Monday, May 3, 2021

BING'S BIRTHDAY MOVIE: Just for You, 1952

Bing Crosby stars as Jordan Blake, a phenomenally successful producer/composer/director/entertainer. A widower for ten years, romance has entered his life in the form of musical star Carolina Hill played by Jane Wyman. Blake has not intentionally neglected his children, it is simply that he has been a very busy man and suddenly they are growing out of childhood, and he is suddenly aware that his relationships with Jerry played by Robert Arthur and Barbara played by Natalie Wood are rocky at best or at their worst, non-existent.

Robert Arthur, Natalie Wood, Bing Crosby

Jerry wants to write music and get out from under the shadow of his acclaimed parent. Jerry is experienced love for the first time, and the object of his affection is Carolina Hill whom he believes returns his love. Jerry is so blinded by it all that he doesn't see the relationship between Carolina and his father.

Barbara's problem is less troublesome than Jerry's. We are told that she has been "hard on governesses" and the latest one, Miss Angevine played by Cora Witherspoon is a tippler. However, Miss Angevine has put in Barbara's head the notion of the benefits of an exclusive girl's school, St. Hilary's. Barbara sees in such an institution the guidance her life has lacked and the joyful camaraderie of peers. 

Ethel Barrymore, Bing Crosby

Barbara's problem is easily solved when her father makes the acquaintance of St. Hilary's headmistress Miss de Bronkhart played by Ethel Barrymore. The school isn't as deadset against "show biz folk" as they had been led to believe. Jerry's broken heart will not be so easily mended. He must find his own way.

The emotional crux of the movie relies on Robert Arthur as Jerry and he shoulders the burden well. Natalie Wood, at 12 years of age, seems to have skipped the awkward stage that plagues youngsters. She had some inner magic, not attributable to Hollywood magic. Jane Wyman is bubbly and caring as the musical star, wearing the best of Edith Head gowns and seemingly having a grand time. Bing, as always, makes it look oh-so-easy.

Songs in Just for You, including the title ballad are by Harry Warren and Leo Robin. Production numbers from Blake's hit show showcase talented dancers choreographed by Helen Tamiris and beautifully costumed. 

Jane Wyman, Julie Newmar in the background, Bing Crosby

Zing a Little Zong is a catchy tune and presented at a party to celebrate opening night. Bing and Jane appear to be having almost as much fun as they did with the Oscar winner In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening in the previous year's Here Comes the Groom. In fact, the new song did get itself an Oscar nomination, losing to Dimitri Tiomkin and Paul Francis Webster's Ballad of High Noon. Click on the link above to enjoy the song from the movie and give yourself a bonus point for spotting Julie Newmar (in the photo above), her first year in the movies. She is easy to spot in the big dance production numbers.


Bing Crosby, Jane Wyman

Just for You is a sumptuous treat for the eyes thanks to George Barnes Technicolor cinematography, and a treasure of mid-century design in sets and costumes. Robert Carson's (A Star is Born) screenplay is based on Famous, a short story by Stephen Vincent Benet. 

Elliott Nugent (The Male Animal) directed the movie, the final of three with Bing Crosby including She Loves Me Not, 1934, and Welcome, Stranger, 1947 (plus Bing's cameo in My Favorite Brunette, 1947).

Bonus treat:

Here's Bing and Ben Lessy performing a little number at the St. Hilary's tea and recital. On the 10:10 (from Ten-Ten-Tennessee).











Saturday, May 1, 2021

CAFTAN WOMAN'S CHOICE: ONE FOR MAY ON TCM


Isolation, illness, and fear; humanity's history and misery can be tracked through its battle with plagues. Isle of the Dead is a 1945 release from the Val Lewton production unit at RKO, noted for their non-traditional horror tales. The movie is a character study of people grappling with overwhelming disaster.


Swiss artist Arnold Bocklin's 1883 work Isle of the Dead inspired the film. Ardel Wray (I Walked with a Zombie), Josef  Mischel (Prison Ship), and uncredited Val Lewton wrote the story and screenplay. Film editor turned director Mark Robson (Bright Victory) proved himself adept at the relatively modest tales released by the unit. Cinematographer Jack MacKenzie (Two O'Clock Courage), in films since the teens, worked in B films for the studio and helped create the shadowy atmosphere.

