Saturday, August 31, 2013

Shirley Temple - quite a difference

Child actress

U. S. Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia

Late summer is the worst summer

because by then you are so tired of it.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Lurene Tuttle - versatile actress

If you have listened at all to old radio programs, you probably have heard the voice of Lurene Tuttle, one of the busiest and most versatile of actresses. She sometimes appeared in fifteen shows a week, and was known as "the first lady of radio." Among her regular roles were Sam Spade's secretary Effie and the Great Gildersleeve's niece Marjorie.

Howard Duff (Sam Spade) delivered the eulogy at her funeral.

"Dear Lurene, Thank you for pulling me through so many broadcasts---fondly, Ronnie." - a note she received from Oscar winner Ronald Colman.

Broadway Is My Beat radio show

This program was about Broadway in NYC, and starred Larry Thor, who did a good job in the title role. Some of the episodes were pretty intense, and were not enjoyable for that reason, but others were quite good.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bat Masterson TV show - "River Boat"

The scene is a river boat in Dakota Territory. Bat is carrying $10,000. Passengers are forced to check their guns, and a band of thieves who has taken over the boat steals the money from him. The thieves are headed by Jacques Albuchon. They also rob the rest of the passengers. Some of the others are in favor of rushing him, but Bat cautions otherwise. He trips one of them to stop him from doing something rash, and hits it off with his beautiful sister. One of the passengers is afraid Aubuchon will find his shipment of fine cheeses, and Bat pretends they are his and lets one of the gang know about them. He goes straight to Albuchon, who is fond of fine food. Bat hides in the barrel where the cheeses were supposed to be.

At a landing, Albuchon unloads the boat, and takes some of the women as hostages to make sure they will not be pursued. They let them out after a while and let them hike back. Then Albuchon has the barrel opened, which supposedly contained the cheeses. Albuchon had been counting on them. Bat had gotten out of the barrel and is now hiding in the wagon, and comes out at night. He sets some bread dough on the back of the wagon so its aroma will get to Albuchon. It does. He comes to investigate, and Bat knocks him out, then takes the rest of the gang. Albuchon is relegated to a deck hand on the river boat.


Actors who portrayed Boston Blackie

The character was fortunate to have been portrayed by several actors who were well fitted to the part. Chester Morris starred in the series of movies, and lent a humorous touch. He also started in the radio part, but was replaced by Richard Kollmar, who was excellent. Kent Taylor did an outstanding job in the television series, well-matched with Lois Collier as Mary Westley, his girlfriend.




Judges of the facts

In my first stint as a juror, the judge told us that we were the judges of the facts, but he was the judge of the law – that is, of what particular laws applied to this case. The legal principle of corpus delecti says that before a crime can be charged, it must be established that a crime actually has been committed. For a crime to have been committed, then a specific law must have been broken, and it is the judge’s responsibility to state to the jurors what law applies.

First Nighter radio show - Olan Soule and Barbara Luddy

The radio program First Nighter was a series of well-done mini-plays, most of which starred Barbara Luddy and Olan Soule, pictured below. Luddy was also the voice of Lady in the cartoon movie Lady and the Tramp. Soule was a very busy character actor whose face is probably familiar to anyone who has watched old movies or television programs.

Ignition on the floor

The first truck I remember my father owning had one of the old floor ignition pedals. You turned on the key, then pressed the pedal to start the vehicle. If I remember correctly, he had purchased it used from the State Tuberculosis Sanatorium, and we had to scrape the insignia off the doors

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It was easy to make spy shows exciting

Everyone you meet might be an enemy agent.

"What's the matter - you don't like widows?"

"Just as long as they aren't mine."

(from Amos Burke, Secret Agent)


How can anything that tastes so good smell so bad while it is in the making?

See with your ears, hear with your eyes

When I was in college, one of my music teachers was Mr. Walter Minnear. He had lots of little sayings to emphasize his points, and one of them was that to be a musician you had to be able to "see with your ears and hear with your eyes." By this he meant that you had to be able to see the music on the page and know what it would sound like, and hear the music and know what it would look like on the page. And he was right.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fitzgerald, Georgia (cluck, cluck)

This city in southern Georgia is famous for the game fowl that wander around loose in the streets and yards. Evidently local opinions vary as to whether they are a benefit or a scourge - but they do have a festival in their honor (doesn't every have one of those?)


