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What did you watch this week in classic TV on DVD(or Blu)?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Bryan^H, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. Message #2701 of 3103 Sep 12, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
    bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    Advanced three more episodes on first half-go on Riptide: one of those, "Somebody's Killing the Great Geeks of America" (OAD Tues. Jan. 17, 1984 on NBC), had a clip on YouTube at one time of a brief news donut from WNBC of NYC for the late edition of News 4 New York with John Hambrick (title then, and title today), then an NBC ID w/promo announcer Danny Dark (using NBC's promo jingle/campaign of the time, "Be There"), then the preview of that episode, and the first-season Riptide opening.

    Here's a shot of that donut from WNBC for that News 4 New York late edition:
    wnbclateedition1984promo.

    Then the Proud N against a moving background of like logos:
    nbcproudn1984againstbackground.
     
  2. Message #2702 of 3103 Sep 12, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
    Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Episode Commentary
    Have Gun, Will Travel
    "The Prisoner" (S4E14)

    Sam Rolfe and Herb Meadow are sitting around on the back porch one summer day, contemplating a new Western hero to build into a TV series for CBS. After a few Long Island ice teas, Sam opines, "We gotta make this guy different than the rest. I'm seeing a sort of dandy who lives in a fancy coastal hotel, wears ruffled shirts, uses big words, has a houseboy and--so no one gets the wrong idea--loves the ladies. Every now and again, he reads an article in the newspaper that makes his moustache curl, causing his Jekyll to suddenly turn into Hyde--dressing in all bad guy black, riding his horse for miles to right a wrong, and kills somebody. He gets paid $1,000 then rides back home. Whataya think?"
    "Huh?" blinks Herb, waking up.

    In this episode, the wrong that must be righted is a gang member, Justin Gratin (Buzz Martin)--who was arrested when he was 13 years old and has now been in jail for 11 years waiting to be hanged. This is to take place in a town appropriately named Coffinville.
    Palladin rides into town with the circuit judge and learns Justin has escaped. Apparently the food in town didn't agree with the guy. In no time, Palladin finds the boy and offers him a can of yummy beans because it's the civil thing to do. The two rest easy and discuss plant species until the sheriff arrives to haul Justin back to jail.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    This is what happens when you disagree with Palladin; He dresses funny but women love it; Another day--another $1,000

    Palladin dusts off his Stanford law degree and sets forth to argue Justin's case--using big words and a booming voice. Of course the townspeople are hankering for a hanging as there hasn't been any excitement in town since the carnival left. The menfolk miss the hoochie-coochie dancer. Palladin makes short work of mowing down the hanging mob by yelling loudly at them. That seems to do it.

    Justin is set free. He learns he's of Irish descent and changes his name to O'Gratin, becomes a chef and invents a famous cheesy potato casserole.*

    Notes:
    Star Trek's Gene Roddenberry wrote more than 20 episodes of this series.

    In 2006, Paramount Pictures brain-farted an idea to revive Have Gun, Will Travel with Eminem as Palladin. Saner minds fortunately prevailed.

    *I probably don't need to tell you I made up this last part.
     
  3. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Here! Here! Jeff and Randall!
    I remember liking Julie in the short-lived series, The Governor and J.J. (1969-1970) with Dan Dailey. It was one of those sitcoms that sprang forth during the Viet Nam War which tried to highlight the conservative vs. liberal mood of the country at the time. We hadn't quite elevated ourselves to the extreme partisanship of today where down and dirty became the currency of this era.

    upload_2019-9-12_18-21-41.

    Still ,the show was well-written, topical and bright. I miss the days when differences of opinion could be registered but also laughed off.
     
  4. Message #2704 of 3103 Sep 13, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
    Rustifer

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    Episode Commentary
    Leave It to Beaver
    "Beaver's Crush" (S1E8)--1957

    Did you ever have a crush on your grade school teacher? I sure did. My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Kennedy, was a dreamboat. Oh, I know after all these years I've built her up in my mind practically to Gina Lollabrigida status, when for real she was no more than an average-looking woman. Being a 4th-grader, I didn't yet have the imagination to picture her and me doing whatever in the coatroom closet after class. Instead I applied myself (for once) to my studies in order to impress the lady. It was the only time in my entire curriculum life where I got an 'A' in Math.