Marc Cramer, Boris Karloff

Our setting is 1912, the War of the Balkans. The battlefield is strewn with corpses and the threat of plague is in the air. General Pherides played by Boris Karloff is an old campaigner and a stern officer. Marc Cramer plays Oliver Davis, a war correspondent from Boston assigned to follow the General. He will follow him to an island cemetery to pay respects to the General's long dead wife.

Skelton Knaggs, Jason Robards Sr., Boris Karloff

The Island and its odd component of residents are placed under quarantine when funny little Andrew Robbins played by Skelton Knaggs. The traveler only wanted to return to the sound of Bow Bells, but he staggered to his death on the desolate island. The army physician Dr. Drossos played by Ernst Deutsch issues the quarantine orders and instructions regarding hygiene and distancing yourself from others. Once contracted, there is no cure for the illness. Hope is held out in a watch for the warm sirocco which will clear the area of fleas. 

Jason Robards Sr., Ernst Deutsch, Boris Karloff

The owner of the home belongs to an archeologist, Mr. Albrecht played by Jason Robards Sr. He does not discount the doctor's science, but steeped in an antiquarian's mindset he amusingly says he will pray to the god Hermes, and see who helps their plight first. 

Ellen Drew, Katherine Emery, Alan Napier

A married couple, the St. Aubyns played by Alan Napier and Katherine Emery have secrets to keep and to share, involving Mrs. St. Aubyn's delicate health. Thea played by Ellen Drew is a companion to Mary St. Aubyn. The St. Aubyns love and trust the young woman, but Madame Kyra played by Helene Thimig is suspicious, perhaps jealous, of the younger woman's blooming health.

Helene Thimig, Boris Karloff

Kyra spreads old country superstitions about the evil spirit of the undead vorvolakas. In her eyes, Thea is to blame for the troubles that have befallen them. Sensing a kindred soul in Pherides, Kyra turns the General against Thea.

Death, fear of death, superstition, and fear of the unknown are among the plagues that come to the small island. Will the wind change? Will it be too late? 


Boris Karloff

RKO Studios and Boris Karloff had a felicitous teaming in the mid-1940s when the actor appeared in a series of pictures for the B unit run by producer Val Lewton. "B" in budget and expectations, but "A" in the care given, the ensemble casts, and Boris Karloff following his phenomenal Broadway success with Arsenic and Old Lace. The pictures include one of his finest performances as the grave robber Gray in The Body Snatcher, the sadistic Master Simms in Bedlam, and General Pherides in our picture. Karloff also struts his stuff in a 1947 release for the studio, Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome.


TCM is screening Isle of the Dead during the daytime of Tuesday, May 18. Islands figure prominently in the lineup which includes Robinson Crusoe, The Most Dangerous Game, and The Little Hut

















Wednesday, April 28, 2021

So, what did I miss?

 


"What a story! Everything but the bloodhounds snappin' at her rear end."

- All About Eve, 1950


Multi-organ transplant unit at Toronto General Hospital April 8 - April 27, 2021

All patients bring their greatest hopes and greatest fears to the hospital but there is something surreal about hanging your hopes on an object foreign to your own body. 

The surgical team, considering my complication of not having a bladder (lost to cancer years ago) proclaimed the operation "Challenging, exciting, and ultimately elegant." Personally, I have never felt less elegant in my life! Nonetheless, I am grateful and in awe of the skill and dedication of the staff at the hospital.

I am more than grateful for my beautiful family and friends whose love and support sustained me during the rollercoaster ride and will continue to do so as this crazy ride continues. My wonderful online friends from CMBA, Old Movie Weirdos all, and inspiring bloggers who share our passion for classic films keep it real and touch my heart. A kidney was generously donated and it is my job to care for it. (Send Swiffer Dusters!)

It will take a while for my energy to return, but I am back!

Friday, April 2, 2021

THE 2021 CLASSIC LITERATURE ON FILM BLOGATHON: The Wind in the Willows, 1949 and 1983


Paul Batters at Silver Screen Classics is our host for The 2021 Classic Literature On Film Blogathan on April 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. The articles: day oneday twoday three

 


The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932) grew out of bedtime stories for the Scottish author's only son Alastair (1900-1920). Grahame was an older father, whose own childhood was interrupted by death and displacement and does not seem to have easily communicated with a son dealing with health problems. The stories of the denizens of the riverbank and wildwood may not have been the perfect familial bridge, but have survived to the delight of generations of other families and readers.

