Sunday, November 29, 2020

Juliet Prowse on The Muppet Show ( 1977 )

The talented dancer and actress Juliet Prowse was one of the many fine performers that appeared on The Muppet Show during its heyday in the 1970s. This show appealed to children because of its puppets, but the line-up of great guest stars attracted the adult audience, which the show was created for. 

In this clip from the April 25, 1977 episode of The Muppet Show, Juliet Prowse performs a lovely dance to "Solace - A Mexican Serenade" ( a rare tango from ragtime composer Scott Joplin ). Afterward, she has a chat with Kermit and tells him that he is the "Robert Redford of Frogs"....quite a compliment! 

Juliet Dancing to "Solace":

If you enjoy these clips and want to hear more from Juliet, then check out this interview she made with Nola Joy Carello in 1987. Ms. Prowse talks about how she arrived in Hollywood and also her work as a ballroom dance competition judge.  

Nola Joy Carello Interview:

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie Game

These two men look like they are giving a darn good look at something interesting, but what could that something or someone be? We hope this scene piques your interest because only the keen-eyed amongst you will be able to identify this Impossibly Difficult screenshot! 

As always, if you are not familiar with the rules to the Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie game or the prize, click here!

Saturday, November 21, 2020

The People That Time Forgot ( 1977 )

The 7th Continent - a lost world shut off by a wall of ice, roamed by beasts unknown to Science, ruled by men lost to History, doomed to vanish in a chaos of leaping flames! 

This was the tagline to The People that Time Forgot, the sequel to The Land that Time Forgot ( 1975 ). Quite a fetching tagline....and the poster of the film is even more enticing! It shows a man ( supposedly Patrick Wayne ) walloping a hairy caveman with the butt of his rifle while a pterodactyl flies overhead. This scene was actually in the movie but it did not seem quite as exciting as the poster makes it out to be. 

The People that Time Forgot does have its share of excitement though. Within its 90-minute runtime, our heroes have to face a continual string of encounters with prehistoric cavemen, wicked warlords, dinosaurs, and erupting volcanoes. 

The story, based on the 1918 novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, begins where The Land that Time Forgot left off. If our readers remember, Bowen Tyler ( Doug McClure ) and Lisa Clayton ( Susan Penhaligon ) were left stranded on the island of Caprona, a land untouched by evolution. Tyler writes an account of his whereabouts, places it in a bottle, and throws it out to sea. 

This is where The People That Time Forgot begins. A sailor discovered this bottle off of the coast of England and Tyler's friend Major Ben McBride organizes a search party to rescue them. Members of this expedition include a woman photographer, Lady Charlotte Cunningham ( Sarah Douglas ), a paleontologist ( Thorley Walters ), and a mechanic ( Shane Rimmer ). 

They arrive on Caprona with an amphibious aircraft but a dogfight with a pterodactyl wrecks the propellor and three of the members decide to embark on their search by foot. En route they meet Ajor, a cavewoman, played by the tremendously buxom Dana Gillispie. She knew Tyler and tells them that he was captured by the Nargus, a samurai-like band of warriors, who are keeping him a prisoner on the Mountain of Skulls. 

Once they find him they have to battle the Nargus' not-so-jolly green giant before scurrying back to the airplane before the island erupts in flames ( volcanoes usually sit undisturbed for hundreds of years but are always ready to erupt when visitors come ). 

The plot is simple enough and it allowed screenwriter Patrick Tilly to add any number of creative hazards for the party to encounter during their rescue mission. These included a few dinosaurs, a tunnel of serpent heads ( who looked surprisingly similar to the Arthur O'Connell serpent from The 7 Faces of Dr. Lao ), and, of course, the prerequisite escape-from-a-sacrificial-ceremony. 

Director Kevin Connor made a series of adventure films based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' novels in the 1970s beginning with The Land that Time Forgot. All of these films are - unfortunately - quite forgettable, but nevertheless, they make great Saturday-afternoon viewing. The stop-motion dinosaurs are not as impressive as Ray Harryhausen's creatures but the special effects are otherwise done very well. The scenes with the airplane flying through the mountains and the ship cutting through the icy waters are especially good.  

If you enjoy popcorn movies like this, then check out Walt Disney's Island at the Top of the World ( 1974 ) as well...these two films would make for a great double-feature!

Saturday, November 14, 2020

The Hideaways aka From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler ( 1973 )

Claudia Kincaid wants to run away from home. She is a romantic dreamer at heart and feels like her parents do not appreciate her. So, when she finds a train ticket with an unpunched ride, she decides to take off on an adventure of a lifetime. Together with her younger brother Jamie ( who is financing their expedition ), she plots their escape and, while riding in the bus to school one day, they take off for New York City. "You don't run away from a place, you run away to a place," Claudia says. And New York City is the place she wants to go to because that is where the Metropolitan Museum of Art is located. 

