Friday, March 23, 2018

THE 4th ANNUAL FAVOURITE TV EPISODE BLOGATHON: Ellery Queen, The Adventure of Miss Aggie's Farewell Performance (1975)

Terence Towles Canote at his A Shroud of Thoughts site is hosting the fourth annual Favourite TV Episode blogathon, a highlight of the blogathon year. Click HERE for all of the classic memories.

The Ellery Queen TV series from 1975 holds a place in history of which you may not be aware. NBC's cancellation of the program after one season precipitated the only time I ever wrote a letter of protest to a network. I didn't really think an American television network would care about the thoughts of a Canadian teenager. Nonetheless, so strong was my affection for the show that the trouble was taken.

Cousins Manfred Lee and Frederick Dannay
"Ellery Queen"

Frederick Dannay and Manfred Lee's creation of character Ellery Queen in 1928 was a stroke of genius. Many popular novels and short stories followed the career and mysteries solved by their fictional author whose named adorned the book cover as his own storyteller. Ellery's popularity extended to film, radio and five television programs, to date.

Richard Levinson and William Link

Jim Hutton stars as Ellery in this Levinson and Link created series based on the fictional detective/author. The Ellery of this series bears little resemblance to the Philo Vance-ish character of the 1920s and 1930s, but leans more toward the Ellery of the Wrightsville stories who is a more laid back and compassionate character.

Jim Hutton and David Wayne as Ellery and pere

Our TV hero as written is way laid back, depending on the talent and charm of our leading man as the somewhat hyper-focused Ellery. Ellery shares NYC digs with his widowed dad, Police Inspector Richard Queen played by David Wayne. The father-son dynamic feels real and comforting. The stolid Sgt. Velie played by Tom Reese is everything you could want.

There are many eras in the novels that could have been tapped into, but setting the series in the immediate post-war era gave the writers lots of interesting material. The production values and costumes give the audience an opportunity to sink into the joys of another era, forget their cares and immerse themselves in the time-tested joys of mystery fiction.

John Hillerman as Simon Brimer

A Levinson and Link creation that adds greatly to the fun and atmosphere of the series is Simon Brimer played so brilliantly by John Hillerman. Brimer, a fastidious and ego-driven radio star of The Casebook of Simon Brimer has manufactured a one-sided feud with Ellery over which of them is the best amateur detective in the city. When Brimer shows up, his efforts are always to top our Ellery. The fact that Ellery blithely goes on his merry way solving case after case without seeming to care about the "competition" is great fun.

Today's featured Adventure with Ellery was directed by James Sheldon, a familiar name to Boomers with over 100 television episodes to his credit, Sheldon began that career as an assistant director on radio. The story is credited to Levinson and Link, with the screenplay by Peter S. Fischer. Collectively, these fellows have probably entertained more people than Shakespeare!

Announcer: "At this moment Vera Bethune is playing the last scene of her life. Who killed her? Was it her unhappy costar? Her agent? The ambitious announcer? The organist? The young actress? The worried writer? Or was it someone else? Match wits with Ellery Queen and see if you can guess who done it."

Bert Parks, Paul Shenar, Nan Martin, Eve Arden

Eve Arden plays Vera Bethune, the lead character of the beloved principal of Middleville High, Miss Aggie, on a popular radio program. Few watching this episode would miss the allusion to Eve's popular radio and television series Our Miss Brooks. The studio feels like a less than welcoming place this day with sniping performers and a gloomy organist. Is it a surprise that our leading lady collapses after ingesting poison from a water carafe?

Jim Hutton, Betty White, Eve Arden

The murder attempt has made headlines and caused an outpouring of affection from fans. Vera's agent, played by Betty White, knows this will be a boon in negotiations with the show's producer played by John McGiver. Miss Aggie, as Vera asks to be called, persuades Ellery to look into the case while ignoring Inspector Queen's offer of police protection. Mistake! In the middle of the night, the beloved Miss Aggie is shot.

Sidney Miller, John Hillerman

Simon Brimer has been desperate to reach a deal of his own with the Miss Aggie's producer and immediately starts nosing around the case. Should he solve it, Simon believes his career plans are assured. Here he is at the coroner's office with Sidney Miller in the white coat. Old movie fans will recognize the actor as a teenager in Andy Hardy movies, City for Conquest, etc.

