TV time again and Wandering Through The Shelves loves books so we have books adapted to TV. I'm just going to swing right on in with my 3 and I love a good miniseries...
This was the miniseries that catapulted everything into what we know today for the now called "limited run" series. This is based on a book by Aldous Huxley who wrote about his family history. Funny, when I watched this all those years ago, I wondered how he knew so many intricate details since record keeping was shoddy at best. It came out, years later, that his ancestry bio was fabricated. This does not mean that this series was any less riveting. We follow a young Kunte Kinte( played by Levar Burton) as he is captured and sent to the United( Ha) States of America to be a slave. We watch him grow, marry and have a daughter who is taken away to another plantation. We see her grow, have a child and watch that child grow up. To finally see how horribly treated the African American people were treated was a long time coming. This gave us a good indication why the Civil War erupted and that the South were just horribly wrong in their thinking. Some great stars were in this series and it's worth seeing. Even though Alex made up the people what happened to his ancestors plus thousands of others was on the mark.
There were some mighty trashy miniseries in the 1980s and this is one of the best starring none other than Joan Collins. I was surprised at some of the other actors that were in this gaudy fun flick. We see the life of Joan Collins from when she is a little girl with her mom, brother and sister trying to hide from the mean Nazis but they are found. We follow the young gal as she struggles through life by becoming a model in Paris to becoming the head of a major couture house while going through men like I can go through chocolate. She makes enemies who want to do her in but Joan shashays through with shouldr pads and all. You just love trash when you watch this. It comes from this book, written by Judith Gould, in 1982 that was a huge best seller.
3 POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL: THE BARBARA HUTTON STORY-1987
After Charlie's Angels, Farrah Fawcett wanted to show she was more than just hair and a pretty face and showcased her talents in some good movies like The Burning Bed. She was also quite good as the Woolworth heiress, Barbara Hutton who inherited a huge fortune when she was just 5 yrs old. She married many times including Cary Grant whom she said was the only honest man she met. She truly had no direction in life and, when she died, she had less the $20,000 in the bank. Her life was very interesting and very sad despite her millions. I thought Farrah was really quite good as this sad gal who was looking for love. This is based on the book, "Poor Little Rich Girl: the Life & Legend of Barbara Hutten." A really good movie worth seeing.
Which book to TV adaptations can you think of?
Yessum, I watched the limited series Roots first run and was riveted throughout. It has been decades since I last saw it, but I well remember LeVar Burton's gripping portrayal of the enslaved Kunta Kinte. Heavens to Betsy, LeVar is now 65 years old! i would also like to mention the amazing actress Cicely Tyson who died last year at age 96. Miss Tyson was coming off breakthrough roles in the film Sounder and the title role of Miss Jane Pittman when she appeared in Roots as Binta. Louis Gossett Jr. would go on to make a splash in An Officer And A Gentleman. Vic Morrow will always be remembered as the actor who lost his head and his life in a helicopter mishap during the making of Twilight Zone: The Movie. John Amos was a very familiar face on TV as the star of Good Times and roles on several other series including MTM and West Wing. The late Ed Asner gained widespread fame on MTM and its spin-off Lou Grant. Rob't Reed was immortalized as dad Mike Brady on The Brady Bunch but, in the early to mid 60s, I also watched him co-starring with E.G. Marshall in the legal drama The Defenders. Chuck Connors became famous as The Rifleman, and I also watched him in Branded. 50 years ago, cute "it girl" actress Sandy Duncan was a very familiar face on TV. I best remember her for her numerous guest appearances on the talk show circuit including 38 guest shots on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and as a game show panelist logging 130 episodes of Hollywood Squares. Sandy is now 76. I first got to know singer/actress Leslie Uggams as a regular on Sing Along With Mitch (Miller). Carolyn Jones is known to generations as Morticia on The Addams Family. Sadly, Carolyn took ill and died young at the age of 53, gone from our lives nearly 40 years now. I watched Lloyd Bridges every week on Sea Hunt, and he picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue in Airplane. The list of stars that appeared in Roots goes on and on.
i wasn't much of a Joan Collins fan, and I don't even remember Sins, nor do I recognize most of the cast.. I do remember Marisa Berenson, Joe Bologna, Jim Farentino, Lauren Hutton, Gene Kelly and Timothy Dalton.
Yessum, Farrah was great as Mommie Dearest in The Burning Bed, but I haven't seen The Barbara Hutton Story. Looks like she did a fine job in that project as well. It's too bad she was so messed up and her life cut short. As you might recall, Farrah died the same day as The King of Pop - Michael Jackson.
Thanks for the reviews and the memories they generated, dear friend BB. Enjoy the rest of your week and weekend!
