Thursday, August 06, 2020

Adventures In the Rain

I didn't sleep well this morning. Thunder, lighting, and a massive downpour jolted me out of my slumber around 7:30. I dozed for another hour, then finally gave up and read in bed.

Supermarket Sweep ended as I came in for breakfast. Alas, the ladies just missed the 5,000 when they couldn't find the last clue. One of the ladies on Split Second did better, just pulling ahead in the Countdown round in a close race. She opted to return when she didn't turn the board for the car over in the bonus round. 

The teacher keeps rolling on Blockbusters. She beat the brother-sister pair and only missed one question on the Gold Rush bonus round. She was playing a pair of look-alike brothers when the show ended.

Took my laundry down to the basement, then returned to my apartment to activate TCM on my Roku box. One of the movies they had listed was the 1953 MGM musical Small Town Girl. I go further into this city mouse-country mouse story featuring Jane Powell, Farley Granger, and Ann Miller at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

(The TCM app on the Roku kept buffering throughout the movie. It would work just fine on my laptop later, so either there were remnants of the storm, or the TCM app has problems with my old Roku box.)

Since the rain once again cooled things off, I made a Honey Oatmeal Cake between putting the laundry in the washer and dryer. It's one of the simplest cake recipes out there, with everything being mixed in the pan you cook the oatmeal in. I forget where I found this one. I think it might have been stuck in a book at a thrift shop. It always comes out moist and just sweet enough, and is perfect for when you want a cake quickly and with a minimum of fuss. 

Switched to Cobra Woman on the TV Time Action app while having lunch and doing the dishes. I needed to turn up the heat, and this Universal 40's pot boiler more than filled the bill. I've read about the exotic B movies of Maria Montez and Jon Hall, but I never saw one until today. South Seas islander Ramu (Hall) and his goofy friend Kado (Sabu) goes after Ramu's lover Tollea (Montez) when she's kidnapped and taken to a remote island. Turns out Tollea has a ruthless twin sister named Naja (Montez) who is the ruler of the island, practicing human sacrifice with her greedy chancellor Martok (Edgar Barrier). The twins' mother (Mary Nash) reveals that Tollea is the true queen, and she brought her there to revolt against her evil sibling. Ramu and Kado will have to dodge Naja's affections and Martok's whip if they want to escape the island and help Tollea regain her rightful throne.

Pure hokum, but unbelievably fun. No wonder these movies were big money-makers for Universal in the mid-late 40's. The dialogue is terrible and no one can act, but the special effects are darn good for the time (especially when the sisters are together in the climax), and there's enough action to keep even modern action-lovers entertained. 

Activated Disney Now to get the second-season episodes of the Disney Junior Muppet Babies while bringing in the laundry. Skeeter and Scooter are reintroduced in "Win a Twin." Scooter is disappointed when his sister goes off to do something without him. Kermit puts on a game show to help Scooter find the perfect replacement for her. Skeeter leaves her glasses off to look more heroic in "Skeeter and the Super Girls." She joins Captain Icecube (Summer) and Super Fabulous (Piggy) as Top Speed, the lightning-fast heroine...but she keeps running into trash cans. She learns how important it is to see straight when The Meanzo (Gonzo) kidnaps her friends and the guard at the cookie vault (Scooter).

Switched to Tattletales as I finally hung the Jaq/Gus storyboard print and my grandfather's artwork in the living room, on either side of the smaller window. We had three young couples today, two of whom were never on the show before. Jimmie Walker and his lady Samantha were the big winners, with him coming off a tad less annoying than he tends to in Match Game. 

Peter Tomarken may have had to check his ears after dealing with extra-loud contestants on today's Press Your Luck. The blonde woman was soft-spoken but prone to high-pitched squealing during the Big Board rounds. One of the guys may have screamed hard enough to drown out even the Whammies. In the end, he out-screamed her and the other man to win tons of money and a trip to Ireland.

Worked on writing for a while after Luck ended. Ira tries to cozy up to Betty, but she orders him arrested for turning against her and staying with Malade. While Bobby and Elaine have fun with throwing pies, Charles tries to round up the others. Malade could be there any minute! So will their secret weapon, says Betty. Gene especially knows that more help is on its way...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had poached chicken legs with mashed garden-fresh potatoes and the last of the Chinese green beans and tomatoes while watching Match Game. This one ended with everyone joking about a contestant who says he runs a construction business and is a "home wrecker." Sale of the Century returned to the regular game with adult contestants. The woman champ dominated, picking up a trip to Aruba. She missed the bonus round money by a few seconds, though. 

Finished the night online with The Flame and the Arrow at TCM's on-demand app. Dardo (Burt Lancaster), a skilled peasant archer, is determined to rescue his young son Rudi (Gordon Gebert) after the boy is taken away by his mother Francesca (Lynn Baggett) and her current lover, Count Ulrich, aka "The Hawk." He, his mute friend Piccolo (Nick Cravat), and his friends turn outlaw. He tries to rescue his son, but they end up kidnapping the lovely and feisty Lady Anne (Virginia Mayo) instead. Ulrich threatens to hang Dardo's uncle Papa Bartoli (Frances Pierlot) if he doesn't return Anne. He thinks he's able to hang Dardo...but the rebel has more than one trick up his acrobatic sleeve!

I've seen Lancaster's second swashbuckler The Crimson Pirate many times, but never the first one until today. I like that he's a father rescuing his son, instead of a sweetheart or a flat-out rebel. It's rare you encounter devoted single fathers in swashbucklers, and it makes the story a little more meaningful. Mayo and Robert Douglas are having a great time as the damsel in distress and the slimy Marchese who joins the outlaws, only to betray them in the end. If you love robust action stories or The Crimson Pirate, you'll want to give this one a look, too. 

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