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Mr. Novak, NBC TV Series 1963-65.

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Flashgear, Jul 11, 2017.

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  1. Message #421 of 488 Dec 8, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
    Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Dan August investigates a homicide at Mr. Novak's Jefferson High!

    Well, kind of...5 years after Mr. Novak left the airwaves, QM productions filmed an episode at John Marshall High School (3939 Tracy St., Los Feliz, Los Angeles), the real life counterpart of the fabled Jefferson High of John Novak and Albert Vane...

    Dan August, Quadrangle for Death (Dec. 16, 1970)...
    A dan 10.JPG

    Mr. Novak, The Firebrand (April 13, 1965)...
    A firebrand 58.JPG

    The camera shots and framing don't quite match exactly, but all of these shots are taken within a few yards of each other...
    A dan 13.JPG
    A dan 14.JPG
    A firebrand 71.JPG
    A firebrand 59.JPG
    A firebrand 38.JPG
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    The corner on Tracy Street in front of John Marshall H.S....
    A firebrand 60.JPG
    A dan 11.JPG

    Walter Koenig rabble rousing the kids in protest...
    A firebrand 64.JPG

    Richard Baseheart as the rabble rousing, phoney baloney "cool" professor, with a young John Ritter and Davanna Brown...
    A dan 17.JPG

    The arches of the Quad...Walter Koenig and Burgess Meredith...
    A firebrand 33.JPG
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    Inside the hall entrance, in front of principal Vane's admin office...
    Friday 8.JPG
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    The front entrance steps...
    A firebrand 48.JPG
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    Guest star Richard Baseheart holds court in one of Mr. Novak's old classrooms...
    A dan 20.JPG
    A dan 18.JPG

    Screen caps from the new VEI set of Dan August, and my homemade Mr. Novak DVDs...
     
  2. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Thanks for those fun comparison shots between the two shows, Randall! The Dan August screengrabs do betray a far softer image than most of us would like, but the colors look good. Will still be happy to view the episodes for the first time. Glad to know that the Christopher George-starring pilot film looks much better.

    Still no Mr. Novak DVD set in the house yet, I take it?
     
  3. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Thanks Jeff! I just couldn't resist the Dan August tie-in to Mr. Novak...I'm still waiting for my Mr. Novak set, but I think that the package is now on my side of the border at least...tracking is rather cryptic and vague for my shipment from Oldies...in addition to Dan August, I did receive Outer Limits S2 on Blu, and the dirt cheap Mill Creek complete series of SWAT (1975-76)...the Mill Creek episodes look astoundingly good...Dan August is very watchable, soft on definition unfortunately, but with generally unfaded colors...the premature fadeouts to save a few seconds in the old WV transfers is another, but minor, irritant...the pilot telefilm is completely remastered in HD, I'll probably post some more screengrabs over in the Dan August thread from the pilot telefilm with it's impressive cast...

    Mr. Novak scriptwriter John D. F. Black passed away last week at age 86...he wrote 6 episodes in season two, including With a Hammer in his Hand, Lord, Lord!, for which he won the prestigious Writer's Guild of America Award for episodic television in 1965...
    A hammer 15.JPG
    A hammer 16.JPG
    he also wrote the memorable Star Trek episode, The Naked Time...and one of the absolute best episodes of Combat!, Survival...another of his finest scripts was for Mannix, A Day Filled With Shadows...here is a photo of John D.F. Black during the period of his working on Star Trek...with "Balok" from the episode The Corbomite Maneuver...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In tribute to the late John D. F. Black, I think I should feature his acclaimed Mr. Novak episode, With a Hammer in His Hand, Lord, Lord! next...I've been going out of broadcast order for these season two episodes, primarily in an attempt to analyze the possible music rights complications in season two...I think a timely tribute to one of Mr. Novak's all time great writers is called for...
     