Nina Roman, Jim Hutton, Gerald Hiken

Ellery determines through interrogating the writers of Miss Aggie (and The Family on Elm Street and Shadows of Tomorrow and Kindly Dr. Keene, etc.) that the cold suffered by the character could be cured by a suitable contract negotiation or turn deadly if needed. Ellery and his dad also learned that a younger, and less expensive and less demanding actress on the show is in consideration for the leading spot. H'm.

Jim Hutton, Beatrice Colon

A highlight of the episode is the amusing conversation between Ellery and the studio organist Mary Lou Gumm. She is uncomfortable speaking face to face, or indeed speaking without the sound of her Wurlitzer in the background. Ellery sits with his back to Mary Lou as she relates her soap opera experience of life in the big city.

John Hillerman, Paul Shenar

There are no lengths to which Brimer will not go in pursuit of suspects. Here he confronts Miss Aggie announcer Wendell Warren played by Paul Shenar. Do you remember Shenar as radio legend Orson Welles in The Night That Panicked America?

Joseph R. Sicari, Tom Reese, Jim Hutton

Meanwhile, Ellery has been following his own clues which lead to a hospital janitor, enforced confinement, and a fence. Aha! There was a dying clue that will tell all!

Jim Hutton

It is the moment all fans look forward to because we are matching wits with Ellery Queen. It is the moment all fans dread because the episode is almost over.

Ellery: "Now, I'm pretty sure I know who killed Vera Bethune, but how about you? Was it Lawence Denver, Miss Aggie's co-star, or Anita Leslie, the young actress who's gonna replace her? It might have been Wendell Warren, the announcer, and don't forget that Mary Lou Gumm was in the studio that morning. Or it might have been someone else, someone who wasn't in the studio. It's possible."

Bert Parks, Nan Martin, Nina Roman, Beatrice Colon, Paul Shenar, John Hillerman

Simon Brimer is about to solve the crime on live radio, with the Inspector on hand to make the arrest. All are assembled, and Simon is poised for his great triumph until Ellery shows up and utters one simple pronoun. Drats! Foiled again!

Betty White

Now, what do you suppose she's so upset about?

Ellery, as expected, solved the crime with his customary erudite manner combined with a becoming modesty. Ellery and his dad leave the studio with Mr. Pearl, the producer, begging our author/detective to accept the sort of radio show offer that Simon Brimer can only dream about.

Friday, March 9, 2018

TIME TRAVEL BLOGATHON: Repeat Performance (1947)

Time for a little "R and R". Rich of Wide Screen World and Ruth of Silver Screenings are hosting the Time Travel blogathon from March 9 to 11. Click HERE and HERE for recaps.

"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey ... stuff."
- Time travel expert, the Tenth Doctor

Oscar-nominated lyricist Walter Bullock (When Did You Leave Heaven? / Who Am I?) wrote over a dozen screenplays in his career, mainly for musicals such as The Gang's All Here and Springtime in the Rockies at 20th Century Fox. For Eagle-Lion Corp. he adapted the crime comedy picture Out of the Blue from a Vera Caspary story and Repeat Performance from a novel by William O'Farrell.

Repeat Performance was made under the sure direction of Alfred Werker (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, He Walked by Night, Lost Boundaries). Werker and Bullock also collaborated on the 1941 comedy Moon Over Her Shoulder. A fantasy-noir involving time travel is unique in the world of film-noir, and certainly to the careers of Messrs. Werker and Bullock.

Sheila is overwhelmed.
Joan Leslie

Actress Sheila Page played by Joan Leslie is about to learn more about time than she ever expected. As an actress, particularly the star of a hit play, she goes through the same motions, the same emotions, the same words night after night in a performance. On a traumatic and life-altering New Year's Eve the clock has turned back to the previous New Year's Eve with a repeat performance of a year's worth of events. We do not question the how or the why of it. An unseen narrator (John Ireland) hints that there is an omniscient power at work. Everyone has their part to play in this real-life repeat performance.

We share the emotional journey through the months with Sheila as she attempts to manipulate time and events. We relish her minor successes, but from the vantage point of viewers can see the major flaw in her attempt to change fate is people. Other people don't know what she knows. Other people can't see the consequences of their actions. Other people don't think about the future in the way Sheila does by seeing it as the past. Has anyone ever been able to escape the past?