The tale of Rat messing about in his boats, and Mole discovering the world above ground, of the disruptive otters, the mystical Pan, the wise old Badger, and of the impetuous and conceited Toad of Toad Hall is reflective, amusing, and adventurous. 


The story of Toad's run-in with the law due to his mania for motor cars was adapted for the stage by A.A. Milne in 1929 as Toad of Toad Hall. This was the first of many adaptations on stage and screen, both big and small to this day.


The Disney Studio released the compilation film The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad in 1949. Since that initial theatrical release, the two segments have often been shown or released as separate shorts. "Ichabod" refers to Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow narrated by Bing Crosby. Basil Rathbone narrated The Wind in the Willows having chosen Toad as "the greatest character in British literature" over Sherlock Holmes.

Eric Blore as Toad

While the Disney script touches on the dry humour of the characters, and their manners and traditions, they follow the route taken by Milne's play. This animated featurette focuses on Toad and his escapades. Toad is the wealthiest of all the animals along the river. The grand estate Toad Hall is the community's pride. Toad, who considers himself the best of fellows and the best of friends is a bit of a loose cannon. No one knows quite when a new obsession will overtake him and in pursuit of his single-minded adventures, he never considers the consequences.

Claud Alister as Rat

When motorcars enter his life, Toad becomes completely unhinged and is jailed as a car thief. Toad's escape and his reclaiming of his ancestral home from the true villains give the artists and animators an opportunity to cut loose with a rollicking slapstick finale. The backgrounds and the character design are exquisitely done and the colours a mix of the subdued and the vibrant to compliment the story. Imprudent he may be, but Toad in a Disney movie is no thief. 

J. Pat O'Malley as Cyril Proudbottom

The voice cast adds immeasurably to the story. Eric Blore (Top Hat) as Toad is just as one would imagine him. Claud Alister, who was a perfect Algy Longworth to Ralph Richardson's Bulldog Drummond was born to play the Water Rat, as well as Sir Giles in Disney's The Reluctant Dragon.


Disney put two characters of their own in the story. First, Toad's companion in trouble, a horse named Cyril Proudbottom voiced by J. Pat O'Malley (The Jungle Book) who is a hoot, then a barman named Winkie voiced by the Oscar-winning composer of Dumbo, Oliver Wallace.

Toad on the page takes to the country in a lavishly outfitted caravan with his friends Rat and Mole. Toad on the screen and the disreputable Cyril rampage throughout the countryside foretelling Toad's attitude once he gets into a motorcar. The pair have their own rollicking theme, The Merrily SongIt was the inspiration for the popular Disneyland attraction, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. 

This entertaining musical short is a fun introduction to these characters, as it was for my children, with genuine laughs and memorable moments. Over the years, I have become quite fond of the entire effect bracketed by the wry narration of Basil Rathbone.


Cosgrove Hall Films 1983 TV movie The Wind in the Willows is a total charmer. It begins with the music. The theme by Keith Hopwood and Malcolm Rowe conveys the memory of something long ago and a lullaby. We are prepared to enjoy the storytelling. 

The fidelity to its source is wisely presented, editing judiciously and highlighting fondly recalled characters and events. The artist's backgrounds provide a real-world for the characters to inhabit. The character design is meticulous and the stop-motion animation is top-notch.

Ian Carmichael

The voice casting and the work of the actors is delightful. Ian Carmichael is the dreamy and stubborn Rat. Richard Pearson the shy and loyal Mole. Sir Michael Horden is the wise and no-nonsense Badger. David Jason is the unforgettable Toad.

Peter Sallis, Sir Michael Horden, David Jason, Richard Pearson

The Wind in the Willows' popularity led to a television series, 1984-1988 which saw Ian Carmichael taking on the role of the narrator and Peter Sallis performing the role of Rat.

The seasons and all their customs, their opportunity to enjoy life in the country are leisurely presented. The enduring friendship of our characters is touchingly told. The troublesome Toad is what he is, everybody knows it, and although he brings his closest pals to their wit's end, no animal will be left behind (except for weasels and stoats, and the like).

Toad on the page and Toad on the screen are harmonious in the adventure of the caravan. They have their own theme to share in On the Open Road. Wouldn't you love to have that caravan?

The Wind in the Willows was awarded the BAFTA in 1984 for Best Children's Programme (Entertainment/Drama) and nominated for Best Animated Film. 

