Best of the 2nd Quarter 2022 : Best Classic TV Show – ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR’s ‘RIDE THE NIGHTMARE’

ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR was a followup to the far more well known ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, except true to this revival’s name it offered hour long tales of mystery and suspense.

Rarely seen, or referenced, this series tends to languish in obscurity in comparison to its far more popular and well remembered sibling, AHP. Which is unfortunate because, for the most part I am finding the hour long time-frame (that could easily feel padded) being effectively used by the host of talented writers, directors and stars involved. Not in all cases of course, some episodes do fail or feel overlong, but so far the majority of the ones I have seen, are satisfying and compelling additions to the output of the great Alfred Hitchcock.  

While few of these are directed by Alfred Hitchcock, the best of them live up to the high bar of cinematic mystery and suspense that Alfred Hitchcock helped set.

Case in point, RIDE THE NIGHTMARE.

Directed by Bernard Girard (an unknown to me Director, who seemingly spent the bulk of his career directing various Television shows, the movies that are credited to him at the end of his directing career, seem poorly received critic wise, but all sound intriguing to me, and worth a look, especially based on how impressed I am with the visuals in RIDE THE NIGHTMARE) and with a screenplay by the great Richard Matheson, that he adapted form his own novel, RIDE THE NIGHTMARE is a gripping, exciting, amazingly directed episode of television.

Beautifully lensed by cinematographer William Marguiles (a relatively prolific DP in late 50s thru the early 70s, primarily in television) , from the first shot I was asking myself, “who the heck directed this? It looks stunning!”

From evocative low angle shots, that make the ceilings loom above us like the hand of doom, to 270degree close-up pan around an embracing couple, to a series of doorways the character walk through as they quietly discuss their relationship’s immolation (the doorways at dutch angles to represent a world no longer reliable and steadfast, but rather menacing and predatory)… the episode enthralls.

And for an unknown tv episode from 1962, to invoke those impressions on someone watching it for the first time, 60 years later in 2022… I think says much about the visual language of the episode. It also says much about its star, Gena Rowlands.

Known for her later lauded pairings with her husband and paramour (their relationship had that type of oxymoronic duality, and iconoclastic fire, both on and off screen, that he could at once be her husband, and at once be the seducer who swept her away) John Cassavetes; Gena Rowlands, who at the time of this writing is still with us, in this episode (the first of three yearly episodes she would do for ALFRED HITHCHCOCK HOUR) commands the screen with her beauty and her presence. In RIDE THE NIGHTMARE she offers a beguiling performance, that well foreshadows, while giving us a less damaged version, of those later legendary pairings with Cassavetes.

Also with great performances by genre stalwarts Hugh O’Brian and John Anderson — this is a brutal little bit of unheralded television noir, that builds to a [mild spoiler, skip to next paragraph to avoid it] surprisingly near apocalyptic ending.[end spoiler]

The plot has in the 60 years from there to here, been reused countless times, even in 1962 was slightly formulaic, but what was not and is not formulaic… is the craft that it is told with. That had, and still has, the power to rivet.

These shows can be viewed via streaming. Either free if you can deal with the criminal # of commercials (I can not), or via purchase on (typically) an episode by episode basis. I chose neither of those routes and purchased the entire series on DVD to watch at my leisure.

To get your copies go here:

Thanks for looking, and click the image above to purchase. you get a great item, and this blog earns a few appreciated pennies to keep the proverbial lights on.

a win, win!

that’s it for this segment. Oh, and for those of you staying for my rant… read on. The rest of you come back next time, and be well!!

 

*********

“What did he say “DVD”? HaHa!! What a geezer!! Wake up Grand-pa! There’s this thing called streaming!! Ha! Ha!”

Yes, thank You.

Very enlightening. I happen to be a big fan of digital and streaming… In its place.

I like streaming for discovering things I want to revisit or own (if ownership by individuals is not a forbidden word in this new age of solely corporate ownership and corporate freedoms), however for revisiting these things, or owning these things, or enjoying these things, I want it in a format where I can enjoy it whether or not I have an internet collection, whether of not a corporate site is down, whether or not that corporate gatekeeper has decided to stop serving that particular show or episode or album or video game.

As the whole world races to embrace ever more gatekeepers on everything the individual touches, it increasingly becomes clear that you can not buy, or sell, or read, or watch, or listen to something whether in your house or your car, without a log of what you have consumed and when you consumed it being stored somewhere, approved somewhere. Something about that does not agree with me.

