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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. Susan Nunes_329977

    Susan Nunes_329977 Stunt Coordinator

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    Various episodes of my recent purchases of the third season of The Untouchables, Maude, and the sixth season of Rawhide (episode I am now watching is "The Enormous Fist.")
     
  2. Message #1602 of 3917 Mar 3, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
    Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Lead Actor

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    Gunsmoke - Season 6
    Distant Drummer (6.10) Bruce Gordon, Jack Grinnage, George Mitchell. Two mean cowboys take it upon themselves to harass Civil War drummer just becuase he is a little slow. A predictable story that has the performace of the drummer as the outstanding feature of this one.

    Ben Toliver's Stud (6.11) John Lupton, Jean Ingram, Roy Barcroft, Hank Patterson. Break horses the new way and stay in the past. A young hired hand in love with the boss's daughter wants to break horses a new way and is told not to. Ben leaves and plota to have his girlfriend join him Dad finds out and tragedy occurs.

    No Chip (6.12) John Hoyt, Leo Gordon, Rex Holman, Mark Allen, Guy Stockwell. Three ruthless cattlemen overplay their hand by attacking the soft spoken/acting (gay???) son of their neighbor. the final act is very well played by all involved.

    The Wake (6.13) Denver Pyle, Ann Seymour. Gus Mather brings a coffin to town and offers to share the funeral and wake with all of the good people in Dodge. Matt is suspicious and takes Chester to investigate after discovering there is no body in the coffin.

    Lost In Space - Complete Series Remastered Widescreen
    Welcome Stranger (1.6) Warren Oates??? Will is sending a radio signal to capture attention and it brought a world weary traveller to visit. This is the beginning of Smith as comic relief (over the top that will only get more annoying). I actually have not seen this one and, except for Smith, found it quite interesting as the Robinson's learn they will only be a family if they stick together and Hapgood learns that he truly enjoys his freedom in bouncing between the stars seeing the "sights".

    My Friend, Mr. Nobody (1.7) Smith as greedy and petty arises in this episode as Penny struggles to fit in. She meets a lonely "soul" and becomes a true friend. That friendship is threatened by Smith when he realizes that Penny's jacks are actually diamonds. Can diamonds hold their value if their is no one to value them? Faulty logic Dr. Smith.

    The Oasis (1.9) Alien vegetable turns Dr. Smith into a giant paranoid baby. Mediocre episode but will be stuck in my brain for a long time. Some things you just can't unsee (oversize feet stomping to show anger). Must have been a dry run for Land Of The Giants.

    The Sky Is Falling (1.10) Don Matheson, Francoise Ruggieri, Eddie Rosson. Leave it to Will to understand that the Taurons are just like them. Smith overreacts and causes major trust issues. Not bad.

    Mr. Novak - Season 1
    The Song of Songs (1.16) Edward Andrews, Brooke Bundy. A father gets hisnose out of joint over perceived pornagraphy (reading from Ecclesiastes). He pulls his daughter from class and he assumes that Mr. Novak is involved with her.

    The Exile (1.17) Richard Evans, Les Tremayne, Virginia Christine. A student who dropped out three years ago has found nothing but trouble in the real world and realizes even though he is considered an adult, he is not one. He wants the school system to train him the way he wants by his rules. An emotional episode that is just as potent today. When Charlie is asking for help, i am reminded of another Charles (Evans) pleading to stay among humans on the Enterprise. Puberty is tough folks.

     
  3. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    That "Enormous Fist" from Rawhide?
     
  4. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    You mean the seventh season of Rawhide, I guess.
     
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  5. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    Yes, that's where it's from-- that one who mentioned that "Enormous Fist" did not specifically name the series it was from, and so I had to know.
     
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  6. Message #1606 of 3917 Mar 4, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
    Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter
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    Maverick - 1.6 "Stage West"
    A rancher turned claim jumper (Ray Teal, in snarly bad guy mode) and his two sons, one a rabid dog (Edd "Kookie" Byrnes) and the other more level-headed (Peter Brown), are out to get a gold mine by any means necessary...but it turns out, only Bret knows where the mine is located. Fairly hard-edged and serious episode by this show's standards, but there's still room for some sneaky Maverick cons and crossplots. Edd Byrnes is convincing as a psychopath without a conscience...didn't know he had it in him. Also with the stunning dark-eyed beauty Erin O'Brien (who would return in the S2 episode, "Island in the Swamp"), plus Chubby Johnson and his two front teeth.

