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What Movie Stars Have You Watched on Vintage TV Recently?

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:00 pm
by Harlowgold
Been meaning to start a thread here on this subject for awhile, similar to the "recent views" of silent and talkies - which classic movie stars have you watched on vintage tv shows recently? Can be of course over tv broadcast, internet, dvds, etc.

The Decades channel is available in a city about 90 minutes away from me, I can pull it in most nights but not always and often not a whole show which can make for frustrated viewing. But I've see some great stuff recently on it, notably several LAUGH IN episodes, a number of which feature movie legends in not only cameos as featured guest star. I watched this show is a as a kid and of course most of the racy jokes went over my head at the time (I'm not sure that would necessarily be the case today with today's eight or nine year olds). I was delighted to see Rita Hayworth's episode in which she made multiple appearances cracking wise ("Back in 1951 you couldn't say the word 'virgin' in films; in today's movies you can't find one") and even singing with the femme cast with everybody decked out as Sadie Thompson (earthier than Hayworth's original characterization to be sure). She also had some good quips in a running sketch as a caustic nurse and had a fun sketch with Lily Tomlin in her "tasteful lady" character" as they sipped tea daintily and bashed the uncouth broads on the show (I remember the sketch from 1971 and never knew it was with Hayworth - heck, I didn't even know who Rita was at the time and wouldn't for at least another seven years)." target="_blank

I've also seen everyone from Greer Garson (looking gorgeous) to Edward G. Robinson appear in the various blackout skits on the show over the last two weeks.

Also on this channel was something called "The Achievers" which apparently is a low-budget clip show from the 1990's consisting of public domain footage and trailers. An episode about Gloria Swanson (not listed on IMDb but a yahoo search pulls it up from the producers where it can be yours on dvd for a rather pricey $99) had little rare footage other than a 1936 newsreel with Gloria at the racetrack presenting trophies with Joan Crawford (Barbara Stanwyck is also briefly seen) and some short color footage of Gloria in the 1970's talking to the camera about De Mille. The episode ends with what appears to be Super 8 footage of Gloria signing copies of her autobiography in 1980. Typical production for this sort of thing although what stands out was the print quality was much better than the norm including clips from Indiscreet (probably an extended trailer) and fairly rare The Loves of Sunya.

Re: What Movie Stars Have You Watched on Vintage TV Recently

Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:31 pm
by Chris Snowden
One of the joys of being a vintage TV buff is discovering the vintage film stars, who tend to pop up when you least expect them to.

Sometimes it's a forlorn silent star, picking up a few dollars doing a tiny role in a 1950s cheapie. Betty Blythe turns up in a Racket Squad, Creighton Hale did a Highway Patrol, etc.

Sometimes it's very much the opposite, and the star gets a real showcase. Bette Davis and Joan Crawford each did a 90-minute episode of The Virginian (not together in the same one, unfortunately!); Luise Rainer starred in an episode of Combat! of all things, with Ramon Novarro thrown in as an added attraction.

Sometimes the star looks surprisingly good, like Richard Arlen in at least a couple episodes of Lawman, and Robert Armstrong in a Cheyenne, both looking only slightly older and heavier than in their heyday.

Sometimes the star's appearance makes you gasp: Mickey Daniels had lost some teeth by the time he turned up in a 1951 You Asked For It Our Gang reunion, and Allen Jenkins had lost a few when he turned up on Adam-12 in 1971. I could swear Victory Jory was missing some in a 1959 Rawhide role. Oh, and the less said about Bette Davis' legs in her Late Night with David Letterman appearance, the better.

Sometimes you discover odd pairings, as when the elderly Snub Pollard shares a scene with the young Robert Redford on Tate in 1960, or when Jane Fonda and James Mason compete on Password in 1962.

Anyway, you get the point. If you really love the stars of vintage Hollywood.... and you don't watch vintage TV... you're missing out!

Re: What Movie Stars Have You Watched on Vintage TV Recently

Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:16 am
by Donald Binks
It's very hard for us in Oz to see anything old on the telly. Most of us get TV off the air from the 4 commercial networks and the two Govt. networks and they don't ever dip into the archive. Pay TV has a version of TCM but it is now playing pictures creeping up in to what I would call "fairly recently" - i.e., 1970's and '80's. Since we have had digital broadcasting, a lot of subsidiary channels of the networks have opened, and those not showing continuous advertisments, show old television shows - but nothing old enough to feature any of the "big names".

Sometimes though, we might have an opportunity to see a special such as a collection of old Sir Michael Parkinson interviews he did in London with all the old big stars, but these are proving rarer and rarer because it is the belief of the bigwigs running TV that no-one in the audience would know who all these people are now.

In one Parky interview he had Gloria Swanson and Dame Edna Everage on together. This was immortalised by Dame Edna coming out with "I never had a silent period".

Re: What Movie Stars Have You Watched on Vintage TV Recently

Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:58 am
by Harlowgold
I've been watching several episodes of the Alfred Hitchcock tv series and the ones starring Lillian Gish and Gloria Swanson are among the best things they ever did in the sound era. On the other hand, the Bette Davis episode was so blah I'm surprised she accepted it.

