Friday, April 17, 2020

THE VINCENT PRICE BLOGATHON: Have Gun - Will Travel, The Moor's Revenge, 1958


Gill at Realweegiemidget Reviews and Barry at Cinematic Catharsis are our hosts for THE VINCENT PRICE BLOGATHON on April 17 - 19.  Day 1  Day 2  Day 3  Encore


THE MOOR'S REVENGE
First aired: Saturday, December 27, 1958
Written by Melvin Levy
Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen

OUR CAST

Richard Boone as Paladin, Have Gun - Will Travel series lead
A gunfighter/brains for hire of refined taste.


Vincent Price and Patricia Morison as traveling Shakespearean actors
Charles Matthews and Victoria Vestris


Morey Amsterdam as Lucien Bellingham
Saloon owner and would-be impresario


Richard Shannon as Ben Jackson
A gunman with something to prove and a heart pining for an actress 


OUR STORY


Enjoying a post-performance dinner with the elegantly attired and tasteful Mr. Paladin of San Francisco, Charles Matthews and Victoria Vestris are shocked at their host's strongly-worded suggestion that they forego the next stop on their tour.

While the rest of their company heads east, Charles and Victoria have accepted an engagement at the Opera House in San Diego. It is the time of the annual round-up; a time when all hell breaks loose in the town. Paladin's concern for the safety of the artists is genuine as he feels they do not provide the sort of entertainment that will go over in a wild town. The couple assures Paladin that they have yet to find an audience who is not moved by Shakespeare.

Lucien Bellingham, who hired the players to bring culture to the town and his saloon has also hired Paladin as security due to the sheriff managing to be out of town during troubled times. Bellingham wants things to go smoothly with the Shakespearean performers.


Paladin's first sign of trouble is with tough guy Ben Jackson who has become besotted with an advertising cut-out of Miss Vestris. He has been gazing upon the "art" and daydreaming of the time he and she will spend together upon her arrival. Ben's other ambition is to beat Paladin to the draw, so if the hired gun is looking for trouble, Jackson will be only too happy to provide the same.


Charles and Victoria arrive in San Diego to a venue and advertising like nothing they have experienced previously in their storied career.


Their first reaction is to renege on the contract, but they backtracked with the publication of an editorial expressing their dismay along with their determination to bring the Bard to town. The editor added some strong words against Ben Jackson which does not go over well with the bruiser.


Selections from Shakespeare begin with Desdemona's death in Othello which is interrupted by an agitated Ben Jackson. Guns are fired and chairs are thrown until Paladin takes charge. He relieves Ben Jackson of his gun and tosses it to Charles Matthews on stage.


Charles: "I don't know anything about firearms."
Victoria: "He is very good with a sword."
Paladin: "All you have to do is close your eyes and squeeze. With a crowd like this, you're bound to get a few."

The crowd is calmed and the show continues. Barkeeps and wranglers alike are moved to tears and appreciative applause. Ben Jackson wants to move on to the portion of the night when he proves his firearms expertise against Paladin.

Ben Jackson: "This will take but a minute, Miss. I'll be back for you."
Paladin: "Ben, you better ask the lady's husband about this."
Ben Jackson: "Husband?"
Victoria Vestri: "Of course he's my husband. What sort of woman did you take me for?"
Ben Jackson: "Well how come you got different names?"
Victoria Vestri: "We're actors, not people!"
Ben Jackson: "Well, you coulda said something."
Charles Mattews: "Well, you coulda asked!"

The assembled audience finds this exchange extremely funny. Since she's a married lady, romance for Jackson is out. After all, he has standards! Ben's anticipated showdown with Paladin is shut down as well. Paladin hurt his hand (perhaps) during the earlier set-to and Jackson won't have it be said he took advantage of the situation. There will be another time.


The show continues with something from the lighter side of Shakespeare promised by Charles. Paladin returns to his home base of San Francisco pleased with an assignment that ended in laughter instead of fatal gunplay.




OF NOTE

Vincent Price (1911-1993) and lovely Patricia Morison (1915-2018) were perfectly cast as stage performers in this episode.


Vincent made his Broadway debut as Prince Albert opposite Helen Hayes in Victoria Regina by Laurence Housman which began its successful run in 1935.


Patricia's greatest success was as Lillie Vanessi/Katherine in Cole Porter's phenomenal 1948 hit Kiss Me, Kate, with music and Shakespeare side by side.

Patricia was also the understudy for Victoria in that earlier run of Victoria Regina with Vincent Price. One wonders if Helen Hayes ever caught a cold; just a little one.















34 comments:

  1. ANDREW V. MCLAGLEN directed 116 episodes of HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL. There were 225 eps so there were 109 that he didn't direct. He directed more than half! He directed a DISNEY movie MONKEYS GO HOME with DEAN JONES. He also directed THE BALLAD OF JOSIE with DORIS DAY and PETER GRAVES. PLUS he was the director of 96 eps of GUNSMOKE starring JAMES ARNESS. Most people know Arness was the older brother of Graves. P.S. I think DORIS DAY and DEAN JONES would have been good in a movie together.

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    1. I am a big fan of Andrew McLaglen's TV work especially. He provided me with hours of entertainment and does wonderful commentary on the Gunsmoke anniversary DVD set. His dad was the Victor McLaglen (Informer). Andrew's daughter Mary is a producer (War of the Planet of the Apes) and his son Josh is an assistant director (Logan).

      PS: I can't quite see Doris and Dean together, but my imagination sometimes takes a while to get into gear.

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  2. Have Gun was one of the more interesting, quirky western shows of the 1950s, and I think Richard Boone is one of the most underrated actors out there - I haven't seen this episode but it sounds fascinating, especially considering the 2 guest stars - hope it's available on Youtube!