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  4. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Mr. Novak S2E2, With a Hammer in His Hand, Lord, Lord! (Sept. 29, 1964) W: John D.F. Black D: Allen Reisner. Guest starring Simon Oakland, with Walter Koenig, Tim McIntire and Arthur Franz.
    A hammer 15.JPG
    A hammer 16.JPG

    The great Simon Oakland plays Carl Green, Jefferson High's caustic, tough, and demanding Metal and Wood Shop teacher...he's the kind of old school shop teacher who runs a grinder without eye protection and can be heard above the din of all power tools by virtue of his leather lungs...bellowing constantly and demanding only the best efforts from his students, who think he hates them all...the truth is, Carl Green is driven by a powerful work ethic and a sincere concern for the safety and future job prospects of his students...his desire is to instill the same work ethic in his kids and teach them the skills to earn a good living in the real world of dog-eat-dog industrialism...

    Novak comes down to the shop with his plans for backdrops and stage props for his upcoming drama production...Green is surprised that Novak has entered his humble domain, thinking Novak to be a stuck-up and pampered Ivy League prima-donna...he bids Novak welcome to his "Vulcan's Forge"...Novak ought to appreciate the classical literary reference, at least...speaking of that, the title of this episode is derived from the immortal poem, John Henry...
    A hammer 6.JPG

    Green can hear an overloaded and bucking band saw from across the shop...a student, Lee Daragh (Tim McIntire) is force feeding the saw an oversized piece of lumber, and perhaps endangering himself in the process...Green unloads on Daragh, chewing him out and assigning him unpleasant clean-up duties in the shop as punishment...the kid is fed up, and if looks alone could kill, Green would drop dead here and now...
    A hammer 7.JPG

    The issue is not settled...Daragh and a couple of other kids who hate Green plot their revenge on the bellicose teacher...incredibly, they plan to ambush him...luring him into the paint room, turning out the lights and trap him for a beat down...
    A hammer 17.JPG

    The door suddenly closes behind him with the lights turned out...Green can sense the presence of others, unseen in the dark...he is suddenly set upon by two kids, beating on him and kicking him...the old coot is one tough old bird and gives as good as he gets...breaking the collarbone on one kid and holding Daragh from fleeing...
    A hammer 18.JPG

    Novak has heard the commotion and rushes to the scene of the crime...
    A hammer 20.JPG

    Novak is shocked at seeing one of the kids struggling to breathe, unable to move because of his broken collarbone...an ambulance and the police are called...
    A hammer 22.JPG

    Principal Vane questions Daragh about what happened...the kid just spins a ridiculous yarn, putting himself in the position of victim and portraying Green as some kind of wild savage...
    A hammer 27.JPG

    Vane also questions Green, with whom he has a history of conflict...
    A hammer 30.JPG

    The kid who closed the door of the paint room to trap the teacher, but who did not take part in the actual attack itself, is Jim Carsey, played by Walter Koenig...Koenig played three different student characters in his three episodes of Mr. Novak, continuity be damned, ha, ha...
    A hammer 33.JPG

    Veteran character actor Arthur Franz plays the investigating police detective, Sol Moss...ironically, he is also a former student at Jefferson High...
    A hammer 35.JPG

    Novak is appalled at the assault, but also feels that Green is also partly to blame, for his routine humiliation of his students...Green is furious at Novak for questioning his teaching methods...Novak: "I saw Carl Green the teacher handle a classroom problem, and I saw that problem explode into a nightmare, and It's going to cost three boys their future!"...Novak about the two students caught at the scene: "slow student, poor comprehensive ability, big ego. The other one a fair student, more talk than brains, more brains than guts. Never makes a comment in class unless the teacher's back is turned, then he's a big comedian."...
    A hammer 36.JPG

    Meanwhile, other students who hate Green put pressure on Carsey to keep quiet about his role in the ambush and what he knows about the ringleaders...Tom Nardini returns as a tough..."If anybody gets zinged, it'll cost ya."...
    A hammer 39.JPG

