The Warner Archive Blu-ray release of the 1977 Neil Simon comedy 'the goodbye girl' aptly proves both that sometimes they come back and that you can go home again. Archive digging this one out of the vault 40 years after your not-so-humble reviewer having the thrill of being out on a school night (and experiencing agony of missing "Welcome Back Kotter" to do so) to watch the film in a theater shows that this one easily passes the test of time.
Richard Dreyfuss earning the distinction of being the youngest man to win the Best Actor Oscar for "goodbye" is the tip of the iceberg regarding the accolades for this film. The Golden Globes and BAFTA also grant him best actor status for that role. Further, the film is the Golden Globes choice for Best Picture and Best Screenplay. That organization additionally awards Marsha Mason the Best Actress honor.
The following YouTube clip of the theatrical trailer for "goodbye" provides a nice sense of the basis for the aforementioned fuss.
"goodbye," which New Yorkcentric playwright Neil Simon writes, is a notable example of the Manhattan-based films of the late-80s. A close cousin is the 1977 Woody Allen classic "Annie Hall." The ending of "goodbye" stirs thoughts of earlier New York classic "Breakfast at Tiffany's" by having an uber-emotional climax on a rainy New York street followed by a poignant theme playing over the closing credits.
On a more general level, "goodbye" has elements of the late '70s sitcom "Mork and Mindy." The starting point of this comparison is a hyperactive and easily agitated Dreyfuss outshining the less emotive Mason in her straight woman role in the same manner that frantic Robin Williams literally and figuratively runs circles around mousy Pam Dawber. The similarities extend to Mason's Paula McFadden leading a challenging but largely even-keeled live until odd hairy "alien" from Chicago Elliot Garfield literally shows up at her doorstep and almost immediately begins sharing her living space.
The circumstances that lead to the loath at first sight for "odd couple" Paula and Elliott are that divorced Paula is living alone with her daughter in the apartment recently (and abruptly) vacated by actor ex-boyfriend/leaseholder Tony. The "crimes" of Tony including subletting the apartment to Elliott without the knowledge of Paula lead to her having a nudist, guitar-playing, health nut, meditation freak living in the next bedroom. Anyone familiar with these '70s films or with the work of Simon know that Paula and Elliott will be jointly chanting mantras within an hour of reel time.
The charmingly sadistic Simon mines great humor from repeatedly humiliating our leads in the period between despise and desire. Elliott gets the worst of it in having his director (perfectly played by Paul "Mr. Bentley" Benedict of "The Jeffersons") insist that Elliott play Richard III much more as a queen than a king. That leads to a desperate Elliott essentially becoming a pimp. For her part, 30-something Paula must return to a physically grueling career as a dancer, work as eye candy at a car show, and become so broke that she must scoop up uncooked spaghetti from the street.
Simon the Sadistic does grant our couple happiness only to yank it away in a manner that reflects the worst insecurities of Paula based on her traumatic romantic past. This leads to one of he best lines in the film in which Elliott states that he hates the prior men in the life of Paula who prevent her from being happy with him.
This leads to the aforementioned rainy scene in which history is repeating itself in the form of Elliott heading out to literally seek fame and fortune, leaving Paula and her daughter behind with a sense that the man in their lives is falsely asserting that he is just going to the corner for a package of cigarettes.
Simon shows why he gets the big bucks in providing a variation of the Hollywood ending in the form of a drenched and distraught Audrey Hepburn seeking her soaked discarded cat. Resistance is futile regarding knowing that Simon is serving up schmaltz but falling for it anyway. That bastard then hits the audience with a closing theme that has even more impact than the "Tiffany" closing tune "Moon River."
The following YouTube clip of a groovy American Bandstand performance what can be considered "Paula's Theme" (ala "Arthur's Theme" from the same era) provides a sense of what Simon has in store for "goodbye" rookies.
The apt far-from-final goodbye regarding this post is that "goodbye" is a witty romantic comedy that shows what people who know what they are doing behind and in front of the camera can accomplish.
'Styling the Stars': Old Hollywood Angela "Penny" Cartwright and New Hollywood Tom "Phil" McLaren Share Best Golden and Silver Age Fox Images
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Unreal TV has interviewed Styling co-author Tom McLaren.]
Insight Editions chose wisely in releasing the soft cover edition of the book Styling the Stars: Lost Treasures from the Twentieth Century Fox Archive on April 4, 2017. This was two days before the start of the Eighth Annual TCM Classic Film Festival, which celebrated both the magic that was the Golden Age of Hollywood and the following period in which "the kids" demonstrated that they paid attention to their elders.