"Dead as sardine in honorable tin can."

(from Charlie Chan's Chance)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Amos Burke, Secret Agent (Peace, It's a Gasser)

Henry Jones heads up a gang that is stealing a secret government chemical gas that will render the populace ineffective, like laughing gas, while they get military secrets. Major Amos  Burke (Gene Barry) reports to General Larry Thor on a special mission. Even Burke and Thor are effected by the gas, which is expelled in exhaust fumes from cars on the base.  When an officer shows up on the base after the act, he is shot by Paul Carr. After the gas wears off, Burke begins to dig into the attack. Richard Hoyt arranges for Burke to be advertised as a traitor, so that he will be accepted by the gang.

 Brooke Bundy is the only one of the four who has any second thoughts about what they are doing. Jones is just a front for Ruta Lee and Carr. They are in it for money, not for the philosophical motives of the rest. Burke somehow manages to get through to Lee's house. He tells her he has something to sell and is looking for a job. He has microfilm of every missile site in the country, he claims. As Barry starts to leave, a government agent arrests him, but Barry disarms him and in the struggle, shoots him. This persuades Lee. She leaves to arrange for the disposal of the body. Barry is visibly disturbed. Again, as he leaves the house, he is arrested. He is placed in a cell with Hoyt, who tells him that the agent he killed was a double agent. He asks him if he has grown too soft for the job, and tells him the "shoot on sight" order has been cancelled.

When Barry gets back to Lee, he brings the microfilm. Carr comes in while they are talking. Barry gets his immunization to keep the gas from affecting him. Their plans are to hit Washington, D.C. Jones is making a speech at a rally of the idealogues. He tells them he has sent a letter demanding peace, or he will paralyze the capitals of each nation. Someone identifies Barry, and they grab him, but Jones lets him make his defense. He tells them the government is alerted. He tells Jones he is being used by a foreign espionage agency. Then he is knocked out.  Carr shoots him. Jones wants to know if Barry was telling the truth about him, and then Carr shoots him, too. But Barry was wearing a bullet-proof vest, and he gets up. The feds are indeed waiting for the foreign agents, and take them in hand. Bundy has helped them, and she is cleared.


Freshman Year (1938)

Set on the campus of Carlton College. Dixie Wright is given a ride by Frank Melton as they head to college. Melton is from Texas. William Lundigan meets and falls for Constance Moore. The year starts with the Freshman  Brawl, a wild mele that ends in a mud fight. Melton helps the freshmen win over the sophomores. Alpha Sigma rush Lundigan, but he won't join without his roommates, Melton and Mark Daniels. Moore presses him as to why he did not pledge the fraternity, but he will not talk about it. Then Lundigan misses a date with Moore to help Melton study for a big test, and Daniels takes his place. When Lundigan shows up, Wright is there, so he gives her a ride to the campus malt shop, where he sees Moore and Daniels. When Daniels gets back, they fight, but settle it later. Melton flunks the test, but can take the re-test for $10. It gives Lundigan the idea to create a Flunk Insurance fund.

Green Day comes up, in which freshman take over offices that upper classmen have been filling. Daniels is the editor of the school paper. He gives Moore the assignment to do a story on the insurance fund. He also comes out with an editorial saying the the political science class is outmoded. He gets summoned to the discipline committee of the faculty board. Lundigan acts as his "lawyer," and gives examples when each of the professors was, in his younger years, accused of being radical on one issue or another. He then asks the professor several questions that show he is indeed behind the times. The board gives Daniels another chance on the condition that he be more tactful. The professor (Earnest Truex) admits that he has been outmoded. He becomes a paragon of slang language, but his tests are completely different, throwing the insurance fund into a financial crisis - short by $800. Then Melton comes in to announce that he has flunked off, and has a letter from his mother reminding him about how hard it was for his parents to raise the money to send him to school. He sells his car for $300 and sends the money to Lundigan to help on the fund.

Upperclassmen tell Lundigan he should disband the insurance fund, and may even be criminally liable. Moore suggests they put on a show to raise the balance of what is owed, but they cannot sell any tickets. So Moore comes up with idea to put on the show with a "pay only if you like it" scheme. Truex shows up at rehearsals because he is suddenly fascinated by jazz. The show begins, and the audience is cold as ice because the influential upperclassmen are against it. (There is a great skit by The Diamond Brothers.) Finally someone sets the shoe of the main objector on fire, and he slips it out, causing everyone to applaud. Then Dunbar calls Truex up on stage for the big finale.