Adaptions of The Wind in the Willows are numerous and varied on the stage, on television, in movies, both live action, and all manner of animation. Perhaps your favourite is one of the many or one yet to be produced. The two highlighted here retain a special place in my heart.
















Monday, March 29, 2021

CAFTAN WOMAN'S CHOICE: ONE FOR APRIL ON TCM


The Footlight Club is a NYC boarding house for young women in the theatrical profession; actresses, chorus girls, musicians or waitresses, and hatcheck girls making the rounds of auditions and manager's offices. Mrs. Orcutt (Elizabeth Dunne) is the landlady. She was in Bernhardt's company and a chair used by the legendary actress is the centrepiece of the home's main floor. Miss Luther (Constance Collier) is an older resident of the club and the younger women, if they open their eyes, may see their future in the woman all too willing to share the stories of her past glory, and who "may" begin coaching until the next role comes along. Note: Constance Collier was in reality a respected acting coach and became a lifelong friend of co-star Katharine Hepburn.



The residents can be characterized by the naive newcomers with stars in their eyes and the hardened veterans of the theatre wars. It only takes a few weeks of lack of work, lack of money, lack of food, and lack of encouragement for one to turn into the other. A steady flow of sarcasm and bitter humour is the armour worn by these young women. It offers scant protection.

Teenager Ann Miller with Ginger Rogers

Judith Canfield (Lucille Ball) entertains visiting businessmen from back home in Seattle for the meals they provide. She sometimes brings pals like Eve (Eve Arden) in on the free food. Linda Shaw (Gail Patrick) has found a temporary meal ticket with Anthony Powell (Adolphe Menjou), a producer who is not looking for emotional entanglements.

Jean Maitland (Ginger Rogers) is an attractive and talented dancer, and one of those who has perfected the art of looking like she hasn't a care in the world while carrying the weight of it on her shoulders. Her dance partner Annie (Ann Miller) is a go-getter with an open personality. 

Kay Hamilton (Andrea Leeds) is an actress. Everyone agrees she is the most talented resident, and last season she wowed everyone in her Broadway debut. This season, she can't even get into Anthony Powell's office. A combination of personal and professional disappointments and lack of money is driving Kay to tragedy.

Katharine Hepburn, Constance Collier in the background

Into this garden spot comes Terry Randall (Katharine Hepburn), a midwestern heiress; confident and well-heeled. Terry has gotten it into her head that she wants to be an actress. She has very definite ideas and very definite ways of expressing herself. It will take a while for the others to discover Terry is not such a bad egg, as eggs go.

Directed by Gregory La Cava (My Man Godfrey) from the screenplay by Morrie Ryskind (Penny Serenade) and Anthony Veiller (The Stranger) adapting the Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman play.

You will find our peek into The Footlight Club, the characters, their struggles, and their valiant humour a place you will happily visit more than once. 



"They should have called it Screen Door."
- George S. Kaufman

The Ferber and Kaufman play, their third following The Royal Family and Dinner at Eight, ran on Broadway for 169 performances from October 1936 to March 1937. It is not a surprise that the authors were less than pleased with the adaptation seeing as their play has its fair share of Hollywood-bashing which, of course, had to go.

Terry Randall of the play is no nouveau-riche newcomer, but a talented actress who is devoted to the theatre and to a young playwright of left-leaning ideals. Margaret Sullavan was acclaimed and associated with the role, and when she left the play due to pregnancy, the producers decided to close the run. 

Note Mary Wickes (upper right) in her first Broadway season at the beginning of her long and storied career.

On stage and on screen, Stage Door gives young actresses a chance to strut their stuff and the characters are timeless.


TCM is presenting Stage Door in the morning of  Monday, April 26th when the alphabetical screenings of 31 Days of Oscar reaching the letter "S." Don't miss it. The calla lilies will be in bloom.

Stage Door Oscar nominations:

Best Picture
Winner: The Life of Emile Zola


Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Andrea Leeds as Kay Hamilton
Winner: Alice Brady, In Old Chicago

Best Director, Gregory La Cava
Winner: Leo McCarey, The Awful Truth

Best Writing, Screenplay: Morrie Ryskind and Anthony Veiller
Winner: The Life of Emile Zola


Of note:
Andrea Leeds as Kay, Oscar nominee

Classic TV is in good hands:
Eve Arden, Our Miss Brooks
Gail Patrick, Perry Mason producer
Lucille Ball, I Love Lucy, Desilu













Friday, March 19, 2021

THE 7TH ANNUAL FAVOURITE TV SHOW EPISODE BLOGATHON: Barney Miller, Fog 1980


Terence Towles Canote at A Shroud of Thoughts is hosting his Seventh Annual Favourite TV Show Episode Blogathon. Click HERE to access this year's contributions.