Something about not being able to buy or sell without having the mark, whether the mark digital or the mark proverbial, something biblically off-putting about that :).

I tend to like being off grid for my entertainment when I can, when I choose. It is the iconoclast in me. I resist the religion of hegemony and the glory of social media in all things.

 

Here Endeth the Recommendation and the Rant!

 

:).

 

News you can Use!… And a RanT.

DISNEY QUIETLY DELETES ‘TOY STORY 2’ SCENE AMIDST ‘ME-TOO’ BACKLASH.

https://frompage2screen.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/disney-quietly-deletes-toy-story-2-casting-couch-scene-after-metoo/

 

This is a bit longer than I intended it to be, so feel free to read in pieces. I think there may be some grain of wisdom in the wildness of it. It goes hither and yon, but its heart is in the right place.

 

First I have never liked Disney.

I don’t.

I do not like their stance on copyright. I do not like their stance on creator rights. And I do not like that they famously, or infamously bought a news station, rather than being the subject of the news.

I do not like any company that is above the law. All laws. And masks their absolute earth shaking power, behind this facile facade of familial values.

But you do have to respect Disney.

Respect what they have done, and how they have done it.

But cheer-leading is another matter.

I think people who were championing for Disney to buy Fox, or this company, or that company. the mass of people without a stake in Disney, championing Disney so they can see fictional characters share the same screen, are morons who do not understand larger issues of monopoly, and wage manipulation and price fixing, and law making, that comes with allowing a company to get that big. Real tangible issues that affect the people and the quality of life of the people, not at the very top of that economic pyramid.

I think people who take an ownership view of how much billions more, billion and trillion dollar entities like Disney make (oh we have to get the Avengers movie over a Billion or to 2 Billion) are ignorant slaves, cooing for their masters to build a bigger house, and expand their plantation, when you barely have a pot to piss in.

I like the Marvel and Star Wars movies and think Disney has done well by them  (However I would have been happier if neither Disney purchase was approved, and they remained separate companies, because competition and a free market and quality of life and choice… is more important than getting a specific type of movie), and I want entertainment I consume to be good, but as far as being a cheerleader for how much more billions these movies make for their global overloads. I sincerely could not care less. If the movies lose money they lose money, if they gain money they gain money.

The fact that studios have helped destroy local theaters and distribution, that 40 years ago, that money a  blockbuster made would go into the local economy,. Into the Independent theaters, the distributors, the retail companies. That money a movie made, a nice portion of it, went back into the local economy. Not so any longer. Now a studio owns a stake in everything from the distribution company, to the chain of theaters it is shown at, to the theatrical equipment and media used. The Billions a movie makes, is literally billions moving out of the pockets of the many poor, and into the pockets of the few rich.

Only if you are a stock owner should you feel some tiny type of fiscal ownership or incentive in Disney’s financials, and I guarantee you most of the idiots who are clamoring for a movie to break this record or that record, do not own a single Disney stock. They are penniless slaves taking ownership in their masters house, rather than any ownership in their own.

So that is my background on how I feel regarding Disney.

 

Now onto them cowtowing to ‘Me Too’ mob.

 

This is the reason DVDs and Blurays can not be replaced by streaming, because of this tail wagging the dog syndrome, this knee-jerk reaction companies and politicians and courts are engaged in of cowtowing to the mob, and acting and punishing at the whims of the mob, before thinking.

We can have great intentions, but the 2nd those great intentions transcend due process or replace ‘innocent till proven guilty’ with ‘guilty till proven innocent’; you become a mob rather than a movement.

And businesses and courts and the media, cowtowing to this witchhunt atmosphere become part of that lynchmob mentality.

Let us start with the big picture and some historical perspective and work our way down.

A lynch mob mentality. That’s the type of atmosphere, where people lose their job and livelihoods and lives before their day in court, where books get banned and burned, and in the age of streaming, films get… altered.

So that’s the reason if you have a movie you love, you only truly own it, if it is in a physical format. Any item you own in the ‘cloud’ or even on your hard drive (if it is accessible to updates) is subject to this re-writing of content, this editing of content, to placate the unreasoning, scared, power-hungry mob.

Most people have good intentions.

To protect their communities, to support democracy, to fight against discrimination, to oppose sexual harassment, to protect children, to defend women.

