Sunday, September 13, 2020

Games Eagles Play

Began a sunny morning with perfect blueberry pancakes for breakfast and the soundtrack for the 1969 musical version of Goodbye, Mr. Chips. It's too bad this movie seems to have had major production problems from the get-go and flopped at the box office. Some of the Leslie Bricusse score is really lovely. Peter O'Toole may be miscast as a shy teacher, but he does get to (kind of) sing the sweet "What a Lot of Flowers" and melancholy "Where Did My Childhood Go?" Petula Clark has more fun playing Chips' West End star wife who sings the rousing "London Is London," the hilarious "School Days" with the boys, and and the touching "You and I."

Switched to another soundtrack while getting ready for work. I reviewed Funny Lady back in January when it was free on the streaming service Crackle. The movie is really something of a mess, but it has great music. Barbra Streisand introduces several new Kander and Ebb songs, including "How Lucky Can You Get?", while James Caan sounds surprisingly good on "Me and My Shadow."

Work was surprisingly quiet for the first football Sunday of the year. I expected it to be crazy before the game started, but we were off-and-on steady, not really that much different than yesterday. I guess everyone did their shopping last weekend. It was so dead by 5 PM, I headed out a few minutes early.

(Apparently the Eagles did well against Washington early-on, but eventually lost 27-17.)

Went straight into writing when I got home. Malade orders Sir Jack Narz to drag over Della, whose strength powers have lessened. She wants Fannie, too, but the Princess of the Air proves to be harder to find...

Jodie called around 6. Rose and her family were long-gone, but Jessa was there. Did I want to have tacos with them anyway? Sure, why not?

I was very happy to see Jodie and Jessa sitting together at the island in the kitchen when I came in. I made my soft-shell tacos as we discussed what to do about all the stuff in the house. Jodie said Rose is going to help her try to figure out what goes where. Trouble is...most of the stuff in the house, especially in the basement, isn't Dad's. He and Jodie never properly went through Uncle Ken's stuff after he died in 2012, and there's things that belong to Aunt Jane and my cousins Guy and Samantha, too. Jodie did bring down anything that belonged to Jessa's adopted mother Kaye for her to decide what to do with it, or send it along to Kaye's family in Florida.

Left Jessa and Jodie to settle their differences around 7. Spent the next hour and a half at my place, making Old-Fashioned Ginger Cookies while listening to the last two episodes of I Love Adventure and a couple of I Love a Mystery shows. "Hearse on the Highway" has Doc and Jack posing as truckers to track down a gang of hijackers. They get involved in "The Ricardo Santos Affair" when they're hired to protect a South American ambassador, only to end up crashing in the African jungle with his resentful wife and worried daughter.

"Ricardo Santos Affair" was the last episode of I Love Adventure. I Love a Mystery was finally revived a year later in 1949, with Reggie played by a young Tony Randall. "The Thing That Cries In the Night" has them coming to Hollywood to spend a $25,000 windfall, only to get caught up in the problems of an eccentric and troubled rich family being terrorized by strange, baby-like wails in the night.

Finished out the night on YouTube with more rare vintage game shows. Kicked things off with the original $10,000 Pyramid from 1973. Dick Clark lead McLean Stevenson, Loretta Swit, Anita Gillette, and Daniel Spielburg through three levels of subjects they have to describe to contestants. The game play is largely unchanged from the current version, other than the dollar amounts being smaller. McLean, Anita, and Loretta are just as entertaining here as they were in their Match Game appearances; McLean was especially funny.

Battlestars is an oddity from 1983. Apparently, this is it's second incarnation. It's basically a more complicated form of Hollywood Squares. Contestants land on a number that corresponds to a star. If they correctly guess if the star gives the right answer to a multiple-choice question, they win that triangle. Get three or more triangles, and you win a chance to go on to the bonus round. It's not as easy as it looks, but the contestants were helped by a great panel that included Charles Nelson Reilly, Betty White, Lydia Cornell, and Richard Kline. Alex Trebek was the host here.

Reilly also took part in the hilarious Wordplay from 1987, joined by his friend and Broadway stage star Julie Harris and Magnum PI star Larry Manetti. This time, contestants have to guess which definition of an unusual or obscure word the celebrity gives is correct. This lead to some really creative and funny answers, like Manetti insisting that "Jerry-built" meant "boat made in Alaska." I had a great time with everyone's descriptions, and I think host Tom Kennedy did, too! I'll definitely be looking for more of this one.

$10,000 Pyramid (1973)
The New Battlestars (1983)
Wordplay (1987)


Linda said...

I love the songs in the Peter O'Toole CHIPS, especially "In the Morning of My Life" or whatever the proper title is. I think it's supposed to be the school song.

Emma said...

It's a lovely soundtrack, one of my favorite finds at the record store in Collingswood. Amazon has it for rental, and cheap, too. I really need to get to seeing it.