    The hallmark scene of this outstanding and brilliantly written episode is an extended and riveting scene of over 7 minutes where Green and Novak clash over teaching ethics and methods...and, most explosively, professional integrity itself...all aggravated by Green's resentment of the polished and slick Ivy League persona that he perceives Novak to be...Green retorts to Novak: "You're mistaking this for a classroom, it's not. It's Vulcan's Forge, where hard and inflexible truths are pounded out with each blow of the hammer! Truth number one! Responsibility isn't a word here, it's a fact. I'm responsible for every finger and every hand these boys wear in here. I'm responsible for the statistics these boys have to face...you get like me, and you make every boy earn his own dignity. You never bend a rule. You look at every detail of every project with a magnifying glass. You raise holy hell if there's a fraction of an error. You run your shop as though it was a factory and you are the boss. And you get them ready to take orders and take them fast!"...
    A hammer 46.JPG

    "That's what you do, Novak. You get them ready for that. Down here, it's not like it is up there. I'm not a teacher like you're a teacher, Novak. I've been out there in the rat race, Mr. Novak!"...Novak asks him: "How can they learn anything if you bring that rat race in here?"...
    A hammer 48.JPG

    Green to Novak: "It won't just stay out there! There's not enough work out there! My boys have to be extra good and I turn them out that way! My boys do better than just survive! I couldn't change a fraction because I know I'm right! My boys go straight out of here into the world. No four years of college to act as a buffer, to help them mature. They either get the message here, or they never get it...if you know that some companies require a high school diploma for their janitors, what could you do, Novak? Hold their hand and say, 'there, there, it will be fine tomorrow'...it won't be fine tomorrow! It will be worse tomorrow, and worse the day after that! You'll need a college degree to pump gas in twenty years! What would you do in the face of that, Novak? You'll do what I do. You'd lean on them and push them. And pray to God they grow up quick. You'll ache for them because no one will allow labor it's own special dignity. Because it's a sin to have a job where you get your hands dirty! Because a hammer or a pipe wrench is the wrong kind of status symbol! Because the finest cabinetmaker is nothing but a carpenter today."...

    "You'd wonder why English teachers don't point out that an 'ode to a Grecian urn' would have never been written but for a man who labored with his own hands to make that urn in the first place! You'd wonder a lot of things, Novak, but you'd never sit in judgement like you're sitting in judgement of me now. You'd never play conscience for any man because you'd know how it is, to be right where he is!"

    "What are you doing? Being my friend? My colleague?...do you really consider me a colleague?"
    A hammer 50.JPG

    Carsey, burdened by his conscience and being a decent kid after all, comes clean to Principal Vane...
    A hammer 52.JPG

    A satisfying postscript transpires between Vane and the police investigator Sol Moss...Vane: "Carl Green is still Carl Green. He's the kind of teacher everybody ignores on graduation day. And then, ten years later, his boys come back and see him. They shake his hand and they laugh about how hard he was, and they thank him. Did you ever have a teacher like that?"
    A hammer 53.JPG

    Inspector Moss responds with a wry smile: "Yeah, I had one like that. His name was Albert Vane."
    A hammer 54.JPG

    In the long and memorably great career of Simon Oakland, this might be his greatest single performance!...a stunning and truly great episode, and a fine tribute to the writing talent of John D.F. Black...yet another brilliant episode of this astounding drama series...
     
  5. Jobla

    Jobla Supporting Actor

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    Regarding the above photo of the young John Ritter, I first assumed that it was a young Richard Thomas.

    At least I knew that it must be a "young somebody or other."
     
  6. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Supporting Actor

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    Considering this late John D.F. Black apparently wrote two of the best, and two of my favorite examples of each series, "The Naked Time" in STAR TREK, and "Survival" in COMBAT, you'd think I'd know his name. But embarrassingly, I admit I didn't. That Novak episode with Simon Oakland sounds quite good. I always rather enjoy when 'character actors' like him get a good guest role in a drama show, and get a real chance to shine, and show off their talent.
     
  7. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    Just saw Simon Oakland, in an old SILENT SERVICE today, from YouTube.
    The NOVAK story dynamic of Oakland's character resenting Novak makes this episode one I look forward to seeing.

    Although, the class rooms, offices, and some entrances were sets on the MGM stages, the real school locations really enhance the look of MR. NOVAK. Do you suppose if they ever did a school trip episode, to Europe, using the French sets on the back lot, the look would have just not worked?