    [​IMG]

    Mr. Lucky - 1.30 "Operation Fortuna"
    Mr. Lucky (John Vivian) fires clumsy waiter Martin (Jack Nicholson), but agrees to let him work a few more days till he finds another gig. But Martin's sob story is just a cover - in actuality, he's the inside man for a gang of rich kid juvie crooks (along with Richard Chamberlain and a chubby-cheeked Anne Helm) who rob the Fortuna and its customers. The punks get away clean - but not for long, as Lucky and Andamo (Ross Martin) are hot on their trail. Fun episode with a great guest cast...but turning the Fortuna into a floating restaurant, rather than the casino it was in the first half of the series, is a bit of a lame move.

    The Snoop Sisters - "The Female Instinct" (pilot)
    Been wanting to check out this short-run NBC Mystery Movie series for quite a while. YouTube currently has the pilot (which aired in December 1972) and a couple other episodes in pristine condition, so I gave this a watch. A very fun, frothy little mystery with a tremendous cast. Helen Hayes and Mildred Natwick are a hoot as the titular sisters, who gleefully investigate the murder of a famous actress (Paulette Goddard) who was about to publish a salacious tell-all memoir. The old ladies drive their guardian and chauffeur, ex-cop Barney (Art Carney), up the wall as they run a parallel investigation to their police lieutenant nephew (Lawrence Pressman). Of course, the old dears are sharp as tacks and soon get to the bottom of the case. A very young and attractive Jill Clayburgh appears as the murder victim's daughter, and the rest of the cast is made up of such familiar TV faces as Craig Stevens, Fritz Weaver, Kent Smith, Edward Platt, Kurt Kazner and Bill Dana. Pressman and Carney were replaced by Bert Convy and Lou Antonio, respectively, for the subsequent 4 extended-length episodes which followed a year later.

    [​IMG]


    Leave it to Beaver
    - 1.2 "Captain Jack"
    OK, you guys are right - this show is charming as hell, if this episode is any barometer. Wally and the Beav order a baby alligator from an ad in the back of a comic book and seek out the advice of a gator park owner (Edgar Buchanan, on good form) on how to take care of it. Ward and June are puzzled by the sudden disappearance of assorted items like eggs, brandy and cold cream, and begin to suspect the cleaning lady of helping herself to a little pick-me-up...until they come face-to-face with the boys' new pet in the basement.

    Beaver sometimes is just too dumb for words, but his heart is in the right place, and once in a while, the light dawns and he gets in some pithy lines. He and Wally have a funny exchange while feeding the baby gator milk mixed with some brandy:

    Beaver: "What's brandy made of?"

    Wally: "Grapes. People in France crush 'em with their feet."

    Beaver: (taking a sniff and wrinkling his nose): "I thought so."

    I also like how he and Wally start giving neighbor kids mini-tours of their pet alligator for small change, and Beaver nicely mimics the speech he heard Captain Jack give earlier at the gator park. Once again, Hugh Beaumont hits just the right note as the understanding Ward, earning his place in the "TV Dad Hall of Fame."

    A personal aside: It's never really struck me before, but I have a friend from childhood who looked a lot like Tony Dow. The DVD set I watched this episode on was the earlier double-sided version, but nevertheless the show looks absolutely fantastic, the black-and-white images clear and crisp. I wish all vintage television series looked this good. I'll be watching more of these.

    vlcsnap-2019-03-04-21h17m34s77.


    My Three Sons - 1.6 "Adjust or Bust"
    A series of mishaps, near misses and miscommunications occurs on the same evening that Steve is supposed to entertain a two-star general in hopes of gaining a large work contract. This is in all other respects a very good episode, but it's severely marred by wall-to-wall Mark Heyes' music substitutions. A monkey noodling on a Casio could do better. All the same, I'm happy to have the first season of this show on DVD - it's just that good. But man, I sure wish the original background music had been preserved...