But we have allowed people with bad intentions to weaponize these good intentions, with unthinking rigid slogans that replace and usurp the rule of law, and dispense and enact punishment before due process, popular American slogans such as “Make America Great Again aka Keep America White” or “Better Dead than Red” or “Me Too”, when you become a knee jerk defender of slogans over reason and due process, you move from a defender against crime, to a committer or crimes. A lynch mob and a witch hunt.

And I’ll have no truck with that.

Too many people have been lynched in this country, both literally and most recently social media wise, to let anyone get away with mob justice, or mob punishment, as our new normal.

Someone is accused of a crime, guess what people… IT IS STILL AN EFFING ACCUSATION until proven in court. You should not immediately go from reading a headline to attacking that person, and calling for punishment and calling for them to be fired or banned or stripped of their earned honors.

(One thing on that — If an honor a university or organization has given to a person that has earned it, is removed at the behest of the mob, you do harm to the value of that honor. To the integrity of that organization.

What matters is not who the person you gave an honor to… becomes, or was in the past, but that you gave your word. If the reason the honor was given remains a fixed point in time, a fact, than that honor must likewise remain a fact, a fixed point in time.

We do not get to only immortalize a man’s falling down, his standing up, the reasons for those accolades must likewise be a fixed point. For accolades and honors to be removed with the mutterings of the mob, is to make those honors and the institution that gives them and takes them away… of no more value, than spit in wind. I’m looking at you Yale and Xavier and the Navy… to name a few.)

What we do not do, is 4 years before their date in court, pronounce them guilty, fire them, hound them, and generally destroy their life and livelihood on an accusation. That is the definition of a witchhunt and mob justice.

A man or woman’s bad, does not erase their good, and in this ME TOO slogan age, we seem to want to  make a person the one, and erase the other. And that is not how judgement works, or none of us will see the paradise.

Because if men who have done more good, than any twenty of us walking this planet, can be demonized by the mob in the blink of an eye, with none of that good taken into account, all those accolades edited out, and only the bad judged, then none of us, judged that way, will escape hell.

We must weigh the good a person has done against their bad, and only then can they be judged fairly. And they must be judged by people impartial, without axes to grind, or an agenda to put forward, else it is not judgement, it is crucifixion.

This censoring and editing of content, because ‘we’ no longer agree with an actor who is in it, or a joke that is portrayed, is a very slippery slope. And we have been here before, and it does not work out well for anyone.

A bit of an off-topic rant, but one that was brewing for a bit.

And shows how potentially widespread and damaging to every facet of our lives, cow-towing to the mob can be.

Final take away: slogans are for outside the court, not in place of it, and more trivial take away… if you have content you love, be it a book, a song, a movie, in this new digital/streaming age, while accessing it has become easier, so has altering and censoring it. So if you have something you love, own it in a form that can not easily be changed, a physical/tangible form.

 

Here endeth the Rant. 🙂

 

 

EFF, Movie Studios, FLASH, HTML5, and the fall of the rights of Man

EFF Makes Formal Objection to DRM in HTML5

I am no fan of FLASH, the backbone of sites like YOUTUBE, and virtually any video stream site on the web (I personally do not use YOUTUBE or stream movie trailers for this very reason, my dislike of Flash. I prefer downloading what I choose to watch, preferably in open-souce format, over streaming anything), however its replacement HTML5 is even worse.

HTML5 is designed to the specification and needs of an increasingly troubling lobbying block, the movie and entertainment studios.

Now more than ever the same industry that lobbied to get DVD infringement to carry a heavier penalty than battery or rape (those oh so unobtrusive FBI warnings :)), wants safeguards on what you watch and see and access.

In addition to the idiocy that is ‘Cloud’ computing, and DRM, they combine both concepts in HTML5.

HTML5 has its good points. It gives you ease of use in accessing media, without doubt, however you pay for ease of use in accessing media, in loss of privacy and erosion of the rights of self.

The price HTML5 wants for ease of use… is too high.

HTML5 makes your browser of choice, Firefox, Explorer, Chrome, Opera, etc in truly fundamental ways no longer an avenue for spy-ware, but rather spy-ware itself.

But spy-ware used by oligarchies with the money to make legal, what if an individual did it… we would call criminal.

If like me you don’t believe corporations should be above the law, or greater than an individuals right to privacy you may want to join the EFF in opposing the new HTML5.

Find out more here!


And if you want to surf with a bit of security and choice then

1/ disable javascript unless you specifically need it for a known and trusted site, bank, database, etc

and

2/ Disable HTML5 from auto-playing media in your browser. Here are the Firefox instructions.

Hope the above helps. And don’t forget join the EFF and help them… help you.