Barney makes another quip about drinking. He likes to get ahead of Sheila.
Joan Leslie, Louis Hayward

Sheila's husband Barney played by Louis Hayward wrote a play which catapulted himself and Sheila to phenomenal success. Since that time his writing has flopped and he has taken to drink. He has also taken to cheating on his devoted wife. A violent argument led to Sheila's killing him on New Year's Eve. Will she again kill him when, inevitably, New Year's arrives again? Timey-wimey stuff is complicated.

Bill has imagination, but it is enough to understand murder, to grasp time travel?
Joan Leslie, Richard Basehart

William Williams, played by Richard Basehart in his first film, is a poet friend of Sheila's and the only one to whom she is confident in relaying the fact that they are all reliving the past year. As a friend, she warns him of a dreadful fate that awaits him through his relationship with a wealthy patron, Mrs. Shaw played by Natalie Schafer. Will warnings be enough?

When a producer meets an author, can a hit be far behind?
Tom Conway, Virginia Field

Producer John Friday played by Tom Conway is confused by his star's behavior, but remains steadfast, for deeply personal reasons, to Sheila. He is dedicated to her efforts to make her marriage to Barney work even though it goes against his own self-interests.

Sheila's latest success is a play by Paula Costello played by Virginia Field. The glamorous and talented Paula's affair with Barney led to the tragic crime of New Year's Eve. Sheila is convinced that if she keeps Barney away from Paula then all will be well.

The same year has almost passed for the second time, and Sheila is optimistic.
Joan Leslie

Sheila refuses to have anything to do with the new play by Paula Costello and takes a job in Hollywood. Surely she and Barney will have a different life and relationship in California. Barney hates it and drinking becomes an issue. Every kind and thoughtful action on Sheila's part is hateful to her resentful husband. He returns to New York. Despite Sheila's best efforts, Paula becomes a part of their lives.

The overly sensitive poet William Williams allows Mrs. Shaw to orchestrate his success and his mental issues place him in an asylum. Desperation motivates Sheila when the perfidious Barney is injured and paralyzed in an accident of his own making. Hate and rage motivate Barney when Paula gives him the brush off. It all leads to an emotional and violent showdown on New Year's Eve.

"Destiny is a stubborn old girl, Sheila. She doesn't like people interfering with her plans. But we tricked her, didn't we? Anyway, I don't think she cares about the pattern as long as the result is the same."
- Time travel expert, William Williams 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

THE FREE FOR ALL BLOGATHON: Laird Cregar's Swan Song, Hangover Square (1945)

Theresa, the one and only proprietor of CINEMAVEN'S ESSAYS FROM THE COUCH presents The Free for All Classic Film Blogathon.

When the instructions are to "write about anything your heart desires", a day of happy surprises is in store for one and all. Click HERE and be amazed.

This blogathon announcement coming on the heels of New Year's Eve indulgences, my mind went to Hangover Square, not just for the title, but for the tipsy feeling I get from this movie. We are inside and outside the mind of a man with a split personality; a musical genius and mad killer.

Hangover Square is filled with images of horror and pity, and insightful, stirring music. It is a minor masterpiece from director John Brahm, cinematographer Joseph LaShelle, and composer Bernard Herrmann. All this creativity supports a bravura performance, his final, from Laird Cregar. Mr. Cregar passed at the age of 30, following an ill-advised crash diet and surgery for a resultant stomach disorder. The movies lost a supreme talent; a natural "heavy" and versatile and charismatic actor.

The source for this 1945 film of Hangover Square was Patrick Hamilton's 1941 novel of the same name. Set in contemporary times, and a dark comedy of disparate characters in a time of rising fascism, the novel and film bear little resemblance to each other. 20th Century Fox hoped to replicate the previous year's release of the Jack-the-Ripper tale The Lodger, also starring Laird Cregar and directed by John Brahm by presenting them in similar material.

This post wrote itself in a spoilerish manner, but I believe foreknowledge will not ruin the movie experience if you have yet to see the film.

Faye Marlowe as Barbara Chapman, George Sanders as Dr. Allan Middleton
Laird Cregar as George Harvey Bone

George Harvey Bone is a young composer of classical music. Perhaps due to the pressures associated with the premiere of his upcoming concerto, which should assure his standing in his career, George has been plagued with headaches and blackouts. These blackouts coincide with mayhem and murder in London.

