Thursday, April 27, 2017

A to Z Challenge- Letter W and TMP-TV Edition: Police shows


We are now at the letter W.....Head on over to the A to Z Challenge and find out what everyone else is talking about. My Thursday Movie Picks follows right after:) I had to still combine the 2 even though I can't quite fit them in all together.

WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION-1957


DIRECTOR: Billy Wilder
STARS: Charles Laughton, Marlene Dietrich, Tyrone Power, Elsa Lancester
OSCAR NOMS: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Sound, Best Editing
OSCAR WINS: Nil
PLOT: A young man, arrested for the murder of an elderly, rich lady, asks a brilliant, but unhealthy barrister, to defend him. This lawyer must deal with the defendant's wife and he must deal with his nurse who knows all the hiding places for his cigars.
LOVE: The banter between Laughton and Lanchester (married in real life)
TRIVIA: Laughton and Lanchester were nominated even though they did not actively pursue the award nomination. In fact, Laughton openly rallied for Alec Guiness(For Bridge on the River Kwai).  On the other hand, Marlene (who is excellent in this by the way), thought she would be nominated for sure. She was playing in Vegas at the time and had her introduction changed to, "nominated for best actress...". She was not nominated which really upset her....the introduction had to be change obviously.

BILLY WILDER- June 22, 1906-March 27, 2002


OCCUPATION: Director, Screenwriter, Producer, Editor
OSCAR NOMS: Fortune Cookie, Some Like It Hot, Witness For the Prosecution, Sabrina, Stalag 17, Ace In The Hole, A Foreign Affair, Double Indemnity, Ball of Fire, Hold Back The Dawn, Ninotchka
OSCAR WINS: The Apartment, Sunset Blvd, Lost Weekend, Honourary Awards
ANECDOTE: He fled Nazi Germany in 1933since he was Jewish, but his mom and other members of his family still lived there. They all died in concentration camps and he rarely talked about this. He was known for his brilliance, sarcastic wit and hard hitting look at Hollywood (L.B. Mayor wanted him thrown out of town) but he could also be nasty.

Thursday Movie Picks...


I decided to just make a longer post and combined the 2:) At least the one character was arrested by the police so it connects a little:) This week it is all about TV and Police shows so let's get on with it. Check out Wandering Through The Shelves to see what the others have chosen...

1. COLUMBO-1971-2003


Peter Falk was great as the title character because the killer always thought he was dumb and so, underestimated him. Columbo also got on everyone's nerves which was just so much fun to watch because we all like doing that to someone at least once in our life time:) This show first started as part of the Mystery Movie (the other 2 were McLeod which I love, and McMillan & Wife). Finally, this show had special episodes which would air off and on until 2003. You always knew, from the beginning, who the killer was but you enjoyed how Columbo figured everything out. Columbo never cared if the person was rich or not (usually they were) because he would come in his beat up car, wearing his beat up coat and smoking a cigar. The coat was actually Peter Falk's coat..I guess to cut down on costumes..Haha.

2. BARNEY MILLER- 1974-1982


These cast of characters were just so funny from Fish to the classy Ron Harris. You would always see the comings and goings of the detectives working in that shabby office dealing with a whole bunch of characters. I still love Det Yemana, made famous by that wonderful actor, Jack Soo who died during the run of this show. I think my favourite episode is the brownie episode (Mush, Mush, Mush).

3. CASTLE-2009-2016


This is a recent TV Show that I really enjoyed. It is the very implausible story of a rich, successful mystery/crime writer who starts working with the police force to help solve crimes. The head detective is played by a quite stunning, kick ass gal with some major hang ups. Of course they are attracted to each other and play the back and forth but when they do finally get together, the show does not run dry. There are shows that are much heavier and others more fun but always entertaining especially with the other characters from the 2 police detectives who aid the main gal to the writer's mom and his daughter. It's fun and that's what I like.

One extra....

T.J. HOOKER-1982-1986


Yes....I watched this show...and yes, it is campy especially William Shatner's hair. He plays a veteran cop who decides to stop being a detective and go back to being a beat cop with a rookie partner played by the world renown star, Adrian Zmed (crickets please). The cop who knows all helps the rookie cop, with hair Shatner wishes he had, learn the ropes. Later Heather Locklear is brought in for that special touch of acting...ughh who am I kidding..T & A. It was a show that had some humour in it and, Leonard Nimoy was in an episode! Adrian Zmed left the show to pursue his acting career.....hahahaaaaaa.