AVENGERS vs PEPSI vs MICHAEL JACKSON?? Star forced to continue dancing after his death??!!

Okay so on this big AVENGERS day, what could bump the AVENGERS from the top spot on my blog? Would you believe a dead Michael Jackson?

Okay it has recently been announced that Pepsi bought the use of Michael Jackson’s image from his estate.

It reads:

“On Thursday [3 May 2012], Pepsi announced a deal with the late King of Pop’s estate that allows the brand to use his image for its new global marketing push.

READ: Will Michael Jackson Be Back in Hologram Form?

According to PepsiCo, the nature of the promotion will vary by country, but will include a TV ad, special-edition Pepsi cans featuring Jackson’s image and chances to download remixes of his biggest hits.

Pepsi’s chief creative officer, Brad Jakeman, said the broader Live for Now campaign took 10 months to develop and its aim is to amplify the company’s strong ties with pop culture.”— Eonline

I am not a fan of Pepsi to begin with, high-fructose corn syrup filled muck, but this… this is something scummy… even for them. It’s like the John Wayne and Fred Astaire commercials. Or the recent CASABLANCA footage, co-opted into an ad… it’s an abomination and a violation.

An image isn’t something like a car or a house, like talent it is not something that can or should be bequeathed from or to someone else, not something to be sold.

His estate sold his image???

An image, like talent, is not the estate’s to sell. And it is not Pepsi’s to buy.

If at any time you had called yourself a fan of Michael Jackson, either the boy star, or the teen phenomenon, or the young adult superstar, or even the confused/tragic/and beleaguered but no less talented Hughsian adult he left this world as, then honor him by letting Pepsi know your displeasure with their 21st century digital slavery plans.

How do you let a multi-billion dollar company know you’re not happy? You cut into their bottom line.

You stop giving them money.

In Pepsi’s case it means finding alternatives to the following:

Pepsi-co Assets:

Frito-Lay
Gatorade
Quaker Oats
Tropicana
Elma Chips (Brazil)

Products[1]

Breakfast Bars
Quaker Chewy Granola Bars
Quaker Chewy Granola Cocoa Bars
Quaker Dipps Granola Bars
Quaker Fruit & Oatmeal Bars
Quaker Life Bar
Quaker Oatmeal to Go Bars
Coffee Drinks
Seattle’s Best Coffee
Starbucks DoubleShot
Starbucks Frappuccino
Starbucks Iced Coffee
Dr. Pepper Snapple Group
Dr. Pepper
7up
Squirt
A&W Root Beer
Canada Dry
Crush
Hawaiian Punch
Deja Blue
Diet Rite
Country Time (Under license from Kraft Foods)
Gini
Hires
IBC Root Beer
Orangina (Only owned by Pepsico everywhere else Suntory owns it)
Welch’s (Under license from Welch’s)
Peñafiel
Margaritaville
Mistic
Mr. & Ms. T
Mott’s
Nantucket Nectars
Nehi
RC Cola
ReaLemon
Rose’s Lime Juice
Schweppes
Snapple
Stewart’s Fountain Classics
Sun Drop
Tahitian Treat
Venom Energy Drink
Vernors
Yoo-hoo
Energy Drinks
AMP Energy
No Fear Energy Drinks
Rockstar Energy
SoBe Energy Drinks
Cap’n Crunch Cereal
King Vitaman Cereal
Kretschmer Toasted Wheat Germ

Quaker Life Cereal

Mother’s Ready-to-Eat & Hot Cereals
Quaker Essentials
Quaker Grits
Quaker Instant Oatmeal
Quaker Natural Granola Cereal
Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
Quaker Oh!s Cereal
Quaker Puffed Rice
Quaker Shredded Wheat Cereal
Quaker Oatmeal Squares Cereal
Quisp Cereal
Other
AMP Energy Gum
Aunt Jemima Mixes & Syrups
Quaker Baking Mixes
Rice Snacks
Quaker Large Rice Cakes
Quaker Mini Delights
Quaker Quakes
Quaker Tortillaz
Side Dishes
Near East Side Dishes
Pasta Roni Side Dishes
Rice-A-Roni Side Dishes
Snacks
Baked! Cheetos Snacks
Baked! Doritos Tortilla Chips
Baked! Lay’s Potato Crisps
Baked! Ruffles Potato Chips
Baked! Tostitos Tortilla Chips
Baken-ets Pork Skins and Cracklins
Cheetos Cheese Flavored Snacks
Chester’s Flavored Fries
Chester’s Popcorn
Cracker Jack Candy Coated Popcorn
Doritos Tortilla Chips
El Isleno Plaintain CHips
Frito-Lay, Fritos, and Tostitos Dips & Salsas
Frito-Layngh Nuts & Seeds
Fritos Corn Chips
Funyons Onion Flavored Rings
Gamesa Cookies and Wafers
Grandma’s Cookies
Hickory Sticks
Hostess Potato Chips
Lay’s Kettle Cooked Potato Chips
Lay’s Potato Chips
Lay’s Stax Potato Crisps
Lay’s Wavy Potato Chips

