Sunday, October 14, 2018

THE NEIL SIMON BLOGATHON CONTINUES



It is time for the party! The Neil Simon Blogathon began here with Rich at Wide Screen World.

Wide Screen World, Brighton Beach Memoirs

Caftan Woman, You'll Never Get Rich aka The Phil Silvers Show

Maddy Loves Her Classic Films, California Suite

The Stop Button, The Cheap Detective

Poppity Talks Classic Film, Seems Like Old Times

Once Upon a Screen, The Prisoner of Second Avenue

Movie Rob, The Heartbreak Kid



The Neil Simon Blogathon continues here with Paddy at Caftan Woman.

Classic Film and TV Cafe, Seven Things to Know About Neil Simon

Movie Rob, Only When I Laugh

Moon in Gemini, The Heartbreak Kid

Critica Retro, The Odd Couple



Thank you to everyone who shared your new and old favourites, and your love for Neil Simon. You made the blogathon a wonderful and enlightening experience. 










Saturday, October 13, 2018

THE NEIL SIMON BLOGATHON: You'll Never Get Rich aka The Phil Silvers Show (1955-1959)


Welcome to The Neil Simon Blogathon, a two-day internet event.

Saturday, October 13th please join the creator and co-host of the blogathon, Rich at Wide Screen World by clicking HERE

Sunday, October 14th Caftan Woman hosts the festivities HERE.



The lady who sat to my left in the second row of the Neil Simon Theatre in the summer of 1985 and I were never introduced. Nonetheless, I consider her a friend. We enjoyed the evening's performance of Biloxi Blues immensely and more than our companions on either side of us. We chortled and guffawed and collapsed on each other. We looked to each other with those knowing looks one has when one knows the upcoming joke was meant for us.

Raised on "Bilko" and McHale's Navy by a dad who sometimes would say that if he had it to do over he would have stayed in the Army (Canadian), Service comedies know how to work on my laugh muscles. There is a direct line from those television classics to Biloxi Blues, and that line is called Neil Simon.

Pulitzer Prize winning playwrights do not suddenly appear, they start somewhere. In Neil Simon's case, he followed his brother Danny into the world of writing comedy for radio and television, most notably Your Show of Shows.


Another comedy genius, Nat Hiken created You'll Never Get Rich, later called The Phil Silvers Show (1955-1959). Have you ever heard anyone refer to the program by that title? In our house, it was always "Bilko". Hiken was notorious for being able to do everything and wanting to do everything on his shows, but with 143 episodes, you've got to give some other writers a chance. Neil Simon worked on 20 episodes for seasons 3 and 4 of the series. Here are two of the classic tv gems about that perpetual schemer, Ernie Bilko.



BILKO PRESENTS KAY KENDALL
January 17, 1958
Writers: Nat Hiken, Neil Simon, Terry Ryan
Director: Al De Caprio

Phil Silvers, Kay Kendall

Kay Kendall (Genevieve, Simon and Laura, The Reluctant Debutante) and her publicist played by Dan Frazier (Lilies of the Field, As the World Turns, Kojak) are touring the country promoting her latest picture; probably Les Girls as George Cukor's name comes up in the script.

Kay is having a great time meeting fans and visiting vibrant American cities. Next up is Roseville (Roseville?) in Kansas. It is next to Fort Baxter and Kay loves to meet fans from the military.

M/Sgt. Ernest Bilko's latest money-making scheme involved producing a show that is a tribute to the works of Stephen Foster. Well, the songs are Stephen Foster but the costumes and the dancing girls are strictly Burlesque. When Colonel Hall (Paul Ford) gets wind of the plan, then the jig is up; at least on the base.

Allan Melvin, Phil Silvers, Harvey Lembeck

The gang heads to town looking for a theatre with no luck. One manager bemoans the days when Barrymore, John played Hamlet to a full house and will have nothing to do with Burlesque. In the local hotel, the presence of Kay Kendall is discovered and Ernie has a plan. Bilko, Cpls. Barbarella (Harvey Lembeck) and Henshaw (Allan Melvin) put on the phoniest of phony British accents and barge in on Kay Kendall.

