Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday’s sticky note

So I’m sitting here at the desk in the bedroom, watching a Lost in Space rerun (“Never fear—Smith is here!”), and in looking at some of the things I usually reserve for the checklist on Wednesdays, I realized some of them won’t keep.  (It’s kind of like throwing stuff out from the refrigerator.)  Top of the list is the latest Thrilling Days of Yesteryear giveaway, in which some lucky winner will win him or herself a free DVD of the Deluxe Collector’s Edition of the 1981 cult horror classic Dark Night of the Scarecrow courtesy of the good people at VCI Entertainment.  This freebie is kind of a semi tie-in with a review of the film I did for my pal Stacia’s Camp & Cult Blogathon, and all you need to do if you’re interested in a chance to win is shoot an e-mail my way (igsjrotr[at]gmail[dot]com) before 11:59 EDT tonight—put “Scarecrow Giveaway” in the subject header, and if you want to include your snail mail address you can…if you’d rather wait until you’re a confirmed winner, that’s okay-fine, too.  Monday morning I’ll draw a winner via and get the prize out to the lucky person as soon as I can.  (Offer limited to U.S. and Canadian residents only.)

This afternoon on Me-TV, they’re planning to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the premiere of The Beverly Hillbillies (okay, it was actually September 26—I’ll cut them a little slack) with a four-hour marathon (3pm-7pm EDT) of episodes from the bucolic sitcom classic that ran on CBS from 1962-71.  Which is all well and good, but next week’s edition of the Showcase (October 7) is the one you’re really going to want to set the DVR/TiVo’s/Whatever for. 

They’re going to feature eight episodes of The Millionaire, a popular anthology series that ran from 1955-60 on CBS and starred OTR veteran Marvin Miller as Michael Anthony, the assistant to a wealthy financier named John Beresford Tipton (played by the-one-and-only Paul Frees).  The premise of the series had Tipton, a guy who apparently had money burning a hole in his pocket, handing out a $1,000,000 check (tax-free) to some lucky shmoe each week via intermediary Anthony…who would then disappear after handing off the check, allowing the guest stars of each episode to use their financial windfall for better or for worse (some episodes were dramatic in content, some comedic).  Created by Don Fedderson, who would later go on to do My Three Sons and Family Affair, the show was syndicated widely after its network run but isn't aired much nowadays (hey, it’s in black-and-white…and unless it’s got a wacky redhead and her Cuban husband most outlets won’t touch it) except for a handful of episodes that were shown on the once-proud TVLand in 1999.  A real TV rarity, the following episodes are scheduled (according to the Me-TV website, all times are EST):

03:00pm (#001) “Amy Moore” (debut episode)
03:30pm (#039) “John Hardin”
04:00pm (#066) “Virginia Lennart”
04:30pm (#085) “Jerry Bell”
05:00pm (#114) “Rod Matthews”
05:30pm (#146) “Lee Randolph”
06:00pm (#160) “Alicia Osante”
06:30pm (#197) “Julie Sherman”

I’ve never seen this series—save for the occasional clip—so I’m pretty jazzed about the opportunity to get to visit with it.  The week after The Millionaire, the channel has an Ironside marathon planned (Oct. 14), so you might want to save some DVR space for that, too.

While I’m the subject of classic TV, a couple of TV-on-DVD announcements that I need to get out of the way; TV Shows on reports that the Iron Horse: Season 1 collection that was to be released on MOD DVD by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment this October 2…has been scrapped.  They didn’t give a reason, and from the TSOD blurb the release apparently won’t be rescheduled soon.

But TSOD does report that the sixth and final season of the Lucille Ball sitcom Here’s Lucy will be released this December 18th on a 4-disc set (priced at $29.95 SRP) with all twenty-four episodes.  They’ve not announced any extras or bonuses for this set, but there is a pre-order listing up at; the completist in me has already stuck this on his wish list.

And the last item on the sticky note: more blogathon fun!  What’s more, a blogathon in keeping with the spirit of October and Halloween—one dedicated to the legendary Val Lewton.  With the “deets,” here’s kristina from speakeasy:

Horror Film Master

Horrors! Get ready for the Val Lewton blogathon! Kristina of the Speakeasy blog and Stephen aka Classic Movie Man will be cohosting this event.

