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Reviews

Here Come the Brides: A Jew Named Sullivan
(1968)
Episode 8, Season 1

A fish out of water in Seattle
Being Jewish, I found this episode to be quite touching and realistic. I knew about the hoopa (the covering over the bride and groom), the breaking of the glass, but I didn't know about the cleansing of the bride.

The only thing I would have liked would have been to see a longer scene between Amanda and Jason that was a bit more showing in how and why she changed her perspective. The scene switched to the wedding on Clancey's ship too quickly for me.

The episode shows that love between two people is what counts. It doesn't matter what race, religion, or sex is involved. Rachel and Sully, both being in the minority in Seattle, show everyone what it is like to be a fish out of water. At one point or another in our lives, we all experience that feeling somehow.

Here Come the Brides: And Jason Makes Five
(1968)
Episode 3, Season 1

Transformation is the Key
At one point in the story line, Jason Bolt attempts to turn Holly into a more refined lady. As I watched this episode, shades of "Annie, Get Your Gun!" and "Calamity Jane" came to my mind. In both movies, the female protagonists Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane transform from being a backwoods naive and rather ignorant woman into a more refined and ladylike creature that society would approve of at that time. I also thought of "My Fair Lady" and its inspiration "Pygmalion" with this theme of transformation.

This third episode of the series helped to add to the development of the characters. It continues to show Jason Bolt to be a smart, caring, and upright man in the growing town of Seattle.

Sid & Judy
(2019)

A Judy fan will gain more insight into Judy and her marriage to Sid Luft
This is a fascinating documentary on Judy Garland's career and marriage to Michael Sidney Luft. What I most loved about this documentary was its presentation of rare, rare, rare footage showing Judy from A Star is Born and her 1963-1964 tv series not shown before. For example, alternate takes of Judy's second attempt (wearing a brown dress) singing "The Man That Got Away" were shown. Also shown was with an alternate take and the final version of the song where she is wearing the black dress. There are also scenes of Judy on the set of A Star is Born interacting with the crew or getting ready for a take.

As for her tv series, there were scenes of her not shown presented here that might be found on the dvds of her tv shows as shots edited out from the televised sequences. Some with guests Martha Raye, Lena Horne, and herself solo are examples.

Also presented are color home movies of Judy at her Hollywood home with Sid at the time, one of Liza as a child, and one of Judy getting out of a car she was driving and then greeting some fans.

Judy was a genius when it came to her singing talent, acting ability, and dancing skills as well. She was one of the most talented people the world has known. She was a bright woman with great incite, but she was also a woman who never seemed to grow up and face reality and accept responsibility. She allowed her mother, business managers, agents, and husbands to manage her affairs. Now I totally understand that she was busy with everything she had to do and dealing with her drug habit which kept her health in jeopardy. Emotionally, at many times in her life, she seemed to remain a child, despite being a grown adult.

However, after being burned a few times, one would think she would herself take a look at contracts, for example, and make demands on her own without anyone else there. Sid, it seems, did try to help and run her career, but what is not mentioned in this documentary is that Sid and Judy didn't file income taxes during some of those years. It has been written that Sid often spent lots of time at racetracks, but if he were really as astute and caring as he claims, how come he didn't stay on top of that? We will never know since so many people who knew them are gone forever.

In the documentary, it was stated that in 1959 Judy was told to get to a hospital immediately when she was extremely bloated and overweight with a damaged liver. If the story is true, Judy stated she would not go to the hospital without first stopping at their hotel to have a triple vodka with water. If she didn't get it, she wouldn't go. Sid gave in to her so that she would enter the hospital. As much as I admire and adore Judy's talents, I have a difficult time respecting this kind of puerile behavior. Judy was in many ways from the many, many bios I have read about her a wonderful person who loved life and laughed often. However, she turned a blind eye to things she didn't want to deal with. From Sid's words (taken from his book which I have read), he said Judy claimed she didn't want to be bothered with worrying about money. If she had had a more mature nature, perhaps she would not have ended up in the sad financial state she was in towards the end of her life.

I did learn a lot about Sid Luft and his marriage and his managing Judy's career, but I suspect that some of the more unflattering things about Sid were left out in an attempt to make him appear more faultless.

Overall, this is an excellent documentary worth seeing and buying and adding to one's own library. I recommend it without hesitation.