Our star is not fooled for an instant but finds the whole thing so funny and Bilko such a "gasser" that she plays along. Bilko tells her there will be a small gathering of like-minded folk who sit around reading Shakespeare and she agrees to join them the next night.

When she discovers that Bilko has filled the house at $10 a ticket Kay is determined that the money must be returned and feigns drunkenness at show time forcing Ernie to issue the refund. After that is done, she shows up on stage as her sober self and the show goes on. Sgt. Bilko presents a fine evening's entertainment, but it puts nothing in his pocket.

Surprise of the episode: Kay Kendall always could play the funniest drunk, but who knew she could do a spot-on impersonation of Phil Silver's unintelligible command shout?


BILKO'S VACATION
May 23, 1958
Writers: Nat Hiken, Terry Ryan, Neil Simon
Director: Al De Caprio

Fred Stewart, Paul Ford

At the motor pool, Ernie Bilko has found himself dangerously close to doing actual, honest-to-gosh work. He needs a vacation but he's always taken a number of those this year so the chances of another furlough coming his way are rare.

The camp doctor advises a nervous Colonel Hall to give himself a two-week furlough. It is important for his health that he spends time away from Bilko. Colonel Hall is reluctant to give himself a break and leaving Bilko unsupervised. The doctor suggests giving Bilko and his entire team a vacation as well. It is done.


Bilko, Barbella, and Henshaw see themselves at Dimmeldorf Lodge but are without funds. Ernie makes a deal with Dimmeldorf that they will stock the Lodge with guests in return for board. Most of the soldiers are tricked into choosing Dimmeldorf for their vacation spot when Ernie puts the camp on a made up list of places the Army wants their men to avoid. Well, if the Army is against it, that is where they want to go.

Corporal Fender (Herbie Faye) is persuaded to forego a second honeymoon to Atlantic City with the promise of a "beautiful child" contest at the Lodge sponsored by a cereal company with a $10,000 prize. The Fenders have six kids and they'll fill up the Lodge nicely.

Paul Ford, Hope Sansberry

Colonel Hall and his wife Nell (Hope Sansberry) are also going to Dimmeldorf Lodge. The Colonel didn't want to go to any place where Bilko might find him, so he chooses the place with the smallest ad in the newspaper. Everyone is angry that their vacation is ruined by the presence of Sgt. Bilko and, in his greatest moment, Colonel Hall turns the tables on the con man.

Mrs. Hall: "Are you going to order Sgt. Bilko back to the post, John?"
Col. Hall: "No. He'd find a way to get out of that. Nell, I'm going to think like Bilko. You don't live with a magician for ten years without learning a few tricks."
Mrs. Hall: "What are you going to do, John?"
Col. Hall: "I'm going to send myself a wire and when Bilko gets it he'll scoot right back to the post."
Mrs. Hall: "How will Sgt. Bilko get your telegram?"
Col. Hall: "Nell, Bilko always gets my telegrams before I do."

The telegram in question is purportedly from MGM studios stating that the base will be used for exterior shots for an upcoming film. With stars in his eyes, Bilko drags Barbarella and Henshaw back with him to Fort Baxter leaving all and sundry to relax and enjoy their furlough without worry of losing their money in another Bilko run poker or crap game or have a nervous breakdown.



During this period Neil Simon wrote sketches for the Broadway revue shows Catch a Star! and New Faces of 1956. In 1961 he had his first Broadway hit, Come Blow Your Horn and it would be followed by many great successes and awards. We are the lucky recipients of immeasurable entertainment, laughter, and tears from the great Neil Simon.












Monday, October 8, 2018

A WORTHY OCTOBER VILLAIN: Dirk Bogarde in Cast a Dark Shadow (1955)


Janet Green's original play Murder Mistaken had a brief Broadway run under the title Gently Does It in 1953. The play became the film thriller Cast a Dark Shadow in 1955, and in 1956 the film lead, Margaret Lockwood reprised the role of Frieda Jeffries in a television production.

