December 20, 2019

Around the dial

Before we get started, I'd like to inject a somewhat personal note.

I don't know Terry Teachout, the author and drama critic for the Wall Street Journal, at least not personally. I consider him a friend, though, at least via Facebook, and whenever I get a like from a writer as good as he is, I feel I've really accomplished something. Well, his beloved wife, "Mrs. T.," is very, very ill; I don't think it an exaggeration to suggest that it's grave. I don't know if they're at the stage where only a miracle will save her life, but it wouldn't hurt. If you're the praying type, I'd ask you to say a prayer for them both; regardless, please keep them in your thoughts.

And now, something a little more lighthearted.

It's "Maverick Mondays" at The Horn Section, and this week Hal looks at Brett's adventures as "The Sheriff of Duck 'n' Shoot," from 1959. Hey, could be worse; could be the Sheriff of Duck 'n' Cover, right?

We don't go to the movies much anymore, so perhaps it's no big deal to call a movie the best I've seen all year, but the clear winner this year is Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time. . .in Hollywood, and Realwidgiemidget highlights some of the best parts of the movie, including Rick Dalton's (Leonardo DiCaprio) stint as a Western hero in Bounty Law, which should remind you of Wanted—Dead or Alive.

In honor of the Christmas ghost story, Jordan and Brian of The Twilight Zone Vortex review some of the show's best forays into the ghost genre. Dickens didn't create the Christmas ghost story, but he certainly popularized it, and the best adaptations of A Christmas Carol keep that ghostliness in mind.

We recently completed the run of Darren McGavin's thoroughly enjoyable Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and so I know exactly what Fire Breathing Dimetrodon Time is talking about with the wonderful byplay between McGavin and guest star John Dehner in "The Knightly Murders."

It's time for part two of the Hitchcock Project's look at Sterling Silliphant (and yes, he does pop up on our home conversations from time to time; say what you will about the Hadley household), and at barebones e-zine Jack reviews the second-season thriller "The Manacled," with Gary Merrill.

I don't pretend to be an expert on Japanese cinema, nor have I memorized the works of director Akira Kurosawa, but I know greatness when I see it, and few are better than Kurosawa. At Classic Film and TV Café, Rick most appropriately looks at Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress, the inspiration for Star Wars—and that's the least interesting thing about it.

Doogie Howser—those were the days, weren't they? Neil Patrick Harris is on the cover of the December 16, 1989 TV Guide, the latest subject of Television Obscurities' feature "A Year in TV Guide." Find out what else was going on 30 years ago.

And with Christmas only a few days away, I think it's appropriate to conclude at A Shroud of Thought, as Terence recounts the history of White Christmas on NBC. Hard to imagine the season without it, isn't it? TV  


  1. Thanks, Mitchell, and Merry Christmas!

  2. Thanks for the shoutout! Sheriff of Duck 'n' Shoot actually aired on MeTV this morning.


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!