Flamingo Road
(1949)

Everyone strives to wind up on Flamingo Road but it doesn't always end up as expected
Since many other reviewers have provided a summary of the movie's plot, I won't rehash all that here. However, I will say that Joan Crawford turned in a professional and solid performance, despite being too old for the part of Lane Bellamy, who should have been in her twenties, not her forties.

I will also say that Sydney Greenstreet's performance was excellent; I don't understand those other viewers who wrote negatively about him. His portrayal of Sheriff Titus Semple was evil, manipulative, shady, furtive, and totally believable as a corrupt politician.

I recently read the original novel of Flamingo Road written by Robert Wilder, so I decided to share some differences between the book and the movie.

1. In the book, Lane's last name is Ballou, not Bellamy. 2. In the book, the town is Truro, not Bolden. 3. In the book, it is clearly established that Lane becomes a prostitute working for Lute- Mae Sanders, not just as a barmaid. 4. In the book, Lane and Dan Curtis never get married since he is a married man with children. 5. In the book, Field commits suicide by cutting his throat with a razor, not with a gun as in the movie. 6. In the book, Field commits suicide at Lute- Mae's brothel, not at Lane's mansion on Flamingo Road. 7. In the book, Field and Lane have sex, but in the movie all they do is kiss and the audience has to decide how far the relationship has gone before Lane becomes involved with Dan Curtis. 8. In the book, Dan's last name is Curtis, but in the movie it is Reynolds. 9. In the book, Dan builds a mansion for Lane, but in the movie the married couple seem to purchase a house already built on Flamingo Road.

The 1942 novel, the short lived 1946 Broadway play version of the novel, and the 1949 movie helped to inspire the creation of the NBC night time soap opera Flamingo Road. I loved the tv show, and in reading the novel and viewing the movie, I was fascinated by what the producers of the tv series took from each source.

I recommend all fans of the 1949 movie to read the novel and check out the tv series as well.

Flamingo Road
(1980)

A night time soap that deserved to be renewed for a third season
I recently purchased the series, which is not commercially available, and I have enjoyed re-watching one of my favorite television shows from my college days back in the early 1980s. The show featured some terrific performers: Howard Duff, Barbara Rush, Peter Donat, Stella Stevens, and Kevin McCarthy from old school Hollywood; relative newcomers like Cristina Raines and Woody Brown; and others like Morgan Fairchild, Mark Harmon, and John Beck who had been working a bit longer than the newcomers. David Selby joined the cast in the second season playing antagonist Michael Tyrone who seeks vengeance on many of the denizens of Truro for the death of his father.

There were several plot twists and turns over the two years the show ran, and several relationships began and ended. The show itself ended in a cliffhanger, which unfortunately was never resolved due to its cancellation.

Interestingly, Flamingo Road was first a novel by Robert Wilder, then a short-lived Broadway play, then a 1949 Joan Crawford film, and finally the 1981-1982 NBC series.

Someday, some tv station will show reruns once again of this series, but I am thrilled to be able to have purchased the series from a seller on You Tube for a very reasonable price.

Flamingo Road deserved to be on for a lot longer than it actually ran.

The Mothers-In-Law
(1967)

Puerile and silly scripts but saved by the cast of talented actors
I remembered seeing a few episodes of this show growing up, most likely in reruns, and thanks to Amazon Prime, I was able to watch both seasons.

What made this show enjoyable to view were the actors, not the scripts. I found most of the story lines to be childish, dopey, and often predictable. I know the team of writers, who wrote most of the scripts, was the same team from I LOVE LUCY, but the times had changed. What worked for Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz didn't always work here for this series. Many times, I felt as I were watching a retread of a Lucy episode. I often found myself saying "This was such a dumb episode." In the show's defense, I had to keep reminding myself that I was watching a show that ran from 1967 to 1969, and that so much had changed in society over those decades. However, what always made me keep watching to its final episode was the talent displayed by its cast. When you have great actors involved, it certainly raises the levels of many mediocre scripts. Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard certainly raised the level of many of these episodes with their experience, personality, and talent. They were a great team, and they really played off each beautifully. Plus, it was fun to hear Kaye Ballard singing in many of the episodes. The series is worth watching, and it has to be viewed knowing it is a piece from the late 1960s. It is certainly a time capsule look at the time.