Dirk Bogarde

Dirk Bogarde stars as Edward "Teddy" Bare, a man whose only saleable commodity is an ability to charm. His charm is not sincere, but certain types are willing to overlook that aspect of Teddy's personality. Teddy is also vain and lazy. He has no empathy or sympathy. Teddy is a deeply troubled psychopath.

 Mona Washbourne, Dirk Bogarde

Mona Washbourne is Monica Bare, Teddy's wife of one year. "Monie" loves taking care of her "Teddy Bear", and he loves being taken care of. No observer could ever say that he isn't an attentive and caring husband. Why, he's even gotten Monie to the point where she doesn't drink her tea without a little nip of something extra. 

Dick Bogarde, Mona Washbourne

However, a tipsy Monie reveals to Teddy that upon the morrow she will be signing a will. He was under the impression that there was no will and that he would naturally inherit as next of kin. What Edward doesn't realize is that there is a will in which he gets the house while the cash assets go to Mrs. Bare's sister. Monie intends to sign an amended will leaving her money to "Teddy Bear". Foolish Edward believes he will be cut out by the new will, and he determines to keep his wife from signing the document.

Robert Flemyng, Kathleen Harrison, Dirk Bogarde

"Madame" was found face down by the open gas fireplace by the trusting housemaid Emmie played by Kathleen Harrison. The Coroner's Jury returned a verdict of accidental death. Master was so helpful with Emmie's testimony, going over it with her so she wouldn't be nervous. Master is also very helpful with the 200-pound bequest for Emmy, cheating her out of her money.

Robert Flemyng plays Philip Mortimer, Mrs. Bare's attorney who is suspicious of every move made by Edward. He takes great delight in stating that the inquest can be reopened at any time when evidence of wrongdoing is uncovered. Mortimer is also rather pleased to relate the details of Mrs. Bare's current will to her grieving husband. 

Dirk Bogarde, Margaret Lockwood

Edward is touched that dear Monie was thinking of him, but he made a mistake and there is nothing for him to do now but to go out and find someone else to finance the lifestyle to which he chooses to become accustomed. A return to the seaside resort that had proved so lucky for him in the past brings Edward into the orbit of a well-off widow, Frieda Jeffries played by Margaret Lockwood. She ran her husband's pub for years and now benefits from a lucky turn in business and Albert's demise. Frieda doesn't have any or many delusions where Edward is concerned, but she does think he is at least her equal when it comes to money in the bank and they are in this thing pound for pound. Frieda expects to retain her independence while gaining the companionship of the charmer.

Dirk Bogarde

Edward is dismayed to find he can't get Frieda to invest in one of his bogus real estate schemes. This marriage certainly doesn't echo his earlier one. He needs another plan or another pigeon. Edward often confides in the spirit of the late Monie of his troubles, declaring that she would not approve of the loud and frank Frieda. "This one is crude." Of course, we understand Edward's definition of crude. He is not her coddled "Teddy Bear". Frieda's husband is "Ed" and he is expected to pull his weight.

Margaret Lockwood, Kay Walsh

Kay Walsh plays Charlotte Young who makes the acquaintance of Mr. and Mrs. Bare. She has recently come into some money and is looking to invest in an estate to use as a school. Frieda wants Ed to stay away from her money, so she doesn't really care if he fleeces Miss Young. Nonetheless, even the confident Frieda begins to get testy about the amount of time Edward and Charlotte spend together.

Charlotte Young, however, is not as she presents herself. This rich and personable woman who begins to make a play for Edward is Monie's younger sister Dora. She and Philip Mortimer are working to unmask the soulless Edward.

Dirk Bogarde

Foolish and impulsive this murderer may be, but Edward knows what he is about. Something is off with Charlotte. He knows who he appeals to, and she is not that sort of woman. Edward manipulates Frieda and Emmy out of the house when he senses the world is closing in. Edward finds comfort in Monie's room, among her things, sharing plans for his latest murder.