    Police Story - 1.6 "Collision Course"
    Hugh O'Brian portrays a misogynistic patrolman who's not at all happy to be saddled with a female partner (Sue Ane Langdon). She earns his grudging respect as the pair go through one very eventful shift, dealing with a rape victim, some rowdy punks harassing a waitress at a diner, a high speed car chase, and the dangerous takedown of a pair of murderous crackers from Kansas (Dean Stockwell and Jerry Lee Lewis). The story is nothing we haven't seen before, but it's served up in a lively fashion by the cast, and builds to a pretty exciting climax, with a couple of nicely-done car chases and a brief shootout where rough justice is meted out to the deserving. Dean Stockwell shows once again how good he is at playing creeps. Also, the Jerry Goldsmith theme song is ridiculously funky.




    Ripcord - 2.3 "Chute to Kill"
    An old girlfriend (Joanna Moore) ropes Jim into testing out a experimental but potentially deadly new parachute design that she has a financial interest in. The transfers on the DVD sets have decent color but are otherwise pretty rough. The show's not bad at all, though, another quality ZIV production with lots of skydiving footage padding out the runtime. It's cool to see ol' Festus himself, Ken Curtis, in a more straight action man part, and he and Larry Pennell make a good, square-jawed pair of daredevil heroes. Also with Jerome Cowan.

    Route 66 - 2.2 "Blue Murder"
    Another sterling episode in what surely must be one of the finest TV dramas ever. Shortly after Tod and Buz deliver a "killer" stallion dubbed "Blue Murder" to a wealthy Montana rancher (Gene Evans), the man is apparently crushed to death by the animal. Wracked by guilt, Tod heads out on horseback, along with the faithful Buz, to try and track the animal down. Things are complicated by the rancher's fickle wife (Suzanne Pleshette) and the two surviving brothers who both want her (Harry Towne and Claude Akins).

    The story takes a turn that I did not see coming, and the twist in the tale adds a mystery / suspense element to an otherwise typically interesting drama about the lives of troubled people our two heroes meet as they go about their existential, cross-country road trip. Suzanne Pleshette, returning to the series after the S1 episode "The Strengthening Angels," plays a real handful, the type of girl who can't manage to go a minute without male attention. She's none too pleased when Buz reads her true character right off the bat.

    Amidst all the drama, there's an amusing scene in a hotel bar, where Buz is half-listening to Tod tell a story, fully aware of a local girl dancing with her boyfriend making goo-goo eyes at him. She gets frustrated at his lack of reciprocation and eventually kicks her shoe over onto their table. As usual, the episode was beautifully photographed on location, this time around Butte and Jefferson County, Montana.
     
  7. Message #1607 of 3917 Mar 4, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
    Rustifer

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    Episode Commentary
    Sgt. Preston of the Yukon
    "Blind Justice" (S2E19) 1957

    Forgive me, Kind Reader, for my selection of some obscure classic TV series in this thread. Being an old fart, these are among the shows with which I grew up---the Saturday morning epics that kept me glued to the floor in my jammies while I mainlined chocolate milk and Fig Newtons. Sgt. Preston (Dick Simmons) was a hero and a role model, carefully scripted to present the shiniest image to impressionable young lads like me everywhere. Good vs. Evil. It didn't hurt, either, to have a sidekick in the form of a beautiful and smart Malamute named Yukon King--lead sled dog and a miraculous pet that, from what I could see, never peed or pooped on a rug.

    Sgt. Preston is in Moccasin Bend to investigate the murder of Old Ben. Preston stops by to see his good friends Jim and Molly (Don and Alma Lawton) and their young son, Johnny (uncredited). Molly is suffering from frostbite (after all, we're only about 17 feet from the North Pole), but claims she "can still cook", which, at the turn of the century in this Territory, is apparently the most important trait a woman can display. Jim is fretting over a shipment of gold he must send out in the morning, but by god, dinner better be on the table at the proper time. Yak stew and turnips for everyone.

    upload_2019-3-4_8-27-20. [​IMG]
    Dick Simmons and Yukon King; a typical set--fake wood and a door

    Clues lead Preston to the manager of the Express Office, a guy by the name of...wait for it...Jack Daniels (Jack Harris) and his pal Otto (Richard Warren), who are plotting to hijack Jim's gold shipment. I can't find anything on these supporting actors, and I suspect they're either crew members or local stage folks since the per episode budget for the series looks to hover around $27. Most of the scenes are stationary one-camera shots against the simplest of studio sets.
    Johnny buys an abused blind sled dog 'Prince' off crooked Jack Daniels with the hopes he can turn it into his own Yukon King. All but he and sensible Preston think the dog is useless and needs to be put down. Prince emerges as the hero by sniffing out Jack and Otto after robbing the Express office of $10,000 in gold shipments. Simple and nonsensical plot? You bet. But as a kid, who cares as long as we got action scenes of Preston mushing his dog team across the snow covered mountains chasing bad guys.

