On Saturday I did something I haven't done in a long time. I need to precede this and say that the television in my room is nearly always on. Even when I'm not really watching it, it's on.. it's my "company", though I will also admit that alot of the time I'm not paying attention to it. I'm either on the computer, reading or doing some house chore or responding to my brothers call to get him this or that.
Generally on Saturday and Sunday, tv generally isn't very good, but it goes on anyway. On those two days, very early in the morning, the channel that goes on is TCM. For those of you under 50, that's Turner Classic Movies. Ted Turner always believed that the old movies still had an audience, and my wild guess is that he was right because the station continues to stay. (thank you Mr Turner!) Often I am flipping the channels and wind up on TCM, and sometimes AMC, which is another classic movie channel.
Anyway.. This Saturday as I made and served my brother breakfast I notice he has on TCM and I glance at it and see the movie "Topper" is on. Actually, there were a number of Topper movies.. this one was Topper Takes a Trip. So when I returned to my room with my coffee I turned the television on and found the TCM station figuring I'd sorta listen and sorta watch, Topper as I checked my email. The movie soon won out! I had forgotten how enjoyable that movie was, and how Topper's ditzy wife's voice got to me. She was played by Billie Burke. (I just heard a whopping "who?") Billie Burke, you young folk out there might remember her from a different movie, one that although is very old is still aired yearly.. it's called The Wizard of Oz.. Billie Burke was the "good witch".. I don't know anyone who has seen Oz that can forget Billie Burke's voice. I'd bet most even think it was a made up voice... but, alas.. that was her real voice!
10:00 AM......... Topper Takes a Trip (1939)
A glamorous ghost helps a henpecked husband save his wife from gold-digging friends.
Cast:Constance Bennett .... Marion Kerby
Roland Young .... Cosmo Topper
Billie Burke .... Mrs. Clara Topper
Alan Mowbray .... Wilkins, the Butler
Billie Burke as the good witch in the Wizard of Oz..
When I was young (was I young? I must have been, can't get this old without being young once!) In the 50's there was a television show called Topper. It was based on the movies that had come out years before.
For whatever reason when I first saw this movie my mind jumped to the man who played the character on television, Leo G Carroll. Again, if you are, let's use the word "mature", you will know this actors name. Possibly.. if you are into watching old reruns of old shows you might recognize the name because he was on the popular "Man from U.N.C.L.E" series. But to me, he would always be Cosmo Topper. It wasn't until I was searching through the web for some photo's to write about this that I realized why I confused these two actors.. look for yourself.. they have a strong resemblance, and both had the British accent, and so my mind says I thought they were the same person.. umm nope, they sure weren't!
The television show had the same characters as the movie did and the premise worked really well.. two ghosts trying to help Cosmo and his ditzy wife. At times you could see the ghosts and at other times you could not. Which meant you'd see Topper doing some strange things because he could see the ghost but no one else could. Oh.. and there was their alcohol drinking St Bernard running around too!
Anne Jeffreys .... Marion Kerby
Robert Sterling .... George Kerby
Leo G. Carroll .... Cosmo Topper
Lee Patrick .... Henrietta Topper
Thurston Hall .... Mr. Schuyler
Buck .... Neil (the dog)
Ok, so you'd think when that movie got over I'd get back involved on my computer... but that didn't happen. Oh, I sat back in front of the computer, and read an email or two, but I made this fatal mistake of looking up at the television when I heard familiar voices. Admitting here that they most likely aren't familiar to everyone.. only the "mature" of us wouldn't have to look up to know the voices of Wallace Beery and Marjorie Main!
Now, there are two actors that may well not have made it in today's Hollywood standards! Neither of them would be classified as one of the "beautiful" people, and certainly neither Beery or Main were "slender". But, they were top notch actors! When I watch movies made by such actors as these two, I begin to feel sorry for today's movie goers, because they are missing out on some really good acting. I think this is where I suggest that during the times you flip the channels and find "nothing to watch that's good".. try TCM and watch a movie that you've never seen before!
Ah, so.. Topper is over and I now move away from the computer (yet again~)and wind up watching a second B&W movie called Bad Bascomb. Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention a very big part of this movie, a (then) child actress named Margaret O'Brien. The little girl with very distinctive diction.
12:00 PM Bad Bascomb (1946) A western bandit is reformed by his love for a little girl.
Cast: Wallace Beery .... ZedBascomb
Margaret O'Brien .... Emmy
Marjorie Main .... Abbey Hanks
J. Carrol Naish .... Bart Yancy
Frances Rafferty .... Dora McCabe
Marshall Thompson .... Jimmy Holden
It's just after the civil war when the elderly outlaw Bascomb and his gang try to rob a bank. They run into a trap as officers are waiting in ambush. Bascomb and the cold blooded killer Yancy escape and join a Mormon wagon train heading for Utah. They learn there is gold hidden on the train and eventually Yancy finds it. The plan is to take the gold and flee but a nine year old girl has become attached to Bascomb and Bascomb is beginning tochange his mind.