Dirk Bogarde, Kay Walsh

Edward underestimates the strength and cunning of his adversary. The big, empty and dark house is a setting for a bravura scene. The volley of accusations and fear between the two characters and actors is intense.

Margaret Lockwood, Dirk Bogarde

Is Frieda's return to the house a help in the furtherance of murder or justice?

Cast a Dark Shadow is an engrossing thriller with wonderful performances. The reveals are leisurely, but the pace never feels slow. Director Lewis Gilbert was an Oscar nominee for Alfie, a BAFTA winner for Educating Rita, and BAFTA nominee for Reach for the Sky, Alfie, and Shirley Valentine.

Margaret Lockwood was nominated for a BAFTA in the category of Best Britsh Actress for the role of Frieda. The winner was Katie Johnson in The Ladykillers. Frieda is honest and loud, caring and tough. She thinks she has the upper hand, but she has married a disturbed and dangerous man.

Dirk Bogarde is masterful as Teddy Bare, adding a great film villain to his filmography during the same period in which he played the appealing Jose in The Spanish Gardener, and returned to the earnest Simon Sparrow in Doctor at Sea.












Friday, October 5, 2018

THE JAMES MASON BLOGATHON: 5 Fingers (1952)


The James Mason Blogathon hosted by Maddy Loves Her Classic Movies runs on October 5th and 6th. Click HERE for the tributes to the revered actor.

Based on a true story, the spy drama could easily fall into the category of the post-war film-noir docudramas, but as it was directed by and was co-written by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and Michael Wilson (Bridge on the River Kwai), it features a lot of wry humour that sets it apart.

The book Operation Cicero written by L.C. Moyzisch to explain his view of his role in the war following the Nuremberg Trials and his tale of the machinations of a British Spy was a sensation. From the point of view of the 21st century, WW2 seems so cut and dried as to "good guys" and "bad guys", but people are never that easy.

James Mason, Oskar Karlweis

Our spy in 5 Fingers is called Ulysses Diello and he is played by James Mason (Odd Man Out). Diello is an Albanian national and a very ambitious valet in the service of the British Ambassador played by Walter Hampden (All About Eve). They are stationed at the Embassy in neutral Turkey's capital, Ankara. It is a place where enemies can meet under the supposed flag of truce.

Diello aspires to move up from a gentleman's gentleman to becoming a gentleman. Requiring the wherewithal, he sees his opportunity in the classified information which passes through the Ambassador's office. Anonymously he reaches out to Moyzisch of the German Embassy, played by Oskar Karlweis (The Juggler) with a proposition. Diello will provide top secret or highly confidential information to the Germans in exchange for cash. Moyzisch passes this plan unto his superiors and the deal is set. The British spy is given the code name of Cicero.

Diello has a specific and unique attitude toward the term spy as he is in this game purely for the money. He doesn't even look closely at the documents he photographs for sale, only checking for the top secret or confidential classification.

"Spies are notoriously bad businessmen. Most of them are professional patriots, frustrated liberals or victims of blackmail. And in all such cases, the emotional involvement weakens their bargaining position and destroys sound business judgements."

Moyzisch fell for Diello's act and when asked his impression of this contact by the German Ambassador related the following:

"Well, sir, I'd pick him to be a highly trained special agent; a foreign office career man. British, of course. An Oxford-bred aristocrat if ever I saw one. You know the type, sir. Arrogant, spoiled, cynical and completely decadent."


Danielle Darrieux

Diello had previously been in the employ of the Count and Countess Staviska of Poland and the widowed Countess Anna played by Danielle Darrieux (The Earrings of Madame De...)is now in Ankara as the Nazis have taken her fortune. For Diello, Anna represents everything that was gracious about the old days. He uses his newfound wealth to set her up as she would like to remain accustomed. They plan to use forged papers to move to South America when they have accumulated the proper amount of money.

