Wednesday, January 30, 2019

DANGER MAN - "Time To Kill" (1960)

Tonight's Wild Wednesday offering fits in perfectly in between last Saturday's and next Saturday's Carl Jaffé tributes! 
From 1960, it's "Danger Man" Season 01, Episode 02 titled "Time To Kill," referenced in the third of Carl's tributes!

This episode starts off immediately with Carl Jaffé in a scene outdoors at a barbeque!

Carl's character is a very valuable man named Professor Barkoff who can't decide on the dill pickle or the mango chutney on his hamburger! The hostess with the mostess is Louise Lauette Cordier aka Louise (The Saint) Collins. Her last named changed to Collins when she married British race car driver Peter Collins! Sad story, Peter was killed on the track, only one year after their wedding.

They've got it out for Professor Barkoff, and his life is in peril!

Even though he's in the gunman's sights, Carl is very relaxed and appears to be enjoying himself, and why wouldn't he be? Looks like a pretty easy role for him, all he has to do is relax and enjoy eating a hamburger.

Then right about the time you think it's all over, the Professor gets a reprieve!

Nice portrait of Carl, don't you think?

Son of a bitch, they shot him! What the heck?

Putting the word Paris on a shot of the Eiffel Tower is fairly redundant!

"Danger Man" gets his assignment!
Kill the guy who killed the Professor!

Just to reinforce how imperative the situation is, there's a photo of the deceased Professor!

Velcom to the border, can I see your passport please? 

The rest of the episode, "Danger Man" and Sarah (Island of the Burning Damned, Jason King) Lawson as Lisa Orin, spend a lot of time together uncomfortably. He wants the killer, and she wants to know what's going on!

"Did you hear shots?"

 Cool Bauhaus ending credits!
I'm not a shill for Amazon, and I sure as Heck don't get paid for telling you that all four seasons of "Danger Man/Secret Agent" stream for nothing if you have a Prime account. I just think it's a good idea to let you know where the good things are when I stumble on them. I wouldn't have known if I wasn't writing this, so chances are, you might not either.

Monday, January 28, 2019

THE OUTER LIMITS: Cold Hands, Warm Heart / Season 2 Episode 2 - 1964

Today's classic TV episode goes like this... Following a mission to Venus and back, an astronaut finds himself getting increasingly cold and then has strange dreams about encountering an alien outside his spacecraft after landing on Venus.

It stars William Shatner, Geraldine Brooks, Lloyd Gough, James Sikking and Lawrence Montaigne in this sci-fi story.

Colonel Jeff Barton is back from Venus and he's on TV with his account of the flight. His wife Ann and him are watching the interview, they are so happy...

Jeff's promoted to General, he visits the facility that houses a high altitude space capsule they're developing.

Back at the ranch, Ann turns up the air conditioner since it's a sweltering summer day. Wearing a sweater, Jeff is freezing, he gets angry and turns the freakin' heat up!

Then, he starts having nightmares involving a creature he saw on Venus, and, now wears a flight jacket instead of a sweater to try and stay warm!

He decides to try a steam bath to warm up, he lays down and falls asleep after turning the heat up past a safe limit...

In his dream, he relives his flight to Venus, he's ready to land the rocket on the surface.

On Venus, he sees a ghostly figure approach the ship and he starts freaking out as his dream turns into a nightmare.

There's an emergency and the workers have to get into the room quick! When they finally get Jeff out of the steam room, they notice that his hands are deformed with webbed fingers... WTF?!!

The doctors decide to put him in the high altitude capsule, trying to stabilize his condition, but, the creature shows up again!.

Jeff says that the creature got into his mind, so, Ann talks with him, trying to convince Jeff that he's still human...

After his stint in the capsule, Jeff becomes normalized and is sweating again! Not sure about his hands though, our tale ends on a happy note! Tune in Wednesday when we'll have more Dungeon Cargo for you, see you there!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

A Tribute to Carl Jaffé - Part 4: World War 2 - Playing the Enemy!

Tonight we have a great treat for all our viewers who have been following the Tribute Series of the prolific Jewish German character actor Carl Jaffé. We are thrilled to bring you not just one, but TWO consecutive Saturday Night Specials!