This also coincided with Unreal TV amping up its Old Hollywood game by writing about a stay in a luxury suite at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, reviewing the documentary "Cooper and Hemingway: The True Gen.," and resuming a beautiful friendship with Warner Archive.
The following YouTube clip of a promo. for Styling includes images of personal favorite photos in the book. It also has the authors express the enthusiasm that comes through loud and clear in their work.
Styling is the true gen in that it is an actual labor of love by co-authors/thespians Angela Cartwright and Tom McLaren. Children of the '50s (and lovers of classic sitcoms) primarily know Cartwright as Linda from the Danny Thomas series "Make Room for Daddy." Fanboys of all ages always will think of her as Penny from the truly timeless scifi show "Lost in Space," and little girls and lovers of classic musicals remember her as Brigitta from "The Sound of Music." (Not bad credits for a period that precedes even being able to get a learner's permit.)
McLaren is a former studio executive who deserves great thanks for deciding that his quirky sense of humor is better suited to a life in front of the camera than a corner office in the administration building. Nothing reflects the New Hollywood style of McLaren more than one of the more high-profile roles among his 49 credits in his five-year career being a huge hit on Netflix. Anyone who is too young to remember the days before the existence of Netflix likely best knows McLaren as Phil the dad in the comedy "Expelled" with teen idol Cameron Dallas.
As the introduction by Cartwright states, Styling begins life as a limited project. This initial terrestrial exploration uncovers evidence that Twentieth Century Fox has a massive collection of continuity shots that Cartwright explains are solely intended for internal use. The purpose of these photos by studio photographers is to document the appearance of the actor to guarantee continuity regarding the "camera-ready" hair, makeup, and wardrobe appearance of the portrayed character. Cartwright offers the example of the manner in which a mask is tied quickly changing from one shot to the next due to footage of that scene being shot on different days.
Cartwright further shares that some actors purposefully sabotage their continuity photos to prevent their distribution to the general public. This mischief often involves making a face or holding an object such as a hairbrush in the shot.
It is even cooler that Cartwright comments that the actors figuratively (but not literally) letting down their hair in these photos reflects the true personality of the stars. A great example is a photo in which "Space" co-star Bill Mumy, who provides a fun essay for Styling, has his trademark bemused smile on his face.
One thing that Cartwright does not mention is that the eyes distinguish her and the other greats in the book from folks who merely are stars, rather than actors. The true members of Hollywood royalty are very expressive.
In apt Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney fashion, discovering that Fox has such a treasure trove of thees images prompts Cartwright to approach pal McLaren about creating the book. Not being a fool, McLaren accepts.
Picking favorites from the roughly 250 images in Styling is much harder than asking which sibling is the favorite. (We all know that parents have one.) The best criteria is the portraits that elicit the strongest initial response. The award for this one goes to a photo of a 23 year-old Robert Wagner doing his best James Dean (pre-Dean stardom) in a photo for a 1953 version of "Titanic."
The Wagner photo also is notable for being associated with a particularly good essay on the related film that Cartwright and McLaren include with most of the pictures.
Other notable images include a diminutive wardrobe employee standing on a suitcase to adjust a tie on the much taller Gregory Peck, photos of the elaborate "Cleopatra" costumes, and Audrey Hepburn looking very much like Audrey Hepburn in a shot for the 1966 film "How to Steal a Million."
Especially fascinating "insight" relates to the manner in which "Space" producer Irwin Allen films the big-budget disaster film "The Poseidon Adventure." Reading about the wardrobe malfunctions in that one offers a great perspective on the film.
A combined desire to not further ruin the joy of discovering Styling and to not make this article as long as that book requires resorting to the small screen practice of encouraging readers to learn more about this work of art (and love) by purchasing it. Folks who attend the TCM festival every year and/or can recite the year and the studio of most movies made between the '20s and the '60s will find the hardcover version a good investment.
The privilege of occupying Room 910 (pictured below), which is one of two suites with a stress-busting soaking tub, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel while covering the TCM Classic Film Festival in early April 2017 awesomely made your not-so-humble reviewer feel like Hollywood royalty in contrast to box office poison.
