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Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Frank Soyke, Mar 7, 2011.
Looking forward to it!
Speaking of lists, here's one of my Honorable Mentions: "The Affairs of Adam Gallante", which I watched with great enjoyment last night. I still love the opening credits of the show, even though I've seen them a gajillion times. As Efrem Zimbalist informed us, they only shot the actual locations (8524 Sunset Blvd.) once a year, so therefore one sees the same cars whizzing past the location each time. I think there's a white Buick Roadmaster convertible and a Dodge DeSoto among the many passer-bys. Too cool!
Anyway, this particular episode follows the lines of the more comedic stories that show up from time to time. It has less to do with plot and more emphasis on the interactions of a cast of zany characters. Jeff Spenser is hired by the wife of the missing Adam Gallante to find out why he disappeared so suddenly after their wedding. Wifey is played by Sue Randall (Beaver Cleaver's grade school teacher as well as Kookie's girlfriend in one episode).
Adam works for the Ohhh La La Import Company that manufactures ladies' lingerie, but has been missing from work for some time.
Both Kookie and Roscoe go undercover as door-to-door salesmen for the company, and therein lies the crux of the story. Both fellows run into a bevy of beauties, all of whom have some kind of "special" sales relationship (wink wink) with the gallant Gallante. Among the many are Marianne Gaba (Miss Illinois of 1956) and Carmen Phillips, a beatnik-type who lives in what appears to be the Munster's house:
Marianne Gaba w/ Edd Brynes, Carmen Phillips who had a small role in Easy Rider (and not much beyond that), Sue Randall
The main "joke" of the episode is that before we ever meet him, one assumes Adam Gallante must be some sort of heroic stud to have wooed so many sexy gals--only to find out he's as milquetoast as it gets. Adam is geekishly played by Alvy Moore, better known as County Ag Inspector Hank Kimball from Green Acres:
Among the many funny scenes, Jeff calls on Adam's landlady who mixes him a very proper martini--half a bottle of gin with vermouth being added by whiff-blowing the top of the bottle across the pitcher. Very dry. There are more actual LA location shots than one usually sees in this series, and that makes the episode even more enjoyable (at least for me).
As a bonus, another Kookie-ism: "Flex your noggin" (read: Think). There's a nice little twist at the end which I won't spoil for those of you who haven't seen it yet.
I rate this one at 2 and 1/2 martinis.
I ran across this website while researching some of the stuff I use in my posts. This particular thread of 'Western Clippings" is from Will Hutchins (Sugarfoot) and his many recollections of working for WB and with various film and TV stars. It is really quite fascinating and informative. There's a ton of additional threads of other TV shows from the past that you can get lost in, as well as info on their stars. Great way to fiddle away some idle time of you have it!
Jerry Livingston and Mack David wrote the iconic theme song for 77 Sunset Strip as well as Hawaiian Eye , Bourbon Street Beat and Surfside 6. But did you know they also wrote the song Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo for Disney's 1950 Cinderella, which garnered eight academy award nominations.
In addition, they also churned out "This Is It" (theme song from the Bugs Bunny Show) and Casper the Friendly Ghost theme among a whole bunch of well-known film songs.
As an aside, Mack David's brother Hal was the celebrated lyricist for Burt Bacharach's music, much of which was recorded by Dionne Warwick.
Jerry Livingston and Mack David--a couple of pretty talented guys
I guess to balance this out, I should point out that Mack David also gave us "Beware of the Blob", which Burt Bacharach (who co-wrote) claimed was the worst American song ever written.
According to the Oscar database CINDERELLA had three nominations...
Cinderella (Walt Disney Productions; RKO Radio)
MUSIC (Scoring of a Musical Picture) -- Oliver Wallace, Paul J. Smith
MUSIC (Song) -- "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo," Music and Lyrics by Mack David, Al Hoffman and Jerry Livingston
SOUND RECORDING -- Walt Disney Studio Sound Department, C. O. Slyfield, Sound Director
Hmmmm. Apparently my resources are erroneous. Thanks for the correction.
I greatly enjoy this episode on its own merits, but it will always have a special place in my heart because it is the first episode of the show I watched, not counting what I may have seen as a toddler that I don't recall now.
My interest in the show was piqued by the discussion of it you started, Rustifer, on the Noirish thread of the Skyscraper forum. I recalled that my family loved the show back in the day, so I set my over-the-air DVR to record an episode to see whether my wife and I would like it.