Danger With Granger radio show

This was a well-done program that aired in the 1950's. Steve Granger was definitely one of the hard-boiled types, meaning he got in fights and got knocked out a lot. Tough, in other words. There really was nothing unique about this program. It used most of the cliches of the genre, but it was enjoyable. Definitely on the shopping list for old radio detective programs. I recommend it.

Miss Wong on "Have Gun, Will Travel"

On the radio program, this role was portrayed very effectively by Virginia Gregg, who also played the role of Helen Asher, the girlfriend of Richard Diamond on the popular detective program.

Who composed the "Have Gun, Will Travel theme music?

It was Bernard Hermann. This music was one of the more unusual and distinctive themes of the era, both on television and radio. He also composed the scores to several of Alfred Hitchcock's films. He won one Oscar.

"Well, Gumshoe, what's on your alleged mind?"

And example of the friendly and courgeous banter that went on between radio private eyes and their counterparts in the police force. This particular rejoinder was from Lt. Jake Rankin to Steve Granger, the star of Danger With Grainger.

Louis Lamour got it right this time

"The best of all things is to learn. Money can be lost or stolen, health and strength may fail, but what you have committed to your mind is yours forever." (from The Walking Drum)

Provided, of course, that what you are leaning is the truth. Compare it with Proverbs: "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold."

Louis' philosophical pronouncements are sometimes suspect, but this time he got it right.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Some people need to get a little more sun, but deliberately cooking your skin is not really intelligent.

Baseball is a great sport

Relaxed. A great spectator sport. I love it.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Casts of Gunsmoke - radio and television



The immediate superior of the Chief of Naval Operations

The CNO is the senior military officer in the Navy. Who is his immediate superior? That is a question I have wondered about. Does he report to the Secretary of Defense, or to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs? Never having been in the military, such things have puzzled and interested me. I have my answer, I suppose, in this link. LINK HERE

As you can see from the Navy's official site, "the CNO is a four-star admiral and is responsible to the Secretary of the Navy for the command, utilization of resources and operating efficiency of the operating forces of the Navy and of the Navy shore activities assigned by the Secretary."

The current Secretary of the Navy is Ray Mabus. His immediate superior is the Secretary of Defense.

Exchanging pleasantries in Wistful Vista

Doc Gamble: "Hello, Molly - and a pleasant late afternoon to you, Dull Skull."

Fibber: "Hi, Wide Sides. I'd ask you to sit down, but you're the sort of guy that you'd just be dirty enough to do it."

One of the funny features of the Fibber McGee and Molly radio program was the insults that were exchanged between Doctor Gamble and Fibber. The writers were pretty creative in some of them.

Young men are bullet-proof

"The smell of fight was in my nostrils, also, for I was young, and youth expects to live forever. Youth has not yet discovered that death recognizes no age limits." (from The Walking Drum, by Louis Lamour)

That simple fact alone explains why young men's auto insurance rates are so high.

How beautiful rich women are!

"But then Mistress Polly was possessed of two hundred pounds, all her own, left to her by her grandmother, and on the strength of this extensive fortune had acquired a reputation for beauty and wit not easily accorded to a wench that had been penniless." (from The Elusive Pimpernel, by the Baronness Orczy)

The quietness of the morning

It is a beautiful thing. Come on, retirement!

LYRICS of a hymn describing this.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Louis Lamour on "Command"

"Much of command is the ability to take command." (from The Walking Drum)

Handcuff Harper - one of the great detectives

Even experts in the field of detective fiction may have missed this stalwart. "The roughest, the toughest . . ." Well, you get the idea. But he was indeed a fictitious detective, because Fibber McGee was reading about him in a detective magazine in the episode, "McGee Is Drafted."

Fibber McGee's view of the British knighthood

"It's quite an honor, you know. In England a knight is entitled to the same deep respect as rich used car dealers over here."

Plunging neckline

Fibber McGee's Uncle Jake had one of those. Hung for horse larceny.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Beware the Secret Police

or anything that resembles them. Dictators and oligarchies are kept in power by the military, and the military is controlled by a secret police. No free society can tolerate such an organization within her boundries, or she will not long be free. We have become very negligent regarding all this in these united States, and I fear we must soon pay the price.