41 comments:

  1. Good movie. I know some folks who think Dietrich was just being Dietrich, not acting. I loved Barney Miller. such a great show. And I miss Castle. I wonder if we will ever find out who writes the Castle novels.

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    1. I think she was actually quite good and she could never love someone like she did in the movie...she only loved herself.

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  2. Hi, Birgit!

    I haven't seen Witness For the Prosecution, but now I'd like to. I admire actor Charles Laughton, love quirky characters and movies that center around murder trials. Many great comics draw upon the tragedy and pain in their lives. I am sure that losing his family in concentration camps had something to do with Billy Wilder's brilliance and sarcastic wit.

    Columbo was one of my favorite TV series and Peter Falk one of my favorite actors. I worked for an NBC station and we carried Columbo along with other series you mentioned that were part of the Mystery Movie wheel that later included George Peppard as Bancek, Richard Widmark as Madigan and several other shows fronted by major stars.

    It's great fun to see Shatner and Locklear looking young and sexy in that T.J. Hooker clip. I see Adrian Zmed made a 21st century comeback in the cast of Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens! :)

    Happy W-day, dear friend BB!

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    1. Oh wow..I say, put the computer down, find that film and watch it with your wife. You will love it or my name is not Boom Boom Birgie 😀

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    2. I'm good. I already saw the better film - Sharknado 4. :)

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  3. Billy Wilder! Amazing director. I hope to watch more of his work, but I love what I've seen so far. I haven't seen any of your TV shows.

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    1. This is a great film that many think Hitchcock directed

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  4. Have seen them all but the last, a bit too corny looking for me lol Castle is a great show. The could pretty much do anything and had fun with it, even time travel and invisibility

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    1. I really like Castle and it's a shame it's gone

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  5. I had so much fun watching Columbo! Knowing the killer right from the start didn't bother me at all. I miss Castle so much, it was one of my favourites.

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  6. Another great classic film! I didn't know the tragic story about Billy Wilder's family, How awful! :( Those were all good shows to watch, but my absolute favourite here is Barney Miller. Hilarious!

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    1. Many who came over from Germany lost family in the war. I hope you watched the scene of Barney Miller

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    2. I didn't know Billy Wilder was German. Such a tragedy! That's the classic pot episode from Barney Miller. ☺ I have the series on DVD.

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  7. There is nothing better than William Shatner describing how to do a powerslide (the slam-on-the-brakes-sideways car slide he always did on TJ Hooker), except Bruce Campbell (of Evil Dead fame) impersonating William Shatner describing how to do a powerslide. :-)

    W - Winnie the Pooh and Canada Too

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    1. Oh how he loves that slide across anything. Love seeing it parodies in Galaxy quest

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  8. I LOVED the Mystery Movie Series, especially McMillan and wife.

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    1. Yes! The theme is going through my head

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  9. I've seen very few Billy Wilder films, for no particular reason. I only watched a couple of T.J. Hooker episodes, IIRC, but I saw quite a few Columbo episodes and always loved Barney Miller.

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  10. Witness for the Prosecution is a superb movie, once again showing why Charles Laughton was one of our finest actors.

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  11. I loved some of these movies. Great choice.

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  12. LOVE all your picks except the last and that one I don't hate I was just never a faithful viewer.

    Witness for the Prosecution is just brilliant and Marlene was robbed I say. If I had my way not only would she have been nominated she would have won. She's extraordinarily good but then so are Laughton and Elsa Lanchester.

    Columbo might have worked with another actor but never as well or as enduringly. Peter Falk is so spot on every minute and the shows were involving and well produced. I wasn't as crazy about McCloud but I loved McMillan and Wife-I've been revisiting them of late they run one every Sunday afternoon so I'm slowly working my way through again.

    Barney Miller's humor was always so low-key, Hal Linden made a great straight man for all those crazy people around him, my favorite was Steve Landesberg as Dietrich his was so dry and cutting but it was a terrific ensemble.

    The first several seasons of Castle were the strongest. Love Nathan Fillion and especially Susan Sullivan as his fun mother.