Barbara is George's music student and dear friend. She and her father, conductor Sir Henry Chapman played by Alan Napier live in a lavish mansion opposite George's abode, on the other side of Hangover Square. Barbara's admiration and affection for George runs deep and she arranges for George to discuss his headaches and fears with Dr. Middleton, who is also a consultant for Scotland Yard.

Laird Cregar as George Harvey Bone

Dr. Middleton, despite his sense that something is dreadfully wrong, could find no evidence linking George to a recent murder. He advises his patient to forget about work, to go out and enjoy himself among ordinary people. George takes that advice to heart.

Linda Darnell as Netta Longdon

As indicated by the picture above, Nettie Longdon is a singer. A singer in the long, great tradition of singers to whom their voice is of little matter compared to their looks and ambition. She has won the hearts of the audiences of the pubs and music halls she plans to discard. All she needs is the proper material and publicity. Netta is moving up in the world.

Linda Darnell, Michael Dyne as Mickey, Laird Cregar

George's friend Mickey is Netta's accompanist. He has lyrics that would fit perfectly with George's melody. Before he realizes what is happening, George is writing for Netta and George is smitten with Netta. Netta is smitten with what George can do for her career. Isn't it a fine coincidence that they are practically neighbors in Hangover Square?

Laird Cregar, uncredited feline performer

Name a girl so lucky as to have a composer/cat sitter right across the street. Netta's landlady has a thing against pets, and George is so obliging. This moggy is in on all the composing as well as the odd mood swings of the human. The cat and Netta will be sharing a similar fate in a perfectly ironic bit of editing.  

Is this the face of love or the face of conflict?

George's new obsession with Netta makes him neglect his old friends and his concerto. When Barbara tries, ever so compassionately, to point this out to him, George becomes angry and susceptible to those headaches and blackouts.

Servants frightened off the attacker. The perfect alarm system.

No one is more shocked than George when word reaches him that an unknown assailant has attempted to strangle Barbara. Scotland Yard and Dr. Middleton are on the case. They have no proof, but their suspicions all point in one direction, across the park in Hangover Square.

What's she got that I ain't ... oh, never mind.

The attack upon Barbara shocked George into action. He attempts to cut ties with Netta and work exclusively on his concerto. Has he not recognized Netta's innate determination? She even insists that a fragment from the concerto should become a song for her new act.

Mickey had arranged another introduction for Netta, and this one was to a handsome and influential producer, Eddie Carstairs played by Glenn Langan. Netta keeps Carstairs on one string and George on the other. The venue for her breakout performance has been booked and, with what George and Netta mean to each other (she coos seductively), surely he can write her just one more song. 

George didn't expect this touching scene.

The night of Netta's big show finds George prepared to offer his heart, his life, and a ring to his adoring muse. Imagine his shock at discovering Netta in the arms of another. She and her producer, Carstairs, are planning a wedding. George is not invited.

George is in one of his black moods.

There will be no wedding for poor Netta. Authorities will note the disappearance of the entertainer on the night of her big break. There will be no proof of foul play, and no body to point clues toward her executioner, but they know.

Gunpowder, Treason, and Murder

Under cover of a Guy Fawkes Day bonfire, George disposes of Netta's mortal remains. A truly eerie and blood freezing scene, as folks dance and shout merrily in the annual celebration while George, or the man George becomes when in the grip of his mania, destroys the evidence of his crime.

George: "But I've worked all my life for this one night."
Dr. Middleton: "I'm sorry, but you must come with me."

George took Netta's life and her dreams on the evening of her breakthrough concert. On the brink of his greatest success, George's dreams are stolen by Dr. Middleton who presents George with the proof of his nightmares. Dr. Middleton stirs George's vague memories and worries with the singed trousers he wore to the bonfire and the wrinkles in the sash used as a weapon. 

The show must go on.

Even with the knowledge of his crimes, George must perform at the concert. He incapacitates the good doctor and attempts to go on to the musical glory he has sought for so long. The Yard and Dr. Middleton are unsuccessful in their attempt to subdue and remove the manic George.

George Harvey Bone

George's mind breaks and to the horror of all, he sets the elegant mansion ablaze. Frightened musicians and the panicked audience attempt to escape while George blocks their entrance and exhorts them to stay, to play, to listen. George, alone, plays through the conflagration to his doom.

