Posts Tagged ‘1996’

My Choices for Movies Based on Television Shows

March 29, 2012

This blog entry was inspired by two things. The first thing is news that 21 Jump Street, a movie based on a television show about police officers who investigate youth crime, did very well opening weekend. How well? How does bringing in $35 million sound? (Sounds good to me.) The second thing is an article on MSN Movies about fantasy dream casts of television shows turned into movies, such as Seth Rogen as Gilligan in the movie update of Gilligan’s Island or Emma Stone and Gael Garcia Bernal as Lucy and Ricky in the movie version of I Love Lucy. Well as you can guess, those things got me thinking. (Yet, again.) So, if I had the wherewithal to bring a television show to the silver screen, here are my choices for movie treatments. (Yes, I know, I rail against television shows that are turned into movies. Still, can’t I use my imagination and have a little fun?)

Hardcastle & McCormick
This television show aired on ABC from 1983 to 1986. This show featured Brian Keith as Los Angeles Superior Court judge Milton C. Hardcastle and Daniel Hugh-Kelly as the smart alecky ex con and ex race car driver Mark (Skids) McCormick. McCormick steals a car and is Judge Hardcastle’s last case. Hardcastle offers a deal to McCormick. Either work for the judge as he seeks out the 200 felons whose cases he presided over and were let go due to legal technicalities or go to jail. McCormick chooses to work for the judge and together they seek out the bad guys. As the series progresses, their relationship grows from employee/employer to almost a father/son relationship.  So, as for the movie version, how about having women in the title roles? Angelina Jolie as the judge Melinda Hardcastle and Lindsay Lohan as the ex con and ex extreme athlete (motorcycle stunt racer) Martha (Marty) McCormick. Together they turn heads and turn in the bad guys.

Six Million Dollar Man
This show aired on ABC from 1974 to 1978. Test pilot, astronaut and Air Force Colonel Steve Austin (Lee Majors) is seriously injured in the crash of an experimental aircraft. Austin’s body is rebuilt with nuclear powered bionic limbs. This gives him superhuman strength. He can run at speeds up to 60 mph, he can snap an iron crowbar like a twig and he has a an artificial eye that allows him to see things more than a mile away. Since the government rebuilt him, he has to pay them back by working as a spy. This was such a popular show that it spawned a spin-off called The Bionic Woman in which Jaime Sommers, (Lindsay Wagner) a professional tennis player is given bionic limbs, as well. Yet, instead of an eye, she gets a bionic ear, which allows her to hear the faintest whisper to the people talking behind soundproof doors. She too has to repay the “debt” by working as a spy.

Now for the movie version of this television show. How’s this for an interesting plot twist? The man would be second to receive the operation and a woman, who just happens to be an Iraq veteran, would be first bionic person. Therefore, that would make her the “senior” agent. Also, they would work together to save the world from a doomsday device, rouge cyborgs or things like that. Lastly switch the names. The woman would be Colonel Stephanie Austin and either Sarah Michele Geller or maybe even Meg Ryan would play the part. (Meg Ryan played a Persian Gulf War helicopter pilot in the 1996 film Courage Under Fire, so she could pull it off.) The man would be James Sommers and he would be played by Ryan Gosling or Ben Affleck.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Yes, the television show that showed the world that Moore could do more than just be housewife Laura Petrie on the Dick Van Dyke Show. This show aired on CBS from 1970 to 1977. In that show Moore, played 30something Mary Richards, a spunky gal who works in a Minneapolis television station and is determined to be a success in life. Still, since this blog entry is about television shows turned into movies, with an added twist, what twist will I come up with for The Mary Tyler Moore Show? How’s this? First of all the movie would be called The New Guy, since there would be a guy in Mary Tyler Moore role. His name would be Mark Richards and he would be played by Justin Timberlake. Instead of working in a broadcast television station, he would work in a cable network, similar to Comcast, just not as big. He also has deal with his boss, the hard nosed Louise (Lou) Grant, who has been working in cable since 1970’s when cable systems were available for purchase as franchises. She would be played by Rhea Perlman. Ted Baxter would still be a guy and he would be played by Alec Baldwin. The downstairs neighbor Ron (Rhoda) Morganstein would be played by Zach Galifianakis. As for the other cast members, I’ll let the powers that be, pick them.

Speaking of which, I wouldn’t be surprised if at least one, if not all of the television shows I mentioned were currently in development. After all, the television to movies trend shows no signs of letting up. Of course, if a powers that be person is reading this and just got an idea for an upcoming movie, please contact me in care of this blog. My fee is negotiable.