Third Finger, Left Hand (1940)

Myrna Loy is the editor of a magazine. Ann Morriss is one of her staff members. Her staff thinks she is married. Lee Bowman is in love with her, and pesters her that her husband does not care about her. Sidney Blackmer is also after her. She produces a letter from her husband as evidence that he does care. She supposedly married him in Rio, but it turns out that he is purely fictitious in order to keep suitors away from her and because single female editors are frowned upon by the publisher's wife. She even has a detective agency looking for him. Felix Bressart, a staff photographer, writes the letters for her.

A boat docks which carries Melvyn Douglas, a painter. He is expecting the head of a gallery (Donald Meek) to look at his work, but the purser will not let him stay. Loy comes into his stateroom by mistake and kicks out Meek, thinking that the room belonged to someone else. She apologizes, and he forces her to go to Meek and explain. She pretends to be a competing gallery, and forces Meek to bid up the price considerably. Douglas then takes to her in appreciation. He tells her that he likes unsophisticated women, and is headed home to Ohio as soon as possible. At home, her younger sister (Bonita Granville), is all dressed up for a party, and Loy's date with Bowman got cancelled, so she plans a quiet evening at home. But after much hesitation she calls Douglas, pretending it was a mistake. Then Douglas calls her and asks her out. They have a big evening (she having taken off her wedding ring), and he cancels his plans to go home. The next evening Blackmer come to their table and mentions her husband, which makes things awkward. She explains that she does not love him and it was only a fling, but that getting a divorce would be awkward because he has disappeared. She describes him just like a waiter at the nightclub, but Douglas catches on. He says he has a friend in South America who can find him. She pretends she thinks he is silly, and leaves.

Douglas' inquiries come back negative. No marriage; no husband. He shows up at Loy's house pretending to be her husband, and that they have patched things up and intend to start over. Her father (Ramond Walburn) and Granville are taken with him. Loy comes home, tired out, to the big surprise. He blackmails her with the proof he has that she is not married, so she has to play along. She pretends she is in love with Bowman. But her father throws a dinner party for them. When they retire, she locks him on the patio, and it begins to rain, so she takes him a blanket. Next morning the battle is on. She wants a divorce, but he reminds her they cannot divorce because they are not married. So she says they will marry so they can divorce. Loy goes to Bowman for legal advice. She tells him the truth, and says it is because she loves him. Bowman goes to Douglas (who is treating his cold) and insists that he has to marry Loy so that she can divorce him and marry Bowman. Douglas refuses. But after Bowman spends the night helping him treat his cold (and drinking), he finally agrees.

They go to Niagara Falls and marry. The ministers' admonition sets them both to thinking. They have to kill four hours until the train back. At the falls they see another couple who are genuinely in love. They start arguing like a married couple. Then a tour group comes past, including some citizens from Douglas' home down in Ohio. Loy pretends to be a brash woman from Brooklyn. When she gets back to the office, she is depressed. She consults with Bressart, and the Bowman comes in. He has made arrangements for the trip to Reno for the divorce, and says Douglas needs to sign a property settlement. Douglas insists he is leaving for Ohio that night. Bressart suggests they take the same train and get him to sign there. They get into a lengthy legal discussion on the train. Douglas spends a lot of time looking at Loy and vice versa. Douglas learns that the porter (Earnest Whitman, with his deep, distinguished voice) has a little legal training, and brings him in as his legal advisor, thus drawing out the negotiations further. Finally, however, the document is finished, and they go to bed. Douglas finds their honeymoon picture in his suitcase and realizes that he loves Loy. He slips out and finds her on the passagway. When the train stops at Douglas' hometown, Loy has sent a wire ahead and announced they are coming in as husband and wife.

Earnest Whitman (Sam the porter) was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
More HERE about Fort Smith.



Benny and Allen - speaking of hilarious radio programs

Any time Fred Allen or Jack Benny appeared on the other's radio program, it was going to be a side-splitter. Some of the absolute best of old-timer entertainment.

Be thankful for simple school colors

"Win one for the old purple and gold"! or "Let's go, Red and Black!" Those have sort of a nice ring to them.

But "Knock 'em down, Chartreuse and Lavender" just somehow fails to strike fear in the hearts of the opposition, I would think.