Re: What Movie Stars Have You Watched on Vintage TV Recently

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:29 pm
by Harlowgold
It's not just the great stars but the great character actors as well whom you can often see on vintage tv. ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS was loaded with episodes with famous movie characters, often starring in the shows. "Bull in a China Shop" (1958) is a delightful if brazen reworking of Arsenic and Old Lace starring Dennis Morgan with a quartet of character queens (Estelle Winwood, Elizabeth Patterson, Ida Moore, and Ellen Corby aged into being a contemporary of the other gals). One of five old ladies living together in an old house ends up dead from arsenic poisoning and the surviving biddies are delighted by the attention handsome neighbor Dennis Morgan (a homicide detective) is giving them as he investigates, ultimately concluding it was an accident. Guess what happens next? One of the best AHP episodes I've seen and it's wonderful to see Ida Moore (who most often played tiny bit parts in movies) with a larger role. There's also a rather provocative bit for 50's tv where the old gals watch from their window neighbor Morgan shave in an undershirt in his bathroom.

"The Baby Sitter" (1956) features two great characters, Thelma Ritter and Mary Wickes, but unfortunately isn't as good.
Thelma babysits for an affluent couple but she despises the much younger wife, clearly an adultress, while having more than a small crush on the husband who she gets along with swimmingly and is Thelma's age. When the wife is mysteriously murdered, Thelma almost immediately starts watching her weight and buying nicer clothes in a half-plan to vamp the husband. Best pal Mary is pretty cynical about the whole deal. This episode suffers from a typical abrupt ending for a half-hour drama as well as not being a particularly credible conclusion.

But it's not just the famous characters that got to shine on vintage tv, sometimes it's obscure player. I'd never heard of Ella Ethridge (1893-1982) before seeing her on DEATH VALLEY DAYS, looking her up on IMDb I find she was only in a handful of movies in mostly unbilled bits in the 30's and 40's, her biggest role apparently as Garbo's maid in ANNA KARENINA (1935). Her career kicked into fairly high gear in the 1950's via television and often in westerns where this cross between a humorless Elizabeth Patterson and (hillbilly comedienne) Elviry Weaver was well cast. She stars with "Riggs and Riggs" (1955) as the domineering wife of rather shiftless gold miner Jack Daly, doing more than her share of working their claims. When they strike a claim worth $70,000 Mr. Riggs goes to town to cash in the funds and presumably to do other business ventures. Months pass and Mrs. Riggs is still hard at work working other claims while her husband is wasting away their fortune with "monkey business". DVD appears to have been a rather low-budget program during it's early seasons but this is a good episode with a satisfying conclusion. As was not infrequently the case, a sixtyish character actress is paired with a much younger husband (think Marie Dressler, May Robson) who is either fat or (in this case) bald but they are supposed to be contemporaries, whether middle-aged or younger seniors is left for the viewer to decide.

Re: What Movie Stars Have You Watched on Vintage TV Recently

Posted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:31 am
by Big Silent Fan
"The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1962) caught my eye as it was recently broadcasted commercial free on FX Retro. It stars Glynis Johns as the lost person who finds her way to the mansion of Dr. Caligari. It's filled with other visitors that are actually the fellow patients. While the story is not exactly like the 1920 Silent, it is true to the plot and we see this experience through the eyes of the beautiful but insane, Jane (Glynis Johns), just as we saw the original from the view of another insane person. The conclusion is quite amazing, when she regains her sanity and we now see the real Jane, and not the one imagined throughout the story. Slow paced, but certainly an experience to see.

I still remember first seeing (and hearing) Glynis Johns play Miranda the Mermaid in the 1948 film as a young boy, She was just as beautiful in this 1962 film when she was 39. Her voice suits her appearance well. She talks about this early role in this link: ... -searchbox" target="_blank" target="_blank

Re: What Movie Stars Have You Watched on Vintage TV Recently

Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:13 pm
by Roseha
Zasu Pitts made a memorable supporting appearance on the original PERRY MASON as a comic landlady, and other episodes featured silent stars like Francis X. Bushman and Neil Hamilton (the latter several times).

Fay Wray appeared also on the show more than once, most memorably in an episode clearly inspired by SUNSET BOULEVARD. She's fun to watch as the imperious former star. (This one also features a line which I'm surprised I've heard only this once on TV - spoken by the housekeeper: "How can you tell if a person is dead?")

Re: What Movie Stars Have You Watched on Vintage TV Recently

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:20 pm
by Harlowgold
I watched the legendary Mae West episode of MR ED for the first time in years and this time on dvd and was surprised to see there was a coda at the end with Mae in yet another gown (she goes through clothes on this show like Loretta Young!) which I believe has always been clipped off the post-1990s reruns, of course to make room for more commercials.

Re: What Movie Stars Have You Watched on Vintage TV Recently

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:02 pm
by radiotelefonia
A week devoted to Harold Lloyd in Filmoteca.

The show can be seen online for free. This week they are playing classic Argentine film in new scanned transfers.