"The Affairs of Adam Gallante" hooked us in, and the rest is history. 77 Sunset Strip has now become my favorite hour-long TV drama. Ironically, or perhaps merely coincidentally, my favorite comedy is Green Acres. I guess I'm just a sucker for Alvy Moore.
I’m so glad you have the same affection towards this show as I do, Rob. I only wish there were more of us since it’s so much fun to discuss ( as I seem to do incessantly). I sometimes feel that you, me, Gary, Flashgear, Lutz et al carry the responsibility to further the awesomeness of 77 SS so that it doesn’t disappear in the fog of inconsequence as Baby Boomers begin to slide into senility. Again, wish we had more contributors. I, for one, want to hold onto my fondest nostalgic memories as long as possible. Not ready yet for a drool cup!
Did anyone do a book on 77 Sunset Strip, or Surfside 6, Hawaiian Eye, Bourbon Street Beat, etc? It seems a few books are coming out on black and white tv shows, maybe a few more texts are in order.
Generally when I settle in to watch an episode of 77 SS, I avoid any distractions if possible. Except for mixing another martini, which is more a labor of love than a distraction. This was not the case for "The Valley Caper" as my wife was suffering from the flu and I was concocting a pot of chicken soup for her while trying to pay attention to the show. Apparently I cannot chew gum and walk simultaneously, so this post will probably not be as insightful as I would hope it to be. Sincere apologies.
Let me first state that I like Richard Long as an actor. I thought he was especially good as Jarrod Barkley in The Big Valley. However, as Rex Randolph--a partner in Bailey& Spenser--not so much. He seemed to be a bit too slick, and assumed an air of undeserved entitlement as to his position in the firm without actually paying his dues. It seemed to jumble the perfect existing ensemble. Just my opinion, maybe not yours.
Richard Long who showed up mid Season 3
In this episode, B&S is hired by a film studio chief to look into his star's connection to a mob boss for fear of bad PR. Rex goes undercover as a journeyman actor to appear in her next movie. A romance of course develops. The star (Abigail Adams) is played by the always lovely Kathleen Crowley and lives in a house that looks like something next door to the Douglas family from My Three Sons instead of a ritzy Beverly Hills address. She apparently pinches pennies on her $1500 a week salary.
Kathleen Crowley, who left us last April
Rex comes to visit her at home in order to "practice their lines" (uh-huh), and hang out on her kick-ass patio with a stoned-in fireplace and bbq that would make even Bobby Flay envious. Lots of drinking and kissy-face ensues.
A plot is concocted to trap her mobster ex-husband into emerging from hiding in order to get nabbed by the police. It works.
There were no particularly interesting guest stars in this episode (aside from Ms. Crowley), and the plot was a bit mundane. There were some interesting WB studio scenes to hold my attention even while chopping up celery and carrots for my wife's soup.
Directed by Robert Douglas, who was prolific as both an actor and a director. I rate this one at 1 and 1/2 martinis.
I think so too, and I've often wondered why no one has tackled the subject yet. In my mind, the person who would be next to perfect to do a book on 77SS would be Ed Robertson, who authored excellent works on THE FUGITIVE, MAVERICK and THE ROCKFORD FILES, three shows that have one creative mind in common with 77SS: Roy Huggins.
Right on, Russ! Let me tell you how much I enjoy reading your episode commentaries and your always clever and humorous observations. You write them so much better than I ever could. Wish I could chime in more often but most of the time I just don't have anything worthwhile to contribute.
I haven't done much 77SS viewing lately, but that's about to change. For a long time, my wife and I used to watch one episode every Friday night: We started with the eps I had captured from the WB online archive. When we ran out of those, I happened to find another large bunch on YT, but they were gone before I could get them all. Still, it was enough to last us another couple of months. After that, we said let's take a break and see what happens. We filled up our Friday night schedule with THE DEFENDERS S1 (from Shout!) which we enjoyed a lot. And then I finally realized that all of the 77SS eps that I had missed on YT were on dailymotion... Suddenly I had an almost complete collection, never mind the varying degrees of image and sound deterioration. For the final handful of missing episodes I reached out to a friend (thanks, J!) who managed to get me all but one; S5's "The Heartbeat Caper" is still MIA, but aside from that... it doesn't get any better until WBA get their act together. I can still dream, can't I.
Anyway, what this means is that as of next week, after we finish THE DEFENDERS, it's back to 77SS on Friday night, and this time we're gonna watch each and every season from start to finish. Quite a lot of it will be first-time viewings.