Logan's Run: Fear Factor
(1977)
Episode 8, Season 1

Another connection to an episode from Star Trek's first season called Dagger of the Mind
Once again, Star Trek fans can see another connection to the episode Dagger of the Mind. Captain James T. Kirk and Helen Noel are beamed down to a rehabilitation facility for the criminally insane, where Captain Kirk is tortured by a machine capable of giving the subject memories, both pleasurable and painful; Jessica is also tortured in a similar manner in this episode.

Ironically, the actor Morgan Woodward played a character tortured in Dagger of the Mind named Dr. Simon van Gelder; in Logan's Run the actor played the head of the elder committee named Morgan.

Logan's Run: The Innocent
(1977)
Episode 4, Season 1

Shades of yet another Star Trek episode called Miri
Miri from the original Star Trek series has actress Kim Darby as Miri falling in love with James T. Kirk and feeling jealous towards Janice Rand. Janice gets kidnapped, and is in danger for a while until she is rescued by Captain Kirk.

This was an interesting episode, and I have enjoyed watching the series for the first time. It is always fun to see D.C. Fontana's Star Trek connections resurface in several of the episodes.

Logan's Run: The Collectors
(1977)
Episode 2, Season 1

Similar theme found in Star Trek's The Cage/The Menagerie
Since D.C. Fontana was involved with the original Star Trek series, several themes popped up in many of the episodes of this fun but short lived series. I noticed when watching this episode that our three heroes were under the illusions set forth by their captors and that they and the other kidnapped victims were all placed in cages/holding cells in a hallway similar to that of the Star Trek pilot The Cage and then the episode based on the pilot which was The Menagerie.

Father Knows Best: Follow the Leader
(1957)
Episode 1, Season 4

Every teacher's worst nightmare is not being accepted
As a retired high school English teacher who taught for 27 years, this episode certainly hit home. It even made me shed a tear or two at its conclusion. Having a class work together to defeat a teacher's sole purpose which is to educate, enlighten, and even entertain a bit is a teacher's greatest fear.

In this first episode of season four made in 1957, Mr. Beckman, the new social studies teacher, has replaced a popular teacher named Jeff whom the kids all adored. One student says that Jeff left since the school wasn't paying him enough. Mr. Beckman didn't cause Jeff to leave the school, but Mr. Beckman is certainly paying the price for his absence. A plan by some of Bud's classmates is concocted where no student will answer any question asked by Mr. Beckman in the hopes that he will quit or get fired. Bud, once again learns to do what is right, even if it means going against his friends. Bud responds to a question about the Jamestown settlement, which gets the class finally coming to see that Mr. Beckman is not their enemy.

Some critics and other reviewers have found Father Knows Best to be unrealisitic and corny. I have discovered watching this series episode by episode that even though some of the storylines are rather fanciful, the majority of them are believable in many ways. Great morals and lessons from this series, even though it's decades old, can still be taught and appreciated.

As a final note, I was amused to learn that I had previously seen the actor Wright King as the soft spoken paperboy who is kissed by Blanche DuBois in the 1951 movie version of A Streetcar Named Desire. Having taught the play several times and having shown the movie version as well to my students, I am pleased to learn that he had a long and successful career.

The Goldbergs: Brief Encounter
(1955)

After 25 years of marriage, Molly is flattered by a stranger's attention
This is one of the best episodes of The Goldbergs I have seen. I have been on a Goldbergs kick, and at this point I have seen 40 episodes so far out of the 71 episodes available on The Ultimate Goldbergs DVD Collection.

Molly has been having dental problems, so she goes into Manhattan three times a week. On her way there one morning, she meets a widower named Bernard who works as an accountant. They discover they both know the Bronx well, and they become friendlier with each trip Molly takes. Molly even has coffee in Manhattan with him. While she and Bernard are at the coffee shop, Molly's next door neighbor Daisy happens to be there too. Daisy visits Molly the next day and gently advises Molly not to jeopardize Jake's love and her family's love and respect for her as well. In a scene where the viewer gets to hear Molly's thoughts, it really shows how someone like Molly and for that matter how any of us could feel. She says her heart races when she hears a train whistle causing her to think of Bernard. She feels like she is a young girl feeling infatuated, experiencing those first feelings of lust and attraction to someone.

At the end, of course, Molly stops seeing this gentle and kind soul, but she does confide in Jake that it is necessary, even more necessary, after 25 years for him to tell her that he loves her.

This episode shows how perceptive Gertrude Berg was in being able to show how not just a Jewish middle-aged woman could feel but any of us.

Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg
(2009)

An excellent introduction and reminder of Gertrude Berg, a woman and genius sadly forgotten about today
I won't rehash most of what has been written about this terrific film already, but there are some things I would have liked to have learned about from the filmmaker.

For example, the audience gets to see Gertrude Berg's grandson and granddaughter both being interviewed, but what happened to Berg's actual son and daughter? Had they passed away? Did they decline to be interviewed? {January 7, 2018: I discovered when reading Glenn D. Smith Jr.'s detailed and fascinating book "Something on My Own" Gertrude Berg and American Broadcasting 1929-1956 (2007) that her son Cherney and her daughter-in-law Dorothy both died in 2003 (as stated in the notes section in the back of the book on page 230). He also states that her daughter Harriet Berg-Schwartz also died in 2003 before his book was published (as stated in the preface). This explains why none of her children were shown speaking in the film itself.}

Another point not mentioned was that the FBI cleared Philip Loeb's communistic attack as false. His reputation was cleared not long after Loeb committed suicide. Why was that not included in the film?

I also found it surprising that there was NO mention of a Broadway musical starring Kaye Ballard called MOLLY which also featured Eli Mintz once again playing Uncle David. The musical ran on the Broadway stage at the Alvin Theater beginning September 27th for 40 previews to its opening on November 1st in 1973 for a total of 68 performances, later closing on December 29th. I know it may not be a lot of performances, but it is certainly worth mentioning.

I actually wanted to recommend to viewers to take the time to watch the film twice: once by itself and once with the audio commentary by Aviva Kempner, the filmmaker. It is filled with much information that added to my appreciation and enjoyment of learning about The Goldbergs and about Gertrude Berg.

Room 222: Operation Sandpile
(1970)
Episode 17, Season 1

Is anyone of us merely average? Aren't we all average in some ways and above average in other ways?
This was not an outstanding episode, but I felt it was interesting enough to write about it. The episode deals with Sara Olson, a C student, who feels that since she is average, she will someday end up getting a job before settling down to being a wife and mother. She doesn't see the value of history class and many other classes as well. When the principal starts a nursery staffed by volunteer students, he gets Sara more motivated so that she could be able to get a certificate in being an aide in a nursery until she does get married. Obviously today, a school might try even harder to offer more opportunities for a student to see, but this was 1969 according to the copyright date on the episode and the times were different.

When I was teaching, I often used this poem, which I feel really connects to Sara. Maybe someone who reads this post might share this poem with a student, their child, or someone at any age who feels they are invisible and not at all noticed or important.

"Average" (anonymous)

I don't cause teachers trouble.

My grades have been okay.

I listen in my classes.

And I'm in school every day.

My teachers say I'm average.

My parents think so too.

I wish I didn't know that.

'Cause there's lots I'd like to do.

I'd like to build a rocket.

I've a book that tells you how.

And start a stamp collection.

Well, no use in trying now.

'Cause since I found I'm average,

I'm just smart enough to see

It means there's nothing special

That I should expect of me.

Nobody ever sees me.

Because I'm in between.

Those two standard deviations.

On each side of the mean.

I'm part of the majority.

That "hump" part of the bell.

Who spends his life unnoticed.

In an "average" kind of hell.

Room 222: The Exchange Teacher
(1969)
Episode 14, Season 1

Have you ever been lucky to have had a teacher who opened your eyes up in different ways?
If you are lucky as a student, you get to have a teacher who likes to do things differently and wants students to think outside the box.

In this episode, an exchange teacher from England doesn't believe in having permanent seats, taking daily attendance, or assigning specific writing assignments. The teacher involves her creative writing students with the lyrics of the Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel. I recall one of my own Junior High School 194 English teachers Richard Greene doing the same thing with the lyrics of Simon and Garfunkel, and I recall the impression he and his class made on me since I too became an English teacher.

This episode ends not as happily as it should have. The teacher resigns and returns home, but the episode could have shown how she could have adjusted her style with the rules of Walt Whitman High School so both sides could be winners.

Room 222: Seventeen Going on Twenty-Eight
(1969)
Episode 13, Season 1

How does a teacher handle a student who develops feelings for him or for her?
Every teacher's worst nightmare is having a student develop feelings for them, and having those feelings develop into a situation that could jeopardize their career.

