-26_9-27-56.jpeg
     
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  13. Rustifer

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    I must correct my above statement--Stu lived in the Sunset de Ville apartments, not the Sunset Villa. Since accuracy sometimes escapes me, Gary usually cross-checks my misstatements---so I thought I'd get in front of this one.
     
  14. Rustifer

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    I was watching the 1963 film "The Prize" on TCM and was surprised to suddenly see Jacqueline Beer show up in the movie opposite Paul Newman, Edgar G. Robinson and Elke Sommer. This Hitchcockian thriller (actually directed by Mark Robson) was always one of my favorites due to the head-turning gorgeousness of Ms. Sommer who actually upstaged the lovely Ms. Beer in that department. I should add, however, that Jacqueline had very little film time. Good movie, though!

    upload_2018-1-28_10-3-5.jpeg [​IMG]
     
  15. Gary16

    Gary16 Supporting Actor

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    I’m sure you meant Edward not Edgar G. Robinson.
    Jacqueline Beer also has a very small but worthwhile scene in the Doris Day Rock Hudson movie “Pillow Talk”.
     
  16. Lutz Koch

    Lutz Koch Stunt Coordinator

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    The Hitchcockian vibe is no coincidence since the script is by Ernest Lehman, the legendary screenwriter who also wrote Hitchcock's 'North by Northwest', about which Lehman said, "I wanted to write the Hitchcock picture to end all Hitchcock pictures." I think he succeeded!
     
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  17. Rustifer

    Rustifer Supporting Actor

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  18. 738 Jan 29, 2018
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    Rustifer

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    The "Widescreen Caper" is pretty much a fluff episode about Hollywood award shows and features a whole bunch of WB contract performers. Jason Keith (played by Mr. Buggy Bag Eyes, Jim Millhollin) is a Hollywood Astrologist who spouts rumors, innuendos and various sorts of crap about movie stars.

    upload_2018-1-29_8-46-1.jpeg
    Jim Millhollin

    Bailey & Spenser are hired to "protect" the award-nominated actors from Jason's death predictions, and it becomes an all-hands-on-deck endeavor. Jeff, Stu, Roscoe, Kookie, Rex and Suzanne are all paired with a star and therein lies most of the interaction for the episode. Rex gets boozy Melissa (Ruta Lee), Jeff escorts horny Danish actress Helga (Lili Kardell) and Stu protects Asian star, Lotus Lee (Judy Dan).

    upload_2018-1-29_8-54-0.jpeg [​IMG] upload_2018-1-29_8-57-17.jpeg
    Ruta Lee, Lili Kardell, Judy Dan

    At one point for lack of anything better to say, Stu confides to Lotus Lee that chop suey was invented by an American in Akron, Ohio. Lotus appears astounded. Suzanne suffers through ego obsessed French actor Jean Paul Cartier (David Cross) while Kookie wrestles with Sprite Simpson (Sharon Hugueny). Warner Bros. was furiously promoting Sharon as the next Elizabeth Taylor. It didn't work out that way for her.
    The awards show itself is an amalgamation of old film clip audiences from what looks like about 1941. The program is emceed by Buddy Lester, who appears in nearly every Jerry Lewis movie. There are a few scenes at Dino's with folks sitting in booths with small table lamps, cigarette smoke and cocktails. Ahhh, those were the days...
    I rate this one at 1 and 1/2 martinis.
     
  19. 739 Jan 29, 2018
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    Rustifer

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    Can you tell I finally finished my Justified binge-capade? Sunday night seemed like a fine time to mix a perfect martini and settle in for the "Laurel Canyon Caper".
    It all starts in a most proper place -- Dino's. Rex Randolph runs into an old pal Barry James (Jock Mahoney--yeah, same guy who played Tarzan for a while) who is celebrating a new recording contract. In comes trouble in the form of Mike Ransom (Fredd Wayne) who runs a Hollywood gossip rag and has a serious bone to pick with Barry. Words are exchanged and Rex orders another drink.

    upload_2018-1-29_10-36-35.jpeg upload_2018-1-29_10-37-16.jpeg
    Jock Mahoney and Fredd Wayne

    Mike carries out his poison penmanship at 855 Summit Drive (Hey, Rob--it's another real address! with a great 60's interior) and also unfortunately meets his maker there. Lots of suspects to make this a fairly passable murder mystery. Rex repairs back to his office to listen to news on his portable radio that looks exactly like this old beauty:
    upload_2018-1-29_10-43-58.jpeg
    In the meantime, we meet lounge singer Belinda Lane (named after a street in Bel Air, no doubt) played by Kaye Elhardt, and a Hee Haw type actress in the lovely form of Roxanne Arlen:
    [​IMG] upload_2018-1-29_10-48-38.jpeg

    Ms. Roxanne Arlen

    Rex is seen driving what appears to be a Pontiac, a rare non-Ford placement in the show. Maybe it's just a rental. The whodunit remains a mystery until the very end when the truth is not so much solved as revealed.
    Rated: 2 martinis.
     

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  20. 740 Jan 29, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
    Richard Gallagher

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    You're forgiven!

    Another interesting tidbit is that Sherry Jackson's father died when she was six and her mother married Montgomery Pittman in 1952. IMDB credits Pittman with 16 scripts for 77 Sunset Strip. He also wrote scripts for many other Warner Brothers TV shows, as well as three episodes of The Twilight Zone.
     

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