Claudia wants to live in the museum and immerse herself in history. One night, while at the museum, she sees a statue of an angel in a backroom and falls in love with it. It is part of a new art exhibition and may possibly have been sculpted by Michaelangelo. The famous Italian sculptor's mark is on the base of the statue but art experts have been baffled for years as to whether it is a genuine mark or not. 

Claudia was wondering just why she had run away and now it occurs to her that she wants to prove that she is capable of doing something grand and noble... just like the knights in the legends of King Arthur that she reads about. Solving the mystery of whether or not Michaelangelo carved the angel statue would be such a gesture. It would make her feel important. The only person who can help Claudia and Jamie solve the mystery is Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler ( Ingrid Bergman ), a recluse who once owned the statue.

"You know Jamie, this is really a great adventure, something we'll remember as long as we live. Not even a king has lived in a fabulous place like this."

The Hideaways is based on the popular children's book "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" written by E.L. Konigsburg. It was required reading for many elementary students during the 1980s and 1990s. This film adaptation escaped me as a youngster and the only filmed version of the story that I was aware of at the time was the 1995 television adaptation starring Lauren Bacall. 

The Hideaways is by far a superior adaptation of the story and a much better film overall. Sally Prager and Johnny Doran are excellent in the lead roles and Sally especially gives a touching performance as the imaginative and spunky Claudia. For such a little thing, she really does have a lot of wisdom. 
The dialogue throughout the film is so loose and natural which makes everything that the children say seem believable. It was Blanche Hanalis who penned the script. This marvelous screenwriter had a knack for writing dialogue for children. She wrote the script to The Trouble with Angels ( 1966 ) and also many episodes of Family Affair and Little House on the Prairie

The Hideaways could be classified as a coming-of-age film because Claudia and Jamie learn, grow, and mature through their experience of running away from home. Their sibling bond strengthens throughout their adventure and Claudia comes to see just how much she loves her family and how much they love her. 

Ingrid Bergman gives an excellent and sensitive portrayal of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. She is immediately captivated by Claudia and her interest in the angel statue and is eager to help this kindred spirit to solve the mystery. You get the idea that perhaps seeing Claudia and Jamie makes Mrs. Frankweiler regret that she did not have any children herself. 
George Rose, a fine English actor, has a marvelous part as Mrs. Frankweiler's patient butler Saxonburg. Richard Mulligan and Georgann Johnson have small parts as the children's parents and Madeleine Khan also has a brief appearance as a schoolteacher at the museum.

The Hideaways also features fine cinematography by Victor J. Kemper ( The Last Tycoon ), beautiful music by Donald Devor, and an excellent setting - The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was filmed on location within the museum and it is wonderful to get an inside view of such a famous New York institution. The children wander through all the major rooms and, as an audience, we get to see beautiful paintings by Degas, Leutze, Rosseau, and Monet. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

British Pathé: Bicycle of the Future aka Moulton Bicycle ( 1963 )

Leave it to the Brits to re-invent and improve upon something that seems perfectly suitable already. That's exactly what Dr. Alex Moulton did with the bicycle. Moulton was dissatisfied with the large wheels and diamond frame of traditional bicycles and decided to create his own. 

His new creation - the Moulton cycle - was known as a small wheel bicycle and, in addition to being lightweight and easily packed into a car, it featured a rubber suspension system so you had a smooth ride wherever you went. 

The Moulton cycle debuted at the Earls Court Cycle Show in 1962. It gained enough attention that Moulton Bicycles Ltd. opened a factory in Bradford-on-Avon ( in Wiltshire ) and began manufacturing them for public use. This 2:12 minute British Pathé newsreel shows how versatile the little cycle was and how fast it could travel - up to 50mph!

To learn more about the history of this great company and its cycles check out their website or watch this short film about the Moulton Bicycle Company. 

Ready to watch Bicycle of the Future? Simply click on the link below: 

Similiar British Pathé newsreels:

Solex Bicycle ( 1968 ) - 2:33 minutes 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

From the Archives: High Barbaree ( 1947 )

Who said you can't kiss with a mask on? Van Johnson and June Allyson prove that it can be easily done in this photo from a scene from High Barbaree ( 1947 ). 

From the Archives is our latest series of posts where we share photos from the Silverbanks Pictures collection. Some of these may have been sold in the past, and others may still be available for purchase at our eBay store :