Thursday, June 17, 2010

“Classify these as good times…”

Learning of the unfortunate passing of my high school English/journalism teacher, I rooked the above photo from Facebook—it was originally in our 1980 penitentiary high school yearbook and I would have been a junior then. This is the staff of our school paper, The School Spirit (collectively known as “The Morning Zoo”—although our class was in the afternoon), and the demented-looking bozo with the glasses and the army jacket (click the photo to embiggen) is none other than your humble narrator. (The girl to my left is my lifelong best friend, The Duchess.) I despise most of the pictures taken of me as a rule, but this one is one of my favorites. We had quite a ball back then and as I stated in yesterday’s post, I learned everything I know about writing from Mrs. Denning. (I’m not a religious individual by any stretch of the imagination but I have a feeling that if I’m wrong, CBD is definitely going to get rubber-stamped for sainthood approval for having to put up with my wacky shenanigans for three years so long ago.)

Speaking of high school (it’s all in the segueways), my blogging pal B. Goode at Gonna Put Me in the Movies has a nice write-up on one of my favorite cult films here at Rancho Yesteryear, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979). It’s been reissued on DVD by the good people at Shout! Factory after being OOP for many years, and stars P.J. Soles, Vincent Van Patten, Clint “I’m uglier than my brother Ron” Howard, The Ramones and Mary Woronov as the Eve Arden-like Miss Evelyn Togar (“Do your parents know you’re Ramones?”). Director Arkush’s other cult classic, Get Crazy (1983), was the subject of an essay over at Lost Highway’s B-movie Reviews and Cult Films; the reviewer gives it an 8.5 out of 10, which is very respectable. I can say without contradiction that the last time I saw Crazy was when it made the rounds on HBO shortly after its initial release…and would very much like to see it again, in a proper letterboxed version. It’s not on DVD (but it should be), though it did get a VHS release at one time.
KC over at Classic Movies gave me the heads up on this—a search engine for classic movie sites…and I guess they’ll let just anybody in…

Seriously, major kudos and victory laps go out to Cliff Aliperti at Immortal Ephemera (with an assist from Raquelle at Out of the Past – A Classic Film Blog) for creating this handy little tool (I’ve already got it bookmarked); Cliff was inspired to “build it and they will come” by doing Google searches on the legendary actor Warren William and having to filter out a lot of the crap that often comes up as a result. If you’re currently piloting a classic movie blog and don’t see it listed among the (as of this post) 113 sites be sure to contact Cliff via the site and give him the impertent details.

TDOY commenter/supporter and blogger extraordinaire Jeff Overturf continues to mine his collection of Nemo: The Classic Comics Library back issues to post some first-rate images of beloved comic strips from those thrilling days of…well, you can fill in the rest. I liked reading this tribute to one of the comic strip immortals, E.C. Segar (who created a spinach-eating sailor with which you may have a passing familiarity), and a nice piece on a comic strip from Barney Google creator Billy DeBeck that served as the companion feature to Google, a wacky strip entitled Parlor, Bedroom & Sink. (Segar and DeBeck are held in particularly high regard at TDOY; they were not only two of the best comic strip artists in the history of the medium…they were storytellers/character creators on par with the likes of Charles Dickens.)

RGJ at Television Obscurities composed this little treatise on the television version of the old-time radio classic The Whistler…which I meant to draw your attention towards earlier but somehow it just got overlooked. Don’t you overlook it. And once your appetite has been whetted for the man who “knows many things, for I walk by night”—here’s an essay I wrote on the radio series back in those halcyon Salon Blog days…and a nice series of write-ups on the Whistler film series cranked out by Columbia Pictures from 1944-48 from the only blogger I know who “walks by night,” Vince Keenan. (It’s true that Chuckie Award-winning blogger Stacia Jones blogs by night—but right now she’s in a rowboat.)
What can I say—they love me at the Warner Archive:

I could barely sustain busting a gut when I read that only because I think Phil Schweier has coined a new nickname for the unfortunate Mr. Richard S. Steele, child actor and Emmy Award-winning sound technician. Speaking of Philip, I forgot to include the rest of the e-mail he originally sent me on the topic of “Fishface”:
I watched The Quick and the Dead with Sam Elliott (what Sam Elliott was doing at my house, I'll never know). No, actually I was watching it with my wife, and one of Matt Clark's henchmen in the film is a big fella by the name of Red, played by Jerry Potter. I looked up the film on, and according to its sketchy records, Jerry Potter is a pseudonym for Clayton Moore!
The fact that his appearance bears a resemblance to the crusty ol' miner disguise the Lone Ranger adopted from time to time, but pushed to the extreme, suggests it might be. I watched his scenes again, and I admit it might be him, but underneath all the beard, grime and 49ers hat, as well as scarred-up makeup from where Kate Capshaw bashed his face in, it could also be any number of actors.

Phil sent an inquiry to to see if he could get any answers, and he got one rather quickly (courtesy of Mr. McFeeley—“Speedy delivery!”). According to Steve, Jerry Potter is NOT Clayton Moore, nor can he ever hope to be:
Some moron continues to add Jerry Potter shows to Clayton's data base. I have tried repeatedly to get IMDb to remove those credits but they are either ignoring me or just plain don't care that their data base is full of errors. There are numerous listings on Clayton's data base with the aka name of Jerry Potter and they are all wrong. I think there are a few other listings that are on Clayton's page too. I have tried to send in deletions three times. The first time IMDb removed the false entries but they were then put back and they refused two other times that I tried to correct them. The 3rd time was just a couple of days ago. IMDb is soiling their reputation by permitting the false entries to stand and you to understand that IMDb is full of errors…
It’s clear that the IMDb is soiling something over there besides their reputation, that’s for certain. I know that a lot of this information is sent in by Average Joes (and even Unsung Joes) but you’d think something as huge as the IMDb could afford to pay someone to look into these kind of inquiries, thus cutting down the misinformation that confuses actors with icons or moppets with boxing contenders. (My resume is available upon request.)

In conclusion, I don’t know how many of you read the plea I composed yesterday to kick in a few simolians for the good people at World O’Crap—but the generosity of those who donated has resulted in its founder, the incomparable s.z., making a rare cameo appearance (here and here) at the venerable political snark blog. Again, longtime TDOY fans know that s.z.’s riotous takedown of a recipe featured in a cookbook promotion from the OTR soap Aunt Jenny’s True Life Stories provided the impetus for creation of this ‘umble blog…and I for one, am happy that s.z. came back for a brief sojourn even if she must return to the workaday world of looking after orphaned cats and dogs.
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Bill Crider said...

Great photo!

I see that one of the shows from THE WHISTLER you discuss in the earlier blog post is "Blue Alibi." I just heard that a few days ago on XM radio.

Stacia said...

I have tried repeatedly to get IMDb to remove those credits but they are either ignoring me or just plain don't care that their data base is full of errors.

THEY DON'T CARE. I have scientifically determined this fact by using lots of colored liquids in funny-shaped beakers and running them through machines that go PING! every few seconds. Seriously, the IMDb does not care. If I had even the tiniest bit of coding knowledge I would try to start my own database, but unless I can code in BASIC, I'm lost.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

I have scientifically determined this fact by using lots of colored liquids in funny-shaped beakers and running them through machines that go PING! every few seconds.

"Ah! I see you have the machine that goes 'Ping'. This is my favorite. You see, we lease this back to the company we sold it to. That way it comes under the monthly current budget and not the capital account. [Applause] Thank you, thank you. We try to do our best. Well, do carry on..."

VP81955 said...

My "Carole & Co." is one of the 116 sites (the total as of this writing) used in that classic movie search engine, so I guess they really will let just anybody in. (Seriously, I'm delighted to be in such excellent company, and believe this will be a wonderful resource.)

B. Goode said...

Thanks for shout out to my blog! I'm also very happy to see, that once again, great yours and mine :-)...agree on a movie.