    Randall, that "Northwest Romance" turnabout cover with the lady saving the Mountie, and showing some leg art, too, is a great find!

    691471.
     
  8. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Bert, I agree completely, Black is a somewhat unheralded TV writer, but considering just these few examples, which for classic TV fans like ourselves, sparks an instantaneous and enthusiastic recognition, he should be better known...it's too bad that his work on Mr. Novak isn't as well known as those renowned scripts for Combat!, Star Trek and Mannix that he wrote...Black had a real talent for constructing brilliantly evocative and compelling dialogue, as evidenced in that riveting and powerful scene in With a Hammer in his Hand, Lord, Lord!, where Simon Oakland and James Franciscus really go at each other...Mr. Novak was a series that really tried to indulge in worthy and extended scenes...the one I cited above goes on for nearly 8 minutes without interruption...the brilliant trumpet duel and student jam session in Let's Dig a Little Grammar goes on for about 10 minutes without commercial interruption...perhaps something that is simply not possible in commercial network TV these days...I also tried to transcribe as much of John D.F. Black's brilliant writing as I could...delivered to perfection by the powerful presence of the great Simon Oakland...I have to give some credit to James Franciscus also, as his character is called upon to concede the moral high ground to Oakland's persuasive argument, powered by the shop teacher character's righteous indignation and resentment for the high minded judgement he feels he must rebel against...
    Bob, I love that old syndicated series, The Silent Service, I'll have to check out Simon Oakland's episode on Youtube forthwith...thanks for mentioning it! I love how that series was so authentic, being produced by a retired US Navy submariner who himself saw plenty of action in WW2 submarines! The submarine used on that series, USS Sawfish, is also seen in HD splendor in the Perry Mason season three episode, The Case of the Slandered Submarine...

    Bob, you're so right about how Simon Oakland's shop teacher is powered by his resentment of the (initially) harsh judgement of the polished Novak...the scene is a beauty to behold in it's sweep of ebb and flow, and it is conducted at about the power of ten with Simon Oakland being one of the few actors who are capable of delivering superb written dialogue with persuasive spontaneity at full volume...he had one of those distinctive and powerful voices that was instantly recognizable in hundreds of great TV appearances...we love him for Kolchak and Baa Baa Blacksheep too...and for his memorable movies like The Sand Pebbles, Bullitt, Psycho, Satan Bug, etc...among my personal favorite roles he did was in The Rockford Files, playing Jim Rockford's P.I. nemesis Vern St. Cloud in 3 episodes, Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones, But Waterbury Will Bury You, The House on Willis Avenue and Nice Guys Finish Dead...he was adept at darkly sarcastic comedy too, as seen in these and so many other roles...

    Vern St. Cloud dukeing it out with Jim Rockford at Paradise Cove...arthritic hilarity ensues, ha, ha...
    [​IMG]

    Bob, a European themed episode for Mr. Novak might have happened if the show had been renewed for a third season...the MGM sister show, Dr. Kildare did that 3 part European sojourn that very season with Rome Will Never Leave You...there is a California based field trip episode in season two of Mr. Novak, Born of Kings and Angels, guest starring Peter Helm in his second episode of the series, with Lynn Loring, Ford Rainey and Mark Slade...I'll do a post about that one in the near future...

    Bob, I loved the Herbie comic book 'Mountie' cover...I used to love that title and read it often, as it was hilarious...I love Herbie's motto as emblazoned in that banner above, "Make Way for the Fat Fury!", ha, ha...I'm glad you guys are liking the North-West Romances pulp magazine covers for our 'Mountie' postscripts...I have a small collection of that title, among my modest pulp collection...most of the cover paintings were done by Norman Saunders, who has quite a following as a pulp illustrator...those Mounties sure encountered a lot of scantily clad and leggy beauties in the icy North that needed rescuing, or in the case of that last one, turned about and rescued her Mountie boyfriend instead!
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Lead Actor
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    Received notice from Amazon that my copy of Mr. Novak Season 1 has shipped and I should have it before 8PM tomorrow (12-11). Getting several other items so I am not sure when I will be able to view this (Christmas to myself as well as Peter Davison's Dr. Who bluray and High Chapparal Season 2). Gotta find time during the holidays. Just glad to be receiving this and looking forward to some great times. Thanks to Randall for his never ending praise of this series. Purchase was made based on this enthusiastic thread.
     
