February 21, 2020

Around the dial

One of these days I'm going to hold a contest for you all to come up with the best caption/story behind the pictures I use in this feature each week. It doesn't matter what the real meaning of the picture is; take this week's, for example. I have no idea what the context is, but whatever it is, I'm confident that you can come up with a better, more entertaining one. For our classic TV bloggers out there, it should be no trouble at all.

One of the things I like best about Rick's movie reviews at Classic Film & TV Café is that they can make me want to watch a movie I've never considered before. Take Hour of the Gun, director John Sturgess' follow-up to The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. It boasts a stellar cast, including James Garner in a rare straight dramatic role, and dwells in the aftermath of an event that became part of American history.

Staying in the Western genre, Television's New Frontier: The 1960s takes measure of Whispering Smith, the 1961 Audie Murphy Western that I reviewed myself a while back. I think the series made a more positive impression on me than it did at New Frontier, but there's some fascinating insider and behind-the-scenes information on this single-season series. I wonder if I can interest Eventually Supertrain in this.

Audie Murphy was a tough guy indeed, but so was Robert Conrad, and David has a very nice appreciation of Conrad's career at Comfort TV. The man has a lot of credits, and even in the shows and movies that were, shall we say, less than memorable, he almost always rose about his material.

Speaking of appreciation, you'll know from my TV Guide reviews how much I appreciate the rip jobs that Judith Crist would write about a particularly bad Saturday Night at the Movies feature. (There were a couple of good ones last week, in fact.) Therefore, you can't be surprised that I thoroughly enjoyed (and agreed with) the trashing of the PBS series Sandotin, based on the unfinished novel by Jane Austen, at The Flaming Nose. My wife, who loves Austen, wouldn't go near this.

Finally, on Wednesday I wrote about a rather critical review of The Andy Griffith Show, which generated a good number of interesting comments. One of the best came from BDHarrell, who linked to a very, very funny spoof from Spy magazine titled "The Truth About My Three Sons."  If you don't read any other link from today's roundup (and, really, you should read them all), read this one. I think you'll be glad you did. TV  


  1. Yes, the subtle, evil Fred MacMurray...let's not forget his role in "The Caine Mutiny." Clearly foreshadowing for his diabolical behavior later in "My Three Sons." Somehow, I even think the sub-plots were his doing each week....and those shoe sketches to open the credits...I'm surprised that there weren't a pair of cement blocks in there somewhere.

  2. You forgot the 12th and final season, when Steve does not appear at all, but his visiting Scottish relative 'Fergus McBain Douglas' replaces him. It has never been confirmed if Steve replaced a murder victim, or if Steve himself WAS the victim of an even more devious plot.


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