Sage Wisdom From Rod Serling’s Planet of The Apes

Astronaut Colonel George Taylor: And that completes my final report until we reach touchdown. We’re now on full automatic in the hands of the computers. I’ve tucked my crew in for the long sleep, and I’ll be joining them…soon. In less than an hour we’ll finish our six months out of Cape Kennedy. Six months in deep space…by our time, that is. According to Dr. Hasslein’s theory of time in a vehicle traveling nearly the speed of light, the Earth has aged nearly 700 years since we left it…while we’ve aged hardly at all. Maybe so. This much is probably true. The men who sent us on this journey are long since dead and gone. You, who are reading me now, are a different breed…I hope a better one. I leave the 20th century with no regrets, but…one more thing, if anybody’s listening, that is. Nothing scientific. It’s…purely personal. But seen from out here, everything seems different. Time bends. Space is…boundless. It squashes a man’s ego. I feel lonely. That’s about it. Tell me, though, does man, that marvel of the universe, that glorious paradox who sent me to the stars, still make war against his brother…keep his neighbor’s children starving?
Planet of The Apes, 1968planet-of-the-apes-1968-01

Caveat Emptor: Tabloid says Craig may do 2 more 007 films

The Spy Command

Skyfall’s poster image

Rupert Murdoch’s Sun tabloid, for the second time in 24 hours, has published a 007 film story, this one saying that Daniel Craig, 49, may sign for not one, but two, additional Bond outings.

Here’s an excerpt:

Producer BARBARA BROCCOLI has been spearheading negotiations with the actor, which will take him up to a total of six films as the world’s most famous secret agent.

While work is scheduled to begin on the 25th film next year, discussions are centring on a possible remake of 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service for Daniel’s subsequent final movie.

A Bond insider said: “There was plenty of talk about who would be the next Bond but Barbara has managed to talk Daniel into two more films.

The thing is, Broccoli and Eon Productions flirted with infusing elements of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service into 2015’s SPECTRE.

A SPECTRE draft script…

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Bond 25: ‘Mind you, all of this is pure guesswork…”

The Spy Command

Image for the official James Bond feed on Twitter

Alert: What follows is just for fun. The blog wanted to make that clear following last weekend’s fiasco in The Mirror.

So, Bond 25 has some momentum following last week’s announcement of a 2019 release date.

That announcement left a number of issues unresolved. Channeling M in You Only Live Twice (“Mind you, all of this is pure guesswork, but the PM wants us to play it with everything we’ve got.”), here’s a quick look with more than a little guesswork.

Status of the story: The release date announcement also said Neal Purvis and Robert Wade were working on Bond 25’s story. That confirmed a March story by Baz Bamigboye of the Daily Mail. Thus, that story now becomes “news that hadn’t been announced yet” from the rumor category.

But how far along are Purvis and Wade? It depends on how…

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Best film noir

Humanizing The Vacuum

Should I even write a preface? This genre that flourished just after World War II accepted the city as a dangerous but beautiful place, demanded that women play on the same field as men so long as they were dangerous, and boasted some of the most sumptuous photography in film. I place John Huston’s first because it’s one of few formative movie experiences that hold up. Ah, the falcon…

1. The Maltese Falcon, dir. John Huston
2. Laura, dir. Otto Preminger
3. Out of the Past, dir. Jacques Tourneur
4. The Big Heat, dir. Fritz Lang
5. They Live by Night, dir. Nicholas Ray
6. Double Indemnity, dir. Billy Wilder
7. Chinatown, dir. Roman Polanski
8. The Third Man, dir. Carol Reed
9. The Long Goodbye, dir. Robert Altman
10. The Late Show, dir. Robert Benton
11. Touch of Evil, dir. Orson Welles
12. Fallen Angel, dir. Otto Preminger
13…

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Remembering that 1989-95 007 hiatus

The Spy Command

GoldenEye’s poster

Our post the other day about the anniversary of Licence to Kill’s release got the blog to thinking about what followed: The six-year hiatus in James Bond film production.

Like the earlier post, this is more of a personal take on the events.

The thing is, in those pre-internet days, the news was much slower in getting around. During much of this period, I saw a number of items in The Wall Street Journal. I had a subscription at the time.

Also, the extent of what was going on wasn’t immediately evident.

There were reports in the trade press that director John Glen and screenwriter Richard Maibaum wouldn’t be returning to the series. This was the first indication (at least to me) that a big makeover, rather than minor tweaks, was in store.

There were occasional stories about potential new directors and screenwriters. Things got more serious when…

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1967: Spy TV star debates a conservative icon

The Spy Command

Robert Vaughn, right, with Richardo Montalban in the first-season Man From U.N.C.L.E. episode, The Dove Affair

July 8 is the 50th anniversary of when Robert Vaughn, the star of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., debated William F. Buckley Jr. about the Vietnam war on the program Firing Line.

Buckley, the founder and publisher of National Review, took on debate partners over more than 30 years on Firing Line.

Firing Line’s format was polite but intense. In 1967, the Vietnam War was raging and it was an intense time.

Vaughn was one of the most prominent actors who opposed the war.

Vaughn, decades later, in an interview for the Archive of American Television, described his preparation for the debate.

The actor said he “spent a month in a monastery reading everything Buckley had ever written in his life, including term papers at Yale. So I walked in as the young challenger against…

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Crossing the Pond

The Classic TV History Blog

A frequent and legitimate complaint about this blog has noted its author’s ignorance of British television, apart from a few oft-imported staples like The Prisoner and Are You Being Served?  Be careful what you wish for: Here is a primer on four live and/or videotaped dramas of the sixties that remain largely unknown on my side of the Atlantic.

Room17-1The Man in Room 17 (1965-1966) inverts the locked-room mystery in a clever way: it’s not the crime that occurs in the locked room, it’s the detection.  It’s about two criminologists (why, one wonders, is the title of the series singular rather than plural?) whose skills are so rarefied and irreplaceable that they remain sequestered inside a chamber deep in the confines of the British government apparatus.  On paper it sounds a bit like the American series Checkmate (1960-1962), which was created by a prominent British novelist, Eric Ambler, and had…

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The Private Detectives

The Bogie Film Blog

For my money, there was one character type that Bogart was born to play. Gangster? Convict? Escaped Convict? Ex-pat loner struggling against the Axis powers? Naw. For me, no one could play a Private Detective wrapped up inside a Film Noir nearly as well as Bogie. Guns, dangerous women, back alley crooks, illicit affairs, hand rolled cigarettes – Bogart could juggle them all with laid back ease.

For a great breakdown of the history behind the “whys” and “hows” of Bogart’s historical place within Classic Hollywood as a Film Noir detective, you should definitely check out Sheri Chinen Biesen’s book Blackout. Not only is it a wonderful primer on Film Noir, but it goes into great detail about Biesen’s belief that Bogart’s age, wartime rationing, and a lack of leading men in Hollywood led to Hollywood’s greatest icon getting the chance to play characters like Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe.

It’s…

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