In the TV section over at the Monster Kids message board site, a member of that group has posted a lot of info about 77 SUNSET STRIP along with season-by-season episode reviews. I believe most of this was written 3-4 years ago but still some interesting info and insights.
Thanks much for your kind words and encouragement, Lutz. I'm excited that you found a new trove of 77 SS episodes that you and your wife can enjoy and hopefully provide your own observations. I've been fortunate to have access to MeTV which has been re-airing all seasons of the series for me to record on my DVR. At the moment I have 10 or 12 unviewed episodes from Season 3 (although I've seen all seasons at least twice) that I'm looking forward to watching (martini in hand, of course) and commenting on in this thread.
As I mentioned in my reply to Lutz above, I still have several DVR'd episodes to re-watch from Season 3. Last night, I chose 'The Dresden Doll' mainly due to my preference for Jeff Spenser stories which can sometimes have a nice comedic twist that uplifts the plot lines.
This particular episode begins in Hawaii with Cricket Blake (Connie Stevens) chirping out a ballad in the famous Shell Bar of the Hilton Hotel from which the Hawaiian Eye boys operate. Jeff, Rex and Tracy Steele (Anthony Eisley) watch her in admiration (and a tiny bit of innocent lust) while with their own dates for the evening.
Connie letting loose a warble in the Shell Bar
The place is dripping with a Tiki atmosphere, which automatically shoots this up my list of favorites as I am a complete Tiki nut. Then the story abruptly cuts to Jeff at Dino's after returning back to the mainland. We're met with the odd sight of Roscoe having dinner with a lovely girl, Dolly (Myrna Fahey), which ends suddenly when in a syrupy southern accent she asks him to kill her husband. Roscoe takes off like a cat with its tail afire and Jeff immediately seizes the opportunity to move in on her. Frankie Ortega Trio plays in the background accompanied by a bongo player--keeping up the hip tiki vibe.
Myrna Fahey, who was all over the TV in the late 50's-60's
She hires Jeff (which she pronounces "Jay-effe") to protect she and her hubby from her ex-mobster boyfriend (H.M. Wynant). The story builds from here and my interest begins to wane except for some pretty nifty 60's-type interior shots at Dolly's house in Malibu Grove Estates (no such real place in LA). I've seen this ranch-type house in at least 10 episodes but have never been able to actually locate it on Google Maps. This is as close as I can get as to how it looks:
There's a nice little comedic bit with Jeff and a mystery book-loving hospital nurse who swoons over the fact that he's a private eye. Jeff gleefully encourages her warped view as far as he can until her knees practically buckle in ecstasy. I silently toasted him with my martini.
Turns out Dolly is an ex-stripper from New Orleans who is trying to bilk her rich husband out of millions. It doesn't work and Dolly (along with her southern charm) heads to the hoosegow.
The episode ends with Jeff and Rex back at Dino's slurping cocktails and ogling females. Always a fitting end, so to speak.
I mentioned above that I'm quite a Tiki aficionado, and would drive or fly for miles just to hang in places like this:
I remember back in the 60's taking dates to Polynesian restaurants when these were quite vogue and ubiquitous. During my summer vacation while a college freshman, I washed dishes in a famous Washington D.C. joint called the Junkanoo:
This is the place where Arkansas congressman Wilbur Mills cemented his scandalous relationship with stripper Fanne Fox. Heck, that could have been me in the shadowy background behind them...
Sadly, most of these venues no longer exist. For a while Trader Vic's thrived in Chicago's Palmer House, and I made it a point to visit it whenever I found myself in the Windy City. But that, too, is now gone. I surely miss sucking rum-infused cocktails out of strange vessels until reality becomes a distant fog.
My obsession with all things tiki (and 77 SS) convinces my wife I am truly certifiable. But then, she's thought that for over 30 years....
Thanks Russ for all the fond memories. I just found out that my cable has MeTV and I've DVR a few of the episodes that that are currently showing. Can't wait to watch them.
Back in the early 70's there was a place out here in So Cal (San Gabriel Valley) called THE TIKI which was a huge outdoor venue. Tiki bars everywhere (loved the Planters Punch), 9-10 places to dance with different kinds of music and a gigantic volcano that spewed flames and Hawaiian dances at the end of the night.
If you scroll back a few pages on this thread, you'll find a list of my top ten favorite 77 SS episodes. If you see any of those coming up on MeTV, you might give them a shot. Enjoy!
Thanks Russ. I'll look them up and hopefully get to see them. I did watch the show when it originally aired. At 9 years old, I did appreciate the shows and all the other ones at that time.