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    1. The Classic TV gods are kind! The episode does indeed appear to be available on the inestimable YouTube.

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  3. Thanks for your fabulous post Paddy, I adored your introduction to this episode and it definitely set the scene for this fun episode. Thanks for joining!

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  4. This sounds like a fun episode. I love the tough guy Ben with ethical standards and honour. Back when even the villains knew there were lines you did not cross. Nice review.

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    1. Thank you. With a title like "The Moor's Revenge", my first thought was one of those "actor takes the role of Othello too seriously" things, and the episode turned out to be a charming surprise.

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  5. I have never seen have gun Will travel, but this episode sounds like the one to watch!

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    1. It is available on YouTube and it is a treat indeed.

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  6. Bahaha! I love this line: "We're actors, not people!"

    Your fab analysis shows what a versatile actor Vincent P. could be. My admiration for him has grown because of this blogathon.

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    1. Vinnie (I call him "Vinnie." What he doesn't know won't hurt him.) was so versatile and such an incredibly busy man, in his acting career and beyond. My admiration for him grows as well.

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  7. I remember this episode fondly because of the delightful guest stars! I absolutely love that photo of Morey with a mustache! Hard to believe that's the wise-cracking comic of The Dick Van Dyke Show and the Beach Party movies. I remember Ms. Morison best from the Inner Sanctum mystery Calling Dr. Death.

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    1. All those memories and they come together in this delightful episode. You reminded me that we get Vinnie's cameo at the end of Beach Party. Imagine, I went through the whole exercise of writing this post without thinking of it!

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  8. MELODY THOMAS SCOTT turns 64 today. She is best known for playing NIKKI NEWMAN on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. She had a small part in THE SHOOTIST which was the final movie that JOHN WAYNE did. She played the girl on the trolley car toward the end of the movie. Also in the movie was.....RICHARD BOONE.

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    1. Nothing ages you like an actor's career. You remember when they were young and can't believe they are old. And what that means about yourself.

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  9. This looks like a fun episode, made even better, thanks to Mr. Price. Thanks a bunch for participating in the blogathon!

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    1. Thanks for hosting this terrific blogathon. It was my pleasure to join in.

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  10. TV westerns...now you're speaking my language! This is a fun one, but if you want to see one with a surprising number of big-name cameos, check out Wagon Train!

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    1. Indeed. You think of an actor/actress and it is almost a sure bet that they appeared on Wagon Train at one time or another.

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  11. Thanks for your wonderful post about this episode! I've seen Have Gun, Will Travel, but never this Price-ified entry! I look forward to checking it out. Classic TV series are certainly a goldmine for movie fans, as so many of our favorites appeared in them!

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    1. These classic TV episodes are such a special treat. Wonderfully told creative stories and "old friends."

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  12. What are your favorite VINCENT PRICE movies? Do you know his TV work very well?

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    1. Some favourite Vincent Price movies are Laura, Champagne for Caesar, House of Wax, The Comedy of Terrors, Leave Her to Heaven, The Song of Bernadette, The Long Night, While the City Sleeps, The Fly, House of Usher, Dragonwyck, and I have a nostalgic attachment to The Big Circus.

      I get a big kick out of his Egghead on Batman. I enjoyed him on Columbo, Ellery Queen and on The Snoop Sisters opposite his Queen Victoria, Helen Hayes.

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  13. Love the line, "We're actors, not people!" It's interesting that this is the second post in the blogathon to feature Vincent as an actor in a TV western. He was a natural for that type of role.

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    1. That line cracked me up. Vinnie could seamlessly slip into a variety of characters and stories. He is always a joy to watch.

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  14. Speaking of WAGON TRAIN both DICK YORK and DICK SARGENT were guest stars on that show. Of course, they are best known for playing DARRIN STEPHENS on BEWITCHED. York for the first 5 seasons and then Sargent for the last 3 seasons. Today Dick Sargent would have been 90. Sadly his passing was in 1994 at the age of 64. He did an ep of TRAPPER JOHN, MD that I remember very well. He played a doctor that secretly is the leader of a hate group, they hate Jewish people. He and Trapper are talking and Trapper wants to know what he gets out of leading those people and he says-power. His wife overhead them talking and goes to her husband and hauls off and slaps him! He also did an ep of MURDER, SHE WROTE. It was about a painting and had FOSTER BROOKS, DIANE BAKER, TESS HARPER and ANN DUSENBERRY as the wife to Sargents character. I really like Diane, Tess and Ann. (I don't know the work of Foster Brooks very well.) P.S. I also meant to say that Sergent did an ep of GUNSMOKE where his name was BUD BONES.

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    1. Foster Brooks is probably most well known for playing drunk characters. He was a mainstay on the Dean Martin Roasts, and he played a drunk driver in a Christmas episode of Adam-12.

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  15. Thanks for this great review Patricia. I had never heard of that TV show!
    Seems like Vincent Price played Shakespearian actors more than once :)

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    1. It was a very popular program on television which ran for six seasons featuring very interesting stories and actors. Ida Lupino directed 8 episodes.

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  16. This is one of my favourite episodes of Have Gun--Will Travel. It is such a treat because Paladin is usually the most urbane fellow anywhere he goes, but in "The Moor's Revenge" he has Vincent Price and Patricia Morison with him, who are every bit as sophisticated as him! Vincent and Patricia both deliver fine performances as well.

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    1. I feel the same way about this outstanding and unique episode. And it could not have been cast better.

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  17. DICK YORK did the western movie COWBOY with GLENN FORD and JACK LEMMON. P.S. Do you recall that ep of TRAPPER JOHN, MD with DICK SARGENT? The name of his character was Dr. Philip MONTAGUE!

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    1. I had forgotten about Cowboy; haven't seen it in years.

      I do not recall the Trapper John episode.

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