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  10. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Great to hear, Doug! I think you will enjoy season one of Mr. Novak, based on what I know of your tastes in classic TV, as seen in your fine and insightful reviews in the 'What did you watch this week' thread...I believe your tastes are very much in accordance with my own. Mr. Novak is such a strong show, with a remarkably high percentage of truly great episodes, just in season one alone. It also represents a beautiful and treasured time capsule of early '60s Americana.

    We just have such a relative scarcity of American contemporary network TV dramas from the B+W era on DVD. We really need to put our money where our mouths are, as unit sales are also an indicator for Warner Archive in what they choose to give us. I'm ecstatic that season one of Mr. Novak has been released, but it still leaves me rather desperate in hoping we will see season two released ASAP. I'm really hoping all the clearances for season two have already been secured, and that Warners plans to follow on with the rest of the series in the near future. There's just so many great episodes to come in that second season, as I have tried to highlight here in this thread. When WAC started to release the MGM TV shows they inherited from Turner, shows like The Lieutenant, S1 of Eleventh Hour, Sam Benedict and all 5 seasons of Dr. Kildare, they all seemed to come out so effortlessly and into a welcoming, albeit declining, DVD marketplace. Among others, I found myself regularly asking Warner Archive on their Facebook page about when we might see Mr. Novak, over and over at various intervals since about 2012...their release of other E. Jack Neuman shows like Sam Benedict and A Man Called Shenandoah did leave me encouraged. I believe that Chuck Harter's great book and his personal interactions with the head of Warner Archive, George Feltenstein, greatly accelerated the process to fruition. George is a big fan of the series. I hope we get S2 of Eleventh Hour (1963-64) and Mark Richman's Cain's Hundred (1961-62) as well. Somebody asked WAC on FB about Cain's Hundred just recently, so far with no response. That person (who I think we know on this board) asked if the Dorothy Dandridge musical episode, Blues For a Junkman, had been cleared of music rights entanglements. I hope that Cain's Hundred comes out, as like others here, I am a big fan of (Peter) Mark Richman...

    I'll have to pick up those Blu-ray sets of the Tom Baker and Peter Davison years of Dr. Who eventually. I have season two of High Chaparral on pre-order too. And Gunsmoke S14 as well! Hey, only we truly know what we want for Christmas in the DVD and Blu-ray realm, and have to buy it for ourselves...I am beyond shame in buying my own Christmas presents, ha, ha. Gift cards for the rest of 'em!
     
  11. Jobla

    Jobla Supporting Actor

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    Flashgear, I hope you receive your MR. NOVAK set before Christmas!
     
  12. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Lead Actor
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    Got my copy of Mr. Novak this afternoon. Was unable to screen an episode before work. I just finished the first one. Randall, you were absolutely correct. That episode was amazing. I taught elementary school for 6 years. Some things just transcend time. Thanks again for sparking my interest in what appears to be another excellent 60's series. More comments later.
     
  13. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Thanks Jobla! I'm hoping that I get it this week. In an effort to clear up the backlog of mail from the rotating strikes, it was reported in our news that the Post Office in Canada have hired 4000 new seasonal workers and will deliver the mail 7 days a week up to Christmas. It's just some kind of cosmic irony that our first postal strike in 7 years coincided with Warner Archive's release of Mr. Novak. Oldies is a good company, and I paid pretty good money for shipping and expected it to come via FedEx, but they inexplicably dumped it into the USPS. I must not be living right...

    Great to hear, Doug! Your experiences as a teacher would lend a unique perspective to your viewing of this series. I think you will find John Novak, Albert Vane, Jeanne Pagano and the rest of the Jefferson High faculty to be the kind of colleagues any teacher would want to work with! Dean Jagger's address to his faculty in the pilot episode is supremely profound and eloquent, and amounts to being a kind of a mission statement for the series as a whole. I look forward to hearing your comments and reviews about the episodes, as we have all enjoyed your reviews and summations for other shows all along! Likewise, I encourage anybody who is moved to do so to chime in with their own reviews and impressions of the new release!
     