    The choices this week are nearly endless so it will be fun to see what everyone chooses. I went with two favs and a bedrock series.

    Life on Mars (2008)-In present day New York City detective Sam Tyler (Jason O’Mara) is pursuing a suspect when he’s struck by a car. When he awakens he finds himself in the same spot but it’s 1973! Already dressed in 70’s clothing he heads to his precinct where he’s mistaken for a transfer and put to work, now he has to figure out what happened while adjusting to his new surroundings and still chasing criminals alongside cops that have rougher methods than he’s use to. Intriguing series has a great cast, Harvey Keitel, Michael Imperioli and Gretchen Mol among others, terrific period detail and soundtrack but fell victim to poor scheduling which lead to its short duration.

    Wiseguy (1987-1990)-Government agent Vinnie Terranova (Ken Wahl) is fresh out of jail where he was placed by the Organized Crime Bureau (OCB) to give him a criminal history to enable him to go deep undercover to break up big syndicates. Guided by his often exasperated but understanding boss Frank McPike (Jonathan Banks) and wheelchair bound remote liaison “Lifeguard” (Jim Byrnes) he sets out to crime bust while trying to keep his secret from his mother (Elsa Raven). Excellent series told its stories in multi episode half season arcs focusing on one set of characters. All were good but the initial season’s two arcs dealing with the empire led by Sonny Steelgrave (a commanding performance by Ray Sharkey) and the draconian deeply twisted Profitt siblings (two showpiece turns by Kevin Spacey and Joan Severance) are by far the best.

    Dragnet (1951-1959/1967-1970)-“Dum...da.dum...dum-Ladies and Gentleman the story you are about to see is true, the names have been changed to protect the innocent….This is the city-Los Angeles, California…I work here, I’m a cop…my partner’s Frank Smith, my boss is Captain Glavas my name is Friday.”

    So began every episode of this Jack Webb series which he created and in which he starred giving a performance of amazing stolidness handing out his standard catch phrase “Just the facts, mam”. Initially taking a documentary approach before switching to a more standard form of storytelling of solving crimes this is the granddaddy of police procedurals.

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    1. I think Dietrich should have won and same with Laughton. Love your choices even though I only saw a couple of episodes of the first one but I liked it a lot. Wise guy was another that was quite good even though, once again, I missed many. I almost picked Dragnet myself but I had to go with the ones I chose. TJ Hooker is just...not that great but I had to add it due to its campiness

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  13. Great choices, I forgot about Barney Miller, that was a good show.

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  14. I love your laugh, Birgit. giggle. Barney Miller was one of my favorite shows when it aired. The writing and acting were great. Detective Yamana, you bet!

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    1. Yes...and Dietrich! Glad you like this one

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    1. You know, you are the first to pick Hill Street Blues. For such an iconic show, I'm surprised I didn't see it anywhere. I almost went with the Lollipop man:)

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  16. I never watched any of these TV shows, but I've watched very few shows over the decades since high school. Back then I watched all kinds of shows.

    Haven't seen that movie either. Almost recorded it the other night when it was on. Maybe next time.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  17. Love Billy Wilder...

    Too bad you weren't doing the linking thing you did last year. Because Barney Miller and Castle are totally linked through Firefly. As both Nathan Fillion and Ron Harris were in it.

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  18. Odds weren't very good for the Jews in Germany and Poland.

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  19. Hi Birgit - thanks ... some interesting information here - loved many of the people you mention and their films/shows ... I saw quite a lot of escape type tv series when living in South Africa, Equity - the actors union in the UK - had banned export of such shows! Cheers Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/x-is-for-x-war-facts.html

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  20. I know you are NOT going to believe this, but I have seen two of these picks, thanks to the magic of TV reruns.

    It's hard to miss Columbo, since he's on several tv rerun stations. From what I can tell, the series lasted for 32 years, and he deserved much of the credit for its fame and popularity. So glad his was the one that outlasted all the others he was paired with.

    As for Castle, I am a HUGE fan of Nathan Fillion, first in Firefly and Serenity (the movie), then in Castle. FINALLY something I do know about (grin).

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  21. The director who lost his family in Germany looked tormented in the face. Could not have been easy for him.

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