    Beaver has a crush on Miss Canfield (Diane Brewster). He's coming home late from school every day just to be near her after class. June is worried that he's smitten with a classmate. Ward explains he once had a crush on a girl in the 8th grade. "She had braces on her teeth and a platinum blond pageboy. She was irresistible." Ward was quite a Lothario in his day.

    upload_2019-9-13_9-40-40. upload_2019-9-13_9-41-20. [​IMG]
    Beaver pictures thong underwear; Sneaking into school at night; Ward brings home carry-out for dinner

    Miss Canfield appears to be twenty-ish and dressed in such a way that could not possibly incite lust in a 9-year old. Yet Beaver is completely smitten.To avoid being labeled as a "teacher's pet" by his friends, he puts a live garden snake in her desk. Confessing this to Wally, he's admonished as being a complete bonehead. The two of them slip out at night to the school to reclaim the unfortunate snake before the discovery and possible aneurysm by Miss Canfield. Unbeknownst to them, the janitor has left behind his semi-rabid dog to guard the premises. The critter takes extreme umbrage to the boys' presence and summarily chases them away.

    June discovers the boys are missing and runs screeching to Ward. By the time he gets upstairs, the boys have sneaked back in and are safely tucked in their beds. Ward accuses June of getting into the cooking sherry again and threatens to spank her--to which she looks forward, as always. Beaver spends a gut-wrenching next day in class trying to figure how to extricate the snake before discovery. Does he succeed? Does Miss Canfield eventually get fired for being caught in the furnace room with the janitor? Does Ward facebook his 8th grade crush in hopes of initiating a late-life fling?

    These earlier episodes are a hoot. The gullibility of both Beaver and Wally is charming, as are the tales of Ward's past exploits as a kid.

    Notes:
    The school janitor is played by veteran actor William Fawcett, who's acted in dozens of film and TV roles as a grizzled cowpoke.
    The wonderful Doris Packer appears as the lantern-jawed stern but kindly school principal.
    upload_2019-9-13_9-46-43. upload_2019-9-13_9-47-20. upload_2019-9-13_9-51-21.
    William Fawcett, Doris Packer, Diane Brewster in a decidedly non-Miss Canfield moment...
     
  5. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Great stuff as usual, Russ! You (and the Beaver) are not alone in having a crush on an elementary school teacher. When I was in first grade, I was enamored with my teacher, Ms. Nobes - in fact, pretty much the whole class was in love with her, girls and boys. She was a complete sweetie...and probably just out of teaching college, in her early twenties, slender and pretty, with long black hair. Ah, memories...it was all downhill from there, teacher-wise...;)

    I need to watch some more of those early Leave It To Beaver episodes. This sounds like a good one.
     
  6. Scott511

    Scott511 Second Unit

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    Finished up Simon & Simon season 3, started season 4.

    I didn't realize how many that I actually watched on CBS, probably because I never recorded any episodes.
     
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  7. Message #2707 of 3103 Sep 14, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
    Jeff Flugel

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    Father Ted
    2.1 "Hell"
    3.2 "Chirpy Burpy Cheap Sheep"
    I so enjoyed reacquainting myself with this beloved Britcom that I ended up watching another pair of very funny, and typically weird, episodes. "Hell" kicks off the second series, with Fathers Ted, Dougal and Jack on a doomed holiday in a caravan park. Famed talk show host Graham Norton debuts in the first of three appearances as manic fellow priest, Father Noel Furlong. Even better is series 3's "Chirpy Burpy Cheap Sheep," in which Father Ted bets the parochial house's entire winter heating allowance on the King of the Sheep contests' returning champion, Chris. But when the nightly howls of the so-called "Beast of Craggy Island" send Chris the sheep into a nervous downward spiral, Father Ted must take matters into his own hands. Some funny parodies of TV detective tropes accompany the more typically surreal touches that characterize this unique and hilarious series.

    The Lieutenant - 1.16 "Gone the Sun"
    Randall's recent discussion of the merits of Gene Roddenberry's peacetime military drama inspired me to check out another episode from my Volume One set. After a grenade accident results in the death of the young soldier responsible, Lt. Rice (Gary Lockwood, doing fine dramatic work here) is tasked with bringing the dead man back to his home town for burial. It just so happens that the deceased soldier's home town is also his own, and Rice's return is an awkward one. His father happens to be the editor of the local paper, and highly critical of his son's decision to join the Marines. On top of that, Rice is met with hostility by the dead soldier's grieving father (John Anderson), and turns for temporary solace to the younger sister of a childhood friend, now fully grown into a lonely divorcee (Sherry Jackson). A very well acted, sensitively written and at times moving piece of work, which concludes on a somber but satisfyingly realistic note. Look for brief turns by Strother Martin as a cabbie, and Ray Teal as the director of the local funeral parlor.