The Ronald Colmans on the Jack Benny radio show

Any episode of the Benny program with the Colmans as guest stars was guaranteed to be hilariously funny. Their cultured air contrasted so perfectly with Benny, and they pulled it off so well, that it "clicked" every time. You might not think that the Colmans would be so good at slapstick comedy, but they were great.

Ronald and Benita Colman

One man's "discriminating taste"

is another man's "needlessly picky and self-indulgent."

A running feline

One of the beautiful sights of nature is of a cat running - large or small. There is an amazing flowing  grace to their movements. This may not apply to a lion or one of the cats of a blockier build, but with those of the usual structure, it is a thing of beauty.

Morning ought to be the best part of the day

instead of the time we dread. Ah, won't retirement be nice!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Boston Blackie's Chinese Venture (1949)

A Chinese girl (Maylia) goes into a laundry and finds her uncle dead. Inspector Farraday (Richard Lane) sends for Boston Blackie (Chester Morris) and the Runt (Sid Tomack) because Blackie's laundry is on the counter. The owner was once in the rackets, and Farraday thinks Blackis is somehow connected. Maylia tells Farraday that her uncle picked up the laundry as usual at a club owned by Louis Van Rooten, where she works. Her uncle had objected to her working there. She is fired, and asks Blackie to help her. Van Rooten meets his girl, Joan Woodbury, in a bar and gives her a jewelry gift. Blackie is there, pretending to be drunk and watching. Then Woodbury meets a man in a movie theater - Blackie still tailing her. She works as a shill for a bus tour of Chinatown. Blackie and the Runt get on the bus. Woodbury lags behind the group and goes to a room where Peter Brocco is held captive. He is being forced to do illegal jewel cutting. Blackie observes some tea go from the shop clerk to the bus driver, so he orders some, then switches his package with the one the driver got.

A beat policeman reports to Farraday that Blackie was seen in Chinatown, so he and Sgt. Matthews (Frank Sully) go to get him. Blackie finds jewels in the packages of tea. Farraday gets the tea, but Blackie slips the jewels out. Blackie goes back to the tea shop, but the clerk is not there so they go to Van Rooten's night club. They say they want a cut of the jewel market, but he denies it. It appears that he is being doublecrossed by Woodbury and the bus driver - and he gets a knife for his troubles. They quiz Maylia about the bus driver and Van Rooten. The next day Blackie and the Runt disguise themselves as part of the events in the bus tour, and knock out the bus driver. Then they go into a theater to hide. The owner captures them and puts them in the room with Brocco. They figure out quickly that he is not the main criminal, and disarm him. The theater owner comes in and there is a shoot-out. Farraday shows up, and they go to the tea shot, where Blackie pays for a large amount of tea to be opened. They find some diamonds.



Do elephants make bronchial sounds?

"Mr. McMurdo? How do you do? Nice day. Very pleasant, those soft mountain breezes."

The newcomer's only response was a bronchial sound such as might have been produced by and elephant taking its foot out of a swamp in a teak forest. Sidney McMurdo as in a dark and sullen mood. On the previous night Agnes Flack, his fiance, had broken their engagement owing to at rifling disagreement they had had about the novel she had written. He had said it was a lot of prune juice and advised her to burn it without delay, and she had said it was not, too, a lot of prune juice, adding that she never wanted to see or speak to him again, and this had affected him adversely. It always annoyed him when Agnes Flack broke their engagement, because it made him overswing, particularly off the tee.

(from Sleepy Time, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Pleasantly taken aback

And the first thing he saw as he entered the sitting-room was Troon Rockett kissing a cabinet photograph of himself which she had taken from place on the mantelpiece. The spectacle drew from him a sharp, staccato bark of amazement, and she turned, her eyes wide.

"Harold!" she cried, and flung herself into his arms.

To say that Harold Pickering was surprised, bewildered, startled and astounded would be merely to state the facts. He could not remember having been so genuinely taken aback since the evening when, sauntering in his garden in the dusk, he had trodden on the teeth of a rake and had the handle jump up and hit him on the nose.