Bernard Herrmann
1911 - 1975

The score combines seamlessly with the music written as that by George. The music takes on more prominence as we reach the end of the story. Brahm's filming of the concert scene is breathtaking. You can feel every note and its import as the musicians go about their job and George floats above it all while sinking deeper and deeper into his lost soul to the sound of Bernard Herrmann's Concerto Macabre.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Poets inspire TCMs daytime lineup on Wednesday, March 21st.

Elizabeth Barrett (1806-1861) and Robert Browning (1812-1889) lived lives of extraordinary creativity and literary success. Their work has inspired poetry in others, and scholarly study.

In 1931 the Brownings were the inspiration for Rudolf Bessier's most successful play, The Barretts of Wimpole Street. That success came when Katherine Cornell produced and starred on Broadway opposite Brian Aherne in the play. Elizabeth Barrett Browning became a signature role for the star, and she and Aherne revived the play often.

The 1934 film version was given MGMs best treatment with the play adapted by Donald Ogden Stewart (Holiday), Claudine West (Random Harvest) and Ernest Vajda (The Guardsman), and directed by Sidney Franklin (Private Lives). William H. Daniels (Romeo and Juliet) was the cinematographer and Adrian (Marie Antoinette) designed the glorious gowns.

When it came to casting, only the best and top stars would do for the production. Norma Shearer had won the Oscar for The Divorcee, and the role of Elizabeth Barrett Browning would number among her five other nominations. Fredric March had won the Oscar for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and would win again for The Best Years of Our Lives, with five nominations overall. Shearer and March had recently starred in the successful romantic melodrama Smilin' Through. Charles Laughton had won the Oscar for The Private Lives of Henry VIII and would be nominated twice more in his film career.

Edward Moulton-Barrett views his family as his personal fiefdom. None of his nine adult children  (twelve in reality) are allowed to marry. All are under his sway, and years of being browbeaten by a tyrant have made them slaves to Pa's will.

Eldest daughter Elizabeth has become a successful poet although plagued by illness and a spinal injury. Her status in the household as an invalid is perpetuated by the treatment of her overbearing father. She is his favourite and it is not a healthy relationship.

The tyranny under which the Barretts of Wimpole Street live will break during the course of the play. Also a successful writer, Robert Browning has reached out to Elizabeth with his heart and patiently waits for her to find the strength to respond in kind. His joy and positivity open Elizabeth's eyes to her desire to live a fuller life, away from the stifling influence of her father. 

The studio assembled a fine cast to support the three leading players, Maureen O'Sullivan, Una O'Connor, and Leo G. Carroll among them. Marion Clayton and Ian Wolfe are amusing as a flirty cousin with a speech impediment and her fiance. Ralph Forbes is a lovesick soldier smitten with Maureen as the youngest sister.

I love the opportunity to see the famous plays of earlier days, both in new interpretations and filmed closer to the time of their original productions. I read this play long before I ever saw this film. The language is, at times, quite fulsome which befits the poetic minds of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning. The sincerity of the actors is important in the emotional reality they convey.

The character of Edward is another of Laughton's great villain portrayals. His admission to Elizabeth near the finale is shocking, as is his plan for a final revenge when his authority is tested. The following movie season Laughton's Inspector Javert will pursue Fredric March as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. Take that Robert Browning!

Whether you're a fan of greeting card verses, the subject of the early morning screening of Three Men on a Horse, or your own poetic endeavours lead to A Fine Madness, a late afternoon screening; consider the fine films on TCM on Wednesday, March 21st, especially the Best Picture and Best Actress nominated The Barretts of Wimpole Street at 10:30 a.m.

Monday, February 26, 2018


Crystal of In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood is hosting The Elizabeth Taylor Blogathon from February 25 - 27th. Click HERE for all the tributes.

"Why, Miss Marple, you were right!" A young neighbour is surprised that Miss Marple has deduced the ending to a mystery film. She shouldn't have been shocked. After all, Jane Marple has spent her entire life in St. Mary Meade, and life in the village has presented the entire world to the keen observer.

Bond film director Guy Hamilton (Evil Under the Sun) directed this 1980 film based on Agatha Christie's 1962 novel The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side. Ms. Christie's inspiration for the plot was the tragic circumstances surrounding Gene Tierney's child's disability due to an encounter with a fan suffering from rubella. Ms. Tierney herself bravely recounted the events in her 1979 autobiography (written with Mickey Herskowitz) Self-Portrait.