    Randoms:
    The very few outdoor location shots were set in Ashcoft, Colorado. The rousing theme song is Emil Von Reznicek's opera Donna Diana.
    Dick Simmons had a few minor or uncredited roles in B movies, with Sergeant Preston being his most memorable role.

    "The CBS people wanted to take some promotional pictures over at my house, and they brought Yukon King along," Simmons told The Times in an interview. "Well, I had a dachshund as my own personal pet, and damn if she didn't run King right out of the house."
    Simmons' career was pretty much toast by 1970, and he lived out the remainder of his life in a mobile home in Carlsbad, his last appearance being on CHPs in 1982.

    Infinity Entertainment has released all three seasons of Sgt. Preston on DVD in Region 1. The series currently airs on FETV (Family Entertainment TV) which is where I saw it just this morning.
     
  8. Message #1608 of 3917 Mar 4, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
    Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Great line, Jeff! As you know, I'm a big fan of injecting humor in commentaries. Laughed out loud at that.
    One of my favorite TV classic series, although not my favorite episode. I spent many a martini-fueled evening enjoying Tod and Buz's exploits around the country. Great location photography and incredible scripts--many written by Sterling Silliphant (Academy Award for In the Heat of the Night).
     
  9. Message #1609 of 3917 Mar 4, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
    Mysto

    Mysto Screenwriter

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    I used to watch Mr. Lucky and Route 66 just for the theme songs.:drum:
    ADDED: Not knocking the shows - they were great but wow what songs!!!
     
  10. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Tsk, tsk, Jeff! If you get a chance to watch, you might want to just concentrate on the Lassie series that was syndicated as Jeff's Collie, starring Tommy Rettig. Best stories and acting. The Lassies following after just stunk, in my estimation.
     
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  11. MartinP.

    MartinP. Screenwriter

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    The third season of the series coincides with the one and only season of The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. which also was campy and Batman influenced I guess. I've been watching that and while it has some entertainment value, I also like guessing which M-G-M backlot sets were being used as I recently read the book about its backlots, but it really is pretty schlocky. I had watched it when it aired for some reason, not having watched The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and remember liking Stephanie Powers, and still do, but she and Noel Harrison have zero chemistry together. They are no Steed and Emma Peel, that's for sure, even though The Avengers got a little nutty in those years, too. I'm always surprised they got some quality stars to appear in these shows as well.

    A couple years ago when I was watching a couple episodes of Please Don't Eat the Daisies on Warner Archive I watched one where Stephanie Powers made a cameo appearance as April Dancer from the series. Daisies was also filmed at M-G-M.
     
  12. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Cinematographer

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    I'd make a case for a single post-Rettig episode of Lassie from the Timmy years, "The Big Cat" (Season 5, Episode 19, 1/11/1959), only because it plays like a parody (unintentional?) of a typical Lassie episode, and Timmy appears in just a small, ancillary role.

    There's a community dinner planned at the local grange, and everybody's getting ready for it, including Timmy's adoptive mom, Ruth Martin (June Lockhart, inheriting the role from Cloris Leachman), who's made some spare ribs for the occasion. After everyone else has left, a state trapper, Bob Minor (Harlan Warde), stops by to let Ruth know that a wild cougar is on the prowl, having been forced into the area by a forest fire, and that he has set four steel traps for the beast. He gives her a map with the locations of the traps, and a C-clamp to open potentially sprung traps, in case any of the Martin's livestock get caught by any of them.