Diello should have paid more attention to his own opinion on emotional weakness combined with business. His tender feelings toward Countess Anna prove unfounded as the Countess absconds with Diello's ill-gotten gain to the safety of Switzerland.

Michael Rennie

Meanwhile, British Intelligence has twigged to the loss of their secrets and Colin Travers played by Michael Rennie (The Day the Earth Stood Still) is sent to investigate the situation at the Embassy. The timing could not be worse for Diello. Having to begin his bankroll again from scratch he has taken a particular assignment from the Germans. They are concerned about the prevalence in previous documents of the code name "Overlord" and want more information. Diello has no compunction in providing what is demanded as long as the money meets his demand.

Diello explains his attitude toward the commodity in which he deals, despite certainty that the Germans will lose the war which is why he deals only in British pounds.

"Firstly, I cannot sell you the ability to make proper use of the information I got for you. Secondly, by informing a man about to be hanged of the exact size, location and strength of the rope you do not remove the hangman or the certainty of his being hanged." 

Forced to rush this last job for the Germans (for the money), it is seemingly inconsequential events which bring Diello's treachery to light. The Germans want the information and the man. The British want to keep him out of German hands. The chase is on!


Exterior shots for 5 Fingers were filmed in Turkey and it lends a genuine excitement to the chase and reminder that the events depicted in the movie are based on facts which occurred not that very long ago.

You can well imagine the talented James Mason combining with the literate and witty script creating a slick and fascinating performance as Diello. The audience cannot help but admire his bravado and root for his success, yet still understand his selfishness so well that we delight in his eventual and ironic downfall. You can't trust anyone!


Trivia:

A 1956 television episode of 20th Century Fox Hour called Operation Cicero starred Ricardo Montalban as our spy. David Hedison played Cicero in 5 Fingers, a 1959 mini-series.












Monday, October 1, 2018

CAFTAN WOMAN'S CHOICE: ONE FOR OCTOBER ON TCM


Dead of Night is a horror anthology from Ealing Studios that was a critical and popular success in its day and continues to thrill contemporary audiences. 

Mervyn Johns plays an architect troubled by strange dreams. A weekend in the country with a client brings up a strong sense of Deja Vu and encourages the other guests to impart their tales of the unexplained, while he remains reluctant to share his own. I wonder why. The following stories are related for you to accept or not.

THE HEARSE DRIVER
by E.F. Benton, directed by Basil Dearden

Anthony Baird, Miles Malleson

Have you sometimes thought it might be better not to run for the bus?


THE CHRISTMAS PARTY
by Angus MacPhail, directed by Alberto Calvacanti

Uncredited as Francis Kent, Sally Ann Howes

There's nothing so very frightening about little children, or about a large rambling house, is there?


THE HAUNTED MIRROR
by John Baines, directed by Robert Hamer

Ralph Michael, Googie Withers

Is an antique a thoughtful gift, or are you borrowing second-hand trouble?


THE GOLFER'S STORY
based on The Unexpected Ghost by H.G. Wells, directed by Charles Crichton

Naunton Wayne, Peggy Bryan, Basil Radford

You'll pardon my saying so if you are one of the legions of folks who love to chase the little white ball, but don't you find some golfers to be just a teeny bit obsessive?


THE VENTRILOQUIST'S DUMMY
by John Baines, directed by Alberto Cavalcanti

Michael Redgrave

Keep your friends close because your enemies may be even closer.


Googie Withers, Roland Culver, Mervyn Johns, Mary Merrall, Frederick Valk

A relaxing country house party for the weekend or a nightmare?


Dead of Night is part of the TCM super spooky Hallowe'en lineup on October 31st. This British classic is slotted in for 6 PM, just when the little monsters come knocking at your door. Don't jump!












Sunday, September 30, 2018

THE DEBORAH KERR BLOGATHON: Reunion at Fairborough (1985)


Maddy Loves Her Classic Films and is celebrating Deborah Kerr on the occasion of her birthdate, September 30th, with a blogathon. Click HERE for the tributes to the actress whose name rhymes with star.

