Tag Archives: King Kong

Our First TV Set: 1955-1962

24 Dec

This picture shows my older brother Dennis playing in front of the TV set in the living room on Christmas Day, 1955. This is the only picture I have of the family set that I did all my early watching on, from 1955 to the spring of 1962, when it broke down for good. We watched tons of movies on that set, as well as all manner of TV shows, from cartoons to the Mickey Mouse Club, the Three Stooges to Abbott & Costello, westerns, crime shows, adventure shows, sitcoms and assorted kiddie hosts. From about the age of five, I paid enough attention to remember the titles of most of what I saw, especially the movies, so I thought I’d reminisce about the viewing highlights of those years. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

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Favorite Classic Movie Blogathon: PORTRAIT OF JENNIE (1948)

16 May

This post is my contribution to the My Favorite Classic Movie Blogathon in support of the first National Classic Movie DayThe home page for the blogathon can be found here:


Jennie 1

Since a couple of the favorites I would have picked were already taken by other bloggers (e.g. THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES and CASABLANCA), I opted for PORTRAIT OF JENNIE (1948), which I saw for the first time as an adult and quickly became a favorite after a TV viewing and a big-screen viewing. I wrote a piece about it after the big-screen showing, which took place 24 years ago yesterday, and, since the piece has never been published, I decided to use it as my entry in this Blogathon. The emphasis is on the film’s use of New York City locations and how they contribute to the romantic and otherworldly aura of the film. Without further ado, here is the original essay:

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“Ultra Q” – A Giant Monster Every Week

15 Feb

Once upon a time, in 1966 to be exact, there was a weekly TV show in Japan that gave viewers a different giant monster in every episode. It was called “Ultra Q” and its original aim was to be an anthology show telling different, unrelated stories about unnatural occurrences in a science fiction vein, in the style of “Twilight Zone” and “Outer Limits,” two American sci-fi shows that had become quite popular in Japan around this time. The producers eventually settled on a handy formula that featured a trio of paranormal investigators (two male pilots and a female newspaper photographer) as regular characters confronting unusual monsters and other kinds of phenomena.

Ultra Q 1

I managed to find a DVD containing the first four episodes of this series and, like most Japanese pre-records I’ve picked up from Japanese video stores, it was in Japanese with no subtitles. However, the emphasis on the visual aspects of the stories, rather than the scientific exposition, made them easy to follow and fun to watch, with only one episode offering an “explanation” that suffered without subtitles.

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