Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Victorian Era in Film on TCM in April

If you are a fan of Victoriana, then you are in luck with regards to Turner Classic Films in April. On Thursday nights next month TCM will feature movies set during the Victorian Era. Each Thursday has a particular theme. The theme for April 3 is Victorian Crime and will feature such films as The Lodger (1944) and Gaslight (1944). The theme for April 12 is Science and Exploration and will feature such films as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) and The Time Machine (1960). The theme for April 19 is Victorian Romance and will feature such films as Great Expectations (1946) and Far from the Madding Crowd (1967).  The theme for April 26 is Victorian Society and Manners and will feature such films as The Importance of Being Earnest (1952) and The Wrong Box (1966). Each night will feature five different films.

As someone who is interested in the Victorian era, I am looking forward to the Victorian Era in Film, although I wish they would air one of the Sherlock Holmes films (the 1939 version of The Hound of the Baskervilles would be ideal) as well as the Hammer version of Dracula (my favourite version of the novel). Both would fit well with the theme of Victorian Crime. After all, a programming block on films set in the Victorian Era really should feature the two best known fictional characters to emerge from that era! I also would prefer they air the 1931 version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with Fredric March, which I think is superior to the 1941 version. Regardless, TCM has some great films lined up this April on Thursday nights that those of us interested in the Victorian Era will want to see.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Louise Latham R.I.P.

Louise Latham, who played the mother of the title character in Marine (1964)  and appeared frequently on television, died on February 12 2018 at the age of 95.

Louise Latham was born on September 23 1922 in Hamilton, Texas. She started her career at the Margo Jones Theatre in Dallas, Texas. She made her debut on Broadway in a revival of Major Barbara in 1956. In 1961 she made her television debut in an episode of Armstrong Circle Theatre. During the Sixties she guest starred on such shows as The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Rogues, Mr. Novak, Perry Mason, Ben Casey, Run for Your Life, The Invaders, The Fugitive, Family Affair, The F.B.I., Bonanza, and Ironside. She appeared in the films Marnie (1964), Firecreek (1968), Hail, Hero! (1969), and Adam at Six A.M. (1970).  She appeared on Broadway in Isle of Children in 1962.

In the Seventies Miss Latham guest starred on such shows as McCloud, Cannon, The Sixth Sense, Hawaii Five-O, The Streets of San Francisco, Hec Ramsey, Columbo, Gunsmoke, Medical Centre, The Six Milllion Dollar Man, The Waltons, Quincy M.E., Eight is Enough, and CHiPs. She was a regular on the short-lived Western Sara. She appeared in the movies Making It (1971), White Lightning (1973), The Sugarland Express (1974), and 92 in the Shade (1975).

In the Eighties Louise Latham appeared in the mini-series Fresno and was a regular on the TV series Hothouse. She appeared on such shows as The Wonderful World of Disney, Highway to Heaven, Hotel, Designing Women, Hunter, and Falcon Crest. She appeared in the movies The Philadelphia Experiment (1984) and Mass Appeal (1984). In the Nineties she appeared on such shows as Roc; Murder, She Wrote; Earth 2; ER; and The X-Files. She appeared in the mini-series Cruel Doubt and In Cold Blood. She appeared in the films Paradise (1991) and Love Field (1995).

Louise Latham was a very talented actress. For movie buffs she may be best remembered as Marnie's manipulative mother in Marnie. On The Waltons she played a role as far from Mrs. Edgar as one could get--Olivia's aunt who helps her cope with menopause. She could play good characters and evil characters with equal ease, from a murderer on Perry Mason to the kind-hearted mother of a Downs syndrome patient on ER. Louise Latham was extremely versatile.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Tom Reese Passes On

Tom Reese, who made numerous guest appearances on TV shows, appeared in movies from 40 Pounds of Trouble (1962) to North Dallas Forty (1979), and played Sgt. Velie on the cult TV show Ellery Queen, died on December 12 2017 at the age of 89.

Tom Reese was born Tom Allen in Chattanooga, Tennessee on August 8 1928. His father Austin Allen and his uncle Lee Allen comprised a country music duo known as The Allen Brothers. The Allen Brothers saw some success in the Twenties, but following the Great Depression they decided to leave the music business. Austin Allen took up work in construction and eventually moved to New York City. Tom Reese worked a variety of odd jobs as a young man before serving in the United States Marine Corps for five years. Following his service he studied acting at the American Theatre Wing and then joined John Cassavetes's Actors Workshop.

Given he was part of the Actors Workshop, it should come as no surprise that he made his television debut in John Cassavetes's TV series Johnny Staccato in 1959. He made his film debut the same year in John Cassavetes's movie Shadows. Mr. Reese had a busy year on television in 1960, guest starring on such shows as M Squad, Gunsmoke, The Man from Blackhawk, Law of the Plainsman, My Sister Eileen, Have Gun--Will Travel, Route 66, and Death Valley Days. He appeared in the movie Flaming Star (1960).

In the Sixties Tom Reese guest starred on such shows as Lawman, The Twilight Zone, Dobie Gillis, The Untouchables, Gunsmoke, The Virginian, The Wild Wild West, Rawhide, Bonanza, The Guns of Will Sonnett, The High Chaparral, and Land of the Giants. He appeared in such films as Marines, Let's Go (1961), 40 Pounds of Trouble (1962), Taggart (1964), The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), Murderer's Row (1966), The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967), and Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969).

In the Seventies Tom Reese played Sgt. Thomas Velie on Ellery Queen from 1975 to 1976. He guest starred on such shows as Monty Nash, Mannix, The Six Million Dollar Man, Kung Fu, Emergency!, Gunsmoke, Police Woman, Wonder Woman, CPO Sharkey, and Chico and the Man. He appeared in the films Vanishing Point (1971), The Outfit (1973), The Wild Party (1975), North Dallas Forty (1979), and Defiance (1980).

In the Eighties Mr. Reese guest starred on such shows as Simon & Simon; The A-Team; Knight Rider; Moonlighting; Murder, She Wrote; and Paradise. His last appearance on screen was in the movie Dark and Stormy Night (2009).

On screen Tom Reese was the consummate tough guy. In fact, he was famous for doing his own fight scenes, and continued to do so for much of his career until he realise he was keeping stuntmen out of work. This is not to say that Mr. Reese did not have talent for something other than throwing a punch. He played the apostle Thomas in The Greatest Story Ever Told, gangster Ted Newberry in The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, and Coach Waddy in North Dallas Forty. Of course, he may be best known to many people as Sgt. Velie on Ellery Queen, Inspector Queen's loyal right hand man. Tom Reese may have been famous for his fight scenes, but he was capable of much more.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Thank You For a Successful Blogathon!

I want to thank everyone who participated in this weekend's Favourite TV Show Episode Blogathon. We had quite a variety of shows this year, covering several decades worth of television, as well as several different genres. The Favourite TV Show Episode Blogathon will return next year, which will be its fifth anniversary!

If you want to read the various posts in the blogathon, here is the official post.