Lewton, the subject of a documentary produced by none other than Academy Award winning director, Martin Scorsese (Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows, 2007) was a horror film genius. He didn’t invent the horror film, but elevated it to a new level by commissioning literate scripts, (often written anonymously by himself), carefully casting his main characters, and incorporating film noir techniques. Not a household name, Lewton  produced the horror classics Cat People (1942) and I Walked With a Zombie (1943). Often imitated, Lewton influenced legendary directors Scorsese, William Friedkin, and George Romero, to name a few.

The Rules of the Blogathon

Pick a Val Lewton movie or theme that you’d like to explore. Possibly you want to discuss a certain performance, or how Lewton’s films influenced the genre. Then blog your heart out! Since there can be many takes on the same film, duplicate posts will be allowed, but feel free to check this page to see what’s already being covered. In the body of your blog post, please mention the blogathon with links, or just cut and paste this handy bit here:

This post is part of the Val Lewton blogathon hosted by Stephen aka Classic Movie Man &  Kristina of the Speakeasy blog  – see more posts at either Classic Movie Man’s Lewton page or the Speakeasy Lewton page

E-mail Stephen at or Kristina at  to let us know which movie you want to do. When corresponding, please include “blogathon” in the subject line of your e-mail. Along with your link, please include your Twitter handle, if you have one. It will help us promote you, your blog, and the blogathon.

Ready, Set, Boo!

When your post is complete, send the link by end of day October 26, 2012 (Central Time, US). Links to posts will go live on October 31, 2012. Your submissions will be posted to both Classic Movie Man and Kristina’s Speakeasy blogs. The combined posts will include the titles of your blog posts with their respective links to your blog.

Any questions, please contact Stephen or Kristina.

Kristina was nice enough to give me a heads-up on this on Twitter, and I have RSVP’d with my intention to do a post on my favorite Val Lewton film, The Seventh Victim (1943)…so I’m pretty stoked about that.  Just thought I’d throw in a little plug for here in case anyone else is interested.

And with that…I have to take a trip to Mayberry.  Bye cartooners!


Stacia said...

Oh, you cheeky monkey, I read about the Lewton 'Thon and immediately thought of doing The Seventh Victim!

All these years I swore "The Millionaire" had been on PBS stations when I was a kid, because I have a memory of Inger Stevens as guest star and being mentioned by the local PBS station during a pledge drive. Wonder what show it REALLY was? Awesome that Me-TV is showing it!

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

All these years I swore "The Millionaire" had been on PBS stations when I was a kid, because I have a memory of Inger Stevens as guest star and being mentioned by the local PBS station during a pledge drive.

This isn't entirely beyond the realm of possibility. I know the show hasn't aired on any of the major cable channels (to the best of my recollection, that is) but it did turn up on a number of independent stations and it's possible that PBS channel could have been one of them. There used to be a number of stations across this great land that showed classic reruns not always showcased on outlets like TVLand, but they kind of fell by the wayside when the Fox network got up and running and needed affiliates.

I read about the Lewton 'Thon and immediately thought of doing The Seventh Victim!

Well, you've got my second choice - The Body Snatcher - and you can't go wrong with that one, with both Karloff and Henry Daniell. It's genuinely eerie that we would both think of the same movie when the 'thon was announced...have I introduced you to our half-brother, Mr. Jeff Overturf?

Page said...

Hi Ivan!
Thanks for providing so much info about these Blogathons. I'm going to go check out the movies of Val Lawton and give it some thought.

Enjoy your Mayberry and I'll see ya around.

CavedogRob said...

Wonderful post!

James Vance said...

Ivan, I remember watching the "Millionaire" reruns that aired in the daytime when I was a kid. I was intrigued by the way they played coy and never showed Tipton's face - I suspect it was some studio Shemp and not Frees holding down the chair - except for one episode that electrified young me by shaking things up and showing Tipton's face. I'd love to know who played the part on that single occasion.

Stacia said...

Hi brother Jeff!

Not so coincidentally, I was just telling Eddie over dinner that you and I were separated at birth.

Maybe the Topeka PBS station showed that episode of The Millionaire specifically during the because of the Inger Stevens semi-connection. Or maybe I have a poor memory (likely).

Chris Riesbeck said...

I re-watched The Body Snatcher a year back shortly after reading Stevenson's original story. I thought the film was better in two ways. It omitted the diatribes against drunk doctors and added an ironic twist where good people caused evil results and vice versa. But my absolute favorite scene in the film, when Karloff brilliantly torments Danielle in the pub, is practically verbatim from the story.