February 21, 2013

Around the Dial

With the Oscars just around the corner, Noir and Chick Flicks provides a rundown of the greatest noir films never to have won Best Picture.

I remember watching the syndicated Beat the Clock after I got home from school.  (Although when I was able to catch the original on GSN a few years ago, I found it indescribably silly.)  Thanks to the U of Maryland Archives, you can now relive those memories with the home version of the Beat the Clock game!

Lee Marvin remains one of my favorite tough-guy actors, and for people who think the original Dragnet was tough, you need to check out Marvin's Frank Ballinger in M-Squad.*  Classic Film and TV Cafe reviews Dwayne Epstein's new bio of Marvin, Point Blank. 

I always preferred the original NBC Columbo to the ABC movies made in the late 80s/early 90s, but How Sweet it Was reminds us that even some of those later-day stories were pretty sweet.  And nothing makes a better Columbo than seeing smug killers get their just rewards!

Remember Willie Tyler and Lester?  Kliph Nesteroff does, and presents part two of a terrific interview with Tyler, who shares some great showbiz stories.

Stephen Bowie has a nice article on the recently-cancelled LeverageI used to be a regular viewer, but a review from a few years ago suggested the show might be losing me - as in fact it did (I recorded the first few episodes from that new season, but never bothered to catch up with it again).  To me the show became too much about the characters and not enough about the caper. (If I wanted to see depressed characters develop, I'd go watch a Tennessee Williams play.)  Ultimately Leverage lacked the intelligence of Mission: Impossible, the sheer fun of The A-Team, and the sophisticated charm of The Rogues, but judging by the comments at Stephen's blog, I appear to be in the minority.

That's it for this week - see you back here Saturday for the new issue of TV Guide!

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