(from Scratch Man, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse

Charlie Chan - concerning security

"Contents of safe are only secure as long as someone outside watching safe."
(from The Scarlet Clue)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Phantom of Chinatown (1940)

Keye Luke is Jimmy Lee Wong. Charles Miller has returned from a Mongolian expedition and is showing a film of the trip at a university. Lotus Long is his secretary. At the end of the expedition they find a long lost tomb. During the lecture, Miller takes a drink and is struck dead. Luke comes in late to the lecture. He was a  school friend of Louise Carpenter, Miller's daughter. The police arrive with Grant Withers in charge, because it is murder. Before he died, Miller mentioned the words "eternal fire."

It turns out that the pilot on the expedition did not die as they supposed. He is in league with Willy Castello, who is a servant in the doctor's household. While Luke is searching the grounds for evidence, he is hit over the head. He tells Withers he thinks the poison was in the drinking water all along. Withers follows Luke and Long as they leave, and has Luke's room searched. While the search is going on, Withers keeps Luke busy talking about the murder, and Luke is progressing in unraveling it. They go to the room of John Dilson, the photographer on the expedition. When they get there, he has been knocked out. He shows them the film of the expedition. Then they hear knocking in the closet. It is Long, who had slipped into the room before Withers and Luke, but got tied up by another intruder. A car drives off, and they give chase. When they get to Luke's apartment, his servant has captured one of Withers' men.

The next morning Withers and Luke go to see Long, and she admits that she works for the Chinese government. She has been spent to find a scroll that told the secret to the Temple of Eternal Fire, where oil kept a fire going and would indicate a large field. They trace the call which went to Dilson the previous night that made him leave long enough for the intruder to get into his rooms. They locate the phone in a phoney chop suey parlor. The crooks flee into a boat, but Withers learns about the connection of Castello with the chop suey joint. However, Castello is poisoned with the same substance that killed Miller. Luke puts out a phoney news flash that the pilot is about to give out valuable information from his hospital bed. Luke disguises himself as the patient. The murderers make their play to get Luke, but he disarms them just as Withers breaks into the room. Dilson has a film of the scroll in his pocket.



The Billy Mills Orchestra

Billy Mills was a fixture on the Fibber McGee and Molly radio show for years, not only providing the music, but even for a time having a speaking role. He had a dry sense of humor and added a nice contrast to the more obvious style on the show.

"Come in and sit down" - Wistful Vista style

Hunker down on this homespun hassock and hand your hips a hunk of happiness.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Trapped By Boston Blackie (1948)

Mary Currier's husband has died in an auto accident. He was a private detective, and his wife (Mary Currier) carries on for him with the help of Blackie (Chester Morris) and the Runt (George Stone). The agency is supposed to provide guard services for a costume party. They dress up in Hindu costumes and set out. The evening features a ballet dance in which a valuable pearl necklace comes off the hostess (Sarah Shelby) during the dance. Later, she notices that the pearls she is wearing are imitations. She refuses to let Blackie take charge. The police arrive in the person of Inspector Farraday (Richard Lane). Lane has everyone searched. He spots Blackie and the Runt and the chase is on. Incidentally, the continuous conflict and grudging respect between Morris and Lane works very well, and was continued through a long series of these movies.

Blackie and the Runt dress up and go to the apartment to see June Vincent, Shelby's niece. Farraday's dumb assistant (Frank Sully) is in charge of security. Lane holds Currier on suspicion. It appears her husband had been murdered. When Vincent gets to the apartment, Blackie and the Runt are waiting for her. Before they can talk, Patricia Barry comes in. She was in love with the dancing instructor, Edward Norris. Blackie finds the jewelry in the fur wrap of Barry, which she borrowed. Blackie tells Vincent that he has to catch the real thief, because otherwise Farraday will pin it on him. Barry calls Norris and tells him to leave town or she will tell the police what she knows. Blackie calls Fay Baker, Norris' accomplice and tells her he has the pearls, but she does not believe him. Runt has one of the agency's disguises - a delivery man - and in the receipt book that goes with it he finds the combination to the safe. The next morning Blackie calls on Norris to get dancing lessons.

Barry brings Lane to the apartment of Vincent and reveals that she gave the necklace to Blackie. In the meantime, Blackie is posing as an insurance investigator negotiating for the delivery of the pearls. Blackie tells him the pearls will cost him $50,000. Blackie calls Lane and tells him where to meet him to get the pearls. But Baker shows up with a gun and blasts away at them. Blackie's main goal now is to get the pearls to clear Currier's name. When he gets to the agency office, he finds Baker and William Forrest, Shelby's husband. Forrest punches Blackie and calls Lane. Forrest turns a gun on all of them and is shot as he makes his getaway.