    The Big Valley - 1.6 "Heritage"
    When a workers' strike at a mine co-owned by the Barkley family erupts in violence, Heath - who has done his time working in mines in the past - rides into town to see if he can straighten things out. There he runs into a shapely Irish lass (Anne Helm), forced to work as a hostess in the local saloon, as well as an old friend (Sherwood Price) who now leads a local chapter of the Molly Maguires in industrial sabotage against the mining company. Meanwhile, clever clogs Jarrod (Richard Long) attempts to wrest majority control of the company in the hopes of reaching an equitable settlement for all concerned. An ambitious epic that bites off a bit more than it can chew, but there's plenty of heady stuff to keep the brain engaged, as well as the requisite climactic western action. Much like the Cartwrights on Bonanza, the Barkley clan might not always get along, but try their best to do the right thing. I don't find the characters on this show quite as lovable as the Cartwrights, but the cast's performances can't be faulted, and overall, this is a strong late-period family western.

    [​IMG]


    Shirley's World - 1.14 "The Rally"
    One of the lesser-known (and less popular) ITC series; it doesn't even get a mention in Robert Sellers' otherwise pretty comprehensive Cult TV: The Golden Age of ITC. Apparently a deal was struck between ITC head, Sir Lew Grade and Shirley MacLaine: Grade would produce two pet movie projects for MacLaine, and in return, she would star in a series for his ITC Studios. The result is Shirley's World, a 30-minute lighthearted drama, with MacLaine as a freewheeling photojournalist. The series has a mediocre reputation (MacLaine and the British crew reportedly hated each other)...but, judging from this episode at least, it's a fairly fun little trifle, helped immensely by the presence of John Gregson as Shirley's editor, Dennis Croft. In fact, Gregson's in nearly every frame of this episode, as he drags Shirley along on a cross country car race, which turns increasingly competitive when an old rival of Dennis' challenges them to a 500 pound wager. This is the only episode I have of this series, and it's been beautifully restored by Network, for one of their Retro-Action samplers. MacLaine manages to not be too irritating and, this being 1971, is still quite attractive. Highly doubt that a show this obscure will be ever be graced with a complete series' hi-def remaster, but apparently Network's complete series DVD set looks all right as is, for those few of you who may be interested.

    [​IMG]


    Columbo
    - 2.2 "The Greenhouse Jungle"
    I always prefer the Columbo stories where the killer is a real smug bastard, and it's hard to find a better candidate than old pro Ray Milland. This one differs from the usual formula at first, as avid orchid grower Milland connives with his feckless nephew (Bradford Dillman) to stage a fake kidnapping, in order to extort a fat pile of cash from the nephew's trust fund. Said nephew is eventually dispatched by his cold-hearted uncle, but as usual, Columbo's seeming sixth sense at detecting the killer hones right in on the correct suspect. From then on, it's full court press until the clever denoument. Also with Sandra Smith (as the nephew's philandering wife), William Smith (as her lover), and bodaceous Arlene Martel as a scatterbrained secretary who comes this close to being a second victim.

    Longstreet - 1.1 "The Way of the Intercepting Fist"
    The first episode after the excellent pilot is also a damn good one, as blind detective Longstreet (James Franciscus), after being beaten up by a trio of thugs trying to scare him away from an investigation into a hijacking operation, learns jeet kun do from Li Tsung (Bruce Lee). Peter Mark Richman and the exceedingly pretty Marlyn Mason (seriously, you could drown in her big baby blues...) do a solid job of replacing Bradford Dillman and Martine Beswick from the pilot. Not much time is spent on the case of the week; instead, the focus is on Longstreet's struggle to learn the rather esoteric philosophy that Li Tsung is trying to teach him, and his eventual fight with the head creep (John Milford) who attacked him. This final dockside smackdown is exciting stuff, and is impressively (and realistically) staged. Good episode all around, and it's a treat to see more work from the effortlessly charismatic Bruce Lee in his prime.