Ms. Lansbury's portrayal of Jane Marple veers more toward the bluffness of Margaret Rutherford's interpretation rather than the delicate pointedness of Joan Hickson. Angela adds an extra large helping of an uncanny ability to annoy. This Aunt Jane is quite the bothersome know-it-all.

Elizabeth Taylor, resplendently costumed by Phyllis Dalton.

Elizabeth Taylor plays Marina Rudd, a British born Hollywood film star who has returned home with her loving husband, a director, for a new film and a new lease on life after a tragedy robbed her career of years.Her child from an earlier marriage had been born disabled and placed in an institution. Marina's husband, Jason Rudd played by Rock Hudson is very protective of his fragile wife.

Twenty-five years after their pairing in Giant, it is a pleasure to see Taylor and Hudson reunited on the screen, but also a shame that there hadn't been more opportunities to see them together in the intervening years.

In Christie's novel the character of Jason is described as homely, but with a deeply soothing voice. Rock would never be described as homely, but he does indeed have a most soothing voice. The novel also includes the back story of Marina having adopted several children before the birth of her own, and this was not used in the adaptation.

The Rudds have bought an estate near everyone's favourite garden spot, St. Mary Meade. Miss Marple's dear friend Dolly Bantry (The Body in the Library), the previous owner of the estate still maintains a residence on the property and is an honoured guest at a fete which is a tribute for a local charity and movie star Marina. Tragedy occurs during the celebration, and although laid up with an injury, all details are reported to Miss Marple.

Kim Novak, Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor

Marina: "Lola, dear, you know, there are only two things I dislike about you."
Lola: "Really? What are they?"
Marina: "Your face."

During a receiving line, Marina deals with many surprises. One is the arrival of a vapid movie queen Lola Brewster played by Kim Novak, and her brash producer husband Martin Fenn played by Tony Curtis. Neither Marina nor Jason are happy to see them, but it gives our players a chance at some high dudgeon. The screenplay by Jonathan Hales (Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones) and Barry Sandler (The Other Side of Midnight) augments the story with a generous dose of Hollywood bitchiness between the actress characters who are always vying for the spotlight whether on or off the screen.

Maureen Bennett plays a gushing film fan.

The other shock to Marina on the day of the fete comes in the form of a babbling fan, Heather Babcock played by Maureen Bennett, who goes on and on in a story of how once, years ago, she disobeyed orders to stay in bed due to illness so that she could see her favourite star perform. She even got to kiss her! Putting the timing of the earlier encounter together with the birth defect of her child, Marina realizes that this "fan" caused her greatest heartbreak. Before the end of the party, this fan dies of poisoning.

Rock Hudson, Geraldine Chaplin

During the investigation, there are many suspects and other murders. Jason's assistant, Ella, played by the always watchable Geraldine Chaplin, is both. Her romantic attachment to her boss is the inescapable fact that makes her a suspect and a victim.

Angela Lansbury, Edward Fox

Inspector Craddock of Scotland Yard, here given the honour of being able to call Miss Marple "Aunt Jane", is played with a subtly wry intelligence by Edward Fox. He appreciates the insight Miss Marple can provide in wading through the myriad of emotional motives and linking them to the physical evidence. However, you certainly don't get the feeling that he relies on her completely. They are more partners in crime, if you will.

The story and characters are always the main interest of a Christie story and in this adaptation there is much to enjoy, primarily the performances of Elizabeth Taylor and Edward Fox. The interrogation scene between detective and movie star is beautifully played and memorably entertaining.

The Mirror Crack'd was the end of a fairly prolific time for Elizabeth during the 1970s. She would make only two more feature films, 1988s Young Toscanini for Franco Zeffirelli and a fun outing in 1994s The Flintstones as Fred's mother-in-law. Television would provide fans a chance to enjoy the great star and actress in everything from The Simpsons to These Old Broads in 2001 with Debbie Reynolds, Joan Collins and Shirley MacLaine. It is a shame Kim Novak wasn't also cast so she and Liz could revive the diverting Marina vs. Lola feud.

THE 4th ANNUAL FAVOURITE TV EPISODE BLOGATHON: Ellery Queen, The Adventure of Miss Aggie's Farewell Performance (1975)

Terence Towles Canote at his A Shroud of Thoughts  site is hosting the fourth annual Favourite TV Episode blogathon , a highlight of the...