Well, that blew another two hours of my day lol.. back to the computer. Each time I try to get a bit more done for my Sunday post mind you! This time I managed to upload some pictures for my mothers day post and George's Birthday (drool).. when... low and behold, what do I hear?.. is that?.. is that? Yep, it's Bob Hope! Another familiar voice, sigh. I did the old peeking over my glasses at the screen. This one was in color..heh.. leave it to Bob Hope to sneak in the color movie. It wasn't long before "looking over my glasses" was no longer going to work, and i headed back to the bed and, you guessed it.. watched movie number 3!!
I really used to do this when I was younger but I haven't watched this many movies in one day in a long.. long.. time. The nice part of this one was that I can't say I have seen this movie as many times over my life-time as I have the older black and white movies. This particular movie has made it to "the big time and is actually out on dvd!"
2:00 PM Princess And The Pirate, The (1944)
A cowardly knight rescues a disguised princess from pirates.
Cast: Bob Hope .... Sylvester the Great
Virginia Mayo .... Princess Margaret
Walter Brennan .... Featherhead
Walter Slezak .... LaRoche
Victor McLaglen .... Captain Barrett ak The Hook
Princess Margaret is travelling incognito to elope with her true love instead of marrying the man her father has betrothed her to. On the high seas, her ship is attacked by pirates who know her identity and plan to kidnap her and hold her for a king's ransom. Little do the cutthroats know that she will be rescued by that unlikeliest of knights errant, Sylvester the Great, who will lead them on a merry, and madcap, chase.
It was really a cute movie, but then Bob Hope had that appeal and you knew before it began that it would be a cute comedy.
By now it's nearly 4 in the afternoon! Hells-bells~ where did Saturday go?? I've spent sitting the day on the bed watching movies!! aggggg.. quick back to the computer and finish my Sunday post! (I do posts on a test journal as much as possible so I can go on and off and fix things before I post it for all to read..not saying this helps much lol)
So,... I get most of my post done when......... sigh.... I hear yet ANOTHER voice that is hard NOT to recognize! Sean Connery, ohhh, drool time! I peek back over the glasses.. oh heart be still! It's Sean in all his glory in The Wind and the Lion!! (crap! lol) I love, love, love this movie! .. you guessed it.. back to the bed to watch the movie! (by now my legs should be numb from the lack of using them !)
I really, REALLY hope that most of you have seen this movie. If you haven't and you like Sean Connery.. it's a MUST SEE MOVIE! Candice Bergen co-stars with him and.. of course.. falls for his character. Duh.. like who wouldn't?! I don't think Connery has made a movie I haven't seen.. and haven't liked. What an incredible actor he is.
4:00 PM Wind And The Lion, The (1975)
An Arab chief triggers an international incident when he kidnaps an American widow and her children.
Cast: Sean Connery .... Mulay Achmed Mohammed el-Raisuli the Magnificent
Candice Bergen .... Eden Pedecaris
John Huston .... John Hay, Secretary of State
Brian Keith .... Pres. Theodore 'Teddy' Roosevelt
Geoffrey Lewis .... Gummere
Steve Kanaly .... Capt. Jerome, USMC
The Wind and the Lion Summary:
In the early 1900s, an American businessman was kidnapped by a rebellious Arab chieftain, principally as a means to embarrass the Sultan of Morocco. This abduction sparked the threat of armed intervention by President Theodore Roosevelt, which was never carried out. In The Wind and the Lion, the unattractive male captive is replaced by the gorgeous female Mrs. Pedecaris, an American widow played by Candice Bergen. The ruthless but essentially decent Arab chief Raisuli is portrayed by Sean Connery, while Teddy Roosevelt is depicted as a jingoistic blowhard by Brian Keith. The film's main theme, that of America's emergence as a world power, is largely secondary to the growing mutual-respect relationship between Mrs. Pedecaris and Raisuli. After releasing his hostage, Raisuli is himself captured by German forces, who at the behest of the Kaiser are seeking out methods of laying the groundwork for what would evolve into World War I. With the help of Mrs. Pedecaris -- and, in long-distance fashion, President Roosevelt -- Raisuli escapes. Director John Milius' screenplay bears little relation to the facts of the matter, but this is forgotten in the light of the film's dynamic action sequences, not to mention the marvelous rapport between its two main stars
I cannot believe I watched all these movies in one day!.. what's worse? I enjoyed every single one of them, and don't regret doing it.
My suggestion to those of you who can but don't watch TCM (Turner Classic Movies) is to give them a shot someday. The worst thing that can happen is that you see a movie you've never seen before (due to age). You may well discover some really enjoyable movies, and some actors along the way that will make you realize just how great past actors were.
And to those of us who know these great movies and great actors... darn we were lucky to have them and the movies they made!!!