This episode shows rather innocently how a situation like that could be resolved all too easily, but in today's world in no way would it have gone down like that. Today, an accused teacher would be most likely removed from the school to a place like a district office when the situation and possible charges could be reviewed and then the teacher (if lucky and found to be innocent) would be allowed to return to his or her school, even it was under a cloud of suspicion. Too often an innocent teacher is sent to a new school instead.

This episode shows how handsome Pete Dixon, who is not even the teacher of the student who develops an interest in him, has to handle the situation with the student, the principal, and the guidance counselor, who is also Pete's love interest.

Even though the episode is 48 years old, some things never change over the years.

Room 222: Alice in Blunderland
(1969)
Episode 11, Season 1

Neophyte Alice Johnson and the first episode of the series really showing Alice in her student teaching experience
Student teaching in the past and today as well is an important time for someone who is thinking of pursuing a career in education. Some don't have the time to do it as they enter the profession years after college. Some pursue teaching coming from programs like The Teaching Fellows with a few months of preparation and then being thrown into the lion's den too often without proper support. Student teaching does show someone if they are cut out for the career, and if they are motivated and prepared to handle the incredible pressure and work load a good teacher has to face.

I was fortunate to have had a wonderful student teacher experience way back in 1984 in Snyder, New York at Amherst Central Senior High. My cooperating teacher was like Pete Dixon: encouraging, helpful, informative, and positive. He corrected me when I needed it, and encouraged me when things didn't go well. For many years during my own high school teaching career teaching English, I used to write to him every year about my experiences.

Over my own teaching career from 1987-2016, I had the good fortune to mentor 16 student teachers of my own. Overall, they were all excellent, and two of them were even able to acquire jobs at the high school where they student taught. One even had gone to that particular high school himself only a few years earlier.

In this episode, Alice Johnson is faced with handling Pete Dixon's class one day alone and then the next day having to perform in front of her college student teacher supervisor. The episode does show what we teachers have to face when beginning as neophytes. Will Alice succeed in her observation? Does she form her own style of teaching and discipline? Since I recall the character appeared for all five years of the series, I imagine she did succeed.

The episode made me smile and think back to my own first time standing in front of a class with my heart beating so quickly that I still recall how nervous I was. With the proper support and guidance, student teaching can help turn a person with a desire to teach into a professional who can really educate and motivate, despite the nonsense like the Common Core and Charlotte Danielson rubric forced down many educators' throats today.

Now happily retired, I still enjoy talking shop and hearing about the changes my colleagues have to face, but as much as I enjoyed my teaching career, I am thrilled it is over!

Room 222: Our Teacher Is Obsolete
(1969)
Episode 8, Season 1

A reference to Valley of the Dolls made me laugh out loud
This episode shows how much teaching has changed over the years.

An older spinster teacher who has created a class called Preparation for Marriage every day teaches her class reading aloud from her well crafted lesson plans. She doesn't engage her students in conversation until a substitute teacher shows her how active her students can be in class when they are allowed to be actively involved with the discussion.

When the principal gets involved since the students have organized a petition to have the original teacher replaced, the principal asks the substitute who is the school's guidance counselor (who really would never have been asked to substitute a class) "What did you do to her class yesterday? Read them Valley of the Dolls?" This made me laugh since Jacqueline Suzanne's novel was a ground-breaker in many ways, and it is still read, even if it is no longer shocking and influential.

In the end, the teacher begins to see that she can still teach the course she created, but now realizes that she must allow her students to be able to become part of the class as active not passive participants.

Room 222: Fathers and Sons
(1969)
Episode 10, Season 1

This is an episode many teachers would fear happening today to their careers
As every teacher knows, having a parent file a complaint against you can be the beginning of the ending of your career. I am a recently retired New York City Department of Education high school English teacher, having taught from 1987 until 2016, so I have some experience on what I am writing about.

In this episode, a student who thinks for himself and doesn't agree with everything his father, a doctor, thinks starts to argue with his parents, mostly with his father, about everything. The father decides to pursue disciplinary action against social studies teacher Pete Dixon for teaching subversive information to his students.

I have had friends who have been brought down to the principal's office to have discussions with parents who were upset or disturbed by something a teacher had to say or taught. The teachers in those cases were only doing what they should have been doing: opening their students' minds with all sides of an issue. One parent complained about one of my colleagues when she brought up the Oedipal Complex issue when teaching seniors Aldous Huxley's amazing novel BRAVE NEW WORLD (1932). After that confrontation, she decided to play it safe, omit the information from future teaching units, and not be as forthcoming in her desire to educate and inform. Sad to say but this is how we teachers have to work now.