There is joy in watching experts in their field. Skill and talent can be inspirational. There is an added emotion when observing the art of acting when it holds up a mirror to humanity.

Robert Mitchum, Deborah Kerr at Mascot Airport, 1959
Have they finished The Sundowners or are they about to begin it?

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison in 1957 was the first teaming of two actors of vastly different backgrounds and temperaments, whose experience and talent combined beautifully. Their later big-screen collaborations would include a sophisticated marital comedy The Grass is Greener and a story of migrant workers in Australia, The Sundowners.

Robert Mitchum as Carl Hostrup and Deborah Kerr as Sally Wells Grant
Reunion at Fairborough

The final pairing of Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum would be Reunion at Fairborough, a 1985 TV movie originally airing on the American cable channel, HBO. Albert Ruben, whose television scripts include westerns, crime pictures and soap operas, and an Edgar win for 1980s City in Fear wrote this telefilm. Herbert Wise was the director. His long career included Emmy nominations for I, Claudius and Skokie. The music by composer Nigel Hess underscores the emotions with a feel not unlike the scores in films of the 1940s. Reunion at Fairborough was filmed on location in England.

In World War II,
America's Eighth Air Force attacked
Hitler's Germany from bases in Britain.

To the gallant men and women
of the Eighth,
and to the generous Britons who
opened their hearts and homes to them,
this picture is gratefully dedicated.

When we meet Carl Hostrup (Robert Mitchum) he appears to be a prosperous, if solitary man. It is when he returns to his apartment and contemplates suicide that we understand the depths of his despair. Fortunately, he changes his mind and is brought out of his depths by a phone call.

Robert Mitchum, Red Buttons

Dr. Nathan Barsky (Barry Morse), formerly Sgt. Barsky is arranging a reunion of the bomber squadron of which they both were members. It is in two weeks time at the village where they had been stationed, Fairborough. Barsky assumes "Hoss" Hostrup will attend and tasks him with finding that "tough little guy" Jiggs Quealy (Red Buttons). Carl needs to be doing something and when he discovers Quealy is a rummy who makes a little money by sweeping out a flophouse, he takes him on as a project. Jiggs is dried out and cleaned up and taken to the reunion.

Carl thinks often of the old days and the memories are in black and white. At home in Chicago, they are memories of planes and scared, yet brave young men. As the train takes him and Jiggs through the countryside Carl's memories are of a young woman and lost love.

The first day in Fairborough is a scene we have become familiar with through newscasts of similar events with bands playing and children waving flags. Banners proclaim "welcome" while a local reminds younger people of the old saying about the Yanks. "over-sexed, overpaid, and over here."

Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum

The first day also sees Jiggs fall off the wagon while Carl goes looking for that lost love Sally (Deborah Kerr). At Sally's home, he meets her granddaughter Sheila (Judi Trott) who offers to drive him to the shop where Sally works. Sally's immediate reaction upon seeing Carl is "My God!" causing Sheila to ask "Is he the one?" When Sally nods, Sheila shocks Carl with "Hello, Grandad."

Carl did not know of the existence of his daughter with Sally who died, along with her husband, in an accident at age 23. At this stage of her life Sally is not of a mind to apologize for the decision she made all those years ago. Carl would like to blame her, but he cannothonestly say if his younger self would have walked away or reached out for happiness.

Red Buttons, Barry Morse, Robert Mitchum, Deborah Kerr

Reunion at Fairborough takes its time allowing us to experience the festivities and reflections. Dr. Barsky is a guide through the physical location of the air base. It is a battered memorial to the physical and spiritual journey taken by himself and so many others. Barry Morse is wonderful in the role.

Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum, Judi Trott

Sally and Carl reconnect, rehash the past and prevaricate about the future, particularly if they have a future at all. Carl tries to bridge the generation gap and family gap with his granddaughter. An activist against a local American missile facility, she and Carl are at odds about his defensiveness about her perceived hate for Americans. Sometimes they listen to each other and sometimes they just shout at each other.