Another notable aspect of 910 was being confidentially told that a true show business legend stayed there; stating that the large walk-in closet that other hotels would have rented as room was an apt metaphor for this star early in his career does not betray that trust; it seems equally fair to state that the Roosevelt being an easy walk from the large Los Angeles Scientology Center lacks any relevance regarding this subject.
As an aside, the size and the style of 910 made it very apt for social and business meetings with Hollywood power brokers of any wattage with whom you connect.
The stay at the Roosevelt including a look at a King Deluxe room showed that every accommodation class had the same elegance and exceptional cleanliness. It is only the rooms that get smaller; the star treatment retains and the space still is good sized and has a comfy leather arm chair.
Both rooms also had the benefit of being soundproof even when the barn door that further insulated the sleeping area from the rest of the hotel was open. Concern regarding 910 being around the corner from the elevators quickly dissipated. I could not even hear people in the hallway.
All of this (and much more) proved that the Roosevelt hired Baby Bear to design the rooms and to choose every element in them. The bed magically was just right and provided a better night's sleep than my newish top-of-the-line bed at home; the same applied regarding the pillows, the sheets, and the duvet.
On a larger level, the Roosevelt evoked thoughts of a limited-run '90s ABC sitcom with a title that has escaped me for years. An episode of this "Seinfeld" clone had the central group of yuppie friends travel to different cities each week (for a long-forgotten reason) and check in at the local version of a large hotel chain. The joke was that the lobby, the desk clerk, and the guests looked virtually identical in each city.
Conversely, the decor and the service at the Roosevelt provided a sense of staying someplace special and of returning to 1927 when the hotel opened. Kyle, Mark, and their fellow charming bellmen deserve special praise for incredible knowledge of the area and making everyone feel valued.
New Hollywood comes in the form of climate-control systems that quickly bring your room to the desired temperature, waterfall shower heads augmented by the hand-held pulsing shower head with the bidet option that regular readers knows delights your truly, (the glass walls in the large walk-in showers are perfect for writing "redrum" and "Shine on, Danny" to entertain the next user of that delight), stylish hi-tech digital alarm clocks that also tell you the weather, and plenty of outlets to charge devices.
Further, the WiFi is as reliable home systems; this network quickly simultaneously downloaded several long videos from the cloud for viewing on the flight home. It is equally likely that guests can watch YouTube videos of the Krofft '70s Saturday morning kids' show "Wonderbug" without buffering issues.
Moving onto the public areas, the Spanish-style lobby truly is grand and cavernous with comfy leather sofas and chairs that awesomely welcome you back to the temporary home that you truly will never want to leave. Just one night in the hotel will show you why Marilyn Monroe and many other stars took up long-term residence there. The sullen, surly stud with the hoodie and the dark glasses in the lobby indicated that that tradition continues.
The pool area was just as grand as the rest of the facility. A 40-minute workout while looking down at the art that painter David Hockney created for this amenity provided a great workout. If the pool is not Olympic-sized. it comes very close. It further is nice to swim laps without having to dodge toddlers and teens.
Additional poolside entertainment came in the form of having dreamy studs who most likely will end up on the silver screen graciously bringing the best hamburger sliders in the world and other delectable treats to you just before a poolside screening of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Seeing a strutting shirtless inked-up hunk posing for photos corrected a prior assumption that he practiced profession older than modeling.
Limited time and numerous options (including the best pizza in the world) precluded trying all of the dining options at the Roossevelt. Speculating that the 25 Degrees eatery right off the lobby was the source of the aforementioned sliders that would transform a a lifelong vegan into a carnivore prompted having lunch there.
The friendly and efficient waiter correctly told us that their burgers were even better than the poolside fare. Mine was my first ever medium-rare burger that actually was medium rare. It was a Baby Bear one, rather than being too pink or too overdone. The fresh and tasty bun holding up to the barbecue sauce, the minimal burger grease, and the wonderfully gooey cheese was a good bonus.
The success with the burger made 25 Degrees the go-to place for a powerish breakfast meeting with an actor/PR friend the next morning. His Eggs Benedict could have been photographed for a magazine, and I could eat my perfectly prepared vanilla pancakes every morning the rest of my life, The restaurant serving real maple syrup was the awesome bonus that time.
25 Degrees being the most informal of the Roosevelt dining options is a good omen regarding the fancier options. One cannot imagine having anything less than a perfect meal at any of them.