At one point in the episode, Grady, the student who has run away from home, shows up at Mr. Dixon's home. Dixon invites him in, serves him milk and cookies, and convinces him to go home. They show up at the boy's home and his parents invite them both in and the issue begins to be resolved. NEVER in a million years would any teacher I know INVITE a student inside their home. Today, with all the allegations that could occur, you would have the student wait outside and then make a phone call in public. I don't think we would even ever drive them home ourselves - not unless you want any sexual allegations to start.

What I love about Room 222 is that it showed a black male teacher (a rarity) in a strong and admirable way. The series tried to tackle issues and present story-lines that showed how things were changing. I am watching the series now (after remembering it when I was a child) since the first two seasons out of five have been released on dvds.

Watching Boston Public several years ago and now watching Room 222, I am amused and amazed how some things have changed and some things have stayed the same.

The Jane Powell Show
(1961)

A singing Jane Powell and her 1961 unsold TV pilot
I always find it fascinating to watch a TV pilot, whether it became a series or not. It is interesting to see Jane Powell, the soprano star of so many MGM musicals, here as a professor's wife. Russell Johnson, here almost as foreshadowing a few years earlier than his playing Professor Roy Hinkley on Gilligan's Island, plays a math college professor. The premise that they met and married after only knowing each other after one week is slim, providing the classic fish out of water story-line with Jane's character having to adjust to a non show business type life as a wife in academia. I wonder why the pilot failed to sell. It was up on You Tube, so a Jane Powell or Russell Johnson fan can view it.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: A Little Sleep
(1957)
Episode 38, Season 2

A rare television appearance by singer Barbara Cook makes this a unique episode
I don't want to rehash the plot of the episode here, but I would like to add some information about the singer Barbara Cook and the actor John Carlyle. If I had not seen the opening credits of the episode, I would never in a million years have known it was Barbara Cook, one of Broadway's most popular female musical ingenues of the 1950s and 1960s. She appeared in many musicals but probably was most famous for Candide, The Music Man, She Loves Me, and The Grass Harp. She was so thin and sexy here; I was amused to remember how on one of her many concert compact disc recordings she recalled looking back at photos of herself and realizing how pretty and shapely she had looked when younger once she became older. She poked fun at herself saying how foolish she had been to put herself down for thinking she was not as attractive as she was. I have had the good fortune to see Miss Cook at least four times in concert, and each performance was terrific, even the last one at Queens College about a year or two ago. At the age of 89, she recently retired from singing earlier this year (2017).

John Carlyle was an actor who never quite made it big. His biggest claim to fame was his connection to Judy Garland. He filmed scenes for Judy Garland's 1954 movie A Star is Born, but they were all deleted and left on the cutting room floor. He wrote a book called "Under the Rainbow: An Intimate Memoir of Judy Garland, Rock Hudson and My Life in Old Hollywood." It is an interesting look at his friendship which lasted until Judy's death in 1969, and it also focuses on his life as a gay actor in Hollywood when he was trying to become a star.

The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: Consider Her Ways
(1964)
Episode 11, Season 3

A compelling and fascinating look at the possible existence of the human race
As I was watching "Consider Her Ways" of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, I thought to myself this seems more like an episode of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone series. The music sounded similar, and the futuristic hospital settings reminded me of The Twilight Zone episodes "Eye of the Beholder" and "Number 12 Looks Just Like You." I wondered if I were watching a Twilight Zone episode I had never seen until I checked that it was indeed a Hitchcock presentation.

I now want to read the short story by John Wyndham to see how close this video version is to the written word. One of the best things about both shows was that they used original short stories often as source material.

I won't rehash the plot details here, but I was entranced by the acting and the story line including its definite Twilight Zone ending. I was hoping for one, and I wasn't sorry when it arrived. I would have been disappointed if there had not been one.

Most of Hitchcock's episodes were based more on reality than science fiction, which is what made this episode so unique.

The Witness
(2015)

A Powerful Documentary on a Kew Gardens Murder Case
I just watched it and I suppose I will have to watch it again to double check, but I do not recall the filmmakers discussing her being raped before her friend and neighbor tried to comfort her in the vestibule. I do not recall the mention of any rape having occurred in the original articles I have read. If it wasn't mentioned, I wonder why it wasn't.

