“A Lasting Legacy” starts with Dean Butler, Melissa Anderson, Susan McCray, and Melissa Gilbert talking about the legacy and the influence on the fans of the television show. After the opening title, the documentary discusses the cancellation of “Little House” and the reason for the destruction of the set. The rest of the documentary continues to describe the legacy of “Little House” and the television show’s influence around the world through interviews.
I enjoyed the documentary. It has good interviews and great video clips to support the “Legacy” theme. I would like to see more exclusive footage like the earlier documentaries with the screen tests of Melissa Gilbert and Melissa Anderson. I don’t know what kind of budget that the re-mastered editions have, but it seems that most of the budget is spent on the re-mastering of the original masters. The episodes look great, but I would like to see more extras (commentary and interviews about certain episodes).
I have a lot of respect for the film critic, Jonathan Rosenbaum. He was one of my instructors at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the mid 1980’s. I have been watching some of the movies on his 1000 ESSENTIAL FILMS list from his book, Essential Cinema. Party Girl is one of the films from 1958. Nicholas Ray directed the film. Other Ray films that I have seen include They Live by Night, In a Lonely Place, Johnny Guitar, and Rebel Without a Cause. I have enjoyed all of these films. I don’t consider Party Girl to be in the same class as the previously mentioned films. I enjoyed Party Girl, but not as much as the other films.
A good plot summary comes from the IMDB: “Lawyer Thomas Farrell has made a career defending crooks in trials. He has never realised that there is a downside to his success, until he meets the dancer Vicki Gayle. She makes him decide to get a better reputation. But mob king Rico Angelo *insists* that he continues his services.” I enjoyed the acting from Robert Taylor, Lee J. Cobb, and John Ireland. Cyd Charisse is good, but she is best during her dance routines. Nicholas Ray does a great job on the shot composition and the use of widescreen.
Last weekend, I watched Evil Dead Trap (1988). About.com ranked Evil Dead Trap at #6 of their 25 best slasher movies
I enjoy slasher movies so I am always looking for something good to watch. Here is a brief synopsis from Wikipedia: “TV show host Nami asks her viewers to send in home movies; she receives a snuff film apparently shot at a nearby factory. Taking a camera crew out to investigate, Nami finds the factory deserted. As Nami and her crew begin to scour the factory, they are murdered one-by-one in grisly fashion until only Nami remains.” I enjoyed the first 45 minutes of the movie. The lighting of the outside and inside of the factory is very atmospheric and threatening. The acting is well done especially by Miyuki Omo (Nami). The best kill is the woman who is tied to a board with a trip wire on the door and one on the floor. Nami trips the wire which sends a machete into her friend’s head. I didn’t like the supernatural turn towards the end of the movie. It was completely different than the first 45 minutes.
Moses Gunn was a very talented character actor and I enjoyed him in Little House on the Prairie and other movies and TV series. Here is a short bio from Wikipedia:
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Mary and George Gunn, he was the eldest of seven children. After his mother died, his family splintered. Moses left home and rode the railroad at just 12 years old. He returned to St. Louis and attended school while living at the home of Jewel Richie, his English teacher. He graduated from Tennessee State University after a stint in the army, then went to graduate school at Kansas University, gaining a masters degree. He taught briefly at Grambling College before attempting an acting career in NYC. He married Gwendolyn Mumma Landes in 1966, becoming stepfather to her daughter Kirsten Sarah Landes. They had a son, Justin Moses, in 1970 who became a musician and composer in the Copenhagen based band, The Reverend Shine Snake Oil Co.
An authoritative black character actor of film and TV, Gunn also enjoyed a successful career on stage. He made his New York City stage debut in the original off-Broadway production of Jean Genet’s The Blacks (1962). He performed many Shakespearean roles In Joseph Papp’s Shakespeare in the Park, winning an Obie Award for his portrayal of Aaron in Titus Andronicus. He won a second Obie for his work in the NEC produced “First Breeze of Summer,” which moved to Broadway. His much acclaimed performance as Othello at the Stratford, Connecticut, Shakespeare Festival was also moved to Broadway in 1970. Other Broadway plays in which Gunn performed are: “A Hand is on the Gate,” “Twelfth Night,” “I Have a Dream,” and “The Poison Tree,” for which he gained a Tony nomination for Best Actor. Gunn is perhaps best remembered in film for his portrayal of mobster Ellsworth Raymond “Bumpy” Jonas in the first two Shaft movies, and for his brief role of Booker T. Washington in the 1981 movie Ragtime, a performance which won him an NAACPImage Award. He was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1977 for his role in the TV mini-series Roots. He also costarred with Avery Brooks on the TV series A Man Called Hawk. Gunn also appeared in a multi-episode story arc as atheist shop owner Carl Dixon on the sitcom Good Times, as Joe Kagan on Little House on the Prairie, and as the character Moses Gage in the 1980s NBC drama Father Murphy. He appeared on The Cosby Show episode “Grampy and Nu Nu Visit the Huxtables”, as Olivia’s (Raven-Symoné) grandfather. His final performance was as murder suspect Risley Tucker in “Three Men and Adena“, an award-winning episode of Homicide: Life on the Street. He died from the complications of asthma in Guilford, Connecticut in December 1993.
Here is a playlist that I created on my YouTube Channel:
This is my first blog post. My name is Mike. I am the webmaster of www.melissasueandersonfan.com. I have been working in television for more than 20 years and am a fan of film, television, and the actress, Melissa Sue Anderson. This blog will explore different television series, films, and Melissa Sue Anderson related events.
Last night, I watched the first episode of season 1 of Marcus Welby, M.D. At the television station that I work, we used to air Marcus Welby, M.D., so I became a fan of the TV show. I was impressed with the quality of the writing and acting on the series. Robert Young is great as Marcus Welby and James Brolin does an impressive job as Steven Kiley. The Museum of Broadcast Communications provides a good overview of the series.
The episode that I watched last night was called Hello, Goodbye, Hello. It is a very moving episode about a young school teacher, Ruth Adams who is diagnosed with Gliosarcoma (a cancererous brain tumor). The tumor is inoperable and fatal. Ruth has to come to terms with her death and Dr. Kiley, who is attracted to her, tries to help her. Susan Clark as Ruth is impressive as she delivers a performance that demonstrates her character’s confusion and fear of her impending death. The actress Susan Clark has great blue eyes that are very expressive. If you are interested in watching the full episode, it is on YouTube.