Wrapping this up from the perspective of a former regular guest at the much-more generic and not nearly as nice Four Seasons Hotel in Boston is that the Hollywood Roosevelt experience offers everything for which a traveler could hope. The staff is welcoming and does their jobs perfectly, there is nary a smudge nor an empty glass in sight in public or private spaces, and the rooms provide a perfect escape from the exciting Hollywood lifestyle that literally awaits you beyond the front doors of the Roosevelt
The tagline "everyone deserves a chance at finding happiness" for the 2016 gay-themed drama perfectly sums up the theme of this low-key tale of conversion therapy. The March 14, 2017 breaking glass pictures DVD release of the film is must-see for any family struggling with issues related to having a gay teen; it simply is a well-told story for the rest of us.
Seeing Tom "Luke Duke" Wopat as insensitive widowed dad Richard and Gregory "Gonzo" Harrison as religion-based conversion Dr. Gallagher add an '80stastic element to the movie. Dreamy 20-something Michael Grant keeps up with the veterans in his portrayal of James at 19.
The following YouTube clip of the "Fair Haven" trailer highlights the performances and shows how it delivers its message with a light touch.
Wopat and Grant have some of their best moments during the uber-awkward homecoming of James. The walk of shame from the bus to the family truck relates to being fresh out of a long-term stay at a conversion therapy facility. Richard is none too proud of his boy, and James looks as if he is returning from war.
Former piano prodigy James learns on the short ride to the family apple orchard in Vermont that Richard has spent the money set aside for tuition at the acclaimed Berklee School of Music in Boston on the operating expenses of the orchard that his father started. Richard noting with only a slight edge in his voice that other expenses included the therapy further establishes the dynamics in the Grant family. Another aspect of this subtlety is that several scenes in addition to the homecoming show that the character named Richard can be a total dick.
The aforementioned low-key vibe of the film continues with James being a typical t-shirt and jeans wearing farm boy whose drab bedroom looks like the personal space of an all-American boy-next-door. He is much more Clark Kent than high-school drama club queen. One strongly suspects that our hero has never heard of Ethel Merman or Carol Channing.
Well-placed flashbacks of the therapy provide context for the present-day activity. For example, James soon encountering former boyfriend/fellow t-shirt and jeans guy Charlie triggers a scene in which Gallagher gently asks James if he has been intimate with another man.
The scenes with Gallagher further establish that his kind and gentle approach is to counsel his "patients." He understands the nature of their desires and provides a safe place for them to discuss them and for him to convince them why they are wrong. His idea of success is to substitute homosexual desires with heterosexual ones but does not seem consider with the corresponding damage to the psyche.
Other drama comes in the form of James seeing if the daughter of a preacher man can reach and teach him. Their awkward first date and not much better subsequent interaction shows that James is trying very hard to please his father and society but that his heart is not in it. One also feels sorry for the daughter regarding the ultimate possibility of an unhappy marriage to James, who does not show her much affection and spends most weekends with Charlie under a pretense.
A related issue with its own form of repression is a struggle that many kids from rural backgrounds face. Richard feels strongly that James stay at home and devote his entire life to the orchard, but James desperately wants to be a concert pianist regardless of whether he shares his bed with a man, a woman, or no one.
The symbolism regarding the element of how ya gonna keep 'em on the farm extends to a real-life Oliver and Lisa Douglas yuppie couple who want to buy the orchard to convert it to an organic operation. The response of stubborn and old-world Richard is that apples are already organic because they grow out of the ground; James sees the offer as a way out and recognizes that the times they are a changin'.
Less subtle symbolism exists regarding this tale of sin and temptation being set in an apple orchard.
The subtlety and realism continues to the climatic final scenes. An event that forces every player to come to terms with their new reality changes the lives of each of them. Just as in real life, no one gets everything that he or she wants but achieves adequate happiness to keep going.
This discussion illustrates that, like virtually every breaking DVD release, "Fair Haven" is notable for avoiding most gay film stereotypes. One can easily image a film about conversion therapy to be either high camp or a melodrama and for James and Charlie to be doe-eyed twinks who prance around the orchard in short denim cut-offs and Daisy Duke shirts that are barely buttoned and cinched at the waist. Instead, we get the much more substantive story of a man who has already lost his wife at a relatively young age and has a son who is a good kid but has desires that Dad can neither understand nor accept.
The bushel of breaking extras this time include an in-studio music video of Wopat, 35 minutes of cast interviews that begin with Wopat discussing his childhood on a Midwest farm, and both deleted scenes and a look behind-the scenes.