A second thing that surprised me was that the killer had said in previous statements that he was looking for any woman to kill and rape that night. Again, did I miss that statement? I thought it was an excellent documentary shedding new light on the case. I had read before that Kitty was a lesbian, but I never knew she had been married as well. I also didn't know that her family was from Brooklyn originally.

I found the recreation of Kitty's murder to be something I am not sure I would have included. On one hand, it does show how much closure her brother Bill might have needed to put this tragedy to bed finally, but it also took some of the power away from the film with its docudrama mentality.

I read online that Kitty did not die in the vestibule, but on her way to the hospital. I do not believe that was stated in the film either.

Land of the Giants: Wild Journey
(1970)
Episode 24, Season 2

Can we change the past to alter our present?
This is the penultimate episode made for the two year old series, and it is fun to see how it all began again due to its time travel theme. Time travel, often popular in science fiction, gives us the chance to go ahead and think "What if we could go back in time to change the future?" Well, as we know from so many time travel shows (Quantum Leap and the current Timeless, which I hope will survive), it is usually nearly impossible.

In this episode, Bruce Dern (Silent Running) and Yvonne Craig (Batgirl) play time travelers who are first seen also as little people. What is ironic is that they have the ability to change their sizes, so why are they placing themselves in danger at all? They could have changed their little people size to giant size since their assignment is to study the intelligence quotients of the giants on their world. To me, that is a gaping plot hole.

Another puzzling piece of the script is that Craig threatens Steve and Dan while they are in the airport V.I.P. waiting lounge on September 25, 1983 (not the original date given in the pilot episode which is September 12th). Craig states, "If all seven of you, the entire passenger list, the crew, and that dog are not on board flight 612, it will be disastrous. The flight will still crash, but this time there will be no survivors." Earlier the whole point made is that history can not be changed. However, if the Sprindrift castaways would not survive the crash, then wouldn't many of the lives of the giants be altered too? I think this is a plot hole worth noticing.

It is fun to see Mrs. Irwin Allen (Sheila Matthews) back again for a second appearance. This time here she plays the role of Ms. Collier.

This is an interesting episode since it is not one of the many episodes centered on the castaways being captured by giants and then having to escape back to the safety of their camp.

Land of the Giants: The Marionettes
(1970)
Episode 23, Season 2

King Kong and the song "Be a Clown" visit the Land of the Giants
In this episode a puppeteer is injured trying to help Betty who is caught in a trap. The puppeteer has injured his hand rescuing them. Therefore, as a way to help him, Betty and Fitzhugh assist him in his audition as the most modern and most human like marionettes ever created. As one might suspect, Steve, who has offered his help in creating a more professional act, and Fitzhugh, due to his knowledge of marionettes, help the puppeteer to become the success he hopes to be.

This is a rather predictable episode which uses many examples of popular culture. Twice in this episode, Bobo a gorilla does his version of King Kong when he captures Valerie, not once but twice. Then Betty and Fitzhugh "as marionettes" sing and dance to Cole Porter's 1948 song "Be a Clown" (written for the Judy Garland-Gene Kelly musical THE PIRATE.) Heather Young actually possesses a pretty singing voice.

I now see that Janos Prohaska makes another appearance in his gorilla suit as Bobo. He was first seen as a gorilla in the DUMBEST episode of the series called "Comeback."

It is an enjoyable episode overall. Barry's only appearance is at the end when our castaways are watching the puppeteer's new and improved show. So, where has Barry been the whole time?

Land of the Giants: A Small War
(1970)
Episode 22, Season 2

A Child is Waiting to Help...
This was actually one of the more believable episodes where a child named Alek thinks he is playing with toys until he realizes that Dan is bleeding as Betty finally gets the child to comprehend that they are living creatures like himself but only smaller.

At one point, Captain Burton decides that the castaways should camouflage the Sprindrift with leaves and vines. Sure, you have an orange colored spaceship, and NOW you decide to try to camouflage it? That is a weak plot point that should have been put into play at the start of the series. Wouldn't that have made logical sense to protect the location of their only source of safety?

At the end of the episode, the father accepts way too quickly that he will never catch the little people. He also gives up trying to catch Steve who had been flying the plane as well. I can suspend my disbelief as often as anyone, but plot holes like these amaze me, even for a 1970 episode of television. There always has to be a logic behind a script.

As always, it is fun to see other science fiction actors like Charles Drake pop up in this series. He was in the Star Trek episode "The Deadly Years."

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