Meat Snacks

Maui Style Potato Chips
Miss Vicky’s Potato Chips
Munchies Snack Crackers
Munchies Snack Mix
Munchos Potato Crisps
Natural Cheetos
Natural Lay’s
Natural Ruffles
Natural Tostitos
Nut Harvest Nuts
Rold Gold Pretzels
Ruffles Potato Chips
Sabritones Puffed Wheat Snacks
Santitas Tortille Chips
Smartfood Popcorn
Smartfood Popcorn Clusters
Spitz Seeds
Stacy’s Pita and Bagel Chips
SunChips Multigrain Snacks
Tostitos Artisan Recipes Tortilla Chips
Tostito’s Tortilla Chips
Soft Drinks (original Pepsi brands)
Diet Pepsi
Diet Mountain Dew
Diet Sierra Mist
Mountain Dew
Mug Soft Drinks
Pepsi
Pepsi Max
Mirinda
Sierra Mist Natural
Sports Nutrition
Gatorade G Series Prime 01
Gatorade Thirst Quencher – G Series Perform 02
Gatorade G Series Recover 03
Gatorade G2
Gatorade Natural
Gatoradgfne G2 Natural
Gatorade G Series FIT Prime 01 Pre-Workout Fuel
Gatorade G Series FIT Perform 02 Workout Hydration
Gatorade G Series FIT Recover 03 Post-Workout Recovery
Gatorade G Series PRO 01 Nutrition Shake
Gatorade G Series PRO 01 Nutrition Bar
Gatorade G Series PRO 01 Carbohydrate Energy Formula
Gatorade G Series PRO 02 Endurance Formula
Gatorade G Series PRO 02 Perform Gatorlytes
Gatorade G Series PRO 03 Protein Recovery Shake
Gatorade G Series PRO Prime +
Gatorade G Series PRO Recover +
Water Products
Aquafina
Aquafina FlavorSplash
Propel Zero
SoBe Lifewater

Long list, but considering I don’t eat corn chips or most corn based products or msg or any modified corn-starch laced products, or drink high-fructose filled beverages (ie stuff not known for its health benefits); it’s incredibly easy for me to avoid everything on this list.

Only stuff I was getting was occasionally Tropicana and Aquafina and now that I know they are owned by Pepsi, I can definitely do without them.

And no, I’m not suggesting this boycott of Pepsi because I’m a Michael Jackson fan. It’s about more than that.

I haven’t been a music follower for a while, or heard anything by Michael Jackson in a while, but I respect that a man’s image, not his likeness (ie caricature, or drawing, or performance) but a man’s actual image, is not something to be owned by another man. This country has an unresolved history with trying to own what is not theirs to own.

Utter nonsense, you say. Utter fiction.

Unfortunately we live in a time, where technology is every day making of our fiction… facts.

This precedent set, can affect any actor, any person. Robert Downey Jr or Jeremy Renner or Samuel L. Jackson sold by their estates after their deaths; to speak lines or support causes or candidates they would have never done in their life.

Isn’t that a violation, for anyone?

For you, and you, and you over in the corner?

And because they are actors it should be no less a violation. You offer not your soul, when you offer a performance.

You do not lose… the rights of man.

Except Pepsi says… perhaps you do.

So Pepsi should be reminded of the… tactlessness of their plan.

The products above… stop purchasing them.

Ingredients wise, you’re not going to be missing much, as they are labeled junk food for a reason.

And I would love to know the money grubbing member of Jackson’s estate who got rich, selling the image, and no doubt if they could, the soul of Michael Jackson to the highest bidder.

Send a message, that there is such a thing… as decency, as propriety.

Send a tweet, or email (or whatever you kids do) to Pepsi, saying…”boycotting you because of Michael Jackson ad plans.”

Let them know.

Let them all know.

That there is such a thing, as the rights of man.