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The Beatles In Help! DVD Review

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EMI Music / 150 minutes including extras / 2 disc set

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The Beatles, Roy Kinnear, Victor Spinetti, Eleanor Bron, Patrick Cargill, John Bluthal

A Hard Days Night had been a major movie revelation, its crisp black and white day in the life of the biggest band in the world won approval from critics all over the world, as well as piling it in at the box office. Help! at the time was seen as something of a lesser beast, its pop art colours and slapstick humour somehow seeming forced. 40 years on Help! is just about the perfect summation of everything the Beatles stood for.

From the opening scenes of the fab four walking through four different doors on a terraced street emerging into one super luxurious shared “pad” (pretty much the way their fans thought they lived anyway) to the gorgeous set pieces dreamed up for the 7 fabulous songs on the soundtrack.

The story is hugely eccentric, psychadelic a good couple of years before psychadelia took hold, choc full of classic British comedy character players and clearly a forerunner for the likes of Python (director Richard Lester was an early acolyte of the Goons helming the Peter Sellers classic short The Running Jumping Standing Still film which itself was a major influence on A Hard Days Night!). Basically Ringo becomes the target of an Indian death cult thanks to one of his rings and the group (led by the splendid Leo McKern and Lennon amoure Eleanor Bron) will stop at nothing to get their hands on it.

help-dvd-coverIt’s a gloriously enjoyable romp through everything that was great about the swinging sixties and this very groovy new 2 disc collection with its remastered print, collectors booklet and bonus disc of goodies is a worthy celebration.

Extras are very cool, the main one is a 30 minute doco on the making of the movies with interviews with cast and crew including director Lester as well as rare footage of the boys on set. There is also a great missing scene featuring Wendy Richard; A featurette on the restoration of the movie, cast and crew reminiscences, a trio of theatrical trailers and radio spots hidden as Easter Eggs.

Please note: This article predates the published date and is from the old HTML version of Memorable TV and is part of our From The Archives collection.

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Judy Garland Faces Stardom

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Tradition turns topsy-turvy as this thirteen-year-old jostles her elders for first place

by Victoria Johnson
(from Modern Movies, August 1937)

JUDY GARLAND, child wonder of the screen, bursts upon an astonished world. She’s the cutest little dancer and blues singer that’s ever been seen or heard. She is only thirteen, but already has years of professional life behind her.

Judy comes of a theatrical family and has been in almost every city in the United States with her parents “on the road.” There were brief stays in Grand Rapids, Mich., Chicago and other cities. But she considers Los Angeles her home. Judy’s stage work was as part of a trio, with her two sisters, Virginia and Suzanne.

judy-modern-movies-1937She was born Frances Gumm in Murfreesboro, Tenn., but when George Jessel signed the trio for his act at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago, he changed the last name – and Frances went him one better by switching over to her present “Judy.”

“I had to fight for the name,” she says. “But mother finally agreed to let me change.”

Judy, for a child who has lived more or less in a world of make-believe, is striking in her lack of affectation. Her large, wide-set brown eyes are shy, yet they dance with interest, and smile. She is quite a movie fan, admiring particularly Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable and Jeanette MacDonald. The world of pictures, which was opened to her two years ago, is exciting and full of promise. Yet she views it tentatively and gratefully – not as one who has come and conquered.

For nearly two years she was under contract before having a part. She had been seen while singing at Lake Tahoe, and an agent brought her to the attention of M-G-M.

“I didn’t think I had much of a chance,” she confesses, “I was just at the awkward age. It is funny, but even though there are lots of people my age in the world, few were interested in them. There’s a big difference between Shirley Temple and Maureen O’Sullivan. But up until just a little while ago, there wasn’t a place in between.

“That’s why I’m grateful to Deanna Durbin. Her work proved to the public that people were interested in actresses or talent of the ‘between age.’ That was a break for all of us in our early ‘teens.”

Judy is frankly thrilled with her role in “Broadway Melody of 1938.” In it she portrays Sophie Tucker’s daughter. Sophie, in the film, is an ex-famous actress, whose vogue is passe. She tries to further the interests of her daughter, so the child can carry on where she herself left off.

In “Broadway Melody” Judy is given an opportunity to show her stuff. She sings, she dances – and acts. One of the big numbers in the picture features her coming onto the stage in a white streamlined car, lined in padded pink satin with a chauffeur and footman. Buddy Ebsen greets her in the middle of the stage, and off they dance.

The studio wisely made no attempt to push or retard her age. She is just a kid of thirteen with short dresses and bobby socks. And she has filled a place long vacant on the screen.

“I get so many letters from people my own age, saying how they enjoy seeing a person just like them on the screen. They get tired of seeing only small children or or grown-ups, they write.”

judy-modern-moviesJudy admits she is at a confusing age. “You are all twisted up. Sometimes you’d like to make mud-pies, or play with dolls, but think you’re too old. At others, it would be fun to put on high heels and go dancing. Then you’re ashamed, because you know you are not old enough. Oh, well, thirteen is a lot of fun, anyway. I’ve adopted it as my lucky number.”

You cannot help admiring someone her age suddenly thrust into the glamorous world of films, who has remained balanced. Judy doesn’t try to be “girly girly.” And she is too smart to try to appear old, as do so many other girls her age.

“There are about fifteen years that you can be young,” she philosophizes. “All the rest, you are grown-up. I think you appreciate being grown-up much better, if you don’t try to be that way too soon.

“So I don’t mind being teased now and then for my short skirts and flat heels. I tried some long hose and longer skirts once, but it wasn’t any fun. Now I’ll wait until I am ready for them instead of looking silly.”

As for her career, the height of her ambition is to go into real dramatic parts some day. She’d like a picture in which she didn’t sing even so much as one number – “just to show she didn’t get by on her voice.”

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The Revolution Not So Revolutionary For ABC After All

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Original Publication date: Jan 21, 2012 | US TV News

It was all part of ABC’s big plan to show that there is more to daytime than long running soaps but talk show The Revolution is already down 43% on the ratings garnered by One To Live in the same slot.

The show made it’s debut on Monday and was already down 32% by midweek, the good news for General Hospital though is that soap fans, already bereft at the loss of One Life and All My Children have given the medical soaper a 38% increase in viewers.

Please note: This article predates the published date and is from the old HTML version of Memorable TV and is part of our From The Archives collection.

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Homeland With Claire Danes Premieres on Channel 10 Sunday 22 Jan 2012 @ 8.30pm

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Original date of publication: January 21, 2012 | Australian TV News

The highly anticipated Showtime drama Homeland begins on Channel 10 on Sunday night at 8.30pm. It’s strong stuff starring Claire Danes as CIA agent Carrie Mathison who becomes convinced that returning war hero Nicholas Brody (played by Damian Lewis) has actually been turned whilst being held prisoner by al-Queda.

Meanwhile Brody’s wife Jessica (played by Morena Baccarin and in a move guaranteed to delight her legion of V fans gets her kit off at every opportunity!) isn’t too sure how she feels about his return as she has been having a fling with somebody else.

The action cuts between Brody and Mathison as he struggles to adjust to his return home and Mathison who has a hard time convincing anyone of her theories about Brody.

An excellent series that pulls no punches and is brilliantly acted and scripted and one that has been notching awards nominations right left and centre. Whether Ten will play fair with it when it comes to scheduling remains to be seen.

Homeland | Sundays on Channel 10 @ 8.30pm

Please note: This article predates the published date and is from the old HTML version of Memorable TV and is part of our From The Archives collection.

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