  14. Doug Wallen

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    First Year, First Day (1.1)
    Ed Asner, Steve Franken, Marian Collier, Lee Kinsolving, Gloria Talbott

    I was a bit startled to see Lee Kinsolving as a "smart" student after seeing him earlier this summer in the Outer Limits episode (Children of Spider County). Interesting way to begin the series with a hit and run accident. I remember my first year as a teacher and the nervousness I felt. We assembled a week before students arrived and had pep talks every morning, but none as succinct as the one given by Principal Vane - great scene and excellent content.

    I found the assembly scene interesting. I don't know of many students who would burst into a room that enthusiastic for the start of school. Maybe students were different in the early 60's <_<. But the actions the students take in the next moments (saving seats, stepping in chairs, very accurate). I thought this episode caught the whole start of school pretty accurately. The episode did not seem to take too many liberties. I realize that Mr. Novak is a very idealistic role model, but he was played as an ideal we should all aspire to.

    I was surprised at the visualized diversity of the studentbody. I thought the ending was perfection when the principal states that Mr. Novak would be just fine since he knows when to "break the rules". We have to know when to push our students and ourseelves. I enjoyed the pilot and my introduction to this series.

    To Lodge and Dislodge (1.2)
    Introducing Kim Darby, Tony Dow, David Kent

    Mainstreaming blind students into a traditional high school seems unheard of even today. I am not aware of any schools doing this on such a large scale today so it must have been unheard of back then (I could be wrong). I found the concept extremely interesting. It appears that actual blind students were used in this episode. The realism made the story seem plausible.


    I am most acquainted with Kim Darby through her appearance in the Star Trek episode Miri. While viewing this, all I could see were the parallels to that episode. Mr. Novak takes a parental/protector role with Julie just as Capt. Kirk befriends Miri. Both characters fall for the older man. This "love" then creates the action that follows. Similar stories that play out in the same basic way.

    I found the scene where Julie is counseled to be very awkward and realistic. She is trying to impress with her worldliness and he is trying to cushion the break. A very tender, heartbreaking scene carried out with all emotions on.

    If all of the episodes maintain this level of quality or surpass it, this will be one of my treasured sets. As always, I will try to ration out these episodes. I can see from these two examples that I could binge this whole set in short order. I want to savor these.
     
  15. Message #435 of 488 Dec 13, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
    Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Great reviews, Doug! I particularly like your insights and perspective as a former teacher in what you see in Mr. Novak. To Lodge and Dislodge is an episode I have yet to see for myself...well, at least since 1963 when it first aired. Kim Darby would have only been 16 when this was filmed. At about the same time, Kim Darby was in a superb Dr. Kildare season three episode, A Nickel's Worth of Prayer, with the great Ed Begley and Lola Albright, where she really holds her own and is quite affecting. I particularly like the student casting when the actor/actress is of authentic or reasonably approximate high school age. There are many fine young performers in season one, with Brenda Scott's brilliant performance in Fear Is A Handful Of Dust being the best of the best, at least in my opinion. An older actor can sometimes carry it off too, as with Tommy Sands excellent efforts in season two, even though he was beginning to strain credibility as a 27 year old. Frankie Avalon was also 27 in his season one episode.

    Kim Darby in Dr. Kildare S3, A Nickel's Worth of Prayer...a genuinely touching performance...caps from the WAC release...from what I've heard here, the Mr. Novak set looks very good, but not up to this remastered standard from the 35 mm OCN...
    A kim darby 8.JPG
    A kim darby 10.JPG
    A kim darby 4.JPG

    Ed Begley is in the good care of nurses Linda Evans and Judy Carne...Blair General Hospital had some fine looking nurses...
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    Jefferson High, as a 'Fictional' high school in the real life Los Angeles Schools District and using the real life student body of John Marshall H.S. (and later in season two, Alexander Hamilton H.S.) as background extras is certainly reflecting the real life demographics of Los Feliz and Culver City in the early '60s...fully integrated with quite a few Asian Americans and Black students, 'Negro' in the nomenclature of those days...an upcoming episode, A Single Isolated Incident, examines the racially charged and occasionally explosive atmosphere of an integrated school in genuine authenticity. Doug, I think you will find an extraordinary run of superb episodes in store as you go along...this series is one of sustained excellence! I agree it is one to be savored and viewed at a personally appropriate pace that is your own.