In the first (Tribute No.4) we take a look at the well-worn, often miss-told, misunderstood, yet perpetually popular subject of World War II. So many stories have been dramatized, romanced and explored - true and invented.

 Our London correspondent Michael Jaffé has opened the vaults of time (and his private family archives) to unearth some fascinating back-stores and exclusive PR images on his Grandfather Carl. 
Take it away Michael!!

Although Carl Jaffé was a Jewish refugee; his linguistic talents and natural Germanic tones meant that he was ironically and inevitably cast in over a dozen movies (and some TV) playing the stereotyped Nazi enemy(!) - typically either a frustrated Luftwaffe General or a Gestapo Chief.

  Viewing these performances you can detect in at least some that he invokes just a small dose of comical farce to poke his own sense of dramatic fun at the despicable regime.
 As with many roles played by stalwart character actors; it has been widely observed that playing the bad guy is much more enjoyable for them since it is generally easier for an audience to hold the enemy in ridicule, contempt, fear and loathing simultaneously.
Jaffé covered a broad range of baddies, from underworld henchmen to Nazi generals; all delivered with characteristic zeal to ratchet up the drama of the story.
Of the many examples that we could show, here are a few to consider:

 1940- Law & Disorder - Domestic underworld blackmail/robbery, the usual hoodlums. 

Jaffé plays a deliciously evil henchman whose underplayed persona and eccentric delivery pre-dates the iconic Dr. Stangelove by nearly 25-years.

1940- All Hands; British propaganda publicity film made by the Ministry of Information to highlight the risks of careless conversation during wartime.

 Jaffé plays the U-Boat Captain taking advantage of a London based German agent overhearing civilians discussing Royal naval shipping routes.

Jaffé met the then Minister of Information on-set during production and the PR guys were there to capture the moment.

1941- Gasbags; The Crazy Gang (Britain's humble answer to the Marx Brothers) embark on an ill-conceived mission to defeat Hitler that takes them to the heart of the enemy - leaving a trail of comedy slapstick gags and frustrated enemy along the way. 

Jaffé plays a gestapo general directing the chase; played with teutonic tone against the comic backdrop only adds to the fun.

1943 -The Night Invader; widely acclaimed and later regarded as one of THE greatest British war/thriller films; Jaffé plays Count Von Biebrich caught up in the affections of the girlfriend of a British agent on a mission to retrieve secret document that she has. Officially, no print copy of the film survives; only a few lobby cards from the Canadian 1950 re-issue.

 However, from the private archives of Grandson Michael Jaffé, we do have 2 original PR pictures, one of which was used in the lobby card, the other a portrait of Carl Jaffé himself.

1944 -Two Thousand Women (USA release delayed to 1951 and strongly edited, under the title; House of 1,000 Women); comedy/thriller female Prisoners of War being given almost hotel-like accommodation with their internment in occupied France.

  Jaffé plays the officious but curiously sympathetic Nazi Lieutenant charged with co-ordinating the rabble of Brit girls.

1951- Lili Marlene; not the iconic Marlene Dietrich issue; but equally entertaining if only for Jaffé's chilling portrayal of the gestapo Chief trying to persuade the lady to talk.

 Jaffé delivers the classic stereotyped line (and often misquoted; since it is anyway a corrupted adapt taken from Gary Cooper's 1935 The Lives of a Bengal Lancer) "...Vee hef vays of may-kink you tork..." - all done with an ice-cold smile and drinks on the table...

1953- Appointment in London; WW2 British bombing raids over Germany.

Jaffé plays the frustrated Luftwaffe General being thwarted by the RAF's strategy.

1962- The Password is Courage; dramatization of the true (and lighthearted) story of British Army POW Sergeant-Major Charlie Coward (played by the late great Dirk Bogarde) trying to frustrate the enemy with frequent prisoner escapes from the infamous Stalag-VIII-B; but not before becoming confused with the enemy and award the Iron-Cross!

 Jaffé in one of his shortest appearances plays the Nazi General in the opening scenes awarding Bogarde his medal.
Tune in next week when we present Tribute No.5: Carl Jaffé on US TV; some classic shows from the 1950s made as production collaborations with British distributors to maximize Anglo viewing exposure (and profits) in the exciting new entertainment medium of TV that was on the cusp of entering its own golden age.

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