Source:
http://www.movieweb.com/news/box-office-beat-down-21-jump-street-takes-in-35-million

http://entertainment.msn.com/beacon/editorial12.aspx?ptid=cf1e691e-8bc2-4ac8-ac8a-a20e7e30a92e&silentchk=1&wa=wsignin1.0&photoidx=1

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085029/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071054/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115956/

http://www.amazon.com/The-Mary-Tyler-Moore-Show/dp/B00005JLIC/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1332707279&sr=1-1

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Lost and Found

January 26, 2012

Not too long ago, I learned that an animated version of The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolken’s prequel to Lord of the Ring was found. This version is over 11 minutes long and dates from 1966. It was designed by Czech illustrator Adolf Born and was written and directed by Tom and Jerry animator Gene Deitch and you can watch it here:

As you can guess, this discovery got me thinking about other lost and found films. There are many films, most from the early days of motion pictures that have become lost, either through neglect, accident or the nitrates ate away at the film and there is nothing left to watch. There are also many films that were, and still are, languishing in a closet somewhere, only to be found when someone knocks something over or lifts up a box.  So, I have put together a list of some films that are lost and some films that were found.

Lost
The Story of the Kelly Gang
(1906)
This film tells the tale of Australia’s most famous criminal or “bushranger” Ned Kelly. Directed by Melbourne native Charles Tait, the film was a popular and critical success and lead to a succession of bushranger films. Soon these type of films were banned in several Australian states because they romanticized crime and criminals. Unfortunately, at the turn of the 20th century, studios didn’t realize the historical significance of saving a film, like The Story of the Kelly Gang. So, there was no procedure put in place to preserve these films for future generations, hence it became lost. Still, the film has not entirely disappeared. Nine minutes of footage was found in a deserted house in 1979 and just before the film’s 100th anniversary, Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive contacted archives around the world in regards to the film. As it turned out, the British Film Institute had an incomplete film labeled “Kelly Gang,” and it contained more footage of the film. While, it is far from complete, there was enough footage to get a feel for the film and that was added to a DVD of the film.

Humorisk (or Humor Risk) (1920s)
Would you believe that the Marx Brothers made a silent film? Yes, it is true. In fact, it was their first film and they played different characters to the ones that they became famous for. Reports are that Groucho didn’t like this film, so he purchased it and destroyed all prints and negatives. Ouch! That’s taking the killing of your darlings to extremes.

Catch My Soul (1974)
Conventional wisdom states that most of the films that became lost were from the early years of the 20th century. For the most part that’s true, the exception is Catch My Soul. This is a rock opera based on Shakespeare’s Othello and has folk singer Richie Haven as the lead. The film was directed by Patrick McGoohan, who was the lead actor in the famous television show of the 1960’s The Prisoner. The film got poor reviews and one critic said that it was “pricelessly funny” without meaning to be, since it was dramatic film. Wait, it gets worse. According to McGoohan, one of the producers found religion and added 15 minutes of religious material to the film. McGoohan didn’t like that and tried to have his name removed from the credits. The next year it was re-titled as Santa Fe Satan and then it disappeared. So, check your closets and attics, keep an eye open at flea markets and while checking out stuff on eBay, because a print of this film might show up in those places.

Found
Cléopâtre
  (1899)
No, this is not the one with Liz and Dick. This is a French film and the earliest horror film made. This film deals with the re-animated mummy of Cleopatra and the havoc she creates. It was thought to be lost until 2005 when a print of the film was found. So, now the French film canon includes more than just chain smokers who discuss the meaning of life in sidewalk cafes.

Richard III (1912)
This is a film adaptation of the Shakespeare play of the same name and is considered the oldest American feature film in existence. It featured the, then, famous actress Sarah Bernhardt. This film was thought lost until 1996 when a high quality print was found.

Metropolis  (1927)
This film wasn’t lost like the other films mentioned. Rather, after it’s premiere in Berlin, the film was cut from its original 153 minutes to 90 minutes. Restoration was done in 2001 with combined footage from several archives and that brought the film up to 124 minutes. That version was considered to be the most complete version until 2008 when a 16 mm negative was found in, of all places, Buenos Aires. This negative contained 25 minutes of lost footage. This footage was integrated with the 2001 version in 2010 and now the film is as close to director Fritz Lang’s original version of the film as possible.

The lost and found films mentioned in this blog entry demonstrate the importance of archiving films. After all, whether a film becomes a classic or a flop, it is part of the historical record of the studio that made it, so it needs to be saved for future generations. It also demonstrates the importance of keeping track of your own stuff. After all, if you lose your stamp, coin or baseball card collection, do you think the Smithsonian Institute will help you find it?

Of course, it you have any information about the lost films mentioned in this blog entry, please contact the following film archives: 

Australia
National Film and Sound Archive of Australia
McCoy Circuit, Acton ACT 2601
GPO Box 2002,Canberra ACT 2601
Email: enquiries@nfsa.gov.au
http://nfsa.gov.au

USA
National Film Preservation Board
Library of Congress (4690)
Motion Picture, Broadcasting & Recorded Sound Division
101 Independence Avenue SE
Washington DC 20540
Attn: Steve Leggett, Staff Coordinator
Email: sleg@loc.gov
http://www.loc.gov/film/

The author would like to thank Gene Deitch for his assistance with this blog entry.

Sources:
http://www.movieweb.com/news/the-hobbit-long-lost-animated-short-discovered

http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/9-famous-lost-films-that-have-been-rediscovered/

http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/70351

http://www.kino.com/metropolis/restoration.html#rest