Jiggs takes a clear-eyed look at himself for the first time while in the company of the companions of earlier days. He vows to turn over a new leaf, to be a better man. We can but hope that the experience of these days will carry him far.

Sheila comes to love her grandfather, as he quickly came to love her. She reminds him of how much there is to live for and inspires a soaring act of defiance to the passage of time. Carl begins to hope that Sally will someday be his.

Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum

Deborah Kerr is marvellous in this role. Always a beautiful woman, she is 64 at the making of this film and the picture of the prettiness so well-remembered by Carl and his friends. She is feisty and vulnerable, full of longing and love. Her chemistry with Robert Mitchum, five years older than his co-star, has lost none of that sparkle and deep camaraderie audiences first saw 28 years earlier. Simply dancing to Moonlight Serenade, they are electric.

Reunion at Fairborough is a moving story and a fitting coda to the joint careers of two beloved stars.












Friday, September 28, 2018

THE POPEYE BLOGATHON: Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor (1936)


Steve at MovieMovieBlogBlog hosts Blow Me Down, a Fleischer Popeye Podcast and this Popeye Blogathon on September 28th to 30th.


Click HERE for fun!

Elzie Crisler Segar's rambunctious character Popeye was a natural to make the leap from the comic strip page to the animated screen. The Fleischer team did that very thing in 1933 with popular and successful Popeye shorts.


If you like one reel Popeye 'toons filmed in the inimitable Fleischer style in black and white (and who doesn't?) then you will love the epics. The studio gave us three two-reel Popeye films in glorious Technicolor. Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor was the first of these in 1936.

I don't believe epic was the word that came to mind upon my first childhood viewing of Popeye the Sailor Meet Sinbad the Sailor, as I probably didn't know the word, but the feeling I had watching it was definitely "epic".


"Who's the most remarkable extraordinary fellow?"
- Sindbad sings his own praises


"Popeye the sailor!"
- Popeye unintentionally ruins the punchline


"I scare all the creatures on land and on sea
But talk about women, they all fall for me."
- Sindbad even has a verse about the ladies

Sindbad doesn't like anyone able to boast about deeds that upstage his own. So the swaggering vocals of Popeye off Sindbad's island make the two sailors mortal enemies. Sindbad being a fellow who "takes his affections wherever they're found", is immediately enamoured of Olive Oyl.


The biggest buzzard in the world is dispatched to destroy the ship and "bring the woman" to Sindbad.


Despite the fact that Wimpy, the hamburger fiend, is barely a curiosity to the villain of this piece, he gives me some chuckles.


Popeye can read but we know nothing like this warning will keep him from rescuing the goilfriend. Along with vanquishing Sindbad, Popeye has to subdue Boola the two-headed giant, the biggest buzzard in the world, and various other creatures.


It takes a can of spinach and Olive Oyl's encouragement to use the twisker punch to bring down that nasty old Sindbad.


Could this scene be the inspiration for the challenge fight in the 2018 hit movie Black Panther?


What do you think?


The important thing to kids, old and young, is that, as gleefully anticipated, Popeye may take a beating that would do-in lesser, non-spinach eating sailor men, but in the end, he pummels that Sindbad but good!

"I'm one tough Gazookus
Which hates all Palookas
Which ain't on the up and square.
I biffs 'em and buffs 'em
And always out roughs 'em
But none of  'em gets nowhere."


Jack Mercer

Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor produced by Max Fleischer, directed by Dave Fleischer and Willard Bowsky. Jack Mercer as Popeye, Gus Wickie as Sindbad, Mae Questel as Olive Oyl and Lou Fleischer as Wimpy.


I'm Sindbad the Sailor written by Sammy Timberg with lyrics by Bob Rothberg. I'm Popeye the Sailor Man by Sammy Lerner.



See also, Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba's Forty Thieves from 1937 and Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp from 1939.












THE NEIL SIMON BLOGATHON CONTINUES

It is time for the party! The Neil Simon Blogathon  began here with Rich at Wide Screen World . Wide Screen World, Brighton Beach Mem...