You gave a list of famous names from Roots and I'm glad you did because there are so many. Some even appeared on Battle of the Network StarsDelete
Joan seems to equal trash doesn't she? I only recognize the same names you mentioned except I also know the beautiful Capucine who was a famous model and acted in some good movies like North To Alaska and The Pink Panther. She also was.mixed up and ending up committing suicide...poor thing.
Yes Farrah was basically forgotten when she died because Jackson died. She was.messed up..I recall some interviews she did where she seemed to be on some drugs. Thank you for always being #1 here. I love your comments
I remember Roots.ReplyDelete
Right now, I'd say The Witcher. And the series is better than the books.
I do want to see The Witcher and hopes it will make it to regular tvDelete
Hi Birgit I do remember seeing Roots ...hope your heat is abating we are back to a normal English summer now cool and wet! and thank goodness I just hated the heat far too hot to craft...take care xxxReplyDelete
It's still been steamy where my glasses have fogged up. By Sunday it will be back to bad heat and steam. Thank God for the a/cDelete
I haven't watched any of these as they were all on TV when I was busy raising three boys. But I did read the Poor Little Rich Girl and enjoyed it so maybe I should check out the movie.ReplyDelete
My very first thought was The Thorn Birds, which actually was four episodes.
I loved the Thornbirds and it was longer than 4 episodes. When they finally got together on the beach, I was in dream land not so the Catholic church which condemned it.Delete
Hi Birgit - thankfully Denise mentioned Thorn Birds, which I did enjoy. I certainly haven't these you've listed ... cheers HilaryReplyDelete
I picked the Thornbirds before but I love the series and it stuck pretty close to the bookDelete
Interesting movie choices :DReplyDelete
They are good..well the middle one is trashyDelete
Roots is a classic. I watched that in my 8th grade history class.ReplyDelete
Thats good that they show it in school...I hope it is not taken awayDelete
Blogger is deleting my comments. I actually had three for you, but I see the comment went poof. Sigh. I hope it's just in your spam.ReplyDelete
I’ll check my spam. I wonder if there is something I can do to fix thisDelete
I think you got the authors mix up. Aldous Huxley wrote the dystopian novel Brave New World.ReplyDelete
I am confused....was Huxley the writer for Roots? OopsDelete
Sorry so late commenting....busy times!!
It took me decades to finally watch Roots, when it was on originally I was my last year of high school and I was too busy running around raising hell to commit that much time to a miniseries! Later I regretted it since everyone was talking about the show but it wasn't until about three years ago that I sat down and watched the whole thing front to back....I still have to watch the sequel. It was an excellent series with a true galaxy of stars.
I did watch Sins but it's been a long, long time and I can't remember the details other than that it was loaded with both stars and 80's excess. Both entertaining pluses and Joan was her typical wry, droll confident self.
Both the book and film of Poor Little Rich Girl were very interesting but the tale they told was an awfully sad one. Farrah was well suited to the role and I recall her being lauded for her work.
Your last inspired me to think about three solid movie star bios that were translated into TV films.
Norman Mailer's acclaimed look at Marilyn Monroe-Marilyn: the Untold Story was made into a 1980 miniseries with Catherine Hicks giving the best interpretation I've seen of the tragic beauty. More than just a series of gestures she was able to capture something of the essence that made MM so special.
Then there's the miniseries of Lorna Luft's chronicle of her bumpy life growing up as one of Judy Garland's daughters in Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows with Judy Davis playing the adult Judy.
Lastly the movie version of 30's comedienne Thelma Todd's biography-Hot Toddy by Andy Edmunds renamed White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd for television that starred Loni Anderson. It's the weakest of the three and Loni isn't ideal casting but it's not a bad film just ordinary. Thelma and her mad, crazy short life deserved better.
I had a feeling you would have seen Joan, shoulder pads and all. I was in high school for Roots too but I was a nerd and didn’t go anywhere so I watched it. The Hutton story is tragic.
There have been many Monroe bios and I remember this one, vaguely, but I recall it being good. I liked the one with Ashley Judd.
The Luft bio was quite good and well done. I found it more sympathetic to her dad.
I did not see the Thelma Todd Movie probably laughing at the thought of Loni playing her.
Once again I haven't seen of of them. Sigh.ReplyDelete
Hope your weekend is fun and pain free.
It was ok and could take Harley outDelete
I think I may have touted this one before, but I really liked the PBS adaptation of Les Miserables.ReplyDelete
Also there was the never finished one season ABC series FlashForward which was an adaptation of a book by Canadian scifi writer Robert J Sawyer. I'd really like to read the book someday because it was a cool concept. I wish they had brought the series to a conclusion, but it was pretty good while it lasted.
Tossing It Out
Yay, I went for some 1980s mini series too.. high 5. Love these picks as just added two to my watch list. And one I have seen, can you guess which one?ReplyDelete
I haven't seen any of your picks yet but I'm intrigued by all of them. I'm for sure gonna add them to my list of possible book vs. movie/tv show postsReplyDelete