    [​IMG]


    Movin' With Nancy
    (1967 variety special)
    I mostly knew Nancy Sinatra for her famous "Boots" song, plus crooning the theme to the James Bond flick You Only Live Twice. Recently, I discovered her duet work with Lee Hazelwood, specifically the album Nancy & Lee, and have been playing it obsessively over the past couple of weeks. Which in turn brought me to YouTube and to this special, recorded on film by Nancy and friends (including Hazelwood, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and "Daddy"). YouTube has a copy - likely ripped from a previous DVD release - which includes all the Royal Crown (RC) Cola ads, which are a nice throwback. Nancy wears about 27 varieties of chic outfits, most of them involving miniskirts and go-go boots. She's one striking looking performer, to be sure.

    [​IMG]

    This hour-long special includes many good songs (such as "Friday's Child," "Some Velvet Morning," "I Gotta Get Out of This Town," "Sugar Town," and "Jackson," among others), but is especially interesting for being filmed in a variety of eye-catching locations, unlike most variety specials, which feature the acts on a stage. It also features several nifty photographic effects. It must have been an expensive production... luckily, RC Cola was footing the bill. Here's the video, for those who are interested in Nancy's music, or just in looking at her prancing around and being sexy:




    Rumpole of the Bailey - 3.3 "Rumpole and the Old Boy Net"
    Fans of British telly certainly should be familiar with this delightful, sly comic legal drama, about aging, slightly disreputable, but sharp as a tack London barrister, Horace Rumpole (played to utter perfection by Australian Leo McKern). The cheap cigar-and-wine-loving Rumpole, a self-proclaimed "Old Bailey hack," takes on various underdog defense cases, sparring with hostile (and at times borderline senile) judges, blowhard prosecuters and the miscellaneous oddballs that people his chambers at Equity Court.

    In this episode, Rumpole is charged with defending an elderly couple running a high-class brothel, who are up on charges of blackmail. The problem is, the upper crust couple refuse to break their old school protocol and name names, even to avoid a 5-year prison sentence. Meanwhile, Rumpole's battleaxe of a wife, Hilda (whom the highly literate Horace dubs, "She Who Must Be Obeyed"), is beside herself at the prospect of Rumpole finally living up to her father's reputation and becoming Head of Chambers. But while the sarcastic and cagey Rumpole is often triumphant in court, he's far too iconoclastic and self-effacing to ever attain, or even desire, such success outside of it. This episode features the first (of four) appearances of Brit beauty Rosalynd Sandor (memorable as the imperiled heroine in the Jeremy Brett version of "The Speckled Band") as Rumpole's impetuous young protege, Fiona.
     
  8. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Cinematographer

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    Great stuff as usual, Jeff!

    Oh! Oh! I've never watched Father Ted, but I knew instantly where the odd episode title, "Chirpy Burpy Cheap Sheep", came from... it's a pun on this 1971 tune, "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep", by UK pop group, Middle of the Road!

     
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  9. Message #2709 of 3103 Sep 14, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
    Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Thanks for that, Peter! Knew the title had to be a pun of some sort...it's a catchy little tune, but you have to wonder at the band's self-mockery in naming themselves Middle of the Road.

    And seriously, you've never witnessed the genius that is Father Ted? Get thee hence to YouTube, my friend!

     
  10. Message #2710 of 3103 Sep 14, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
    Rustifer

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    So Jeff, the Sinatra / Hazelwood version of "Jackson" has long been my 'go to' shower song--and I often bungle the lyrics (e.g. "hotter than a brussel sprout...") on purpose. It's enough for my wife to scream JUST STOP IT!

    I've personally been to Jackson, and for the life of me I don't know why anyone would talk about much less want to go to that town. Unless, of course, one was going there with Nancy Sinatra.

    [​IMG]
    "You don't mind going to Jackson with me, do you?"
     
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  11. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Remember Her?*
    Classic TV Guest Star Tidbit

    You couldn't escape Kay Lenz in the 70's--she was seemingly everywhere. I paid a lot of attention to her back then because, well...just look at the pictures.

    upload_2019-9-14_12-7-47. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    After winning a couple of Emmys, she fell to pieces when her marriage to David Cassidy became a bust and she couldn't work for several years. “On my 30th birthday, all the presents I got were boxes of food. That’s what I needed.”