FOG

Season 6, Episode 22

First aired May 8, 1980

Directed by Noam Pitlik

Story by Mark Brull, Teleplay by Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein, Tony Sheehan


Hal Linden

Captain Miller: "A helluva night for brooding."

Fog envelopes NYC and completely oppresses the 12th Precinct, the site of the award-winning ensemble comedy series Barney Miller, 1975-1982.


Max Gail

Det. Sgt. Arthur Dietrich (Steve Landesberg) quotes Shakespeare, Sgt. Stan Wojciehowicz (Max Gail) quotes Sandburg, and Detective/author Ron Harris (Ron Glass) resorts to a familiar cliche to describe the atmosphere. Pea soup, anyone? 

Captain Barney Miller (Hal Linden) is in a contemplative mood as he has, for the third time, been passed over for a promotion to Detective Inspector. The squad is concerned as Barney sits alone in the dark ruminating on life and careers and choices.


Ron Carey, Bill Dillard

Officer Carl Levitt (Ron Carey) brings in the first arrest of the evening. Edward Jennings (Bill Dillard) is a trumpet player who had a run-in with a Julliard string quartet who was playing at his corner on Washington Square. The second violin is pressing charges and Jennings has no access to bail.


Robert Levine, Sydney Lassick, Hal Linden

Dietrich and Harris bring in Victor Carse (Sydney Lassick), who has indelicately used a sledgehammer on the satellite dish atop the telephone company offices. The phone company executive Howard Kimbro (Robert Levine) has a tick and a problem with the persistent Mr. Carse. Carse's warning of the dangers of the microwaves used by the phone company falls on deaf or at least pragmatic ears due to his unhinged rants.


Ron Glass, Max Gail, Steve Landesberg, Hal Linden

Concern regarding the dark place to which Barney has literally and metaphorically retreated leads to an impromptu therapy session. Each sergeant finds they have a reason to take responsibility for "downtown" skipping their Captain for promotion. Harris's book, Wojo's acting without thinking, and Dietrich getting arrested. For Barney, it is the time that has passed.

Barney Miller: "You know, the first years were really the best. I mean, we really thought we would make a difference. We were out there every day, busting our tails, me, Baxter, Crusen. My God, I'm starting to sound like Luger." (James Gregory).

Harris: "Don't worry. We caught it early."


Ron Carey, J.J. Barry, Hal Linden, Max Gail

Wojo and Harris's last collar of the evening is Fred W. Bauer (J.J. Barry). Bauer's goal was to rob a jewellery store on Houston, but the confusing fog sent him into a Christian Science Reading Room, tripping their alarm. Bauer sees great humour in how he ended up at the 12th, but he's dealing with a tough crowd. His off-the-cuff lines which would normally fit in with the staff's sense of humor are falling flat because of the spirit of the evening.

Levitt gives Mr. Jennings his trumpet and from the cage, he serenades the 12th Precinct with a melancholy version of I Can't Get Started (Vernon Duke/Ira Gershwin).


J.J. Barry, Ron Glass, Bill Dillard, Ron Carey
Sidney Lassick, Steve Landesberg, Max Gail, Hal Linden

Another Bauer quip falls flat in the squad room but this Barney Miller fan has been chuckling about it for 40 years.

Fred Bauer: "What year is this?"




Bonus: Bunny Berigan's 1937 recording of I Can't Get Started








Monday, March 8, 2021

THE JOAN COLLINS BLOGATHON, Ellery Queen: The Adventure of Auld Lang Syne, 1975


Gill at RealWeegieMidgitReviews is hosting The Joan Collins Blogathon from March 8 - 10. Enjoy the tributes to the enduring star HERE plus BONUS articles.

Ellery Queen, the fictional detective/author created by Frederick Dannay and Manfred Lee in 1929 was developed as a television series in 1975 by Richard Levinson and William Link. They placed the birdlike bulldog from Headquarters, Inspector Richard Queen (David Wayne), and his writer son Ellery (Jim Hutton) in a 1940s milieu which made 22 episodes of perfect whodunit television. The series has grown in appreciation with audiences over the years, but NBC didn't realize what they had at the time.

