January 22, 2016

Around the dial

We start off this week with a couple of pieces about movies, but the stars involved will be familiar to any classic TV fan.

Barbara Stanwyck's reputation as a tough dame was made in film, and for the most part it's the role she continued to play in television, whether in her own anthology show or in The Big Valley, where she was often tougher than any of her sons. Outspoken and Freckled offers us a look at a Stanwyck movie from early in her career, Baby Face. I hadn't heard of this before, which made it an enthralling read.

And of course I've written often about one of my favorite Christmas movies, Miracle on 34th Street, which means any article about Natalie Wood is right up our alley. Rick at Classic Film and TV Cafe provides us with all that, as he looks at Wood's five best performances, including her famed duo with Kris Kringle.

For those readers in New Jersey, Carol Ford from Vote for Bob Crane will be at a signing for her book Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography. I'm hoping to have an interview with Carol here at the site shortly, but in the meantime check out some of her pieces on this fascinating man.

As those of you who read my obituary of Jim Simpson know, I'm a sucker for classic sports broadcasts, particularly those that represent rebroadcasts of the original television coverage. And though it wasn't the original broadcast, the NFL Network's "recreation" of the first Super Bowl promised to be a treat. Classic TV Sports tells us why it wasn't, and what the network plans to do about it.

Television Obscurities has a nifty review of a a 1956 book edited by Gore Vidal entitled Best Television Plays, which he received as a Christmas present. He's a better man than I, since I just got done giving you a review of a book I first read at least ten years ago. At any rate, it sounds like a fun book, with the scripts of eight classic TV plays, from Rod Serling's "The Strike" to Paddy Chayefsky's "The Mother." A reminder of when TV was literate.

Sorry for the brevity of this week's offering, but I'm battling a bit of an illness - enough so that I'm on some fine medication, and I can feel the battle for control of my bloodstream going on inside me at this very moment! I'll conserve my strength for tomorrow, and a TV Guide from the late '50s. TV  


  1. Hope you're feeling better soon, Mitchell.


  2. Mitchell, brevity is effective here...feel better!

  3. And I am now watching what I expected to see last week...the actual rebroadcast of SB 1....NFLN finally got it right..straight game with no commentary...they listened!!!!!


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!