    Lee Kinsolving's bio on IMDB makes for interesting reading...perhaps his casting in the Mr. Novak pilot wasn't entirely happenstance...Kinsolving was a good friend of James Franciscus from their New York acting days, and he roomed with Franciscus and his family when he moved to Hollywood in 1959. Kinsolving won rave reviews and a Golden Globe nomination for his high profile role in the 1960 feature The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, and along with his memorable appearances in Outer Limits and Twilight Zone, I think he is particularly good in the season four Route 66 episode, Follow the White Dove with the Broken Wing. It also appears that his Mr. Novak role as a privileged (but hard working) rich kid wasn't too far off the mark for him...he was from Manhattan and Connecticut high society and skippered the DuPont family yacht, well known as an accomplished yacht racer. He dated Tuesday Weld and Candice Bergen. He was 24 when he filmed the Mr. Novak pilot. He quit acting in 1966, the last credit I see is for a season nine Gunsmoke. He died from a respiratory illness at the young age of 36 in 1974.

    Lee Kinsolving in Route 66, S4, Follow the White Dove with the Broken Wing...caps from the Shout release...filmed in historic St. Augustine, Florida...
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  16. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Really enjoyed your reviews and teacher's perspective on Mr. Novak S1 as well, Doug! Looking forward to more.

    Thanks also for those crisp screencaps from the Route 66 Season 4 release from Shout, Randall! A good reminder for me to complete that great series on DVD by finally pulling the trigger on the standalone S4 set.
     
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  17. Jobla

    Jobla Supporting Actor

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    This is off the subject, but I really enjoyed seeing Kim Darby uncharacteristically play a promiscuous "bad girl" in the Billy Graham-produced drama THE RESTLESS ONES (1965).
     
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  18. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Never been a big Kim Darby fan myself...she guested on a bunch of shows I like but I must confess, I feel a sense of trepidation whenever her episodes are next in the queue. That said, she can be effective in the right role. Have never seen (or even heard of) The Restless Ones before.
     
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  19. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    I'd love to hear the opinions of those who've watched Mr. Novak about this. What influence, if any, did the show have on The White Shadow? I've never watched Mr. Novak, but I caught The White Shadow streaming on Hulu recently and see some similarities.
     
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  20. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Lead Actor
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    First things first; Randall, do you have your set yet?

    Today, I took in another episode, I Don't Even Live Here (1.3) Herschel Bernardi, Dianne Ladd, Shelley Fabares, Steve Franken.

    Wow, what a truly remarkable episode. 55 years and these issues are even more prevalent today. I realize the context of this story places the blame on Mr. Otis's insecurity in his perceived lack of ability. Teaching the test is something that is still dealt with today as teachers are almost mandated to produce results any way possible. The ability to teach is almost unnecessary. We seem to be keyed in on results, scoring a certain percentage, regurgitating facts and not teaching how to learn and use our knowledge to gain greater understanding.

    I liked that Mr. Novak could see Mr. Otis's ability to create a flame in some of his students. Mr. Novak's assignment for the book report was a prime example of this. He wanted to know what feelings the book brought out in the reader, not just another rote summary of what happened. This is when learning takes place. Students must be challenged. This is when you open the dialogue with students and they see that abstract ideas can become concrete. Memorization has its place, but a student who questions can expand their mind.

    I believe that Mr. Otis will be challenging himself and will become more of a mentor than the "fun" teacher. I found the dynamics of Mr. Otis, Mr. Novak and Principal Vane to be realistic (a great scene). There are no easy solutions and all participants will be monitored. I like how teachers still get nervous when called into the Principal's office. I know I sure was. :D
     
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