'Run, Holly, Run!' Memoir: True Hollywood (and Beyond) Story of 'Land of the Lost' Star Kathy Coleman
Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing provides children of the '70s a dinomite treat in publishing "Run, Holly, Run!," which is the memoir of "The Land of the Lost" star Kathy Coleman. This compelling tale of childhood stardom and related family drama, post-fame ups and downs, and apt survival story hits real and virtual shelves on May 9 2017.
For the benefit of folks unversed in the awesomeness of '70s-era Saturday morning television, "Land" is a groovy 1974-77 Sid and Marty Krofft live-action series. The show initially centers around Park Ranger Rick Marshall, who is enjoying the most famous "routine (rafting) expedition" when "the greatest earthquake ever known" plummets Marshall and his teen offspring Holly and Will into the titular prehistoric creatures laden area.Coleman plays wholesome tomboy Holly.
This literal cradle-to-present auto-biography begins with the February 18, 1962 birth of our survivor. We quickly learn that she still is the youngest of her 10 siblings and is associated with a touch of conceivable scandal. This coverage of her early life additionally includes a passage that is a reasonable and gracious version of the "Don't call me Ricky" incident involving former child star Rick Schroder roughly a decade after his '80s-era "Silver Spoon" fame.
Consistent with the armchair psychology in a May 2015 Unreal TV post on the psyche of child stars, Coleman soon becomes a young performer who is the sole breadwinner in her family. The associated costs include pressure to keep getting cast, dealing with truly the mother of all stage moms, and contending with the responses of the other kids when she attends a traditional school.
A personal favorite story from the entire book is Coleman sharing the glee of her and the other children in a commercial when their adult co-stars start cursing several takes into filming an advertisement for a product. This is so hilarious that your not-so-humble reviewer unconsciously mutters "f**king Cheez-its" under his breath on seeing two displays of that snack in a grocery store the day after reading the related experience of Coleman.
Another memorable pre "Lost" gig for Coleman has her being the youngest member of the "Up With People" style chorus "The Mike Curb Congregation." The memorable venues of the latter include Disneyland, which returns to haunt Coleman later in life.
Coleman delights fans of (tragically discontinued) Quisp cereal and (equally missed) "Schoolhouse Rock" in quickly getting to the topic of "Lost." Much of this relates to the prior friendship (and future "its complicated" relationship) between Coleman and co-star Phil Paley. Paley is the portrayor of friendly missing link ape-boy Cha-ka. The reported bond of these two relates to the co-child stars' adventures pulling pranks on the set and being the only students at the on-set school.
Having the privilege of interviewing Will portrayor/theme song performer Wesley Eure and maintaining correspondence with this righteous dude for a short period after that makes learning that he is an ideal big brother figure awesome. A highlight of this is learning of the playful on-set competition between Coleman and Eure. A fall-on-the-floor funny story revolves around Eure pouncing on Coleman.
Learning that Rick portrayor Spencer Milligan affirmatively fills a void in the life of fatherless Coleman is awesome for "Lost" fans. Discovering that the actor who plays the brother of Rick fills the role of creepy uncle is as distressing as learning that Milligan is as righteous as Eure is exciting.
The post "Lost" portion of "Run" is the stuff of which compelling primetime soaps (and page-turner Hollywood memoirs) is made. The adventures in the actual and figurative chapters that follow include Coleman having an upsetting initial sexual encounter that a second encounter that outwardly is the thing of which softcore porn is made but is endearing and special.
The adult life of Coleman includes marriages to two princes who turn out to ogres, having two outwardly and internally beautiful boys, working at fast food restaurants and discount stores to pay the bills, being homeless, and periods in which she does her best to drown her sorrows.
The award for best story in the entire book goes to a tale (no pun intended) of Coleman still being anxious after being rescued from her second husband deserting her (again, no pun intended) in the desert. Coleman being anxious after reaching a seeming safe place prompts her savior to dump a litter of puppies on her to relax her.
The final chapter in this saga that is one of the greatest adventures even known revolves an aptly (but sadly) lost documentary on a "Lost" cast reunion. The circumstances behind the filming and the possibility of seeing this holy grail to the aforementioned children of the '70s affirms the themes of "Run" that we must endure folks in our lives who are not so nice and that there always is hope for a happy ending.
The overall message of the tough life lessons that the adult Coleman learns is that money can be a blessing or a curse but never should be a priority in itself. She (like Holly) further demonstrates the importance of perseverance and a positive attitude.