    Eventually, she took parts in Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, House and even peeled to a G-string in 1987’s cop thriller Stripped to Kill. Typically, she feels no remorse about the latter. “All women, if they are really honest about it, would love to think they could get up onstage and have men sticking dollar bills in their panties. So, in a way, that film was me being able to live a fantasy. And at the time, it was the best that came my way.” You can bet I was watching, Kay.

    Today she still lives in the modest Hollywood Hills home where she and David Cassidy first resided after marrying. At age 66, she doesn't see too many parts come her way, which is okay by her. "I'm a loner. I hide a lot", although she'll occasionally wander out for a rousing game of Pictionary with friends.

    *I'm thinking of starting a series of these, since I have nothing better to do.
     
  12. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    I admire the sheer variety of shows you watch, Jeff! A lot of great stuff there...and speaking of variety, thank you for posting the link to watch Nancy Sinatra's 1967 special...I'm pretty sure that I watched it first run back then, but I definitely remember seeing her perform "Boots" on The Ed Sullivan Show. I would have only been 10 or 11, but remember being at least mildly titillated...couldn't quite figure out why, as my TV dream girl in those days was Veronica Cartwright, ha, ha...but variety shows are a very nice change of pace in viewing, even though I only have a limited number on DVD...the Here's Edie set with the lovely and talented Edie Adams, the two volumes of Danny Kaye Show, the uncut retail set of Dean Martin, the Time Life Smothers Brothers sets, 9 Bing Crosby specials, the Johnny Cash Christmas specials, the Ed Sullivan Beatles shows and some compilations, Talk show compilations from Jack Paar, Merv Griffin, Dick Cavett, Johnny Carson etc...as you pointed out to us, Youtube is a site that should be searched regularly...

    Variety shows can be a fascinating and very entertaining time capsule...for instance, The Steve Allen Show of January 19, 1958...live from the newly opened Riviera Hotel and Casino in Havana Cuba, owned and operated by mobsters Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano...while introducing the epic floor show in the ballroom, the crazy and reckless don't-give-a-damn Steverino actually says on camera, "We are in Havana, home of the pineapple and Meyer Lansky. And we're very happy to be here!"...NBC had signed the contract to do the show from the mobsters Havana hotel, but Steve Allen was appalled at the mob association and had complained about the ethics of the whole affair, but was over ruled...Steverino's introductory comments represent yet another example of his fearless and incontrovertible ethics...a shot at both the mobsters themselves and the network...at a time when this big money Cuba investment was being promoted for American touristas...and at a time when Lansky's and Luciano's involvement in Havana was not explicitly or widely known...Steverino was running some personal risk to himself in doing this...notorious NY mobster Albert Anastasia (Murder Incorporated) had just recently been killed in a Manhattan barbershop by Lansky/Luciano hit men in a struggle over the Havana turf...one of the most gruesome and epic mob killings ever, and big news in 1957...no mention of Fidel Castro was heard during the broadcast, and the equally evil Castro would ruin the mob's big investment almost a year to the day later...I keep checking if it's on Youtube, but so far nothing...you have to view it at the Museum of Television and Radio in NYC...
     
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  13. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    Hmmm... I don't know that I knew Sinatra did a version of "Jackson." The version I'm familiar with is from Johnny Cash and June Carter. I couldn't name a single song Sinatra did other than "These Boots..."

    Which Jackson did you go to? According to its author, the song isn't about any particular one although it's generally thought to be Jackson, TN.
     
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  14. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    There's a Jackson, TN? I bet it's a helluva lot better than Jackson, Miss. where I ended up.
    Yep, June and Johnny did the original version. Lee and Nancy, later.
     
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  15. ClassicTVMan1981X

    ClassicTVMan1981X Screenwriter

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    There's also a Jackson, MS.

    ~Ben
     
  16. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Well, whichever Jackson Nancy was going to, I'd have gone along. Gladly.
     
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  17. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    Birthplace of the great Wink Martindale (12/4/33)!

    winkmartindalettd.
     
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  18. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    ?? That, too, is Jackson, Mississippi with its proper postal abbreviation.
     
  19. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    Yep... not too far from Memphis - an hour to hour and a half depending on where in Memphis you start:
    upload_2019-9-14_13-15-51.
     
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  20. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    The common denominator of these two good episodes lies in the fine score of composer Oliver Nelson.

    Oliver Nelson - The Greenhouse Jungle (1972)
     
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