Jerry Colonna as a western singer?

One of the most unlikely of western music stars was Jerry Colonna, the bug-eyed sidekick of Bob Hope with the luxurious mustache. However, he did appear at least twice on the All Star Western Theater radio show, and actually sang.

Daniel Boone TV series

One of our favorite television shows growing up was Daniel Boone. It starred Fess Parker, who had made a name for himself as Davy Crockett in the Disney production. His sidekick in most of the seasons was an educated Indian named Mingo, played by singer Ed Ames. The series was not at all realistic in many aspects, but it was great entertainment and we watched it regularly.

Broken Elbow, OK???

Yep. The episode of All Star Western Theater from 9 Feb 47, featuring Ken Card as guest star, was set in this fictitious town, no doubt taking its cue from the two real Oklahoma municipalities of Broken Arrow and Broken Bow.

Montie Montana on radio

Montie Montana was a rodeo star, actor and stuntman. He appeared in at least nine movies. On radio, he was a frequent guest star on the All Star Western Theater program, which featured the Riders of the Purple Sage singing group.

"Johnny, answer the door!"

"What do you want, door?"

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Lady Says No (1951)

David Niven is a commercial photographer who travels to various shoots. He picks up a female hitchhiker (Lenore Lonergan) who has a military husband (Henry Jones). Then shortly afterward a couple more couples are added to the mix, including Peggy Maley. Niven is on his way to do a shoot with Joan Caulfield, the author of the book in the title, which an anti-male production. Her aunt (Frances Bavier) is the moving force behind her philosophy. Lonergan and Jones come into the house in the midst of a fight while Niven and Caulfield are talking, but make up immediately. Caulfield come to the beach where Niven is set up for their shoot. He catches her making a face, but that is all the posing she will do. When she gets home, who should show up but James Robertson Justice, Bavier's globetrotting and partially-estranged husband. They try to make him leave, but he refuses.

Niven and Justice attend an all-female gathering in honor of the book. Niven mocks the idea that women hate to be whistled at. She abuses him to try to make him angry - and finally succeeds. Niven send a mock-up of a Life magazine cover with the ugly face he photographed on the cover. She goes to his trailer on the beach to object. He offers to "sell" her the negative for a kiss. He has to teach her how it is done properly, and then tells her it was not a very good kiss. "Hardly worth the bother." She asks him to do it again, and then slaps him when he closes his eyes. At the house, Justice has a copy of one of Niven's books in which he photographed natives - including the women. She begins reading it, and a surrealistic dream in which she is a leopard-skin-clad woman who captures Niven. (We now pause for the obligatory dance routine.) When she wakes, she gets Justice to take her to Monterrey to a bar. Niven is there with Lonergan, Jones and Maley. Justice leaves. She orders a Wharf Rat Special and it takes immediate effect. She tries to move in on Niven, who is Maley's date. Then she dances with Jones. Lonergan confronts her and they almost fight. Then when breaks into a discourse on her anti-male philosophy, which convinces Lonergan. She walks out and pushes Jones out of his chair. Then she swaps her expensive gown to Maley for Niven. He tells her that the new dress does not fit her, and she picks up another guy in the bar. A brawl breaks out.

When Niven takes Caulfield home, things are very romantic, but she cuts him off coldly and goes back to the anti-man stance. He whispers a few sweet nothing to her, and she obviously is affected, but he tells her she is just a machine, and walks out. She goes inside, but Justice convinces her that what she is feeling is real. She goes to where Niven's trailer was parked, but he has left. She goes to Fort Ord and finds Maley working at a soda counter. Maley tells her that she has caused trouble between Lonergan and Jones. Jones and Niven are living in the trailer. Caulfield goes to see Lonergan to convince her that the book is wrong. They go to the trailer, but the men will not come out, so they hook up to it and take them for a rough ride down a winding dirt road. They zoom past the gate into Camp Ord, with military police in pursuit. The local police also show up, so they call the provo marshall to mediate. A crowd begins to gather. Finally they send for the commanding general. With everyone helping the process along, they finally reconcile.

Caulfield goes home to pack. She scolds Bavier and Justice that they need to patch up their own affairs, which they do. Caulfield heads out of town. Niven passes her going the other direction, wheels around and finally cuts her off. She tosses her book into the ocean