    Late for the shindig, Ruth leaves Lassie at home (in the house), and travels alone, by car, with her hot, succulent spare ribs in tow. To save time, she decides to take a shortcut down a logging road, and promptly gets a flat tire. While changing the tire, the spare gets away from her, rolling through the woods, with Ruth in pursuit. Guess what happens next? Somehow, indoors and miles away, Lassie senses that Ruth is in ridiculously contrived peril, so smashes through a closed window (!) and runs to her aid. The other three traps are just a few feet away (wow, good thing there was a map!), and Lassie manages to spring them all safely with improvised tools, as all dogs tend to do in such situations. Then Ruth asks Lassie if she remembers the C-clamp left in the kitchen back home... "--Will you go get it, girl? I think I left it by the sink!". With stock footage of the cougar closing in, Lassie returns to save the day, except... "No, Lassie, nice try, but that's a cheese slicer... I need the C-clamp! Go get the C-clamp, girl!". :rolling-smiley:

    After some more thrilling suspense and cutaways to her husband, Timmy and Uncle Petrie (George Chandler) at the grange, wondering what happened to her, Lassie brings Ruth the right gadget, Ruth frees her ankle from the trap, and blows a stuffed stunt double of the cougar out of a tree with a double-barreled shotgun, as the rest of the family arrive, moments later, to provide no help whatsoever. It all ends in failure, as the spare ribs are now cold. Maximum entertainment.
     
  13. ScottRE

    ScottRE Supporting Actor

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    Oh boy, you're gonna have a LOTTA fun going forward. :D
     
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  14. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I, too, watched The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. in its only season. It came on opposite Combat! and Daktari, both of which I'd grown somewhat tired of and with The Man from U.N.C.L.E. suffering from coming on opposite shows I wanted to watch more meant it was pretty much a no-brainer for The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. I didn't like it as much as those first two seasons of Man..., didn't care for its overall campy/goofy/silly tone, and didn't miss it being gone the next season. I also wasn't too crazy about Stephanie Powers although I did like her in Hart to Hart (which I just purchased and will likely start watching tonight).
     
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  15. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter
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    Seems like Lost in Space goes off the rails even earlier than expected! A question for you, Doug: how is the widescreen holding up? Are you noticing any cropped heads or otherwise distracting framing? The $30 pricetag on this one is so cheap, I just might pick it up myself at some point, if the cropping is not too egregious.
     
  16. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter
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    I haven't seen Sgt. Preston in so long, I had forgotten how much of it was stagebound. I just remember the bright colors and ol' Preston mushing through the snow. Thanks for the informative review, Russ! I've not heard of FETV...do they show anything else worth watching?
     
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  17. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter
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    Yep. One of my favorite things about watching vintage television is just how many shows had terrific theme songs. So many great, instantly catchy theme tunes. It's a lost art these days...
     
  18. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter
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    Always like reading your memories of juggling TV schedules of the time, Howie! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Hart to Hart - something which I remember watching occasionally when it was first run.
     
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  19. Message #1619 of 3917 Mar 5, 2019
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    Bob Gu

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    Did somebody mention Mounties?
    Sergeant_Preston_of_the_Yukon_TV_Series-843443294-large.
    749957.
    Say Jeff, when/where did you see SERGEANT PRESTON, in color? I think you are too young to have seen the original broadcasts. They were broadcast in black and white, on CBS, anyway, originally. I not sure, but I guess PRESTON may have been shown in color when it reran on NBC on Saturday afternoon, in the sixties, paired with MR. WIZARD.



    Doug Fairbanks Jr. and Ronald Colman:
    2448a51ad342a901924e9d6936964f72.

    Dick Simmons trivia: He doubled Ronald Colman in the sword fighting scene in THE PRISONER Of ZENDA. Preston was a beautifully photographed show, the gorgeous exteriors and even the color coordinated interiors.

    Preston's horse was named, King too, well, Rex anyway.
    sgtpreston_rex.


    Simmons played a young Mountie in the Republic serial KING OF THE ROYAL MOUNTED, on DVD from VCI. On the right behind the wheel.
    harry-cording-king-of-the-royal-mounted.
     
  20. Message #1620 of 3917 Mar 5, 2019
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    Jeff Flugel

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    Well, Bob, I certainly remember seeing it in color in syndication growing up in the 70s (or possibly early 80s) on a local Sea-Tac station (probably KSTW-Channel 11, but it could have been in an afternoon slot on one of the network affiliates). I can't pinpoint exactly when (my memory of such things is not precise like yours or Howie's). I had no idea that Sergeant Preston wasn't broadcast in color in some areas...it seems a strange practice at first glance, but I suppose at that stage fewer people had color TVs.

    BTW - Yay, Mounties! Someone go tell Neil Brock...
    (Inside joke from the Mr. Novak thread).

    [​IMG]
     
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