Each episode featured an ensemble guest cast as suspects. Each guest star was given the opportunity to shine throughout the story. 


Ellery Queen: The Adventure of Auld Lang Syne

Season 1, Episode 1

First aired September 11, 1975

Directed by David Greene

Story and screenplay by Peter S. Fischer

Peggy Rea, Tom Reese, David Wayne

Inspector Queen is ushering in the New Year's Eve leading to 1947 at the Astor Hotel listening to Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians and valiantly suffering under the forced gaiety of Sgt. Velie (Tom Reese) and his wife (Peggy Rea).

Jim Hutton

Ellery and his date are expected but Ellery is remarkably absent-minded when he is working on a novel. 

Thayer David

THAYER DAVID as Marcus Halliday is hosting his own soiree at the Astor. Halliday has problems with every one of his guests and is determined to ruin them or cut them out of his will as the case may be. Before midnight Marcus Halliday will be murdered and be the cause of a big headache for Inspector Queen. There is a well-to-do and well-connected crowd at the Astor and they don't like being tied up in a murder investigation.

Our suspects/guest stars listed alphabetically are:

David Doyle, Farley Granger, Joan Collins

JOAN COLLINS as Lady Daisy Frawley. Lady Frawley is engaged to Halliday's son Lewis. She is, to quote Marcus Halliday "a divorced and shopworn social climber."

We will focus on the fun in Joan Collins's performance for this blogathon. The posh Lady Frawley is accused by Marcus Halliday of being a tramp from Soho Square; a golddigger who was never married to a Lord. Lady Frawley's outrage almost makes her accent slip a time or two. She loves Lewis for who he is, not for his money! Well, Lewis may believe that but no one else is falling for it.

Charles Robinson, Joan Collins, David Wayne

Lady Frawley is cowed by Inspector Queen's investigation but keeps her head. When the photographic proof is processed that seems to absolve both she and Lewis from the crime she really lords it over Inspector Queen in a most unladylike fashion.

It is a great deal of fun watching Joan Collins as Lady Frawley. Her energy and panache are a joyful thing. I hope she had as much fun working on this program back in 1975 as we have watching the performance.

David Doyle

DAVID DOYLE as Donald Becker. Halliday's newly acquired business partner is a scam artist.

Herb Edelman

HERB EDELMAN as a cabbie. He's not a suspect but is a welcome help to Ellery Queen.

Farley Granger

FARLEY GRANGER as Paul Quincy. Halliday's deceitful nephew is a petty, unimaginative thief.

Guy Lombardo

GUY LOMBARDO as Guy Lombardo, Canadian-born musician. For many years, it was not truly a New Year's Eve unless we heard Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians play Auld Lang Syne.

Karen Machon, Jim Hutton

KAREN MACHON as Kitty McBride. She is not a suspect either but she is one angry date who has been stood up by Ellery Queen. She gets over it.

Joan Collins, Charles Robinson

CHARLES ROBINSON as Lewis Halliday. Marcus considers him a lazy, grateful son. Lady Frawley considers him a handsome meal ticket.

Barbara Rush

BARBARA RUSH as Emma Zelman. Halliday's loyal secretary for 15 years is on his bad side since "deserting him" for romance.

Ray Walston

RAY WALSTON as Howard Pratt. Emma's boyfriend is described by Marcus as a middle-aged Casper Milquetoast. He hides a huge secret.

George Wyner

GEORGE WYNER as Joe Kemmelman is a confused undertaker who gets mixed up in a New Year's Eve murder.

While we are enjoying the plot and the performances in an Ellery Queen episode, time slips by, and before we know it there is Ellery asking us if we have solved the mystery.

Jim Hutton

"Are you with me? You may even be way ahead of me. Now, it's not that difficult to figure out why Halliday called Kemmelman, a man he never met, a man he never knew. Remember, he had to have known who stabbed him. The knife was wedged in that phone booth so he couldn't crawl out. He couldn't talk so why call the police, so he did the next best thing. Since he didn't have a pencil or a pen, he left us the only clue he could to the murderer's identity. Have got the same answer as I do?"



















BING'S BIRTHDAY MOVIE: Just for You, 1952

Bing Crosby stars as Jordan Blake, a phenomenally successful producer/composer/director/entertainer. A widower for ten years, romance has en...