Totally riveting adventure, until our five-year-old ruined it by pointing out that Captain Video can’t land on Jupiter because it’s all gas.
Maybe they didn’t know that in 1953.
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Many of our favorite records can be heard in the more than 1000 posts here on the Hymie’s blog. Some of our favorites are the Buena Vista Star Wars book & record sets, which feature an amateur cast in the familiar roles of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and, of course, Darth Vader.
But the good people at Buena Vista didn’t stop with the original trilogy, so let’s raid the record collection of our Star Wars-loving kids and discover the further adventures of the amateur cast. Today we present Princess Leia and Chewbacca’s adventure on the Planet of the Hoojibs.
“SEE the pictures, HEAR the record, READ the book”! Also in Buena Vista’s adventure series is a book & record of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Can you imagine how awesome that must be?! We wonder if they get the same actor that played Han Solo in their Star Wars records!
“Be Bop Santa Claus” featuring Babs Gonzalez (vocal) and Teddy Brannon (organ).
You’re hearing a story from this classic Peter Pan LP, Spidey Super Stories. Everybody enjoys the story of Spider-Man’s origin, especially when it is told in such a hilarious manner, but I also wanted to share this record because yesterday when my son was listening to it I recognized the voice of the narrator.
Yes, it’s actor Morgan Freeman, Academy Award winner (five time nominee) narrating that old Spider-Man record. Everybody’s gotta start somewhere, and apparently a lot of stars made records for kids (we discovered Michael Dorn, Star Trek’s Worf, on a Star Wars record last year – hear it here).
And the appearance of Morgan Freeman on a Spider-Man record actually makes a lot of sense to people about my age – see Spidey Super Stories were a recurring feature on TV’s Electric Company, a a children’s program where Freeman started his career, appearing as Easy Reader, Vincent the Vegetable Vampire, and of course …
Mel Mounds the DJ:
Yep. We all start somewhere.
From The Sesame Street Fairy Tale Album:
Prairie Dawn is right. She goes on to tell her own fairy tale about a little girl who saves a town from a nasty dragon by singing to him. I hope our little girl grows up understanding that there aren’t princes and princess in every story, and that princesses can do more than get stuck in castles and captured by dragons.
According to Muppet Wiki – which is a real thing, by the way – Prairie Dawn is seven years old. She has been appearing on Sesame Street since 1971, often directing pageants starring her friends Bert, Ernie and Cookie Monster. Prairie Dawn and Cookie were paired together for a segment in seasons 33-37 in which she helped Cookie explain the letter of the day but was unable to prevent him from eating it.
Also on Muppet Wiki I learned that Prairie Dawn wears “Days of the Week” underwear: “When Joey Mazzarino checked under her dress for the Henson stitch at The Paley Center for Media (for a screening of Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey), he was asked by Tau Bennett why. Prairie replied, “He was just checking to see what day of the week it was!”
I feel dirty just for knowing that.
Last Monday we listened to a 1943 radio adaptation of Casablanca (click here to go back to that post), and as promised today we’re listening to another classic radio program starring Humphrey Bogart. Here he is with Lauren Bacall, reprising their screen roles in To Have and Have Not.
It’s pretty clear from yesterday’s post that I’m not a real movie guy (I mean film buff) but I do enjoy a good one from time to time. Last night we rented Casa de mi Padre, which I’d recommend if you like to laugh a lot when you’re watching a movie.
To Have and Have Not is only loosely based on Ernest Hemmingway’s novel, and is also one of several screenplays written or co-written by William Faulkner. It is sort of hard to imagine today, but at the time Faulkner took the job writing for MGM Studios where he worked with director Howard Hawks.
I couldn’t find a Looney Tune of this one.
“The Screenguild Theater” was a CBS Radio program that broadcast on Monday nights from 1939 to 1952 (ABC and NBC each broadcast a season towards the end of the series’ run). It featured Hollywood stars performing short radio adaptations of popular films, and the fees they typically charged for a radio performance were given to the Motion Picture Country Home for retired for retired actors, which is a real hospital and long-term care facility whose opening was presided over by Shirley Temple and Ronald Reagan. Today it continues to operate as a service of the Motion Picture and Television Fund, which has been proposing to close the hospital for several years.
In the Internet Archive’s Old Time Radio section (here) you can listen to well over 100 recordings from the series, which ran under several names depending on the current sponsor. Episodes there range from a fun version of Pinnochio (not as good as the classic Disney storybook album) to suspenseful interpretations of Hitchcock classics like Suspicion and Notorious. Even if you haven’t seen the film (and who the hell has seen Enchanted Cottage or Mr. Jinks Goes to Sea?) the programs are a lot of fun to listen to – If you’ve got to spend the afternoon painting a room or cleaning your garage it beats the hell outta the boring shit on you’ll hear on NPR.
We have a number of them in the shop, along with a variety of other albums from the “Golden Age of Radio” like Amos n Andy and Flash Gordon. I thought over the next couple Mondays we’d feature a few favorite radio programs, starting with a couple appearances by Humphrey Bogart. And that what brings us to…
Fans of Casablanca have notoriously rich knowledge of their beloved film and the “problems of three little people [that] don’t add up to a hill of beans,” making it a very difficult story to adapt.
It was twice adapted into a television series – once as Who Holds Tomorrow? with Charles McGraw as Richard Blaine in a 1955 pilot that was not picked up and once in the 80s with David Soul as Richard Blaine. Yep, this guy.
The David Soul Casablanca ran for seven episodes and was even nominated for a daytime Emmy. I have no idea if that’s a big deal or not. My favorite television adaptation of Casablanca was a 1995 Looney Tune starring Bugs Bunny as Rick:
This radio production from the Lady Esther era (a brand name that still exists today) features much of the original cast – notably the three stars Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid. It omits a number of subplots and events and squeezes some scenes together because the program is only a half hour long, after all. It was broadcast on April 26, 1943, not long after the film was a surprise success for Warner Bros.
A few of the best lines are oddly rewritten, shifted from scene to scene or flubbed. The absence of Claude Rains (who played Louis Renault in the film) hits hard because so many of the story’s best moments are created by the on-screen chemistry between Bogart and Rains. The subplot surrounding the neighboring Blue Parrot and it’s owner, Signor Ferrari, had to be cut for time, sadly eliminating my favorite character, Ugarte (who was played by Peter Lorre in the movie).
Still, it’s fun to listen to Bogart, Bergman and Henreid revisit their famous roles, so here – split into four tracks for better sound quality, is the 1943 “Screenguild Theater” production of Casablanca:
Next Monday: An exciting adaptation of another Humphrey Bogart classic brought to you by the makers of Lux Soap – tune in at the same time next week to hear the Lux Radio Theater‘s production of Ernest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not!!!